Our happy hour group decided to go to the beach for a day of fishing, beach combing, a barbecue, and just plain relaxation. The group wanted to go to the Mustang Island Beach instead of the usual day at the Padre Island National Seashore.
We left at eight and crossed on the Port Aransas ferry. Turning onto the beach access road we headed down the beach until we spotted John’s truck. He had already picked out a spot that was relatively weed free. Spreading out the fisher people among us cast out our poles and almost as quickly we had bites. Unfortunately, the fish were bait stealers and Dave was the only one to catch one.
The day was beautiful and any day on the beach is good so we rebaited the poles and cast out again. Dale did catch several whitefish, one of which was really nice. Terry caught another, but that was it. Still the hot dogs tasted good and we successfully enjoyed our beach lunch.
On the way back home, Renita and I decided to drive the beach. Not much was happening, fish wise, but the beach was lined with cars as it seemed like everyone had decided to have a nice beach day. We arrived at the South Jetty just as a lady was landing a small stingray.
Renita suggested that I should walk down the jetty and check out the fishing, and I was glad she did! People were catching Spanish mackerel! I watched awhile and took some images so I could find the spot myself.
The next day John, Dave, and I arrived early. Our buckets were full of live shrimp and I hoped the fish would still be there. The waves had built and it was tough to fish the mackerel side. Another mackerel fisherman walked out and cast out several times before stating that it was going to be a bad mackerel day as the waves were too large.
After he left two more mackerel fishermen arrived and one caught a Spanish mackerel! We moved further out and Dave had a strike, yelling for the net. I arrived with the net about the time he hoisted the fish over the rocks.
Before too long John caught a nice Spanish mackerel and I tried to will one to bite on my pole. One did bite and as it ran the hook didn’t set properly. A hour passed and no more fish, or even bites. Suddenly my bobber disappeared and the line tightened as a fish made a run!
I had changed to a larger circle hook and it worked as the fish hooked itself, I had my first Texas Spanish Mackerel and then two more before John set the hook on his second fish. The waves continued to build but we did end up with eight mackerel!
Back at the rv park I told some other fishermen that we had caught Spanish mackerel and most turned up their noses. People here seem to think that the only fish worth eating is redfish. Several told me that they had tried to deep fry them and that they had tasted terrible.
Spanish mackerel are an oily fish, like salmon. They need to be grilled and I had a great recipe! First I fired up the grill and let it get really hot. Putting the fish in a fish grilling basket, I seasoned them with Cajun seasoning, olive oil, and a dab of butter.
Letting them grill for five minutes I squeezed lemon juice on the fish and turned them once. Testing them with a fork they flaked and we sat down to a delicious meal of grilled Spanish mackerel, grape salad, garlic toast, and risotto.
Anyone who doesn’t like Spanish mackerel learns to do two things. First get them on ice as soon as possible and second throw away the deep fryer. The limit is fifteen a day, that tells you that the fish are sustainable and seldom harvested.
Now if the weather would break and the waves calm down, we could go out there again! Clear skies