Free gulf, bay fishing seminar to be held Feb. 22

HARLINGEN — The world-class fishing on the South Texas coast isn’t any secret.

But how to improve on angler “luck” should become easier after tapping into the knowledge of four captain/guides with decades of experience fishing bay and gulf waters.

A free fishing seminar will be held Feb. 22 from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Harlingen Community Center at 201 E. Madison Ave.

Port Isabel guide Capt. George Strader will describe fishing methods using natural baits in the bay, Capt. Wayne Davis of Port Mansfield will discuss artificial baits and wade fishing techniques, writer and artist Capt. Danno Wise of Port Isabel will share his secrets for successful surf fishing and Capt. Mark Machado will discuss where and how to catch big fish on a fly rod.

“What I’m going to be discussing is tactics on how to fish the bay using natural bait,” Strader said, “I’m going to be going over drift fishing bobbers and drift fishing with bottom baits — winter tactics and spring tactics.

“Then I’m going to touch base on a little bit of summer tactics and patterns and how to catch the fish using natural baits, live and frozen baits,” he added.

A fifth captain, well-known Valley game warden Capt. James Dunks, will reveal his February favorite — fishing from the heart.

“Last year we put one on and it more-or-less was oriented, it ended up being oriented, to fly fishing,” said Tony Reisinger, Texas Sea Grant’s Cameron County Coastal and Marine Resources agent.

“So we wanted to cover the whole spectrum in the bay and surf fishing, too, because we a have a lot of Winter Texans and locals who fish the Texas surf,” he added.

Also on display

In addition to fishing tackle and techniques, displays and instruction on how and where to use shallow-water craft and kayaks in the Laguna Madre will be available.

The latest on fishing from skinny-water boats will be on display by The Sportsman of San Benito and Dargel Boats of Donna.

A custom-made spinning rod and a fly rod will be raffled off, and numerous door prizes will be awarded. Seafood recipes and information on fishing rules and regulations also will be available.

Reisinger said the seminar will focus on practical fishing using a number of techniques common in the South Texas salt, including seasonal tips.

“Right now, I think the pompano run is happening off the beaches, so people will like that, along with learning all the techniques, tactics and places you can fish in the bay,” Reisinger said.

“Hopefully, we can keep it confined to just two hours, because there’s a lot to cover,” he added. “It’s quite an opportunity.”

The seminar is sponsored by the Harlingen Parks and Recreation Department, Valley Sportsmen Club, Laguna Madre Fly Fishing Association, Dargel Boats, The Sportsman, Cameron County, the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service and the Texas Sea Grant College Program at Texas A&M University.

There is no registration required to attend.


WHEN: 7 to 9 p.m., Thursday

WHERE: Harlingen Community Center, 201 E. Madison Ave.

COST: Free