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.
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.
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.
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″.
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.
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!
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…
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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
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.
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!
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.
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
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!
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.
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!
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.
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″.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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!
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
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.
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
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.
“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.
Also had a very photogenic Blue Heron wading around looking for shrimp along a shallow flat.
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.
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.
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.
I got tired of catching fish and started trying to get a few pics and I got some good action shots.
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.”
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.
Even a Snowy Egret waiting on the shoreline is getting on the action.
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!
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!
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.
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
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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!”
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
While catching fish around this flat I found a few otters swimming around and thankfully I had my camera ready.
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.
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.
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
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.
Found this guy hanging around the Jetty wall.
All Jake wanted to do was touch one of the pelicans. Although friendly, they were not having it.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
Below was my wife’s “mean look” after
finally catching up to me to take this picture. (I had the camera and the
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
The wind was so strong I had to go close to
shore just to take my pictures.
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
Even my former wrestler, Ayham, was able to
get in on the action.
Despite the wind and weather we ended with a
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.
I like to launch on the north side of the lake in Oak Thicket Park.
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.
I did manage to land two fish large enough to count. They are pictured below.
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.
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.
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.
I kept grinding away, but they all seemed to
be lacking the size I desired.
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″.
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.
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″.
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
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.
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.
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.
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,
The action was great. Nearly every very cast resulted in
The trout seemed to be everywhere. They were even hitting
the surface so I caught a few on top-water.
The trout weren’t big, but they were numerous and
hungry. It was a quantity over quality kind of day. All fish were photographed
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.
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
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.
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.
I hooked with multiple fish (doubles)
Between reeling in fish and taking pictures I
had little down time.
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
One fish slipped right out of lap as I was
getting ready to photo him. Whoops, I guess he got away.
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.
It was a great day of fishing with plenty of
tight lines for approximately two hours.
Around 12:30pm -1:00pm the fish just
seemed to stop biting. I called it a day and headed for the beach.
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.
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
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.
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
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
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.
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.
"Connie and the Gang are the reason why I and my friends do not shop the box
stores. She and the Kayak department provided excellent service to my wife
and I during my R&R. They freely gave me their ..."