Readers – Be The Guide to the Texas Gulf Coast

| June 30, 2008

Texas Gulf Coast saltwater fly fishing

I am looking into a reader guided Texas Gulf Coast expedition. Quite simply, I want to gather information from readers about coastal locations they have fished, or wanted to fish and then plot it into about a five to seven day window of time. We all realize the distances involved in the Texas Gulf Coast, and I assume there will be nights of travel punctuated by days of search and find fishing. The only rules are the spots must be reachable by foot, or kayak, and of course they should contain wild, crazy and large fish.

Next week, we journey to South Padre Island, Texas, to be with family in what would be described as a temporarily “revived” family reunion – a tradition that started in the early 1970’s at my Grandparents beach house on SPI. Everyone would gather for a week that encompassed the July 4 holiday, playing on the desolate beaches, riding bikes and motorcycles, surf fishing and growing up right out front of the house. To say my Grandparents were early “pioneers” to SPI may not be wildly inaccurate. They purchased their lot, one road off the beach, for $2500 in about 1960, while passing on beachfront due to the extra $1000 cost for your very own hurricane exposed sand dunes. We all laughed about that through the years as values skyrocketed. These were the days of the swing bridge, the old Causeway, Andy’s Sand Box grocery store, the Palmetto Inn, carrying a shovel to get to the house, summers of love at Andy Bowie Park (is that a boy or a girl with all that hair?). My earliest memories of the beach are actually from a time before all my cousins were born, a trailer we stayed in at Andy Bowie Park – almost completely faded memories now.

Photographic evidence places my Grandfather on the Island in the 1930’s with cigar and fish, and nothing in the background whatsoever. There were no jetties and no bridge – nothing. His age determines the photograph was taken well after the 1933 hurricane. On the other side of my family tree, my Grandmother’s parents – The Pattees – were substantial property owners on the Port Isabel side, and there are photographs of her with Tarpon (she loved to fish), as well as the distinction of winning a contest where top fishermen tried to reel in competitors attached to their fishing lines. After being the last “fish” swimming and with time going by, the contest organizers told her to “Come on in! You’re holding up the events!” She swam ashore and took her place in family history.

SPI is nothing like it once was with its gaudy tee shirt shops and constant tourist pulse – everything is for sale. Everything revolves around holidays, spring breaks, and a decades long denial of what a hurricane will eventually do to this modern “paradise”. It’s only a matter of time.

I know the familia will understand if they don’t see a lot of me while I ply the waters around the Island next week. This is arguably the most fertile and unpolluted salt water the Texas Gulf Coast has to offer. It is also the most distant from North Texas. So, when plotting the course for discovering the Gulf Coastal fishing grounds, you can write this one off as a bridge too far to retrace anytime soon (unless there’s a hurricane – so I can surf and fish).

Get out your old articles about the coast, get out your maps, dust off your synapses and tell us where we’re going to get to the GOOD SALT. So far Christmas Bay is on the early list.

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Category: Culture on the Skids, Events, On The Road, Reader Contribution, Saltwater Fly Fishing Texas

About the Author () is where to find my other day job. I write and photograph fish stories professionally, and for free here! Journalist by training. This site is for telling true fishing news stories, unless otherwise noted.

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