TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


User avatar
By txvike
#2201526
Sometimes everything works out for a great trip; schedules, tides, weather, and three of us plastic boat addicts had one heck of a good plan. We were finally going to get to do the Palacios Drift together...

Image
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.
Image
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.
Image
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.
Image
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.
Image
Image
Image\
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.
Image

An absolutely great time with great TKF guys. The drift didn't happen but it'll be there still.

Image

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.
#2201537
Awesome report! being from the Victoria area myself and wanting to avoid some of the crowds I have been keeping my eye on a few of those places along with some marshes in keller. Was oyster wadeable at all or is it too soft?
#2201542
Very nice report. I've driven past that area twice in the past several months (League City to Rockport, then League City to POC) and wondered about the fishing there. I'd really like to give it a try. Did you have a camper set up down there? Or rent a place? We got hammered on the rain Tuesday in POC. Went out anyway and caught some trout, but absolutely soaked the whole time.
#2201559
Nice report, thanks for the detail. Congrats on finding some fish and avoiding the storms.

On the silver reds - I have also had some slot redfish recently that have very little bronzing and was wondering the same thing. It seems common for the rats to be silver but by slot size they have bronzed a lot. The pic shows one a bit over 20". Also had one over 22" with the same coloring.
Attachments
P7192072.JPG
User avatar
By txvike
#2201584
Thank you guys. YakRunabout- yeah, the silver reds Ive seen alot but usually theyre all silver when catching in the same area, same time of the year. This one just caught my attention because it sttod out so much compared to the others. See you're from the Magnolia area, love that Indianola and Powderhorn.

vstrom650 wrote:Did you have a camper set up down there? Or rent a place? We got hammered on the rain Tuesday in POC. Went out anyway and caught some trout, but absolutely soaked the whole time.


One of the guys I was with keeps his RV there so we stayed in that. Otherwise I usually just make it a one day trip. The rain that got you on Tues is what we didn't want to launch in. It's one thing to already be on the water and get a freshwater rinsing but unloading, launching, and then fishing in it wasn't on the menu.

One of the times you're thinking of fishing there, PM me and we'll see if we can make it work.
#2201586
txvike wrote:...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.


I don't know if this applies to fish, as well, but maybe it has to do with what they've been primarily feeding on. Sort of like flamingos or ibis. When they visit the shrimp buffet, they get pink. Makes me think that if a redfish has been eating lots of shrimp or crabs, it may get a different coloration than if eating glass minnows.

This past Sunday I fished Cold Pass near Churchill Bayou. BTW, the water was ab-so-lute-ly beautiful. After lots of exploring marshes and looking deep into the waters, I settled in for more fishing than paddling. Good success with flounder, trout and an 18" redfish (my 1st Slam!!!). The red was very silver (still beautiful). One of my observations when backed into some vegetation near one fo the cuts was lots of glass minnows would school up around my kayak. It is interesting to note that I caught all my fish on the very same pearl white paddletail. My thought going home was I needed to get some more of those paddletails. When I looked up the actual type, it was a Strike King glass minnow. My immediate thought was since there was much of the glass minnow in the area, I ended up with a good (lucky?) choice of lure presentation. After reading your query on the silver red, I wondered if there was a connection to what these fish in particular were enjoying.

Anyway, my hypothesis. Sounds like you had a great trip. I think I may have to look into a similar one! :)
#2201587
I was at oyster years ago with Mrs. Cuervo. It was windy as all get-go and she wasn't happy. So then I wasn't happy. And you know how that goes. Loooonnng, quiet drive home after that day. Maybe I should check it out again. Alone.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
#2201597
Excellent report and photos. Looks like a fun area.

I'm a believer of the water rather than diet affects the coloration of redfish. But I have absolutely no real evidence or data to support this idea, but just some observations.

Twice, I have encountered two color variations in the same medium marsh lake. The thing was that a pod of reds on both trips in different years were roving and busting shrimp in the middle. These reds were as dark bronze as you will ever see. On the same 2 trips, minutes apart from the bronze beauties, other reds were feeding singly along the shoreline and these were the pale color variation. Two different colors, two different behaviors, same marsh lake fishing on the same day. This marsh has a part of it that goes well inland. My hypothesis was that the dark fish were from the inland areas and the pale ones from the ICW.

Redfish coming from more inland rivers, like the Brazos, upper parts of Bastrop bayou, and up oyster creek, and jones creek, and other streams around my home area tend to be dark. Redfish from Drum Bay sometimes have a beautiful golden hue. Redfish coming from marshes right off the ICW seem to be the palest of them all. Surf fish tend to run pale.
#2201599
Three different fish from three different areas with colorations that are typical for those areas.

No filters used. Lighting different, but you can still see the differences.

Anyway, nice report, thanks for sharing and I hope you will share some future trip reports. :D
Attachments
1105151523c-1-1-1.jpg
ICW area near Surfside
0926150844-1-1-1.jpg
Drum Bay
0824131113b-1.jpg
Oyster Creek way up in Lake Jackson
#2201614
The Reds I've caught from schools and pods in shallow water are nice and coppery. The singles from deeper tend to be pale and washed out. Especially in murky water. I always figured that like bass and freshwater trout, the fish's color intensifies when it's in shallow water to better match the bottom and also reflects its mood. An excited fish, competing with his buddies for food will turn bright colors, like we get al red and blush when excited.
Then again, I could be wrong.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
User avatar
By Salty_Dawg
#2201621
I know I probably haven't read 1% of the fishing reports on this site but that was the best report I've read this far. I'm from Needville and will definitely make the Palacios Drift soon!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
#2202028
Awesome report I never thought about drafting from Oyster lake down by grassy point. Seems like fun my buddy and I usually stay a couple of days in April at oryster lake . That reef does produce some nice reds.
#2202441
TrailChaser wrote:That was an awesome report Bill, I'm really looking forward to our trip out there in a couple of days.


You guys want to go August 12 (Friday), 13 (Saturday) or 14 (Sunday)?

This would be the maiden voyage for the FeelFree Lure 13.5 I just bought.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
#2241142
Great report! I bought a lot down there in Boca chica and try to go fish down there every couple of weeks or so. Love the idea/plan for the drift. Never would have thought about that. Might have to make a trip pretty quick once my SG130 comes in. Looks like tons of fun. If y'all are ever down there let me know I'd love to go with the experienced guys from the area.

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
#2241155
10 years ago a buddy and I camped out on that peninsula for a week, we sat through a downpour that lasted four hours, had to make a hole in my tent floor to keep it from filling up with water, almost drowned trying to get back out of oyster lake when a big norther caught us in there. You can't believe how much water pushes through the narrow channel of that bridge when mother nature pulls the plug. Then we almost didn't make it out in time before another storm closed the road. God that was a fun trip! I need to go back.
#2241172
KingO'Dinks wrote:10 years ago a buddy and I camped out on that peninsula for a week, we sat through a downpour that lasted four hours, had to make a hole in my tent floor to keep it from filling up with water, almost drowned trying to get back out of oyster lake when a big norther caught us in there. You can't believe how much water pushes through the narrow channel of that bridge when mother nature pulls the plug. Then we almost didn't make it out in time before another storm closed the road. God that was a fun trip! I need to go back.

This was one of the best things I've read today. If you're ever back in the area get in touch with me. I'm 2 and a half hours out but I make the trip somewhat regularly

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
#2241662
I am firmly convinced REDS have the ability to modify their color. Reds out of heavy grass tend to be dark or bronze. Those off sandy shorelines more silver. Looking closely at their scales, there is a very thin skin layer that seems to display color. The final clue was the 3 dark bronze reds I had on stringer caught in heavy grass. As I waded and worked a sandy point I was surprised to see all 3 reds had gone to pure silver! There were still fresh and healthy doing well on the stringer did not appear to be any undo stress.

Fishing BTB off shore I have observed schools of big reds rapidly moving in from deeper water. These fish are beautiful bronze. Near the the surf zone mostly silver tones. Redfish are truly amazing fish.
#2241663
The passed few days we fished out of oyster lake and couldn't get on them out passed the bridge. The few we found were way to skittish. After about 6 hours out we came back to get some more water and some food. As we were refilling coolers we threw out a popping cork with a live shrimp just to check it out. WHAM! Slot red after slot red. We finished the day out there and the 2 of us limited out. Overall we caught a lot of rat reds, slot reds, a couple small black drum and a bonnethead shark. Saturday it rained all day so we didn't get much fishing done but overall a great and successful trip

Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
Be careful and be safe.

When you think the prefrontal bite could be excell[…]

Once you have a good rapport with the fish, you ca[…]

Cool video of Flounder from NatGeo

Now that is a cool video! Love the flounder....an[…]

Reports from Rockport

Thank you sir. Will check it out.