Saturday, July 7, we drove to Freeport to fish a few days. Stopped in Rockwall at a sporting goods store and bought a twelve foot long, ocean type kayak. Planned to paddle out a mile or more in the Gulf and maybe catch bigger fish. Made our regular stop at the unbelievable Buc-ee’s in Madisonville and saw that twenty pounds of ice had gone up from the regular .99 to $1.49. As we drove to a restaurant for supper we passed a huge festival at the Freeport Municipal Park. A fireworks display was about to begin and would be the finale of the 65th Annual Fishin’ Festival. Along with many categories of fishing contests, both inshore and offshore, there was a queen’s contest, jalapeno eating contest, cook-offs for hamburgers, ribs, barbecue, steak and brisket. Also several live bands, horseshoe and washer pitching, and 5K run.
The jalapeno eating contest rules were interesting and added here in case you decide to host one yourself. One minute contest. Contestants must be at least 18 years of age. Whole, pickled jalapenos will be used. Only one pepper at a time may be eaten. Peppers will be served in bowls of ten. No other food or beverage during the contest. Vomiting during the contest is a disqualification. Coating the lining of the mouth with any substance is not allowed. You will be allowed to finish an unswallowed pepper as long as it was in your mouth when time was called. In case of a tie, there will be another contest to break the tie. Now we got the rules. All we need is a contest. Sounds like something good to have at one of the weekly volleyball tournaments on the Charleston Square. And what about July 4 celebrations, Bois d’arc Bash, Chigger Fest and Fall Festival?
To give an idea of kinds of fish and the Fishin’ Fiesta records for them, a few are listed here for the adult offshore division: amberjack 116 pounds, barracuda 45, jack crevalle 32, grouper 360, king mackerel 60, blue marlin 594, red snapper 34, sailfish 76, shark 798, and tuna 190. There were separate records for juvenile offshore, adult inshore, and juvenile offshore.
Ate supper at the nearby On The River restaurant, just a rocks throw from the Brazos River. This restaurant was voted number one in the Brazosport area which is made up of several nearby towns. Also included in Texas Monthly top 40. A big appetite after the long drive encouraged us to get the large Seafood Platter. Hot cornbread cooked and served in a ten inch skillet precedes stuffed crab and shrimp, fried shrimp, catfish, and oysters, hushpuppies, crab meat au gratin, and rice pilaf. From the porch of the restaurant we were able to watch the fireworks just a few blocks away.
Sunday morning we drove northeast to fish near San Luis Pass. Cloudy, cool, raining. Lots of people crabbing near the highway. Each person had standard gear of dip net, string, chicken necks, and five gallon bucket. Ten miles from San Luis Pass we pulled off the highway to drive beside the surf. Rain had apparently kept a lot of the weekend crowd away but several people were fishing with surf rods. Every hundred yards or so you find a fifty five gallon trash barrel. One caught our eye as something was half in and half out. Driving closer we saw it was a dead and swollen goat. The entire back half, legs and all were sticking up in the air. Maybe somebody brought it down to cook on the beach then changed their mind. Sure made an unusual picture.
Between mile markers six and seven we saw some action that would turn out to be one of the trip highlights. A ten year old boy was reeling in a large shark. His dad was supervising and trying to grab the shark’s tail. Finally they drug it out on the bank and we pulled over to visit. My measuring tape showed it to be an even five feet long. The man and boy were very excited as I asked them a few questions. This pair from Houston, known as Shark Boy and Shark Daddy, are famous and have about forty videos on You Tube. Shark Boy has been on Good Morning America, Fox and Friends, the Today Show, CNN, all the Houston television stations, and more. Those national stations pay his way to New York and other places to be on their show. His longest shark to date was seven or eight feet long but this five foot long bull shark was the heaviest. Search Shark Boy Hunter Stevens for You Tube videos or go to his website at sharkboyhunter.com That night on Houston television we saw a picture of Shark Boy and the bull shark he caught that day. Sometimes the pair fish from a kayak and other times from shore. Check out this father/son team on the internet to see some interesting videos. To be continued.
Years ago the Charleston Store was a combination grocery, gas station, community center, Starbucks, and just a place to stop and get a sody water. How we miss the fellowship and stories from yesteryear. In the last few days a renovation project has started at the store. They say history repeats itself, and with so many people moving back to the country, who knows, someday we may even have our own school again in the East End.
Most authorities agree the worst defeat in football history was Georgia Tech over Cumberland College, 220-0 in 1905. Cumberland hastily gathered a makeshift team, many who had never played before. Refs stopped the game in the middle of the third quarter. The Tech quarterback alone scored 100 points. The Cumberland fullback said his best play was when he only lost five yards trying to go around right end. One Cumberland player fumbled and hollered at a teammate to pick it up. The teammate responded with “You dropped it. You pick it up.”
As I put the finishing touch on this article Sunday afternoon, Zack stood by the door looking out into our woods. Normally he chases squirrels away from our bird feeders. Before letting him out I looked for a squirrel and was surprised to see a baby red fox, only the size of a possum. There are several red and gray fox in the area but this was the first time I saw one in our yard.
Comments from men: On the one hand, we will never experience childbirth. On the other hand, we can open our own jars. Jeff Green. What are the three words that humiliate any man? Hold my purse. Francois Morency. I saw a woman wearing a shirt with “Guess” printed on it and I said “Thyroid problem.” Emo Philips