August 2nd was the date of the Blue Water Kayak Classic hosted in the Corpus Christie area. The main targeted species was King fish, but there were minor categories such as; Spanish mackerel, cobia/ling and reef fish(red snapper, grouper, spade fish, etc).
Myself and a couple of others decided to fish the Padre Island National Seashore (PINS). The fee for entering is $10 for a 7 days pass or $20 for an annual pass. Four wheel drive is recommended for the beach. You can travel as far as 60 miles south along the beach.
The forecast called for rain and rough waters in the early morning. Therefore, we departed Katy, Texas around 6:30 am and made the 4 – 5 hour trip to our target destination. None of us had ever fished the PINS area before so we decided to enter the park beach front and drive south until we saw something that looked like it might be good fishing.
We drove approximately 5 miles when came across a helicopter pad and a large rig only a few miles off shore. We unloaded our stuff and was launching our kayaks around 12:30pm. We pointed our bows to main rig and started pedaling the 3 plus miles.
One the way out, I landed a small Spanish mackerel on a silver spoon. I also hooked a small shark which thankfully came unhooked at the kayak.
Around approximately one mile to two miles out Karl hooked and landed a monster king mackerel measuring over 56″.
That would be the first and last of our king fish for the day. We finally made it out to the rig and we soon landed a few red snapper each.
We had to return to shore after our short trip so we could go check in for the fishing tournament. None of us wanted to stop fishing but rules are rules. We pedaled back, loaded up, drove to the check-in, and returned to the beach.
We spent the night sleeping on the beach. The weather was awesome. There was a slight cool breeze and no mosquitoes. I simply slept on a cot under the stars.
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Tournament day. (Day 2)
It was light about 6:30-6:45 am so I launched slightly before 7am and pedaled towards the rig. I landed a nice 26″ Spanish mackerel and then what I thought was a giant 33″ Spanish mackerel. It turned out it was a juvenile king mackerel.
Then I saw a few king fish jumping out of the water. I grabbed my trout rod which was was equipped with a top water lure I would normally use for trout in the bay. (I did place an 18″ steel leader above the lure to stop there razor sharp teeth from breaking me off.) After a few casts I saw an explosion as a small king fish nailed my plug and cleared at least 3′ of air with my bait suspended from his mouth. The little rod bent over quickly and the line started ripping off my reel. I quickly turned the kayak and pedaled as fast as I could to keep up while trying to regain some of the lost line.
As you can see he doesn’t have the same yellow spots as the 33″ fish I caught earlier . This is one of the reasons I thought that earlier fish was a huge Spanish mackerel. (I decided to keep the 33″ fish just in case the judges ruled it as a Spanish mackerel. (They ended up declaring it as a king fish. Oh well.)
There was a storm slowly working it’s way towards us, so we decided to head closer to shore just to play it safe. This is where we found most of our king fish. Everyone in my group quickly limited out on kings in approximately 38′ of water. Unfortunately for me, I only landed smaller ones measuring in the upper 30′s. The other guys in my group caught larger ones. (BAH!!!!)
All king mackerel were caught on trolled ribbon fish.
Many of the other kayakers decided to catch some reef fish near the helicopter pad.
I decided to keep trying to upgrade my king fish. That would never happen as I was bite off a few times. Twice I was almost spooled and was forced to tightened the drag down all the way only to be broke off. (Sorry, if you overheard my explicit language accompanying my many temper tantrums after the numerous break offs.)
Then the bite seemed to slow/stop completely.
Once I started to reach shallower waters, on the way in I switched over to trolling a silver spoon. I landed this weird looking fish. (I have no idea what it is, but it looks like it had six legs and wings. Hmmm?)
I also landed what would end up being my largest Spanish mackerel of the day and the 2nd largest of the entire tournament. (Only .3 of a pound short of some major prize money.)
My fish were not large enough to earn me any cash or prizes at the tournament, but it was fun none the less. I met some great people and future fishing partners. I explored an area unknown to me and found some fish I can’t easily catch on the northern coast Texas.
I can’t wait to explore even further south on the Padre Island National Seashore.
Operationfish.com signing out,