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A couple of weeks ago I had an opportunity to take a trip with my second in command (Assistant Manager) Jordan, Store Associate Nate, and one of our other buddies for three days of camping and nonstop coastal fishing. We all worked on Monday so we came to work packed and ready to go. Needless to say, even though we do work at a kayak shop, it was the longest Monday ever!

coast4We arrived at Goose Island State Park, just outside of Rockport, TX at around 10:30 p.m., promptly set up camp, then headed straight to the lit pier. We fished off of the pier until around 2:00 AM catching tons of Speckled Trout and Nate even got a gorgeous little flounder – all on the fly. He also lost a monster trout on his conventional rod, which he hit throwing his lure just outside of the lights. We headed back to camp to plan our next day. Our plan was to launch three Diablo Kayaks (we had all three models with us! Chupacabra, Adios, and Amigo) at sunrise the next morning at Cavasso Creek hoping to get into some Red fish.

Personally, I love hammock camping, in fact the past few times that I have camped, I haven’t even set up my tent! For this trip, I used my coast5Double Nest Eno Hammock and my rain fly tarp! I love how the wind rocks you back and forth, so relaxing.

At Cavasso Creek we got the opportunity to paddle with a couple of dolphins and saw a TON of red fish. Most of them were sunning over mud but not really in feeding mode, although Jordan did manage to get a nice slot red fish on a top water. After paddling and fishing for a few hours, we headed back to camp for a little R & R – beer and food – ya know, the essentials of Kayak Camping. After sundown, we went back to our favorite lit pier and tore up the specks again! Constantly catching fish on fly rods never gets old!

Day two we slept in a little bit and hit some different spots by land. We waded several different areas and even took a trip to Nate’s secret Tarpon spot. This was our least productive day of the trip fishing-wise because a cold front rolled in the night before. We did get to witness a tarpon that was around 3.5 feet long launch out of the water to crush a jumping mullet. Always awesome to witness, even if it isn’t your fly the fish is taking. After all was said and done we got back to camp around midnight where Jordan and I turned in for the night while Mike and Nate headed back to the pier.coast1

The next morning the first thing I asked was “Y’all have fun messing around with those small trout at the pier last night?, because I slept amazing.” Without missing a beat, Nate came back with “Yeah and that 26 inch red fish I got on my 6 wt was pretty rad too.” I was not the happiest of campers at that point.

A little back story, I have been trying to get a slot red fish on the fly for over a year and it continues to elude me. I have caught tarpon, snook ,and tons of speckled trout on the fly – just no keeper reds! While I was fast asleep in my hammock, my buddy was getting taken into his backing by a red fish. Yeah, that’s what I get for turning in early.

Before we broke down camp we kept one red fish and one trout and decided to fry them up. After camping and fishing non stop for three days, I tell you those were some of the best fish tacos I have ever had in my life. We broke down camp and made the long trek back to Austin, and I already can’t wait until I get the opportunity to get salty again!

Ryan Schaper,
Austin Store Manager

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