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By ben_beyer
#2286238
One of the spots that I've been wanting to fish is Estes Cove. I am headed to Port Aransas next week on Friday and my wife and son will be traveling separate since I'm taking the kayak and she wants to ride down with her brother.

What I am thinking of doing is leaving at 6AM, stopping at City-by-the-Sea for a few hours in the afternoon and fishing Estes Cove.

I have a company meeting on Tuesday so my vacation will be cut short and this will be my last opportunity to fish the coast for at least a year because baby #2 is due in August.

How is Estes Cove post-Harvey and what do you guys think?
By ben_beyer
#2286245
No I would just stay on the mainshore side of the barrier islands.

I have a Jackson Coosa HD so if I get blown around it has to be something I can make it back to shore and not need to be rescued lol.
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By Neumie
#2286246
Here's my report from the last time I was there a month ago: Click.

Sounds like you'll be down during Memorial weekend; it's going to be crazy. Depending on the weather I may make a day trip Saturday to fish.
By ben_beyer
#2286249
I called the RV park to see if they still allow kayak launching and they said something about a tournament. I haven't found anything about it though.
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By Neumie
#2286252
ben_beyer wrote:I called the RV park to see if they still allow kayak launching and they said something about a tournament. I haven't found anything about it though.

It's still $5 per vehicle.

It's memorial day weekend, it's going to be crazy regardless if there's a tournament or not. There's probably 3 tournaments each weekend in the Rockport, AP, PA area throughout the summer. They also could have been mentioning the CCA STAR tournament, which kicks off Memorial Day weekend.
By ben_beyer
#2286253
Neumie wrote:
ben_beyer wrote:I called the RV park to see if they still allow kayak launching and they said something about a tournament. I haven't found anything about it though.

It's still $5 per vehicle.

It's memorial day weekend, it's going to be crazy regardless if there's a tournament or not. There's probably 3 tournaments each weekend in the Rockport, AP, PA area throughout the summer. They also could have been mentioning the CCA STAR tournament, which kicks off Memorial Day weekend.


Still $5 per vehicle. Where did you launch from a few weeks back?

I forgot about the CCA STAR tournament. My luck I'll catch a tagged redfish and my wife will make me sell the boat.

A Haynie Bigfoot would be perfect for both fresh and saltwater when my sons get older.
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By Neumie
#2286254
ben_beyer wrote:Still $5 per vehicle. Where did you launch from a few weeks back?

I forgot about the CCA STAR tournament. My luck I'll catch a tagged redfish and my wife will make me sell the boat.

A Haynie Bigfoot would be perfect for both fresh and saltwater when my sons get older.

At Palm Harbor RV, in the NE corner of their property: CLICK
By ben_beyer
#2286259
Neumie wrote:
ben_beyer wrote:Still $5 per vehicle. Where did you launch from a few weeks back?

I forgot about the CCA STAR tournament. My luck I'll catch a tagged redfish and my wife will make me sell the boat.

A Haynie Bigfoot would be perfect for both fresh and saltwater when my sons get older.

At Palm Harbor RV, in the NE corner of their property: CLICK


That's a lot better than having to use their docks like in the Kayak and Wade Fishing book.
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By Ron Mc
#2286260
My experience is Estes Cove fishes best on a strong N or E wind, with that wind current pushing bait into the flat through the cuts.
Where Josh and I fished Estes flat and Trout Bayou is where to go with the prevailing S or SE wind - it's another mile paddle to start your drifts at the Traylor Is cuts.
You'll also do your work up front and drift fish home.
Palm Harbor RV park is the red dot just right of top-center on this map
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By Ron Mc
#2286262
last two times I've fished Estes, we had 7am low tides, and the inside of the cuts were hot with the rising tide, with both wind current and tide current bringing in bait from Aransas Bay.
On a strong falling tide, Outside Beach on Aransas Bay is where to fish, with a great shot at both reds and big specs.
But you can drift fish the flat and Trout Bayou anytime you have the wind for it.

Paddling straight upwind from Talley Island and drift-fishing back to Talley is always a good plan. Things can get hot close to Talley shore.
Drifting out of Big Cut is always great on a rising tide and prevailing SE wind - expect to be on fish quickly.
Where Neumie and I were catching fish last trip, between Big Cut and Little Cut along Traylor shore (SW wind), there are some shoals, where the flat gets just a little shallower, and the wind concentrates bait on the wind side of the shoals.
You can always find those shoals because the guide boats stake them out and cast toward them.
We had to drift behind the guide boats, paddle back up and drift again, and we found nice reds.

If the tides are really high, the far N end of Trout Bayou is great wade-fishing - if the tides are really low, you can't even get there.
You can also find fish in the Sloughs on both Talley and Traylor Islands.
The Traylor sloughs above big cut can be hot at the mouths of the sloughs with prevailing wind pushing bait out of the slough onto Estes flat.
That's also a pretty reliable plan in Estes Cove, concentrate on the Talley Is sloughs, and always fish the slough mouth and shore on each side before you paddle into the slough.

Successful duck blinds are always facing some kind of structure that concentrates bait - while I wouldn't necessarily target duck blinds, just keep the fact in mind.

Also as Josh said, power boat traffic on Memorial Day weekend will limit your access to some spots, and will even affect fish behavior.
By BowBuddy
#2286308
Wednesday has the best forecast with little winds. The wind and rain are always the deciding factor. I think tide will be up at 830 am


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By Ron Mc
#2286377
If you want to fish Estes, you want wind, and you want a drift sock. Estes is all about drift fishing. I think it fishes best around 12-14 kts.
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By Ron Mc
#2286382
rigging a drift sock needs 2 lines - good idea to make them 2 colors.
The working line ties (anchors) to the drift sock parachute and the stern of your boat (or trolley ring that you can move to the stern).
The longer deployment line ties to the back of the drift sock, collapsing the parachute when you pull, and needs to tag in your cockpit.
You have to bring in your drift sock to paddle upwind and set up a new drift.
My best rigging clips the working line on a scotty clip to the trolley ring, routing the deployment line through the ring, and lashing the deployment line to a cockpit z-cleat.

If the parachute is on a D-ring, here's a simple and small anchor knot
http://www.theensign.org/uspscompass/co ... rtwthh.htm

With a rudder, a trolley is always the best option for keeping the lines from fouling your rudder, but if a trolley is still down your list:
the quick-rig option is tie (bowline) the working line to your stern lift handle, and tie the deployment line to your side lift handle - you can still do all you need from the cockpit
http://www.theensign.org/uspscompass/co ... owline.htm

TSL grasswalker is the undefeated lure for this activity
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Drifting out of Big Cut, though, I'll begin with a weighted cocahoe or Tsunami SS3 (=wildeye shad) until past the channel slope.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Tue May 21, 2019 9:22 am, edited 1 time in total.
By ben_beyer
#2286384
I might just have to deal with it off the side of where I sit since my kayak doesn't have an anchor trolley.

It looks like winds out of the SE so drifting from Big Cut per your previous post.
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By Ron Mc
#2286385
ben_beyer wrote:I might just have to deal with it off the side of where I sit since my kayak doesn't have an anchor trolley.

It looks like winds out of the SE so drifting from Big Cut per your previous post.
Ron Mc wrote:...
the quick-rig option is tie (bowline) the working line to your stern lift handle, and tie the deployment line to your side lift handle - you can still do all you need from the cockpit
http://www.theensign.org/uspscompass/co ... owline.htm
....

this, bro

I always catch a good breather at Sandy Point before proceeding to Big Cut.
It's also a good place to work out your tackle and have everything set - there also may be fish on the wind seam.
Just remember the lee side of Talley Is is quicksand, and the hard pack is on the wind side of the point.
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By ben_beyer
#2286386
My apologies as I missed that. Sounds like a good option and I should have plenty of cord around that I can do 2 colors to keep track.
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By Ron Mc
#2286387
way cool, bro

don't run out and buy a bunch of paracord, but I like it for drift socks because of all the colors available - makes it easy to identify individual lines when your cockpit is full of paddle, rod, keeper lines, drift sock, stringer, and redfish.
Remember on any slot red to get everything out of the water before he gets to he boat, because he's probably going twice around the boat...
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By TexasJim
#2286392
Hey, Ron, ben and all: The wind forecast all week and into the Holiday weekend is way up. It's laid down a bit today; it's only gusting over thirty, instead of forty like yesterday. All week, the winds will be over twenty, southeast. Pick your launch and fishing spots with that in mind. Plus, the Holiday crowd. Those of us that live here avoid holiday weekends. TexasJim
By ben_beyer
#2286397
Yeah I'm hoping it will calm down some.

If I can't fish it safely then I won't. I was out at Wilson's Cut in November when the winds really picked up mid morning and it was not fun getting back to the launch.
By ben_beyer
#2286414
I stopped at Rockport Tackle Town today and picked up a few more items. I also looked at drift socks and they were double what ACK charges so I got one ordered. I just hope A) it comes in time and B) the winds calm down a little.

I'll go out on Estes if the winds are sub 17 but what they are calling for is probably going to be too much and I'm not going to risk needing a rescue.
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By TexasJim
#2286415
In high SE winds, Port Bay is an option. I've caught a bunch of keeper Reds there. The marsh lakes around the corner from Port Bay Club can hold lots of fish. Also, the Cape Valero marsh/flats are often very fishy. Neumie is a local expert on that area. Just be safe! TexasJim
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