Tuesday, June 23, 2009

A Good Day Fishing

Think of this as father's day #2. One of the things my son wanted to give to me for father's day was a day fishing.

We went today to do just that. We sat by the side of a canal near Alligator River Wildlife Refuge for a bit and mom was the only one to catch anything.

It was "the first, the biggest, and the best," as my 10 year old kept telling us.

My little girl was at a friends, so it was just Mom and the boys.

We had fun sitting there using minnows, spinner baits, and these really funky night crawlers.

After a few hours, we weren't catching anything, so we decided to head to a different location just down the road.

But things really got interesting when we decided to change spots. We headed down the main road, then turned onto a gravel road that would bring us back to Buffalo City. This is a great kayaking spot that was well known for its rum runners during the prohibition.

There is a complex series of canals, originally used for logging, then used later for boot legging. Floating stills were erected and hidden from the local authorities. If the sheriff got wind of any illicit activities, the still would be floated to somewhere different, therefore eluding detection.

We weren't there for the rum. We were looking for a good fishin' spot. As we turned down the road, and wound our way through the trees, I kidded with the kids to watch for bears. We rounded a corner, and found our first water moccasin. So their curiosity for wild life was whetted, they delegated their jobs.

"I'll look left, you right. Dad, keep an eye out front." I had to smile, I'd been through alligator River hundreds of times looking for bears and only seen cubs in a tree once.

And then there it was, right in front of us, in the middle of the road.

A big ol' male black bear.

He ambled away from us for a while, and then snaked back and forth avoiding our car, but never straying far from the road and never moving real fast.

He didn't seem to mind that we were there, but he was annoyed that we were staying on the same trail he was on.

Traci hung out the car window with the camera. It was right there, outside the passenger window. How I wish I had a better camera. I kept my foot on the accelerator, and my fingers on the window controls, in case we needed to make a fast exit. Remember, I only have a point and click camera. I can't zoom very much.

We took some pictures (the boys were amazed), and then we kept on. We stopped and wet our fishing lines for a bit.

The boys couldn't stop talking about the bear and the snake, and maybe there will be alligators. It was great to hear them bubbling over with excitement.

But it was getting late, we had to go pick up our daughter, and we had to go.

We packed back up, turned around, and the bear was right there. We watched each other for a bit.

He seemed a bit wary of us, and as we drove closer he swam the canal and disappeared into the forest.

It was amazing to see and an experience I won't forget.

We pulled off the gravel road, and the front tire blew. Thumpa, thumpa, thumpa. I had to find a good spot to pull over.

The kids have never seen a flat tire so I taught the boys how to use a jack and change a tire.

The boys bubbled with excitement the whole way home. We didn't catch much fish.

But it was a great fishing trip.


Albert A Rasch said...

Sounds like y'all had a better than great day!

The Rasch Outdoor Chronicles.
Bloggers: Defenders of the Great Outdoors

Doug said...

Yeah, It was one of those I'll remember for a long time. Thanks Albert.


The Crow said...

Wow, what a great face-on picture of the bear in the scrub! That's a lot closer than I'd want to be, but I'd certainly love to have an opportunity like that.

A great day, great outing. Your boys will remember this day and will tell and retell this story for years to come.


Quacky Calls said...

Now that is what you call a fun filled day of adventurer, just the thing that makes a young child's heart just come to life. For within every one of us there is that seeker of adventure.

That day has etched its self into their minds, as well as yours, for decades to come.

Wow, i would have enjoyed being there.