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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Heading to Port Isabel for a long weekend for either dove hunting or offhsore fishing if the weather/waves cooperate. On the fishing, I have never been there before. Does anyone have any specific do's and dont's of the area. I am not looking for specific locations or GPS #s (unless someone wants to) rather just some general guidelines of some possible loctions, local strategies, places to avoid, good tackle/bait places, etc.

Thanks for your help.
 

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Offshore : Hunting

Had some buddies hunt doves near Isabel this past weekend and just smoked them. Hunted over sunflower fields right along the Rio Grande'. As far as offshore not any recent reports. Take plenty of shells.

"A bruised shoulder and a bruised stomach is something to be proud of"
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thanks for the dove info. Do you know if he paid for a day hunt? If so, do you happen to know who he used? This is our version of the blast and cast/troll.
 

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I have hunted down there for many years and the general rule is, if there is not a sign that says not to do it then go for it. I have a hunted all around the fields from Harlingen to brownsville and generally everyone does it to. There are a few places to pay to hunt but not many. There are alot of irrigation canals with roads next to them which is what we follow and find a field to camp on. The only time I have been approached was to be asked how I was doing by the farmer that owned the land. Also the game wardens run wild down there so make sure you have your license and 3 shell plug. As far as offshore, what kind of fishing you looking for? Trolling for bigs or bottom fishing for snaps, ajs?
 

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My uncle owned an orange grove near Edinburg and we used to hunt there for whitewings. It's like Argo said...if it is not posted then go for it. A good area is between Raymondsville and Port Mansfield. There's a lot of ground there and you can stay in PM at the hotels and put your boat in there. The jetties are ten miles from there but it's a straight shot to them and once offshore it's only five or six miles to saifish and marlin. It is also a beautiful area. They even have some great goose and duck hunting down there.
Cheers
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Hey Jerry. How is that Fountian purchase coming? I have been to Port Mansfield before. It is a really nice fishing area but I wanted to try something different so I am heading to Port Isabel. Plus, Mansfield is just a little too light on the other amenities for my taste. I will see what Port Isabel has to offer for a not much further drive. Let's go fishing soon.
 

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So far all I've found is a 2004 29 Sportfish with twin 200's that someone was supposed to buy during the Freeport SKA tournament. It has over 30 hours on it and the guy that was going to buy it dropped out. They want $79,000 for it and it's already been to Freeport and to Aransas Pass tournaments. They are not placing it in the in-water boat show (probably because it is used) so I would have to go to their Clear Lake facility to see it. If they would lower the price to something reasonable I would buy it in a heartbeat.

After my boat gets out of the repair facility I will holler at you. Be sure to make the Toy Run to Port O'Connor. It is way more fun than anything else you will do all year.

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Out of south padre you can troll little hole which is on the maps and around 40 miles out for marlin or you can go past that to the canyon which is aournd 50 miles also pulling for marlin or sails or wahoo or whatever. If you look on hiltons map I think he has murphys rock marked but it is not on the topshot for some snaps and there are a few other places to fish bottom structure in all directions of the jetties. Remember that deep water is in close down there so at the canyon you will be around 1k. If you want to hit shrimpers I noticed them further north of the jetties generally NNE about 20-30 miles in groups. I see them rarely off boca chica(what we call the island south of So P). I have not been skunked on any spot bottom fishing from Sopadre or Mansfield. Generally they have alot less pressure than the northern ports.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks for the info Argo. I will start NE of Port I around the Canyons area and look for the shrimpers on the way out and troll South along the shelf towards the hump and see what happens. Do you recommend and particular place for bait, ice, supplies and such? If so, where is it located?

Thanks again for your help.
 

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I would stop at the shops in port Isabel. There are a few of them right off the main rd. I usually stop at a couple and generally you can find fresh(still kicking) ballyhoo. I usually get my bait from a friend of mine that buys it bulk at a place I believe called Kingfisher Seafood. It is pretty inexpensive for mackrel, squid, herring, sardines......Depending on the bait it is usually around $20-25 for 25lbs.
 

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Offshore

I was down there 2 weeks ago and it was a little rough offshore (3s to 5s). We ran a long way until we found the blue water. When we did we found fish (blackfin tuna and dorado). Troll around a couple of shrimpers (not much luck). Large schools of bonita closer in. We ran NE. Good luck!!

CC Duck
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well, the weather folks couldnt have been more wrong if they tried. As of Midnight Friday morning, they were saying 1-2s Friday, 1s on Sat., and 3-5 Sun as the front approaches. At 6am Friday morning it was now 3-5s, 2-3s, and 4-6s respectively. Needless to say, we got to the jetties on Friday and promptly turned around and decided to play around in the bay. I must say, they hae a really good ecosystem in the bay and channels. We caught everything from B-Liners to eels inside the jetties and along the ICW. We wake up again on Sat and decide to go for it. Seas were better but still solid 3-4s. We made our way to the Canyon stopping at the weather bouy on the way. Nothing there so we decide to head to the Canyon. We find blue water and 600-1500' depth and troll that ridge all the way to Murphys Hump south with absolutely nothing to show. Decided to quit beating ourselves up and head in. On the way, saw a not-so-imopressive weedline and met up wit some Mahi but no real big ones to speak of. called it a day. After deciding to hunt Sunday we wake up to calm winds but had to hunt and head home later that afternoon. The offhsore fishing was not real good that day but it was nice to be so close to the shelf (45miles). That being said, we have a heck of alot more bottom structure and rigs (there are 0 rigs down there) but it a lot further boat drive from here to the shelf. SPI has a lot of "other" things to do if you want it to double as a vacation. I would go here again before I went to Manfield.
 

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There is alot of bottom structure out there for sure. You just have to know how to find it cause it is not as clearly marked with a rig on top of it. There is also less marketed fishing down there to put them on the maps.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yeah, I saw it on the sounder when we stopped. I was not prepared to get beaten by 4-5 footers trying to bottom fish though.
 

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Yeah, it's tough sometimes without any rigs around here. We really rely on structure and currents. Game-On, if you found the blue water on Saturday, then you must have seen that rip. I've never seen such a long and well-defined wall of saragassum out there. We had one marlin knockdown and two small wahoo after spending the day on it-I thought we'd do better. Few of the other club boats did any better on it. Hope the doves cooperated better than the fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Unbound, unfortunately, I did not find the rip. How far east was it. we stopped basically at the canyons (about 50 miles ne of the jetties) and trolled due south along the shelf break hoping to find something like a rip but never saw anything. We did hear some very limited chatter on the radio about some tuna being caught but never got any indication where they were and saw nothing on the horizon.
 

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We started trolling the Canyon in the morning but the water didn't really look very blue so we headed further east. I guess it was about 60 miles out (I was working the cockpit the whole day) that we found a solid rip that I've heard ran all the way up to Colt 45. It was a solid wall of saragassum in milky water, and the other side was as blue as could be without any stray hunks of weed. I'd feel bad about telling you this after the fact, but you didn't miss a lot. The handful of boats that were working in our area didn't find as many fish as it looked like it would hold. We did, however, see a pod of pilot whales which was pretty cool.
 
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