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Rattlesnake sighting at the Port Aransas Jetty highlights importance of staying aware

Rattlesnakes can typically be found in the dunes, but one angler was given a scare of a lifetime when he spotted one staring back at him from the rocks of the jetty.

One angler has quite the whopper of a story after a fishing trip to Port Aransas, but it's not because of anything he reeled in. 

Instead, it's what he caught on camera that's turning heads and has him speaking out Wednesday about a hidden danger in plain sight -- rattlesnakes.

The south jetty is a prime fishing spot for anglers like Keith Kurwicki. He goes out on the rocks as much as he can, but his latest trip on Sunday with his wife turned up more than they bargained for.

"I've heard other people they've seen them right along the sand, never thought I would see one at the jetty," he said. 

Kurwicki said that he noticed something move as he dropped some bait in between the rocks. He said the rattlesnake was huge, but it never rattled or tried to strike -- it only stared at him.

The couple shared their story on social media to help alert others about the potential threat.

Cooper Davis enjoys diving along the jetty in Port Aransas. We found him and his brother there on Wednesday. They heard about the snake sighting, but were still walking over the rocks with ease.

"It is hot, hot enough for rattlesnakes and they're definitely going to be hiding in these rocks," he said. 

Cooper warns beachgoers that are not familiar with Coastal Bend waters to be vigilant when walking on the beach. He said that often times there's nothing to be afraid of. 

"As long as you leave them alone, they'll leave you alone," he said. 

Beachgoer Chad Mathis who goes by 'Wolf' told 3NEWS that caution can go a long way when dealing with things that are hard to spot.

"Just came from diving out there, had to crawl hands and knees over the rocks I just watch where I put my hands and my feet," he said.

Mathis said that snakes can easily be found in the area because of the rodents, and other natural prey that they can feed on. 

"Sure there are snakes here, they're here because there are rats here, its food," he said. "The rats are here because of the stuff that washes up.  They're nothing to worry about, they won't chase you, just don't stick your hand in a hole without looking first."

South Texas Botanical Garden and Nature Center Director Dr. Michael Womack said it is simply that time of year. Snakes are looking for those cool spots, whether that's out at the beach -- or even in your back yard.

"That means we have to be careful when we get into the garden," he said. 

Womack said look around and use a garden tool to poke the ground before you pull weeds. Look under objects and a good way to avoid snakes is to actually make your presence known to them.

"Make some noise snakes don't want to be around you, they don't want to hurt you its a defense mechanism," he said.

Womack said that not all snakes are venomous, and can actually help with pest control. You can learn more about those types of snakes at the nature center.

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