Saturday, March 26, 2011

What to do with your spoonbill

Spoonbill Nuggets of Gold

Here’s what to do if your spoonbill snagging resulted in your having one in the boat. As with all fish products, the fresher you can keep the meat the better it will taste. Do not keep your fish out of the water any longer than you have too, and do not let it die until you are ready to process it for eating. It is best to start the processing right on the bank of the river where you caught your fish.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Fishing report for Platte County, Missouri

First Fishing Report of 2011

The average high temperature around Kansas City in mid March is in the 50’s. When I watched my grandson get on the school bus Monday morning it was already in the 60’s. I had a list of routine household chores to accomplish and another list of projects that must be completed to keep our lives in order. While reviewing the lists and picking out the top priorities this day I noticed that fishing was not yet on the list. I immediately corrected this unfortunate oversight. I placed a capital “A” next to fishing, declaring it the top priority for the day.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Taking Care of Your Fishing Gear

A Fishing Fantasy?

In late winter or early spring weather in the heart of the United States is variable. There may be snow on the ground with freezing temperatures one day, with forecasts for sunny skies and temperatures in the 70’s by the end of the same week. Many folks love to fish so much that weather is of little concern, only changing the methods or dress for the day. If you grab your poles and tackle to head out for some fishing, only to find after you open the door that you are not so excited to be out in the weather that morning, all is not lost. Here is what happened on one of my “fantasy” fishing days.

Monday, March 7, 2011



(Part two of Taking Time Out)

It was quite a contrast from how this same park felt 40 years ago when my family often camped in it. No camping allowed now, but back then campers of all sorts were packed in like a game of pick-up sticks thrown down from a being in the sky. Boats would be lined up and down the bank, tied to anything that would hold them still or just drug up on the gravel so far they could not float away. A couple dozen kids wandered between campers and boats and old men fishing, exploring all of the sticks and rocks and creatures within ear shot of their parent’s voices, waiting for the call to come back for dinner, hoping it would not come for some time. I was one of those kids. Maybe I still am, as I had stopped to buy food, but still had more important things to do than eat.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Time Out for You

Taking Time Out
(Part one of a two part tale)

I quit fantasizing and just left work early one Friday afternoon. I had carried the illicit plan around for weeks, finally springing it upon my household that I was going to abandon them and my more proper responsibilities for a weekend at the Cedar Rock Squirrel Ranch, our “place at the lake.” The two hour drive was one I had made many times over many years with my family. I could “do it in my sleep” as they say.  But today was different. I was alone.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Who is Mafo?

Who is Mafo?

My family is Native American. Mafo is the Choctaw word for grandpa. My young grandsons call me Mafo and it is the most important “title” I have ever had.
Mafo and his boys at Cabela's

I was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. I still live there with my wife. We have one daughter and two grandsons. Obviously I’m familiar with rush hour traffic, stores that are open 24 hours a day 7 days a week, and looking across the porch or deck at the neighbors and the stuff in their yard.

Thanks to my “ancestors” I am also familiar with the outdoors and nature. About a hundred years ago, my great grandparents established a crop and livestock farm on the banks of the Osage River near Warsaw, Missouri. This farm, about 100 miles from Kansas City, was “passed down” to one of my great uncles. I spent many weekends staying there from the time I was a toddler until the farm was purchased by the U S Army Corps of Engineers to be flooded by Truman Reservoir. My dad and his cousins took me on lots of outdoor adventures there.