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La Izquierda Surf & Music Festival

April 2nd, 2019

ozi 1024x1024 La Izquierda Surf & Music Festival

32598559 1893748454248919 8019309188423352320 o 1024x683 La Izquierda Surf & Music FestivalBy Robert Kuhn

Who are you? The longer time passes between what we think and what we feel, the more opportunity there is for silence.

Almost one year ago, our community of like-minded(ish) weirdos all got together at the 91st Street fishing pier to celebrate La Izquierda, a cosmically aligned festival of surf and music. The vibes were through the roof. Anyone there that day will tell you something special went down on May 12, 2018. Whether it was the music, the surf, the yoga, or the beer, people all say it was magic. There were even waves.

We raised over $6,000 for Surfrider Foundation, Galveston Chapter, whose mission is the protection and enjoyment of oceans, waves, and beaches through a powerful activist network. They run plastic bag cleanups and campaigns, send people to Washington to be real, and meet up on a regular basis for solidarity. I think we can all get on board with that.

We brought loud and clear original music of all kinds to the hearts of the thousands of hand clapping attendees. We sent the grand prize long boarder to Costa Rica with his chica for an all-inclusive surf getaway. Jimmy’s on the Pier was slammed from morning to night with their best day ever, and dozens of up and coming craft breweries introduced themselves to the palettes of the drinkers who judged the friendly and democratic beer completion. Go GIB!

It was a huge success by everyone’s standards, so we are doing it again on the same second weekend of May.
Mark your calendars for May 11, 2019. La Izquierda Dos.
It’s right before Mother’s Day, so la Izquierda su madre.

We’re bringing some new all-star bands to the lineup like Los Skarnales, as well as several original crew from last year who rocked the seas and heavens.

All of the trophies last year were pieces created by Galveston area artists, and this year we’ve been given more space to allow the donors to show and sell their work. In fact, Jimmy gave us the whole pier so we’re open to just about anything. What do you want La Izquierda to be for you? What do you create? What do you share? It’s gathering momentum and we’d like more of you to be a part of it. We’ve even got a legit website, LaIzquierdafest.com. Communicate your ideas with us. Please let us know what you think, and come to Jimmie’s On the Pier on May 11th. I will be there.

Upper Texas Coast Spring Fishing

February 28th, 2019

By Capt. Steve Soulewww.ultimatedetailingllc.com

sight cast redfish Upper Texas Coast Spring Fishing

Capt. Steve Soule caught this nice red while fly fishing with Capt. Clay Daniel Sheward.

Spring on the upper Texas coast brings warming temperatures, to both air and water. We have longer daylight periods and typically much more sunshine, accompanied by vigorous winds and choppy bays. It also is the time when multiple food sources return to our bay waters and shallows, flowing new life into areas of the bays that may have seemed desolate and devoid of life during the winter. The combination of springtime transitional patterns and occurrences can, and often do, confuse and complicate the plans of bay anglers.

TEMPERATURE

This time of the year, we are still in a back and forth battle with passing cold fronts and swinging temperatures, though the greater trend is warming. With this in mind, we often have to change plans based on temperature. It is key to remember that as air temperatures drop below those of the water, fish will tend to move slightly deeper, and as air warms to temperatures greater than water, they tend to move shallow. This is in part due to the comfort level of the predators, but to an even larger degree, this pattern has to do with following their food sources.

Let’s throw in a little twist to this generalization. The bottom make up of the bay areas that you fish can also play a large role in temperature as well as comfort and availability of food sources for predators. Soft or darker colored mud bottom, especially in relatively shallow water will warm faster on sunny days. This can create comfort zones for both bait species and predators alike. So, as much as we watch temperatures, we also need to be aware of the amount of sun and bay floor make up to help focus our efforts on productive areas.

sunlight Upper Texas Coast Spring Fishing

The longer days in spring trigger spawning activity for many species of fish.

INCREASING SUNLIGHT

Photo period is an often overlooked part of transitional periods throughout the year. Photo period, the number of hours of daylight versus night, triggers many things beyond the obvious additional heating of the water temperature. It’s well known that this is one of the triggers for spawning periods of fish. It also plays a large role in the timing of baitfish and other prey species returning to various areas of the bays. Coincidental timing I suppose, but since most all plant life requires sunlight to grow, its a well timed natural occurrence for the return or emergence of many of the smaller fish and crustaceans right when their food sources become more prevalent. Here’s an interesting thought about photo period and longer hours of daylight during spring. Even at the same daily temperature, longer days will yield greater warming than shorter days. This helps with the overall warming trend even on days when temps aren’t significantly warmer, purely because of the extended hours of daylight.

COMPARING SPRING & FALL

Keeping in mind that this is a transitional season, spring is one that requires more patience compared to fall. During our fall transition, the bays are at the peak of life, with numerous prey species readily available and in abundance. Much of the activity in fall centers around the mass migrations and attempted exodus from the shallows first,and then from deeper waters. Because the triggers for feeding are falling temperature, photo period decrease and changes in wind and tide, the ensuing patterns become fairly predictable.

In spring, things just don’t happen all at once. There are many factors that affect the return of bait species, and unfortunately, they don’t all happen at the same time. There are counter forces that can slow and change the timing of when they occur. With many of the returning species of bait, we are dependent on favorable offshore conditions along with onshore wind flow to bring them into the bays. Some, on the other hand must move to more open water from deeper inland, in creeks and bayous. Timing and location of these events is different every year.

THE WIND

In spring, wind plays a huge role in many ways. Wind can have an obvious effect on the location and supply of many smaller prey animals. As much as heavy south or southeast winds can make our fishing days challenging, these are much needed to speed the return of many offshore species to the bays. Even though the exact timing and amount of any given species hitting certain areas of the bays is very unpredictable, there are some things we can count on nearly every year.

The gulf passes and outlets will be the first to see many species and typically in the greatest quantities. Shortly after, the adjacent shorelines and nearby structures will gradually blossom with new life. Similarly, the upper reaches of the bays will begin to see an increase in bait flows that seek slightly higher salinities returning from low salinity areas up creeks and bayous. These are great starting points in our search for fish, knowing that these areas will consistently have the earliest increases in food supply for the predators that we seek.

Beyond the challenges of finding fish, springtime winds can make fishing unpleasant, difficult and often unsafe. Some quick thoughts on wind; how it effects fish and anglers when it comes to deciding where to fish. Logic tells us that wind can move many of the small species, especially when it works in unison with tides. Winds can drive schools of small bait to wind blown shorelines, and make movement or escape from predators very difficult. This can and will create something of a buffet line for predators who can more easily move and prey upon small species.

These shorelines are often overlooked, and some days they should be for safety. North and west shorelines that see the brunt of the spring winds are great under moderate wind days and days following hard onshore wind flows. On the days that the winds are just too high to fish these areas, it makes much more sense to fish protected shores. Again, look for the shorelines and areas that are nearer to gulf passes or upper reaches of the bays where creek flows will deposit concentrations of food.

Keep in mind that spring winds often can create more than just a comfort problem for anglers, but often a safety concern, making certain areas just not worth the effort or risk to fish.

mullet

Topwaters and plugs that imitate mullet are good choices at the start of spring. Downsize to smaller lures later in spring when predators are keying in on newly hatched baitfish.

LURES FOR SPRING

I couldn’t talk this much about springtime transition and food sources without mentioning what types of lures to throw and some timing aspects to consider. This is one of the best times to fish bigger mullet imitations, especially topwater baits, but you will often need to be patient to find success. Timing is often the key here, tides and moon position can make a big difference in getting bites.

As much as I would love to do nothing but throw topwater lures, some days you have to scale down and get lower in the water column to get bites. If you find yourself surrounded by smaller baitfish, it can be well worth the time to try some small plastic swimming tails on lighter jig heads. There are also times when only very light or natural colored baits work when all else fails. Matching the hatch isn’t always necessary but getting close to the size can help.

Something else fun to try during spring are lipped twitch baits, like those from Rapala and Bomber. The erratic darting action and slow rise or suspension on the pause can often be the trigger to get stubborn fish to bite.

TACTICS

Though spring can present challenges in many ways, it can bring equal rewards for those who pull together the many puzzle pieces. Watching tides and winds and planning accordingly can put you in the midst of schools of fish hungrily feasting on ever increasing supplies of small food.

Be prepared to adjust your plans, be thorough in your search and coverage of areas. If you are in an area that you feel sure there are fish, don’t be afraid to stick around and adjust your tactics. Some days a lure change can make all the difference.

Don’t let failure in one spot prevent you from trying other areas, and make great notes about areas that are showing abundant food. Many times the food sources will show before the predators, and knowing this will provide you with great fishing areas to return to later.

Reef restoration projects aim to bolster Texas’ record-low oyster population

November 14th, 2018

Oyster Restoration Project 2 JF TT 1024x686 Reef restoration projects aim to bolster Texas record low oyster population

Oyster shells along the Gulf Intercoastal Waterway. An oyster restoration project is underway in Matagorda Bay. Jerod Foster for The Nature Conservancy

By Carlos Anchondo, The Texas Tribune

November 14, 2018

With oyster populations in Texas at historic lows, The Nature Conservancy is launching two new reef restoration projects that look to appease commercial fishermen and environmentalists alike.

Using funds from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill settlement, the group plans to develop 110 acres of reef in Galveston Bay and Copano Bay, near Rockport. Half of each reef will be designated as a marine sanctuary where the molluscs — which have significant economic and environmental benefits — may grow. The other half will be open for commercial fishing.

Construction of the new reefs is expected to begin this winter, with harvestable portions ready as soon as 2021.

Laura Huffman, regional director of The Nature Conservancy in Texas, said these projects show a new approach to oyster reef restoration, with the compatibility of building harvestable reefs at the same time as growing a healthy habitat.

“Protecting the ecology of these reefs is essential for protecting oysters, both as a food source and for the economy of Texas,” Huffman said. “We have to pay attention to rebuilding habitat so that we’re giving back at the same time that we’re taking.”

After years of overharvesting and widespread coastal destruction during hurricanes Ike and Harvey, the number of Texas oysters has dwindled to a fraction of their former population. The Nature Conservancy estimates that as much as 50 percent of original reefs remain in the Gulf of Mexico. And in some parts of the coast, it estimates 80 percent of reefs have been destroyed.

The trend poses a big threat to the health and resiliency of the coast. Among other things, oysters can rapidly filter contaminants out of seawater.

Then there’s the economic benefit.

Oysters harvested from the Gulf of Mexico provide half of all oysters eaten in the United States each year – the bulk of which come from Texas and Louisiana, according to Huffman. She said the industry is valued at $43 million each year.

A recent Nature Conservancy report describes oysters as “the ecological building blocks for the Gulf Coast.”

The new reefs will give oysters a better chance at reaching adulthood, which takes about two years, said Lance Robinson, coastal fisheries deputy director at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department.

Robinson is working with The Nature Conservancy on both of these projects. He said building reefs provides a continual source of juvenile oysters that will populate bay systems up and down the Texas coast.

Oysters, as natural filters, then improve water quality.

“An adult oyster filters up to 50 gallons of seawater per day,” Robinson said. “With these 110 acres of reef, oysters there could treat, by volume, as much water as 19 wastewater treatment plants in the City of Houston.”

Besides the oysters’ seafood value, Robinson said their stationary reefs serve as a natural barrier against hurricanes. They also are an all-service habitat for a variety of marine life. Oysters excrete something called psuedofeces, which shrimp and crabs eat as food. That carries up the food chain, as other species come in to feed.

The unique feature of these reef projects is that they are divided into sanctuary and areas for commercial harvest, Robinson said.

By building reefs, The Nature Conservancy is replicating the shell oyster larvae need to latch onto to become adult oysters. Developing oyster larvae float in the water until they find a resting place.

“We have been taking out shell for decades, with very minimal replacement,” Robinson said. “It’s hard to find shell now, so we’re mimicking Mother Nature with materials like limestone, concrete, and river rock that provide that hard substrate.”

These projects will complement recent legislative efforts to crack down on overharvesting.

Last session, state Rep. Ryan Guillen, D-Rio Grande Valley, passed House Bill 51, which, in addition to a buyback program, created a stronger penalty for fishermen harvesting undersized oysters and authorized a fee. Instead of a Class C misdemeanor, a Class B would be issued for multiple violations. It also makes each individual on a boat responsible for violating the law.

Robinson said the penalty acts as a deterrent, with fishermen at risk of losing their license up to 30 days. Harvesting undersized oysters became a major problem after flooding in 2015 and 2016, and Hurricane Harvey in 2017, led to widespread oyster mortality. As demand rose, the price per sack went up, and some fishermen ignored the three-inch size required to harvest an oyster.

Oyster regulations require that any oyster under three inches be returned to its reef, according to the Texas Parks & Wildlife website.

Huffman, the Texas regional director of The Nature Conservancy, said her organization has deep experience with these types of construction projects, pointing to a previous reef restoration at Half Moon Reef in Matagorda Bay.

“We have seen a biodiversity boom, in a good way, in that area,” Huffman said. “Recreational fishermen are going back to Half Moon Reef. It shows that you can’t just harvest. You also have to replenish. That’s exactly what these oyster reefs are trying to demonstrate. You can do both of these things simultaneously.”

Disclosure: The Nature Conservancy and the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department have been financial supporters of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune’s journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

Read related Tribune coverage

Court Backs State In Battle Over Oyster Reefs
Legal Battle Over Seabed Off Texas Coast Heats Up

“Reef restoration projects aim to bolster Texas’ record-low oyster population” was first published at by The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them — about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

 

The Texas Tribune is a nonpartisan, nonprofit media organization that informs Texans — and engages with them – about public policy, politics, government and statewide issues.

Hot and Getting Hotter!

July 1st, 2018

Tantuco Hot and Getting Hotter!

Dr. Tantuco and family after a day of red hot speckled trout fishing with Capt. Dillman.

By Capt. David C. Dillman

galvestonbaycharterfishing.com | 832-228-8012

Summer has finally arrived here along the Texas Upper Coast. This June, the Galveston/Houston area broke record or near record high temperatures on several days. But the trout fishing in June was really good. As the heat sets in the next two months, the trout action will only get hotter!

As the doldrums of summer set in, the water temperature rises in the bay. This rise will cause trout to seek the deep water structure Galveston Bay affords them. In July, the area known as the Exxon A-Lease should be loaded up with trout. The deep water structure of shell pads near these numerous gas wells will hold the fish to this area. Any given well in this location can be productive but some wells are better then others.

The shell pads located adjacent to the ship channel will see its share of trout too. Some of the oyster reefs are marked by PVC pipe. Some reefs must located using your depth sonar. Channel markers 50-62 are popular areas to fish in July.

In August, trout will begin their annual migration north. There will still be plenty of fish in the areas mentioned earlier. Some fish will move farther up the channel, staging on the reefs from markers 66-72 and around the tip of Atkinson Island. The wells located in the middle of Trinity Bay will also see an increase in the population of trout. These wells, just as the wells in the A-Lease, provide good structure for the fish. Trinity is a big open bay that can get rough, so plan fishing the open water there according to the wind speed and your boat’s capability.

Live natural baits work best in the heat of July/August. Live croaker and shrimp are the baits of choice this time of year. Croakers should be fished on the bottom, while shrimp can be used on the bottom or under a popping cork.

Eagle Point Fishing Camp in San Leon offers easy access to all of these areas and has a great supply of live bait during this time of year. They can be reached at 281-339-1131 for updates on conditions and bait. Enjoy the heat of the summer and its hot fishing! Remember to drink plenty of water and stay hydrated!!

CCA Galveston’s Annual Ladies Fishing Tournament

July 1st, 2018

cca galv logo 300x172 CCA Galvestons Annual Ladies Fishing TournamentBy Kelly Groce

On June 23, CCA Galveston put on their 3rd Annual Ladies Fishing Tournament. The captain’s meeting and weigh-in was held at the beautiful Pelican Rest Marina on Offatts Bayou in Galveston.

The wind was blowing about 20 mph for the tournament which made fishing tough, but all the ladies still had a great time and some managed to bring nice fish to the weigh-in. Besides the standard weigh-in categories such as Heaviest Trout and Redfish, there was Redfish With the Most Spots, Blackjack Trout (trout closest to 21”, but not over), and Heaviest Trash Fish.

The trophies were unique since they were supposed to be used for last year’s tournament which was cancelled due to Hurricane Harvey. Each trophy had a “Harvey Make-Up 2018” tag on it. CCA Galveston also had some great raffle items including fishing rods from Waterloo, reels from Concept 13 and Shimano, Engel and Game Guard coolers, Foreverlast wading gear, and more.

This tournament is not only a fun time, it raises money for the Coastal Conservation Association Galveston Chapter to allow them to continue to conserve, promote and enhance the present and future availability of our coastal resources for the benefit and enjoyment of the general public.
Next year, fishing starts as soon as the captain’s meeting ends, which many anglers are excited about! Thanks again to CCA Galveston President Dr. Ken Ellis, Treasurer Karen LaRue and all the nice folks who worked hard to put this tournament together. Can’t wait to participate next year!

1st place flounder CCA Galvestons Annual Ladies Fishing Tournament

Sea Star Base Koch Cup Awards

November 6th, 2017

Sea Star Base Galveston recently hosted the 9th Biennial William I. Koch International Sea Scout Cup Regional Regatta Trial, “Aggie Cup”,  Saturday, September 23, on Offatt’s Bayou, 7409 Broadway.

The oldest continuing qualifier for the Koch Cup, the regatta is open to any Sea Scout Crew in a Southern Region Ship, and is one of four races held in Scouting’s Southern Region. Qualifiers from the regatta will compete in the William I Koch International Sea Scout Cup to be held at Sea Star Base Galveston in 2018. Regatta Director is Skipper Dan Wilson, Commodore of Sam Houston Are Council that includes Houston and the surrounding 16 counties.

Admission to the race was open to all Southern Region  and is governed by the ISAF Racing Rules of Sailing 2017 – 2020, Boy Scouts of America Guide to Safe Scouting, posted Aggie Cup sailing instructions and the Official Notice of Racing, the regatta is a Sea Scouts, BSA event. Sailors  compete on  FJ’s, or Flying Junior, which are popularly used to teach young sailors the skills of boat handling and racing.

At the conclusion of the races, following the protest and penalty review, winners were announced as follows:

  • 1st place:  Ship 1000, Andrew Vandling  and Isaac Barkely
  • 2nd place: Ship 45, Ryan Shaw and Kaytlynn Welsch
  • 3rd place: Ship 846, Zander Sexton and Simon Sexton
  • 4th place: Ship 45, Jonathan Franks and Bo Steber
  • 5th place: Ship 45, Esteban Garcia and Amber Steber

Sea Star Base Galveston is a high-adventure aquatic destination offering marine and maritime education programs that foster teamwork, skills, lifetime leadership, and independence in body, mind, and spirit. The Base offers sailing and educational programs for youth, adults, and physically challenged individuals.

For information on upcoming regattas or SSBG Community Sailing programs go to www.ssbgalveston.org or call (409) 572-2560.

IMG 9119 1024x683 Sea Star Base Koch Cup Awards

Koch Cup Regatta Trials, 1st place – L – R: Dan Wilson, Commodore of San Houston Area Council, Andrew Vandling and Isaac Barkely

IMG 9117 1024x683 Sea Star Base Koch Cup Awards

Koch Cup Regatta Trials, 2nd place – L – R: Kaitlynn Welsch, Commodore Dan Wilson, and Ryan Shaw

Koch Cup Regatta Trials, 3rd place – L – R: Zander Sexton, Dan Wilson, and Simon Sexton

Koch Cup Regatta Trials, 4th place – L – R: Jonathan Franks, Bo Steber, and Skipper Dan Wilson

Gift Guide for Surfers

November 1st, 2017

Surfers Gift Guide Gift Guide for Surfers

Rob Sawyer (@singlefinsociety) in Galveston. Photo by Adam Valadez (@adamisraelvaladez)

CAPTAIN FIN 272x300 Gift Guide for Surfers

CAPTAIN FIN Slasher El Bull 6.5 – The Slasher is a must have. This fin works best in 2+1 longboards providing smooth rail-to-rail surfing and tight turns. www.captainfin.com

TRUEAMES Greenough 4-A Volan – Chuck Ames and the crew at TrueAmes make some of the best fins in the world, by hand, in California. The 10” Greenough 4-A Volan is an all around great fin for any singlefin longboard. www.trueames.com

BIRDWELL BEACH BRITCHES 311 Medium Length Boardshorts – Handmade in the USA with a lifetime guarantee. These iconic boardshorts are made with SurfNyl fabric for strength, comfort, and durability. They also feature triple lace closure with nickel plated grommets and the signature Birdwell wax pocket. www.birdwell.com

BEECH BRAND Serape Beach Towel – Beech Brand towels were created and designed for surfers. These towels have a revolutionary antimicrobial technology to help prevent the growth on a wide array of odor and stain causing bacteria, fungi, mold, mildew, algae, and is environmentally friendly. www.beechbrand.com

BRIXTON Bells Straw Hat – This wide brimmed straw hat from Brixton is key for long beach days. This hat will provide full coverage protection for the face, neck and ears. It is also lightweight. www.swell.com

PICKLE WAX REMOVER – The Pickle Wax Remover® is a unique tool used to remove the surf wax from any surfboard. It is not only green in color it is “green” for the environment. The Pickle contains 100% recycled ingredients and does not contain or use any harsh chemicals. The Pickle is reusable and can clean board after board after board. www.picklewaxremover.com

SMITH OPTICS Lowdown ChromaPop – Smith Optics’ signature sunglasses with ChromaPop color enhancing technology make beach days easier on the eyes. These lenses are impact-resistant and offer 100% UV protection. www.smithoptics.com

AQUATECH AxisGO iPhone Water Housing – AxisGO™ is the ultimate Smartphone Imaging System. Designed to protect your iPhone from the harshest weather conditions, while offering the freedom to safely capture those special moments underwater. Capture beautiful images and stunning video with ease, then share instantly with full touchscreen sensitivity. www.aquatech.net

 

CANVAS SURFBOARDS Purchase Longboard – The Purchase is the perfect classic noserider. Its deep dish concave in the upper third portion of the board makes for long nose rides through critical sections. It does it all. www.canvassurfboards.com

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!