The reds didn’t want to play at first light this morning. We watched a few fish come from the deep, and once they were in range wanted nothing to do with us. After a couple hours of waiting them out, to see if their attitudes would change, we decided to move onto new waters.
Luckily our new area had 2 small schools of reds feeding aggressively. We managed a few double hook ups, and lost a couple before calling it a day.
DSL’s victorious secret super model and FINS windtamer 20# braid got the job done. The weather looks good in the extended forecast, if you don’t care to wade come try your hand at sight casting. Plenty of dates available in Sept/Oct.
The sight casting day started off a litte questionable,
with the much needed rain in the area.
We started off drifting the grass flats throwing hunch backs and black
Around 9:30 storms died along with the wind, the sun came
out and we got the chance to chase one small school. Then we set up the tower and right away had
reds on the surface wanting our DSL victorious secret and white ice super
Fun day sight cast with Bobby Sullivan. Perfect wind and sunny conditions. Redfish were aggressive early up on the flats, then around 11am they fell out to deeper water. DSL super models victorious secret, color x, and hogie lures did the trick.
Plenty of dates open for August and September if anybody wants to get in on this Middle Coast action. Whether it’s wading or sight casting, give us a call to book your trip.
Definitely a top 3 in days of sight casting reds. We never had to set up the tower, because the large school of 100 fish stayed on the surface all day.
Throwing gold, black, and copper spoons we had several triple hook ups and countless doubles. So much fun watching reds tail and float on the surface. The weather was great, plenty of sun and 5-15mph ENE winds makes the water clear. Good enough to see the orange ball moving around!
Portland Marine officially opened at the end of 1967 with a new building, which was quite an improvement over the rented three car garage which served as headquarters for the oilfield and charter boat service operated by Liz and Glen Coker for 11 years. The new 1200 sq. ft. building was split equally between showroom and shop and Portland Marine employed one full time and one part-time employee. The business was located at 500 Moore Avenue next door to the Portland Volunteer Fire Department.
Family legend has it that one day Glen came home and informed his wife, “Liz, I just signed with Chrysler, we are in the boat business!”
All was well until 1970 when Hurricane Celia destroyed all buildings and stock. While rebuilding, a 1400 sq. ft. shop was added and a storage lot purchased across the alley (next door to Royal Foodtown which was owned by Buddy Ganem).
In 1972 a new 5000 sq. ft. air conditioned showroom was purchased along with the city block it was situated on. The old quarters were converted into the South’s most modern shop including the first full-size drive-in test tank for testing motors under power. By the late ’70s, Portland Marine employed seven full-time and five part-time employees (including myself).
Along the way, Liz and Glen won many national sales contests. Their hard work resulted in Portland Marine being recognized as one of the premier dealerships in the country and they earned international reward trips to such exciting destinations as England, Ireland, Jamaica, and the Canary Islands.
Portland Marine was one of the first Yamaha Outboard dealers in the USA. The Yamaha 200 was revolutionary and simply outclassed the domestic makes. At the time, Portland Marine had strong sales of both Chrysler and Evinrude. It soon became a fact that those boaters who could afford it always picked the Yamaha. It was superior in every way.
Throughout his life, Glen had a deep hatred for those black Mercury motors. He strongly believed that they were heavy, slow to spin up, overly complicated, and did not survive in the harsh salt water climate.
Glen was President of the South Texas Boat Dealers Association. He fought to protect the interests of recreational fishermen – at times putting him at odds with his commercial fishermen customers – and made many trips to Austin to lobby against gill nets and trot lines.
Our number one selling rig was a Robalo 21′ with a Yamaha 200 horsepower outboard. Boats have grown tremendously in size (and price) over the years but at the time this was considered an ideal boat to run down to Baffin Bay or to take 30 miles offshore. Outfitted with a T-Top, and sometimes a 20hp “kicker” for safety, it was an awesome boat to troll for kingfish in the open Gulf. From personal knowledge, it had the performance and quality construction to jump Gulf swells – clearing the prop always produced a distinctive scream combining excitement and terror. Glen ran full-throttle. In rough water he would shout, “Get her on top!” as he put the hammer down.
Ronnie Hubbell started working at Portland Marine part-time while in high school. Turns out that Ronnie is a master mechanic and quickly rose in rank to service manager. Ronnie eventually left Portland Marine to start his own dealership in Aransas Pass. Ronnie’s Marine grew into three locations – the original store in Aransas Pass, a second location in Corpus Christi, and a third dealership outside of San Antonio. Ronnie and Glen were two of a kind.
Thinking of Glen, Ronnie recently commented, “the most important thing I think I still remember day to day, was if you’re gonna do something, try like hell to do it right.”
Glen was always trying to bring value to his customers. He designed and constructed at least three different boats to offer performance at a lower price point than the name-brand boats. The Apollo was a 19′ center console that was an alternative to the much more expensive Robalo. The Salty was similar but featured a square bow. The Apollo and Salty were both manufactured in Florida. The Critter was a simple fishing boat designed by Glen and built by Johnny Majek (yes, that Majek).
Sample pricing from 1977-1978:
Chrysler 30 hp outboard $695
16′ Commerical Polarkraft $553
18′ Richline aluminum boat, 30 hp Chrysler, and trailer $1495
Starcraft 15′ with 75 hp Chrysler $2795
Manatee 18′ bow rider with 130 hp Volvo I/O $5466
Salty 19′, 135 hp Chrysler, EZ Loader trailer, fully loaded $5995
Glen Coker and Portland Marine were actively involved in racing boats and sponsoring races down at Sunset Lake. With ace driver Ronnie Hubbell on the throttle they won numerous state and national races.
In 1978 the dealership was sold to Mr. Justice. Quite frankly, he drove the business into the ground.
Richard Foley soon stepped in and bought Portland Marine in 1980. Richard steadily restored Portland Marine to its position today as a top boat dealership in the Coastal Bend. Richard had been the service manager in the shop earlier and was the right man to carry on the tradition. The dealership was relocated into the old Jeff’s Auto Parts building on 7th Street. Sadly, Richard passed away in 2008. Today, Portland Marine is owned and operated by Carol Foley. Stop in, they will treat you right.
Although it has been 41 years since my family sold Portland Marine, the values I learned while working there still guide me to this day.
Girls can too! Lots of fun on this evening trip. These ladies were on ‘em before sunset until the storm ran us off.
We waded crotch to waist deep sand pockets throwing DSL strawberry wine. Lots of trout 16-18”, and a few that slipped away. Good times had by all! Thanks Brett and Carrie Garmany Mauthe for a fun evening.
What a great way to spend the long weekend.. fishing in Seadrift on our new boat.. We recently picked up this very clean used boat from an old family friend, Ronnie Hubbell. Ronnie and our family go way back like 50 years. He started working for my dad when he was about 18 at Portland Marine and became and invaluable employee and lifelong friend. Later on he went off on his own and started up Ronnie’s Marine in Aransas Pass.
It was a great weekend learning both the area better as well as the boat. My first time running a tunnel hull and a boat with a jack plate. A bit to learn and get a feel for it’s shallow water capabilities Really not wanting to get stuck we took it cautiously over a few trips and I would be lying if I said we weren’t a bit nervous getting into shallower and shallower water. We were able to run into some of the lakes and the thing that kept going off in my head was from Ronnie “It will run shallower that it will float” meaning that while you might be able to run in under a foot of water you might not make it out if you stop! We ran cautiously but were able to twice get it in about as shallow of water as we felt we could run.. a bit nerve wracking, wide open, tripped all the way out and feeling the skeg of the engine bumping bottom but knew we had deeper water ahead and rocked on.
When you see a pelican standing 20 ft from where you are about to run through.. oh boy…
We are geniuinely impressed with the construction of the boat, the layout, storage, design and construction. It’s not a “fancy” boat by any means but it is solid and handles chop and some big waves in the bay very well. It’s also a very dry boat. We have been out on it for 3 weekends and never once got wet, and we ran across bays numerous times in 15-5 mph winds. The 115 Yamaha has a 4 blade stainless prop and pops out of water fast and gets on plane quickly. Jack the motor all the way up and trim all the way in and hammer down!
Looking forward to more time on the water for sure!
Happy Father’s Day! I spent the day with a father son team wanting to learn summertime artificial tactics. With the wind conditions today it was a little tough, but we managed to find some trout green water mid morning and a had a 30-45 minute window with good solid bites.
After the nasty water moved in we spent the remainder of the day walking sandbars sight casting to reds and bigger trout. Fish were very spooky today.
July/August usually host more days of calmer winds, perfect for wade fishing or some great times sight casting reds in the miles of marsh around Seadrift, TX. Give me a call to book a trip before school and all the sports kick off again.