TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

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By crusher
Launched on a solo trip during low tide around 8:30 a.m. with really calm winds, maybe 4-5 mph from the north. Tides were running about as predicted but I didn't really realize how low "predicted" was. An area often with 1 1/2 to 2 feet of water was only inches Wed morning. Lesson learned - pay attention to the actual estimates, not just high and low relative timing. Water didn't feel that cold, but the reports say it was in the upper 50's F. There was a feed expected around 9 to 10 a.m., but I got nothing by fishing scattered shell in really skinny water and venturing in to back marsh drains where all the marsh ponds and flats were just exposed mud. Wind shifted slightly to very weak out of the east, maybe southeast but was still really weak. After about 3 hours or so I ventured out toward the main drain in to this larger lake/marsh area.

About noon the tide started coming in and bait fish started breaking surface all over the calm shallow water. I soon got on some reds right at the entrance to the marsh. One rod had a somewhat small pink paddletail of unknown brand and the other a spinner with jighead which is my favorite search bait. I had a dark red with chartreuse cocaho minnow on the spinner rig. (Norton makes a good spinner-jig combo and the Redfish Magic has proved effective.) Any way, I caught my first 21 inch red with the pink paddletail and let him go thinking since it was the first one after 4 long hours - it wouldn't be worth keeping just one that size. Over the next hour I caught 6 total, four in the slot counting that first one. I fished both baits and the spinner-jig was actually more effective. I also lost 3 or 4 off the spinner rig with either a weak hookset on the med-light fast rod, or maybe being a large rig with so much hardware they don't always get the jig fully in their mouth. (I do seem to miss more fish on one particular rod than any of my others though.) Given the fact that a spinner with a moderately dark plastic and a pink paddletail both worked, I figure most any decently placed or worked bait would have worked. I kept two mid-slot fish for dinner for my family of five and let the other 4 swim off to do their thing. With two on the stringer, I left them biting and headed in.

I think the low slack tide killed the fishing early, even with a predicted "High Activity" bite. The tide came in pretty strong and I'll give all credit for my eventual success to the moving tide and setting myself up next to an inbound drain at the right time. For me, 6 reds in an hour or two and leaving them biting is about as good a day as I ever hope for. Great way to start my vacation, but I'm not liking the predicted high winds for the next 7-8 days.

This one red had some nice spots - he was about 21 1/2 and swam free. Here also are the lures used. The red paddletail is pretty chewed up and the hook ripped out, I notice now. This is the Redfish Magic rig that can be bought most anywhere I think, and the pink plastic is actually unused since I already tossed the chewed up one.
By Tombo
I to fish the Redfish Magic lure. First thing I do is toss the jig head that came with it and attach another jig such as what Salt Water Assassin makes with a spiral lock. I also don't use the plastic, rather I attach a curly tail Gulp. Let me know if you try this next time and if it makes a difference.
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By crusher
rather I attach a curly tail Gulp. Let me know if you try this next time and if it makes a difference

The curly tail gulp sounds interesting - I'll try that one day. Normally, including Wed, I used a straight tail like a Salt water assassin Shad with the big Redfish Magic rig, until it got chewed up and I had only paddle tails in my tray for the day. The paddle tail and the spinner is a whole lot of action and vibration - I always figured it would be too much, so I've never combined them before - but it worked. I really wish I knew what the small pink paddletail is; I got a few from my son and it works great.
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By karstopo
The last two times out, it’s been the incoming tide that’s worked for me. The first trip I got to my spot during the last of the outgoing into the slack and things were pretty slow until the water started coming in. The second trip the water was already coming in and the redfish were actively feeding from the get go. I didn’t look at the solunar so I can’t comment on that.

Nice red and it looks fat. That jives with the fish I’ve seen or caught recently. Did you check any of the stomachs? First trip, it was an all you can eat shrimp buffet with a mullet or two for dessert. Second trip was the captain’s platter, shrimp, crab and fish, this time mud minnows. Anyway, the fish seem in prime condition.

I pretty much have the tide levels imprinted in my brain. If there was a stock exchange on the NOAA pages for tide levels, I’d have a permanent seat. I start checking the levels at a few stations when I’m thinking about a trip and look at the winds and do the WAG calculations to come up with a hard number. Then I get to the launch and...miss it by a mile. Not really, but the timing of the turn and levels can be a little tricky to nail down. Sometimes, there’s a mystery factor that depresses or elevates the observed levels as compared to the predicted. Occasionally, the tides actuals are tracking real close to predicted but this time of year the predicted are often just “naturally” very low. Sounds like that is what you observed.

Anyways, thanks for the report. I enjoyed reading it and adding my 3 cents and some change, hope you don’t mind. It’s in the spirit of bonhomie. Plus, things are pretty slow around here. Might as well throw a log or two of my own on the fire even if the wood is a little wet and moldy. It’s never a bad thing to find some stacked redfish. Good way to get some groceries and/or have a great time.
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