Yesterday David and I made an early morning marsh trip hoping to find some skinny water reds before the high tide came in. An incoming tide has never been my favorite water movement for this spot but we wanted to make a short drive and the fish have been around this area for the entire month of July. We launched well before sunrise and made our way through the marsh in the dark. Once we reached the first lake we heard a few good flushes and the distinct popping sounds made when reds are podded up. We paddle in the direction of the commotion pausing on occasion to try and see if we were any closer to the fish. It never seemed like we made any ground on them and eventually the noise stopped and we decided to continue on our way.
We set up in an area that has produced for us all month and started throwing topwaters. I was throwing my trusty MirrOlure She Dog (Bone) while David went with a Super Spook Jr. As I fan casted my topwater I was constantly scanning the water looking for any signs of fish. Seagulls were everywhere but they were only passing by instead of working the area for bait. I spotted a few seagulls a quarter mile away that would stop and hover over an area for maybe 5 seconds before continuing on their way. After seeing several seagulls repeat this process in the same general area I finally realized they were on a pod of fish but for some reason were not sticking with them. I pointed this out to David and we made our way towards the pod. As we came within 50 yards of the area we could see the pod of about 20-30 fish working their way towards the middle of the lake. We closed the distance between ourselves and the pod and got ready to pitch our lures into the pod when they all of a sudden dispersed. We quickly fan casted the area with me hooking up for 5 seconds before that fish spit my lure. We continued to work that area for another 10 minutes but the fish were gone.
We decided to push further back into the marsh in search of some skinnier reds. We split up for about 30 minutes to cover a little more ground with me heading west while David headed more south. I found another pod of reds in a foot of water but they scattered before I could cast after I bumped a single red with my kayak which spooked him right into the pod causing them the explode. I finally found a few reds backing in an area towards the back of the marsh. Most were pretty spooky and would scatter anytime my bait got near them. I did find a nice 26 1/2″ red that was willing to eat and had the camera rolling. The unedited video is below. This fish was caught on one of the new Hydra Buggs I have been using on the last few trips.
David caught up with me and we decided to push to the very back of the marsh. We weren’t sure if there would even be any water but decided to do some exploring. We could barely float through some areas and had to walk through shin deep mud on occasion. We made it to the back of the marsh and found a few reds that once again wouldn’t eat but not as many as we’d hoped. We worked our way back towards deeper water to see if the topwater bite had picked up. On our way there we began seeing several mud boils in front of us and decided to work this area over. On my third cast into this area I had what I thought was a nice red explode on my She Dog. As I worked the fish closer to my kayak I could tell that it had some nice size to it but caught a glimpse of silver. My first thought was that I had large gaff top because of the size and location of the hookup. We were easily a mile into the marsh where the water was never really deeper than a foot. It finally broke the surface giving some pretty violent head shakes and I knew it was a big trout. It only took about one minute to get the fish next to the kayak in such shallow water so I netted her quick and began removing the hooks. I wanted to get a quick picture of the fish and get her back in the water ASAP to give her the best chance at surviving. This was a new personal best trout for me at 26 3/4″. I placed her back in the water and held her tail for a few seconds before she took off.
We continued to work the area but never found any reds willing to eat. We would spook plenty as we made our way towards the truck but nothing would ever bite. As we made our way to the deeper channels that feed the marsh we setup and worked the area for a few trout or maybe a flounder. David picked up several trout sifting through a few dinks and put a few on the stringer. I picked up a few dinks and had a ribbon fish nail my hydra bugg and immediately cut my line with its teeth as it went airborne on the hook set. It was hot and past noon so we started heading back to the truck. On the way there I heard a good flush in a small cove and went to inspect it. I saw a red pushing a wake and pitched my Hydra Bugg in its path. I gave it a couple twitches and thought he would ignore it but he turned on it quickly picking up the Bugg. After a short fight I netted a nice little 24″ red that David took home to go along with his trout. It was a pretty slow day but the fish we caught were pretty nice.
We arrived back at the launch and loaded our kayaks into the trucks. A recent thread of Texas Kayak Fisherman had prompted me to throw a trash bag in the truck last night when loading up. David and I had decided we would try and pickup some trash around the launch before heading home in order to help keep the area clean and to hopefully keep some of our launches from being closed up due to the fact that many people will just leave their trash lying around instead of disposing of it properly. We were both a little surprised when we filled our bag to the top and barely made a dent in the area.