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By ross.edward
#2283215
I’m the new owner of a Jackson mayfly and I’m planning to make the long drive from Lubbock down to the coast to chase some reds on the fly! Got a couple questions.

I’ve identified 2 spots through google maps that look good.

The back end (west end) of Nueces bay, and shamrock cove. Will these be productive areas the last weekend in March, and will they be safe for a kayaker? I’m going solo so I’d like to keep safety in mind. Are there any other areas I should check out? Not trying to steal anyone’s honey hole, just a saltwater novice looking for some direction. This is an 8 hour drive for me and I’ll only get to go a couple times a year, so I’d like to make the most of it! Distance driving from corpus isn’t much of a concern.
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By Ron Mc
#2283218
if you don't get an answer here, may try asking your question on corpusfishing.com.
My favorite places to take a kayak on prevailing SSE are the clear waters at Estes flats and Brown & Root flat, keeping the Lighthouse Lakes paddle to Lydia Ann Shore in back pocket for N wind.
You might also search the forum, because there's been some good information shared about inside Mustang Is paddles.
Another good choice is launch at Bird Is. Basin on PINS.
A smart paddle is planned like a sail, upwind to structure, and downwind to get home.
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By Neumie
#2283220
I'm not sure I recommend the back bay marshes of the nueces river. The paddle there is long and it's really easy to get turned around without a GPS or a good aerial map. The mouth could be an option, but you'd still have a decent paddle to the marshes.

I've spent a lot of time at Shamrock. It's good area with numerous flats of varying depth and channels to work over. I can count on one hand the number of tailing reds I've seen there, so you're more than likely going to be blind casting or drifting the flats looking for reds. Plus, there's lots of islands offering wind blocks.

BIB/PINS, basically has three ways to fish it. You can just wade the drop off (pretty obvious on google earth) where it goes from knee deep to 4 feetish. or you can set up with the wind and drift the deeper stuff. Either of those first two choices you'll want to concentrate of casting to the numerous sand potholes. The third option is to work the islands in between them where the wind generates current.

LHL and B&R are probably the two most popular spots in the area. I've had better luck fishing LHL and IMO gives you the better shots at tailing reds due to its shallower flats. It can be difficult to navigate especially since it has lost navigation markers since the hurricane (TPWD has a downloadable map: CLICK), but it's not too bad. B&R offers decent protection from SE winds if you launch on the southside and use Harbor Island as a wind block. Both spots have spots to work drains/guts into deeper waters.

When launching foe Estes you'll paddle onto numerous spoil banks with guts draining into the ICW. There's a chain of back lakes on Talley Island, but I've never seen anything other than mullet back there. I'd paddle straight across to Traylor Island and work the Estes side of the islands or one of the three cuts out to the main bay.

As far as fly selection I'd keep it relatively simple:
Clouser in Chartreuse/White, Pink/White, and Grey/White
Small Popper in either White or Bone
Spoon Fly in Glow and Gold
Kwan in natural tan and pink
Shrimp Gurgler in natural
During warmer months I'd add a crab imitation as well

I pretty much just use WF floating line, but if you plan on fishing more of the guts/drains into the channels a slow sinking line would be beneficial.
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By karstopo
#2283249
Sounds like a fun trip. Always good to have a plan B, plan C and maybe a plan D. Wish I had some ideas about the Corpus area, but I’m as green as anyone for anything south of West Matagorda bay. Sounds like you’ve gotten some good feedback, I know those guys have been fishing around that area for many moons. Google Earth is definitely a big help, especially if you can get to some of the historical low tide images. Good luck and post up something of your experience fishing wherever you end up. I like reading almost any post-mortem of a saltwater fishing trip and especially one with a fly rod involved.
By ben_beyer
#2283253
Shamrock cove is a good place to start.

Also if you paddle halfway down Wilson's cut, you could portage your kayak over the oilfield road to the flats on the other side. I haven't been over there but I believe it is fairly shallow and a place where you can see tailing reds more so than the north side of the cut.

There are some areas that typically have good reds but it's blind casting and easily a 2-3 mile paddle. I've mostly caught trout fishing the flats with drains in that area.

My experience which is also limited compared to Neumie.
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By Neumie
#2283259
ben_beyer wrote:Also if you paddle halfway down Wilson's cut, you could portage your kayak over the oilfield road to the flats on the other side. I haven't been over there but I believe it is fairly shallow and a place where you can see tailing reds more so than the north side of the cut.

I'm not one to advocate trespassing, but there would have to be quite a bit of water that flat for it to be worthwhile. It's a extremely shallow until you get to Boot Cove/Croaker Hole, about 3/4 of a mile from where you'd portage over. I know in the spring time tides run higher than summer, but I'm not sure I would fish it. The few times I fished the south side of Wilson's I ended up just heading straight down to Croaker Hole to fish, mainly due to the flat having barely enough water to float my kayak until I was at Boot Cove.
By ben_beyer
#2283262
Neumie wrote:I'm not one to advocate trespassing, but there would have to be quite a bit of water that flat for it to be worthwhile.


Good point and I never thought about it being trespassing. I just assumed that it was public property until the original gated area from pre-Harvey where everyone used to launch from.

I fished Wilson's Cut once prior to Harvey and never thought about why they put up the gate along 361 and locked it afterwards.
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By Neumie
#2283269
ben_beyer wrote:
Neumie wrote:I'm not one to advocate trespassing, but there would have to be quite a bit of water that flat for it to be worthwhile.


Good point and I never thought about it being trespassing. I just assumed that it was public property until the original gated area from pre-Harvey where everyone used to launch from.

I fished Wilson's Cut once prior to Harvey and never thought about why they put up the gate along 361 and locked it afterwards.

~Warning~ We're getting off the Op's original topic, but since we're on this discussion.......

I've been fishing Shamrock since 2003 and there used to be a yellow gate along the highway, and it may still be there, but it was never used. As far as I know it's always been private property and the owners always, for lack of a better term, tolerated the public use of the caliche rd up until the second set of yellow gates. That changed about a month or two after Harvey when a new gate (red, I think) was installed blocking public access.

Now, the make shift boat ramp at the end of Wilson's cut, where kayakers now have to launch, is also on private property. But the funny thing is TPWD lists that boat ramp as a public access point for the Mustang Island Paddling Trail and within GIS data you can download from their website.

A year or so ago (just checked, it was exactly this date a year ago) GoDoe pm'd me wanting my input on whether or not an easement (prescriptive, in this case) had been established since the public had openly and notoriously used the caliche road for probably decades before access was cut off. The quick answer was no. An easement can not be established across private property for recreational purposes.

So, to keep from rambling too much it probably won't be too long before the make shift boat ramp is closed off unless TPWD or the county steps up to the plate. In fact, I think I may compose an email and voice my concerns about the potential loss of access in the middle of Mustang Island.
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By ross.edward
#2283278
Thank y’all for the great advice and responses. I have plenty of advice to get me started! I’ll be sure to update everyone on how it goes. If anyone in the area wants to meet up and fish that would be cool, I’m always in on making new friends.
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By ross.edward
#2283280
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Am I on the right track for fishy areas. I’m assuming reds are similar to other fish in that they orient toward disturbance, changes in depth, grass, cover, etc. I don’t know anything about tides, but I’m guessing these areas are shallow flats that would hold fish.


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By ben_beyer
#2283282
Neumie, thanks again for the education and based off of what you said, I'm going to have to find other places to fish. I'm afraid that launch area will be closed off as well.

ross.edward, tides from the handful of times I've been to Wilson's cut don't matter much. I need to check the kayak and wade fishing book but I believe it might be the same for the Lighthouse Lakes.
By flydoc
#2283293
As of last Nov. there was still access on the east end of Wilson near the ramp. I've fished the north side a few times with little luck for reds but trout in the cuts of the bay. No reds on the open flats but they were in the channels that flow thru the islands by the east tower. GoDoe has that north side dialed and does well.

I did much better at Croaker but had to go to the bay and 1 mi south to enter. Best on a low tide just turning as the cut was full of trout on the incoming. Clousers and deceivers worked well. The reds and blacks will stack on the north end waiting for the rise to crawl on the flats. You can wade the edge of the flats site casting cruisers . Crab pattern for me. The south side of Croaker looks good but didn't spend much time there.

Hope access stays as Shamrock is a fun area. Cheers
By Wag
#2283321
Great question and a bunch of great responses! If you ever want an introduction to the Corpus area, Fil Spencer is a great guide and guy. I really like Lighthouse Lakes and B&R flats for their beauty as much as their fish. Also, the oil field cuts of Wilson's Cut are awesome for redfish and black drum. I travel a considerable distance to fish the coast, so appreciate your question and the responses you've received. Thanks, everyone!
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By Neumie
#2283322
ben_beyer wrote:Neumie, thanks again for the education and based off of what you said, I'm going to have to find other places to fish. I'm afraid that launch area will be closed off as well.

flydoc wrote:As of last Nov. there was still access on the east end of Wilson near the ramp...............Hope access stays as Shamrock is a fun area. Cheers

Didn't mean to make such fear mongering posts regarding access. My pessimism got the better of me.
By ben_beyer
#2283323
I wouldn't say fear mongering as much as making a valid point. Primarily it goes back to the fact that is private land and I was under the impression it was public. Since the other access point down the oilfield road was blocked off, the owners may or may not decide to block off the boat ramp.

I've been wanting to try out more areas so this will be added motivation to do some research.
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By Neumie
#2283328
ben_beyer wrote:I've been wanting to try out more areas so this will be added motivation to do some research.


Here's a Google Map to help jump start your search.
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By TroutSupport.com
#2283329
There was talk at one time about TPWD purchasing Wilson Cut land so it could be public. Not sure what happened to that. I would hit Brown and Root flats personally.
By ben_beyer
#2283330
Neumie wrote:
ben_beyer wrote:I've been wanting to try out more areas so this will be added motivation to do some research.


Here's a Google Map to help jump start your search.


Yeah I have that bookmarked. I had a pretty awesome day the first time I went out at Wilson's almost 2 years ago.

I have 3 areas in mind to try next time I'm down that way.
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By ross.edward
#2284882
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The trip ended up pretty good. Fished hard, and was able to get into the reds. Also caught one flounder and one trout. My truck was broken into in the Roy’s bait and tackle parking lot so beware of parking there after hours.


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By ben_beyer
#2284888
Sorry to hear about the break in. It's something I have always worried about when in some of these areas.

Nice reds though!

What did you catch them on?
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By ross.edward
#2284889
ben_beyer wrote:Sorry to hear about the break in. It's something I have always worried about when in some of these areas.

Nice reds though!

What did you catch them on?


Yeah, kinda sucks. They didn’t get much but did break my door lock. There are 2 cameras pointed right at my truck, but the employees didn’t seem too concerned about video . Caught all the reds on a redfish crack fly, and caught one on a gold spoon when the wind was just too strong. Caught the trout on a topwater fly.


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