Brendan and I were invited aboard an unnamed 19-foot fishing boat the other week. She is captained by Michael Johnson of Wesley Chapel and is the son of Ed Johnson of Peoria who you will remember is a high school classmate of mine. When Ed was down from Illinois last year he and Michael stopped at the Three Birds Tavern and met Brendan and I. What was supposed to be a couple hour get-together turned into a 6 hour beer-fest. Along the way it came up that Michael had a boat and would be inviting us on her at some point to go fishing.
Not everyone follows through with buzzed social chit-chat, but darned if Michael didn't call a few weeks later and firm up a date.
This is the wonderful boat that Michael owns. With a couple coolers, fishing tackle, a beautiful sunny day full of high hopes and dreams of a great haul, we set off from Fort DeSoto marina.
Brendan and Michael on the lookout for a good spot to dip some artificial worms. Michael is a teacher and this was his last day of summer vacation before heading back into the classrooms. He also coaches football and his day's of bachelorhood are dwindling. He has a lot of things going on and I was impressed that he still thought of us and followed through with his invitation. Nice guy.
This is an area east of Fort DeSoto and just west of the Skyway interstate heading south out of St. Pete. In a picture coming up you will see just how shallow this area is.
A freighter heading north to Tampa under the Skyway Bridge.
Coolers full of sandwiches soda and adult beverage, although Captain Michael DID NOT have any alcohol that I am aware of. (I'm not always aware of everything.) As for myself fishing was on the back burner. I much preferred the relaxing in a nice comfortable seat, cool beverage in hand just looking out over the water.
Good conversation, and beautiful way to spend a day. I need me one of these. Can you get boats through Kickstarter?
The only ones having any luck with the fish were these diving birds who followed us wherever we went, then mocked us by catching the fish we should have been reeling in.
Being an able bodied cushion potato allowed me the ability to take these pictures. Fishing looked like too much work for me.
Actually, I did attempt a few casts, but unfortunately and embarrassingly, I got the line tangled in the reel and decided to do resume my photograph. This is Brendan doing a reasonably good impression of a seasoned saltwater angler.
This is a picture from the bow looking into the water. Amazing, right? Clear out there in the middle and it is probably no deeper that 4 or 5 feet.
Alas, the fish weren't biting so we headed over to the Skyway bridge area. I think Michael was mortified at the results, but I wasn't. A bad day on a boat with nice guys and a cooler of beer and food beats about any other day.
The next couple of videos were of those crazy cormorants or whatever they are that bird-dogged us wherever we went at first. They would swoop in and start diving and bringing up all the fish we were supposed to be catching. These videos are of them eating the fish . It may be too intense for younger viewers. Or too gross for older ones.
But it is like I always say, life feeds on life. The creatures in nature are constantly on the hunt for food.
Wednesday, Part 2 of our adventure on the high seas. Don't miss it!