Thursday, September 12, 2013

Rock People: Volume deux.1

Today we meet two more of the rock people, possibly more of an anomaly than religious rockhoppers, but unbeknownst to all of you (until now) I have accepted them into the community.  Besides, we can't be supremely exclusive grinches of the granite, now can we?  For aren't we all accepted as one in the baptismal waters of the breaking waves?  Do we not all delight in the resplendent beauty of the jetty-rock snot though our tailbones shatter, knees blow out, and ankles wrench outward, inward and in between with reckless abandon?
Just me?  Oh well...
No, this isn't the runner.

The Jetty Runner:
Ever vigilant at my post; meerkat sentinel-style; I see everything and the same time...

*skiff-skiff-TICK-scuff-tictic-scuffscuff*..*.repeat*...Heavy breathing.....*repeat*...altogether now...

I'm a half mile out in the Gulf of Mexico...
Half of me is thinking, "I'm either about to hear some one scream 'HEY! GET OFF THE JETTY!', 'SHARKNADOOOO!!!,' or I am being attacked by a cyborg.

I whip around, and luckily, neither one of those things happened, but I was still pretty taken aback by the sight I saw.

This guy was full on jetty skiing.  Two hiking poles and some sweet looking cross trainers, this cat was pulling off an easy 9 minute mile across granite chasms lined with razor sharp barnacles on salt and slime covered boulders.  I had no other choice than to be thoroughly impressed.  I didn't ask the guy's name, or why he did it, or what gave him the idea or even take a picture.  I just kinda sat there, statuesquely indifferent, putting off a vibe of, "Just waiting for something to happen."  And off little tik-tik ran, just like on the roughest terrain in south Texas. I might have to try it someday.

By the way, Don't Google search "Jetty Runner"

"" Yep. That about sums it up
One Love
It's 06:30 and, despite having forgotten to notify State Park officials that I would need access before regular hours, I have successfully rendezvoused with my Creel Survey Cohort and am at the base of a discreet jetty-fishing location.  Readying for the day's punishment with a healthy dose of powdered sugar doughnuts, I notice headlights almost a half mile down the beach.  The vehicle remains parked for approximately 5 minutes, then proceeds to back up and jet back down the beach access road.
As if from nowhere in the dawn's early light, the apparition of the cousin of the nephew of Peter Tosh.  Forgive me, but I rarely encounter true Jahmaican nationals. "Ellooo Mahn."
"How's it going?"
"Heveryting is goood braddah. What kine na fish can dem keep heer mahn?"
So I give this guy the run-down of trout, reds, whiting, the occasional pompano, hardheads, the usual; give him a regulation card...
"HAHA, mahn, dis heer means notting to me. I doon't know what dey are"
" Oh yeah, hold on." I says, and hand him one of the precious few Pocket ID guides I have left.
"Ahlright! One loave braddah!"

So this guy takes off down the jetty, finds a suitable rock, and sits down to admire the view, and I assume my post on the most comfortable rock I can find.  Oh yeah, we forgot chairs that day.
Next thing I know, Roots, Rock, Reggae  is up doing Tai Chi!
I've seen more out of place things in my life, but this was up there. Upon further inspection, however, I notice that the guy is handlining.  A wad of monofilament, a weight, a hook  and a piece of shrimp. For 6 hours, I watched this guy pull in fish after fish, while the rod holder rangers caught nada in comparison. Artfully conducting the symphonic battle of centripetal and centrifugal force, our handliner releases the line, allowing centrifugal force a flying victory.  It was really an artform in its simplicity.
Again, I wish I had a picture. Some things are better left imagined, no?

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Rock People: Volume deux

Now that you have had ample time to study the first batch of rock people, I shall introduce you to some of my favorite jetty junkies.  Seeing as our jetties are currently growing that snot-slick algae we so love, what with these 100 foot swells coming in from Tropical Low Pressure Disturbance Area 93.

Photo credit G**gle Image nab
The Tarpon Watchers:
Now here's a fairly unique lot. One hundred random jetty fisherman were randomly surveyed at random, and randomly asked, "What kinda fish are you after?" what did they respond?  "Redfish", 'SHOW ME REDFISH! '  (DING!) 32.  SHOW ME TROUT! (DING!) 12.  SHOW ME 'Whatever bites!'  (DING!), I know what you might be thinking, 'That's it, that's one hundred and nobody said Tarpon.'  Well, you are wrong, and I know so because you had to go back and double check the numbers.  And even if you didn't the first time, you did just now.  You see, the tarpon watcher is much akin to the Barnacles we talked about earlier.  He sits there on a rock, not casting, not baiting a hook, just sits there staring out at the water, at nothing and everything all at once.  And in all fairness, I guess he's not really just a tarpon watcher, rather he's on the lookout for any mighty pelagic that might show itself within range of that fairy wand this guy insists on carrying around.  Oh yeah, that's right, this guy fly fishes. On the old Nintendo Entertainment System, Super Mario Brothers 3, there was a highly sought after gem called the Tanooki Suit.
  The tarpon watcher has down and B pressed at all times, a statue, unnoticed.  Then, all of a sudden, some bait gets sprayed, or that overgrown threadfin shad rolls close enough to the jetty to warrant a cast, and this statue now becomes something just as goofy looking as a squatty, bearded Italian plumber wearing a raccoon-dog costume.  But, it can fly...
Photo Credit:Austin Orr of