Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Fish Story

Many years ago, before my brain was fully developed, my brother-in-law and a friend decided that we were going fishing for shark at Big Shell. Big shell is an area on Padre Island where four wheel drive vehicles are required for access. I had my Toyota truck and my brother-in-law had a Blazer. We were good to go. We did a tackle check to make sure we had all of the gear that we would need. All was in order. Next topic was what to use for bait. After much discussion, we learned that we could get buckets of blood from the slaughter house. That is precisely what we did, three buckets full! We picked up a roast that was on sale to use for the hooks. We were now good to go.

We left very early in the morning form San Antonio. When we arrived at the beach it was still dark. We drove down the beach until we found a good place to park the trucks. We were all so excited. With all of the blood and bait, we just knew that we were going to be successful. We each pulled out our rods and baited the shark hooks with the roast. Now, how to get the bait far off shore where the sharks are? We decided that the best way is to wade out, cast, and then wade back. So that’s what we did, with three buckets of blood in hand! (Remember, I did say before my brain was fully developed).

We waded out until the water was up to my chest. We all cast our lines out and then opened the buckets of blood, all three! We proceeded to dump the blood in hopes of attracting shark to the area. Keep in mind we are in the water about 300 feet from the shore and it is still dark! We start back, releasing our line as we wade back to shore. We set the drag on the reels and then kick back to wait for the big catch.

Several hours go by without any activity on the reels. The sun is up and we start to see a few trucks go by. Getting discouraged and ready to find a different area to fish, we heard one of the reel click. We all looked over at the rod. It then clicked out again. Then the tip of the rod went down and it was on! My brother-in-law raced to the rod and pulled back to set the hook! At this point we reeled in the other two rods to get them out of the way.

This fish is really giving a good fight! My brother-in-law is walking up and down the beach. He reels in some line and then the drag lets out line as the fish makes a run. This is crazy! By this time there are several vehicles that have seen the struggle and have pulled over to see the catch. Over thirty minutes have gone by and the fight is still going strong! After an hour, there are about thirty to forty vehicles and people are sitting on tailgates and taking pictures.

We reach about an hour and a half into the fight and progress is being made. There is more line coming in than going out and we can start to see a shape under the water. What the hell is that! I walked out into the water and reached down and wrestled it to shore. After all of the planning, waiting and fighting, we pulled in a huge plastic bag! I laughed so hard, as did many of the crowd that had gathered! Some were very upset that they “wasted my morning” on a plastic bag. A good many had been parked for over an hour.

The plastic bag was of the type that is used offshore. The tide must have brought it into the shore and the undertow would pull it back out. Not to mention that the drag was set to lose on the reel. Inside the bag was a small fish that had become trapped. The trip wasn’t a total loss. I tossed the little fish back into the water after asking if he wanted a picture of Moby Dick. That is a fishing trip that I will always remember and always puts a smile on my face.

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