Sunday, April 24, 2016

Family Camp

Growing up I have great memories of camping with my extended family. These trips included every family having their own trailer and parking in the same vicinity making it look like a new subdivision had suddenly popped up. Some of my family came to water ski and tube, while others were there to fish. Most of the women and children stayed in camp, either crocheting and gossiping or playing card games and gossiping. The only fishing that everyone did consistently was bait fishing, and the fish caught were on the menu for the entire camp. They were great trips and up until just lately my boys had no idea how fun it was to camp with cousins. 

It's really nice to have the beds set up all the time
In the spirit of tradition, and for our first trip out with our own RV, we wanted to go camping with some of my family. Of course, we invited all my family but only my sister Jenny and little brother Weston could make the trip. The boys, Del and I were the first ones down there so we tried to get a decent spot near the water with room enough for two trailers and a tent. Weston wasn't too far behind us, but Jenny wasn't going to come down until the next day.

This fish had a weird kink in it's back
Once camp was set up we headed down to the water to try our luck with Del's favorite method of fishing.....with bait. Our intentions were to catch a few for a good old fish fry, but we only got one on the stringer. Lucky for us, Weston had gone to a different area and found some success with his wife and twin girls and had some fish to share so we could have enough for a meal. 

The birds always come around once you have a fish on the stringer

The first night in our trailer was a cold one! Weston had brought down a generator which allowed us to run the furnace until the middle of the night when it ran out of gas (good thing we didn't have any neighbors to complain about the sound!) then the temperature really dropped. So glad we weren't in a tent! The weather got warmer and warmer the longer we were there, so we figured Jenny would be fine in the tent with a good heater. The trailer was really nice to get out of the wind and hang out and cook, plus the outside grill made it easy to fry up some fish without everything smelling like fish once we were done.

We spotted him again a few minutes later with a fish

When Jenny arrived the next morning we thought our fishing luck had changed for the better because she had pulled down Weston's flat-bottom boat. It's a sweet duck-hunting boat that doubles as a fishing boat pretty well because it's stable enough that standing up isn't a big deal. That first evening we tried trolling some lures around without any luck. We marked fish on the finder but they didn't like what we were serving up. 

Not sure if this was supposed to be a smile or not

My favorite part of the trip was at night when Jenny's family hung out in our trailer and we all played cards and relaxed. Phase 10 can really make for some intense competition! We all stayed up way too late to get anything of an early start with the next day's fishing but it was worth it. 

I don't know why he didn't catch a fish...
The second morning we headed out with the boat in a different area of the lake to try and find some more willing fish. When trolling had again failed us we decided to anchor up and try some different methods. Weston, Jenny's husband Zach and their daughter Riann all tried bait while I tried some different jigs (there were just too many people in the boat to try and cast a fly rod). Weston was about the only one having any sort of success, getting several strikes while the rest of us smelled of skunk. Finally, Wes connected on a nice rainbow which made several good runs before he brought it to the boat, I guess that lucky hat of his paid off again!
After another night of playing games we got another later-than-usual start, but we decided to spend our last morning fishing the area where Weston and his family had found success. Back to sitting with Del and bait fishing, but at least we found some fish pretty quickly. Del, Caden and I all caught fish and Atley had a couple of opportunities before it was time to clean the fish that would be dinner tonight and get ready to go home. Atley helped clean the catch for the first time and did a pretty decent job! 

Happy boy!

Too bad this one got off
Back to camp to say goodbye to everyone and get on the road ourselves. With everyone pulling out we thought it'd be safe to let the dogs have a little freedom, but Bonnie must've known that a truck ride was coming up because she decided to wander off. That freakin dog has hated riding in vehicles since I first brought her home. Talk about frustrating. We finally got her close enough to grab and after walking her all the way back to the vehicle she went straight into the dog crate in the back of the truck. It was a disappointing end to an otherwise stellar maiden trip with the trailer. There have already been talks of getting out with the family again and I can't wait.

Hope you're as lucky,

Always fun to get out!

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