Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge

Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge

Where: East Galveston Bay (north shoreline)
When: Late Winter
Temps in mid-50s. Winds NE around 15mph.
Wedge Tail Mullet, TTF Killer Flats Minnow, Rat-L-Trap
HNL Map:

Accommodations: For anglers planning to arrive the evening before their fishing trip to the Anahuac Refuge or perhaps multi-day outings, the Winnie area offers several excellent choices: Winnie Inn Suites and RV Park, Days Inn, La Quinta, and Comfort Inn.

Food: The are several choices for a quick bite or a nice sit-down meal in the Winnie area: Papas Place, Macho Mexican Restaurant, or Al Ts Seafood and Steakhouse.

Hitting the Water
On all prior trips to East Bay I spent the majority of my time roaming the marshes of the south shoreline and through the skinny water off the ICW. Until this trip I had yet to fish the northern shoreline and I was excited.

There are two main access points to the north shore region of East Galveston Bay; one being Smith Point, the other is through the Anahuac Wildlife Refuge. I chose the Refuge. I studied my fishing maps and became especially curious about fishing in and around Robinson Lake.

Access to the Anahuac Refuge is via FM1985. The park is open 24/7, there is no gate to contend with. When you pull into the Refuge you will drive a few miles on a hardtop road, eventually coming to the parks headquarters. Continue past the buildings a few hundreds yards and you will find a gravel road branching off to the right. This is your road to the boat ramp. There is a sign at this intersection indicating the boat launch.

On an exceptionally low tide you may find yourself dragging your kayak a few yards from the launch to reach water you can paddle, but its no big deal. Of course if you're with a partner or a group you can help each other.

In hindsight, with the wind from the NE, I sort of wish I had battled the wind on the paddle out and let it push me back in. However, I wanted to get to Robinson Lake so I let the wind push me in that direction due west. Robinson Bayou, which leads to the lake, is a distance of roughly 2.5 miles from the launch point.

With a steady wind at my back, the paddle to get there was easy. In fact, little paddling was ever done. Much of the time getting to the cut was spent drift fishing the shallows along the north shoreline. Bait activity along the way was little-to-none and I noticed no sign of gamefish activity.

Arriving at the mouth of Robinson Bayou was a different story. Bottom depth changes significantly where the channel runs into the bay. Staking out along the mouth of the cut was most beneficial. I threw a variety of lures in total, but mostly stuck to bumping plastics along the bottom. This method proved fruitful as a handful of reds took the lure. With decent success I called it a day and headed back to the Jeep around lunch time.

Wrap up
Next time out in that area, I want to work the easternmost shorelines of East Bay. I have heard of guys catching good trout in that area and I would love to find them.

In other kayak news, I did a little spring cleaning on the yak recently. One of the screws securing the left foot pedal rail somehow worked itself out during a drive down to the coast, so that needed replacing. I also relocated my Scotty rod holder base to the center hatch cover. I had it mounted to the hull just behind the front hatch and though I used an extension arm, the reach to get my rod was still a little too far. I have used the stock seat that came with my kayak ever since I got it but finally broke down and bought an aftermarket high-back seat. The seat should make long hours in the kayak a little more comfortable.

Lastly, I was browsing random kayak videos on Youtube and came across one from Ty Southerland with 30MilesOut where he recommended using WD40 to lube up your yak and help prevent the plastic from weathering/drying out. I accepted his recommendation and gave the ol' yak a good wipe down. Good tip, Ty.

As a reminder, I enjoy receiving reader feedback and questions. Don't hesitate to contact me with any kayak angling related questions you may have. Who knows, I may be able to include the question and answer in the next issue.

Until next time have fun, be safe, and bring a friend.

Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge (409) 267-3337