Sunday, February 5, 2012

On the Beach in Early February

Scott here. My partner Julie and I went up the Padre Island Beach on Friday to catch some rays, have a picnic, and test the new Outback's all-wheel drive. Of course, I took my fly rod. After three hours sunning atop one of the highest dunes on the Island, we learned that it's possible to get terribly sunburned sunbathing in a thong in February if you're an Irish woman with fair skin. I was barely pink after it all, but J. was so badly burned that she would have parted the waves in any local ER if she'd been inclined to get medical attention.

Fortunately, we didn't know that she'd gotten so burned til much later, which gave us time to learn a second lesson. Four-wheel drive will improve your chances in loose sand, but it's not a failsafe solution. We were so happy twisting and turning in the soft sand that we almost overshot the access "road" to the highway. At the last moment, instead of going further south toward a hard-packed access point, I told J. to turn into a poopload of loose sand just in time to get stuck up to the frame. I got out, took a look at the situation, and pronounced, "we're f....d!" Then I bent down and started to dig us out, and pulled my back. Fortunately, a kind man and his son arrived just time to pull us out.

Before the sunburn and my back problem started to assert themselves, we headed over the bayside and drove up toward Coyote Hill and beyond. Parking near the bay, I waded out to the edge of the sand, which is only about 300 years that far south. I promptly started seeing reds feeding head down and heading upwind. After landing two nice reds, I broke my Clouser hook on the third strike, and proceeded to miss two more before realizing that I was shooting blanks.

Then we went over and visited with my buddy Skipper Ray, who had just been out with Bill Blodgett shooting an episode for Majesty Outdoors. Skipper decanted a nice bottle of wine for the non-designated driver (Julie). We sat in the open air at Island Outfitters, and talked fish and relationships.

As if we hadn't already had a great day, we had dinner at Pirate's Landing on the way home. So, the motto of the day is, Don't sun nearly naked under a subtropical sun, drive careless in a poopload of soft sand, or cast broken hooks to hungry fish.

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