Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Category: Fishing and Boating

Fishing and Boating

Cleaning Evinrude Outboard Spark Plugs

Evinrude 30 hp outboard motor

Still getting the boat ready for a day long fishing trip on the Angelina River and Steinhagen Reservoir. Today’s project was the remove and clean the spark plugs in the Evinrude 30 horsepower outboard motor. The spark plugs are probably 5 or 6 years old, and have not been cleaned since they were put in.

Somewhere around 2012 the boat was put in the shop to have a new powerhead installed. With the tuneup also came a a new water pump, and spark plugs.

Before the brutal Texas summer heat kicks in I want to launch the boat at Bevil Port, then head south on the Angelina River to Steinhagen Reservoir. Once I reach Steinhagen, turn north and head into the north end of the lake. The north-west area of Steinhagen is full of cypress trees. Hopefully, there will be some good fishing, or at least some good nature photography.

However, before the trip takes place, the boat needs to be gone over with a fine tooth comb. A couple of days ago I changed the oil in the Evinrude lower unit.

Evinrude Outboard Motor Lower Unit Oil Change

Evinrude lower unit oil change

Time to change the oil in the lower unit of my Evinrude 30 horsepower outboard motor. The last time the oil was changed was probably 6 or 7 years ago when the water pump was changed and a new powerhead was installed.

While my wife and I were in Jasper, Texas taking care of some business, we stopped by the Evinrude dealership and got some gear oil. The guy behind the counter handed me a package with a bottle of oil and a pump. The oil was Mercury brand name, SAE 90. I asked the guy if it was ok to use on Evinrude and he said yes. The shop is an authorized Evinrude dealership, so I took his word for it.

The drain the oil of the Evinrude lower unit there are two flathead bolts. An oil drain pan was grabbed from the shed and placed under the lower unit. The bolts were in so tight, I had to put a pipe wrench on the screw driver to break the bolts loose. Top bolt was removed first, then the bottom bolt.

Good news, the old oil did not have any signs of water or metal shavings in it. Nor were their any metal shavings on the drain plug.

June 2018 Fishing Trip on the Angelina River – A Short Story

Southeast Texas alligator

The day started a little earlier than others when the alarm went off at 5:00 am. As soon as the alarm went off a war of attrition began in my head. One voice was talking about how comfortable the bed was and to forget about the fishing trip. The other voice was telling me to get up and go because in a few weeks the full brunt of the Texas heat will be here.

Realizing in another three or four weeks the July heat wave will be upon us, I decided to crawl (though reluctantly) out of bed and head to the shower. There is something refreshing about getting a morning shower.

Attire for the day was Levis jeans, green Carhart shirt, and Justin leather work boots. Typically, I wear shorts and sneakers on fishing trips, but this trip was different. Part of this trip was for pictures and videos. Rather than walking through a swampy area with sneakers, to decided to wear boots.

All of the gear had been loaded in either the Toyota T100 truck, or in the Weldbilt aluminum boat the night before. All that needed to be done was take a shower, get dressed, grab my everyday carry gear, and head out the door. I had wanted to leave the house around 5:30, but was able to leave around 5:20 or so.

Driving to the Angelina River

A Lesson In Having Navigational Gear Close At Hand

Evinrude 30 HP outboard motor on the Neches River near Jasper, Texas

While my son and I were fishing on the Angelina River near Jasper, Texas, I learned a lesson on having navigational gear close at hand. What happened was, we followed a slough until it came to a main waterway.

There were a couple of issues:

  • The waterway was overgrown with lily pads.
  • There were several connecting paths.
  • We needed a certain path to get back to the boat launch.
  • Using Google Earth I knew we needed to head East.
  • The time was 1:00 pm and shadows were straight down.
  • Neither my backpack, or the boat survival kit had a compass.
  • All I needed was a simple compass to know which direction was East.

My son and I were at an intersection with around five routes we could take. Due to the lily pads the boat had limited mobility. The motor had to be pulled up every few minutes to clean the lily pads off.

What we ended up doing was driving the boat in one direction, then checking Google earth with my phone. Eventually I was put on the correct path and back to the boat launch we went.

Navigational Gear

Igloo 25 Qt Marine Contour Review

Igloo Marine Contour Cooler Review

Review of the Igloo 25 Quart Marine Contour ice chest. A few weeks ago my favorite Igloo ice chest was stolen from Mill Creek Park, Brookeland, Texas. It was a 36 quart Igloo Marine ice chest that was close to a decade old. I was cooking for a fishing tournament, went home to take a nap, went back, and someone had stolen the ice chest. Not only did someone steal the ice chest, it was loaded with uncooked meat.

I got online and started looking at various Igloo Marine ice chest. The 36 quart was a little large for a day trip, so I decided one something just a tad smaller.

Some of the things I was looking for:

  1. Large enough for several bottles of water, and soft drinks.
  2. Big enough for one bag of ice.

The 36 quart would take two bags of ice to cover the drinks. Rather than going larger, I wanted something that was just big enough for one bag of ice.

Eventually the Igloo 25 Quart Marine Contour ice chest was picked.

Igloo Marine Contour First Impressions

Been Working on the Boat for Summer Fishing

Boating on the Angelina River near Jasper, Texas

Something I dearly love about spring, but was skipped this year, and that is going out on the boat. In March and April we had something like six weeks straight where it rained every weekend. It seemed like as soon as the rain stopped, the heat started.

Here it is mid-May, and it seems summer has arrived with a vengeance. Here we are in mid-May and daytime temps are in the low 90s. Where did spring go? I thought we were suppose to ease into the summer heat. It seems like only a few days ago daytime temps were in the 70s. Then again, this is Texas.

For one reason or another I have been putting off working on the boat. Last time it was in the water was two years ago, which is a shame. In all honesty, I love being out on the water. It seems like in only 20 – 30 minutes someone can go back 10,000 years in time.

I usually put the boat in at the Bevil Port boat launch of hwy 63 just north of Jasper, Texas. Once the boat is in the water, I head south on the Angelina River to Bee Tree Slough. Bee Tree Slough seems like time rolls back to the stone age.

Summer Fishing

Disrespect For Nature

Bee Tree Slough Jasper Texas

Friday April 25, 2014 my daughter and I went fishing on the Angelina River here in Jasper Texas. We left the house around 7:30am, went to the Exxon gas station at the intersection of HWY 96 and HWY 190 for a bag of ice, went to the donut shop on HWY 190 then headed to Bevil Port.

For breakfast my daughter got a large kolache while I got a ham, egg and cheese croissant. While at the donut shop I asked my daughter if she wanted a chocolate milk to drink. She promptly replied she was not three years old anymore. I smiled, gave her a hug, and told her something like “nope, you are not three years old anymore.” Kids grow up so fast it seems time flies by.

The launch at Bevil Port was typical. Pull the boat around, unstrap, make sure the plug is in, load tackle box, life jackets, 5 gallon bucket of noodles, then pull around and back the boat down. The starter switch on the motor is going out, so I had to use the pull rope to crank the motor.

After a couple of pulls that Evinrude 30 fired up and off we went.

Trash on the river

How To Make Catfishing Noodles

Noodles for catching catfish

In this article we are going to discuss step-by-step instructions on how to make noodles for catching catfish and bowfin (aka grinnell).

Bill of material:

Foam pool noodle
3/4 inch PVC pipe
3/4 inch PVC pipe cap
Tape measure
Marker – pen, pencil, sharpie,,,
File or sand paper
PVC glue
Trotline string
Lighter (for burning end of trotline string)
Electric drill
5/16 drill bit
Cable tie (optional)
Circle hooks
5 gallon bucket, my 5 gallon buckets are 13.25 inches tall
Various size weights (optional)
*Colored duct tape (some states require noodles to be a certain color)

5 Essential SHTF TEOTWAWKI Survival Skills

Barred Rock Chicken

For the sake of discussion lets say that some kind of SHTF / TEOTWAWKI event has happened. What essential survival skills may you and your family need to know in order to ensure their long term survival?

Survivalist should know the basics, such as beans, bullets, band-aids, shooting skills, water purification,,, etc. Lets think outside the box. During a long term complete collapse of society what skills will people need to know?

Lets assume that you and your family have a source of safe drinking water. This should be some kind of water well with a pitcher pump, or maybe a solar powered water well. For this article lets say that water is a given. Saying we need safe drinking water is like reminding people to breath, access to safe drinking water should be that important.

Now that water is out of the way lets move forward.

Drawback to Remote Primitive Camping Sites

Remote camping site on the Angelina River

One of the major drawbacks to remote primitive camping sites, you never know what idiot you are going to end up next to.

November 24, 2012 a buddy of mine and I headed out to the Angelina river close to Jasper Texas to do some camping. These are primitive camping sites that are only available by boat.

We arrived at the camping site, set the tents up, then headed out to the river to do some fishing. Just before the juglines were set out, I got a call on my phone saying my son-in-law and his hunting buddies caught a hog in the river bottom. The dogs had chased the hog a long way from the boat, and they needed some help. But that is another story.

After helping my son-in-law and his hunting party pack the hog back to the boat, my buddy and I headed back to our camping site.

By the time we got back to the camping site we only had about one hour of light left. We broke out the camp stoves, cooked a quick meal of Mountain House freeze dried foods, then started the camp fire.

Shooting Into The Night

Fishing Trip October 2012 On The Angelina River

Boat loaded up and ready to go

Man oh man, what a day. Long story short, my wife (her name is Kristy) and I went fishing on the Angelina river south of Bevil Port, which is close to Jasper Texas. We caught some fish and had a great time.

Now for the rest of the story

Instead of getting up at the crack of dawn, Kristy and I decided to sleep late. A cool front pushed through Wednesday October 17, which dropped the morning temp down to 47 degrees. We did not want to deal with temps in the upper 40s, so we waited a little late in morning to head out.

Kristy got up and did our usual morning routine, which includes a shower, brushing teeth, getting dressed,,, just your typical stuff.

For breakfast Kristy fixed me a sausage, egg and cheese sandwich. The egg came from our chickens.

The boat was hooked to the truck and the gear was loaded up. For this trip I brought my Maxpedition Condor II, 2 closed face reels, one open face reel, 16 noodles, Igloo marine ice chest, tackle box, catfish bucket, collapsible cooler, and a pair of shorts for Kristy and I to change into when the weather warmed up.

Usually, Kristy and I will make a trip to a corner store down the road from our house to buy a couple of bags of ice for the Igloo marine icechest. Instead of buying ice, Kristy put our drinks, sandwich stuff and snacks into the collapsible cooler, then put the collapsible cooler into the Igloo marine ice chest.

Load Out for a River Camping Trip

Boating on the Angelina River near Jasper, Texas

As the river trip inches closer, its time to start thinking about the loadout I want to bring. There are going to be 4 people spread out over 2 boats. Due to the distance we are traveling, over 10 miles, weight is going to be a factor. The heavier the boats are loaded down, the worse the gas mileage.

This is going to be a warm weather trip, so the heavy sleeping bag can be left at home. There will be no need for coats, gloves, cold weather head gear, cold weather boots,,, nothing like that.

For this river camping trip I am going to try to keep the gear down to a minimum. Not a “bare” minimum, just not carry a lot of excess gear.

Medium or Large Alice Pack – if you want to limit the amount of gear you can carry, start with the pack. The larger the pack, the more likely you are to take stuff you may not need.

For the past couple of river camping trips I have brought my large Molle pack. For this river trip I am going to go back to basics with the Alice pack.

When packing my gear I am going to start out with the Medium Alice pack. If I run out of room I will grab the Large Alice pack.

Crabbing Baileys Road Bridge City Texas

Crabbing on Baileys Road in Bridge City, Texas

As the people who live in Bridge City, Groves and Orangefield Texas already know, crabbing on Baileys road is a local tradition.

Before the Rainbow Bridge was built there was a ferry that ran between Bridge City and Port Arthur.

Baileys road was constructed through the middle of a marsh. As you are driving down the road, there is a canal that runs parallel to the road on the right hand side, and marsh grass on the left hand side.

When the road intersects Sabine Lake, the road makes a 90 degree turn to the left.

From the 90 degree turn, Baileys road winds along the edge of Sabine Lake for maybe 1/2 a mile or so until the road crosses over a bridge and dead ends.

After the Rainbow Bridge was built, people no longer needed the ferry so it was decommissioned. Even though the ferry was gone, Baileys has remained a popular icon.

Baileys Road

Chickens Fishing and Cooking After SHTF

Cooking at the Bug Out Location

As a survivalist, prepping / survivalism should NOT be a hobby, it is a way of life. What good does it do if you stockpile food, stockpile survival gear, but never practice or test your preps. If you incorporate survivalism into your lifestyle, you will always be testing, planning and looking for ways to improve.

While looking across my backyard this weekend, I realized that part of my preps were not only in the backyard, but how they were part of my life. The three preps I saw were the chicken coop, boat and bar-b-que pit.

Think about that for a minute, the chicken coop and the boat are a source of food. The pit provides a way to cook and smoke meat.

Some people raise chickens for fun, some raise them to know where their eggs and meat came from. Survivalist keep chickens so our families can have a source of food and protein during a long term SHTF survival situation. That is how we look at things. Survivalism is not a hobby, its not something we do on the weekends, its a way of life.

Video about cooking some mac and cheese that had been stored in a mylar bag for 1 year.

Replacing Boat Trailer Lights

Old boat trailer light with cover removed

The time has come to replace the trailer lights on my boat. The trailer is maybe 15 years old, the screws on the lights are rusted up, the bulbs are corroded so bad that the glass broke from the metal base.

There are a couple of boat stores in Jasper Texas, but none of them were open on sunday. In order to get the lights fixed before an upcoming river camping trip, my wife and I went down to the local wal-mart and bout 2 replacement lights.

After opening the package and trying to mount the light, I discovered the lock washer is so small, it slips through the hole in the light mount.

Well dang it, now I have to go to the local hardware store and buy some larger washers. The bolt on the back of the light measures right at 1/4 across. To make sure the washer is going to fit, I am going to buy washers with a 5/16 hole in them.

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