Hands down, June is the busiest month in my little fishing community. It is the prime month for fishing tournaments, called rodeos, and as a result, prime time for camp rentals. That means I’ve been super busy booking the camp and cleaning it and doing laundry.
School is out, while schools of trout make their way to the Gulf of Mexico to spawn, and every weekend warrior with a boat makes his way down here to make a run for the speckled trout. What boggles my mind about that is the fact that those trout never leave this area during the fall and winter. They are snuggled up in the marshes and inland lakes and can be caught through January. But for some reason, part-time fisherfolks would rather make that long run to the Gulf in the heat of the summer to chase the trout. I can’t figure that out. (Well, that’s not entirely true – the guides who fish for a living can put 100 trout in the boat by 8 a.m. this month!)
June has been my month for repeats, starting with The Assorted Nuts from central Louisiana, who came back in full force. Well, they are all doing fine as wine, and quite honestly, having so much fun in their seventies that it should probably be against the law! It was a delight having them back, and they provided me with some much-needed comic relief. We didn’t catch many fish, but I think that’s because we didn’t use cracked crab. You may recall that they are the ladies for whom I had cracked all those bait crabs back in 2012, resulting in a case of Vibrio Vulnificus. Sorry but I just have a hard time bringing myself to do that now. Oh sure, I’ve used gloves, but do you have any clue how much of a hassle it is to wear gloves when you’re trying to help 4 women with tangled lines, etc.? I end up spending way too much time pulling them off and misplacing them. It’s just easier to use bait shrimp, but the big reds just didn’t care for the shrimp this time out. Next, I had the honor or taking a group of adventurous young women fishing who were first cousins, most of whom had never been saltwater fishing before. They were Sicilian, ranging in age from from 25-49, and every one of them was beautiful and high spirited. They got the hang of casting very quickly and before long they were fishing like old pros. Even though the red fish didn’t cooperate, those gals fished a solid six hours and had a really good time. As a bonus, they got to hear four big male gators grunting, and they saw something I’ve never seen before, which I’ll share in a few minutes!
And then the Hoos came back, consisting of two of my classmates, whom I’ve known since junior high, and LilSis. I’m not sure how we ended up calling ourselves the Hoos, but we had a a little Hoo-rah last weekend. They were part of the first ever Bayou Woman Adventure in June 2012, but they didn’t really want an adventure this time, refusing to let me “work”. Seems all four of us have had some very challenging events in our lives over the past year and all just needed to rest and regroup. So that is what we did, and it was just what the doctor ordered.
And in the midst of all the camp rentals, cleaning, fishing, touring, and entertaining, I’ve written three grants this month as part of my part-time job as Ex. Director of Keep Terrebonne Beautiful. Also, I wrote and submitted an article with photos for the August issue of Country Roads Magazine. Oh, and right in the middle of our Hoo weekend, it was my turn to host the radio show, on topics I had to choose and research. Just in case all those deadlines were deadly enough, I’ve got one more this month. Maybe then I’ll take a break in July!
So, all of the above are the MULTIPLE reasons you haven’t heard from me since Father’s Day weekend and the reason for the title. Looks like I almost bit off more than I could chew this month; hence the reason for the title. But that’s not the only reason for the title–looks like somebody else really did bite off more then he could chew…take a good look!
This is a diamond backed water snake biting a catfish. The snake came up out of the water, just about ten feet from where the Sicilian cousins were fishing. We had gotten out of the boat and were fishing off of a metal weir, and the girls had just talked about stepping off onto those rocks to get closer to the marsh for better casting along the bank. Well, I’m really glad that one of the girls saw the snake before they braved the rocks. Even though it’s not a poisonous snake, I think its looks alone could have caused an accident on those rocks!
The snake hung out on the rocks, holding the fish, before going back down into the water. At one point, we could see its entire length, which appeared to be about five feet. I haven’t done the homework, so I have no clue how that snake would ever eat that ten-inch fish. Regardless of how it would consume its meal, that was definitely one of the best National Geographic moments I’ve ever encountered on a fishing trip.
Well, things are really heating up down the bayou, zapping me of all energy and making me very thankful for central air conditioning and enough money to pay the “light” bill! Things will begin to slow down now, because most of the fishing rodeos have come and gone, and it’s just getting too dog gone hot to fish much past 10 a.m. The next thing here will be the fig harvest and preserve making! I noticed today a handful of them are almost ripe, and with all this rain, they should be ready to pick in a couple of days! Better get my jars and lids ready! Oh, and gotta go buy plenty of sugar, too!
I’m anxious to hear from y’all about what you’re up to this summer–gardens, vacations, canning, etc. So, let me hear from you!