Robert (gurdonark) wrote,

Bullethead Catfish.

This trip I enjoy reading Nevil Shute's "Around the Bend", a novel which combines solid narrative plotting with a nice plot theme about a form of grace. I had only read his "On the Beach" prior to reading this novel. The book is just the thing I like--middlebrow "midlist" fiction of its era--neither experimental nor mere tired genre fiction.

We went fishing at the Copano Bay pier today, where the fellows who ran the bait shop kept it spotless and an actual pleasure to visit. The weather was so fine, however, that we decided to go hiking at the wildlife refuge again. We drove to the Aransas preserve, and walked by a "Big Tree", which was a live oak over 450 years old. We walked on the boardwalk by the salt marshes, seeing a cute striped kingsnake on the trail. We climbed to the observation tower, and looked from on high through my (very handy) pocket 8 x 20 monocular at herons fishing in the marshes. We inadvertently startled one heron under the boardwalk, who flew away, emitting a kind of complaining call as he flew.

We saw deer along the roadway, placidly eating grass. As we drove from the refuge, a wild javelina (related to a pig) scampered across the road. We headed to Austinwil, a nearby town of 700.

Austinwil has a wooden fishing pier which juts into a bay. When we arrived three fellows were fishing on a grassy knoll near the pier. That looked good to us, so we picked an isolated place nearby and cast out. Within moments I had a bullethead catfish on the line. He was a goodish size. I posed for a picture and then threw him back. Then my wife caught another bullethead catfish, which we promptly photographed and threw back. This ocean catfish is not considered a delicacy, but we would have thrown them back even if they had been the most succulent seatrout in the ocean. We fished a while longer, enjoying sitting in deck chairs while things nibbled at our bait squid, and a cooling wind blew through.

We drove back to the restaurant Charlotte Plummer's once more, where we each had a nice redfish. Then we called it an early and entirely satisfying day.

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