Reeling It In

Local News

By the time of the founding of this part of the country when Zachary Taylor came in, it was 1846. This began as a fishing community, and there was little piers because we had fishing boats in this area… from 1872 until the turn of the century they had a pier. The first big pier extended out into the bay from that point and it was to accommodate the railroad from the station going into Brownsville.

Steve Hathcock says, “At that time, and shortly after there was many small piers in the area, some of which were destroyed by a hurricane in 1933. But the pier most valley residents remember is Klineman’s’ back in 1962.”

The pier was an instant success. It extended 300 feet into the water, it was in a T-Shape, and at 300 ft. that is where it separated. It went 200 ft. north and south.

Hathcock recalls that fishing was great in the area. However Hurricane Beulah in the late sixties destroyed it.

From 1968 till about 1980 the pier operated on and off under other managers. But it just slowly disintegrated into the water from lack of upkeep.

The only way fishermen go out today is to either go to the jetties or use a boat.  Some call either dangerous or expensive.

I decided that we needed something more than just to go and lay on the beach. I decided that we need to have some more entertainment.  So I went to Florida, California, Galveston, I went all around the country looking at fishing piers.

The plan is to bring in a 1000 foot long pier that extends into the gulf.  Brashsear says it has been many years in the works. The location is right off his bar. Today, Brashear is prepping up the area by building a walkway.

We have the Hilton hotel, we have La Quinta, we have Claytons, we have the fishing pier, and on this side they are going to build a Courtyard Marriot.  You’ll be able to step out of your hotel room.  Grab a fishing pole and come out to fishing pier from any of these properties.

This 3 million dollar project is belongs solely to Brashear. I reached out to the city and they commented that their only involvement would be to ensure he has the right permits and that they cannot directly comment on its status.

There has been other people off and on that have floated the idea, off the top of my head I can’t say… I can’t remember who they were, but the idea isn’t novel to Clayton.

The biggest concern with building a fishing pier is that you cannot insure the structure. So when Clayton says ‘I’m going to build a fishing pier on the gulf, I can’t get insurance for it.

And even then, it will take a year or more to complete. The project has to be done in 2 phases because of ecological reasons, meaning construction will stop to wait for the indigenous turtles.

Anytime you put a structure into the water you’re going to interfere with the North South Shore current which is going to have an effect somewhere farther up or further down the coast.  

Because previous piers were government owned the funds for repair often times took too long before locals took wood to make beach fires.  Those piers that had been privately owned could not afford to repair them before locals took the wood again.  This new pier will be a wooden structure.  Nothing guarantees that this pier will not have the same tragic end

There is a little more commerce than there was in the 60’s so it will warrant any type of repair to the structure.

In this case, only time will tell if this is will become a good spot to reel in the fish.

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