Well…it took less than a full week to confirm what I already suspected. I really don’t like saltwater fishing. More specifically…it’s only the saltwater part that I don’t like!

I hadn’t left town for seven consecutive days in the past forty years, but jumped at the opportunity last week to share a beach house with the entire family on the west end of Galveston Island. I feel certain that their choice of destinations was a hedge against me growing antsy and opting to bale early. The opportunity for Dad to fish day or night would surely keep him happy, happy, happy!

In truth, there was absolutely no chance of that happening regardless of where we gathered up as any opportunity to get the whole family together any more is special in itself, but it appears I may have my bluff in for warding off future less meaningful expeditions that exceed my two day limit. The bottom line was that sitting around revisiting a lifetime of memories and relaxing made the week fly by.

Back to the opening statement. What I really like is catching trout, redfish and flounder in brackish water that has only enough salinity to support saltwater fish. I abhor the beach and the sand that inevitably rides home with you, the salt that somehow penetrates everything but a tube of toothpaste and just plain ol’ feeling sticky!

I have wade fished both East bay and Trinity several times over the years and the folks I fished with approached the game exactly like we do. They basically fished the same type of structure with the same lures and the same game plan. From time to time they drifted reefs in the open water and even hustled the birds when all else failed. I always returned home feeling sticky with sandy floor mats, but still considered it to be a fair and enjoyable trade off.

That, however, was not the approach taken by the folks that I fished around and talked with that owned or rented cabins along the maze of man-made canals dotting the north side of Galveston Island. Those that had bay boats cradled in their lifts fished the open bay early and late. At night they either fished the green lights illuminating the canals or joined the crowds on the piers.

What surprised me the most, however, was their reluctance to deviate from their game plan even when another was obviously more productive. I have guided for four decades, but when someone is catching fish and I am not I will adapt in a heartbeat. I, too, enjoy the solitude and even a few of the plethora of weak reasons for going fishing, but make no mistake about it, “catching” beats the hell out of fishing.

There is no doubt that most of the visitors that care to even attempt to dupe a fish or two are at the mercy of local advice and it is all about a popping cork and live shrimp for the most part. I milled around in several of the bait shops and while they had a substantial supply of terminal tackle, topwater lures and plastic tails were not to be found regardless of the shop’s proximity to excellent wade fishing water.

Vudu shrimp, Paradise poppers and even GULP were akin to speaking in a foreign language in those establishments. Even as I discussed the use of those products with some of the curious shoppers on hand, I was well aware of the fact that those businesses have survived for years and I was only passing through. Each to their own, but I never looked in the rear view mirror after boarding the ferry to return home!

I talked with Louis Moore this week and he said that the chapter has just about wrapped up the preparations for the Orange County CCA Banquet to be held on Aug. 22 .This year’s banquet will very nearly double last year’s in both attendance and prizes to be raffled and auctioned off. Anyone that attended last year’s banquet will readily tell you why so many folks have already bought tickets to this year’s event!

Lou said that because they had additional room due to moving to the much larger Orange County Convention and Expo center on Hwy. 1442, they still had tickets available for both individuals and corporate tables. The auction and raffle items range from guided trips and Yeti coolers to Go Pro cameras, rod and reel combinations and shotguns.

The $50 ticket not only pays your CCA membership fee but includes a steak dinner with all the trimmings as well. The fun filled evening kicks off at 6:00 p.m. For tickets or more information contact Scott Bandy at 409-988-3667 or Louis Moore at 409-988-4845. See ya there!