Friday, April 11, 2014

Off to the Bay after a Slow Start to the Season

Wow, it's been a slow beginning this year. Between an especially cold winter and extensive brown tide,  most of my friends have reported frustrating trips. My brother spent part of three days on the bay two weeks ago, and they had one visible shot, and even then they weren't sure if it was a fish! Last week, however, fellow guide Ben Pasqual reported tailing action in one of our favorite west-side venues.

Julie and I have been taking advantage of the slow start to get our new trailer in place. Our digs at Channelview RV Park are a pretty sweet set-up--a vintage 28' trailer with all of the creature comforts and small building where we keep gear, tie flies, and puff on cigars. We will be inviting clients to lodge with us (up to two) and enjoy the waterfront setting, along with breakfasts and box lunches. Ask if you're interested in this package deal. Of course, we work closely with Atascosa Outlook B&B, and Arroyo Lodge (for 4-6 anglers) so you have some fine options to choose from.

Everyone has had boat issues, as well. Rick Hartman had an anomalous noise in his new Suzuki 60, and so did we. I feared it was a blown lower unit, but it was only a loose gear cable. Meanwhile, John Pilmer's 70 Yamaha 2-stroke quit peeing, and Ben's new Suzuki broke the motor mount on his HPX. It's been a strange assortment of problems.

But…I'm off to the water, to begin my guide season in earnest. Randy and I will be working together this weekend, and then we have different parties next week. Our bookings are finally filling in after everyone emerged slowly from the long winter hibernation.

The brown tide is gone on the east side, but still affecting the west side, especially north. That's common this time of year. After a cold, wet winter, with an increasing duck population on the Lower Laguna, the amount of nitrogen that the bay has to process is especially high. Brown tide feeds on the nitrogen, but the influx of fresh Gulf water paired with the strong southeast winds tends to blow the brown tide north as spring progresses. Already, the sand is crystalline.

It will be a windy weekend, but it looks like Sunday will be a pretty good day. If we have sun, the wind is less of a factor. I'll let you know how we do!

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