Relax on the Comal River

1. Sebastian No place to relax like the Comal River

This may not have much to do with fishing, but the place is dear to my heart. Even though mom had to have the carpet cleaned every time i drug mud back in from this place.  I digress…. Ever since I was a boy, I’ve been visiting the Comal during warm seasons. What was once an exciting new experience has now become a tradition I hold dear while still enjoying every bit of the activity. These days, I more often find myself tubing down the Guadalupe, seeking new thrills and challenges, but I make a point of not forgetting just how much charm the Comal River can still offer even to a resident who’s been visiting it all his life. Fishing on the comal is awesome, there are species of fish that live here and only 1 other place in the world. (but don’t fish for those fountain darters, they’re endangered) Go for the Bass! Theres a big bass hole downstream.

It’s important to understand what the Comal can offer to tubers, and that’s a high degree of comfort and relaxation mixed with a unique social experience. Sitting in a tube and sipping drinks for hours will make you forget all about your troubles, and you can even meet interesting people that are also looking to have a good time. In fact, I’ve met several of my friends exactly this way, on top of meeting many unique people who were visiting the city.

Tubing in the Comal is best done with a group of friends. For our group, the so-called ‘can ban’ being overturned was huge, as we can now freely drink on the river for hours. This, however, doesn’t mean that the cans should be thrown in the water, as it’s our responsibility to keep the river free of pollution.

Another Beauty of the Comal is the scenery. The beautifully landscaped lawns which line the river are immaculate. The care taken to beautify these yards must be painstaking

Not everything about tubing in the Comal is great, as some of us have lost valuables because we underestimated the flow of the river and the amount of distraction that the whole experience provides. The river is somewhat notorious for the many precious items that the tubers have lost while having fun, and I have even witnessed divers combing through the bottom of the river in hopes of finding something notable. Hearing that Native American treasure might be found at the bottom almost had me renting some diving equipment as well, but I find it unlikely that the many divers frequenting the river haven’t already taken everything related to the indigenous tribes, leaving only the ever-replenishing tubers’ possessions as loot.

 

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Let’s go to the beach beach let’s go get away!

One of The best beach spots in Texas is North Padre Island. Just take Highway 37 south until you hit NAS-CAD Boulevard then take it south to Padre Island. If you have a four-wheel-drive just keep driving and soon you’ll be on malachite beach or the Padre Island national seashore. From there you’re in a national park pay 10 bucks to get in and continue driving down the pavement for about 2 miles where you hit the beach. Now I should’ve already told you to make sure you have a full tank of gas because this will be an adventure. As you check in and pay you 10 bucks entry fee they’ll tell you what the beach conditions are if they’re good or fair you can easily make it to the end of the island where North Padre and South Padre split.  This is Mansfield channel dolphins jumping, hermit crabs larger than your fist, and only about 1000 people a year get here. Most of them are fisherman with big four-wheel-drive trucks and PVC pipes mounted to the front of their bumper grill to hold their poles. Shark and big fish game is what they are after. They will kayak their bait out a few hundred yards drop it with a big book and wait once the anchor one that use the truck to help real it in going into reverse and then forward and then reverse and then forward as someone sits on the hood operating the reel.

If beach conditions are poor or bad there’s probably no chance to get to the end because the sand will be so loose that you will have it floored and still only be going about 15 mph tops. Once you’ve used up almost half your gas you’ll have to turn back because you’ll need the other half to get back to the gas station which is about 15 miles from the malachite beach check-in station. If you’re able to make it to the 20 mile marker you’ll run into what is called little shell Beach. You’ll know you’re there because you’ll see millions of little shells 2 inches and smaller that you could literally scoop up with a shovel and put into a bucket. About 10 more miles down the beach you’ll run into big shell Beach which is an area where you’ll see hundreds of thousands of big shells 4 to 5 inches in diameter. At a bout the 50 mile marker if it’s Lowtide you’ll see the wreck of the Nicaragua about 100 yards off the coast. You’ll see the top portion of the boat hanging out of the water at high or low tide. But if it’s Lowtide you’ll see a pretty good portion of the boat. This was a Spanish Galion that sunk in the 1800s. It had several hundred thousand dollars worth of gold coins. A few times a year divers will still find these coins. Speaking of Lowtide be sure you check the tide schedule so that you can leave when the tide is going out. You’ll want to be at the end of the island at Mansfield channel during low tide.  If you leave at Lowtide by the time you get to the end the water would’ve come up to the shore and covered the road and it will be incredibly hard if not impossible to get back. Now you see why only about 1000 people a year get down here. Oh and you better bring a satellite phone if you want to talk to anyone because you lose all self-service before you even hit the beach!

 

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First Time on the Guadalupe

As a long-time resident of New Braunfels, TX, I was no stranger to tubing, partaking in this fun activity ever since my youngest years. I believe the first time I went tubing here was when I was about six years old. My father drove us to a company that rents tubes, one of the many alongside the Comal, and we spent the whole afternoon relaxing, chatting and sipping beverages.

For most of my life, I tubed exclusively in the Comal River, as it was a more social and stable experience. I never felt the need to venture out into the Guadalupe River, known for its faster currents. Many of my friends, however, have been making their way there every summer for the longest time, always coming back with crazy stories of excitement. Last summer, I chose to try out tubing in the Guadalupe River for the first time instead of just sticking to the Comal.

I must say, I kind of hate myself for waiting so long and not going there sooner. I went with three of my friends who were experienced tubers on both rivers. They chose a rental company with the best compromise between price and quality, and each of us got a slick-looking tube. I was hesitant every step of the way, but my anxiety increased tenfold when we were about to set foot, or rather, set tube into the river. However, my friends kept assuring me that everything is going to be alright as long as we stick together, and they were right.

Being carried by the Guadalupe’s speedy currents was one of the most memorable and thrilling experiences of my life. Not only was it completely safe, but the adrenaline rush and unpredictability blew anything the Comal could offer out of the water, no pun intended. Now, nobody I know would tease me for my lack of adventurous spirit any longer. I will look to return to the Guadalupe every summer, and hopefully have each ride more thrilling than the previous.

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Port Aransas Fishing

Port Aransas is a history-rich port in Nueces County, Texas. What was once a significant location for Native Americans, pirates and Civil War soldiers now serves mostly as a tourist attraction. The village resort can have up to 60,000 people during the season and is often chosen by college students during their spring breaks. Swimming, boating and fishing are some of the top activities in this zone. In fact, fishing is so popular here that the port has been called the „Fishing Capital of Texas“, and with good reason. Fishing of all types and and levels of seriousness constantly happens both on the shore and out in the water.
Some prefer not to leave the shore while fishing, throwing the bait from solid ground. These types of anglers can use one of the four fishing piers accessible to the public, all with appropriately placed lighting to make angling easier. Those that like a bit more adventure when fishing will prefer to leave the port in either their own boat or on one of the many private excursions offered by nearby mariners. These sailors will also tend to be competent anglers on their own and can offer knowledge and assistance to aspiring anglers they are ferrying. If you lack your own boat, this is a great way to experience something new as well as increasing your chances of successful catches.
For anglers that feel a bit more serious about their fishing and might have a competitive spirit in them, Port Aransas will host a fishing tournament every weekend throughout the summer season, adding up to over twenty tournaments every year. These make for very popular festivities in the zone, as the tournaments provide family-friendly entertainment and many who aren’t competing themselves will be thrilled to gather at the tournaments nonetheless. The competition is grouped in many different forms, from being based on the types of fish caught to being exclusive to women or children.
Once you have caught your fish, you don’t need to wait to enjoy its taste as many local establishments will offer to cook or grill the fish for you and let you eat it in their restaurant. This is a great way to stay immersed in the fishing experience that the port offers from the moment you throw a fishing bait to the time when you are feasting on the fruits of your labor.
The types of fish available at the port vary greatly, with some being more common and some being somewhat more difficult to find and subsequently catch. There are over 600 saltwater species throughout the port’s waters, with redfish and spotted seatrout being some of the most common. Other types of fish that anglers seek include blackfin and yellowfin tuna, blue and white marlin, groupers, snappers and many more. For the truly brave anglers, even sharks can be found in the port’s waters, with their infamous fins menacingly circling above water.
There are different tactics used depending on whether you are fishing on-shore or out in the water, and each has its own level of success with certain types of fish. If you have a certain species in mind, you should get informed on the way to fish that will net the most catches.

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Canyon Lake Fishing

Despite the Canyon Lake drying up considerably in recent times, it remains a popular choice for all sorts of recreational activities that its many visitors engage in. Aside from different types of water sports, fishing remains one of the top reasons why people go to the lake on a daily basis. There are numerous types of fish in the lake and there are also several government-made additions to the lake designed to increase the anglers’ opportunities and reduce their effort when trying to get the next big catch.
Every year, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department stocks the lake with several types of bass species since the fish don’t reproduce on their own in the lake, notably the striped bass. Largemouth, smallmouth and white bass are also popular in the lake, with largemouth bass being the primary fishing target. Crappie is also known to be caught in the lake sometimes, albeit with more difficulty, and redbreast sunfish is also fairly available throughout.
Despite the largemouth bass being the most popular in terms of angling, in the summer season it can prove difficult to catch and is best sought during other seasons. Striped and white bass, however, are perfectly fine choices to fish for during the summer season. The types of preferred baits for these species vary. Depending on the weather, a topwater bait might be able to catch a lot of these fish and is used very often throughout the lake.
These baits come in the form of a small item similar to a creature that the fish might eat. A fish hook is usually present somewhere along the bait in order to hook the fish once they attempt to devour it, as the bait rests at the end of a fishing line controlled by the angler. Live baits are also commonly used in place of the artificial items.
Should the angler experience difficulty catching the type of fish he needs, other types of bass can be used to increase the anglers’ chances, including crankbait, stinkbait and cutbait. These refer to different types of plugs at the end of a fishing line that are thrown into the water so that the mouth of the fish gets hooked. Stinkbait, for example, is a plug with a smell that is believed to attract certain types of fish and provide an easier time catching them.
If you are an inexperienced angler or have difficulty determining the right type of bait and fishing method, you can always ask some of the nearby anglers at the lake. There is also a dedicated fishing shop at Canyon Lake called the Fisherman’s Corner. A friendly establishment for fishing needs, they will not only provide you with all types of fishing accessories but will also answer any questions you might have.
There are also fish attractors placed across the lake as yet another attempt by the authorities to make angling on the premises easier. Several types of fish will use these attractors for cover, making them fish hubs that anglers can go to when they are having difficulty fishing in open water. These attractors can be located through GPS as they are mapped out with readily available coordinates.

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Fishing in the Guadalupe: the river offers more than tubing

Fishing in the Guadalupe, the river offers more than tubing

Fishing in the Guadalupe: the river offers more than tubing

When people around New Braunfels and nearby cities think of the Guadalupe River, the first thing that comes to mind are recreational activities involving tubes or kayaks. What many don’t realize is that the river is rich with different types of fish just waiting to find their way on our kitchen tables. I have been fly fishing in the Guadalupe for years now, and it’s a special kind of tranquil activity that also ends up being beneficial for your stomach and your pockets.
The authorities support fishing in the river, stocking it with trout many times a year. I have been lucky enough to catch several other types of fish while there, notably the catfish and the Guadalupe bass. Sometimes I’ll throw the bass back into the river as it’s a particularly rare type of fish that some believe to be a vulnerable species, but at other times I won’t be able to pass up on such a delicious meal after the long battle we’ve had.
I prefer to fish alone, but sometimes I will bring a single friend along for those times when a catch is taking its time. I’ve tried different ways to fly fish on the Guadalupe and found renting a boat or kayak is the most fulfilling of them all, as you won’t get soaked like you would if you went out into the water but also won’t have your options limited as is the case when fishing by the side of the river.
Because of time constraints, I don’t get to fish nearly as often as I’d like, but I still make an effort to do it a few times during every warm season. The fishing rods I use have been in the family for a long time, so I’ve always felt compelled to at least make an effort to catch something every once in a while. My favorite spot to fish is the Guadalupe Park, as it’s accessible directly from the parking lot and has no admission fee nor does it require a fishing license to fish there.

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