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Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


#2311471
Launched at one of my usual spots at 12:15a on a night the major was from 9:30p-11:30p. The next minor was 4:45a. Whatever, I was going to fish. Wind was around 10mph and the tidal coefficient was around 60. My expectations were low. I brought my fish bag but no cooler if that tells you anything.

I had my son and his friend with me in Old Bessie, the name they have given the tandem they paddle around in. We hit my favorite light first and I told them to cast past it, count to four as their lure drifts through the light, and bounce it back to them. Each of them hit a speck on the first cast, but they were just shy of legal. They each make another cast, and another speck and a rat red. I tell them there has to be a slot red in there so I fire my cast to where I have pulled no fewer than four slot reds in the past few trips. The familiar pull as my line starts tightening and then racing around. My son's friend yells "Are you freakin' kidding me?" A minute or two later I net the 23" red and slide him into my fish bag. Not a bad start to the night.

I tell them we should move on to the canals and as we enter the first group of canals, they go left and I go right. About fifteen minutes later, we meet back in the middle where they have three specks on a stringer. I have another light that I have grown to like that my good buddy Shoffer has introduced me to. I tell them to take first casts, and again they double up. My son's friend with a dink speck and my son with a 21" red. Their stringer is starting to look respectable.

Again we spilt up in the canal, they go left, I go right. My first light results in another red, this one at 22". I manage to miss a couple of good sized trout and I think it is because I am using a new jjighead, the Z-Man articulated Texas Trout Eye. It is rigged weedless and I just didn't get good hook sets. The reds were setting themselves.

We meet back up and the boys have added two more specks to their stringer. Headed back, we hit Shoffer's light again and I put a speck in my bag and my son adds another red to their stringer. As we paddle back to the launch, I smile at the sight of two boys on a kayak dragging two reds and five trout behind them. I tell them we should hit my favorite light again, you know, just for giggles. They double up on reds which was a fun sight to see. They managed not to get tangled and once we see that only one of them is going to be a keeper, he gets the priority on positioning and I pedal over to get an assist with the net. Since the red is in my net I just throw it into my bag and as the current has pushed them towards the launch they just paddle towards home. I make one last cast and add another speck to my bag.

We are off the water by 4a.

All fish were caught on Down South lures. Glow with chartreuse tail. Mine were on the aforementioned 1/8 Texas Trout Eye articulated jighead. The boys had the regular 1/8 oz Redfish Eye jighead.

Interesting note: One of the redfish only had one pectoral fin. How it lived as long as it did with one pectoral fin seems strange to me. Redfish bellies were full of shrimp. No fish that I could tell.

Another side note: Someone on the TKF Facebook page posted about fishing with a throwback rod/reel so I took my son's old Zebco 303 out with me. Caught three dinks on it using a 4" Tsunami holographic minnow. Kind of glad I didn't catch anything bigger with it.
Last edited by mwatson71 on Fri Oct 23, 2020 7:14 am, edited 1 time in total.
#2311480
An excellent report by an excellent fisherman and father. I wish I could have joined, but other duties have kept me landlocked more than I'd like.

The light he is talking about is often overlooked, and when you go by it, it seems like one that would produce nothing. But for some reason, it is always loaded with fish - keepers usually -- and they don't seem to spook when you catch fish out of it. It might be the structure underneath, the way the current goes by it, its location proximate to reef and channel, or something else. One night, I parked my happy backside there and pulled out no less than 8 fish in one sitting - with most being keepers. Since then, it has usually been a mix of dinks and keepers, but it is usually good for at least two keepers per sitting. If you hit it twice, it can save a slow night.
#2311482
Michael, thanks for the report - I've just never been a believer in solutar, but instead in structure and tide motion, though these two may overlap.
There's a simple fact around the new moon, fish that can't otherwise see will look for lights, and also be hungrier in the day.
There is also a wind current factor that solunar doesn't account for. Find the bait, you'll find the fish.

I've fished the Texas Eye jigheads on 3 outings - didn't run into a missed-set issue, except in small trout, which I kind of like - would rather dinks spit the hook at the boat than get injured.
Kind of like fishing TSL on swimbait hook, the style of the Texas Eye hook makes gulleting unlikely.
#2311485
Ron Mc wrote:There's a simple fact around the new moon, fish that can't otherwise see will look for lights, and also be hungrier in the day.
There is also a wind current factor that solunar doesn't account for. Find the bait, you'll find the fish.

I've fished the Texas Eye jigheads on 3 outings - didn't run into a missed-set issue, except in small trout, which I kind of like - would rather dinks spit the hook at the boat than get injured.
Kind of like fishing TSL on swimbait hook, the style of the Texas Eye hook makes gulleting unlikely.


I was today year's old when I learned about your "simple fact" about fish looking for light around the new moon. Man, there is still plenty to learn off of this board. As to the "find the bait, you'll find the fish" I did not see a single shad in any of the lights nor a single shrimp jump in the water. All night I saw one mullet jump and a lone ballyhoo in the lights. The two most productive lights were just lights that I have had success at before and hoped would have success at again. One of the lights is on only half the time so luckily this night was one of them.

I definitely agree with you on the less gulleting factor of this jighead, which I and I'm sure a lot of trout appreciated. And once I got the hookset right I managed to bag a couple of specks. This set up ranks pretty high on my list of jighead/lure combos now. I did go through almost an entire bag of bodies though using this jighead while my son fished all night with the same body on a standard/nonswiveling head. I still love the Vudu shad though.
#2311488
then I'm betting they were eating croaker - they were there en masse, you just didn't see them.
Our last trip, were catching a lot of small croaker, along with big and small trout - packed in together on the same structure.

I'm still a fan of the basic swim shad lure for night fishing.
Though I'm bringing a gang of other style lures to try at Arroyo next month.
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