Bugg Slinging with Heath Hippel of Buggs Fishing Lures

 

Early last week I received a phone call from Heath Hippel, owner of Buggs Fishing Lures.  He was going to be making a trip across Houston to restock a few Buggs at the Fishing Tackle Unlimited store off of I-45 and wanted to see about getting a quick kayak trip in before dropping them off.  Photo Jul 29 copyMy morning was wide open since my wife and kids had stayed the night at her mothers house the night before, so we loaded up the kayaks and set off for the Texas coast.  Heath had wanted to check out my Cuda 14, so I let him use it and paddled teammate Aaron Ferguson’s Kraken.

We met my buddy David at the launch site at 6 am in hopes of launching early and returning early since the Texas heat has been so brutal here lately.  It didn’t take long to unload our kayaks and gear and we were off to the marsh.

David decided to target flounder first, so Heath and I left him to search for redfish first.  We were hoping to spot a few schools in the early morning light before trying our luck for flat fish later in the day.  On our way out, we spotted several smaller redfish feeding over a small patch of shallow shell and decided to see if we could trick a few of them.  We stopped for a few minutes and each pulled a fish from the area.  Both fish were undersized, so we decided to keep moving in search of bigger fish.

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After paddling another 1/2 mile, we reached our destination and began scanning the shoreline for scattering bait, small wakes, and birds.  The water was pretty glassy and we both felt that if the fish were schooled up, we would easily be able to see them.  We saw no such thing though, and decided to move around a bit and blind cast a few spots while searching for signs of fish.  After about ten minutes, a few small wakes appeared off in the distance.  They didn’t seem large enough to be redfish, but they were creating more of a disturbance than a small school of baitfish would make.  We kept a close watch on the area and finally saw a few large fish blow up on bait, which confirmed what we had been hoping for.  They school looked as though it might consist of about 20 redfish, so we slowly started making our way towards them.

Photo Jul 29

As we got within casting distance, we decided to attempt a double hook up.  While getting ready to cast, another smaller school appeared 10 yards to my right and presented me with an easier cast.  I let my Bugg fly, and hooked up after a few quick twitches with a solid redfish.  It took me nearly 15 minutes to land the fish, which led me to believe that it would be an oversized fish.  I was pleasantly surprised to see her hit the ruler and measure 27 3/4″ while weighing 9.25 lbs. on the Boga, my personal best slot red.  During the commotion of my fight, Heath’s school quietly disappeared before he was able to make a cast.  He fan casted the area anyway and hooked up with what we though would be a redfish, but it turned out to be a small black drum.

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We continued searching for more schools and it didn’t take long for Heath to spot one.  They were approaching fast and Heath made the most of his cast which produced a beautiful redfish that was just out of the slot.

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The school action died off after that and we tried working the area a little more, but without any luck.  We decided to see if the flounder were around and met back up with David, who had caught a few flounder and a redfish.  We missed a few flounder, but overall, they were not going to cooperate on this day.  We tried catching a few more redfish instead, by switching over to gulp shrimp under a popping cork.  The trusty popping cork produced another five redfish for me and a few more for Heath and David.  We made it back to the truck shortly after 11, got out of the hot sun, and headed home for the day.

I’m already looking forward to the fall, when temperatures will drop and the fishing only gets better.  Until then, this angler will be launching early and coming back early whenever I have a chance to get on the water.

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