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Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


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#2291287
I will be heading south with my kayak on Friday of the holiday weekend. Was thinking maybe Rockport and staying maybe at Goose Island State Park. Where would some decent yak fishing spots be and what to throw? Or would you suggest going somewhere else entirely?
#2291293
flyboy718 wrote:I will be heading south with my kayak on Friday of the holiday weekend. Was thinking maybe Rockport and staying maybe at Goose Island State Park. Where would some decent yak fishing spots be and what to throw? Or would you suggest going somewhere else entirely?

I suggest you look into booking your campsite soon as most state parks book quickly on holiday weekends.

Google Maps

Bartell Islands (out in front of St. Charles Bay and working towards East Pocket is good fishing from the park. I recently just fished the oyster reefs in front of Goose Island (Aransas Bay) without much luck. Bartell Islands and East Pocket offer a little different structure. Although I've never fished the Big Tree area or Cavasso Creek, they're popular options for reds.

The Swan Lake launch on the back side of Copano is one of my favorite places to launch/wade from. There's a reef right in front of the launch. To the right of the launch its sand and grass. To the left and into Swan Lake its a little softer bottom with grass. Decent options to fish structure wise.

LHL and Brown & root are two other options. LHL would be dependent on the tide levels that time of the year. If it's too shallow to fish then South Bay to the NW or Brown & Root offer deeper water to fish.

I think in your last post I suggested a small list of lures.
#2291295
Early outings, you're probably wanting short paddles to fish. Brown & Root doesn't fit the bill, and both B&R and LHL will be pounded Labor Day weekend.
I like the Swan Lake idea, I've had good success on Cavasso Creek, and fished all those islands around GISP long ago in a power boat - all good recommendations.
Might also be a good idea to take live bait to some of these spots, especially the more turbid water.
#2291296
Ron Mc wrote:Early outings, you're probably wanting short paddles to fish. Brown & Root doesn't fit the bill, and both B&R and LHL will be pounded Labor Day weekend.
I like the Swan Lake idea, I've had good success on Cavasso Creek, and fished all those islands around GISP long ago in a power boat - all good recommendations.
Might also be a good idea to take live bait to some of these spots, especially the more turbid water.

Yeah, most launch sites are going to be crowded, so definitely launch early as Ron mentioned. I also like to fish waters farther away to get away from the rest of kayakers as most tend to stay within a mile of the launch site.

At Brown & Root if you launch from the south launch point you can paddle through a gut and follow the shoreline and be protected from southerly winds. Not too big of a paddle going that route. Only issue there is if there will be enough water to use that launch to get into B&R.
#2291387
Thanks for that map, that is awesome! This will be my first time actually taking my yak out in saltwater. I honestly don't know how to fish the bay side waters. After I launch, what am I looking for? Do I just start casting different stuff until something hits? Some of these area are REALLY shallow according some maps I have seen...like the East Pocket area. Am I looking for the deepest water I can get to or does it matter that its shallow? I don't have a depth finder.
#2291394
flyboy718 wrote:...This will be my first time actually taking my yak out in saltwater. I honestly don't know how to fish the bay side waters. After I launch, what am I looking for? Do I just start casting different stuff until something hits? Some of these area are REALLY shallow according some maps I have seen...like the East Pocket area. Am I looking for the deepest water I can get to or does it matter that its shallow? I don't have a depth finder.


here's a free lesson edited from one of Tobin's full-length videos.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8H0c6pOm2g
You might want to visit TroutSupport.Com and buy some...

If your paddle isn't enough depth sounder in a kayak, you're fishing the wrong water. The real beauty of a kayak at the coast is you can fish water too skinny for power boats to get into.

You're probably going to find Labor Day weekend, because of the mid-day heat, the good bay fishing will be at extremes of daylight - first light and near sunset. If you get out before sunrise or stay out after sunset, make sure you have a 360 stern light, maybe even a good headlight, and watch out for boats - it's LDW, and most of the power boaters out have no more experience than you do.

Always plan around tides and wind. Plan to paddle somewhere Upwind where the structure and tide/wind current effects may be concentrating bait (and therefore gamefish). Somewhere can be a shoreline or shoal that the wind is beating into, or across to create a current. The wind will help get you home - got a drift sock? - you can easy-chair blind fish the whole way home.

Concentrate on cuts on a falling tide, and shorelines on a rising tide. Especially if you get a morning rising tide you can find redfish in water so skinny their backs are exposed. They're moving in to graze crustaceans in water they couldn't get to a few hours ago.

Hone your eyes for fish sign - not jumping mullet, but finger mullet make a pattern or patch of smaller, tighter ripples in the surface. Watch for V-shaped wakes, especially multiple slow-moving V-wakes. Watch for jumping shrimp, and feeding slashes on the surface (again, not jumping mullet).
You may not see fish feeding, but if you cast across finger mullet patches and fish into them, you may find gamefish following them. You can often see into the water and see redfish and black drum - polarized glasses.
If you're fishing grassy bottom - which again is kind of why we take kayaks to the coast - cast to fish across every sand hole - often flounder and big trout are sitting in those holes and looking to ambush bait coming out of the skinny grass above them. (Green Island, Lower Laguna Madre, last Nov)
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Here, we're wading a good hardpack shoal and fishing a deep cut between two islands on a falling tide, and in just the right place to find fish - it's a dreary foggy February morning, so you can't see any of the grass - the day began with a strong falling tide, and our plan was to be right here.
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Here's Jim on the inside point of the cut we're casting toward - he's fishing the same water sitting in his kayak - that whole flat behind is draining out under his boat
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easy way to tell there's a shoal, but you can also see it in the wind pattern - the shoal makes almost no wind ripples
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This is drift fishing the 2'-deep flat - on a beautiful but windy April day - what you can't see is there's a shoal we're drifting toward, but all the guide boats are anchored to fish that shoal. Also don't count on getting too close to guide boats - we were forced to fish the water behind them. Aside from the way to get home and lots of fun, flats drift fishing is the way to randomly hunt fish when you don't have a tide/structure plan at the moment.
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of course when you find fish, pull up your drift sock, paddle upwind and try that drift again
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Last edited by Ron Mc on Mon Aug 26, 2019 7:42 am, edited 2 times in total.
#2291405
flyboy718 wrote:...This will be my first time actually taking my yak out in saltwater. I honestly don't know how to fish the bay side waters. After I launch, what am I looking for? Do I just start casting different stuff until something hits? Some of these area are REALLY shallow according some maps I have seen...like the East Pocket area. Am I looking for the deepest water I can get to or does it matter that its shallow? I don't have a depth finder.

btw, here's your tide chart for LDW
https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/noaat ... dailychart
The strongest tide event is the falling tide beginning at 4pm on Saturday. This would be a good time to be on a pass - skinny water draining into deeper water, such as big bay or channel - e.g., the pass onto Lighthouse Lakes - straight across Aransas Channel from the launch.
Again, think about the running power boats when crossing that channel, and be legal with your lights if you stay out past sunset.
Image

See what Tobin's youtube I linked says about weak tides, which you have all 3 mornings.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8H0c6pOm2g
I would be looking for wind currents to fish along shorelines, cuts, and subsurface structure like reefs and shoals.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Wed Aug 21, 2019 9:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
#2291444
Neumie wrote:
flyboy718 wrote:I will be heading south with my kayak on Friday of the holiday weekend. Was thinking maybe Rockport and staying maybe at Goose Island State Park. Where would some decent yak fishing spots be and what to throw? Or would you suggest going somewhere else entirely?

I suggest you look into booking your campsite soon as most state parks book quickly on holiday weekends.

Google Maps

Bartell Islands (out in front of St. Charles Bay and working towards East Pocket is good fishing from the park. I recently just fished the oyster reefs in front of Goose Island (Aransas Bay) without much luck. Bartell Islands and East Pocket offer a little different structure. Although I've never fished the Big Tree area or Cavasso Creek, they're popular options for reds.

The Swan Lake launch on the back side of Copano is one of my favorite places to launch/wade from. There's a reef right in front of the launch. To the right of the launch its sand and grass. To the left and into Swan Lake its a little softer bottom with grass. Decent options to fish structure wise.

LHL and Brown & root are two other options. LHL would be dependent on the tide levels that time of the year. If it's too shallow to fish then South Bay to the NW or Brown & Root offer deeper water to fish.

I think in your last post I suggested a small list of lures.


Is there a way to save this map?
#2291460
Kalait wrote:Is there a way to save this map?

On your desktop/laptop when you have the map open in a new tab on your web browser hit "control+d" to bookmark.

On your phone you can copy and paste into your web browser and save it there. I can't get it to run on the Google Maps app.

There's also the Go Paddling app which has a bunch of fishing spots, but it's not as detailed as my map.
#2291464
few things are out there as detailed as when it gets Neumie's attention - I'm also guessing it's not easy to do if he hasn't done it...
One awesome thing Josh did is pretty much map every piece of coast he has or may fish, which doesn't leave much, laminated each page into notebooks with removable charts
#2291465
Kalait wrote:Is there a way to save this map?

You could save a link to this map (in your bookmarks, for example) -- in this way you would see every update map owner does. But it also would be gone if owner deletes it or removes it from public view.

... or you could make your own copy (press three vertical dots icon and choose "Copy Map" from menu) -- you'll end up with personal copy of this map (as it is right now) in your google account.
#2291466
For the Go Paddling app I'd have to input the points individually, which would take forever. There's no way to dump a kml file into the map. I'd also like to modify some of the points within the app that are not accurate. Some wrong info within the app.

Also, if you use Google Earth you can download the access points from the Google map link and import those into Google Earth. Click the three vertical dots to the right of the magnifying glass in the title area of the table of contents on the left side of the screen. When you download it make sure to check the box for "Keep data up to date with network link KML (only usable online)." This will update the kml file automatically whenever I make changes to the original file; which I do a few times a year to keep the information accurate.
#2291509
Crusader wrote:
Neumie wrote:For the Go Paddling app I'd have to input the points individually, which would take forever. There's no way to dump a kml file into the map.

Looks like there is a way:
https://gis.stackexchange.com/questions ... oogle-maps

Quite of bit of that information is too old, from 2010-2012. Around 2015 Google Maps changed things up and I had to redo this coastal map. To add my points to the Paddling app I'd either have to add them individually or email the kml file to them and see if they'd add it.
#2291511
Neumie wrote:Quite of bit of that information is too old, from 2010-2012. Around 2015 Google Maps changed things up and I had to redo this coastal map. To add my points to the Paddling app I'd either have to add them individually or email the kml file to them and see if they'd add it.

From same page:
April 2017 UPDATE: you can directly import a KML file into Google Maps' "My Maps" feature, and it will display all of your KML data in a Google Maps format.

I didn't check if it works, but likely it does.
#2291512
Crusader wrote:
Neumie wrote:Quite of bit of that information is too old, from 2010-2012. Around 2015 Google Maps changed things up and I had to redo this coastal map. To add my points to the Paddling app I'd either have to add them individually or email the kml file to them and see if they'd add it.

From same page:
April 2017 UPDATE: you can directly import a KML file into Google Maps' "My Maps" feature, and it will display all of your KML data in a Google Maps format.

I didn't check if it works, but likely it does.

It does work, and I do that all the time with my personal Google Maps. I upload and download kml files from Google Map and my GIS software for various maps. I also download the kml files from my Google Map so I have back up copies.

What I'm specifically talking about is since I am not an owner or allowed to modify the Paddling.com/Go Paddle app Google Map I can't mass upload my points personally as a user.
#2291610
flyboy718 wrote:Thanks for that map, that is awesome! This will be my first time actually taking my yak out in saltwater. I honestly don't know how to fish the bay side waters. After I launch, what am I looking for? Do I just start casting different stuff until something hits? Some of these area are REALLY shallow according some maps I have seen...like the East Pocket area. Am I looking for the deepest water I can get to or does it matter that its shallow? I don't have a depth finder.

Something I forgot to add - poles and duck blinds.
Funny, I never miss a pole and can't find a photo of one. People stake poles and leave them for two reasons - one, to locate a shoal and the edge of a gut where a boat can pass. Finding tide or wind current on the deep side of those poles is a smart place to fish. Second reason is guides stake out fishing structure they've found that would be otherwise hard to find on an expansive flat. Of course most people are now using GPS, but there are still a lot of poles marking good fishing structure.

Successful duck blinds are there for a reason. They're always in range of structure that concentrates bait, which is also why they concentrate ducks.
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