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MR. OUTDOORS: August 7 — A Fishing Trip to the Gulf

<p>Captain Armando Rios with shrimp caught at port in Rockport, Texas.</p>

Captain Armando Rios with shrimp caught at port in Rockport, Texas.

I woke up early one morning and departed for Bastrop, Texas to meet a friend and go camping and fishing. The first thing on our arrival was to get the camper loaded and ready to go. My friend Steven Bender told me that we had to get a flat tire fixed, so we drove to the tire shop. The steel belted tire had been slashed by a razor blade. He actually remembered when it happened and it wasn’t from vandalism. With the tire fixed groceries, toiletries, and of course the fishing equipment was packed, we were ready to go.

So, the next morning we were off from Bastrop, Texas to Goose Island State Park near Fulton, Texas. This is just north of Corpus Christi. The park was the home of the big tree. It is known to be over a thousand years old and survived hurricanes and a fire during the Civil War. I would advise you to research the big tree at Goose Island State Park to learn more information about this tree. After setting up the camper and making sure the air conditioner was working properly, it was time to go fishing. So we went to eat dinner and then to a local bait shop to grab some shrimp for our excursion. What was really neat was the fact that if you were camped at Goose Island State Park and fished off the pier a fishing license was not required. It is a great way to introduce saltwater fishing to in landers for sure. That first night Mr. Outdoors caught some hard head catfish, speckled trout, and something silver. That’s one thing about saltwater fishing is that it’s like a box of chocolates; you never know what you’re going to get. The wind was relentless, but that was a good thing because the mosquitoes at the campsite were terrible this time of year. The wind on the beach kept the mosquitoes at bay, pardon the pun. I hated using shrimp for bait because it seemed the hard head catfish could strip your line in less than three seconds. There were a couple of squid in with the shrimp. I took the tiny squid and put it on my hook and the bait stealers couldn’t get the tougher outer mantel of the squid off the hook. In other words, I didn’t lose my bait near as much and caught more fish.

The following morning was more of the same. Lots of bites, a few fish, and a lot of fun was par for the week. You know what they say about fishing. “A bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work”. After the fishing trip we got cleaned up and went to town where the local shops in Rockport, Texas offered food, antiques, and artisans. As I was looking for souvenirs, a shrimp flag was flying on a boat. I walked up to the boat and Captain Armando Rios from Fulton, Texas introduced himself and showed me the large shrimp that he had caught. It was going for seven dollars per pound with the heads off. Captain Rios also told me how when he was seventeen years old his father put him at the wheel during a hurricane. He also enjoyed watching the show “Deadliest Catch” and how he could relate to their experiences. I really appreciate the time that Ron Blue of Waterfront Artisan’s Workshop took to explain what he does with recycled wood. He teaches others on the techniques of boat building and enjoys the experience of boating and sailing in his own boats. Mr. Outdoors has always enjoyed the different styles and task of boats and ships. Mr. Outdoors has been observing these vessels from Alaska, Florida, San Diego, Texas, to Washington. Mr. Blue was a true gentleman and offered his assistance to anyone that would take an interest.

Finally, an antique ring for my wife, a cast iron mermaid for my daughter, and a painting of a pair of pintail ducks in the marsh by a local artist were purchased for the long trip home. It was really neat to see the ray that was caught by Geralyn Hoey on the final day too! You can listen to Mr. Outdoors, Jim Reynolds this weekend on The Sports Hog 103.1 Saturday at 5am and 9am and Sunday at 7am. Check his blog out at www.jimreynoldsoutdoors.com. Remember, get Into the Outdoors and quit making excuses.

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