TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


#2285431
I asked my reliable yak buddy Kickingback last week to find us a "low-wind" W. Bay "window," so he planned the trip we did last night to Lake Como. We convoyed down to Galveston & I had to drive (dammit!) because Shoffer was (& still is) power-lounging in Las Vegas at the fabulous Wynn Casino! And Watson, inscrutable as ever, made noises about fishing the Causeway (again). Don't know if he even went...

As Charlie & I traversed the Galveston Causeway about 12:30am, we tried repeatedly to hail Watson, possibly below (?), on Marine Radio channel 67. We also honked our horns like crazy, a trick gleaned from Capt. Shoffer to honor the brave Causeway fishermen! But Watson remained incognito!
I was low on small plastic night lures & had heard my Plastic Navy extol their beloved "tandem rigs," so Capt. Charlie (recently promoted) kindly gave me the killer homemade double rig pictured below.

No kidding, at the first available underwater light, my first cast quickly hooked up TWO 18" redfish pulling hard against me & each other. After 3 drag-screaming runs, one of them broke off, but I landed her identical twin with Kickingback laughing himself silly. He had to say: " See how good my tandems work?" Is that considered "needling?" Yes, men, I will never again night-fish without a tandem rig. I'm sold.
Too bad that was the only fish I hooked or caught for the next 8 hours! Charlie managed a couple of 14" speck throwbacks, but he blew my mind with his fancy new Garmin LiveScope which is the most sophisticated fish finder I've ever seen. He showed me actual specks & redfish on his screen visible from over 100 ft. away on a side-scan! Is that cheating?

So why no legal fish? Let's ask Shoffer & Watson, ha ha. Maybe we were wisecracking & yukking it up too much to land solid fish! I did manage to take myself a refreshing one-hour Man-Nap. But Kickingback educated me, them showed me, an entire new area of lighted canals east of Lake Como called Lafitte's Cove! And the bay houses are fabulous!

It's too far to comfortably pedal or paddle there from Waterman's Restaurant, but Kickingback towed me under battery power to explore it. We found the long canal of lights there seemed BETTER than the lights we always fish at Lake Como, Sea Isle & Jamaica Beach! The canal at 5+ feet average depth is slightly deeper, & there are no other fishermen or boaters that we always encounter elsewhere. The residents there seem old, rich & always inside their mansions. Perfect!
The Lafitte underwater lights are bright, are staked out on both sides of the main wide canal, & were holding scores of big reds & specks we could see circling the lights.

Problem was we dragged several of our best lures right across their paths & got no bites. Such strange things happen but I predict a return trip there when Shoffer gets home.
Check out Kickingback's killer tandem rig, below. Hope to see you soon on the dark & fertile waters.
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#2285440
We did a crap shoot like Shoffer was doing in Vegas to find the fish and they were everywhere! Only problem was that the bait fish were 1" long and if you threw larger baits it scared them away with one cast with little to no strikes, they would scatter when you dragged the lure through the light. You could see them move just by the line going through the light. It was weird but fun! Had to drag Don around to get to where we wanted to go with ease. It is a long peddle/paddle that's why not many go to Lafittes Cove.
Great report Captain Don! :clap:
#2285442
You earned your new CAPTAIN BARS last night, Charlie!

Thanks for last night being my (1) Freeway "Front Door;" 2) Tandem lure maker; (3) Tow-man-in-chief; and (4) Finder of NEW (to me!) lighted canals at far-away Lafitte's Cove!
Just landing legal fish is not the only reason we kayak-fish! Sometimes friendship & merely enjoying the views trumps everything else.
See you soon on the nighttime currents...


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#2285475
Glad you guys made it out. My parental duties ran later than expected after a rousing 14-13 8U girls' softball victory. We had to celebrate with a winners' dinner and by the time I made it home I wasn't up for loading the kayak and making the solo trip.

I have been throwing (I can't believe I am about to give out my secret) super small tandem rigs that I made that consist of either two 2" Tsunami Pro holographic swim shad or even smaller homemade tandems made out of crappie jigs that are about an inch long in either silver/black or a moonglow. When in the lights, the crappie jigs look exactly like the glass minnows that get thrown up into my kayak after landing the fish. The only problem I have had is the hooks in the 1/8 oz jig heads bend easier than I'd like them to so they tend to only last about 10-15 fish if I'm lucky. But I have caught 24" specks on them without problem. I also tie my tandems longer than the pre-made tandems so that the bottom jig trails longer and deeper. 9/10 times it is the bottom jig catching the fish.
#2285483
your secret was called a spec rig before any of us were born

my dad has caught every possible double combination on the flats

The TTF Super Shad rig is ready to go, comes in glow, and every bait shop along the coast sells them
Last edited by Ron Mc on Sun Apr 28, 2019 2:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
#2285488
Spec rig, tandem rig, double rig, what difference does it matter? Call it what you want and switch it up by putting a 2" with a 3", or different types of jig in double tandem spec rig, it all depends on the angler.

You can buy "spec rigs" pre made but more expensive than making your own. I use a 36" piece of 20 lb mono and tie the lures to each end and then I adjust one bait leader longer than the other so they swim one behind each other and do a loop on the mono and that spot and then you simply hook it to your swivel clasp. No need for extra hardware like a swivel, just the lures and mono.
#2285492
Ron Mc wrote:your secret was called a spec rig before any of us were born

my dad has caught every possible double combination on the flats

The TTF Super Shad rig is ready to go, comes in glow, and every bait shop along the cost sells them


Yep, the TTF Super Shad rig is ready to go and if you read some of my older posts you will see that I used them almost exclusively until last summer when someone was kind enough to pass the secret on to me about making your own with a much longer trailer and with varying bodies. I still keep the TTF rigs handy because they are a great standby and are very good at catching fish. I only posted the "secret" because since making my own I have been able to match the hatch much better with the multitude of swim baits/bodies available instead or using only the glow and chartreuse swim shad of the TTF. And the longer trailing leader for the second jig has made a big difference as well.

Just passing on information to those that may be interested. Take it or leave it.
#2285529
You clever tandem men are making me see DOUBLE! At my advanced age I learn something fishy every trip! Fishing with Kickingback, WATSON & Capt. Shoffer is kinda fishy. Ron Mc knows more stuff than I forgot--again, fishy...
Duh, I forgot my point... Go Astros! Chirinos just walloped a big HOMERUN! Astros 4; Ckeveland Indians 1. Go fishing!


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#2285541
I started many years ago throwing the TTF tandem, but now, I like making my own. Cheaper and offers numerous options to customize.

Last night I made some with 15lb mono, and then 30 lb. mono, with 1/4 oz crappie jigs on the bottom, and 1/8 oz jigs on the shorter one.

Here is a photo of some others I did a couple of weeks ago with 15 lb mono, and 1/8 and 1/16 oz crappie jigs. A slot redfish would tear these up, but they hold up fine with the trout.
IMG_5481.JPG
#2285543
kickingback wrote:Spec rig, tandem rig, double rig, what difference does it matter? ...

doesn't make any difference what you call it, unless you call it a Secret

3" Tsuname SS3 fished single at Arroyo last fall would get me about a half-dozen schoolie trout before they tore the lure apart. Then I hadn't found a vendor for 2" Tsunami, was changing up with equal results on TTF SS Rig, and TSL grasswalker Bone diamond.
The Tsunami swim shad is the same lure as Storm Wildeye shad, which I've sight-fished 22" and 23" specs in the canals on the 2" lure (matching the bait size). But the Tsunami are (were) twice as many lures for the same cost and arguably better colors and holographics.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Tue Apr 30, 2019 12:20 am, edited 2 times in total.
#2285604
Goodness gracious, men, "can't we just get along?" I know you two gentlemen know more about fishing than most of the rest of us around here.
Please keep educating us, and if you want to fight it out, I'll mediate. Will meet you both at Fat Boy's next Saturday, midnight.
Now we're cooking! Shoffer & Watson will be filming it for YouTube.


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#2285618
all I have done is contribute to the topic and one is not bright enough to see that, because he can't get past his own snide nature - it's called projecting - ask your psychologist.

Others may be able to glean useful fishing information from what I posted, but it won't be making spec rigs out of 2" Tsunami SS, because they aren't making any more. They've gone the way of Stazo jig heads - buy up the last few where you can find them.

Ron Mc wrote:your secret was called a spec rig before any of us were born
this was aimed at DandyDon, replied right after his post

btw Shoffer, Spec Rig brand was selling crappie jig tandems 45 years ago - saw a kid one night on a Flour Bluff pier bring in two dozen specs bottom-bouncing one tied with blue and white jigs.
Regards
#2285632
shoffer wrote:I started many years ago throwing the TTF tandem, but now, I like making my own. Cheaper and offers numerous options to customize.

Last night I made some with 15lb mono, and then 30 lb. mono, with 1/4 oz crappie jigs on the bottom, and 1/8 oz jigs on the shorter one.

Here is a photo of some others I did a couple of weeks ago with 15 lb mono, and 1/8 and 1/16 oz crappie jigs. A slot redfish would tear these up, but they hold up fine with the trout. IMG_5481.JPG


Yes but this is NOT a tandem rig.. this is an ALABAMA RIG converted for the lights LOL ;-)
#2285634
Tobin, you trouble maker. Not one place did I question what a lure was called or attack anyone, but there are other means to the same end with this very old reliable. Hell, we fished them off the jetties for smacks when I was 12-y-o., and that was 50 years ago.
Atty Shoffer's use of the discontinued Tsunami 2" lure is a smart way to customize them for immediate water and bait.
Kickingback, you are one fu mf
It really is the Pee Wee Herman show
#2285639
my dad and I have both caught snook on spec rigs. I even got a spec/snook double.
Mentioned above, I broke off my lifetime snook last fall with a single SS3 blue back with one cast into the dark where I heard his feeding slashes. 3/8 ounce is enough to cast all by itself.

The mono loop on the end of a spec rig will tear through after enough fish with either a swivel or a conventional knot, especially tied off with tougher, thinner fluorocarbon.

A tip to keep this from happening:
tie a big loop to the end of your line (surgeon's loop). Slide the loop on the spec rig over your line loop, and drop the spec rig through your line loop - neither will break after countless fish.
15 casts before 5 am
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Unfortunately, this was the morning I broke off the 30" snook - watched him creep right under my nose at the edge of our lighted dock to the next dark dock.
Personally, I ran out of things to prove decades ago.
#2285729
Watson, I pray & hope it wasn't our venerable old Capt. Carl, the man with the trolling motor who loved throwing those Sprite spoons. Shoffer idolized him. He never would be bothered with a tiny Tandem.
And neither should any of you. Do ya'll hear me now? I can maim any 3 people on this Board. Don't argue on my personal fishing thread again or I'll wallop you.
Let's go fishing.


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#2285741
I spent tonight rigging some more tandem rigs with Kicking Back’s beloved firetiger Powerbaits.
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I feel bad for that kayaker who drowned, but why anyone would hit that area in a yak with 20-25 mph sustained like it was on Tuesday with no PFD seems like plank-walking of the highest order. As SaltyKat once said of the area, “it’s just too turbulent!”

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Great picture, sorry you found no fish :(