It is currently 28 Nov 2021, 15:50


1, 2  Next New Topic Add Reply
Author Message
Estes Flats Sep 3-4
Post 05 Sep 2021, 06:53 • #1 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 17615
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
When Ida tinkering sent me to the AP tide predictor, found several days of big harmonics and my favorite timing to fish the cuts at Estes.
The biggest tide swing was Friday, with a 5 am high tide, which gives a good tide current for stacking bait in the passes at first light.
I began checking with friends to see who could play - no trouble getting Lou and Tony to volunteer.
We went down Thursday evening (ate at Moon Dog's), and launched at dark-thirty Fri morning.

Image

After our 3-mi paddle, first-light at Little Cut was everything promised - the bait were running into each other, the tide flow was so strong it created eddies.
Redfish were rolling on the surface like tarpon. Tony was catching ladyfish on his fly rod, and right off, Lou caught three 14-inch snook.

Image

Friday was an amazing day in many ways, and a strange day for me - I just couldn't bring a fish to hand.
Whatever the reds were rolling on, I couldn't match the hatch.
YoZuri wake bait made the exact pattern of the bait in the cut, no takers.
The smallest thing I brought was 3" Z-man on 1/8-oz Texas eye jighead.
Every cast, the little snook attacked it, and my couple of hook-ups shook me off.

As always on our favorite drill, when the pass quieted about 9 am, we moved back onto Estes to drift fish.
Wind was SSW, the cloud cover and threat of rain made an extremely pleasant morning.
For most of the morning, rained all around us and never on us.
I hooked a solid red that hauled me too close to an anchored boat and a good bitching out - and the fish came unhooked right at the boat - my story for all of Friday.

Image

Lou described a 24" flounder he brought to the boat, and it finally came unhooked.
About 11 am it looked like the rain was finally going to catch us, Tony and I retreated to Sandy Point for food and beer.
Sure enough, we got sheets of heavy rain with a 30-kt gale, and watched Lou disappear up Trout Bayou.
Strangest thing, our pleasant morning disappeared with that squall.
As soon as the cloud passed, the flat turned to dead calm and brutal sun.

Image

We made one last foray to the duck blinds, where I brought two more redfish to the boat, but no farther, and this little fella was my only fish to handle on Friday.

Image

Friday was Lou's day, with a slot red and a keeper trout.

Image

Dinner Friday night was Mexican seafood at Los Comales.

Saturday, Labor Day weekend, not a great day to cross the ferry, so we ran our Estes drill the second day.
There was plenty of bait but no gamefish in Little Cut.
With light SE wind, paddled onto Aransas Bay and instantly found trout. It started off bad,
I had a big trout almost to the boat and one of her head shakes tore the hook - this drift has always been big trout water for me.
Hoping not to have a repeat of Friday, and this was my first fish to hand.

Image

Lou was done with Little Cut, paddled into my drift right after I lost the big girl, said he was heading to Estes, and we followed.
Surprisingly, there were fewer boats on Estes Saturday than we found there on Friday.
The SSW wind was perfect for drifting between the two duck blinds between Big Cut and Little Cut.
On every drift, we hit a pod of aggressive redfish - most were 17-18", and I managed one 20 for half-shell fillets.

One
Image

Two
Image

Three
Image

Two of those reds took off as soon as the lure hit the water. The third one made me retrieve 10' first.
No clouds for us on Saturday, we headed in at 11:30. Tony caught an undersized flounder.
Last one off the flat, Tony caught a 17" red on his last cast.

Image
BTW, the mangroves on Talley Is. were sprouting green shoots - they're going to come back from the freeze damage.

Grabbed a Steer Burger on our way out of town.
Great times, great friends. We had a really awesome two days.


Top
  
Quote
Re: Estes Flats Sep 3-4
Post 05 Sep 2021, 07:06 • #2 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/09/10
Posts: 1261
Location: US-CA
Well done!
Nice to know/remember the names and places you speak of.


Top
  
Quote
Re: Estes Flats Sep 3-4
Post 06 Sep 2021, 06:07 • #3 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 17615
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Thanks Mark
If you remember how hot it was when we came off the water in March
Image

Both days this trip were incipient heat stroke - we were moving slowly.
You picked a perfect month to hit the beach.
It's always amazing how different the fish population can be at Little Cut on good tides, and also how the MWL varies through the seasonal tides.
Image Image
Image


Top
  
Quote
Re: Estes Flats Sep 3-4
Post 06 Sep 2021, 06:37 • #4 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 11/09/10
Posts: 1261
Location: US-CA
It was all good, but, yes, it was hot! :)


Top
  
Quote
Re: Estes Flats Sep 3-4
Post 06 Sep 2021, 15:19 • #5 
Sport
Joined: 11/15/17
Posts: 53
Location: San Diego,California
Another great fishing report from our resident “Fishing Dog”
Thank You Bulldog for the pictures and stories to go with them.
That “Sea Ghost” kayak looks like a seal team attack boat!


Top
  
Quote
Re: Estes Flats Sep 3-4
Post 06 Sep 2021, 18:18 • #6 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 17615
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Tony has become a strong paddler in his Vibe - he has to be to keep up with me and Lou in faster wind-slick boats.
This was Tony and me heading back in almost exactly a year ago, fishing Estes on TS Beta storm tide.
Also with a great pushing wind.

Image


Top
  
Quote
Re: Estes Flats Sep 3-4
Post 08 Sep 2021, 20:03 • #7 
Guide
Joined: 07/12/17
Posts: 341
Location: SW B.C.
Awesome- thanks for sharing!


Top
  
Quote
Re: Estes Flats Sep 3-4
Post 09 Sep 2021, 08:15 • #8 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 17615
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Thanks, friends.
I ran out of things to prove decades ago.
I'm in it for the gestalt - the sum of what makes traveling, kayaking and fishing with friends such a great combination.

The paddling is great, then throw in everything around and beneath you - the life on the flats, and a wondrous concentration of life in a tide pass.
How your rigging and gear functions is enjoyable.
Times with friends, soft-shell crab poorboy at Moon Dog's - if you catch fish - it's all gravy - you've had a blast just getting there.

This trip, brought a DVD player, and in the evenings we watched The Long Riders and Predestination, neither of which Lou had seen. The filthy Harveyville fishing shack we rent needs the distraction, but somehow it's part of the fun, and Lisa there makes every effort for us. We paid $25/night/ea. for a rack and kitchen, and Lisa lets us pack out late and shower before we go.

Another Mark photo from March 3 years ago. Cooling off on the front porch breeze after the morning on the flats.
This cottage was brand new then.
Image

From the front porch - - the view across the highway is Estes, the ICW, and people cast-netting the slough for bait.
Image


Top
  
Quote
Re: Estes Flats Sep 3-4
Post 10 Sep 2021, 12:30 • #9 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 05/22/16
Posts: 1232
Location: SJC
I don't know anything about fishing down there (kayak or not), but it looks like a good time.

Noticed that I have the same NRS PFD which I use surf fishing on the Norcal coast, and a pair of those Astral Hiyaks for packrafting in the winter.


Top
  
Quote
Re: Estes Flats Sep 3-4
Post 10 Sep 2021, 13:22 • #10 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 17615
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
I won a Moosejaw $250 gift certificate for my review on Astral Hiyaks, which I converted into a Thermarest tent cot.
Can't find them listed on Moosejaw anymore.

My pfd is Kokatat Image

I love it for comfort - egress can be a little tricky with weather layers.
PFDs are off most of the time, because the flats are 1-3' deep.
The one time they're mandatory is crossing or traveling navigation channels because of power boats, wakes, coastal wind and waves.
Note the difference in the waves here between the deep channel and the flat - this was an 18-kt wind (and a killer day on East Flat on Mustang Is.)
Image


Last edited by bulldog1935 on 10 Sep 2021, 15:08, edited 1 time in total.

Top
  
Quote
Re: Estes Flats Sep 3-4
Post 10 Sep 2021, 13:23 • #11 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 05/22/16
Posts: 1232
Location: SJC
Not sure exactly who is who in the pics, but I think it may have been Tony's PFD; looks like an Nrs Chinook. I like all the pockets, for weights, soft plastics, leader rigs, fly boxes, etc. I have balance issues, and Norcal surf can be treacherous. I walk the beach a lot -- not one of those people who brings a chair :)

Re: Hiyaks discontinued -- really ? That's a shame. Bought mine quite a while ago. Still see them on Astral's website...


Top
  
Quote
Re: Estes Flats Sep 3-4
Post 10 Sep 2021, 13:56 • #12 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 17615
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
I think you're right - they're just not sold listed on Moosejaw website any more (though they carry over Astral shoes)

They're great shoes - not for hiking, but perfect for kayak.


Top
  
Quote
Re: Estes Flats Sep 3-4
Post 10 Sep 2021, 14:05 • #13 
Master Guide
Joined: 03/09/15
Posts: 504
Location: Arkansas
YES


Top
  
Quote
Re: Estes Flats Sep 3-4
Post 10 Sep 2021, 17:18 • #14 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 17615
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Odonata wrote:
Not sure exactly who is who in the pics, but I think it may have been Tony's PFD; looks like an Nrs Chinook. I like all the pockets, for weights, soft plastics, leader rigs, fly boxes, etc. I have balance issues, and Norcal surf can be treacherous. I walk the beach a lot -- not one of those people who brings a chair :)

Re: Hiyaks discontinued -- really ? That's a shame. Bought mine quite a while ago. Still see them on Astral's website...

My shirt pockets carry my lighter, dead cigar, glasses and camera. Or if I have on the PFD, camera is in the front pocket.
Here's my T160 rigged for flats fishing.
Image

A have 1 or 2 rods behind in rod holders and lashed with rod keepers that glide on my trolley line. My working rod is up front.
My working lure box is lashed behind my feet.
If you note in my very first photo at the top of the page, I now have a net over my milk crate, so I can quick stuff weather shell without worrying about anything blowing away.
The milk crate has my added lure boxes, lunch, chart and chart compass. Right behind my seat is my Steiner Navigator glasses with built in compass reading.
That's a stake-out pole on this side of the sternwell.

The most important rigging that you can't see is on the port side, trolley - drift sock in my lap hatch can be deployed from the cockpit.
Also in my lap hatch are 3 small Pelican boxes, wallet and cell phone in one, two cigars in another, and spare bait reel and spinning spool in the third.
The boat is narrow enough, I fish by straddling, and it's very comfortable - another day on Estes 3 years ago.
Image

My bow hatch has 3-pc rods, back-up spinning and bait, plus a fly rod and fanny pack with fly reels and boxes.
If I stake the boat and wade with fly rod, the milk crate has a fly rod holder I can add to caddy my fly rod around.
Image

When you get a big redfish, the drift sock has to come into you lap, and rudder up, because he'll go around the boat twice before trying to go under - you have to stop the under part.
The drill from there is paddle back upwind, set the drift sock and drift that water again.
Image

Or on a big blow with good bottom, stake the boat and get out with the redfish.
Image

Both Mark (ablecane) and Donny (paveglass) have tried their hand down here. Neither had good drift fishing, but both had incredible days in Little Cut - same reason, big W wind moved most of the water from the flat and stacked all the fish in the cut.
This day in Feb, Donny and I released 45 redfish between us.
Image Image


Top
  
Quote
Re: Estes Flats Sep 3-4
Post 10 Sep 2021, 17:56 • #15 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 05/22/16
Posts: 1232
Location: SJC
Sweet setup ! I spy the CGR 7/8 :)

I have a couple inflatable kayaks (not enough room in my humble abode for a "real" kayak) that have been getting dusty lately, and this thread's stoke is appreciated.


Top
  
Quote
Re: Estes Flats Sep 3-4
Post 10 Sep 2021, 18:31 • #16 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 17615
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
This is my fast taxi to wading water, Kestrel 140 SOT - hand-laid kevlar, 39 lbs.
Of course you can't turn around in it and need thigh straps both to keep your balance and to turn.
But 5 kts is no effort and right now to get there.

Image

My daughter's boat growing up, Redfish 10 is a perfect river boat for me.
Image


Top
  
Quote
Re: Estes Flats Sep 3-4
Post 14 Sep 2021, 13:02 • #17 
Guide
Joined: 09/23/18
Posts: 240
Location: Eastern Wa
Awesome report with great info!!! Love kayak fishing too!

Ive been eyeing the new Hobie Lynx kayak as a possible first pedal kayak. I owned 7 kayaks so far (mostly SOTs).


Top
  
Quote
Re: Estes Flats Sep 3-4
Post 14 Sep 2021, 13:40 • #18 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 17615
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Thanks
A Rockport resident and long-time TKF moderator reviewed Lynx:
http://texaskayakfisherman.com/forum/vi ... 1&t=253774
It's not a wind boat, but for him will replace a Blue Sky 360 pedal catamaran (plus trailer) for slough-sight-fishing on rising tides and low-wind days.

Image

Not counting my Kestrel, the fastest boat on the flats is Hobie Revo 16.
It does, however have some wind control limitations, which we found the hard way - somewhere around 25 or 28 kt, you lose the ability to steer in the wind, and are instantly turtled (unless you have your drift sock deployed at stern to ride it out)

Image

For what we do at the coast, long-distance and drift fishing, throwing in the possibility of retreating in a bigger wind than NWS predicted, the two best boats are both dozen-year-old designs.

Perception Search 15
Image

and the oddly discontinued Wilderness Tarpon T160
Image

The best offshore boats are even longer, narrower, and lower-CG, modified surf-skis, such as Stealth 555 and Kazkazi Dorado.


Top
  
Quote
Re: Estes Flats Sep 3-4
Post 14 Sep 2021, 20:23 • #19 
Guide
Joined: 09/23/18
Posts: 240
Location: Eastern Wa
Thanks for the link to the lynx review!
I want it for hands free bass fishing and perhaps salmon/steel head trolling but most importantly for stand up sight fishing (pike, musky, bass and large trout). Im very happy with the speed of my ~15 ft 26” wide RTM Tempo for offshore stuff. I have seen the Kaskazi and the other radical fishing surf skis.
I might consider a Stellar S16S or S18S (good for up to 6’6 as my inseam is 37”) for exercise with a little fishing and has some storage too and are well under 40#. The weight of the Lynx
is the only reason i would buy a pedal kayak as i dont ever want to trailer a kayak.

Mike


Top
  
Quote
Re: Estes Flats Sep 3-4
Post 14 Sep 2021, 22:34 • #20 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 17615
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
The RTM Tempo was made from the mold for the Aquaterra/Perception Prism - that's a serious fast boat - they don't make them like that anymore.
Feel like I'm preaching to the choir.
The photo used for the TKF sticker was a TKF founding member paddling his Prism
Image
Image


Top
  
Quote
Re: Estes Flats Sep 3-4
Post 19 Sep 2021, 09:27 • #21 
Glass Fanatic
Joined: 10/09/09
Posts: 2588
Location: US-NM
Enjoyed the great photos.........Aurelio


Top
  
Quote
Re: Estes Flats Sep 3-4
Post 19 Sep 2021, 09:58 • #22 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 17615
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Thanks Aurelio.
We dialed in our timing just right, windows on the tide pass, and windows on drift fishing.

A good fly fishing trip would be the exact opposite timing - go out at low tide, and fish rising tide in the skinny grass, shorelines and sloughs as the fish are moving up to new "grazing"

Image Image


Top
  
Quote
Re: Estes Flats Sep 3-4
Post 12 Oct 2021, 14:23 • #23 
Sport
Joined: 02/29/20
Posts: 53
Location: SWVA
Since you're discussing various kayaks for the conditions... I'm curious what the tan/brown kayak (Lou's?) is. Looks like a nice boat.


Top
  
Quote
Re: Estes Flats Sep 3-4
Post 12 Oct 2021, 19:00 • #24 
Piscator
Joined: 08/10/05
Posts: 17615
Location: downtown Bulverde, Texas
Hi friend, Lou's boat is Stevo's old Emotion Fisherman. It was a gift from Steve to Lou after our first Arroyo trip and before our next Palm Harbor canal-house trip together.
This was Lou's maiden voyage with the Fisherman.

Image

Ulterior motive, Steve needed the space for a new boat and selling it was pointless.
I borrowed it myself on my several first kayak trips with Steve. (Steve is boat rich)

It was the very first stand-up kayak.
It was given a tough weak spot in that giant hatch that lets you store full length rods in the hull - the deck hatch leaks like a sieve.

However, it's fast, wind slick and able to control in winds above 25 kt. It's a jewel of a flats fishing boat. Bring a big sponge.

Image

Image

Probably the closest boat made today is Viking Profish Reload.


Top
  
Quote
Re: Estes Flats Sep 3-4
Post 12 Oct 2021, 20:04 • #25 
Sport
Joined: 02/29/20
Posts: 53
Location: SWVA
Thanks for the rundown!

I regularly fish from a canoe in ponds and on lakes, and recently fished for redfish and specks from a borrowed kayak on an inlet which was a lot of fun (even though my lack of experience left me fighting a slot red from my feet in chest-deep water after I capsized).



My only experience in flats has been wade fishing but a kayak would have been great to have. Maybe next year...


Top
  
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  

1, 2  Next New Topic Add Reply



Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Jump to:  
Google
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group