Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Padre Island Jack Crevalle

One of my most favorite places to go spend a day or two in Texas is the Padre Island National Seashore at Corpus Christi Texas. The park is a wilderness beach where big fish come in close to shore and sometimes I catch some of them. It is a wild place with not only a wild beach but sand dunes, flats, swamps and estuaries. Uncountable numbers of birds live there or stop over in migration. There are a breath taking vistas of ocean, beach, sand dunes and wildlife. From the terns and seagulls to pelicans and falcons all types of birds make PINS a stop on their flights. It is not unusual to see a Wiley coyote or a whitetail buck running the beach at daylight. The fishing is not a free for all but on some days the bounty of the ocean is at your feet in the first wade gut. On a good clear day you will see bait fish in the waves and predators right up against the beach feeding on the bait. It's not uncommon to spot very large sharks cruising the wade guts very close to the beach. I have seen blacktips, bulls, tigers and hammerheads all caught from the shore. A famous saying by Captain Billy Sandifer, a local guide, is that if you are knee deep in the Gulf of Mexico you are an integral part of the food chain.

My younger brother recently got to spend a couple of days on the beach at Padre and yes I am jealous, but I will let him tell his own story. Make your own trip to PINS as soon as you can. It will be worth it, Wild Ed

Fishing the beach during the summer months is always fun. You never know what you are going to catch and that is part of the fun of saltwater fishing. As a beach fisherman I have been fishing the Padre Island National Seashore for many years. Over the years I have learned some of the tricks of surf fishing and some of the things you should and should not do. Some of those lessons, even us old timers forget. Watching your rod and reel at all times is one of those lessons. I had out two large surf rigs baited with several live mullet I caught in my throw net. Being that nothing was really biting, I decided to wade out with a smaller rod and fish the second and third guts. As I looked back at the beach in horror, I saw my twelve foot surf rod and Diawa reel heading out to sea at a scorching speed! I set a course to intersect the last sight of my rod somewhere between the second and third gut. Just as I got there, my rod came surfing by and I grabbed it with my open hand. After wading back to the beach I put up the other rod and now the fight was on! Most of my line had been pulled out so it took some time to reel in this little Jack. (Especially after being so worn out from chasing my rod through the surf!) Just a reminder to the rest of you! If you like your current rod and reel do not leave it unattended.
(Unless you need a good excuse for your wife to let you buy a new one!) Have fun fishing and tight lines! Mike


Ian Nance said...

Nice jack. They are quite the fighters. I know some folks eat them and I find them in fish markets here in FL from time to time....I've always just pitched them back or used for cut bait. Lots of fun to catch, though, especially in the surf.


Your brother tells a good story. Glad the rod and reel had a happy ending. Had that happen to me in Matagorda last year, some bystanders saved the rig, but I had no Jack Crevalle on my rod. More like a hardhead.

That's the bounty of the Gulf of Mexico. You can catch all kinds of fish like the Jack that most folks wouldn't think would be caught on a Texas Beach.

And I find Billy Sandifer funny and read his monthly columns in the saltwater fishing magazine. I like his quote...knee deep in the food chain!

El Fiho