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Writing this from a friend’s house after a fun night of fishing in Port Isabel Texas and guess what?! I’m still smiling. This weekend has been a great one, along with the rest of my time spent in this magical fishing town. Last night I met some new friends who live on the water and they invited me over for some beer and bait fishing aka two of my favorite things on this planet. One thing lead to another and now I see why so many people from Houston or even as far as Canada come down to this part of the world for some phenomenal fishing.
We used live shrimp as bait and started fishing around dusk. the photo above gives you an idea of the scene that was taking place. It didn’t take long before I had my first bite and it was a skipjack that put up a fun fight, albeit brief. It’s a bony and bloody fish so mainly just for sport. So you know, everything I do fishing wise is just for sport unless I’m on Little Corn and then we bring in the ones that are fit for a dinner plate.
We were using circle hooks as opposed to j hooks and I’m sold on them. I’ve seen them but wasn’t sure how they work. It turns out they take a bit of getting used to but they are the future. The biodiversity is incredible and this is just a sample of what I saw in my few hours of fishing. Alright, the list includes but is NOT limited to: flip jack, perch, jelly fish that run “no joke” and will burn you if you touch them, ink fish, speckled trout and a few other species I can’t remember.
I asked my new friend how many species there are around Port Isabel and he said he has no clue whatsoever but too many to count and he doesn’t believe he’s even seen all there is. This area is one of the saltiest areas in the world besides the Dead Sea, just throwing that out there. After the skipjack, I caught 8 speckled trout which brings my trout total up to 10 or so. They need to be at least 15″ to be considered a keeper and under 25″ if you’re a gent because larger than that and they are most likely big old breeders.
Besides hitting a few beers and slamming a few fish I came away with something more. When I go back to Little Corn Island I’m going to try and push the concept of conservation. I’m not sure how it will go but I’ve been to Vietnam where the rivers near town have nothing but tiny bait fish from over fishing and lack of understanding about spawning seasons and the like. There is no need to take in a small fish when you live by the sea and it all comes down to a matter of “knowing the score”, yes?
On the way home I cut down this back alley and almost lost my mind when it seemed every fence had these dogs that looked insane and keen on tasting me. Something I noticed about Texas was that when dogs go nuts, the owners come out to see what’s happening. As I ended the lane I saw the shades and shapes that resembled people coming to see “what was going on” or better yet “what needed to be done to right the situation”. I’ll tell ya, that moment you freeze and watch an angry dog run full bore into that fence 5 feet from your face gives you more adrenaline than a bungee jump, your heart wants to jump out of your chest and bury itself.
P.S: Few things in this world feel as good as fighting a fish and if you get the chance, go fishing in Port Isabel Texas.