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Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...

By OldTownYakBoi
Got out for a quick afternoon trip Friday 11/19. Upon arriving at the launch tides had dropped out about 1.5 ft due to the north winds the last cold front brought. It was nice to work with some lower water levels. Water was clear in most places, 1-2ft clarity. I fished an outgoing tide with an east wind at about 5-10 mph. Bait presence was heavy in the drains that connect the back lakes to the main lakes, plenty of mullet and Shad. I drifted, working a dropoff adjacent to a shallow flat. . Fishing with a 5 in pearl z man jerk Shad on a 1/4 ounce lead head I picked up a rat red and under sized speck pretty quickly. I then noticed some subtle disturbance on the flat right up against the grass, silver flashes from baitfish. The shorleline was dead still calm so I opted for a lighter lure, the Vudu shrimp. Rod in hand I waited for signs of disturbance, once I saw the flash of bait fish again I casted to the spot and hooked up on the fall, I set the hook backhanded and immediately questioned what I had. The fish zigged and zagged swimming right at the boat, after a good fight I pulled up a toad sheepshead.
After releasing the fish I searched for more area that had a shallow flat adjacent to a deep drop, and a few casts later I landed a baby flounder.

I continued to work this cut and a few casts later I hooked up again. As my shrimp lure rose to the top of the water column I noticed another nice sheepshead in hot pursuit, as soon as I let the shrimp fall he hammered it and I set the hook! Such a cool moment to watch him eat. I headed to the back lakes and saw a few big schools of sheepies, but only a few reds, all singles. After spooking a few of the schools I headed back out of the marsh to the main bayou. In the bayou I found to grass islands with a cut between them, water gushing out. It looked like a perfect flounder hole. I picked up a rod with a Vudu Shad tied on and about 3 casts in I got hit hard, about took the rod out of my hand lol. For a fish only 16 in this flounder out up an impressive fight.

It was a beautiful day to be out on the kayak, temps were cool all day long and the fishing was pretty easy. A mixed bag but a perfect day on the flats. Get out and enjoy it before winter.

Tight lines

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By karstopo
That is a nice sheepshead. Nice flounder, too. Got to love that flounder thump. Seems like the sheepshead have been in an aggressive mode lately based on yours and other recent reports. Lot of sheepshead are apparently attacking artiies with an attitude.

Nice trip, thanks for the write up.
By OldTownYakBoi
Thanks Karst, he really did thump it. The sheepshead seem to only bite small shrimp and crab lures, anytime I throw the Vudu shad they want nothing to do with it. They have been ganged up in the marsh this past month

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By karstopo
I kept my last sheepshead. They are really good eating also. Some say they are hard to clean. Sheepshead have a large rib cage, that’s all. I like a flexible fillet knife (Rapala) and just allow the blade to slide along the rib cage.

I’m going to make it a point to get a few more sheepshead this fall and winter. Maybe they will even cooperate!
By txanalogkd
Great report and pics. Yes, those sheepshead are great eating and are not too bad to clean as you mentioned. Last spring, I decided to keep a few for the freezer; give reds and trout a break due to the freeze.
By OldTownYakBoi
Thanks guys, the sheepies are fun butl a big flattie is better. Caught this guy on a drain that was dumping hard last week. 21.5 in stud.

I caught one a little bigger this exact same time last year, pic below

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By karstopo
Nice flounder. Flounder seem really focused on specific spots at specific times. My buddy and I used to fish when we could a local annual charity tournament and when we did we fished the same spots each time, side by side. My buddy caught the winning flounder one year and the next time we fished the tournament two years later lost what would have been the winning flounder by a long shot as it balanced on the lip of the net. I was 30 feet away and saw it all, both times. Both fish came from a spot that would fit in a 15’ circle.

I spend time looking for flounder in the places I fish. I get more excited about catching, getting in the net a good flounder than a good redfish. Thanks for sharing the photos. Wonder if the any of big girls will still be around up shallow come December 15th?
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By Dandydon
Good fishing report and sheepshead action, Yak Boi! Years ago I caught many Sheepies around the Galveston Causeway grouped up around the concrete skirts, daytime and at night. They love underwater structure, especially w/ barnacles on it. And yes, they're quite tasty table fare.

Shout out to the VUDU shrimp and shad, two lures I endorse and keep in my lure box. They attract almost all saltwater species. And another shout to the arrival of Dec. 15th when the government will allow us to keep a 15" Flounder. What a great country!

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By mwatson71
Many years ago I caught a fairly large sheepshead at the SLP fishing pier (that tells you how long ago) and, like many, was about to chuck it over the rail when my fishing buddy convinced me to keep it, saying it was one of his favorite table fare. He even said he’d clean it for me. I was surprised at how sweet the flesh was, almost snow white and succulent like jumbo lump crab meat. Since then, I have caught maybe 3-4 big enough to keep, but they have all made it to the table.
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By karstopo
I now keep sheepshead over 15”. I got one a few weeks ago. They are excellent table fare and pretty abundant. I don’t see how they are harder to clean than a redfish. Sheepshead have a bigger rib cage is all. I like the flexible, smaller, 8” Rapala knife for them and start at the shoulder letting the blade follow the rib cage rather than trying to hack my way through it.

All these “lesser” fish are good table fare. Sheepshead, smaller drum, sand trout, whiting, croaker. Right at the end of October, I got a 17”+ chunky flounder and a couple of nice sand trout. I filleted them all, then roll up style stuffed the flounder with a shrimp/crab mixture and sandwich style stuffed the sand trout. My son and I both felt the sand trout edged out the flounder in tastiness, not that the flounder wasn’t delicious. I don’t guess sand trout freezes well, but these were fresh.

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