Finishing & Starting Strong

Finishing & Starting Strong

Casting and blasting for Laguna Madre ducks, trout and reds.

Story and photography by Robert Sloan

A cast and blast trip along the Texas coast is big time popular and one of the best places to make that happen is out of Port Mansfield. That’s where you can shack up in a wonderful lodge, make a duck hunt in the morning, come in to a nice lunch, get a quick nap and head out to the world-famous Laguna Madre flats to finish off the day fishing. Do a couple days of this stuff and your butt will definitely be dragging. 

But it can all be done out of Getaway Lodge at Port Mansfield, where the duck hunting is world class, and the fishing is mighty impressive.

Back in the ’70’s me and my running buddies didn’t think twice about doing our own cast and blast trips. Those were mostly out of our house in Port O’Connor. That’s when the limit on ducks was 10 per gun, and there was no shortage of birds like pintails and widgeon. Of course, there were thousands of red heads, too. 

Back then we were young and could easily go all day. And that’s what we did. We would load up the Grady White with rods and tackle, guns and ammo, a retriever, food and drinks and hit the water at well before shooting time. 

We had homemade fiberglass pit blinds in Pringle Lake. The boat would be anchored in the bay and we would wade to the Pringle shoreline with all of our hunting gear and then walk a couple hundred yards across the marsh to the shallow duck infested flats on Pringle Lake. The hunting was as good as it gets. There were endless numbers of pintails and widgeon. The shooting was fantastic. But hauling out 40 or more big ducks was a little rough, especially in the marsh muck. 

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