A New Bait Option

It’s cooled off enough to get me back surf fishing on Mondays while Nancy is playing bridge. A couple of weeks ago when I was on the beach, just walking, not fishing, I met a guy who was catching a few and clearly, (based on his gear), knew what he was doing. I asked him what he was using for bait and he showed me his sand flea flavored “fish bites”. This is a manufactured bait strip, cut into small pieces that are really easy to deal with – holds on the hook much better than real bait, and according to this guy, caught more fish than real sand fleas or shrimp. It’s non perishable so you can keep it in your tackle box and not have to worry about ice. It comes in lots of flavors – shrimp, crab, clam, squid, shrimp – so lots of options for bait choice. I went by Big Al’s bait and tackle on Flagler and picked up a bag of the sand flea flavored. They don’t give them away – $9 for a small bag but the fact that they will last for many trips, makes up for the expense. Also the bait is tough enough to stay on the hook even after catching a few fish. My surf rig has two hooks so when I got on the beach and saw that natural sand fleas were abundant, I decided to bait one hook with a real flea and the other with a sand flea flavored fish bite. I did catch more fish on the bite. Another advantage to the fish bite is that I can’t count on always being able to find live sand fleas in the surf. Sometimes they’re abundant, sometimes totally gone. And sometimes the surf is running so big that it’s difficult gathering them. I did a little online research and was surprised to find plenty of sources but not much price spread. Walmart was shown as a source so I’m going to visit the Palm Coast store and see if they have them. I’m thinking of adding crab and shrimp flavored Bites to the mix. Update – I found them at Walmart for $6. I bought a bag of sand flea flavor, shrimp flavor, clam flavor and crab flavor. I rushed to the beach to start some serious testing but was met with rain, wind, rip currents and giant waves. Next week!

Lots and lots of seedlings in the house waiting for a break in the heat. I have 50+ seedlings including cauliflower, broccoli, kale, cabbage, cabbage, and collards. This is more than enough to fill the garden open spaces. Also, the swiss chard seeds I planted directly in the garden have mostly germinated and will need some thinning in a week or so. I’ll put some of the thinned plants in individual containers to cover any losses that occur in the garden. I just hate thinning plants and then tossing them away which is why I end up with too many plants in the garden. I had planted two different varieties of Chard but so far, only one variety has germinated so if the other variety, sea foam, doesn’t work in this garden, I’ll use the thinned plants in that place.

Looking at this backlog, I decided to dig around in the sweet potato patch to see how far along those were. Hopefully they’ll be ready for harvest soon. But, I dug around the edges and found a tuber that was way too small. At least there was a tuber but I’ll just let them go another two weeks before checking again. They were advertised as “white” sweet potatoes and sure enough, they are really light skinned. One thing for sure – tubers or not – I’ll get quite a load of foliage for the compost pile.

Looks like Chris will be moving (again) to NYC. He was recruited seriously from a major player in the industry and will celebrate Thanksgiving there.
We rearranged the furniture in the living room to see if we could enhance Nancy’s TV viewing. We swapped the positions of the small couch and the lounge chair so that the chair could be physically closer to the TV and also provide better back support. Seems to have worked so far.

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