flyboy718 wrote:...This will be my first time actually taking my yak out in saltwater. I honestly don't know how to fish the bay side waters. After I launch, what am I looking for? Do I just start casting different stuff until something hits? Some of these area are REALLY shallow according some maps I have seen...like the East Pocket area. Am I looking for the deepest water I can get to or does it matter that its shallow? I don't have a depth finder.
here's a free lesson edited from one of Tobin's full-length videos. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D8H0c6pOm2g
You might want to visit TroutSupport.Com and buy some...
If your paddle isn't enough depth sounder in a kayak, you're fishing the wrong water. The real beauty of a kayak at the coast is you can fish water too skinny for power boats to get into.
You're probably going to find Labor Day weekend, because of the mid-day heat, the good bay fishing will be at extremes of daylight - first light and near sunset. If you get out before sunrise or stay out after sunset, make sure you have a 360 stern light, maybe even a good headlight, and watch out for boats - it's LDW, and most of the power boaters out have no more experience than you do.
Always plan around tides and wind. Plan to paddle somewhere Upwind where the structure and tide/wind current effects may be concentrating bait (and therefore gamefish). Somewhere can be a shoreline or shoal that the wind is beating into, or across to create a current. The wind will help get you home - got a drift sock? - you can easy-chair blind fish the whole way home.
Concentrate on cuts on a falling tide, and shorelines on a rising tide. Especially if you get a morning rising tide you can find redfish in water so skinny their backs are exposed. They're moving in to graze crustaceans in water they couldn't get to a few hours ago.
Hone your eyes for fish sign - not jumping mullet, but finger mullet make a pattern or patch of smaller, tighter ripples in the surface. Watch for V-shaped wakes, especially multiple slow-moving V-wakes. Watch for jumping shrimp, and feeding slashes on the surface (again, not jumping mullet).
You may not see fish feeding, but if you cast across finger mullet patches and fish into them, you may find gamefish following them. You can often see into the water and see redfish and black drum - polarized glasses.
If you're fishing grassy bottom - which again is kind of why we take kayaks to the coast - cast to fish across every sand hole - often flounder and big trout are sitting in those holes and looking to ambush bait coming out of the skinny grass above them. (Green Island, Lower Laguna Madre, last Nov)
Here, we're wading a good hardpack shoal and fishing a deep cut between two islands on a falling tide, and in just the right place to find fish - it's a dreary foggy February morning, so you can't see any of the grass - the day began with a strong falling tide, and our plan was to be right here.
Here's Jim on the inside point of the cut we're casting toward - he's fishing the same water sitting in his kayak - that whole flat behind is draining out under his boat
easy way to tell there's a shoal, but you can also see it in the wind pattern - the shoal makes almost no wind ripples
This is drift fishing the 2'-deep flat - on a beautiful but windy April day - what you can't see is there's a shoal we're drifting toward, but all the guide boats are anchored to fish that shoal. Also don't count on getting too close to guide boats - we were forced to fish the water behind them. Aside from the way to get home and lots of fun, flats drift fishing is the way to randomly hunt fish when you don't have a tide/structure plan at the moment.
of course when you find fish, pull up your drift sock, paddle upwind and try that drift again