Posts Tagged With: Gulp

2016 Lone Star Kayak Series Event #3

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This past weekend I spent my Saturday fishing the 3rd event of the Lone Star Kayak Series.  After a rough outing during the last event, where I only caught one redfish thirty minutes before having to leave, I thought for sure that I had put myself out of the running for angler of the year. With that in mind, the plan was to go for two big bites and not play it safe.

I spent the majority of my summer chasing trout in Galveston bay instead of the marsh for redfish, so I basically had to gamble on where to fish.  We had about ten straight days of rain leading up to the event, so getting out to prefish was not an option.  I picked my location based on past results and arrived at the launch with a little less than ten minutes to unload my kayak and load up my gear.  By the time I finished situating my gear and parking my truck, it was 6 am and time to go.

I made the three mile paddle to the area I planned to fish and began working the shoreline, focusing on the various points, drains, and coves along the way.  I started off with a STX Tackle Popping Cork and Gulp Mantis Shrimp, but after an hour with no bites, I switched over to a Bone Skitterwalk for a while.  After an hour of continuous dog walking and no luck, I went back to my popping cork for a while.

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I picked up a 17″ trout at one of the drains I was fishing, but that wasn’t the fish I was looking for.  I kept grinding it out with my cork, hoping that I would come across a hungry redfish, but a bite never came.  I finally circled back around and started the same drift again.  Without much action during the first few hours, I decided to drag my popping cork and gulp behind me while working my topwater in front of me.  I figured two lures in the water were better than one on a day like this.  Ten minutes into my drift, I hear my cork rod screaming and reach back to grab my rod.  I’m thinking that I have a lower slot red, before finally getting enough line in to see the slime near my cork.  It ended up being a 4 lb gaftop, which was way worse than the previous trout I’d caught.

At this point I’m running a little low on time and have to be back at the truck early anyways because of a previously planned event.  I finally decided to throw in the towel and head back to the truck.  After paddling about a mile back towards the launch, I decide to stop off at one last spot for a desperate shot at finding a couple of fish.  I pull out the Skitterwalk and make a long cast down the wind protected shoreline and start walking the dog back towards me.  Twenty seconds later, my lure gets clobbered by a solid redfish and I can’t believe it.  Five hours straight of non stop casting tops and corks with no fish, and on the very first cast on the way back to the truck, I’m on the board with a chunky 25.5″ red.

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I string the fish and continue working the area.  Two casts later, and I have another chunky red on my stringer at 26.25″.  A half a dozen more casts, and I stick a thick 26.75″ red, giving me what feels like 14+ lbs. between my two heaviest fish.  I work the area for another twenty minutes, hoping to find an upgrade for the smaller of my two fish, but time is not on my side and I still have a two mile paddle to reach the truck.  I want to take it nice and slow to keep my fish alive for the half pound bonus, so I head in a little earlier than I’d like.

2nd place LSKS _3 2016

Because of my previously planned event, I was forced to weigh my fish and immediately get back on the road.  I received a text message a few hours later informing me that I had finished in 2nd place out of 96 anglers with 15.02 pounds, which included my 1/2 lb. bonus.  This finish brought me back into the AOY race, by jumping into a three way tie for first, followed closely but two others.

AOY

The last event of the season is on October 8th, and will determine who takes angler of the year honors.  With that title on the line, it’s going to make it difficult to really enjoy the last event.

 

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Putting in the Miles to Find the Fish

 

Photo Nov 15, 1 44 57 PM

On Saturday my little girl asked if she could stay the night at her Granny’s house, which gave me a chance to hit the water on Sunday morning.  The wind was predicted to be between 15 and 20 mph out of the east, but I decided to tough it out and see what I could find.

I launched just after first light and made my way into the marsh.  The water was high, red, and fresh, which had me a little worried about the location I had chosen.  I thought I might find a little cleaner/saltier water if I paddled deep enough into the marsh, but conditions never changed.  After paddling three miles without any signs of bait or predator, I decided to change directions and fish another spot.

Photo Nov 15, 11 57 19 AM

I paddled for several miles down narrow channels through several small lakes before the water turned it’s normal brown and I was able to taste a little salt.  At about that time I looked across the lake and saw a few birds hovering over the water.  My first cast produced a 33″ bull and my 2nd broke me off.  I have been using the same cork and leader for over a month now and I guess the leader finally wore down.  The school stayed together long enough for me to pull two more fish from it (a 18″ and 25″ red) before they broke apart for good.

Photo Nov 15, 10 52 53 AM

I spent the next 2 hours working the wind blown shoreline and caught another 15 reds. Bulls, slots, and rats were all mixed in together  having a feeding frenzy.  With the extra high tides the key was putting the cork a foot off the grassline of the windblown shoreline and giving several hard pops to get their attention.  It never took more than a few pops before it would go under and I’d have a fish on.  I even caught a small rat that took the gulp off the bow of my kayak while paddling.  The action never really died off, I just ran out of time and needed to get home.  Despite the 13.7 miles I covered in the nasty wind (Thank God for carbon fiber paddles), it was a productive day on the water.  I kept my first three reds of the day for redfish cakes. The link to the recipe is below.

https://tailtailsigns.com/recipes/redfish-cakes/

 

cakes

For those looking for a solid popping cork that will not only last, but creates a great chug when popped, check out the Bomber Paradise Popper.  By my estimate, I’ve landed more than 50 reds on it and the wire leader is still just as straight as the day I bought it.  It runs around $7 but you can use it seems like you can use it forever.

This was a solo trip and I left my Go Pros at work so the pics aren’t that great.

Photo Nov 15, 3 34 39 PM

Conditions:

Wind: 15 – 20 mph from the east

Weather: Sunny skies with temps around 70 degrees

Tides: Outgoing

Bottom: Soft Mud

Depth: 2-4 feet deep in most areas

Lures: Bomber Paradise Popper with Gulp Pogy on a 1/8 oz. jighead

Rod and Reel: Daiwa Ballistic EX 2500 on a 7′ 2″ Hook Spit Zephyr Elite

Kayak: Jackson Cuda LT

Paddle: 250 cm Werner Cyrpus: Hooked

 

 

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If At First You Don’t Succeed…

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One of the crazy things about fishing is how making a minor change on the water can have such a huge impact on the amount of fish you catch. Last month I made a rare afternoon trip to an area that I had fished once before, but had wanted to explore a little more thoroughly for some time now. I had put in some time on Google earth and found a few shallow patches of shell near the south shoreline of this small lake which made me think it had some potential. I had a decent south wind on this particular evening so I decided to seek shelter and take advantage of the protection that the south shoreline would offer.

I paddle straight into the wind to reach my destination and spent the next several hours casting around the edges of the shallow shell with a She Dog and a soft plastic, neither of which produced a single blowup or bite. I found it hard to believe that I hadn’t caught a single redfish, especially considering the areas I was fishing and the amount of casts I had made. I had an average depth that was between one and two feet deep, a soft mud bottom, small patches of shell, and plenty of bait in the water. And yet I didn’t have a single fish to show for my efforts.

I had been at it for a while now and started running a little low on daylight. I decided to head back towards the launch a little earlier than I had originally planned in order to keep from having to paddle back in the dark. The wind had finally let up a bit so I made a decision to give the wind blown shoreline a try before leaving.  I also switched over to a popping cork with gulp shrimp to see if I could create a little noise and bring the fish to me. The north side of the lake lacked structure so I had not planned on giving it a try. However, since it had been receiving a constant barrage of wind and waves, it only made since to give it a shot.

Net

I made my first cast and hadn’t made more than a few pops of the Cork, when it suddenly disappeared. I reeled in my line to find a nice little 18-inch marsh trout. Not exactly what I was looking for but it got the skunk off my back. After tossing him back, I made a few more cast and the cork disappeared once again. This time I a nice lower slot red was on the end of my line.

Little

For the next hour the action was nonstop.  I ended the trip with 10 reds and one trout before running out of daylight and being forced to head in. On my paddle back to the truck I couldn’t help but wonder if it was the change in location, the change in my set up, or a combination of the two that made the big difference on this trip.  I still haven’t figured that one out, but it was nice to be reminded just how much of a difference a small adjustment can make while on the water.

Conditions:

Wind: 15 mph from the south early on and 5 mph from the south at the end of the day

Weather: Sunny skies with temps around 80 degrees

Tides: Outgoing

Bottom: Mud with small patches of shell

Depth: 1-2 feet deep in most areas

Lures: Bomber Paradise Popper with Mantis Shrimp on a 1/16 oz. jighead

Rod and Reel: Daiwa Ballistic EX 2500 on a 7′ 2″ Hook Spit Zephyr Elite

Kayak: Jackson Cuda LT

Paddle: 250 cm Werner Cyrpus: Hooked

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Schools Before School

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Yesterday was my last official day of summer break.  To say I had a great summer of fishing would be a huge understatement.  I was able to hit the water about 2 times a week for most of June, July, and August and fish with some good friends along with a few new ones.  I had a 9th place finish at the Lone Star Kayak Series on my first official day off along with a 3rd place finish last weekend.  I caught my personal best trout that was a hair less than 27″ and really refined my topwater game.  My birthday is next month and my wife and I decided we would have a small get together at the house and celebrate with a fish fry.  I haven’t kept too many fish this summer so the freezer was running a little low.  With plans to leave town for a few days next weekend and the party the week after that, I decided to hit the water with Jared yesterday to end summer with a bang and do a little “grocery shopping” for the party.

We launched shortly after 6 and started making our way into the marsh.  I had already spoke with a good friend and knew that a few schools had been roaming the area we were heading to over the past few weeks.  We entered the lake where the fish had been hanging out and split up to locate the pods.  The birds weren’t to active at this time but it wasn’t long before I spotted several schools in one corner of the lake.  Jared arrived and we immediately went work.  I started out using my spinning reel with a Chicken Boy Shrimp on a 1/4 oz jig head.  My goal was to keep my distance and pick fish off of the edge or near back of the pod in hopes that they would stay together and continue working the area.  I made a few casts around the outskirts of the pod but didn’t have any takers.  While casting at that pod I glanced to my left to see another one heading right towards my kayak.  We were eventually going to collide so let the lure fly and it landed in the middle of them.  This caused an immediate hookup and the pod exploded.  I landed a solid 27″ red and he was lit up like a pumpkin.

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I strung him quickly and noticed Jared was hooked up as well.  I located the next pod and fired a cast out in front of them.  I felt the thump and set the hook but it came flying back at me and tangled around the end of my rod.  I quickly dropped it and grabbed my bait caster with a Hydra Bugg and hooked up on the first cast.  I horsed that fish to the net in under a minute and quickly put him on the stringer.  The Chicken Boy I had been throwing with the other rod was still tangled up and the lure was sitting in the water while I was stringing my second fish.  Apparently a good sized red swam by and picked it up because my rod nearly shot out of my lap before I was able to grab it.  The line was tangled around the rod tip and the fish snapped the 30 lb. braid quickly with one strong run.  I located another pod about 30 yards away and made my way towards them.  As soon as I was in casting distance I launched the Hydra Bugg out in front of them and a few twitches later I had my 3rd fish on the line.  I landed that fish, strung it, and saw that Jared was hooked up as well and had been for a while.  I thought he had a good over slot red, but it turns out he had somehow hooked a 20″ black drum in the tail and it was putting up quiet a fight.  It took roughly ten minutes to string my limit which was the fastest I had ever done that.

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The half a dozen pods we were on dispersed so we worked the area with she dogs for a while but didn’t have any luck.  We decided to leave that lake and fish another that was nearby with lots of mud and shell around a foot and a half deep.  I continued throwing my she dog while Jared worked a popping cork with gulp.  Jared hooked up with a sold 24″ red within the first 10 minutes so I switched over to a popping cork while we slowly crab walked towards the launch.  We picked up a few more reds on the popping corks on our drift and I sight casted a 18″ red with a Hot Pink Hydra Bugg right before we reached the truck.  I was able to take home 6 reds and a black drum which put a major dent in the amount of fish we will need in a few weeks.  I’m hoping that one more trip like that during this upcoming long holiday weekend will be enough to feed everyone that is able to make the party.  It was a nice ending to a great summer.

photo 2

 

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LSKS Prefish (5-30-13)

Sonny 27 plus red


Ricky and I took the day off of work to prefish for the LSKS this weekend. The wind has been blowing 20+ mph all week and it looks like we will get the same treatment on Saturday. Tides are really high right now because of the wind pushing all the water from gulf into the bays so it should be interesting to see what happens on Saturday.

We spent an hour at our first spot and didn’t really have a good feeling about it so we threw the kayaks in the truck and headed a few miles down the road. We decided to split up so that we could cover more ground and would meet up later to discuss what we had found. Ricky decided to go as far back as he could to see if they had pushed deep into the marsh while I stayed near the various drains around the different entrances. I decided to park on one of the islands that was under water because of the high tides and throw the popping cork with a Gulp pogy for a while. After about 15 minutes I had hooked up with my first fish and it was the perfect tournament fish. She was 27 15/16 inches long and weighed 8 pounds and 13 ounces on the digital scale. It’s too bad this fish came 2 days early.


27 plus tail


On the very next cast I hooked into a second fish after one chug of the cork. She peeled off about 15-20 yards of drag before I felt a small pop and my line went limp. I reeled my cork in and saw that my fluorocarbon had snapped. I suspect the previous fish must have banged it up a bit on the shell because I didn’t have the drag set very tight at all. We spent the next few hours exploring other areas with not much luck. We decided to call it a day around noon and headed back to the truck.  The majority of the fish were over a shell and mud mix in about 2 feet of water near drains and deeper channels.


We didn’t have much of a bite but the two that I hooked were good ones. If the right two bites come on Saturday then it could be an exciting day. Good luck to everyone in the tourney and see you at the weighin.

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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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Pierce Marsh (5-7-13)

3reds

I made an evening trip to Pierce Marsh in Hitchcock yesterday after work to try and pick up 3 quick reds. My wife wants to do a fish fry for her 30th birthday and we have no fish in the freezer right now which means I’ll need to make multiple trips over the next week and a half to bring in some meat. I haven’t fished Pierce this year but wanted to go somewhere close so that I could get there and back as quickly as possible. I launched around 4:00 and started making my way to the marsh. The tides are still running a little low from the last front we had so I figured spotting fish would be easy but quickly realized that getting to them would be difficult when I saw this.

Low Tide

With the tides as low as they were I knew of a few spots where the fish should be stacked up. I was able to paddle for a while but had to get out and walk about 300 yards through shin deep mud to get to one of the deeper channels before I could paddle again. From there I made my way to one of the deeper holes where a few drains empty into one spot and immediately saw fish feeding. I started off throwing a Gulp Pogy (Color: Cigar Minnow) on a 1/16th ounce jighead under a Midcoast Popping Cork Inticer with about a foot of fluorocarbon and that seemed to be what they wanted. On my third cast I was looking around at the grass lines for any other signs of fish when my rod was nearly pulled out of my hand. I quickly brought that fish in and it went 23”. Stayed for another 10 minutes but the fish seemed to have scattered after the fight so I moved to another drain close by to let things settle down. I found the same scenario at the second drain as I did the first. Paddled up to see redfish feeding where the drains emptied and on about the third cast I picked up a solid 25 ½” red. The fish seemed like they scattered again so I made the short paddle back to the first spot and the fish were back. Made about five casts and picked up a 27 ½” red and called it a day since I had my limit. On the paddle back in I saw about a dozen crawlers hanging around every piece of wind protected shoreline. I tried casting at about a half a dozen of them but they weren’t interested in anything I was throwing. I threw KFM, Buggs, Chicken Boys, and gulp in their path and they would either blowout as it hit the water or just look at it and swim around it. I had a long paddle back and knew I would have to walk through the mud again so I decided to keeping paddling instead of stopping and messing with them.

This was my first time using the Inticer Popping Cork and while I felt that I could cast it a lot further due to the cork being out front I didn’t feel that I got as good a chug as when I use the Evolution.  I also had the opportuniy to use my Grind Terminal Tackle Stringer today with the Stringer Spike Sheath and it’s pretty awesome.  I attached the spike sheath to my seat and it made getting the fish on stringer quick and easy.

rig

stringer

Pierce Tide 5-7-13

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