Wednesday, February 28, 2018

The Leo Lakes Mermaid Story

Why did I start adding a tiny mermaid to LeoLakes Treasured Map? It all started with a canoe trip down a beautiful river in Florida named the Weeki Wachee. The waters are so, so crystal clear, you could see the bottom down 15 feet deep or more, which makes it very easy to spot manatees. The water temperature averages in the mid seventies year round and the canoe trip is approximately seven miles long and takes about 3 hours. Also, you go with the flow. I like going with the flow.  

I began by paddling down the Weeki Wachee with the family. One thing that I did learn, my wife can barely paddle and my two daughters don't have a clue, which actually made the trip very fun. Two canoes and only one person that can paddle properly, now that’s an adventure! 
My immediate thought was, paddle faster. But it took awhile because I had to help the other canoe. "Miss Can’t Paddle At All" and "Mrs. Can Hardly Paddle", spent most of their time too close to the shoreline. It seemed to me that they were cleaning and inspecting every tree limp and collecting spiders on their clothing as most beginning paddlers do. Finally, after much struggle we made it to where the manatees hang-out.  It was so cool, two adults and one manatee calf. They are just chilling under the water and every once in a while they come up for air. This was nearly as good as seeing "Mermaids", which gave me an idea. I decided that it would be cool to add a tiny mermaid to my lake, river and bay maps. So, that's what I have done! In 2011, i started adding a tiny, little, happy mermaid to all my maps and the idea came on a canoe trip down the Weeki Wachee.

I have recieved much feedback since I started adding the tiny mermaid, and it has been a grand-slam. Folks just love to search for her in the waters of the map. What a great Outdoor Adventure back in 2011!  Remember "What’s in your woods, lake, river, or bay?" Get out and find out! LEO.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

My Best Dog......

While growing up, I had a dog named Lucy. Lucy was a white, long haired mutt that had little black spots sprinkled around her coat. We took her on all our fishing trips. She was a great fishing dog and would watch the bobber for hours. When I would get a bite, she would go berserk, knowing that a fish was soon to be near.    
This dog loved the water, she would often jump in the water while we were fishing. Then, come out of the water and shake, shake , shake..... water going all over near by fishermen. 

One time, when I was swimming in the river and Lucy was up on the bank watching. I decide to play a little joke on her to see what she may do. I acted as if I was drowning and called for Lucy to save me. You know what, she jumped in and swam to me. I grabbed her collar and she dog paddled back to shore. Amazing!!! 

One of my favorite things to do with her was toss her a biscuit after she had eaten. She would be too full to eat, but would take the biscuit to a spot and drop it, while sniffing around. She would dig a 1-2 inch hole and place the biscuit in the hole. With her nose, she would push the dirt back over the biscuit until it was completely cover. Funny thing, her white nose tuned dirt brown, so you could always tell that she had buried something.    

They sure don't make dogs like they used to. Hey, check-out my lake, river and bay maps at  

Thursday, February 15, 2018

Fishing Rig

At five or six years old, I vividly remember our first "fishing rig". It all started when my dad came home with an old red 57 chevy station wagon, just perfect to load up with fishing gear.  Not long after, we went to the local Sears and bought a new 14ft aluminum, flat bottom boat. Soon afterwards, dad added a 3.5 hp, Western Auto Outboard, which performed well on the little flat bottom boat. However, in later years, I remember him fine tuning it while in a large bucket of water and blew up the engine. Smoke and and water went everywhere. After the stream had disappeared, you could see a crack down the cylinder wall. Believe it or not, I still have that old motor in my studio. 

One last addition to the fishing rig, a dog. We called her Lucy, a white, long haired mutt that had little black spots sprinkled around her coat. She kind of looked like a chubby, long haired, dalmatian. Lucy, loved the water and would jump in for no reason, or just to get wet. She was a very special dog that always stayed near me and loved biscuits.

This is how we ran when I was a small child. Boy do I have stories to tell.
It's amazing that most of these items have survived my childhood. I still have the boat, tackle box, and outboard motor (even though it has a big crack in the side). I could have easily tossed these things out, but didn't. It has made me wonder, why did I keep these? I guess it's harder to toss out things that are attached to good ghosts of the fishing past.....

Oh yeah, with all this talk about fishing memories, I almost forgot to tell you that I do lake, river, and bay maps. Check'm out at 

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Raining Mayflies...........

We started on our way during late-afternoon. I remember that when we neared our destination, we crossed a creaky, old truss bridge with wooden planks, a bit  scary for a six year old. We arrived at a farm. A farmer owned the land that was the best access to the river and we had to visit him before continuing. We parked in front of his white farmhouse and dad knocked on the door, no one was home. So, dad took a few bucks out of his billfold and left it wedged in the door. I didn't know it then, but that was the custom in order to fish on this farmers land. 
After unloading the fishing rig, we headed upstream. As we traveled, dad would stop and tie drops on flexible limbs that hung over the water. Drops are also called limb lines and are, nylon fishing line attached with a hook and baited. The bait of the day was chicken livers, yum...Finally we arrived at our destination, a campsite about 15 feet up a dirt bank. We set up camp just in time to start cooking over a coleman stove. What's for dinner, fried potatoes, round steak and white bread

The next morning, we were up very early and ready to check the lines that we put out before making camp the night before. As we boated downstream, we came across a huge swarm of mayflies traveling upstream. They were about three feet above the water. There were thousands of them. Luckily, when riding in the boat, we could stay below the 3 ft level. If not, it would have been like a sideways rain of mayflies, not pretty. This was so interesting for a six year old kid. To this date,  I have never seen so many mayflies, what a sight to see. Did we catch fish. Yes, I think we caught a few catfish on those "drops". 

Hey, check-out my lake, river and bay maps at