My Favorite Saltwater Fishing Trip

“Foggy Memory” of My Favorite Saltwater Fishing Trip

This time a year it’s always foggy on the Texas gulf coast. The water is still frigid from all the cold fronts but the air is mildly warmer causing the dense sea fog. I personally like the creepy sea fog most. The damp air brings me back to days of screaming reels and humming diesel  engines. Awe, yes…..saltwater fishing in the winter. Fishing trips this time of year you really need your sea legs, a jacket, some die hard crew members, and a good radar & GPS system to get you through that sea fog! One happy “foggy” memory in particular that always resurfaces is that of a trip we took targeting Mako sharks. It was the end of January a few years back, my birthday weekend to be exact. January and February are peak Mako fishing time in the Gulf because the water temperature is lower and that cooler water brings the Mako sharks closer inshore to feed. ​Nena Hale

We left the dock early in the morning when it was still dark. I had tried my best to sleep on the way out but was woken up several times by rough water. We are fishing on a 31 Bertram and sometimes it can be a bumpy ride. I remember being relived when we finally arrived at our first fishing spot. I had a few bruises from the ride out. The fog was so thick we could barley see the rig we were fishing at. First things first, we had to catch our shark bait. Our first stop was to fish for some Jack Crevalle. We jigged up some jacks, and then used some for chum to attract the sharks and others for bait that we attached to balloons.The balloon allows you to keep sight of your bait and regulate its depth. Once the bait was ready and set out we sat and waited, drifting, watching the balloon we had attached to the drifting bait.

I was so anxious I had never caught a Mako before while fishing saltwater. I sat there by my reel wishing and hoping for a bite! By this time the fog had burned off. We had been drifting and chumming for about two hours when my birthday wish was granted! First a fin and then a moving balloon! Next a screaming reel and a flying blue monster with teeth! Fish on!!!!!! Makos jump out of the water and put on a show when hooked very similar to the way billfish do. I put on my fighting belt grabbed the rod and the fight began. A friend harnessed me in and I stood on the back of the deck for a 30-minute adrenaline filled fight! When I got him to the leader and on the side of the boat we realized it was a male and a great eating size at that. We decided to harvest up him for his meat. On our boat we usually release the majority of the sharks we catch but Makos are great to eat and it is better to harvest the males.

​My birthday Mako catch made for one of my most memorable birthdays yet. Needless to say it was a great Birthday trip!  One heck of a great fight, good eating, and a memory worth sharing! We haven’t been offshore this winter yet, but weather permitting I hope to get out there soon. Reminiscing on past adventures sure does have me itching to go! I am hooked, no doubt, when it comes to fishing in saltwater! It doesn’t have to be bikini weather to get me on a boat!

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