Going fishing and hunting Easter eggs

Easter has come and gone and now it seems like Memorial Day is right around the corner. The Stewart household has been a revolving door of activity. One big event after the other has had things rolling in perpetual motion. Easter was big with both Sam and Brynn scoring big with the Easter Bunny. The little ones have been practicing hiding and finding eggs for several weeks. The wooden eggs that serve as decorations in our house have been picked up countless times in the past month. Evening sessions of hide the egg have kept visitors to our house busy. Easter Sunday was another big to-do. Holly and her choir had big plans the entire week which culminated with a stellar performance Sunday morning before a packed house. I played along with my trumpet for the opening hymn with plans for two others, but unrehearsed music revealed two songs that had unmatched parts between the trumpets and the piano. Oh well, live and learn. All in all, Easter Sunday was one to remember. The beautiful weather, the wonderful church service all followed by the Smith-Adams family gathering for lunch. The team effort the families make in putting a meal together is second to none. From the main course to the fabulous desserts, I filled myself to the brim. We rounded out the weekend with a “slumber party” at the Smith house. With Monday as a school holiday, Holly and the kiddos took advantage of Grammie’s invitation to stay over. We all camped out and the kids made good use of the small tent erected in the game room. At least for a couple of hours. Brother-in-law Zack and new bride returned from their honeymoon in Jamaica Sunday. They made a quick trip to Brady on Monday to pick up Sarah’s dog as well as numerous trinkets left over after the wedding. Holly and I waited with anticipation to hear the reports of the past week. The newlyweds traveled to the same romantic destination as we did nearly seven years ago. It seems as if the Smith couple managed to do all we did and then some. From riding horses in the surf to scuba diving on the reef, they one-upped us on the list of activities. Holly asked me just today “what did we do all day when we were there'” “Relaxed,” was my reply. The wedding hype has settled and life is getting back to normal. I followed the weekend at Lake Buchanan with a trip to Rockport with workout buddy Clay Vogel. The order of the trip was twofold, work and play. Clay and I were guests of the Rockport-Fulton Chamber of Commerce and their 18th Annual Spring Fling. My first invite to attend the Spring Fling came a year ago, but scheduling conflicts prohibited my attendance. The event is designed to promote the area and all it has to offer. Being a native of the east coast who had relatives who actually lived on the coast, I spent many weeks in my youth casting a line or swimming in the salt waters of the Atlantic Ocean. My trip to Rockport was to be my first fishing trip to the Texas Gulf Coast. I could hardly wait. The drive was relaxing and Clay and I chatted about this and that. Once we found our way to the main strip in Rockport, we meandered around town finding where the hotel and restaurants were. We spent the first evening chatting with factory reps for various fishing tackle companies and then sat down to a wonderful seafood dinner with our guide for the next day’s fishing trip. Sunrise came early and after a quick breakfast, we were the first on the water. We had our first line wet by 7 a.m. and our first redfish in the boat by 7:05. Sun coming up, cool seabreeze and a nice 27-inch redfish. What a start to a day. I am willing to put money on the fact that our guide was the hot hand of the day. We limited out on redfish in less than two hours. As we pulled up anchor, three other guides had already sneaked into position to pick up where we left off. I distinctly remember hearing that two of the three boats had only one or two fish on board. Clay and I had nine, three over 26 inches in length. Redfish longer than 29 inches are considered trophies. Definitely a successful trip. I commented once we were underway in search of a spot to fish for speckled trout, that the normal Stewart luck had thankfully passed us by. As is tradition whenever I am afforded a unique fishing or hunting opportunity, something inevitably goes wrong. Not this trip. Clay and I were grinning almost as big as our guide as we motored over to our next fishing spot. I even called Holly at school and told her of our good fortunes as well to assure her that I was working while I was playing. (The whole trip will be recanted later in a more detailed wrapup.) After returning to the dock, we posed for photos and then proceeded to keep our hands clean as our guide made short work of filleting the day’s catch. A gathering at a local favorite dining spot for lunch left us with full bellies and a desire to nap. After mulling the situation, we packed up and headed home early rather than fishing a second day. Next year if I am invited back, the stay will be considerably longer, trust me. I returned to work Tuesday afternoon and once the paper was out, I rushed home and began a backyard barbecue of redfish on the halfshell (that’s what the locals down there refer to as leaving skin on the fillet). A lot of butter, garlic and cajun seasoning and I must say that was one of my more memorable meals in recent past. Things are back to normal. My allergies are back after the salty air cleared them up temporarily and business is back to normal at the paper. Everybody is well at the Stewart household and now all we have to do is sell our home to facilitate an easy move across town in the near future. So anyone interested, just give me a jingle. I’ll make you a heck of a deal.’JS

Leave a Comment