New Boat, Hard Labor, Fishing Trip, Big Event

I have come to realize in the past month why hard physical labor puts me off kilter. The heat and humidity don’t just sap my energy, they drain my creative pipes dry.  By the end of the day, meaning dark-thirty after all the tools are put in the shed while the mosquitoes do their own sucking, I barely have enough gumption to turn on the shower and step in.  Pulling back the covers, lying down, and closing my eyelids then drains the last few drops of energy.

Most of my creativity comes forth in the early morning, which has been preempted by the need to start work on my outdoor project very early while temps are somewhat cooler.  I am sitting here this morning, producing this post for you instead of being up at the camp preparing for the Big Event, because you have been neglected—by no choice of my own, please understand.

The thing that has been taking all my time and consuming all my energy is a second-hand boat that needed some TLC in order to become the premier fishing vessel I knew it would be for Casual Charters, the fishing division of Wetland Tours.  And if any of you like a good story, I might be inclined to tell you how I acquired it, but not this morning.  It is a 24-foot Carolina Skiff sporting a 115 Yamaha, four-stroke outboard engine.  She rides on a tandem-axle trailer with hydraulic brakes, and her purpose is to SET ME FREE!

This morning, I take great pride in telling you that all (I hope) of the work is F I N I S H E D.  I learned to use a heat gun and how to repair fiberglass.  I now know what gel coat is.  I experienced using a wet sandpaper block to sand off the excess dried gel coat, which “coats” the sandpaper requiring it to be rinsed off frequently.  But the lesson that will really stick with me is that if you use your left hand to wipe the gel coat off the sanding block when you dip it in the bucket of water, you will eventually sand the first layer of skin off your fingers before you realize you’ve done it.  And when you pour acetone on a rag you are holding in your left hand you realize REAL QUICK what you’ve done!

And to my friends who stopped by (rather than just honking and waving) and offered a helping hand, I am forever grateful and invite you to go fishing with me this fall.

The Miss Louisiana trip was the “maiden wetland tour” in the new boat, and she performed well. New boat crossed Lake Decade twice as fast as Old Faithful (my pontoon boat), which brings me to the “maiden fishing trip” voyage that took place Sunday.

T-Gig, a local gentleman who has fished from here to the coast faithfully for the past seven years agreed to go with me and show me spots I had never fished before.  We went all the way to the Gulf of Mexico coast, a 45-minute ride in the new boat, to scout for speckled trout.

This is a fantastic red drum that he caught on his speckled trout tackle.  T-Gig is an impressive fisherman, and it was great watching him finesse that big fish in. What impressed me about the fish was the light color.  Most of the reds we catch inland are a much darker gold or bronze color.  This one appeared almost silver, with a slight pink tinge on its fins.  Can you see that?  We let this fish go to live a longer life.

T-Gig did put us on some trout, but only one out of every dozen was big enough to make it into the box.  He even managed to catch this beautiful lady on his trout rig . . .

You can tell this is a Lady Blue Crab because of her beautiful orange claw polish.  Oh, wow, I just had an inspiration.  I’ll have to write to OPI and send them this picture and ask them to duplicate the color and call it “Crab Claw Orange”.  And then my next thought is duplicating all the shades of red fish, and on and on and it could my own line of natural nail polish colors found in the wetlands.  Okay, sorry, I got carried away, but I will think about this some more . . . .

Termite was on board for the trip–his first fishing trip in a long time with me.  It was nice having him around again, just like on the tour last week.  I do miss his company now that he is in public school.

And now, to mention the Big Event.  One of the local charter captains saw the new boat in the driveway at the camp and called to ask if it was mine and to ask if I intended to fish out of it.   Yes and yes.  So this Saturday will be the first official fishing charter on Bayou Woman’s new boat.  I will be busy as a one-armed fisherwoman tending to four fisherman that day, so I doubt there will be any time for me to take photos; but if you want to hear about the trip, I’ll do my best to come back here and tell you about it on Saturday night (if I have the energy) or Sunday morning.  Deal?

Oh, and I’ll come back here later today and post some pics of the boat.  I have to go take them first.  Can you imagine BW being TOO BUSY to take pics of her new boat?  Now, that is busy, cher!

Busy as a bee in springtime,


PS:  Living in the new house is wonderful.  The central air conditioning is divine.  The palmetto bugs that moved in during construction aren’t welcome, so someone please come get rid of them for me.  I don’t smash them because I can’t stand the POPPING sound they make. Ewwwww!  (okay, I resorted to Bengal last night.)

PS2 – Tonight I am attending a monster-piano-concert, where Dotter will be playing one of six GRAND pianos on stage.  They all play at once and many other combinations, like four pianos with two players each playing different parts simultaneously.  It is one of the most amazing piano concerts I’ve ever attended.  I think this is the third one she’s played in, is that right Dotter?

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  1. I noticed in the Miss Louisiana post y’all weren’t in the pontoon boat, but figured it was under the weather and you had to borrow another boat for the tour. I too am interested in learning how you got the C.S. We looked at them before “falling” on our Kenner.
    About your charter Sat…Is this a speck and/or dot trip? Are you going to trailer farther down the bayou, or have the specks moved into DeCade early this year?

    I’m green with envy. I’d love to be sitting with your family at the concert tonight! As for myself, I’ll be on Grandparent duty tonight . My “dotter” will be at the hospital till 7 and son-in-law has to work late. I get to sit on metal bleachers to watch “T-rev” play baseball and shell peanuts for “Ms. Lu Lu”. On second thought, the only negative part of concert vs. baseball is the bleachers. I love it. It’s all about family!

    1. Right you are! It’s all about family, no matter work, play, or grandparent sitting!!! Sorry about your fanny on those bleachers, though! This charter is 12 men fishing for a rodeo. Should be interesting. Launching at the end of the road and going south, hence the coastal scouting trip Sunday. The trout have NOT moved in yet, so that presents a problem finding the keepers in transition. Where oh where are the big trout? That is the million dollar question right now. Will fish for dots, door mats, and prisoners, too!

  2. Yep! This is the third year they’ve done the concert, which raises money to help the department to purchase new Steinway & Sons pianos! I’m playing the most this year that I ever have… I’m playing in 4 collaborations: One “double duo” (two pianos, four people), one collaboration with four pianos, four people, two parts, another collaboration with four pianos, eight people, and the finale, which is every grand piano on stage with three people at each. I can’t remember the grand total. No pun intended. 😉

    1. OMG! It’s even BIGGER than I thought it was! Post Script: It turned out to be a total of 16 people playing on six pianos at once—- a grand total of 160 fingers and it was beyond amazing!

  3. Termite looks like photographer to me. I’d hit that a little harder, kid.

    I kind of like piano. Sounds like fun.

    Stick some big ones this weekend.

  4. I bet you are excited at getting your new boat all fixed and ready to go. 24′ is fairly large isn’t it? I am used to the 14′-16′ pleasure and bass boats that my son had. Miss that bass boat too but, when his company started laying off, he was one of them so, they kept the camper and sold the boat. The kids love camping more than fishing anyway.

    I’ll let you at the palmetto bugs over here if you want. I have been finding them regularly since we finally got some rain. The ants left and they came in. Rather have them than the ants though.

    Dotter, is there a way to hear the concert from last year on line?? I love piano music. If I was near enough, I would be in the audience too. Good luck.

    1. Yes, 24 foot is four feet longer than my pontoon tour boat. I put her through some rough seas on the coast Sunday, and she did great. We also came across a very rough lake to get back home, and she didn’t slam us too bad at 30 mph. It is a flat-bottom boat, so there is no “V” to the hull to cut through the waves. But the length makes up for it. The waves crack just right under the bow, and the ride at the console is still comfortable. I’m not sure if we could get hold of a recording, and see if I could put an audio link on here.

  5. So excited for you. This has been a long time coming. I know you will do splendidly this weekend whether you find the keepers or not.

    You know that I would choose the concert over fishing, but the concert over baseball? I’d be in the bleachers with Steffi, I think. Still want to make that concert one year, though. It sounds way beyond awesome.

    1. Baseball? Concert? Baseball? Concert? If one of my kids were playing ball and the other piano on the same night I would have to clone myself. No two ways about it!! WE DO LOVE OUR BASEBALL!

  6. Congratulations on the acquisition of the new boat! Can’t wait to hear/read the story of its provenance. Your Lady Blue Crab colors inspired me also to start thinking about a new outfit of turquoise and orange just so I could wear orange nail polish!

    Hope your charter lands some ‘big uns’ on Saturday; we’ll be pulling for your boatload.

    1. Thanks, Musing, for the congrats. It’s been a lot of sweat and hard work getting her ready. Turquoise and orange outfit! What a great idea! I lay in bed this morning thinking about all the names of nail polish inspired by nature here. For example, the colors I see when I go out in my boat right now are: Marsh Mallow (light pink); Wild Morning Glory (light purple); Deer Pea (yellow); Cardinal Flower (Red); Crab Claw Orange; Red Fish Bronze; and on and on!!!

        1. My brain is always spinning on ways to bring the wetland culture mainstream . . . if only we had a way to get our Wetland Treasures ideas more exposure . . . and a portion of the sales would go to wetland restoration, like I do with buying plants from book sales. I have printed the crab claw photo and take it with me now to see if I can match a nail polish color . . . want to see if the colors already exist and don’t have to be reinvented!!! There’s just so much we could do with Wetland Enterprises.

  7. If OPI makes a Crab Claw Orange nail polish I am going to the be the first in line to buy it! You know how I love orange. Thanks for the sweet words about the new tattoo. I got it not just for that friend but for all of my “sisters”. It’s healing up nicely and I’ve almost stopped thinking I have something on my arm and brushing it away, lol. Can’t wait to see new pics of the boat.

  8. WOW! Lookie at all the activity!

    Congrats on the new boat especially. Come on over here – the guys on the early morning outdoor show are falling all overthemselves about the trout they’re piling up. I’ve never seen so much bait in the water – never. It’s a fish frenzy 😉

    Can’t wait to come over and get a real tour of the area – working hard to save my pennies!

    Love the nail polish names. If I were in cosmetics marketing, I’d bite on them.

    1. I didn’t see this until Sunday as I was so preoccupied getting everything ready! I did put them on some fish and I will be back to tell you all the details as soon as I can! With a few photos!

  9. From Homestead FL – Can’t stand palmetto bugs! I always end up screaming like a puppy that got stomped on! Harris Famous Roach Tablets. (boric acid tablets) I put them as suggested in my house about 8 moths ago and haven’t seen a palmetto bug since. I will probably need to drop some more down soon. Good luck with the boat and the bugs!

    1. Hi Liz, and welcome to the bayou. You’re the second person to mention boric acid. Will it harm my kitty or dog? I’ll have to find me some of those magic roach disappearing tablets!