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David Roberts - MAKE IT COUNT

Posted on Monday, 10/13/14 5:42 pm by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog

MAKE IT COUNT

I often wonder if my time was limited in this world how I would spend my remaining days. I would like to think that I would be able to spend most, if not all of my time on the water because this is were I truly love to be. For a while now I have known this time was coming and there was no way to avoid it, but my job has forewarned me that all of October everyone was going to be working 7 days a week.This is a bummer because October is my favorite month to be on the water.

The cooler temperatures of October starts to push bait out of the marsh and it makes finding fish almost effortless, you just have to be out there! As the mullet and shrimp make their migration to the Gulf, pods of trout are thick underneath them just waiting for one of them to get out of line so they can get their next meal. In order to find these trout you have to use your senses, keep your eyes open and listen up. Always keep a watchful eye for shrimp popping on top of the water, if you see this, I guarantee there is a fish under him that made him surface. The other outcome to this is the seagulls and other birds hover above the waters surface waiting for the shrimp to emerge so they can steal it away from the hungry fish. The sound of screeching gulls will carry across the water and before to long there will be a large group all fighting for the shrimp popping out of the water. Fishing around these birds working can be a lot of fun and produce a quick limit.

Here are 2 seagulls waiting for a shrimp to reemerge again to make for an easy meal.

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Even a Snowy Egret waiting on the shoreline is getting on the action.

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Fortunately I had a few days of vacation to use so I figured why not? I had 5 days off before I was going to be locked away for over a month so I had planned to spend every moment outside and live up my last few days of freedom. So I was loaded and headed to Sabine Lake the next morning and was looking forward to fishing. I arrive and notice that the wind is terrible, but that is part of the game and I will cope. I make a short paddle over to some pylons and tie off to them because drift fishing was out of the question. As soon as I arrive I see some bait scatter on a point so I toss my SkitterWalk and start working it back to me. After the third pop a trout takes a bite at it and misses, and then another, and another. My next cast I hang into one and he is big enough to stick on the stringer. Make another cast and catch another fish. Not long after I think they had caught on and would not hit it but I started to see shrimp popping so I switched to my purple and chartreuse Norton Sand Eel,”Big Purp”, and it immediately pays off. The trout are all over it! After putting a few on the stringer I hear a familiar screech and I turn around to see a group of 20 gulls or so all diving in one area trying to catch breakfast. I do not even bother trying to fish them because I have enough fish right in front of me. Also, if I was to untie from my pylon the wind would of blown me all the way to Mexico in no time. Right around 8 A.M. I catch my 10th trout to finish off my limit. During the action I also caught and released 4 redfish and a 20″ Flounder. Not a bad morning of fishing and a great way to start off my vacation. This is the first stringer of trout I have kept in probably a year and a half, and it is a solid one!

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My dad sees how well I did so he decides to take Thursday off and we we are going to take the boat out in the morning. He decides to let me be the guide for the day so of course I take hime back to the same area. The wind was still bad and was making it hard to stay still even with a trolling motor. So I maneuver over to the same set of pylons and tie off just like I did the day before. Pops first cast he hangs into a trout on the same point I started out the previous day. Then I catch one and before long we both are reeling in trout. Around 7:30 it starts to slow down but its ok because we had 15 trout in the box . We untie and start to work the group of birds behind us and we quickly hang into them. Most of them were smaller ones but we managed to catch 3 more to add to the box and decided to call it a day. You know it is a good day of fishing when the deck of your boat is littered with torn baits.

Friday I thought about doing it again but I decided to sleep in. As soon as I walked outside I immediately regretted my decision because it was an absolute perfect day. So instead of driving all the way to the lake I decide to make a paddle down the Neches river to relax a little and to check on a duck hunting hole that I have. It was an awesome day to just mosey slowly down the river and take in the sights and the sun!

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Saturday comes around and me and a few buddies decide to head to the beach to try and catch some bull reds. This time of the year they come into the surf to spawn and if you are prepared, you can have a day of fishing that is unheard of. We prepare our lines, cut up some mullet and are ready to paddle some lines out. It looked a little rough but knew it was doable to get past the breakers and drop our baits a few hundred yards out. Well the 2nd set of breakers were twice the size than what it seamed from the shore. I struggled to get past them but I managed, dropped my line and made my paddle back. Got the second line and as soon as I hit the second set of breakers I could physically not get passed them, I was exhausted. My buddy Beau gets in and decides to give it a try and makes it out there, well on his way back the first rod doubles over and the drag is screaming! I set the hook and the fight is on. After a ten minute battle I get the beast to the shore and it by far is the biggest fish I have caught. She was well over 40″ and was around 25 lbs on the Boga Grips. I got a few pictures and released her back to the ocean.After this we decide it is to dangerous to paddle back out so we decide to just throw horseshoes and enjoy the rest of the day.

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I decided to clean up my kayak and the back of my truck on Sunday and to use it as a recovery day before I started working overtime on Monday.

I had my 5 days off and I did what I enjoyed most, and that is catching fish, being on the water and enjoying the outdoors. I caught my personal best redfish and caught limits of trout that I have not done in a long time, so my time off was well spent. As soon as I get a relief day I plan on staying in the marsh and chase schooling redfish. That is an experience that I only get to have usually once or twice a year and it is something everyone needs to witness. Next time you have a day off or some spare time, go out and do something, be active. Rather it is playing golf, going for a run, or spending it on the water chasing fish, make sure you enjoy yourself. Every shot, every cast, and every day that you have, make it count!

Enjoy Life


David Roberts - COMING SOON

Posted on Friday, 10/10/14 5:37 pm by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog

COMING SOON

Hell I do not even know where to start. I have not been on the water since Grand Isle and have not fished Sabine in probably 2 months. I have came up with every excuse in the world of why I should not go, been to hot, been busy, but they were all justifiable right?

Last weekend I had spent my Saturday in Fulshear, Tx working a Kayak Demo Day for Fishing Tackle Unlimited. This was my first time to work an event like this but it was such a good time! Everyone from the area came out to get on a kayak and paddle around for a while. Some came to just bring their family to paddle and others were in the market to purchase one. Regardless of who was there, I thoroughly enjoyed putting people in a kayak and watching them mosey around the pond. Some were more experienced than others but was entertaining needless to say. We got rained on which helped to cool us off during the day and can not complain about that. Lately it has been pretty warm, the “Dog days of Summer” this year have been no joke. Not long though all of this is going to change.

This past weekend was the opening season for Teal. It has still been hot but who cares, duck season is finally here! I have seen a few birds hanging out here in the rice fields but they were not in abundance. I still had planned on hunting some public land around Sabine Pass. The hunting is not the greatest, but the fishing on the way out is worth it! Nothing better than a cast and blast, you get the best of both worlds. Friday morning I anxiously wake up to head to the marsh for some scouting of the pond I wanted to hunt and do a little fishing while I was there. I met Colt just before daylight at the launch and before I knew it we were sitting in our pond. I had seen a few groups of Teal, just not as many as I was expecting. After an hour or two we decide to start fishing. As soon as we rig up, a few water droplets start to land on us. They are soon followed by bigger and more droplets and before we know it, we both are soaked. The good thing is there was not any lightning in the area and it is not like the fish could get any wetter.

Colt quickly hangs into a few reds just around the bend of the bayou. Most of them were solid fish but with the rain I could not get a picture. He caught all of his on a Crawfish (Red and Black) Crankbait that dives 2′-4′. Finally the rain had stopped and he caught a nice red that I could get a picture of.

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Not long after this I see a flounder jump out of the water busting bait. So I throw my Sand Eel and as soon as it hits the water my line starts cutting across the water. She put up a good fight, got a quick picture, and released her for another day.

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Made it further into the marsh and caught a few more fish. All of the reds were 22″-24″ and made for a fun trip.

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As you can see, I caught all of my fish on Ol’ Faithful, a black and green Norton Sand Eel.

Made it home and started gathering my things for opening day in the morning. I gathered my camo, decoys, and shotgun and was prepared for the next day. Morning came early but nothing a 24 oz. coffee can not fix. The boat ramp was covered with boats but surprisingly there was only one other guy with a kayak there. We split ways and head to our pond. Quickly set up decoys and now we just wait. It is an overcast day with a 20 MPH North wind, ideal for duck hunting. To top it all off if was probably 65 degrees outside and it felt amazing! Me personally, I wish it was about 40 degrees, that is duck hunting weather! After a little while we have a group of 4 birds come into our spread and well the excitement got us. I can not speak for Colt, but for myself, I shot all 3 of my shells as fast as I could pump them out. Im pretty sure I did not even aim. I tend to do that on the first flock of the year. Other groups of birds are flying around us but they are not to interested in coming our way. We hear very few shots in the area so that tells me it is not just us that are not having the greatest luck. Late that morning we decide to pick up our decoys and call it a day. It was to windy to fish on the way back but we made up for it the day before.

I had planned on fishing the Neches River on Sunday morning but I woke up and decided to mow my yard and do some things around the house. The nicest day we have had since April. I, for one, took full advantage of it. I never made it to the water but I was outside for the most part of it. I ended up hanging out with my family and friends in the back yard, sitting in the sun, and watching football through the open windows. My Sunday was filled with plenty of food, cold beer, football, friends and family, and to top it all off perfect weather! Summer is on the down slope and will be ending before we know it. Cooler temperatures coming in the near future will get everything active, including the fish. That time is coming soon!

Enjoy Life



Chad Lyden: Sabine Lake 8/24/2014

Posted on Friday, 08/29/14 1:13 pm by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog

I hit some Sabine Lake area marsh at daylight and found them right off the bat throwing a Bomber Badonk-A-Donk topwater just blind casting in some small ponds. As the sun started to come up the reds started crashing bait along the shoreline and in the middle of some of the bigger ponds and they got pretty skittish to blind casting with a topwater. I put the topwater away and went on the hunt for the reds that were visible and feeding, I started throwing a 3" white Gulp shrimp rigged on an Owner 1/16 oz Twist Lok 3/0 hook. As I started finding them crawling along the shoreline and pushing across the flats I found that if I got to close or put the bait to close to them they would spook, so I adjusted my technique and started making longer casts and putting the bait farther out in front of the fish and waited on the fish to come to the bait before twitching it. This technique worked like a charm and I was rewarded with a half day of sight fishing and a limit of reds all 6-61/2 pounds, couldn't find the smaller slot fish like I like to keep. After fishing an outgoing tide all morning and what little wind there was dying around 10 AM I headed for the launch which was a pretty good paddle back considering the water level had dropped a little with the tide so there was a lot of pushing through some shallow water, heck of a workout in that heat. Back at the launch which is in a bayou that runs along the side of the road, I kept noticing a head about the size of a baseball that kept popping up down the bayou a little ways, I figure it's a small otter or nutra rat so I went about my business of getting the kayak loaded back up and ready to go. As I'm strapping the kayak down to the trailer I see the head directly across the bayou from me and as it ducks back under the water I see it's fins come up and realize that its a small sea turtle that has found it's way back into this marsh, I see it pop it's head up one more time across from me and the next time I see it's heading back down the bayou from the direction it came from, sure hope that guy finds it's way back out, until next time, fish hard and stay safe.

Tight lines and bent rods,

Chad Lyden

David Roberts: THE LUCK OF A FISHERMAN

Posted on Monday, 07/28/14 6:29 pm by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog
I have never been one to believe in luck. Most good things that happen in ones life I believe you earn them, you make your own luck. Although, there is a exception to that rule and it implies to fisherman. The luck of a fisherman is inconceivable. Some days you catch your limits in just a few short cast and other times you cover miles of water with nothing but a sunburn to show for it. Catching fish is not the only thing that plays a factor for someones luck on the water. Mother Nature has a big part in this as well. One minute you praise her and the next you curse her.

This past week, every day was a light North wind which made for calm seas. Every morning I would wake up and look at the surf camera at Crystal Beach, and every morning I would tell my boss he is lucky I am a faithful employee because the weather and beach were perfect! No worries though, Friday will be here soon enough for me to get out there and get on some of the action. I decide on where I wanted to pre-fish Friday for the Cops Helping Kids benefit tournament and had me a game plan. I am up early and get there at dark for just enough time for me to paddle back to my flat and be there at first light. Well, as soon as I arrive to my launch point there is lightning striking all around. Mother Nature sent me a little summer squall to sit through before I decided to launch. It passes over and I am on my way. I arrive and start throwing my Skitter Walk and after a few cast I hear a pop. No hook up but then I  hear another, and another. The fish want it but are not being very aggressive when it comes to feeding. This scenario  happens with 6 or 7 fish before I hook up and land a red. Anyways the day progresses and there are fish around busting bait all along the shoreline. I switch to a popping cork and make a few cast and not long after it disappears. I land a nice 26″ red which is a great tournament fish for tomorrow. image-1

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I get a quick picture and release him for another day. I keep fishing and then all of the sudden my cork disappears again. I set the hook and nothing, I thought I may have just pulled the hook out or something. Wrong, I broke off, so I retied and was back at it. The very next cast I see a swirl, I set the hook and the same thing, snapped my line. Terrible luck right? I switch baits and start throwing a Buggs Lure, now these are new to me but I was told to throw one because reds can not resist. A few short cast later I hang into one but he came off, I already like it. A few minutes later I make a cast, see a swirl, and set the hook and then nothing. My line broke again. This was brand new P-Line 15 lb. test, it has never failed me before. I literally broke off on more fish in one day than I have in the past 5 years. Not long after this I decide to call it a day and head back home and prepare for tomorrow. I tell my team, which consist of Chad Lyden, and Blaze my brother, that our spot is covered with reds. Which it was, I caught 2 nice fish, missed 7-8 on topwater, and broke off on 3. I would say thats a good day. So we plan on meeting at the launch and it is going to be early.

I am so excited about this tournament that I wake up 15 minutes before my alarm goes off. I just knew that we were going to be top competitors in this tournament. Well Mother Nature knew what my attitude was and obviously did not like it, so she decided to throw us a curve ball. The wind is out of the SW blowing 15-20 mph. and no one likes fishing in these conditions. We enter the first flat and scatter across it and my only action was one red barely trying to eat my topwater. I look around and can not see or hear any fish cornering shad on the bank and crashing in on them. Around 7 or so, Chad hangs into a solid red, fights it all the way to the boat until he goes to net the fish and the trebles get hung into his net. The fish thrashes a few times and he is back swimming free again. Bad luck? I guess thats part of the game. So about 9 or 10 we do not have a fish on the stringer and our chances of showing up with fish are looking grim. My team has been looking at me all day with the look of “I thought there were fish here.”.

Mid day my brother strings up a redfish going about 5 lbs. So we will not be getting skunked today. Not long after I see my cork start dancing and moving sideways and I know a fish is carrying it somewhere. I set the hook and snap, my line breaks again. The brand new spool of line I have is coming off my reels and into the garbage. Of all spools of line, I grab the only one in SETX that is bad. I finally hang into a red at 1 that afternoon and he only went 4 lbs. A very slow day of fishing and was the toughest day I have had on the water in a while. Go to the weigh in and realize we are not even in the picture, but we have fish to weigh!

Sometimes I wonder what I could of done different to produce a better outcome and at times I can find a solution. Times like what happened to me this past Saturday I have no answer for. So until I figure out what I did incorrectly to guide my team in the wrong direction, I will blame Mother Nature, the fishing gods, and just plane ole bad luck! Along with that lives the fisherman’s saying, “You should of been here yesterday!”

Enjoy Life

Chad Lyden: Sabine Lake 7/13/14

Posted on Tuesday, 07/22/14 1:17 pm by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog

I know this is a little late but I've had quite a bit going on in my off the water life here lately. So I hit my favorite marsh over here by the Sabine Lake area bright and early on a peaceful Sunday morning. Looking to find some Redfish and some quiet time to relax my brain and unwind from a long stressful week of work at the plant.

I was not disappointed at all, from the time I hit the water until I returned to the launch it was a nonstop fishing frenzy. I found trout busting shad on my way back to the marsh and started catching them on small top waters until I finally got to the marsh entrance and made my way back to where I would start seeing and catching Redfish, after Redfish, after Redfish.

I found Redfish roaming around in the middle of some marsh ponds chasing shad and riding the tide coming into the marsh. I picked off several throwing the small Rapala Skitter-walk and after about an hour or so of catching Redfish on top waters I started finding some fish tailing around the edges of the grass. I started feeding them a Buggs Jig that they were more than happy to hit. I paddled and fished for about 4 1/2 hours and saw fish either tailing or just moving about all morning.

The flounder were in there pretty thick as well but with all the shad to eat they wanted nothing to do with any bait I had to offer them. On my way back I made an emergency water rescue, a dragon fly that apparently couldn't get off the water, so I scooped him up and let ride along until he dried off.

Tight lines and bent rods,

Chad Lyden

David Roberts: DAYS TO LIVE FOR

Posted on Tuesday, 07/15/14 2:08 pm by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog

Some people drive down to the coast just to relax with the salty wind in their face and listen to the sound of crashing waves. A majority of the year anyone can go to their local beach and find this. I do enjoy it and appreciate the wind on warmer fun filled trips, but this is not my favorite time to be there. I take great pleasure in standing knee deep in the water at first light and the only thing I can hear is the knocking of a topwater and the smack of a trout blowing it up. No crashing waves or salty wind are very rare days on the Texas coast. When they occur you have to take full advantage of it because the fishing is like no other!

Wednesday, before the July 4th weekend, on my way to work every flag was limp and every steam stack was perpendicular to the horizon. Always a good sign that the surf and lakes are going to lay down soon. As soon as I got a chance I looked at the weather to see what they predicted for the next day. According to the weather man the wind was going to be North at 3 M.P.H. and the high was going to be North at 7 M.P.H.  After seeing this I was itching to get off work and head south to catch some trout. I get home load everything up and keep studying the wind and looking at the surf camera. It was already starting to slick and the green water was coming in. Made a few phone calls and found out that one of my buddies is taking a day of vacation from work just to come catch some trout. All he does is bass fish but even he knows that you do not pass up days like this to hit the surf.

I get up early and head out planning on being there before daylight, and I do so. Step out the truck and can not hear nothing, does not even feel like I am standing on the Gulf. I am the first one there and begin to make my way to the water chunking my topwater. Not long after people start showing up and scattering across the flat. Then I hear a smack, my line get tight, and see a trout breaking the surface of the water. Not something you get to witness to much while fishing the surf; Typically the water is so dirty you can not see a silver spoon reflecting through the murky sea. Anyways, a short fight and he came off beside me. By this time my buddies join me and they want in on the action. As the sun breaks the horizon, we start getting blow ups and hooking into trout. They did not want my SheDog as much as my friends Skitterwalk they were throwing, but still managed a few. While looking out across the glass Gulf, I can see the silhouettes of people gripping on to trout and throwing them on their stringer. Others with their rods bent and the head shakes of trout on the waters surface. Everyone is in the trout and it is showing no signs of slowing down. As the morning progresses I switch over to a purple and chartreuse sand eel.  My first 3 cast I make with the sand eel, I catch 3 trout. I caught fish on it until I ran out of them. By about 9 A.M. or so it started to slow down and we had a pretty good size shark come past us so we decided to call it a day. Probably had caught 35-40 trout that morning and can not complain about that one bit. While loading up I had seen 2 other people get off the water with limits. They seamed to catch all of their trout on MirrOlures.

This is why you never pass up a slick summer day on the Texas coast. Not many days where you get to see the reflection of the rising sun across the vast Gulf waters. No wind, no waves, just silence by the water. These are days to live for.

Enjoy Life

Readers of this Blog Frequently Purchased
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David Roberts: First Time for Everything

Posted on Friday, 07/11/14 8:17 pm by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog

When something is brought up in a conversation and that one event has never happened to you, sometimes the ole “Knock on Wood” trick does not work. I have spent countless hours on the water fishing and have had some close calls but I have never been hooked before. It is actually one of my worst fears, even though I surround myself with the hazard often. It all started with an early morning after a late night and I had wanted to try a new spot before a tournament on Saturday. Made my way to a flat and it looked good and was covered with lots of grass and structure. The first hour I had seen nothing, no blowups, no tails, or did not paddle over any fish. Started to have my doubts but then I found one take off. So I decided to throw on a topwater real quick and give it a try. Until this day I have only caught one red on a topwater, and he was in the middle of a school of trout. So never really had to much luck. Then I see a tail pop up, make a cast, and a huge blow up! He missed this time but I could see a wake still coming for my Skitter Walk. This red was relentless and wanted this topwater. After a short chase he catches up to it, swirls, and the fight is on. Now this is where the story changes. I get him to the boat and on the Boga Grips and he thrashes one good time. I feel a slight pinch and then some pressure and I know exactly what just happened. I freak out for a split second, put a death grip on the red with my left hand and try to do my best from keeping him from flopping. Get him in the kayak and notice that the bottom treble is in him and the top is in my right pointer finger.

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What the hell do I do now? I go through my options and try to remove the hook out me before the fish, that did not work. So I pulled the hook out of the fish and released him and went back to the drawing board. I was by myself so I could not do the string trick and paddling back was not the best option because I was a few miles back. After 15 minutes or so I grab a pair of pliers, get a grip as close as I can to my finger, and begin to put some pressure on it. I mostly kept the pliers still and pushed my finger forward and after a few good pushes it popped out. Yes, literally could here it pop when it decided to exit. Well glad I got that out of the way, not the greatest experience, but whatever. I did redeem myself by catching several redfish on the same lure. The redfish were killing it! Had several come out of the water chasing it. Next time I go I will be there with my camera watching my friends catch fish and hope I can capture the moment of impact.

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While catching fish around this flat I found a few otters swimming around and thankfully I had my camera ready.

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I found this guy chasing something around this small island and at the time was not sure what it was. After I got home and cropped the picture down I noticed he had caught a crab! By far one of the coolest experiences I have witnessed on the water. This is exactly what gets me up in the morning no matter how tired or bad I feel. You never know exactly what you will see in nature and getting to share this with everyone is why I carry my camera around and write this blog. Absolutely amazing in my opinion.

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The crab may have lost the battle but he did not go down without a fight. If you look the claw is still latched on the his chin.

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Caught several fish at my new spot but not to many good ones. By that I mean tournament winners. Me and my brother decide to fish there the next day and catch several more fish just no solid ones. Actually I had one that was a nice fish, got him in the yak, unhooked because I was still a little timid of the topwater attached to his face, and as soon as I turn around he flops one time and is swimming again. That is a first for me and still can not believe I done that, especially on tournament day. Needless to say we did not place and was not to happy how the outcome was, but did have a great time smashing the redfish with my brother.

Thursday came around and I loaded everything I had and headed to Port Aransas for the weekend. Time for a guys weekend fishing, relaxing, and doing whatever else may come to mind. While on the road we turn on the radio and find the U.S. Soccer game against Germany. We of course was routing for them but the radio was just not cutting it. So we stopped in Victoria at a bar to finish watching the game. Joined up with a few hooligans and cheered for our country to advance, and so they did. Already a good start. As soon as we get there we notice the wind is terrible. Like 25-30 MPH wind. The wind never gave up all weekend so it kind of put a damper on our fishing but it did not stop us from having a good time. Caught a few fish but still loved being by the clearwater. That is something that we do not get around here at Sabine and SETX.

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Found this guy hanging around the Jetty wall.DSC_0132

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All Jake wanted to do was touch one of the pelicans. Although friendly, they were not having it.DSC_0165

This is what you do when it is to windy to fish. You sit on the porch, drink a few cold ones and talk about fishing along with a few other lies.

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I have a few days off for the holiday weekend and I have got to find some trout. The Saltwater Boys are having a trout tournament and usually this is my main targeted fish. I have not tried to catch trout since March but I do have a few spots that I know should be holding some. Im pretty excited to finally catch a few, it has been to long.

Plenty of first for me lately, all of them left me in awe, good and bad ways. Remember what this holiday weekend is about, Independence Day. Spend time with family and friends and be thankful that we live in a country where we have the ability and freedom to follow something that we appreciate and take pleasure in. I hope everyone has a “first” happen for them, but may it be in your best interest.

Enjoy Life

Todd Hart: White Bass at Livingston Dam

Posted on Monday, 05/12/14 3:20 pm by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog

Sunday, 5/4/14 I took my wife to catch some white bass at the Lake Livingston dam. We stopped at Browder’s Marina and purchased our passes. We then launched at the spillway before making our way to the Trinity river side of the dam. My wife showed off her mighty muscles as she drug my 14′ Hobie Pro Angler down to the water.

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We slept in on this morning, therefore, arriving a bit later than normal. I believe this was a mistake as when I first got onto the actual river I landed a number of white bass instantly.

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My wife Kristen was a bit upset, at first blaming me for her lack of “Catching”. But eventually she got into some white bass as well.

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Below was my wife’s “mean look” after finally catching up to me to take this picture. (I had the camera and the ruler.)

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As I mentioned, the bite was really good for the first 30 minutes or so, but it really slowed down by 10 AM.  The fish we were catching now compared to weeks past seem smaller. Most fish were under the required 12″ minimum needed for Kayakwars.com.

Hopefully, we can still get another week or two of quality white bass fishing on the river.

Operationfish.com signing out,

Todd Hart

Chad Lyden: Exploring New Marsh 5/10/14

Posted on Monday, 05/12/14 2:49 pm by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog

So I know I haven't posted a lot of fishing reports this year but most of my time spent on the water has been on tournament days. Today me and my fellow pro staffer David Roberts decided to hit up some marsh that we have been eye balling for a couple of years now, so we made a plan for today and hit it. We arrived at the water this morning to light winds and heavy mosquitos both of which changed shortly after hitting the water. With the tides running higher than normal we concentrated our time running the shoreline chasing redfish crashing bait in the flooded grass. We couldn't get them hit anything other than a 3" gulp shrimp under a cork, didn't catch many and most of what we caught was undersized with a couple keepers that slid over the side of the kayak to be released to fight another day. All in all we were very happy with the location and looking forward to another trip to this spot very soon.

Tight lines and bent rods

Chad Lyden

lydenca@yahoo.com

Chasing Triangle Tailchasers with Chad Lyden

Posted on Monday, 03/31/14 2:07 pm 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 1:39 pm 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 5:09 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 8:01 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 5:08 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 2:37 pm 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 3:24 pm 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

Reunited with The Water from Chad Lyden

Posted on Monday, 12/23/13 4:57 pm 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

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Texas BTB 11/9

Posted on Friday, 11/22/13 5:31 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 3:55 pm 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 3:16 pm 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

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Captain Elkins at Liberty Hill

Posted on Wednesday, 10/30/13 4:58 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 3:11 pm 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

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Drains with the Ladies

Posted on Monday, 10/28/13 3:03 pm 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 3:02 pm 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 2:25 pm 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

 

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