Why Baytown is Such a Great CATCH!
Sabrina Galloway-Visitor Outreach Specialist

It is bright and hot as the four tourism ladies prepare for our day. We've got water, sunscreen, and a bagful of snacks. It's going to be a long day, because today we aren't working from our normal office. We are going out on the water with the Captain of Bow to Stern Fishing Tours, David Rappelet. 

Today was not just about fishing, but it was also about the summer camp EcoTours he does for the youngins in our area, as well as a tour of the future grounds of Little Island Camping Resort. Boy oh boy, I can't wait to tell you about that!

David took us for a tour around his bayfront property explaining his dream. Within the next year, he will have at least 5 cabins, a large section for tent camping, a restored swimming pool and barn, a restaurant that provides international cuisine, as well as a portion of beach! This has been a dream of his for a while, and it's starting to become his reality. Little Island Camping Resort will be one of the coolest place to go for some nice relaxing family time. He even has a friend bringing his large sailboat to do sailboat cruises, and a 38 foot yacht that will be equipped for deep sea fishing and scuba diving in the gulf!

After our tour of the future resort, David took us out in his boat where we got some AMAZING shots of the wildlife and the Fred Hartman Bridge, the longest cable-stayed bridge in Texas, only one of four of its kind in the United States, and just super neat in itself. Nothing makes you feel small like being in a boat under the 77th largest bridge in the US. We took pictures, talked about the ecosystem of the ship channel at that particular location, and watched some huge tanker ships pass by.

Then David took us pass Morgan's point and the Hole (where Cedar Bayou Channel meets the Houston Ship Channel), and we rode the after waves of the same humongous tanker ships we just watched mosey pass us. It was incredible—the wind in our faces, saltwater spraying our arms, and the majestic view of bottlenose dolphins riding the front wake of the tankers.

As we slowed, we found ourselves in an inlet of Atkinson Island. David let the boat drift as he tells us all about the estuary; it is a no shrimping and no crabbing zone that was established by the Texas Parks and Wildlife as a sanctuary for the crustaceans to grow. He tells us more about the shore birds and types of fish found within the inlet. Continuing, he explains to us that this stop of the EcoTour allows children to get off the boat and have a hand's on experience with natural wildlife. They collect sea snails, as well as play with the baby crabs that scurry around. He laughs as he tells a story about one of the young girls who just cried and cried, because she didn't want to leave her new found friend-a baby blue crab. Being a kindhearted guide, David fishes around in his boat compartments and finally surfaces with a jar. He scoops some saltwater up, places the crab inside and explains to her what she needs to do to keep her crab alive. To this day, she still sends him picture after picture of that crab (FYI, much larger now).

Then we got to do some fishing! It was a blast as first Sheree, then Anna, then Tina all caught some fish. I quickly became designated fish photographer as I was catching absolutely nothing on my line. All of a sudden, Anna's pole dipped far into the water. Excitedly, David explains to Anna how to hold the pole so she doesn't break the line or end up in the water. After six or seven minutes of reeling, Anna finally pulls up the catch of the day... an oyster cluster!!

This was by far the coolest catch. Not only were their multiple oysters, but also mollusks, baby stone crabs, tiny oyster fish, and minuscule shrimp! We had a hay day listening to all the insight David provided to us. Eventually, we brought in our lines, and David proceeded to show us around the opening of Cedar Bayou and loop us back to the dock.

Then we got to do some fishing! It was a blast as first Sheree, then Anna, then Tina all caught some fish. I quickly became designated fish photographer as I was catching absolutely nothing on my line. All of a sudden, Anna's pole dipped far into the water. Excitedly, David explains to Anna how to hold the pole so she doesn't break the line or end up in the water. After six or seven minutes of reeling, Anna finally pulls up the catch of the day... an oyster cluster!!

This was by far the coolest catch. Not only were their multiple oysters, but also mollusks, baby stone crabs, tiny oyster fish, and minuscule shrimp! We had a hay day listening to all the insight David provided to us. Eventually, we brought in our lines, and David proceeded to show us around the opening of Cedar Bayou and loop us back to the dock.

All in all, it was a day filled with insight and adventure. We discovered so much about our local marine life that a lot of people don't ever get to see. I highly recommend David as a grade A fishing guide and boat captain. Even more, I think he has a lot to offer the youth in our area with his informative and hands-one EcoTours. We had a blast, and are so excited about what David is bringing to our city on the bay. Below are some pictures of other guided fishing trips David has had! From large black drums to big stingrays, David's caught it all! Here is his website where you can learn more about what he offers and find his contact information. http://www.bowtosternfishingtours.com/about.html

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