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By Chubs
#2253968
So I was reading that other post on winter fishing spots, and saw the topic of the San Bernard river.

Something has always intrigued me about this river. When I look at it on Google earth through the history slider, I see the river used to connect to the ocean.
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Then at some point it shifts over and eventually peters out.
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Then it opens to the ocean again
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And shortly after it peters out again.
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I had to look into it to see what was up and found some interesting history about the area I had no idea about.

Seems it silted up initially due to diversion of the Brazos back 90 years ago. in 2005 it completely silted up. They dredged it open back in 2009.
https://tpwmagazine.com/archive/2009/dec/ed_1/

But the article ends in 2009. Looking into more info, looks like the river silted back up eventually and the politicians who had originally help get it cleared were out of office and with them went the support and the dredging equipment.

Seems they are looking to reopen it again and even got a grant for this year:
http://thefacts.com/news/article_34f72a ... l#comments

Cool.

Here is the communities website:
http://www.sanbernardriver.com/mouth.php

How is the fishing there now with the river mouth closed again? I kinda see it's not a great place in summer which makes sense with the little amount of salt water inflow they would get.
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By karstopo
#2253973
If the river intrigues you, by all means fish it. Don’t miss out on the joy of discovery. Sure, countless others have fished the river and every other speck of tidal water up and down the coast, but no one has or will fish it exactly like you and most importantly, you haven’t fished there so it will be a discovery.

Can someone catch a lot of fish there? Yes, of course. Can one get skunked there? Yep, that’s true, too.

Will you be alone? Probably not. The river sees a fair amount of boat traffic including the occasional barge.
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By Slayer21
#2253975
TKF guy TGuff used to slam the crap out of trout on that river and post on here all the time, but looks like he ran off along with a ton of others.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
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By Yaklash
#2253978
Cool. I just always assumed the re-opening coincided with big tropical storms like Alicia and Ike or by major floods like Harvey.

I have a buddy whose parents have a place a few miles upstream from the ICW. Unfortunately, he cared more about skiing and wakeboarding than he did fishing....much to my chagrin. On the plus side, most of his big parties there were heavily attended by females looking for fun in the sun and his GF had some super attractive friends.
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By Chubs
#2253999
It sounds like a neat place. I'm actually interested in paddling to see the sanded up river mouth but I'd be surprised if fish are in that dead end. Would still probably be neat though.

It's on my list of places to fish in the next few months if I get the time so I was just curious how other kayakers have done there.

If they do get the mouth reopened it might be good to have some hotspots scouted out already too :)
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By crusher
#2254006
A pretty basic understanding of longshore drift along our coastline largely explains how our Gulf rivers, inlets, passes and peninsula's come and go along the coast through the centuries. Adding some man-made features to the coastline are going to normally be either temporary or expensive to upkeep and likely to lead to some unintended consequences any descent geologist or geomorphologist could predict.

As for fishing - post a report if you ever go there.
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By karstopo
#2254009
Chubs wrote:It sounds like a neat place. I'm actually interested in paddling to see the sanded up river mouth but I'd be surprised if fish are in that dead end. Would still probably be neat though.

It's on my list of places to fish in the next few months if I get the time so I was just curious how other kayakers have done there.

If they do get the mouth reopened it might be good to have some hotspots scouted out already too :)


If you put in the word “Bernard” in the search feature of fishing reports you will get 300 plus matches. There’s tons of information in there if you want to read about the “dead” end of the river. tguff fished and reported about that area extensively and even had a tournament down there a few years ago.

viewtopic.php?f=8&t=210565&p=2013377&hilit=Bernard#p2013377

The above is one of my reports from the mouth from a few winters ago.
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By Yaklash
#2254031
BTW, if you want to experience the mouth of a river in that area where it empties into the Gulf, the Brazos might be of interest to you. It involves driving two and a half miles on the beachfront, beyond where the county road dead ends onto the beach, so proceed with caution or a 4x4. I would also caution that the currents where the river mixes with tides of the Gulf can sometimes be dangerous. It can, however, be a very good place to fish. For me, wading either side of the mouth (with a PFD of course) in the surf on a fairly flat/calm day when the tide is flowing out, can be as good as Rollover as far as surf fishing. That Quintana beach shoreline can all be good, but there at the mouth of the Brazos is the best.
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By Crusader
#2254039
I am compelled to comment: even though I practically never wear PFD and laugh inside every time I see these "concern parties" on forums about how PFD could save your life -- you should always wear PFD if you paddle places with moving water: passes, rivers, etc. Freak occurrence might immobilize you (e.g. fell in water, snagged your jacket on a log) and moving water will drown you regardless how good swimmer you are. Water is very heavy and if it gets a decent area to press against -- you won't be able to fight it. I am in a very good shape, competitive swimmer in the past and water is my second home. But for BtB, major passes, river mouths, places like Livingston dam -- I always wear one. If you are typical average Joe (i.e. overweight and out of shape) or old enough -- you should wear it in a lot of other places too or (even better) get back in shape.

Having said that -- San Bernard river mouth doesn't have any moving water... Well, may be a little :-) That area is one of my favorites: while it isn't crazy good fishing-wise -- it is compensated by lack of traffic. And if you paddle to Jones lakes or Cowtrap Lakes -- you are virtually guaranteed solitude and whole bunch of lakes chained together to explore. If you go down south (or better drive to Sargent, take the beach and drive N until you reach the cut) and fish around the cut and Cedar Lake Creek -- I've heard that area is pretty good. But it is too much driving for me.

Had an interesting event at that area in September last year -- tide was very low and Cedar lakes were empty, so I fished around entrance and along the edge of ICW. Water was about 1' deep. Passing barge sucked so much water out of the ICW edge that it created a torrent of water rushing out of shallows, dropping water level to about 2 inches. Water was dragging everything with it towards the barge and if it turns you sideways -- you'd have much harder time fighting it (especially in those ironclad-type kayaks like Hobie). Anyway, I ended up being "parked" on top of shell patch pointing my kayak into the current to reduce "drag" waiting for barge to pass by (and waiting for inevitable wake after it does). I could see every red on shallows -- each one was fighting current and was clearly visible as moving "hump" in the flowing water. One of them got so carried away with this, he got so close to me I reached out and touched it -- that scared him to bejesus, caused him to take off and almost beach himself. :D
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By Chubs
#2254050
Lol! That would have been funny to see.

Low boat traffic is sounding better and better :)

I personally wear my pfd all the time cause I strap my knife and pliers to it, and just cause I guess. And if I'm surf fishing near a cut I'll wear it too (thanks for the tip Yaklash). Actually Santa Claus got me a fishing life jacket I'm eager to try too, didn't think I'd be excited about wearing my life jacket heh.
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By larry long shadows
#2254112
Yaklash wrote:BTW, if you want to experience the mouth of a river in that area where it empties into the Gulf, the Brazos might be of interest to you. It involves driving two and a half miles on the beachfront, beyond where the county road dead ends onto the beach, so proceed with caution or a 4x4. I would also caution that the currents where the river mixes with tides of the Gulf can sometimes be dangerous. It can, however, be a very good place to fish. For me, wading either side of the mouth (with a PFD of course) in the surf on a fairly flat/calm day when the tide is flowing out, can be as good as Rollover as far as surf fishing. That Quintana beach shoreline can all be good, but there at the mouth of the Brazos is the best.

I had a girlfriend who was a surfer and we would take a canoe and paddle across the Brazos and gather driftwood. We would fill up canoe and she would paddle back to beach unload and come back.. anyway one trip back her ex who was a surfer also came back with her and helped gather wood he was a cool guy whom I'm still friends with .. Now heres the story we had their two small boys 4 an 6 years old and her teen daughter from her first husband.. we all had life vest accept her ex . When we were making last trip back to beach he was hanging on side of canoe swiming back with us... He ask her daughter if she wanted to swim back with him . She got in the water with him and they let the current take them out way out and they endened up swiming back in at the beach on the other side of river ... That scared the hell out of me
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By karstopo
#2254187
I remember wading a center console boat through the small surf at the mouth of the San Bernard. It was too shallow to get through otherwise. This was about 1980 before Alicia. There was no real channel through the surf at that time. I wonder what it was really like before the mouth of the Brazos was moved and the ICW was dug.

I cringe when we are out at the mouth of the Brazos and I see folks 100s of yards off Bryan beach wading out on the bar. I’ve waded the bar coming off the other side by jumping out of a boat into thigh deep water and it’s currently super shallow (was this summer) and protected by a offshore bar, but the Bryan beach side isn’t protected and sees plenty of wave action. Seems like in the summer, there’s usually a few boys or young men out there, of course, no pfd, and most with low body fat by the look of things. The kind that couldn’t float on a dare. They are going off memory to find their way back to the beach. I’m inclined to look over now and then to see if they are in trouble. I’ve heard of many stories of rescues and near misses out there from friends.

Even the mighty Brazos channel at the mouth gets real narrow during some of these drought periods. Even with the last couple of flood years, there is a pretty treacherous bar out there off the beach a bit to run when the surf is up. It’s hard to imagine the comparatively tiny San Bernard channel was ever always big, deep and open even prior to the all the man made changes out there, the ICW and relocation of the Brazos mouth. That Brazos mouth is always in a state of flux. It’s fun to look at the historical imagery from over just a few decades. The amount of image to image is easy to see.

But the dredging of the Bernard looks all set thanks to the BP settlement money. I wonder where the money will come from when the next round of dredging is needed?
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By WoodsWaterSky
#2254439
The river was opened all the way to the beach front by the flood waters during the last hurricane. You could paddle all the way to the breakers. With these low tides it would probably be a long walk to the surf now. A great deal of it was very shallow the closer you cot to the coast, for the exception of the channel. The high water did change things up a bit there as to be expected. Some of the promising features are gone... A lot of re deposition of sediment has occurred and requires getting reacquainted with the area. I was just there recently during low tide and had to walk where I used to could paddle.
It would be great to see the river dredged out again though.
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By Ultrastealth
#2254542
I went all the way back in there one spring day, and fished that whole area. I never had tap and never saw a fish. It just looked like a great area. The water was semi-clear, but a funny color. When I tasted it, there wasn't a hint of salt in it, and there hadn't been any recent rain. I'm sure that there are some good fish in there at times, but it's a crap shoot because of water salinity. Of course, if they dredge it, that would change everything.

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