Rockport area newbie

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West-Tex
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Rockport area newbie

Post by West-Tex »

I'm going to be down in rockport at the end of this month for a week of family vacation. Last year we did the same trip and had so much fun we decided to go again. Just like last year, we are staying in a house on one of the canals off of Salt Lake, so I am familiar with the fishing at the house. The house we stayed in last year had an underwater light as does the one we're in this year, which gave some fun fishing for my boys, but I'm looking for something more exciting to occupy myself with.

Last year all I did was book a snapper trip out of Port A, but this year I decided to rent a kayak and explore on my own. I have a ton of experience fishing freshwater but am a little out of my element on the coast. I have done some research on my own and have what I think is a decent starting point, but am looking for input from some more experienced people. As far as tackle goes, will I be covered if I bring a couple topwater lures and maybe some soft swimbaits and jigheads?

Here are some areas I a m looking at trying out, based on wind/weather conditions
1)Launch at Port Bay and fish down the shoreline to the south, or paddle over to the area to the east and fish there
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2)Launch at the Swan Lake kayak launch and paddle into the Swan Lake Area
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3)There is also what looks like a pull-off area on Cape Valero Road marked with my pin. On Google Streetview it looks like people pull in there frequently with vehicles. Am I allowed to park there and drop a kayak into the water to fish that area?
Screenshot_20240612-161134_Maps.jpg
Not really looking for anyones super secret spots, but just hoping to get some feedback if I'm heading the right direction. I'm mostly looking to try and not get skunked. And if anyone feels like meeting up and showing a new guy around, feel free to let me know and we can try to coordinate.
SWFinatic
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Re: Rockport area newbie

Post by SWFinatic »

Sounds like you’re on the right track. As far as tackle goes you pretty much have it covered. For the soft plastics you might want something that resembles a mullet (most saltwater swim baits will work) and something that resembles a shrimp. If it’s a full
Moon downsize the lure size.

As far as your launch points the first one can be good. I like the Swan lake area personally. The area on the north side of the lake where the islands are is deeper than the south side. On the south side there are some little creeks that lead to back lakes where you can find redfish. You can also find them out in the middle as well. The only downside to this area is you are usually having to buy paddle back into the wind.

As far as Cape Velero Rd I don’t think you’ll have an issue parking there. The problem is the water there gets shallow in the summer. And the mud is super soft so you sink almost to your knees getting launched. Right now the water level is high enough to fish the that area but later this month who knows.

I recommend the first two areas. Check Windfinder for wind and a couple of different sites for weather.
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TexasJim
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Re: Rockport area newbie

Post by TexasJim »

Wes-Tex: SWFinatic has given good advice for your three spots. Aransas County has 16(!) kayak launches. About 1/4 mile North of the Swan Lake Islands in Copano Bay is Brad Lomax's Oyster Farm. Coming back South can be grueling, as Fin said. There's a free Aransas Pathways map available at the Rockport Tourism office(and on-line). I even saw them at Tackle Town today. The wind has finally laid down, but July is one of the lowest tide months of the year. But, fear not, somewhere in the county you can find water. Plus, San Patrico County(Aransas Pass) has about five kayak launch spots. And, Hwy 361, on the way to the ferry launch has many spots you can access, free. Lighthouse lakes is the most famous (and sometimes crowded), but across 361 is Brown & Roots Flats. And on a real windy day, you can launch at the Aransas Pass Aquatic Center, and fish the flats between there and the ICW. Going toward the ferry, after the last bridge is Harbor Island. The kayak launch there is right across the Shrimp Boat Channel from Lighthouse Lakes entrance #1. Good fishing spot. Buy some shrimp, drag 'em on the bottom on a jighead, and you'll catch lots of fish. Lots of other kayak spots here! Enjoy! PM me, and I'll try to help. TexasJim
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Neumie
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Re: Rockport area newbie

Post by Neumie »

Welcome to the forum, looks like you've done your homework.

As far as lure selection, I generally recommend the following:
  • Topwater: I suggest carrying two colors. Something with a bone/white belly (or solid) for sunny days/clear waters and something with a brighter belly color like chartreuse or pink for overcast days or if the waters are a bit stained.
  • Soft plastic: First off they all catch fish. I've thrown many, many brands of soft plastics, and I've caught fish on all of them. I'd probably stick with paddle tails. Plum/Chartreuse, Chicken on a Chain, Pumpkinseed/Chartreuse, and White (Bone Diamond or Salt & Pepper) will cover your needs for the these waters. Bring 1/8 oz and even 1/16 oz jigheads for the softplastics.
  • Spoon: 1/4oz weedless gold spoon
  • Shrimp: You'll need a shrimp lure. DOA Clear with Gold Glitter or Glow are the standard shrimp lures. Vudu shrimp are popular as well.
  • Cork: Not necessary, but can be helpful on windy days fishing the shrimp lure under; like these.
  • I'm sure you know this but under the lights: Double Rigs (like the TTF Swimming Shad and/or Spec Rigs), small shrimp, and suspending lures (MirrOlure MirrOminnow or MirrOdine and/or Yozuri 3DS Minnow). Bone or Glow will get it done. Of course, live shrimp as well.
Locations:
1) Port Bay Rd. I've only really fished to the east (right) of the launch in the area called Italian Bend. I like to work around the two fishing piers and into the SE cove. There's a single entrance into the back lakes from there. Most of that is less than three feet deep and a lot of grass. The deepest part is about 6 feet deep in the middle of the Italian Bend. This launch affords some protection from the likely SE winds you'll experience.

2) Swan lake. Great launch spot for this side of Port Bay. Before launching, make some casts at the water's edge. There's reef extending from the shoreline before the pier. I've caught numerous trout and flounder without ever needing a kayak. To the right of the launch the shoreline is pretty firm sand with grass pockets. To the left of the launch towards James Bend the bottom starts to soften up, and going into Swan Lake proper. The south shoreline has some cuts going into the back lakes. Trout can be caught in the open water working towards the islands and the cuts in between them. TAs other's have mentioned the paddle back can be difficult if the SE winds are high as there's no protection from it.

3) Cape Valero Rd. You can access and launch from here. The bottom is somewhat soft (I've waded it before). As mentioned the water levels may not be high enough to effectively fish it.

A couple of other spots worth checking out:
A) Rattlesnake Point Rd (28° 3.847'N, 97° 6.643'W). Launch here and paddle around and start fishing towards the point. This offers excellent protection from a SE wind. The bottom here is firm sand with patches of grass during the summer months. If it's calm enough, you can paddle around the point and fish the back lakes to the left or across at Pete's Bend. Before launching walk across the street and just kind of observe the back lake waters. You'll be able to see what activity may or may not be happening back there before paddling around to it. I'm not sure of the legality of just launching straight into the marsh from the road since the barbed wire fence has been destroyed (at least it wasn't there last time I launched)

B)Egery Island Rd (28° 4.351'N, 97° 13.187'W). There's a reef basically underneath this causeway to about halfway across to the 5th or so powerline pole. There's also the old country road pilings to the right of the powerline poles as well. Pretty firm to the right of the launch, but softer bottom on the other side of the causeway. If, for some reason, you have a north wind you can launch on the opposite side of the causeway (Black Point).

Here's a Google Map with Access Points: Link
West-TexasFisherman
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Re: Rockport area newbie

Post by West-TexasFisherman »

Wes-Tex, you sound like you are in the same situation as me. We go down there once a year, and fish and fish and fish the whole week we are there. We are 7 1/2 hours from there, so thats about all we can make in a year with kids playing various sports and school activities year round. I have fished the areas you are talking about a few times and results ranged from great to getting skunked.

My family and I will be down there the week of the 24th, and since we are staying on St Charles Bay, we will fish that area a little, but are planning on hitting Brown & Root. We have always had some success there, at least never been skunked. Good luck to you and hope you do well!
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geauxdeck
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Re: Rockport area newbie

Post by geauxdeck »

A couple other areas worth mentioning in the vicinity.
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Swan Lake Rattlesnake Point
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wittich
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Re: Rockport area newbie

Post by wittich »

I have drifted that area outside of swan lake. It looks like good trout habitat but I never had any luck there.
wwjag23
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Re: Rockport area newbie

Post by wwjag23 »

Or just go out with this guy
https://fishmansguideservice.com/guide-service/

Sent from my SM-G781U using Tapatalk

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TexasJim
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Re: Rockport area newbie

Post by TexasJim »

wwjag23: Yeah, Fil Spenser will teach you how to find and catch fish. Never met anyone more enthusiastic about kayak fishing.

The flats just North of Swan Islands are where Brad Lomax's Oyster Farm is located. Probably worth doing a paddle around the perimeter. I haven't been there since shortly after it was started, but the oyster farms are reputed to be pretty good fish attractors.

Y'all got some great info here, for cheap! Good luck, TexasJim
West-Tex
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Re: Rockport area newbie

Post by West-Tex »

Well, we got home from the trip last night and figured I would give a quick report. I want to thank everyone for taking the time and giving their expertise, and I wish I could report better luck. First morning I decided to stay close to a launch to re-familiarize myself with a kayak.

I launched at Port bay and fished my way around the corner to the west, re-familiarizing myself with the mechanics of fishing and paddling. Had a few blow ups on topwater but wasn't able to land anything. Headed back to the launch as the wind started picking up and blowing me around.
Skipped a day then launched again from port bay and made my way toward Italian Bend. Once again had several blowups on topwater and only managed to land 2 small redfish on the topwater. Also threw a swimbait around and had some strikes and hookups but didn't manage to land any. I did have something big hook up that pulled hard, but I leaned on it hard to try and get it turned and it pulled off after about 10 seconds. The water had dropped between the 2 days I was out, idk if that made a difference. I never really got into the back lakes, mostly just stuck to the outer edges. Didn't want to get stuck and have to walk out.

I believe I need to downsize next time, at least on the topwater in order to increase my hookup ratio. I was throwing a full-size walking bait and it seems the fish were either missing it or couldn't get their mouths on it. I was throwing a soft swimbait on an Owner Flashy Swimmer hook, idk if the blade helped or hurt things, but most pictures I see just have a straight jighead on the soft plastic.

Overall it was another great trip to Rockport, and will be back again for sure. I might have to give the public piers or jetties a try next time. My sons had a blast fishing off the dock at the house we rented, and that is what matters most to me. They caught too many fish to count; drum, croaker, hardhead catfish, even some blue crab. My wife also caught a ladyfish, had to do some google work to figure that one out.

Once again, thank you to everyone that helped me, and I hope my info helps someone else.
wittich
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Re: Rockport area newbie

Post by wittich »

TexasJim wrote: Sat Jun 29, 2024 2:02 pm wwjag23: Yeah, Fil Spenser will teach you how to find and catch fish. Never met anyone more enthusiastic about kayak fishing.

The flats just North of Swan Islands are where Brad Lomax's Oyster Farm is located. Probably worth doing a paddle around the perimeter. I haven't been there since shortly after it was started, but the oyster farms are reputed to be pretty good fish attractors.

Y'all got some great info here, for cheap! Good luck, TexasJim
Fil Spencer is a very good kayak guide and one of the best fisherman I have fished with. He will outfish me 5 to 1 even if I am right next to him throwing the same lures. I don't understand how it does it, but he is a master at kayak fishing.
SWFinatic
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Re: Rockport area newbie

Post by SWFinatic »

West-Tex wrote: Sun Jun 30, 2024 9:36 pm Well, we got home from the trip last night and figured I would give a quick report. I want to thank everyone for taking the time and giving their expertise, and I wish I could report better luck. First morning I decided to stay close to a launch to re-familiarize myself with a kayak.

I launched at Port bay and fished my way around the corner to the west, re-familiarizing myself with the mechanics of fishing and paddling. Had a few blow ups on topwater but wasn't able to land anything. Headed back to the launch as the wind started picking up and blowing me around.
Skipped a day then launched again from port bay and made my way toward Italian Bend. Once again had several blowups on topwater and only managed to land 2 small redfish on the topwater. Also threw a swimbait around and had some strikes and hookups but didn't manage to land any. I did have something big hook up that pulled hard, but I leaned on it hard to try and get it turned and it pulled off after about 10 seconds. The water had dropped between the 2 days I was out, idk if that made a difference. I never really got into the back lakes, mostly just stuck to the outer edges. Didn't want to get stuck and have to walk out.

I believe I need to downsize next time, at least on the topwater in order to increase my hookup ratio. I was throwing a full-size walking bait and it seems the fish were either missing it or couldn't get their mouths on it. I was throwing a soft swimbait on an Owner Flashy Swimmer hook, idk if the blade helped or hurt things, but most pictures I see just have a straight jighead on the soft plastic.

Overall it was another great trip to Rockport, and will be back again for sure. I might have to give the public piers or jetties a try next time. My sons had a blast fishing off the dock at the house we rented, and that is what matters most to me. They caught too many fish to count; drum, croaker, hardhead catfish, even some blue crab. My wife also caught a ladyfish, had to do some google work to figure that one out.

Once again, thank you to everyone that helped me, and I hope my info helps someone else.
Thanks for the report. As long as you had a good time that’s what matters. There were some tough fishing days in that stretch while you were there. And yes the water falling out like it did does many times effect fishing especially redfish.
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