Saturday, August 29, 2009

Gone Fishin'

I have spent the past few weeks doing a lot of fishing. This is a new habit I picked up in Texas as I quickly learned that saltwater fishing has nothing in common with the freshwater fishing I grew up with. Saltwater fishing is actually a sport; the fish often win.

Three weeks ago we lost a fisherman who waded too far into the Gulf. The next week we lost another one to flesh eating bacteria (this stuff scares the crap out of me!). If this year stays true to past ones we will lose three to four more before the end of the year.

We have been catching sand trout, redfish, piggy perch, black drum, pompano, mangrove snapper, hardhead catfish, skipjacks and speck trout. Out of the hundred or so caught only one trout was a keeper. Using dead shrimp for bait; I'm fishing on the bottom and the boy is fishing on top.

I'm struggling to figure out how to throw a cast net. That seems like a pretty elemental skill that I need to learn. A feller ought to be able to catch his own bait.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Pass the Ammo

Gun fever has taken hold at my house. I picked up my grandfather’s Winchester Model 94 30-30 while on vacation and after a day at the range my shoulder was bruised and battered but I was hooked. I love the lever action.

I am nowhere near a good enough shot with it yet to go after pigs but I have a few months to practice. I ended up putting 14 rounds into my 25 yard target (indoor range) which were grouped within a six inch circle. With some practice I know I will be able to do much better. I plan to take the hunter’s safety course in September and by then I am hoping it will have cooled off enough to safely field dress a large animal.

An important lesson was learned on the price of ammunition. At a little over a dollar a round my practice sessions will not be cheap. I have a friend that does reloads who has offered to teach me. I will take him up on the offer!

I also have a little buddy who wants to join me. He will be nine in September and is a strong and stout fellow. He has shot a .22, a .223 and the 30-30 and is as hooked on guns as me. I am getting different opinions on what would be an appropriate larger gun for him. Some folks swear that a .243 would be perfect while others are just as adamant about a .223. From what I can gather the .243 would be great for medium sized game but might have too much recoil for a kid (the 30-30 was just too much for him). The .223 would be very easy for him to shoot but is questionable on stopping power and would be outgrown in a few years. There is also a strong argument that until he learns to be a great shot with a .22 he really shouldn’t be shooting anything else. Any thoughts and input on a rifle for the boy would be appreciated.