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Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


#2269088
At 11 pm on 7/10/18, DandyDon, MWatson71 and yours truly launched into a partly cloudy, pitch black West Bay nighttime sky and fished the summertime bite. Good tides were forecast for the night – strong outgoing until midnight and strong incoming from 2 am to 8 am. We also had a major solunar feed scheduled from 11:26 pm to 1:26 am and a good minor feed from 4 to 5 am.
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Winds were S/SW to 8 and temps were a pleasant 78 degrees. Water temperatures were 84 degrees, with visibility ranging from 12 to 30 inches in the grass flats.

Tally for the night for me:
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I caught 25-30 undersized specks that ranged from 10 to 14 inches, and six legal specks to 18 inches. All were caught on a silver Yo-Zuri crystal minnow (1/8 oz I think) with a steady retrieve through underwater lights, a Down South 4 inch paddletail in glo/chartreuse affixed to ¼ oz jighead bounced through the underwater and surface lights (tipped with shrimp Fishbites or Saltwater Procure), and three legal fish on a bone SS Jr. worked over feeding fish on a grass flat, as discussed in greater detail below.

The highlight of the night for me was catching three legal fish on topwater only by sound and feel. Let me set the scene. A sliver of the moon rose over the bay in the east sky around 4 am as DandyDon and I ventured to the marshy area to anchor up and catch one of Don’s famous “man-naps” so we could be fresh to fish the sunrise bite at first light. As we ventured to our chosen spot, I could hear, about 150 yards away, fish busting up mullet on a grass flat in the bay, but could see nothing. So, I slowly ventured over to the sounds, got within casting distance and fired off my trusty Bone SS Jr. A 17 inch trout tore into the lure, rounding the speck total to a lower coast limit. After that, I slowly peddled around the flat listening for more tell-tale signs. As I got close to what sounded like another mullet murder, I launched the SS Jr. into the night sky once again. Another 17 inch trout tore into it (with one hook impaling him in his right peeper) and then a few minutes after that, a 24 inch redfish inhaled it and gave me a good fight. After bagging that brute, I then ventured into a grass flat cove, where I heard mullet being slurped. This time, however, I got too close to a school of hungry redfish working the flat over in a tight bunch about the diameter of a small box truck. A marsh jacuzzi then erupted all around me, and dozens, if not a 100 of them, spooked and hauled ass, with 20-25 of them hitting my kayak in 2 feet of water, rocking me and the Hobie Outback back and forth. It was nuts. Unfortunately, I never could find them after that, so Don and I fished the grass flats with topwaters and a weedless TSL Grasswalker (with a few half hearted swipes here and there) but no more fish came to hand. We called it at 7:30 am and were off the water and on our way back to Houston.

Epic nighttime trip for sure.
Last edited by shoffer on Thu Jul 12, 2018 7:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
#2269099
Hope everyone can appreciate a helluva nighttime fishing report that makes you feel like YOU WERE THERE! See above...
In my case, I was there, fishing w/ my lawyer Shoffer & another lawyer-friend named Watson who outfished me, dang it. I got to watch Night Warrior Shoffer weave his dark-time magic. As we launched about 11pm w/ MWatson, Shoffer announced all his caught-fish were for my Fish Fry tomorrow! So today I invited 5 people... Hello.
While he was constantly reeling in splashing fish, I was hooking 9-13" specks that just made me real tired & mad. Must have been about 20 throwbacks in those W. Bay surface lights! Mine were caught on glow Down South 4" paddletails & a tiny lipped Rapala diver lure I could only cast about 50 ft but was deadly.
So I fled the humiliation & anchored up near the back of a quiet canal to take a Capt. Don Man-Nap. I've perfected the art of yak-naps by sliding the body into the Outback hull so your butt is nestled in that Mirage pedal cockpit. The pedals wrap up in your legs, with your head comfy above on a rolled-up life jacket used as a "My Yak Pillow."
I insert two rigged rods into the front rod-holders, thereby creating barriers to rolling out into the saltwater. With your rear-end so low in the cockpit, you're almost immune to capsizing whilst asleep. Trust me; it works. I may film & upload a YouTube video on my "Yak-Nap Tips."
Yes, I caught no legal fish last night; but marveled at Shoffer catching two specks & a big redfish in the dark, BY SOUND only! I tried his novel technique and caught only shadows & broken dreams. But I did enjoy an epic one-hour Yak-Nap. We do the best we can.
Tight nightlines & sweet naptimes to all! Image


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#2269111
:lol: "man naps" :lol:

More like "old" man naps like I take when I'm on an an 18-24 hour run... :lol:

Awesome report gentlemen!..er wait...you guys are lawyers, I forgot. Sorry! :lol: j/k
Glad you got out in this fantastic weather and got some steady action. Nothing better than catching ANY fish rather than none at all. Those are the nights I take my old man naps. :wink: :wink:
#2269119
Shoffer, great report and I wish I could have made the marsh part of the trip.

As the third member of this outing, I will add my report though not nearly as epic as Shoffer because I was paddling back to the launch as they made they journey to the marsh for their naps. A 9a client meeting back in Houston kept me from staying til daylight though I really wanted to get back in the marsh where I chased reds for an hour last time we were there. It is on my to-do list to get back there at daybreak.

My night was much like theirs with lots of undersized fish and ending up with one near 18" speck that was had for dinner last night. Back in the canals, I caught 20-30 undersized specks, and undersized redfish, and about 6 specks that if they were a quarter inch longer would have made great fillets. The just shy of legal specks were solid, hard fighting fish that each time I brought up I was surprised at not only how small they were, but how thick they were. My keeper probably weighed less than they did and it had three inches in length on them.

I will add that the last time we fished this area, most of the fish that I caught were in surface lights. This time, all but one of my fish in the canals were in underwater lights, and only one was in a green light. I also tried a Yo-zuri crystal minnow and only managed a small speck on it. My fish in the canals were caught on tandem swim shad (both custom made from holographic paddle tails and the store bought TTF version in glow ) and the fish in the bay were caught on TTF Lil Speck Killer tandem shrimp.
#2269138
Great report, Watson! You did well & had plenty of action, but seemed a bit tired at the end of your trip.
Next time get yourself a real Yak-Nap & you'll be ready for any feisty fish or fishermen! You should have plenty of legroom in that long red dart you paddle. Just avoid naptime roll-overs into the bay... that's nighttime disaster. You might need some bungee cords.
Watch for my upcoming "Nap-Yak Tips" video & e-book! Ha ha.
And the Nap-Master says: "Yak-Naps are better than catching undersized, gut-hooked throwbacks... " Yessir.
--Dandydon
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