It was a chilly, gray December day when the Coast Monthly crew set out with Fred Diamond in a flat-bottomed boat aimed toward his fish camp on Christmas Bay.
As we motored through the chop, I couldn’t help but remember how much warmer I had been months before when the journey to Christmas Bay began. I had been enjoying barbecue with family in Austin when I’d first heard about Diamond’s fish camp.
Some among those assembled Hill Country kin at that August dinner party are avid anglers and hunters. I had casually mentioned I was in search of authentic fish camps and cabins for a feature I had been turning around in my mind for some time.
One of the party told me about Diamond and his very rustic cabin in Christmas Bay. This was a place without flourish or frill, meant for the serious angler. I was intrigued.
Diamond and his three sons built the cabin raised high in the bay. It’s theirs exclusively to use, but it doesn’t belong to them. The family is allowed use of it through a highly restricted Texas General Land Office lease.
Diamond on that cold December afternoon was a gracious host and guide. It was apparent as he spread out photos of family, guests and their catches, many happy memories had been made there.
Such rustic camps are becoming rare as storms wipe them out and more people opt for luxurious properties to spend their leisure time. But it’s good to know that Diamond’s camp is still standing and that no matter how much fish camps and cabins evolve, they’re all places to relax and enjoy the Texas Coast.
Coast Monthly would like to thank our young cover model, Landon Johnston, 6, for helping us to capture the pure joy of fishing for this edition.
We’d also like to thank his parents, Shane and Shannon Johnston of League City, for driving Landon to Sportsman Road on Galveston on a Saturday morning when it was 29 F, with wind chill far south of that.
Landon, who has been fishing since he was 4, was a good sport. In fact, it was clear he was more interested in fishing than photographs.
His favorite fish to catch? “Bass. Because they’re big.”
We’d also like to thank Sand ‘N Sea Properties and owners of Tranquility Bay Cottage, 12010 Sportsman Road, for use of the house as the backdrop for the cover photo. The home has panoramic bay and wetland views and a private T-head fishing pier.