S Padre Is TEXAS PELAGICS November 2nd, 2015 Trip Report

Share The final Texas Pelagic trip of 2015 happened on Monday, November 2nd. We were very fortunate to experience very calm almost glassy seas of 2 foot to 1 foot by days end, after several weeks of very rough seas offshore . The previous two weeks included the passage of the remnants of Hurricane Patricia and the gale force winds from the cold front over the previous weekend both of which stirred up 13 foot seas. With daylight savings time over we were now departing the dock in daylight. Which afforded us the opportunity to stop at several shrimpers over the shelf which we would typically pass in darkness during the summer. Very luckily at our first shrimp boat only about 10 miles offshore Mary Gustafson spotted a Sabine’s Gull in addition to the usual contingent of hundreds of Laughing Gulls, Royal and Sandwich Terns. At first it was hard to pick out of the big gull and tern flock feeding on our chum, but eventually it flew higher than the other gulls circled the boat a few times making it easy to find. A few late Franklin’s Gulls were also spotted here. The next several shrimpers yielded only the regular gulls and terns but held large pods of pelagic Bottlenosed Dolphins. We were a bit surprised (ok disappointed) no jaegers were found during the chumming at any of the shrimpers since this tactic had worked so well earlier in the season. We found our fist cooperative Masked Booby between the third and fourth shrimpers on the shelf. The fourth shrimper had 2 Magnificent Frigatebirds resting on its rigging. They soon took off once the chum stirred the gulls into action. Watching these Magnificent birds float over the sea with their acrobatic maneuvering to steal from the gulls is quite a sight. Our first Audubon’s shearwater was spotted right...