2018 Texas Pelagics Status Update

Hi Seabirders,

I’ve had a lot of people sign up in the last couple weeks for our two trips later this summer which is great! But I’m still only about half-way to the minimum needed for the Aug 31st Texas Pelagic out of Port Aransas. Port Aransas hasn’t had very many Texas Pelagics run from here because it is so popular with fisherman many of the charter boats are reluctant to or refuse to charter to pelagic birders for fear of losing fishing customers.

The fewer than 5 Pelagic trips run from Port Aransas have all been outstanding. Well except for a late November 2016 trip to chase Black-capped Petrels, but that was a long-shot trip and outside of the traditionally good times for seabirds in offshore Texas. In the past many birders have tried tagging along on fishing trips from Port A to see what pelagic seabirds they might find with mixed results. Fishing trips either don’t get to deep pelagic waters, or spend a lot of time in one place fishing so they are far from optimal for pelagic birding. However a friend of mine who is a birder and a charter fishing boat captain from Port Aransas regularly spots amazing seabirds offshore on tuna fishing trips. This year he’s already reported numerous Brown Boobies and a Brown Noddy, in addition to the regularly expected seabirds

From a quick look at the deep sea topography nearest to Port Aransas I can understand why it’s so good for fishing. There are numerous seamounts cored by salt domes on the continental slope here and these huge structures can create deep water upwelling’s that bring food to the surface for fish and of course seabirds. During the 1990’s when Texas Pelagics were being run from Port O’Connor many of these trips covered an area that overlaps with the waters reached from Port Aransas, but Port Aransas is closer to the shelf edge than Port O’Connor so there is a definite advantage to leaving from Port Aransas.

I need to fill our single Port Aransas Texas Pelagic this year so I can demonstrate to the charter boats that pelagic birders can be a reliable customer, or I risk the opportunity to be able to run trips from here in the future. So remember because of our spotty track record especially after having to cancel all of 2017’s Texas Pelagics including 3 scheduled from Port Aransas due to insufficient participants the charter boat is requiring me to fully commit 2 months ahead of the departure. So in case we flake out they can still fill a fishing charter. I even agreed to run this trip on a Friday to be less of an interference to their fishing customers. But I realize this makes it harder for birders because we now have to use a vacation or “SICK” day to get the time off from work.

So please consider joining us on August 31st from Port Aransas. I hope it is a great trip and that the weather cooperates. It is the optimal time for seabirds in offshore Texas. It very well may be now or never. 

Click here for the 2018 Schedule 

Click here to sign-up for either the August 31st Port Aransas trip or the Sept 22 South Padre Island Trip

 

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