Tuesday a friend and I split a cord or more of firewood. I would like to brag and say we did it with a Splitting Maul. But as I tell it like it is, we had a gas splitter.


James was older than me so he ran the splitter. I picked up every piece of wood we split. Now I paid for it Wednesday — I had sore muscles in places I didn’t know I had muscles.


It was a great morning; temp was around 26 degrees but no wind. I had called Charlie Tuesday night about going fishing but with the forecast for Wednesday he said he’d stay around his fire. Wednesday morning, after taking the golf cart and the golden boss for her morning ride to the ramp, I saw ice on walkways and other places.


Back at the house sitting in front of the fireplace drinking coffee, my phone rang. It was Charlie — he had a change of heart and wanted to go fishing. I was pretty well satisfied doing what I was doing sipping and toasting in front of the fireplace.


Out to the shop, hooked up the boat and headed for the ramp. There was one guide boat there. Backing my boat in I tied up at our dock jumped out and my shoes slid on the heavy frost; for a second I thought I might be going to get wet but I never fell.


Charlie showed up and we left our cove. I couldn’t mark any bait as we headed out. Into the lighthouse I idled all the way to the back and didn’t see any bait. The gulls were all sitting on the breakwater. After about 30 minutes with no bites we left and run to another of my winter spots. Same story no bait to be found.


Giving it about 45 minutes with no bites we moved again. Another reliable spot I count on was barren too. The water needs to get colder — 53degrees is warm for this time of the year. When it gets colder it pushes the bait deeper and concentrates it. Charlie and I worked hard and didn’t have anything to show for our effort.


Wednesday it was fishing, no catching. Coming home I spent the afternoon stacking firewood. I got about half of it put up and still have a lot to go.


Looking at all the things kids today can get from Santa, my memory drifted back to when I was a youngster. The Elmont Baptist Church was across the creek not far from where I was hatched. My Uncle Clifton Igo was the pastor. He and the church had a community Christmas tree every year. All the kids got a sack with hard candy, walnuts, those big black nuts that looked like toes, and a banana or orange and various other goodies from Bill Barret’s Elmont Store elf work room.


My really old Elmont Church readers will remember this. I can’t remember for sure if a Santa handed them out or who did; all we cared about was what was in the sack. It was a simpler world back then and I wish it was still that way.


Last week I mentioned stocking stuffers kids could get their dad if he was a fisherman or outdoors person. This week since the fish were scarce, I’d like to give a few ideas for the grownups.


I got the first Frog Togs that came out. They were delicate and tore easy but they were lite, warm, wind and water proof and you could put them in a small bag. Today they are years better, they cost more but they still pack lite and work like champs.


If they don’t have one yet a Yeti Cookie will keep liquid cold or hot forever. A set of Under Armor cold gear will be appreciated by anyone who spends time outdoors. If you’re not sure what he has or wants, a gift card is handy from Academy or Bass Pro. I have three from Bass Pro I haven’t used yet but I carry them all time.


Good cold weather gear is always appreciated. A high-end rain suit is another present that would make someone happy, in cold gear and rain gear you get what you pay for shop carefully.


The rest of this week will see me getting my wood stacked, watching high school football and generally resting my aches and pains. I’ll be back on the water next week hopefully with better results.