My Thursday started off like most. I drank my morning coffee, checked emails, paid a couple bills and then showered. Then I headed up to Eagle Point Fishing Camp to check on my boat. It has been out of the water since the storm. I have some upcoming trips, so I needed to make sure it’s ready to go.

I stopped inside the building briefly, talking with Eric Valentino, the general manager of the camp. Then the phone rang, and on the other end a voice was saying that their boat had sunk. The anglers were in the water between Eagle Point and Redfish Island. Valentino and I then rushed to launch my boat, along with Eagle Point customer Bryan White.

About that time, a U.S. Coast Guard helicopter arrived on the scene, as White and I proceeded out into the bay. The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department boat, captained by Derek York, was out in the general area doing some survey work. He was first to arrive and brought the three anglers safely aboard his craft. I then pulled alongside and transferred the boat owner into my boat.

Because I have some experience with the recovery of a vessel, I helped him coordinate the salvage. The process was time consuming, to say the least. Anyway, after about a two-hour process — longer than it needed to be — the recovery boat came on the scene, and York and I headed back to Eagle Point.

This event ended well. That’s not always the case. This year has proven that already. These anglers did everything right. The donned their PFDs, called the Coast Guard, stayed with the vessel and called for help via a cellphone.

This time of the year, the bay can be unforgiving. Waters can turn from choppy to rough, just with the slightest increase of winds from the north/northeast, especially in certain areas of the bay.

Sometimes, it’s just not worth venturing out into the open bay, even if the fish are there. Seek the shelter of protected waters, if needed. Live to fish again is my motto. There’s not a fish out there that’s worth a life.

On Friday, I plan on getting back to a normal routine. I’m going fishing in the morning. This weekend’s weather should be good. Winds are supposed to calm down.

If you’re out fishing Friday, send me a report. It’s best to use the Reel Report email. Thanks for all your support with this column.

Capt. David Dillman is a columnist for The Daily News. Report your catch to or call 409-683-5273.

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(1) comment

AJ LeBlanc

1 - Well Done

2 - Thank You

3 - Very glad this had a happy ending and everyone involved knew what to do.

4 - We all have rules on our boats. One of mine is that everyone wears a life jacket all of the time. No exceptions. I have auto-inflatable life jackets so they are small, light weight and are not a problem even on the hottest days. Also I have 2 PLBs on board - which are tethered to life jackets when we head out past the jetties. Life jackets work - even if the wearer gets knocked unconscious. I ask my fellow boaters to please consider wearing one whenever they are in their boat. And just a reminder - the use of a kill switch lanyard is mandatory.

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