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Our Last Pass at Rollover - 12/4/19

PostPosted:Thu Dec 05, 2019 9:04 am
by shoffer
It was a repeat of last week. Solunar major set from 6:45 to 8:45 am, with a weak outgoing tide most of the day, low winds, sunny skies, and pleasant temperatures. Water temps were 58 degrees and the water was a bit stained with about 8-10 inches visibility.

We arrived at the pass right at sunrise after a 10 minute leisurely peddle (well, I used my trolling motor):
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I snapped a photo of the last vestige of the "pass" in Rollover Pass, as the water flow has been cut off to a mere trickle:
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I sighed, and began to fish. Over the next three hours, I caught 18 keeper specks from 17 to 22 inches and lost another 7 or so at the boat. No flounder or redfish, but the specks were in the mouth of the pass, just waiting on a free meal, but they were on the bottom this time. I caught 1/3 of my fish on different baits all on a ¼ oz bubblegum ball lead head by Four Horseman Tackle – 33% on a Down South Glo 4 inch paddle tail, 33% on a White Lil John and then the rest on a Pink Lil John. I threw a topwater for a little bit, but they were on the bottom and were not coming up to feed.
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As a kid, I passed over Rollover Pass all the time on the way to the beach, but never fished it until last week. I now understand the love for Rollover and the anger that welled up in the fishing community when the finally decided to close it. Next week, a worker said the water flow will be shut off for good and then they will fill it in with dirt. Supposedly, following closure a public park and recreational area will be built on the former pass and allegedly, a fishing pier will also be built on the gulf side of the peninsula for fishermen. I have my doubts.

As we drove back over the pass on the way home, I felt a pang of sadness, but I think our trip was a fitting tribute to decades of fishing fun for tens of thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of anglers over the years. I am sad to see this resource be sacrificed in the name of "economic progress," but this, too, shall "pass." I'd be willing to bet that they re-open it, or another one, in the next decade once they realize that the "erosion" problem was not fixed by the closing.

Here's a video I found from Shallow Marsh Yaker showing closure beginning that was posted two weeks ago. Let's raise a glass to decades of fun at the Pass as we take a long last look, before we say goodbye!



Re: Our Last Pass at Rollover - 12/4/19

PostPosted:Thu Dec 05, 2019 9:36 am
by Dandydon
Great fishing report, Capt. Shoffer, complete and brimming with the long 75-year history of the legendary ROLLOVER PASS!

When Shoffer and I arrived about 6am at the Intracoastal launch ramp, our Fish Scout Kickingback was already launched and ready for action. Men, the Whizzerbill Express was rolling and excited!

Shoffer knew the best in-Pass fishing spots from his triple-limits trip last week with Watson. He set up close to the construction dam on the West side, and started catching trout immediately on his trusty new pink Lil'John.

I pedaled into the melee and quickly landed 5 throwback specks 12-15" on my 3.5" Fire-Tiger Usual Sispects lure.
Tired of throwbacks, I got the proverbial ass burr and headed north across the Intracoastal searching for working birds.
We had slayed trout under birds last year in that location, but yesterday that water was dead. So after an hour of futility I returned to Shoffer's Speck Zone and landed about a dozen legal trout to 20", plus a feisty 17" Flounder.
A powerboat and one other yakker (Jason) showed up, watched us land a bunch of specks, then we waved them in to join the party.
Kickingback caught his trout limit and was so enthused that he remained to fish after Shoffer and I headed in about 10am.

Shoffer cruised back to the ramp under smooth trolling-motor power, his arms upraised and pumping like Leo DiCaprio in "The Titanic!" Yes, we were happy but also a little sad that more of you didn't accept my Rollover invitation.

The Highway Dept. construction crew told us the Pass would be totally dammed up and filled by next week. I believe that closure will harm that area for future fishing, especially considering the plague of freshwater dogging our local bays!
Now our last local pass is San Luis.
But we said farewell with triple trout limits!
It was our last pass at Rollover Pass. ImageImage

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Re: Our Last Pass at Rollover - 12/4/19

PostPosted:Thu Dec 05, 2019 9:36 am
by Ron Mc
thanks for the excellent report and reflection.

Re: Our Last Pass at Rollover - 12/4/19

PostPosted:Thu Dec 05, 2019 9:38 am
by Dandydon
Sorry for the double photo post!
For some reason I cannot upload additional photos now..
Kickingback took loads of great action photos.

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Re: Our Last Pass at Rollover - 12/4/19

PostPosted:Thu Dec 05, 2019 4:58 pm
by kickingback
Great report and pictures Captain Shoffer and added pictures and commentary from Captain Pickles! It was a great day to be at Rollover Pass, soon to be Rollover Park and Pier.
Everyone is right about Rollover being a fishing destination for so many people throughout the years it has been open. I have fished the bank like all the previous people that have come from all over the United States as a very popular fishing spot for travelers. I have met people from New York to California, many being retired or previous military, as this famous Texas location is that famous. Some of the local people that have fished all their lives here, because they had no boat or other way to get on the water or were disabled, this was the best spot for them to go with the convenience of just getting in the car with a rod and reel driving there and fishing all day. The night time was always lit up with generator run lights up and down the bulkheads catching fish 24 hours a day!
It is ALL these people I feel for the most. They are losing a memorable location that kids and adults flocked to in time of need for fun or dinner. The park that is to be built may be good to keep people coming. My fear is the locals who will lose so much money from the people buying bait, food, or anything else they have served over the years. That will be the most devastating for the locals. I feel for them as much and hope they get people to come when the Park is built. Time will tell.
Sorry for the long post but I wanted to give my small dedication to Rollover as it has deserved the respect, at least from me and the people I have met there.
Here are the pictures Shoffer mentioned. I will be posting a short video on my FB about the pass so that others know it will be closed and that the water will stop flowing there. It will change that area for years to come. If it was or was not a good idea to close it, again, only time will only tell.

A panoramic picture of the spot I fished at all morning. You can right click the picture and select open on a new window and then you can zoom in and scroll the picture to see it better.
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The pass with still flowing water until 13 Dec, Shoffer and Don are under the bridge fishing.
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One of the flounder I caught. 5 total with only one over 15".
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The Gulp homemade tandem rig I used. I have a 1/4 jig head with Gulp shrimp and a 2/0 hook with a very small float for the "head" of the hook which makes this lure float off the bottom while the other is dragged on the bottom. I caught two trout, one 20" and the other 21", at once on the tandem rig and thought I had a drum or very big flounder the way they fought.
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The Usual Suspects 3" lures rigged in tandem and slowly retrieved on or almost near the bottom. I hooked about 12 trout and only one under 14". I let the others go and gave two to Don because he is so skinny and needs to eat more!
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The worker we spoke to told us they would have the water flow cut off completely by the end of next week. He saw us tearing them up and he was kicking himself in the butt that he didn't bring a rod to fish on his smoke breaks. Nice guy.
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Last look at the pass driving home over the bridge with Jason (met him that morning first time, good guy) and a power boat that pulled in and fished like us earlier, still fishing in the same spot. I was anchored across from him near the bulkhead. Good spot to sit and catch!
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Re: Our Last Pass at Rollover - 12/4/19

PostPosted:Thu Dec 05, 2019 6:54 pm
by Dandydon
Terrific Rollover report, Charlie! And your close-up photos were outstanding. Too bad, though, we gave away our Fire-Tiger USUAL SUSPECTS secret! That lure is always in my arsenal.

You reminded me of a few childhood trips with family, fishing that long bank along the Pass channel. Don't get me started about the big angry guy I accidentally hit (on the opposite bank!) with a bullet weight that broke off from my 9-foot surf casting rod... His scary threats to kick my ass motivated me to later dive into Kung Fu, but that day I retreated back to our family car and drank a cold Barq's Root Beer to chill out.

Color me cynical but I doubt the planned park and pier will ever happen. We old salts will have our memories, but the closed Pass has probably already seen its best fishing action. That water over there will inevitably freshen up. Thanks for the memories.

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Re: Our Last Pass at Rollover - 12/4/19

PostPosted:Sat Dec 14, 2019 7:41 pm
by shoffer


Re: Our Last Pass at Rollover - 12/4/19

PostPosted:Sun Dec 15, 2019 9:06 am
by Dandydon
Thanks for that ROLLOVER update, Capt. Shoffer. Looks like Kagen caught some legal trout and Flounder AFTER the total closure of the Pass. The video camera tells no lies!
Does this mean we should go back to the Pass one more time?
I am ready to rumble, sir.Image

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Re: Our Last Pass at Rollover - 12/4/19

PostPosted:Sun Dec 22, 2019 10:49 am
by saltykat
Good report and pics guys. I know many folks have fond memories of the place. I only fished there a few times and to me it was more of a trashy eyesore. I'm sure the homeowners around there are glad it was closed :horse:

Re: Our Last Pass at Rollover - 12/4/19

PostPosted:Sun Dec 22, 2019 2:54 pm
by Dandydon
Saltykat, I remember our trip to ROLLOVER PASS with Chicken about 15 years ago in November. You were fishing the shallows along the shoreline when we saw a huge flock of working seagulls about a mile out.

Chicken and I went for the birds as fast as we could paddle! Finally we hit paydirt and both limited out on ten solid specks. You decided to stay on the shoreline and missed the fun...

You were the best amateur fisherman I ever fished with, Donnie, but that day you missed the bus. Come back down for a visit and let us show you what we've learned after all those years.

And although I'll miss TKF, I hope somebody will buy it and keep it alive.
Happy holidays to all.Image

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