It has been an extremely busy week, besides going birding at
Lamar. Last Saturday we traveled to a mass vaccination clinic where over three
thousand people received their second dose. Finally, on Monday Dave invited me
to go fishing and so we headed out to one of our favorite spots. Each one of
these events could have been a separate blog but all are going into this single
We took over three hundred and fifty pictures during our
last birding trip to Lamar. Concentrating on the Lamar Whooping Crane fight I
found that we had a bunch of bird pictures that I wanted on the blog, (all of
these images were taking with our new Sigma lens and we are in love with
As we watched the whooping cranes near the feeders a flock
of night crowned herons flew into the cattails and as they landed, I was able
to take some of my best flight shots of night crowns. There was also a Sandhill
crane standing back from the whoopers, but it did not approach, only looking longingly
at the feeder.
While driving up Eighth street, an American kestrel hunted
in the field while a flock of sandhills fed in the background.
Driving to Big Tree, we walked around but the birds were
quiet, except for two Black Vultures, (Florida Vultures), that landed above us
and kept watching us to see if we would die, (its nice to know that nature
plans to recycle us soon after our passing).
We also took pictures of rosettes, alongside the pond, and while
they are not the best pictures we have ever shot, they were practice for our spring
birding adventure at High Island, Texas, and Grand Isle, Louisiana.
Waking up early on Saturday, we grabbed some egg burritos and
made the drive to Robstown Fairgrounds for our second Moderna shot. As usual
the mass vaccination was well run, and they even started early so by nine
thirty we were on our way back to Rockport.
Unlike the first shot we had side effects. That evening we
both felt fatigued, developed a fever and chills and Renita had some nausea.
Sunday was not much better, but our fevers broke and by Sunday night we were almost normal! We so look forward to being able to travel again and stop and see
friends and family!
On Monday I was completely recovered and so when Dave
stopped by to take me fishing, I readily agreed. We went to one of our favorite
spots and while the bite was slow, I did manage to catch the biggest black drum
I have ever caught.
I had respooled my new reel with fifty-pound braid and I
needed it. The first fish I caught was a big black drum that took my bobber
under and then ran between two piers that were covered with barnacles. As we
were near to the metal, I beams I was able to hold my pole near the opening and
the fish made several huge runs. It finally stopped and I was able to gain line.
As the fish neared the opening it then ran the other way and
as my line spooled out, I cold feel the line as it was rubbing against the
sharp shells. Luckily, I was able to finally stop the fish and regaining line
the huge fish came up and surfaced before making a fourth run.
Finally, the fish yielded to my pressure and swam back though
the opening. Meanwhile Dave had kept the boat away from the pier and the fish
ran out to open water. Now it was simply the question of how damaged my line
was. I could see it was frayed in spots but I needed to land the fish quickly so
I could safely release it. Dave slipped the net over the head and then folded
the fish in. It took both of us to bring the fish into the boat where I snapped
a picture and tried measuring the fish using a thirty-six-inch board. The fish
was bloated with roe and I was able to lift it over the boat side. Reviving the
fish, it swam back down, a good release. We estimated it at over fifty pounds
and about forty-three inches.
Back fishing, Dave caught a keeper speckled trout. Moving
to another spot, my bobber slowly disappeared, and I had another black drum.
This one ran between low support structures and I had to just let it run and
hope for the best. This time I was using a different pole with the same fifty-pound
The fish snagged the line but by releasing the bail it freed
itself and the line held! The fish reversed itself and ran back through the opening
into open water and again I was able to gain back line. When the fish surfaced,
I gasped as the fish was larger than the first.
Dave netted it and we both struggles to lift it into the
boat where I cut the lines, it had tangled itself in my other pole. Took an
image I tried to measure it. It was about two inches longer and I had to use
both hands to lift it and slide it over the edge. Dave estimated it as over sixty
pounds, (His personal record black drum was forty-nine inches, caught years ago
in The Lydia Anne Channel).
We moved to another spot and I watched as my bobber again
vanished. It was a third huge black drum but this one was a huge male. The
fight was easier as it ran out to open water and the only real excitement was
keeping it away from the anchor line, boat keel, and motor.
It was another good release of another huge
By far the best day of big black drum I have ever had. I was
too tired to fish anymore and so we motored back to the boat dock and went back
to our rv park. Thanks Dave and of course, clear skies!