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By Chubs
I was planning to go fishing this Friday. Planned for Salt Lake and Nicks lake in BNWR again. That or Oyster Lake at Palacios.

I just checked the wind forecast though and it's 15 mph winds with 20+ gusts expected from SE for both places.

I think I can manage BNWR - Salt lake if I stick to the west and south shorelines from launch and then make my way to the cut. The cut ought to be ripping pretty good so I'd hope to fish some wind blown current action there.
From there make my way through the cut then head to Nicks and the cut between it and the ICWW - but that paddle would have the wind right in my face so would probably not be fun. I could probably manage it though, it's about a 0.5 mile paddle and I could probably hug the east shoreline for a tad bit of protection.

I could fish that cut and then head back along the south to west to north shoreline of nicks and fish the shoreline as I go; wind ought to be at my back. North west corner could suck though but it's about a 1/4 mile paddle to the cut from the west shoreline.

Back to salt lake through the cut - I had wanted to go up to the north east side of salt lake to check the cut up there for sheepshead but I'm second guessing that because then I'd be getting slammed full force by the wind waves on my way back to launch for a good 1.25 miles. I don't like that idea at the end of a likely long day so probably best bet is to use the wind at my back and just head straight back to launch.

Any thoughts or suggestions TKFM :)

I've paddled 15 mph sustained winds before on the windward side of the bay. you basically can't fish but my heritage was stable enough. took a lot of water over the bough but it wasn't horrible.
Wind cocking was a huge problem last time but this time I have a rudder so I should be able to do better.
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By Ultrastealth
In winds like that I try to go somewhere that I can paddle into the wind en route to my fishing area, so that I get the benefit of a tail wind for the way back when I'm more tired. My guess is that the launch at Salt Lake is going to be pretty rough and the lake muddy. I'd find a smaller venue like Essex Bayou.
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By Chubs
Well still 10 - 15 knots predicted.
And it even says 1 ft seas growing to 4 ft seas by the afternoon!

So I did a few searches in this form and saw a good option could be Essex Bayou. It ought to be well protected, and with a south wind it should be bringing the water into the bayou making it fully navigable.
Plus if I understand tides (and I'm no expert at all), the tide ought to be rising all morning till afternoon which will help further making the waters navigable.

Now I'm thinking Essex in the morning to noon, the go to Swan Lake for the afternoon (if I'm up to it).

I'm just trying to confirm a few things now.

Is Essex as marked on Google Earth?
Do you launch at the swan lake launch and paddle across the ICWW, then take about a 2.5 mile paddle up the creek till you hit the bayou?
Is it safe enough to do alone (think I'll finally buy my VHF radio)? The forum search seems to indicate so; though be ready for rattlesnakes.
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By Ultrastealth
Essex is right across the ICW from the launch. You just have to explore it to see where the fish are. They may be at the mouth, way up the bayou or in the lake, and they may not be there at all. I had my best day for reds ever in there, but that was August.
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By Chubs
Well my last salt trip was 15+ mph winds with scattered showers, and no fish. I think I like the abuse :)

Essex it is!

Got a cheaper vhf radio 2 pack with like 30 mile range. Not water proof I think but I can put them in Ziploc and have One for my life jacket, one spare to go in the hull.

Essex looks very neat. I hope they are there :)
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By karstopo
I think Essex is a much better choice than Salt Lake on a forecasted to be windy day.

Based on current water levels and the predicted tides, there probably won’t be a lot of water early in the morning out there Friday. That could really concentrate the fish...if they are in there. Tide should be rising and water will be coming up fast by or shortly after sun up.

Swan lake and the mouth of Oyster Creek are nearby as back up plans if Essex seems devoid of fish. ImageImageWatch for barge traffic in the ICW. They move a lot faster than they appear to. The current can rip through there.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
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By karstopo
The wind turning into the east and then southeast today will very likely raise water levels some, my guess is about 1/2 foot by tomorrow morning, but it could be less or more depending on timing of the turn east and intensity.

That puts water levels at the mouth of Essex at around 0.5 or so feet at dawn Friday ( predicted water at -0.057 feet at about 3 am our time). Essex tides are delayed +/- two hours from Freeport CGS. 0.5 water is pretty low in there but it will be coming in fast. ImageImageImage

Wind forecast for Friday morning.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
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By Chubs
Awesome.I was hoping you'd respond :)

I had looked at some of your older reports and was getting excited about the area.

Interesting on the tide pic you showed. Wonder why a north wind caused the water levels to go up instead of down. Also good to know the tide timing difference.

Also I hadn't realized it's rising so fast either.will be fun. Hope there is enough water to enter the cut in the morning lol.
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By Chubs
Was pretty windy yesterday. Tides were actually coming in all day which I suspect the south high wind played a large part of. I started around 7am and the water was still rising or had at least stalled by 3pm when I left.

Essex had some nice green water, and I caught a few rats but no keepers, and I lost a nice trout at the yak too :(
Caught my 1st multi spot red.
I did get another bonus catch though which I will share in the report :)
I'll post up a report when I get near my computer and can analyze my trip.
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