Austin isn’t on the Gulf of Mexico. In fact, it’s a couple hour drive before we can even smell the Gulf. But it’s still our home waters and the closest place to grab a wave and feel the sigh of relief that comes whenever you go to some spot on the coast. The Gulf has always held a special place in our collective hearts because of the strange and cool culture that seems to grow up along its banks. Anyone that’s ever been to Key West or New Orleans can certainly vouch for the strangeness. But there’s also an amazing natural world along the Gulf. Birds, animals, reefs, fish, oysters and a million reptiles and snakes. We love all this stuff and wanted to pay a little homage to it with our Gulf Destinations collection for this spring and summer.
Howler founder Chase Heard put his mighty pen to paper and drew a selection of these cool destinations - Apalachicola, Key West, Campeche, Yucatan, Espiritu Santo, Dry Tortugas, Cuba - in the style of an old sea map. It turned out super cool and timeless. We asked a few of Howler Ambassadors to share their favorite place in the Gulf. Here’s what they had to say…
Colby Crossland - Yucatan
“All summer the anticipation builds and when the temperature starts to drop I know it's time to get on a plane and fly over The Gulf of Mexico to touch down in the Yucatan. The Mayan Coast is where I want to be. Spicy food, kind people, great tacos, beautiful flats, amazing al pastor, and missed shots on permit; it's just where I am, when I am who I want to be.”
Curt Hamby - New Orleans
“New Orleans is one of my favorite November trips with my favorite local guide buddy in his favorite local spots. Shooting teal in the morning, catching BIG bull reds in the afternoon and a few trout! Duck and trout on the grill with some fresh oysters, can’t wait for fall! Head down to Tipitinas for some brass band music for some NOLA nightlife and hit the beignets at Cafe Monde before my flight back home is a great trip for me!”
Kameron Brown - New Orleans
“The finest shrimp Po Boy I ever did have..... and the 'not-so-finest' Blue Drinks served in a fish bowl...”
Patrick Duke - Yucatan
“Margs at the airport, road trips in white vans, roadside al pastor, Victoria micheladas with my hermanos, early morning panga rides and tailing permit.”
JT Van Zandt - Apalachicola
“Beautiful little town on the forgotten coast of Florida. Little pastel colored farmhouses built in the mid 1800s surround the square. Seabirds float on the warm wind under the salty sunshine while the pines lean inland. An amazing tributary that flows into the Gulf of Mexico, the Apalachicola River and all of its fingers feed the sea with a tea stained Pineywood forests full of bears and deer. The Tarpon bite well and the old culture is true gulf coast America preserved in time”
Honson Lau - Cayo Hueso
“Beyond the rich history and debauchery lies vast shallow water flats teaming with bonefish, permit, and tarpon. This is a fly fisherman's paradise to one who seeks to pursue seemingly unpressured fish without having to travel to an exotic destination. The night life here brings a "come one come all" feel from scenic family dinners to derelict adventures. Some of my younger years were spent here crawling into a skiff at 6am after 30 minutes of shut eye. What happens in Cayo Hueso... stays on the skiff the next day.”
Christiaan Pretorius - Apalachicola
"I have fond memories of soft shell crabs with Brett Martina and jumping Tarpon on Mangum’s skiff."