Monday, July 07, 2008

Fishing, four wheeling, UFOs and fireworks

Last week, I spent Thursday and Friday fishing in Corpus Christi. I actually got there on Wednesday evening so we went out in the kayaks to do some fishing in the Laguna Madre underneath some lights.

Of course it was windy so it was a bit difficult to cast with my 6 weight and so I spent most of the time with my casting rod. We were catching trout on almost every cast though most of the fish were undersized "schoolie" trout. We did manage a limit but we also had to fight a strong current, sea foam, lots of grass and wind. Not to mention, I got two really nice birds nests on my casting reel and I dunked my fly rod in the water but recovered it before it sank. All in all, it was worth it.

The next afternoon we went to clean the fish at the boat launch and just as we finished up one of the area's best guides came in with four clients.

As it turns out, my cousin knows this guide fairly well and stayed to chat with him. The guide is named Captain Bill Sheka and he is truly a living legend among the guides on the Texas coast. He's been showcased on a few TV fishing shows and guided TV personalities and other celebrities. He's a real nice guy to boot.

Anyways, after a photo of the catch with his clients, he and my cousin were talking and one of the clients asked if the truck parked nearby belonged to my cousin. It was and he asked us to pop the hood open so he could show us how we could get three, four or more miles-per-gallon better mileage out it. Bill introduced his client as Steve Gehrlein. Apparently, Steve is a mechanic's mechanic and owns a very successful auto shop in San Antonio, hosts a radio show on identifying and solving car problems, and also wrote a book on tips to avoid getting ripped off by bad mechanics called Save $$$ on Auto Repairs. So, of course we listened and let him show us how!

Steve proceeded to tell and show us a few modifications to allow additional airflow into the engine via the air filter housing that would do the trick along with cleaning the throttle body. In the process of showing us, he cut his finger pretty badly on the sheet metal though it didn't stop him. He was pretty enthusiastic about showing us how to get that extra gas mileage out of the vehicle.

My cousin asked me to take a photo of him with the celebrities. Since I didn't have my digital camera with me I used my camera phone and the photo didn't come up too bad. Left to right in the photo are my cousin Captain George Garza, Captain Bill Sheka and Steve Gehrlein.

That night we went looking for a way to get to a remote location on North Padre Island that my cousin wanted to fish and we followed a trail that had been created by some four wheelers. It really required a four wheel drive vehicle to get back in there since it was mostly fine sand trails with deep ruts. We almost got stuck twice. It was worth it though as the area we fished was beautiful though we only caught one keeper 20 inch trout. We promised to come back the next night to do some gigging for flounder since there were several small areas in the back that looked promising.

One thing that did occur that night while we there looking up at the starry night was my cousin caught a glimpse of a small white flash high up in the sky and then I saw it too. It blinked a couple of times and then showed up east of where it was again. It flashed a couple of times then showed up farther east almost above us. It flashed a couple of times again then showed up east behind us. Amazing! We knew it was not a jet since nothing travels that fast! It also made no sound. It wasn't a satellite either since you can typically see the object constantly as it travels. It also wasn't a meteor since they stream across the sky and disappear in a flash. It had to be a UFO. I've seen some odd things out there before but that was a first for something like that. I am totally serious when I say that was really freaky seeing that.

The next day, July 4, we came back to do some flounder gigging. After watching a beautiful sunset and it got pretty dark, we walked maybe three miles through the water and only came across two small flounder. All the time there were fireworks exploding all along the beach and across the bay. It was really cool! We packed it up around midnight and headed out. A friend of my cousin's had come along in his four wheel truck and got stuck in the sand just as we were exiting the area. My cousin towed him out and we had a lot of laughs at his friend's expense since that was the second time my cousin has towed him after getting stuck.

This was a most memorable trip and I did bring back some trout as well. I'm going to do some freshwater fishing for a while but will try to get back out for a salt fix in the fall.

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