Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Adventures in Port Aransas

Let me begin with a summary of the fishing: the fish were not hitting anything. I landed everything that hit one of my flies. Unfortunately, that was a single flounder. We had as many as 7 fishing, some for 5 days, and I believe we landed about a dozen fish between us.  Two were flounders and I believe the rest were sea trout.  The main thing though, we all had lots of fun. Now for some of the details of the trip.

Paul and I decided to take two days driving down, so not so early Friday morning I loaded the car and attempted to pick him up and head south. Car would not start, tried again and again with similar results.  Battery was good, engine was turning over, but would not catch. I called and told Paul I was having problems and may have to take the truck which would not have been as fuel efficient as the car.  I went outside to reload the truck, then decided to try the car once more.  This time it started and off I went. No more car problems, for me, the rest of the week. The rest of our trip down was uneventful and we saw a crested caracara, a bird I've never seen before.  We saw another on the return trip. We made it to Temple, TX the first night and had an east drive on Saturday.

Paul and I arrived too early to check in, they charge $50 per hour for early check-in and late departure, but we drove by to find it.  We then found a nice little coffee house that was also an internet cafĂ©. Tom, who had been in Corpus Christi for a few days, met us at the coffee house and we did a short tour of the immediate area. We drove by the pier and went to the University of Texas Marine Science Institute.  They have a nice little museum and this very nice bronze tarpon outside.

As we were fishing up, Lou called and said she was in the condo, so we went there to unload our gear and settle in. After deciding were we three four were going to sleep we went to a nice sea food/pasta place for supper. we were still eating when Lee called and he met us on the parking lot when we were finished with supper.  Back to the condo where we waited for the remainder of the group to arrive. After a few hours, the remaining members of our group, Joe, Sharon and Isabel, arrived and we all gave Sharon a hard time for the late arrival.
Sunday morning, the three ladies went shopping, Tom and Lee were enjoying the view from the deck, and Paul and Joe napped until the shopping was done.

After the shopping was done and things put away we headed to Rockport, Texas and the Swan Point Landing Fly Shop. We were greeted by Peggy who was going to spend one night and fish with Sharon and Lou.  As we entered the shop we were met by the owner with a "there's cold drinks in the cooler, help yourselves". He then spent several minutes giving us the rundown on how-to, where-to and when-to. Most of us purchased a fly or two, and anything else we left at home or couldn't get there and headed out to fish. Sharon, Lou and Peggy headed out together and Lee, Tom, Paul and I went out.  We fished for a couple of hours and, as I said in the opening, the fish didn't bite. We met back at the condo where Sharon, our chef, made one of her very tasty suppers. After dishes were done, the ladies played Farkle and the rest of us relaxed and laughed at what we were hearing of the game.
Monday, Sharon, Lou and Peggy went out in their kayaks; Lee, Tom, Paul and I went fishing and tried a couple of places.  The last place we fished was the surf and I decided to walk the beach instead. Tom joined me on the hike.  We picked up a few shells and small pieces of driftwood.  Passed by something that was at one time alive (picture will follow), and on the return saw two on horseback riding on the beach.
 After we passed by the riders we found Paul at the item I mentioned before.  He was attacking it with pliers, removing the items that were entangled. The major find was a Go-Pro camera.  I don't know if it will work when he replaces the batteries, but the card inside was good and we all watched the video the young man had taken. Here are pictures of Paul and his fine.

We returned to find that no one had caught anything.  Joe and Isabel had gone to Corpus to tour the USS Lexington.  That night we just relaxed and talked about our day. Forgot to mention that we saw
a young man who was trying to dig out the car his sister got stuck on the beach the night before. After Lee helped clear some sand from the chassis, we all pushed and got him on his way.
Tuesday Lou and Sharon were supposed to go out with a guide, but the weather was so bad, he asked to put the trip off.  Their new plans were to ride along with him Thursday afternoon to scout and fish a little, and then go out for a longer trip on Friday. Because of the cancellation, they joined the men on shore fishing.  Joe stayed at the condo and Isabel took my car to explore the island.  We loaded into Lee's car and his battery was dead.  Lou helped Lee jump start his car and we went fishing.  Tom and Lee dropped the rest of us off and then went to replace the battery. Everyone except Paul and I caught fish that day. Back at the condo, we all played "Catch Phrase".  Had lots of fun and laughs.
Wednesday was a non-fishing day. Joe, Tom, Isabel and I went to the King Ranch Museum.  Learned a lot about the family and, from photos by Toni Frissell, about the cattle drives and history of the family. Paul and Lee went to the Lexington. Lou and Sharon went to the aquarium in Corpus..
Thursday, all of the people who had been fishing, except me tried again. The ladies with their guide, the guys were shore fishing...no fish were caught. The ladies reported seeing redfish, but the fish had tight lips. Isabel and I drove to Corpus where we toured the Art Museum of Southern Texas, the Texas State Aquarium and Heritage Village.  The art museum has a wonderful display of Ansel Adams photography, which in itself made the day very good.  Heritage village is a group oh homes from the late 1890's to early 1900's that had been moved to one location.  The aquarium was small, but well arranged.  Isabel held a sea urchin and touched a small shark and ray.  I had a laugh when the ray, that was relaxing moved at her touch and she jumped. I had a great day.

Lee left very early Friday morning to head back to the Springfield area. Lou and Sharon went with their guide.  Once again they saw redfish, but couldn't get them to take anything. Among the wildlife they saw were five whooping cranes.  They said they would be glad to use their guide again. Tom, Paul and I tried one last time and I finally caught a fish.  The only fish caught that day.  That night we ate out and went home early to pack. Lou and Tom were extending their stay in Texas by visiting friends, Sharon, Joe and Isabel left to once again drive all the way home and Paul and I decided to take two days again. Paul and I also decided that before we left Texas, we needed to stop by Whataburgers.  It was good, but too much meat. Saturday was not a bad drive at all. Sunday there was ice and snow along the way.  We saw a couple of cars that had gone off the road.  Once we got to the turnpike, it was easy going.  The only really bad spot I hit was in Ozark, but we all got to our destinations okay. This was a great group to spend time with. Below are the only two fish pictures I have.  Tom and his sea trout and my flounder.