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#2255208
My son (19 yrs old) and I are heading to east Matty the 1st week of march to fish the bay system fro our 1st ever bay fishing experience and 1st ever kayak trip in saltwater. We both are fairly new to kayaking but have made a few kayak fishing excursions in the freshwater lakes near home in north Texas. I have been fishing freshwater since I was 3 and used to tournament fish quite a bit when I was younger and have been fishing all up and down the beach/surf at Matagorda a couple of times a year for the last 10 years. So I'm not new at all to fishing but I am a virgin when it comes to fishing and kayaking saltwater bay systems. So since I only get to come down a couple times a year and probably less times than that with my son now that he's getting older and finding his own way in the world, I thought I would reach out to the vast wealth of knowledgeable folks here on TKF to see if you would be so kind as to point me in the right direction as far as what to look for in terms of structure/depths, type of lures to use, and any other info that might help us get started in the right direction for that time of year. Also since we have no experience with the bay, any safety tips are much, much appreciated.
Also, I have a good 4wd so we are planning to access the bay from along the beach, starting at 3 mile cut and working our way toward Mitchell cut over a 3 day period unless someone has a better suggestion. I'm flexible and I know the area pretty well so feel free to advise other options.
Thanks in advance guys!
#2255228
Stay on hard packed sand as much as possible... if you see a waterhole in the road.. don't go around it.. it's packed down.. the marsh muck on the sides of it is BOTTOMLESS.

I too was a very good fresh water fisherman with numerous 8,9, and 10's in freshwater before hitting the salt 20 years ago. you're basis of structure will help, but it's only part of the picture. Do a search on this forum for every post I've made and read all those.. start their. I don't mean to toot my horn by that but it saves me time and I've put tons of info on the board.

In short.. combine structure with moving water and signs of bait and that's a good place to start. There is still much more to it than that, but that's a good starting point.

March can be Hot or Cold weather wise.. so ya'll be prepared.. it may start out foggy and cold or windy and cloudy to be taking off everything by 2-3 pm.. only to put it all back on. Dress in layers and have a wind breaker type material on top that will work with variable temperature layers. I've seen a lot of anglers under dress for March and I've done it myself as well. layers. Watch out for cold fronts just as you would on inland lakes. If a cold front comes in stick to the sloughs that have some depth and probe them with paddle tails or plastics.

good luck and good job introducing your son to saltwater.
#2255233
TroutSupport.com wrote:Stay on hard packed sand as much as possible... if you see a waterhole in the road.. don't go around it.. it's packed down.. the marsh muck on the sides of it is BOTTOMLESS.

I too was a very good fresh water fisherman with numerous 8,9, and 10's in freshwater before hitting the salt 20 years ago. you're basis of structure will help, but it's only part of the picture. Do a search on this forum for every post I've made and read all those.. start their. I don't mean to toot my horn by that but it saves me time and I've put tons of info on the board.

In short.. combine structure with moving water and signs of bait and that's a good place to start. There is still much more to it than that, but that's a good starting point.

March can be Hot or Cold weather wise.. so ya'll be prepared.. it may start out foggy and cold or windy and cloudy to be taking off everything by 2-3 pm.. only to put it all back on. Dress in layers and have a wind breaker type material on top that will work with variable temperature layers. I've seen a lot of anglers under dress for March and I've done it myself as well. layers. Watch out for cold fronts just as you would on inland lakes. If a cold front comes in stick to the sloughs that have some depth and probe them with paddle tails or plastics.

good luck and good job introducing your son to saltwater.


Thanks for the advise and yeah I've driven a lot along the beach and ventured back beyond the dunes a few times and even pulled others out who have gotten stuck a few times so I do know most of the dangers of driving there Thanks for the reminder tho. It never hurts to hear it again. I'll definitely do some research on you post's. I know I've read many from you before and you definitely seem to know your stuff and have a great willingness to share it.

Thanks again ( from what I remember it's Tobin?)
Rodney
#2255318
You're welcome.. and yes, it is "Tobin" I promise you this.. If you want to give your son the best salt fishing experience for many years to come.. get the 4 pak of DVDs off our website and watch them with your son over and over. Actually, I've even heard from guys that have fished fresh water after watching them and they said it even helped them a lot in fresh too after learning to apply it to salt. We offer a full money back guarantee... watch them and if you don't think they were worth the value you paid for them just hit me up for a refund. Ask the others on this board if they've helped them, don't take my word for them.
User avatar
By Yaklash
#2255342
The last few years, East Matty has taught me that either I was making a lot of bad assumptions or that the last couple of years, the patterns have just been way off. By that, I mean that where the trout tended to be certain times of year and certain temperature ranges hasn't held true to historical precedent recently. But for winter, you can bet they'll be in at least 5 feet of water or over mud in 3-4 feet of water. The mud option would be best for you in a kayak, since it can be found without paddling out into the middle of the bay. Search maps for "Mary's." It is fairly easily accessed via kayak, though not from the beach. There is mud there and can be some great winter trout.

I would bet money that trout will be hard to come by unless you arrive at the end of a long warm stretch or unless you are willing and prepared to take your kayaks out to deep shell. The last two years, the trout took forever into the spring to get up onto the flats. Two years ago, we were having to fish 5-6 feet of water in early May to catch trout :shock: ; there were none up on the flats, at least not that we could find. That is pretty late to me. So I doubt there will be many in 3-4 feet of water.

So, my advice would be to concentrate on redfish. Most of the trails back to the bay from the beach are into back-coves that can be full of reds and your kayak gives you an excellent platform to move thru those coves, bayous and back-lakes that only the skinniest of boats can get to. Not sure what you're used to throwing, but back there, you better be weedless. The Troutsupport lures that Tobin Strickland designed are about as weedless as can be and, rigged weightless, you wont have any problems spooking fish with big splashes. Another excellent bait for hunting reds in those back-lakes and coves are the Buggs Lures. Created by Heath Hippel (a fly-tying expert) and built by hand, they land softly, and even when they are sitting motionless on the bottom, they have some movement; perfect for enticing finicky redfish in shallow, quiet waters. I use the Buggs Curl-Tail Jigs and the Double Bunny Jigs.

Good luck and enjoy!!!
User avatar
By troutslinger
#2255349
Yaklash wrote:The last few years, East Matty has taught me that either I was making a lot of bad assumptions or that the last couple of years, the patterns have just been way off. By that, I mean that where the trout tended to be certain times of year and certain temperature ranges hasn't held true to historical precedent recently. But for winter, you can bet they'll be in at least 5 feet of water or over mud in 3-4 feet of water. The mud option would be best for you in a kayak, since it can be found without paddling out into the middle of the bay. Search maps for "Mary's." It is fairly easily accessed via kayak, though not from the beach. There is mud there and can be some great winter trout.

I would bet money that trout will be hard to come by unless you arrive at the end of a long warm stretch or unless you are willing and prepared to take your kayaks out to deep shell. The last two years, the trout took forever into the spring to get up onto the flats. Two years ago, we were having to fish 5-6 feet of water in early May to catch trout :shock: ; there were none up on the flats, at least not that we could find. That is pretty late to me. So I doubt there will be many in 3-4 feet of water.

So, my advice would be to concentrate on redfish. Most of the trails back to the bay from the beach are into back-coves that can be full of reds and your kayak gives you an excellent platform to move thru those coves, bayous and back-lakes that only the skinniest of boats can get to. Not sure what you're used to throwing, but back there, you better be weedless. The Troutsupport lures that Tobin Strickland designed are about as weedless as can be and, rigged weightless, you wont have any problems spooking fish with big splashes. Another excellent bait for hunting reds in those back-lakes and coves are the Buggs Lures. Created by Heath Hippel (a fly-tying expert) and built by hand, they land softly, and even when they are sitting motionless on the bottom, they have some movement; perfect for enticing finicky redfish in shallow, quiet waters. I use the Buggs Curl-Tail Jigs and the Double Bunny Jigs.

Good luck and enjoy!!!

Great advice. I launch there at St Mary's.
#2255386
troutslinger wrote:
Yaklash wrote:The last few years, East Matty has taught me that either I was making a lot of bad assumptions or that the last couple of years, the patterns have just been way off. By that, I mean that where the trout tended to be certain times of year and certain temperature ranges hasn't held true to historical precedent recently. But for winter, you can bet they'll be in at least 5 feet of water or over mud in 3-4 feet of water. The mud option would be best for you in a kayak, since it can be found without paddling out into the middle of the bay. Search maps for "Mary's." It is fairly easily accessed via kayak, though not from the beach. There is mud there and can be some great winter trout.

I would bet money that trout will be hard to come by unless you arrive at the end of a long warm stretch or unless you are willing and prepared to take your kayaks out to deep shell. The last two years, the trout took forever into the spring to get up onto the flats. Two years ago, we were having to fish 5-6 feet of water in early May to catch trout :shock: ; there were none up on the flats, at least not that we could find. That is pretty late to me. So I doubt there will be many in 3-4 feet of water.

So, my advice would be to concentrate on redfish. Most of the trails back to the bay from the beach are into back-coves that can be full of reds and your kayak gives you an excellent platform to move thru those coves, bayous and back-lakes that only the skinniest of boats can get to. Not sure what you're used to throwing, but back there, you better be weedless. The Troutsupport lures that Tobin Strickland designed are about as weedless as can be and, rigged weightless, you wont have any problems spooking fish with big splashes. Another excellent bait for hunting reds in those back-lakes and coves are the Buggs Lures. Created by Heath Hippel (a fly-tying expert) and built by hand, they land softly, and even when they are sitting motionless on the bottom, they have some movement; perfect for enticing finicky redfish in shallow, quiet waters. I use the Buggs Curl-Tail Jigs and the Double Bunny Jigs.

Good luck and enjoy!!!

Great advice. I launch there at St Mary's.
Tobin,
How do I order the actual dvd discs? I only see a button for the online copies on your website

Yaklash,
Thanks for the great info. I am familiar with the St Mary's launch area and will give that area a try at least one day of the trip.

Troutslinger,
if you see a blue Heritage redfish and a red pescador sport (and 2 guys that look like they have no clue what they're doing...lol) flag us down n say hi.

I appreciate all your help guys. Thanks

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By RunninKurt
#2255392
There is a section of protected bay that is East/SouthEast of Spring Bayou (a branch off of 3 mile cut)
It's a lagoon that is catch and release only. It holds about 6" of water. Could be a fun wade if yall need to rest your paddling shoulders.
I caught my first sight-casted redfish in there.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/28%C2 ... 6635?hl=en
Last edited by RunninKurt on Wed Feb 07, 2018 9:05 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Chubs
#2255393
I'm curious about east Matagorda myself. It's about the same distance to the west of the bay for me as it is to the Palacios area for me.

I've been focusing on Palacios and other back bay areas for the winter thinking that is where more fish would be. Was right one time but not the other :)

How is east matty west side in the winter?
I was thinking the north shoreline would be better? It's got the deeper cuts up there and the icww which the fish in theory would hole up in while it's cold.

Also, is that launch at st Mary's open? I looked on Google maps street view and was seeing a cable barricade strung in front of what looked to be the launch?

-edit-

Oh, was also going to say gear wise - I've been using cheap non breathable hip waders, smart wool thermal underwear pants, rei long sleeved merino wool shirt with zipper, some poly long leg fishing pants, wool socks, a fleece zipper jacket, and breathable waterproof rain jacket. Oh and my life jacket on at all times incase I fall in and it's cold. Seems to be fine for 40 degrees, and I can remove the fleece once it gets warmer. But I've been fine with everything on even up to 60 deg. I just open my zippers as I get warmer. Also a neck gator. You can get them at buc-ees on the way from Houston :)
#2255410
imaoldmanyoungsalt wrote:Tobin,
How do I order the actual dvd discs? I only see a button for the online copies on your website
There is a link at the very bottom called physical DVDs.

And yak lash is spot on.. these low tide draw downs this winter have really pulled a lot of trout out of the bay... but they are trickling back in.
#2255423
Chubs wrote:I'm curious about east Matagorda myself. It's about the same distance to the west of the bay for me as it is to the Palacios area for me.

I've been focusing on Palacios and other back bay areas for the winter thinking that is where more fish would be. Was right one time but not the other :)

How is east matty west side in the winter?
I was thinking the north shoreline would be better? It's got the deeper cuts up there and the icww which the fish in theory would hole up in while it's cold.

Also, is that launch at st Mary's open? I looked on Google maps street view and was seeing a cable barricade strung in front of what looked to be the launch?

-edit-

Oh, was also going to say gear wise - I've been using cheap non breathable hip waders, smart wool thermal underwear pants, rei long sleeved merino wool shirt with zipper, some poly long leg fishing pants, wool socks, a fleece zipper jacket, and breathable waterproof rain jacket. Oh and my life jacket on at all times incase I fall in and it's cold. Seems to be fine for 40 degrees, and I can remove the fleece once it gets warmer. But I've been fine with everything on even up to 60 deg. I just open my zippers as I get warmer. Also a neck gator. You can get them at buc-ees on the way from Houston :)


Thanks for the clothing suggestions Chubs. I was planning to wear breathable stocking foot chestwaders (cheap ones from academy) with my long underwear (can't remember what their called but cabelas brand and wick moisture) underneath. I have a bunch of different wickable fishing shirts I can layer on and I have a micro fleece rainsuit (jacket and pants) I can wear over that for extra warmth and can peel those all off as needed. I also have a midweight full head facemask thats good for 45-60 degrees and several lightweight neck/face gaitors that I can use if it gets warmer. I'll also bring along the insulated neoprene chestwaders if its really cold. I have guite a bit of hunting/fishing clothing since I hunt quite a bit also.

This was my oldest son with me down there in January a couple years ago. I think it got down to about 18 deg by morning. It was a cold night in that tent. Luckily I usually err on the side of caution and took every sleeping bag we own and we were both layered 3 deep in them so it was a good nights sleep but sure hard to get out of them in the cold morning
Image

Warmed back up to the 60's and 70's and we managed to catch a bunch of these the next 2 days. This is my oldest son. He's a paramedic now and has a family and doesn't get to join me much these days :(

Image

I too am curious about the ICW area? How deep is the channel and how dangerous is it to kayak there as far as current and boat/barge traffic goes? I was wondering if you can launch from the area where S Gulf rd tuns to N Gulf rd (or is that private land) and paddle across and down to the cut that accesses the north shoreline? I'm thinking it might be a protected area in a north wind and some deeper water as well.

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#2255425
RunninKurt wrote:There is a section of protected bay that is East/SouthEast of Spring Bayou (a branch off of 3 mile cut)
It's a lagoon that is catch and release only. It holds about 6" of water. Could be a fun wade if yall need to rest your paddling shoulders.
I caught my first sight-casted redfish in there.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/28%C2 ... 6635?hl=en
Thanks for sharing your honey hole Kurt. Ill keep it in mind for a paddling rest for sure. I am a little cautious tho about wading as I'm just not familiar enough with bay bottoms yet and not sure what to watch out for from a safety concern. I know to shuffle feet for stingrays and feel the bottom for firmness and drop offs but just not sure about how quickly the bottom stability can change (mud/muck/silt) and any other dangers that exhist. So we may spend most of this trip fishing from the kayaks themselves til we get a little more familiar.

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#2255426
TroutSupport.com wrote:
imaoldmanyoungsalt wrote:Tobin,
How do I order the actual dvd discs? I only see a button for the online copies on your website
There is a link at the very bottom called physical DVDs.

And yak lash is spot on.. these low tide draw downs this winter have really pulled a lot of trout out of the bay... but they are trickling back in.
Hey Tobin
I know the 4 pack is probably a really good deal and the testimonies from everyone one on here speaks to the value but my budget for this trip is already stretched a little thin so if you were to recommend just one of the DVD's for now, which would it be? I'm not picky about catching trout vs redfish so whichever you think is the better option for this time of year is fine with me. I will be ordering some TSL's from you too, so color recommendations as well.
Thanks

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#2255436
imaoldmanyoungsalt wrote:Hey Tobin I know the 4 pack is probably a really good deal and the testimonies from everyone one on here speaks to the value but my budget for this trip is already stretched a little thin so if you were to recommend just one of the DVD's for now, which would it be? I'm not picky about catching trout vs redfish so whichever you think is the better option for this time of year is fine with me. I will be ordering some TSL's from you too, so color recommendations as well.


Best two for Kayaker are the Big Trout and Shallow Reds.. I'd go with Big Trout for now.

Matagorda colors.. my favorites are the Bone, Pink, Roach. I can catch fish up and down the coast with those three. Chicken on Chain is a big favorite as well. Color isn't the most important thing though. The fish never got the memo that they should eat one color one day and not the next LOL. I'm serious though. I've been in boats where all 4 anglers are really good and they are all catching fish on their favorite color. Usually when we find one angler that's killing us on one color its more a fact of how he's presenting the bait or his line set up is lighter and sinking more. Recently a buddy was kicking my arse.. damn him.. I slowed way down to match his pace, mimicked his rod movement and slowed down a little more since he was using a thinner braid and thinner leader which was allowing him to work deeper .. after that it was one to one on different color baits.
#2255438
TroutSupport.com wrote:
imaoldmanyoungsalt wrote:Hey Tobin I know the 4 pack is probably a really good deal and the testimonies from everyone one on here speaks to the value but my budget for this trip is already stretched a little thin so if you were to recommend just one of the DVD's for now, which would it be? I'm not picky about catching trout vs redfish so whichever you think is the better option for this time of year is fine with me. I will be ordering some TSL's from you too, so color recommendations as well.


Best two for Kayaker are the Big Trout and Shallow Reds.. I'd go with Big Trout for now.

Matagorda colors.. my favorites are the Bone, Pink, Roach. I can catch fish up and down the coast with those three. Chicken on Chain is a big favorite as well. Color isn't the most important thing though. The fish never got the memo that they should eat one color one day and not the next LOL. I'm serious though. I've been in boats where all 4 anglers are really good and they are all catching fish on their favorite color. Usually when we find one angler that's killing us on one color its more a fact of how he's presenting the bait or his line set up is lighter and sinking more. Recently a buddy was kicking my arse.. damn him.. I slowed way down to match his pace, mimicked his rod movement and slowed down a little more since he was using a thinner braid and thinner leader which was allowing him to work deeper .. after that it was one to one on different color baits.
Yeah I hear ya on the presentation vs color. I usually find the same true when bass fishing. In fact my son usually gets frustrated if I'm catching and he's not until I get him to minic exactly what I'm doing then it's usually fish on for both of us. I do like that bone color, tho my femine side comes out when I look at that pink! Decisions, decision... guess I'll go with both and maybe some chicken on chain too!

Thanks again and much appreciated

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User avatar
By Ultrastealth
#2255578
RunninKurt wrote:There is a section of protected bay that is East/SouthEast of Spring Bayou (a branch off of 3 mile cut)
It's a lagoon that is catch and release only. It holds about 6" of water. Could be a fun wade if yall need to rest your paddling shoulders.
I caught my first sight-casted redfish in there.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/28%C2 ... 6635?hl=en

"Protected bay"? By whom?
By ddossey
#2255740
TroutSupport.com wrote:
imaoldmanyoungsalt wrote:Hey Tobin I know the 4 pack is probably a really good deal and the testimonies from everyone one on here speaks to the value but my budget for this trip is already stretched a little thin so if you were to recommend just one of the DVD's for now, which would it be? I'm not picky about catching trout vs redfish so whichever you think is the better option for this time of year is fine with me. I will be ordering some TSL's from you too, so color recommendations as well.


Best two for Kayaker are the Big Trout and Shallow Reds.. I'd go with Big Trout for now.

Matagorda colors.. my favorites are the Bone, Pink, Roach. I can catch fish up and down the coast with those three. Chicken on Chain is a big favorite as well. Color isn't the most important thing though. The fish never got the memo that they should eat one color one day and not the next LOL. I'm serious though. I've been in boats where all 4 anglers are really good and they are all catching fish on their favorite color. Usually when we find one angler that's killing us on one color its more a fact of how he's presenting the bait or his line set up is lighter and sinking more. Recently a buddy was kicking my arse.. damn him.. I slowed way down to match his pace, mimicked his rod movement and slowed down a little more since he was using a thinner braid and thinner leader which was allowing him to work deeper .. after that it was one to one on different color baits.



Definitely get at least these two DVDs, and all 4 if any way possible. They are game changers. Worth every penny. I fished fresh my entire life and guided fly fishermen in remote alpine lakes in the the Wind River range in Wyoming back when I had a flat belly before getting addicted to the salt. I Bay fished for a decade before buying these DVDs. I wasted so much time prior to that fishing spots. Now I understand patterns and signs and my production has exponentially increased. I used to go out with a few spots to try and I either caught or didn’t. Now, I go out with an open mind searching for the signs and let that dictate what I do. Tobin is committed to helping our angling community and is a heck of a guy.

I have found that applying the principals put forth in the videos are far more important than precise lure selection. If you can find them you will almost always be able to catch them.



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By RunninKurt
#2255804
Ultrastealth wrote:
RunninKurt wrote:There is a section of protected bay that is East/SouthEast of Spring Bayou (a branch off of 3 mile cut)
It's a lagoon that is catch and release only. It holds about 6" of water. Could be a fun wade if yall need to rest your paddling shoulders.
I caught my first sight-casted redfish in there.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/28%C2 ... 6635?hl=en

"Protected bay"? By whom?


Funny, my coworker was the one that took me there, and told me it was protected waters. I cant find anything about it now that I've repeated what I was told and questioned haha. I suppose they arent protected waters!
User avatar
By Ultrastealth
#2255893
RunninKurt wrote:
Ultrastealth wrote:
RunninKurt wrote:There is a section of protected bay that is East/SouthEast of Spring Bayou (a branch off of 3 mile cut)
It's a lagoon that is catch and release only. It holds about 6" of water. Could be a fun wade if yall need to rest your paddling shoulders.
I caught my first sight-casted redfish in there.

https://www.google.com/maps/place/28%C2 ... 6635?hl=en

"Protected bay"? By whom?


Funny, my coworker was the one that took me there, and told me it was protected waters. I cant find anything about it now that I've repeated what I was told and questioned haha. I suppose they arent protected waters!

"Protected waters" generally means that it is not connected or only slightly connected to the main bay, which means that it can be fished in a heavy wind.
#2256742
[quote="Yaklash"]The last few years, East Matty has taught me that either I was making a lot of bad assumptions or that the last couple of years, the patterns have just been way off. By that, I mean that where the trout tended to be certain times of year and certain temperature ranges hasn't held true to historical precedent recently. But for winter, you can bet they'll be in at least 5 feet of water or over mud in 3-4 feet of water. The mud option would be best for you in a kayak, since it can be found without paddling out into the middle of the bay. Search maps for "Mary's." It is fairly easily accessed via kayak, though not from the beach. There is mud there and can be some great winter trout.


Well it's looking like the winds for the 3 days we will be fishing are going to be as follows:
day 1 - N @ 12
day 2 - ENE @ 11
day 3 - E @ 11
I'm wondering if paddling across to Parkers cut and fishing West Bay east shoreline might be better option for us?
All advice/opinions welcome!
User avatar
By Chubs
#2256781
I really want to go fishing there next time I go fish.

I'd guess (and I have 0 experience there so this is complete opinion), st Mary's bayou on the N wind, or go surf fishing (wind to your back). Day 2 with ne wind, idk but maybe way out by Sargent by the cut to the gulf on the east side of the back bay, or close to a muddy area since it would likely be colder (stay east and go to st Mary's again??). Day 3 with east wind anywhere on the south shoreline probably fine as long as it's protected.

I'm sure other people have a better idea than me though, I'm still a relative newby :)
#2256802
Thanks Chubs,
I was kind of thinking along the same lines as you are but wondering if anyone had any thoughts about the west bay being a good option. We may do some surf fishing (from the beach, not kayaks) when the wind is from the north tho. I've always done real well fishing the surf there. Of course this all based from the current weather report so things could change between now til March 1st when we actually get there.
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