MOSQUITOES AND BALLYHOO, 09/18, 2014 #1350
More on the eight day Galveston fishing trip. Saturday, September 6. Day 3. Our camp was southwest of Galveston at Jamaica Beach. Today we traveled back to Roll Over Pass to fish with our group. While riding the ferry we watched porpoises and birds. A group of first class birdwatchers trained their expensive binoculars skyward as they watched a fairly uncommon magnificent frigate bird. These large sea birds are related to albatrosses and feed mainly by stealing fish or shrimp from gulls and terns. When the frigate bird sees a gull or tern with some food the chase is on. The large thief chases the gull or tern until it gives up and drops its food which the frigate bird catches in midair. About eight of the ornithologists were traveling in a full size van and probably heading for the wonderful bird watching town of High Island south of Winnie.
At Roll Over Pass the fishing was no good except for a huge shark that broke Matt Larkin’s line and got away. Newspapers told of unusually large numbers of mosquitoes that recently hatched due to several rains. No one needed a newspaper to realize the mosquitoes were as thick as anyone had seen. Crossing back to Galveston Island on the ferry that night we were required to turn off our pickup and that stopped our air conditioning. Deciding the heat was better than being drilled by mosquitoes we left our windows shut and sweated it out during the twenty minute ride. For entertainment during the ride we watched those who left their cars as they swatted mosquitoes continually, even squealing at times when bitten. Some two year olds were crying from the bites.
Sunday morning, September 7. Day four. We were tired of Roll Over Pass and content to fish at our regular spot by San Luis Pass. Carol and Junior fished with us and told of Matt’s good luck Saturday night. He was using big chunks of sting ray for shark bait at Roll Over Pass. A kayak was used to carry the hook and bait out several hundred yards at 5:00 p.m. Saturday. Rays are very tough and Matt knew no small fish could steal the bait. At 10:00 p.m. the pole bent down and the battle was on. Veteran Matt has caught a lot of sharks and knew this was a good sized one by the way it fought. After several minutes his large reel locked up and wouldn’t work. Matt and the other three of his group all put on gloves and managed to pull the shark in by hand. It was a six foot long bull shark, biggest ever for Matt.
As we pulled in to our fishing place Sunday morning we sadly noticed some thoughtless person sometime Saturday had turned over the new Port a Potty. We wondered if the vandal waited until one of his friends went inside before turning it over. Surf fishermen have lots of ideas and often visit with others passing by in order to learn something new. A young man in a brown Tahoe stopped by to look at our gear. His Tahoe was rigged for surf fishing with rod holders, ice chests, twenty five gallon shower, and extended back bumper. Probably $3000 worth of rods and reels. One device of his intrigued us so much I just had to buy one. Sometimes you have trouble pushing a two inch plastic pipe in the sand to use as a rod holder. This young man, Keith Frisse, was from Dallas and makes an instrument that sucks wet sand out of the ground and leaves an eighteen inch hole in which you quickly deposit your rod holder pipe.
Monday, September 8. Day 5. We hung around camp at Jamaica Beach until noon until I finished my weekly article then back to the beach. Mosquitoes were so bad we had to rush out into waist deep water where the wind helped keep them at bay. The water was so green and clear we could see our feet through chest deep water. It just seems natural to slap a mosquito if you see one on somebody else. What a skit someone could make for Saturday Night Live or a high school play. Start it out by one person slapping a mosquito on somebody else. Soon everyone is slapping. Gradually slap harder and harder. People get mad and just play like they see a mosquito as they slap the fire out of each other. While fishing Monday we caught a lot of silvery ladyfish. They are shaped tarpon and really jump as you reel them in. Carol caught a sharp toothed Spanish mackerel. For supper we grilled a T bone steak and watched the beautiful sunset and full Moon rise.
Tuesday, September 9. Day 6. While catching bait with my cast net this morning I caught a most wonderful, six inch long fish. The little feller was shaped just like a marlin, complete with a relatively long “bill.” The bill was about an inch and half long, about as big around as a match stem and had a colorful reddish-orange spot on the tip. Junior said he thought it was a ballyhoo, and after checking the internet, I agreed. Instead of a baby fish it was about as big as they get. Before the week was over we caught another. To be continued.
First day of fall begins September 22 at 9:29 p.m. This is when the Sun crosses the equator heading south for the winter. September 27 the planet Saturn is close to the upper left of the Moon as darkness arrives.
For the joke this week I will tell a true story, funnier than many jokes. Names will omitted for the most part. A woman was talking to her granddaughter that we will call Lucy. Lucy had some friends that had never got around to getting married even though they had two kids. Grandma was curious and asked Lucy how her friends and their illegitimate kids were getting along. Lucy kinda “lost it” and said, “Grandma, I’ll have you to know that both of them kids can read.”