Freeport, Texas, is about as close to the Gulf of Mexico as a city can get, with no bay system between the two. The only city in Texas closer to the deep waters of the Gulf might be Galveston, which, of course, is on an island actually in the Gulf. Although the ICW does split the city from the Gulf, Freeport’s official city limits encompass Bryan Beach. This situation has long made Freeport a mecca for blue-water fishermen. Bridge Harbor Marina & Yacht Club has long been considered the location from which to embark on such trips, as the marina is located on the ICW, just a short run from the Freeport jetties and offshore waters. When Carl Vaughn owned Bridge Harbor, it expanded from mostly boat docks to include luxury condos, a main building with a ships store, restaurant, pool with swim-up bar, a private club, a full-service boatyard, boat sales, and even tennis courts. The most serious billfish boats in the area were located at Bridge Harbor, and the most prestigious tournaments were held there.
Although parts of the marina damaged by Hurricane Ike were renovated, the more recent history of the marina has seen absentee owners not really neglect the property but stop expanding and improving services. This period seems about to end, as new owners Howard and Michelle Andrews of Sugar Land, Texas, are set to embark on a new look for the facility. Mr. Andrews attended fishing tournaments and other activities at the yacht club with family members in his younger days, and like many of us he dreamed of one day having such a place of his own.