Saturday, May 31, 2008

Matagorda Afternoon

Summer has arrived and Saturday seemed like a good time to make a trip to our favorite fishing hole - Matagorda.

We had a nice lunch and headed to the Colorado River Locks to soak some shrimp.

There were several of the usual suspects including a big eel, a stingray, and lots of hardheads and croakers. We both connected with several gafftop including this big boy which measured out at 23".

I need to take the next big one in to the official weigh station for the Texas STAR tournament and maybe I'll win a boat! Click here for the current leader board.

After a couple of hours at the Locks, we took a ride to the beach and while Tracy looked for shells, I continued my quest for the "tug-tug" at the end of my line.
The beach was in pretty good shape and I decided to use standard spinning tackle in the first gut.

After several hardheads and a few whiting, my efforts were rewarded with a little bigger fish.

This 16" black drum would make excellent grill fare and I was happy to have finally caught a keeper in the surf.

I love my fish!

As evening approached, we returned to Jetty Park and decided to launch the yaks and head across the mouth of the river to the west jetty and the Wild Beach.

I fished the base of the jetty and caught several double "h's" and finally saw two fishermen coming in from the end of the jetty with a nice mixed stringer. I still had about 30 minutes left to fish so I hustled out across the blocks of granite and found silver waiting for me.

One nice speckled trout would join the drum in the cooler. I also hooked a big ladyfish and had a wild fight as it went aerobatic but ended up performing a LDCR at the last minute.

Excellent picture by my favorite beachcomber.

The glory of the setting sun at the Matagorda jetty.

Better get paddling before darkness sets in.

The tool of the trade. A silver Nemire Spoon Buzzer.

Friday, May 30, 2008

Friday in Palacios

It was a short week following the Memorial Day holiday on Monday. Plans were made to gather up some gear into the "mobile tacklebox" and head to Palacios for some evening fishing off the pier.

After grabbing a sandwich in Bay City, we headed to the coast and arrived in time to see these two Roseate Spoonbills just inside the city limits.

Kevin and his college student daughter (Stephen F Austin State University that is - Not Sam Houston) arrived to join in on the fun.

Tracy and I were having a time fishing shrimp off the seawall.

Somebody caught a fish!

Kevin's big catch of the day.

Happy Fisherperson

The lady and her Ladyfish

Small Speck

We caught some more small fish including some sand trout and a few more small speckled trout. We heard of a few keepers that were caught but the fish didn't move in while we were there.

Several of the pier lights are burned out so we may have better luck once they get them replaced.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Family Visit to Oklahoma

We did our part to use up all the high priced gasoline over the Memorial Day weekend. Our 1,400 mile round trip to visit Matt on his birthday was expensive but definetly worth the price of admission.

We stopped off in Ft. Worth to pick up Robyn and got to see this cool sunset.

The visit started with lunch and a front row seat on the end of the runway of Tinker AFB to see some low flying aircraft at the 2008 Star Spangled SaluteAir Show.

Two redheads sharing the tandem chair.

Tracy was sporting her new hat...She kinda looks like Clara on Lonesome Dove!

We got to see some dogfighting and acrobatic flying by the small planes.

Extreme flying = future Crop Duster.

"I'll get you Red Barron!

After the little planes this MiG17F was screaming as it passed us by at 100ft.

Landing gear down.

After the MiG we got to see some American fighters.

All I could think of was that if I was in a foxhole in a combat situation and one or two of these came overhead I would surrender!

The old and the new.
Corsair with a unique wing design. Remember Baa Baa Black Sheep?

Later in the afternoon we met up with Carly and had a nice visit. We drove down to Bricktown in OKC for supper and a movie. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was shall we say fun and predictable.

On Sunday after Bible Class and Worship services at the Edmond Church of Christ, we went to the OC campus to see the newly dedicated clock tower and pavillion.

Ornate lamp post against the Oklahoma sky.

The pavillion was constructed out of cables, pillars and huge turnbuckles to withstand the violent weather of Tornado Alley.

Can you see the visitors below the tower?

My hair doesn't seem to be blowing (and I forgot to remove my shades).

Excellent photo by Robyn Bocks.


It is always good to spend time with your kids even after they become adults.

My favorite photographic subject.

We had a great visit and birthday celebration with Matt & Carly and got to spend some quality time with Robyn. in the car. We also got to stop and have lunch with Tracy's grandmother on the way back to Ft. Worth. To top everything off we got to visit with James before heading south to Needville.

While making some new memories, I still took time to think about and thank God for all those who served our country to make this all possible.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Matagorda - Day 6

On the last day of our week in Matagorda, we started out by taking a long walk on the beach to look for shells. Stretching your legs along the surf and feeling the salt air is a great way to bring in the day.

Upon returning to the parking area I noticed several different wildflowers.

Beach Morning Glory or "Railroad Vine" looks pretty and the runners help stabilize the dunes.

The Indian Blanket is a showy Texas favorite especially when found in clusters.

The Mexican Hat looks like a cross between a Cattail and a Black-eyed Susan.

After the beach walk, Tracy and I decided to try our luck fishing off one of the small piers that protrude out into the river mouth near the RV park.

Fisherman's View. This is my new Quantum 10' surf rod against a pretty blue sky.

This Blue Crab became bait on one of the surf rods. Split into fourths and fished on the bottom, this is usually a magnet for large black or red drum. (aka Big Uglies or Bull Reds)

The pier didn't yield any action so we opted to head back to the Locks where our success was all but guaranteed.

Every time the horn would blow it was exciting to see what kind of boat would be passing through. We saw every kind of boat including this sailboat motoring through the Locks.

Barges and Tugboats are common and really displace a lot of water which triggers the fish to feed.

This is an undersized redfish or "Rat Red" as the locals say.

Another nice sized Gafftopsail Catfish. These guys are slimy!

Sometimes you try to get away from work but reminders are everywhere. Click the Pic and read the signage.

We had planned on eating our evening meal at Spoonbills and after a early supper there was still time for more fishing. I suggested a ride to my favorite pier fishing location which was a short 30 minute ride away. It just so happened that the Braves game was on the radio so we made the trip in short order.

Palacios has a Sonic drive-in so we stopped for a Smoothie before heading out to look for trout under the lights.

The sky was shaping up for this beautiful sunset at the Palacios 1st Street Pier.

We started fishing before dark with shrimp under a popping cork and caught some small yellowtail and sand trout. Soon after the lights came on I switched to the glow shad rigs and found that the Specks were moving in!

We both caught several undersized fish and Tracy finally connected with a 16" keeper. I know there will be fresh grilled trout on the menu soon!

We didn't stay too late and got home in time for a decent night's rest before packing up and heading for home. It was a great week and we both agree that this was one or our best vacations.

For me it was all about simplicity and being together.

Of course the fact that we got to fish every day didn't hurt!