Tuesday, November 30, 2010
A Breezy Afternoon in Wilsons Cut, Port Aransas
Never having canoed there before, we had launched at Fish Pass before and it was just ok, we backed right up to the water. The canoe slid out of the truck and we quickly loaded it with our gear before launching it into the shallow water. It was a falling tide, but it was still pretty high and so we quickly pushed off and headed into the cut.
Our original goal was to canoe the cut and then turn north east. making a short loop through the mangroves and back into the cut. As with most plans it quickly demanded a change as the wind picked up and blew so strong that we didn't dare leave the cut and journey into the open flats! In fact I was worried about getting back to the launch as the wind quickly pushed our boat to the west.
Finger mullet were everywhere and stopping I cast the net to get some bait as it seemed that stopping and fishing would be a better option for the day. Having the small four foot net I cast over a large school of mullet, but I only got two as the water was pretty deep and they sped out from beneath the net as the sinkers slowly settled the net to the bottom.
Turning to the other side of the cut we could see lots of lines hanging from the wire, hmmm must be a good place to fish and so we ran the boat into the sea grass, before baiting our hooks and casting into the deeper water of the cut.
Almost immediately Renita had a bite and she landed the largest piggy perch we have ever seen. Bite after bite followed and we even caught three red fish, all though they were undersized and so quickly released. A speckled trout attacked my bait as I wound it in but it was also a little small, 14 inches and it was also released.
Tuesday, November 23, 2010
Mustang and North Padre Islands
Arriving at the park, we set up and headed for the beach.
Now the jetty's in the park are usually empty, or pretty much so, and so we were surprised to see them crowded with fisherman. As we watched they were catching fish after fish and finger mullet were everywhere. They were being chased by schools of trout, red fish and bluefish and of course the brown pelicans had joined in the feeding frenzy!
I started to tremble and shake and Renita could see that I was gripped by the same fishing frenzy! It was all she could do to calm me down as I hurried back to the truck for our cast net. I soon had lots of finger sized mullet and we found an empty spot at the end of the south jetty.
The next day we went to the Packery Channel to See if they were catching flounder and the bridge was lined with fisherman. Again cast nexts were flying and we watched as trout and red fish and flounder were being caught. Not wanting to fight the crowds we drove to the Packery Channel jetty's, where the pass empties into the gulf/
On another day we went back to the South Jetty at Port Aransas. While Renita walked the beach and photographed dolphins I of course threw out some cut mullet for red fish and caught a perfect eater that measured 28 inches long. Fresh fish for dinner.
Now we do there things besides fish. We spend two days a week in the lapidary shop and we wire wrap our cabochons when the weather is too bad to fish.... Oh and we do walk the beach daily as that's what the beach is for. It has been a while since we were at Grand Isle, our last time on the beach, too long in fact.
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Canoeing the Sail Boat Channel
Passing another kayaker who was fishing a small pass we reached a fork where we turned west and headed for an oil platfrom. It was low tide and mullet were quite simply everywhere. As we neared the platform we saw a third kayak fishing the south side of the hole and so we rowed to the north edge and fished the same place Lannie had showed me.
Piggy perch after piggy perch bit as fast as we threw in and Renita stopped fishing as there were rosette spoonbills all around us. The birds were taking advantage of the really low tide and were feeding as greedily as the perch.
They seemed unconcerned as we watched them swish their bills back and forth looking for crustaceons in the tide pools. A blue crab walked up to our canoe and I could have reached over and grabbed it but I knew better from the crabbing class I took on Grand Isle. There I had tried to grab a large blue crab and my sister Connie had simply yelled no!
The first yaker we had passed paddled up and told us we were at hot spot and that he had watched another couple catch their limit of red fish the day before, hmm we should have been there yesterday. Several powerboats came, fished, and then left including a guide boat and I thought about how upset I would be if I paid for a guide and he took me fishing in such a heavily fished spot. Of course being an old guide I knew that a guide is often someone with a boat and without a job so the quality varies a lot!
The wind came up as we paddled back to the truck but it was a cross wind and didn't cause us any difficulty.It had turned out to be an easy day and the most rosette spoonbills we have seen on a paddling adventure. The area is worth another paddling day when the winds allow. Clear skies.
Saturday, November 6, 2010
Bull Redfish off the South Jetty, Port Aransas
I was surprised to get the spot I did and I quickly cast a pole with cut mullet and another with dead shrimp.Soon I felt a tell tail tap and set the hook only to feel the line set firmly in the snaggy bottom. Of course I broke off not just one pole both.
Hmmm, typical jetty fishing I thought, and so I rebaited and recast out and snagged both poles. It didn't help that I could see a nearby boat catching one redfush after another and even some large pompano! They even had numerous doubles and the only doubles I was having were snags. I finally had a good bite but the fish pulled me into the rocks and I broke off.
Unable to stand it anymore we retreated back from the point of the jetty to a gap in the fisherman. We had seen them catch fish and had even watched one boat fight a big redfish for over an hour. Casting out a pole with a piece of cut mullet I baited a second pole with dead shrimp and started to retie a third when I heard the first pole's drag start to scream as a big fish tore line from the reel! Grabbing the pole I held on as the fish ran and ran and ran and I wondered if it would stop before I reached the end of the spool.
Increasing the drag I even used my hand to put more pressure on the spool and I was glad I had thirty pound braid and a twenty pound leader. Finally the fish stopped its run and I regained a turn of the spool before it went on another run.
Lucky for me the other fisherman realized what was happening,(It turned out he was a local and knew what he was doing), and so he walked over to me carefully keeping pressure off my line. I was able to gain line and with his help we got our lines untangled.
Standing on a large boulder I gained line and was able to guide the spent fish into an opening in the rocks. There I was able to reach down and lift the fish out by placing my hand in its gill cover. Did I mention I forgot my net? Renita captured it all on film and she quickly snapped several pictures before I removed the number six ought circle hook from the corner of its mouth.
Casting out again I started to rebait my other pole when the first pole went off. It was another red but not as large as the first and it didn't take as long to fight the fish in and release the thirty eight inch fish. I only had enough bait left for one more cast and I quickly lost it to a small fish but it didn't matter.
The day brought back memories of other redfish, fishing with George on the South Jetty and fishing at Grand Isle with my brother in law Gary. Those were memories I won't forget, as was this day, and it was made especially sweet as I remembered it was a Friday and I used to work on Fridays! Clear skies
Thursday, November 4, 2010
Choke Canyon, Fall 2010
The frist night we heard animals outside our window and we woke up to find the campground full of deer. Bucks and does and fawns all seemed tame as they watched while we took our morning walk. The deer here are so small compared to their northern cousins but the surface area to size ratio dictates size in hot and cold areas.
The water was up and we only saw one alligator but we did see a pair of green jays, along with a common marsh hen and lots and lots of egrets. A pair of golden fronted woodpeckers flitted from tree to tree and we clearly saw the crimson red color on the top notch of the male.
Surprisingly, we didn't see any vermilion flycatchers, perhaps it was too early as we are usually here in mid November. Scissorr tailed flycatchers were in abundance and we did see our first cara caras, first for this fall anyway. So we did see most of the usual birds.
The next morning I went fishing, armed with some bait fish I caught with my cast net. I was pretty rusty with the throws and so it took me awhile to catch enough but I hoped the cut bait would at least catch us some catfish.
A flock of black bellied whistling ducks flew overhead, their high pitched whistling so distinctive and I thought of the old saying a bird heard is a bird seen. Small fish bothered my bait and I didn't have any luck, in fact my luck was really pretty bad as I got bit by a fire ant!
Going back to our fifth wheel I ate lunch and laid down and soon woke up with three bites on my shoulder and chest, with pain and swelling. A spider bite perhaps? I cleaned the bite areas and covered them with a topical first aid cream. It felt like my ears were swelling shut and so I took an allergy pill and the swelling eased, at least in my ears, (the swelling and pain lasted for two days and I was really concerned about it being a brown recluse bite but it finally returned to normal with no discoloring or other bad stuff).
We did go to town and stopped at an antique shop, but we weren't impressed. The fishing never did turn on but we enjoyed our stayed there. The birding and the peace and quiet, added to the beauty of the spot was the reason we had returned and the reason we will come back again. Clear skies.
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