By DINA ARÉVALO
Port Isabel-South Padre Press
January 22, 2015
One of my uncles has a not-so-secret fishing spot where he regularly catches reds, drum, and other fish. He likes to set up camp on one of the public piers out at Port Mansfield. Like Norm from the TV show Cheers, everyone who regularly fishes there knows his name.
A couple of cousins and I have heard so many of our uncle’s fishing success stories that we ventured out to Port Mansfield ourselves one fall day. Before the sunrise was even the faintest of glows on the horizon we were rolling down Highway 186 with a truck full of rods, reels, snacks and one energetic bull terrier puppy.
We got to the pier not long after the sun had risen and sure enough, we met people who asked if my uncle would be joining us. We soon had our lawn chairs set up, hooks were baited with fresh mullet, and lines were cast into the water. The four of us settled in for a morning of lazy conversation and leisurely casting.
An hour went by with no bites. Then two. Then three. We looked up and down the pier and realized no one else was having much luck either. Already, several people had packed up and called it a day. We didn’t have any other plans for the day and so were a bit discouraged that the fishing hadn’t panned out. That’s when I had an idea and grabbed my smartphone.
Like several million people around the world, I geocache. Geocaching is a game that’s one part treasure hunt, one part outdoor adventure, and one part GPS navigating. The treasures, or caches, that players hide and find are located in almost every country and on every continent, even Antarctica. And it can be played by accessing a mobile phone app.
I explained the game to my cousins and showed them how several caches were hidden around Port Mansfield and the surrounding area. Thus, the four of us set off on a new adventure. Our search took us to a rusting hulk of a buoy that lay in the middle of a field filled with burs. We found the cache, snapped photos of ourselves holding it up, and then spent 10 minutes picking the stickers out of our clothes. Another geocache led us along a meandering park path to a quiet pavilion where we were greeted by some of the area’s docile deer population.
So, though we made the trip back home with an ice chest empty of fish, we returned full-up on fun and plenty of laughs. But, you don’t have to hope for better luck than us if you want to enjoy some seafood. On Saturday, Feb. 7 folks are invited to enjoy the Shrimp & Fish Fry sponsored by the Rotary Club of Port Isabel. The family-friendly event will take place from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m. at Schlitterbahn Beach Waterpark on the Island. Tickets are available here at our offices, as well as at the South Padre Island and Port Isabel chambers of commerce, or Paragraphs on Padre.
If you go, be sure to check out some of the geocaches hidden around the Island and Port Isabel, as well. And as always, visit us online at www.portisabelsouthpadre.com
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