The Eclipse, the Hurricane and the People

That’s it for summer, it’s the first day of school for some. It’s 1:10 P.M. we have 11 trout in the box and now we are setting up on a shoreline to catch a few reds. While I’m cutting bait I hear some laughing from the front of the boat, the guys are putting on their eclipse glasses. I didn’t have a pair but had a pack of crackers from the taqueria, if you held it over the deck of the boat you could see the eclipse for every hole in the cracker. The redfish were active under the eclipse, we boated four with one solid tournament size that went 7lbs. at 26”. I cleaned the guys catch sent them on their way and headed home for a couple of days until my next charter on Friday.

Fastfoward a couple of days, now I’m heading southbound and a steady stream of trucks towing boats and travel trailers are heading north bound towards San Antonio. Hurricane Harvey is on the way and projected to hit somewhere between Corpus Christi and Port O’Connor. Unfortunately I can only tow my boat and have to leave my trailer, so I grab all my gear and anything of value and bugg out. Before I leave I stop by the Big Tree just in case she doesn’t survive as I pass the boatramp I notice all the crab traps stacked in parking places boat trailers usually occupy, now it’s real! I hope it doesn’t hit us, I say a little prayer and head to higher ground.

It’s 8:36 pm August 25 and the wall of the eye is hitting the exact shoreline I was fishing during the eclipse. Aransas bay is completely covered by the eye from the ferry bridge to Aransas Refuge, Harvey comes on shore as a Cat 4 leaving a path of destruction through the coastal bend. The phone keeps ringing, four campers have stayed, when am I headed back for clean up?

It takes me a couple of days to get supplies together and I head down. I get word my trailer is on it’s side in a row of five, all on their side. The crews of volunteers start showing up from Schulenberg, Fall City, Natalia, Castorville. Some had only stayed there once but wanted to help, I must have seen five different people get sick while they were working and keep working through it. People were pouring their hearts and their money into helping in anyway they could and I was proud to be working side by side with them. In a twelve hour period we managed to clear 60% of the brush and uprite four trailers. We finished with a bar b que dinner prepared by some volunteers and stories of the storm from a couple of the guys who stayed through it.

I only spoke with two of the guys who rode the storm out in the main lodge; Randy and John. They discribed the sounds of the tornadoes that were coming through, that the trailers were hopping or getting picked up and set down until they were set down on their sides. The oak trees where whipping in the wind like spaghetti, then the eye came through and total silence. Randy said that he could cross that off his bucket list, what? Looking at the stars through the eye of a hurricane. The eye of the storm lasted a little over an hour then it started back up at full force the opposite direction. They didn’t have any storm surge, what water that puddled up was sucked up by one of the tornadoes. Two guys stayed in their trailers one trailer came apart while he was in it but the guys got him into the main lodge, the other guys trailer was really big and brand new and rocked back and forth and anchored itself in the sand. He was thrown out of his recliner once during it.

It’s gonna take Rockport a long while to rebuild but everyone is working around the clock and it gets a little better every day. Lamar’s electricity came on Friday the 8th of August and the Rv park is back online. I wasted no time in purchasing a replacement travel trailer and plan on moving in by the 15th. I will be running charters as soon as I can get on the water and will be able to book the apartment for my clients if needed. These will be some of the best trips! I won’t be leaving you at the cleaning tables and sending you on your way. We’ll head back to the lodge/fish camp, cook our catch or some steaks, tell some lies, shoot a game of pool it’ll be great!

Tony Gonzalez Inshore Fishing | | 210-846-5083
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