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Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


By mwatson71
#2301019
So I made another trip, this time taking the 12 year old, joined by my socially distanced fishing buddy Shoffer. We planned for a 9:30p launch and hoped to hit an 11:30-12:30 minor. I wanted to go to Academy to get a few things but the line was out the door so I decided 1.) the wait wasn't worth it, and 2.) I really didn't need any more lures and the Pro-Cure wasn't worth the CV risk.

We launched a little after 9:30 and headed to the canals on the east side of Sea Isle where I caught everything the other day. The first thing we noticed was the wind was much higher than predicted. In fact, Shoffer went back to unload his trolling motor and battery to lighten his load. The water was pretty choppy getting over to the canals and for the first 50 yard or so into the canals. The bait wasn't there but we made a few casts into them and came up empty. I told my son we should go a little farther into the canals to see if the fish had moved in farther for protection as well. I threw at the next underwater light and was rewarded with an 18" speck. As I am netting it, my son yells at me "Dad, come take a picture. Is it a keeper?" In his net is a 19" red. I take the photo and watch him, slightly disappointed, release it. We make our way down the canal and I pick up another 16" speck. On cue, the little man asks, "Do you want a picture of this one?" as he holds up a 16" red. I tell him if I have to stop fishing to take pictures of every undersized fish he catches it could be a long night. Nevertheless, I pedal over and take the picture.

We fish up and down the canal a couple of times, getting a bite here and there but nothing more is landed. I decide the throw a tandem rig into a few lights and hook up with a pretty good trout. Instead of letting the drag out, I try to muscle it out of the lights to try to keep from frightening the other fish in the light. After a minute or two, the hook pops loose. I look at the 2" Tsunami shad and see that the hook has been bent.

Shoffer asks if we should brave it and try to make our way to the west side of Sea Isle. Sure, why not. With the wind at our backs, we make our way through the waves and hit the west side. It feels much farther than normal. My poor son fighting to keep the T160 straight. Once we make it into the main canal on the west side, we get a reprieve from the wind. We pick up a couple of dink trout in the first few lights and then nothing from then on. The bite has definitely slowed. We wind through a couple of the canals and I see a spot that looks protected on one side with wind blowing to it on the other. And an overhead light to boot. I throw the Vudu shad into the light and slowly bounce it back. I hook up with something that at first felt like a small flounder and then it suddenly starts pulling and then running up under my kayak. As it comes back out I see the big girl trout. Into the net goes the 21" trout.

A few more undersized trout round out the night and we head in around 12:45a. The wind has picked up and the bite has slowed down. We realize how much the wind picked up as soon as we made the turn back into the bay. It was a loooong trip back for little arms so a couple of times I reached over and grabbed the front handle to drag him for about 20 yards so he could catch his breath.

Back at the launch some 30 minutes later, we take our time loading up, enjoying the tales we get to tell about fighting wind and fish.
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By kickingback
#2301034
Great report Michael! Wish I could have been there! I could have pulled you guys around with my trolling motor. Next time I'll try to be there for you guys. Glad the son caught a few and sounds like he was excited and had a good time despite the heavy winds. Thanks for sharing! :clap:
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By YakRunabout
#2301044
Congrats on getting out again, and so soon. Thanks for the great report!
That is a nice group of trout you got there - good to hear that they are back!
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By YakRunabout
#2301055
Sounds like a man on a night mission!

It looks like the wind gods are pushing you to Wednesday AM, April 8 when windguru shows the first low winds. A big incoming tide of 1.4' over 7 hours will be moving water (at least it is not one of the 2' tides!). It might be a bit much for the causeway but good for Tiki. A big bite window due to the full moon coincides with the fastest tide movement 1:34 - 3:34 AM.
I recommend your Hobie over the T160 to give you maneuverability in that current.

Perhaps you have already added this to your calendar, since you are on a mission!!

The fish will be waiting!
By mwatson71
#2301056
I haven't fished Tiki in the Hobie yet and my big concern is getting over there without a fishfinder because of all of the reefs and shallow spots. It's one thing to hit a reef in the T160; I can easily push off with my paddle and not worry about damaging fins.

I should also consider the "don't leave fish to find fish" rule and just keep fishing Sea Isle.

Decisions, decisions. Hell, by the time April 8 rolls around there could be a complete lockdown including fishing.
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By YakRunabout
#2301057
You are correct that there are shallow areas and reefs that can get you.
The Hobie would benefit more in the high current area, which are the outside borders of Tiki, especially on the south side. If you fish in the inner canals then the flow rate would be less and the T160 would perform as normal.
Even in the internal canals I prefer the Hobie in case I hook a large red and need to move it away from docks or other structure.
Either way, it is a great area for night fishing - Enjoy -
By Yakety_Yak
#2301109
mwatson71 wrote:I haven't fished Tiki in the Hobie yet and my big concern is getting over there without a fishfinder because of all of the reefs and shallow spots.


I agree, night fishing in a kayak should be done with a partner especially if you haven't done a certain location before. In general, it's good practice to have someone out there for safety purposes.

Michael, I'd be glad to hook up with you to show you the ropes of Tiki. I've fished Tiki many times over the years. I've tried calling your number in the past but no answer. I'm not sure if you changed the number or not.

PS: The good thing about Tiki is that if there is a north wind, you can fish the south side for protection. The same goes for if there is a south wind, you can fish the north side for protection. If the winds come from either the west/east, the protection is still there when fishing the canals on either side (north or south). Hit me up and let's go fishing. 832-588-7091
By mwatson71
#2301114
Thanks, Blake. I have fished Tiki a lot, just not from the Hobie. I know where it is shallow enough for me to hit in the T160, but not where the fins would hit, mainly on the route out from and back in to to the launch. And we all know how the tides can alter the water level from the time we launch to the time we return.

I saw you called the other day but I assumed it was related to the BTB this summer.
By Yakety_Yak
#2301122
mwatson71 wrote:Thanks, Blake. I have fished Tiki a lot, just not from the Hobie. I know where it is shallow enough for me to hit in the T160, but not where the fins would hit, mainly on the route out from and back in to to the launch. And we all know how the tides can alter the water level from the time we launch to the time we return.

I saw you called the other day but I assumed it was related to the BTB this summer.


I was actually going to hit the night lights which I posted the report on that. I was going to see if you wanted to hook up for some fishing. No worries, next time.

Also, when the tides are low, I've had to pull the mirage drive only from the launch until I get to the island. Once I'm there, then I can put fins back in on my Outback.
By impulse
#2301144
A little late to this thread, but I'd suggest anyone fishing the canals focus on the wee hours. The fish have been thickest in the lights between 3:00 AM and dawn. And not just in the lights... I can hear them slurping the surface all over the canals.

Each day, I download the time lapse video from the night before. It's not a priority with me, so I don't always watch the 8 minute videos every day. But when I do, the fish seem to be more active pre-dawn. They're there all night, but thicker later. I haven't tried to correlate it with tides or solunar tables. Just watching the videos and stepping outside when I wake up to pee. It sucks getting old.

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