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Galveston Offshore Fishing with Bad Intentions Charters

September 6th, 2016

badintentionsviking Galveston Offshore Fishing with Bad Intentions Charters

Bad Intentions returns home to Galveston after a tournament winning charter.

galvestonmahi 171x300 Galveston Offshore Fishing with Bad Intentions Chartersgalvestonwahoo

Now Offering Galveston Offshore Fishing Charters

Galveston offshore fishing at its finest! Bad Intentions, a tournament winning 64’ Viking sportfishing yacht, is now available for big game fishing charters out of Galveston, TX. A group of six anglers can expect high action fishing for blue marlin, sailfish, dorado, wahoo and tuna. Bad Intentions is fully outfitted with the best, tournament level fishing setups, trolling lures and teasers.

galvestonyft

Tuna over 100 pounds are no stranger to the cockpit of Bad Intentions.

badintentionsinterior

This serious fishing machine boasts a refined, comfortable interior as well.

Bad Intentions is a 64′ Viking with enclosed flybridge, water and ice makers, plenty of cockpit seating and fish storage. Fish one or more nights in comfort with AC, beds, showers, bathrooms and a fully stocked galley.

Bad Intentions Charters is a smart choice for birthday or bachelor parties, corporate retreats or for a group of die hard fisherman looking for the best Galveston offshore experience available. Charters are available year-round but ask about which times of year are best for your target species. Get in the fighting chair and catch your fish of a lifetime!

For pricing and information, call now at 409-737-9578 or 505-577-0385 or email flyrod99@gmail.com.




Your Support is Needed for Galveston Bay Oystermen and Fishermen

September 6th, 2016

Hey Oyster Lovers! Show your support for Galveston Bay Oystermen and Fishermen by showing up in court on Monday Sept. 26th. District Court 256 #TOCC #OysterWars

56th Distinct Court:

600 59th, Suite 3302
Galveston, TX 77551

Judge Lonnie Cox
SEPTEMBER 26, 2016
1 P.M.
Galveston County, Texas

Texas Billfish Tournament Wrap Up

September 1st, 2016

Texas Billfish Classic 

over ride Texas Billfish Tournament Wrap Up

Texas Billfish Classic Tournament Champions, Over-Ride and their 410# blue marlin. Photo by Brandon Rowan

Another year of the Texas Billfish Classic is on the books! Tournament Director Jasen Gast came together with all tourney staff, teams and volunteers to put on a hell of an event at Surfside Marina in Freeport. Good conditions offshore allowed great fish to hit the scales, including a 118.9-pound tuna from $ea Dollar$ and a 410-pound blue marlin brought in from Over-Ride.

Congratulations to overall tournament champion Over-Ride, owned by Marty Griffith and captained by Ryan Doxey.

bottomdollartbc Texas Billfish Tournament Wrap Up

Bottom Dollar captured the trophy for most billfish release points.

TBCwinners

$ea Dollar$ with their 118lb. tuna, Over-Ride with their 410lb. blue marlin and REHAB with the winning wahoo at 32.4lbs.

Blue Marlin 

1st Place: Over-Ride

Billfish Release 

1st Place: Bottom Dollar

Tuna 

1st Place: $ea Dollar$ 118.9 lbs.

Wahoo 

1st Place: REHAB 32.4 lbs.

Visit TexasBillfishClassic.com for full results. Visit our Facebook for more photos.


bastante

Bastante John Uhr Memorial Billfish Tournament

 

Billfish 

1st Place Overall went to “Mucho Mas” releasing 1 blue marlin and 5 sailfish giving them a total of 1000 points.

Tuna & Dolphin

“Game Hog” released 1 white marlin and a sailfish for a total of 250 points. They took home 1st Place dolphin and tuna awards.

Wahoo

1st Place wahoo went to “Paradise Ranch”

Visit JohnnyBastante.com for full results.

 


deepsea

Deep Sea Roundup

BARRACUDA: Adriane Reese | Fish Trips.com

BLACKFIN TUNA: James Thuleen | Backlash

BLUE MARLIN: David Badalich | Dock Holiday

BONITO: Mike Hagee | Scat Cat

DOLPHIN: Reed Ruschhaupt | Right Rigger

JACKFISH: Tom Furlow | Ambush

KINGFISH: David George | Dirty Money

LING: Tommy Temple | Dirty Deeds

MACKEREL: Herbert Snowden | Full Cooler

SAILFISH: Martin Clement III | Vamonos

SHARK: Buddy Mills | Day Pay

WAHOO: Emily Bryant | Fishy Business

WHITE MARLIN: Jenny Price | Got ‘M On

YELLOWFIN TUNA: Ed Crocker | Doc Holiday

Visit www.deepsearoundup.com for full results.


poco

Photo: David Shutts (www.davidshuttsphotography.com)

Poco Bueno

Offshore Division Winner

1st Place: Reel Bounty | Tony Annan | Capt. Kirk Elliott

Tag & Release

1st Place: Cajun Queen 3 Blues, 3 Sails 1,800

Largest Fish

Blue Marlin: Reel Bounty | Andy Hollen | 547 lbs.

Tuna: Mono Chongo | Robert Brown | 176.5 lbs.

Dorado: Over the Limit | Derek Elzner | 26.5 lbs.

Wahoo: Notorious | Marsh Miller | 63 lbs.

Visit Poco-Bueno.com for full results.


txlegends

Texas Legends Billfish Tournament

Tournament Champion

Got ‘M On

Tuna

High Cotton

Dorado

Mongo Chongo

Tuna

Mongo Chongo

Visit www.txlegends.com for full results

 


twat

Texas Women Anglers Tournament

Tournament Champion

Standaman with 710 points

Dorado

1st Place: Marilyn Atkins | Mojo | 25.65 lbs.

Tuna

1st Place: Rebecca Ramming | Rebecca | 9.75 lbs.

Wahoo

1st Place: Emily Petty | Vanquish | 34.45 lbs.

Sailfish

1st Place: Sharon Smith, Laura Smith and Heidi Cluck | Standaman | 6 releases

White Marlin

1st Place: Debbie Tucker and Catherine Carr | Mojo | 2 releases

Blue Marlin

1st Place: Kathleen Wyatt | Doc Holiday | 1 release

Visit www.gofishtx.com for full results

 


lonestarshootout

The Lone Star Shootout

Tournament Champion

Backlash | Travis & Jackie Hunter | 3,300 points

Blue Marlin 

1st Place: Slight Edge | Perry Forrester | 442.5 lbs.

Tuna

1st Place: Down Time | Bobby Walters | 162.5 lbs.

Dolphin 

1st Place: Relentless Pursuit | Dennis Pasentine | 31.5 lbs.

Wahoo

1st Place: Backlash | Travis & Jackie Hunter | 54.5 lbs.

Visit www.thelonestarshootout.com for full results

Galveston Redfish and Trout Tactics in September

August 31st, 2016

lightfoottrout Galveston Redfish and Trout Tactics in September

Tom Lightfoot with a fat trout caught on a Slammin’ Chicken Bass Assassin Sea Shad.

By Capt. Steve Soule | theshallowist.com

September probably isn’t the first month that comes to mind for most people when it comes to great Galveston redfish and trout fishing on the upper Texas Coast. Most of us have other things on our minds, like avoiding the heat, or getting back in the swing of things with the kids back to school. Given these distractions, fishing doesn’t usually come first.

Yes, the heat can still be oppressive in September, but unbeknown to many, the fishing can be every bit as hot. Most years just surviving July and August is enough to slow down the average angler around the bay, with high temperatures and light winds. These dog days of summer can be very tough, if you’re a drift fisher; there is not much to move the boat, or if you pole a boat in shallow water it’s just downright hot. If you like to wade fish, you might find an advantage of at least being a little cooler.

The hot and dry temperatures of July and August can truly make anglers work for their catch. There are some definite differences in where the redfish and trout will be when we hit drought conditions. It’s quite frequent that the fish will move from open bay shorelines, where salinities sky rocket, to marshes, creeks and rivers where salt levels in the water are more comfortable and food is more abundant. The extreme hot and dry conditions common in July and August help set up the subtle changes that September brings.

Even though we may see some high temperature days, there are some notable differences that seem to bring fish back to open water flats and create even better conditions for fish to feed consistently. September tends to be a month when we see a good bit more Gulf moisture coming onshore. This rain helps a great deal in not only bringing down the salt levels across the bay, but also by cooling the water several degrees during the peak heating hours of the day.

These late summer rains do a great job of lowering salinity without the harm of runoff, which carries dirty water to the bay that is often contaminated with everything from our streets, lawns and anything else that is upstream. This also differs greatly from spring rains where we often see huge amounts of river and creek run off which can have an adverse effect on the bay. The major difference with summer rains is that they fall directly on the bay, causing an immediate temperature and salinity drop that seems to excite shrimp and small baitfish activity and in turn, accelerates predator feeding.

So, we’ve managed to cool off the bay temperatures during the highest heat of the year, we’ve also lowered the salinity, just after peak salinities. Those two changes alone would help kick up feeding activity a good bit. We also see the peak of baitfish and crustacean growth and activity. Shrimp crops have grown, crabs come out of the marsh, numerous small species of fish are reaching sizes where they migrate out into open water and this all adds up to some great fishing.

lightfootred Galveston Redfish and Trout Tactics in September

Brenda Lightfoot with a marsh redfish caught on a weedless gold spoon.

Pick your species and pick your poison

There aren’t many techniques that aren’t effective in September, whether you choose to fish with live bait, artificial, or even fly, the bays are alive both shallow and deep. I don’t really spend much time out in open or deep water, but the change in the shallows is nothing short of exceptional. Early September is almost always a great month for finding tailing redfish, not just single fish, but schools that are often bigger than other months of the year. September is also one of the peak months for me to find larger trout in shallow water.

My approach changes little throughout the year, but for those who aren’t as familiar with shallow water, take your time in your search. Don’t run your boat directly up onto the area that you intend to fish. Come off plane early and use a troll motor, push pole or wade into the area. When looking for signs of activity, shore birds are a great sign, with active mullet being equally important. Often times these fish will slick, and redfish will stir up mud. When you get into the area you want to fish, continue to take your time and cover the water thoroughly. There are a lot of days when schools of feeding fish just don’t make a big commotion. If you’re looking for tailing reds, keep in mind that they don’t usually make much noise and the surface disturbance is minimal.

One last thought, having a shallow water boat is a great thing and opens up lots of new territory that isn’t available to many people. Keep in mind that fish are shallow for several reasons; availability of food sources, protection from larger predators and possibly at the top of the list is shelter from the noise and danger of all the boats that run in open water. So, if you choose to operate your boat in shallow water at speed when looking for fish, remember that even though you may gain some short term satisfaction, in the long run you are doing more harm than good to both the fish and the habitat. Fish tend to operate mostly on instinct, but they do get conditioned to their environment and repeatedly getting run off of their shallow feeding grounds only moves them to areas that afford greater safety.

Ladies Casting for Conservation Tournament

August 31st, 2016

gbftrout Ladies Casting for Conservation Tournament

Team Gulf Coast Mariner with the winning stringer. Colie Blumenshine, from left, Debbie Salisbury, Kelly Groce and Capt. Bob Drisgill.

July 23, 2016 at Stingaree Marina, Crystal Beach, Texas
kellytrout Ladies Casting for Conservation Tournament

Gulf Coast Mariner’s Kelly Groce with a 5.9lb East Bay trout.

By Kelly Groce

When the Gulf Coast Mariners Team – Debbie Salisbury, Colie Blumenshine, and myself, Kelly Groce – hit the water early that July morning on a mission to find and catch big trout, little did we know what lay ahead in the Galveston Bay Foundation Tournament.

Our guide, Capt. Bob “Mangus” Drisgill of Mangus II Charters, took us to our first spot over a reef. After a few minutes, I hooked on to what felt like a decent trout. The fish was pulling drag and giving a fun fight. We got it to the boat and it was a nice 23-inch trout. A few more 18-20 inch trout were caught at a variety of other locations.

manguscolie

Colie Blumenshine and Capt. Bob ‘Mangus’ Drisgill with a nice speck.

The weather was beautiful and there was barely any wind. We went to our last spot of the day and immediately hooked on. Captain Bob got on a nice drift over reef, which produced great for us. I ended up reeling in my personal best trout, which was 25 inches and 5.9 pounds! Our ice chest looked like it was in good shape, so it was time to hit the weigh in. Once we arrived at Stingaree Marina, we weighed in our three best trout, which totaled 16.20 pounds.

Thanks to Captain Bob and the fish gods, the Gulf Coast Mariners won 1st place Guided Heaviest Stringer. You couldn’t wipe the smiles off of our team’s faces after a fun filled day of Captain Bob’s jokes, catching beautiful Galveston Bay speckled trout, and winning 1st place in the tournament.

Thanks to the 60 participants and 22 teams, this year’s Ladies Casting for Conservation Tournament raised over $35,000. The proceeds will support the Galveston Bay Foundation and help preserve and protect Galveston Bay. Thanks to the Galveston Bay Foundation for putting on such an awesome tournament and for the beautiful plaque. This tournament was a blast and we can’t wait to participate next year. Tight lines!

The Galley: Fish Chowder Recipe and Pulled Pork

August 30th, 2016

By Betha Merit

As fall fish move about to their new homes, species such as drum, flounder and snapper are readily available for catch or purchase. And with the onset of cooler temps, our appetites are ready for heartier fare. Think soups, stews, and chowders.

It is also convenient to have an easy make ahead main dish ingredient for a simple but filling meal preparation. Pulled pork is a flavorful food that can be served over rice, on baked potatoes or in tortillas. Just add avocado.

fish chowder recipe The Galley: Fish Chowder Recipe and Pulled Pork

Fall Fish Chowder Recipe

  • 2 pounds black drum (or redfish, sheepshead, flounder or other white fish) cut into bite sized cubes
  • 10 slices bacon
  • 6 unpeeled red skinned potatoes, cut in small bite sized chunks
  • 3 diced carrots
  • one medium chopped yellow onion
  • 1 cup sliced mushrooms
  • optional fall veggies, chopped, up to one cup
  • 2 cups half and half
  • salt, pepper, Old Bay spice, fresh parsley.

Fry bacon in pan until crispy, remove from pan for crumbling, and keep grease. Sear fish chunks in hot bacon grease for several minutes, then remove from pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper; set aside.

Par boil the chopped potatoes for ten minutes, drain and place in large stew pot, adding the diced carrots. Crumble the cooked bacon on top, Sear the onions, mushrooms and any added veggies in bacon grease for several minutes with a dash of Old Bay, then pour the whole mixture into the stew pot. Sprinkle with more salt and pepper and 1-3 Tablespoon Old Bay.

Add half and half (and water if needed) to just cover the mixture, and simmer for 20 minutes on medium heat. You may thicken with flour if you prefer a thicker broth. Add cooked, seared drum for last five minutes of cooking. Serve with warm crusty bread.

pulledpork The Galley: Fish Chowder Recipe and Pulled Pork

Simple Slow Cooker Green Chile Pulled Pork

  • 1 1/2 pounds pork shoulder or tenderloin
  • 1 large jar green chile salsa
  • 3 teaspoons dried cilantro, oregano, or parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • water to cover
  • Optional: diced serrano or jalapeno peppers to taste
  • Avocados for serving options.

Grease slow cooker container with oil or spray. Cut pork into several large pieces and pat with salt and pepper and place in slow cooker. Pour salsa over pork. Sprinkle with dried spices. Add optional green peppers. Add water if necessary to cover pork. Turn on high and cook for about 8 hours, or until pork is falling apart.

To serve, use two forks to pull meat apart, while in cooker. Serve over rice, baked potatoes, or wrapped in tortillas. Garnish all with shredded cheese and avocado.

Oysters in Peril

August 30th, 2016

By Janice Van Dyke Walden | Photography by Jim Olive

oliveoysters Oysters in PerilIt’s just after peak growing season for Eastern oysters in Galveston Bay, but on this day you wouldn’t know it.  When the field team and scientists with Texas Parks and Wildlife conduct a normal, random dredge sampling at dawn, the results are anything but normal.

In her orange-gloved hands Coastal Fisheries Technician Claire Iseton holds three empty oyster shells.  The few oysters that do come up in the basket are black and lifeless.  Coming up empty within site of Kemah’s famous seafood boardwalk where oysters are on the menu from November through April 30 is not a good sign, but it’s a trend that’s been deepening since 2000, when oysters large enough for the market suddenly plummeted and have been on a steady decline since.

What it takes

There’s no telling the age of the live and dead oysters dredged up this morning, but what the team does know is that it takes about two years for a spat to become a mature oyster.  And, the bay’s once prolific oysters reefs just haven’t had enough time to recover before they are dealt another blow.

Cattle-crossing prolific

Over 50 years ago, oyster reefs in Galveston and surrounding bays were so common that the coastal roads were paved with oyster shells.  Over a century ago, before roads and railroads, a natural oyster reef linked both sides of Galveston Bay.  So prominent was this reef that, given a stiff north wind and a low tide, cattle crossed the bay on this ridge.

Blow-by-blow, every two years now

Galveston Bay used to account for 80% of Texas’ harvested oysters.  Today, that number is more like 40%.  Although the counts have been in decline for over 20 years, it has stepped up in the last eight years with a major setback every two years.  In September 2008, Hurricane Ike hit, covering nearly half the oyster beds of Galveston Bay with smothering silt.  The situation in East Bay, behind Bolivar’s Peninsula, was worst: over 80% were silt-covered from the storm.  Then in 2010, the lack of fresh water due to the drought sent salinity rates soaring, exceeding what oysters could live on.  The next year, 2011, oysters were hit by the Red Tide, and then, back-to-back, last year and this year, excessive rains flooded the bay with freshwater, beyond the oysters’ capacity to survive. According to TPWD’s Fisheries Biologist Christine Jensen, the bay’s average salinity for this July was ”getting closer to normal, but still low at an average of 11.5 parts per thousand.”

Pressures all around

Add to these natural pressures, there’s the human pressure: more people live in Texas than 50 years ago, and there’s more demand to enjoy oysters at the table.   Fishermen are pressured to harvest the very material that might provide the future harvest.  And, they can get a good price for it.  In 2014, a sack of oysters commanded $35, up $20 from 1993.  Given current low harvest counts, this year’s price may well be that, or higher.

oliveoysters2 Oysters in Peril

Claire Iseton inspects an oyster sampling on TPWD’s vessel, the Trinity Bay, at a reef within sight of the Kemah Boardwalk.

Recovery, Restoration, Intervention

It’s unknown just how much of Galveston and the surrounding bays are covered with oyster reefs.  The last complete mapping survey was done 21 years ago by Eric N. Powell who tapped the bottom of the bay with a pole to pinpoint reefs.  His research on the Eastern oyster continues.  Sophisticated technology like hydro-acoustics and side scan imagery has been useful for mapping specific losses, like in the aftermath of Ike, but the application for the whole bay is considered time consuming.

In the meantime, man’s efforts to recover the losses seem like a drop in the bucket.  Since 2009, reef restoration efforts have only restored about 1/10 of what’s been lost, 1,300 acres of the bay.  And, many of those restoration sites are off limits to fishing until they can flourish.

On June 11, Galveston County Judge Mark A. Henry took the first step to help area oyster business owners get financial assistance by declaring a local disaster.  In order to get funding, oysters farmers will need a disaster declaration from the State of Texas.  The Judge is in the process of submitting a formal request to Governor Abbott for targeted legislation to address the issue.

Orion: David Popken’s Sabre 38

August 30th, 2016

orion2 Orion: David Popkens Sabre 38Interview by Charles Milby

What factors influenced your decision to purchase a Sabre Yacht?

When researching boats prior to our purchase, I had several criteria that would ultimately put the Sabre 38 Centerboard Sloop at the top of the list.  Primarily, I felt that a boat in the 38-foot range would give me and my wife Kris a comfortable, affordable, solid platform for mid to long distance cruising.

As boats get longer, they get exponentially more expensive to maintain, not to mention more cumbersome and physically demanding for a husband and wife to handle together.  One of our other considerations, was the ability to go shallow, since many parts of Florida, the Keys, the Bahamas and the Caribbean have skinny water.

And, we wanted a solidly built boat, one that could handle a bluewater passage without reservations with regard to safety, seaworthiness and robust components.  The Sabre 38 centerboarder met all of those criteria.  Sabre Yachts is still in business in Casco, Maine and that also heavily influenced our decision. They have our boat, hull #99 in their database and have stepped up numerous times to assist in the refit, with vendor phone numbers, design details not found in the Owner’s Manual and fixes for recurring problems.

orionint Orion: David Popkens Sabre 38

Once you made the purchase, what were your expectations regarding time and money needed to refit the boat?

Orion is a 1987 build, and was a lovingly maintained one owner boat prior to our purchase.  But, the reality is she was 25 years old, which is relatively ancient for a plastic boat.  The electronics were all outdated, the standing rigging was original, the running rigging and sails were serviceable, but in need of replacing, there were the usual bits of other hardware that had seen better days, as well as numerous water entry points that needed to be addressed.

To turn the boat into a true long distance cruiser, various equipment additions and upgrades would also be necessary.  There was also one “Achilles Heel” with Sabres, something lovingly called “Sabre Rot”, where the mast base collected water and allowed it to migrate into the surrounding cabin sole and underlayment, rotting out the sole in the process.  The limber hole in the mast base was inadequate for the task and the root cause of the problem.

Fortunately, the factory was aware of the problem and had produced a “fix.”  Our boat had a relatively minor case, but it still needed to be addressed.  I wish I could honestly say that I anticipated every one of the repairs and upgrades, but that would be a total fabrication!  I will say that once complete, the purchase price and the cost of the refit will be about a quarter of the cost of a new boat of similar dimensions and quality.  There is no question that finding a sound used boat is the most cost conscious route to take.

What was the single largest upgrade cost-wise?

Without question, it was the standing rigging.  Sabres came from the factory with rod rigging, a great option for both strength and performance, but also more expensive to replace than wire.  You may be familiar with a term called “scope creep”, where an ongoing project creates opportunities to make improvements to corollary systems.  In the case of the standing rigging, we had to pull the mast, so while it was horizontal in the yard, it was a no-brainer to go ahead with a complete re-wire, including LED lighting for anchor, tri-color, steaming and spreader lights, new VHF antenna and coaxial cable, new halyard sheaves and halyards.  The mast and boom were re-painted with Awl Grip.  The chainplates were cleaned, inspected and re-bedded, prior to the mast being re-stepped.  This of course, was not the only area where scope creep has come into play.  When deciding to redo the entire plumbing system, it made sense to replace the galley sink, pressure water pump and water filter, while also adding a cockpit shower where an old LORAN unit had been cut into the cockpit bulkhead.  And once the “Sabre Rot” was repaired, I went ahead and stripped the entire cabin sole of varnish, then sanded and refinished it.  I am fortunate that my career path involves home repairs and woodworking, I’m a general contractor, so I have the confidence to do many things myself.

You sailed the boat from New Jersey back to Texas.  What are your thoughts regarding Orion’s sailing qualities?

It’s hard not to get overly effusive about this boat’s performance on the water.  Despite being a centerboard boat, she sails very well with the board up and when needed, even better with the board down.  She’s very stable, not tender, points well and is easy to balance on nearly every point of sail.  On our crossing from Clearwater to Pensacola, FL, we were close reaching and there was a period of nearly 3 hours where she maintained course without so much as a touch of the helm.  It was like she was on a rail.  And surprisingly fast for a cruiser.  I could go on and on, sea kindly, comfortable cockpit, generous side decks, ample foredeck and gorgeous classic lines to boot.  I feel blessed to own and to sail this boat.

orionint2

You’ve worked hard getting the boat ready to cruise.  Do you have any definitive plans going forward?

Yes, my wife Kris is retiring in October.  I will have most of my work obligations wrapped up shortly thereafter.  Our loose plan is to sail back to SW Florida and find a semi-permanent slip, most likely in the Ft. Myers area, which gives us the opportunity to sail south to the Keys, Cuba and the Caribbean, or head east through Lake Okeechobee to the Atlantic and either the Bahamas or up the Eastern Seaboard, depending upon the season.  Before we leave the western Gulf though, we plan a stopover in New Orleans to enjoy that great city for a while.  From there, we want to explore the barrier islands in Mississippi Sound and then spend some time in the Apalachicola area before turning towards Ft. Myers.

What advice would you give to someone looking to buy a sailboat for cruising?

To borrow and modify a phrase from Lance Armstrong, it’s not about the boat.  Too many people get hung up on trying to find and prepare the perfect boat for their perceived needs and lose sight of the prize.  The list of boats that have successfully crossed oceans is long and runs the gamut in size and price from humble skiffs to 100 ft maxis.  If cruising is truly your dream, don’t wait until you can afford the perfect boat.  Mark Twain puts it so well:  “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”

popkenDavid Popken was born in Grants Pass, OR in 1948.  After high school and the US Army, where he served in the Vietnam War, he graduated from Washington State University and pursued a short career in cinematography and film. Changing careers, he moved to Houston in 1980 to work in real estate.  He started his own residential building/remodeling company in 1983 and is still in business, but is planning to retire soon to go out and experience the cruising lifestyle.  David and his wife Kris bought their first sailboat, a 1978 Hunter 30 in 2002.  They have been avid sailors ever since, daysailing, racing and cruising whenever possible.  David has recently turned his attention towards writing about sailing and sailboat maintenance.  His stories have been published in Sail Magazine, Telltales and GCM.

Crevalle Jack Fishing

August 30th, 2016

jackfish Crevalle Jack Fishing

One of the most underrated fish on the Texas Gulf Coast

By Capt. Joe Kent

tarpon Crevalle Jack Fishing

Jacks are a common bycatch of tarpon fishermen.

Before we talk about crevalle jack, or jacks as they are more commonly called, let’s get an insight into tarpon, or silver kings as they are also known.  Tarpon are very popular game fish and we will be comparing them to crevalle jack.

The tarpon’s fight is among the best of any fish anywhere and anglers will spend hours trying to get a hook-up with a fish that many say resembles a shot in the dark to catch.

From Memorial Day until mid-October, tarpon roam the coastal waters not too far from the beach.  August and September are prime months for getting a hook-up; however, the odds are not great unless you are using an experienced tarpon guide.  While the odds improve considerably with a guide even then the chances are on the tarpon’s side not to get caught.

Perfect water conditions and select baits are a must and once you land one of the big fish it has to be quickly released as they are under the catch and release rules.

Unless it is one of the scales you are after or a 100-pound plus fish for the resume, then try fishing for crevalle jack.

Crevalle jack are caught in all sizes along the coastal waters and have many of the same traits as tarpon.  Both fish offer poor table fare; however, while tarpon (except for one over 85 inches) must be released, jacks can be retained with no bag or size limits. The tarpon exception is to allow for a new state record tarpon to be set.

Jacks are found in a much wider area than tarpon, as the larger of the silver kings confine themselves to the Gulf waters.  Jacks can be found in the inland bays as well.  Fighting ability is an understatement for both fish, as both are known as ferocious fighters.  Just ask any surf fisherman who had his reel stripped of line by a fast attacking jack.

Tarpon require clear or green water with light winds and slight seas for increasing the odds of a hook-up.  Jacks on the other hand are not as particular and are caught in lesser quality water under almost all conditions, especially favoring the same type of water in which reds and specks thrive.

Tarpon fishermen frequently hook up with jacks while drifting their baits for the prized silver kings.  While the jack may present a comparable fight, it is usually disappointing to the tarpon angler when he see what is on the other end of the line.

Certain select baits are required for a good chance at enticing a tarpon while a variety of baits from live to natural to cut baits work on jacks.

Jacks, like tarpon, are most likely going to be caught near the surface so for that reason drift lines tend to work best.  The best baits are those used for any pelagic fish offshore. Sardines, ribbonfish, shad and strips of bonito are among the best baits.

During periods of nice conditions in the surf, meaning light winds and seas, beachgoers and surf fishermen will see schools of jacks attack pods of mullet in the surf.

If this article stimulates your interest in catching a jack, here are a few tips that will enhance your chances.  The jetties, especially out from the rocks rather than in close, are where they are likely to roam.  All along the beachfront, from near shore to eight miles or so out, also offers good opportunities.

One of my favorite spots to find jacks is near anchored and working shrimp boats within 8 to 10 miles from shore.

Once you hook a jack you will not forget it and any angler that has caught a few can tell right away when one is on the line as soon as it strikes.  When the strike occurs, the reel starts spinning and newcomers learn quickly not to put their thumb on the spooling line.

If big time action is what you are after, go for the jacks.

Galveston Bay Fall Transition Fishing

August 30th, 2016

spectroutstring Galveston Bay Fall Transition Fishing

Gary Speer and Randy with a good trout stringer.

By Capt. David DillmanSpec-tacular Trout Adventures832-228-8012

Summer is close to being just a memory. It sure did fly by fast! Now we await the arrival of Fall. September is the month of transition and October is the first month of fall. Lots of folks put the boats and rods up in favor of guns and hunting, but not me. I just get ready for some of the best fishing of the year in Galveston Bay.

In September, speckled trout and redfish scatter as they begin their movement to the back reaches of the bay.

Black drum, sand trout and croaker start to show up in abundance. These fish can be caught along the deeper reefs, passes and the jetties. Fresh dead shrimp fished on the bottom is the top bait when fishing for these “panfish.” They make for excellent table fare and provide lots of fun for anglers of any age. There is no size or number limit on croakers or sand trout, but the limit on black drum is five fish per day, between 14-30 inches. One fish may be retained that is over 52 inches and it counts toward the daily bag limit.

Those anglers in search of specks and reds during this time of year will see a different pattern from summer. In my experience, is it fairly difficult to catch good numbers in any one place during the first few weeks of September. But the fish will settle into a fall pattern by the end of the month.

Usually by this time, we should see the arrival of our first cool/cold fronts. Fish will congregate towards the northern ends of our bays where baitfish will depart the marsh. Falling water temperature and tide levels flush bait out of the marsh, where they are intercepted by waiting schools of hungry trout and redfish. We will see our first bird action, where seagulls and terns will pinpoint the schools of fish.

Every angler, no matter if they are using live bait or lures, should see plenty of action. Live croaker will take a backseat seat, as live shrimp fished under a popping cork will draw more action for live baiters. Any type of soft plastic will be a top lure for artificial anglers.

Weather this time of year is nearly perfect with cool mornings and highs in the mid 80’s. Eagle Point Fishing Camp will stock up on live shrimp this time of year for the angler. Get out on the water and enjoy the fishing and weather.

Tight Lines!!

Galveston Marsh Fishing and Kayaking Report

August 24th, 2016

redfish 1 Galveston Marsh Fishing and Kayaking ReportBy Cody Phillips of Galveston Kayak Charters

During the middle of summer, it’s hard to get your fix AKA time on the water. That’s why this time of year until the first signs of fall, I am on the water by 3 a.m. With temps hovering around a hundred by midday water temps are well into the nineties. This makes me focus my fishing in or around marsh. This time of year I make sure there is plenty of foliage to keep the water cool into the mid day hours. Using this strategy has kept my clients and I on solid redfish during this heat wave. It’s amazing a couple of degrees in water temp will make or break a marsh fishing adventure. I’ve put this theory to the test up and down the Texas coast and the end results are all the same big red fish in less than 2 feet of water.

mambo mullet 3.gif Galveston Marsh Fishing and Kayaking Report

Egret Baits Mambo Mullets in Golden Nugget

Preferred baits:

When it comes to baits of choice Egret Mambo Mullets in Golden Nugget and solid chartreuse have been my go-to. Then Egret Wedgetails in Plumb/Chartreuse for fishing over thick grass and cover.

Preferred boats:

One of the kayaks I recommend is the Ocean Kayak Prowler 13. This boat is incredibly fast able to paddle long distances with little too much effort. Another reason is it is a very quiet hull enable to go in the shallowest of marshes when the tide is below normal.

Native Watercraft's Versa Board Angler

Native Watercraft’s Versa Board Angler

The second boat I recommend is Native Watercraft’s Versa Board Angler. It is a crossbreed between a paddle board and a kayak. This boat is very wide and glides across the water. This is a great advantage when you’re standing up push polling through the marsh sight casting redfish.

To book a trip with Cody, call 832-339-4441.

Cristina Maldonado

Cristina Maldonado with a beautifully spotted redfish out of Galveston.

Phillip Grosman with his first ever redfish.

Phillip Grosman with his first ever redfish.

 

Galveston Bay Foundation and HARC release 2016 report card for Galveston Bay

August 12th, 2016

gbaymap Galveston Bay Foundation and HARC release 2016 report card for Galveston Bay

Under the ‘find your watershed’ tab, you can enter in your city or zip code to find information about the bay, river or bayou in your community.

galvbayfound Galveston Bay Foundation and HARC release 2016 report card for Galveston BayThe Galveston Bay Foundation, partnered with the Houston Advanced Research Center, has released the 2016 report card for Galveston Bay. The grade is a C, the same as last year, after averaging the six categories of Water QualityPollution Events & Sources, Wildlife, Habitat, Human Health Risks and Coastal Change. Some categories improved from last year, but some got worse.

View the full report card here and see what you can do to help the health of Galveston Bay, the 7th largest estuary in the United States and the body of water where many Texas residents work, live and play.

Sea Scout Base Galveston Short-course Fleet Racing Regatta

August 10th, 2016

Sea Scout Base Galveston tx 4 243x300 Sea Scout Base Galveston Short course Fleet Racing RegattaSea Scout Base Galveston
Short-course Fleet Racing Regatta
Notice of Regattas 2016
September 17-18
October 22-23
November 12-13

Host

The Texas OPEN Short-Course Fleet Racing Regattas will be hosted by Sea Scout Base Galveston at Sea Base Galveston, 7509 Broadway, Galveston Texas 77554.

Schedule

Saturday

0800 Breakfast
0900 Competitors meeting
1000 First Race
Last Race of the day NLT 1700
Pizza and beverages after racing

Sunday

0800 Breakfast
0900 Competitors meeting
1000 First Race
Last Race of the day NLT 1400

Boats

Racing will be in 18+ Collegiate FJs provided by Sea Base Galveston

Format

The regatta will be OPEN short-course fleet racing (10-15 minutes per race), available to high school, college and seasoned dinghy sailors. If more than 18 teams (i.e., skipper and crew) register, two fleets may be designated. Boats will be assigned to competitors, and there will be no rotation of boats. The regatta will be governed by the rules as defined in the Racing Rules of Sailing 2013-2016. Everyone is encouraged to bring a refillable water bottle.

Housing

Housing will be available at Sea Scout Base Galveston, the site of the regatta. Reservations should be made directly with Eva LaFour (409-572-2560 x1002). Sea Base is offering accommodations for $50/night/person. These are apartment suites with shared bathroom; rooms can accommodate males and females). Housing reservations with Sea Base should be arranged at least one week in advance.

Berths and Entries

Berths will be available to the first 18 teams registered (see below). Additional teams will be added if a second division is created. Below is the link for the regatta network form. Entry requires $60 fee and $100 damage deposit (damage deposit to “Sea Scout Base Galveston.”)

Registration

Von Steuben Day Regatta (September)
https://www.regattanetwork.com/clubmgmt/applet_registration_form.php?regatta_id=11577

Boo Bowl Regatta (October)
https://www.regattanetwork.com/clubmgmt/applet_registration_form.php?regatta_id=11578

Chili Bowl Regatta (November)
https://www.regattanetwork.com/clubmgmt/applet_registration_form.php?regatta_id=11579

Galveston Bay Foundation’s Ladies Casting for Conservation 2016

August 10th, 2016

GBF Thank You Galveston Bay Foundations Ladies Casting for Conservation 2016

The Galveston Bay Foundation sent us this nice thank you collage for participating in the Ladies Casting for Conservation Fishing Tournament. Our team had a great time, got 1st place heaviest stringer, and overall $35,000 was raised to help our bay. We suggest any lady anglers out there sign up for this tournament next year, it was a blast!

Harvest Moon Regatta 2016

August 8th, 2016

10945804 450743195086071 459999363205025712 o Harvest Moon Regatta 2016

The Harvest Moon Regatta® is an annual sailboat race offshore from Galveston, Texas to Port Aransas, Texas. The event is sponsored by Bay Access (a 501(c)(3) corporation and is sponsored by Lakewood Yacht Club. The next race will begin on October 13, 2016 and will be its 30th anniversary. Visit the Harvest Moon Regatta® website for more information, schedule and updates.

2016 Important Dates:

Saturday, August 13 2016 10:00AM  HMR 101
Saturday, September 10 2016 08:00AM  Safety Roundtable
Sunday, October 2 2016 05:00PM  Late entry cut-off
Friday, October 7 2016 06:00PM  Skippers meeting
Wednesday, October 12 2016 06:00PM  Head Start Party & Overnight Stay at Laguna Harbor
Thursday, October 13 2016 02:00PM  First race starts
Saturday, October 15 2016  Barbeque banquet
Saturday, October 15 2016  Judy’s Mission awards presentation
Saturday, October 15 2016  Welcome Sailor Rum Party
Sunday, October 16 2016  Race finish
Sunday, October 16 2016  Rum Mary Party

 

unnamed 2 Harvest Moon Regatta 2016

 

The Importance of Galveston Sea Grass

August 8th, 2016

27troutgrass The Importance of Galveston Sea Grass

This 27-inch trout came from a mix of widgeon and shoal grass.

By Capt. Steve Soule

www.theshallowist.com

Galveston Bay doesn’t have a large amount of sea grass. Prior to 2008 we had very little at all, with the exception of Christmas Bay and three areas where grass had been planted by the Galveston Bay Foundation during the late 1990s.

Galveston’s West Bay did historically have sea grasses, like much of the Texas coastline, but they had long since been wiped out. During the 1990s, when I moved to the Galveston area and started fishing, Christmas Bay was the only area where I could consistently find sea grass beds to fish. Though, there were years when certain coves in West Galveston would grow sea grass, it was primarily widgeon grass. It might grow well one year and then not be seen in the area for several years. Back then, I didn’t really realize why this grass was here some years and not others. I did however always know the benefit of the sea grasses and the incredible habitat that it provides for sea life.

Enter the Galveston Bay Foundation and their efforts to restore the bay in the mid to late 90s. They had already been involved in some shoreline restoration projects where they would replant shoreline grasses (Spartina). They also planted sea grass in three areas along the south shoreline of West Bay at Dana Cove, behind Galveston Island State Park, Snake Island Cove and at San Luis Pass behind the old water treatment plant. All of these areas still grow grass well, with Dana and Snake Island probably being the most prolific, and these grasses still thrive today. The type of sea grass that was planted at these areas is shoal grass

These patches of planted grass were a fantastic improvement for the bay. Prior to these plantings, there was only sporadic grass growth along the north shore spoils, primarily widgeon grass. Due to these grass projects and an interesting set of recurring circumstances, the shorelines of West Bay have been transformed.

All of us who fish are well aware of how breezy Galveston can be during spring with wind directions predominantly from the south or southeast. There are many days when 15-25 mile per hour winds are the norm. Stepping back and taking a look at the big picture, and remembering the three areas where grass was planted and thriving, add some powerful south winds and a seeding period in late spring, and the result is spotty grass growth along north shore spoils. The first area that I remember seeing it was west of Karankawa cut. This long flat filled in with grass rather quickly while other areas took slightly longer to grow. Next was the stretch from Greens Cut to Karankawa Cut. Over the years since, this grass has spread and now covers nearly every inch of the West Bay spoils.

Types of Galveston Sea Grass

We don’t experience the same level of grass growth every year, nor do we have the same grasses appearing. We have high and low salinity years, and as it turns out, some grasses are more adept at growing during each of these types of years.

spartina The Importance of Galveston Sea Grass

Spartina grass

Spartina grass (Spartina alterniflora) along our shorelines grow in both high and low salinity and don’t seem to be effected much by annual changes.

Shoal grass

Shoal grass.© Hans Hillewaert

Shoal grass (Halodule wrightii) grows well during higher salinity years and has some interesting characteristics. This species, native along nearly all of the Texas Coast, is a straight bladed grass with small fibers along its blades. These fibers do an amazing job of filtering small particulate matter from the water column. This is the grass that gives us very clear water by trapping suspended silt in the water column so common in the Galveston area.

Widgeon grass

Widgeon grass

Widgeon grass (Ruppia maritima), grows prolifically in lower salinities and it is very different when compared to shoal grass. Widgeon grass has multiple offshoots along the length of the plant stem, grows rapidly during low salinity periods and grows much taller than shoal grass. This grass will continue to grow rapidly during spring and will often grow to the water’s surface. Interestingly, as we often experience high tides in spring in conjunction with higher south winds, widgeon grass will grow to the level of the water during these high tides. This sounds great, and as it benefits the environment, it is. Due to the multiple offshoots, greater height and the density of its growth, this grass makes for an exceptional cover structure for all of the small prey animals that inhabit these areas, and the predators that follow them.

Not that it makes much difference, nor can we change what mother nature sends our way in terms of weather, but it will help you to understand when and where these grasses grow and how they will impact the water where they are present. Shoal grass is an incredible water filter and provides very good cover and habitat for small fish, crabs and shrimp that redfish and trout frequently feed upon.

Widgeon grass on the other hand, does not tend to filter the water column nearly to the degree that shoal grass will. Widgeon grass will definitely grow much thicker and provide a great habitat for both prey and predator, but will not give us the clarity of water that shoal grass provides.

For those who have been fishing the grassy areas over the past few years, you are quite aware that 2015 and now 2016 have not been great water quality years. The underlying case has been low salinity. Though we do have some areas with shoal grass, for the most part the bay floor has been taken over by widgeon grass and will stay that way until late summer when salinities are higher. Unfortunately, this is in my experience typically too late for the shoal grass to recover and grow as the early season growth of the widgeon will choke out and prevent photosynthesis.

One last note about sea grasses and Galveston Bay, and well the entire Texas Coast for that matter. Don’t quote me on the exact timing, but two-to-three years ago, Texas Parks and Wildlife department passed a law prohibiting the intentional destruction of sea grasses. These grasses are a valuable and limited part of the overall habitat, providing cover structure for numerous animals both predatory and prey. This resource can be damaged and frequently is by boaters either unaware or not concerned. Given the rate of growth and expansion of the areas with sea grasses over the past ten years, we can only hope to see a continuation of this trend. With some cautious stewardship from all who operate boats in these areas, this may be a trend that continues and provides excellent habitat and fishing for many years to come.