TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

User avatar
By TexasJim
I went to Wilson's Cut, Mustang Is. yesterday at daylight. Perfect day, +++ on the solunar table. I went into Glenn Cove and the first little bay to the left had fish feeding, so I anchored. No birds. Threw a topwater. No action. Gold spoon, no hits. I rigged a rattling cork with a live shrimp. Got a few bites and a hardhead. Some pelicans flew about three feet over the water, and the surface came ALIVE with bait. That happened over and over. I finally got a foot-long trout and a foot-long red. I deduced that there was too much bait for them to want my shrimp. I did get lots of bites from small bait-stealers.

I moved further into Glenn Cove and anchored by a small island. I noticed a small pool with fish activity, fish lying in wait for bait moving with the current. I moved into that pool and started chunking live shrimp, and finally caught a few smalls, two trout and three reds. They were really interested in the bait flowing on the current.

I have never been troubled with too much bait before. I wished I had taken some croakers or finger mullet. It was a really nice day. Other kayakers I talked to all caught smalls. TexasJim
User avatar
By TroutSupport.com
I doubt that was the problem, sometimes you just have to move around and find where the fish are around all that bait. Fish the bait schools like they are structure. There's always some reds in that are from now thru November. I used to fish that area a lot.
User avatar
By TexasJim
Thanks, Tobin. I'll try that. My first, but not the last trip to Wilson's Cut. I was in my 14 foot skiff, so I didn't have a long paddle to get to the flats. I had a deadline, so I had to leave at noon. The Hobie guys were all over the place. But like I said, they didn't score any keepers, either. TexasJim
User avatar
By Ron Mc
Great observation. That was discussed on surf fishing on corpusfishing this morning.
A guy complaining was catching all ladyfish casting into the birds and surface action.
Instead of casting into the birds and bait, move up current and work your way into them.
The guy talking about this was fishing the same kind of visible action, and was catching trout and reds in the surf.
The point being fish outside of the bait ball rather than into it.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Mon Aug 26, 2019 9:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
By Dandydon
I have observed that "too much bait" in the water does hurt your gamefish odds for nighttime fishing. It happened to our regular Night Navy two consecutive outings last month.
But last night we had a good density of finger mullet in the lights, leading to several specks & a couple of redfish caught.
I got almost all my night & sunrise fish on the new pricey ($15!) but deadly LÈLE 2.75" Barboleta lure in Fire Tiger. See below.

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
User avatar
By Ron Mc
Been in Palm Harbor canals on August nights when you could walk on the bait, and no normally moving lure would turn the big fish, but would take a few nursery trout fishing into the dark casting away from the lights.
The good thing, with the submerged green lights in the canal, could see the loitering big fish better than they could see you.
The 2" swim shad (blue wildeye shad) finally got me two big specs, 22" and 23".
What was required was subtle jigging of the lure in front of the big fish.
When they would finally decide to flare and eat something, the lure already being in the right place was still there when the bait ball they were charging scattered.
User avatar
By don.owen
Too much bait is not uncommon in southeast Idaho. A heavy hatch can be confusing to the fly fisherman and the fish I think. To many targets to decide which one. My 60+ years have taught me to “get off the hatch”. Give the fish something slightly different then what they are seeing all around them. I typically alter my fly a little or go with a bigger/smaller. They seem to key on the oddball in the bunch.
User avatar
By YakRunabout
They seem to key on the oddball in the bunch.

Good idea!
Sort of like the zebra researchers who marked specific zebras so that they could keep track of them, only to have the lions kill them right away - because they also could distinguish them! No longer hidden among the herd - or school -
User avatar
By karstopo
don.owen wrote:Too much bait is not uncommon in southeast Idaho. A heavy hatch can be confusing to the fly fisherman and the fish I think. To many targets to decide which one. My 60+ years have taught me to “get off the hatch”. Give the fish something slightly different then what they are seeing all around them. I typically alter my fly a little or go with a bigger/smaller. They seem to key on the oddball in the bunch.

I agree with this. One thing that’s good about tying and fishing with fly gear is being able to customize a lure.

But with all the different soft plastics out there, there are a lot of chances to change up the look and presentation. I felt like a DSL tail with it’s tiny paddle sometimes worked better than something with a bigger tail and vibration. The Queen Cocahoe tail is huge and really has a big motion and sometimes that seemed better. A rat tail might work better than any paddle tail, possibly if it’s shrimp the fish are on.

Sometimes, It might be hard to prove if one lure is better than another in any given situation, but I’ve seen enough evidence in my own experience to believe a lure has to stand out in a particular way in relation to the natural forage. When I know the fish are there and feeding, I’ll definitely try to match what they are feeding on, but sometimes it takes a little finagling with the lure choice and presentation to dial in the fish. With flies, it can be as simple as removing some flash and dulling down the look or the reverse by putting on something super flashy.
User avatar
By Ron Mc
my experience is matching the bait size and sight-fishing is much more productive than being different and unnatural.
In jetty blackwater loaded with 1" baitfish, king mackerel will eat 1" live shrimp (or flies), because it's the right size.
7 kings and countless smacks one morning just like this at S. Padre jetties between shrimp and flies.

A similar fly rod day in surf blackwater sight-fishing daisy-chain specs. Wanting to cast the fly rod out, but it was counterproductive when you could daub the fly in front of visible specs surfing the calm wave crests. Less-than finger mullet were crowding your legs and all looking toward the Gulf for the bad news.

I'll add blackwater phenomena are dues paid-up high. I've had two surf blackwater days and 3 jetty blackwater days in my life. And a dozen times arrived at Cedar Bayou to find the aftermath - a million pieces of mullet bobbing in the surf and couldn't buy a strike (except hardheads) - we just turned around and went to fish the bays. The kahle hook with the steel crimp is hat karma from the 7-king-plus jetty blackwater day.
It also works in freshwater - I've caught 10-lb bass both on nickel-sized crayfish imitations and dime-sizes minnow imitations because that's what the river or creek provided.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Tue Aug 27, 2019 7:25 am, edited 3 times in total.
User avatar
By karstopo
I believe a lure is always or almost always going to stand out some in relationship to the real deal. How much standing out is desired might be the thing to determine.



Contents of a surf Speckled trout’s stomach from this summer when the shrimp were thick in the first gut. Second photo, A Speckled trout regurgitated a shrimp from some fall water dump action when the shrimp get concentrated in the drains.

I use these shrimp when the fish are feeding on dense concentrations of shrimp like in the fall during the water dumping from the marsh or in the surf when the shrimp happen to be thick there. The bait sized shrimp are super abundant and mullet imitations usually get ignored in that situation, so there’s matching the hatch and the shrimp pattern moves enough like a shrimp to desirable, but not so much as to be invisible or indistinguishable from the real thing. That’s the idea I try to work on, of course, anyone else’s mileage might vary and ideas can differ. There’s often more than one path to what the goal might be.

they still make them, but they were bought from Co[…]

Flush Mount Rod Holders

There's an outfit called Ocean South that has vari[…]

Hobie Kayak Cart Mod

Yes sir Jim this method looks like it needs a few […]

I promised an update after the front blew through,[…]