Man Can Cook Series: Pan Seared Wahoo Steaks

Below is the first in a series of Man Can Cook videos, and it is on pan seared wahoo steaks. Enjoy!

* 4 wahoo steaks
* 1/2 cup Olive Oil
* 1 tablespoon lemon juice

* 2 tablespoons paprika
* 1 tablespoon lime juice
* 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper season
* 1 pinch of crushed chili pepper flakes
* 1/2 teaspoon salt
* 1 teaspoon pepper
* Pat of butter

1. Make you marinade, mix olive oil, salt, pepper, lemon juice, lime juice and  cayenne pepper in a bowl.
2. Clean your wahoo with water and pat dry.
3. Cover fish with marinade.
4. Add pat of butter and heat cast iron
5. Lay the fish in the skillet, add pepper flakes to fish steaks.
6. Cook them for 15-20 minutes flipping halfway.

Yeeha for Cheaha: A Guide to One of Alabama’s Most Beautiful State Parks

Just slightly over an hour drive from Georgia is the highest point in all of Alabama. Cheaha Mountain is located in Cheaha State Park in Cleburne County, Alabama. The past Sunday, Abby and I drove up to the mountain on the winding roads to go hiking and explore the park. When we arrived, we paid the five dollars per person entry fee and began our adventure inside Cheaha State Park. IMG_6700.jpeg

With stomachs growling, our first stop inside the park was the Cliffside Restaurant, which sits atop Cheaha Mountain. Sunday lunch was a southern-style buffet with vegetables, fried chicken, pork chops, salad, and dessert. The food was amazing for a buffet but the view from the cliffside dining area was breathtaking. The staff and servers were also friendly and extremely helpful. The scenic dining experience alone is worth the drive to Cheaha. I hope to come back in the fall to enjoy another meal with a view.

After lunch, we looked at the map and decided to take a light trail to walk off our meal in the summer heat. The Bald Rock Boardwalk was just the right amount of ease to help the digestion. An easy .3 mile trail through the green forest via wooden boardwalk leads to a breathtaking view of the Alabama countryside. The summer haze did sadly cut the view shorter.


After our hike back to the truck, we drove deeper into the park to a more intermediate trail to Pulpit Rock. 

The trail itself is short and would be considered easy but the first leg of the hike is a steep, rocky stretch. With the difficulty behind us, the remainder of the trail offered beautiful rock formations and greenery.As we reached our destination, I captured the majestic, rocky cliffs, which offers various photo opportunities.

IMG_6484.jpegIMG_6485.jpegIMG_6543.jpegIMG_6714.jpegAs we hiked back from the cliff, we noticed the nice cabins on the property for overnight stay. Wooden and rustic, they had outdoorsy charm about them.

As we drove out of the park, we passed the highest inground pool in Alabama. Families enjoyed the cool water as we exited the park and headed to the lake in the lower area of the Cheaha. At the lake, kids were jumping from a platform into the water under the vigilant eye of a lifeguard as parents rested and soaked up the sun on the sandy white beach.

Besides the lake, cliff trails, restaurant and pool, Cheaha offers other amenities. These include Gem Mine Self Guided Tour Of CCC Buildings, Walt Farr Native American Relic Museum, fishing, geocaching, a picnic area, playground, waterfall trails, mountain biking trail, Civilian Conservation Corps Museum, rappelling and rock climbing. The park also has facilities for weddings and corporate meetings.

For more information on Cheaha State Park, click here.

A Little Snookie at Night: Dock Fishing for Snook

The summer months in South Florida can bring extreme heat out on the water fishing. One way to beat the heat and enjoy fishing is to go night snook fishing. After a July work trip in Orlando, I drove on down to Stuart, Florida for a little night snook fishing with Captain Mark.


I napped most of my day dreaming of fishing for night snook, and then drove to Sandsprit park to meet up with the captain right at dusk. As soon as the sun went down, we were in the St. Lucie River ready to night fish for the snook. The area that we targeted was full of docks. We slowly trolled to the docks that were illuminated by the docks lights. 50 yards out, dark objects were swimming in the light. It was several snook darting in the night to the dock lights chasing bait fish. I threw my plastic paddletail fishing lure and immediately hooked up on a snook. This one of over 50 snook, I caught that night fishing under the docks.

My dock snook fishing rig was a medium light action rod with 10 pound fluro line, but as we tired of the smaller snook, we turned toward the bridge and upgraded my snook rig. This setup was a heavy rod with 30 pound line. After I casted my pinfish under the bridge, I realize that I snagged something. In my mind, I thought it was a piling or bottom. Yet, it began to move and it was a big Stuart snook. As I fought the the snook, it tried to run around the bridge’s pillar. Captain Mark maneuver the boat with great skill in the night to keep the snook from breaking of my fishing gear.

After a ten minute fight, the fish was boated. We grabbed a quick photo and headed back in at daybreak. To learn more about Stuart, Florida, please click here.

Rainbow Trout in Johns Mountain

Nestled among the mountains near Rome, Georgia is one of the state’s best kept secrets for a plentiful rainbow trout fishing experience. This is a continuation of the Man Can Outdoors trip to Johns Mountains blog series.

A quick 45 minute drive north of Rome, GA takes you to a secluded WMA with limited cell service and plenty of scenery from rolling green hills to lush forest. Johns Mountain WMA has plenty of activities from hiking, hunting, camping, fishing and lots more. A winding road follows beside Johns Creek in the WMA allowing for easy access to rainbow trout.


Waking and walking up at the crack of dawn at the campsite next to the stocking section of Johns Creek, we were greeted with a couple of old timers already well into their limits of trout. The stream barely 20 feet wide was full of colorful rainbow trout from the hatchery. The variety of setups for the trout in our arsenal would make the morning interesting none the less, and each cast in the water was met with a bite or flash of interested fish.

35026225_10102325812854658_6475055410838503424_n.jpgMan Can Staffers Donny and Josh used the strategy of a split shot and a small size 6 hook with a Powerbait worm in a wacky worm rig. The setup proved fruitful as they landed their limits in just a couple of hours. A simple cast and steady reel in lead to several strikes and a stringer full of fish. The color of the bait and line size (4-6 pound Fluro) play a serious role in their success. Trout are very visual hunters and high water clarity helps them spot the line and bait.

My strategy of using a size 10 Joe’s Fly short striker lure proved just as productive. Several short bites from a regular lure would have been missed if it was not for the trailer hook on my lure to secure the shy rainbows. Brown, black and red all produced hits, while orange and green produce no bites. A steady retrieve with a split shot made my presentation flawless. My limit was made right in the timeframe with the Powerbait anglers in my party.


For more information on Johns Mountain WMA, please click here.

Hungry Heathro’s Hobo Dinners

Growing up in the country, one fond childhood memory is going camping with your friends and family. This blog entry is a first in a series about Man Can’s pro staff camping/fishing trip to Johns Mountain. On our exciting adventure to the great outdoors, we experienced the elements of June in Georgia. To build our strength and promote moral, I had to exceed expectations of campfire cuisine and go beyond the average hot dog over a fire.

Prior to the trip, Man Can Team Member Donny acquired a pound of ground Elk for our trip. I took the liberty to plan an epic meal in the style of a traditional Silver Turtle or Hobo Dinner for our quest in the great outdoors. Stopping at the local grocery, we picked up my ingredients for my culinary concoction. Small golden potatoes, a bell pepper, a yellow onion, mushrooms, salt, pepper, aluminum foil, butter and Worcestershire sauce filled our shopping buggy.


Once we entered the campground, we all had our specific jobs that included meal prep, fire building and tent erecting.

I took the charge of the meal prep. First, dicing each vegetable in small quarter inch size and placing them to the side, I then began to seasoned the elk meat with salt, pepper and Worcestershire sauce. I continued my prep by rolling out two feet of heavy duty aluminum foil. I divided a third of the meat  and placed it on the bottom, and then layered a third of the vegetables. I topped with salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce and two generous pats of butter. I folded over the foil and closed the edges by rolling them up to keep the heat and flavor within the pack.


I placed the foil pack to the edge of the fire that was built by Man Can staffer Josh Karr and let it cook and simmer in the butter, spices and sauce. One hour later the veggies and meat were cooked to perfection. With tongs, we removed our individual packaged meals and dump them in our plate. The camp was quiet with content as we devour our savory and juicy meals. We all fell asleep with a full stomach that night. For my recipe, look below.


Hungry Heathro’s Hobo Dinners


Onion Yellow

Bell Pepper

8 small mushrooms

1 small bag of small yellow potatoes

Half a bottle of worchestershire sauce

Salt 3 teaspoon

Pepper 3 teaspoon

3- 2 foot pieces of heavy duty aluminum foil

1 lb of ground elk or lean meat

Stick of Butter



Dice all veggies.

Season with sauce and spices.

Place meat on ½ of foil.

Add veggies on top of meat.

Add more sauce and spices.

Add two big pats of butter.

Fold foil and roll edges

Add to edge of roaring fire.

Cook One hour.

Remove carefully with tongs and enjoy.

Yields 3 Dinners.

Note: Please be careful. Foil packs are extremely hot.

Hiking Adventures: Cloudland Canyon

IMG_0061In the rocky north west Georgia mountains, nature and time has carved a majestic landmark. It is called Cloudland Canyon. Just over two hours north of Atlanta, Cloudland Canyon State Park is 3,488 acres of outdoor recreation for everyone. From glamping, hiking, geocaching, disc golf, caving, biking and picnicking, the options are plentiful.

My personal favorite are the views of the canyon and waterfalls at the park. The trails are clearly mark to help hikers navigate to their destination. The East rim is a comfortable walk from the parking lot and offers a view that is truly humbling. Following the East rim trail, it will take you to the Waterfall trail. img_0094.jpeg

The trek to the waterfalls is not for the faint of heart. It is a difficult 2.1 mile hike down and up 600 stairs. But the hard work is worth it with spectacular views of Cherokee and Hemlock Falls. Cherokee is a personal favorite with a clear pool at the base. Hemlock is nice too but the view is blocked with trees. The hard hike back up is worth the rock formation views. Please pace yourself and drink plenty of liquids. The park offers rest benches along the trail, so take a break and maybe snap a picture of your adventure.


Yeti vs. NRA: Cool Your Guns

An Opinion Piece

National_Rifle_Association_official_logo.svgThis weekend, I spent most of my time off the internet and enjoying my break from the weekday work grind. On Sunday night when I got home, it came as a surprise to me to read that Yeti had cut ties from the NRA. My first source was a Facebook post, and I felt skeptical in the validity due to Yeti’s target audience being mostly conservatives. After researching some more, the NRA President, Marion P. Hammer, did in fact release a statement on Friday saying, “They(Yeti) will only say they will no longer sell products to The NRA Foundation. That certainly isn’t sportsmanlike. In fact, YETI should be ashamed.” Basically, Yeti was condemning the 2nd amendment by the internet’s and my personal interpretation.

After reading that statement, I felt hurt and disturbed that a brand I trusted would betray me. Yet, I still wanted to hear Yeti’s side of the story before making my mind up about leaving a brand that I supported for years. All night, I looked for their counter statement, and to my dismay, I found nothing on the subject.

It was Monday evening when Yeti release their statement citing a removal in a program that effected the NRA and other companies. They also reinforce their pro 2nd Amendment stance in that post,but three days is a lifetime in the social media world. The delayed statement condemning the NRA’s message and promoting the 2nd Amendment was too little, too late. The damage has already been done to the brand, and Yeti’s competitors were ready.


58198254-D052-46C4-9563-42139B1D0FBDRTIC, ORCA and Pelican brand coolers circled like hungry lions with their pro 2nd amendment posts and campaigns. Brand loyalty is hard to earn but opportunities like this for Yeti’s competitors are essential to gain market share.  Personally, I will not blow up or sale my Yeti, but like the rest of their disgruntle customer base, I will probably not buy Yeti again, and these companies are making the transition easier to another brand.

Springtime Seatrout Tips on the Florida Flats

IMG_7438Fishing is all about opportunities, and nothing is a sure bet in this sport, but certain times of the year at locations can help stack the deck in your favor. Heading down south of Georgia and back to my favorite fishing place, the forgotten coast of Saint Marks, Florida, you will find a fishing oasis as spotted seatrout migrate from the rivers to the saltwater flats to fatten up bait from their cold long winter.

One common favorite setup for seatrout is a 7 foot medium-light rod with 10 lb. braid and popping cork. Under the cork tie a three foot 20 lb. fluorocarbon leader with 1/8 oz. red jighead. Brand wise, I am partial to St.Croix rods, PENN Fierce reels, Power Pro braid line, Seaguar leader line, Billy Bay popping cork and slayer jigheads. You can find these items here for your convenience. Bait on the jig can be a DOA shrimp, Gulp Shrimp 3” in new penny color or a live shrimp.

After loading your skiff in the water in the early morning, head South down the river to channel marker 8 and hang a right. To find seatrout on the flats, look for a water depth of 2-5 feet with a spotty bottom with channels nearby. Also, the seatrout bite is always happening on moving water preferably rising, and a dead tide means trash fish and sharks will be biting. A new moon is your friend too. Predatory fish hunt at night and the lack of light can be hindering them. This turns the day bite on more in my experience.

IMG_7439Locate your ideal location and pull up several under yards against the tide from that location. The drift will take you over the sweet spot. Cast your rig and begin popping the cork to imitate bait fish being attacked or jumping.  If you do half of this right, you should be in the fish.

One last thing to remember is to get your Florida saltwater fishing license and follow the state regulations for spotted seatrout. At this time of April 2018, the limit in Northwest Florida is 5 with a slot of 15”-20”. One seatrout can be over the slot as well. Good Luck and Tight Lines!

Hooked on You: Fishing with Your Significant Other

Fishing is not just a hobby of mine; it is a passion. Since I could remember, I have been fishing with my friends and family, but I didn’t just fall in love with it overnight. My youthful impatience caused boredom to strike me during every fishing trip as a child. Over time, I grew more patient and fishing began to interest me more. Now that I am an avid angling adult, I love to share my passion with everyone, especially those that matter most. This brings me to this post about fishing with your significant other.

All women, like men, are different as some have patience while others have none. Some are outdoorsy and some are completely happy with life in the big city. If your significant other wants to fish with you, be careful not to mess up the opportunity because she cares enough to take an interest in what makes you happy. This brings me to the first weekend in March and how it was this couple’s fun first fishing experience.

After a long Saturday full of festival fun and a family gatherings, my girlfriend, Abby, and I drove a long trek home from Rockmart, Georgia. At 10 PM, I arrived home and walked through the darkness of the yard to my red front door. A Facebook message hit me from fellow Man Can Blogger, Donny. He wrote me that the Georgia Department of Natural Resources (DNR) had stocked one of my favorite rainbow trout streams early. Like a kid on Christmas, my face lit up with the news of this. My curious girlfriend interested in my recent excitement asked, “What’s up?” I told her and she was enthused with my joy. I asked her if she wanted to go and she said yes.

I spent the next hour rigging and prepping items for the fishing trip. Her passively chatting with me as I packed lures and gathered rods. By the time we were done, it was midnight. We were exhausted but excited about our first fishing trip together.

The next morning, we loaded up our items and headed to the Johns Mountain WMA in northern Floyd County, Georgia. The trip was long but full of questions and answers on the trip. One was about regulations. Following a small chat about limits and required license/stamp, she bought her first fishing license and downloaded the Outdoors GA app. With our gear laying in the back of the truck, we drove through the hills along Highway 27, passed Rome and turned toward the WMA.  The road to the WMA and stocking area of John’s Creek were curvy and “buttermilky” or rough and bumpy. After we drove several minutes from cell service, we reached our destination a parking area near a blue PVC stocking tube.

We arrived at the first spot a short hike from our parking, casted out our line and waited for the first bite. With several casts and no bites, I was concerned that the stocking report was an error. 25 minutes and a few lures later, I decided to move to the next 


section. Walking pass a bridge, I used my polarized sunglasses to look into the cold mountain creek. To my joy, I saw several stocker-size rainbows swim back and forth like over-caffeinated children. I backtracked and waded in the water with a perfect cast past the hole where the trout were swimming. As I reeled in, my rod curved with a hit. The Joe’s

Fly short strike had hooked a rainbow trout. The next few moments were euphoric as the colorful fish danced on the water.  The fish was landed and fish fever had set in, but something was not right. In my excitement, I had left my girlfriend on the bank casting in area with no known fish and no support and advice to where to cast.

Immediately, I got out of the water and walked down to the next hole hoping to find an area for both of us to fish, together. The hole around the bend was deep, clean and looked fishy. It was clear of trees due to a local beaver and it was ideal for bank casting. Because her fishing experience was limited to catfish and bass, I coached  her and gave her trout fishing pointers on casting my lighter setup before I left her to fish. I began to walked to a spot that I could wade close to the hole, and the next thing I knew she hooked one, then another, then another and finally a big one that I netted for her. 


Her eyes lit up in joy and I felt proud for her too. She had just not caught her first trout today but several more including the biggest one of the day.

This may have been her first fishing trip with me, but it won’t be her last. We enjoyed the rest of the day surrounded by green leafy trees in the warm sun catching our limits of trout.

The lesson of this blog is not to get wrapped up in selfishly catching fish for yourself, but focus on spending time with each other. Be patient, talk to each other and help each other. If you don’t catch any fish, you will still catch memories of your time together in nature and that is more important in the long run.


Big Browns on the White River

IMG_0015.jpgIn the tranquil wilderness of northern Arkansas lies a honey pot of river fishing. A mecca to all anglers, this portion of the White River is located by the Bull Shoals Dam and is home to several monster brown trout that feast upon the baitfish that get churned up from the hydro generation. This trout haven was my next fishcation and bucket list adventure.

A long weary 10 hour drive from West Central Georgia through multiple states and 2 hours of sleep couldn’t stop me from dropping my line in this cold wet fishtopia of trout. Within 10 minutes, my simple Berkley lighting light rod setup with 7 pound test line and nightcrawler on number 8 hook began to twitch. I had my first but far from my last trout bite on this week long White River Adventure. FYI, I caught that stocker size Rainbow.

The bulk of the trip was chartered with Cranor’s guide service out of Gassville, Arkansas. Captain Cranor is a master brown trout fisherman that has fished the White River all his life since a teenage boy, and he can put you on some big fish. Our group was averaging 17 quality browns a day and by-catching tons of rainbow trout with a cutthroat or two mixed in the rest.

The first day was a dreary winter forecast as we pulled up to the Cotter boat ramp. We were fishing with minnows for the trout and the key was to feed the fish to the trout if the bite was happening. As the minnow casted from our boat swam, my rod tip began to dance so slightly with a curl. The grey skies and cool temperature were all background noise as I let my open face reel feed line to the greedy fish. Cranor instructed me to close the bail after 20 seconds of line feeding, an eternity in my mind. With the tip in the air, I slowly lowered my rod to relieve the tension. The clever browns will let go if they feel any line tension. As the rod tip was level with the horizon, I waited for the line to tense up one more time. The tip bent slightly, and I set the hook!

The fish swam hard to get away from me, but I let the drag handle the work. As the fish stopped, I took each foot of line he stole from me. Bringing the fish closer to the boat, it began to run again making the drag whine like a spoiled brat. I continue the dance with my stubborn partner and took more line into the boat. The fish broke surface and it was a brown.  A beautiful brown with colors and spots that decorated the fish’s boats like exotic prints. As the battle continuedIMG_0016.jpg

, Cranor readied the net and dipped it in the ice cold water. The Brown sprinted at the sight of the net but was cut short by it’s own exhaustion. I took the line back that the brown stole and Cranor dipped the fish in the net.

Each day of fishing was filled with moments like these. With variety of setups from jigging, bait fishing and walking jerk baits, the fish were caught with ease. The White River was truly an angler’s paradise.

After fishing three days with a guide, our group ventured on our own. I waded in the ice cold river with my light rod setup and shot this video to show the ease of hooking up with a rainbow on the White River.

For more information on Cranor’s Guide service, check out his Facebook page here.