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PINS 1/9-1/11

 
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Towboat Trash
Member White Shrimper Boot Club


Joined: 25 May 2009
Posts: 615
Location: somewhere on 130 miles of beach

PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 11:28 am    Post subject: PINS 1/9-1/11 Reply with quote

"There ain't a lot that you can do in this town,
You drive down to the lake then you turn back around.
You go to school and you learn to read and write,
So you can walk into the county bank, sign away your life...

I got me a 67 Chevy, she's low and sleek and black,
Someday I'll put her on the interstate and never look back...


--Steve Earle, "Someday." Guitar Town album, 1986

"There's a road, in Oklahoma
Straighter than a preacher, longer than a memory
And it goes, forever onward
Been a good teacher
For a lot of country boys like me...
I been down this road, just searching for the end
It don't go nowhere, just brings you back again...

--Steve Earle, "Nowhere Road." Exit 0 album, 1987


Love. Hate. Anger. Confusion. Amusement. Bewilderment. Uncertainty. Certainty. Friendship. Detachment. Pleasure. Pain. Consciousness. Unconsciousness.

Well, well. It just doesn't matter who you are, you're gonna get a little bit of it all in this life. Every last little bit of it. And no one gets out of it all alive, right?

I just found out a little late that one of our own has passed a little bit back. There was a lot of older commercial fishermen back in Georgia that us boys would mess with and prank on, and he just wasn't one of 'em. Dave Lester Gale came back from Vietnam after doing four years in the Navy and spent the rest of his life right there in Darien, Georgia-fishing. And not this gottdang fishing around these parts with hot pink Columbia or 7 Avets for tiny blacktips which we then sit on and put a ruler to their head and enter in a "tournament", but fishing to put a little food on the table and a roof over folks' heads. And he was the brother to Captain Darwin, who raised me up and taught me to gillnet, trotline, and shrimp. Now all us boys knew was that he kept to himself and his old lady, and loved his dog, Dixie. And that when he was overseas he was part of the Swift Boats, the "Brown Navy," a "River Rat," one of the badarses. And every last bit of this was validated by him having the biggest motor you could buy at the time on the back of his skiff, with rope and stick steering from up in the bow. And if you were lucky enough to see him running 60 with bag after bag of gill nets, it wouldn't last long, cuz he'd be outta sight shortly. And when one day he didn't come back to the dock, he was found alive but with broken ribs and everything else out in the swamp-the steering rope busted and he had hit the cypress bank at 40 and been laying there all busted up half conscious. Once he healed, he was right back on the water.







And Dave Lester was a nuisance gator trapper, but back then, folks still went out on the river at night to hunt gators with a rifle and a spotlight.


And it just seemed like folks moved out of his way down at the fish house, and he had a few of the baddest skiffs out there. BIG motor and a big V. And a stick steering in the bow! NOBODY had hydraulic anything, not even the big trawlers! Lay up against that stick in the bow and feel every bit of the power of that motor hanging off the stern behind you, and feel the river's wet air in your teeth and know you were alive.....


And there's Dave Lester and Captain Darwin to the left with a load of Sturgeon back when we were still fishing for them.


And there's not a day goes by I don't think about those swamps in McIntosh Country, Georgia-and the Altamaha River Delta and the men that us boys looked up to, that were heroes to us, that loved like he** and fought like he** at the same time.


And this is these men's heritage. Because some of us still remember.


And this has been one of my favorite pictures for years, that used to sit on the wall in Dave Lester's momma and daddy's house, where I used to go pick up my paycheck from the shrimpboat. It's Dave Lester, Captain Darwin, and my two best friends, brothers Wynn and Darrel, both captains now-and cousins. In the middle is Dave Lester and Darwin's daddy, Grandpa Gale. And I just don't understand it some days-fishermen were the heroes of a community, folks would move out of the way at the store, always say hello, and celebrate what they did. I see fishermen towing their boat trying to merge onto SPID getting run over or run off the road, and I've realized-we've lost our roots here as a maritime community.


But I digress--with only a few days before the next charter, I took off down the beach for a few days to test some new gear and the new boat. The water temps have been so cold, sharking was bound to be slow, but you never know until you go!


Morning Mother Gulf.


And with a quick visit with the A&M Geologists conducting algal mat research in some of my stomping grounds, I headed back north.


To put these new bad boys to the grindstone!!!!!!


And I wondered about that haze, about who might be looking down on me and smiling...


And every day I try to do right by those who brought me up-my daddy, momma, and the men who showed me the ropes of trying to slide on by in this life. And one thing I know-don't ever judge a book by its cover, cause character doesn't come from a soft cushy easy life....


And I put Steve's old Harnells from the early 60's out in the sun, and told em, "This is what you were made for, and I'm gonna do right by you, you just do right by me, hear?"


And the goofy side of me just had to do it....LOL Very Happy Did I win the tournament? Did I? Did I?


Doggonit we fish for ourselves and what's in our hearts, not for glory or others to know about us...


And well enough, these new rods and new reels operated without incident and out 4 baits went.




Boy, oh boy, looking like ten million number 5 count shrimp, LOL. Laughing


Hot darn....


I don't know where you been since the 60's but I know I won't do ya wrong....




And I laughed as Steve's handiwork must be giving me a big head...


200# all the way! Never had anything like that in my life!


And several hours later, a friend showed up, one beautiful reddish egret, once almost totally wiped out.


And all was so good.


And I smiled.




Hiya friend!


And I laughed some more as I trout fished while he followed me around, just being my pal.








And the end of the day came quietly, and I watched my friend from my mountain, just looking out over God's creation the same way Dave Lester must have when he came back from Vietnam.


And my heart broke as my Egret friend looked and looked for me and walked circles around my truck, and finally, he was gone. And I didn't want him to leave, and I didn't want him gone, and I didn't want him to stay either. I wanted him to go-be free-live-find your place for the night my easy friend...





And cuz it's tradition, and cuz I know those old 'Kronk Indians expect me to build them a fire to come and get warm on cold January nights, I lit that beach fire off with a POP!


And life was simple, and simple was good...


And dinner was served...




And morning came without even one click.




And I looked north and my heart warmed at the sight.


Coffee time!


And after resetting baits, I sat on my mountain to watch God's creation once more.


And drink coffee and feel the strength that comes from being alone and knowing who and what you are.


The attack coon was back!


And I tried to capture some of Padre's early morning finest! Their birdsong is beautiful!! Senior J? I coulnd't get closer shots!




And I stopped to study the morning dew on the Gulf Croton growing so wonderfully on the backbeach dunes.


And thought how the deer must love the dew on the grass each January morning...






And I studied their hoofprints through the sand...


And soon enough it was time to get reset baits again.







Beautiful.




Hola Amigo!


And adios!






Loving the 200!!!!


BAM!


And I floated a few jacks out on the surface out in 26 ft of water.




And the fish were scarce and the day ticked along.




And one pomp was all I had to show for a pound and a half of shrimp fishing.




And a ton of whiting.


Pomps are never bait! Only the heads! The best eating fish on that beach!




And once again, I was "taught a lesson" by some googan with Illinois plates. Tried to get him to go around, nope, ran over a leader and a ray with 4 hooks hanging out of it, and went right through everything.


But the day was pretty anyway.


And I sat back down to read someone I had never read before until last month. And boy oh boy, I never knew someone else felt the way I do, I love this fella!


What a stash!!




And it soon became that time again.




And it was so pretty, as always.


And I lit off another good fire.


And sat and thought about things and listened for clickers to explode in the night air.




And threw down again!


And when I woke, the storm to come had begun to arrive.








And I let those baits sit until about high noon, and then packed it in as the water kept rising and rising.




And knew I couldn't go back south to check on the A&M researchers, the tide was continuing to climb higher and higher....


Welcome to the war zone....


After a long slog back...I made it.






And the NW gusts were already hitting 25-30.












And that was a wrap for the time being. And I guess I got what I really wanted, which was to be alone and think, and let Padre cover me in its hazy mystery once again. And while it killed me not to go find some trout, I got to test out new gear and make sure it is right-which is important. And I didn't see a car for 36 hours after Captain "Drive through the middle of your camp and run over things" left the beach. Which was equally great. Am I or anyone else my age ready to stand up and be the men that those were before us? As we lose those great men, I don't know, but remembering them and their lives can't hurt. And neither can a little time fishing alone down the Padre's Island.

Ya'll take care, and if you get a minute, crank some Steve Earle for me as loud as those speakers will go. You might just join me in singing along and scare some goshdurn pomps out of their conniving, cantankerous hiding.


--Colin
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Protect Padre at all costs for future generations to use and enjoy and never forget our freedoms aren't free.

www.padreislandexpeditions.com


Last edited by Towboat Trash on Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:37 am; edited 2 times in total
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shallowsport
Full Grown Flour Bluffian


Joined: 07 Jun 2006
Posts: 3260
Location: Flour Bluff/Kingsville

PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 12:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great writing, super story, and as always beautiful pictures. Least we ever forget the pasty and the legacy left by those who preceded us.
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hillcountryfisherman
Pony Mullet


Joined: 15 Dec 2017
Posts: 58

PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Colin,

You do the best stories and pics. Make my day for last few years with your commentary and wild pics. Please keep up the good work. I feel like im on the trip with you every time you post up.

Especially like the pics of grub [ steak and ranch style beans ] by the way have you tried HEB BORRACHO BEANS WITH SHINER BOCK ?
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HungerBuster
Flour Bluffian in training


Joined: 07 Mar 2006
Posts: 371

PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with the Borracho beans. GOOD stuff, especially if you like the Ranch Style Beans!

Great write up. Thanks for introducing us to Dave.
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gkrane
Horse Mullet


Joined: 31 Oct 2017
Posts: 230
Location: Corpus Christi

PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Absolutely stunning photos and writing!
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Rebecca of Sunnybrookfarm
Full Grown Flour Bluffian


Joined: 01 May 2008
Posts: 3865

PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

yeah, you might need to get a long lens to get some of those....

look at horned lark...they are all over the backside, and some come towards the front...storm displaced...
becky
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Central Scrutinizer wrote:
Thanks for the Memories, Ranger Rick.


ziacatcher wrote:
However I bet if you were fishing naked Ranger Rick would have a problem with that
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saltyhook
Horse Mullet


Joined: 20 Feb 2008
Posts: 140

PostPosted: Mon Jan 15, 2018 4:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

As always Collin, first class photos and story telling. Dam "Googans", one time a friend and I had one of these fools go all the way out into the water under our rod sets snagging my friends rod dragging it north bound! I so hope his truck rusted out extra fast! !
Looking forward to seeing those custom rods in person, inspiring me to want to wrap more rods myself. I have that same Z Gray book, like the chapter on Permit fishing the best. I have a couple other fishing books I will bring you next trip down.
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Saltyhook
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Tyler
Site Admin


Joined: 06 Mar 2006
Posts: 12849

PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent tales again my friend!

Thank you!
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Jettybandit
Finger Mullet


Joined: 07 Jan 2018
Posts: 49
Location: Texas

PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great story and even better pictures. I heard another cold snap is gonna roll thru so bunker down everyone.
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SeanHHH
Member White Shrimper Boot Club


Joined: 05 May 2006
Posts: 517
Location: San Antonio

PostPosted: Tue Jan 16, 2018 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Great read and pics as usual!

As I said before, you need to write a book!
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Towboat Trash
Member White Shrimper Boot Club


Joined: 25 May 2009
Posts: 615
Location: somewhere on 130 miles of beach

PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Rebecca of Sunnybrookfarm wrote:
yeah, you might need to get a long lens to get some of those....

look at horned lark...they are all over the backside, and some come towards the front...storm displaced...
becky


As always, thank you Senior! Have to try those borracho beans Jeff! Sounds good to me! Hope you been well!

Joe that's a funny story! And I know it happened cuz that's about how it goes! Boy don't we think alike?! I too loved the Permit chapter of that Zane Grey book...just think....a cousin of the almighty pompano but BIGGER AND TASTIER! Laughing Sean, I had heard you were down there during the fire, glad you made it off I can't imagine the smoke it must have been putting into the air. Sorry about the no fish fellas! Billy already got into my hiney for shark fishing during trout weather and as always I deserved it!! Take care and see ya'll on the sand!
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Protect Padre at all costs for future generations to use and enjoy and never forget our freedoms aren't free.

www.padreislandexpeditions.com
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BayFly
Full Grown Flour Bluffian


Joined: 02 Sep 2014
Posts: 1657
Location: Austin/Flour Bluff

PostPosted: Sun Jan 21, 2018 11:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I enjoyed the trip Colin, as usual. Your reference to Zane Grey reminds me of years ago running across an ad for an auction of his estate. The photo you shared of his gear was similar to the ad. Speaking of gear, your going to need your own warehouse sooner than later! Very Happy
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