Courtesy and Sportsmanship Add to the Enjoyment

Enjoyed a wonderful outing this past Saturday. Two friends joined me for some wade fishing along Long Island shoreline in Espiritu Santo Bay. We wanted to take advantage of the solunar feed period predicted to begin at 6:30 AM. Saturday is always busy and we launched accordingly at 5:30 to secure the spot I hoped was still holding lots of trout. The boat ride was less than ten minutes as we eased into the shallows and dropped the Power Pole. Signs of bait were plentiful and even in the predawn we noted slicks popping in the guts near the bank. The wind was barely a whisper from northeast and Jack Cowan couldn’t have painted it prettier.

We found the trout plentiful and hungry. We had all we needed for an evening fish fry before 7:00 AM and couldn’t resist the bait eruptions at the edge of the shoreline grass, a sure sign of redfish having breakfast. They were there and cooperative as well. Kind of like the whipped cream and cherries on an ice cream sundae.

I attempted to keep track of the number of boats running through the cut that is popular with fishermen who launch at Charlie’s Bait Camp, and also those coming down the shoreline from the direction of Port O’Connor. The stream had been steady since sunrise and I soon lost track. Likely a hundred or more.  

Several things were prominent that morning, in addition to the opportunity to catch dozens of nice trout and several redfish. I want to first thank all those fishermen who motored along offshore at polite distances, looking for a spot to pull in. None came close enough to disturb our fishing. I am also very appreciative that none attempted to sandwich between us and our nearest neighbors, several hundreds yards on either side. A notable display of sportsmanship!

I also got to thinking how lucky we are to live in a land where so many can afford the luxury in time and disposable income to enjoy this great pastime. I vividly recall when working multiple jobs, six and seven days a week, was necessary just to barely make ends meet. Even at a modest estimate that stream of fiberglass and outboard engines zipping around that little piece of the bay had to cost close to $10-Million.

Another point I want to make is how lucky we are to enjoy such great fishing opportunity. When I first fished San Antonio Bay thirty years ago, we thought twenty or thirty boats made a busy Saturday. And the fishing is still great! I tip my hat to TPWD and organizations such as CCA Texas for their contributions in conserving the fishery for the benefit of so many.

It’s easy to gripe how popular fishing has become, especially when a discourteous fishermen or two decides their enjoyment of the resource is more important than ours. But we cannot dwell on these few negatives. Be a good sport and lead by example; apparently it’s catching on.