TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


#2263603
From all reports I am getting there are plenty of fish everywhere. If the sun shines then the fish can be seen and caught. I won't be in the salt water until early June but could someone go fly fishing and tease us all with a report and some pictures.
#2263621
John, I can't tell you how bad I want to get down on the coast. I'm reading the same reports and it's giving me fits. Best I can do right now is go down to the local pond and catch some brim and small bass. My life for now is more fly tying than fly fishing.
#2263682
Ok, I'll step up.

The forecast was perfect weather, winds 5-10 mph, blue skies, rising tide in the morning. (Happy to say, I'm recently retired, so I'm in a position to take advantage of such things, even though it's mid week.) Loaded the yak and gear in the truck and set the alarm for 3:30 AM. I woke early, of course, with anticipation. On the road to Christmas Bay.

On the water at daybreak, paddling out. Water was flat calm, mirrored the sky in pinks and blues. Wind was just a whisper, heavy and humid. Didn't expect much luck, I never have this early in the year, not like in the Fall. But still, it was good to be out on the water. Struggled against the incoming tide as I paddled out to Cold Pass. My Tarpon felt heavy in the water, as I pushed it ahead, a little too excited I suppose. Had to tell myself to relax, fall into the rhythm of the paddle.

Sun was just breaking the horizon when I reached the pass. Along the way I could see the water was high up in the grass, flooding the back lakes. Still, I'd fish the edges of the channel this morning, always my best shot at a big fish. Broke out my flyrod, stripped some line from the reel, dropped it in my lap, ready to go. Paddled up the cord grass, watching the line intently for tails or backs or wakes of cruising redfish. But nothing. Just mullet, lots of mullet, splashing about as nervous mullet do. The water just might be too deep on the banks to spot a red, even if they are here. Remind myself, you can fish this water a hundred times, and it will always be different.

So I made my way up to a point where I know the trout hang out in the morning. They're pretty reliable, and good for a boost. A few false casts, I flip my favorite shrimp fly toward a point of grass. A bit short. Once again. There it is. A few strips, then a polite tug in return. I smile a bit, good morning. Then the tip of my nine weight bows deep. Hello. I can tell it's the yank of a trout, not a bulldog red, but a nice trout, a big girl. She comes to hand and I slip her back in the water, with just a splash. There, it's a perfect day already.

So I leave the trout to play on the point. Paddle on down the line of cord grass, looking for what I came for. Mullet. No, it's just fool mullet splashing about. Redfish, you know, are serious. They cruise a line of cordgrass in packs, flushing shrimp or mullet ahead of them. Anything in their path gets eaten, by the fish to the left, or the fish to the right, nothing escapes. And they make an unmistakeable wake, straight line and purposeful, like they own the place. In the Fall it can be a violent boil, a feeding frenzy you can see fifty yards away. You see, I'm talking to myself as I paddle along, half asleep, watching the mullet play.

Then . . . there ahead, something different, a wake, it persists, straight line along the grass, coming toward me. Not a heavy wake, but still, the water's deep. A little shot of adrenaline, wake up. I cut the yak toward the bank and hold it tight, drop the paddle across my lap and grap my rod, fly's loose and in the air, a back cast for distance, another, and I drop it, short. Pick it up quick, lead them a couple of feet, drop it there, perfect, wait, wait, wait, short strip, another, they're on it, a tail flashes, my nine weight doubles over, a heavy tug, then the water erupts as he peels the line from my hand. I tug back. This is a big boy. Then I realize he's pulled me out into the boat channel. I throw the anchor and get him on the reel. We go back and forth awhile. Then he gets smart and tries to dive under the yak, I maneuver him around the nose. Reds this size have snapped this nine weight before, twice. Wish I had my ten right now, but who thought I would need it. I slap on the side of the yak to push him away. Patience. Trust the rod, the drag, and that heavy tippet. Let him tire out. Eventually he came to hand, a big beautiful upper slot red. I flip my favorite shrimp fly from his lip, and he pushes off in a huff.

Where he came from, why he was there, I don't know. But I was sure glad to meet him. Sorry, no pictures. I really thought it would just be a nice paddle that morning.
#2263696
Nice, eightweight! Motivational, makes me want to be on a shoreline in my Commander with a redfish cruising towards me.

I’ve been extra lazy this year with loading up the kayak and hitting the marsh or bay. Living on freshwater with bass is a curse. I can generally coax a bass or two to suck down a deer hair diver anytime I feel the need and that sort of action mostly scratches the itch when it needs scratching.

I did wade out into the Surfside surf Monday afternoon for a little bit. Afternoons, especially bright sunshiny ones, aren’t my favorite times to hit the surf, but curiosity overcame experience. I drove the stretch from the boilers to the jetties never seeing any sign. Water was much cleaner near the jetties. Wind and chop were much lower there too. A few miles makes a big difference sometimes.

I decided to wade out in spite of the lack of predator activity. Little finger sized mullet swam by me in green clear water and as relaxed as mullet can get. I cast Borski Sliders along the bars and guts just for the heck of it. I did finally see some little sign right in the first gut. Turns out it was sheepshead. I tried three different sliders on maybe a half a dozen fish that were circling around. I can’t ever be sure any of the fish saw the fly with the sand stirred up on the shore break camouflaging the fish. Trying to work out the timing of the cast and presentation in the current held my interest for a while until it didn’t. If redfish had snubbed my efforts like that I’d be pretty mad. Sheepshead, it’s just something I’m used to.
#2263745
karstopo wrote: I cast Borski Sliders along the bars and guts just for the heck of it. I did finally see some little sign right in the first gut. Turns out it was sheepshead. I tried three different sliders on maybe a half a dozen fish that were circling around. I can’t ever be sure any of the fish saw the fly with the sand stirred up on the shore break camouflaging the fish. Trying to work out the timing of the cast and presentation in the current held my interest for a while until it didn’t. If redfish had snubbed my efforts like that I’d be pretty mad. Sheepshead, it’s just something I’m used to.


I caught a Sheepshead on a fly once. It was a sandy flat in West Bay, shallow, clear green water. I was fishing my 7 weight with a bonefish line, a 12 foot, 8 lb fluorocarbon leader and a little bonefish fly. The cast, as I recall, might have been my personal best. It was way out there, but landed soft as a feather, simply perfect. I was lucky for sure. Happened once again some years later. That's a lifetime of two on a fly. They say the ultimate is stalking permit on foot, on an ocean side flat. But no, sheepshead make permit look easy. Maybe next time the wind drops down, I'll break out that 7, take a walk on a sandy flat, and harass some sheepshead.
#2263753
Red Dirt Fish to hand today at the Local lake. 5 Carp to 26" and one Gar. It is good practice stalking and casting to them and they are much less likely to eat than a real red fish. They pull like black drum. Using a little crawfish immatator tied on #10 with very small bead chain eyes. I probably cast to 20 fish and hooked 6 and landed 5 in 2 1/2 hours.

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https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vE56dgY--Ho

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