Fish Catching Travel
Buy more baits, KVD is down to his last million!
I am finally back after 2 1/2 days of hard fishing. Of course the road was paved with good intentions, I really did hope to post while I was gone, but once I dunked the camera I could only give you the quick update. It just would not be the same without some pictures. Once we got home I was able to recover the pictures from the card so here we go, what 2 grown men did all day.
I tend to use the generic term, Baffin Bay, to describe what is actually the Upper Laguna Madre out of the Bird Island Basin boat ramp in the Padre Island National Seashore. Like the last couple of trips, we get close to Baffin proper, but basically we fished the Upper Laguna on the King Ranch Shoreline.
We specifically chose this period because it was slated to be cloudy and not to windy, and boy did that work out. The first day we wanted to make long wades and see if we could establish some kind of pattern, and fortunately we were able to figure something out.
The first one, and the last clear sky of the day.
Of course it took us a while to begin to establish some kind of pattern. I basically stayed with soft plastics on the super light jig head. Shoedog on the other hand tossed topwater, corky, and soft plastics. The topwater was not working, the water temp was 56 degrees and it just was not the best option.
Shoedog gets in on the act. Notice here comes the weather. (This is a great example of how fish look depending on the perspective and how they are held. This fish weighed 4.5 on the boga.)
We made super long wades just trying to get a feel for the area. You can put what we know about it in your hat so we took it slow and just tried to work out a pattern. I used to say I am the worst trout fisherman ever, so maybe I am a little better, but while I still suck at corky fishing I am really getting the hang of using the super light jighead on light line. And a fish the size of this one on light line and a spinning rod is nothing short of fun.
I finally stuck a real one.
My first real good fish of the trip came in about waist deep water in a mix of hard sand, scattered rock, and grass. That type of bottom is scattered for miles down the King Ranch Shoreline. We would make a long wade and then move farther down the shoreline towards Baffin, picking one up here and there was we learned more and more.
The trout were just good solid fish.
Shoedog kept after the corky, but had a oops moment when throwing one on his spinning rod and 8lb test, not a good idea as he broke off a big one. So he started using an old broken back Tsunami, a corky knock off, and established his pattern for the next couple of days.
He kept after the corky bite and ended up getting rewarded for it.
We ended up making 4 big long wades and began to get a feel for the pattern. The weather was slated to be perfect the next day, cloudy with little wind and we were getting the idea we just might have a clue. For the day it was 7 trout and 2 reds, which we were happy with considering we are real rookies as far as the Laguna goes.
Day 2 – Thursday
It was perfect today, light winds, clouds, and very little boat traffic. We headed to the second area where we caught some yesterday and were over the side at daylight.
You could not ask for better big trout weather.
After we anchored the boat I took off one way and Shoedog took off the other. He had a little trouble getting started, in my case, not so much. Throwing the watermelon red Down South on a 1/32 ounce jig head turned out to be breakfast for some hungry trout.
Here is the first 5 trout I caught on wade one, some really nice solid fish. (Why the flash on the camera chooses to work sometimes and not others is a mystery.)
We started catching them and kept at it all day. The fish are in such good shape down there just like in the POC area. Fat and sassy, whether it is the 5 fish limit, the floods, or just a natural happening, the fish were solid and heavy. After a while we just quit taking pictures and kept fishing. We both lost count, but it was probably over 30 for the day.
I was catching all mine of the plastics, and Shoedog kept with the corky. He was wanting to get better at it, and persistence is the only way. It was a slow twitch stop twitch retrieve that got them. He caught several nice ones and then caught one of those that was a little better than the solid average we were catching.
Get you some of that! What a trout.
The whole day was full of catching. Every wade we made, I think it was 5, we caught fish. It turned into just another good one, and another. I wanted to try to improve my poor corky fishing skills and two things ended up happening, first I finally caught a nice trout. Second, I had something happen which has not happened to me in years, and it was crazy. You often hear the old “That one tried to rip the rod out of my hands” saying while you are fishing, but it actually happened to me. As I slowly jerked and paused the corky one literally ripped the rod right out of my hands. It went in the water like a shot and luckily I was able to grab it and found a redfish on the end of my line.
My last good one from a day filled with nice solid fish.
It was truly a solid day filled with good trout. Most were in the waist deep water and it was a mouth open, head shaking good time. For an average it was one of the better days we have had. I was amazed at how heavy the fish were for how short they were. None of them have been shorted on the groceries. So at the end of day 2 we were happy and wondering what the weather change would bring on Friday.
Day 3 – Friday
While there was 5 or 6 trucks at the ramp the first two mornings, there was a wad today. Someone must have put the open for business sign out as there were boats running everywhere, and several parties fishing the shoreline. Unfortunately it was sunny and warm, and luckily the wind was still not blowing. As Shoedog said, “Why does it not blow like this at POC?”
Shoedog started his day off with a bang.
To make a long story short we only managed 5 or 6 today before we quit at 2. We made 3 wades, working the areas over better as there was tons of boats flying up and down the Laguna. He stayed with the corky and I with the plastics.
My first fish of the day.
You really get a sense of how clear the Laguna is when the sun is out and the wind is not blowing, it is amazing. Along with that came tougher fishing, or should I say catching. While yesterday they were eating it, we probably missed a higher percentage of fish today than the rest of the trip combined. We made on more stop and I finished my trip off with a nice 5 pound, on the boga, trout. The sun was out in full force and I tossed to a small isolated patch of grass and she thumped it.
25″ inches and 5 lbs of beautiful speckled trout and like all the others this trip was released to fight again another day. A great finish to a good trip.
The few fish we caught today were nice ones. In fact of the 40+ we caught while there only 3 or 4 would have to have been measured, and then only because they looked small compared to the 6 or 7 bigger fish we caught. And other than the rod ripping incident the only other happening included both of us stepping off in water over the tops of our waders. Thank goodness it happened on the last day when it ended up being 78 degrees. And a side note to that was the water warmed up 5 degrees that day so look for the topwater bite to come on strong.
With the drive back to Victoria, and boats and equipment to be cleaned, we called it a trip. These pictures do not really do it justice to how good it was, and how solid the fish were. It has been a banner fall in the mid-coast region of the Gulf and it should only get better in the future. There were many voices of dissent in the Lower Laguna and then the mid-coast region when the state proposed the 5 fish limit but the results are undeniable. And as I have said repeatedly, I am not the guy to definitively state why the fishing is so good and the fish are in such awesome shape, but whatever, it is working.
This was also a trip were being able to watch the weather and then leave when it was right made the whole thing work. It you have ever noticed how many of the big trout pictures in the magazines seem to be on cloudy misty days you are right. I can not over emphasis how active the fish were on Thursday. And bait was also the key. There were lots of big mullet jumping most places we caught fish, and no bait meant slow fishing.
Sorry I did not report while gone, but the camera snafu put a stop to that. So here is the abbreviated version, but you get the picture. To bad it is just a little to far for a day trip, or I would be back down there expanding my knowledge of the area. You always here about the rocks and how dangerous it can be. It is easy to stay out of trouble down there and we have never had even a close call. First remove your head from your ass, second, once you leave the ICW idle, it is simple as that. Taking a few extra minutes to idle to a shoreline makes all the difference.
That about covers it. I am sure I have left some things out, but these are the high points. The lovely wife went with us and other than a quick couple of suppers she went her way and we went fishing. We stayed in Port Aransas and also managed to eat some seafood. It is 30 miles to the ramp at Bird Island Basin but not a bad drive. It sure is easy to see why so many really big trout come from that area and if I am lucky I will get back at least one more time this spring. There are some other comments and pictures that need to be posted and I will get to them next. So keep stopping in and thanks for reading my stuff.
Good Luck and Tight Lines