By Roger Sabota
Special to the Star Journal
The phone rang and when I answered it I heard our son say “Dad, it’s really cold here!” My thermometer revealed that the temperature where we were was 70 degrees. Craig said it was about minus 12 degrees. Perhaps that difference should be explained a bit. We are fishing open water in South Texas and Craig was heading for work in Green Bay, where it was just getting light.
Years ago I sometimes began exploring job opportunities in a warm climate during the cold, wet, nasty weather in March in Wisconsin. After we retired we began joining “The Osseo Jinx”, Tom Twesme, and his wife, Rosemary, who were visiting their son in the Air Force and stationed near Tampa, Florida. Judy and I would fly to Florida, meet Tom and Rosemary and then explore different areas of the southern U.S. When Troy was reassigned we decided to explore Texas.
When we were traveling I purposely wear my Packer cap which has started many conversations about our Wisconsin teams. Sometimes we are the subject of some kidding and other times we receive compliments on the teams.
The Gulf Coast of Texas was readily available for fishing, which definitely interested Tom and me. For the last few years we have visited Port Aransas, Texas on the Gulf of Mexico. The weather this year has been warmer than the last several years but so far the fish haven’t been very impressed with the bait we have been offering them.
One day this week Tom suggested that we check out a different place to fish. We headed toward Corpus Christi to the Packery Channel which cuts between Mustang Island and Padre Island. As we took our gear out of the truck and prepared to head out along the side of the channel we spotted a Corpus Christi police boat circling around an orange buoy in the middle of the channel and a group of law enforcement officers gathering along the edge of the channel. Many of the officers wore shirts that read, Police Dive Team.
One of the officers informed us about an incident that some young fellows will never forget! The channel is about 60 yards wide at that point and probably 20 feet deep. Along the edge of the channel on both sides there is a walkway that is at least four feet above the level of the water that is in the channel.
According to witnesses, two nights ago several young fellows were driving a truck on the beach at a high rate of speed heading toward the embankment on the edge of the channel. They didn’t stop, went up and over the bank and the huge rocks that are there and into the channel. The young men had been able to get out of the truck but the truck sank!
What we were about to witness was the Corpus Christi Police Dive Team and a very large, heavy duty wrecker remove the submerged truck from the channel. Fishing was put on hold while we watched a very accomplished dive team and wrecker operator accomplish what they set out to do. In answer to our question about whether they had to perform this operation very often the answer was “A lot!”
More to come about fishing in the next column.
Beginning in March of this year hunters and anglers in Wisconsin may be able to apply for a license online and would only need to carry their drivers license with them while hunting or fishing. Wardens will have the ability to use the computers that they carry to check whether the hunters or anglers have valid licenses. Hunters and anglers will still have the option of carrying a paper license if they choose.
Longtime Northwoods outdoors enthusiast Roger Sabota writes a bi-monthly column for the Star Journal.