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Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


By OldTownYakBoi
#2311505
About a month ago I went to a buddies bachelor party in Port Aransas. It being my first time this far south I was pleasantly surprised by the water clarity and the sheer amount of access to the bays. Here on the upper coast it gets harder and harder every year just to find somewhere to slide in. The point is that the trip opened my eyes to the potential this place had.

Fast forward 1 month and on a whim I booked 3 nights in a small cottage in Rockport/Fulton. I arrived on Sunday the 18th around 4 Pm. It was a little late to fish but you know I was just itching to explore. I put my kayak in at the light house lakes kayak launch and was met with a ripping incoming tide with 15mph plus SE winds. After getting across the channel, I peddled around for about an hour making maybe ten cast, just exploring and getting slapped by the wind. The days have gotten much shorter and I didn’t want to get caught out somewhere I had never been before so I headed in. The plan was to fish the Estes flats the next morning.

10/19
I arrived at the launch early, making sure to give myself plenty of time being in a new area. This turned out to be wise as when I arrived to the launch the flats were being pounded by 20mph SE winds. I made a game time decision and decided to take the ferry across to fish the south shoreline. I used google earth and found a boat ramp near East flats, but once I pulled up there was a chain across it, strike 2. I pull up google earth once again and decided to try out Wilson’s cut, which was just minutes down the road. Luckily there was access to it, so I launched and was in the water by 7:30 AM. I paddled about 3/4 way up the cut and headed north East. Just before the mangroves opened to the bay I spotted a group of reds tailing. I quietly started throwing a pink Skitterwalk Topwater and got some interest quickly. 1 of the reds came and knocked the top water a foot in the air. This area was quite interesting, some very shallow areas, but drop offs were steep and fairly deep. I had a dolphin come up no more than 10 ft from me as I’m working and started crushing bait. Needles to say this spooked the reds. The trout however were unphased, I proceeded to catch 4 on the pink skitterwalk over the next 45 min or so. Most were 13-14 in with one keeper at 17. I paddled further east and began drifting the open grass flats. I switched up to a swim bait and picked up another few dink trout. Not long after the tide went slack and I called it a day.

Conditions
Wind: SE 20mph
Temp: 78
Tide : outgoing


10/20
I wanted to fish this area hard so I timed my trip for the best tide of the day, a very strong incoming tide combined with a 10-15 mph SE wind. On my paddle out the wind was calmer, but picked up as the evening went on.
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This is right at the launch at the RV park.
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My plan was to head to little cut, fish it, then peddle to big cut, fish and drift home.
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As I was peddling up to little cut I saw 4-5 egrets 3-4 pelicans standing in the grassy water on the west side of little cut. I’ve never seen so many egrets that close together. They were all within a 30 yard radius. This got me excited. I arrived at little cut and quickly picked up an 18 in. Red. doing exactly what the birds were, waiting to be fed from the tide. I had a few bites before moving through the cut into the bay. It was pretty damn rough out there, but was manageable to paddle close to the shoreline. I fished a little bayside with no luck. As I approached big cut I started fishing and drifting towards the cut. I soon after got a solid hit and hooked up on what felt like a good fish. My drag was pretty tight, but the fish was still taking some line. After a brief fight I netted a 21 in Redfish, a welcome sight. ASI drifted through the cut I picked up 2 trout, 1 at 16in. Once on the outside of the cut I caught 2 more reds both 18in. and missed what was by far the best fish of the day. A little frustrating bc it was my fault, I had loosened the drag when fighting the previous red and didn’t retighten. It was starting to get late and winds had picked up so I began drifting home. For over half a mile of drifting I was catching trout on every 2 or 3 casts. What a blast of a day in a beautiful place. There wasn’t any monsters, but beautiful scenery and plenty of action. While the conditions weren’t great, I managed to make the best of the trip. I can’t wait to come back to the area.


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By Ron Mc
#2311509
thanks for the reports - easy to recognize your excitement and newfound love for the area. Glad it didn't let you down - you did great for tough conditions.

What lures were you fishing?

that chain at the ramp wasn't there to stop you - it's meant to show the ramp is not for public power boat use - however, as Josh followed up for us with the property people, launching kayaks there is OK as long as you park out of the way and don't get in the way of boats/trailers who can move that chain to launch (property owners, marina members).

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Have fished both Estes and East flats with 16-18-kt winds and would go back in a heartbeat.
The one day it got too exciting for us was when NWS missed the effect of two simultaneous fronts. We went out at 16-kt, with the wind predicted to subside to 10-kt within 2 hours.
Never happened and instead, built to 28 kt, and we worked a tough retreat back to Palm Harbor. It was still an adventure, and we caught fish.
But you don't normally see Trout Bayou with waves like this (and this is a partly sheltered spot).

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Last edited by Ron Mc on Fri Oct 23, 2020 8:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
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By Neumie
#2311512
Enjoyed this report; thank you for taking the time to write all this up. We are really lucky for the amount of access we have down here, though ironically the areas you fished have the least amount of access; Estes Flats and north end of Mustang Island.

Looks like you had great weather despite the wind.

OldTownYakBoi wrote: I made a game time decision and decided to take the ferry across to fish the south shoreline. I used google earth and found a boat ramp near East flats, but once I pulled up there was a chain across it, strike 2.

As Ron mentioned, the chain across boat ramp is to prevent non-members from launching their powerboats. I've spoken with a lady who works there and kayakers are OK to launch for free; just be respectable and not spend too much time at the ramp. Here's a post form last year where I spell everything out: LINK.

Here's a Google Map with launch sites along the coastal bend for you to explore: LINK
By OldTownYakBoi
#2311514
[quote="Ron Mc"]

What lures were you fishing?

pink skitterwalk - 6 trout
Cabela’s brand (I think) paddle-tail - 4 reds lots of trout, not sure how many

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that chain at the ramp wasn't there to stop you - it's meant to show the ramp is not for public power boat use - however, as Josh followed up for us with the property people, launching kayaks there is OK as long as you park out of the way and don't get in the way of boats/trailers who can move that chain to launch (property owners, marina members).

Good to know, thanks Ron. I was just worried not being familiar with the area.

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Have fished both Estes and East flats with 16-18-kt winds and would go back in a heartbeat.

I hear you, very cool place to fish. Estes in particular was my favorite. The amount of structure the place has is unbelievable. Talk about a fishy place. You and Neumies previous reports helped me out, thank you for that!


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By OldTownYakBoi
#2311515
Neumie wrote:Enjoyed this report; thank you for taking the time to write all this up. We are really lucky for the amount of access we have down here, though ironically the areas you fished have the least amount of access; Estes Flats and north end of Mustang Island.

Looks like you had great weather despite the wind.

OldTownYakBoi wrote: I made a game time decision and decided to take the ferry across to fish the south shoreline. I used google earth and found a boat ramp near East flats, but once I pulled up there was a chain across it, strike 2.

As Ron mentioned, the chain across boat ramp is to prevent non-members from launching their powerboats. I've spoken with a lady who works there and kayakers are OK to launch for free; just be respectable and not spend too much time at the ramp. Here's a post form last year where I spell everything out: LINK.

Here's a Google Map with launch sites along the coastal bend for you to explore: LINK

Thanks for the link and previous reports which helped me find safe areas to launch and fish. The wind was a pain at times, but on Estes with the incoming it was perfect. I wish I could have fished it Wednesday and Thursday evening, it just felt like it was about to go off the next few days.


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#2311553
shoffer wrote:Well done, Yak Boi. Great report, helpful information, and some sweet pics to boot!

Thanks Shoffer, the area is worth a trip if you’ve never been.


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