With death and destruction all around us in the form of floods, tornados and earthquakes, its time to put aside my anxieties and plan my annual vacation to the Atlantic side of Florida.
Visions of my last trip to the forgotten coast remind me of what I have missed since last year. To the permanent residents of St. George Island, Im little more than a walking ATM, but to me Im once again a seafaring man with a great imagination.
In order not to lose valuable play time on your vacation trying to figure out what you are going to do next, you have to have a plan. Surf fishing on the beach is my number one priority.
I have a strategy! The first morning Im up with the sun and headed to the beach, but first I will have to go to one of the three bait shops on the island and buy shrimp for bait. I always get the live ones and hook them in the back. Live shrimp always work better than the dead kind.
Later in the day when the sand is as hot as a pancake griddle, I will head to the house and wash my hands. Somehow,fishing smelly, fishy hands are not conducive to really enjoying a fish sandwich for lunch. The aroma of a dead flounder while you are trying to eat one is unsettling to a delicate stomach.
Probably we will also go across the bridge to Eastpoint, a little fishing town to the left of the road from the bridge. The last time I was there we ate at newly remodeled restaurant next to an oyster shipping building. The food was delicious.
After lunch, it will be back across the bridge and to the island once again. We will spend the afternoon shopping; things that you really dont need like coffee mugs and tee shirts.
After spending the afternoon empting my wallet, the sun will be edging closer to the horizon and I will picture a gigantic fish on the end of my line as the day comes to an end. Thats when I go back to the bait shop on the island and buy some more shrimp.
This time Ill go for the dead shrimp because I will probably have some left over from the days fishing trip and the live ones would no doubt die during the night. This way if I havent used them all, I can throw them in the refrigerator until tomorrow morning when I will go back to the beach and fish again.
While I am there I will buy enough shrimp for the nights dinner. Thinking of various recipes, Ill decide to get 3 pounds of the large ones. That will be more than enough for four hungry people, two of which will have just left the beach, tired from their fishing trip.
Since all of this is still in the planning stage, I picture myself coming back to the house dragging two, maybe three, large pompano behind me. Pompano are easy to clean and cooking them over hot coals on the barbeque grill in the back of the house, is easy and relaxing. One of the requirements of the rental house; is that it have a charcoal grill on the premises.
The first night though, was meant for the barbeque basket filled with shrimp. A little melted butter, garlic and lemon juice as an excellent sauce and the meal would be perfect.
Ill plan the other days, but they will be pretty much like the first day, fishing, lunch, shopping and fishing and dinner.
Watching mullet skipping over the bay at sunset and watching the seabirds silhouetted against an orange fiery sky at sunset often makes me wonder what I am doing living in a place that is 300 miles away from the nearest ocean.
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