Danny Goyen column: Anglers watch water temperature
Jan. 20, 2013 at 9:05 p.m.
Updated Jan. 19, 2013 at 7:20 p.m.
Hello Anglers. It's great to be back, talking about what I love to do most, and that's fishing along the Texas Coast. It's hard to believe that 2012 is over and we are now looking at the back side of January.
We are having true wintertime weather, if you look at it from a fisherman's point of view.
It's not about how many times the temperature goes below the freezing mark but how long the water temps stay in the mid-to-upper 40s. January has seen numerous days with those readings. Fishermen can expect to see some big speckled trout caught when we have cold weather along the Coast.
People have told me numerous times how crazy I am to be running across the bay early in the morning in pursuit of a trophy trout when cold weather is present. I continue to ask them if they eat when it's cold, to which they answer yes, and I still say so do the "big sow trout!"
I guess, really, it is about passion.
A very small percentage of fishermen will brave January's cold temperatures to try and catch a trophy trout because it is their passion.
If you fish along the Texas Coast, you have to ask yourself, what is your passion?
My wife will tell me that snuggling under the covers next to our Boston terrier and then rolling out of bed around 9:00 a.m. with the newspaper and a cup of hot coffee is her passion.
Part of the fulfillment of fishing on our beautiful Texas Coast is that every day is an adventure. There is no telling what might happen or who you may encounter when spending a full day on the water.
I took my wife, Becky, on a fishing trip between Christmas and New Year's to Rockport. We left our pier "late" around 9:00 a.m. headed toward a channel dug off the Intercoastal Canal next to Mustang Lake.
Mustang Lake is on the Aransas Wildlife Refuge and is home to the famous Bird Tower. We pulled into this channel that is used by the Refuge personnel and began fishing. This is a great place to go when the water is cold. This area also protects you from strong north winds, which at the time were blowing over 25 mph.
My motor had been acting up earlier, but I paid no attention to my motor's change in behavior because heck, it was only 5 months old.
Once situated, we began catching some big trout. I told Becky we needed to reposition the boat so we could reach these fish with more comfort. I reached to start the motor, and - you guessed it - it didn't start.
Here we are 17 miles from the boat ramp fishing in a blue norther where temperatures later that night predicted to be in the upper 30s.
Deep down I was puckered up, but I didn't want my wife to know it. Fortunately, she had an iPhone and looked up the Aransas Wildlife Refuge's number. We had already packed a bag of food, water and mosquito spray for the long walk from this harbor to the Visitor Center on the Refuge.
I had taken my trolling motor and trolled up to the Refuge's pier and boat ramp. We finally got someone to answer. I told the fire ranger where we were, and he came and picked us up. Thank goodness. You couldn't breathe without swallowing mosquitos.
He then took us to the visitor's center. I called my nephew, who went to pick up my truck and trailer at the St. Charles boat ramp. He met us at the Visitor's Center. The ranger let us use their boat ramp to pull my boat out of the water and head home. Isn't it ironic that that particular place is where my motor broke down? You may have watched the movie "Angels in the Outfield," well I had angels in my Blackjack boat. It was another great adventure on the water.
I'll talk about the results of the SCB Baffin Cup Tournament and how to catch big trout in cold water conditions in my next article. Many anglers from the Crossroads area will be fishing in these next two tourneys. Here is some information on both of them:
SCB 2013 BAFFIN CUP• Launch Site: Bluff's Landing, Corpus Christi
• January 25 - 26
• 1st Place more than $15,000
• For information call Eric at 1-979-299-8172 or e-mail Candace.email@example.com
• Entry forms can be picked up at the Tackle Box and V.A. Sports
BAFFIN CLASSIC• Marker 37 in Flour Bluff
• February 15 - 16
• $500 per team. Includes $100.00 Big Trout Pot
• Money needs to be turned in by Feb. 11.
• For more information, call Tommy Hartung at 1-907-433-3121 or Jimmy Burns at 1-361-573-0300
Danny Goyen is an outdoor writer and speaker. He has been guiding on the Texas Coast for over 25 years.