A Big, Scary Storm

Having lived on the Texas coast for many years, I have enjoyed my share of storms, tornadoes, waterspouts and hurricanes. This 2 part, story, “A Big, Scary Storm” and “Young Lady, Just Who Are Those Men”, tells the story about an exciting night and the next day’s successful fishing trip.

A Big, Scary Storm

April had been unseasonably warm and the Gulf currents had come in early and raised the water temperatures to over seventy-two degrees, and with the warm water came the pelagic species of fish Kings, Spanish Mackerel and Cobia (Ling).

I had promised Suzanne, my daughter, and Mike, my son in law, an offshore trip since the past season. The timing was good for all of us and we picked a Friday in late April to try and get out and catch some big Kingfish. The big ones come in first and spawn in the shallow water just out from the beachfront and they were our targets.

We had planned to spend the night at my beach house in Bayou Vista and get an early start. Mike and Dick Riley, a fine young man and one of Mike’s lifelong friends, showed up first, followed shortly by Suzanne and we all stayed up to catch the TV news and weather.
The TV weather announced strong line of thunderstorms would move into the Houston area and pass through before sunrise. We then listened to the NOAA weather report on my boat’s radio and there was no mention made of the storms. We were fifty miles southeast of Houston, so we figured, that if the storms hit us it would be about the same time. We were right.
A loud crash of thunder jolted me awake and I sat straight up in bed. Lightning flashed and another loud crash! Lightning ripping the sky, another crash! Here’s the storm I thought while looking at my watch and seeing it is 5:30 AM. I jumped out of bed and slipped on my Wranglers and boat shoes and headed into the main room and found Mike, Dick and Suzanne all dressed and watching the storm.

The rain was pounding the house, the wind was howling at fifty or sixty miles per hour, lightning was constantly flashing and thunder roaring. Our electricity had been knocked out and we were in the dark. At 6:00 AM we heard the Bayou Vista VFD’s alarm sound and wondered why. The alarm sounded again and I said, “We better get to the fire station, they may be trying to signal a tornado.”

Out into the storm we rushed and as we walked down the outside stairs the wind and rain, hit us with terrific force. We can’t be heard over the racket so we plowed on to the Suburban and got in, four wet folks. The wind rocked the truck as we drove the one-mile to the fire station no one there, but we see a crowd gathering at the convenience store on the corner. We drove up, parked and sat with everyone else. This was not a smart thing to do because if a tornado caught us out in the open like this, it would be curtains.

Back at the beach house, around 7:00 AM the storm let up and the skies started to clear. The wind was blowing lightly, maybe a sign it would lay and things would smooth out. We listened to NOAA weather and got a good report, so we decided to go fishing.