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Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


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By fishnstu
#2299012
I'm looking for some advice as to where to start looking for some Guadalupe bass and Texas cichlids. I'm currently in Port A and am going to do some poking around starting Monday. I've heard the Nueces, San Antonio, and Guadalupe rivers all have Guadalupe bass and cichlids in them. I can bring the yak but a 14' Hurricane might be more hindrance than help on a small river. So I think I'm looking for advice on where one might find public access for wading or yakking. How far below the dam on the Guad do I have to be to get away from those pesky invasive salmonids? Thanks.
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User avatar
By Ron Mc
#2299016
If you want A-strain endemic Guadalupe bass (no smallmouth genetics and not stocked), they're in Johnson Creek in Ingram, and Cibolo Creek in Boerne -
cichlids are also in both places.
Boerne City Lake is loaded with endemic bass and a great place to kayak.
$15 park entrance fee. $5 for vets.
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As far as hiking/busting/wading Cibolo Creek, The Boerne Nature Center is the place to park, and from SH 46 (tractor museum) down to the Nature Center, both banks are public. No floating there because the creek is fenced at the bottom of the Nature Center (and disappears into the aquifer not far down from there).
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The Guadalupe from Comfort to Waring is a great float, and includes the part of the river I took Kevin Townsend to film a KT Diaries episode on endemic bass.
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The upper Sabinal is killer water to float trip, with Big cichlids, endemic bass, and some of the largest river largemouth in Texas.
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Ditto for the upper Nueces from Vance down to where it disappears into the aquifer (US90).
The state record endemic Guadalupe bass was caught on the Nueces.
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On the Guadalupe, note in Kendall county you can't park at County Rd. crossings, but they have no mandate on state roads (FM, RR, etc.)
Last edited by Ron Mc on Fri Feb 14, 2020 4:47 pm, edited 5 times in total.
User avatar
By fishnstu
#2299021
How 'bout where to put in and take out? Are there any shuttle services available? Or are the flows such that paddling up or down stream are of little consequence? Thanks again.
User avatar
By Ron Mc
#2299022
I've never looked for a livery, because we always go with two boats and two trucks.
Again, in case you didn't see my edit:
On the Guadalupe, note in Kendall county you can't park at County Rd. crossings, but they have no mandate on state roads (FM, RR, etc.)
If you want to split the Comfort-Waring float, James Piehl Park in Kendall Co. is a good start or finish.
http://www.hillcountryportal.com/hillco ... .html#WEST

The Nueces is lined with private camps, and you could probably find a livery service from one or more.
Chalk Bluff Park not far from Uvalde is one.
A little farther up, Camp Wood (town) is a logical place to check.
Neumie may have some ideas here - he spends a lot of time on the Nueces.
http://www.hillcountryportal.com/hillco ... tml#NUECES
User avatar
By TexasJim
#2299031
The Upper Guadalupe has lots of free lake launches and good fishing. Starting at Center Point, Flathead, Louise B. Hays, Kerrvile Ponding Lake(named Chester Nimitz, but you won't find a sign) are all in Kerrville. Good launch behind Chili's. In Ingram, 5 miles west, Old Ingram Lake is where Johnson Creek, that Ron mentioned, empties into the Guad. You can launch at the dam or under the 39 bridge. Mucho bass and gar. Upstream, past The Dam and The Dam Store, there is New Lake Ingram, with a decent free ramp. From it, you can paddle upstream until you expect to start hearing banjos. At Hunt crossing, on 39, you can launch and paddle downstream about two miles. All clear water and your 14 footer would do just fine. No livery required. I caught largemouth bass, Guads, but no cichlids. I'm sure they're there. Have fun. TexasJim
User avatar
By Ron Mc
#2299034
Stu, was never trying to talk you out of your original plan, driving up, parking and wading with a fly rod.
Thousands of hours here doing that, since I could first drive and park at Pancranz crossing.
I know every bridge within 100 miles...
Certainly your highest probability of getting a big cichlid is Cibolo from the Boerne Nature Center (up the creek), and A-strain endemic bass.
The float adventure option may distract you from your focus of stealth and combing a few hundred yards of limestone creek, v. covering miles of it sporadically.
If you want to spend some time on maps and ask me about specific crossings, access, and fishing those crossings, please feel free.
This is Mueller falls up from Rebecca's Creek crossing (but you see by the bronze tint, this fish has smallmouth genetics).
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A place we consistently catch cichlids the size of footballs are the lower Frio and Sabinal crossings near the confluence of the two rivers.
This is below where the rivers re-emerge from the aquifer, 15-20 mi or so south of US-90.
Just not a great place for endemic bass.
ImageBut there's sight-fishing to 5-lb largemouth there...
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If you're interested in pay access (and even lodging), Shonto Ranch on Turtle Creek on the west side of Kerrville has purina-fed cichlids to about 3-1/2 lbs, they stock big rainbows in the winter, 5-lb catfish on fly rod, and big bass live there, too.
User avatar
By fishnstu
#2299195
Great stuff! Thanks to all who replied. I now have some great ideas for some places to begin exploring. Gonna head inland today as it is supposed to be fairly breezy on the coast for the next few days. Good time to do some poking around. Now I gotta do a seearch to find out the specifics of Texas trespass laws. I would rather not inadvertently find myself in violation.

stu
User avatar
By Ron Mc
#2299196
Stu, you can travel a long way from public access at many bridge crossings (not all depending on county laws) without trespassing.
You can park and access at every SH and FM/RR crossing in Texas if the river is wider than 30', and you can also hike anything below the high-water mark.
There are also many landowners who don't mind fishermen borrowing their banks to get past a deep hole and go a little farther.

One thing that has always worked for me is carry a trash bag and put it to use picking up litter along the way.
The couple of times I've been confronted by a landowner, showed them the bag, and they inevitably invite me to return anytime.

Also a good idea is a wading staff of some form to probe before you step in over your head. My favorite is a 4-section trekking pole.
Guadalupe at Center Point down from Turtle Creek confluence.
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upper Sabinal cichlid
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User avatar
By fishnstu
#2299197
Excellent! Sounds very similar to Minnesota and Wisconsin trespass laws. Maybe I'll see you on the on the crik! I know, I know, it's not spelled correctly. Even if it is spelled properly, creek should be pronounced crik.

stu
User avatar
By fishnstu
#2299200
Oh yeah, I know it's "winter" but what level of snake activity can I expect? Maybe some out sunning on warm days? I dunno. I'll probably bring my ray/snake guards along just cuz I'm paranoid. Maybe the wading staff can double as a ward against overly curious and or territorial critters. As I told my kids when they were young, just cuz I'm paranoid doesn't mean they're not out to get me.

stu

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