Month: August 2020

Recipes Handed down for Generations

Most people agree that the most important thing in life is family and friends, and when family and friends get together- we eat. We get together to celebrate birthdays, holidays, Sundays, and eat together as family and community. They say that smells evoke the memory more than any other sense. It’s true all of us can remember the smell of bacon and coffee in the morning or the smells of Thanksgiving Dinner being cooked. Here we have our favorite foods like Potato Salad, Cabrito, Barbecue, Pecan Pie. Recipes handed down from generation to generation hand made notes, with directions like a pinch of this, or “about” this much. The kind you got when you asked Mom for a favorite recipe for one of her dishes and she told you she had made it for so long she didn’t refer to a recipe. Check out our Recipes page and Mom’s recipes for some pure Texas cooking. We’ve mined local cookbooks like Polly’s from Del Rio, and The Masonic Lodge, as well as notes from our family for tried and true favorites.

Bank Fishing Lake Conroe

Yesterday I continued my bank fishing at Lake Conroe for the third  weekend in a row.  Last winter my son Randy  and I went down to the boat  ramp at the end of Aspen in Walden  to kill some time and ran into a fellow fishing for catfish. It was a cold windy day, I’m talking about 15 plus miles per hour wind, and we visited with for a while.   Sitting beside him were two buckets full of catfish, big catfish. He used a two hook drop shot set up on two different poles and had close to his bag limit, using shad seined at the ramp.

So yesterday off we went to that ramp to see how a little summer fishing might be. At 7:00 a.m. it was already 82 degrees outside so the water temperature was at least that. On either side of the ramp, at the bulkheads, the water is about 4 ft deep right now. As you move out from the bulk heads, the water level slides down to about 10-15 feet deep up to about 50 ft out. I like to work parallel to the bulk heads, and with the extreme heat I will flip my lure right up to the docks on either side of the ramp to draw out fish hanging out there. I used a Booyah Pond Magic Two Blade spinner 3/16 oz, on a 8 lb test Vanish Berkley fluorocarbon line. I like to use light test bank fishing on Conroe, I also use the Berkley Vanish 12 lb. test, when I’m boat fishing.  

The August 12 TPWD Lake Conroe fishing report called out spinner baits, rattle traps, and plastics.  I started with a red plastic 7 in Zoom worm and Randy fished a Bill Lewis Rattletrap silver and blue.  Randy worked it off the end of the dock as well as some from the bank,  just didn’t have any luck.  I switched from my red worm to the spinner bait and worked it as described above to drag past the fish hopefully hanging close by.  Spotting a branch in the water about 4 feet off the bulkhead, I dropped my spinner just past it and dragging back got a hit.  A large mouth bass latched on and took off.  I got him landed and we measured him before taking a picture and releasing.  He was 18 inches, making him about 3 to 3 and 1/2 lbs.   

I had one more bite, same lure, and I didn’t set the hook good enough, he spit it out and I could see him just under the top of the water.  He was a smaller bass than the one I caught.  At least we didn’t get skunked, by this time it was too hot to fish in the shallower water so we called it a day and headed home.

Large Mouth

Working in the garden, a little fishin’, and grilling

Well, another weekend is almost in the books and it was a good one. With everything that is going on right now, our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by Covid in any way.

Living at Lake Conroe, what is a weekend without some fishing. I now I started my post with working in the garden, however, yesterday I started the day with a little bank fishing on the breakwater at Walden. The TPWD fishing report comes out every week, and I always check it. The information is useful and tells me what has been trending during the week. This week all fishing was pretty good: catfish, bass, crappie- according to the report. The bass report was good for plastics, and unusually did not mention colors. In any case when the fishing report starts out with GOOD, in capital letters you know it’s going to be all right. I fished with a chartreuse 7 inch worm on a Texas rig. Basically I worked the stair stepped terraced rock on the Lake side of the breakwater. Slow walking with a pull up and let drift down motion with the worm works well as you get closer to the rock starting about 25 ft out from the bank. Last week I caught about a one and half pound large mouth bass, so I gave it a shot again yesterday. Sure enough, I snagged about a two pounder no more than a dozen casts in to it. That was it, one more bite I think, walking a worm on rocky bottoms can fool you into thinking it’s a bite sometimes. I gave it up and decided to go ahead and start the yardwork.

This time of the year I try to be very mindful of watering the right amount, not too much or little. Even here in East Texas, the fires weeks of August through much of September the heat will begin a toll on the St. Augustine. Deep watering will establish a good root structure, so if you see some wilting from skipping a day to allow some dryness in your yard, the wilting can be quickly restored by watering during the day in a pinch if you have to. I have a lot of potted plants in our backyard in addition to our beds, so I started getting some old growth that can cause thinning out and leaf damages this time of year as well. I found that re potting some into a different pot, moving them around from sun to shade and vice versa can adjust the plant’s growth and blooming habits. On some of our herbs like mint, sometime you may need to harvest and store what you can and then go ahead an cut them way back to keep them healthy. Some herbs like rosemary, don’t need much water at all, and they are almost maintenance free, those you will not have the stretching out problem you might see with your other herbs in the garden whose lower leaves will show yellowing and burning. So, I spent time pruning, harvesting, cutting back and moving plants around from one bed to another some coming out of pots, some going back in.

Even though the small bass I caught was not a keeper, and did not constitute a mess that we could feast on, HEB saved the day. I picked up some fresh harvested never frozen wild caught Salmon for 9.99/ pound. Can’t beat that. A little cracked pepper, garlic powder, and sea salt, 4 minutes each side on the grill and man it just doesn’t get any better than that. My wife and I also grilled a ridiculously tasty Tenderloin so together we had surf and turf. With the meat shortages we’ve had lately I was pumped to find the high quality Tenderloin, and of course, we realized just how blessed we are to be able to eat like kings. Well, that’s about it for now, please leave comments or share your thoughts, and have a blessed week.

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