Sunday, July 23, 2006

Too Hot to Fish

What to do on Saturday afternoon when the Texas heat is getting you down?

I know! Lets take a drive to Palacios and do some exploring. I'll load the bikes and when it cools off (?) we can go for a ride along the bay.

Just in case I'll also pack the rods and my saltwater tackle box...

Palacios is known by some as "The Coastal Bend's Best Kept Secret".

Here is an excerpt from the website linked above:

Palacios, known as the "City by the Sea," is actually bordered on the east and south by Tres Palacios Bay, which opens into Matagorda Bay and the Gulf of Mexico. Tres Palacios is Spanish for "three palaces "and legend has it that both the town and the bay were named after a mirage seen by Spanish sailors over 300 years ago. They thought they saw three palaces on shore but these disappeared as they sailed closer. It's a much more colorful story than the real one: that the bay was named after Jose Felix Trespalacios, Mexican governor of the area when Stephen F. Austin established his colony. Eventually the town became known as Palacios and the pronunciation was Americanized to" Puh-LASH-uhs" rather than the proper Spanish Pa-las-ee-ohs.

We have been to Palacios several times in the past attending one-act play competitions and have always said we should come back.

We spent some time exploring and I visited with the owner of the Bayside RV Park. We are getting the camping bug and Palacios is close to home. We may have to come down for a weekend this fall.

There are several options for bringing the trailer to Palacios but I liked this one best. Matagorda is referred to as an "Undiscovered Gem of the Texas Gulf Coast".

Palacios is also known as the "Shrimp Capital of Texas" and is home to the largest fleet of commercial fishing boats in the state. The town boasts seven miles of shoreline so recreational fishing is big here, as are sailing, kayaking and canoeing. The waters of Tres Palacios Bay offer prime fishing for the angling enthusiast. Drift and wade fishers will find plenty of redfish and speckled trout. Deep sea fishers in the Gulf of Mexico can catch grouper, red snapper, amberjack, wahoo, black drum and more.

We stopped at the Pier Drive Inn to check out some local offerings and I was given some fishing tips on where to try. I bought a pound of frozen shrimp and a map and armed with this new information was ready to cast a line.

I was reminded by my loving wife that it was still early and still HOT so we kept exploring. We stopped at an antique shop and purchased a couple of cookbooks and a local craftman's shop where we checked out his creations of tall cabinets and folk instruments.

I was itching to try some of the spots we had scribbled on the map so off we went to the bay. Tracy found a covered pavilion and I grabbed my rods, tackle, and bait and headed for some small jetties that had been constructed for fishing nuts like me.

I was casting far out looking for a deep hole that was supposed to hold big black drum but all I found were some hardheads. I had three rods and decided to rig one up with a soft plastic and try casting near the jetty. I had seen a sheepshead working around the shallows and thought there might be some action in close.

After a few casts I was suprised by a flounder that hit the white jig almost at the end of the retrieve. The white worm I was using had a big red dot and was attached to a lead head jig hook with a stinger treble in the tail.

I kept at it and was soon rewarded with another strike. This time I was ready and hooked a nice keeper flounder.

Photos by Tracy

I lost one more flounder and caught some small croaker.

When I finally ran out of bait and was thinking about a bike ride, Tracy pointed out to me that it was getting late (7:00PM) and we should probably think about eating supper before taking a bike ride. Where does the time go when you are fishing anyway?

We stopped in at our favorite eatery in Palacios - The Outrigger - for some grilled fish and boiled shrimp. They were pretty busy and by the time we finished there was only 30 minutes of daylight left. I was still game to ride until we saw lightning nearby and decided we should just head for home and get a good night's rest for services tomorrow.

It was a good day even if it was hot. I need to watch the time better so we can get in our ride. I may have to go on fishing probation .....


Anonymous said...

You never cease to amaze me.

Fish on!

eatmorefish said...

Nice flounder! That will look good on the grill with some stuffing in it!