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Posted: Sun Oct 22, 2017 10:24 pm 
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Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Took my buddies who tailgate a couple of NASCAR races and the Reno air races every year.
Good guys to travel with, because they're great cooks, and the camping - and eating - is always the highest priority.
Between us, took 4 fly rods, but the tides were gigantic with little movement, so we fished spinning/bait tackle with plastic lures.
Heading out late morning Friday.
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yeah, not roughing it
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I've fished with Stevo and Randy before, of course all my life with Steve, but Jay has never caught a fish in Texas in the 32 years he's lived here - and not for lack of trying.
The folks at Palm Harbor RV park were happy to get our business.
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After our late start and long drive, we didn't have boats rigged until 4:30 in the afternoon.
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The point above the rudder on my boat is Talley Island - we call it sandy point because of the hard pack, but there was no wading when we got there - low tide was mid-thigh deep. From there we paddled the 4 miles into the wind across Estes Flat to Traylor Island, put out our drift socks and drift fished back.
This drift is called Trout Bayou, but I've never failed to catch reds here late on a fall day.
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I got this red on a red cocahoe minnow, and Jay got one as well - four of us, four fillets in hand, we took up our drift socks and paddled in with the low sun in our faces.
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Dinner was great. Randy has attended chef school, and his green beans were the perfect compliment to the grilled fillets (too big to blacken).
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I brought cigars and 23-y-o Matusalem rum for dessert.
Saturday morning, we had a great breakfast of salmon omelettes - I brought the pre-flaked Nova salmon, and Randy had some great Czech sausages.
We were planning a late start on Saturday - Friday morning's delay was because of Randy's doctors appointment - elbow concerns, and his steroid script was called in to Rockport, so the priority was HEB pharmacy and Larry's tackle town.
Most the main drags in Rockport show the damage, but are free of debris. Not so for the side streets.
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There are daily crane and trash truck w/ trailer runs all over the coast towns devastated by Harvey. Nothing was without damage, and plenty was scraped up for starting over.
Also should mention, we had a good shower in the RV, and the facilities at the Palm Harbor park were without hot water - and a roof.
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Still, Randy thought it was the coolest thing in the world to look at Orion with your night-time or pre-dawn business.
The number of new buildings already completed over just the past month is phenomenal, and Market Days were going on schedule in Rockport harbor.
After Friday's paddle, Randy cried uncle, and stayed in to work on his elbow therapy.
So it was Jay, Steve and I launching at Brown & Root channel about noon on Saturday. When we made it through the channel, and I pointed the 5 miles across the flat to our upwind goal, Jay swore some things at me, but he kept paddling like a trooper.
Across the flat, and a break for lunch.
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Steve's new 16' Hobie Revo with pedal drive was on its maiden trip, and is definitely the fastest boat on the flats
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Though my 9-y-o Tarpon is still no slouch.
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So for all my effort, I get the tourist trout
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And Jay again, his second fish in Texas in 32 years of living here.
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Steve brought a pizza oven
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and Randy wanted the fresh hot dogs from his butcher, so we compromised - hot dog pizzas - spicy catsup, smoky cheddar cheese, the great dogs, and topped with a little mustard and relish - seriously, it was great
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We knew the front was coming, so the plan was to pack up this morning. But a beautiful dawn.
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one last view of our camp
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and killer eggs migas for breakfast
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off into the rain and beating north wind
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We decided to drive 40 mi out of the way to see Randy's family's 2-acre lot on Lavaca Bay.
This is right around the bend from Indianola, but with a slab from an old house, utilities and concrete drive, they plan to build an RV pad here and a fishing pier into the bay.
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The bay was the first major port facility in Texas - Randy's wife's family immigrated through Indianola. You can see the Gulf from their bluff - really a great spot for a fishing pier, and they're grandfathered on the pilings.
Just realized, other than his hands cooking, this was the only photo I got of Randy, so a great parting shot, and a successful trip.
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really blessed to live in Texas, and have this only two hours from the hill country.


Last edited by Ron Mc on Tue Oct 24, 2017 1:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.

Posted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 5:59 am 
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Great trip and great report Ron. It's sad to see Rockport so beat up though. Are all the old leaning oaks gone now?
-steve


Posted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:01 am 
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no, they've done this before, and the Big Oak at Lamar rode through the eye and is still there - it probably yawned.
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I will say there were quite a few downed trees, but the west wall did not remove the Fulton Oaks, and the Fulton mansion looks like a fortress.

These aren't photos of the devastation, they're photos of the trash.
The big boat storage warehouse at Cove Harbor (two blocks from where we stayed) was quite a sight. It was skinned to framework, collapsed on one side, all the boats in that side are now part of the collapsed structure, and the nine stories of boats on the east side looked intact, but no way to get them out.

As we drove farther up the coast, into the gradually depleting wind damage, we made an observation that a lot of the wrecks were wrecks waiting to happen.

A little bit happens every day. We drove past sloughs on the land side of the highway with random boats. Next time we drove by, two of the boats had been salvaged.

When you get down to it, it's stuff. The people weren't devastated. They take pride in looking forward, their feeling of survival, and it all comes out in their hospitality.

In some ways, it's part of paying dues, like a bad random choice to fish B&R when we would have probably done better not driving the five miles to launch and instead again fished out of our campsight (even though B&R should have been more saline) - that's the problem with kayak fishing, you don't get a second choice like with a power boat.

I mentioned Port of Indianola, just about a mile from Randy's property on Lavaca Bay.
That was a story of devastation.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indianola,_Texas
It was the biggest city on the Texas coast, and the way to get here by sea. It was destroyed twice by hurricanes, 1875 and 1886. They gave up after the second storm, and Galveston took over the crown of the Texas coast until its destruction in 1900. Those are stories of death and devastation, but Harvey down the coast was wind damage.


Posted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 7:40 am 
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Thanks for the great report, Ron! It's great you can get to spend such QT with friends. The fish are just a little bonus...it's about the fishing!


Posted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 8:11 am 
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thanks guys. The prevailing SSE wind really made our trip. Kept us cool, kept the bugs away, planned our drifts.
Getting up in the still yesterday morning was hot and sticky beyond belief. The near-tropical sun with no wind was already brutal at 9am.
Then the contrast an hour into the front, low 60s, 20 knot N wind and cold rain - enough to put on long pants.

We're trying to plan a trip farther down the coast to Arroyo Colorado, and hypersaline Lower Laguna Madre, in a few weeks - everything that can happen on the TX coast will be happening there, with highs in the 70s...
With no freshwater inlets, the tides always move there. That will be a 5-hour drive without the RV, renting a cabin on the Arroyo.


Posted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:31 am 
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Great post Ron....Thanks!


Posted: Mon Oct 23, 2017 11:50 am 
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With this group, it could not have been more successful. Jay is hooked now. We were never in a rush, we got worn out in a good way, ate like kings, never uncomfortable, out-guessed the weathermen - they were claiming 80% chance of rain every day, and we got none except for a few miles before the dry line on the ride back.


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