Saturday, March 24, 2018

The wind here, on the Coastal Bend, has been blowing steady. It’s almost time for us to hook up and start our migration north but we still have had the chance for a couple of fishing days. One was another day at the Fina Dock followed by a day at the beach.
For the past several years, John and Nina have taken us out for a day of fishing in their boat. This year they took us to one of Johns favorite places, the old Fina Dock. It’s a rusting mess of pipes, cement piers, and walkways that holds fish, especially sheepshead.
This time of year, the dock is usually full of boats, and while there were many boats, there weren’t as many as usual. John was able to hook up at one of his many honey holes and the fish were there! Almost a soon as we started to fish Nina caught her first legal red.
The fish fought hard, but Nina didn’t give up as she battled the large red to the boat. Several times it threatened to take the pole out of her hands, but she was determined and was able to bring the fish to the net! It was a beautiful twenty-six-inch fish.
John’s turn was next, and he landed another nice red. As soon as the fish was in my pole doubled over, but the fish won as it wrapped my line around a barnacle covered post. Renita then had a large fish on that broke her twenty-pound fire line!
I had another chance as a large red took my shrimp. It made several determined runs and tried to wrap my line around the the rusted pipes, but I was able to guide it away and John netted the twenty-seven-inch fish.
Meanwhile everyone was catching undersize sheepshead. We did manage to catch two keepers, here they must be over fifteen inches, but most of the fish were twelve to fourteen inches. The bite was so fast and furious that we soon ran out of bait. It’s amazing how fast you can use up a quart of live shrimp, even thought we were only baiting up with a third of a shrimp.
The next day we headed to the beach at Padre Island National seashore. Pam and Roy’s friends, Chris and Michelle, were here from Iowa and we hoped to have a fun day at the beach.
Now its always a good day to be at the beach but a cold front had arrived, bringing with it cold temperatures in the sixties and low seventies, along with strong northeast winds.
Surprisingly, we were able to fish in the strong surf. The fish were all small whiting, but they are very similar to fresh water perch, are a sustainable fish, and have a very mild flavor. We were able to catch ten and I do have to add that the women beat the men, not for the first time either!
In case you are wondering, we eat a lot of fish, and so we should have an empty freezer before we leave. Our plan is to meander over to Louisiana for three weeks, fill up our freezers with shrimp, before we head north to Iowa and then back home to our base camp in western Wyoming.

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful reds. Catching one of those is still on my bucket list.