Privately-Owned Holly Beach Now Off Limits to Fishermen
HOLLY BEACH – Holly Beach, on the shores of the Laguna Madre has been a favorite for fishermen for decades.
Their time fishing there may be up.
It's Jesse Vallejo's favorite fishing spot. He's been going there almost every weekend, for the past 15 years. He doesn't mind making the 35-minute drive from his home near San Benito to Holly Beach.
"It's nice and calm over there, you can fish all morning (for) reds, trout, flounder," Vallejo said.
Much to his surprise, this past weekend, when he arrived ready for some kayak fishing, he was greeted by several signs warning him to stay away.
"(They said) 'No trespassing.' Everywhere we used to dock-off on kayak, it's closed," Vallejo said. "To take the boat, it takes more money. (You have to) buy fuel, pay the docking fees and all that, it costs more."
We met another kayak fisherman at Holly Beach. He didn't want to speak on camera but told CHANNEL 5 NEWS, he's been going there for 30 years. He was just as surprised to see the 'Private Property' signs, go up from one day to the other.
Cameron County and even Texas Department of Transportation officials confirmed the area is not their jurisdiction.
Texas Parks and Wildlife Captain James Dunks told CHANNEL 5 NEWS the area is not state property. Like the other 97 percent of Texas land, he said, Holly Beach is privately owned.
Landowners always have the right to keep people away, he added, even if they haven't in the past. He said the dumping and trash left by those visiting the beach, may have been a factor.
Vallejo is disappointed.
"Help us out, give us a place to fish," Vallejo said. "They've been closing down a lot of spots that are easy to access, and now it's getting even harder."
He'll have to start paying the approximate $100 to take his boat to fish somewhere else, instead of his kayak to Holly Beach.
Capt. Dunks said since those signs are posted now, those caught fishing there without the owner's permission can be arrested.
CHANNEL 5 NEWS tracked down a name and address for the listed property owner. We went to their home, but no one was there to answer our questions regarding this closure.