Trinity Bay – A Bigger Pull On the Line

My Brother, Harvey had married into an old Texas family that had extensive oil and gas holdings east of Houston. They also had a beach house right next to Crawley’s Bait Camp, on the northwest shore of Trinity Bay. Trinity Bay is part of the Galveston Bay system, and as far as I know, Crawley’s, where I have bought bait many times, still exists today.

Harvey and his Wife had invited my Mom, Dad and me to come down for a weekend during the summer of 1942, for some relaxation, sight seeing and fishing. I heard the magic word ‘fishing‘ and was the first one packed. Harvey used this visit totell us that he was joining the Navy and would be off for basic training and WW II, soon.

There was a long pier jutting out into the bay and on the left side was a boat lift, with a 12’ row boat, swinging in the straps. We started out at sun up, walked down the pier and loaded the boat with 2, called on the Texas Gulf Coast, 5 ½’ Calcutta, popping rods with 2 Shakespeare Criterion reels, loaded with braided line. For me, there was a 6’ cane pole with a hook, weight and bobber.


We rowed over to Crawley’s and bought a quart of shrimp for $1.00, it is $13.00 to $15.00 now, and with me in the middle next to my Brother, and my Dad in the back, Harvey rowed us out about a half mile and tested the bottom with a long push pole, found Beazley’s Reef .

Baiting up, my Dad baited the first shrimp for me, as I watched, both men cast out and both were soon rewarded with 2 solid hits and reeled in 2 nice, shiny, Speckled Trout. The prettiest fish I had ever seen and my life long, love affair with them began on the spot!

While I watched my bobber bobbing, both men caught several more Specks, then suddenly, no bobber bobbing and something was trying to pull the pole from my hands. Rearing back, up comes up a toothy mouth and a wiggling, splashing 12” Speck.

Grabbing the slippery Speck and taking it off the hook, I admired the Fish and I was “hooked” for life!