S Padre Island TEXAS PELAGIC Aug 21, 2010 Trip Report

Aboard   the Osprey

Subject: South Padre Island Pelagic Report August 21, 2010 sometimes the seas don’t cooperate 

Date:   Mon, 23 Aug 2010 18:23:35

From:   Eric Carpenter

If conditions on the July 17th pelagic trip were amongst the most favorable seas we’ve experienced, then this past Saturday’s (21 Aug) pelagic trip out of South Padre Island may have encountered some of the most uncomfortable. In the days prior to the trip, the wave forecast kept on changing though I was still a little hopeful at the dock in the morning when Friday’s stiff winds seemed to have died down a bit. Though initially the seas were not as bad as I had feared, the winds did pick up again and the sea did not react in a favorable manner. Waves and swells during the day were certainly averaging in the 4-6 foot range with numerous rolling 7 and 8 footers thrown in for good measure. In order to make for a smoother ride, we had to alter our course a bit more to the north than usual to get out beyond the continental shelf in reasonable shape.

As a result of the seas, the wind and the changed course, we had a rather disappointing day when it came to pelagic species. We did have a nice look at an adult male Magnificent Frigatebird on an anchored shrimp boat and some folks had a look at a distant Cory’s Shearwater as well as a glimpse of a  sterna sp. (possible Bridled Tern) in deep water, but that was all we could manage outside the usual assortment of coastal gulls & terns and some flyby shorebirds. Non-avian highlights would have to be a small group of offshore/pelagic Bottlenose Dolphins that were excitedly leaping out of the water to catch up to the boat plus the Mahi-Mahi hooked by the first-mate and reeled in by one of our participants (and I understand it was delicious).  Despite the uncomfortable conditions, all the participants, a few who were ontheir first Gulf pelagic, seemed quite understanding as there wasn’t much we could do with what nature gave us on this day. Hopefully, the September 11th trip will have something more substantial to report back on.

—   Eric Carpenter Austin

Link to Photo Gallery # 1: All photography   copyrighted ©2010 by photographers as indicated in gallery.

Thanks to Randy Pinkston for contributing some great   photos!




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