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Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:49 am 
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Joined: 4/29/04
Posts: 3033
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Sat down and relaxed after 5 busy days, staging a coast kayak trip, fishing 3 days, paddling 18 mi, big wind from every direction, a cold front, and making partners with strangers - almost - old internet friends, face to face and fishing together for the first time - and today washing boats.

I met up with Neumie - Josh - from TKF, and ablecane - Mark - from FFR and Clark's board.

I'm going to make a post for each day fishing.

Met up with Josh at 5:15 Saturday morning at Agave Jalisco in Three Rivers - halfway stop from San Antonio to the coast. The parking lot is the first time we had met, but we know each other from mutual results admiration on TKF.
We made it to Palm Harbor RV park to launch from their bulkhead at about 7 am
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A cold front was coming, and we were tackling a 14-16-kt SSW wind on a flat that fishes best on a SE wind. Josh did a great job laying out our trail on his report, our multiple drifts plotted from his GPS. One great thing - Josh loves to drift fish a kayak, and so do I.
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After our first mile paddle and stretch at Sandy Point, my plan was one more mile to catch an incoming tide at the inside of Little Cut.
Josh didn't care much for wading the inside bar here and continued on to drift the other side of the cut in big Aransas Bay.
I caught tourist trout, but didn't find the tide current I was hoping for.
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I had to paddle through the cut to find Josh, we went back through and aimed south up Traylor Island shore and Estes flats.
There were some guide boats that bracketed our drift - they wouldn't let us drift past them, even with a wide berth.
So we paddled up, drifted back and fished the water behind them. With all the motors on the flat, the trout were hitting light and quick.
Think I hooked up first with a serious slot red, he took me for a ride, and I saw him at the boat before he spit the hook.
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Josh was next with a nice slot red - I think he's hooked up in this photo.
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Almost instantly, I was hooked up again, and brought a fine redfish to the boat, but a half-inch short of the 20" lower slot limit.
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And I don't need a fish on the stringer, releasing them is fine. My camera caught this hot pink mylar reflection from his tail.
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and you can just make out the blue tip of his tail as he swam away.
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With the approaching cold front, the wind began to both build and swing on us, and we had to face its teeth for the last mile paddle home, so we called the day.
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be back with a Mustang (barrier) Island lake...


Last edited by Ron Mc on Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:22 am, edited 2 times in total.

Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:50 am 
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Joined: 4/29/04
Posts: 3033
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Mustang Island includes Port Aransas and the thickest concentration of tourist businesses and canal houses on any Texas barrier island. In contrast, Matagorda, San Jose and most of Padre island, making up more than 2/3 of the coastline, are devoid of anything except wildlife.
Saturday evening, while Josh cooked up some great steaks and tasty condiments, a cold front hit us hard.
We had been expecting this, and I gave the day to Josh to plan some measure of shelter from the beating NW wind - or at least a paddle that would get us home on that wind. We had invited Mark, but I'm glad he didn't come, because, in retrospect, some of the wind and tide current we faced together took some deep core muscle hard-charge paddling to advance.

Starting at 52 degrees and 18-kt north wind, I put on my Kokatat dry pants, and they paid for themselves this day. My top shell came on and off, depending on whether I was sitting or standing, but the dry pants remained comfortable even on the last leg of the paddle with diminishing wind, s. Texas sun, and 75 degrees.

Josh has a fast boat in his 2007 Perception Search - at least as fast as my Tarpon, and keeping up with Josh for (another) 6-1/2 mi gave me a good workout.
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After a ferry ride, we launched at Islands Mooring Marina in a very nice neighborhood.
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My first shot of the day was all about the good early morning light. Josh is pointing at a great flat that we can't get through the pass on the east end of Pelone Is for the low tide.
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Though the tide had been coming in for 2 hours, the 18 kt NNW wind pushing water out of the estuary turned this oyster reef into a dam, holding back a foot of water.
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The wind current in the channel was brutal
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We snaked through the winding channel up current into East Flats lake, and were greeted by a string of pelicans.
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Some boats had beat us there and staked out in the deeper water, so we continued upwind, giving them a wide berth, to drift the flat behind them.
I was the first to hook up, a slot red that was going to measure 23"
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In this skinny turtle grass lake with great bottom, I instantly staked out my boat and went after him.
Josh's view
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and mine
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in the boat with TSL grasswalker in his mouth
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this one went on the stringer
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after this, I tried wading awhile, and Josh stood and drifted away to sight-fish from his boat.
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It paid off for Josh, he got his slot red, and several smaller reds.
I didn't bring another fish to hand, but struck a couple of trout and smaller reds - even a really small rat red that couldn't quite eat the lure.
Josh had to get back to San Antonio, had fish to clean, knew there would be a half-hour ferry wait, so we paddled through the great water he had wanted to start on, saw redfish mudballs and a huge black drum (5' from my boat), which Josh made a couple of casts, but we kept paddling.
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Our two slot reds (gave mine to Josh)
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and Josh cutting them into skin-on fillets for grilling - this is a free municipal fish-cleaning stand at Aransas Marina - very nice, indeed, and the city polices the waste for you.
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Great trip with Josh, good company and a great fisherman - looking forward to next time.


Last edited by Ron Mc on Fri Apr 19, 2019 7:41 am, edited 1 time in total.

Posted: Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:51 am 
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Joined: 4/29/04
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Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
I first planned this trip for the chance to meet up with Mark - ablecane.
At the same time, Josh had pm'd me about wanting to get together sometime, so it was great for me to put this together.
Josh and I shared a really good fishing shack - new since Harvey, and I was able to keep it 2 more nights, letting me take a nap after yesterday's paddle, and make it home by 9:30 this morning.

I met Mark and Donna the night before at my favorite Rockport Mexican seafood, Los Comales.
He and I met up for fishing at 6a at Tacos de Oro in Aransas Pass, and I had the best plate of Migas ala Mexicana I've ever eaten.
Sunrise at Palm Harbor.
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This day really looked good on paper, with a SSE wind and 7am low tide. I expected us to be walking on fish with the 2-mi paddle to Little Cut.
The day before on our paddle in, Josh and I were talking wouldabeen, couldabeen, shouldabeen, as we paddled home through that beautiful deeper flat containing more fish and better drift fishing. Same kind of thing today. I put Mark on fish, but if we had waited out my tide instead of heading out to chase redfish, would have probably had a better fish-catching day. Still, it was a great day.

What we found, the 24-hr NW wind had pushed so much water out of the flat, Little Cut wasn't a pass at all, but a deep slough on Aransas Bay. The wind change, though, was creating a current, and with an eddy at the back of the slough.
When we got to Sandy Point, and found the hardpack exposed, I knew we'd have to walk our boats after another mile paddle to Little Cut -
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- luckily, the middle shoal at Little Cut was all hard pack when we got there, had to get out and walk, though the unburdened boats floated right in.
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The deep side of the channel stopped dead where it should turn up Traylor Is, but with an eddy from the wind current coming off Aransas Bay. There was a trickle coming through the skinny north pass, and no fish sign on the side to make easy downwind casts.
This cut was last dredged in 1960 - it's really the remnants of a cut, and Big Cut is now the boat path.
I put Mark on the slope of the old channel, and he had landed 5 small trout before I could turn around. I had him set up with Tsunami SS3 black back, started with my cocahoe, but would switch to his lure, too.
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typical tourist trout
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and another
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Casting into the wind, Mark's new spinning tackle was an advantage over my baitcaster, though I did get the baitcaster dialed in for the wind before too long.
Mark caught 20 fish here, had a really big trout spit on him, and landed this 16", our only keeper trout of the day.
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Just above Mark here, in the wind eddy, I hooked up a massive flounder - at least 24" if not more. He began creeping toward Aransas Bay, taking drag the whole time. At least 3 times I held the spool with my thumb and set hard, but after a few minutes of small steps toward Aransas, it all came back to me.

We would have probably done better staying here and waiting out the tide, but by 11am, I decided to paddle wide around the shoals, and head up toward Big Cut, to take advantage of the SSE wind and drift for reds. I really wanted to put Mark on reds.

The same water Josh and I had drifted 2 days before was bracketed by shoals, but the different wind set us up a perfect drift to miss the shoals and end up right at Sandy Point.
Didn't find a redfish, but got into small trout again as we neared Sandy Point.
It had been a day for Mark, who put up a great paddle, was pretty well fished out.
When we stretched at Sandy Point, like throwing a switch, the wind shifted to ESE and sailed us straight in to Palm Harbor.

Two perfect fish taco fillets came from the small trout, and at the cleaning stand, handed my camera to a guest who had just finished up a similar trout - Mark and I are out of focus, but the water looks good.
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Back at my digs, enjoying a brew, before Mark headed back to his wife and friends at NPI.
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Here's the view from the digs that Josh and I shared. At the far right is the new Harbor island desalination water plant - makes me happy.
2 nights before, a couple from our "neighborhood" had been cast-netting bait in the slough.
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Our front deck also had a Cajun chorus frog, who sang for us at night.
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A great trip, great friends, and looking for Mark's report on the rest of his stay at NPI.
He texted me he followed up our trip with success in the surf.


Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 10:34 am 
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Joined: 9/14/03
Posts: 1365
Location: Connecticut
Wow ...more fishing in one post than I'll do in a year ...or two ...or more !

Thanks for sharing.

Dean.


Posted: Sun Apr 21, 2019 4:35 pm 
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Joined: 4/29/04
Posts: 3033
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
thanks Dean, it was a good trip.
Redfish fight with shoulders, and putting in that much work to hook up 2 or 3 in a day is worth it.
My dad is 90 and is already planning Arroyo Colorado in far s. tropic Texas for November.
http://fiberglassflyrodders.com/forum/v ... 33&t=64332

Even the little specs put up a great fight, and they're about the best food I know short of flounder.

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