September 21, 2012
By Mary Rohrer
Check out more photos from this outing in our Photo Gallery!
It was another successful Saltwater Outing for about 25 members of TWFF. We explored surf, flats and jetties. We used vehicles, ferries, kayaks, jon boats and our own feet to gain access to the waters of the Gulf, back bays and channels. Searching for and catching saltwater species; including plenty of cooperative ladyfish, redfish, speckled trout, a few Spanish mackerel and a bonnet head shark.
The days were beautiful, calm winds and lots of sun. The surf was gentle, not too rough to wade and the falling tides brought baitfish within casting range for us to hook up the strong, fast fish in the waves. What a hoot! The blitz, the bait, and the birds make surfcasting at Port Aransas a wonderful experience and great way to enjoy our Third Coast. ALL TWFF’ers should experience the fun, the strong tug on your line of a ladyfish and ease of catching a fast saltwater species at the Coast. Fishing for Ladyfish in the surf makes for happy Texas angler-gals and guys!
“The days were beautiful, calm winds and lots of sun. The surf was gentle, not too rough to wade and the falling tides brought baitfish within casting range…”
Our headquarters this year was again the Executive Keys Condos right on the beach in Port A. Some of our members arrived early in the week; but, most arrived Thursday night and Friday morning. The fishing lines were cast on Thursday night, under the lights, using the City Pier into the Corpus Christi Channel. The currents were swift towards the end of the pier, with lots of water flooding into the back bays and channels. Friday, we explored.
I headed out with Sheila and Robert Anderson to kayak fish Shamrock Cove. The areas we fished were flats and oyster bars flooded from the previous evening’s high tide. The fish were spooky and not very visible; no tailing fish seen. By noon, the tides started to turn and we paddled back to the Island Moorings launch before the wind picked up. Later that afternoon, we headed to the beach to catch the ego-boosting ladyfish.
Another group of anglers, including Roz Orr, Frances Estes, Vicki Andrews, and Pat and Don Carlson, took the jetty ferry over to St Joe’s Island to fish the north jetty at the channel with the outgoing tide. Fish were caught and released including redfish, trout and ladyfish. Pat caught a still to be identified mystery fish!
Others members explored the nooks and crannies of Port A.
Greg and Britta Hebert
As members arrived on Friday and others finished exploring, we joined at the beach in the afternoon and enjoyed surfcasting and watching the seabirds swoop down to the water catching the ever present baitfish. The copious amount of small baitfish in the shallows by the beach actually turned the water dark. We then headed back to Executive Keys for the Mullet Mixer.
The Mullet Mixer at Executive Keys was fabulous… lots and lots of food and beverages; great information exchanges; knots and gear were checked; and cool flies, TWFF merchandise and lanyards for sale. Our newly formed TWFF Quilt Club met for their initial organizational meeting. Certified Casting Instructors Diane Blair and Austin Orr ( a member of the Laguna Madre Fly Fishers) volunteered to have a saltwater primer course on the beach on Saturday morning. Afterwards, we all went to our comfy weekend beds and dreamed of catching lots of fish.
Saturday was a great fishing day like Friday was. Many of us met Diane and Austin at the beach outside of Executive Keys to fish the surf, including new members- Laurie Olson, Nancy Lappin, Jolene Buford, and Sammie Aden. We hip hopped down the beach following Austin.
Shark fishers: Lisa Bellar, Austin Orr, and Mary Rohrer.
We were looking for bird activity, bait activity and the configuration of the surf line. Stop and fish, then drive some more, then stop and fish, then drive. We found our spot at Marker 79 and set up camp. The tides were falling as the day progressed, the water levels lowered and the strength of the tides diminished. Many members caught their first saltwater fish that morning, and then continued to catch more and more fish throughout the day.
Lisa Bellar and I joined Austin to paddle our kayaks out through the surf and look for sharks. I had wanted to kayak fish beyond the surf line on this trip. Paddling with Austin and Lisa gave me the chance to try something new. We paddled hard through the surf into the deeper water, we saw a huge stingray and plenty of fish, but, no sharks.
Sharon Leissner, Carrie Helmcamp and Joyce Davis explored the bay for redfish and trout. They rented a jon boat and plied the waters around the Lighthouse Lakes and channels. The three of them had a great adventure. You need one of them tell you what they caught!
Carrie and Sharon
Towards the end of the day, fingers were raw from playing the fish and shoulders were tired from casting. Janet Togal and Lisa were the last to leave the beach. They had the enjoyment of fishing a full on blitz-cast and fish-on, cast and fish-on. What a great way to spend a day. Sun, fun and catching fish at the Coast.
“All-in-all, a fun, happy fishing weekend at Port A…”
A Shrimp boil dinner is the best way to finish up a Coast day. Robert Anderson prepared an excellent dinner for all of us. The boil included shrimp, potatoes, Cajun sausage, corn- all seasoned to perfection, wow! Stories were exchanged around the tables, lots of laughter and fun at dinner. Bellies were full.
After a membership meeting, a handful of gals headed back to the City Pier. Under the lights, more fish were caught and stories to share.
Port Aransas, Texas
All-in-all, a fun, happy fishing weekend at Port A. Attendees included: Sammie Aden, Sheila and Robert Anderson, Vicki Andrews, Lisa Bellar, Diane and Richard Blair, Jolene Buford, Pat and Don Carlson, Joyce Davis, Frances Estes, Karen Gebhardt, Britta and Greg Hebert, Carrie Helmcamp, Nancy Lappin, Sharon Leissner, Stacy Lynn, Laurie Olson, Cindy Organ along with Cindy’s friend Patty, Rozlynn Orr, Mary Rohrer and Janice Togal, and guest Austin Orr.