This would be the 1st overnight kayak trip for either of us. Our plan was to paddle about 7 or 8 miles a day the 1st two days and then, knowing how sore our paddling muscles and backs would be, finish the last 4 or 5 miles on the 3rd day .
Day 1 -
After the aforementioned delay, we knew we had some miles to cover in a short time on day 1 to stay with our plan, so we paddled more and kept fishing to a minimum yet still manage to catch several fish
I was not able to take too many pics on day 1 due to our time constraints. We managed to cover what I guessed to be about 7 miles when we found a really nice camp site for our 1st night that I have actually seen others use on a few youtube video trips I've watched.
We had a nice 3 course dinner...
Sorry, no pics
Then off to bed for a good nights sleep....yeah, right. The guy in the the tent next to me snores like a pig with his head in a slop bucket...it pays to be 1st one to sleep! Lol
We started off the morning with some previously frozen, ready made breakfast burritos, warmed over the fire, that my sister-in-law was kind enough to furnish. Excellent way to start the morning. Again no pics, but trust me they were delish!!
The 2nd day gave us more time to fish since we broke camp and departed around 8am. And many were caught. But for every fish that came to hand at least twice as many would work their Brazos river magic and come unstuck. I lose more fish in that river than anywhere I've ever fished. I think they must go thru special training at the hatchery there.
I caught at least 20 bronzebacks on this trip. All in the 11 to 14 inch range. Heres a few
I did hook one smallmouth about 3lbs but alas, it came unstuck as I reached for it. No pic, you'll just have take my word for it
My brother had big fish of the day
That is until I caught this Gaspergoo
And how could I not have a picture of the boulders I've seen in so many posts from others who've made this trip before me.
It was hot but what a beautiful day it was
And then some alien being staring down from above...or a very strange house, I think?
Well we ended up passing up a couple of nice camp sites on day 2 because they would require carrying our gear a distance from kayaks to camp site thru deep sand and gravel on some very tired legs. We would begin to regret passing these up. We paddled and paddled as the sun kept getting closer and closer to the bluffs until we finally came across a really nice site....unfortunately it was already occupied by several gentlemen in canoes, the only other humans we saw on the whole trip...so we journeyed on.
As night approached, we finally found a spot.
Guess what? It was all deep sand and gravel and an uphill carry for our gear. The 1st spot we had found about 3 miles back would've been much nicer and about the same to carry our gear. Lesson learned - don't pass up green grass in hope's of finding greener grass. Oh well, at least now we were under 3 miles from the take out. Short day tomorrow!
Dinner for night 2 was a 4 course meal
*Johnsonville smoked sausages
Nope, no pics
And then off to bed for a...well wouldn't you know it, the neighbor in the tent next door fell asleep 1st again, dang it! Next time, I'm taking ear plugs....or Nyquil, lol
Day 3 -
Started the day again with more breakfast burritos and a desire to get underway and to the takeout.
We broke camp quick, loaded up, and got underway. Our intention was to paddle steady and not fish, just maintain a straight course to the takeout.
Well some spots were just to good to pass up so I would stop on occasion and fish a few. Like the area below this chute where I caught at least 8 smallmouth on as many casts.
Plus this spotted gar that half hitched the line/lure around his snout so he couldn't bite thru the line as he normally would've.
My brother just ignored me stopping to fish and just kept paddling so I would have to play catch up. Luckily my 14 ft redfish, even loaded to the hilt paddles well , compared to his 12 ft future beach. So I was able to close the gap pretty easily.
Finally, in the distance, the hwy 4 bridge is in site, takeout just beyond.
I made it in 1st and snapped few photos of my brother coming in 2nd but not far behind
I caught almost every fish this trip on a rapala jointed shad rap in green crawdad color
With the exception of a couple of small striper that were chasing bait in the shallow riffles on a little Cleo spoon
My brother caught most all his fish on a small crappie jig, white, I think, on a light weight crappie spin/rod. He's a crappie fisherman at heart and I think he was hoping to find some along the way. Never a single crappie, but the gaspergoo and largemouth loved that jig and he had a blast catching them on lite tackle.
This was a great trip and special time spent with my brother that I wouldn't trade for the world but not sure if I'll be doing this trip again. 20 miles and sleeping anywhere other than in bed is more than my body can take these days. My lower back is just not up for it. Sadly enough tho, what hurts the most is my calves from loading/unloading gear uphill thru the deep sand and gravel both nights.
All that said, I'm glad I did it and time always has a way of letting me forget the pain and remember the good time shared, so who knows, maybe in a year or 2...?
Side note - I posted in another thread already, but I tried out a wide brimmed straw hat for the first time on this trip, and it probably saved the day. Had I been wearing my usual ball cap, I think the brutal sun and heat would've got the best of me. The breathable straw and keeping the sun completely off the head and shoulders keeps your temperature much lower. It will be a regular fixture on my head from now on.
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