Our apologies! It may look like we have abandoned this blog, but actually we have gotten involved with another organization, Team Blast & Cast. Team Blast & Cast (www.teamblastandcast.com) is a group of amateur outdoor enthusiasts who team up with professional outdoorsmen and then share their experiences online and through appearances at special events. Our goal is to effectively communicate the pleasures and lessons of the outdoor lifestyle.
You can also follow Team Blast & Cast on facebook (http://www.facebook.com/TeamBlastandCast).
On July 4th of 2008, both Dixie Grillworks and Team Blast & Cast started to take form. Two coworkers planned an informal cookout near the beach. The holiday weekend was going poorly, and they agreed to quit fretting over the lost fishing opportunities and bad weather. They built an impromptu campfire, then fashioned a BBQ pit around it out of cinder blocks. Their wives joined them around the fire and they unexpectedly ended up having a fantastic evening. They told their family and friends about the experience, and heard similar stories in return. This was followed by numerous situations over the next three years where members of the same group of friends repeatedly had to make the best of less-than-ideal hunting, fishing and camping circumstances. They always ended up recognizing that they were fortunate to be able to spend so much time in the wilderness. As one friend put it, “We’re so lucky to be in a situation where we can have moments like these. I’m glad we’ve got the good sense to appreciate them. Wouldn’t it be fun to share these experiences with other people who enjoy this stuff like we do?” The ongoing Team Blast & Cast project and evolving website are an attempt to do just that.
Although the last year wasn’t very productive in terms of how many ducks we bagged or how many posts we made to the Dixie Grillworks blog, it was full of new friends and new adventures. We are combining the blog from Dixie Grillworks with the Blast & Cast blog and will be posting more frequently. You can learn more about our recent adventures by checking out the blog at www.teamblastandcast.com. We tapered off our posting here after the 2010-2011 duck season, and a few people noted that my somber post about Molly wasn’t the best note to leave on. Much has happened since last season, so let’s start by getting caught up on the details and introducing the Blast & Cast concept.
During the summer we relocated from our camp house in Shaw, Mississippi to our new camp house about ten minutes away in Litton, Mississippi. The new house was in rough shape. We reworked the interior, added some flooring, did some painting, and then added a cooking shed. The new house is a perfect fit for us and we hope to use it as our Delta headquarters for many years.
Hal Lindsey, who has worked as a professional guide on and off, got very heavily involved in refurbishing the camp house. He’ll be featured in lots of upcoming posts, along with his remarkable dogs. Hal is about the finest camp chef in the South. He is a fantastic all-around outdoorsman and gets the nod for having some of the coolest “big boy” toys a guy could want. His dog, Molly, was the dog I posted about here. Hal is based in Duncanville, Alabama but spends most of the winter in the Mississippi Delta.
Chris Davis will also be mentioned often. He is friends with Hal and lives in Tuscaloosa, Alabama. Chris is enthusiastic about dog handling, fishing, hunting, camping and kayaking. His black lab, Lola, and her pup, Bella, will also be regulars in our blog. Chris was one of the original members of the first duck hunting club my friends put together. My very first duck camp experience was as Chris’ guest. So he gets the blame for causing me to pour thousands of dollars into the sport so far. But wait, it gets worse. Chris, and his father, Harold, were the first people I knew who were actively involved with kayak fishing. They got me hooked and now I am something of an addict, fishing mostly from a 12’ Perception and a 14.5’ Native.
Harold Davis may show up here occasionally. Harold was involved in professional bass fishing before the general public even knew what a fishing tournament was. He has probably logged thousands of hours fishing. His buzz bait casting skills are legendary. He is a seasoned outdoorsman who is currently obsessed with saltwater fishing. He will gladly trade a good night’s rest for an evening of flounder gigging. The vertical jigging bug has also bitten Harold. We don’t get to go as often as we would like, but jigging for tuna in the Gulf of Mexico is hard to beat. He is also determined to master a few saltwater slow-trolling techniques. Harold has a collection of boats. Harold bounces between Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Innerarity Point, Florida. The idea of forming Dixie Grillworks, and later Team Blast & Cast, started at a cookout at his beach house, which we frequent when fishing in the Gulf.
Todd Hicks will also get talked about from time to time as a fine cook and generally outdoorsy guy. He’s come up with some fantastic grilling techniques and just started competing in BBQ tournaments. He’ll be wearing the Team Blast & Cast colors and working on perfecting his smoked brisket. Todd lives in Decatur, Alabama and spends plenty of energy trying to predict the best days to go fishing in the Gulf. He is also a tuna jigging fan and handy on the skeet range.
There are numerous locals from Mississippi that we interact with on a regular basis, and we mention them by name when we can. These guys are farmers, agricultural pilots, guides, dog handlers, business owners, and local celebrities. There are several professionals from the hunting and fishing world that we will be teaming up with, and we’ll try to give plenty of information when we can.
I’m Michael Schuerer, the author of most of the posts here (and now at www.teamblastandcast.com). I’ll be the organizer of many of the Team Blast & Cast outings. I enjoy a variety of outdoor sports and I spend a good bit of time down in the Delta and out in the Gulf when I’m not working. I guess I am somewhere between an enthusiast and a full-on nut when it comes to duck hunting, dog handling, camp cookery, and fishing of all types.
Here’s a shot from our recent fish grilling whing-ding. The wine marinade was a big hit and I also liked the brown sugar and bacon-wrapped AJ. Don’t fret that we’ve lost interest in cooking!