Almost Baffin Bay

Late June isn’t the best of times for fishing in Baffin Bay, south-southwest of Corpus Christi, but, in 2005, my cousin, George Pyland, and I had decided on making one last fishing expedition (before we got too old). Before day break when we launched his boat on the upper end of Padre Island the wind was howling out of the south and the forecast was for it to howl even more during the day. Not a very good sign since we faced a long ride across open water both going and coming.

Surviving the long ride, on the way we had decided to start fishing on a reef around the mouth of Baffin Bay, we pulled up, just off of the Intercoastal Waterway and anchored on the reef’s south side. With the high wind, the water was cloudy, but we still had high hopes for a successful trip.

We were using standard popping cork outfits; seven and a half foot, medium action, graphite rods, Shimano reels loaded with twelve pound line, a small, popping cork, three feet of ten pound leader, anchored by a small treble hook. Our bait for the day was live shrimp hooked under the horn, which is my favorite bait for specs.

We cast our rigs out, popped the cork once and, on cue, both corks went under, two hard strikes! Both fish took off for parts unknown, wallowed on the top like all good specs are prone to do, then relenting to the pressure of the rod and reel’s drag, came in toward the boat to continue their fight. After a trip around the boat doing the “West Bay Shuffle”, I netted both trout, two and a half pounders!

For some reason, for the next fifteen minutes, our casts were met with no strikes. Then the action picked up and we started catching trout. The action was steady and as soon as the water stopped moving on the tide change, we had our limit, twenty of ‘em. Except for the first two we caught, all the fish were all one and a half to two pounds, a good mess of specs! We had planned to go on into Baffin Bay, now since we couldn’t fish there, we opted to take the long ride back.

After our long bumpy, ride back to the launch ramp I filleted the fish. Then, we shook hands, hugged, climbed into our trucks and headed home. All the way back home I thought to myself, I’m not too old to try this again! Anyway, we almost made it into Baffin Bay.