My husband and I started fishing out of Port Aransas about 25 years ago in a 23-foot Sea Craft. Everything I know about fishing I have learned from him. We would come down from Houston on the weekends and one or two weeks in the summer and fish. On the Sea Craft we would drift and bottom fish. When we started each person could keep 7 red snappers and they only had to be 13 inches long. Then the regulations went to 4 red snappers at 14 inches and then 2 red snappers at 16 inches. Some days it was easy to get our red snapper around the towers or out on Hospital Rock or the Bakers, other days it seemed to take us all day.
When it was too rough to take the Sea Craft out we would fish on head boats. We fished on both Deep-Sea Headquarters and Fisherman’s Wharf boats. Fishing is a mixture of luck, skill and having the right equipment and the right set up for the environment in which you are fishing. One time when we were out on a Head Boat toward the end of the day nobody had caught much so the boat moved to another spot. I put my line down probably about 250 to 300 feet to the bottom and immediately got a hit. I reeled up and had a 20 to 21lb. red snapper. I had one fish. After resting a bit, I decided to try again. I hooked up again, reeled-up and had another big red snapper. I took another rest. Okay I was greedy and I dropped my line again and caught another big red snapper but no one else was catching anything including my husband. What was my secret – I had a 60 lb. leader and my husband had an 80 lb. Sometimes it is the little things that make a difference.
In 1999 we upgraded to a 35 foot Bertram which we still have today. Since we purchased the Bertram and red snapper in federal waters is closed most of the summer we have turned our fishing attention to pelagic fish—white marlin, blue marlin, sailfish, tuna, wahoo, and mahi-mahi. One way to catch pelagic fish is to troll. Pelagic Fish tend to be found where there is a food source either around a weed line or bottom structure with an up dwelling.
Several photos of very good fishing days.
I was reading the Jetty in 1999 and saw an article about a women’s tournament. Not knowing anything about tournament fishing I concluded this would be a neat thing to do now that we had the Bertram. My husband could take me out on our new boat the Ginny Jay and I would catch fish. I figured this would cost about $75 to enter. No problem. One of the boats that had been in the Women’s tournament a year earlier berthed in Teal Harbor Marina where we live, so I decided to ask Lisa about the Women’s tournament. I was shocked when she said it was a boat tournament and it cost $600 to enter. But, that did not stop me. I decided to ask another woman who also fished and lived at Teal Harbor if she wanted to do the tournament with me. She said okay and we agreed to split the $600. I decided it was time to tell my husband of my planned excursion. After some persuasion, he was on board. About July, Marlive let me know there were pots at this tournament and that we needed to bet money on the different fish categories. I had never heard of such, but she said we” need to do this.” Okay, but I’m thinking we need another woman to help with the money, so I asked” what about Veta?” Marlive thought that was a promising idea so I went to ask Veta. She knew nothing about tournament but also thought it sounded fun. She asked, “what do I need to do?” and “I said bring MONEY.” Here are two video clips from the Women’s Tournament.
The three couples did the tournament for over 10 years together and won in 2009 with a blue marlin and a little mahi-mahi. The tournament also had a ‘pirate’ component to it.
I do very little Inshore fishing because we do not have a bay boat. Sometimes when our friends the Neal’s come to Port Aransas they ask me to go out for redfish. The way they fish is to go out to the jetties, drop anchor, bait our hooks with live perch and drop to the bottom. Over the years, I have caught several Redfish.
Fishing is a great couple, family and individual sport. When you are in Port Aransas take advantage of the fishing opportunities—head boats, private charters or bring your own boat. Good luck, hope to see you at the docks and if you are in the tournament game don’t forget to register for the Deep-Sea Roundup July 6 – 9, 2017.
Tight lines to everyone.
Virginia Moser, the blonde petite.