Going to Texas coast. What can I collect?

ravenmore

New member
Hi all,

I'm really envious of some of the tanks where people who live on/near the coast are able to collect stuff to put in their tanks. My parents just moved to Rockport, TX (near Corpus) and I'm going to go visit them this week. Their house is on a canal (my dad fishes in his backyard - no I'm not jealous....).

I wanted to see if I could collect some things to put in my tanks. Anyone have any experience with collecting in this area? Are there any permits/licenses I need to get? Any tips or suggestions are appreciated!
 

Playa-1

In Memoriam
You can put a piece of chicken on a weighted sting and collect some of them blue crabs down there. They make for some good eatin :)
 

ravenmore

New member
c'mon folks seriously.

Oh and have done the crabbing thing many times as a kid. Amazing how stubbor they are at not letting go.

I know there is plenty of sargassum to be had, and sometimes you get some cool hitchikers mixed in with it.
 

tebstan

New member
You'll need a license, you get a one-day thing at Wal-Mart in the sporting goods area.

I went out to Port A last year.

Collecting at the ocean was disappointing even with a cast net. On the jetties it's worthwhile, but only at night. Go with a bucket, a good net, and a red headlight. Wear good shoes, its slippery. You can get loads of peppermint shrimp - 3 or 4 with each swipe of the net. If you go far out on the jetty and you don't mind sticking your hand in dark creepy spots, you can also get some cool looking rock anemones.

During the day, you can get some feeder grass shrimp in the shallow areas. That long stretch of empty road right before hitting the tiny town? There's shallow areas all along it, find one that's safe to pull over and give it a try. There were hermit crabs everywhere too, but I didn't want to risk those.

Watch your toes! Sometimes there's jellyfish washing up - box jellies and man o war, just keep an eye out.

One time I caught a tiny dwarf seahorse! I put him back where I scooped him up, but it was cool to see.
 

tebstan

New member
Oh.. but the time of year. I really don't know if there's much out there this early, but if you're going anyway it's worth a try.

All the sargassum I saw when I was there was in terrible shape, it was all decaying. If you can find some healthy, it is cool looking stuff. I also got potato scroll and ulva on the jetties.

Some whip gorgs are in the area, but I'm not sure if they're worth trying to keep. By the time they're washing ashore I'd think they're already dying.
 

ravenmore

New member
Thanks - I'm thinking along the lines of inverts and maybe macro algaes. I'd love to get pods, shrimps like you mentioned. Peppermint shrimp would be awesome.

I spent a lot of time on the coast as a kid. We caught lots of sea horses hanging out in sea weed.
 

Playa-1

In Memoriam
When I was a kid we would walk out waist deep with a sain net and pull in some interesting things. It was more of a fishing adventure though. It was not uncommon to pull in small sharks with the net either. I believe that was the Crystal Beach area between Port A and Galveston. I would love to have a five gallon bucket full of them blue crabs about right now :)
 

tebstan

New member
On one trip I found a board washed covered in goose head barnacles. I was ecstatic. Most of them were dead or dying, but I rescued all I could. They still didn't live long, but it was fun to try.

We always see sea turtles on every trip. Years ago, at someones condo in corpus, I saw some pipe fish right outside someone's back door.

What kind of inverts did you have in mind?
 

ravenmore

New member
There used to be a marine biologist on here named Ron Shimek that offered some suggestions. Need to see if I can dig up some of his posts. I believe one was to sift sand through fine netting of some type. I also imagine there will be some hanging around/in macro algaes.
 

Reefahholic

New member
I've surfed all my life in Texas. The waves suck, the water is usually brown, and like mentioned above, even with a castnet, you can't really catch anything that great.

Corpus actually has pretty water than the Galveston area though. It gets real clear down there a lot. Just not anything good to collect like I've seen on the gulf side of Florida!

If you were going to the gulf side of Florida like Destin, Pensacola, or Panama City, you would be in luck! I never go down there without my mask and snorkel!

Good luck though, you may find some things if the water is clear.
 

ravenmore

New member
I used to go to S. Florida quite a bit for business. Loved it there. Even did a little collecting - mangrove tubers were all over the place on the beaches.
 
It has been warm down here. Gulf water temp is 70 and around 75 in the bays. Bad thing this time of year is wind. Makes jetty rocks dangerous with winds gusting to 35 mph the waves can wash you off your feet if you are not careful. There are three sets of jetty rocks. Port Aransas is the biggest and what people have posted about. This is the major ship channel into the bay. You can catch sargent majors (mean as hell) and pep shrimps. Could get some sea urchins if you want to snorkle as they stay deeper. Do this opposite of the channel side for safety. There is lots of macro algae along the rocks that have lots of pods in them. The other jetties are at Fish Pass at Mustang Island State Park and at Packery Channel on Padre Island. On the back side of the the barrier island there is lots of shoal grass. I have used a fine mesh net (like a brine shrimp net) to get pods. You can also get virgin nerite snails in this area. Every one has a different design on the shell and good algae eaters. There is some fresh sargassum coming in. Always has shrimp and crabs and possibly file fish and sargassum fish. Too early for the juvinile tropical at the jetties. To collect, you will need a saltwater fishing license. You can purchase this for one day and can add days to it if you do not want to buy a yearly license. Best time to collect down here is in summer as you can get all kinds of stuff. Happy hunting!
 

alton

Active member
I like Padre Island National Sea Shore but you have to have a very good 4 wheel drive and watch the tides.
 

ravenmore

New member
I'd love to visit Padre some time, but it might be a bit far from Rockport. I've been checking out google maps looking at places that look interesting. I bet a canoe or kayak would be a blast down there.
 
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