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By Passintime
I’ve been fishing around Aransas Pass for about six months. I’m hoping someone could point me to where I can see bait shrimp in the wild this time of year. I’m trying to learn the bay system and could use a starting point. FWIW, I’m a student of the Trout Support series and finding it very helpful. Thanks!

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By Ron Mc
as far as shrimp jumping out of the water from fish sign, I would say any of the thick turtle grass flats, like deep into Lighthouse Lakes, Brown & Root, and Estes. I've seen shrimp swimming around dock lights at night.
This is Lighthouse Lakes
and you can really see the turtle grass here at South Padre
We've push-seined a bunch of shrimp in the grass along JFK causeway (and then taken them to better wadefishing water).

A push seine is a minnow seine about 4'x4' (4'x6'?) on the end of two poles. I can't google up any examples, and might even be tough to find at bait shops these days.
You wade and push it in front of you - you slap the two poles together as you're lifting it out of the water. Two people really helps if you're trying to get shrimp into a bait bucket 2 or 3 at a time.
It would be legal to stake your kayak and wade with it - or see Neumie's trawl below

found this youtube with a push-net
Last edited by Ron Mc on Thu Sep 19, 2019 9:02 am, edited 2 times in total.
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By Neumie
Brown Shrimp spawn in the gulf then move to the estuaries in the early spring and then start their migration back to the gulf in the early summer. White shrimp spawn in the gulf then move into the estuaries during the summer and then start their migration back to the gulf in the fall. Pink Shrimp seem to move between the bays and gulf during the warmer months with most activity in the spring and fall. So Pink Shrimp could have a group heading into the estuaries while another is heading back into the gulf.

Source PDF: TPWD - The Texas Shrimp Fishery

You are allowed a personal shrimp trawl with your valid saltwater license. Texas has very specific shrimping laws so read up about it here: TPWD Shrimp Regulations & Restrictions

Ron, you're pretty elegant with your rigging, I'm sure you could come up with something better than this guy.

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By Ron Mc
Josh, didn't realize that was legal - yeah I bet we could tackle that one.
Great report on shrimp migration, btw
edited my first attempt
Trawl (Individual Bait-Shrimp Trawl)
For use in SALT WATER only. A bag-shaped net which is dragged along the bottom or through the water to catch aquatic life. Only hand-operated trawls are permitted; use of mechanical devices is unlawful.

Only one trawl per boat is allowed.
Must have an individual bait-shrimp trawl tag in one’s possession while trawling (pg. 21).
Must not be greater than 20 feet in width between the doors.
Mesh size must not be smaller than 8-3/4 inches over a consecutive series of five stretched meshes.
Boards must not be larger than 450 square inches each.
Nongame fish (except those species regulated by bag or size limits) taken incidental to legal shrimping operations may be retained.
"Legal shrimping operations" means the use of a legal trawl in places, at times, and in manners as authorized by TPWD (see Shrimp Regulations).
200 nongame fish taken with an individual bait-shrimp trawl may be retained per person for bait purposes only.
By Passintime
Ron and Josh,
Thanks for the comments. I’m definitely not in the market to be a shrimper via my kayak. I figured if I understand more about shrimp I may have better results in finding reds. I spent last Saturday on Brown and Root flats with no luck. I didn’t notice any bait other than mullet or maybe minnows.

BTW my grandfather taught me to use a seine for helgramite in the Llano more than a few years ago. He was a dedicated fisherman and kept most of the county in bait.


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By Ron Mc
that was kind of my point - you can see mullet - a subtle eye can see finger mullet by the change they make in surface ripples - they make a patch of narrower tighter ripples than the rest of the wind ripples on the water surface.
But you can't see shrimp unless they're jumping out of the water because something is trying to eat them - and even then, it takes a keen eye honed for fish sign. The lack of this subtle sign doesn't mean shrimp aren't there, but means specs aren't there feeding on them.
To survive, shrimp evade redfish and specs - evading you and me is no contest for them.

apparently push seines are a lost art - no one makes or sells them any more
http://www.corpusfishing.com/messageboa ... push+seine
If you want to look at shrimp, maybe collect your own natural bait, it would be worth the trouble to rig up a push seine and put it to work

Second cast of the morning in the back of Allyn's Lake - the first cast was a larger spec that tore the hook out on her second run. Both casts were to shrimp jumping out of the water, though the water was skinny enough and the fish large enough, could also see the V-wake of a subsurface feeding slash.
When specs are slashing mullet, can get a pretty good size surface splash because the mullet are on the surface.
Easy to remember the time of year here- last weekend in September, it was a birthday trip for my dad.
Last edited by Ron Mc on Wed Sep 18, 2019 9:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
By SWFinatic
Ron Mc wrote:apparently push seines are a lost art - no one makes or sells them any more
http://www.corpusfishing.com/messageboa ... de=results
If you want to look at shrimp, maybe collect your own natural bait, it would be worth the trouble to rig up a push seine and put it to work

Never heard of a push seine. Fortunately minnow seines are still available. Saw one just the other day at Academy. I grew up pulling one of these with my Dad and Grandpaw. Not as effective as a cast net in the salt (IMO) but they work well at the lake especially if you have a few extra people on each end of the seine to help turn bait from getting around the seine.

https://www.academy.com/shop/pdp/h2o-xp ... id=4096771
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By karstopo
Lots of great information and experiences shared in this thread.

I love to fish a spot where shrimp are actively and visibly jumping out of the water trying to escape a predator. Definitely a time when a fly rod rigged with something like a shrimp can shine.

On one surf wade this summer, there haven’t been very many, the shrimp were more numerous than I have ever seen them in the surf. I often wade the surf in crocs and the shrimp were getting trapped in the shoes there were so many. I could feel the shrimp on my shins. Other than that, I would not have known they were there until I started to see them hoping free in panic from the surface of the water. It was then just a matter of casting into the zone and getting an almost instant take from a fish. Image
Photo of the stomach contents of a trout that morning with a shrimp the fish ate and the shrimp fly I was using. Close enough to the real deal to get the eat.

The marsh here should be pretty loaded with shrimp now, but I haven’t been out there in a good long time. Later in the fall, the shrimp will be concentrated in the marsh drains and it will be easy picking for the predators. Image

A redfish stomach contents from a late fall low water level shrimp gorge. Redfish are gluttons!


A trout regurgitated this shrimp next to the shrimp pattern I used to get the fish.
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By Ron Mc
http://www.corpusfishing.com/messageboa ... hp?t=17965
I can't stand that nobody in Flour Bluff is making/selling push seines any more, and you can't even find a photo of the ones they used to make and sell there.
My nephew is now designing and constructing pipelines in Kazakhstan, and the push seine he had in Flour Bluff is probably stashed on a dairy farm in Colorado, or was left on the Pontchartrain sailboat he finally gave away.
I found a neat one in UK, and inquired about royal airmail or DHL delivery to USA. If they'll ship reasonably, I'm going to buy this.
At 34" wide, which is the longest part, 2-pc adjusting-length aluminum pole, it would stash neatly in my Tarpon sternwell, and could be a fun and useful tool on the flat.
Found this photo, a guy making them in the UK, 4' wide and looks just like the push-seine I remember
Last edited by Ron Mc on Thu Sep 19, 2019 7:29 am, edited 1 time in total.
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By Do It
Man I bet I took a thousand pounds of grass out of the ULM & JFK causeway with one of those push nets. Used to use one all the time back in the 70’s & 80’s cause I was to cheap to pay for live bait so it was shrimp with the push net or finger mullet and mud minnows with the cast net. Haven’t seen one in forever but I think I could still build one from memory.

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By Ron Mc
kars, the regurgitated shrimp and matching fly photo always gives me a gag reaction.
Handling live shrimp sends one in a different direction with their lures and flies. Most lures and flies are made to look like static shrimp. Shrimp are very much alive.
You learn how shrimp behave with your hand in the bait bucket...

Shrimp evade with their tail, butt-first, and make an audible click when they kick. They click because they move so fast their body fluid is cavitating.
If you want to visualize that motion, repeatedly slap your thumb against your fingers as you move your hand outward.
Then they slowly glide back down into the grass, head first, swimming with their legs.
This Stazo-rig shrimp imitates both actions and the motions quite well. Unfortunately, the guy who bought the trademark from the widow isn't making these jigheads any more - I still have just a few left over from the 80s/90s.
If you think about it, stripping a fly line is an automatic shrimp kick imitation - better than you can do with lures. I fish one go-to fly at the coast with a floating line, which is on the rod for that good Allyn's Lake spec above - it absolutely imitates shrimp action, works well enough for a crab (which have a folded tail they kick, too) and even baitfish - and doesn't look anything at all like a static shrimp.
here's where I got the idea, a traditional Scot pattern for chrome-fresh Atlantic Salmon in the tide
and btw, my surname has its own Scot salmon fly
A really effective shrimp imitation lure you can buy is TTF Shiney Hiney.
On an AP trip a couple of years ago (3 weeks after Harvey), a kayak-fishing newbie I outfitted with this lure caught the most reds of the trip - on both Estes and B&R, he caught them with the lure sitting idle, even trolling while he was paddling. The instruction I gave him was click it, and let it sink all the way before you click it again. At one point he lost the SH shrimp jig, replaced it with a DOA shrimp below the clicking cork, and that caught fish for him, too.
I personally don't like fishing lures this still, would much rather fish the action of a TSL grasswalker, but can't argue with results. Over the shrimp lures, I prefer fishing live shrimp with a popping cork, because you have to keep your live shrimp moving to keep the pinfish from taking bites.
Sorry I don't have a better photo of the lure
Last edited by Ron Mc on Sun Sep 29, 2019 9:44 am, edited 1 time in total.
By Passintime
Ron, I get your point that a person won’t necessarily see shrimp in the flat, instead it is the quick flash of movement as they surface to avoid being eaten. I think I’ve seen that and will look closer next time. Hopefully this weekend if the forecast changes.
I like fishing the TSL also. The weedless arrangement let’s me spend more time fishing and less time dragging around weeds. At some point things will start clicking. Until then I call it boating.

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By Ron Mc
I've mentioned before watch for poles staked in fishing water. Some of these poles were staked to mark safe channels for boats - fishing the slopes and shallow water around those is still a good idea.
Other poles have been staked by guides to mark fishing structure - give it a try.
The general rule for coast fishing is fish shorelines on a rising tide, fish passes on a falling tide.
Combine that with paddle upwind to start the day, and you can drift with a sock to hunt fish on the way home.

a similar logic applies to duck blinds, though right now, watch for duck hunters...
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By Ron Mc
Neumie wrote:...
Ron, you're pretty elegant with your rigging, I'm sure you could come up with something better than this guy.


thanks again for the kind comment.
Still working on the Kestrel dashboard, been gradually upgrading all the fasteners with sex bolts, to easily clear my feet beneath, and bungee a lure box on top
(you can see there's still a few to go, and they're in the mail)
most recently, discovered the GPS radio mounted too close to the compass has its own internal magnet, and had to move it to an outside position on the dashboard bar.
In the process, figured out the fun with rigging - it's legos for grownups
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