Bink Grimes writes a weekly fishing column for the Victoria Advocate.

Count your outdoor blessings in 2019

A trout like this one is a blessing to catch and release.

If you watch enough news and social media feeds, you might have a tendency to take a pessimistic view of our world. Yes, there are problems on earth – always have been.

Nevertheless, God is still on His throne, and that is enough.

Give thanks with a grateful heart in 2019.

Here is my annual list with an outdoor slant:

  • A young black Labrador making her first retrieve
  • The thump resonating through your hands when a heavy trout eats a Corky
  • Winding around the cattails in my Pro Drive
  • Redfish dunking a cork on the north shoreline
  • Meeting eager hunters at Buc-ee’s way before sunrise
  • A swirl of water followed by a well-placed cast
  • The sound of a Mercury Verado
  • Two dozen bluewings banking in unison
  • A flock of seagulls laughing over schools of trout
  • Specklebellies following a combine in a fresh-cut rice field
  • A spotlight finding multiple sets of orange eyes on a pond
  • Weekly trips to Johnny’s in Eagle Lake
  • The wheeze of a greenhead looking for a hen
  • A flat, green surf with acres of mullet
  • Fresh-shucked East Matagorda Bay oysters
  • Calhoun County gadwalls with flaps down
  • Whitewings over El Campo sunflowers
  • The subtle bite of cold winter trout while drifting deep oyster reefs
  • Dogs drenching everyone in the blind
  • Canvasback blowing through our decoys unannounced
  • Breakfast at Junior’s after a quick Pierce Ranch hunt
  • Slicks popping on the outer bars at the Hump
  • Acres of redfish blowing up bait at the jetty
  • Teaching a youngster how to skin a deer
  • January pintails careening over a Wharton County rice field
  • Wading a gut at low tide.
  • Green-winged teal buzzing the deck
  • The smile that comes from your dog delivering a cinnamon teal
  • Redfish in the Diversion Channel after a stiff cold front
  • Fried shrimp with homemade tartar sauce
  • Casting to a largemouth on a spring bed
  • Big honkers on the Canadian prairie
  • The aroma of a vibrant coastal marsh
  • A great shot on a passing redhead
  • Limp flags at the harbor.
  • A quick stop at Prasek’s heading south
  • A surface head shake from a speck with a mouth full
  • Sharks trolling the first gut
  • Poppyseed rolls from Vincek’s
  • Rounding the corner and flushing waves of ducks
  • Big horns rattling low-lying limbs
  • Boxes and boxes of duck decoys
  • Laughing with a great group of guides while eating the best barbecue ever at Coastal Que
  • Tails out of the water on Cut Off Flats
  • A dog snuggling close on a cold ATV ride
  • Ten minutes before shooting time
  • The annual high school hunt in January
  • Snow geese barking in the fog
  • A perfectly balanced Waterloo rod
  • All the possibilities on a calm June day
  • First cast on Half Moon Reef
  • Cutting palms for opening day
  • Two dog-walks and a crash
  • Walking the peninsula to the back lakes
  • Putting my wife and daughter on a pile of fish
  • Road trips to Hackberry.
  • Sipping the last juices of gumbo from the bowl.
  • The whistling of drake wigeons in a freshwater marsh
  • The satisfaction of releasing a trophy trout back to the bay

Thank you, Lord, for the time we spend outdoors.

Follow Grimes’ reports on Facebook and Instagram @matagordasunriselodge.

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