Friday, January 1, 2010

Padre Island National Seashore 2010, Sanddollars

Before I even got the first pole out Jenny came back and showed us her shells. She said that besides the handful of sand dollars, she had also seen several living ones! It didn't take Renita long before she joined her and I could see that it was going to be a good day for shelling.
The rain had finally ended and the weather forecaster promised us a nice day in the upper 60's, so we packed a lunch and headed for the beach at Padre Island National Seashore. It was a nice drive and we even had to swerve to avoid some turtles enjoying the sun warmed asphalt road.
Arriving at the park headquarters the ranger told s that the beach driving was good as the recent rains had firmed the sand and she was right as it was the best beach driving day we have ever had! It was even easy getting onto the beach which is usually the difficult part.
We drove along the waters edge and passed a lot of people, in other words about one car every 1/2 mile. After about 7 miles we stopped in an abandoned stretch of beach and set up for the day.
I put out two poles, one with cut mullet and the other with shrimp, but the fish weren't cooperating, only the sea grass. Both lines quickly loaded up with grass and I soon came to the realization that fishing was futile. Time to go shelling.
Now Renita and Jenny had both returned with handfuls of sand dollars. It was amazing as we had never seen so many! I stowed my fishing gear and started walking down the beach hoping to find at least one.
They were everywhere! It didn't take long before I had both hands full and I had only picked up perfect ones. Live ones were also numerous but we left those to their own fate as we had so many.
Driving to another spot I cast out my poles and again no fish. Maybe the red tide had wiped them all out or who knows, maybe they just weren't biting. I wasn't bothered by the grass and the surf had laid down so I was able to cast out and hold my lines in the second and third cuts.
Again the sand dollars were everywhere and it must have been natures way of helping us to forget all the rain and cold weather we had had since Jenny's arrival. We ended up with over 100 sand dollars between us. Now to figure out how to make stuff out of them. Clear skies.

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