Monday, December 31, 2007

End of Year Fishing

Well this is it - the last day of 2007.

I don't know how the weather is where you are but here in Southeast Texas you couldn't ask for a better day. It started out cool and a bit foggy but promised to warm up to the low 70's and the wind was to remain light for most of the day.

We were up early (4AM) to see Matt off as he was heading north to Kansas prior to the beginning of the spring semester at OC.

Today was to be the first real adventure in the Magic - Tracy's Christmas present. This 12ft boat manufactured by Native Watercraft and is unique with it's open cockpit design and plug & play accessory system. The seat is also unique as it suspends the paddler up off the deck for a dry comfortable ride.

You may recall that my first attempt at a paddling adventure with Tracy didn't turn out so well. This time we had the right boat (with plugged scupper holes), an elevated seat, and light winds.

We headed for a spot on the Matagorda Peninsula called Three Mile Cut which contains some lakes and channels between the Gulf and East Matagorda Bay. I brought along some fishing gear since back in April I had caught a flounder from the shore on our first visit to this area.

PhotobucketBoats Loaded

PhotobucketLunch in Bay City

PhotobucketMatagorda County - our Future Home?

The following video documents our 2007 Kayak Adventure

After returning to the Visitor's Center, we decided to spend the remaining hour of daylight walking on the beach.

Picking shells provides some quiet time for reflection.

Photobucket2007 Beach Beauty of the Year

PhotobucketFar Away Thoughts


PhotobucketDune Flowers

PhotobucketIndian Blanket

PhotobucketSurf & Jetty


PhotobucketUnder The Pier

No fish today but we made up for it by having a great paddling experience and one of the best walks on the beach ever.

Happy New Year To All!

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Winter Redfish

Saturday's weather turned out partly cloudy with temps starting out in the high 40's and climbing to 60 by noon. The winds were light and variable but mostly N-NE at about 10mph.

I headed back to McNab to see if I could find some reds that were hungry for some Gulp shrimp or one of a variety of soft plastics or hard baits.

I launched at 10am and the tide was low again.

On my paddle to the lake I was greeted by several species of migratory birds.


The marsh is a pretty place anytime but today it really caught my eye with the dark sky and the sun peeking out from time to time.


I often hear feral hogs rooting around inside the marsh and I finally got my eyes on some.


I didn't fool around exploring today but instead headed straight for the lake.

I saw plenty of other fishermen along the way.

Little Blue Heron


My first red was a little small but scrappy.
I caught him on a gold flake and chartreuse swim bait.


My first keeper came about 30 minutes later when I found some working fish.

The Net Comes in Handy

Keeper #2

Smile for the Camera

Played Out

Watching for Bait

This guy went for the chartreuse Catch Jr.

Big Boy

Blue Tail

Multi Spot

Catch n Release

This crab grabbed the Catch Jr. and hung on.

Crab cakes anyone?

Snow Geese

Picking at the Oyster Reef

Full Tankwell

The Arsenal

Full Stringer

I had a full stringer by 12:30pm but kept fishing until 3pm. I ended up with a double limit - 6 reds in the slot and the rat. I won't count the crab...

I kept two 24" and one 26" fish and released a 22", a 25" and a 27" to fight another day. This was by far the most productive day I've spent at McNab and needless to say my arms were tired from fighting fish and paddling.

I think the spot I found today could classify as a "Honey Hole".

What do you think?

Friday, December 28, 2007

End of the Year at Evans Lake

2007 is rapidly coming to a close and since I'm off work this week I decided to make one last visit to the lake for some bass action.

I caught more than my share of fish - I stopped counting at ten. The camera was around my neck as usual but I decided to just relax and enjoy the time without trying to photo document everything.

The first fish I hooked was a jumbo - quite a surprise after the smaller fish I have been catching. It took me a while to find the fish but when I did I found a bunch of them. I cast out beyond the weeds and let the BGW drift with the wind. When I got a hit I really laid into him to try to get him up on the surface before he got me into the weeds. I think it shocked him and he immediately went airborne. He jumped three times and spit the hook. Just as I was about to reel in the slack line he jumped again - just for fun!

I'll estimate he was a four pounder and I nicknamed him "Son of Legend".

My one and only picture was of the evening sky.


I'm looking forward to next year already.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Christmas Gulp

I got a great gift from Santa in my stocking. Berkley Gulp Shrimp in New Penny and Pearl White.


These 3" wonders really fool the redfish in the marsh and bays of the Texas Gulf Coast.

We have been having a great holiday with our kids in from out of town, good food, games, and gifts.

We took a ride to Matagorda yesterday but the wind was blowing between 25 & 30 mph so it was a short trip.

We attended the midweek services of the Church last night together and the time of devotion, singing, Scripture reading, and prayers was a fitting way to finish the time together.

After saying goodbye to the Ft. Worth gang this morning, it was time to load up the kayak and see if the white pearl Gulp could scare up a redfish.


When I arrived it was obviously a low tide situation.

The oyster beds were completely exposed at the launch.


No worries - I was determined to find the fish today!
I even have on my new knitted hat under my cap. (Thanks Tracy!)

Launch time - 1:30PM


I began the paddle to McNab but decided to veer right at the first split to see if I could make it to Gottschalk Lake.

I paddled for an hour and jumped two fish. The channel got so narrow in spots that I couldn't turn around. I finally gave up and turned back when I started dragging bottom in a wide flat. I paddled back to the split and made the turn to McNab.

That turned out to be a good decision as I finally got into some active fish in the potholes near the mouth of the main channel near McNab Lake. I got the pearl white gulp in front of a feeding fish and the ride was on!


This 26" red took a while to tire out.
He was by far the strongest fish I've tangled with in a kayak.


His belly looks big but when I opened him up he wasn't even full!


I picked up this rat red near the same spot as big brother.


Here I am at the launch just after dark.


Time for the cleaning table!

Fresh fish for supper tomorrow.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Holiday Night Fishing

With another cold front due to arrive in the Houston area this morning, I decided that if I was going to get to fish it would be on the pier sometime between Friday evening and daylight.

I opted for the late shift and got to bed early enough to grab a few hours of shut-eye before heading to Palacios. The sky was clear - no fog - and there was virtually no traffic on the roads. The wind had settled down in Needville, but when I arrived in P-town there was still a good breeze blowing that would surely be a factor for the fishing.

The 1st Street pier was all but empty as the last of the early shift were leaving as I pulled up. "No luck." they all said. Well that may be true for you but.....

I started out fishing the tiny double shad rig and found some sandies on the pier and under the light at the Baptist Encampment. After becoming convinced that I had thoroughly covered the water with the shad, I switched to the Lil Speck Killer.

The specks seemed to go for this slightly bigger bait and they wanted it s-l-o-w.

I had more hits on the pink tail than ever before. In all I caught about 40 sand trout and 10 specks. The biggest one was barely legal so back he went.

Here are some pictures and video of the trip.

I didn't bring home any fish but I had a great time anyway.

Monday, December 17, 2007


In the past 5 days I attended two funerals. One was for a fairly young (50) father of three that died suddenly and unexpectedly, and the other was for a dear friend who lived a full and long life and died after a long decline surrounded by his loving family.

Both were moving in their own way and caused no small amount of reflection about the passing of my parents and my own mortality.

I took the last hour of the day before sunset to spend some time alone walking (and casting) along the shores of Evans Lake. The temperature had dropped significantly since the last visit just a few days earlier and the fish had moved from the usual shoreline haunts to deeper water and protection from the cold.

The fishing wasn't great but sky was pretty dramatic so I snapped a few shots.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

Oh Yeah - I was blessed with this nice bass.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

James 4:14
Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.

I thank God for today and it's blessings.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Blown Out By a Cold Front

I had a great idea...

After attending the graduation ceremony on Friday at TAMUK for a certain nephew (that will remain unnamed), and driving home from Kingsville, how about getting up early and driving 60 miles to McNab Lake to see if I could beat the approaching storm and catch a few redfish?

Yeah, that sounds reasonable....

I left home at dark-thirty and drove to the launch with some doubt as to what I might find.. Believe it or not, the sky looked good and the storm still seemed far enough away for a quick paddle.

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

I paddled out to the lake at dawn and had just found the fish when the cold front arrived complete with lightning and high wind.

At the first sign of flashes in the distance I turned back and paddled like crazy to the launch. I reached it well ahead of the storm and had the boat loaded and gear stowed before the bottom fell out. I saw a big black drum tailing in the oysters near the launch but couldn't interest him in my Gulp Shrimp.

I started home in the deluge only to remember that I had left the scupper plugs in the yak so when I came to a spot where the rain began to let up I hopped out and looked in to see about 15 gallons of water had collected. That wouldn't be so good for the mileage so I popped the plugs and let it drain out.

By the time I got home, the front had passed and with it my chances for a redfish.

They will be there next time!