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.
yeah, not roughing it
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.
After our late start and long drive, we didn't have boats rigged until 4:30 in the afternoon.
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 2 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.
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.
Dinner was great. Randy has attended chef school, and his green beans were the perfect compliment to the grilled fillets (too big to blacken).
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.
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.
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 3 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.
Steve's new 16' Hobie Revo with pedal drive was on its maiden trip, and is definitely the fastest boat on the flats
Though my 9-y-o Tarpon is still no slouch.
So for all my effort, I get the tourist trout
And Jay again, his second fish in Texas in 32 years of living here.
Steve brought a pizza oven
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
We knew the front was coming, so the plan was to pack up this morning. But a beautiful dawn.
one last view of our camp
and killer eggs migas for breakfast
off into the rain and beating north wind
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.
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.
really blessed to live in Texas, and have this only two hours from the hill country.