Here in Texas, the winter has had its time and spring is showing up throughout the weekly forecasts. A week ago we were dealing with water temps around 40°F and the fish, not used to chilly water, seemed uncooperative. This week sees a large warming trend, and signals the beginning of hybrid striped bass season.
“Win on Sunday, sell on Monday.” That was the mantra for car racing for years. For the most part, it’s completely true. Competition not only creates fans, but spawns bigger, better and faster products. Angling - and kayak angling - has certainly benefited from the same cycle.
Last February accounted for more 20” river smallmouth in my trip report log than any month so far this year. I expect December to beat it. The pattern that works for so many big river smallmouth? To tell you “suspending jerkbaits over ledge trenches” would only tell you about 30% of the story. The other 70% - the important part - is how long between jerks. To be honest, unless the water is fairly stained, the jerks are inconsequential.
We are starting to see much cooler water temperatures and increasingly less sunlight. However, Fall is a great time to fish and is one of the best times to catch BIG fish. As their metabolism slows, they often look for bigger baits as water temps Fall (they are math geniuses, calculating calories spent versus calories to be consumed). With that in mind, big fish can often be enticed to attack larger lures compared to the warmer summer months.
Fall colors peak along the Gulf Coast in October. The color red, that is. After enduring a long and muggy summer, the angler is rewarded with great opportunities to find redfish as fall sets in.
I’ve got a kayak and fishing gear. What else do I need to start kayak fishing?
It’s a question that gets batted around quite a bit, and everyone has an opinion. Here’s what I came up with after examining my gear and consulting a few expert kayak anglers (thanks, everyone), plus a few items that are certainly nice to have. This list is by no means exhaustive, so please add your suggestions in the comments.
Many kayak anglers head to the Gulf Coast through Alabama or Georgia, and never realize what a special fishery they are passing through. One of the greatest bass species that can tighten a line is only found in the Southeast. The shoal bass, called “shoalies” by those who love them, are beautiful brown bass that will leave an angler weak in the knees.
Most anglers grew up chasing some sort of panfish with a cane pole or rod and reel. Some of us still enjoy chasing a mess of them from time to time. Beautiful colors, fun to fight, and excellent table fare are just a few of the reasons not to neglect these fish.