Honey Hole

As things sometimes will do, events happened to cause me to change my entire attitude about salt water, fishing.  Bobby Baldwin, my high school fishing buddy and close friend, had access to a twenty-three foot, cathedral hull, boat with a hundred and sixty-five, horse engine and outdrive, a real boat! We took it offshore fishing twice and both times stopped by the Galveston Jetties where I was shown a spot, on the Gulf side of the South Jetty that became my honey hole for the next forty years!  I caught the biggest trout of my life there in 2000, but that’s another story.

My first trip to this “secret” spot was in late May 1964.  We, Bobby, Freddy, his brother, his father-in-law, Tom and I, were headed off shore but stopped to sample the spec fishing.  This was the second time out for me, the first being in 1953, a long time between trips, but that soon changed!

We caught several nice speckled trout, but since the wind was only blowing five to ten out of the southeast, we cranked up and headed for the twelve mile, rig.  Trolling around it we caught several nice king fish and then, for safety’s sake, headed in early.  The boat owner, Tom, didn’t want to be caught out after dark with any kind of a problem.

Heading in we talked about boating safety and how treacherous the Gulf of Mexico can become with very little notice.  Hearing Tom, but being young, some of his sage advice stuck, but it took several big, storms later in my life for it to really sink in!

Our next trip out was cut short by the weather.  Just after we anchored up at the “secret” jetty spot and had cast out, one spec was hooked and landed, then the wind came up.  With the boat beginning to pitch, Freddy became very ill.  This was my first brush with, mal-de-mere, or sea sickness, but definitely not my last.

Getting the anchor in, we headed across the Galveston channel and stopped to fish behind the protection of the North Jetty.  Fred’s sickness responded to the calm water, he became well again.  We had virtually no luck except for a three pound, spec that I landed.  Before we headed in, we spent time casting spoons among the twelve inch, bluefish catching several.  These are blues that by the time they migrate around to Long Island and Martha’s Vinyard, weigh thirty to forty pounds!

This kind of fishing, with the fish’s big pulls, was beginning to catch me too!