Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Sorry for the delay, as I've been on the road. I want to elaborate on the great time I had in Florida. I arrived late Friday and by Saturday morning I was ready to "go". This was a free day for me, and it was great to see some friends that I had made the year before. We spent the day on the beach in front of the hotel, drinking a few beers, and I somehow managed to get a tad too much sun.

Saturday night was the VIP/celebrity cocktail party. I had a great time meeting the pro athletes, all there for the weekend to support the Foundation, as I was. There were more than a few Superbowl rings in the house from the year the Buccaneers won it all.

Sunday was a beach day with the same group from the night before, and ironically it poured rain all day! We played a "Cornhole" tournament under a covered deck and the rain didn't bother us at all. The game is a cross between Horseshoes and shuffle board and can be played anywhere. Set 30 feet apart the object is to land the 5 inch square, corn filled bag, on the playing surface for one point, a bag that drops in the hole is good for three points.

My partner was "Dog" a local radio host and we managed to take third place! Mike Alstott and his partner took first.

The next day the sun came out and the conditions for golf were perfect. My team hit the ball great but struggled on the greens, we ended up nine under in the "Best Ball" format with the winners at 17 under. The food, (it seemed every tee box had a BBQ or something!) was killer! The entire event was first class. Thanks again to The Mike Alstott Family Foundation and all the hard working people who donate their time for such a great cause.

Capt. Monte Wizard Mouse

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

"Once the gear is wet"

At the start of every season, once the gear is set, there is a considerable amount of time to burn. If we are fishing 225 to 250 pots it would take roughly six or seven hours to dump the entire load. They would go over in 7 to 8 thirty pot strings, and cover 15 to 20 miles. By the time we ran back to the first pot it should have 8 to 10 hours on it.

Normally we wouldn't haul a string on a short soak (less than 18 hours) but one can get a feel for what's down there by pulling a pot at either end of each string, this is known as "spot checking". This is our usual practice even though we risk the possibility of being mislead ... for example if you caught 20 crab in twelve hours would that turn into a 60 crab in 36 hours? Hard to say but after roughly twenty pots, over twenty miles, one would have a pretty good idea which area had the stronger fishing.

With that said, by the time you set the load of pots (7 hrs), ran back (2 hrs),spot checked (7 hrs) then ran back again (2 hrs) now the first string has 18 hours soak on it and now we can finally haul the gear.

This scenario would not pertain to everyone because not all boats can carry such a large load of gear. When I was running the F/V Norseman, a much smaller boat, my plan was to run to the "storage area", pick up a hundred or so pots I had set prior to the season (no bait, doors open) and return to my original load, this would normally take 20 to 30 hours which would allow plenty of soak on the gear already set.

Capt. Monte "Wizard Mouse"

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Since this was my last weekend at home for awhile I wanted to make the most of it, we loaded the dirt bikes up early and headed down the hill. One of our favorite riding spots is north of Reno about 30 miles near Pyramid lake, known as Moon Rocks. With dry camping, an endless trail system and mountains to scale the area has great riding for any caliber offroader. We always seem to find a new trail and sometimes it can get a little crazy, as was the case on Saturday. Thom, my riding buddy and Dustin his 15 year old son and myself set out to for a little hill climbing, our choice would have to be considered one of the most difficult in the area, and after a hour or so of serious climbing, we reached the top. Taking a well deserved breather, we decided to descend into a narrow passage that maybe only a handful of bikes had traveled. this "trail" soon turned into a narrow, boulder strewn canyon. And at this point it became obvious that there was no turning around! After a handful of vertical drops of six feet or more we approached the base and all that was left? a 50 yard blitz down a 60 degree chute with three huge boulders greeting us at the bottom.. We all safely navigated this plunge and nervous laughter filled the air, an hour later we were back at the camp reliving our conquest. A good end to a great day in the Nevada high desert

Capt. Monte "Wizard Mouse"