Where: Upper West Galveston Bay
Weather: Temps in 40s-50s. Winds around 8mph out of N.
Tackle: Conventional. Soft plastics on jig heads.
HNL Map: F103
Hitting the Water:
Louies Bait Camp is where you want to launch. It is a clean and accommodating facility and affords the easiest paddling access to Pierce Marsh and Bayou Vista. Paddle out and head due south along Highland Bayou. Go under the Hwy 6 Bridge and you will immediately see the Bayou Vista community on your left and Pierce Marsh on your right.
I knew in advance the tide was going to be low and this eliminated fishing some of the back-lake area of Pierce but I was still able to get a good feel for the area and find a few fish at the same time.
Some of the fish were roaming the shallow flats, slowing cruising and looking for prey. As is the norm, I stealthily approached the fish in my kayak. One method of stealth I have adopted is not paddling any more than I have to. This sounds obvious but when I was a more novice kayaker I did not respect the sensitivity of the fish and therefore spooked fish I could have otherwise had an opportunity to at least cast at. My kayak is equipped with a rudder so I will paddle gently a couple of times then lay the paddle in my lap as I continue to slowly drift, steering myself with the rudder, into a reasonable distance/position to cast from. This could be compared to a power boat operator shutting down the outboard as he approaches a fishing zone or an obvious school of fish and drifting into the scene quietly.
My first sightcast shot of the day was a tad off, it landed behind the fish about 8 feet. However, this fish must have been really hungry. At the detection of my lure hitting the water, the fish turned. I bumped my lure across the bottom once, and the fish darted towards it. I bumped it again almost as if to simulate an escape attempt, the fish stayed with it and slammed my paddle-tail minnow bait.
The fish ended up being on the small side, not making the slot minimum, but as redfish tend to do he fought like he was three times his size. He was a beautiful double-spotter with an awesome blue tail.
The rest of the morning of fishing was mostly a repeat of that same scenario in the shallows and we also managed a few in some deeper channels running through the marshy area. With the favorable wind, Cliff was able to get a few hookups on the fly.
I threw a Paul Brown Original (Corky) for a while in an area I thought may hold some trout but was not successful. I am still on my quest to find a big trout but I am learning it is not just a walk in the park.
Pierce Marsh and the Bayou Vista marsh are great fishing areas. The paddle is easy, making it suitable for fisherman of all skill levels. I can definitely see that with a higher tide and more water up in the grass this would be a great summer-fall spot.
One piece of gear I feel is important to briefly discuss is the use of waders in the kayak. I have read before that some people dont like the idea of using them for fear of water filling them if you were to turtle your kayak. My opinion is that they are an essential tool to cold-weather fishing. There really is no other way to do it comfortably. Before I had waders I just didnt go kayak fishing when it was cold. Now, a day on the water when the air is a bit frigid is actually quite pleasant. If you are worried about taking on water in your waders, you could cinch an elastic belt around your chest outside the waders to keep them snug against your body. This will prevent air escaping your waders should you end up in the water and also help keep them from filing. As a training exercise, you might want to consider taking your kayak into a swimming pool while wearing your waders. Youll probably get a surprise.
Another plug for Louies this is also the sort of home base for the Lone Star Kayak Series a grassroots kayak fishing tournament. LSKS is comprised of some really good guys and is a great place to meet other kayakers and learn more about fishing the Texas Coast.
Until next time have fun, be safe, and bring a friend.
Louies Bait Camp (409) 935-9050