Rural Lifestyle

Life in Rural America

Tag: jasper texas

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

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

Planting Loblolly and Longleaf seeds

When settlers moved into the southern portion of the United States they were greeted by vast forest of Longleaf and Loblolly pine trees. These were majestic trees reaching heights of over 100 feet tall.

Human greed knows no ends. Vast tracts of virgin timber were cut down with no regard to conservation or the effects upon wildlife. By the time the 1930s arrived the Southeast Texas wild Turkey and Whitetail Deer were pretty much extinct. Because their populations had been decimated, turkey and deer had to be reintroduced to regions of Southeast Texas.

The Red-cockaded woodpecker which nest exclusively in Longleaf pine trees was almost made extinct by deforestation. The woodpecker covers less than 1% of its original territory.

What lessons did we learn from deforestation and habitat destruction? Not much. Timber companies still cut down old growth oak trees to make way for pine plantations. Thousands of acres are clear cut and replanted in fast growing hybrid pine trees. Old growth forest are gone forever, or are they?

One of my projects here on the farm is to restore a few acres for old growth oak and pine trees.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X-4NBmJRb7M

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.

Turning Points in My Life

As I was reading through an article on Toms Hardware about the greatest video cards of all time, I caught myself looking at the dates on the video cards, and then comparing those dates to things that were happening in my life.

Between 1996 – late 1999 were a great time in my life. My third son had been born in 1994, my daughter had been born in 1996, I had a steady job with good benefits, a little overtime here and there.

Then there were the video games such as Diablo, Quake, Red Alert, and the camping trips into Orangefield Texas in the mid 1990s.

The early Quakecons were a blast. Driving to Dallas, staying with my buddy “Acid Breath” and his wife for the weekend, those were good times.

Around August 1999 all of that fell apart when I was laid off from Allied Fabrication in Rose City. The company had recently lost a lot of money, I had missed time due to my drinking. When it came time to reduce cost, I and a couple of other people were let go.

In all honesty, I loved working at Allied Fabrication. They were a great group of people that I really liked working for.

Regardless of how much I liked the job, all good things must come to an end.

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

Walmart Jasper Texas and Black Friday

This is a rant about walmart in Jasper texas not having the Sig Sauer M400 rifle like they are advertising in the black friday sales paper.

What the hell has happened to the nation that firearms are put behind big screen TVs and video games?

I found out today the walmart in my town (Jasper Texas) is not going to have the Sig Sauer M400.

The next nearest walmart, which is in Woodville Texas is not going to have the rifle either.

The walmart in Silsbee Texas said it is going to have 3 of the Sig Sauer M400 rifle sin stock.

Looks like I might have to drive an hour one way to get a Sig Sauer M400.

This really pisses me off. I bet walmart is going to have plenty of video games, wii, playstations,,,, and everything else, but no AR-15s?

What is happening to this nation that a local walmart does not carry a rifle it advertises?

Screw video games and TVs, I want a Sig Sauer M400.

Black friday is supposed to be the biggest shopping day of the year, but no AR-15s at walmart? What would Sam Walton say? I thought Sam was supposed to be sportsmen friendly?

Fishing Trip October 19 2012

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.

Trip to the hunting lease October 4 2012

Tri-pod deer stand First Stand – the stand and feeder we took care of first was my dads stand. This is a simple tri-pod stand wrapped in a camo tarp and burlap.

About 100 yards from the stand is a deer feeder. The feeder is 55 gallon drum on three legs, a lid to keep the rain out, and a spinner on the bottom of the drum.

Dad backed his truck up to the feeder, I stood on the bed, took the lid off, checked the corn level, then put 6 bags of deer corn in the feeder.

The 6 volt battery was a little low on its charge, so we put a new battery on the motor. Feeders have a test setting, you push the test button for a few seconds, then there is a 10 second count-down. The motor spins just like it would during its time to go off.

Dads stand was in rather bad shape. The tarp was tearing in places, the boards holding the roof up had rotted through and some vines had grown up through the stand.

I climbed into the tri-pod, then used some cable ties to hold the tarp up. Some of the rotten boards were removed. From the looks of things, the framework will have to be reworked after this hunting season.

After we finished the stand and feeder, Dad and I drove to the top of the hill to the next feeder and stand.

River trip part 4

This update was supposed to be in 2 parts. The first part was supposed to be doing some maintenance to the boat, such as fixing some broken rivets. The second part was supposed to be taking the boat out on the river to make sure is running ok, and to to use a GPS to see how fast the boat can travel down the river.

Well, the boat never made it to the river.

Broken boat rivetThe front of the boat has a deck that is held in place with rivets. Over the years of walking on the deck the rivets have slowly pulled lose or broken.

Replacing the rivets

Use a drill bit the size of the rivet, drill through the middle of the rivet, the head should come loose.

Use a punch or drift pen to drive out the middle of the rivet.

If the rivet does not want to drive out, use the drill to drill it out.

Insert new rivet into the hole.

Use a rivet gun to secure the rivet.

River trip part 3

Evinrude 30 Horsepower Angelina River TexasWhen planning a trip like a 100+ mile river / camping trip, its important to test your gear. Part of the testing phase is making sure your boat is in good running order. The purpose of todays trip was to test the boat to make sure it was in good running order.

A few weeks ago I put the boat in for repairs. During a recent camping trip a bolt fell out of the gear shifting lever, the water pump impeller has never been changed, and the spark plugs were looking a little old, the oil in the lower unit had never been changed and there was a short in the starter button.

Trip to the shop

I brought the boat to a local boat repair place. the service guy was told what I wanted, I even had him go out to the boat and take a look at something I wanted fixed.

Field trip with nature class

Wilderness hikingContrary to popular belief, nature classes do not take their clothes off and run around naked in the woods. In fact its just the opposite. We keep our clothes on and drive to where we want to go.

Saturday morning the nature class that I am a member of did a field trip. The purpose of the field trip was to see some of the native and rare plants in the area, and to see some of the unique geological formations around the Jasper Texas area.

At 8:00am we met in the parking lot of the Stump restaurant on hwy 255, which is just north of Jasper Texas. The places where we were going to go were old logging roads. The people that drove cars parked their vehicles at a nearby hotel, then we carpooled in the 4 wheel drive trucks and SUVs.

The first place we stopped at was on top of a pipeline. We parked our trucks on top of the hill, then walked around the rim of the hill top looking at different types of trees and plants.

After we got finished looking at the plants, we went back to the trucks, over the hill and down to a creek bottom. The cool thing about the creek bottom, it was filled with petrified wood. There were small pieces, large pieces and medium sized pieces. One of the men in the group was an amateur geologist. He talked to the class about the different types of trees that grew in southeast Texas during the last ice age – white oak, pine (conifer trees) and palm trees.

A Weekend Of Fishing On The Angelina River

Jugline fishing

This past weekend was one of those weekends that seems like a blur. I spent 3 days out on the Angelina River running trotlines, juglines and fishing.

Long story short – Friday afternoon, get the trotlines and juglines ready; Friday evening go put the juglines and trotlines out, check everything Saturday morning, go back Saturday evening, check and rebait the trotline, put the juglines out, Sunday go check everything again, pick the trotline up, pick up the juglines, go fishing, get home Sunday around noon.

Now for the rest of the story.

Over the past week I had been making up some trotlines in the backyard. The local china-mart sells spools of trotline string with a 330 pound tinsel strength, this is what makes up the main beam of the trotline.

So I started off by measuring out 2 double arm lengths of string, which equals out to about 8 feet, tie a loop knot about 3 – 4 inches long, measure off about 8 feet, tie another loop knot, measure off about another 8 feet, another loop knot,,, repeat until I had about 120 of line.

Wildfire in Jasper Texas

On Saturday June 18, 2011 the residents of Jasper Texas got the dreaded news, a wildfire has broken out in the Northern part of the county. Over the past couple of months Jasper county has been under a burn ban. But for some reason, people still continue to burn outdoors.

A few weeks ago a fire broke out close to Sand creek park on the south side of Dam B. After a couple of days the fire was contained. But this new fire was different, it was in a part of the county that was difficult to access.

jasper texas wildfire

Fishing in slews and gators

Alligator Magnolia Ridge Park Steinhagen ReservoirShort version: This morning my daughter and I went to a local park to go fishing. After a few minutes a 6 foot gator showed up to see what was going on.

Over the course of about 15 – 20 minutes, the gator slowly worked its way to within about 8 – 10 feet of the bank. the day was getting hot, and the gator was getting a little too close, so my daughter and I decided to pack up and go home.

Long Version: The day started off around 10:30am when my daughter decided it was time to drag herself out of bed so we could finally go fishing. I had already been up for a couple of hours, had gotten my shower, brushed my teeth, and even made a trip to the store to pick up a couple of low carb blue rock star energy drinks.

While I was waiting for my daughter to get ready, I went through my tackle box, sorted through some of my fishing gear, rounded up the fishing poles, loaded a small ice chest with drinking water into my truck,,,,, finally we were ready to go.

As we were driving out to the park, the wind was hitting the side of my truck pretty good. With the wind like it was, I figured the water around Martin Dies State Park would be stirred up pretty good. So my daughter and I changed plans, and went to Magnolia Ridge Park.

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