TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


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By jakehardgrave
#2176262
So last weekend I wanted to do a shakedown trip to test my gear, (and my ability to properly stuff it in the kayak), before heading out on a longer trip to my end goal of Alazan Bay. Overall, things went very well, covered about 14 miles between the two days averaging 2.87 mph. I launched at Bayland park in Baytown about 12pm on sat. and paddled southeast down to Atkinson Island the first day. Paddled around down there, caught a few trout, and scouted potential campsites along the southern shore of Hog Island.

For those who may be interested, access to Atkinson Island is legal as long as you hold a public hunting permit or a limited use permit, hunting is not allowed, but all other outdoor activities are. Hog Island is still privately owned from what I can find, and looks like "land after people" with all of the abandoned structures. Ill take my chances pitching my little tent on the beach there, I imagine no one will care, but I will comply with any other info I find on the subject.

I set up my tent and ran into the first of 2 problems I had during the trip. I brought my water in a soft bladder stored inside the hull of my Native Slayer, and... well... it slid all the way to the tip of the hull where I could not get to it. I had a quick moment of panic, but eventually ended up emptying the kayak and shaking the piss out of it to get it in a location I could access. Note to self: secure items placed in bilge or they will go to Narnia.

Otherwise the night went very well, no other hitches.

The next morning I woke up and fished the reef south of Hog Island, caught a 23" trout and a 21" trout, and at that point I saw sea fog rolling in on the horizon. Having been in this situation before, I quickly paddled to a position with a clear shot to the ramp (around 3.5 miles away), turned my bow toward a tower I knew was right above it, and took a compass bearing. I then headed back to my camp, the 60 mph bay boats unsettle me in nill visibility, they seem to not care about it.

I packed my camp and waited there until the visibility was good enough that I felt safe from becoming roadkill, and set off. Visibility at that point was safe in my opinion, but my destination was still very much obscured.

I cannot stress enough how much of an advocate I am of my compass. It has now saved my butt twice, and does so very accurately. If there is one thing I think all kayakers should carry (besides a life jacket), it is a compass.

Long story short, I made it back successfully, and have confidence in my setup. Ready for oversize trout in Alazan Bay. Who's in??

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By on a mission
#2176277
Nice report. Solitude.(except for the kamikaze pbs) Looked like a blast to me. And you are so right on the compass. Mine stays in my PFD I am amazed as to how many lack the knowledge the compass provides. Most rely on their smarty phones. When the grid shuts down I will smile. But, I do hope it reboots after a few days. :D
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By Earl
#2176445
Sounds like a nice trip and good first time experience on the bays. Learning what to pack, how to pack it and what can go wrong comes with getting out and doing it like you did. Yep, fog can really put a damper on finding your way back to camp but you had a quick plan.


This is my favorite type of kayak camping is along the shores of our TX bays. I have camped almost every bay north of Corpus and would be interested in your Alazan Bay trip. Where do you intend on launching from?

SYOTW,

Earl
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By jakehardgrave
#2176468
Earl and TxTitan,

No specific route is etched in stone, but this was my thought: Launch in Riviera, and paddle across as shown. I have received written permission from King Ranch to camp on any shoreline in Alazan Bay. If I can eventually get maybe 3 people including myself, we could then work out when and where to stop based on everyone's endurance. The route shown could be paddled and fished in a 2-3 trip without feeling rushed. We could go further into the Alazan if everyone had the needed vacation days to do so.

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By kwrob
#2177190
Depending on timing I would be interested. Might see if my son had time to make the trip as well if he can break away from college studies for a couple of days.
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By jakehardgrave
#2177400
I was thinking late march or early april. From what Ive researched, this will give us a compromise between catching only a few massive trout in winter and loads of little guys in the summer.

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