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.