Bluefish love Shiners

The good news about Florida having a lousy football team this year is that I’ll get more fishing done on Saturdays. Since Tebow and Hernandez were dropped by the Pat’s, I wonder if they could sign up as Gators again?

Got to try out my lake grown surf bait sooner than I expected. George came over yesterday and suggested we try the beach so I jumped all over it. My concern with the shiners wasn’t whether of not blues would eat them but whether they’d hold up in the surf – shiners are soft. I had a solution in the back of my mind which was to freeze them in salt water if necessary. That usually toughens stuff up. Not to worry. The shiner pieces held up well and we both caught bluefish. This is a big deal for us since we can almost always catch a few shiners for either fresh use or frozen for future use. George also tried a bluegill but didn’t get any action with that. I’m not ready to give up yet and will try a couple next time. We have our fall beach break early in November and that will provide ample opportunity to test the effectiveness of the shiners vs mullet, the natural bait for the beach.

I have the garden platted with 13 rows for planting. Of those, 9 have already been planted including the row of 8 tomato plants I put in today. The other 4 rows will be planted by mid October with cabbage, broccoli, and maybe kale. The cabbage plants are in the seedling stage; the others, still a figment of my imagination. One segment of the current crop of pole beans will be finished by mid October and replaced with snow peas. So the new season is well underway.

Last post I mentioned the pole beans were a mix of Smerelda, Roma style beans, and conventional Blue Lakes. I paid particular attention to the beans this week since they can be picked daily and noted that all the beans are the flat Roma’s even though they’re clearly on Blue Lake stock. The combination is very productive and tastes great so no complaints in either department. I have started a tranche of the Blue Lakes at the opposite end of the trellis, 20’ of separation and I’m fairly sure all the Smerelda’s will have died off by then so I’ll have a good comparison by the end of the season.

Several decking planks on the dock are rotting (after only 8 years) and I started replacing them with composite decking from Lowes. We noticed right after installing them that they were definitely hotter to the touch than the wood, uncomfortably hotter. I need to replace several more planks so I called the manufacturer to see if there is a coating available to cool them down. Nope. The guy I talked to said they’ve done extensive testing and in the sun, the planks will get anywhere from 30 to 50 degrees hotter than the ambient temp. So if it’s 90 out, the planks will be 120-140 degrees. We can’t have that on the dock so it looks like the only answer is to replace bad boards with new (wood) ones. The upside to that is the cost of wood is 1/3 the cost of composite; the downside is that I have to stain it every now and then.

I’ve always been a newsy so it’s with much regret that I’m officially tuning out. I watch a half hour of local news and an hour of national news in the morning; a half hour of local news at noon; an hour of local, a half hour of National, and an hour of PBS news in the evening; and sometimes a half hour of local news at 11PM. I read the WSJ daily and listen to an hour or two of Fox News on XM every day. I’m fairly well calibrated on all the biases and adjust what I’m hearing accordingly. This news addiction is nothing new. It was always the routine in my house when growing up and mostly that way in my own household. Now, for the first time, I’m clicking off National News and PBS completely. It’s too painful and embarrassing to watch this administration fumble about on foreign policy and have jokers like Assad, Putin, and the North Korean Kim jerk Obama’s chain. He needs to go back to some community in Chicago and organize it; he sure as hell isn’t ready for prime time. For me, the most depressing part of it all is that we have over 3 more years to endure. I’ll have to satisfy my need for news by paying more attention to which convenience store got robbed in Orlando the night before.

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