News, Fishing Reports, and Chamber Chat

If you have any news articles relevant to our community, or if you are a chamber member and would like to provide written content, news, or articles about your line of business, please contact us!

Picture by Susan Winfield Braudway

Chamber Chat – October 2019

Sitting here writing the Chamber Chat, I can see our first real cool front headed our way, very dark back over towards Port Lavaca. Hope no one is on Matagorda Bay, it can turn so dangerous very quickly. I think everyone has been looking forward to a little break in theweather, this front is pretty much on target, as the County Fair is October 12-18th and more times than not, it’s nasty weather. Hope all went out and supported our local 4-H youth.

The Port O’Connor School Halloween Carnival will be held on October 26th, 4-6:30 pm at our local school grounds, with the young and old being able to join in the with their costumes. Come out and support this event, as this is one of the prime money raisers for our school. It’s an old fashioned family event, lots of fun for all ages.

Then on 26th following the Carnival, there will be a “TRUNK or TREAT” on Park Avenue, lining up along King Fisher Park, this will take place 7  -8:30 pm. Mary Francis Bauer started this event 3 years ago and it has turned out to be a big hit with all, THANKS to her for her time and energy to promote this. Just park and decorate your golf cart, vehicle, tent or whatever and give out TREATS to the little spooks and goblins. The best decorated will receive a prize of $100.00.

It’s not too early to start planning your entry in the 2nd Annual Golf Cart Scavenger Hunt… this event will help you promote your business.  This is scheduled for November 30th, 10 am-4 pm. Last year was a great turnout and looking for a bigger and better success this year.

Next meeting November 11th–6:30 pm–Port O’Connor Community Center—COME OUT AND GET INVOLVED IN YOUR COMMUNITY!!!  Check us out on Facebook & Instagram

New & Renewed Members:

  • FishHide Sportsware

Congratulations to Port O’Connor Chamber of Commerce Scholarship Recipients!!

Congratulations to Jailyn Ramirez and Justin Munsch!! Jailyn and Justin were the recipients of 2018 Port O’Connor Chamber of Commerce Scholarship. Jailynn plans to attend the University of Houston Victoria, majoring in Business as an Ultrasound Technician. Justin plans for the first two years to Attend Victoria College majoring in Business Management Associates, Major in Construction Science and a Minor in Agricultural Business. We wish both recipients the best of luck in their academic future!

Crawfish Fest & Cookoff Recap

What an AMAZING day it turned out to be for the 7th Annual POC Crawfish Fest & Cookoff!! The weather was beautiful, a little windy, but it felt so good! With the much larger, beautiful new beach we have, we were able to capture the horseshoe contest and Crawfish eating contest in the sand! Many were able to take their beach chairs & canopies to the sand and enjoy the festivities waterside.

This year’s entertainment lineup started with an 8-piece Cajun zydeco band, who traveled all the way from Wichita, Kansas, to join us here in POC.  They put on an energetic and invigorating zydecajun show, with a tinge of country that truly made you want to dance. Thank you to Empire Lodge for providing their lodging, where the Mudbugs gave a private performance the night before the festival. Our headliner this year was Bri Bagwell, a fixture on the Texas Country scene. Bri took time to enjoy the Crawfish festivities before she put on an awesome show, along with her pup on stage! Thank you to our own Scott Brown for arranging and making our music and sound production show so fabulous!

Our Cooking competitors increased this year from 32 teams to 40. The competition was fierce and fun! Our winner of the Best Overall Boiled Crawfish was team Heads or Tails, Team La Famille De Ecrevisse took Second Place, and Third place went to Seaux Cajun. For Best Side Dish, the winner was La Famille De Ecrevisse, for the Cheesy Crawfish Etouffee Balls. Second place Side Dish was team Heads or Tails and 3rd place went to Crawfish Lives Matter. There were a variety of side dishes submitted and believe me, this is the category you want to be a judge in!! Another contest that is original and creative is the Bloody Mary contest. There were some Bloody Mary’s entered that could have been an entire meal!  Bloody Mary’s are judged on presentation and taste. This year’s winner (AGAIN!) goes to La Famille De Ecrevisse, and this is their 4th time for this team winning this category. Although, there are judge’s for Crawfish, festival goers also have a choice to pick their favorite. The People’s Choice award this year went Empire Lodge of POC. Best Decorated Booth was won by the Spicy Shack. Along with the cooking contests, we also had a Crawfish Eating Contest, sponsored by POC Rod & Gun. Winners were 1st Place, Taylor Shank, 2nd Place Willie Kandis, and 3rd Place Jade Alford. Another favorite was the Horseshoe Tournament, with Dwayne and Terri Twoomey taking the win.


This Crawfish Festival is the only fundraising event that the Port O’Connor Chamber of Commerce currently puts on. With any fundraiser, sponsors and donators are the backbone to making a successful profit for a non-profit organization. With that being said, we would like to thank the following sponsors:

Platinum Sponsors

Hartman Distributing, Armadillo Portable Toilets, Empire Lodge, TISD and Republic Waste

Gold Sponsors

Schoppas, United Rentals, and The Alexander Family

Silver Sponsors

The Two RV  Park, Green & McElreath CPA’s, Roberts Ranch Investments, Beacon 44 Seafood Market, POC Rod & Gun, First National Bank, Port Lavaca Auto Group, The Texas Fin,  Sonny’s Marine, Charmed by Port O’Connor, Los Ranchos Marron

Bronze Sponsors

Tigrett Real Estate, The Simon Family, Action Welding, Fowler Construction, Trinchero Family Estates, Big Fisherman Boat & RV Storage, Dawn Ragusin LLC, The Ebner Family, Jeco’s Marine, The Kniepp Family

Event Sponsors

Barnes Appraisal, Donald Goldman, The Craig Williams Family, Rain King, Ozarka Water, Designs by Darla, Captain Quarters, Cathy’s Restaurant, Michael & Peggy Macha, JMF & Cantina


Fall Fishing is HERE!

Fall is the very best time to fish in Port O’Connor and the Texas Coast in general.

Fall fishing courtesy of All Seasons Guide Service.

The weather is cool, the wind is not too cumbersome, water levels are optimal, it isn’t too crowded, and the fish are hungry!

As the water cools, movement increases. The redfish in the bay that reach sexual maturity begin moving into the gulf from all the hidden corners of our bay system. They will move through cuts, passes, piers, and often eat anything that happens to fall in their paths.

The food sources for redfish and trout are also on the move. Shrimp and small crabs are very active in October and November. This is all part of the salt water food chain, since cooler water temperatures mean more oxygen and food sources can thrive. In the fall all the way up into December the water is not so cold that fish slow down, they will not normally get sluggish until water temperatures dip closer to about sixty degrees fahrenheit or lower.

Fall is a GREAT time to be here. I recommend preparing for a coastal ‘seafood’ Thanksgiving by fishing as much as you can, and then feasting on the catches during your Thanksgiving holiday, on the coast of course!

Chamber Chat October 2017

Pullin Premium BBQ
Vantage Marine
JP Nancy Pomykal
Coastal Cleaning

It’s that BOO! time again, as a tradition in Port O’Connor, the only night children will Trick or Treat will be the night of the School Halloween Carnival, October 28th, following the carnival will be Trunk or Treat at King Fisher Park 7-9 pm.
The best decorated scene will receive $100.00. Please watch for the little goblins as some will be out and about in the neighborhoods.

Also it’s not to early to start making plans for upcoming events for the rest of the year. December 2nd. will be the Annual Lighted Boat Parade, if you need info or details give Bill Tigrett a call–361-983-2671. December the 8th will be Annual Chamber Christmas Party and election of 2018 officers and directors. Invite is not for members only, but for anyone that wishes to attend, only members may vote in the election. Party will be at the Sanctuary Development.

Now is the time to start planning your setup for “TRUNK or TREAT” which will be located at King Fisher Park, Saturday – October 28th taking place at 7 p.m.. Decorate your trunk or area around your vehicle and handout goodies for the little goblins. THANKS goes out to Mary Francis Bauer of 10th Street Lodge for heading up this event, they had a great turn out last year and so much Fun!!!

A Big Thank You to Rev. William Barwis & Roger Williams who is affiliated with The Salvation Army, these gentlemen brought some supplies to the Seniors of our community ,this past week. Everyone have a safe Halloween, next meeting. November 13th, 6:30 pm, at the POC Community Center.

Chamber Chat September 2017

Harvey has Come and Gone!

So much has happened in Port O’Connor since the last Chamber Chat. Last month I was talking about how Port O’Connor has so many new citizens and how much we’ve grown. Well, everyone had a chance to come together with Harvey coming into the Gulf. Neighbors helping neighbors, if someone needed something, an item or physical help, someone was there to help.

I’m proud to be a part of this community and know others feel this way also. Yes, we had some damage, but by some miracle, it was nothing to what could have been. Yes, we were without electricity and sewer for a period of time, but everyone managed and became stronger. The businesses had some damages also, but most are are now back open. The mosquitoes were getting quite bad and a wonderful person with a crop duster went out of his way and sprayed POC, next morning another miracle, 99% of mosquitoes were gone. POC has so much to be Thankful for.

Now is the time to start planning your setup for “TRUNK or TREAT” which will be located at King Fisher Park, Saturday -October 28th taking place at 7 p.m.. Decorate your trunk or area around your vehicle and handout goodies for the little goblins. THANKS goes out to Mary Francis Bauer of 10th Street Lodge for heading up this event, they had a great turn out last year and so much Fun!!!

New and Renewed Memberships:
Lowtide Guide Service
Coastal Bend Marine

– LaJune

Hurricane Harvey Updates!


80% of all power is restored, ETA on full power restoration is Friday 9/1. For updates on power click here.
– Local phone lines are up and running
– Dusk to Dawn Curfew is still in effect for all of Calhoun County – anyone caught past curfew will be fined $500 – no ETA on when this will be lifted.
– Water and sewage is restored.
– Speedy Stop grocer and gas station is open.
– Port Lavaca is still mostly without power.
– Some roads and highways may still be obstructed by debris – there is a lot of cleanup to be done, travel safe.

IN Port Lavaca:
* U.S. National Guard is providing ice, water at MRE’s (meals ready to eat) at the Calhoun County High School Parking Lot.
* Every intersection with a traffic light is a 4 WAY STOP.
* If you are moving limbs to the curbside, please honor 4 foot length restriction of limbs so as not to delay pickup
* The First United Methodist Church is accepting items for distribution to those in need. Please contact local churches for additional information regarding disaster assistance.
* Please be patient at fueling stations around town as they open up and do not allow road rage or impatience to cause a disturbance or invite law enforcement intervention.
* Do not in any way impede utility crews as they attempt to restore power.

– 8/30/2017

Hurricane Harvey’s impact on Port O’Connor could have been far worse! As of now power is starting to come back online, water is coming back online, and most buildings are undamaged. Local hard-wired phone lines are still down, but most cell phone reception is working.
Water and sewage has been restored today.
Speedy Stop is now open for business.

The wind damage did not affect most buildings to any major degree. However some sheds, boat stalls, and trailers/RV’s sustained heavy damage – but this is scattered and seemingly very random.

The flood damage is minimal, but buildings near or on the Intracoastal Canal may have experienced flooding due to storm surge. If you have a house or property on the canal only a visual inspection will reveal the extent of any damage, but most boats are safely moored in their stalls or in the docks.

If you are not signed up on facebook, you’ll notice the panel to the left has regular facebook updates from people on the ground in POC and calhoun county. Port Lavaca seems to have been impacted by flooding far more than Port O’Connor.

Port O’Connor was not impacted at anywhere near the level of Port Aransas, Rockport, and now Houston. Our hearts go out to our neighbors down in Rockport, Port Aransas, Houston, and any other area that experienced severe damage.

You should be able to safely travel into town if you wish.

Also – The Calhoun County Donations Center is now open until 4:00 p.m. Located at 814 N. San Antonio, Port Lavaca. (Methodist Church Fellowship Hall).

If you have questions about traveling through Calhoun County safely we recommend that you contact the Calhoun Co Sheriff’s Office at – 361.553.4646. While the streets of Port O’Connor are mostly fine for travel, other roads in the county may have debris or dangerous obstacles.

Overall, we are VERY fortunate that this storm did not affect Calhoun County in a catastrophic way.

Three Boating Tips for Port O’Connor on Holidays

Port O’Connor is coastal boating and fishing heaven. On holidays such as 4th of July weekend, Memorial Day, Labor Day, and fishing tournaments such as Poco Bueno, boating for the purpose of pure recreation (rather than fishing) often becomes the primary focus. Here are three tips that will keep you safe, lower the stress level, and allow you to have more fun.

1. Be Prepared and Safety Minded

The first tip is common sense, but it is human nature to become a bit lackadaisical when we are on vacation. Be sure that you are adhering to all the regulations by having enough life jackets (and making kids wear them), water, lights, and other safety gear on your boat. Best case scenario is that the Coast Guard fines you for not having these requirements, worst case is that someone comes to harm because you neglected to prepare.

2. Know Right of Way and Marine Navigation Rules

In Port O’Connor we have all sizes and types of water-craft. We also have many narrow passages, canals, and tight areas where boat traffic can bottle-neck. Just like on the road, you should know the right of way rules for the water. Generally, just like on U.S. roads, we move to the right or starboard when approaching another boat head-on. When crossing the path of another vessel, if they are to the right of you they have the right of way, if they are to the left, you have the right of way; however if they are not yielding you still have an obligation to avoid collision.

You should also yield right of way to less mobile watercraft such as kayaks, sailboats, and especially barges (everyone should give right of way to a barge as they cannot change course or slow down in time to avoid you). That being said, paddle craft such as kayaks should never linger in the center of a heavily trafficked passage, and always stay on the edges. If five incoming boats have to change course to avoid your kayak lingering in the middle of a passage you risk the safety of everyone in the area; mostly your own.
Maritime College Right of Way Rules

3. Know Your Route

Port O’Connor waters are full of sandbars, bayous, and other obstacles. But if you know your route these can be avoided every time. If you are not sure how to get to a popular destination such as Sunday Beach, follow someone who knows the route, both to and from, that destination, or have someone come along who is familiar with the route. A Holiday is generally not the time to learn your way around the bay on your own.

For most people, boating in Port O’Connor is the highlight of their holiday. Port O’Connor is a place to relax, slow down, and have fun. There is no real need to be in a huge hurry to get anywhere, use that attitude to help keep you safe and stress-free.

-Alan Raby

Chamber Chat June 2017

Kids Fishing Tournament and Kite Flying Contest

Summer is here, school is out and traffic in Port O’Connor has increased. Always following Memorial Day, it starts getting crazy here. All the Memorial Day weekend activities were such a success. King Fisher Park & Beach was overflowing with people enjoying fun and summer activities.

Coming up next is the Annual Fireworks Display, July 1st, 2017; less than a month, so if you haven’t made plans now is the time to do so. The Chamber depends on donations to make this event possible.

EVERY DONATION COUNTS, NOTHING TOO SMALL OR LARGE. I hear this year’s display will be another fantastic event!!!!

The Chamber will be sending out emails, reminding the businesses that have not renewed their 2017 memberships, now is the time to renew, to avoid being deleted from

Membership for a business is only $65.00, in the last week I have had 3 calls for phone numbers of businesses that are not members and my replies had to be, sorry they are not members, so I can’t give information. Missing a single customer would have paid membership, so get involved and get your info out there.

July meeting will be 7-10-2017, 6:30 p.m.@ Port O’Connor Community Center. everyone welcome, come out and get involved in the community.

Renewed Members:

  • Family Affair Creations/ Butler’s Landing
  • Josie’s Mini Mart
  • Liberty Arms Boat & R.V. Storage
  • Virgil & Ursula Price
  • Port O’Connor Service Club


Crawfish Festival 2017 Winners!

With such a great crawfish festival we had many winners of various categories. Some of the winners are still anonymous. Listed here are the known winners!

Boiled Crawfish:

1st place – Pinchin Tails
2nd place – Bad News Beers
3rd place- Coastal Oak Cowboys

Crawfish Eating Contest:

1st place – Cody Spencer
2nd place – Garrett Wygyrs
3rd place- Cole Rossi

Best Side Dish which was Crawfish Fried Rice went to Boggy Boilers.
Best Decorated Booth went to Teresa’s Chicks & Crawfish.
Best Bloody Mary went to Beer, Babes, and Bugs.
People’s Choice award went to Toasted Cookers.

If you would like to see updates about winners for the Crawfish Festival or stay updated on next year’s event, feel free to follow the POC Crawfish Festival Facebook page.

Chamber Chat May 2017

“THANKS” to everyone that has volunteered their time and energy to help make the events that the Chamber of Commerce sponsors, such big and successful projects. The Crawfish Festival was a “HUGE SUCCESS”, seems every year this event gets Bigger & Better. So many wonderful teams competing and the many vendors showing what they have to offer.

The Chamber is now gearing up for the Memorial Day Kids Fishing Tournament on May 27th, tournament beginning at 9 a.m., participants must register and get name tag before beginning to fish, ages 3-12, bait will be furnished by Beacon 44 Seafood, trophies will be given to winners of categories, tournament ending at 11 a.m. Beginning around 1 p.m. will be the Annual Kite Contest, all ages welcome, you may use store bought or homemade kites.Trophies also presented at this event. Make sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and enjoy a family fun filled day.

The Chamber received one application for a $500.00 scholarship. McKenzie Stringo was has been awarded the scholarship. Congratulation’s!!! Just a friendly reminder, the 2017 membership applications were put in the mail on March 1st, several haven’t renewed, we want you as a member so if you have overlooked this, please renew so your business will not be taken off the website.

Next meeting June 12th, 6:30 p.m., Port O’Connor Community Center. 361-983-2898

Renewed Members:

  • Back Bay Guide Service
  • The Two R. V. Park
  • Bubba’s Smoked Meats
  • The Law Office of Jane Lane, PC
  • Capt. Kirk Morgan Guide Service
  • Jack’s Car Wash
  • BB Upholstery LLC
  • Robyn Alan B Roberts
  • S & J R. V. Park & Storage Lot
  • John’s Firework’s Super Store
  • Inn at Clark’s
  • Dolphin’s by the Bay R.V. Park
  • The Treasure Chest
  • Fishbeck Rentals/Tri-County Realty LLC
  • Ron & Patti Elkins
  • Roger & Karen Krause
  • Mary Ann Claiborne
  • Friends of the Port O’Connor Library
  • Dane & Judy Whitworth
  • Hurricane Junction
  • Port O’Connor Service Club-LaJune

Chamber Chat April 2017

Hope everyone is looking forward to attending the 5th Annual Crawfish Festival. Plans are coming together, with lots of cookers competing and many vendors showcasing there eats, drink and many wonderful & unique items for sale, so bring the chairs, blankets & plenty of sunscreen and make this a family day for all. If you have a couple ours to volunteer, please email Mary Jo– or Darla–, they will find a job for you, plus your help will be appreciated.

Then coming May 27th, if you have children ages 3-12, plan on entering them in the Annual Kids Fishing Tournament, entry is free and bait will be furnished, time 9-11 a.m. at King Fisher Park, THANKS to Donnie Klesel for heading up this project. Beginning around 1 p.m. will be the Annual Kite Contest, welcome all ages, also may have homemade or bought kites, THANKS to James & Shirley Harper and Ronnie Ragusin for heading up this contest.

If you are not a member of the Chamber, we welcome your membership, the Chamber is here for the community & businesses.

Renewed Members:

  • American Inn & Suites
  • Marty’s Landing & Mama’s Pizza
  • Rhoe Builders
  • Bob Bonar/ State Farm
  • Hammertime Guide Service
  • Designs by Darla
  • POC Hardware & Supply LLC
  • Port O’Connor Rentals
  • Coastal Boat Services
  • Sonny’s Marine
  • POC Electric, LLC
  • R & R Guide Service
  • Texas Saltwater Magazine
  • All Season’s Guide Service
  • Bacon 44 Seafood Market
  • Beacon 44 R. V. Park
  • Capt. Tom Horbey
  • 10th Street Lodge
  • Junek Consulting
  • Doyle Adams
  • Robbie & Marie Hawes
  • Steve & Susan Gumina
  • Shane & Susan Simon
  • Carol Fox
  • Steve & Shelley Ferguson
  • POC R.V. Park
  • Green & Mc Elreath CPA PLLC-LaJune

Chamber Chat March 2017

By the time you read this the 2017 Spring Break in our area will have started and be coming to an end, following this will be the beginning of our busy season in our little secret on the gulf coast. Also, this month is the kick off for the 2017 Chamber memberships, applications were in the mail March 1st., if you are a business and not a member.

I encourage you to join, as a member you will benefit in several ways, one being that when contacted the Chamber will recommend your business, I had a call yesterday from a lady that wanted to purchase her grandchildren a gift certificate to a restaurant while in Port O’Connor for Spring Break. We have 2 restaurants as members, so these were the only ones recommended. I can think of 4 others, but could not recommend, had they been members I would have recommened them also , this one customer would have paid the dues for the year. So consider getting involved, we also need all individuals involved and becoming a member to work towards the betterment of our community.

Coming up will be the Annual Crawfish Festival on April 28th, if you have some time to donate, please do not hesitate to contact us, still needing some extra hands. Also looking forward to a Bigger & Better than before Annual Kids Fishing Tournament–ages 3-12– followed by Annual Kite Flying Contest, the kites can be store bought or home made–all ages. Tournament beginning at 9 a.m. & Kite Contest around 1 p.m. Make sure to bring plenty of sun screen.

Renewed Members:

  • Port Lavaca Chamber of Commerce
  • Bay Flats Lodge
  • William & Connie Wooldridge
  • Siegeler Insurance Agency, Inc.
  • Poco Loco Lodge
  • Tigrett Real Estate
  • Sign Works/Image Maker
  • Larry & Mary Vaughn
  • Arnold & Keiko Gordon
  • Ricki & Francey Mc Kinney
  • First National Bank
  • Allan & Brigid Berger
  • Bugman Inc.
  • Tom & Pat Ekstrom
  • Senator Lois W. Kolkhorst
  • Jim Vass
  • Roger & Karen Krause
  • Unlimited Logos, Inc.
  • Mike & Peggy Macha
  • Back Bay Guide Service
  • John & Frances Hamm
  • Cliff Blank Rentals
  • Gerald Clay & Karen Knight DDS
  • Bits & Marg Braudaway
  • Britton & Susan Braudaway
  • Krenek Fence Company-LaJune

2017 Board and Director Nomination Time

Dear Members,

The Port O’Connor Chamber of Commerce’s purpose is to promote the economic existence of our community. As you well know, Tourism is the main industry in our community, and we work to increase the prosperity by promoting our members’ businesses, improving our civic environment and to create a better climate for attracting tourists to our area.

Our Board member election will be held at our Annual meeting (Christmas Party) on December 12, 2016. The Port O’Connor Chamber of Commerce elects 5 new incoming board members annually. This position is for a 2-year term, to commence in January, 2017. We are seeking nominations for new board members this year, as to replace the outgoing members. These nominees should exhibit a desire to serve, coupled with a desire to support the organization through committee activity and involvement in the events sponsored by the organization. We are looking for someone highly motivated, willing to attend monthly meetings, a community leader, and committed to the furtherance of the Chamber objectives.

If you, or someone you know, would like to be a member of our team, please provide the name and phone number below. Deadline for this nomination should be returned to the Chamber by December 1, 2016, as to allow us time to ensure this person accepts this nomination and understands the commitment we are looking for.

If you have any questions regarding the qualifications, activities, committee’s or any other information, please feel free to contact us at any time at 361-983-2898. Please join us at our monthly meeting to see just what all we do. We are always looking for volunteers, even if you prefer not to be on the board. We look forward to seeing and hearing from you soon!!!

Please make your nomination HERE.

Port O’Connor Chamber of Commerce

1st Annual Trunk or Treat Winners!

The first annual Trunk or Treat was a great success.

Overall winner–Darla Parker and Michelle Davis
Runner Up–Hurricane Junction
Honorary–POC Coastguard

Thank you to all who came out and participated. Please post and share your pictures on Facebook if you have them.