TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


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By eweberdc
#1342797
This weekend three of us decided to do the 26 mile overnight trip from Bastrop to Smithville on the Colorado River. We put in around 10:45 on Saturday at Fisherman's Park in Bastrop, and took out about 11:30 at Hwy 95 in Smithville on Sunday. All in all this was a great trip! We used Rising Phoenix kayak rentals to rent one kayak and shuttle us. They're a nice bunch of guys and they were very informative.

From Bastrop the river was flowing very nicely. We reached the 7-mile checkpoint in about 2 hours...didn't do much fishing. After that we let off the paddles (and pedal) and fished a little. Ended up with 7 small bass, the largest going about 12". The scenery along this stretch of river was amazing. There are supposed to be 2 pairs of bald eagles along the river, though we didn't spot them. We did see an Osprey (one of my favorite birds of prey) and a lot of other wildlife.

We camped on a sandy beach on the side of the river as the designated camping spot was overgrown and occupied. The weather cooperated with us most of the way, though we did have to outpace a thunderstorm and had a bit of a sprinkle while setting up camp. I castnetted a few perch and tried to bottom fish, but the loose weed in the river made it near impossible to keep the bait in the water.

Got up the next morning to a river that was 6-8" higher than when we hit the sack, I believe 'they' were releasing water for the rice farmers. The second half of the trip FELT long, as we were all sore and tired, but it passed very quickly.

This was a nice trip, and now that I know how easy it is I plan on going again when the weather gets a little cooler, and when the river won't be so dirty from the release of water for the rice farmers. A few things I'll make sure to do next time:

1. Pack lighter- I was in an Ultimate 14.5 Propel, and was loaded for bear. That thing is a barge with that much weight on it, and I was caught in every cross-current in the river. My girlfriend used a T-140, which seemed to handle the river a little better. We had too much gear on her yak, too. Looking back I'm glad we packed like we did, but now that we have a little experience it's obvious that we could have cut out 25-35 pounds of gear and food.
2. Get an earlier start
3. Take a water-resistant GPS! We had a satellite printout of the river, but it was near impossible to figure out where we were by the map alone. Knowing how much farther we needed to go would have made the trip much more enjoyable, and a little less rushed.
4. Leave the propel system at home. The river was full of weed (hydrilla?) that kept getting caught in the propel system. When it was clear I was haulin' donkey, but would get behind while trying to clean it out. 12 pounds is a lot of unnecessary weight when this thing is not in use!
User avatar
By eweberdc
#1342818
I should add that we were pulled over by a Highway Patrolman on the way to Bastrop for having more than 4' of kayak past the bumper of the truck. I knew this was a law but have never been pulled over, even though I've taken those things across the state several times. Be careful out there!
User avatar
By CR
#1342939
Did you get a ticket?

eweberdc wrote:I should add that we were pulled over by a Highway Patrolman on the way to Bastrop for having more than 4' of kayak past the bumper of the truck. I knew this was a law but have never been pulled over, even though I've taken those things across the state several times. Be careful out there!
User avatar
By CR
#1342988
Good. Most of them are pretty nice guys.

I have had several LEO's take a look at my bed extender with tail and brake lights. I guess it passed inspection since none have stopped me. :)
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By eweberdc
#1343025
Well, I asked specifically about having a bed extender. I usually have one, but left it in the garage because I didn't want it to get stolen overnight. The officer told me that a bed extender does not negate the law, that it's the amount past the bumper, no matter what is supporting the kayaks.
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By A&A
#1345877
Great report! I'm sorry I couldn't make the trip - very sorry... :( . Sounds like you had a blast!
Very interesting comments about the Propel system, but it should be a huge advantage in the bay chasing the trout and reds. :D As far as Mr. DPS pulling you over, that is why a red flag is a permanent fixture on my yak. I've had several LEO's behind me while I was hauling my yak, but none have pulled me over.
User avatar
By eweberdc
#1345947
Well, I had red flags on my kayaks. I mentioned that to the officer and he told me that regardless of whether it was flagged or not it was illegal to have anything more than 4 foot past the bumper. It didn't sound right to me, so I'm going to do a little research and find out the truth for myself.
User avatar
By bowgarguide
#1345954
eweberk
That officer did not know what he was talking about,up to 4 ft you dont have to do anything but make sure it doesnt block your lights,with flags I think the limit is 105 ft overall,they could have changed the length limit ,but with a 12inch bye 12inch red flag attached you were legal.
I have transported steel a jillion miles like that.
Ron

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