FloridaHillbilly 25 Years Later – Where is He now?

Ok. I know it has only been a bit over a year…but SO much can happen in the amount of time….it FEELS like its been 25 years. I was told by a good friend that if I didn’t slow down, I would burn out. I laughed at him, telling him I’ll ALWAYS be full of BS…and I was right.


….But then, so was he. While I am still full of manure-based info of varying levels of usefulness, I simply got tired of spewing it out onto a computer screen, when what I wanted to do was just DO it.

So I stopped writing. Cold. As though aliens had beamed me off the planet. I stopped gardening. Harvested all of my animals, minus the dog. (so far..remember this story?!) In short, I moved on.


Oh, sure, I still LIVED the Florida Hillbilly life, hunting, gathering, making and doing for myself and my family….but I scaled it waaaay back.


I still have my raised beds. Growing a lovely batch of waist-high weeds. I still have those damned vomit-flavored papaya trees…will they ever die? I have most of my perennial plants, bushes and shrubs still….and the obligatory sweet potato vine growing in the kitchen window. I even planted three slips in a pot, and have it in our living room as the only “house plant” we have.

I still bargain shop when I am able. And with March here, I know corned beef is about to go on sale, so I plan on pressure canning a bunch – its some damned fine eats, folks!

Baked Sheepshead
Baked Sheepshead

Where I have concentrated my time and efforts has been in the realm of procuring fresh animal protein of the scaled variety – fishing. In fact, I fish almost every day, and definitely every week. Growing up poor in West Virginia, fish equals food, so I eat a lot of my catch, assuming I know it is good to eat.

And, I have improved my skills at it, too.

Last summer, shortly after I decided to start taking the time to go fishing more often, I was grumping to my wife about my skill level. I was decent, catching the occasional preferred fish, at least more often than the average local fisherman….but I saw and heard of guys that catch fish every damned day. And LOTS of them.

My wife asked me for examples, and I rambled on about various people we knew, regulars at the local bait shop…and those blasted fishing guides – the people that put idiots that have never fished before onto high-end, quality gamefish.

My wife asked me simply, “So why don’t you hire one to teach you?”

Oh how I hate when she says something so obvious that I cannot get out of my own way to see it first. I thanked her for her wisdom and went seeking Higher

One of my "Professors", Capt Bob of the Catch 22
One of my “Professors”, Capt Bob of the Catch 22 (Click pic to goto his website)


Education. (I do still question how wise she is…she did married ME!)

And hit paydirt. Time  and again.

In fact, after speaking with several “trusted” sources, and going out with several local inshore guides (they fish the saltwater estuaries, but not out in the ocean), I started to understand how to catch fish…and why I wasn’t catching them before.

Not a bad place to start the day...
Not a bad place to start the day…

My day job also picked up steam, and has me busier than I really WANT to be…I enjoy the work, but really would rather be fishing…

So I do that now. A LOT.

And proof is in the pudding, or as I tell everyone that I fish with, “Pics, or it never happened”…..so here we go.


Just a few of my hundreds…(thousands?) of fish I’ve caught in the last 6-8 months…and I catch fish when nobody else is….other than my “professors – the fishing guides.

So that’s where I am…I went fishing…literally.


Just maybe, I’ll make time to write about it a bit more..share my secrets…pass on the Voodoo that makes my line catch fish, and the guy next to me not catch anything…I will tell you that using this makes a HUGE difference(click to open link)


…but the rest may take a while…. I have to go now…it’s time to fish….




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  1. Well, butter my butt and call me a biscuit!!! I’m glad to see you’re alive and well… I live in swfl… I’ve met capt’n Bob before… Good fella.

    Glad to see you posted… I am interested in what you learned… I’ve been drowning bait for 20 years and never once have I caught anything on purpose… I could use some pointers.


  2. Wondering when/if you were gonna post something again!! Maybe you can take the fish guts or garbage fish (if there is such a thing) and put them in your garden for fish fertilizer. Glad things are going well for you.

    1. Still alive…just redirecting my food procurement activities.

      …but damn, I miss the fresh eggs!

      Glad to see ou are still alive, kicking, and getting on the internet still from time to time… YOU, my friend, are living The Life!

  3. Missed you, while you were fishing I bought a baby steer from next door. No range fee on his land. 1/4 the price at the store. ; )
    Going to the butcher in two weeks. Can’t wait for the 1 1/4 inch steaks. Eat more Beef.
    Half to butcher 30 ducks this week too. No rest for me.

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