I'd only been able to do this once a couple of years ago and it was great so we were all ready for a full day of fish catching fun. A little before 6am we had the empty truck ready at the Grassy Point take out spot and we headed to the SE launch spot at Oyster Lake. The weather and tide setup seemed almost perfect, a steady incoming tide, winds from the S/SE at 3-5mph maxing out at 8-9mph later in the day. Chance of rain, 20% in the am only.
Right outside the channel to the bay the first keeper trout was caught so we hung out there for a bit. I was throwing a Superspook Jr. at the points and scattered grass and the other guys stayed in a little deeper water landing a few more 15"-18" trout. I was looking for the reds but other than a cute little guy that was barely bigger than the SS topwater I wasn't having much luck. After about 30 minutes, Mother Nature decided to reveal her hand and gleefully show us puny humans what she can and will do to best laid plans.
That batch of rain in the background may not look like much but it was only a hint of what was brewing. We had seen the rain coming in from the south and decided to stay put and see what happens. The storm in the pic passed by a few miles to the west but a much bigger cell was coming straight up from the south and the the wind went to nothing. Stayed put a little longer, the S/SE breeze shifted to actual wind and started blowing directly from the west. Long weather story short; we ended up getting bracketed on both the east and the west by large, slow moving rain cells and the wind was blowing from west hard enough to turn the bay into a muddy, choppy mess with 1-2 ft swells and whitecaps. There was no way with the west wind that we could make the drift, we would have been constantly pushed into the shoreline and the swells and waves were enough to rock and roll even the saltiest yakker out there to start actually yakking over the side. We called it and went to plan B- go back under the bridge and get into Oyster. At least we'd get a break from the winds.
As soon as we got into Oyster and started for the reef everything got better. The winds were again a gentle breeze and the water was trout green with decent visibility. The guys with me were in Hobies and Oyster is aptly named so they had to carefully pick their way to the reef while me and and my handy dandy tarpon and svelte 5'7" 145 lb frame gently floated over the top of the reef, found a spot with enough of a mud/shell bottom to stick the stakeout pole, and the fun started.
I ended up with 5 slot reds out of a dozen or so caught. One nice thing was that even the undersized were healthy, fat, fighting, little brutes that were in the 15-19 inch range. I know there's been plenty of fish on the bump boards shown in the reports but I posted these because I have a question. Almost every single red was the gorgeous bronze like the first two pics but the last pic puzzles me. He was the smallest of the slots and the picture doesn't really show how silver he is, he shimmered brighter than the trout. Most of the other undersized had at least some bronze to them so I wondered about this. I know the bronze has a lot to do with the tannin but you folks think he may have just been a stray and freshly wandered into Oyster? Or something genetic? I've caught plenty of light colored reds but usually they all have the same color scheme going on. If you have a thought I'd like to know please.
We called it a day at about 2:30, the sun had returned, it was getting hot, but left them still biting. All the reds except two were caught on either chartreuse gulp swimming mullet or new penny/chartreuse tail gulp mantis shrimp. The swimming mullet were either under a popping cork or on a jig head. The mantis shrimp were rigged weedless on a Tx rig and twitched along the bottom. I had caught a lady fish and remembered Tobin (troutsupport guru) mentioned a month or so ago that they were redfish candy so I cut some chunks and threw it out on a fishfinder rig while I was casting the gulp lures. I caught two on the cut bait. All the reds were released to enjoy life and hopefully make little reds someday.
The plan was to hit the water again the next morning around Turtle Bay but later that night (Monday) everything that missed us and poured on Bay City, Edna, etc., hammered down on fish camp Palacios and didn't stop. We agreed to not set the alarm and see what happens. Still coming down pretty healthy at 7:30 am so we sat under the awning, drank some coffee, and enjoyed the cool 70's weather and the scenery.
An absolutely great time with great TKF guys. The drift didn't happen but it'll be there still.
I know this has gotten long but I don't post much, got the itch to write a little, so if you want to bear with me here goes...
Tres Palacios (the Bay of Three Palaces) is an absolutely fantastic area to fish in these shallow mid-coast bay systems. Turtle Bay, Oyster Lake, the Pilkington/Pelican Bayou, and the Palacios Bay itself has something to offer all year round. When I first found Oyster several years ago I could be out there 12-14 hrs and never see another human. In the last three years it's gotten a little busier but if I see 2 other yaks it's very surprising. Same for the other spots I mentioned but then again I do my best to stay off the water on weekends so maybe it's busier then. The drift I marked on the map is just under 10 miles as the pelican flies and kayak paddles. When you zig zag, or get a ways up into one of the marsh drains along the route it will be a 12-13 mile trip. You've got to have the wind help you unless you're some kind of paddling/peddling, out there for the health of it, kind of a yakker. I don't know many of those, but the couple I do come in from Austin in the Prius, sip wheatgrass health shakes, and have sit in's. Whatever floats your yak but in regards to that drift trip and fishing, gotta be prepared.