Category Archives: Outdoor Florida Magazine

The Florida Keys Infested With “Fins.”

 

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Captain Bob Lewis in the 1950’s. Note the tuna, very rare species to be found in the Keys!

APtravelnews-Sept. 4th, Tavernier, The Florida Keys–From all corners of the earth, tourist- visitors make pilgrimages to the Florida Keys to fish, and it’s no wonder, with hundreds of fish varieties in Florida waters, most of which are caught in the waters between Miami and the 150-miles down to Key West. According to the writings of Zane Grey, a fabulous outdoor writer, and world famous angler, the waters between Indian Key and Bahia Honda Harbor were the very best in the world (as he wrote in the 1920’s). So, along with locals, international visitors and  Americans from all over the U.S.A. who come to duel with offshore fish such as swordfish, marlin, sailfish, mackerel, tuna, wahoo, dolphin fish (Mahi Mahi), and a large assortment of other deep -sea fishes the Keys is most noted for, it stands to reason that the real magnet, drawing all to these “boney” islands, are these underwater finned residents of the Keys! Ask anyone about the Florida Keys, most responses would be about fishing, Key Lime pie-sort of the “apple pie & mom” of South Florida’s special nature, is what is thought of first.

Inshore, there is an entire hierarchy of fish-royalty, from the mach-speed bonefish, tarpon, permit, the triage of the perfecta, to the snook, seatrout, red drum, and mangrove snapper, that today, as in the past hundred years attract anglers to both shore, and even kayak-fish, as well as being able to hire fishing guides and their skiffs, in pursuit of these fish for picture-trophy, and the plate as well. Today, with 43-bridges that connect each of the Keys Islands bridge fishing is also a great draw for anglers without boats, to bring their families and friends to go out to sea without ever getting their sneakers wet and still catch fish too!

There are legendary guides who were favorites of the rich, famous and anyone who can plunk down some dollars. One such truly amazing individual now gone: Captain Bob Lewis, Captain of the sportfishing boat the Chief, that belonged to Knight of Knight Ridder of Miami Herald, and worldwide newspaper fame. Captain Lewis is also credited with bringing the fishing kite, that he made into a popular offshore fishing tool.. And as Florida Keys Fishing Editor for that same paper, I kept up with Ted Williams and George Bush in their Keys angling exploits-these were people who could go anywhere in the world to fish, but chose to spend most of their time, as did Writer Zane Grey (as did President Harry Truman and other presidents down through history) fishing in the Florida Keys. Ted Williams told me personally and he is quoted in past publications that his very favorite saltwater fish to tangle with was the “Silver King”-the Tarpon. This is nothing new, as the tarpon was the quarry in the 1800’s that brought French Counts, business magnates, and erstwhile anglers from all over the world to attempt to catch this powerful fish on rod and reel. In the past, reels were bereft of great drags, more often than not lines parted company with these boney mouthed, extremely powerful fish just due to breaking lines, lines sliced due to barnacles, and pulled hooks due mainly to the fact that this big fish was just too fast, and too strong to be held and brought to the boat, or shore due to anglers not able to control their reels and line fast enough and deftly enough to assist in subduing this great beast of the inshore waters. The main reason this fish was easily fished for as they swim in relatively shallow waters, and are, and were accessible, compared to having to go well offshore for the truly big girls and boys: the marlin and swordfish.

So, If there was one fish that sparked the imagination of anglers eager to fish the Florida Keys, it is the tarpon. Anyone before, modern times and since, that tangles with a 100-pounder and up sized fish, is often heard saying, “ I don’t know if I can hang on any more” maybe you should take the rod.” So head over to a Keys marina, inquire of who is the best guide, and try out some strenuous exercise of the “raging-fun-kind.”

 

Water Water Everywhere, Especially Inside Us All!

From the miasma, life came! But only due to water being created by G-D's plan of nature!
From the miasma, life came! But only due to water being created by G-D’s plan of nature!

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APtravelnews- August 21st–Goose Holler’ Farm, TN.—Water!  H2O is a whole lot more than just being wet, thirsty and clean. Water is life itself!

All water that was ever on, and in earths atmosphere, going back to the beginning is still here. We and all animal and plant life are predominantly made up of water. The problem with water today  is how it’s used and abused, wasted to undrinkable, flushed away and mixed with dangerous unnatural chemical compounds rendering it useless and unhealthy for the support of life and most important of all; taken for granted. Just ask anyone in California if today, they take water for granted, or the peoples of desertification all over the arid nations of the world, how they think of water! The bottom line is; today with a world population of billions and compare these numbers to the few millions of peoples of the past, water is being used by a modern, unprecedented amounts of peoples and businesses from agricultural to every possible niche in every aspect of life’s uses and needs, from direct need in human waste and hydration needs, to every social and business requirement. Take a look at Las Vegas, it’s fountains and pools, lawn and landscape watering, and what are they about to do? Take down the big lake that Hoover Dam has created. Las Vegas is frantic now that wonderful dry heat they tout also is evaporating waters by a factor of 20-percent per day!

According to an article in Eating Well March and April 2015 “fully 50-percent of your water footprint is devoted to your diet (food and drink) think about this: just one cup of tea takes 9-gallons of water to create that tiny bit of tea. 1 oz. of chocolate needs 127 gallons to create that cocoa bean. For a 3-oz. piece of beef it takes 347 gallons, an oz. of almonds-120 gallons, a 3 oz. piece of chicken 98-gallons, a cup of coffee 34 gallons, a glass of wine 24 gallons to make that vine that matures and offers those grapes.” A few more general stats and tips: The daily water footprint of the average American is 2000 gallons per day (both direct and indirect usages) that’s about double the worldwide average and this is an  equivalent of running the dishwasher 400 times. When taking a 10-minute shower you use about 25-gallons.  Aiming for a 5-minute shower or less and you can save about 300-gallons a month.” Look I can go on and on, but bottom line is; where it’s possible to save water, or anything we routinely use. Think about all the possibilities and act. You can save a whole lot more than just dollars! Remember many new companies who have started up bottled water businesses in the recent past are all now highly successful multi-million dollar businesses. Quality of water injected with chlorine for purification bred a whole new enterprise out of need!

Saluda, N.C. and the Gem On the Hill

APtravelnews-Saluda, N.C-Beautifully located in the quaint town of Saluda, the Orchard Inn is the perfect western North Carolina bed and breakfast for you if you’re looking for a relaxing mountain getaway. These great hosts offer carefully designed bed and breakfast rooms and rustic cabins in the western North Carolina mountains, you’ll experience Southern hospitality right at their doorstep. We’ve been there twice and love this place!

Nestled in the foothills of western North Carolina, the Orchard Inn is a historic structure surrounded by the splendor of Mother Nature. If you’re coming from the north, you’ll descend through the lower Blue Ridge mountains and valleys to just below the village of Saluda, whose entire downtown area has been designated on the National Historic Register. From the south, you wind from the upper piedmont into the foothills; then, by the “old road”, a Scenic By-way, up through the Pacolet River gorge past rocky falls so close they mist your windshield. Either way, as you approach the Orchard Inn up the long winding driveway, the rest of the world falls away and you enter a mountaintop escape on 12 peaceful acres. The elegant intimacy and warm hospitality of the Orchard Inn create the perfect atmosphere for an unforgettable stay in their bed and breakfast in western NC.

Featured Orchard Inn Events & Specials

Don’t Miss These Spooky Asheville Halloween Activities

There is holiday each fall that children and adults look forward to, Halloween. We at Orchard Inn love the fall here in the Western North Carolina mountains and…Learn More

Apple Festival in Hendersonville NC

Fun to the Core: Enjoy the Apple Festival in Hendersonville NC

If there is one thing that is well known about the North Carolina mountains is that we have some of the best apples around. Each fall, people come…Learn More

From their Blog  Spa Services for Couples Near Asheville

If you’re looking for a little romance during your visit…Read More

Mid Week Images To Remember

Taken just before Hurricane Andrew struck!
Taken just before Hurricane Andrew struck Biscayne Bay!
This 100-pound grouper was brought up from 200-feet off of Mexico on the boat Catch-22. No its not a Goliath Grouper!
This 100-pound grouper was brought up from 200-feet off of Mexico on the boat Catch-22. No its not a Goliath Grouper!
The way it used to be! Joe Brooks image! From my book: History of Fishing The Florida Keys!
The way it used to be! Joe Brooks image! From my book: History of Fishing The Florida Keys!
NUTS! In the Arctic!
NUTS! In the Arctic!
Great entry way to a B n B!
Great entry way to a B n B!