TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


#2287705
Guys, this is my 1st post. (Im very active on Rokslide under FlyGuy if anyone here ventures onto that site any).

Short intro - 45, resident of The Woodlands. Coon ass, born and raised in Gonzales, LA. Did a lot of fishing out of Grand Isle, LA as a kid and then a lot more after college. I actually thought I knew what I was doing back then as we seemed to catch plenty of fish, but a big evinrude engine paired with a small fortune in live shrimp under corks will do that to you. Quit fishing after Katrina, moved to Dallas then Lubbock and now North Houston. Bought a used hobie a few years back while living inland and found out I really suck at Bass fishing too. Been down here for 3 years now and today I FINALLY got my kayak down into some salt water.

It was great to get back out there, but I clearly need some help. Big ole goose-egg for me this morning, so I’m hoping you experienced guys can do a little post mortem analysis on where I went wrong?


I put in this morning at the end of Sportsman’s Rd in West Bay, which is where I “think” I went wrong (?). One thing I’m learning about kayak fishing is that you really need to nail down the right location to fish before you leave the house, based on conditions, b/c you sure ain’t going to just get up on plane and run around to another side of the island if things are slow.

After waking up at 4am, I was finally on the water just after 8 (I know, I’m a little rusty, 1st trip in a while). It was Very windy. South Wind. Forecast said 15-25 but it felt like a constant 30-35. Water looked pretty murky but I have no real baseline for what normal is.

I covered water until 2pm and never got a single hit. Did everything I know to do (which isn’t much), and threw just about everything in my tackle box. Mostly grassline edges, hitting wind blown points hoping for a lurking redfish. Got into several spots that were “alive” with activity and fish swirling, but nothing biting? Idk what was moving around, seemed to be reacting to my casts (moving away). Figured it was mullet? Some baitfish? Birds were never heavily working an area. I watched hard for any tailing reds but never caught anything. Would have been difficult to see in most of the water as the surface was capping in except for protected waters. Tried to use the wind to my advantage, drifting along grass lines and setting up on little channel cuts that had a hard current blowing through them.

I started with a big top water as a locator, walking the dog and making noise. Alternated in a corky (original) and a badonk-a-donk. Nothin.

Traded out the top water for a doa under a big popping cork after the sun got up higher. Even tried topping it with some dead shrimp. Nope.

Then a white plastic magic spinner with gold blade. Then a 1/4oz jig with white and pink paddle tail, and a medium spoon (silver).

I covered ~ 4 miles making a loop south. The water was shallow, about 1.5 - 2’ deep for almost the entire day. (I wanted to try out front, but the surf looked to rough to even think about it). Water temp was 83-86. I was hoping to find some holes or channels but never really came across anything like that out there. I’m guessing the fish were just not in that area, maybe in cooler temp waters in deeper areas? I tried making it out to a couple areas that might have deeper water but with that strong south wind it was just a beat-down.

At 2pm I called it a day. I was completely out of ideas.

Not a total bust though. I now know 1 spot NOT to fish in mid-June with a strong South Wind. HaHa! It was nice to finally get over the hump and get out there. I can’t get out there nearly as much as I’d like (special needs son at home), but once every 6 weeks is my target.

Appreciate any knowledge you would be willing to share!

Happy Father’s Day to everyone out there.

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#2287711
My thoughts are as follows.

First, the marsh you fished is dead most of the time now that the retaining wall is up. That area is also, in my view, way too shallow, especially in the summer, since the water can heat up quickly when it is that shallow. I suspect the swirls you were seeing were mullet. That area usually only produces in the winter, and even then, it is not where you were: it is on Confederate Reef, which is due north from where you were.

Second, fishing in that kind of wind, in my view, rarely produces unless you are fishing where the bait is being blown up against the shoreline. I don't venture out in wind more than 15mph unless I am going to be in wind-protected water 80% of the time, because when I have ventured out in wind above that, it has never been worth it or productive for me.

Third, part of the fun (or frustration) of this past time we call kayak fishing is learning what not to do and where not to launch. Like you said, you cannot just get on plane and move spots, so you have to really spend some time on Google Earth/Maps, doing internet research, and checking out other Youtube videos so that you choose wisely for the time of year and conditions.

If you are going to fish marsh area, I recommend south shoreline of East Bay (look for launches at Rollover Pass, Stingaree Marina, or Bolivar Yacht Basin) or San Luis Pass (launch at County Park Ramp). Some guys fish a marsh near Freeport, but I never have. Mark De La Rosa (MDLR Fishing on Youtube) seems to be out there quite a bit.

Finally, some days you just get skunked. It happens to all of us. But, if you are that frustrated, I'd be willing to take that PA12 off your hands for the right price. :)
#2287727
First off, great first post. Welcome to the board and hopefully you will find lots of information on here and will feel inspired to continue contributing to the board.

To answer the "What should I have done differently?" question, I would start with you just picked the wrong day to go kayak fishing. I know that is easier said than done, especially when your available days to fish are limited by life, but that, in my opinion, was the biggest reason for the lack of catching. I would certainly not beat myself up if I went out on a day like yesterday and came back empty handed. Consider it a learning experience and just be thankful you were able to get out on the water and return home safely.

Second, I used to fish that area at Sportsmen's years ago but stopped when it stopped producing as well as other nearby areas. I have introduced a fair number of people to kayak fishing and I usually start by taking them to Lake Como/GISP as it is protected, there are some deeper spots hat hold fish, even in the summer months. It is easy paddling most of the time and we can always catch at least a few of something. On windy days, the lake is protected and on calmer days you can venture out to the geotubes and some of the channels that run through them. There is decent marsh area there where reds and flounder hang out.

Continue getting out when you can and post up the results.
#2288187
Thanks all for the great feedback!

The comments sure help me from getting too discouraged! Undeterred, I am planning to head back out again this Sunday. I don’t have a plan yet on where, just roughly the Galveston area. Hoping to get out in front of the surf looks calm enough, but if not I’ll find a new spot in the bay. If anyone is interested in joining me shoot me a pm.

I have really caught the bug for this stuff! Can’t believe it’s taken me three years to to finally try it! I’ve dumped some money in the last week upgrading some gear, new life vest, VHF, wading shoes, some minor repairs and a bunch of tackle. Thanks all for the help! Hope to see you out there!






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#2288306
Kalait wrote:How do you apply sunscreen, while fishing, I do use a widebrim hat, looking for a better way to apply the sunscreen as I severely burn when out for any time at all.


Good question. Sunscreen is a bite killer if it gets on your bait, lure or in the water. Wearing a buff helps me a lot. But for sunscreen I start putting it on the day before I go if I have that much notice. If you need to reapply during the day use a nitrile glove. I carry a few of these in my hatch for times like this.
#2288308
I just use the spray on stuff. I apply it before hitting the water.

But, I also wear long sleeves, pants, gloves, buff, hat... had a large melanoma removed from my chest 5 years ago. Sins of my youth.

Golfers also use a style that works similar to a roll-on deodorant, as they don’t want their hands to be slippery after applying.




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#2288312
SWFinatic wrote:
Kalait wrote:How do you apply sunscreen, while fishing, I do use a wide-brimed hat, looking for a better way to apply the sunscreen as I severely burn when out for any time at all.


Good question. Sunscreen is a bite killer if it gets on your bait, lure or in the water. Wearing a buff helps me a lot. But for sunscreen I start putting it on the day before I go if I have that much notice. If you need to reapply during the day use a nitrile glove. I carry a few of these in my hatch for times like this.


Thanks, this is my plan as well.
#2288744
Update: Part II


I went out for my second attempt last Sunday, June 30th. This time I fished behind SLP. Still ended up coming home empty handed, but I at least felt like I had a better plan going into it.

This time I looked at tide tables and focused on areas where I though bait would be drawn out of the Marsh with the falling tide. I started the morning off with a topwater, a corky, and a soft plastic tied on.

Launched around sun-up and Made my way toward Titlum-Tatlum. I immediately saw birds working around the mouth of the bayou. I could see bait EVERYWHERE in the fairly clear/green water. I don’t know yet how to identify the bait I’m seeing. Some were obviously mullet and fairly large, but there were a lot of smaller fish. They all seemed to have the same blackish tails, so maybe they were all just smaller finger mullet? They were cruising around in small groups, seemed like thousands, but they were all pretty calm. I cast into them and the banks for a while but Nothing seemed to be after them.

Eventually I made my way into a cut and slammed into a shallow oyster bed (depth finder is mounted on the back). Mirage drive started feeling funny, and sure enough my front fin had sheared off. No worries- I keep a spare in my hull. Well... it has been stored down there a while, and as I tried to slide it up the rod it completely crumbled in my hands. Grrr.

That put a damper on things, as the PA is not a fan of the paddle. But I pushed on. Eventually the sun was up and I dropped the topwater for a plastic. Got hung up on oysters on the 1st 2 casts so I experimented with trying to make it weedless - sorta like a Bass rig - and buried the hook point into the soft body. Threw it out again and a fish slammed it right away. This was the first actual saltwater bite I’ve had in about 20 years. Felt great. I got the fish near the boat when it came loose, and upon inspection of my lure I could see that my little weedless trick was the problem. The hook had just barely come through, with essentially only the hook point available. Lesson learned.

After fixing that and working my way back out of the cut I finally landed a trout. It was way too small to even bother measuring, but it was nice to FINALLY catch a gamefish after all the effort! I stuck with the plastic the rest of the day. Dropped the corky as it just doesnt seem to be a good bait to use drifting in a kayak.

I had limited range due to my drive fin, but decided to explore as best I could bring my 1st time to the area. I worked back out to the pass and eventually found the sandbars. The cuts were quite deep, but the sandbars came up sharply stretched out to a big flat about a foot deep. I figured that edge would be a great place for trout to hang down low and cool and wait for a meal. Close. There were fish there but it was all super aggressive catfish. My line wasn’t in the water for more than a few seconds when one would hit. After catching 4 in 4 casts I decided to call it a day.

Progress, but still a long ways to go and a lot to learn.








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#2288758
Nice report! Glad you got to feel a tug again. Don't get discouraged on the drive damage. Most of us who fish out of a Hobie have or will damage a fin or bend a rod at some point. It happens!

Fishing will test your patience. After all it is a form of hunting. Keep grinding. Those who do usually find rewards.

Also IMO there's absolutely nothing wrong with buying a dozen croaker and throwing them out on a 5/0 circle hook with no weight. Artificial baits work well and often catch better quality fish but to me live bait catches more quantity. If you have a cast net you can catch some of those mullet and don't have to pay for bait.

Thanks for the report.
#2288795
Yeah it's not hard. Keep practicing so you get good at aiming with it. Next step is to throw it from your kayak. If you have a PA it won't be hard. You just have to bend your knees a little before you throw. And make sure you don't slap your fish finder when you throw lol.
#2288808
SWFinatic wrote:Yeah it's not hard. Keep practicing so you get good at aiming with it. Next step is to throw it from your kayak. If you have a PA it won't be hard. You just have to bend your knees a little before you throw. And make sure you don't slap your fish finder when you throw lol.


That is a good tip! My FF is in the perfect location for snagging a cast! Thanks!


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#2288817
DeeepSouth wrote:Update: Part II ...

My advice: don't use corkys, get smth conventional like brown Norton Eel [Jr] on 1/4oz jig (or TSL, if fishing 1-2 fow with a lot of snags), even chickenboys should be a good lure right now too.

At SLP you could catch trout right off the bat as you leave that little cove where boat ramp is, then Titlum's drains on both sides; fisherman's point, couple of drains in the middle of Titlum; then Christmas bay near those houses (they are lined up along the channel which is ~8' deep). Keep an eye on birds -- they can give away trout schools. And etc...

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