Sixteen years ago Fred Rodriguez started Texas Sportsman, a television show about the outdoors. On this show Rodriguez can be seen doing things that most South Texans enjoy which is hunting and fishing.
With the summer months in full swing, fishing has been the topic of choice for Rodriguez’s show for right now. He’s even started what he has tagged as ‘Classic Shows,’ depicting some of his early work.
One of the goals that Rodriguez has implemented on himself is hopefully having an opportunity to expand to take on the title of his show. Up until recently the show was called South Texas Sportsman.
“What I want to do on the Texas Sportsman is expand,” Rodriguez said. “I have fished in other parts of the Texas coast like Rockport, Port O’Connor and Galveston Bay and different parts.”
Although Rodriguez is not an official captain by the standards and regulations of Texas Parks and Wildlife, he sometimes has certified captains on his show. From time to time one might even see some athletes like DeMarcus Ware from the Dallas Cowboys on his show.
Right now, flooding is what is on the back of Rodriguez’s mind. With the heavy rain that Hurricane Alex provided for the Rio Grande Valley he doesn’t know how it will affect his show.
“This weekend I had a trip planned out of Arroyo City at a client’s (water) cabin,” Rodriguez said. “But there’s going to be too much fresh water I feel for me to endeavor out there and I don’t know how high the tides are going to be because you have all this fresh water out there.”
For now, Rodriguez is still in full swing with his program and depending on the schedule of his show he might even have time to compete in the Texas International Fishing Tournament (TIFT) which is being held from July 28 through August 1 at South Padre Island.
For Rodriguez, getting prepared for this tournament is key if he is going to be successful.
“What I would do is go scouting a few days before the actual tournament begins,” the 10-year tournament veteran said. “I’ve heard some reports that there are a lot of Red Fish out there right now.”
Rodriguez also said that typical mud banks that one might be used to seeing are not going to be there because the extreme tides have already dissipated. Other things he also mentioned about being prepared are the obvious, like making sure the boat is ready and running.
The TIFT is in its 71st year at South Padre and tournament director Betty Wells and her crew are ready for the anglers to show up.
Wells feels that this year there is going to be a great turn out because some other events throughout the circuit have been cancelled due to the BP oil spill in the gulf right now.
“It could be an advantage because of the other tournaments that have been cancelled and our beaches are still clean,” Wells said.
The tournament is expecting between 1,200 and 1,500 anglers and about 500 boats. Wells said that 1,500 would be a great turn out but that 1,200 is a good day as well.
“1,200 would be understandable with the economy,” Wells said.
The TIFT is not just about fishing there are some activities for children and Wells wants everyone to know that it’s about family just as much as it is fishing.
“We want to remind everyone that this is a family oriented tournament and people need to just come down here and have a great time,” Wells said. “Fishing has been really good this year so we’re looking forward to the weigh-in docks.”