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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
The fiance' and I decided to do a last minute vacation to South Padre Island for the holiday weekend. Plans were to leave 5am on Friday and get into town midday and enjoy the time there. Get to the hotel at 11:30am (398 miles door to door) and check in early. Cool. Grab lunch then head back to the room. Fall asleep for a couple hrs then hit the beach at Access # 6. I had no bait other than fishbites. We only went a mile or so north and stopped. I started casting with a gold spoon and caught what I think was a dogfish, first pic, and that was about it. Saw lots of spanish macs and blues and did catch one small blue. Couldn't get ahold of anything on a bottom rig with fishbites. Packed it in around 6pm and headed back to the room then to dinner.

Saturday was spent out in front of the hotel taking in the sun and swimming with the rafts of mullet. If I had known what the shark fishing was like down there on this day, I probably wouldn't have swam out to the second bar and messed around. The first gut out front of the hotel was over my head and I would guess 9 or 10' when I had my snorkle and mask on.

Sunday, we get up early and hit Access #6 again but this time, we head on down towards the jetties. Driving was great and I only had it in 2wd the entire time. About ten miles down we start getting into working birds and jumping shad. I cast a gold spoon tipped with a fishbite and get another dogfish. If I had known how tough it was going to be to get bait, I probably would have kept him. Couldn't get anything else so I kept moving. Saw lots of hobie cats parked on the beach having a party. Looked fun.

About 5 miles shy of the jetties, I come up to a steep bank on the beach where the first bar/gut pinches close to the beach. Low and behold, I look out, and dozens upon dozens of tarpon from 3' to 7' are busting the surface, rolling, and totally clearing the water. I scramble to get big lures out and tie up and I am off to the water. To make a long story short, after a solid 2 hours of casting everything I had in the tackle box after them (large spoons, feather jigs, storm swimming shads, large shad raps, diamond jigs, poppers, mirrolures) I give up. Luckily, I did manage a large (26") skipjack on a diamond jig so I had shark bait. I didn't feel so bad about not getting a tarpon hooked up as I waved a couple of tarpon fisherman down on their way by to let them know about the fish. They both tried for an hour or more and couldn't get hooked up either. I thought about putting the skipjack out live to try for a tarpon but I decided to chunk him up for sharks and tarpon. I get set up and wade out to the second bar (first gut only got to chest deep here at high tide) and cast out my 4/0 wide on my 12' oceanmaster. Not 15 min. go by and I get a run. After about 10 mins. I realizeI got myself a large ray. I get him to the deep side of the 2nd bar and can't budge him. I wade out to the bar and start sliding him across the bottom with hand pressure on the line parallel to the sand. (I only had 40# test) Well, I am making progress only to have a 5'+ tarpon roll about 10' in front of me and snap the line. Oh well, back to retie.

Cast out again and after 20 mins., screaming run. This time no stingray. My first shark over 5', a fat 5'-7" bull shark. Re-cast after I catch my breath and this time, 15 mins. later and another run. This time, I see a shark going bezerk on the surface about 150 yards out. I fight him up on top of the 2nd bar where he gets into the guy's line that was fishing next to me. Next thing I know, I am bit off. I only had a 400# mono leader. So, I go back and get my heavy spinning outfit (7' 40# spinning rod with an Okuma Eclipz EZ-90) I was trying to rig up and get it out again with a mono leader. I get the 4/0 wide with mono and steel drops out and bingo, another screaming run but this time on the spinning outfit. This time, he isn't stopping. I had about 250 yards of 80# power Pro over 150 yards of 40# big game and I was down to where I could see the spool. Out to the second bar I go to try and keep from getting spooled. Well, it worked and I end up beaching a fat 5'-5" bull shark.

I get the 4/0 wide back out (the last shark tangled me up and cut me off) and then the spinning rod. 20 mins. go by and another run on the spinning outfit with a mono leader. After five minutes, whoosh, it is gone. Reel in to find a bite off. Retie and send it out again. Another run 30 mins. later and whoosh, it is gone. Yet another bite off. I reel in the 4/0 wide to check on it and it hasn't been touched (coated steel leader). I re-cast it again.

I send out the spinning outfit again with my last piece of bait (3" tail section of skipjack) and wouldn't ya know, I get a run. This time, it is a 35# ray so now I have bait again! I get both rods back out with fresh ray and get a total of 6 more runs the rest of the day with 3 screaming runs and drops (ray pieces all had big teeth marks just shy of the hooks) and 3 tail whips/bite offs. Also, by this time, I had taken the steel leader off the 4/0 because it wasn't getting hit AT ALL with anything steel on. And of course, my last run of the day, the best one, which ran about 400 yards of mono and powerpro off my reel, ends up tail whipping me (my mono leader was only 6' for casting) and I lose yet another leader. Oh well. I had a blast. You guys that get to fish SPI all the time have me VERY jealous. Beautiful water, beautiful beach, and lots of fish. Oh yeah, for your guys that read some of the other message boards, lots of orb sightings as well!
Should have been a close to 200 point day for me but I only managed 40; not too bad considering all casted baits and wire shy fish. I would love to get some big rods, a kayak and lots of good bait down there.
 

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try taking that wire leader and wind it up wraped with a rubber band and stuff it inside the bait. When the shark gets hooked the steel pops out and helps prevent leader bite through.
 

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Next time you catch one of them stargazers, touch em between the eyes. They don't last long but theyll give ya a little zap, until their charge runs out....Good laughs with the kids on the boat...
 

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Hey I saw you guys on the way back in from the jetties sunday afternoon. I sure am glad to see you had more luck than we did. We managed one 4' blacktip. Bait was also a problem for us. Well, now that I know that is you next time I will be sure and stop to say hello.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Cool

You should have stopped and said hello anyhow...always nice to meet new people in new places. Not sure when I will get back down that way. Sure is a long haul for us from NE Houston. I am trying to talk the better half into going down again over the Thanksgiving holiday and going down with some friends of ours.

Those tarpon were running the beachfront there all day long and the sharks and big stingrays were hanging below them picking up the scraps I guess. Kind of freaked me out wading out chest deep past the second bar, only casting 30 yards or so, then having the line take off shortly thereafter. I know those boys were swimming around me when I was out there casting! The longest wait I had b/w runs was no more than 30 min. with most being 15 or 20 min. I just wish I could have beached more fish. Still a fun day though. I had lots of big runs on the stingray chunks but they were having trouble getting hooked and/or they would tail whip my mainline.

I did have something big bump into my leg in the dirty water in the first gut when I was chest deep there. Didn't want to tell my fiance' that though because she wouldn't have helped me out the rest of the day. :)

If I do go again, I will have a cooler full of fresh bait with me for sure.
 

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Great Report. I lived in Brownsville for 4 years and fished twice a week the entire time. Next time, try the jetties on the Boca Chica side. I have literaly had the biggest mixed bag I have ever heard of. In addition to shark and ray, we used to catch reds, mangrove snapper, grouper, snook, trout, tarpon, sheepshead, bonita, and kings all off of the jetties. I think people do not realize what a treasure SPI is.
 
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