Sand, Sun, Saltwater

I’m gonna warn you right up front, this is a fairly long vacation trip report, with plenty of pictures to go along with it 🙂 We saw plenty of other interesting things that we didn’t get pictures of, but I will try to mention them as I go along. We left out Friday night right after the football game, and made it to New Braunfels before I petered out, so we hunted up a wally world parking lot and caught some sleep. We got up refreshed and headed out the next morning, pulling into Goose Island State Park in Rockport, Texas just after noon on Saturday. We got our campsite all set up:

And then we headed out to the pier for some fishing. Goose Island was pretty much deserted, it seems Ike scared them all away. Our first day on the pier found us just getting lines wet, watching what other folks were catching, and taking some “down time” after the drive. We hit the beds pretty early, and when we got up the next morning and went outside for coffee, look at what was right outside our door…..

We just killed the day lazing around taking in some of the local sights and sounds. It’s been a long time since I have been down, it was wonderful to smell the saltwater again. We hit the pier again that night, the son caught a very nice gafftopsail cat, and I hooked into a mess of sand trout. Needless to say, they went in the freezer. The next day found us walking the beach, then hitting the local bait shop for more of the good stuff, including some live shrimp. That night we hit the specks hard and fast (no pictures), with at least 50 that were not keepers, and three very nice 18 inch legals, and even more sand trout. They went in the freezer as well. The next night we built ourselves a roaring campfire and regressed back to our childhood (well, I did, he’s still there)……….marshmallows and s’mores, after some yummy brats with slow cooked molasses beans on the side. Our last day at Goose Island, and we took a drive over to “Big Tree”. They are NOT kidding.

We packed up and moved over to Mustang Island State Park and got all set up:

We got serious about the fishing on Wednesday evening, and got ourselves a really nice mess of Gafftopsail Cats, the smallest being around 7 pounds, up to the big one, which was close to 18. Talk about some serious fun on light tackle!

Of course we just HAD to go over to the Texas State Aquarium to see the sights, and see them we did.

And the U.S.S. Lexington was plainly visible from the Aquarium. We plan to tour her the next time we go down, probably this Spring.

We headed back over to the pier the next night, and what do you know?? We got ourselves ANOTHER load of gafftops, and a nice haul at that! They were hitting hard and fast, we soon decided that four rods in the water was two too many, especially when all four started singing at once! Here’s our take that night (keep in mind that the son is 6’7″ and 245, those are some pretty good size fishes!).

This is also the night that we both saw our first wild sea turtle. It was a Ridley’s, and it came right up to the pier. Of course, I didn’t have the camera, but we were both just astounded at the size, and it seemed to be not the least bit afraid. We stood in wonder, until it just got tired of looking at us, and was gone.

We spent a lot of time wading and walking on the beach, and the son spent a lot of time trying to drown himself in the big surf that was kicking up. Being a skin cancer survivor, I don’t tend to expose a lot of skin, but I had a whole ton of fun walking the beaches and wading, picking up shells and just loving being there. And yes, I did get pictures.

Too soon, it was time to leave, but we took one final drive through Port Aransas on our way out. Here’s what makes the water crossing at Port A so much fun…..ferryboats!

When you cross over to Port A, you get to ride these ferryboats. And you see pretty much everything on them, including 18 wheelers. We took up two lanes, because the trailer is so wide.
They are a real kick to ride on, and they are very necessary, because of these big oil tankers. It’s a major shipping channel, and these big boys come through pretty regularly.

As we headed out, the son caught one last picture. And it’s just beautiful.

Needless to say, we had a fantastic time. We did much more than is told here. But I didn’t want to write a whole book, and you didn’t really want to read one. We are already making plans for our next trip down, and that will be a whole new adventure. We have plenty of sand and sunburn to remind us for right now, but we will be back. Quite frankly, I think the Texas coastal areas are some of the most beautiful country in the nation. Were it not for hurricanes, I could easily live there. I know that Ike devastated Galveston and Houston, the wreckage of folks’ homes and lives were washed up everywhere you looked. It was a disturbing sight to walk along the beach and come upon a childs toy, laying next to what could only have been a part of someones house. The Corpus Christi and Port Aransas areas did not sustain severe damage, but you could easily see where someones life had been torn apart, and thrown up on a beach 200 miles away. And looking at that, I could never live there. But I will continue to visit every chance I get.

This entry was posted in coast, fishing, Goose Island State Park, Mustang Island State Park, Port Aransas, travel, vacation. Bookmark the permalink.

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