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Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


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By shoffer
#2281083
A group of us went Saturday morning. It was beautiful weather; at 6:15 am when we launched, the temperature was 45 degrees and was up to 62 degrees by 9 am (and 71 degrees by noon as we were driving back). There was a good outgoing tide until 2 pm that day, and solunar chart for the day was off the charts awesome. The wind was crazy light also -- maybe 2 mph all day. On paper, it was a dream.
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We launched a little before first light into the patchy fog that hung over the water. The water level was still fairly low for a "high" tide. Once the fog lifted, and the sun rose, our hearts sank. The water was muddy brown as far as the eye could see, with about 3-4 inches of visibility. There was crap floating in the water (including some good size driftwood) and the water was fresh as hell on top. Apparently, that area had seen so much rain lately that there was literally water running off the sides of the shoreline, like a waterfall one might see in Kauai, Hawaii. We could hear it pouring into the bay in the darkness as we were making our way out of Double Bayou, but could not see it; given the sound, I thought it was a localized drainage pipe of some sort. Making matters more challenging was the fact that the tide was dropping, and by the time we left, the water was a good 2 feet below normal.

Despite the abysmal water clarity, we gave it hell for 4 hours. Among three of us, one hooked a potato chip flounder for 5 seconds, and one hooked something for a few seconds that got off (likely a rat red). I trolled two rods with different lures at different depths for most of the time (tipped with either Fishbites or Procure), worked some marsh drains and threw a noisy topwater, but I did not get a bump or blow up all morning.

In retrospect, had we factored in the amount of rain, we would have launched at SLP or somewhere closer to the Gulf - like West Bay, or just said screw it, and headed to Lake Fayette where the water is supposed to be fresh. Oh, well. Live and learn.
#2281086
Shoffer writes great fishing reports even when we get SKUNKED! I took a hot shower & applied some Hai Karate cologne to get the stink off my newly trim body which has lost 27 lbs of mostly fat since I embarked on INTERMITTENT FASTING about two months ago.
Yes, I was the poor boob who hooked the potato-chip flounder for five seconds. Watson hooked a couple of fish before he lost them both!
The water was badly "stained" and skunks are inevitable when fish cannot see your fancy soft & hard plastic lures! Oh well. The weather was perfect for a day yakking & cussing the uncooperative gamefish.
My only triumph was finding out the new trim Dandydon (from 195 to 168 lbs in two months!) could pedal his Hobie Outback much faster than Shoffer could go with trolling motor at maximum. I beat him to Pickels Marsh (a 2.3-mile trip) & back to the ramp again by a good 20 minutes each time. Plus, my new energy level removed my need for any more on-water "Man-Naps!"
If anyone needs great legal or nutritional health advice, please call Shoffer. I made him a believer. He's losing weight, too.
Tight lines & trout-green water to all!
--Dandydon, Esq.
#2281087
As one of the members making this trip, on paper it looked fantastic. So good in fact that I was willing to make the trip despite knowing I'd have to cut out early to make the Texans game (in retrospect, I'm not sure if staying on the water getting skunked would have been better).

Shoffer's report is spot on so there is little to add except that despite the lack of catching fish, we were fortunate enough to catch one of the most incredible sunrises I have seen in a while. And it was so quiet out on the water we could hear the overflow from the banks trickling into the bay. It was a reminder that sometimes the joy of what we do is for the connection with good old Mother Nature.
#2281089
Watson's heartfelt fishing report made me cry... But don't dare taunt me or I'll pound you to a bloody pulp. Alpha Males can be sensitive, too.
Watson is a poet & a good attorney. But he sure as Hell didn't help the hapless Texans against the Colts!
Go New Orleans Saints!


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#2281099
As far as I know Trinity bay is like that for 3rd year already... Ever since we came out of that long drought and it started raining in Trinity basin. First two years I was making 2-3 scouting trips into Anahuac pocket (and surrounding area) -- but every time it was very bad. Few reds are there, but they behave differently -- not as aggressive, hard to detect, very white. Packed sand in places where there was mud and shell before... Carp and gars are everywhere. Turbid, 100% fresh water. Until I see a bunch of good reports coming from there -- I'll fish elsewhere.
#2281108
Thanks for the report. I’ve yet to make a saltwater trip this year. Still sounds like it was fun to get out. I think I read the gill net survey the Texas Parks and wildlife folks do every spring and fall yielded some freshwater species like white bass way down Trinity bay. Sabine Lake is also about completely fresh if what I’ve read is correct.

I don’t believe these models NOAA does are anything like 100% accurate, but they do give a window into near surface salinity. I believe there’s a way to look at past numbers, at least on the Eagle point site.

https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/ofs/o ... ty_nowcast

Eagle point has a station that measures salinity (conductivity). Right now, it’s 4.2 ppt. That’s almost fresh.

https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/stati ... id=8771013
#2281113
You guys are smart & too technical for me! But keep up the good work. In my 50+ years of saltwater fishing, I've learned to TASTE the water & declare its salinity. Ask Shoffer! I used to bring a fancy salinity meter on a string I could use to test the top & bottom water. After years of that, I calibrated my tongue to gauge the saline percentage within 2 parts per thousand.
On Saturday our surface water in Trinity Bay was about 6 parts per thousand. Too fresh for specks! And when the water is that brown, forget it! Salinity & water visibility are critical.
Below is Pickels Marsh last Saturday: glass! But not salty.
See you in West or East Bay!
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#2281221
I happened to be at Texas City Dike Sunday getting some water for an aquarium. I tested water on both sides, and at the end, and none would even register any salinity on my el cheapo swing arm hydrometer. We have had a lot of rain in these parts...
#2281353
Capt. Shoffer just upgraded his Outback trolling motor with a powerful 100-amp lithium ion battery at half the weight of his former weak battery! Yay!
Now maybe he can keep pace with my rapid Outback pedaling AND pull my butt around in the relaxing style I so enjoy...
Thanks, Shoffer!
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