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Friday, November 7, 2008

This Is Why We Live Here

If you could have been with me today, you might well say, yes, this is why one might want to live here. I have a hard time imagining that there could be any nicer weather than we had today. We spent the first few days of November up in the Virginia mountains. While the leaves were magnificent (click here to view) we did have to run the heat for a couple of nights, and I did change from my standard uniform of shorts to bluejeans. We managed to come back to the coast just in time for a nice warming trend. This afternoon, my fishing buddy and I were out on the river. Tonight my wife and I enjoyed fresh from the water trout and black sea bass for dinner. If you can fish on the river in November with just shorts and tee shirt, you have probably found paradise.
Our weather is not always perfect, but it is very good most days. This fall except for a couple of cool days is shaping up to be just as nice as last fall when I can remember it seemed like summer would never end.

When we got back from the mountains, I noticed we had gotten a couple of inches of rain. We needed the rain while the grass in our yards is slowly going dormant. Even after the rain we had a cloudy, nasty day, but after that one day, it almost seems like each day is trying to out do the previous one.

With few yard chores left, there is not much to get in the way of fishing. Last night some friends went with us over to the beach to enjoy another spectacular sunset. It was a fantastic sunset as you can see from the attached picture.

People were strolling on the beach, and I could see a few folks surf fishing. It was a great evening for a walk. After leaving the beach we decided to grab dinner at one of the many family run restaurants in the area. I love going to these restaurants because you are treated like family, and the food is usually very good.

While having dinner, my fishing buddy and I decided the weather for this Friday looked too good to miss so we made a date to go fishing.

We have gone enough together now that it takes us almost no time to load the boat and head out into the water. Part of the convenience is that my boat lives on a lift behind my house.

With the cooling of the river waters, lots of fish have moved into the White Oak River so now we do not even have to go very far from home to fish. In fact we cruised out to the first buoy on the channel to Swansboro, but we never made it to the second buoy. We only went about another one hundred yards before anchoring and starting to fish. Our total travel time was under five minutes.

It was probably quarter after one this afternoon when we settled into our fishing routine. It took us a while to catch our first fish, but after that we caught them steadily. We caught a lot of small bottom fish, but we also caught three nice black sea bass and two trout.

I kept the biggest trout and sea bass. As the sun was setting over the river, we headed back into the quiet waters of Bluewater Cove. It only took minutes to get my boat on the lift behind my house and unload it.

I rinsed down the boat and as the last light of the evening faded, I cleaned our dinner. It did not take but a few minutes to have a quick shower and then fry up some fish which had been swimming less than three hours previously.

If you have never had really fresh caught fish cooked for you, you should put it on your to do list. There is a big difference.

Now I am upstairs in my office enjoying the cool breeze from the river and thinking about our next trip. I do wonder what we will catch the next time out. It is a very good way to end a great day.

For those who love the water, beaches, a mild climate, and blue skies, Carteret County is just about paradise. Just ask those of us who have chosen to live here.

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