Stories and Commentary from the Swampland

Coon skin

Tastes (Nothing) Like Chicken

My father-in-law was complaining about raccoons recently and debating the best way to keep them out of his garbage cans. From what I gather, he doesn’t mind them visiting his yard or More »

Eagle small

The Problem with Boats

I love boats. Big boats, small boats, fast boats, slow boats and even things like kayaks and sailboats that aren’t really boats at all. (Sailboats are just really big kites without the More »

Ty and Lane

Taking a Hero on a Gator Hunt

By Lane Stephens On Friday, July 11, I had the opportunity to meet and spend time with a true American hero – Army Staff Sergeant Ty Carter. My time with Ty was More »

Cypress stump dead lakes

Pushing Limits at the Dead Lakes

The following story comes with some important caveats: It was told to me a long time ago; it happened a long time before that; and the people who were there are no More »

swamp at night

Drama in a River Swamp at Night

I’m always curious when I hear people say they want to spend more time outdoors for the “peace and quiet.” I’m not sure where they go to find those two conditions, but More »

Tastes (Nothing) Like Chicken

Coon skin

My father-in-law was complaining about raccoons recently and debating the best way to keep them out of his garbage cans. From what I gather, he doesn’t mind them visiting his yard or scrounging for food. His biggest complaint is that they don’t clean up after themselves.

The Problem with Boats

Eagle small

I love boats. Big boats, small boats, fast boats, slow boats and even things like kayaks and sailboats that aren’t really boats at all. (Sailboats are just really big kites without the string and kayaks are basically bobsleds for those of us who live where there’s no snow.)

Taking a Hero on a Gator Hunt

Ty and Lane

By Lane Stephens

On Friday, July 11, I had the opportunity to meet and spend time with a true American hero – Army Staff Sergeant Ty Carter. My time with Ty was relaxing, exhilarating, and in the end, just a whole lot of fun, as I took him with me on a nuisance alligator hunt on Lake Talquin, near Quincy, Florida.

Pushing Limits at the Dead Lakes

Cypress stump dead lakes

The following story comes with some important caveats: It was told to me a long time ago; it happened a long time before that; and the people who were there are no longer with us here.

Come to think of it, those caveats apply to a lot of my stories.

Drama in a River Swamp at Night

swamp at night

I’m always curious when I hear people say they want to spend more time outdoors for the “peace and quiet.” I’m not sure where they go to find those two conditions, but I can tell you that it’s not in a river swamp and it’s definitely not at night.

Caring About Catawba Worms

JP King's rendering of a Catawba worm.

So my friend and colleague JP King returned from a fishing trip in northern Walton County recently and showed me some pictures of really nice bream and shellcracker he caught on some private property up there. I asked about bait, figuring he used crickets, but to my surprise he talked about “these yellow and black caterpillars” that were crawling all over some of the trees on the property.

Daddy’s Tackle Box

Tackle box closed

Among the items that travel with me everywhere my truck goes are two tackle boxes – one for saltwater and one for freshwater. I suppose I could get by with one, but that would just make it harder to remember what I have and where I put it.

Help Hook a Sister Up

Whitney excited

I’m a firm believer that the world would be a better place if more people learned to fish. We’d all be a little more patient, a little less concerned about material things (other than fishing tackle) and a lot more concerned about preserving our natural treasures (like our favorite fishing spots.) So, in the interest of bettering our species, I encourage you to help a friend and fledgling fisherwoman feed her habit pursue her noble quest.

Random Thoughts from a Wandering Mind: Late Spring Yellow Fly Edition

Screenshot 6:11:14, 12:46 AM

This past weekend, I thought I might have broken my recent bad luck spell in Blountstown. The past few times I’ve made the trip to go fishing, something always got in the way. Either the river jumped up, or the boat wouldn’t start or the fish just weren’t biting.

A Tourist at Home: Rediscovering the Dead Lakes

Dead Lakes 2

About the last place I ever expected to be a tourist is Gulf County, Florida. After all, one of my earliest memories in life is of fishing with my grandfather and grandmother on the Dead Lakes sometime about age four.

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