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  1. #1
    Rev Ryder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    El Campo, Texas

    Jet Ski Fishing the Rigs Near Matagorda Texas

    Well, since so many folks from the Texas Shark Fishing forum were heading to Gorda to fish this weekend I hoped to go and meet up with some of them... but I also wanted to get in a dose of offshore fishing seeing how it is that time of year. AND my primary fishing goal for this year has been to get a Ling (Cobia) from the jet ski.

    Since I only had until three pm to be home I had to make a plan to fit it all in and my plan was this:
    Get up and head to Matagorda with plans to arrive at Rawlings Bait Camp by 7:00, launch the ski and head for the second set of rigs about ten to twelve miles outside the jetties Arriving there by 8:00. Fish until 11:00 am and then head in. Load the ski and unhook it leaving it at Rawlings and heading up the beach the ten miles or so where the TSF guys are supposed to be hanging out. Meet and visit with them for an hour or so and then hotfoot it for home, picking up the ski on the way and arriving home at 3:00 pm. It was the perfect plan.... almost.

    I wound up dilly-dallying a tad and didn't make Rawlings until 7:30. THen there were these two guys with an aluminum boat and two little boys and they couldn't get their boat's outboard to start. Well, you can't launch and leave two ten year old boys in the lurch, so I gave them a hand, got them running, and helped them get launched. Then I put my ski in which promptly broke its tether and headed down the river without me. About to dive in to swim after it, the aluminum boat people volunteered to chase it down and soon it was retrieved and tied to the dock like a good jet ski oughta be.
    By the time I headed out, it was already 8:45. And as I made my way out toward the rigs, it was obvious that ten gazillion fish were having breakfast or brunch or whatever as there were birds working and the entire surface of the GUlf was in full bubble as jacks, and skips, and who knows what all were busting bait. Funny thing, I never saw ANY bait balls, but the fish were just going nuts as far as you could see. So I stopped and tossed live bait out to swim in the fray..... NADA. So go some more. Then again the fish are so thick I can't help but stop and I drift for a while while freelining some croaker. NADA!

    Finally I head on to the rigs and arrive at a rig I pulled some red snapper off of two weeks ago. The triggerfish were so thick you couldn;t get past them. so I drifted away from the rig a bit and fished about 40-50 ft deep in 55 ft of water. Pretty quickly I had a train type hook up and we were off to the races. Turned out to be about a 3 foot + shark that I had somehow hooked in the pectoral fin and he was plumb upset about it. What kind of shark is this?

    A little later I caught the twin to the first one, only this time I hooked him in the mouth all proper like.

    He did the quick, self-release at the side of the ski by breaking off the hook.

    By this time I had drifted within a few hundred yards of another rig, so I decided to zip over to it and see what was shakin'.

    WHen I pull up I kind of ride around the rig up close surveying the situation when I see a half dozen nuclear class submarines come my way in attack formation. Six Ling (Cobia) were circling my ski looking for a handout and I just happened to have a live croaker on a 8/0 circle ready to toss. As soon as it hit the water they were on it and debated as to who would eat it. The littlest one of the bunch won the toss, electing to receive he gulped the poor lil croaker down and I was hooked up solid. Trying to hang onto the small bass rod and reel (home spun G.Loomis and an H2O Express reel spooled with 50 lb Spiderwire) I fired the ski and slammed it into reverse to start trying to move this drag burner to open water away from the rig. Fortunately the Ling thought open water a good idea too and he went along heading in the general direction of Cuba and was quickly 3/4 of my spool away with my drag cranked to max and the G.Loomis bent double. For fifteen minutes I had no clue who was winning and who was getting beat up the worst, but eventually, the Ling let me start gaining line on him and he actually began swimming back toward me. I took the opportunity to reclaim nearly all my line before he decided to head for DEEP South Texas. We see-sawed my Spiderwire for a while and finally I got the spear in him and brought him onto the ski upside down in the foot well.

    I finally got him killed which only took about half the fight out of him I think. :P

    By this time it was 12:30 and it wasn't looking like I could make it down the beach and make it home in time to get back to work. So I zipped back over to the rig with my last live croaker to see what else I might find. The other Ling had all headed out in a hurry when they finally realized their buddy was in trouble, so I didn't figure to see any more of them. But sure enough, an even bigger one was still cruising. I tossed him my croaker knowing I really needed new knots, hook, and take off a little frayed line, but we were both in the right place at the right time... and I was almost instantly hooked up to another freight train. I again headed the ski back out for open water.

    Even though this Ling was larger and made two tremendous runs, he gave up and surfaced 40 yards out and I just kind of worked him in toward me on the surface. Once we had circled the ski about six times I figured he was ready to come in the boat and I got out my spear thinking that it was incredible that I had even got this monster close enough to spear. But he made one last lunge into the side of the ski and came off the hook just like that. Looking at the hook, it was straightened out quite a bit and it was easy to see that I had only gotten him that close by virtue of the angle he kept tring to pull away at.

    Any way, I was a little late getting home and didn't get to go see the TSF guys WAYYYY down the beach, but I had my fun and I hope they had plenty too. THis has been ONE of my major goals for this year, to catch a Ling from the ski and I finally got one. One last pic... me and my first Ling. :cheers Happy camper!

  2. #2
    jetskibrian's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Poquoson Virginia
    Thanks for the great report!

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