PINS FISHING, Fishing The Padre Island National Seashore

Catching Sharks on South Padre Island Texas

January 14th, 2009

South Padre Island is a premier land based shark fishing location. Positioned south of the Padre Island National Seashote, the beach has a tropical, green water wonderland appearance. South Padre Island has an abondance of Tarpon, Snook, Speckled Trout, and Sharks in the surf. This is the best shark fishing beach in Texas. Here is a Shark Fishing Report from South Padre Island from late August. 

The rain was persistent as we drove along Highway 77, making our way to South Padre Island. When we arrived, some five hours after loading up gear and topping off the fuel tanks in San Antonio, the rain had let up, though the lightning continued to accentuate the dunes against black of night. When the moonlight broke through the clouds, the breaking waves caught the light, creating a rolling incandescence that was otherworldly. Deaver decided we ought to try to get some bait for the morning run, and everyone was pretty eager to get their lines in the water. The clarity of the warm gulf waters was unbelievable. Even at night, with the moon directly above, you could see small whiting darting around your feet in waist deep water.

After catching a few small whiting we set up camp and tried to catch a few hours of shut-eye. Sunrise came in a hurry, a welcome sight indeed.

We were all still a bit groggy from the long drive and very little sleep, but we were all motivated and ready to go. Deaver called a huddle to discuss the plan of action for the day, and to talk about the camp layout and how we were going to fan out across the beach. Afterwards, we hit the sand running – literally. Before long, rod spikes were set, baits were rigged and kayaks were cutting back and forth through the waves like some kind of miniature beach assault. I ended up on the northernmost end of the fan with my Penn Senator 9/0, running my trace out about 300 yards at a slight angle into the southeast wind. The water had a beautiful emerald green hue out past the third break and the sky was clear for the moment. The way Deaver was coaching us along at such a quickened pace reminded me of my drill sergeant back in basic training many years ago, but he was adamant that this was our window of opportunity and we had to get those baits in the water now. Truth is, I was having a blast! Once the first wave of baits were run out into deeper waters, everyone switched to lighter bait rods or cast nets and began catching skip jacks, blue runners, whiting and mullet closer to shore.

Not an hour later I noticed my line had moved north and there was a large amount of seaweed clinging to it as far as I could see. Hen Feen came over to help me out and I began reeling in what I figured was going to be a 300 yard long seaweed seamonster, only something else happened. Hen Feen was clearing off the seaweed and once the line became tight again the resistance became significantly tougher. Then came the pull that forced me several feet forward. Hen Feen was watching the line and I told him I believed there was something other than seaweed on the other end. I took several steps back and heaved on that Mariner standup rod. Once I got that trace up near the second bar there was some pretty strong resistance and I told Hen Feen again I was pretty sure we had something big, and as soon as I said that, the unmistakeable dorsal fin cut through the surf, followed by the tail. Though still splashing through the waves, the distance between the dorsal and tail fin was enough to tell me this shark was a big one, and before we got it over the second sand bar we could see it was a big bull shark. Every time the shark made a swoop with its tail I could feel the strength of this powerful animal. Hen Feen was on the leader and Charles and Deaver ran over to lend a hand. Hen Feen popped the hook out the shark’s mouth and Deaver had us move it further up onto the sand to take a measurement – my first experience trying to lift a shark of that size. That shark was a heavy beast, all head and teeth and tail. Ray brought over the tape measure and from nose tip to tail end the bull shark measured just over six feet long. We worked fast and kept the shark in the water as much as possible, and after a few shots were taken for the photo album, Charles and Hen Feen helped me release the big bull back into the wild. Deaver filmed the bull as it reorientated itself before gliding back off into the deep.

Thanks to all the guys that were there that day who all contributed to the overall success of this trip; most of them are in the video. Hen Feen, I know you are proud of your son, he watches you like a hawk and it’s easy to see how much he’s learned about fishing in the process. He got more double hookups on those whiting than anyone and caught about half the bait we ran this weekend!

Although we didn’t get the evening hookup as the sun set behind a stormy horizon and thick clumps of seaweed began to roll in, I had a feeling of accomplishment by nightfall, and a sense of respect for sharks of that size. Most of the trip was rainy, and the one big shark that was caught took the bait during the few hours of the morning when the rain decided to let the sun have a turn. It was also during that “window” that I saw for the first time the emerald green water I’d only heard of before. I’m still feeling a little tired from the trip, but you can bet I’ll be ready for the next time. Thanks to the team for all the motivation and optimism that kept us going after hours of rain and paddling in the salty surf. And thanks to Deaver and Hen Feen for the coaching, I was lucky to have gone with you guys. Good traveling with you all.



January 14th, 2009

This the Tarpon and Kingfish video footage from Bob Hall Pier Texas, I shot with Shawncy Perez the day I got off the jet from Kuwait, July 22nd, 2008. We headed over to Bob Hall Pier, to see what action we might find. Bob Hall is has excellent saltwater fishing year round with jackfishing, redfish, lots of sharks, and speckled trout. There have also been a number of large tiger sharks landed from Bob Hall Pier.

This video shows a little bit of the live bait fishing techniques for the pier. We use a technique called slide lining, positioning a blue runner or threadfin herrin just at the top of the water waiting for a hungry kingfish or tarpon to come by.

There were four tarpon hookups that day and lot’s of kingfish. There was so much action that I never got around to producing the footage. Well it is winter time, and I am trying to get everything that needs to be published out. Fishing for kingfish and tarpon is a lot of fun. Here are some good techniques if you are on a pier.

This video is a Flash file. it loads quick as lighting.

Are you interested in surf fishing, long distance casting, or how to read the beach, come visit the TEXAS SHARK FISHING forum.


January 8th, 2009

DouGR81 landed this big Florida hammerhead shark in May 2008 while Land Based Shark Fishing. Doug has landed many great sharks and we congratulate him on a great catch, the shark of a lifetime for many people. Here is Doug’s Report… 

Well for those of you that don’t know Pat Halko and myself personally, we have been trying to catch a hammerhead from the beach for about 3 years now. The thought of an abnormally high dorsal fin cutting through the waters surface has been running through our minds for months in hopes that we would even get a shot to tangle with these massive monsters. Well the day finally came.

Here is the link to the rest of the article on the Florida Shark Fishing site

Texas Boy Catches Backtip Shark at Padre Island National Seashore

November 6th, 2008

Jakob Lopez landed a big fat 5’7″ Blacktip shark during the Sharkathon Tournament October 2008. Jakob fought the large shark unassisted to knee deep water, where his father Raoul leadered the shark. Jakob was grinning from ear to ear and placed in the Tournament. Jakob is seven years old and a resident of San Antonio. His father is onE of the administrators on the WWW.TX-SHARKFISHING.COM website.

Bringing home the bacon, “SHARKATHON Full report”

November 6th, 2008
Well guys here goes…It all started with a dream, haha just joking.

My self and Chris Romo started planning this trip a year ago. All year we have been fishing hard and trying to hone our skills and get the whole shark catching process down. After striking out last year we knew we had to step it up and find that missing link. A few tackle, rigging, and S.O.P. changes along with a better knowledge of the beach were all keys to the locked “sharking doors”. Thursday night we started loading up and double-checking all gear. This trip was going to be all or nothing so I took all the bait I had which filled up two huge coolers and 9 shark rods. Friday morning finally came and we slowly made our way to the four-wheel sign on PINS. After a bunch of last minute stops we finally hit the beach around 11am. We got all signed up and then took off to our first spot of the weekend which ended up being a very wide and deep second gut in the mid thirties. Within about 15 minutes we had three baits soaking. We ran a 4 wide, and two 9/0’s with skipjack, cownose, and nice size bluerunner. We let those baits soak while we rigged up more big baits for the night deployment. After about 4 hours we hot swapped the baits that were out already then ran the rest of the big baits which consisted of the tail section of a jack fish, and a 10 pound cownose on a pair of 12/0’s. We also sent out a pair of 6’s and another pair of 4hlw’s. We had baits in each gut plus some out to 600+ yards. After all baits were out, we started to set up camp and catch fresh bait. The night dragged on with out a single click so about three hours before daylight we hot swapped all baits except the pair of 12’s. The sun came up and about five hours later so did all the baits. I made the executive decision to move the camp so we loaded up the trailer and headed farther down the beach. We kept driving and checking out all the camps until we ran into rocky from Roy’s. We stopped and asked if they had done any good but they didn’t turn a single click all night either. Rocky did tell us about a good pinch a few miles south so we kept heading down. We came to the spot and it looked really good so we set up shop again. Once again we ran three long rods with fresh bait while we rigged up the bigger baits. After running the full arsenal again we watched and waited for that awesome sound but all was quite. We got busy catching fresh bait and finally getting something in our stomachs then we decided this wasn’t the spot for us so we packed it all up and headed farther down. On the way down we passed more big camps with towers and the whole 9.

We decided this was going to be our last move of the trip so we were going to hit a honey whole myself and Chris romo had scouted out a few weeks earlier. We made it down to our spot and once again ran three rods out with the fresh bait while we rigged up the big baits again. We were under the EZ up rigging baits because it was 2 O’clock and the sun and heat were really kicking. I just finished rigging the head of a jack when I happened to glance over and see the 9/0 slightly bounce two times. Right away I knew that bounce so I jumped up and ran over to the Yukon climbed on the tower and started to reel in the slack. Chris Romo walked over and asked what happened and right at that time I came tight on the line then all you heard was that beautiful sound, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz, zzzzz, zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz. Holly crap shouts Chris as the sound gets louder and faster and line disappears from the reel. His first run lasted about 150 yards and bent the hell out of that 10ft gator. I couldn’t do much but hold on and smile. He finally stopped and I started to crank on him but it was no use cause as soon as he felt me again he was gone on another blistering run. By this time he was about 500 yards out and it was time to put a hurting on him. So I hammered down and started to drag him back in. he decided to cooperate for the most part and made his way to the backside of the second bar then he decided he didn’t like that and like nothing turned and went back out. I wanted to get this fish in pretty green to insure he would make the release so I tightened the drag again and really started cranking. Once again he got to the backside of the bar and took off, only this time he was headed south. I wanted to stay in front of him so I yelled at Chris to get in the truck and follow him. Chris jumped in the Yukon and threw her in reverse while I was still fighting. Now I had a mobile fighting tower and was able to catch up with the fish with out a break in the battle. This helped out a bunch because I was able to get some line on the reel pretty fast and also get him over the bar fairly easy.

I told Chris I could see him so he parked the truck and jumped out with the tail rope.
The 9/0 was almost locked and I could see the fish was a good size and in the first gut. I thought he was about done so I let my guard down a little and sure enough he made another dash for open water that nearly pulled me off the tower. This time the run wasn’t as far and I got him right back into the first gut where Chris Romo and Chris Massy were waiting. Chris Massy grabbed the leader and Chris Romo roped the shark. Once he had the tail rope securely on the fish I jumped down and helped them drag this fat female bull to the beach.

Once she was on the beach we took all the necessary pictures then it was time to let her go.

I tried to sit on her to pin her down while Chris removed the hook but my weight was noting compared to hers and she tossed me right off. Finally Chris Massy held her down form behind the dorsal and once again I sat on her which was really hard since she barley fit between my legs. Chris Romo made short work of the stainless 12/0 j hook and popped it right out, then we dragged her into the deep wade gut and she took off like nothing ever happened.

Chris and myself looked at each other while she was swimming off and couldn’t say anything. We were nothing but smiles and laughter until finally we said what we were both thinking, “we just won it”. It was an awesome feeling because as soon as we woke up Friday morning we told each other we were going to take it this year, and we actually did.

After another round of high fives it was back to work and we ran every rod we had in hopes of another awesome fish. About an hour later the same rod starts screaming and once again. I’m up on the tower fighting what feels like another good bull. Once I got the fish to the second bar it just stopped and wouldn’t budge. Right away I told Chris I think it’s a big ray because it’s stuck to the bottom. We played the waiting game for about 5 minutes then he started to move and I locked him down so I could drag him over the bar. Sure enough it was a big ray and once again Chris and Chris leaders this beast. We took a few pictures then it was off to reek havoc on some other fisherman for this guy.

The rest of the rods sat quiet all night till about 9am when we packed it up and headed for the check in. Once we got to the check in we talked to a bunch of people and pretty much figured we had it in the bag but the suspense was killing me anyway. Then after what seemed like an eternity, they finally got to the shark part of the tournament and sure enough the guy say’s, “ in first place, with a length of 83 inches”, and I knew it was ours. I ended up taking home a $4,200 dollar check plus a new kayak, and the big metal tiger trophy. I also got something that I was saving the past two years for, which was a new Avet 50 two speed. And on top of that it was mounted on a custom Bimini shark a thon rod. Only one word can describe this set up, “Beautiful”.

Thanks Chris,Chris, Arthur, and Michael and every one else for all your help, i couldnt have done it without you guys.

” I knew it”

Until next time………..






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