We arrived yesterday in time to hit the beach and check the wind. We always check the wind first, then the surf. If it’s choppy and the red flags are up then I know I won’t be doing a lot of surf fishing so I’ll re-rig to bay, but I’ve never had to until this trip. The wife and I have been coming to South Padre, on Memorial Day weekend, every year for the last 4 years and this is the first time I haven’t been able to surf fish, meaning, I’d have to figure out how to bay fish. Since I didn’t know shit about bay fishing I went to the local bait shop. I always pick the crustiest, beat down bait down shop on the strip, go in and start asking questions. An old Mexican man said, “Go up by the high school and fish there. The trout run in the morning past the black line and will surface feed or bottom feed. It just depends on the morning.”
I had a plate of raw oysters at Blackbeard’s last night that didn’t sit well and was up all night half-sick, but I got up at 9am, re-rigged and hit the high school. I put the tailgate of my truck down, looked out across the bay and finally realized what the bait shop guy was referring to when he said, “the black line”. Basically, it’s a sudden drop off. As I trudged across 100 yards of ankle deep water, past a manta ray that scared the shit out of me, I encountered a couple of fisherman with a string of several 2-3 foot trout who’d been fishing since sun rise. He told me, “You’re late. It’s 9:30 and the school has moved. You gotta be here at 6:30 if you wanna catch trout. They were biting top water this morning. Only caught one on low shrimp.” I fished for an hour w/ low shrimp and packed it in. Fishing isn’t that fun when you’re alone. This trip was last minute and I invited lots of different couples, friends and family, but none of them wanted to make the 6 hour drive. It’s understandable. We almost didn’t come this year as I was going to go to a family reunion instead. At the last minute that got cancelled so we hurried to make this happen.
Anyhow, I arrived back to our beach side condo with more room than we’ll ever use and the dogs were ready to go, especially Eddie, he loves the beach and regularly swims 40 yards out to hunt down a tennis ball with little fear. More importantly, bacon and eggs filled the air as my wife loaded a round of toast and asked about my fishing trip. “I was too late,” I replied.
I walked out to the pool and watched a couple of guys cleaning it. Seagulls swirled overhead and I could feel the sun on my shoulders. I thought maybe I’d get up earlier tomorrow. Maybe I’d catch me some trout.