Thursday, March 15, 2018

A canoe trip down the Weeki Wachee......

Some of you may know that I do canvas lake maps for folks to hang in their home, office or lake house. One thing that I add to my maps is a tiny mermaid. 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.

Check-out my website, to see if we have your map. We have many popular lake maps such as the Lake Winnipesaukee, Great Sacandaga Lake, Lewis Smith Lake, Pickwick Lake, Greer's Ferry Lake, Lake Sidney Lanier, Lake Sinclair, Table Rock Lake, and Lake Wallenpaupack. Also, we paint custom maps and have personalized maps for that special someone. Leo Lakes Treasured maps, makes a great Gift the lake house, boater, fisherman, and lake lover.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

What is a fiddler worm....?

What is a fiddler worm? I didn't know at the tender age of 10, but fiddler worms is what my dad and uncle told me and my cousin that we would be hunting. I thought, this must be a joke like the time they took us "snipe hunting" with a bag and a stick.......

Anyway, we were off in our red 57 Chevolet Station Wagon headed to somewhere near the Tennessee/Alabama line. 

The car finally stopped on a country road near a hill loaded with cedar trees. We all piled out of the wagon. I assumed that I would hear fiddle music but only heard birds. Thank God, I didn't hear "banjo music", if you know what I mean... 

My dad told us to look for rocks about the size of a dinner plate and about an 1" or 2" thick. I'm thinking  what do we do with rocks, dig for worms. The good thing, there were plenty of rocks about the size that he described, because cedar trees normally grow near limestone in thin soil, so there were plenty of rocks. We carried three or four rocks up the hill and I noticed that there were many cedar stumps about 2-3 inch in diameter and were sawed off about two feet from the ground. 

My dad said "Okay, its' time to fiddle up some worms".  "Grab a rock and bring it over to this cedar stump". "Now watch me". He took the rock and lifted on top of the stump and began moving it back and forth, kind of like you're playing a fiddle. Humm.....I'm thinking this is this a joke? 

After about 5 minutes of fiddling, worms began to appear all around the stump. It was amazing! They were everywhere, wiggling in the leaf litter. 

We begin to pick up the worms "like picking blackberries". We ended up with nearly a hundred fat, shiny, red worms. It wasn't long that we all piled back in the 57 chevy and headed to our favorite fishing hole. Interestingly, we only went fiddle worm hunting, once. I think this was something that they must have done when they were a kid and thought that it would be cool for us to experience. I must say, it was a special time and I always remember fiddling for worms........ 

Hey, paddle over to my website, for a beautiful lake, river, or bay map by me. Folks are discovering that these decor maps are wonderfully unique gifts that become family heirlooms. Oh yeah, I hide things in the lake waters, such as a tiny mermaid/fish. Folks love to search for them. I call my maps, treasured maps because most folks have that special body of water that they treasure. My treasured maps make a great gifts for the fisherman, lake lover, or Lake house. 
As you can see, my maps make a great gift.  Click here for more information.

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Reel Emergency, Bobber Tape, Bobber Hierarchy

Don't misunderstand the bobber, they are really alive, well in my mind! Yes, I am still doing bobber cartoons. I thought that I would have moved on to some other subject by now, but no..... I am still pumping out more bobber toons, in fact, I have ten completed and ready to go in the future. I am pretty amazed by myself for continuing the bobber cartoons. Enjoy......
I like this "Reel Emergency". I made one mistake, the building should have been a multi-level tackle box. 

I'm getting into the weeds with this cartoon.......but hey, I think that it's funny! You know, I think that I have seen my bobbers in this same position in my tackle box...........scandalous!  

Yes, bobbers have needs too! If you want your bobber to reach its full potential, "Treat your bobber right!"

Okay, they may be hard to understand and goofy, but this is what happens when your mind is on bobbers. Always remember, " Stay away from bobbers during winter." or this is what will happen to you.

I do custom and personalized lake, river, island or bay decor maps. They make a great gift for the lake lover. If you would like to see if we have your body of water, go to

Life is short, get away from the big the screen and get on the big screen.

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Saved by Lucy the water 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, I was saved by Lucy the water dog.........

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 in the 60s........

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, me, my dad, and our dog Lucy. As we traveled, dad would stop and tie drops on flexible limbs that hung over the water. Drops are also called limb lines, which 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, green 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". This was fishing in the 60s.......

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

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Good ghosts of the fishing past.......

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 

Monday, January 29, 2018

I was in Florida last week "wading" around a bay with my camera. I spotted this sailboat with the American Flag flying and thought it would make a great photo. 

Little did I know, there was a lot more going on in this photo than I first thought. Can you pick it out? I didn't realize it until I was looking at the photos on my computer screen.

See the sailboat in the distance. It has come loose from its mooring and washed up on the shore. I wonder what the story is...................I may never know, but I do know this "Life is short, Get away from the big screen and get on a big stream and..............

Something else, I do beautiful maps. Paddle on over to my website to see some great maps of your favorite lake, river, or makes great gifts for the Lake Lover, Lake House, or Fishermen.

Sunday, January 21, 2018

Florida Fishing, sort of............

I was in Florida last week and discovered the best fishing hole ever! I was lucky to have my camera with me to document the catches. Obviously, this is not the kind of fishing that you are thinking of, but still fishing is fishing. I met a few new friends that were fishing from the shore. Mr. Bittern is shown here approaching the water line ready for a big catch.  

With in a second, a fish is near.....

and bang, Mr. bittern has the catch 

Hummm, looks like a shiner minnow. That will go well in the sunshine. Yum, yum!  

Here's another friend nicknamed "Sandpiper". Oh, looks like he has something. Got to get a closer look.......

It's a crab! It's not bad to have crabs sometimes.......Looks delicious !

Not a bad five minutes of fishing.

Paddle over to my website, I paint beautiful lake, river and bay decor maps. Folks are discovering that these decor maps are wonderfully unique gifts that become family heirlooms. Oh yeah, I hide things in the lake waters, such as a tiny mermaid/fish. Folks love to search for them. I call my maps, treasured maps because most folks have that special body of water that they treasure. My treasured maps make a great Christmas gifts for the fisherman, lake lover, or Lake house. 
As you can see, my maps make a great gift.  Orders are picking up during the holiday's, so order soon. Click here for more information.

Saturday, January 6, 2018

Bobber Harassment, Afraid of Water, Strip Bobber......

Okay, I'm starting the new year off with some new "Baitrageous Cartoons" for my thirteen dedicated followers. You have supported Baitrageous over the last seven years. Yes, seven years!  Wow, it's amazing, I am averaging  approximately 2 people per year joining as followers. With success like that, I'm not stopping, I plan on having two more followers join in 2018. I must be doing something right....... There is good news, I have between 1,500 and 2,000 page views per month, that's not bad and I enjoy posting on this blog. Sooooo, stay tuned for more silly "Baitrageous Cartoons" and enjoy these new toons......     

This why you never keep your worm near a bobber, that is unless they are on monofilament in the water.....

Hmmm.... a bobber whisperer. Interesting, very interesting. If you are having problem with your bobber, you may need to call a "bobber whisperer".... 

Oh how scandalous......a strip bobber!

Oh yeah, I do beautiful decor maps. Looking for a great decor idea for the lake house or lake cabin, frame your favorite, lake, river, or bay. Makes the best Gift!

Unlike most maps, There’s a tiny mermaid hidden in the waters which folks love to search for and some say she moves around! You'll love the waterfowl which are hand painted (touched up) on the canvas prints to give that original look and each map is hand signed by Leo. For a personal touch, you can even add a small star to the location of your lake house or special place and add a few words such as "Evan's Lake House, Est. 2014" or be creative. The signatured Ruby Meridian, waterfowl and vintage plane have a story that’s included in the signed Certificate of Authenticity.  Leo Lakes treasured maps will make a cherished gift for that special someone. 

Friday, December 29, 2017


Dream-rageous......A few years ago, I got to follow my dream, a dream of having my own studio and creating the art that I love. After some wandering around on exactly what I wanted to produce, then putting all my creative and artistic ability in to it, I can now say that I have found it, "producing creative decor maps of places that folks love." I think this email below, from one of my customers pretty much sums it up, I have found my calling!" 

I received my custom, Hammock Lake decor map yesterday and was like a kid opening it on Christmas Day.  I could not wait to see it, and it definitely did not disappoint! It it stunning!!  Thank you so much for working with me to create this amazing focal point of my home. Your work is gorgeous and is just what I had been looking for!! I absolutely love the barn wood frame!! Thank you also for your promptness on answering your emails and for the super quick delivery.  Your business is more than 5 star and is so much appreciated!!! Thank you again and have a GREAT 2018!!

Have a very "Happy New Year" and remember "Life is short, get away from the big screen and get on a big stream.

Saturday, December 23, 2017

Not a fish was stirring not even a carp!

A few years ago near Christmas time, I went to one of my favorite lakes to fish and kayak. This particular lake was stocked with "Rainbow Trout" the day before. My goal was to catch a few. Here's a poem that lets you know, just how well the fishing trip went.

Not a fish was stirring not even a carp!

T’was the night after the "rainbows" had been stocked in the lake, I went fishing to see what I might take,

The flys were hung in the tackle box with care, in hopes that a big rainbow would soon be near.

As I paddled out on the lake, there arose such a clatter, I sprang up in my kayak to see what was the matter.

When, what to my wondering eyes should appear, a just fallen tree near a old whitetail deer.

I found not a fish was stirring, not even a carp, so I paddled my Kayak back to the park.

When I arrived home, fun was had by all, as my wife had just arrived from the mall.
That pretty much sums up my fishing trip. Apparently the trout, being new to the lake had pissed off everyone and nothing was biting.

Visit my website to see more. I have over two hundred lake, river and bay maps on my website that can be purchased right from the site, or I can do custom and personalized lake, river or bay maps, too. If you would like to see more and read about my treasured maps go to

As you can see, my maps make a great gift. To see more of my work, click here

Remember, get away from the big screen and get on a big stream!