My voyage to the coast technically started on Thursday. I consider prepping for a trip as enjoyable as the trip itself. As I survey my equipment, an old Trout Support DVD plays in the background. There is something special about getting your gear prepped and laid out. On each rod I tied on a fresh fluoro leader and a different rig/bait for different conditions I might face. I typically carry 5 rods in the yak with me. This allows me to target specific species in different situations by simply reaching behind me to change setups.
The moment I hit Highway 332 headed into Freeport my windows come down. I love the smell of salt in the air; it signifies water, fish, and relaxation in my immediate future. My buddy Aaron and I left Austin around 5:30 AM. We were on the water by 11:00 after a couple pit stops. With a full day of fishing planned for Saturday we stayed close to the launch and targeted specks. A 1/8-ounce jig head with Down South Chicken of the C slowly bumped off the bottom seemed to do the trick. I caught 4 keeper specks and 2 undersized flounder. Aaron boated a few dinks, but nothing that would keep. It was a fun first day.
4:00 AM alarms are less annoying when fishing is involved. We launched the boats a little before 6:00 on Saturday and were at the first back lake by 7:00. Aaron had never caught a redfish, so I figured the failsafe Gulp Shrimp under a popping cork would get him his first. Fellow ACK Fishing Team Member Ben Maldonado helped me perfect this setup. Ben explained, “This presentation is hard to beat when fishing in the marsh” and walked me through jig head weight and leader length. He certainly was right about this rig. Aaron not only had his first red by 7:15, but a limit of slots by 9:00.
I threw a Hogie’s Swimming Jack Black w/ Chartreuse Tail for most of the morning. I landed 7 fish in the slot ranging from 23 to 29 inches. These were fat fish. The 29-inch weighed almost 10 lbs. The birds are usually working this back lake pretty hard, so finding fish fairly easy. With the wind up a little I couldn’t find Gulls or Turns this trip. I concentrated on searching for slicks. Everyone has heard about “Trout Slicks”, but a few years ago I realized redfish create slicks as well. A “slick” is where oil from chewed up bait fish rises to the surface causing a shiny patch on the water. I fished a little upwind from these slicks which certainly paid off. I recently started filming my fishing which was weird at first but has been fun. I love re-watching my trips.
We headed back to Austin early Sunday morning. This was my fourth trip to the coast in as many weeks. You’d think I would be tired and take a break – but I was back in ACK this morning talking fishing with the guys and checking out gear. Cheers to 2020 and sliming up the yak!
ACK Fishing Team Member
Hobie Fishing Team Member
Youtube: The Sober Fisherman