TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


By GregO722
#2238383
I did not drive four hours to sit on the beach and watch the waves. I checked on the thread religiously, you know the one; Bob Hall Pier, learn from the BTB veterans…blah, blah, blah. Finally it’s time to get salt and (real) slime on the kayak. Rent a condo, check, wife and kid ready for a vacation, check, kayak ready to go, check, check and check.

It’s been over a year in the making for me. First, watched the youtube videos…all for them, BTB, Bay fishing, sharks, kayak rigging, how-to this and how-to that. OK, I’m hooked, time to get a kayak…Jackson’s Kraken is the one for me. Now, get the kayak ready to go, anchor trolley, rod holders, electronics, live bait tank…on and on…more youtube...more TKF...more work on the kayak. Finally, the thread on TKF, new to BTB, no problem, learn from the best, over 100 kayakers all together…yes, I’M IN!

Then, the bad news, Friday, wave and wind report is bad, event is a no-go, canceled. Well by that time I had a place rented, the truck was loaded, and no matter what, the family and I are headed for the coast. Saturday morning we were driving along the beach looking at the waves. Wow, that looks bad, no wonder the TKF get-together was cancelled.
As we sat there next to the pier watching the waves, two guys show up with the Hobie Pro Anglers, getting ready to launch. Then another guy unloads his Ride 135. Well, I figure if they are going, then I’m going too. I did lighten up the kayak, all “extra” gear was removed, I didn’t want to lose anything, I’m thinking now! FYI, I’ve made some bad decisions in my life, but this one, well, it could have been epic. I watched the PAs disappear beyond the waves, time to go. I could barely contain my excitement, “This is going to be so much fun”! On a side note, it’s important to know that I love off-shore fishing; I’ve logged hundreds of hours and have caught all kinds of ocean species, all from a very large boat. This was going to be a new experience, oneness with the ocean, if you know what I mean, up close and personal.

About ten seconds into my trek I realized that this was going to be challenging. Within ten minutes, excitement turned to terror, it was getting very serious. Waves were beating me and my kayak relentlessly, sometimes the kayak would go over the waves, sometimes right through. Within fifteen minutes I began to lose the feeling in my hands and arms, I have never had a workout like this, not even close. I could not stop or turn around; at this point the only way to keep the kayak up right was to keep paddling forward, into the waves, further from shore (UGH). I kept the nose of the kayak aimed at the next wave, to make things worse, every once in a while, a wave would come quartering from my right, so I had to turn the kayak right, then back straight for the next wave. I knew this was becoming a life or death situation, and I also knew that once I was not committed, that’s when things were going to get worse. About thirty minutes in, I start thinking that I must be getting close to that rig, what is it, a mile, mile and half off shore? A quick glance to my left, and guess what I saw, the pier, yep, I’ve almost made it past the pier, what is that, about a quarter mile or so? I know that at any minute my body is going to stop working, and I’m going to be at the mercy of the waves and sea. I need a drink, but the drinks a below deck, there’s no way I can stop and get to it, I have to keep the kayak upright.

This goes on for two hours. I could not feel my hands, my arms were burning from the struggle to keep upright, but somehow I managed to keep going. By this time fear had turned to anger, I was really mad at the waves and the wind. I was yelling at the top of my lungs, words that I can’t repeat here. I could not take my hand off the paddle, or I would have added some colorful hand signals to my all out ranting. The Coast Guard helicopter flow low overhead twice, I wonder if they were concerned, or just thinking “yep, we’ll be rescuing him later”. After two hours, and maybe a mile, I managed to turn around and head back in.

On the way back in, the waves and wind are both hitting me from behind, trying to turn the kayak sideways. It’s hard to imagine, but I actually think it was harder to control the kayak coming back in than it was going out. It only took an hour to get back to the beach. When I reached the beach, I dragged my kayak out of the water, pulled off my PFD and threw it down and fell onto the sand. As I lay there, I contemplated what had just happened, the emotional rollercoaster, excitement, fear, anger, triumph and relief. When I finally looked up, I realized that beach goers were all around me. Playing in the sand and water, picking up seashells and throwing a Frisbee, they had no idea what I had just done. I could hear my brain yelling “I almost died!!”, but people just looked annoyed that they had to walk around a kayak and my lifeless body, as they continued to pick up shells.

I’ll never ever do that again. Please, the next time the waves are bad, remind me. I’ll just go fishing in the bay.
Last edited by GregO722 on Wed Jun 14, 2017 9:20 am, edited 2 times in total.
By PiePuncher
#2238391
Glad you made it back but I have to ask, " how old are you?"
I have gone out in some really rough stuff and never felt like it's a life and death situation. I have even turtled and still had zero worries. I flipped the pro angler over and headed out a second time.
Btb is not for the weak but it's not that bad once you are past the breakers.
How much prior experience do you have in a kayak?
Sorry for the rough trip but I figure anyone that tries btb should be fairly experienced or shouldn't take the risk.
By PiePuncher
#2238392
Nevermind... just read your post again and you figured you would just jump on in and give it ago.
Try again after some practice and on a calm day.
The breakers are the hard part. After that, it's smooth sailing if you have the endurance
User avatar
By Karyuu
#2238395
I have a love hate relationship with my kraken. For one it is so damn heavy and kinda slow. So you really need some power and endurance for the yak. But when the water is choppy like it was last friday I didn't have any issues feeling stable in the kayak with all the gear.

In fact I had a really nice lunch break 4 miles offshore friday.
By jnd1959
#2238406
It will get better. It is my opinion that it isn't the wave height that causes problems. It is the wave period. If the period is short it is hard to recover from the last breaker. Time the sets and try to cross the break zones between waves. If it's any consolation, I flipped a lot my first time out and I've had years experience running rapids in a canoe. My 13 year old, on the other had, had no problem, moving in and out of the waves like it was a lake paddle.

You'll get there.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
By GregO722
#2238455
Ok, I was not really in any danger of dying, I’m just telling a story here. The point is that I’ve been planning and preparing to fish in salt water for some time now. I got the kayak, rigged it based on the best advice I could find, and was faced with 3+ foot breakers. I was faced with the decision of “go for it” or just go home without trying. It just so happened that the larger waves beyond the breakers were easily 5 foot rollers, from several directions all at once. I did learn that under these conditions, there’s no time to fish, so it just does not make sense to go out. I also learned that if I happen to accidentally get caught in these conditions, I will be just fine.
I appreciate everyone’s kind thoughts and words of encouragement. I’m looking forward to my next trip; hopefully I’ll actually get to fish.
By Killerbee
#2238461
I was out there as well in a yellow ocean kayak big game prowler. I have run a ton of shark baits but this was my first time btb. I made it to the rig and even managed a hook up on the way out with what I believe to be a king. It was squall ing my avet sx. It hit on a 7inch yozuri crystal minnow. I had drove all night on Friday and atried before sunrise on saturday. I didn't think the surf was that bad getting out but the rollers out past the breakers were pretty large. I forgot to take medicine and got slightly queezy when I made it out to the rig.

When I arrived there was only one power boat and no yaks. Those guys on that boat looked at me like I was crazy and left. I would have stayed longer but I thought the wind and waves were getting worse. On the way in I passed to guys coming out in yaks. I asked how the surf was going back in and they said it was not to bad. I was so tired from lack of sleep that I went back to the sand. I wish that I had enough sleep and some dramamine and I would have stayed out there and had a blast.

It was a little nerve racking being that it was my first time btb. It all went away when that fish nearly dumped my avet.lol
User avatar
By Cruisin_Cuda
#2238463
this might make you mad, but instead of fighting for as long as you did, you could have re-entered the surf backwards using your paddle to keep the kayak straight. aka "paris hilton" style. glad nothing serious happened though, it seems we lose a few every year now.
By yangjianhunt
#2238561
That was an invaluable lesson-
I have been in similar situation but I wasn't able to go out that far. I chickened out about 200 or so yards out and tried to turn back and a wave flipped me. I was wearing a wader and my boat was too wide and heavy to flip, plus waves were crashing from all directions. I understood what it meant by "washing machine" condition. But I had my PFD on. I held onto the back of kayak and let the waves push me to shore.
By Boxermaniac98
#2238635
GregO722 wrote:I did not drive four hours to sit on the beach and watch the waves. I checked on the thread religiously, you know the one; Bob Hall Pier, learn from the BTB veterans…blah, blah, blah. Finally it’s time to get salt and (real) slime on the kayak. Rent a condo, check, wife and kid ready for a vacation, check, kayak ready to go, check, check and check.

It’s been over a year in the making for me. First, watched the youtube videos…all for them, BTB, Bay fishing, sharks, kayak rigging, how-to this and how-to that. OK, I’m hooked, time to get a kayak…Jackson’s Kraken is the one for me. Now, get the kayak ready to go, anchor trolley, rod holders, electronics, live bait tank…on and on…more youtube...more TKF...more work on the kayak. Finally, the thread on TKF, new to BTB, no problem, learn from the best, over 100 kayakers all together…yes, I’M IN!

Then, the bad news, Friday, wave and wind report is bad, event is a no-go, canceled. Well by that time I had a place rented, the truck was loaded, and no matter what, the family and I are headed for the coast. Saturday morning we were driving along the beach looking at the waves. Wow, that looks bad, no wonder the TKF get-together was cancelled.
As we sat there next to the pier watching the waves, two guys show up with the Hobie Pro Anglers, getting ready to launch. Then another guy unloads his Ride 135. Well, I figure if they are going, then I’m going too. I did lighten up the kayak, all “extra” gear was removed, I didn’t want to lose anything, I’m thinking now! FYI, I’ve made some bad decisions in my life, but this one, well, it could have been epic. I watched the PAs disappear beyond the waves, time to go. I could barely contain my excitement, “This is going to be so much fun”! On a side note, it’s important to know that I love off-shore fishing; I’ve logged hundreds of hours and have caught all kinds of ocean species, all from a very large boat. This was going to be a new experience, oneness with the ocean, if you know what I mean, up close and personal.

About ten seconds into my trek I realized that this was going to be challenging. Within ten minutes, excitement turned to terror, it was getting very serious. Waves were beating me and my kayak relentlessly, sometimes the kayak would go over the waves, sometimes right through. Within fifteen minutes I began to lose the feeling in my hands and arms, I have never had a workout like this, not even close. I could not stop or turn around; at this point the only way to keep the kayak up right was to keep paddling forward, into the waves, further from shore (UGH). I kept the nose of the kayak aimed at the next wave, to make things worse, every once in a while, a wave would come quartering from my right, so I had to turn the kayak right, then back straight for the next wave. I knew this was becoming a life or death situation, and I also knew that once I was not committed, that’s when things were going to get worse. About thirty minutes in, I start thinking that I must be getting close to that rig, what is it, a mile, mile and half off shore? A quick glance to my left, and guess what I saw, the pier, yep, I’ve almost made it past the pier, what is that, about a quarter mile or so? I know that at any minute my body is going to stop working, and I’m going to be at the mercy of the waves and sea. I need a drink, but the drinks a below deck, there’s no way I can stop and get to it, I have to keep the kayak upright.

This goes on for two hours. I could not feel my hands, my arms were burning from the struggle to keep upright, but somehow I managed to keep going. By this time fear had turned to anger, I was really mad at the waves and the wind. I was yelling at the top of my lungs, words that I can’t repeat here. I could not take my hand off the paddle, or I would have added some colorful hand signals to my all out ranting. The Coast Guard helicopter flow low overhead twice, I wonder if they were concerned, or just thinking “yep, we’ll be rescuing him later”. After two hours, and maybe a mile, I managed to turn around and head back in.

On the way back in, the waves and wind are both hitting me from behind, trying to turn the kayak sideways. It’s hard to imagine, but I actually think it was harder to control the kayak coming back in than it was going out. It only took an hour to get back to the beach. When I reached the beach, I dragged my kayak out of the water, pulled off my PFD and threw it down and fell onto the sand. As I lay there, I contemplated what had just happened, the emotional rollercoaster, excitement, fear, anger, triumph and relief. When I finally looked up, I realized that beach goers were all around me. Playing in the sand and water, picking up seashells and throwing a Frisbee, they had no idea what I had just done. I could hear my brain yelling “I almost died!!”, but people just looked annoyed that they had to walk around a kayak and my lifeless body, as they continued to pick up shells.

I’ll never ever do that again. Please, the next time the waves are bad, remind me. I’ll just go fishing in the bay.



Wait a minute,,,I can not stop laughing, wiping the tears from my eyes.

I am glad that you made it back safely and know that I have been in that situation a few times myself. I just did not have it in me to try this past weekend.

Like you I did the same, I entered in the TBWKC for this July, never being to Corpus or Bob Hall Pier before and seeing the "Learn to BTB" and reading through, I was like a kid in the candy store. My wife thought I was never going to stop talking about it and was glad the day came and went.

Like you a rented a place, purchased things to rig my lines for kings and the like. Checked on the board, watched the weather, packed, stressed, checked again and again, Finally Saturday morning, we drove, I don't think I stopped talking the entire trip from Conroe. Got there to find only a few kayaks at the beach and they were either loaded on the trucks or laying in the sand. Waves were too much form me and what a disappointment as we came through Corpus and I saw the bays (flat) I thought AWESOME. I get to learn how to fish for these fish and won't look like a fool in a plastic tub out there with the locals hauling in the fish.

So don't feel alone we have all done it, (lie flat half dead on the beach) and it has not stopped us from continuing what we like to do.

Hope to see you out there on the next date. Heck join the TBWKC and try your luck then.
By GregO722
#2238636
Boxermaniac98 wrote:

Wait a minute,,,I can not stop laughing, wiping the tears from my eyes.

I am glad that you made it back safely and know that I have been in that situation a few times myself. I just did not have it in me to try this past weekend.

Like you I did the same, I entered in the TBWKC for this July, never being to Corpus or Bob Hall Pier before and seeing the "Learn to BTB" and reading through, I was like a kid in the candy store. My wife thought I was never going to stop talking about it and was glad the day came and went.

Like you a rented a place, purchased things to rig my lines for kings and the like. Checked on the board, watched the weather, packed, stressed, checked again and again, Finally Saturday morning, we drove, I don't think I stopped talking the entire trip from Conroe. Got there to find only a few kayaks at the beach and they were either loaded on the trucks or laying in the sand. Waves were too much form me and what a disappointment as we came through Corpus and I saw the bays (flat) I thought AWESOME. I get to learn how to fish for these fish and won't look like a fool in a plastic tub out there with the locals hauling in the fish.

So don't feel alone we have all done it, (lie flat half dead on the beach) and it has not stopped us from continuing what we like to do.

Hope to see you out there on the next date. Heck join the TBWKC and try your luck then.



Finally, someone understands me. :)
I can't wait till my next BTB adventure, hope to see you there.
By MustardHooks
#2238792
Something to keep in mind about swell forecasts is that they are from the median of the swell. For example if you're at the bottom of a 2.5' swell you'll be looking at a 5' swing between sets. You mentioned you were experienced offshore so you might already know that but some people think 3' days are ok to make the trip when they would be better off to wait for 1-2' conditions. Having a contingency plan like beach or jetty fishing is good idea.
#2238797
GregO722 wrote:
Boxermaniac98 wrote:

Wait a minute,,,I can not stop laughing, wiping the tears from my eyes.

I am glad that you made it back safely and know that I have been in that situation a few times myself. I just did not have it in me to try this past weekend.

Like you I did the same, I entered in the TBWKC for this July, never being to Corpus or Bob Hall Pier before and seeing the "Learn to BTB" and reading through, I was like a kid in the candy store. My wife thought I was never going to stop talking about it and was glad the day came and went.

Like you a rented a place, purchased things to rig my lines for kings and the like. Checked on the board, watched the weather, packed, stressed, checked again and again, Finally Saturday morning, we drove, I don't think I stopped talking the entire trip from Conroe. Got there to find only a few kayaks at the beach and they were either loaded on the trucks or laying in the sand. Waves were too much form me and what a disappointment as we came through Corpus and I saw the bays (flat) I thought AWESOME. I get to learn how to fish for these fish and won't look like a fool in a plastic tub out there with the locals hauling in the fish.

So don't feel alone we have all done it, (lie flat half dead on the beach) and it has not stopped us from continuing what we like to do.

Hope to see you out there on the next date. Heck join the TBWKC and try your luck then.



Finally, someone understands me. :)
I can't wait till my next BTB adventure, hope to see you there.

I will be there for the tournament on July 1, come go fishing


Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
By GregO722
#2238927
Boxermaniac98 wrote:

I will be there for the tournament on July 1, come go fishing


Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk


I am seriously considering this tournament. I'll be watching the wind and waves forecast. If it looks good, I'll be there. I may have to make a last minute go/no go decision on this, so I may have to sleep on the beach. I'll reach out if I do go. It looks like we are supposed to be fishing in groups, and I don't have a group to fish with.
#2238930
GregO722 wrote:
Boxermaniac98 wrote:

I will be there for the tournament on July 1, come go fishing


Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk


I am seriously considering this tournament. I'll be watching the wind and waves forecast. If it looks good, I'll be there. I may have to make a last minute go/no go decision on this, so I may have to sleep on the beach. I'll reach out if I do go. It looks like we are supposed to be fishing in groups, and I don't have a group to fish with.

Yes, I think they want us to gave partners. I do not have a partner and will hope to find one prior.
I have been working on king rigs and being prepared. I have never done this kind of fishing and figured, I would enjoy the experience.

Sent from my SM-G935V using Tapatalk
#2238936
Yes, I think they want us to use the buddy system . I do not have a partner and will hope to find one prior, or just go out and follow the group ( if they don't throw tomatoes)
I have been working on king rigs and being prepared. I have never done this kind of fishing and figured, I would enjoy the experience.
User avatar
By dmanars
#2238955
BTB isnt easy. its really hard on the body. Even on a calm day!IT wasnt till my 4-5th time out I went to a rig with some buddies on here 6-7 years ago. I think I wen out with mythman, castnblast, longshotjames and one other person. I was 5'6" 130lbs on top of an xfactor. We paddled out to the big rigs off of bobhall. It was a beautiful day, father I paddled I realized it began to get tougher and tougher to keep speed. oh did I mention I had an ice chest. I soon relived there was an onshore flow and least to say it was the toughest paddle of my life. I made it out there and anchored up and after awhile napped (by accident) on the water. Didnt catch a thing. The only thing worst than the paddle out, was the the paddle in! I struggled and did it in spurts. finally got in and turtled. Luckily, Longshot, saw me struggling and helped me up. I still owe that guy. I watch the surk like a hawk. Most of the time, I get good waves.Today and tomorrow is prime. I will go our in 3ft surf also. Ive also been out in 3.5 surf. Really the moral of the story is there are many otherfactors that you have to look at. Stay safe and catch the big one. Fishing the flats can be just as fun also :mrgreen:
User avatar
By Prof. Salt
#2238959
I'm sorry your first encounter with the surf was so rough, but while I was on the beach Saturday talking to a reporter (about kayak safety) she asked if I would be out in conditions like we had. I only needed one word to respond, and that was "no". As a local I can turn around and head back home - I do so no less miffed than those who had to travel to get to the coast, but certainly less inconvenienced. The cost and anticipation of prepping and bringing the family can put pressure on us to continue into conditions we know are probably too rough for our current ability. I can't blame you for trying, I have been known to paddle into surf on "no-go" days knowing that I may not be able to get through the rollers. After losing prescription glasses, rods and reels, and numerous other items to the surf when I probably should have stayed on the shore, I am finally learning when to make that call to sit myself out.

As a rule, if you get to the beach and think it might be too much for you, begin with your kayak empty and run through the breakers. If you can get out empty you will know for sure just how powerful the conditions are, and can make an informed decision as to whether you want to load the boat with all your treasured possessions and go again. When winds are strong and the water is churned up, the breaking surf can extend at least 400 yards from shore and as you found out, it gets stronger as the water gets deeper.

*Sitting on the beach, the surf ALWAYS looks better than it really is. When you get to the third sand bar and face real 3-4 foot waves at 4-6 second intervals it's an intimidating eye opener ...and you're right, you discover that you can't turn the boat around in that precarious spot. It's a tough environment that demands respect and sometimes Davey Jones mugs you and steals some of your toys. I'm glad you're safe, but sorry it was a rough introduction to the neighborhood.
By Longliner
#2238977
I know everyone has their own reasons for being intimidated out there on a day like that.
But I can only think of 3 things that would worry me. The first one would be not having enough drinking water the second would be getting bit by a shark and the third losing all my gear.
The last two can be prevented by not going out in rough seas.

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