TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


Please visit our sponsor Slowride Guide Services
#2252119
Hey guys,

I've been lurking this forum for a while now scraping all the knowledge available here. I don't get to go fishing often, but I tried various methods, went in the wrong conditions, etc. and came up unsuccessful many times. But yesterday it all finally came together. Pulled in the biggest fish I've ever caught in my life (and first ever red drum!) in the surf near San Luis Pass. Had the whole family there to see it happen to boot. Pretty cool, thanks TKF. 8)

Oh yeah, and a quick question: I was catching a lot of good sized fish that I see a lot in the surf and I don't know if I'm identifying them correctly. I was calling them sand trout, but I don't think that's right. They have skin that feels like sandpaper and look like a whiting (from the photos I'm seeing online). The ones I've caught range in size from ~6-18 inches. Are these whiting?
Attachments
25151940_2011985758812403_3139726426615377566_n.jpg
24991129_2011985812145731_362215798910096337_n.jpg
#2252170
If the fish you are asking about are about 8"-14" golden brown fish that look like sepcs without spots those are sand trout like you said. Good eating if you catch and cook them quickly after dying. Donn't taste the same if you clean and freeze them.
Good job on the fish catching!
#2252174
Nice catches! On the fish question, if they have a few pointy teeth with a distinctive lateral line, those are sand trout. Otherwise, they are likely whiting or croaker. Whiting and croaker look similar with croaker looking more like a small red fish and whiting being leaner with small barbels on their chin. Both have stripes perpendicular to their body and croakers tend to loudly grunt while being handled.
#2252181
Oh okay thanks! I think that clears it up. I caught a few big Whiting then, I remember they did have that feature on their chin. I heard they're good to fry up so maybe I'll keep a few of those next time, I think I've got a pretty reliable method of catching them! Chicken Boy jig head with a shrimp or crab flavored Fishbites. They couldn't get enough. :D
#2252198
Nice red. :-) Just keep legal limits in mind -- (by default) you can keep only 1 red above 28" per year (and you have to attach your tag to it's tail asap). Fines are stiff -- like $500 per fish. A lot of reds caught in surf are over the slot -- on reaching maturity reds move to Gulf and come to shoreline to spawn. Tbh, bull reds aren't worth keeping -- their meat isn't that great when they hit this age (5+ years, I believe).

For surf fishing I suggest looking up posts of 2cool dude with nickname sharkchum (I think?) -- he is a real guru of surf.

ross.reddick wrote:I was catching a lot of good sized fish that I see a lot in the surf and I don't know if I'm identifying them correctly. I was calling them sand trout, but I don't think that's right. They have skin that feels like sandpaper and look like a whiting (from the photos I'm seeing online). The ones I've caught range in size from ~6-18 inches. Are these whiting?

Very likely a whiting -- right now is the very good time to catch whitings in surf. Look up pics of croaker/sand trout/whiting online -- they are very easy to tell apart.

Sand trout doesn't like being frozen, but otherwise very tasty. Whiting and croaker tolerate freezer, but croaker typically too small and their stocks unfortunately collapsed few decades ago.

Edit: don't be put off by skunk -- we all get skunked on rather regular basis. :) I have plenty of trips when I spent 12h on water with maybe 1 or 2 bites (or even zero). Using live or dead bait would certainly help with that, but I am just too lazy to deal with shrimp/croaker.
#2252221
Oh yeah for sure I forgot to mention I released them immediately. I'm primarily a catch & release fisherman but I'm not opposed to keeping a few for the dinner table from time to time. With a fish like this, you're only allowed 1 per year over 28 in. so that doesn't seem very ecologically responsible to me. Better for him to go spawn and make more for us to catch IMO. I'm not starving and there's enough idiots out there abusing our local fisheries so I'll try to make as minimal of an impact as I can!
BTB This Weekend!

Looks like VERY GOOD conditions for late Thursday […]

A PB Flounder –

Great report! Congrats on the PB! Always a great m[…]

Wade Fishing

Have fun but remember to shuffle your feet as you […]

On my way down. I will be at morning measure-in.