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Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


#2278487
Sorry for the late report, but I have been playing catch up from being off all last week. I finally have a chance to post a report and it is easier to do on my desktop at work than try on my phone. Anyway, I took all of last week off and headed down to Surfside, TX Saturday 10/27. Got to the beach around 3 and found a spot to put my tent up then headed to Amigo Ln to fish Christmas Bay. Launched and headed toward Churchill Bayou following the shoreline to see if anything was happening there. The tides were real low and very clear and I saw nothing. Decided to paddle further away from shore to find deeper water when I noticed the color change from the sea grass and where it stopped and was sandy. Fishing with dead shrimp under a popping cork I threw out in the sandy deeper water. Second cast, 18" red. 3rd or 4th cast, another rat red. I stayed anchored there for the next 2 and a half hours and ended up catching 8 reds. 3 of them were keepers at 20.5", 21" and 24" plus a handful of croaker and a few hardheads. Now that's the way to start a vacation!

Sunday morning was a beautiful sunrise and perfect weather, light winds. I went over to Drum Bay to see what was happening over there. Nadda! And truthfully I half heartedly fished. I was just feeling very lazy. Went back to the tent and cracked open a beer around 2:30. I waited as long as I could and I was in the tent sleeping by 9!!

Monday I made plans to have lunch with my son. He started working for TPWD at Sea Center in Lake Jackson about 4 months ago. Went over to Stahlman Park and had a refreshing shower. Had lunch and visited with him.
By the way, someone asked about a flounder breeding and stocking program a few weeks ago, Sea Center does breed and stock flounder from what my son said. Sea Center is the only one in the state (or he may have even said country) that does it for flounder.
Fished a little that afternoon in the same area at Christmas Bay around the mouth of Churchill. Very very shallow. That whole sand bar between the south shore and the boat cut was exposed. And I saw more bird activity and stingrays than I ever have. The stingrays were in schools of 4 or 5 together feeding. Ended up catching a stingray and 3 small reds.

Tuesday a friend came to meet me and fish. I took him through the boat channel on into Churchill and the marsh.
He was casting a paddle tail in the boat channel on the way and got a hook up. Whatever he hooked just about spooled him and spun him around 2 times while he was anchored. He tried to use his thumb to keep from getting spooled and all of a sudden, a very loud snap. Whatever it was broke him off. He saw a flash of grey but we have no idea what it was. lol
Checked the weather forecast and made a decision to come home and let that front pass. Got my old bones rested up and drove back down around 1pm Thursday. Wow, how things changed. You could see the drift wood and debris pushed all the way up into the dunes. My tent would have been flooded! Fished a little bit Thursday afternoon in the surf with just a few whiting and hard heads. And a small bonnet head shark.

Friday morning I got back to Amigo Lane launch right around 8:15 or so. I was hoping to meet Schoffer and Dandy Don and introduce myself but I never saw them. I ended up paddling southwest instead of going into Churchill. Ended up catching 4 small reds and 1 small trout. Got to see a lot of tailing reds up into the flooded marsh along the shore but could not get them to eat what I offered and then they disappeared. I have more pictures of fish, sunrises and sunsets but hey, after so many they get a little redundant. So here is just a few choice photos. That red was the 24" one.
All in all it was a fantastic week of camping and fishing!
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#2278513
karstopo wrote:Very nice. Thanks for the report. Sounds like the Sea Center would be a nice place to work. How does your son like it there?

He said he is loving it there. Said it is very challenging though. They have him doing some lab work, plumbing and anything else that is needed. He has some plumbing background so they use him in that capacity a lot lately. Also this past weekend was his first outing. They went to Matagorda Bay to capture some more female red fish for breeding. I haven't asked him how that went yet.
#2278521
karstopo wrote:When you say "capture" I wonder by what means the Sea Center staff "capture" redfish out in Matagorda Bay? Rod and reel, nets, trotline...

Good question! TPWD has a show every evening at 6pm on PBS 8.2 local network channel and they talk about the stocking and breeding program at Sea Center pretty often. I think I remember seeing them use nets to capture them. I'll have to ask my son.
#2278523
Sea Center is a cool place to go learn about the breeding of reds, and flounder. They actually have a salt water pond stocked with fish that groups can tour and access by appointment. I took our 4h fishing group there earlier this past year, and we had a blast. If you like saltwater fishing, you need to check it out. Here is a link to our trip to Sea Center.

https://youtu.be/RBYmJdm6JXE
#2278533
Chubs wrote:very cool report, thanks for sharing.

What did you throw at the tailing reds on Friday?


I had a 3" white mantis gulp shrimp rigged weedless and they didn't even look at it.
Threw Tobin's TSL (the greenish one with chartruese tail) and had 3 nice sized reds follow it and then turn around without eating it. That got my heart beating because I could see a huge wake form behind my lure and then swoosh, they turned and disappeared. Also tried the smaller size humpback wake bait, black & chrome and had 2 follow it but didn't commit.
I don't know, I think the only thing that may have worked with so much bait there would be a live mud minnow or finger mullet. It was only about 6" to 8" where they were and every time they attacked something thousands of what looked like finger mullet would flee jumping a good foot out of the water.
#2278534
krackdawg wrote:Sea Center is a cool place to go learn about the breeding of reds, and flounder. They actually have a salt water pond stocked with fish that groups can tour and access by appointment. I took our 4h fishing group there earlier this past year, and we had a blast. If you like saltwater fishing, you need to check it out. Here is a link to our trip to Sea Center.

https://youtu.be/RBYmJdm6JXE

That video is awesome! I dropped my son off in the back and got to see the several holding tanks back there but they are closed on Mondays and I didn't get to go in and see the aquariums. Next time I am down there I want to stop and see before I head home. My son said those red fish start drumming in their tanks and it reverberates in the entire building sometimes. lol
#2279903
Cityfisher wrote:
karstopo wrote:When you say "capture" I wonder by what means the Sea Center staff "capture" redfish out in Matagorda Bay? Rod and reel, nets, trotline...

Good question! TPWD has a show every evening at 6pm on PBS 8.2 local network channel and they talk about the stocking and breeding program at Sea Center pretty often. I think I remember seeing them use nets to capture them. I'll have to ask my son.


Soo, I was talking to my son last night and remembered to ask him about his outings and how TPWD captured the reds for breeding. They went out into the gulf out of Matagorda and fished with hook and line. He said they go out there to get the really big healthy brooders. On this particular outing they were also surveying a new reef program to see how productive and healthy it is, (which he said was doing very good) and also researching a new technique on deflating the swim bladder on red snapper. And bonus, he said he caught a 38" cobia while out there to. lol
It is really very interesting all the things he says they are doing and researching. Right now with it being flounder season they are doing a lot of research on them. We were laughing cause he was trying to get a hold of a big bull red that slapped him in the face with his big tail. lol They have another outing planned this weekend which he said he is excited about but also a little nervous due to the rough seas expected. lol
#2279907
Cuervo Jones wrote:Do you tent camp? Or are you in a camper of some sort? Cooler weather always gets my camping fever running on high.


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Well, if it's just an overnighter I sleep in the back seat of my extended cab 90% of the time. I'm pretty short so I can sleep really comfortably. lol I can wake up, drink some coffee and head to the bay to fish the am and not have to pack up anything.
If I'm there for multiple nights I pitch a tent. That week I pitched a tent.
#2279916
Would not like to be in any boat in this mess. Over 5” of rain here in Lake Jackson with more on the way. Blowing hard and 49 degrees.

I’d be surprised if the research folks went out in weather like this.
#2279918
It’s pretty grimy out for sure. My plans of being on the water were thwarted by scheduling stuff anyway. I’m hoping the weather is nice around Yule, so’s I can maybe try a Cityfisher-style camping trip somewhere.


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