Archive | October, 2012

Fishing in Seadrift

29 Oct

This past weekend Joseph and I joined my parents on a little saltwater fishing trip.

We drove down to Seadrift, Texas Friday evening, fished Saturday and Sunday, then drove home Sunday afternoon.

My dad had gone down the weekend before and fished with my uncle.  They stayed at the same motel that we stayed at and tested out the boat to make sure everything was running smoothly.  Dad said the motel was old but really clean and was a perfect place for us to stay.  I googled images of this place just to be sure…

Bay Motel in Seadrift, Texas

This didn’t exactly get me excited about staying here.  I already have a fear of hotel/motel comforters so every time I stay at one, the comforter gets thrown in a corner using my foot and I just use the sheets.

Fun Fact for you:  In your typical hotel, the sheets are changed and washed everyday.  The comforters are only cleaned if there are visible stains…sick.

So obviously I bring my own comforter (and usually pillows).  When we arrived, the place looked just like the pictures but I was surprised by how clean the place actually was.  Everything was old but very clean.  I still removed the comforter but I didn’t feel disgusting walking around in this place.  It is definitely a place for fishermen because it is so close to the boat ramp and has a kitchenette area for cooking and even a place to clean your fish.  The man who owns this place, Herbert, was SO nice.  Herbert told my dad good spots to fish and he even played washers with Joseph, my dad, and me for a while.  He went out of his way to make sure we had a great stay at his motel.  It made me feel a little better about the place after meeting Herbert.  He wasn’t shady or creepy so it was a little more comforting.  I would stay there again the next time we are fishing down there just because of the hospitality.

As you all are probably aware by now, cold weather rolled through Friday.  When we woke up Saturday it was about 55 degrees and the winds were blowing at 15mph.  Great day for being on a boat…good thing I brought my gloves, ear-warmers, thermals and ski jacket!  I definitely needed all of them!  After we started catching fish, the adrenaline warmed us up though!

Going into this trip, Joseph had never caught a keeper red fish.  He had caught several that were almost there, like an inch or even half an inch too short.  So our goal this weekend was to get him to catch a keeper red.  He caught a couple little ones that were just a few inches too short before he landed his keeper!

Joseph’s Big Red

This baby was 26 inches!  They only have to be 20″ to keep and my biggest one to date is 24″.  I don’t know who was more excited: Joseph or my dad.  My dad is one of those people who knows a lot about fishing and enjoys fishing but loves seeing us catch big fish.  Dad likes to see the excitement we have when we first hook it and are trying to explain to him what we think we caught before we see it.  It makes it a lot more fun for us seeing him so excited.  That’s one main reason why I like fishing with my dad…other than me being partial because he’s my dad…not to mention the fact that he can usually put us on fish better than the guide we used before.

Mom caught a 19.5″ red, along with a bunch of other reds that were just barely too small to keep.

Mom’s 19.5″ Red Fish

I had a pretty slow morning, catching only about 2 baby reds but by the afternoon it started picking up a little more for me.  I caught a few baby reds but I mostly caught crap-fish…small black drum and sheep-heads.  These tend to steal your bait multiple times before you actually reel one in, only to be annoyed that you have to take it off your hook and throw it back to repeat the process.

Sheep-Heads and Black Drum

They are called sheep-heads because their teeth look like those of a sheep, as you can see in the picture above on the left.  It’s actually quite creepy.  Dad said a lot of people keep both of these fish but he will never keep a sheep-head and will only keep a black drum if it is huge because they usually aren’t worth cleaning for the meat you get off of them.

This face shows how Dad felt about these crap-fish

Dad kept making fun of me for taking a million pictures but, hey, I need visual aids for this thing, right?

At one point, we were all catching fish pretty steadily.  Joseph and I even caught two reds at the same time.

Our Baby Reds (as you can tell, mine was smaller than his…again!)

Saturday afternoon, we were getting ready to call it quits when Joseph snag himself a Flounder.

Flounder are neat because both of their eyes are on the same side of their heads.  They lay flat on one side at the ocean floor so there is no need for eyes on the other side of their head.  Weird, right?  Joseph has caught 2 flounder on previous trips that were half an inch too short so we were dying for this one to be 14″ this time!  He was in luck because it was a hair over the legal limit!

We fished a little longer then headed in to play some washers with Herbert and watch the Aggie vs. Auburn game at the motel.  (The motel even had ESPNU on their cable and WiFi so it couldn’t be all that bad!)  We ate chili for dinner that Dad had been cooking in the crock pot all day to warm us up.  The Aggies won 63-21 and we even had our 2nd string QB and defense playing for the 2nd half which was good to give the starters a rest with the hellish two weeks ahead when we are away for Mississippi State and Alabama back to back.  Anyways, after the game we relaxed then called it a night to wake up early for some more fishing!

Sunday morning was a little colder but the wind was down to 12mph rather than 15 which I thought made a pretty big difference, especially since I had been so wind-burned from Saturday that my face looked like a big tomato (minus my forehead which was covered by thick headband ear-warmers).

We started off at a different spot to fish and within 5 minutes, I caught a baby red.

I thought my luck was sure to change from the junk I caught on Saturday but that was one of only 2 or 3 fish I caught all day…I guess I just wasn’t holding my mouth right.  Dad always says that if you aren’t catching fish then it’s because of the way you are holding our mouth….no idea where that came from but I was switching up my mouth position all day! haha

Joseph on the other hand had his mouth in the right position because he caught a pretty big drum.  So big that Dad was even willing to keep it!

Joseph’s Drum

He caught that one while we were drifting and mom caught herself a keeper flounder.  Dad threw her flounder in the cooler before we could get a picture of her with it though…

After drifting for a little while, we went back over to the spot where we (and by we I mean Joseph) caught a bunch of fish to try that hole again.  The boat ride from drifting to that spot was probably the roughest, bumpiest ride ever.  I swear I have whip-lash!  I was flailing all over the place like a rag doll because I couldn’t hold on to anything other than the things I was trying to keep from flying out of the boat.  The whole time I was playing the Chitty Chitty Bang Bang scene from Ace Ventura in my head.

We finally get to the other spot and I don’t even get a bite while Dad catches a small trout and Mom catches a small red fish.  Joseph gets a nice bite and gets excited.  As he is reeling it in, we are all trying to figure out what it is because it never showed itself above water.  When he brings it close to the boat we notice it is a huge flounder!

Joseph’s Big Flounder

The flounder was 20″ and was the biggest one I have seen so far!  As you can tell from the picture above, Dad was pretty excited again!  At least someone was filling up our fish cooler!

Joseph with his big red fish and flounder

We ended up with 3 flounder, 1 red fish, and 1 drum.  All, with the exception to 1 flounder, were caught by Joseph!  I wanted to take a picture with them hanging from the Seadrift sign like we did last year but Dad was having none of that since I had taken “a million pictures of these fish already.”

This picture just doesn’t do their sizes any justice

When they were cleaning the fish there were about 20 pelicans hanging out waiting to be thrown some of the guts.  Gross, but they are neat birds.

Overall, we had a blast!  Even though I didn’t catch any keepers I still had a lot of fun because Joseph finally caught his keeper red fish and the biggest flounder I have ever seen in person!  It’s fun seeing him have so much fun and it’s about time he out-fished my family!  I guess we have turned him into a fisherman after-all! 🙂 I can’t wait to make some stuffed flounder from his catch!

Hopefully we will be able to go again soon but I think we may have to wait until the Spring to go back down to Seadrift.  I will be counting down the days!

 

Shotgun Sunday at Jessica’s Ranch

25 Oct

This past Sunday, a few of us went to Jessica’s family’s ranch to go shoot skeet.

Neva, Jessica, Me

Their ranch is somewhere around 1500 acres and it is absolutely gorgeous!  They have deer stands, a duck pond, and several smaller fishing ponds…not to mention a camp house and fun toys to play with!  Among those toys are four wheelers, battery-powered vehicles, and my personal favorite: shotguns.

Jessica’s parents, Nic and Bubba, are super fun, country people.  They are down to earth and two of the nicest people ever (and absolutely adorable but we just won’t tell Bubba I think they are adorable because he is much too manly for that).  They have a clay throwing machine out on their ranch so Jessica invited us out to shoot with the three of them on Sunday.  “Us” included me, Joseph, Mom, my brother Trey (who I also call Bubba so it gets confusing when we are around Jessica’s dad), Neva, and Korey.

I shot first and did pretty terrible.

Me shooting at everything but the clays…
Left: That’s Bubba giving me some pointers, which I definitely needed!

It was slightly embarrassing…Bubba is one that will give you a hard time about being bad at something but it is pretty hilarious.  I have to admit, though, I realize why all of our guy friends in high school were intimidated by him.  I shot 20 rounds and maybe hit 3…

Joseph went next.

Joseph

He shot a few rounds and then decided he was off his game so he let some other people go before he decided to go again.  Must have worked because he did a lot better after his break.  Bubba gave him lots of pointers too so maybe that helped.  Who knows.

Jessica was up next.

If you thought she was dangerous before, you should see her with a gun. Pure Terror. Notice in the middle picture you can see her shell being discharged to the right!

Jessica was way better than I expected.  Not saying that I thought you would be bad, Jessica, but I just wasn’t expecting you to blow me out of the water!  In fairness to me, she has done this a countless number of times.

I’d never been skeet shooting with my brother before but apparently he is a professional.  He hit almost all of them!  What a punk!  Nic’s power stance may be the most adorable thing I have ever seen.  The gun is bigger than her so it’s fun seeing such a tiny, little lady shoot the mess out of some clays!  Mom had been out to their ranch before to shoot with Bubba and Nic and she did really good.  She said that the first time was better and that it must have been beginners luck…or it could have been the ridiculous wind that picked up when Mom was shooting this time that threw her off.  She still hit more than me!  In fact, they all did.

Nic, Trey, Mom

Neva and Korey arrived right before my mom started shooting.  Neither one of them had done this before so they got lessons from Bubba while the rest of us went out into the field to collect the ones that didn’t break so we could use them again.  Minor detail that the majority of them were mine!  Apparently some were missed the last time they were out there because we only shot a box and there were more than that out in the field that weren’t broken!  Their ranch makes clays magically appear!

Neva and Korey were both nervous so I explained to them how bad I did to make them feel better (luckily they didn’t get to witness first-hand like everyone else).  I also told them my mentality when it comes to shooting clays:  Even if you don’t hit any, you still get to shoot a gun which is always fun!

Neva went first…

Neva during her first shoot ever! The picture to the left was the first shot she took.  I love the middle picture with the smoke and the shell flying!

Neva didn’t do bad for her first time!  It definitely didn’t help her case that the wind had picked up like it did when my mom was shooting.  Bubba picked on her and said she needs a lot more practice.

Korey was the last one to go.

Korey on his “first” shoot ever!

So Korey claims this was the first time he’s ever done this…I personally think he is a “Skeet Shark” (like a Pool Shark but for skeet) because the kid hit the first clay thrown!  And then the majority of the ones after that!  It was ridiculous!  He’s a freak of nature!  We told Neva we think he’s been going shooting with his other girlfriend in his spare time!  Bubba claims it was his teaching abilities but Jessica quickly pointed out how Neva had done…sorry Neva.

Trey, Me, and Mom

After everyone had gone once, it was my turn to go again.  Since I didn’t shoot a full box of shells the first time, I used the remaining shells in my box plus another box (about 30 shells).  Bubba thought he would be funny and get himself and my brother to shoot with me Annie Oakley style.  Annie Oakley style is when the first person pulls and shoots.  If they miss, the second person shoots and if they get it, the first person is out.  If the first two people miss it and the third hits it, the first two are out and so on.  Basically they made it into a competition.  Maybe it was the competition or maybe it was just my mad skills coming out of the woodwork but I only missed about 4 or 5 out of 30 and the ones I did missed, they did too!  I guess I just needed a friendly competition to prove my sweet skills.  At one point I had hit about 9 in a row and was getting all sassy (shocker) and when I yelled “Pull!” Bubba shot it right as I pulled the trigger!  He said, “She was getting too cocky!” hahaha It was hilarious.

Annie Oakley Style
Left: Bubba & Joseph
Right: Joseph and Jessica

After we played around for a little while, Bubba took me, Joseph, and Trey on a tour of the ranch.  We rode around in the gator as Bubba told us all about their property.  This land has been in their family for 6 generations!  Jessica is the 7th generation and will have to take care of it when it’s her turn.  Jessica, you better find a man who can appreciate that because it is truly amazing!  Bubba showed us where Jessica caught her first fish and shot her first deer…and also where she missed a shot on a huge buck.  haha  My brother is a die-hard country boy who loves the outdoors and I think he was in Heaven as we were driving around.  I swear the kid was drooling!

We had SO much fun and I can’t wait to get to shoot again with them!  I feel like a learned a lot but I guess we will find out the next time I try to shoot…hopefully I will shoot more like my second round, rather than the first!  When we thanked Jessica and her parents for letting us come out to their ranch, they said “Anytime!”  and Joseph and I joked that if we came out anytime we wanted, it would be every weekend!  Thanks again, Jessica, for letting us join y’all!

Now I am really wanting to buy my own gun!  I just have to stop borrowing ones that are so expensive because then I get a taste for the good quality guns without having the good quality budget!  Maybe it would be an investment that would be worth it…we’ll see.

Aggies vs. LSU

24 Oct

(sorry about being MIA yesterday…I was at home sick with a fever but good news is the fever is gone and I feel slightly better!)

Saturday was the Texas A&M vs. LSU football game in College Station.  So obviously Joseph and I had to make our way to Aggieland to do some tailgating and watch the game with our friends.

We left Friday night after Holli’s bridal shower and got to Northgate around 11pm (which, by the way, is WAY past my bedtime).  Stephen and his girlfriend, Rachel, rode up to College Station with us and we picked up Joey on the way to Northgate.  We went through our usual routine after finding a legit parking spot:  Started off at Dry Bean for cheap and tasty shots, then went to Sake Bar (real name still unknown to me…it will forever just be known as Sake Bar).  Along the way to Sake Bar, we picked up some friends at Logan’s.

Dano and Ali drove to town from Dallas and met up with us!

Ali and Dano

Northgate was fun because we had drinks for a fraction of the cost they would be in Houston and we ran into a lot of friends we hadn’t seen in a while.  By the end of it, I was a zombie though.  We stayed out until after 2am and after waking up for work at 5am on Friday, I was exhausted to say the least.  The boys wanted to get something to eat, and since it was now after midnight, it was Joey’s birthday so I couldn’t say no.  We tried going to Fuego but the line was wrapped around the building so we settled for Taco C instead (it was about 2:30am now).  There was hardly a line so I parked the car and made them go inside.  Joey returned quickly with a plate of nachos.  When I said, “That was quick!”  He said, “Well I got the complementary nachos at the condiment bar so I didn’t have to wait in line.  They haven’t ordered yet.”  My hopes for leaving there in a decent amount of time quickly diminished.  After AN HOUR of waiting, the boys and Rachel finally returned to the car with their food.  Apparently that’s why there wasn’t a line at Taco C…because the service sucks!

Stephen, Me, Joseph, Joey

I love these boys but if Rachel wasn’t with them, they would have been left at Taco Cabana!

Joseph and I drop off everyone at Nicole’s house and finally get back to Kooken’s after 4am.  At this point I have been up for 23 hours and feel like I could kill someone with just one look.

Thanks for letting us crash at your house, Kooken!

We had good intentions of waking up early to do plenty of tailgating before the game but my body just wouldn’t move before 8:30.  Dan and Ali left around 8am and Joseph started getting antsy so I forced myself to get up.  We woke up the remainder of the house and got everyone moving.  Finally we rolled out around 10am and boy was that a mistake!  Traffic was terrible and parking was even worse.  Normally we find a great parking spot where we don’t even have to pay because we get there so early but this time we had to park about a mile away and pay $10.  No bueno for this thrifty lady.

I had a delightful semi-surprise on Saturday!  Chelsea and Bradley came to CS to tailgate too!!  I say “semi-surprise” because I found out Friday afternoon that they were going to be there.

Top Left: Brad & Chels leaving me out of the picture…not cool guys.
Top Right: Me and Roomie reunited and it feels so good!
Bottom: Bradley, Chels, Me, and Joseph

It was SO good seeing Chels and Bradley.  I hate never getting to see them because it is hard for us to find time when we are all free to visit each other.  Catching up with Chels was probably the highlight of my day.  I miss them so much.  It’s weird.  I knew I missed them but I didn’t realize how badly until seeing them…does that make sense?  Probably not because I hardly ever make sense…but whatever, the point is that I miss them.

The game started off great with the Aggies scoring quickly!  But unfortunately it did not end as great as it had started.  We lost 24-19 to no one but ourselves.  LSU had nothing to do with their win.  We had 4 turnovers, 2 missed field goals, and 1 missed extra point.  Without those errors, we would have won.  It’s disappointing to lose such a big game that we know we should have won but no one can say that the Aggies can’t hang in the SEC.  Well I guess people can say that but those people would be big, dumb idiots and apparently aren’t paying attention to this season.

After the game, Joseph and I decided to tour the MSC seeing as we haven’t been in it since before we graduated.  I was really surprised at how much it still resembled the old MSC and that made me happy.  The Flag Room looked exactly how I remembered it and the stair cases had the same flooring.  It was also great seeing the new, modern twists the MSC now holds.  Joseph got the chance to tour the MSC while it was under construction his senior year for one of his construction classes and all he has talked about since then was the big ballroom with the massive skyfold partition that is 80′ long so of course we had to go see it.  Problem with that was the doors were locked to the ballroom and the lights were off so we couldn’t get a good look at it.  The good thing is that we are awesome and super sneaky and found a way in 🙂

Top Left: Me at the podium
Top Right: Me and Joseph in the big ballroom
Bottom: 80′ Skyfold Partition

When we snuck in, Joseph found the light switches which were way too technical for me to use.  They were on a touch screen and he immediately knew how to work it.  He played with the lights and I ran on stage to take a picture behind the podium, as you can tell from the picture above.  It was a lot of fun sneaking in and playing around in a big ballroom, just the two of us.  Just for the record, we didn’t break anything and Joseph turned everything back to the way it was before he started playing with the switches.

Three things I learned Saturday:  1) Don’t stay out so late when you are a little baby and can’t hang,  2) Get out and tailgate hours before kickoff to avoid traffic and paying for parking, and 3) SEC fans travel VERY well.  I have only been to 2 home games since we joined the SEC and both times the visiting team’s fans were in abundance.  It is great!  I love having a friendly competition and seeing so many fans follow their teams.  It makes for an awesome tailgating experience!

Even though the game was disappointing, I still had a lot of fun visiting Aggieland, as usual.  It is always great to be at my home away from home and getting to spend time with friends to reminisce our glory days in college! ha!

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