Thursday, March 19, 2015

Spring Break Senior Style, at Padre Island National Seashore

The weather has finally warmed and we finally had a break from the much needed rains. The Happy hour group here at our rv park decided to return to the National Seashore for a picnic and another attempt at fishing. Not sure if we could go, we got the call from the repair shop that our truck was fixed and we could join the group, (we had a bearings wear out in the drive train).
Soon after we arrived a whiting was caught and then another, (whiting are kind of like fresh water perch). Soon Renita and I were busy with our new poles and we both added more fish to our ice chest. Our new poles are fourteen feet long and telescope to less then a yard!
Our friend John bought two just like ours and before too long he had also started a stringer. The water had warmed since last month and everyone was catching fish! While we fished others took off for the mandatory shell hunt along the beach and of course Joyce found a beautiful shell.
Lunch time arrived, the grill was lit, and the hot dogs and bratwurst were soon done. The non-fisher persons set up a picnic buffet and Renita and I took turns watching the poles and eating our fill. The bite remained steady as the waves increased in size.
Just before the tide went slack, Bill had a hit and set the hook on a large fish. Soon everyone stopped whatever they were doing and gathered round him as we all gave him lots of encouragement and advise, (which he didn't need).
The fight wore on and still we couldn't see what it was. As it neared shore it seemed to lay down on the bottom, just as a stingray would do, and sure enough that's what it was a huge stingray! Trying to net it it quickly became apparent that my net was way to small for the huge fish.
As Bill worked the fish ashore I guided it with the net and it basically beached itself. After numerous images were snapped, we immobilized  the large stinger and safely removed the hooks. Turning the fish around, they are related to sharks, it gathered strength before it swam back into the Gulf waters.
We estimated the stingray as weighing at least fifty pounds and it was the largest fish that Bill had ever caught! It capped the day off and as it was time to go we wound in our poles for the trip back home. A perfect day of sunshine, sand, a beach barbecue, and fishing with friends! Clear skies.

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