Posts Tagged With: Galveston

Hook Spit Lone Star Kayak Series 2015 Event #4

October 2015 LSKS

For the first time since last spring, I actually considered putting on a jacket to start the morning. The temps were in the mid 60s with a cool breeze blowing through the air, which was a nice change from the heat we’ve had this summer. Johnathan Meadows and I were fishing the last event of the 2015 Lone Star Kayak Series on this morning and were patiently waiting for the clock to show 6 am so that we could begin our day.

6th Place

 

We were the only two people at our launch, which in my opinion is always a small advantage on tournament day. We wouldn’t have to worry about dodging other anglers that were fishing the tournament or miss out on fishing certain areas because someone else arrived first. I’ve spent 99% of my kayak trips sitting in the seat of a Jackson Cuda 14, but on this particular morning I decided to go with the Cuda LT instead. The marsh we were fishing consists of several dozen small lakes that go on for as far as the eye can see. With the Cuda LT weighing in around 20lbs. lighter and a little over a foot shorter than my Cuda 14, I decided to go with the kayak that had the ability to make sharp turns without needing a lot of space.

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We pushed off into the dark at 6 am and made the short paddle to the first lake we planned to fish. Johnathan started off throwing a topwater while I went with a popping cork and gulp. The plan was to throw different set ups to see what the fish were wanting and then both go with the lure that was producing more fish. It didn’t take long before I had my first bite on the cork which turned out to be a solid 26 ½” redfish. A few minutes later I had my second bite of the day, a chunky 25” red which gave me two fish on the stringer before the sun had a chance to peak over the horizon. Anyone that has ever fished a tournament knows how good I feels to have 12+ lbs. on the stringer within the first hour. It was obvious that it was going to be a popping cork kind of day with the higher than normal tides, so Johnathan put down the topwater and grab his rod with the cork on it. Anyone that’s in the market for a good popping cork rod that won’t break the bank should check out the Hook Spit Zephyr Elite.  At 7′ 2″ you can make those long casts and pop a cork the way its meant to be popped wit the extra fast tip.  It’s a great popping cork rod priced at $159.

Another one for Clint

Another one for Clint

 

It didn’t take long before we figured out the pattern for the day and both had fish two fish on the stringer. With a decent NE wind blowing through the marsh, we used it to our advantage by focusing on all points and small coves on the windblown shoreline. It seemed like every point held at least one fish, along with any small cove that was located on the SE shoreline. The reds would wait on the wind protected side of the points and ambush the bait as the current forced it by or they would focus on the bait that was unwillingly being pushed up against the shoreline by the wind.

At one point we thought we had doubled up on two solid reds, but come to find out, Johnathan had a 27 ¾” red while I had a two foot alligator. It didn’t take long for the gator to realize what was going on and make a mad dash for the protection of the tall grass on the shoreline. He hit the bank and never looked back, eventually slicing through my leader and letting me keep my cork.

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Shortly after the gator broke me off I was able to sightcast a 30” red by standing up in the LT and letting the wind push me towards the tailing fish. I could tell this fish would be out of the slot, but who can resist sightcasting a 30” red in a foot of water. Johnathan was able to catch an oversized red a few hours later as it and a couple of other fish were barreling down the shoreline destroying any bait in their sight.

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We ended the day each catching more 6 lb. reds than we could count, our two oversized fish, and a few larger ones that stayed in the slot and made the trip to the weighin. In the end, Johnathan took home 1st place out of 96 anglers with 15.56 lbs. while I finished 6th with 13.15 lbs. Congratulations goes out to Jason Blackwell who took home Angler of the year honors once again, giving him his third AOY trophy in as many years.

1st and 6th Walking to the table

1st and 6th Walking to the table

 

We had a great day on the water with a couple of nice stringers to end the tournament season. We took full advantage of the benefits that comes with fishing with a friend on tournament day, which I believe helped both us catch more fish than we would have alone

I’d like to give a huge thanks to Werner Paddles, Hook Spit Performance Rods, Buggs Fishing Lures, and Jackson Kayak at this time.  These companies provide me with quality products that have helped me become a better angler over the last several years.  I am truly blessed with the opportunity to represent them and look forward to doing the same when the 2016 tournament season kicks off.

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On a side note, the Lone Star Kayak Series will be back again next year, but the tournament owner and director will change. Dustin Koreba has decided to step down and hand it over to Cameron Barghi and Justin Rich. Cameron and Justin already run the Saltwater Survival Series and have been a part of the LSKS team since it began 4 years ago. We can expect a new beer sponsor and a few new lures, but overall, the things that make this tournament so special will remain the same. Now we all have to fish against Dustin instead of accepting prizes from him.

Conditions:

Wind: 10 mph from the NE

Weather: Sunny skies with temps between 65 and 75 degrees

Tides: Outgoing

Bottom: Mud with occasional patches of grass

Depth: 1-2 feet deep in most areas

Lures:

Bomber Paradise Popper with a Gulp Pogy or Mantis Shrimp on a 1/16 oz. jighead

TTF Killer Flats Minnow on a 1/8 oz. jighead

Rod and Reel:

Popping Cork setup – Daiwa Ballistic EX 2500 on a 7′ 2″ Hook Spit Zephyr Elite

Soft Plastic setup – Shimano Citica on a 6′ 10″ Hook Spit T-N-T

Kayak: Jackson Cuda LT

Paddle: 250 cm Werner Cyrpus: Hooked

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2015 Saltwater Survival Series Presented by Egret Baits and Lone Star Fishing Team

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For those in the Galveston area that are looking for a different type of redfish tournament, check out the Saltwater Survival Series presented by Egret Baits and the Lone Star Fishing Team.

Feel like you can catch tournament redfish without fishing your secret spot with your secret bait? Want to show your co-anglers you can? If so, this is the tournament for you.

The Saltwater Survival Series is a unique kayak/canoe/wade fishing tournament designed to level the playing field and truly see which anglers can catch tournament fish with limited boundaries and limited lures in our version of a ‘Shotgun’ start. In this non-motorized watercraft ‘shotgun’ scenario, each angler will have to fish in the same boundaries after leaving the same spot at the same time (driving or paddling) and will be limited to the same 6 Egret lures. The boundaries of this tournament are the 332 bridge to the I-45 causeway (West Bay). No information will be given about where the mandatory am check-in will be until the Monday before the tournament or what six Egret lures you will get to throw, but we can assure you that you will not need your giant tackle box. Bring your hooks, corks and pliers and leave all other tackle at home. Take a look at the provided rules for additional details. Pay online now or pay the morning of the tournament. Looking forward to seeing you out there!

RULES:

This is an individual kayak/canoe/wade event and has a mandatory morning checkin, making this our version of a ‘shotgun’ start. This means all anglers will HAVE to check in in person the morning of the tournament before driving to their launch spot. The exact checkin and weighin location will be announced the Monday before the tournament. The boundaries of the tournament are the 332 bridge to the I-45 Causeway (West Bay).

All fish must be caught by rod and reel using the designated artificial baits only. Each angler will be given the same 6 Egret lures the morning of the tournament. THESE ARE THE ONLY LURES YOU MAY USE DURING THE TOURNAMENT. Should you lose one, it cannot be replaced. Given this, there is no need to bring any other lures with you. You may use any hook and cork you like with these designated lures. Any kind of scenting spray is accepted.

All State and Federal Laws Apply. At all times anglers must comply with US Coast Guard and State rules and regulations for the area you are fishing. Upon signing the waiver before launching, you are agreeing to all terms and conditions and are stating that you have read the rules and understand the law. Every fisherman must have a valid Texas Fishing License.

Participation is open to anyone 18 Years of age or older. Registration is available either online or in person (Cash only) the morning of the tournament. This tournament islimited to ONLY 100 anglers, so make sure you sign up as soon as registration is available. All participants will be required to sign the waiver form during the morning meeting before launch. There are NO REFUNDS for cancelations. You can pay online or the morning of the tournament.

This event is a wade/kayak/canoe tournament only. No motorized boats are allowed. No ‘ferrying’ from a motorized watercraft is allowed. As this is an individual tournament, no tandem boats are allowed. You may wade fish or bank fish but you must have your boat tethered to you at all times.

What time is the mandatory morning meeting and when will you get your lures? You will get your lure bag when you sign the waiver the morning of the tournament. Waivers will be available to be signed at 5:30am and the mandatory morning meeting will start at 6:00 am the morning of the tournament and will be very short. The lure bags will be available until 9:00. If you show up after 9:00, you will not be able to fish the tournament. The weighin will start at 1:00 and the line closes at 3:00. You must be checked in at the weighin by 3PM or your fish will not be counted. The awards will be given at 4:00 SHARP!

Safety: You must have your PFD within arm’s reach at all times. All anglers are responsible for their own well-being and determination of safe sea conditions.

Honor System: Keep in mind this tournament is designed to ‘level the playing field’ by having all anglers launch at the same time in the same general area coming from the same meeting location and be limited to the same lures. As only one lucky top 15 finisher WILL be polygraphed (and asked if they stayed in the boundaries and used the designated lures), we trust that all anglers will abide by the honor system. Breaking the rules in any way will disqualify the angler from this tournament and all future Saltwater Survival Series tournaments. Breaking any rules to get an unfair advantage does not keep the playing field level and completely defeats the purpose of this tournament!!! Remember, there will be a large number of anglers leaving the same place and launching/fishing in the same areas at the same time, so please be courteous of other nearby anglers during the tournament.

This is a two redfish stringer. You will receive a 0.5 pound bonus for EACH live fish you bring in. YOUR FISH MUST BE BETWEEN 20 AND 28 INCHES BEFORE YOU STRING IT. No frozen or mutilated fish will be accepted. The weighmaster, scorekeeper, and tournament directors have the final say in determining whether or not a fish is considered mutilated or frozen. You may not alter your fish in any way. Before stringing your fish, make sure you sweep the tail to make sure it does not exceed 28 inches. If there is a tie, the angler that weighed in first wins the tie.

Prizes: The top 15 places will be paid with 75% of the entry fees. Raffle items will be posted as they are available.

To signup visit: https://squareup.com/market/lone-star-fishing-team

For more information contact Cameron Barghi @ (832) 289-0700 or email lonestarbeerfishing@gmail.com with questions.

Facebook Event
https://www.facebook.com/events/372718886257822/

Facebook Page
https://www.facebook.com/3STournament?fref=nf

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Lone Star Kayak Series 2014 Event #3

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Photo Credit: Joe Winston

Yesterday I fished the 3rd leg of the Lone Star Kayak Series and found a couple of nice fish. I had the chance to prefish both Tuesday and Wednesday with absolutely no luck at finding tournament quality fish. On Tuesday I put in a good 12 miles and only managed one lower slot red with the same results on Wednesday with a trout in the mix. A friend that doesn’t fish often joined me on Wednesday and did manage to catch his first redfish from a kayak and on topwater nonetheless.

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T-Bone with a topwater red

It wasn’t until Wednesday evening when I finally chose an area to fish. I hadn’t fished this area since early July so I was taking a chance, hoping to get somewhat lucky. I spoke with a friend who fishes the area often and he said the fish were there but the bite had been difficult all summer long. He said I could probably pull at least two fish from the area around 13 lbs. if I worked the area thoroughly. At the time, I had no clue just how right he was.

My day started with a 2:45 alarm, followed by the snooze button, and another alarm five minutes later. I was out of bed, dressed, and on the road by 3:00 to meet a couple of friends at Whataburger. Each of us had planned on fishing within a few miles of each other so a few taquitos and caffeine were needed if we were going to make it through a long day of fishing. We enjoyed our breakfast and hit the road only to get stuck behind a few eighteen-wheelers pulling a wide load 30 mph with a police escort that wouldn’t let anyone pass. We each had about 40 miles to go before reaching our launches, which meant we were going to miss out on launching at the designated time of 6 am. Using my phone I located a side street that ran parallel with the road we were traveling on. With a little luck I figured I could possibly get around the trucks and resume the posted speed of 70 mph. I turned off the highway, raced down the back roads, and just beat the police escort. I contacted the other guys to see if they had followed but they had not and were still puttin along at 30 mph. I hadn’t lost much time and estimated that I would be able to launch at 6 am per tourney rules. I reached my launch in time to unload my gear and pull my kayak to the edge of the water with 5 minutes to spare. The predicted 5 mph SW wind was actually around 15 mph, which was causing small white caps to form on the open lake and crash into the shoreline.  My two friends honked as they drove by which meant they had finally gotten around the wide load convoy and would have to launch shortly after 6, but only by 15 minutes.

6 am arrived and I hopped in my kayak and started paddling out. The first part of my trip required me to paddle directly into the wind, which proved to be pretty difficult. I scrapped my original plan of traveling a mile or so down the shoreline before entering the marsh and entered at the first opportunity for a little protection from the wind. Once inside, the 5-foot tall reeds, grass, and occasional tree made the wind feel almost non-existent. I made my way through the first lake looking for signs of fish while stopping at the occasional drain or island to throw out the popping cork with gulp with no success. It wasn’t long before I located several schools of dime sized button shad getting hammered by several dozen redfish. The small baitfish were going airborne all over the place and I started thinking that I may be able to string two fish before 7 am which is always a relief on tourney day regardless of size. I started off by throwing the popping cork with gulp in the middle of several schools of shad and just let it just sit. There was no need to pop the cork because the fish were within 5 feet of it, which had me thinking they would find it based on the scent alone. After about 10 minutes and several casts into areas with actively feeding fish but no hook ups I decided to start giving an occasional pop with no luck either. I decided to go with a soft plastic next and after another 10 minutes and dozens of casts, I still hadn’t hooked a fish. The she pup was next, followed but a Manns 1-Minus, followed by a Bugg. No matter what I threw, the reds didn’t care. They were keyed in on these dime-sized shad and didn’t want anything else. After an hour of working the area over hard with nothing to show for it I decided to move on. I continued the same pattern as before, slowly moving from small lake to small lake stopping at each drain and popping the cork before moving on. I had the occasional fish blowout near the kayak while paddling but hadn’t reached the area I had wanted to fish. I finally arrived at the lake I had been trying to reach. I had fished this lake a few times in the past with good luck and liked the layout and structure which consisted of a mud bottom with a little bit of grass and an average depth of a foot and a half. It also had several drains feeding into it with a few pinches and islands along the way. I spotted/heard several nice blowups as I entered the lake and decided to put the popping cork down and got with the trusty black and chrome she pup with an orange belly. I drifted across the lake making several casts while slowly making my way towards the blowups I had been seeing and hearing. I finally reached the area, which was located out in front of a small drain that led to another lake. By this time the tide had started falling and you could see the water pushing through the pinch that connected the two lakes with a little help from the wind. I turned sidesaddle in my Cuda 14 and began crab walking the area while fan casting towards the drain. After a dozen casts I had a good blowup that didn’t quiet connect. I made another cast into the same area and had another good blowup followed by a fish that finally connected. Unfortunately for me, the fish pulled off after 10 seconds, which made me mutter a few curse words under my breath. I continued working the area and finally connected with another fish after a good 30 casts. This time, the fish was hooked well and made it to the net. I didn’t even measure the fish at the time because I knew it was in the slot and wanted to get my lure back in the water ASAP. I worked the area for another 30 minutes with another few blowup but nothing to show for it. I finally decided to move on and search for more fish. The occasional bait being busted had slowed down some and I needed to find another fish.

I continued pushing deeper in the marsh repeating my pattern of looking and listening as I slowly paddle while throwing my cork or topwater at fishy areas (drains, islands, channels, etc.) but couldn’t find a second fish. I passed by a decent sized gator as the rain started to fall and kept a close eye on his location. The last thing I wanted was to bring in half a fish because an alligator had spotted an easy meal. There was no lightning with the rain so I fished through it and located a few crawlers along one shoreline. They were all super spooky and would shoot off to deeper water as soon as I made a cast or twitched my lure. I continued pushing deeper and deeper into the marsh. I finally reached the last lake and found the same thing I had found in the first lake earlier that morning. Thousands of button shad were exploding throughout the lake as the redfish were having a feeding frenzy. I didn’t feel too confident in getting a fish here but figured this would be my best chance. The fish were there and I just needed one lucky bite. The she pup had worked earlier so I decided to stick with it. I had plenty of choices between the open lake, along the shoreline, or in front of a small drain because the little balls of bait were everywhere. I decided to go with the drain because some of the larger crashes and occasional airborne reds looked bigger than the others. I was also hoping the drain would provide slightly deeper water, which would benefit my topwater some. I setup about 20 yards off of several bait balls and began working them with the she pup. I would make a cast 10 yards past the balls of bait and walk the dog right through the middle of them. The whole time the reds and shad are flying all over the place but nothing seemed to care about my lure. I would cast between the four bait balls within my reach and repeat. After a good 50 cast I finally hooked into a fish that came off after about 15 seconds followed by more muttered curse words. Fifty casts later I had a great blowup that shot my she pup a good 5 feet in the air but didn’t receive a follow up strike. Another 50 casts and I had my lure absolutely clobbered. I worked the fish for a good 2 minutes uttering “please don’t come off, please don’t come off” over and over. I never really saw the fish but knew it was a solid one from the amount of drag it had pulled. I finally got it close enough to the kayak, slid the net under it, and was pleasantly surprised when I lifted the net from the water. I knew I had a solid fish, as long as it stayed in the slot. I strung the fish and with a deep breath, laid it across the check-it stick, pinched the tailed saw that it was a hair over 27″ but easily under 28″. Stringing that second fish on tourney day is always a huge relief, especially when it’s a fish of that size. I took this time measure my first fish and it was a solid fish that was a little over 25″. I checked the clock and noticed I still had time for a possible upgrade. I worked the same area again with a few more blowups but nothing connected. I decided to start heading back to the truck since I had to paddle about four miles while dragging two fish. I looked for signs of fish along the way but the marsh had seemed to settle down some.

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Grind Terminal Tackle Stringers with fish

It took a while but I finally reached the truck and loaded up.  I started heading for Galveston with plenty of time to reach Louis, weighin my fish, and visit with friends. I talked to three different friends along the way and found out one had about 15 lbs. and two others were around 13 lbs. which is about what I thought I had. When it was all said and done places 2-5 were separated by less than .60 lb. Jason Blackwell took first with 15.2 lbs., Aaron Ferguson was second with 13.93 lbs., and I finished third with 13.63 lbs. Another friend (Scott Tilley) finished on my heels with 13.47 lbs.  The paddle of choice this day was the 250 cm Werner Cyprus: Hooked.  I received this paddle a few months ago and have been using it on every trip since then.  At 24.5 ounces of full carbon its an amazing resource on days when double digit miles are reached.

 

 

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Top 3

It was another great tournament and as always, great to hang out with old friends and meet a few new ones. Dustin, his wife, and the other workers that help out do an outstanding job of keeping the tournament very competitive and fun for everyone. My prize package for third place included $290 cash, a trophy, castaway rod, a bottle of Silver Star Whiskey, and a goody bag full of a few different yak gear products, and bass assassin soft plastics. The two guys that finished ahead of me are good friends that I have the pleasure of fishing with on occasion so to be on stage with them holding our trophies made the day extra special. I’m already looking forward to the October tournament, which is by far my favorite event of the four.

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Sonny Mills – 3rd Place – Photo Credit: Michael Harris

 

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Aaron Ferguson – 2nd Place

 

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Jason Blackwell – 1st Place

 

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Prize Winners

 

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High Winds, Low Tides

Fat Redfish

 

My alarm went off this morning at 4 am with plans to meet up with a friend and take his new micro skiff out on its maiden voyage. I checked my phone and found a text message that was sent around 2 am saying that he had gotten sick and hadn’t slept all night. I knew the winds were predicted to be between 25 and 30 mph but this was my one chance to fish this weekend so instead of crawling back in bed, I decided to throw the kayak and rest of the gear in my truck and head for the coast. I had checked the tides for several places a few days before and knew where a nice low tide would be that was bound to have a few crawlers.

I arrived at my launch around 5:45 to a slightly lower tide than I had planned on. This didn’t bother me because the lower the water the better the fishing is in this marsh. The winds felt about right blowing close to 30 mph hour which meant the paddle out would be easy, but the paddle back in would be long and slow. I headed out in the dark and reached the entrance of the marsh in no time. I took a slightly different route than usual to reach my spot due to the lack of water and arrived as first light broke the horizon. I saw several wakes being pushed through the shallow water only to find out that most of them were stingrays feeding on small shrimp. I blew out a couple of reds but didn’t really have any luck around the areas that normally produce under these conditions. The strong winds were pushing the majority of the water towards the back of the marsh so I decided to follow it and see if the fish had done the same. As I neared the back lakes I spotted several groups of birds hovering near the water and expected pods. When I got within casting distance I didn’t find the pods of half a dozen reds I expected, just single fish crawling through about 4 inches of water with their head, backs, and tails completely exposed. The first cast was going to be directly into the wind but the red was only 10 yards away so it was doable. I waited for the fish to move left and right instead of towards and away from me and fired my chicken boy shrimp (morning glory) five yards past and in front of it. I slowly worked the lure back into its path, gave a couple of very small twitches when it was a few yards away and fish on. The fish went nuts running around the small lake causing the other fish to flee. After a 5 minute fight I landed a plump 25″ red, took a photo, and released it.

 

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I moved to the next lake where birds were working to find the same thing as before, several singles cruising a few inches of water. My next several casts fell victim to the wind causing each fish to blow out and disappear. I kept moving from lake to lake missing on about a dozen reds but after a while the birds stopped working and the fish stopped showing. I knew I had a long paddle straight into the wind so I started heading back towards the truck. As I neared the front of the marsh I spotted a single bird hovering close to the water in one of the last lakes before the exit. I decided to check it out and spotted a fat upper slot red coming down the shoreline right towards me. I set up and waited patiently for the fish to come within casting range. When it was about 8 feet away I fired a short cast that even the wind couldn’t screw up. One twitch of the rod and he was all over it, tearing through 5 inches of water in every direction possible. I landed the fish after a 5 minute battle to find out he went a little over 28 1/2 inches and probably weighed close to 10 lbs. judging from the size of its belly.

 

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It took another hour to get back to the truck but all things considered it was a fun day. 30 mph winds can be torture when kayak fishing, but I’ve never been able to resist a really low tide where I know redfish will be crawling through a couple inches of water.  Last time out I missed out on some good video footage because my Go Pro was pointed towards the sky instead of straight away.  This time I over corrected and pointed it nearly straight down and recorded nothing but my lap.  One of these days I’m bound to get it right.

 

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Muddin (5-3-14)


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Man, it’s been a while since I’ve had a chance to hit the marsh for some skinny water reds. April was a busy month without much time to fish so I’m hoping to make up for it during May and on into Summer.

David Calbert and I met up this morning around 6:00 am to fish a really low tide in the marsh. The goal was to locate reds in a few inches of water in hopes of getting in some sight casting. The water levels seemed fine as we launched but we soon found out that it was a little lower than I expected. With the water this low I knew exactly where the fish would be, the only problem was that it was about a half mile paddle through about 4 inches of water. Normally I would get out and drag the kayak through a few areas but there were litteraly hundreds of stingrays swimming around. Rather than taking a chance on getting nailed by one of these guys we decided to stay in the yaks and push through.


Stingray


We eventually made it to the area I was hoping to reach and it didn’t disappoint.  Multiple drains meeting in one spot have created a 5 foot gut about 15 x 15 yards that serves as a great area for reds to gather during extremely low tides.  They normally hang out in the deeper hole but will venture out within 25 yards of this area pushing through inches of water exposing their entire bodies.  While this sight is one of the more amazing things to see while in the marsh, it can be difficult to get a bite, especially this early in the spring.  As soon as I reached the area I happened to look down and see a red about 5 feet from the yak. I flipped my 1/4 oz Beastie Bugg a few feet in front of its face, gave a small twitch, and had the first red of the day that went 21″.


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David joined me a few minutes later and decided to focus on the deeper area with a popping cork.   It wasn’t long before I heard him holler “fish on”.  After a nice 5 minute fight he netted a nice 27″ red.


David Hookup


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I decided to venture out a little to look for fish in shallower water. I hadn’t paddled but about 15 yards and found exactly what I was looking for.  At least a dozen single reds were pushing head wakes within close proximity to the gut we had just reached.  I spent the first 15 minutes watching and trying to film some of the action with my old Playsport only to find out later that zooming in as far as the camera is capable of makes everything really grainy which means I wasted 15 minutes of fishing and several shots at exposed reds.


Double


I finally put down the camera and took a shot at one of the reds with the same Bugg as before and hooked up.  The red went a little over 26″ and ended up being my best red of the day.  I thought I had captured some great video footage with my GoPro attached to my hat, but it was pointed a little too high and missed pretty much everything.  I should have connected it to my iPhone to check what was viewed but got a little too excited and hoped for the best.  A rookie mistake.


Sonny Red


We decided to move to another drain nearby and each had shots at multiple fish along the way but couldn’t get any takers.  On the way to the next area the wind went from nearly non existent to 20 mph with gusts to 30 according to my iPhone.  At this point the water turned brown, casting became difficult, and we began seeing less and less fish.  David hooked into another red down a narrow channel but lost it after about a 10 second fight.  We tried searching the area for more reds but the lack of water and high winds made everything difficult.  We decided to call it a day and headed back to the truck which took more than an hour paddling straight into the wind the entire way back.  The quality of fish was nice, however, we didn’t quiet catch the numbers I was hoping for.  The good thing is this is only the beginning of shallow muddy marsh season with plenty of trips to come in the near future.

This trip did allow me to really put my new Werner Shuna paddle through the rigorous abuse that occurs during marsh fishing.  Quiet often your paddle becomes your push pole when you are forced to fight your way through thick mud in shallow water along with hitting it against random patches of oyster shell.  The blades performed great and never showed any signs of breaking under pressure.


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Up


Up 2


Swirl



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Spring/Summer 2013 Highlight Video


I know there’s still a month left in summer but I decided to go ahead and make my Spring/Summer highlight video for 2013. This year I won my first tournament, caught some amazing fish, and more importantly, had some fun times on the water, with new and old friends. Fall is around the corner so it should only get better from here. Enjoy the video and thanks for watching.




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Inshore Informer LSKS Fantasy Fishing Challenge

The Inshore Informer has teamed up with the Lone Star Kayak Series to offer some fantasy fishing action. It’s free for anyone to enter and prizes will be awarded for 1st through 3rd place at each event along with 1st through 3rd to the Fantasy Angler of the Year.

Here’s how it works:

  • Pick the 5 anglers you think will finish the highest for the upcoming event (order doesn’t matter)
  • Guess the weight of the winning stringer in hundredths (this will serve as a tie breaker)
  • Submit your entry and wait for the final results

The final scores will be determined using the same scoring system that the LSKS uses for its anglers (Example – 1st place 100 points, 2nd place 99 points, 3rd place 98 points, and so on).  Each participant will then have the points earned by the anglers they chose added together and the person with the highest total points will be the winner of that event while the person with the highest total score from the three events combined will be crowned the Fantasy Angler of the Year.  You will need to submit your picks before each tournament and you do not have to fish the tournament to enter the Fantasy Fishing Challenge.

If you are unsure about which 5 anglers to choose, the inshore informer is offering some information on some of the top anglers from past events.  You can view this information and the prize packages by clicking  the links below.

 

Single Event Prizes:




Fantasy Angler of the Year Prize Packages


1st Place

2nd Place

 3rd Place


For complete rules and to enter the tournament be sure to click the link below.  Also, visit the Inshore Informer Website and like them on Facebook for lots of good fishing information.


Inshore Informer Fantasy Fishing Challenge



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Return To Pierce Marsh 5-14-13

3 Reds 5-14-13

 

I took the day off of work to make a return trip to Pierce Marsh.  My wife’s birthday is this Saturday and we are still a little short on meat for the fish fry.  I checked the tides the night before and they couldn’t have been any better.  Low tide was going to bottom out around the same time the sun was coming up and then quickly rise a foot by noon.

 

Pierce Tides 5-14-13

 

The tide was a few inches higher than it was during last weeks trip which was fine by me because that meant I wouldn’t have to walk through mud again.  Once I entered the marsh I only had to paddle about 1/4 mile in before I saw small inch long baitfish scattering in every direction with small pods of reds and singles busting through them.  There were thousands of little baitfish in this small lake and getting a fish to take my lure turned out to be pretty difficult.  I finally threw a Chicken Boy Shrimp (Chicken on a Chain) in the middle of one of the pods and had my first fish at 23″.  There were about half a dozen other small pods  that just kept on moving by with no interest in my lure.  I decided to switch over to one of the new Beastie Buggs (New Penny) to try and better match the size of the baitfish and immediately caught an 18 inch red.  After catching that fish the rest of them seemed to keep on moving towards the bay.  I decided not to chase them and headed back to one of the spots that had produced for me the week before.  I arrived at one of the small drains to find the same activity on the shallow flats around it as I did in the front lake.  Thousands of tiny baitfish scattering with lots of singles running through the middle of them.  I had the same trouble here as I did at the front.  There were so many baitfish that my lure had a hard time competing for a bite.  I decided to focus on the deeper drain with a Midcoast Inticer Popping Cork rigged with a 1/16th ounce jig head and a Gulp Pogy (Cigar Minnow).  It took about 15 minutes but I finally caught a 25 1/2″ red and decided to move on to drain #2.  I arrived at the next drain and decided to stick with the popping cork.  After about three casts I noticed some birds hovering over the water about a two hundred yards off and decided to chase them down.  I caught a small 21″ red from under the birds on a Pearl White Gulp Shrimp and they scattered.  I had my limit and decided to start heading in.  I pulled over to one of the small islands and hopped out to put on some sun screen before I started the long paddle in.  As I was getting the sun screen out of the center hatch a heard popping noises in front of me and looked up to see another pod of reds about 15 yards out swimming by.  I quickly grabbed the closest rod to me and made a cast out in front of them.  I hooked up as soon as the gulp shrimp hit the water and upgraded the 21 to another 25 1/2″ fish.  I finished putting on my sun screen and headed home.  It was another fun day in the marsh.





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Castaway Graphite Rods LSKS Event #1


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Ricky and I fished event #1 of the Lone Star Kayak Series together yesterday and had a great day on the water.

I took a day off of work Wednesday to prefish the two areas we were trying to decide between in hopes of finding a few good fish. South winds had been pretty strong for a few days and had caused the water in the bay to run about a foot and half above predicted. Both marshes I fished that day had so much water in them that the fish were scattered all over the place and hard to find. All of the fish I came across were laid up and not moving or looking for food. Out of the 8+ hours I fished that day I never once saw a baitfish or shrimp get eaten, jump, or flee. I only caught a few fish that day and they were all the result of blind casting to random areas. Needless to say, I didn’t have a good feeling about tourney day, especially with the fact that a cold front would be hitting on Thursday afternoon causing the temperatures to drop to the mid 40’s for the next couple of nights.

It wasn’t until Friday evening that I made a choice on where to go. The cold front came through and actually did us a favor by knocking the tides back down to a couple inches below predicted. The marsh I wanted to fish was going to have a low tide around 8 am Saturday morning and rise pretty quick until noon which was a good thing. This particular marsh has a couple of shallow lakes that are connected to each other by a few deep channels that range from 3-6 feet deep. When the tides are low the water gets sucked from the lakes into the deeper channels bringing any baitfish or shrimp with it and trapping them. As this occurs the redfish sit in the deeper channels and have an easy time feeding themselves as the bait comes by. We planned to focus on the deeper parts of the channel that had any sort of drain, restriction, or curve and the fish were there like we had hoped.

We woke up Saturday morning at 4am to 45 degree temps, threw the kayaks in the truck, and headed to our spot. We unloaded the truck and pushed off at 6:00 am and began the 2 mile paddle to our location. We arrived at the entrance of the marsh to see the end of the falling tide still trickling out. I picked up my rod with a Midcoast Evolution Popping Cork and 3 inch Pearl White Gulp Shrimp and made a cast into the middle of the drain. About 4 pops of the cork and I had my first fish on the stringer at 21 inches. Not an impressive fish but at least it got me on the board. On the very next cast I caught a 23 inch red followed by a 24 inch red on the cast after that and began upgrading. I knew we had chosen our location well when those first three fish were caught on the first three casts. The action at the front of the drain died off after those 3 fish so we moved in a little further to a spot with multiple drains dumping into a deeper gut. Ricky and I both picked up a few fish from this spot giving Ricky 2 fish on the stringer and me another upgrade to a 23” and 25 ½”. We then split up for about 30 minutes while I explored the right branch of the channel and he kept to the left. I chose the wrong path and caught no fish and Ricky chose the correct path and upgraded with an ugly 26 ¾ ” red.

Ricky's Fish

We met back up and kept slowly moving up the channel stopping at the areas with drains and picking up a few fish at each spot. We came to the first lake and caught a few more fish which gave Ricky his final upgrade of the day with a 26 ½” red. We made our way to the next channel leading to the 2nd lake and I made my final upgrade of the day throwing a 4 inch pearl white Gulp Ripple Mullet on a 1/16 ounce jighead into a 90 degree bend in the channel with some deep water and picked up a nice 27 5/8” red. This was the final fish of the day as the larger mullet moved in and the reds seemed to get out.

We made it to the weighin and Ricky finished 15th with 11.67 lbs and I finished 5th with 14.20 lbs. We had a great day on the water catching about 25 slot reds and 7 flounder between the two of us. Definitely looking forward to June 1st and event #2.

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Ricky 15th Place Prize

Sonny 5th Place prize

Prize

LSKS 2013 Event Number 1 Winners



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