This September marked the 10th Annual Casting for a Cause fishing tournament out of Corpus Christi, TX. While we’ve been unable to make this trip the past couple of year’s, our good friend, Jay Martin, has picked up our slack, giving us a great take on what is the best tournament in all of Texas.
This year marked the 3rd consecutive year that my good fishing buddy Scott Story and I made the journey down the South Texas coast to fish the Casting For A Cause fishing tournament put on by NuStar Energy. Sadly, the host venue Roberts Point Park out of Port Aransas, well much of Port Aransas, was decimated by Hurricane Harvey. But fortunately the tournament staff decided to hold this tournament by tweaking the host location to further South and holding it out of Marker 37 Marina out of Corpus Christi. While I will say that Marker 37 did a fine job at accommodating the hundreds of anglers, I sincerely hope to be back in Port Aransas next year. I really like Port Aransas for the small town and laid back atmosphere that it is.
I’d be remiss if I did not say how guilty Scott and I felt driving through all the damage, debris, down poles, etc. while kayaks hanging out the back of my truck going fishing for a couple of days. Harvey altered practically all of our plans for this trip but nothing like the lives of the people in Port Aransas and Rockport. We arrived the day before the tournament to do some pre-fishing in some familiar territories. High water and winds greeted us at the launch and the next several hours were spent searching grass lines and ponds for marshy gold. We saw a couple of fish and I got lucky when I spotted a belly crawler in a few inches of water WAY up in the grass. I pitched to him and brought him to the boat fairly quickly. A low end slot red and maybe 3 1/2 pounds is definitely not we were looking for but the rod got bent nonetheless. We decided to head back to the truck, check in the hotel, clean up and get to the captains meeting.
Once again, the captains meeting did not disappoint. Upon checking in we received our swag bag and the covenanted door prize ticket. The all you can eat buffet style food was, as always, incredible. We spoke to some other anglers that went out fishing and their reports were similar to our experience that day and left us scratching our heads on a game plan. We hung out for a while and decided to head back to our hotel. Once we got back to our hotel, we quickly went to work formulating our plan for the tournament the next morning. In the end, we picked a completely random location, 70 miles way, that neither of us have ever fished…not even remotely close to anything either of us have ever fished around!
The alarms went off very early and away we went. Rules state that you can cast 30 minutes before safe light so our plan was to be launching 45 minutes before safe light. Looking back, the drive to our spot was the best part of the trip. Here we were, driving down remote roads to a completely new area, jamming out to ACDC, ZZ Top and Lynyrd Skynyrd at 4 a.m. without a care in the world. A pause in the play track of life while we enjoyed the solitude of Texas coastal roads heading to chase some redfish.
It was a short paddle after we launched but we both were very optimistic given the conditions and signs. Bait was abundant and active, the splash of fish crushing on bait could be heard and the wind was just slight enough to breeze through the tall reeds. We fished hard that day and landed a decent amount of fish. The unfortunate part was of all the fish caught, only 2 redfish were in the slot (20-28″). Running out of time and a rain storm coming, we headed back to the launch. We took our time driving back even detouring to scope out the scene on some other launch locations for the future.
While driving to the weigh in we knew we weren’t going to be making a big splash on the leader board but we took the time to share with each other the what nots going on in our lives. We weighed in 2 redfish that were good enough to crack the top ten, ate what was another great meal, chatted it up with some friendly faces and waited eagerly for the door prize drawings. And while neither of us was lucky enough to land a door prize, our stomachs were full and we had some fish to clean.
And so another year goes by that we left Casting For A Cause empty handed. However for 3 years in a row, we’ve brought in our 2 redfish and at least give ourselves a chance. It goes without saying that we’ll be back next year to support a great tournament that supports some great causes. If you’re a kayak angler in Texas and have never fished this tournament…SHAME ON YOU!!! Ok, maybe that’s a bit harsh, but you should really fish it. For the price of registration you get more than compensated with the swag bag and the meals.
In closing, this trip really got me back to my kayak fishing roots. Picking a completely random spot, jamming to some classic rock at zero dark thirty, catching some fish and hanging out with good people. Special thanks as always goes out to my wife Megan for holding down the home front. Until next time friends…
About the Author
Jay is a native South East Louisianian transplant to North West Houston area. Having traveled the world while serving in the USMC, he now enjoys ripping redfish lips out of a kayak and spending time with his wife and daughters.