Saturday, September 5, 2009

Gone Fishing.

We have had very little rain here since May, and while the newspaper forecast showed a 30% chance of thunderstorms we had very little concern. Our thunderstorms usually come in the afternoon and are very scattered. My son-in-law, Leonel, asked me if I would like to join him for a morning of fishing on the Laguna Madre. I have two new rods and reels that had yet to see the shallows of South Texas, so I quickly said yes. I spent the evening rigging my gear to muscle in some Bull Reds and large Speckled Trout.

At 4:50 A. M. I put out the garbage can for pick up and saw my ride come into the cul-de-sac. His big black Tahoe was hauling an almost new Dargel Skout. We picked up his brother, and brother-in-law and set out for Arroyo City. There was very little wind and the full moon was hidden by light cloud cover. We ran over a small cottontail rabbit in route, and some commented that it was bad Karma.

It was still dark when we arrived at the boat launch and put the boat in the water. Distant lightning occasionally flashed at the horizon, but the water in the Arroyo Colorado was like glass. We didn't have a spotlight, but we followed a boat out who did. Leonel, the ultimate techie, checked the weather radar on his I-phone and gave us the "almost clear" as it seemed the storm was moving away from our area. I rode in the front seat with Brian and watched the dark waters for obstacles. Tiny spits of sparse rain hit our faces as we powered into the dark bay. We turned south and reached a point that seemed to be safely out of the boat traffic and started our drift into the shallow waters off the inter-coastal. We were all using top water plugs and had already landed a small red and trout (not keepers) when dawn broke.

The sky to the northwest of us seemed fairly clear, however the skies to the east and south looked ominous. The sound of tinkling rain whispered across the glassy water and gave us our first hint of things to come. Distant rumblings continued and the clouds seemed to be forming a semi-circle around our boat. The fish were still striking, so we ignored the ever increasing intensity of the once distant rumbles.

The fish suddenly stopped all activity. We could now see rain approaching from three sides so we stowed the gear and headed for what appeared to be clearer skies to the north. For a short time we sped along in a bubble, but the rain had now surrounded us and we had already gone north of the mouth of the Arroyo. The wind picked up and a torrential rain was stinging our faces. Leonel decided to slow the boat as we headed back for the dock. Suddenly, without warning, a huge bolt of lightning with an immediate crack of thunder hit very near the boat. All heads went down as the throttle was thrust forward. No one was concerned with the stinging rain anymore. Someone made a comment about the cottontail. We made it back to the boat launch without further incident, but so did the half of south Texas who had decided to fish today.

We made for a friend's covered docks just a short way up the arroyo and docked there. The rain abated, but the clouds continued to look threatening over the Gulf. My daughter and her boyfriend arrived in his boat at the same time. We stood around and visited for a while before deciding that sitting on the couch watching some college football might be a better option. I enjoyed the adventure with the guys, but getting out of those soaked clothes and into a hot shower was really nice.

It is better to have a permanent income than to be fascinating.
Oscar Wilde