Monday, March 25, 2013

Fishing the North Jetty at Port Aransas

It was sheephead after sheephead but they were all small so we grabbed our gear and headed further out onto the North Jetty,  The surf was almost four feet and it sloshed across the cement forcing us onto the rocks.
Stopping we fished for a while but the fish were still small so we headed further out to the remains of the shark shack. The sheephead weren't any bigger so I cast both poles out on the gulf side. Shortly the big pole bent over with a big fish on a run.
Fighting the fish I noticed that the other pole also doubled over and so I called Roy to come over with the net. We had two fish on and they were both nice fish. Roy fought his in first and it was a  nice gaff top catfish. Handing Roy the other pole I let him fight the big fish but too soon it eased in and it was a large stingray instead of a big red,
Almost out of bait we headed back, stopping at the sand dune to fish for a bit before the jetty boat came for the noon pickup. We both caught a couple of small sheephead and then I had a large fish on. Losing it I put on a fresh piece of shrimp and immediately  another nineteen inch sheephead took off, but this one ended up in the net.
Here we had worked out way out to the far end of the jetty and the big fish had been close to the dock. Roy had one break off and the jetty boat arrived so we loaded our gear and headed back across the pass to Port Aransas.
We stopped a couple of times as I wanted to show Roy, Conn Harbour and a place across from the Lighthouse trails. It had been a nice time fishing the north jetty, even though we had ended up with just two fish for dinner. Now I wonder where the big reds are? Clear skies

Monday, March 18, 2013

Fishing with Family on the Copano Bay Bridge

I usually avoid fishing the Copano Bay Fishing Bridge. After all It seems like I only catch small sheephead and rat reds, so when Jeff and Kris told me they had bought fishing licenses for their last day in Texas I was in a bit of a quandary.
Not many places to go to as it was mid afternoon so what the heck and we bought a pint of live shrimp and paid our three dollars a pole as we walked onto the bridge. Passing quite a few fishermen we didn't see any stringers and only a few hard head catfish being caught.
Regardless we walked further out and I looked for my secret tell of good places, (and if I told you it wouldn't be a secret would it?). I showed them how to fish pilings for sheephead and actually had a small one steal my bait.
So we fished a bit and Kris yelled for a net but the fish got off. Disappointed she returned to the place of her bite, but it was Jeff's turn as he caught a keeper sheephead. Kris soon followed with another and Jeff added a legal black drum. They were both so excited to be catching fish and here it was the fishing bridge of all places.
They caught other small fish and that was ok as it was so nice to see them having a blast. Returning to the rv I cleaned the fish and we went out to a farewell dinner at Los Comales. The next morning I took their fish to them as they loaded their car and headed north for the snow and the cold.
 It had been a special week for Renita and I as we had missed their wedding while in Alaska. After they left I finally noticed that my tail gate latch had been fixed as the wire I had attached wasn't hanging out. Thanks Kids!
The next day we had to go into Corpus but on Sunday Roy and I returned to the Copano Bay Bridge. Walking clear out to the end we started fishing pilings but we only caught stingrays and hard heads. Working our way back in I had a solid fish on and it took off in a run typical of a nice black Drum.
After a hard fight, Roy netted it for me and it measured 27 inches long. Now I couldn't remember the slot limit for Texas and so I released it and that was ok. Sometimes fish should get lucky.
After several hours of nothing but hard leads and stingrays, we reached the spot where Jeff and Kris had connected with their keepers.The fish had moved but persistence paid off and we caught a nice gaff top catfish and another big drum. Walking over to another couple I asked if they knew the slot limit for black drum and the lady got out her smart phone and looked it up! Maybe I do need a smart phone after all!The black drum was twenty six inches and it would be a nice addition to our fish and chip dinner tonight.
The other couple caught a nice gaff top and gave it to us when they left, so now we had three nice fish. Roy mentioned to me that maybe I need to fish the Copano Bay Bridge as my luck there has changed. I agree! Clear skies

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Pompano, A great Day at the Beach

Sometimes it happens like it’s supposed to. Weather, surf, and the fish all cooperate and you have a red letter day on the beach. Not that every day at the beach isn’t special. I mean even a tough day at the beach is still better then working.

So it couldn’t have happened at a better time as Renita’s family is here both Pam and Roy and their daughter and her husband who are newlyweds, Kris and Jeff. So of course we headed to the beach, (the kids have never seen the ocean, living in Iowa). Oh and the beach to us is Padre Island National Seashore, which is away from the spring break partiers up near Port Aransas.

It wasn’t five minutes after we arrived that Roy had a nice pompano in the cooler. Soon Jeff fought one in only to have it fall off the hook as he raised it for a picture. About then the happy hour bunch arrived and poles were tossed out up and down the surf.

Pompano were being caught by everyone but one fisher women was on fire and that was Riva. She is a phenomenal surf fisher and she soon had three pompano in her cooler! I wondered what I was doing wrong and so by watching her I realized I was tossing out too far, the fish were in the first cut.

I soon caught one myself although it was smaller than the others, but that’s ok, we had pompano for dinner! Too soon I had to leave for my dentist appointment. Later, when everyone returned to the park, there was no doubt as to the pompano champion, Riva. While everyone caught fish she caught seven nice pompano, (Did I mention she is in her upper seventies and still wades out into the surf)?

Now the kids think that every day on the beach is easy fishing, and filled with sun, sand, and shells. Little do they realize that being retired is tough work…… Clear skies

Friday, March 8, 2013

Death of A Whooper Chick in St Charles Bay

It was the saddest news, a whooper chick was shot and killed by a duck hunter in St Charles Bay. I am sure it was one of the whoopers that we saw when we canoed the bay this past January. His excuse was that he didn't know the area was closed to sand hill crane hunting, "No one told me", he is quoted as saying in the Corpus Christi Times.
Apparently he never saw the Aransas National Wildlife Refuge signs that ring the shore along the bay(Duck hunting blinds ring the shore of St Charles Bay). Apparently he never saw the parents that always fly with their first year young. Never mind that by JANUARY THEY ARE STARTING TO LOSE THEIR GREY PLUMAGE AND REPLACING IT WITH THEIR ADULT WHITE COLORS.
What bothers me most is not that the excuse was accepted by the federal magistrate in Dallas, (oh did you know the hunter is from Dallas), What bothers me the most is that the federal and state authorities removed all information from their websites before the trial.
So he got off with a fifteen thousand dollar fine and two years of hunting privileges,(A South Dakota man was fined eighty five thousand dollars and lost his hunting and fishing rights for five years).
There is so much I don't know about it all. We have only been watching the whoopers of St Charles Bay for the past five years. I am not anti hunting as I am a hunter and I have hunted all my life. I do know that Texas has a booklet of rules and regulations that I read before I go out into the field. Perhaps the man doesn't know how to read.  Like I said, I don't know.  All I do know is that there is one less whooper chick flying in the clear skies of St Charles Bay...........................

Monday, March 4, 2013

The Gulf Coast Gem and Mineral Show 2013

The tables were all set up, the display cases filled, and it was almost ten am with the doors soon to be open. It was our third time here since we started selling and I don’t know what was more exciting to me, the selling or the buying opportunities.

Of course selling is important as we have to sell to make more room and money for new acquisitions, but we are collectors first. Sometimes when we sell a piece Renita looks at me wistfully and says, “I really didn’t want to sell that.”, but it was time to let someone else enjoy the piece.

The day was steady and of course I rushed to our friend Dick’s table, to buy star garnets and tiger eye. Renita had already spent some money on beautiful slabs but that’s what our mad money is for, whatever we want! Later I added some lavender star corundum and some opal, definitely for our private collection.

At the end of the day we had steady sales and I was almost flat broke but that’s how it’s supposed to be. Tired we went home and prepared for the tomorrow by making another pair of chain 14k gold filled wire chain mail earrings.

The next day we slept later before heading back to Robstown for the second day of the show. It didn’t take me long to buy some more stones, and later I picked up some stunning blue agate from Malawi. I also bought the prettiest red flame agate I have ever seen and so it won’t be long before we are back in the shop sawing slabs,

Our sales were good even though the nice weather kept the crowd smaller than last year, but we did make some great connections and that’s the most important thing about the show. That of course is meeting new people who have the same love of rock, minerals and fossils? Clear skies
ps the display is one set up and designed by our friend Mark Wolbrink