July 23, 2016 at Stingaree Marina, Crystal Beach, Texas
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.
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!