The perch fishing was incredible in Door County. We spent almost all our time in Fish Creek on the pier.
We’d been told to fish off the top with bobbers and keep the bait off the bottom because of the scavenger fish. But everyone was catching small 6″ perch with bobbers off the top and I wanted bigger. Putting a large weight three foot from the end of the hook and hooking the minnow in the tail kept the minnow swimming above the bottom. Wow…what fun! Jack’s big catch was the largest…a 12″ perch.
People came over several times each day asking how we were haved such success. We shared our minnows with many, as well as, our favorite spot. At one point a man with two kids came by in a little dingy and asked, “How are you guys catching so many?” We had seen them catch nothing for over an hour. We gave them a dozen minnows and the younger boy caught one pretty quick. Twenty minutes later the daughter was still skunked and Ben said, “Hey, bring your boat over here and toss your line right here.” The father manuevered into position, the daughter dropped her line down and 15 seconds later they were pulling a nice sized perch into the boat. As they were motoring away, the father yelled back, “You guys have made our day! Thanks!!!!”
We spent over 30 hours fishing from the pier sometimes just me and Ben and sometimes with Jack as well. All in all, it was over 70 man-hours of fishing. And what did we have to show for it?
45 Yellow Perch – 7 to 12 inches
1 Smalley (Small mouth Bass) – 16 inches
— we caught tons more that were just a bit smaller including two mroe smalleys
And some great fish fries!!!! All in all we’ve fed 30 mouths with the catch. Not bad!
Jackson’s Double Play
One great catch was a double play by Jackson. Fishing with a night-crawler, he caught a gobie (scavenger fish) about three inches long. As little boys do, he decided to put the gobie back in the water to watch him swim around on his line. Next thing I know I’m hearing, “Dad, it’s a bass!!!!!!” Jackson’s gobie was the perfect bait for a hungry 11-inch smalley. What fun!
Eight days ago, we set out on our first major excursion: a 63 day trip which includes time in Wisconsin, Texas, Florida, Georgia, & Tennessee.
Toni was born in Shawano, Wisconsin and the beautiful Shawano Lake. This time of year, its a great treat for fishing and, of course, the Shawano County Fair: a six day blast from Toni’s childhood that allows us to experience a part of her heritage.
On day two and nearing Manitowoc, Toni said we should go visit Door County some time. I smiled, got online and found a campground and we headed on our first detour. We planned on staying only three days…but that quickly grew into 8. It was magical…everything so clean and beautiful. I can’t believe more people don’t come here to visit. We stayed in Egg Harbor at the Egg Harbor Campground.
- Johnson’s Cafe in Sister Bay…complete with goats living on the grass roof of the restuarant.
- A family 10-mile bike ride through Pennisula Park.
- 3 days of fun at ceramics painting at Hands-On-Art Studio.
- a tour of a Land-o-Lakes dairy farm
- a tour of the Eagle Bluff Lighthouse
- and lots of fishing for perch off of Fish Creek Pier.
Our first detour…was a wonderful success. Now it’s own to Shawano!
Part of our “unplugging”process was purging ourselves of the mountain of stuff we’d piled up at Fox Drive. We could just feel the weight slide off our shoulders as the Rescue Mission took the last load away. There isn’t a whole lot of room for stuff in our new home, no boat garage or cedar closet to fill floor to rafter. Brian’s brother Bob’s “dome home” in Williamsville provided a great staging ground to ready us for our new nomadic life.
Before setting off for points far off we just had to show our new home to our Fox Drive neighbors and make good on a promise we had made to two little neighbor girls to take them on a weekend RV adventure. Nothing like driving your new house past your old house. Strange. We were able to see Cheyanne and Chelsea, Grandma Mazie and Grandpa Howard, Tanya and Brianna and Heather and Cameron. For the record: Cameron did NOT enjoy the earsplitting air horn of the RV and was too scared to come on board no matter how hard Jack coaxed. Sorry little buddy!
Fox Drive was a wonderful place to live. Each of us carries the fondest memories of living there: The neighbors we met, the block parties each October, sledding down the street on snowy days, catching fire-flies in the back yard on hot summer nights…Many people we lived with on Fox Drive will remain dear friends through life.
Halloween ’99 with Riley Jane & Allison and ’05 with Tanya & Brianna
Snow day fun with Cheyanne & Cameron
Chelsea, Ben & Jack in backyard sandbox
It was great fun stealing Cheyanne and Chelsea away for a weekend and heading to St. Louis where we stayed at a campground on the famed Route 66 near Six Flags . We enjoyed a day at Six Flags but my fondest memories are of the kids just being wild and free, playing outside at the campsite. They discovered a creek under a train trestle where they spent hours catching crawdads, tadpoles and frogs.
Now that beats the heck out of Six Flags if you ask me…but I’m not 8. I just love watching kids being kids; getting lost in their imaginations, creating adventure as they go. One fun idea leads to another and another after that. I used to be like that. Sometimes I feel sad that I’ve lost that sense of playful abandon. Childhood is playhood. And so it should be…for as long as possible.
We left Poplar Bluff under cover of a balmy July night, after celebrating Ben’s stellar baseball season with his team at Dairy Queen.
We arrived in even balmier Tampa Florida many hours later where our Coach awaited. Our new home will be the vehicle through which our lives are forever reinvented. Off we go!
How cool is Florida anyway? It is the consummate mash of the organic elements of paradise merged with the height of man’s penchant for inventing wild things to entertain himself.
OK, I, personally would prefer more of the organic and less of the man-made but there’s no turning that bus around, so we enjoyed a stay at Disney’s Wilderness Campground and a day at Magic Kingdom and Blizzard Beach Water Park.
Tons of fun, but a memory that sticks out in my mind was not made there. After setting up camp at the Red Coconut RV Park on the beach in Ft. Myers Beach, Ben and I took a walk on that beach as the sun was going down. We played tag and held hands (once or twice) and laughed as we walked. I thought, “Man, I love being with this kid, holding this little hand! Take this in!”
The next day Brian and I sat back and watched the boys take on the sun, sand and the sea. They looked so small against the backdrop of the giant deep. The sound of their little boy voices laughing and screaming over the roll of the surf – so worth slowing life down for. Free.