Reader's Write & Pics!
Yankeetown Speed Trap
This past weekend, my husband and I took our son and my parents for a boat ride out of Yankeetown. We have a brand new boat and this was our maiden voyage, and our first trip out from Yankeetown in some time.
We put the boat in the water and headed out the canal. To the left of the canal I noticed that an unmarked game & fish commission boat with two plainclothes officers had a boat stopped. When they saw us, one of the officers held up his badge and motioned us over. We were not worried. We had all the necessary safety equipment and just believed we were being pulled over because the registration numbers were not yet on the boat. Imagine our surprise when we received a $50 speeding ticket for going through a manatee zone.
I have several concerns with this "speed trap". First, it is not posted very well. None of the five of us in the boat saw the signs. Second, the officers were stopping EVERY boat that went by. (That should tell you something.) They had a boat stopped when they pulled us over and while writing our ticket, made plans to chase after another boat. Third, how can you or your officers have trained the manatees so well that they will stay in a 1/4 mile area, about a 1/4 mile off the fishing ramp and only the width of the canal wide? Do the manatees not swim down the river, do they not head out to sea or to the north or south of the canal?
Yes, I believe the manatees should be protected and yes, we were breaking the law. But this speed trap is no better than those in Lawtey and Waldo.
Frankie Sanders of Angleton, TX shown with a black drum she caught while fishing with shrimp on the Brazos River.
Canyon Lake, TX
It was the first of October as my buddy, Delton and I pulled out of my driveway heading south, straight south to Port O'Connor.
As soon as we got to Port O'Connor we put my boat in and headed for the south jetties. We anchored off the jetties about 50 feet. The water was smooth as glass as we started to fish. The first day we landed some good keepers, Redfish and a large Jack Crevalle. We were fishing with croakers and piggy perch as the bait houses had been closed.
We stayed out till around 12:00 that night since the fishing was so good but as the day took its toll on us we decided to turn in till tomorrow.
Early rising we set out for the same place we had been the day before. The weather was perfect and the water was calm as the day before. All was going well as we caught some Bull Reds.
Delton had a Bull Red on and we were trying to land it when all of a sudden the boat surged the opposite direction, via the anchor rope. We both stumbled for our footage wondering "What the Hell!"
We landed Delton's Bull Red as soon as possible and he threw it on the floor of the boat, as again the boat jolted.
We didn't have sight of what it was. In our minds we were both thinking "Jaws" was about to be a part of our lives.
Suddenly the anchor rope began to move forward up in the water then down again pulling the front of the boat close to the edge of the water. "What in the world would bite at an anchor?"
My first thought was to cut the anchor rope. We both ended up with knives in our hands. Then we saw it! A Manta Ray had gotten hung up in the anchor rope and was pulling us around.
As he topped the water to our right I grabbed my camera and took a quick picture. I knew no one would believe this without a picture.
Frankly at that moment, I couldn't believe this was happening.
It was pulling my boat so hard that I started the boat and put it in reverse and gave him a pull hoping to get loose.
Someone in a boat near by yelled "What you got?"
We yelled back, "We haven't got anything, it has us."
We finally got the rope untangled from around the Manta Ray's snout.
Both of us were breathless from the struggle as we watched its wing span glide away from the boat. "So much for a leisurely fishing day. Exciting? Yes!"
It was a day we'll be talking about for a long time. It's a fish story to end all the rest.
We don't know how much the fish weighed but we estimated about 500 pounds. Judge for yourself by looking at the picture.
All we know is, it'll be a long time before any of our buddies can come up with a bigger fish story and a picture to back it up!
I have recently relocated to the lower Gulf coast of Texas. Having fished all of my life, I was pleased to find what Texas had to offer in the lower Laguna Madre area.
I really enjoyed your magazine this last year and will continue to be a loyal customer for years to come. Please send 3 Advance Planning calendars for myself and two friends (that have boats). We are mighty lower Laguna Madre fishermen!
Love your magazine - very informative and helpful with the articles/stories, Fishing Forecasts, Product Review, Equipment Notebook and recipes, all of it. Just as fine as frog hairs!
Warren R. Hertz, III (Trey) my 12 year old son caught this 35 pound, 42 inch redfish. This was his first redfish. He caught it while wade fishing out from an island in the Louisiana marsh. He was using a Zebco 888 and a light Eagle Claw rod. The lure was a double rig lead head. The fish bit the creme glow cocahoe with a fire tail, whch was on top and the bottom was a hot pink super beetle.
It took him over 40 minutes to land the fish after 5 or 6 hard runs and numerous circles. Trey says he is hooked on fishing for life. He was fishing with me, his uncle Wayne Brown and a friend Donald Theobald. We also had a fine catch of 40 specks and 10 flounder to along with Trey's redfish.
I noticed in your Apr-May isue that you gave the GPS coordinates for the "Black Pipe" and other fishing "holes" in the South Padre area to the fisherman who wrote to you in your "Our REaders Write" section.
I fish out of Mobile Bay and Perdido Pass for red snapper and would like to know if you have any LORAN/GPS numbers to any fishing holes in these areas. I retire from the Army in July and and plan on spending a lot of time on my new Robalo "retirement" boat. Any assistance on helping me enjoy retirement days would be greatly appreciated.
In addition, is there a state agency in Alabama that I could write to and ask for locations of wrecks/artificial reefs that the state has put off its coast?