Like lots of folks that read this magazine, I am a do-it-yourself fishermen with a great passion for the outdoors and I love the adventure of learning new areas along the Texas coast. I rely on my library of Hook-N-Line Fishing Maps when planning my trips. They are a great resource for DIY anglers, helping us understand what each area has to offer and various launch points we can access. So lets hit the water!
I loaded up the kayak and headed back to the Texas-Louisiana border. If you remember, in an earlier article I fished near Port Arthur at Keith Lake. Well, the Sabine area has an abundance of fishing habitat available, therefore I saw the need to get back over there and explore more territory. I based my trip out of Nederland, TX which is actually a little farther from the fishing waters than Port Arthur (though in the same general area). With advice from friends, I zeroed in on the marshy region around Texas Bayou within the Texas Point National Wildlife Refuge. I used HNL Map F118 for detailed reference.
When and Weather
My trip back to the state border took place in late August. My HNL map as well as reports from fellow fisherman confirmed the Texas Bayou area is a late summer/early fall hot spot. You already know what the weather was like in late August so I dont really need to say too much it was hot!
Tackle and Gear
Over the past couple of months I have been developing a new hobby - rod building. I was very excited to get one of my new rods out on the water for this trip. Red Ranger, as I have named her, is a 7-foot, split-gripped beast of a casting rod with Fuji guides, split graphite-nylon reel seat, built on a medium-light action blank with fast tip. I could not wait to get a lure on her and see what she could do. As it turned out I didnt get to fight a red with her, but a couple of nice trout took the topwater plug I was tossing.
Whether on a fishing trip or a drive back to Baton Rouge to see my family, I look for any excuse to detour through the Port Arthur area to go see my buddies at Daleys Hunt N Fish. They are really blowing and going with their facility and services. If Daleys doesnt have it as far as tackle goes, you probably dont need it.
New to the area is Sarge Custom Rods. Sarge is custom building some very nice rods. I saw on 2coolfishing that one of his rods weighed in at 2 ounces flat - and I thought my rod was light! Conveniently enough, Daleys is stocking his rods.
If live bait is your thing then Luck in a Bucket is your place. They are located on Hwy 365 in Port Arthur.
Hitting the water
The intertwined and twisted canals of the marsh present quite an impressive array of fishing spots. Being my first time in this area, I made sure to do my homework before taking the trip. More specifically I focused on measuring distances from launch points to prospective fishing holes seen on the map. I use this method for many places I fish, be it twisty canal spots or more wide open lake and bay areas. I stumbled across a Google earth distance calculating website, mapsof.net/distance-calculator (there are others). I zoom in on a water system and place markers along the projected paddling path to gauge just what I might be getting into as far as distance goes. Same concept can be applied to open lakes and bays.
Getting to the launch is easy. You travel down Hwy 87, past Keith Lake, eventually Hwy 87 becomes Jetty Rd. Off of Jetty Road is a public boat launch which gives direct access to the Texas Bayou marshes. There are several other channels stemming from the ICW that are begging to be kayaked. I supposed I will have to go back again, darn. Pick your desired channel and paddle away. A GPS isnt a bad idea out here, bread crumbing your paddle trail can help you get back out of the marsh more easily, especially if a sudden storm should make a hasty retreat necessary.
Where to eat and where to sleep
I missed out on my Waffle House breakfast which I enjoyed last trip to this area. However, I subbed in the complimentary continental breakfast at the Holiday Inn Express.
Later in the day and hungry for some Mexican cuisine, I found an appetizing plate of fajitas at Fuzzys Taco Shop, in Nederland. Tropical Grill is an option for seafood and other grilled treats. Nederland is home to a countless number of the regular chains as well.
I grabbed a comfy room at the Holiday Inn Express, I mostly just like telling people No, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night! Nederland offers an abundance of hotels and motels including Candlewood Suites, Greene Town Motel, Airport Inn, and Hampton Inn to name a few.
RV Parks include CJs RV Park, Charlies RV Park, and Acadian RV.
The Other Angles
If bank fishing is your forte, refer back to the Keith Lake Cut, just a short piece back up the road on Hwy 87 from the Jetty Rd launch.
Power-boaters have a variety of options with the ability to pole around the marshes or make a run out to the jetties or into Gulf if desired.
No feasible surf or wade fishing is available in this particular region of the Sabine Country.
For the next few installments of the Kayaking Chronicles I am going to embark on a more focused fishing style and goal - beyond the routine and conventional kayak angling methods. With the assistance from my comrade Cliff Burrow, we will take to the coastal waters in our kayaks armed with fly rods in search of a 30 inch or better redfish. Operation Stand and Land is officially underway.
As always, be careful on the water, bring a friend, and have fun.
If you would like more information on the Nederland area, visit www.nederlandtx.com/
Daleys www.daleyshuntnfish.com, 409 736 3999
Luck in a Bucket 409 736 3486
Sarge Custom Rods www.sargecustomrods.com, 512 913 1334
For questions regarding this article, I can be reached at 936-776-7028, by email to [email protected], or find me on Facebook to follow along in my outdoor adventures.