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Blog Posts cnull

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Chasing Triangle Tailchasers with Chad Lyden

Posted on Monday, 03/31/14 10:07 am by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog

It's finally that time of year again, time to chase redfish in the marsh. So that's what we did, me and my partner David Roberts hit the marsh around Sabine lake on Saturday looking for some redfish. We were fishing the Triangle Tailchasers tournament and hadn't been in the marsh for months, so we just gambled on a spot we know holds fish. Hit the water around 6 A.M. and made the paddle back into the marsh to find plenty of bait in the water and an out going tide with a little bit of WNW wind. We started out throwing topwaters and I had a redfish hit a Bomber Badonka Donk which has become my new favorite topwater bait. Threw topwaters for a couple hours with no more bites so we switched to gulp under a popping cork and started drifting some marsh flats to find some stacked at the back of one of the flats around a drain. Ended up catching several oversized redfish and found the last two keepers we needed to finish out our limit and ended up with a limit of 3 redfish at 16.05lbs and finished in 7th place out of 24 teams. I'm so glad to see the weather starting to change, I absolutely love this time of year when I can start getting back into the marsh to chase redfish and I hope the tides are back to normal this year.

Tight lines and bent rods

Chad Lyden

lydenca@yahoo.com

Chad Lyden: Sabine Lake Trout Tournament

Posted on Tuesday, 03/25/14 9:39 am by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog

Well i haven't posted very many fishing reports this year but I hoping that's all about to change. My partner David Roberts and I hit the water of Sabine Lake at 6 A.M. on a Sunday morning for a speckled trout tournament. We weren't feeling all that confident about this tournament because neither of us had really seen a trout hit the kayak in weeks but hey we were going to give it hell anyways. So we leave the launch and paddle straight for the spot we intend to start fishing at and there is plenty of bait in the water so that is a plus and things are already looking up. We get to our spot and start throwing top waters and I had two trout role on my top water so we anchor up and start whacking them. We found that the fish would come up and swirl behind your bait but not take it so when this happened we stopped our bait and then gave it one twitch and the fish would nail it. David picked up the majority of his on a Corky fat boy and I picked up all my fish on a Bomber top water. We ended up finishing in 3rd place out of 32 teams and were one of only 2 kayak teams to fish and the only kayak team to weigh in. Sure makes for a very gratifying feeling to not only be able to compete with but also finish in the top 5 while competing with the boaters and some of the top trout fisherman in our area. Now it's time to hit the marsh and see about some of those red fish that I love so much.

Tight lines and bent rods

Chad Lyden

lydenca@yahoo.com

Lots of Wind and Even More Buffalo

Posted on Thursday, 03/20/14 1:09 pm by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog

Wednesday, 3-12-14 I had a chance to fish with a former wrestler of mine. It’s been a while since he was on the team. As matter of fact, It’s been a while since he graduated from high school as he is now a dentist and often  to busy to hang out. However, he had a free day over spring break.

The weather forecast was rough with 30 plus mph winds. He has limited days to fish and this was his only free day so we decided to “suck it up” and look for a place to fish I thought would be sheltered from the wind. We hit the Lake Livingston Dam.  We arrived late in the morning and people were leaving with stringers of white bass. They claimed the bite had stopped and they were calling it a day. Just our luck, we arrived shortly after the bite.  Beggars can’t be choosers, so we unloaded the kayaks and hit the water.

The action was slow but I was able to grind out 5 white bass in a wind protected finger protruding from the main river.

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After a while I talked my buddy into heading to the main river and checking out the dam. The wind was miserable. It took forever to pedal against the gusting wind. Once we arrived close to the dam I noticed schools of hundreds of large buffalo sitting right below the surface. I cast my small jig heads in front of the fish and allowed the current to drift my bait into the school of fish. It was only a moment before I was hooked up with a monster fish.

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The wind was so strong I had to go close to shore just to take my pictures.

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These aren’t normally something I would fish for, but they were certainly fun to catch. I think I ended the day with roughly 12 buffalo. Only a few were over the 24″ minimum length required for “kayakwars.com”.

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Even my former wrestler, Ayham, was able to get in on the action.

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Despite the wind and weather we ended with a fun day.

Operationfish.com signing out,

Todd Hart

Fishing in Lake Fayett with Todd Hart

Posted on Wednesday, 03/12/14 4:01 pm by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog

After a good trip two days prior, I decided to return to Lake Fayette. It is roughly 80 west of Houston. It is a short drive I can easily make from Katy, Texas.

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I like to launch on the north side of the lake in Oak Thicket Park.

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The weather had been cold for two days and it must have sent the fish into hiding. They made me work much harder to land the fish I need for the Kayakwar’s online fishing tournament.

I still managed to land a few. I found these fish in roughly the same spot as the trip two days earlier. The first bass was a bit short.

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I did manage to land two fish large enough to count. They are pictured below.

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Four fish were caught in shallow water using the same Cotton Cordelle suspension bait I used earlier in the week. The largest of the five fish came on a curly tail worm behind a split shot in roughly 9′ of water.

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It wasn’t the most productive of evenings, but points were still scored. When the weather finally warms up the fishing should be good. The spawn is right around the corner.

Operationfish.com signing out,

Todd Hart

You can never have too many trout

Posted on Tuesday, 01/07/14 12:08 pm by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog

I decided to sign up for a fun online tournament hosted on 321fish.com. The tournament was setup for Texaskayakfisherman.com members. The tournament runs from Dec 1st – Jan 15th.

This is a busy time of year for me with teaching, coaching and the Houston Boat show all coming up. I decided to use the few days I have available and apply them towards the tournament.

I met up with a few friends at an undisclosed bay system along the mid-Texas coast that usually puts out some hefty trout. We launched shortly after sun rise and made our way out to the desired reef. As usual we were searching for shell near deeper water.

The weather forecast called for very low winds and a decent/mild Texas winter temperature. It was a slow couple of hours in the beginning. The fish were hard to come by. As the day went on, a front blew by bringing cloud cover, cooler temperatures and a slight breeze. This seemed to stimulate the fish bite.

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I kept grinding away, but they all seemed to be lacking the size I desired.

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I fished most of the day, from morning until sun set. I ended with approximately 30 keeper sized trout.  the sizes were not what I needed. My largest trout of the day was just under 21″.

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I just could not finds the big trout. one of my buddies on the other hand was having some better luck.  he landed a few in the low to mid 20″ range. I watched as he constantly kept taking pictures.

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We were both using pink Corkies (slightly different shades). However, I was using the original Paul Brown Corkie, while he on the other hand, was using the Fatboy Corkie. In my opinion the Fatboy Corkie seems to sink at a slower rate. I’m not sure if it was the lure difference, skill or luck, but he caught larger trout than me on this day. His largest was 25.5″.

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Operationfish.com signing out,

Todd Hart

New Year Fishing Trip

Posted on Monday, 01/06/14 9:37 am by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog

I hope everybody had a Happy New Year. I started my new year off doing something a little different. If you have read any of my past reports then you know how much I love chasing redfish in the marsh but on 1-1-2014 I was chasing trout on the flats of Sabine Lake. I get a call from my friend and fishing partner David Roberts of team Lamar University, telling me that he has found some flats on Sabine holding plenty of quality size trout and we decide to meet up and see if we can't pull some more in. We met at an undisclosed spot around 8 AM got unloaded and hit the water for a short paddle to where we would be fishing. We staked out in a spot that

David had just days prior caught about 25 solid trout including one that went 29"& 9lbs, well it didn't take long before David was hooked up with the first of many quality fish that we would catch that day. We caught all our fish including one solid flounder, on Corky's.

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and Rapala X-rap subsurface, we fished for about 4 hours and caught about 30 trout between the 2 of us with most them in the 3-5 lb range and 4 of them were 27"+ and about 6 lbs and all fish released for another day. I will be working the Fishing Tackle Unlimited booth at the Houston Boat Show Saturday the 4th and Saturday 11th but I will find some time in there to hit the flats again for some more trout fishing.

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Tight lines and bent rods

Chad Lyden

lydenca@yahoo.com

12-14-13 with Todd Hart

Posted on Friday, 12/27/13 10:24 am by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog

Sunday afternoon (12/14/13) we packed up and pointed the truck towards Keith Lake.  This area is one of my favorite places when trying to hide from a north wind.

When first arriving I worked a top water over some shallow shell. This area has produced well recently, but not today. No fish were even slightly interested. I worked my way out into some deeper water and still had no luck. I explored for a while.  I saw some birds working in the distance and high tailed it general direction. The birds kept moving away. And all they left behind was one small blow up.

After a while I moved towards the shore and saw some redfish cruising the shoreline. They were stingy and I could only get one to actually bite. A few followed my top-water but just would not open their mouths.  I finally landed one and he was plump. He would have made a great tournament fish. He was photographed and released.

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I tried to land a few more reds, but they would not cooperate.  There were a bunch of birds working to the west of me so I gave in to temptation and pedaled towards the action. I threw a Corkie and bam, fish on.

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The action was great. Nearly every very cast resulted in a trout.

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The trout seemed to be everywhere. They were even hitting the surface so I caught a few on top-water.

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The trout weren’t big, but they were numerous and hungry.  It was a quantity over quality kind of day. All fish were photographed and released.

Operationfish.com signing out,

Todd Hart

Readers of this Blog Frequently Purchased
Hobie Hatch Liner Outback
Hobie Pro Angler H-Bar

Reunited with The Water from Chad Lyden

Posted on Monday, 12/23/13 11:57 am by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog

Well I finally made it back out on the water for the first time in awhile.

I hit the the launch at TX bayou there south of Sabine Pass at about 6:30, the wind was calm and tide was going out so and I had a few little short rain showers blow through. With the tide falling I concentrated on the drains coming out of the marsh as I worked my way down the bayou. I stayed in the main bayou heading down stopping to fish all the drains, I was throwing a Chicken on a Chain Bass Assasin on 1/8oz Yellow Mouth jig head and a white Buggs bonefish jig. I caught several reds, both undersized and some mid to lower slot along with two undersized flounder and a few 14" trout, I kept a limit of reds for christmas dinner.

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I found that the deeper drains tended to hold fish better than the shallower ones. I fished down another little bayou that is on the left after you make the curve and found some reds hanging out in the middle of the bayou just blind casting soft plastics. I had a report that there are still some flounder hanging out in the channel around D!ck Dowling park if your looking for some last minute Christmas dinner options.

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The Houston boat show start on Jan 3-12 and I'll be working both Saturdays at the Fishing Tackle Unlimited booth for Native Watercraft, so if your interested in kayaking or just want to talk fishing come on by and see me. I hope have everyone has a safe and wonderful holiday and happy new year.

Tight lines and bent rods

Chad Lyden

lydenca@yahoo.com

Readers of this Blog Frequently Purchased
Buggs 1 4oz. Curl Tail Jig
Native Watercraft Ultimate Side Bag

Texas BTB 11/9

Posted on Friday, 11/22/13 12:31 pm by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog

Saturday (11/9/13) I decided to make a trip to McFaddin beach.  The forecast called for 2′ waves. The wind was supposed to 10 mph or less. It sounded like a very doable day to break through the surf and chase some big reds.

I awoke early with every intention of hitting the water as the sun came up. Unfortunately, I woke up to a nasty migraine.  I hit snooze a few times and waited for some medicine to kick in. I finally decided to load up on coffee and make the trip.

By the time, I arrived at the Seapony Bait Shop in Winnie, TX my headache began  to go away. Rick the owner spent some time helping me make some leaders. It is service like this that encourages me to keep coming back.

After purchasing my bait I hit the surf. My fish finder was not working so I pedaled out to some birds diving in the distance. It wasn’t long before I hooked up with a shark.  I wasn’t fishing for sharks and I was using some short leaders, so needless to say he got away. Over the first hour I kept catching giant gaft-top. The redfish were just not biting. I was about to move to a new depth when all of sudden the redfish bite just turned on.

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I hooked with multiple fish (doubles) numerous times.

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Between reeling in fish and taking pictures I had little down time.

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Between 10:30AM -12:30PM the bite was good. I landed 12 redfish all measuring between 35″ and 41″.  Three of the reds were over the 40″ length requirement to count as trophy fish in the Kayakwar’s tournament.

One fish slipped right out of lap as I was getting ready to photo him. Whoops, I guess he got away.

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All redfish were caught on dead frozen mullet. This time of year the mullet are required to be under 12″. The mullet I was using were quite small so I switch to using the entire mullet in an attempt to keep the gaft-top off the hook. Below is a picture of how I hooked the bait. No weight was used. I just free-lined the bait, hook and leader.

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It was a great day of fishing with plenty of tight lines for approximately two hours.

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Around 12:30pm -1:00pm  the fish just seemed to stop biting. I called it a day and headed for the beach.

Operationfish.com signing out,

Todd Hart

Update from Captain Ruben Garza

Posted on Wednesday, 11/06/13 10:55 am by cnull in Inshore Fishing Blog

Lots of reds on spoons on the east side of the bay. Trout fishing is ok. Lots of undersized trout are being caught. Mid range trout are being caught but as often. Rapala skitter walk-8 is the lure of choice. Color is bone, speckled trout and orange.

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Captain Ruben Garza

ruben@snookdudecharters.com

(832)385-1431

Oct. 27: Matagorda Morning Slam

Posted on Wednesday, 11/06/13 10:16 am by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog

The forecast called for rain and wind.  I decided to fish early in case the weather got bad and forced me off of the water. I launched at approximately 5AM. The sun was not scheduled to rise until 7:00.

The first hour was hot and humid. The mosquitos were thick. The fish would not cooperate. The second hour was a steady down pour. It was a wall of rain drops. The next couple hours were prefect conditions.

The first fish did not bite until after the rains. It was a nice 20″ trout that nailed my top water plug with the speed of a torpedo. He fought briefly and around 7:30AM I landed my first fish.

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After a few more casts in the same area, I realized the fish must have gotten spooked and moved on. I followed suit and continued my hunt in other areas. I began working a grass line hoping to find some flounder. I soon hooked up on a small slot red using a Category 5 Shrimp Minnow.

I continued working the same grass-line, throwing the same soft plastic and soon landed a nice flounder. And just like that: one, two, three fish. I had my Texas slam. (Legal trout, flounder and red.)

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The prefect weather suddenly changed as a storm front moved in. I was all of sudden faced with more rain and strong winds. The waves got rough and the fishing got rougher.  I decided to hide behind a point and drift an area that covers a few reefs. I switched back to my top-water plug.

During one of my retrieves through the big waves I saw a large splash and felt my pole double over. The drag started ripping and I knew I hooked a nice sized trout. The fight was heightened by the strong winds and rough conditions, but I eventually landed this nice trout.

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I CPR’ed (Catch, photo and released) the fish and tried the drift one more time. The conditions did not change and the fish once again did not cooperate. I decided to call it a day. I loaded up and spent the remainder of the day with the family.

Operationfish.com signing out,

Todd Hart

Captain Elkins at Liberty Hill

Posted on Wednesday, 10/30/13 12:58 pm by cnull in Inshore Fishing Blog

Brad Rountree of Liberty Hill Tx holding one if many redfish caught in the ICW. Brad was fishing with his friend Martin DeStafno. Limits if reds and a few trout made for a great morning of fishing.

CaptainRonElkins 
Professional Fishing Guide

Captelkins@tisd.net

408 S. 12th

P.O. Box 31

Port O'Connor, TX 77982

(361)983-2265

(361)649-1101 Cell Phone 

Schooling Trout

Posted on Monday, 10/28/13 11:11 am by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog

Saturday evening (10-26-13), I packed up my yak and my small camper trailer and headed for the coast.  My wife gave me the OK to fish both Saturday evening and early Sunday morning. Her orders were to be home Sunday afternoon so off I went. “Gotta keep momma happy.”

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I meet up with my fellow “Anglers Elite” team member, Grant, at approx. 3:30 pm. He had already scored a 20″ trout.

The wind was strong and the first few hours were a struggle for me. I landed only a couple of small schooling trout.

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Kayakwar’s points only count when trout equal 20″ or greater. These small trout were not what I was targeting.

Off in the distance I saw a huge flock of diving seagulls. I pedaled with all the speed I could muster. The distance was great, but no matter how fast I pedaled it seemed as though I couldn’t catch up. They were moving away. I decided since I already put forth such as effort I was going to catch up with these birds if it were the last thing I did.

Finally, I caught up and found another school of small trout. (ERRRRR!!!)

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Now I was faced with a long pedal back.  I asked myself, “Why did I chase those birds?”  Along the way back I  decided to troll a Vudu Shrimp and a Category 5 Shrimp Minnnow. (Don’t want to waste time on the water.) This resulted in a some puppy drum (black).

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By the time I was half way back to the truck the darkness hit. I continued trolling and continued catching small trout. I was hoping to catch some bigger trout, but they only grew a couple of inches.

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No points for kayakwars for me this evening. I did manage to catch roughly 15 keeper sized schooling trout. I guess that’s not a bad night. No points but fun none the less.

Here is a mystery. How is it I pedaled against the wind on the way out and against the wind on the way back. Maybe our parents weren’t lying when they claimed to have walked  to school up hill both ways.

Operationfish.com signing out,

Todd Hart

Drains with the Ladies

Posted on Monday, 10/28/13 11:03 am by cnull in Inshore Fishing Blog

The fishing is wide open in Cajun country! The flounder are making there way to the passes. Most drains coming out of our marshes are holding a few and there are sweet spots if you know where they are. Birds are working over both Calcasieu & Sabine Lakes. Trout & reds are there and so are a few slimy gafftop if get unlucky. haha.

Thanks, Capt. Bruce

San Antonio Bay with Captain Elkins

Posted on Monday, 10/28/13 11:02 am by cnull in Inshore Fishing Blog

Great day fishing with Doug Davidson of BMC and Mack and Matt of D R Horton homes. Good mixed box of fish from San Antonio Bay. The weather was great and the fish were feeding. 

CaptainRonElkins 
Professional Fishing Guide

Captelkins@tisd.net

408 S. 12th

P.O. Box 31

Port O'Connor, TX 77982

(361)983-2265

(361)649-1101 Cell Phone 

Evening Fishing in Matagorda

Posted on Thursday, 10/24/13 10:25 am by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog

I hit the water around 4 pm. Other kayakers were calling it quits. I was excited to just be beginning. I was anxious to try my luck with top water plugs right at sunset.

Within minutes I hooked a nice flounder. He bit on a pearl and chartreuse Category 5 Shrimp minnow.

A few minutes later I found a school of hungry trout. They were all barely legal. After landing a few I decided to move on in search of bigger prey. They too, bit on the Shrimp Minnow.

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I spent some time searching for flounder. I was not successful. I saw some reds, however my Kayakwar’s team had already reached our monthly quota of redfish so I  left them alone and continued my search. (I did accidentally catch a few undersized reds.)

I gave up on the flounder and moved out over some deeper reefs. I switched to a Badonka-Donk top water lure. I wasn’t having much luck at first.

I noticed some birds working. I quickly made my way to the birds and the action stopped before I got there. Then I saw more birds working about a 1/2 mile away. I pedaled in that direction and just as I reached the area the birds stopped again. I got a few hits, but then the fish disappeared. Finally, I saw a birds working just a few yards away. I got there and the action was on. Most casts resulted in hits and some resulted in fish.

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Everything was going great until an air boat shot right through my school of fish. It was so loud that it was all I could hear for the next 20 minutes. This kind of put an end to my fishing. The fish scattered and I could not hear where they were popping the surface as the night approached.

I called it a night and pedaled back to my truck.

Operationfish.com signing out,

 

Todd Hart

 

Todd and Todd in McFaddin Beach

Posted on Tuesday, 10/15/13 10:09 am by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog

Sunday, 10/13/13, I met up with Todd Schaeffer from Fishing Tackle Unlimited. He is in the kayak sales and service department at the I-45 and Beltway 8 store found in Southern Houston. If you need help with a kayak, he’s your man.

We met on McFaddin Beach around 8:30 AM. We unloaded our equipment and within a short time we pedaled out beyond the breaking surf. Todd normally fishes out of a Jackson Cuda and I talked him into trying out my wife’s Hobie Outback. We each made it through the surf pretty easily.

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We first stopped and fished in about 11-12′ of water. We had a few runs, but they all resulted in no fish. We had a few equipment errors to deal with as well. Todd’s kayak anchor was not heavy enough to hold him into place.

We decided to move shallower, as we marked lots of fish on the way out. I dropped anchor in about 10′ of water. Todd’s anchor still would not hold him in place so we decided to tie him to the front of my kayak. I had enough rope to let him drift out about 25 yards or so. It wasn’t long before we started hooking fish.

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It was a little tricky reeling in such big fish with another kayak tied to the front of mine, but I managed.

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I used my Go-Pro camera mounted on a Railblaza 600 camera boom.  I have it mounted on a swiveling rail-mount attached to the poles next to my seat.  This is a great set up for taking pictures and capturing video.

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I caught nine redfish between 9:00am and 2:00pm. My redfish ranged from 29″ to 40.5″. the action was a little slower than my last BTB trip, but who can complain about catching  monstrous fish in that short time span.?

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Todd doesn’t fish BTB. He is exclusively a bay fisherman. However, he handled the surf like a pro.  I’m not exactly sure how many bull reds he caught. (I stopped counting after five.) He seemed to be having a blast. I did capture some action shots of Todd with his fish.

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All fish were caught on dead/frozen mullet. This time of year you can only purchase mullet under 12″. This is a Texas state law to protect mullet during their spawn.  Most of the mullet I left whole. As I ran low on bait I was forced to cut some of the larger ones in half.

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I  purchased the bait and some leaders at the Seapony bait store in Winnie, TX. Once again the owner, Rick, proved why he is an upper coast favorite when it comes to bait shops.  I had a few spare minutes so he taught me a trick to making leaders out in the water. This man is a plethora of knowledge. If you get a chance stop in and introduce yourself.

It was a great day. The waves weren’t too bad. Part way through the day the wind switched and blew for a short period out of the North. In the early afternoon, the wind switched again and began blowing from the East. The waves picked up and we were out of bait so we called it a day.

Good friends, good times and good fishing, what else can you ask for?

Operationfish.com signing out,

Todd Hart

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Captain Ron Elkins 10/10/13

Posted on Friday, 10/11/13 10:39 am by cnull in Inshore Fishing Blog

We had a good day on redfish and a few trout. Joe Bordon of Houston and friend David Badger of Wimberly, longtime customers of mine, spent the day on the Matagorda Pennisular catching redfish and trout. 

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CaptainRonElkins 
Professional Fishing Guide

Captelkins@tisd.net

408 S. 12th

P.O. Box 31

Port O'Connor, TX 77982

(361)983-2265

(361)649-1101 Cell Phone 

Trout, Trout and more Trout

Posted on Tuesday, 10/08/13 12:17 pm by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog

Saturday (10/5/13)  I met some of my “Anger’s Elite” team members for a day of fishing in Matagorda Bay. I arrived shortly after sun rise. My friends headed for the marsh in search of flounder and reds. I chose to head out to some deeper reefs in search of trout.

On my out to the water, I saw a tailing red. A couple of casts later I caught this little guy.

I started with a top water lure, but with little to no wind the trout didn’t seem interested. I switched to a Vudu Shrimp and that seemed to be the ticket.  I caught a number of trout ranging from 16″ to 20.5″.

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The first couple of trout were keeper sized but not large by any means.

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I finally landed a trout over 20″.

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After a while, I decided to visit my friends in the marsh. They had each caught a number of reds and flounder. I fished with them for a few minutes but failed to add any of those species.

After a while I decided to move to another reef and add some more trout for the day. I spent some time throwing top-water baits again.  A few casts later, I hooked a nice redfish. While trying to net the fish I got my net tangled up in the front treble hook and was unable to scoop the fish. I felt helpless. I tried to just fling him in the kayak but he came unhooked and I watched him swim away.

I decided to go back out to the hole where I caught my trout earlier. The trout were still in the area as I added a few more to my number. I ended the day with 13 keeper sized trout. Not a bad day. All fish were CPR’ed (caught, photographed and released safely).

Operationfish.com signing out,

Todd Hart

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Ending to a Fun Tournament Season

Posted on Tuesday, 10/08/13 9:56 am by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog

Well I made it to my all time favorite marsh, down by Sabine Lake, yet again this weekend for some redfish chasing. Luckily we are in the split for duck season so I was able to hit some of my favorite marsh in search of redfish, without being shot for scaring ducks. Thank god! I hit the water Friday morning to do some searching for a tournament I was participating in that next morning. I wasn't looking to catch a bunch of fish, just wanted to see if there were any to be had. Once I hit the water at about 6:30 a.m., I made the paddle back into the marsh, which would be at an abnormally high tide but not for this year. As I got back there and started throwing some Topwaters (Super Spook Jr Bone), I had several short strikes and boils. I picked up another rod with a Manns Waker tied on so I could make a cast whenever a fish would boil behind the Topwater and sure enough that did the trick. I caught a couple of fish with this technique and even picked up a couple fish on the Topwater. The problem was that they were all small slot fish, not the upper slot tournament fish I was looking for. I fished for few more hours before calling it a day and heading home. I did manage to locate some bigger fish before I hit the land.

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On Saturday morning rolls around, I'm pumped up about this last leg of the Lone Star Kayak Series. As I hit the road, I was feeling good about my spot going. I went over my game, reassuring myself that this is the day that I'm finally going to get that 1st place trophy. I’m pulling up to the launch, surprised to find my buddy there telling me that he couldn’t get to his spot because of water over the road and sure enough the tide was even higher. I was able to hit the water at 6:00 a.m., making the paddle with no problem. The fish are still there. So just like the day before I start out with Topwaters again. Fish are short striking this morning and eating, but just not my Topwater. I fished all day struggling to find some decent fish. I ended up with two fish that weighed 9.49 lbs on the scales. Unfortunately, I didn't make the money but still had a good day on the water. On a side note my buddy who fished with me ended up winning Angler of the Year, so I would like to give a big shout out to Jason Blackwell.

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Now that tournament season is over, I will be doing the two things I haven’t been able to do in years: some flounder fishing and some winter time trout fishing. Oh and I also have one hell of a “Honey-Do-List” that I have to get done.

Tight lines and bent rods

Chad Lyden

lydenca@yahoo.com

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Battling Through Rough Waters and Stormy Weather

Posted on Friday, 10/04/13 12:11 pm by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog

A new month arrived, giving me the chance to score “Kayakwars” points once again for red fish. I had a day off from work and hit the surf on October 1st. My destination was McFaddin Beach.

I stopped at the Seapony Bait & Tackle shop to pick up some supplies and bait. This time of year you can only purchase mullet under 12″ in length. The sky was looking a bit stormy so I hung out at the Seapony for a bit. Rick, the owner made me some leaders while I waited.

I finally hit the road and made my way to the beach. I was forced to wait another 45 minutes or so for the storm to pass. Around 9:30 I pedaled out into the surf. I stopped at approximately 11-12′. On my first cast I had a run. It was a large black tip shark and he broke me off above the leader.

Before long I hooked my first redfish. He was just over 42″.

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I was using approximately 5″ pieces of mullet. The fish were biting at a pretty good rate. I only fished for approximately three hours and landed 14 bull reds. They all measured between 35-42″.

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I also caught numerous gaft-tops. They were everywhere forcing me to re-bait my lines often. Each time I landed one I was stuck trying to remove their slim from my hands and everything else they touched. They are just nasty fish.

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For most of the morning I could see a front that was stalled out a short distance away. It didn’t seem to be moving so I figured it couldn’t be too windy.

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I made the poor decision to continue fishing. Towards the end of my trip I hooked two nice reds at the same time.

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In the short amount time it took me to land, photograph and release those two fish the wind started howling. I mean ripping to the point I was actually a bit scared. I quickly pulled anchor and made my way as fast as possible towards the shore.

For a few minutes I actually feared I might not make it back. It was all I could do to keep the kayak upright in the wind and waves. I finally made it close to shore and turned around to approach the beach backwards in hopes of staying upright as I made my way towards the safety of dry land. I secured all my belonging and worked my way towards the beach.

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As shown in the picture above the waves were way to rough to safely descend to shore, but I had little choice. I kept my nose to the waves. I pedaled and paddled all I could to keep my bow in the waves.

When I got close to shore a huge wave lifted my front so high the backend sank and hit the bottom. This of course caused me to tip over. Fortunately, I had made it back to only a few feet of water. In a brief second I found myself between the kayak and the submerged sand.

I popped out, tipped the kayak back over and pulled it to shore. I was going to wait out the storm, but realized I lost my remaining bait and my last few leaders in the surf.  I had caught 14 redfish in only 3 short hours and six of those red fish were over 40″. I decided to call it a day.

 

Operationfish.com signing out,

 

Todd Hart

Mr. & Mrs. Todd Hart Winning Big at Yak Attach Tournament

Posted on Wednesday, 10/02/13 11:14 am by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog

This is the 2nd time I have fished in the Yak Attack tournament hosted in Rockport, TX. It is a very fun event designed to be a good time for all. I decided to take my wife to the event this season, as it offers a variety of opportunities and fun prizes. Unlike most tournaments, since this is a fundraising event, live bait is permitted.

My wife and I left our home around 3:30 pm Friday and drove to the check in. We pulled in at approximately 6:30pm, just in time to eat and be part of the pre-tournament drawings. The food was good and fun was had by all.

We decided to camp at the Fin and Feather in Aransas Pass so we could fish Stedman’s Reef in the morning. We woke up to howling winds. The wind and water were a bit to rough for my wife so I decided to take her to the leeward side of Hog Island. This would provide shelter from the wind and waves.

Once there, we found a few small trout. I had a bit of dead mullet and threw on a piece. I was hoping for a nice over-sized redfish or a large hard-head. There is a “No Respect” prize for the fish closest in percentage to a current state record. The state record for a hard-head is only 23″ so I figured that would be my best bet at winning this division. I caught no redfish, but did manage to hook a nice sized hard-head measuring 15.75″. This is 68% of the state record.

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My wife, Kristen was throwing a red Gulp Swimming Mullet under a popping cork. I wasn’t sure this would work but it landed her two redfish. Her largest was 24″.

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We continued fishing.  We moved to another island to hide behind.  We fished along the edge of the barge. We found no fish there. We decided to move to a point that has produced trout for me in the past. Once arriving we were greeted with strong winds and unruly waves, so we moved on again.

Along the way, I landed a lizard fish.

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Kristen caught a weird-looking puffer fish.

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At this point, we saw a slick pop up. A slick sometime means feeding trout. I chased the slick around for a bit and landed a few trout. I finally landed one measuring 16.2″. Small trout were plentiful.

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Our time was running out so we headed back to the tournament check-in. We got there shortly before the deadline.  Once again the food was good and there were tons of drawings and prizes. (We won a drawing and received an Igloo cooler full of fishing goodies.) After the score board was updated for the last time this is what we saw. I was on the board twice. However, being a charity event each individual is only qualified to receive an award for one event.

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The tournament director was quick in tallying the final results. He finished much earlier than his goal. The good company, the drawings and the beautiful landscape made the time pass quickly. We were surrounded by a bunch of hungry hummingbirds during the event. They were quite entertaining. We managed one nice picture.

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When the final standing were announced my wife Kristen was shocked to find herself in 3rd place in the Ladies Division.

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She won a new TFO rod, a crystal bowl, along with the plaque for her accomplishment.

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She was very proud of her shiny new plaque.

I could have placed 2nd in trout division, but the rules stated you could only win in one category. Therefore, I was awarded 1st place in the “No Respect” division. The prize for 1st place in this division was greater than the 2nd place prizes in the trout division so I really can’t complain. (It’s just a little embarrassing winning a prize for a hard-head.)

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My prizes included a new rod by TFO, a Shimano reel and a new plaque to add to my collection. The event was a success.  My wife and I thoroughly enjoyed it and we will definitely participate again next year.

Operationfish.com signing out,

Todd Hart

Eventful Weekend for Chad Lyden

Posted on Monday, 09/30/13 12:40 pm by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog

What an awesome weekend spent paddling around the marsh of South East TX.So I hit the water Friday in search of some tournament fish for an upcoming Lone Star Kayak Series tournament but all I managed to find was high water, east winds and three little redfish that were extremely hungry for my Gulp! Shrimp, hanging under a popping cork.

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Saturday was one of the best days I've had on the water in a really long time. I had the honor of being invited by Joe Winston with Heroes On The Water to help out with a group of our military veterans he was bringing from Houston to fish some backwater marsh lakes.

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We launched from some private property directly into lake and began our adventure of trying to put these guys onto some redfish before the wind was to pickup. We fished hard and did a lot of paddling but it just wasn't in the cards for catching fish that day. Joe had set up a shore lunch, which was provided by Monica and John, who own the Bon Mon food truck here in Beaumont. They brought some awesome chicken salad sandwiches for the guys.

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After lunch most of the group hit the water again for some afternoon fishing. I on the other hand had some family coming to visit so I had to go. I sure hope they were able to find some afternoon schools for those guys.

Tight lines and bent rods

Chad Lyden

lydenca@yahoo.com

Bad Weather Can't Stop Todd Hart

Posted on Thursday, 09/26/13 10:17 am by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog

The forecast last weekend (9/21/13) called for thunderstorms with high winds, especially along the gulf coast. I still wanted to fish. The bad forecast would not force me to hide under the covers. I woke up early and headed for Lake Fayette. I would target some bass. I launched and hit my normal places. My first few stops were a bust, with not so much as a bite. I continued searching and switched to a dark-colored popper (top-water lure).

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After a couple of hours I found a patch of cattails that seemed to be hiding some bass. I casted the popper and worked it back to the kayak. I would pop it hard and it let it set for a moment while retrieving the bait. I managed to pick up a few bass using this method.

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I was really surprised by this aggressive little guy.

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The wind really started to pick up and the top water bite seemed to slow down.  I switched to my old favorite Cotton Cordell lure.

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This produced a few more bass. The wind was getting so strong I decided to call it a day. I struggled on the pedal back as the head wind was unbearably strong.

Operationfish.com signing out,

Todd Hart 

Late Afternoons with Todd Hart

Posted on Monday, 09/16/13 11:50 am by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog

I find myself in a mild dilemma. My “Kayakwars.com” team, “Angler’s Elite” is in 1st place for the S.E. Region of the United States. On the very first day of the month we reached our quota of 50 redfish per month. This is causing us to broaden our fishing strategy.  We are forced to fish for different species and in new locations.

Wednesday, I left work at 3:20pm and headed for Lake Fayette to target some bass. I launched at approximately 5:00pm. The weather was warm and the water was warmer. The bass were hard to come by. I did manage to land three, all of which were caught on a Cotton Cordell Suspending Super Spot in blue and chrome.

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The warm summer water has forced the fish to seek deeper water. My three bass did not come until closer to dark once they began moving into the shallows for their evening meal.

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It was short trip. I only fished for a couple of hours. I probably need to adjust my bass fishing strategy for these late summer months.

Operationfish.com signing out,

Todd Hart 

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