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David Roberts: Lessons From a Loony

Posted on Wednesday, 04/08/15 7:21 pm by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog

LESSONS FROM A LOONY

MARCH 24, 2015

I am sure that we are all familiar with an old cartoon friend that goes by the name of Wile E. Coyote. In the Looney Tunes cartoon series his main objective is to capture “The Roadrunner” but he always seemed to fail, miserably! So what did he do? He called ACME, strapped some rockets to his feet and gave it his best shot! Even with his greatest efforts though, he always winded up empty handed with his prized bird.

It is now mid March here in Texas and it is starting to warm up fairly quick. Waders, jackets, and beanies are now being replaced with sandals, Magellan shirts, and Costa’s. My rod that has had a Corky tied on for the past 5 months has seen less and less action as the Skitterwalk is becoming my new favorite. Winter is over and my chances of catching that prized 30″ trout are slowly starting to fade. Though not impossible for March, the chances look slimmer and slimmer as the temperatures rise. So what did I do?  I have spent the past few weeks making one last valiant effort to capture that fish.

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Last weekend I had my day lined out. It was suppose to be 0-5 MPH wind out of the SouthEast from early daylight until 10. I was hoping for a calm slick day on Sabine but I broke rule #1, “Never trust the weather man”.  The wind was 15-20 MPH and pretty brutal to paddle in.

I start throwing a topwater just before daylight and can not buy a bite, so I switch to my faithful Corky. My very first cast I quickly hang into a nice trout but she comes off before I get a chance to see her. Second cast and 2 twitches later another trout slams into it! Get her in and she was around 20″.

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After making several more cast I decide to switch back over to my Skitterwalk. I start walking the dog and my topwater gets popped up about a foot in the air and as soon as it lands back on the surface of the water, another trout smashes into it! A little bit better fish this time.

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A quick release of a 22″ trout and I make another cast. I start to work my lure and trout are blowing it up! They are coming out of the water just attacking this lure. The topwater bite is back in full action. I ended up catching 14 with a majority of them in the 15-17″ range. The action was quick only lasting about an hour but it was a really fun hour!

I fish for a few more hours and decide to paddle back. While making my trek I can’t help but to be slightly disappointed with the realization that I am going to have to wait until next winter for another opportunity for my trophy trout. Instead of being discouraged, I thought of Wile E. and thought what he would do. It was time to outwit my opponent and capture him, after all, it’s  just a fish…

I check the tides and weather and start planning my next attack. This is when I notice there is a new moon coming up on the weekend with a peak feeding time at 2 a.m. So I get the bright idea that I will sneak out in the dark of the night and fish until daylight. I finally devised a plan to outsmart my prized fish!

Thursday afternoon comes around and I decide that tonight is the night to unfold my master plan. I call my buddy Willie and he is down to join me. So around midnight we snag large coffees and head to Sabine. It was pretty foggy but just enough to where we could see distant lights for navigation. Really made for a pretty cool paddle actually, eerie but cool.

We start fishing and covering water and can not seem to get a bite. We continue on in the dark of the night searching for that fish but never could find her. Before to long the gnats and mosquitoes had found us floating on the water so we decided to head back around 4 a.m. Got loaded up and I decided to sleep in my truck for a few hours and catch the daylight bite. A few hours later I step out of my truck and begin to throw a topwater. I fished for 3 hours and never got a bite. Once again wound up short on my target.

Now that tournament season is a few weeks away I guess I will turn my focus to the marsh and start chasing redfish. I am ready for some sight casting in the shallows and the rush of heading to the weigh-in with a sack of fish! The past few trips have not been as successful as I had hoped with the dwindling chance of catching my trout. I guess I will take a lesson from the persistent coyote; regroup and redouble your efforts when you fail. So that being said,  it’s back to the drawing board!

Enjoy Life

David Roberts: Scientific Method of Fishing

Posted on Monday, 03/16/15 2:59 pm by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog

When it comes to fishing, there are no rules, no certainty, no absolutes. Every day is a new day and it reminds me of a science experiment. Sabine Lake is my lab, my kayak and poles are my tools, and my waterproof jacket is my lab coat with my Costa’s being my safety glasses.

First off, you have to ask yourself a question that you will be testing to find if it is true or not. Fishing being the subject, we often ask “With these conditions, will the fish be biting today?”.  Thats a very broad question so we will just stick with Trout.  Now we have our hypothesis for the experiment.

A hypothesis is an educated guess or proposition that attempts to explain a set of facts or natural phenomenon.  Which we all can relate to having days of fishing that were indeed a phenomenon!

We start to gather data such as the wind speed, barometric pressure, and temperatures. We begin to study tidal charts and lunar phases and any other factor that we can attribute to this hypothesis that may lead us to a different result.

Last Friday I stepped into my lab with it being a cold, overcast day with minimum wind and an outgoing tide. I have fished this place for 2 years now and have never had any luck with a low tide. To top it off too, the barometric pressure was through the roof! I believe it was reading around 33 in. which is extremely high. I had 2 people tell me that I was wasting my time and was not going to catch a fish all day (I believed them as well) but I’m a stubborn scientist and this is what I do, I seek results.

I had a day planned and both of my friends who were suppose to meet me backed out first thing in the morning so I was on my own schedule. I caught the sunrise on Texas Bayou bridge and enjoyed my cup of coffee and the start to my Friday off. I was in no hurry so I took my time getting to my spot.

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I arrive and the lake could not be any calmer, other than it being overcast and a little nippy, it is going to be a fine day. I had a 6 pack of Shiner iced down and was prepared for a slow day of floating on the water.

I start off with a broke back Corky that I have had tied on most of winter and it has not let me down. My 4th cast I feel a thump and I miss. 2 cast later she wouldn’t be so lucky! Got her in and she was just under 26″. Also she was not to lucky of a fish because it looked like a shark took a bite out of her back, pretty gnarly looking actually.

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Well that is just one so I thought it may have been a fluke. Very next cast I hang into another fish. I knew she was a good one once she came up shaking her head! Got her in and she hit the 26″ mark as well.

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I continue to fish and work my way slowly across this flat catching and releasing trout. After catching my first limit, maybe 45 minutes into it, I text my brother “Yea” just to leave him guessing of what my day was about to consist of. I then realize that my Corky box is still in my truck and the only one I have is tied on. So I retie and start fresh with a new leader.

I see a small splash way out but I decide to hurl my lure out there. I have the distance but my aim was a little off so I give 3 good jerks in hope to get the fishes attention. Then I see a head and back of a trout breach the water, almost is resemblance of a dolphin coming up for air. I tighten my line and set the hook and at this point is when I realize that I need a bigger net. Landed her, barely,  but she went 26″ too and was thick!

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My 14th fish I set the hook into my line snapped, there goes my one and only corky. Well I dig into my bag and have been wanting to try this for a while now and figured what the hell, lets try a different lure to see if I can get a different outcome. I tied on a 4/0 offset bass hook and hooked a Zoom Baby Bass Fluke onto it. My first cast I hang into a trout, and the next cast the same. 2 cast, 2 trout and I am loving this lure and presentation. It is pretty much the same as a corky just not as bulky, a slow sinking mullet imitation with a smaller profile.

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One of my buddies decides he wants to meet me down here and he has no idea what I have been doing all day, I let it be a surprise to him. This is no lie, in February, 55 degrees outside, trout were literally jumping out of the water.  I have never seen a feeding frenzy of trout like this, not even under lights, much less in the peak of winter time!

By the time Stu meets me out there I am on number 25. He thought I was joking with him until I landed another 2 and a trout popped right beside him and he was quickly on the action. I made a cast and felt dead weight at the end of my line so I set the hook and she just sat there, in a fixed position, trying to shake my lure but couldn’t. She went 27″ and was every bit of a 7 lb. trout, she was healthy needless to say!

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She would complete my 3rd limit of trout and a solid way of doing so! I then decide to take a break and call my brother just to rub it in a little bit. Oh, and finally took a minute to crack open a Shiner and enjoy it as well!

We continued to fish right up until dark and the sun finally came out which made for a beautiful ending to an epic day of fishing. We actually left the fish biting but we decided to call it due to lack of light. To all of my friends that are reading this and I told you it was kind of a slow day and I only caught a few fish….sorry!

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I alone ended up with 44 trout and 9 of them were over 5 lbs. Stu had caught right around 15, so between us 2 we had right around 60 trout. Not even going to include the ones that I missed. I think I can honestly say that day was probably my best day of fishing I have ever had!

Just when you think that you have the fish figured out and you know exactly what the outcome of your experiment is going to be, don’t be surprised if the results will make you look like a fool! Other times it will make you look like a genius.

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I guess this is why we spend so much time in the lab experimenting with different variables to obtain different results. The only constant in this observation is the moon phase and fish have got to feed, everything else is constantly changing! For an accurate answer you have to fish everyday, record your results, find a pattern and test that over and over again to deem that it is indeed a fact and can be proven time and time again! Which brings us back to our question, “With these conditions, will the fish be biting today?”  Good luck!

Enjoy Life

David Roberts - Fishing with Jack Frost

Posted on Wednesday, 01/14/15 7:08 pm by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog


FISHING WITH
JACK FROST

JANUARY 7, 2015

Old Man Winter is believed to be the person responsible for bringing the bitterness of winter. He is often thought of having a harsh personality, being short-tempered and having no problem covering the landscape with ice. Often though we forget about his son, Jack Frost, who is undisciplined, carefree and at times can be mischievous and rowdy. It takes a certain kind of person to run with Jack Frost, probably one with the same kind of personality, unruly and someone just crazy enough to join him! Winter is here in Texas and there is no doubt about that. Cooler temperatures have kept the crowd to the minimum on the lake and I like it that way. Any day that is suitable to get on the water, GO! The trout fishing this year has been unbelievable. No, I have not caught any wall hangers, but the numbers and quality trout are there. Most of our fish are in the 3-5 lb. range with a few that have gone 6-7 lbs. We have all been catching our fish on the Paul Brown Corky and the Broke-Back Corky.

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We fished the few manageable days throughout the holidays and it always produced some good fish. My first fish actually swirled on my Big Purp Fatboy about 10 ft. from my kayak and she was BIG! As soon as I set the hook, my line snapped, and she came up trying to shake the lure. I seen her and she was large! I don’t know about wall hanger large but with out a doubt she was picture worthy, so 26″+. After that though we landed anywhere from 15-20 trout with the smallest being 20″.

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Last week we decided to take the boat out and hit a few different places. We arrived at the first spot and it was not long that my brother hooked up on a solid trout. He then made 3 more cast in the same direction and caught 3 more fish. We kept drifting and were consistently catching fish in one area in 3-4 ft. of water, so we stayed in that depth. Finally I made a cast, felt a thump, set the hook and then she broke the surface. Before I could say anything my brother was fumbling for the net. At first glance, I thought she was at least 30″+ and that I indeed have caught an absolute trophy. After getting her a little closer to the boat she shrunk a little bit but was still a solid fish. I did not get a measurement but she was just under 7 lbs. on the Boga Grips.

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We proceeded for a few hours and caught and released several other fish. Also, the fog was so dense that day. We literally would argue about which way was North or South or where the ship channel was. If it wasn’t for Google Maps and GPS, we would still be driving in circles, arguing probably.


Rhett with a nice 24″ trout that hammered a Broke-Back.

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I still have never understood why the spots on a trout are so distinct during the winter time, but it makes for such a pretty fish.

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Yesterday the sun had come out and the wind had finally laid down. I seen my window of opportunity and was not going to miss it. I was loaded up and ready to hit the water as soon as I got off of work. The wind was calm, but brisk, and just enough to make for an easy paddle. A few buddies of mine had just got there and have already caught a few trout. I paddle on the outer edge of them and gave my Broke-Back a cast. I make a few easy, slow bumps and then I feel a hit. I set the hook and miss so I reel in my slack. I make one small bump and wham! Fish on and it is my first cast. I get her in the boat and she measures right at 26″ and then I send her back into the lake.

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We fish until dark and catch 8-10 trout between us with the smallest going 22″. Also, Zach got to catch his personal best Trout that went 5.5 lbs. on the Boga Grips and was a fine fish for any angler.

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Although it was cold, it was an awesome day to spend on Sabine Lake. Luckily we have been able to catch some decent fish in fair weather before this arctic front comes blowing through.

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There are people that don’t understand why I brave the cold weather just to catch a fish. Hell, sometimes I don’t either but Trout fishing does not get any better than this and I am not going to miss it. Some people think it is madness, maybe so. I guess the only difference in being mad and genius is if your plan has a successful outcome! “A question that sometimes drives me hazy: am I crazy or are the others?” – Albert Einstein

Enjoy Life,

David Roberts 

 http://texaskayakchronicles.com/ 

David Roberts - Winter Wonderland

Posted on Wednesday, 01/14/15 7:03 pm by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog

WINTER WONDERLAND

Mid December; Christmas lights are hung all throughout town and neighborhoods, presents are wrapped and tucked away under the tree and hot cocoa is the drink of choice, merely to stay warm during this harsh winter month.

Not in Southeast Texas, no, here we are still sitting on our back porch drinking iced tea and enjoying a mild temperature day. Yes we have had a few cold snaps, but last weekend I was wearing sandals during the day and a light jacket at night. I am not complaining because the warmer weather mixed with the cooler water temperatures has made Sabine Lake a true “Winter Wonderland”

Friday morning we decided to take Pop’s boat out and I had a game plan of where and how I wanted to fish. High tide was right at daylight and there was a flat I wanted to throw Corkies on, since that was the better tide to fish. As soon as we break into the North side of the lake we spot a group of birds. Of course we do not miss the opportunity and veer off course towards them. Whenever we get to the outer edge of the group I look out to the rising sun and there are birds everywhere! Hundreds of them!

Finally we get into casting range and start to hook up with some solid trout. We put 4 or 5 in the box and the group disappears. No worries though, a short troll over and we are on another group. After an hour of this we have several trout in the box and the birds start to dissipate with the rising sun. Got a little sidetracked but we were back on course in search of some better trout now that we have enough for dinner for a few nights.

We arrive to our flat and start to make some drifts and nothing for the first hour or so. The bite has started to slow and the wind has started to pick up. Soon comes a comment from the peanut gallery (Pops) about why my $8 bait was not working? Not long after I feel an old familiar tug, only one that comes from a Corky, and I set the hook. Instantly I say get the net and as soon as I said that, she breaks the surface with a head shake and that confirmed that I did indeed need the net!

Got her into the boat, quickly removed the hooks, got a picture and she was back swimming in no time. She ended up going 24”, no not a wall hanger, but I have not landed a trout that big since March.

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We continue around and can not seem to find any more so we move to an adjacent flat to try our luck there. A short drift and we find a little school. All of us hook up and are running around the boat trying not to lose our fish. Me and Pops both have reds so Rhett expects the same. Well he gets her to the boat and we see a silver flash so we know that he needs a net. He landed her and we did the same, quick picture and sent her back swimming. Oh, and Pops got to photo bomb as well!

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We ended up calling it a day with a box full of trout, a pair of reds and got to release some bigger trout that will make plenty more come spring time.

High tide for Saturday was going to be again at daylight and I did not want to miss that. 4 a.m. came early but somehow I rolled out of bed with ease. I snagged a large coffee and was on my way to try and catch some larger trout. When I got to the water I noticed that it looked a little choppy, to choppy for the wind to be doing it. I stop, back up and roll my window down and I could hear and see the redfish schooled up. It is 5 a.m. might I add and still dark. I have never seen this many redfish schooled up, ever! I mean a pile of them!

I jump out of my truck, with it still running and the door open, leaving it right in the middle of the road. This is a rare opportunity and I am not going to miss it. First cast I chunk a topwater into the melee of redfish, my line goes tight and the fight is on! A fat redfish on the other end of the rod made for a fun and long fight.

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I proceed to catch 4 more reds that were well over 30″ and break off on another one before the horizon even started to glow! The fish moved a little further out so I launched and started to chase down the school. I fished until about 7:30 and was off the water. While in my kayak I caught 3 more reds, with losing 2, and everyone of them was at least 30″+.  Huge school with huge reds! After landing my last fish, I look up and the fish have vanished. I have no idea how so many fish can just disappear without a trace in such an instant.

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It is not very often that an angler can catch trout still working under the birds, having redfish still schooled up, and the larger trout are getting into their winter time habits. I guess the unpredictable Texas weather is good for something every now and then. There is a cold front moving in as I sit here and write this, which is going to make fishing this weekend completely different from this past one.

Sunday I plan on going in the search of big trout. My Corky is still tied on and I plan on making some long, slow cast waiting for that hit. I will be bundled up in my best warm clothes anxiously awaiting for that one fish. My toes will be numb, hands barely able to grip the rod and the steam from my breath will be the only visible thing as I look out across the broad horizon. It will all be worth it when she breaks the waters surface with a thrashing head shake and I am praying that my lure remains attached just so I can get a chance to see her.

Enjoy Life

David Roberts - Going Crazy

Posted on Wednesday, 01/14/15 6:58 pm by cnull in Kayak Fishing Blog

GOING CRAZY!

“These walls are funny. First you hate ‘em, then you get used to ‘em.” These were words from Red, to his buddy Andy, in the famous movie “The Shawshank Redemption”. For those who have never seen it, the plot is about a man, Andy Dufresne, who has been wrongly accused of murder and is sent to Shawshank prison for life. After being stuck there, he goes crazy and escapes to his freedom. I have never been to prison and nor do I want to go but where I have been confined for the past 7 weeks is close enough. I have been stuck behind the gates of my employer only to gaze out towards a rising sun and dream about freedom. Normally this would not bother me but honestly I can count on one hand of the days that have been overcast and rainy during this turnaround. It has been absolutely ideal weather in Texas the past month! Thankfully there is a little group called O.S.H.A. that has made it a standard that for every 14 days an employee works, they shall have one day off, a “Fatigue Day” as they like to call it. So that being said, I have fished 3 days in the past 7 weeks, this is not my norm. With every trip I took though, the fishing just kept getting better and better. My next outing would exceed my previous trip as if it was trying to top it. I had fished 3 different places and not once was I let down. I have fished the Neches River all the way down to the Sabine Lake area and have covered miles of water. I found that the further in the marsh I got, the fishing just got better. I finally came across a small flat that was loaded with redfish! I quietly make my way around the backside and stand up to get a better vantage point and I began to grin. Not to often do you get to pick and choose which redfish you would like to take a chance at hooking. They were all in about a foot of water and easily visible. I pick up my fly rod and make some flawless cast, but the reds just did not want my popper that I had tied on. So I snag my other rod, flip my fluke out there, 2 twitches and I am hooked up. A solid 26″ red that I landed and gave her a quick release. I stood up and continued to catch red after red, everyone of them was sight casted. Really awesome thing I got to do. It is different than just blind casting, feeling a thump, and then setting the hook. There is something about being able to see your target, having to make a precise cast, and then watching your lure get inhaled before you set the hook; It is a completely different experience. I think round trip that day was a little over 7 miles but was well worth it. I thought for sure that my buddy had missed out because I left him back several bends and flats throughout the marsh, but nope he found the fish as well. Same thing, he got to sight cast all of his fish. I guess it is all about being there when it happens.

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Also had a very photogenic Blue Heron wading around looking for shrimp along a shallow flat.

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After getting back to work and reflecting from my last voyage, I diligently studied the weather and tides that would be awaiting me for my next day off. There was going to be a little cold front come in the day before I was off but that was not going to stop me. A buddy of mine wanted to go since we decided to skip duck hunting that morning. We slept in, loaded up and was headed south around 9 a.m. This was going to be Rhett’s maiden voyage in a kayak, he is not new to fishing but kayaking was a first. Even though is was a little windy, he quickly understood why I do this. He realized how close he actually was to the water and how peaceful it is because you are not bothered by the sounds of a roaring motor going across the lake. We make our way back and fishing is not the best and the slight innuendos start coming. Kind of looking to see where we were at and when his guide was going to put him on some fish. He hung in there and not long his effort was going to pay off. We made a bend and on old familiar sound caught my attention. As I looked up there were 2 schools of redfish heading our way. We gently paddle across to the adjacent bank and patiently await for them to come into casting range. We both cast and are hooked up right away. We get drug around for a little bit and land our fish and Rhett has successfully landed his first red in a kayak.

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After a few pics and get our fish on the stringer, we decide to head a little deeper. A few more bends back and we spot another school! So we repeat the same course of action and double up again.

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This is absolutely insane! The reds are piled up, almost stacked on top one another. They are blind to the fact that we are there hunting them. The only thing on their mind is eating whatever is in their path. We continue to chase school after school of reds. We even have a school so close to us in a small ditch that we could not even cast, we had to flip our lure out as if you were trying to cast under a dock or tree limb. The fish are going absolutely crazy back in the marsh! On our paddle back I assured him that for his first kayaking trip, it was nothing short of being completely epic.

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I got tired of catching fish and started trying to get a few pics and I got some good action shots.

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 Soon enough though all of this work is going to be coming to an end and once again my normal life will be back in place. I will have the weekends off and be able to spend my time on the water. I believe I will catch it just right for the winter time trout pattern to start. When I finally get out from behind these gates and get to head to my honey hole, I will feel like old Red, headed to the Pacific to see his newly freed buddy, Andy Dufresne. “I find I’m so excited that I can barely sit still or hold a thought in my head. I think it’s the excitement only a free man can feel. A free man at a start of a long journey whose conclusion is uncertain.”

-Red Enjoy Life

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

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Rapala X-Rap Subwalk 3 1 2

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

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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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