The richest man in the world can’t buy it, the most powerful man in the world can’t stop it, the smartest man in the world doesn’t even know how much he has left, it’s time. I believe the sooner a person realizes this in their life the better their life will be.
We can’t get back time, yet we waste so much of it. I think humans are the only animal born with the knowledge of their own death. Nothing else in nature knows it’s going to die when it’s born yet everything else in nature seems so much more efficient with their time.
Sometime back I dealt with an event that had me questioning my time, the time I’d spent with people, the time I may spend in the future, if I actually even cared about any time going on at all. I could lay down and be defeated and watch as my time passed by or I could get up and start doing what I thought I should and make sure I spent the rest of my time wisely for the people around me.
Now I told you all that so I could tell you all this. Mary Ann and I have started making a lot more of our weekends. On this particular one we decided we would hunt on Friday and depending on what happens we would fish or hunt again the rest of the weekend.
We woke up to well below freezing temps but no wind so I was ok with that but was concerned that it would be too much for her. I did all I could to keep her warm with lots of clothes and a heater in the stand but 20 degrees is 20 degrees and she got cold.
It didn’t help that the morning passed without a sighting of any kind but something did happen that only happens once a year and that’s the frost flowers were formed the night before. I hate that we didn’t see any animals but this to me is a much greater event than killing an animal.
I love this morning of the year and usually try to catch it if I can. Most people haven’t seen frost flowers and she surely hadn’t. What happens is the air tempature has to be below freezing so that it freezes the stalks of plants but the ground can not be frozen. As the plant takes up water from the ground it freezes in the plant and expands which causes the stem to split and the water to shoot out under pressure. The fine mist that shoots out freezes and it makes an ice formation that often resembles a flower. Once this happens the plant dies and it doesn’t happen again until the next year.
After we walked around and took lots of pics and videos of the hundreds of frost flowers she had had enough so we went to town to warm up and get some food. We stopped at one of my favorite places, The Green Frog in Jacksboro, Texas. We arrived just in time for the buffet so I did my best to get my monies worth out of them.
Mary Ann opted out of the evening hunt and honestly I don’t blame her, it was cold but the next day was calling for 50s so we could get in some fishing.
The evening hunt found me at my food plot where a lot of hogs had been visiting. I have given away about seven deer up to this point in the year because my freezer was full but I had yet to get a hog. I had a couple close calls with my spear but needed the meat so armed with my trusty .22-.250, The Stick of Death, I settled in early for the hunt.
A small 8 eight point visited for about 20 minutes eating oats from the plot but not only was he not what I was after he was also illegal according to the 13″ minimum inside spread law. I continued to watch birds and an occasional squirrel until I got too bored and started reading stories on my phone. Maybe I lost track of time or maybe hogs are just this sneaky but I glanced up and out of nowhere there was a big boar eating his way around the feeder at the back of the plot.
I’ve killed enough hogs to know that I couldn’t drag this guy alone in one piece so I thought I’d wait until he got to a place I could back the truck to and IF I could hit him in the ear he would drop and maybe just maybe I could load him up.
All was going as planned, he had walked away from the mud hole made by him and his compadres and was clear of the brush so I squeezed one into his ear from The Stick of Death. He flopped down into his shadow just like I hoped, but then for no reason except to make life difficult on me he made a huge lunge and landed face first into the mud. That would have been bad enough but then he decided to do a couple crappie flops and a spin or two. He was now the farthest point from dry ground he could get and in the deepest part of the mud hole. Why not? I have nothing else to do tonight in the freezing cold I thought.
Luckily there was enough light left for some good pictures so I grabbed the gear and headed down to him.
I’m sorry for the blood in the one pic but I wanted to show exactly what I had to deal with. I don’t shoot pigs and leave them like some folks. I’m not a farmer and have nothing that they can damage in the form of crops and they are really good eating so if I kill one it will be consumed and muddy or not this one was no different. Again sorry for the blood.
It took quite an effort but I finally got the pig drug out and gutted and hung up. I left him hang overnight as the nighttime lows were in the 20s and I would deliver him to the sausage maker in the morning.
I did sit the next morning but an animal would have had to be pretty special for me to take him on that hunt. I had deer in the freezer and sausage on the way I was set for awhile.
After delivering the hog I went to the lake to a friends house where Mary Ann was already at waiting on me to go fishing. By the time I got there temps had risen considerably and we could have a nice couple hour fishing session before the sun started back down and cooling things off again.
If you read my story “Capital Carping” you’ll know I met some great folks from London who work for Korda and make carp fishing shows and videos. One of those guys is Neil Spooner, Neil does facebook live videos of fishing sessions and I watch them looking for tips. Neil sets a personal goal of at least one carp per month each year. I thought I would also try this, so I looked back to when I really started carp fishing and I had a carp every month up until December so I figured I better go get him.
To Neil’s credit carp here are not near as hard to catch as the U.K. carp are I’ve heard, so for him to accomplish this is much more impressive than for me too but none the less I needed a December carp.
I’ve been fishing this spot for awhile now and know that it is loaded with fish but this being our first cold spell of the year I wasn’t sure if they were still there or if I needed to change my tactic any. I made bait got things squared away and lines out and waited. It actually took a little longer than I thought it should to get a bite and I started to question whether I needed to make a change but suddenly the reel peeled off and I was into my first carp of December.
As they always do he fought hard and made several long runs but I finally had him in and Mary Ann slid the net under him.
Several bites followed and in a couple hours I had six carp and was happy to have them. None were giants but they all count.
I’ve been wanting to try the striper in the river for a couple weeks but just haven’t done it. I received some pics from a friend who had some luck the day before and that did it, we were going striper fishing.
I started catching bait early the next morning not knowing how long it would take but in pretty short order I had a bucket full and we were off to the river.
I would normally be more prepared for this but since this wasn’t part of the trip we planned I didn’t have some of the things I needed but I’d make it work.
I had my 11′ carp rods so I could cast a pretty good ways with a small blue gill and a slip bobber but some waders would have been nice. I rigged Mary Ann up with a blue gill type lure thinking that maybe she would pick up a small striper or some big sandbass. I came for big fish so I was gonna float live bait out as far as I could and wait, and wait is what I did. After about an hour I was thinking that with my limited area to fish due to not having waders that I would likely not get a bite today.
Mary Ann on the other hand was wearing out the fish. Her little sunfish lure although four inches long had already caught the attention of several big crappie and black bass. She was having a blast and I was watching her.
I think I drowned about half my bait when the wind picked up and already having a hard time getting my line out any distance I knew the wind in my face wasnt gonna help any but I kept at it. Finally a couple hours in a bite but I think the sound of the river had lulled me to sleep and I missed him, damn, I sat here for two hours for that.
Rebait and try again, this time I was refocused and it paid off. The float disappeared and I was into what felt like a decent fish. The fight didn’t last that long but I was down river of the fish so the current helped me a lot. I was expecting a striper but what I had was the biggest hybrid striper I had ever caught.
A hybrid striper or hybrid or wiper or whatever you call them are a cross between a sand bass and a striper and said to be sterile. These fish are stocked by Texas Parks and Wildlife in hundreds of lakes around the state.
This particular fish was skinny but very long for a hybrid, I’m not sure the weight but I am sure had it been filled out like most it would’ve weighed three more pounds, anyway about it I was pleased with him. Mary Ann got some good pics and videos and we were both happy.
I’m not sure how many fish we ended up with but she caught plenty and some nice sized ones too.
The wind was making it real easy to decide to go home at this point so we loaded up the truck.
In three days we had got a hog for our years worth of sausage, caught a December carp and finally stopped by the river and tried the striper. That’s about as full of a weekend as I think you can get and I think time well spent.
When I say it’s about time it’s not about time I killed a pig or about time I fished the river its about life, life is about time, use what time you have wisely before you run out.