TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

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By Chubs
My report

Went to Palacios with my dad yesterday. Was going to be a falling tide all day according to the port Lavaca buoy. Tide was running a ft high due to wind
Wind was 10-15 knots - the prediction was 5 - 10 :(
Scattered drizzle all day and overcast all day.
Air temp 50 at launch time 8:30am rising to 60 by 2:30pm.
Water temp was 55 - 58 depending on depth.

Got to test out my new equipment! Fish finder installed and rudder installed. I'll post some pics later in the rigging forms.

Launched at Cash's creek, took a very long paddle to Palacios river (1 mile, almost not worth it heh).
Depth of cash's was 3'.
Trolled 1/4 oz jig head and caught nothing.

Got to the river where it was deeper 4 - 6 ft max though. I was hoping it would be deeper and trout would be schooled up in the deep. Trolled 3/8 oz, tossed lures all over the place with no luck. Burned way too much time at the river with no bites happening (2 hours there and only covered maybe 0.5 mile).

Traveled up to another creek at the north side hoping for some reds. Depth there was 2 ft and a little warmer. Looked for any signs but saw nothing, did see bait though. Turned around maybe too soon but was thinking my dad wouldn't want to keep going cause he was tired.

Exited back to the river and burned some more time...

Went to a marsh area right outside cash's creek Very shallow ,<1 ft. Water little warmer. No dice though but I didn't explore the whole shoreline looking for reds. My dad was beat before this point so was trying to make it back to cash creek. I did see some larger fish moving when I paddled over some spots. Might have been mullet or catfish I figure cause they didn't bite my jig head.

Head back to cashes and then to out launch area. Trolled the whole way with no bites.

We packed up at around 2:00, made way to Palacios for a launch at grassy point bait to try by the rocks and oysters, but they were closed due to Harvey. Argh!

Went to public launch and it was late and my dad was tired so we just dock fished for a bit and called it a day. Lost a hook, slide weight and egg cork for my troubles on the oyster shell :)

Worst part of the trip is the fact I can only go fishing about once a month. Sigh... Wish I lived closer to the bay.
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By Chubs
For those that might be interested (and might want to give me any tips :mrgreen: ) here was my GPS tracklog from Saturday.

Path of failure.jpg
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I think if I had the day to do over again and went to the same spot - I'd have spent more time in that upper left pond area exploring because I saw the most egrets in that area and lots of bait as I paddled around. I'd guess the fish might have been there since they didn't seem to be in the river that I spent 2 hours on in vain. The east wind was broken up really well there too due to the geography so maybe that had something to do with the bait and birds.

Also on the lower right hand corner, that was another different terrain and birds were nearby (albeit just perched on logs doing nothing). May or may not have been worth checking.

Also; my dad got a picture of me! I figure post it - if anyone sees my bright red kayak on the water come by and say hello (and tell me where the fish are :lol: )!! Also that kinda shows my trolling setup. Also I see I need to drop my rudder further into the water...
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By karstopo
Tidally influenced rivers, creeks and bayous are interesting. I've gotten focused on fishing several not far from my home over the last 6 or seven years, mostly in late fall through late winter.

One thing I have noticed about them is that one stretch of water that's blazing hot one day can go ice cold the next. A boat is ideal to fish a river or bayou because you can run up and down miles of stream with ease and speed and I often find the fish that don't really seem to leave the river, but move up and down quite a distance.

The last skunk I had was on a river last fall. It was a deal where friends in a boat cleaned up two days prior and we, the same friends and I, went back to the same spot in kayaks and I caught zero, didn't get a single hit on fly tackle and they caught a couple of random trout on tails after covering as much water as a kayak allows. You just can't zip down 5 or 7 miles of windy rivers in a kayak and have much time to fish. They fished the same spots that worked for them two days prior and had vastly different results. Rivers turn on and off, the bite can be great in the morning and later shut down or the reverse.

Rivers, Creeks and bayous can be a challenge for a kayak. They can be fantastic and get the fish really concentrated but the flip side is, in my experience, if you guess wrong on where they are today you are in for some tough fishing. The structure is often mainly right along the shoreline and naturally gets drawn out in extreme distances. Great for boats, because the rivers are typically deep enough to work with a boat and troll motor without spooking fish and the boat has tremendous range compared to a kayak.

A bay or even a marsh often has a variety of structure in any direction you paddle. I don't know anything about your river in Palacios, but the ones I've fish the structure is often drawn out in long distances. Some rivers have plan B and plan C of side marshes, bays, drains and lakes nearby and some are all in no other option places. It's definitely a bigger gamble in a kayak in those no other option types of places. I've come to know that certain spots could pay off big or barely or not at all on the catching. Just what I've observed over the years. It's real difficult to catch fish if they just aren't there. It's hard enough sometimes to catch them if they are there.

I never beat myself up about river fishing when the sign looks poor and struggling to find it and fish in a kayak. I'm a little less forgiving of myself if I don't get on them in a power boat in a river that's been doing good. I'm not saying I'm a river expert or anything. These are just some of the observations on what I've experienced. If the river gets any freshwater runoff, there's another wild card to change things up.

I think a river, especially a bigger one, is one place a kayak is at a big disadvantage as compared to a power boat. A marsh is where a kayak, in my experience, way trumps a power boat. A bay could go either way and it's a bay by bay and day by day type of deal. All the potential advantages of a kayak, stealth and ability to get skinny , mean very little on the river. The disadvantages, lack of range especially, really get magnified on many rivers.
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By Chubs
More good advice, thanks!

The thought definitely crossed my mind - how the heck am I supposed to cover this long narrow river bottom in my kayak without having my arms fall off.

The structure everywhere was basically mud bottom and the cuts created by the river. Not much else (to my untrained eye anyway). There were other creek drains to check than the ones I did; but unfortunately they were all spaced 2 miles apart and I didn't want to push my dad into a 12 mile round trip. He probably would have disowned me lol. Also, to more fully explore the river I would have had to paddle upwind in 10-15 knot winds to get further up stream thanks to the way the wind was that day. I probably could have picked a better day to explore this area.

I saw some other launch options that placed us closer to the river than Cash's Creek did - but they looked to be gravel roads that went right to people's houses and I would have been walking a fine line between having an easier paddle and trespassing. Plus I didn't want to risk coming back to an angry bubba waiting for me with a shotgun in 1 hand and a banjo in the other...
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By Crusader
If it was Galveston bay area I'd check areas marked in red... Maybe run few drifts and check for shoreline-running reds. Check the marsh on that peninsula if it has any life (if you see water being low, crystal clear and with zero bait -- no point going there).

... unless it is winter and water is around 50F -- in this case I'd look for deepest hole in the area. At least 8' deep. And toss plastics veeeeeery slowly along the bottom. At these depths fish finder can help you spot the fish too.

But then again -- it isn't a Galveston bay, so I could be totally wrong :)

P.S. That area is still probably recovering from floods. I doubt it is very good for fishing.
P.P.S. Judging by your path you've covered about 7-8 miles. Not too bad, but nothing extraordinary -- my typical outing is like that. My longest was about 17 miles.
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By Chubs
Well it's reassuring that I picked basically the same spots you pointed out.

Water was 55 so I was looking for deeper water. The only deep water I found though was in the river itself where the river bed was. Deepest point I found was 7' as far as I explored. My fish finder actually marked a fish around the furthest point of my journey at the river bed (not that I was using it to find fish). I tossed my lure around but no luck, could have been working it too fast. Was a 4" cocohoe, I had fat boys with me I kept thinking I need to try but never swapped them out. I probably should have explored it more...

The marsh north of the peninsula was <1' according to my fish finder. Are you saying there could have been a 8' hole up there?

Ya it was around 7 miles. I've never done more than 7 but I felt I could go more, but my dad was just beat before we even started heading back heh. I love my Werner paddle (second trip with it), makes long distance much easier.
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By karstopo

The last time I was in a river, the water in one section was 48-49 degrees, a few miles away and minutes later, the water was 54-55 degrees. We fished both areas. The warmer area produced, the colder area, hardly at all. Depth was pretty uniform between the two areas.

The red marked spots are generally how I approach river fishing. Toss a tail or weighted fly along the drop off parallel or at oblique angles to the drop off. Let said tail or fly fall with the current. The fish might be in 2 feet of water or 6 or in between. But they, in my experience, hug the drop off somewhere. The middles no good and too shallow is no good unless it warms up and then you will likely see the fish if it’s shallow.

You might have done all of that, but in case you didn’t.

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
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By Chubs
Did try it yup :)

I'll point out in case anyone else wants to check the area out (and please report back if you do!). The Google earth images lie on where the drop off is. It's not how you've got it marked which is also what I had assumed. The drop off (river bed) is actually only maybe 150 ft across and hugs the right side of the map shown (pretty much the right side line you drew).
The rest of the area is literally 1 ft deep or less. Took my fish finder to reveal this.

Also very odd to me - the creeks all were 2-3 ft deep and as soon as they got to the bay, the depth just shot up to 1 ft or less (and I wandered around with depth finder to find the cuts I was sure should have been there).

This was an exploration trip for me since I'd never been there. Really had me confused though on how I thought the bottom structure should have been.
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By karstopo
What's the depth of the creek at the pin along here? Did you say 7 feet?

I marked up an image from December 31, 2008. That's the best one I found on Google earth. It shows the channel better I think than the other image.

Continuous red line is about 5 miles.

Wish there was more or any oyster reef. If it's there, I can't find it until way down in the bay towards Palacios.

I marked up a few spots I'd try. Of course, it doesn't mean anything is there. I've never fished there. Some of the up river stuff looks good moving towards 521. The fish might take advantage of a stretch of warmer and sunny weather to move into the shallower areas at the top of the bay.

It might be one of those areas that kicks people's tail for a while or forever. I'd have to think there's fish in there in the cold season unless it got real fresh.

Reminds me a bit of Bastrop Bayou up around Capt. Marks and clay Banks. There's usually some fish in there in the winter. It's not real deep on the old channels with a deeper main channel. ImageImageImage

Sent from my SM-J320V using Tapatalk
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By Chubs
Hey you are making me want to go try out the area again lol.

Ya I think that image shows the actual river the best as that is about the same path I have logged on my GPS while I followed my fish finder's depth. Deepest I found was 7' but I didn't get up too far (see my GPS map at the 2nd post). the depth got to about 4' near the mouth of where the river met the bay and I didn't go any further down (about where you've got the pin with the 5 mile marker).

I agree, the area was sorely lacking any oyster reef from what I could tell. The closest shell does seem to be where the river meets Palacios (and I know it's there for sure since I've been to that area before).

I plotted a course from my launch to hit those points you flagged and it would have been a 12 miler. Don't think that would have flown with my dad. We could have launched at the bridge though and paddled up to the other launch upriver at 521. That's 9 miles-ish. More doable but he told me he didn't want to do 7 miles (which we ended up doing anyway).

I wonder if one could launch from that river road 3225... I'll have to go scout the area next time I'm down there.

I do suspect a boat would make this a heck of a lot easier though.
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By Crusader
Chubs wrote:The marsh north of the peninsula was <1' according to my fish finder. Are you saying there could have been a 8' hole up there?

No, but reds are less sensitive to water temps and if food is there -- you can find them in marshes in winter.

On further note: if that area is completely fresh -- you probably won't find specks even in deeper holes. I.e. you might've been better using bass and crappie gear :D
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By YakRunabout
Great info on those satellite image displays, thanks.
I review images like that a bit as well. I use both google maps/google earth as well as bing maps. I often find that bing maps gives a sharper image of the area and so better to distinguish the different environments.

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