GOYEN' FISHIN': Always an interesting day on the water
Once again it's great to be back talking about what I love to do most - fishing along the Texas coast.
As you read this article, we will be halfway through the second busiest weekend of the year, "as far as boats on the water are concerned," and the finale for many family outings in the Coastal Bend arena.
Only Memorial Day weekend can trump this weekend as having the most boats on the water.
Students involved in school sports along with the upcoming hunting seasons will pull numerous anglers away from the salt water after this big weekend.
Changing weather patterns the past two weeks have improved fishing from Port O'Connor to Rockport.
We have had more calm days than windy days, allowing fishermen to fish the surf, the wells and open bay reefs.
You always have better results when you can fish where you want instead of where you can. Higher tides have pushed trout and redfish close to protected shorelines and into most of the back lakes.
The first northeast winds have also arrived since the first of May.
They may muddy up the water in many areas, but they do bring in new water and raise the tides.
I was able to fish the surf last Friday and had 11 trout from 20-inches to 21-1/2-inches.
Trout fishing has been feast or famine the entire month of August, but the surf (when fishable) always seems to produce the best game fish stringers.
Trout fishing will continue to decline until the water drops into the low 60's. This may be in October or it may be in November.
Red fishing will greatly improve from now until November and will be the target for the majority of anglers that visit the coast.
There's a first time for
A very interesting thing happened on my boat two weeks ago that I think is worth talking about.
The water just happened to be dead calm as we left our pier at first light and headed to some deep shell reefs in the middle of Aransas Bay.
This area had proven successful the past few weeks and since the water was calm this was going to be our first stop.
We had been using live croakers and today would be no exception.
Because of the calm water I was able to run wide open so it was not a very long boat ride.
Ten minutes after I threw out the anchor we were hooked up with two 20-inch trout. After putting several solid trout in the box the bite stopped so we headed to one of my favorite wells in Mesquite Bay.
The water was still slick as we eased up within casting distance of my favorite gas well.
Sometimes you have to drive "around" the well until you locate the shell pad. Some shell pads are as far as 20 yards from the actual well. I had the spot marked on my GPS so we went straight to the "Honey Hole."
My client that was standing on the front of the boat hooked up immediately.
I picked up the net to net his fish and was shocked at what I saw. He had hooked about a two and a half pound whiting.
Whiting do not eat croakers.
I told him I've been fishing with croakers for many years and have never caught a whiting on a croaker.
I had left my line staked out as I netted his fish and now something was tugging on my line.
I rared back and set the hook and a 13-14 inch trout went airborne out of the water. I started reeling in this undersized trout when something about pulled the rod out of my hand.
Another fish must have eaten my trout.
I began fighting this monster and finally got it close enough to the boat to see what it was.
An eight to nine pound CCA Star winning gafftop had swallowed my trout!.
Because of the still slick conditions, the water was green and you could perfectly see the head of the trout sticking out of this huge gafftop's mouth.
We both freaked out.
He ran to the dry storage box to get his iPhone to film this fight.
It was an awesome sight to see this trout try to break free from this gafftop's grip.
As I got this beast next to the boat he opened his mouth and let the trout go free.
My client was not able to film this battle but immediately threw his croaker in the water where the gafftop was hoping he could hook this same fish. He was entered in the CCA Star Tournament and knew this gafftop was big enough to possibly win him a new truck and boat.
Unfortunately, the gafftop was now gone and the bite was over.
Amazingly in just 20 short minutes I had two things happen on my boat that had never happened in all my life on the water.
What I want to know is when did gafftop start eating trout?
Friends of NRA Annual
The doors will open at 5:30 p.m. this coming Thursday night at the Victoria Community Center for the Friends of NRA Annual Fundraiser Banquet.
Darrell Hester of Victoria's All-Sports Center is the chairman of the local chapter and has been for over 20 years.
Friends of NRA is an organization affiliated with the National Rifle Association but the focus of the Friends of NRA is not political but civic in nature.
Helping other organizations with grants and related activities is the spirit of the Friends of NRA.
Local civic groups, such as 4-H, and local law enforcement have been helped by the Friends of NRA.
Last year, under Darrel's leadership, the local group was number one in Texas and number three in the nation.
There are many big ticket items in this year's event including fishing trips to exotic places such as Alaska, New Zealand and Argentina. There is even a Safari.
There will also be numerous guns auctioned off in the live auction.
This event will be catered by Uncle Mutts Bar-B-Q.
Tickets are $50 and, if there are any left, will be available at Victoria's All-Sports Center located at 1902 Houston Highway.
Call Darrell or Sandra Hester at 361-575-0655.
Please do not miss this first class event.
Danny Goyen is an outdoor writer and speaker. He has been guiding on the Texas Coast for over 26 years.