Sunday, November 20, 2016

Goose Island State Park

On Sunday, November 13, we left Quintana Beach. We were not in a hurry to leave. We really enjoyed our time there. The fishing was OK, but making new friends is always fun.

We looked at the options for moving a bit further down the coast on the way to the Corpus Christi area. I had looked at a number of free beach camping options, but none of them looked great and it was going to be in the mid 80's over the next few days. We will opt for being comfortable every time. The best option was Goose Island State Park near Rockport. We have stayed at Goose Island twice before. That is very abnormal for us. We love to explore new places, but in this case, it was the best option.

We really enjoyed our two prior visits to Goose Island, but this time I had one thing that I did not have on the other two visits, My Texas Fishing License. I thought this would allow me to get the boat out and fish many of the sand flats around the oyster beds out in the bay.

We left Quintana after saying good bye to Ty and Margarita and made the easy and flat 140 mile drive to Goose Island. We got checked in and were told we could pick our site. We ended up with site 14 on the Bay. We love this part of the Bay camping area because you get the sunset straight out the back window. We had some beautiful ones while we were there.

Just to post a bit of a campground overview for other readers that RV. This park had good OTA TV and good Verizon. The Rate is $24 per night on the bay, but you have to have a Texas Park pass that is $70. The good news is that you get 4 half price nights that pay for about half of the pass. We will be using it a number of other times on this trip, both now and when we return in May. Parking is easy and we just love to back right up to the water.

The winds were calm on the first day, so I got the boat out and inflated it and we were soon on the water. I have to be honest here, I did not paddle much at all. Kim did most of the paddling and I did all of the fishing. I was able to catch a number of small fish, but no trout.

The wind came up on Monday and taking the boat out was not an option. I decided to wade out to the oyster beds and do some fishing. The water was about waist deep. I caught a few small ones, but still no trout.

That evening we took a walk to check out the moon. It was beautiful rising over the bay. I did not get a great shot, but this is the best I could do with my camera.

It was very windy on Tuesday, so still no boat fishing. I took a long walk through the park. There are always interesting sights to see along the salt marshes. Here is a shot of a Great Egret just taking flight.

That evening, we decided to take a walk on the pier and see the moon. I took my fishing pole...just in case. When I got out to my usual fishing spot, I could not believe my eyes. The trout were hitting the top of the water like crazy. It reminded me of an evening on the Firehole River in Yellowstone. I caste my line and caught a nice trout on my fist cast. That was all I needed to see. I went straight back to the trailer and got the rest of my fishing gear. I hustled back to the pier and began a long night of fishing. I am sure that I caught more than 50 fish. It was so much fun! The only problem
was that I wanted to keep some and they have to be over 15 inches to keep. I caught a few that were 14 inches, but no 15's. At about 11PM, I decided to head back. As I was walking down the pier, I saw a place were the fish were very active. I made a couple of casts and bang, I caught what felt like a much bigger fish. It was just over 15 inches. Yeah!

The crazy thing is that you do not need a fishing license to fish from the pier. You can fish anywhere within a Texas State park boundary without a license. I love that rule, I wish other states did it also.

We were leaving on Thursday, so on Wednesday, we got the laundry done and made a Walmart trip. I got my gear ready for another attempt at catching a 15 inch trout on the pier. I once again caught a bunch of fish, but no keepers. I moved to the same place I had caught the big one the night before and caught 6 that were about 14 inches, but no 15ers. Oh well, I still had a blast.

We had fun at Goose Island, but our too short visit had to come to an end. The park was full over the weekend, so we needed to move on. We decided to head further south through Corpus Christi and out on Padre Island to the National Seashore. We had been there before also, but it was a short visit back in February of 2015. We wanted to return now that we have improved battery and solar capability. The camping at Padre Island National Seashore is camping in a small campground with no hookups for $8 per night overlooking the beach or you can drive right down on the beach and find your own place to camp for free.

Are you tired of fishing yet? Well, I wasn't and there were plans to just hang out on the beach and fish all day. There was only one problem, there is a big northern coming in with big wind and lower temps. Come back to see how that worked out. One last Goose Island Sunset shot.

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