At this point I can see three options to try and stop this nonsense.
1. The nephew has to go on a serious exercise program. ( He's kind of lazy so I don't see that happening. )
2. I need to figure out how not to be OLD! And to have a new back, and a new shoulder, and a new knee, and a new....... ( If I find a way to do this I'm patenting it! )
3. We've got to target smaller game. ( Only after a certain place where there has never even been so much as a cool day freezes over! )
Or.......and this is the most likely course of action as we are not the sharpest tacks in the box......we'll just keep on having fun until we can't any more!
So Friday morning I left the brother in law to run the fish market alone and me, Louann and the nephew went to the water looking for gators. Actually the BIL was suffering payback for the fact that I worked Saturday for him so he could be in the tree for opening day of archery season.
We slammed the boat in a little before sunrise and ran down the St. Johns to a cove where Louann and I had scouted out a good one a few days before. Set up in the cove, OUT OF THE NE WIND!, and waited.......to no avail. After seeing nothing for a while we ran a few miles back to a second cove where we'd seen another good one with the same results.
With the darn wind blowing as hard as it was the only places we could hunt were the NE & North sides of coves which SEVERELY limited us so I was kind of frustrated after we tried our second spot. While discussing what to do Louann announced that as it was HER permit we were hunting under it was up to her what we did next, which was technically true, and not really that much different for how it is most of the time.
So me and the nephew, after a very brief conversation, a conversation focused mainly on how he should note this lesson for future use, let her direct us BACK to the cove where we started. And there we sat for all of maybe 10 minutes before she says "there he is" as she points at a spot near on 300 yards away.
I can't see a thing but the nephew agrees that she is right so I get the boat started and.......well.....if you look in the bottom of the boat you can see the tail of that one. A little short of 10 feet.......
And then, as we have a bit over a hour of legal time left, and again following instructions ( This time more willingly. ) we run back to the second place we had already been.
And again I had no real hope but figured we'd sit there for a few minutes and while they looked about I'd put the gear back in order, just in case. And wouldn't you know it. Just as I'm retaping the harpoon the nephew says he see a "big one" up by the bank.
It's a long way off, maybe further than the first one, but we make a run with the result being that we end up amongst a pod of manatees. Now we are VERY careful around manatees, as are all gator hunters. Last thing you want to do is snag a ENDANGERED SPECIES!!
So we sit there as legal time slips away hoping that the "big one" will show himself.
As you can see from the attached he did......and then the fun began.
Once we got him banged and taped we had the same problem we had a couple of weeks ago, namely that there was just not enough muscle to get him up over the stern. So we did as before, hauled his butt a couple of hundred yards up to the shallows so that Louann could lift the tail while the nephew and I pulled. Amazing how changing the angle helps!
So as we are just stating to pull on him Louann tells us to hold on and inches down closer to the tail of the gator and lifts it out of the water. A move that made no sense until the nephew and I notice another boat coming along heading back towards the ramp.
And as that boat gets near us the crazy woman starts beating the water with that gators tail and thrashing about......she has problems......
Big one was 11' 5", a little longer than the last one but not quite as heavy.