Thursday, July 2, 2009

Blasts From The Past

Once upon a time, back in the rough and rowdy days of the Internet, I began posting up pictures from various fishing trips to a website of my own creation. Since we've been Earthlink customers for so long, those pictures and trip reports still reside on a server somewhere out there in the digital ether. The pics are crappy scans of poor-quality disposable camera prints, but they still represent some good memories and are well worth preserving.

So I decided to move the pics over to Photobucket and the reports over to this post. What follow are the results of a gradual effort to relocate the captures to a new virtual home. I hope some of the participants enjoy seeing them again. Just click on the small, blurry thumbnails to see the slightly larger, blurry pictures. You can also see Blasts From The Past, Part II for more old fishing pic collections without the reports.

Orange Beach Jetties
August 1999
James and I fished the Orange Beach jetties while Merredith and Veronica
shopped in Foley. The fishing was slow at first, but began to really pick
up around 5:30. Quite a few people were there, but the fish were hitting
live shrimp, and we were the only ones with the right bait. We landed
eight in all, including a bluefish, two redfish, two beeliners, and three
sheepshead. James caught a nice red, which went eleven and a quarter
pounds and which made three or four strong runs. He did a good job
of steering the big fish near a lower rock where I could grab it. The hike
back across the jetties with that heavy stringer was no walk in the park,
but we made it. We grilled the fish the next day and had a feast.


Fort Pickens Camping Trip
May 19-21, 2000
David, Mike, Clint, Eric, and I all made it down to Fort Pickens
one way or another for a few nights of camping and fishing. We had
a great time and caught a lot of fish--most of them on the bay side of
Santa Rosa Island. The trip produced a wide variety of catches that
included speckled trout, bluefish, pompano, remora, striped burrfish,
skipjack, searobin, blue runner, and hardhead catfish (too many catfish).



Fort Pickens II
May 31-June 3, 2001
This year, a few more folks made it down for fishing, camping, and poker
at Fort Pickens. Attendees were Clint Foster, Mike Dunn, James Sears,
David Chaltain, Donald Lovvorn, David Lovvorn, Eric Lovvorn, and myself.
By my count, we caught 14 different varieties of fish, not including cast net
catches. We landed jack crevalle, blue runner, pompano, flounder, skipjack,
stingray, skate, sand trout, grunt, mangrove snapper, beeliner, pinfish, croaker,
and catfish. Clint clearly took the big fish award this year with a nice 14 1/2 lb.
jack crevalle caught at the tip of Santa Rosa Island. Eric got high honors in
the quality (food-wise) award with a pompano, flounder, and mangrove snapper.


Third Fort Pickens Trip
April 5-8, 2002
The Third Annual Fishathon at Fort Pickens involved some nice weather but produced few fish. Attendees this year were Mike Dunn, Clint Foster, David Chaltain, James Sears, Darin Capes, and myself. We did manage to catch a few, including a couple of nice spanish mackerel at the bridge. Other catches included sheepshead, sting ray, sand trout, and catfish. This year saw the institution of a new tradition—the Big Kahuna award given to the catcher of the largest game fish or edible fish. I managed to acquire this glorious title with a 2 ¾ lb. sheepshead caught at the point of the island. We also added two new recreational activities to the Fishathon. Pitching horseshoes augmented our morning routine, and four of us made our way over to The Moors, where Clint Foster took high honors at golf in some brisk 15-20 mph winds.


Crappie Mania at the Bass Pond
May 11, 2002
Planning a river float but facing a swollen river and muddy water, Clint, James, Jacob and I headed to the Bass ponds instead. This change in plans turned out to be fortuitous. All in all, we caught several bream, 29 bass, and well over 100 crappie. On his first fishing trip, Jacob caught 8 fish, and James landed a six-pound largemouth bass on a crappie jig.


Fishathon IV: Destin
May 15-18, 2003
This year, the annual fishing/camping extravaganza moved to Henderson Beach State Park in sunny Destin, Florida. Clint and I stopped at the Orange Beach jetties and caught quite a few fish before joining David, James, and Mike in Destin. This year's excursions included a lengthy hike out onto the jetties at Destin pass. In addition, we rented a pontoon boat on Saturday and Sunday and fished the Mid-Bay Bridge. Catches this year included blue runner, skipjack, pompano, grunt, puffer fish, sheepshead, speckled trout, grouper, mangrove snapper, and of course, catfish. Big Kahuna honors went to Clint with a 5.1 pound sheepshead caught at the Mid-Bay Bridge.


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