View Full Version : How's the Hunting in Galveston?
08-17-2007, 05:42 PM
I'm a dive officer in the coast guard, and I will be moving to Galveston, TX at the end of September. I have a 26' Scorpion with 2-225hp Mercs on the back, with a top speed of 57 mph. It holds 120 gallons of gas. Is this a good boat for the area? It looks like oil rigs are the biggest/best hunting spots near Galveston. It also looks like you have to go at least 15 miles out to hit them. Does anyone hunt out of Galveston that could give me an idea of what the area has to offer. I'll also be looking for spear/dive buddies to split the cost of gas when I get there. If any of you think you might be interested, shoot me a PM or email email@example.com. Is most of the hunting around the rigs for grouper and snapper, or are there offshore pelagics like dolphin and tuna near the surface. What kind of speargun set up do you use? What are the usual depths? etc. I've read what I could on the Texas page, but I never seem to get a consistent view of the Galveston area. Please let me know what's going on. -Jed
08-17-2007, 05:53 PM
Galveston is pretty dirty close in. It's got it's times, but most of the year inside of 8 miles it's pretty blah. The jetty out of galveston is 8 miles long. There's a boat cut about 3 miles out on the north side that I know of. Heading out of surfside or freeport is also a consideration if you can trailer it about 40ish miles. Shorter jetty but has a bit of river debris from time to time you have to be careful for. Rigs are basicaly the texas coast version of reefs. Lots of game typically and I rarely hear of anyone going out and getting totally skunked. Most of the Cuda here you can eat. Your boat sounds like it should do fine. Texas Gulf coast waves typically have a steeper face. We typically don't get rollers like you see in the pacific or atlantic. 5 or 6' out here and most people are staying in. However your boat should be fine with 1-4's we have typically especially in the summer months. If we wouldn't have had all the rain storms this year we could have done pretty well. Last year it stayed flat so long that the water about 4 hours south was crystal clear with top to bottom vis most places. I think most people i've talked to perfer to go out of freeport then GYB (galveston yacht basin) for less traffic and cleaner water. I lived there for about 4 or 5 years and moved away about 2 years ago. Alot may have changed, but that is my general feeling about the area. Keep an eye on the contest going on this weekend and see what get's hauled in. Most contestants will probably be spearing out of Galveston.
08-17-2007, 11:22 PM
First, thank you for your service..we appreciate the work you guys do, keeping the druggies and terrorists out, busting the drunks, and helping rec boaters when bad luck or stupidity catches up with us.
Echo Bug's opinion abt watching the board for what comes in from GLS this weekend.
For guns, I've got a Sea Hornet, but I see a lot of JBL's and Riffes, probably the same stuff you see in FL. THese are rigged with a 12-16' steel cable instead of a rod and reel for handling the rigs.
Lots of us on this board including myself have had good luck dealing with Mike Cryer at Hydrosports Scuba in Lake Jackson (maybe 50 mi from GLS?) He posts from time to time as "Hydrohunter." He sells guns and also would probably re-rig yours for a reasonable price. Talking to him is a great education. I've also had good luck with Bill Merritt at Gigglin Marlin in Houston (Richmond at Shepherd). Been spearfishing with both guys.
There's another popular board people look at here called "2Coolfishing" that seems more targeted to TexLa divers. Also, we have occasional happy hours (though we've it a dry spell lately) where you can put a face to a name.
08-17-2007, 11:26 PM
Most of the Cuda here you can eat. Bug, you ever hear of anyone getting ciguatera poisoning around here? I've been avoiding them as I know it concentrates at the top of the food chain. I hear cuda meat is flaky, mild, and tasty though....
08-18-2007, 07:49 AM
Galveston is a good port with plenty of access to oil rigs for slingin steel. There's a pretty good concentration of upper gulf coast spearos that talk a lot on these boards so you should be able to find crew and advice when need be. Your boat oughtta do just fine. Ru
08-18-2007, 11:36 PM
Bug, you ever hear of anyone getting ciguatera poisoning around here? I've been avoiding them as I know it concentrates at the top of the food chain. I hear cuda meat is flaky, mild, and tasty though....
no one in texas I shoot them every chance I get they are YUMMY
08-20-2007, 01:23 AM
Galveston is one of many great places to go out from in Texas, and I am sure you're gonna like the spearfishing here. Texas waters area little less favorable for freedivers, (for too many reasons to list) but still fun.
You have to pick your days because the waves here are steep and the best water is pretty far, but you should be able to get to some good water in your boat. If your 225s are high efficiency engines, you will definitely be in the blue water.
Look for days with 3 ft seas or less...mostly in May - October. I posted my favorite weather sites in another thread...you can search for my name and find them. Some days it gets so flat you could waterski on it.
In nice weather, you'll have no problem getting out to water where you can shoot Red Snapper, AJs and Cobia. We also shoot several kinds of grouper, dogtooth and mutton snapper, almaco jacks, african pompano, tripletail, pelagics, and yes, cuda. I just posted pics of some of our fish from this weekends spearmaster tournament in another thread.
Generally, the farther south you are in Texas, the shorter the run to better (clearer) water, but the longer the run, the less fishing pressure (more fish). I think northern ports have better hunting than southern ports, but it is alot harder to get out to the pretty water. The shelf is about 90 miles out from galveston, 70 miles out from freeport, 50 miles out from matagorda, etc. There are fishing maps at most sporting goods stores that include the GPS coordinates for most rigs and the soundings in fathoms. The water is always blue at the shelf, and can be blue about 1/3 of the way out. You'll find shootable water fairly close to shore on nice days, but with a boat like yours, you'll want to go out at least 30 or 40 miles from galveston, and you may want to throw on an extra barrel of gas and go even farther.
Regarding equipment...the closer to shore you are, the smaller the fish generally are, and the murkier the water is, and the shorter your shots will be...so you won't need as much gun.Unless I think I'm gonaa get several shots at medium to small fish, I usually use a riffe no ka oi with cable and a modified riding rig. Lots of guys use a JBL Gulf Magnum. Most guys here rig with cable, but I sometimes shoot snapper on a 130cm S.A. style (Rabitech) railgun with 1 band and 1 wrap of mono. I love it because it is easy to load, quiet, and super accurate. This being said, the first time you go out, you'll probaly have a small gun and run into a 60 lb cobia that turns your new shaft into a pretzle.
You asked about Pelagics...yes, they are out there, and some guys shoot dolphin and wahoo and blackfin fairly regularly. I don't usually target those species simply because the hunting for them is so hit and miss. I often troll for those fish during surface intervals and sometimes jump in to shoot at them. You will be wasting your time looking for these fish if you arent in water that is at least 150 ft deep. We have a lot of weedlines offshore, and you'll see dolphin on many of them. Blackfin run with the Bonita near shrimpboats in July. Sometimes you'll see Wahoo cruising around rigs in the morning just beyond the Barracudas (100 yards off).
Barracudas...yes, you can eat them safely in Texas. You'll see plenty near the surface, especially around rigs in water between 120 and 250 ft deep. Lots of people like them....I think that they taste pretty good, but they don't like being speared, they are hard to clean and they are smelly in the cooler...and most importantly, there are so many other great fish to shoot in texas.
You're gonna have a great time.
08-30-2007, 06:15 PM
I'm also moving to Houston, in a week. I have several Rabitechs but thats all I use, can I use them around the rigs? I understand the need for cable, anyone try cable on a euro gun?
I'm looking forward to getting over there, shooting some nice fish and meeting new divers. Thanks all for your responses.
08-30-2007, 09:52 PM
I've got cable on a omer 110. Not too bad, but slows the shaft a bit. I just switched to 1000lb kevlar line to see how I like it. I tried 400lb Momoi outrigger line this past weekend, took one shot and 4 seconds later (1 second touching the rig leg) and my cuda and my shaft where swimming off to the bottom.
09-01-2007, 02:26 PM
Do you use pneumatic guns like the mamba here in Texas? Do they work with cable?
09-02-2007, 12:26 PM
I've got a 130cm Sten rigged Helldiver style with cable and a riding rig. It works fine but stays in the garage on 90% of my trips.
09-04-2007, 03:31 PM
I often use a Rabitech (or other Rob Allen clone) rigged with mono around the rigs in less than 140 feet of water. Also, whenever I take out a newbie spearfisherman, I hand them a Rabitech. They are easy to deal with in the water and accurate. (see picture)
I also have one 110 SA gun rigged with cable, and it is fine, but not as quiet as the mono. The key to mono on an SA gun is using only one band and one wrap, which means limited range, but i only use it in water with limited vis anyway. I rarely use it in tournaments, or when i am in places that I expect to see trophy fish. In those situations I use my Riffe no ka oi or custom gun.
I try to only shoot 8-15 lb fish (dinner snapper) with it bc if you shoot a fish you can't control, then you may end up loosing or bending a shaft, but i have shot (and landed) alot of 40lb ling and one 90lb grouper with it too. (See attached picture of snapper and ling shot with Rabitechs back when the limits were larger).
If you stay aware that letting the line rub across the rig will cost you a shaft, you are usually OK. In fact, I have probably shot 100 fish with my Rabitech, and never lost a shaft (but I have bent a half-dozen beyond repair). The only time I have seen mono break was a few weeks ago, when my brother, who is a newbie, shot a 25lb tripletail with it at one of the Intersection Rigs, and it wrapped and broke him off. I was able to go after the fish and grab the mono and we landed the fish, but it was a close one. (see picture)
The bigger problem than line breakage with those guns is bent shafts...I have gone through about a dozen shafts on my Rabitechs.
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