Friends of Padre Beach Report 7/26/2015

By Tyler Thorsen

Friends of Padre Beach Report 7/26/2015

Via Capt. Billy Sandifer I accompanied two dear friends on a trip down PINS on Sunday 26 July. Water was brown on the North end but as we approached the 30 mi. I began to notice some better clarity and color to the water although it remained cold until the 45 mi. Shortly thereafter the water turned green and was beautiful AND THE WARMEST WATER ON THE BEACHFRONT was south of the 45 mi. fop1 Bait fish were observed throughout the 30’s and upper 40’s beach but no bait was observed inshore in the warmer, clear water south of there. Shoals of Dusky Anchovies were observed in the 2nd and 3rd. guts from the 35 mile south but none within casting range. One shoal had a school of skipjacks feeding on them. Flocks of mixed fish eating birds were observed offshore in various locations from the 35 mi. south. My friends were bait fishing and small Southern Whiting were caught from the 35 mi. to the 45 mile. Typically we catch Gulf Kingfish (Whiting) but these were Southern Whiting. They have small teeth, a yellowish trailing edge to their fins, and their bodies are rounder than Gulf Whiting. One Speckled Trout was caught in the 40’s on dead shrimp. We came upon a stranded Spotted Eagle Ray around the 48 mi. and with the help of Nick Meyer of Breakaway Tackle returned it to the sea. Nick said that earlier he and Brenda had came upon an even larger one stranded and returned it to the sea. fop2 One the way back North the water had turned varying shades of green from one end to the other although the water remained colder North of the 45 mi. An active upwelling of cold water was observed late in the day at the 31 mi. Driving North of the Big Shell was perfect and sadly I observed visitors leaving the beach at speeds of at least 70 mph. For some reason the Turtle Patrol is still on the beach altho they usually end their efforts around 15 July. There are many ledges forming at the water’s edge South of the 30 mi. That is typical at this time of year. On higher tides this forces drivers to go high on the beach into the loose sand and care needs to be taken at these locations. Biggest problem I saw with beach driving is an old one we have addressed countless times. People will not stay in the established track and drive across a wide expanse of beach making it tough on everyone and tearing the beach up badly. Have a good time; be careful, courteous and thoughtful of each other. The Black Terns are increasing in numbers as they return from their breeding grounds and this year’s crop of Laughing Gulls are on the beach. Good numbers of Brown Pelicans were observed. Other birds included Forester’s Terns, Sandwich Terns, Least Terns, Black Skimmers, Caspian Terns, and scattered Sanderlings, Willets, Long-billed Curlews and Wilson’s Plover. The overall number of birds on the beach will increase from now till Winter and will peak in late Sept. Billy


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