NANFA-L-- The Greatest 2004 Convention Story Untold...

Subject: NANFA-L-- The Greatest 2004 Convention Story Untold...
From: Todd D. Crail (tcrail-in-UTNet.UToledo.Edu)
Date: Sat Nov 13 2004 - 23:26:42 CST

Greetings gang... I guess I could get my butt in gear and put my 2 cents in
from the Convention, the Central Ohio trip would be nice too, huh? Yes,
Chris, PayPal will happen ;) I've been stupid busy with school and now
fighting with the changing weather and all the new bugs I get exposed to
daily. Oh well. I'm fully enjoying life for once...

Back to June. I should be royally flogged for the very few pictures I
took... I don't know what my deal was... I guess I just didn't feel like
taking pictures.. But you might enjoy the few I did take.

The Fish Tale first....

The Zarlinga's and I headed down early in the week to spend some time on the
coast. It'd been years since any of us had been out that way... I played
like a little kid in the surf. It was great. Nick and I scoped around a
bit to figure out where we might see some fish. We took an 8' seine into
the ocean, we might as well have had a little brine shrimp net :) We did
have a huge school of mullet swim past us while we were swimming, which was
neato... Saw a lot of cool stuff beach combing.

We were staying-in-Huntington Beach State Park, and had scoped out a boat
launch, public park right up the coast-in-Murrels Inlet. There was-in-least
some gravel and a huge midden of oyster shells there, probably washed over
from the oyster bar up the channel... We'd hoped that would let us-in-least
walk around a little bit in the marsh, and, well... I guess we got our
money's worth.

So we're catching glass shrimp and crabs and menhadden? and a couple kinds
of killies and some sailfin mollies... And of course, getting completely
stuck in the mud, and probably making quite a scene. Nick needed to stop
and get his boot resituated after a particularly solid "stuck" in the mud.
While he was doing that, I was looking around the shore to see if I could
see stuff up in the grasses that were beginning to resubmerge with the
incoming tide.

And then it appeared. Up under a wood deck overlook, there was a fish lying
on the shore in its shade. And not just a fish... A big fish. I went in
for closer inspection. I tried to get Nick's attention. Sure enough... It
was a nice sized spanish hogfish that someone had gutted and left there,
reasons unknown. "Nick!!"

The slime coat hadn't bunched a bit, the eyes were still crystal clear, the
color hadn't faded on either side, the meat was still nice and cool.

This is when you start looking around for the hidden camera.

We kinda stood there for a few moments, contemplating wether it was a trick
and someone had done something nasty to it. Couldn't figure out why someone
would have taken the trouble to catch it (which would have required a boat),
clean it, and then just dump it. But they did... We decided to take our
chances... It was off to get some ice... That was some nice wrasse! ;)

Now this was going to be extra special happy for Mrs. Z, as she's been
wanting to cook a nice big fish over a campfire and eat it off the bone
since she came back from her tour with the Peace Corp in the Philippines. I
had the pleasure of showing it to her. It took her about 5 minutes to
believe us. She had a girlish little giggle-in-first, then gave me the
suspicious look, then giggled, suspicious look, etc. I don't know that she
ever really fully believed the story, but this is the honest truth.

So we made like this:

Coulda used some onions and seasoning and stuff. Coulda used a hotter fire
to make it go more quickly. But dang it was good.... All that flakey white
meat. Yum yum.

And that's the whole big story. I think the only way it could have been
enhanced was to have Rob Carillio present in some way :)

The rest of the pictures can be seen here-in-the root, what little I did

I guess we could tell the tale of the poor terrapin, but I still only have
second hand accounts of what occurred. So I'm not tellin' anything. I will
say this... The Pee Dee basin there on the I 20 bridge is pretty neat. Wish
I coulda got down there and looked around.

The Muddy Maumee Madness, Toledo, OH
It's never too late to have a happy childhood.

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: Fri Dec 31 2004 - 12:42:48 CST