Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Lake Okeechobee

Two weeks ago Dan had a week off of football so we headed up north about an hour or so to Lake Okeechobee for a few days. Lake Okeechobee is established as one of the best Bass Lakes in the United States. For quite a few years it has supplied the best largemouth bass, and other great fish in the whole world. So we thought we would give er' a try. 

We pulled Dan's boat up to a little town named Clewistown. Population approx. 7, 000. Not sure where all those people were because we seemed to see the same 10-15 people all week. Coming from Fort Lauderdale, Clewiston was a breath of fresh air. Small town feel. No frills, no make up, and baseball cap type of feel. My fave.

We found an inexpensive and convenient little place. It was called Roland & Mary Ann Martins. They had a marina so we could store our boat. They also had a tiki hut so we were never without strong drinks/cold beer, bar food, and live music. A bait and tackle shop were on location as well in case we needed anything last minute. There were many choices for lodging at Roland & Mary Ann Martins. Condominiums, motels of all calibers, trailers, and RV hook ups were all available to choose from. We chose the cheapest motel they had available. They wawrned us no frills. We agreed it was OK. You pretty much just use the room for a few hours each night for a little shut eye anyway.
Gotta say, roughnecking it was kind of fun. Rather than a motel feel, it felt more like we were kind of camping. Or hiding out like Bonnie and Clyde in some hole-in-the-wall motel in the middle of no where. I loved it. This place is perfect for the fisherman who will be out on the water all day.

Sunrise-Noon - Fish on the lake.
Noon to 3:30 - Lunch and drinks under the tiki hut and BS with a few other fisherman.
3:30-Sunset - Fish on the lake.
Sunset - 10 - Dinner and then tiki hut for drinks and live music

The Set Up

See where I get the "hiding out bandit, in the middle of nowhere feel"? 
I felt like I should have a gunnysack of one hundred dollar bills and a revolver laid out on top the bed.

Late night Fishing Food - Leftover Sweet and Spicy Corn Salad used as Salsa for chips, nuts, oysters, and pizza.

Our boats slip for the week. Within walking distance every morning. 

This old rig was right outside our door in case we forgot which direction the tiki bar was.

The Mornings
We would head out every morning as the sun came up. Beautiful sunrises lit up the sky.

Birds singing as the fog would rise.
We would scout out all the little nooks and crannies along the edge of the lake.
I couldn't get enough of the rising fog, and crisp morning air.               

Scouting the late morning competition and found that there were tons of dragonflies on the tops of the grass.

Throughout the Days

Had to represent the hometown:)

My first fish of the trip!

Dan the Man. Driving his boat.

 My big one. I got er' coming right out from the lily pads.

Nice one Dan!


Holding one of Dan's

So, this Rainbow was around the sun. Soooo cool. People were saying it was because of the solar eclipse later that night. I quickly and excitedly called my Dad and a few siblings ordering them to go outside and look up at the sun....There was no rainbow around the sun in North Dakota or Montana. They all thought I was crazy...So did all the people who drove by and stared as I lay on the ground flat on my back so I could take a good still shot with my phone camera....Dan was so embarrassed.  haha

 Biggest gator we saw.

Flowers of all colors naturally growing by the lake. The pink in the back are actually Hibiscus! They were all over the place! 

Evenings on the Lake
Beautiful Sunsets

Another sunset

As the sun set in the west, the moon shined bright in the east. Birds chirped wildly as it started to cool off. Frogs went wild. By the sounds of it there had to be thousands. All nocturnal creatures started to come alive.
This time of day is always my favorite. Sunset and Moonrise at the same time.
Fishing, on the boat, at sunset.

Here is a video of the moonrise and sunset one night. You can kind of hear the birds chirp. I didn't realize my phone camera would pick up such a small breeze.  

Thursday, June 14, 2012

---------------- Fins Weekend ----------------

Dan and I, along with a pile of our friends from the Miami Dolphins Organization participated in the Miami Dolphins 2012 Fins Weekend about a month ago. Miami Dolphins Fins Weekend is the largest charity event of the year that the Dolphins host. The event stretches over an entire weekend every May. There are quite a few parties, galas, and dinners to attend, all which revolve around golfing, fishing, and having fun.

The proceeds from the Fins Weekend go to the Miami Dolphins Foundation. The Miami Dolphins Foundation raised more than $600,000 dollars this year at the Fins Weekend. The foundation will use the funds throughout the next year to aid in the community through volunteer activities, youth fitness programs, supporting quality education, and supporting and educating in different health programs. Fins Weekend 2012 has been declared a huge success and we had a blast too!
This year Dan and I took a step back and were wowed when we realized we are not the "young ones" anymore. There are only a few guys left on the team that were brought in with Dan as a rookie. Even though there is a fresh crop of rookies every year, and guys getting switched from team to team, it seems as though everywhere we turn there is another face we know. Going into our fifth season soon, we feel like the team is a family. We are very fortunate to be surrounded by such a positive, supportive and influential group of coaches, managers, players and their families, security, public relations, and community members. They have all become our friends. 
Here are a few pics and a video from the weekend.
If you click on the video link below, it give a good recap of what the weekend was about.

View from our room the first night at the Turnberry Isle Golf and Resort Miami. This is the golf course they played on the next day. 
Cool fact - Michael Jordan plays on this course when he comes to South Florida.

Dan and Kaela Carpenter (Us)
At the Celebrity Draw Party.  Photo Courtesy of Christy Denney

Some of my favorite gals here. Left to right - Susanah Baker, Kaela Carpenter (me), and Christy Denney.
Photo Courtesy of Christy Denney.

Kickoff to the Fins Weekend 2012 - At the Celebrity Draw Party.
L-to-R - Jason Trusnik, John Denney, Coach Philbin, Dan Carpenter, Ryan Baker.
Photo Courtesy of Miami Dolphins

Hook and Tackle Captains Party the next night. 
This party kicks off the fishing part of the Fins Weekend. The 2011 team awards were also given out at the party. Dan and Brandon were named the recipients of the Nat Moore Community Service Award. Karlos Dansby was awarded the Don Shula Leadership award, and Quarterback Matt Moore was named for the Dan Marino MVP award. They we were honored and awarded at the Captains party. 
Many funds were raised this night in the silent and live auction....and of course a lot of trash talking from other fisherman getting geared up for the next morning:)

L-to-R - Dan Carpenter, Nat Moore, and Brandon Fields
Taken while doing the media bit before the party.
Photo Courtesy of Miami Dolphins

L-to-R - Dan and Kaela Carpenter and Katie and Brandon Fields. Early to the Captains Party for the media/press release for the award.
Photo Courtesy of Stan Rudman

L-to-R - GM Jeff Ireland, Owner Stephen Ross, Brandon Fields, Karlos Dansby, Dan Carpenter, Matt Moore, and Nat Moore. 
Picture taken at the Media/Press Release before the Hook and Tackle Captains Party.
Photo Courtesy of the Miami Dolphins

Being awarded the Nat Moore Community Service Award at the Captains Party.
L-to-R - GM - Jeff Ireland, Kaela Carpenter, Dan Carpenter, Katie Fields, Brandon Fields, and Owner - Stephen Ross. 
Photo Courtesy of Stan Rudman

Dan Carpenter with Deco Drive at the Captains Party.
Photo Courtesy of Stan Rudman

Click HERE for a great video clip of Dan and Brandon speaking with the Finsiders about being the 2012 recipients of the Nat Moore Community Service Award.

Bill Fauerbach getting everything ready. Bill is the Publix Regional District Manager for our South Florida area. He sponsored the boat. He and his wife Dottie are some of my favorites:) Good people and enjoyable to hangout with and fish for the day.

Beautiful early morning out on the water. So calm and glassy. Very peaceful.


 Kaela and Dan Carpenter...and the Dolphin (Mahi Mahi)


 Dan and Bill

 Dan Carpenter and his Mahi Mahi

 I fought sooooo hard for this big boy! It was a HUGE Mahi Mahi Bull.

 I was fighting for about 1/2 an hour. So hard I was making noises that were NOT attractive. Haha.

After 1/2 hour of fighting hard, this #%^*!&@^#  HUGE  bad boy decided to pop off the line. Grrrrrrr. See the splash? See the color of the huge fish!? See the lure and hook in the right top corner!??!? Boy was I mad! Haha

 Couple of the catch from the day.

Dan Carpenter showing off the catch.

 Kaela and Dan Carpenter with the Mahi Mahi.
He is totally holding it out so it looks way bigger than mine...hehe

Carlos Cendoya- Captain and co-host of the boat, gutting fish.
He and his wife Alina we met for the first time that day. By the end of the fishing trip it was like we were old friends. Good people. Of course, if they are long time friends of Bill and Dottie, they must be good people:)

Stretchy Skin!

Look at those beautiful filets! 
Carlos is quite the host! He fileted them up, bagged them, and let us take them home!