Port Lavaca: Garcitas Cove and Venado Lakes areas

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trippout83
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Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2023 8:18 pm

Port Lavaca: Garcitas Cove and Venado Lakes areas

Post by trippout83 »

Hi All, looking for some guidance from those familiar with the Port Lavaca area. I've been scouting the Garcitas Cove and Venado Lakes areas and was thinking about heading that way next Thursday the 27th until the following Sat/Sun. That's about the only weekend I have available so I won't be able to change my dates.

I read on previous posts that after a hard rain those areas get quite muddy from freshwater runoff. With all the rain we just got, should I expect things to clear up by late next week?

I'm planning to camp as close to my target areas as possible. I don't know the Port Lavaca area at all and all I have found so far is 6 mile park but I don't know if I can setup and camp overnight. Any input on where to camp and put in would be greatly appreciated.

Any other input welcome as well. If I'm wasting my time or making a mistake, would like to hear it.

Thanks in advance!
Tripp
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Neumie
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Re: Port Lavaca: Garcitas Cove and Venado Lakes areas

Post by Neumie »

I think by next week, barring any additional rain, those area's should be normal. Tides should return to normal too.

Garcitas Creek is possible from a kayak (I've done it once in a kayak, and once in a boat), but I do not believe Venando Lakes are feasible (been there in a boat). The biggest issue with these locations is wind; you are completely exposed to the predominant SE winds ripping up Port Lavaca Bay.

According to this Calhoun County Park Improvement Plan dated 2021 you could only realistically camp in the Magnolia Beach/Indianola Area where the cabana's are located (underwater right now). I wouldn't camp at the Green's Lake nor in Olivia.

I think you would be much better off base your weekend trip from the Magnolia Beach/Indianola Area. You'll have better fishing options to combat and winds or tide levels you may see. Indianola is a very underrated place to fish. There are the marshes just off Powderhorn Lake. Powderhorn Lake is a softer bottom, slightly dirtier water system which is good for reds. Or you can fish Matagorda Bay along the wind protected shoreline where it'll be firmer sand and grass pockets. You can continue down the shoreline and fish towards the bayous off Matagorda Bay. The only hazard would be if you are paddling/pedaling across the mouth of Powderhorn Lake the currents can get gnarly, especially on an outgoing tide.

Here are a couple of reports I've made from the Port Lavaca Area:
Point Comfort - 10/4/2023
Welder Flats - 10/22/2022
Indianola - 10/19/2022
Powderhorn Lake - 5/25/2019

Make sure to use the search feature for other past reports from the area.

Here's a Google Map with Access Points of the area: Link
SWFinatic
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Re: Port Lavaca: Garcitas Cove and Venado Lakes areas

Post by SWFinatic »

One thing to consider next week is there’s another low pressure system forecast to develop in the western gulf in about the same area as Alberto did and take a somewhat similar track making landfall in northern Mexico. It’s still too early to tell how this will impact the weather along the coastal bend but if it does develop you can figure on having at minimum high tides and possibly some wind. All depends on how things set up. Something to keep an eye on.
trippout83
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Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2023 8:18 pm

Re: Port Lavaca: Garcitas Cove and Venado Lakes areas

Post by trippout83 »

Thank you for all the advice and links to your past trips, those were helpful. Indianola looks nice, I may end up staying on the beach in that area. I have a roof top tent so I prefer to setup camp where I'll be putting into the water to minimize what I have to do early morning.

We'll see how the weather unfolds -- I've seen that new low pressure, hopefully it doesn't spoil my only open weekend for a while!
SWFinatic
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Re: Port Lavaca: Garcitas Cove and Venado Lakes areas

Post by SWFinatic »

trippout83 wrote: Thu Jun 20, 2024 6:49 pm We'll see how the weather unfolds -- I've seen that new low pressure, hopefully it doesn't spoil my only open weekend for a while!
I just saw an updated forecast and the second area of low pressure in the western gulf is expected to make landfall in Mexico well below Texas Saturday. It shouldn’t have much of an impact on the coastal bend weather other than high tides, winds, rip currents and some clouds and an occasional shower. It should be gone well before your trip giving things time to settle down before you arrive.

I did hear about another potential tropical system that has the potential to make its way to the central/western Caribbean about 7days from now. This is still a long ways out and many things can happen in that time frame but I thought it is worth mentioning.
trippout83
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Joined: Wed Jun 21, 2023 8:18 pm

Re: Port Lavaca: Garcitas Cove and Venado Lakes areas

Post by trippout83 »

Ended up going out to Magnolia Beach and hitting the old town lake and adjacent marsh areas. The beach looks to have been resurfaced with what I assume is fresh dredge material. The lake was too shallow in the morning to reliably pedal so we ended up paddling. The lake was loaded with redfish but we couldn't buy a bite -- we were using lures, no live/dead bait. Had some luck on the bay catching black drum and black tip/spinner sharks with salted shrimp and bait we caught/netted. Hooked what I believe to be a very large shark that ran out at least 60yds of line before it cut/broke my 30lb leader line in half. I had a live croaker that I had caught earlier on a cork and had the drag real loose. I was disappointed to lose that fish, it would have been worth a picture.

The highlight of the trip was bioluminescent algae on Friday night and what seemed like millions of baitfish feeding on it. Quite a sight and we were able to pick up some live bait for the next day. Weather was nice, it wasn't too hot and the wind kept us cool.

The only complaint I had was the mosquitoes. I grew up on the east coast (NC/SC border) and we had our fair share of mosquitoes in the low country area but the mosquitoes in areas where the wind was blocked or if it died down was almost unbearable. They were swarming our faces like sand gnats, we couldn't sit under our canopy at times due to the mosquitoes -- even with bug spray.

Overall I was really impressed after seeing some of the google reviews -- the one shower that was unlocked smelled a little like urine but the water was cold and I was ok showering as long as I kept my crocs on.

Next time I think we will try out powderhorn lake or powderhorn state park if its open by the time we plan another trip to the area.

Thanks again for all your advice. I'm sure I'll be asking plenty more questions as I try to get familiar with the coastal areas.
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motoyak
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Re: Port Lavaca: Garcitas Cove and Venado Lakes areas

Post by motoyak »

The skeeters do get bad. Ive used a Thermocell before,even in the kayak, with good results.
A fan really helps too in the evening.
Ive caught some huge gafftop in Lavaca bay so maybe thats what spooled ya.
Powderhorn,Boggy bayou and Charlies are all doable from where you home based.
Good you got out on the water!
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