TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

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By YakRunabout
A couple of weeks ago I stopped at Dick’s Sporting goods to use the Field & Stream gift card that I won at the PACK Christmas Party raffle. I figured that I would have $25 on the card so picked up a few items thinking – this is winter, want large fin fish and get them on bottom in deep water. In strolling through the aisles I saw a pack of Yum Money Minnow at 5” – a large paddle tail – that fits. Then I matched it to a Berkley 5/0, 1/4oz, twist-lock – should get to the bottom. At check out the total was $33 plus a few pennies. I was about to pay the difference but then we saw the full amount was covered!! Surprised we checked the ticket and found $66 plus left on the card!! Wow, that was a generous donation! I picked the card out of the last two items, not picking the PACK hat, since I already had one.
Anyway – On to fishing -
Drifting Yak and I went out in search of trout and of course in deep water since ‘tis the season. What better place for deep water than Offatts Bayou? As discussed above I had a new large, deep water lure ready to go, so I began throwing the Money Minnow. At Offatts we definitely found deep water – plenty of deep water. I thought maybe my fish finder was not tuned properly, since the screen was blank in 20’ of water. The most water it generally sees is 5’ or 6’. Perhaps it was overwhelmed by the depth? But no – eventually the fish did show up, but generally in much shallower water. So we went on a hunt for at least fish on the fish finder and hopefully with a drop-off and moving water. Turns out there was plenty of wind to give us the moving water!
Mike and I were throwing different lures, which we like to do just to test the waters a bit more. He had a bump, then another and soon had a lower slot spec in the boat. Then I had a hit and brought in a 17.5’ spec. Several minutes later I get another, only a bit larger at 19”, I like this trend.
I soon bring in another – in between the first two at just under 18”. At this point Mike is sensing a trend – and says – ‘You have any more of those Money Minnows?’ Of course I did, so we fix him up with one as well. As he is getting in a few casts with this new lure I get another hook-up, but now we have upped the ante a bit – this one runs much harder, heading for the dock. I drag it away, thinking, could this be a red? The fish follows, then runs under my kayak, bending the rod into a nice C shape. Mike comes closer to see what all the commotion is about and soon the large trout surfaces, show us her broad side. The first pass with the net – a foul tip and she slides out, still on the line. The second pass she is firmly in the net – a nice 23” trout. Once in the boat I easily remove the hook, since it is just in the side, having worn a hole and only held in place by that tough lip. Any slack and she would have been gone.

So that was it – my day was done! I still had coffee in my cup and 4 fish in the boat and visions of trout limits floating around in my head - but my day was done! Of course, I did not know this at this time – it was only 5 hours later that I came to realize this. But that was just fine by me – a fine morning it was!!

So it was quite a sequence of events – I attend my first PACK Christmas party where I have a great time swapping fish and food tales and eating great food, winning a raffle with 2 items left, but end up with a $100 card! I go to Dick’s to buy more lures, cause the boxes full I already have just won’t do and end up with some nice trout with that brand new set-up! The moral of the story - Go to the PACK Christmas party!!

One last – fishing info – water temp 52, air temp – maybe upper 50’s, thick clouds – no hint of sun. Wind not too bad in morning but still noticeable, stronger later, especially when heading back into it!! Water clarity was good for Galveston – maybe 2’?

Mike will likely add his fishing adventures somewhere here -
The 4
Ran out of ink when passing out spots!!
The Queen of the Day
Last edited by YakRunabout on Thu Jan 11, 2018 12:32 am, edited 1 time in total.
By mwatson71
Nice job on the trout. Funny how we don't realize until 5 hours later that the day is done. I could float around and cast for hours whether catching or not but the time always seems to fly by. It's interesting to me that your fish all hit 5" minnows. My past two outings everything caught was on 3" and I couldn't get so much as a nibble on anything larger in very similar conditions to yours with very similar fish caught.
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By Chubs
Nice report and fish. And that seems like a good lure review too :)

How was offats bayou as far as other boat traffic goes?

I figure on the weekend it could get pretty busy and not safe for a kayak?
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By Drifting Yak
Ken and I are two different fisherman. He is methodical and can work a bait slowly - with patience - more thoroughly covering an area. I on the other hand have a tendency to move the bait more quickly and cover a larger area. I start off thinking "reel slowly" but try as I may, my retrieve ends up moving the bait too quickly (at least for colder waters). His methodical approach paid off with some very nice specs early on.

I missed several good bites at day break - it was cold and I was rusty. I was actually trolling at a very slow pace with my bait at or near bottom. Problem was that I wasn't mentally ready for the bumps and when I'd get a strike I'd "set the hook" immediately - almost an involuntary reaction to the rod bending. You could feel the pull and the adrenaline rush but sadly each fish would be off within 2 or 3 cranks (missed three that way :( ). Enough of that - time to get my game face on - I steadied my mind and landed the next fish. And by this time Ken was having a blast (per his post above he was on 'em!). Well I did manage to land a 15" spec but then proceeded to lose a couple more. No worries - the day was young and boy was it fun watching Ken hammer 'em.

The day moved on and so did the bite so we headed to other areas. Since this was our first trip to Offatt's there was plenty to explore - deep water drop offs, humps, inlets and the like. Spent about 4 hours exploring without a bite - interesting place to say the least.

We headed back to our newly found honey hole and guess what => more specs! I switch from the Money Minnow to a tandem Chartreuse Gulp Swimming Mullet (yep this was a bait that I could crank :D ) and before you know it I've got a spec in the yak. Cast after cast the specs kept biting - all between 14 and 17". Landed a dozen or more specs over the course of an hour and then the bite was gone. The specs seemed to like a steady but moderately slow retrieve with a pause every now and then. I also found it best to pause for a split second upon feeling the bump then simply lifting the rod tip and keeping the tension on until the fish was landed.

I find it interesting that Ken's style of fishing paid off with bigger fish early in the morning and my style paid off later in the day with larger numbers of specs being caught. Both styles have their place!

Below are a few pics - note the bait fish that one of the specs had regurgitated.

Offats Jan 10th 2018.JPG

Bait in Mouth.JPG

Bait Extracted.JPG

Interesting that the Money Minnow matched the bait fish pretty well (size, color and eye location).

As for the questions asked above:
- We saw very few people on the water that day (too cold?).
- All of the fish bellies were empty when I cleaned them the next day.

So in closing here's a "BIG THANKS" to all of you who post on TKF. We put together what we thought would be a good outing (based on weather, tides, location, bait, etc.) and for once it paid off! Thank you!!

Tight lines everyone.
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By karstopo
Nice report with interesting details.

It’s fascinating to me when two people fish near to each other or even out of the same boat using the same everything and have different results.

Last time I was out with my friend in a boat, we were throwing to the same water with slightly different colored tails on and the same sized jig heads. I caught primarily redfish and he caught mostly trout.

Thanks for the report.
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By YakRunabout
That's right, at 61st. It was our first time at Offatts so that was easy, plus we were looking for deep water.
We understand that there are some other launch points on the west end and south side, but we are not yet familiar with those, plus that looks like much shallower water there.

Do you know of other launch points?
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