TexasKayakFisherman.com est. 2000

Kayak fishing the Lone Star State...


#2314117
Agh my first season of winter fishing has had its ups and downs, but mostly downs. In December I had the worst stretch of trips I’ve ever had. I went out 7 times with only 1 rat red to show for it. Since then I’ve had at least a sliver of success on the each trip, but yesterday I found the barrel.

Conditions:
Moon phase: Waxing crescent
Winds- sw - wsw 8-10 mph
Water Clarity- 2-3ft
Tide - Outgoing

I was in the water around 9 am and began searching for signs. I paddled around some pelicans dive bombing but couldn’t find any gamefish under them. I then began drifting looking for some deeper water. I don’t have a depth finder but the sun was high in he sky which allowed me to spot a steep drop off. I began fishing the area and picked up a 16 in trout pretty quick. I stuck around and grinded it out for another 40 min or so before I had a soft eat followed by an aggressive run. After a good fight I landed a 24in redfish in the yak. Now i knew I was onto something. With my spirits and confidence growing I quickly repositioned myself for the drift. Probably 3 casts later I landed another red, then another, just under slot. I proceeded to work this small little area for the next few hours and was able to pull in another slot red and another 17in speck. I caught a 3-4 undersized trout and 8 underslot reds, as well as missing a number of hits and losing a slot red.
Image



The action was fast and furious and you would’ve never known it. There was not a single fish sign all morning to show you where those fish were at, no bait, no swirls, no smell, no birds. On top of that I found that if I threw down wind and down current I couldn’t get touched. I had to position the yak nose first into the wind and current and either throw directly into it or quartering into it. What a great example to show that presentation can make or break your fishing trip.

All fish were caught on the Vudu Shad (mullet color) love that I didn’t have to change plastics once all day, these things are tough! Sorry for the lack of pictures, but the fish had my attention.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Last edited by OldTownYakBoi on Fri Jan 15, 2021 12:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.
#2314145
Great report and outing!! Congrats on finding them. I saw this first in the SW section but will reply here.

I have a fish finder but do not use it for fish much - often in too shallow for it to see the fish, when deeper I do use if for fish presence. My main use is to see drop-offs like you mentioned. This time of year the water is clear enough to see a foot or two and spot the drop-off like you did. Normally the visibility is not that good so I use the FF depth info. Drop-offs are one of my main target zones now!
#2314148
YakRunabout wrote:Great report and outing!! Congrats on finding them. I saw this first in the SW section but will reply here.

I have a fish finder but do not use it for fish much - often in too shallow for it to see the fish, when deeper I do use if for fish presence. My main use is to see drop-offs like you mentioned. This time of year the water is clear enough to see a foot or two and spot the drop-off like you did. Normally the visibility is not that good so I use the FF depth info. Drop-offs are one of my main target zones now!

Thanks a lot Runabout, it felt good to get into them like that. I accidentally posted in SW section and couldn’t figure out how to delete it. It’s been a while since I’ve had an old fashioned fish beat down! I was thinking about purchasing one simply for spitting and marking structure. Although the water is normally clear this time of year, if it wasn’t for the sunshine and clear skies I would’ve had difficulty spotting this area. For that reason I’m thinking of picking up a finder. What kind do you have?


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
#2314153
FF? I have Lowrance - not because I researched them all and ended there, but because the first kayak I bought indicated that it was Lowrance ready - so that is where I went. I have not tried others and so cannot compare. Have had good performance. I figure that all of the major brands will work.

I do have the mapping feature and find it useful. Mainly for dropping pins to return to, such as the drop-off that produced for you. I marked a spot that gave me a 27 3/4" redfish in Highland Bayou! That sort -
Also have used the track to follow it back, say from deep in a marsh, or nighttime, when other reference points are not easily found. Also found it helpful one time headed to Yates Bayou when a thick fog rolled in - we were out away from any bank, but could see the bayou mouth on the map.

Enjoy the chase -
#2314180
YakRunabout wrote:FF? I have Lowrance - not because I researched them all and ended there, but because the first kayak I bought indicated that it was Lowrance ready - so that is where I went. I have not tried others and so cannot compare. Have had good performance. I figure that all of the major brands will work.

I do have the mapping feature and find it useful. Mainly for dropping pins to return to, such as the drop-off that produced for you. I marked a spot that gave me a 27 3/4" redfish in Highland Bayou! That sort -
Also have used the track to follow it back, say from deep in a marsh, or nighttime, when other reference points are not easily found. Also found it helpful one time headed to Yates Bayou when a thick fog rolled in - we were out away from any bank, but could see the bayou mouth on the map.

Enjoy the chase -

Thanks for the feedback! I wouldn’t think I need anything real fancy, but it would be pretty damn cool to have the map plotter and possibly a side scan. However, seems a little overkill for a kayak. Then again if it helps you catch more fish consistently who cares


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
#2314182
Congrats on getting out there, braving the cold and the low water, and finding some! When I was out a couple weeks ago, I experimented throwing with the wind and current, and against and found that the only bites I had was when I was throwing into the wind and current, giving the fish a more natural presentation I suppose. Fortunately those vudu shad throw into the wind as well as anything I've ever used.

Regarding the FF, I bought the Humminbird Helix 7 with side imaging on a black friday deal last year and installed it in my Outback. I've only been out twice with it, but I love having it, although the side scan is not very useful for my type of shallow water fishing. I do utilize the charting and like the ability to drop waypoints of places I want to re-visit and find it much easier than constantly pulling out my phone. Seeing the depth is very helpful, not just for fishing dropoffs, but because when it gets to 1.1 or 1.2 feet I know I need to start feathering my mirage drive, or pull the drive and paddle. Before the FF I felt I was flying blind. I really like the information it provides.
#2314278
So all this praise don't go to your HEAD, Yak Man...!

You officially suck until you find some solid gamefish and put me ON THEM. Hello. Go GET SOME.

Get busy and go fishing with the Hobie Navy sometime. We welcome young blood. Yessir. Image

Sent from my SM-G973U1 using Tapatalk
#2314326
Great report OldTownYakBoi. Winter fishing has been rough for me this year, as well. I finally had some good luck on Sunday at Burnet Bay with some good Trout.

It's funny you and SaltShiner mentioned presentation direction. I fully agree that it matters....but only when it matters :shock: . Sounds dumb but figuring out what the fish want and when is an art (not to mention finding them), not always a science. On Sunday at Burnet, I was drifting with the wind and current and casting with the wind. Thus, my retrieval was against the current (from the fish's back). I got a lot of bites and landed 3 trout. During that drift, I decided to anchor and cast into the wind; thus, retrieving with the current and into the fish's face. I got a couple bites and landed a nice trout this way, too.

So, in your case, it's obvious that it mattered, but in my case on Sunday, it didn't seem to matter. Anywho, I'm glad ya'll mentioned your experience with this. I've been wondering the same thing.

As far as Fishfinder, I think the next level is Sidescan, especially in shallower bay waters, marshes and rivers, where kayaks hang most. FFs these days are computers with software. Most of us probably use the depth and gps functions (me until recently) mostly but a good FF with sidescan I think can be a gamechanger. It will provide clear images of structure a good 30ft out on both sides that you can use for both that trip and trips to come. But....we have to spend the time to read how to not only use it on the FF but how to interpret what it is telling us. I'm still trying to figure this out, but I did have some luck at Burnet as I spent the first two hours kayaking the bay, looking at sidescan, marking fishy spots (structure) and recording it for future use. Below are a few pics of what I found.

Thanks for the report.
Attachments
Screenshot 2021-01-18 124031.png
Screenshot 2021-01-18 123939.png
#2314348
I 100 percent agree I do not have a nice enough Kayak to put a electronic side scan as you might have seen in a report a while back i fish a pelican 8,6 in which is tight for me at 6.1 but i can stand and pole out of it. But i do have a small skiff and i have the motor guide xi 5 and Lowrance ti 7 with side scan and its a dream you can literally see tress and shell humps that you have never known abt. Excellent tool.
Hey, I'm Back!

... REVISION: Looks like the Tarpon 160 Angler m[…]

Release Over 20 Initiative?

I keep seeing references to the Release Over 20 I[…]

That discharge is going into the 70' channel, whic[…]

Good move to make these changes IMO. We did see a […]