TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


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By YakRunabout
#2246081
Drifting Yak and I launched early into calm waters and light to no winds. I did not like to see the water surface so smooth, since I have not had much fish action in such conditions. Plus the water was not as salty as I had hoped. Once into the bay the fish action issue was quickly gone since schools of bait fish were getting pounded. The splashing schools always seemed to be way over there, or this way, or to add insult right behind us. Obviously, fish were on the move. I soon hooked into a nice 21” spec on a jerk shad. I did not feel much of a strike, it was just – hey, I have a fish on! A nice way to start the morning and a nice first fish in my new kayak.

Our plan had been to head to a nearby marsh area but with all this fish action we stayed in the cove. We were in 3’ – 4’ of water. Soon I landed another trout on the same jerk shad, prompting Mike to change his rigging to match. A short time later I was moving on down the cove while Mike was trailing. I landed a 3rd trout at about the same time as Mike picked up a nice 19” founder.

We eventually made it into the marsh where there continued to be lots of fish activity, but I had nothing on the hook for long. I did lose a few tails off lures so suspect that the activity was a bunch of smaller fish. Mike did land several rat reds in this area but nothing to keep.

Later, heading back toward the cove I hooked into what I thought may be a founder since I could not get it off bottom, but it turned out to be a decent black drum. This finished the day fish wise for me.

New kayak – I have had a Hobie PA 12 for 3 years and have enjoyed fishing from that. For the past year or so I have been thinking about getting something lighter that I could carry on top of my car as well as to better deal with the shallow waters of the marshes. This also gives me an extra kayak to use with folks visiting instead of renting. I ended up getting a Viking Profish 400. I had rented one a few weeks before to make sure that we were compatible. I had rotator cuff surgery many years ago, so wanted to make sure that would not bother the paddling.
Observations/comparisons (based on only 1 outing) –
One is short, wide and heavy, the other longer (1.5’), narrower (5+”) and lighter (40#+/-). Not surprisingly, even with my newbie paddling technique and low paddling stamina the Viking is a bit faster. In the PA I can peddle for a long time at a 3 mph pace, have done an hour and could do more. Will my paddling stamina get up to match that time? I suspect so, time will tell.
When in the cove with the deeper water and bait busting going on I missed the mirage drive where I could move and cast at the same time. Of course, this could be a false benefit considering that I did catch 3 trout in this area with the Viking!
In the marsh the Viking will go anywhere, no concern about water depth. I even ran through thin lines of grass since the water level was high enough. In the PA I can flutter kick in shallow water, or remove the drive and paddle. I have paddled the PA in shallow marsh – don’t want to do that for too long.
The PA has a low legged beach chair – comfy and dry. I can stand easily, lots of room on a flat deck space. The Viking seating position is comfortable enough, though wet. There are drain holes under the seat as well as at the feet, so the ride will be wet. Also paddling is a wet business. On the steady paddling runs it was like it was raining at times. Hopefully my paddling technique will improve in a way to limit the rainfall! As it is now I believe I know which will be my winter time fishing kayak, though I do have water proof gear, and can just add some insulation!

All-in-all I enjoyed this first outing and look forward to the next. We went 7.2 miles on this outing, a good test of my shoulder stamina. The next day I could feel that I had a workout the day before, but my shoulders were fine, no pain, just a little stiffness. I was surprised to find that I felt the most pain in my legs! Here I have been peddling around in the PA and felt that my legs should be in good shape due to this workout. But I have pain on the inside of my thighs. I was concentrating on using my whole body for the paddle strokes, not just my arms, and so was turning my body into each stroke. Apparently my legs were more involved in this than I realized! It was quite a workout. In looking back I now realize that the tackle bin in the middle provides resistance for the legs to be more involved in each stroke.

Any advice on paddling or your approach to fishing the marsh will be appreciated.

One last bit – a big thank you to Bill Bragman with Yakgear for his advice and assistance on rigging out, loading and using the Viking.
Attachments
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P9040157.JPG
First catch on the Viking Profish 400
By bigbuzzard
#2246083
YakRunabout wrote:Drifting Yak and I launched early into calm waters and light to no winds. I did not like to see the water surface so smooth, since I have not had much fish action in such conditions. Plus the water was not as salty as I had hoped. Once into the bay the fish action issue was quickly gone since schools of bait fish were getting pounded. The splashing schools always seemed to be way over there, or this way, or to add insult right behind us. Obviously, fish were on the move. I soon hooked into a nice 21” spec on a jerk shad. I did not feel much of a strike, it was just – hey, I have a fish on! A nice way to start the morning and a nice first fish in my new kayak.

Our plan had been to head to a nearby marsh area but with all this fish action we stayed in the cove. We were in 3’ – 4’ of water. Soon I landed another trout on the same jerk shad, prompting Mike to change his rigging to match. A short time later I was moving on down the cove while Mike was trailing. I landed a 3rd trout at about the same time as Mike picked up a nice 19” founder.

We eventually made it into the marsh where there continued to be lots of fish activity, but I had nothing on the hook for long. I did lose a few tails off lures so suspect that the activity was a bunch of smaller fish. Mike did land several rat reds in this area but nothing to keep.

Later, heading back toward the cove I hooked into what I thought may be a founder since I could not get it off bottom, but it turned out to be a decent black drum. This finished the day fish wise for me.

New kayak – I have had a Hobie PA 12 for 3 years and have enjoyed fishing from that. For the past year or so I have been thinking about getting something lighter that I could carry on top of my car as well as to better deal with the shallow waters of the marshes. This also gives me an extra kayak to use with folks visiting instead of renting. I ended up getting a Viking Profish 400. I had rented one a few weeks before to make sure that we were compatible. I had rotator cuff surgery many years ago, so wanted to make sure that would not bother the paddling.
Observations/comparisons (based on only 1 outing) –
One is short, wide and heavy, the other longer (1.5’), narrower (5+”) and lighter (40#+/-). Not surprisingly, even with my newbie paddling technique and low paddling stamina the Viking is a bit faster. In the PA I can peddle for a long time at a 3 mph pace, have done an hour and could do more. Will my paddling stamina get up to match that time? I suspect so, time will tell.
When in the cove with the deeper water and bait busting going on I missed the mirage drive where I could move and cast at the same time. Of course, this could be a false benefit considering that I did catch 3 trout in this area with the Viking!
In the marsh the Viking will go anywhere, no concern about water depth. I even ran through thin lines of grass since the water level was high enough. In the PA I can flutter kick in shallow water, or remove the drive and paddle. I have paddled the PA in shallow marsh – don’t want to do that for too long.
The PA has a low legged beach chair – comfy and dry. I can stand easily, lots of room on a flat deck space. The Viking seating position is comfortable enough, though wet. There are drain holes under the seat as well as at the feet, so the ride will be wet. Also paddling is a wet business. On the steady paddling runs it was like it was raining at times. Hopefully my paddling technique will improve in a way to limit the rainfall! As it is now I believe I know which will be my winter time fishing kayak, though I do have water proof gear, and can just add some insulation!

All-in-all I enjoyed this first outing and look forward to the next. We went 7.2 miles on this outing, a good test of my shoulder stamina. The next day I could feel that I had a workout the day before, but my shoulders were fine, no pain, just a little stiffness. I was surprised to find that I felt the most pain in my legs! Here I have been peddling around in the PA and felt that my legs should be in good shape due to this workout. But I have pain on the inside of my thighs. I was concentrating on using my whole body for the paddle strokes, not just my arms, and so was turning my body into each stroke. Apparently my legs were more involved in this than I realized! It was quite a workout. In looking back I now realize that the tackle bin in the middle provides resistance for the legs to be more involved in each stroke.

Any advice on paddling or your approach to fishing the marsh will be appreciated.

One last bit – a big thank you to Bill Bragman with Yakgear for his advice and assistance on rigging out, loading and using the Viking.
Thanks yakrunabout for the report. I tried a rustoleum product (never wet) for drips on my paddle. It worked super the 1st time I used it. But didn't last as long as I would have liked, about 3 trips. Redid it, not bad but definitely not good. Drips aren't that big a deal to me, except in winter. Bush hat keeps it off. Got the stuff from Amazon. Was heading out to Jones bay and highland tomorrow. Don't know if I should target the marsh, reds and flounder or try deeper? I'll figure it out by tomorrow. Hope to be on water and in the marsh just a tad before sun up.

Sent from my SAMSUNG-SM-G891A using Tapatalk
User avatar
By YakRunabout
#2246090
bigbuzzard - Jones bay area will likely have pretty fresh water at the surface based on the noaa salinity map -
https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/ofs/o ... ty_nowcast

We were further down in West Bay and the surface seemed to be less salty than this map would indicate. Still we found some trout, but in 3-4' of water, so the deeper waters were likely higher salinity.

Thanks for the hint on the drips. It is not a big deal, just different from the PA. My paddle does have the drip guards so the runoff is not too bad. I was out one time when my sister had a rental kayak where the included paddle had no drip guards, so she was getting soaked. Once I was aware of the issue I let her use mine from the PA since I rarely used it.

Good luck on your outing. Should be good temps, but looks to be a bit windy.
By bigbuzzard
#2246106
Thanks yakrunabout for the great info. I didn't know that kind of info existed. I may revise my thinking and head to cold pass.

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User avatar
By Drifting Yak
#2246112
We had intentions of hitting the marshes (which we did) but the keeper fish were out a little ways. Plenty of bait everywhere so that wasn't the issue. As Ken mentioned the water was fresh'ish - at least on the surface. Could not convince Ken to take a dive to test the water on bottom - :D - but could image the salinity being higher with depth. We had a good outing and for sure Ken put the Viking (and himself) to the test. I think he's found a keeper!

PS: The Viking is fast. Ken was moving at a steady 3.5 MPH on our way back to the launch, which took about 30 minutes. That's a pretty good clip!
By Yakety_Yak
#2246236
Great report, Ken!! I like the color on the new yak. :)

PS: I don't believe I have fished with you guys this year at all. That's weird considering how many times I usually fish with you guys in years past. We still have four months left. We will figure out something soon. :)
By BOOMTOWN
#2246412
Good stuff! Glad you enjoyed the Viking. 7 miles is a beastly paddle, especially coming off rotator cuff surgery!

I was one of the guys with the Viking that you saw when launching and loading. I ended up with a 20" flounder that I caught on a east beast TTF. Im a bit disappointed I couldn't get anything else given all the blowups we saw...

Hope to see y'all out there again!
User avatar
By YakRunabout
#2246418
Boomtown - thanks for posting up. It is funny how you buy a new car, you see more of them on the road. I rented a profish 400 before buying and on that outing met another profish 400 lite at the landing. Again on my first outing, as I am about to launch you guys pull up, each with a profish 400 lite!
The rotator cuff work was long ago but the shoulders have never been the same, especially when working overhead, and forget about a hard throw overhand! I am hoping the paddling workout will be good for the shoulders.

That was a nice flounder, saw you getting a pic as I got back to the launch.
See ya on the water!

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