The Texas FlyFishers issues a

Red Alert

If you are new to the gulf coast and saltwater fishing, this is not intended to scare you away. The Texas FlyFishers is an educational orginazation and as such we believe the better informed you are the better fisherman you become and have more fun.

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Sharks

No images of sharks, you've seen a thousand of them. They are found in both the bays and the gulf, and even in rivers. I have been told that about 30% of the attacks attributed to sharks are barracuda attacks. Nevertheless remember, you are in their world and one of their missions is to eat.

Taking a cue from some of the old salts I have talked to and articles I have read, you want to do everything you can to NOT look like something to eat.

While fishing or swimming in the surf do not wear white or light colored shoes. These can look like the belly of a fish, something to eat. Do not wade in shorts, wear pants netural in color, kahki in tone. The calves of your legs can again look like something to eat. Also do not wear anything that will 'flash' underwater.

If you have blood coming from any part of your body, DO NOT go into the water.


Portuguese Man O'War

Man O'War at sailUnderside MOW

The Portuguese Man O'War is not a jelly fish, although it is commonly called that Wiki, but it can hurt you. If you go to the beach and see this creature in the water, turn around and go someplace else.

This creature is pushed through the water by the wind on it's air bladder or carried along by the tidal movement. Notice the tentacles on the under side of the PMOW, these can extend out to 40 feet on a large one. The PMOW captures it prey by stinging it. For a human this can be a very excruciating painful experience. On a small child or adult with heart problems, it may be fatal. For a medium sized child, they are going to be in a state of panic and severe pain. I have seen adults with tears in their eyes from just one tentacle clinging to their arm

Dead Man O'War

Even when dead or dieing, they are still dangerous. Avoid any stranded on the beach.

There are a couple of things you can do to alleviate the burning sensation of the sting. One is apply a mixture of baking soda and amonia. Thats hard to carry on a trip to the beach. Better is to cover well with 'Adolphs Meat Tenderizer".

Keep a BOTTLE in your first kit - YOU DO HAVE ONE, DON'T YOU?


Sting Rays

Southern Sting Ray Sting Rays are kin to sharks. Sting rays grow to 400 lb but at that size they are typically deep water creatures. In the bays you might see one up to 50 lbs and 4 feet across. Mostly you are going to find them from 6 inches to 2 feet in size. If you are in water shallow enough to see your shoes, you will be able to see a sting ray on the bottom, Their color is the same as the bottom but their shape gives them away.

Notice the stinger at the base of the tail in the picture to the left. Thats what gets you. Sting rays are timid creatures. They will get out of your way if you will let them know you are near and give them enough time.

Being bottom feeders, they like to trail behind you in the cloudy-muddy water you have just stirred up sucking up all the little creatures you have disturbed. That is why you never walk in the trail you have just created. Nor the trail of someone else.


Stinging Jelly Fish

Stinging Jelly Fish

Jelly fish come in all sizes and shapes. There are probable more jelly fish than anything esle in the ocean. Jelly fish are usually found in the bays. You will see one jelly fish or a smack of jelly fish.

Jelly fish range in size from golf ball to cabbage head. They all sting though in different degrees. None in Texas are fatal that I know about.

The jelly fish Wiki is not to be confused with the Portuguese Man O'War.


Rip Tides

Rip Tides are any movement of water parallel to a blocking agent. That could be any thing such as the groins at Galveston, the jetties at Galveston, Freeport, et al, the barrier island at any of the passes to the gulf, even parallel to the beach front.

These currents are strong and dangerous. The should be respected. A strong current in knee deep water can have enough force to sweep a small person off their feet and into water over their heads. The steep repose of the sand along a channel in conjunction with a strong outgoing tide is especially dangerous.

Don't try to swim against this current. You'll only tire yourself and get into trouble. Swim with the current working your way towards shore. Better to be a mile down the beach that too tired to keep your head above water.


Eye Protection

Sun Glasses

Sun glasses are a very important piece of fishing equipment. They do three things for the fisherman.

One They protect the eyes from the glare of the sun on the water. Even in the winter we can get a clear day with a lot of reflections. They help protect the retina from burn that causes the black spots in your eyes at the end of the day. Sun Glasses and a wide brim hat - two neccessieies.

Two Notice on the picture the width of the ear piece near the eye. That has 2 functions, to protect the eye from a stray fly such as mentioned in 'Hook Removal" and to block the glare from the side.

Three They must be POLARIZED, this reduces the reflection on the water and allows you to see sting rays under water and also to see the fish you came here to catch. Be sure your have that feature. choice of lens color is debatable and subject to different fishing conditions.

Sun glasses range in price from $35 to $200. If you wear glasses to improve your vision, sun glasses come in wrap around or cover up style. All professional tackle dealers carry this item. They are important - buy the very best you can afford.


Exposure to the Sun

Melanoma condition

Melanoma Wiki Condition of the skin caused by exposure to the ultra violet (UV)rays of the sun. About Melanoma

If the skin receives too much ultraviolet light, the melanocytes may begin to grow abnormally and become cancerous. This condition is called melanoma.

Here on the Texas gulf coast, you are going to get too much sun. Protect yourself against the eventual fact.

A wide brim hat is a good warrior agains the sun. One that will protect your face and keep the sun out of your eyes. One that will protect your ears and the nape of your neck. There is no such thing as chasing a hat through the mud and muck of a marsh. Make sure it has a good tie down strap that goes under the chin. If you just must wear a cap, make sure it has an extra long bill and a skirt around to protect the nake

Sun Screen is your friend. Not only does it help block the UV coming from the reflection off the water, but goes a long way preventing sun burn. Buy the highest R rating you can find.


Dehydration

Bottled Water

My doctor tells me that under inert conditions the human body will sweat 2 ounces of water an hour. As activity goes up and the exposure to the heat of the sun increase, that disappation of sweat/water goes upto 2 oz every 20 minutes.

Before you climb into your 'yak, fill up your cooler with 8 oz bottle of water. Drink 2 16 oz bottles. The body will allow itself to become oversaturated, and that is good. And off you go.

The body needs water. Not Diet Pepsi, Not Gatoraide, Not Jolt - WATER

If you are on the water and not sweating, your in trouble.


Removing Hooks

Troy-fly-in-arm hook removal

This can happen to anyone.

And someday it may happen to you or your fishing buddy. When it does be prepaired. You've been casting all day and your arm is tired. Your rhythum falters and that fly that has been 3 to 4 feet up is suddenly in your arm. A gust of wind collapses your back cast and suddenly your fly is in the back of your neck. If you get a fly embedded too close to your eyes I suggest you seek medical help.

It can happen to the best of you. This picture is the arm of one of our Certified Casting Instructors.


Open Cuts and Wounds

Example Image

Under Construction

Would you like to write the text for one of these sections.


Bacterial Infections

v_vulnificus_infection

There is a nasty bug in the waters along our gulf coast that a local chamber of commerce tries to keep a secret.

Its a flesh eating bacteria ( Vibrio vulnificus). I can best tell you about it by asking you to read several of the Google articles found in a search. Google links to several articles about this bug. Remember, a mosquito bite is an infection point. An antidote is a 50% mixture of bleach and water. Apply it immediately after exposure. Then get to an emergency room.

This bacteria can be deadly if not treated in time.


Mosquitos

Mosquito

What can I say. This is southeast Texas - We Have Mosquitos year round. This is being writen in January and yesterday it was in the upper 60's and the mosquitos were out. The worst swarm of mosquitos I encountered was on Christmas Day and barely a hundred yards from the Gulf of Mexico.

Protect yourself.

Most just bite and hurt. But everyonce in a while we get some that are carrying a nasty virul bug. There are many good products on the market, keep something handy and use it often.

With all that being said we should not forget that they are an important part of the fresh water food chain. And should be represented in several flavors in your fresh water fly wallet.

One word of caution: Do not get any insect repellant on your fly line -- it desolves the coatings.


Jetties Piers and Slick Rocks.

Jetty and Rocks

This jetty looks like it is fishable and it proberly is. It is DRY. Look down a ways and notice the waves washing over the granite rocks. There is an alge that grows on these rocks and concrete that when wet is as slick as a sheet of ICE. So when the waves are splashing across the jetty, it is dangerous. Concrete and granite are hard. It going to hurt when you fall, and you will.

The jetties can be completely dry except for a few odd puddles of water. If the dark green or rust brown alge has reared it ugly head, be carefull.

If you absolutely must fish here under bad conditions, do what the old pros do. They get an old pair of golf shoes with the iron spikes. Something that will punch trough the mat of alge and hold on the rock or concrete below.


This is a live project. It will be updated and added to from time to time.