Category Archives: Fishing

The Closing Chapter for Outdoors Down South

Jim boat river

Writing this column and the associated blog has been on of the more interesting things I’ve ever done, even in the context of a life that has been pretty doggone interesting. Though I’ve written hundreds of thousands of words for publication during my career, most were under someone else’s byline. Outdoors Down South is different because it was my own creation, for better or worse, and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed writing it for three years now.

That First Squirrel

Charles and squirrel

The best thing about a squirrel ­ and one of the only good things ­ is that they are ideally suited for introducing kids to hunting.
There are gazillions of them out there and all it takes to hunt them is a .22 or a .410 and about five minutes’ worth of patience.

Bringing Back the Slat Basket: The Saga Continues

Amazing craftsmanship.

I have this recurring dream that Richard and Seab Larkins are looking down on me from above and laughing hysterically while I try to to re-create one of the round, cypress and vine catfish traps that they built for decades on the Florida River. I’m still fascinated by the simplicity and elegance of their design, but duplicating it is a lot harder than you might think.

And then a book happened . . .

cover shot 2

I never really set out to write a book. However, on November 11, Life Along the Apalachicola River is scheduled to hit the shelves. You can actually pre-order it now from Barnes & Noble and Amazon, although I think it’s best to buy from local stores if they carry it. You may also buy direct from me for $15 + $4.99 shipping using the PayPal button below:

A Peek at Pioneer Life


Just a week after my unsuccessful Bigfoot hunt, Mary and I went over to Blountstown for Goat Day last Saturday. The festival itself was a lot of fun, especially seeing all the different crafts and activities. For the record, I consider it a personal victory that we didn’t come home with a baby goat after Mary saw one on a leash, wearing a pink collar.

Another River Rant

Courtesy of State Archives of Florida

I don’t do politics any more. I spent a long time working in the political arena and I look back on it like a bad habit that I quit successfully. Now that I’m not being paid to promote or oppose issues, the only ones I spend any time thinking about are the ones that are close to home, and especially ones that affect the Apalachicola River.

A Cool Breeze and Some Hunting, Please


I’m not complaining. Really, I’m not. This has been a wonderful summer. I’ve caught plenty of fish, the frogs were out in force and most of the time it wasn’t as blistering hot as it could have been.

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.)

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.

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