Anyone Remember Mid 1960's P. Isabel Tarpon Hole - 2CoolFishing
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Old 06-02-2016, 03:20 AM   #1
Michael J
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Anyone Remember Mid 1960's P. Isabel Tarpon Hole

Mid to late 60's my family would go to Port Isabel during the summer (Dad went all through the year), and fish the whole area. One evening instead of surfing, my Dad and his friend who lived in Harlingen, Ben Griffin, took me to the TARPON HOLE! It was on the west side of the Queen Isabella causeway, on the Port Isabel side. It was a deep hole, what I guess to be about a couple hundred yards long by about a hundred wide. That is an approximation when I was thirteen or so years old.
The Tarpon were in there packed like sardines, so to speak. They would roll right next to the boat. I never believed it when my Dad told me about it.
When I was there they hooked a couple, but both got off. When it was my turn, something hit and never stopped as it went east under the causeway and never stopped. They told me it probably was a shark though.
Anyway, it was a sight to behold! In that one area when the tide was right, mostly in the evenings I was told, they would stack up in there.
Now it's gone. They say sediment from hurricanes had silted it in and the Tarpon left.
I'll see if my Dad has any pics I can post.
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Old 06-02-2016, 03:51 AM   #2
fishingtwo
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I never fished there but in the late 70's I would go to the jetties.
The tarpon would be rolling on the channel side. I threw topwaters on a Fenwick surf rod till my arm hurt. They just would never hit. Had some good times down there shark fishing the jetty.
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Old 06-02-2016, 04:35 PM   #3
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Around 1969 I waded all the way around Tarpon Hole. I was the only in the water, about 2/3 of the way back, and it was getting near dark. I was throwing an old Mirrorlure, don't remember the color, and had caught several specs. At the end of a retrieve, just started to lift the bait out for another cast, when something slammed the plug. I went to set the hook and a 3' Tarpon exploded straight up about 6 feet in front of me and threw the bait. Scared the **** out of me.
Had seen some huge sharks in the Hole area before and thought one was there for me!
I was shaking so bad I couldn't hardly cast and all I wanted was out of the water.
That was back when people rarely referred to the area as South Padre. For some reason everybody called the whole place Isabel. We would go down after Labor Day and get winter rates for beachfront motels. Around $10 a day for rooms w/kitchenettes. Fish in the morning and evening, surf during the day.
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Old 06-03-2016, 08:38 AM   #4
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It's still there just not like it used to be. I think the tarpon moved out because of the marina for the condos. I helped wire those condos back in my electrician days. We ate our lunch on that job as the peso devaluation hit at that time and the Mexican nationals who owned the properties could not pay the contractors. It was the start of hard times for the RGV.

I remember the Griffins. Used to surf down there whenever there was waves. Almost didn't graduate high school because of my surfing habit. Harlingen High Class of '75.
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Old 06-03-2016, 12:29 PM   #5
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Couple of years ago I saw a school of them right around that area.
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Old 06-03-2016, 06:57 PM   #6
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Its still there

But has sanded in from the 60's 10-12' deep back then - we still fish it at night with ballyhoo along the edges, for big specks -


Billy liked to use about a 10# bonito carried out in that hole. Some huge lemons came out of there.
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Old 09-25-2016, 09:26 AM   #7
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Y'all talking about that 30 ft. deep hole on the south side of the old causeway? It runs basically north/south and there's a range marker on the west side of it?

If that's it, then I guess I found it by accident, looking for reds, last December. There was a gent wading the edge of it and said he had done pretty well on specs using topwater, earlier in the morning.

I've also seen an area of deeper water, north of the new causeway, just off Pirate's Landing. There was a head boat anchored in it.
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