The surf was a little choppy, but we kayaked north about a mile down and back observing occasional beach houses among the trees. The Lake Michigan lakeshore had either sand or thousands of smooth rocks. Looking over the side of the kayak, the water was often very clear, and I could see rocks, seaweed, or occasional small fish about ten feet down. The water was somewhat cold, and I was not wearing my wetsuit, but it was an enjoyable kayak trip. After kayaking we enjoyed making smores over the firepit.
Fishing Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller, Jennifer Clark, Mike Clark
Date: August 29, 2023
Captain Mike Clark and 1st Mate Jennifer were going to take us 30 miles out into the Atlantic Ocean in Mike’s boat and fish for large tuna or other fish. Mother nature intervened and the weather would not cooperate. Showers off and on all day. So, Jennifer bought shrimp for bait and helped keep Rosie’s line baited as we fished off Mike’s dock. The pinfish were biting as fast as we dropped our bait to the bottom. Rosie ended up catching four pinfish and even, near the end, began baiting her own hook (a first-time accomplishment). I caught four pinfish and an eight-inch bluefish which had a very sharp row of teeth. It was a fun time and the Clark’s invited us back again to fish the ocean someday.
While visiting Mike & Jennifer Clark, we paddled their kayaks out onto Banks Channel. Our goal was to thread our way through water trails in a big marsh south of us. We left Mike’s personal dock and paddled a half mile south but had to turn around due to boat traffic and the rougher waves. A quarter mile north of the dock we barely paddled under Banks Channel Bridge and back. Our heads almost bumped into the top of the bridge due to high tide.
This was my first time and Rosie’s second time kayaking at this north end of Caesars Creek Lake. We entered Caesars Creek via the Haines Boat Ramp. As we paddled south the creek widened and eventually, we came to the large lake. We continued paddling until we came to and then circled a small island. Sea gulls flew everywhere. Caesars Creek Lake is a little lower than normal due to the drought, but the Caesars Creek branch is much lower. In some places, the creek had a depth of one foot or less, so we had to navigate to deeper areas. It was a relaxing, sunny fall day.
We booked the Glacier Raft Company and enjoyed a 12-mile fun white water raft ride down the Middle Fork of the Flathead River. The first part of the three-hour trip we floated through glacially carved flatlands and hills winding around the southwestern edge of Glacier National Park. We then entered beautiful canyons where the current picked up and we hung on during a half dozen Class 2 and Class 3 rapids. The river was extra fast and challenging due the heavy rains and some snow the week before.
Biscayne NP is the last crocodile habitat in the USA. The croc numbers grew from 60 to 240. At the NP Visitor Center, we saw three manatees swimming by the boat dock. We boarded the boat “King Fisher” and bounced across Biscayne Bay for six miles to the outer barrier islands and maze of mangrove trees. Anchoring at Hurricane Creek (photo#1), we boarded paddleboards instead of kayaks. The park ranger guide Harold led us through a forest of dense mangrove tree “islands” where we paddled for 90 minutes. I saw a small stingray, two black tip sharks, sponges, small fish and got to hold an upside-down jellyfish (Photo#3). In Photo #4, the dark outline of the black tip shark is in the upper right hand corner. The boat then took us over to nearby Adams Key, actual real land, where we ate our sack lunch, and I hiked a .5 mile trail full of mosquitoes. On this small island, a former two story building called the Cocolobo Club once served fishermen as four US Presidents (Harding, Hoover, Nixon & Johnson) vacationed and fished here.
On day ten of our fourteen day 3,500 mile trip we drove to Page for a 15 mile raft trip down the Colorado River. The expedition company’s van took us down and through a two mile tunnel of solid rock where we climbed aboard a 22 foot raft in front of the 710 foot tall Glen Canyon Dam. The dam is only 16 feet shorter than Hoover Dam. Once the raft began floating downstream we looked overhead to view the incredible Glen Canyon Bridge (Photo#1). When built in 1959 the bridge was the highest arch bridge in the world. The majestic canyon walls connect Glen Canyon & the Grand Canyon. Glen Canyon itself is designated a National Recreation Area. We stopped at sandy Petroglyph Beach where we saw carvings from ancient canyon people going back over 3,000 years. Further downstream the sun striking the canyon walls (Photo#2) accented the beautiful colors. The guide pointed to canyon areas (Photo#3) where scenes from sci-fi movie “Dune” was recently filmed. Later we stopped on a sand beach and were allowed to jump in the cold river water if we desired. Rosie and I (Photo#4) both jumped in and jumped out fast. It was the coldest water that I have ever been in. Back on the raft the sun and the rowing quickly warmed us up. Later we paddled around the towering sandstone walls and cliffs above Horseshoe Bend. This was a fun raft trip and I have great Super 8 film (where the photos came from) of the adventure.
We stayed at a fishing lodge camping in a small cabin on the shore of the backwaters around the Withlachoochee River in west central Florida. We rented a fishing boat three days and caught about ten total fish. We would anchor and drop our bait among floating hyacinth plants. One time as my father reeled in his minnow a pelican swooped down and picked it out of the water and flew off. The minnow’s hook got caught in the pelicans mouth and my dad had to reel in the large bird. Dad had to cut the fishing line to let the bird go. The next day a bite and could tell it weighed a lot. After twenty minutes I finally got my catch close enough to see it – it was a two foot long alligator. We just cut the line to let it go. That night the fishing camp owner caught a six foot water moccasin snake near our cabin. On the third day I got a bite and reeled in a 5.5 pound bass.
Rosie and I went water skiing with friends several times to Lake Cumberland and occasionally I had opportunities to fish off the dock. Using nightcrawlers as bait, one time I caught a 25 pound German carp (Photo #1) and another time caught two bass (Photo#2). Jacque (Photo#3) enjoyed sitting at the dock and watch me fish.
Expedition Team: Dave Miller, Matt Miller, Holly Miller
Date: September 1996, September 30, 1997, October 1998, 2009
When we spend a week at our time share condo at Ormond Beach we often drive south seven miles just past Daytona Beach Lighthouse Museum on Ponce Inlet where the Critter Fleet Fishing Boats on are docked. These are group charter fishing boats as about 20 to 25 people deep sea fish at one time. For the half day charter we travel 10 to 20 miles from shore. The crew provides us slimy, cut up squid. We put a piece on our hook and drop it overboard until it hits the bottom of the ocean. Matt enjoyed fishing from a young age & went with me every time. Matt’s best outing was catching 11 grunts and snappers. I caught 6 grunts that day but let a large dolphinfish off my hook when it swam under the boat. Holly joined us once and although she got sea sick, she caught a beautiful four pound red snapper. My last charter in 2009 I caught 9 yellow striped grunts. On a different day fishing on the Inland Waterway, while pelicans constantly tried to steal shrimp bait from our shrimp bucket, Matt caught an eight inch jewfish (Photo#4).