Well, things sure have slowed down for me! Right now I’m in the middle of the Illinois lockdown because of the Covid-19 virus. And there are only so many DIY tasks, cleanup projects, organization projects, yada, yada, yada that a fella can do.
So as I was trying to think of something fun to do, it came to mind that I hadn’t updated my blog in forever and a day!
I’m not sure what happened, not sure why I haven’t done an update – honestly, I think life just got in the way. With both Lesa and I being retired, we travel a lot – we’re always going somewhere – we’re having the times of our lives! And when we’re not traveling, I do my best to be in the outdoors hunting and fishing and camping – every chance I get.
So, I’m gonna try to catch up – I’m gonna cover a number of my exploits over the last 18 months or so. I’ll be posting pictures of 2 or 3 trips fishing for redfish in South Carolina, a bass fishing trip in Florida, some turkey hunting, some deer hunting, and a bunch of fishing from the northwoods in Wisconsin. I’ve had a ball over the last several months.
I hope you enjoy my blog, and if you don’t, isn’t it great that you can click that little “X” in the top right corner and move on to something else!
Redfishing – Fall of 2018 – Hilton Head, South Carolina
I’ve been blessed to get to know a really nice man in Hilton Head, South Carolina. His name is Capt. Bill. My fall isn’t complete unless I get out on the water with him a couple of days while we’re down there on our annual trip in November.
In 2018, we had some pretty cold weather on our trip. A couple of mornings it was downright cold as Capt Bill and I took off to tangle with some redfish. And while the weather was tough Capt Bill was still able to put me on good fish. Here are a few pics of those fish – you can tell how bundled up I was that it was cold for down there!
Turkey and Morel Hunting – Spring of 2019
I LOVE the spring and all the outdoor activities that come with it! There’s nothing more enjoyable than sitting in the woods as the woods come alive! When you throw in a big ol’ tom turkey gobbling at dawn – well, it just doesn’t get any more exciting than that! And then, after you finished turkey hunting in the morning, you can hunt nature’s finest product – the morel mushroom!
Spring of 2019 was no exception. I had a ball hunting both turkey and mushrooms. I was unable to score a bird – never got a shot – but my hunting buddy Scott Hootman did – he was able to harvest a nice one that I’m sure made for some great table fare.
The last couple of years I’ve been given the blessing of turkey hunting with Andy and Sarah. And while we haven’t harvested a bird for that particular tag season, we’ve gotten really close. I know it’s only a matter of time until we do!
While I didn’t get a turkey, we scored big time on the morels! Lightly floured and fried in butter! Hmmmmm!
Fishing in the Northwood – Summer of 2019
Fishing up north is my passion. There are so many wonderful lakes up here, so many places to drop a line – and all are beautiful in their own way.
Unfortunately, shortly after turkey hunting I found out I had a little back problem that really curtailed my fishing for a couple of months! But after a while I was able to get back at it. Here are a few pictures from various outings of the summer.
I really enjoy fishing with my good friends, the DeGolier’s – here are a few pictures of Travis, Logan, and Jordan with some of our catch during the summer.
Bess Cummings and Steve Crouch came up to spend some time with us at the lake house – they both caught fish and we had a great time cruising on the pontoon boat, enjoying nice outdoor fires, fishing, and being together!
While I got started late, I still caught a bunch of great fish in the summer!
Andy and Sarah came up and spent time with us – and everyone caught fish!
Ryan came up for a few days and just he and I fished a few days by ourselves. Again, we caught nice fish!
And, while the following are not recent pics, I wanted to include a few pics from fishing trips (Minnesota, Canada, Texas etc. ) that Ryan and I took over the years! He’s always been a great fisherman!
Later on in the fall of 2019, Andy and Sarah and Ryan and Michelle joined Lesa and I for a few days up north. We had a lot of great times including times on the pontoon boat catching fish as a family – here are a couple of pics from that visit….
While everyone was together, Andy and Ryan and I fished the family fun tournament of the club I’ve been in for several years. We did really well and ended up getting second place and largest smallmouth! I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed fishing a tournament with the two of them. Was truly a dream come true for me!
One of my most favorite fish brought into the boat was a beautiful smallie….me and this guy have caught literally a ton of fish together over 25+ years of fishing and this was “a beaut Clark!”
Hunting and Fishing – Fall of 2019
This was the first year that I deer hunted with a crossbow. I decided that it was time to provide my own venison instead of asking Andy and Sarah to get me a deer. Many of my family members have given me venison from their freezers over the years, but I really wanted to harvest my own.
I spent as much time as I could in tree stands on the farm in southern Illinois but wasn’t able to harvest a deer. I was very close but just didn’t get the job done.
I just had to do some more fishing last fall and so Scott Hootman and I headed down through Kentucky (i.e. the Bourbon Trail) to Florida and then South Carolina. In Florida, we fished for largemouth with our good friend and guide, Ed Bussard of Bass Challenger Guide Service. Really enjoyed fishing with Ed and caught several nice laregemouths.
After fishing in Florida, we drove up to South Carolina and hooked up with Capt. Bill for a day of redfishing. We also did a second day out with a different guide when Capt. Bill couldn’t take us out. Both days we did pretty well.
Headed home to Glen Ellyn only for Lesa and I to return to Hilton Head two weeks later with Jim and Gail Cleary. Jim and I booked a couple of outings with Capt. Bill again. And as usual, Capt. Bill really put us on fish. WE caught a ton of fish with many of them being really nice size! But before we fished, Jim and I enjoyed cigars at Peaceful Henry – always a Hilton Head gotta do!
….and they were really tasty!
Fishing – Winter of 2020
Lesa and I decided to go to St. Croix for a month to spend time with Ryan and Michelle. It was truly a wonderful experience to be able to spend that much time with them in such a paradise. Fishing was a little slow – I was surprised because in the past we’ve done pretty well down there. Ryan and I did catch several jacks, some blue runners, and a few small snappers. All in all, a great trip.
Andy and Sarah joined us and the three of us enjoyed casting in the surf! While I don’t have a picture of it, Sarah brought in a sea snake! Andy caught some blue runners – a really nice time.
Jim and Gail joined us for part of our time down there and while we didn’t catch a bunch, we sure gave it a try…..
After we got back from St. Croix, I did some ice fishing and snowmobiling. Ralph and Julie came up and the four of us rode for a couple of days. I wish we would have more time, but what time we had was really cherished!
I ice fished a couple of times and caught some nice crappie and bluegill – eventually, when we have them for dinner, they will be delicious!
Outdoor Activities – Spring of 2020
Spring of 2020 will long be remembered for the spring of Covid-19. As everyone knows, the virus was extremely contagious and in some cases deadly. Illinois’ governor issued a shelter in place order. As a result, I canceled all my turkey hunting and morel mushroom hunting plans in southern Illinois. While a great disappointment, I knew it was the right thing to do.
I hope you and your family have been and are safe.
Can’t wait to get back on the water!