Saturday, April 28, 2007

Saltwater Scouting

Most everyone who knows me has realized that I have a new Friday night habit.

Not long ago I used to spend time at football games, plays, and other school related activities. Lately I have been hanging off the 1st Street Pier in Palacios until the wee hours trying to trick some Texas trout.

This Friday was no exception and I arrived at about 9PM to find the dreaded East wind blowing at about 10mph. The bay was chocolate brown from the recent rains and wind, but I was hopeful just the same.

I tried the pier, the wall, and the light in front to the Baptist Encampment - all without any success. I walked down to the Pavilion pier and fished under the lights of the small rock piles on the way. I tried every open light on the pavilion pier and watched several shrimp soakers pull in some hardheads and gafftop.

I began to believe that I too may fall prey to the saltwater catfish before the night was over to avoid the dreaded skunk.

About midnight I returned to the 1st Street Pier and hooked up some Gulp shrimp. I have yet to catch anything on these "miracle baits" but I am still a believer. Anything that smells as bad as they do will eventually catch something.

A couple of guys were fishing live shrimp at the second light and were catching some tiny sand trout (3-5"). The wind finally started dying out after midnight and some small trout moved in under the lights. I quickly dumped the Gulp and went to my old standby. The tiny glow double shad were the ticket and I caught my share of these feisty trout.

I moved around and caught 5 more under the light in front of the Baptist Encampment. All were too small to keep but fun to catch. I caught two that were nearly legal but I try to be careful not to stretch them too much. I want to make sure that if I keep any fish there is no doubt that they are well within the size limit.

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Shiny Silver Speck

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Agressive Yellow-Mouth

I got a few hours sleep and got up to hear the weather report (from Tracy) that conditions were predicted to be conducive to outdoor photography so we decided to take a drive and get some shots of the new scarf she had recently finished.

The pattern for the scarf is called "fish tail lace" so I suggested we go to Matagorda beach for the photo shoot. You know, there is plenty of driftwood and scenic waves and such..... Who knows, I may even be able to catch something to contribute to the theme.

Tracy took her pictures and even took some of me keeping busy while she was shooting her scarf.

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Surf Fisher

After a while, we continued to explore and found Three Mile lake on the bay side of the dunes.

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Blind Casting

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Salt Marsh

I got in some practice casting and saw lots of bait and mullet. I was about to return to Tracy & the truck when I got hit by a hard THUMP and to my surprise and delight pulled in a keeper flounder that hit my 1/8 oz Cubby Micro Jig!

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Southern Flounder.....

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AKA - "Supper"

See, I told you I would contribute to the scarf theme!

We continued exploring and I wanted to check out a "secret spot" I was informed about earlier by a guy who was walking the beach with his shell-hunting spouse.

I would disclose the location but I want to wait until I have a chance to prove whether there are any fish first so I won't be accused of spreading rumors.

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Another Fisherman

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Watching the Bait

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The Catch

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Pier Fisherman?

I didn't get any hits from the bridge and the pier, but I did see a couple of nice oyster reefs and a waterway into the marsh where the promise of an inland saltwater lake awaits.

All in all it was a great day and I now have some new ideas for kayak fishing.


Bawana said...

Nice post John, we like the driftwood and that flat fish. Good location for a scarf photo shoot!

Anonymous said...


We need to make that October Flounder run around Cameron; we have a while to plan!



Paul Batchelder said...

The water looked a little muddy there too.. Finished with my crawfish duties today..just a bunch of hardheads there too!