Don’t Look Down

Pulling the boat in close to the channel side of Galveston’s North Jetty, Jim Buck quietly dropped the anchor into the water, paying out the line slowly, it finally it caught in the rocks and the boat swung out toward the channel. If the specs are here, on an outgoing tide, this spot where the jetty takes an almost imperceptible direction change can be a “boat loader”. It requires the fish, of course, no one anchored on the spot, an outgoing tide, moderate to light wind and not to rough a wave action. Except for a chop in the waves, this morning met almost all the requirements.

The boat was bouncing in the chop as Jim and I baited up and cast out back toward the rocks, but our guest, Dave Adams looked a little green. With his green feeling, he didn’t want to look down and reach into the bait box for a shrimp. Obliging him, I procured a bait for him and hooked it just below the horn, as he cast out I thought, Uh-oh he won’t last in this chop.

Fittingly, Dave had the first hit and the fish took off down the jetty and out to sea, but the fish, my guess a 5 or 6 pound speckled trout, took a turn back toward the boat, wallowed and began a furious fight on the surface. Having reeled my shrimp in, I netted the fish for Dave, unhooked it and tossed the almost 6 pounder into the cooler. This considerably perked him up, but looking down and getting the shrimp, then threading it on to the hook, back came the green feeling. Gamely, he cast out toward the rocks, but as he rushed to put his rod in a holder he barely made it to the side, up came breakfast!

While Dave was contemplating his fate, Jim had a big strike, after a classic battle we boated the 6, pound spec. Telling Dave to concentrate on the old lighthouse on the end of the South Jetty, over 2 miles away, I went back to fishing.

All told we boxed 6 trout, 5 to 6 pounders, but Dave’s condition didn’t improve. Although he repeatedly told us to keep fishing, looking at the lighthouse didn’t help much, so the only thing left was to pick up the anchor and get underway, even though, leaving a fish producing spot was tough, nothing is worse than being sea sick!

We moved around the end of the rocks and close in, the Gulf side of the North Jetty was almost smooth. With the wind hitting his face, Dave was feeling better and by the time we reached the boat cut he was cured of his malady! All Jim and I could do was put the boat back on the trailer and wonder about the missed opportunity to fill the cooler with big specs?