Ten PACK members along with three guests made the journey from Port O'Connor to what is now the Matagorda Island Wildlife Management Area (WMA) campgrounds. Bruce & Andrew took Andrew's boat across Espirito Santo Bay, Eight of us were transported by a shuttle service. Brad, Tim, and Tim's guest, Jerry sailed their Hobie Adventures to and from the island. The sailors faced stiff head winds getting there but arrived safely with enough time to fish and set up camp. Their return trip, with favorable tailwinds, was a "breeze", taking only a few hours.
As in the past , lots of wildlife was encountered. One rabbit has become very tame and hung around the campsite practically all the time eating flowers and roots. Between the campground and the old barracks a rattle snake about 4 feet long was spotted, just sort of stretching out. Somebody alerted the folks camping on the opposite side of the docks about the snake's presence and one of them decided to have the rattler for dinner. New member Kevin saw his first pod of tailing reds on this trip and also came upon upon an alligator near the cove on the west side of camp that was four to five feet long. Saturday evening we watched the gator swim slowly from the cove to the little island in front of the camp. Raccoons visited our campsites at night but did little damage.
The weather cooperated the entire weekend. We had a mix of overcast to partly cloudy skies but never got rained on. Temperatures were very comfortable and even cool at night. Winds were a little stronger than hoped for but definitely tolerable. The water was in great shape all along the south shore and in Pringle Lake.
From the time we arrived until our departure Sunday morning, fish were caught from Mule Slough to the east and from Pringle Lake to the west and from all points in between. As always, some had better luck than others, Catching keepers was difficult. Most redfish and trout were undersized and were released to become the keepers for a future outing. Gary Z caught 18 redfish very close to the camp Saturday with only one keeper. Bruce caught fifteen fish Saturday with only two or three being keepers. Andrew got out Sunday morning and returned with a keeper trout and a keeper red before breaking camp.
Saturday night , Bruce took the fish that had been caught and fried them to perfection along with potatoes from Gary. Brad contributed his homemade tartar sauce and Tim brought cole slaw, Trent and Carrie made macaroni & cheese both with and without sausage. Greg served wine and Kevin provided a great assortment of cookies. Thanks to all for making the group feast possible.
Matagorda Island is a special place to fish and camp and observe wildlife. This trip, like others here in the past, will be burned into our memories. What makes PACK trips truly special, however, is the great people that belong that you share these experiences with.