I have never been one to believe in luck. Most good things that happen in ones life I believe you earn them, you make your own luck. Although, there is a exception to that rule and it implies to fisherman. The luck of a fisherman is inconceivable. Some days you catch your limits in just a few short cast and other times you cover miles of water with nothing but a sunburn to show for it. Catching fish is not the only thing that plays a factor for someones luck on the water. Mother Nature has a big part in this as well. One minute you praise her and the next you curse her.

This past week, every day was a light North wind which made for calm seas. Every morning I would wake up and look at the surf camera at Crystal Beach, and every morning I would tell my boss he is lucky I am a faithful employee because the weather and beach were perfect! No worries though, Friday will be here soon enough for me to get out there and get on some of the action. I decide on where I wanted to pre-fish Friday for the Cops Helping Kids benefit tournament and had me a game plan. I am up early and get there at dark for just enough time for me to paddle back to my flat and be there at first light. Well, as soon as I arrive to my launch point there is lightning striking all around. Mother Nature sent me a little summer squall to sit through before I decided to launch. It passes over and I am on my way. I arrive and start throwing my Skitter Walk and after a few cast I hear a pop. No hook up but then I  hear another, and another. The fish want it but are not being very aggressive when it comes to feeding. This scenario  happens with 6 or 7 fish before I hook up and land a red. Anyways the day progresses and there are fish around busting bait all along the shoreline. I switch to a popping cork and make a few cast and not long after it disappears. I land a nice 26″ red which is a great tournament fish for tomorrow. 



I get a quick picture and release him for another day. I keep fishing and then all of the sudden my cork disappears again. I set the hook and nothing, I thought I may have just pulled the hook out or something. Wrong, I broke off, so I retied and was back at it. The very next cast I see a swirl, I set the hook and the same thing, snapped my line. Terrible luck right? I switch baits and start throwing a Buggs Lure, now these are new to me but I was told to throw one because reds can not resist. A few short cast later I hang into one but he came off, I already like it. A few minutes later I make a cast, see a swirl, and set the hook and then nothing. My line broke again. This was brand new P-Line 15 lb. test, it has never failed me before. I literally broke off on more fish in one day than I have in the past 5 years. Not long after this I decide to call it a day and head back home and prepare for tomorrow. I tell my team, which consist of Chad Lyden, and Blaze my brother, that our spot is covered with reds. Which it was, I caught 2 nice fish, missed 7-8 on topwater, and broke off on 3. I would say thats a good day. So we plan on meeting at the launch and it is going to be early.

I am so excited about this tournament that I wake up 15 minutes before my alarm goes off. I just knew that we were going to be top competitors in this tournament. Well Mother Nature knew what my attitude was and obviously did not like it, so she decided to throw us a curve ball. The wind is out of the SW blowing 15-20 mph. and no one likes fishing in these conditions. We enter the first flat and scatter across it and my only action was one red barely trying to eat my topwater. I look around and can not see or hear any fish cornering shad on the bank and crashing in on them. Around 7 or so, Chad hangs into a solid red, fights it all the way to the boat until he goes to net the fish and the trebles get hung into his net. The fish thrashes a few times and he is back swimming free again. Bad luck? I guess thats part of the game. So about 9 or 10 we do not have a fish on the stringer and our chances of showing up with fish are looking grim. My team has been looking at me all day with the look of “I thought there were fish here.”.

Mid day my brother strings up a redfish going about 5 lbs. So we will not be getting skunked today. Not long after I see my cork start dancing and moving sideways and I know a fish is carrying it somewhere. I set the hook and snap, my line breaks again. The brand new spool of line I have is coming off my reels and into the garbage. Of all spools of line, I grab the only one in SETX that is bad. I finally hang into a red at 1 that afternoon and he only went 4 lbs. A very slow day of fishing and was the toughest day I have had on the water in a while. Go to the weigh in and realize we are not even in the picture, but we have fish to weigh!

Sometimes I wonder what I could of done different to produce a better outcome and at times I can find a solution. Times like what happened to me this past Saturday I have no answer for. So until I figure out what I did incorrectly to guide my team in the wrong direction, I will blame Mother Nature, the fishing gods, and just plane ole bad luck! Along with that lives the fisherman’s saying, “You should of been here yesterday!”

Enjoy Life



Some people drive down to the coast just to relax with the salty wind in their face and listen to the sound of crashing waves. A majority of the year anyone can go to their local beach and find this. I do enjoy it and appreciate the wind on warmer fun filled trips, but this is not my favorite time to be there. I take great pleasure in standing knee deep in the water at first light and the only thing I can hear is the knocking of a topwater and the smack of a trout blowing it up. No crashing waves or salty wind are very rare days on the Texas coast. When they occur you have to take full advantage of it because the fishing is like no other!

Wednesday, before the July 4th weekend, on my way to work every flag was limp and every steam stack was perpendicular to the horizon. Always a good sign that the surf and lakes are going to lay down soon. As soon as I got a chance I looked at the weather to see what they predicted for the next day. According to the weather man the wind was going to be North at 3 M.P.H. and the high was going to be North at 7 M.P.H.  After seeing this I was itching to get off work and head south to catch some trout. I get home load everything up and keep studying the wind and looking at the surf camera. It was already starting to slick and the green water was coming in. Made a few phone calls and found out that one of my buddies is taking a day of vacation from work just to come catch some trout. All he does is bass fish but even he knows that you do not pass up days like this to hit the surf.

I get up early and head out planning on being there before daylight, and I do so. Step out the truck and can not hear nothing, does not even feel like I am standing on the Gulf. I am the first one there and begin to make my way to the water chunking my topwater. Not long after people start showing up and scattering across the flat. Then I hear a smack, my line get tight, and see a trout breaking the surface of the water. Not something you get to witness to much while fishing the surf; Typically the water is so dirty you can not see a silver spoon reflecting through the murky sea. Anyways, a short fight and he came off beside me. By this time my buddies join me and they want in on the action. As the sun breaks the horizon, we start getting blow ups and hooking into trout. They did not want my SheDog as much as my friends Skitterwalk they were throwing, but still managed a few. While looking out across the glass Gulf, I can see the silhouettes of people gripping on to trout and throwing them on their stringer. Others with their rods bent and the head shakes of trout on the waters surface. Everyone is in the trout and it is showing no signs of slowing down. As the morning progresses I switch over to a purple and chartreuse sand eel.  My first 3 cast I make with the sand eel, I catch 3 trout. I caught fish on it until I ran out of them. By about 9 A.M. or so it started to slow down and we had a pretty good size shark come past us so we decided to call it a day. Probably had caught 35-40 trout that morning and can not complain about that one bit. While loading up I had seen 2 other people get off the water with limits. They seamed to catch all of their trout on MirrOlures.

This is why you never pass up a slick summer day on the Texas coast. Not many days where you get to see the reflection of the rising sun across the vast Gulf waters. No wind, no waves, just silence by the water. These are days to live for.

Enjoy Life



When something is brought up in a conversation and that one event has never happened to you, sometimes the ole “Knock on Wood” trick does not work. I have spent countless hours on the water fishing and have had some close calls but I have never been hooked before. It is actually one of my worst fears, even though I surround myself with the hazard often. It all started with an early morning after a late night and I had wanted to try a new spot before a tournament on Saturday. Made my way to a flat and it looked good and was covered with lots of grass and structure. The first hour I had seen nothing, no blowups, no tails, or did not paddle over any fish. Started to have my doubts but then I found one take off. So I decided to throw on a topwater real quick and give it a try. Until this day I have only caught one red on a topwater, and he was in the middle of a school of trout. So never really had to much luck. Then I see a tail pop up, make a cast, and a huge blow up! He missed this time but I could see a wake still coming for my Skitter Walk. This red was relentless and wanted this topwater. After a short chase he catches up to it, swirls, and the fight is on. Now this is where the story changes. I get him to the boat and on the Boga Grips and he thrashes one good time. I feel a slight pinch and then some pressure and I know exactly what just happened. I freak out for a split second, put a death grip on the red with my left hand and try to do my best from keeping him from flopping. Get him in the kayak and notice that the bottom treble is in him and the top is in my right pointer finger.


What the hell do I do now? I go through my options and try to remove the hook out me before the fish, that did not work. So I pulled the hook out of the fish and released him and went back to the drawing board. I was by myself so I could not do the string trick and paddling back was not the best option because I was a few miles back. After 15 minutes or so I grab a pair of pliers, get a grip as close as I can to my finger, and begin to put some pressure on it. I mostly kept the pliers still and pushed my finger forward and after a few good pushes it popped out. Yes, literally could here it pop when it decided to exit. Well glad I got that out of the way, not the greatest experience, but whatever. I did redeem myself by catching several redfish on the same lure. The redfish were killing it! Had several come out of the water chasing it. Next time I go I will be there with my camera watching my friends catch fish and hope I can capture the moment of impact.



While catching fish around this flat I found a few otters swimming around and thankfully I had my camera ready.



I found this guy chasing something around this small island and at the time was not sure what it was. After I got home and cropped the picture down I noticed he had caught a crab! By far one of the coolest experiences I have witnessed on the water. This is exactly what gets me up in the morning no matter how tired or bad I feel. You never know exactly what you will see in nature and getting to share this with everyone is why I carry my camera around and write this blog. Absolutely amazing in my opinion.




The crab may have lost the battle but he did not go down without a fight. If you look the claw is still latched on the his chin.



Caught several fish at my new spot but not to many good ones. By that I mean tournament winners. Me and my brother decide to fish there the next day and catch several more fish just no solid ones. Actually I had one that was a nice fish, got him in the yak, unhooked because I was still a little timid of the topwater attached to his face, and as soon as I turn around he flops one time and is swimming again. That is a first for me and still can not believe I done that, especially on tournament day. Needless to say we did not place and was not to happy how the outcome was, but did have a great time smashing the redfish with my brother.

Thursday came around and I loaded everything I had and headed to Port Aransas for the weekend. Time for a guys weekend fishing, relaxing, and doing whatever else may come to mind. While on the road we turn on the radio and find the U.S. Soccer game against Germany. We of course was routing for them but the radio was just not cutting it. So we stopped in Victoria at a bar to finish watching the game. Joined up with a few hooligans and cheered for our country to advance, and so they did. Already a good start. As soon as we get there we notice the wind is terrible. Like 25-30 MPH wind. The wind never gave up all weekend so it kind of put a damper on our fishing but it did not stop us from having a good time. Caught a few fish but still loved being by the clearwater. That is something that we do not get around here at Sabine and SETX.




Found this guy hanging around the Jetty wall.



All Jake wanted to do was touch one of the pelicans. Although friendly, they were not having it.

This is what you do when it is to windy to fish. You sit on the porch, drink a few cold ones and talk about fishing along with a few other lies.



I have a few days off for the holiday weekend and I have got to find some trout. The Saltwater Boys are having a trout tournament and usually this is my main targeted fish. I have not tried to catch trout since March but I do have a few spots that I know should be holding some. Im pretty excited to finally catch a few, it has been to long.

Plenty of first for me lately, all of them left me in awe, good and bad ways. Remember what this holiday weekend is about, Independence Day. Spend time with family and friends and be thankful that we live in a country where we have the ability and freedom to follow something that we appreciate and take pleasure in. I hope everyone has a “first” happen for them, but may it be in your best interest.

Enjoy Life


Well the past few weeks for me have held a lot of unexpected events.  First of many, California Chrome, which was the favorite horse attempting to win the first Triple Crown since ’78; He placed 4th in his final race and fell short of the prize, which in turn lost me a little money. He was a good horse and had the ability to win, but in the long run came up short. So that being said, when you go to a championship and every person there has their eye on the same prize, there are no underdogs. When the gate opens all bets are off and the odds just do not match up sometimes. Last weekend I found just that when we arrived to Biloxi, Mississippi for the College Kayak National Championship. College anglers from all along the coast came to battle it out and take home the title of National Champions. The format was going to be a 2 day tournament at various launches around Gulfport and Biloxi. The total of your inches caught from both days would show the outcome and produce a champion.

My buddies and I get home Wednesday afternoon and load up our kayaks, poles, and everything else and depart at midnight for Mississippi. We arrive at daylight at a designated launch, unload, and start to explore some new waters. As soon as I get in I taste the water and it is fresh! I should of been throwing a wacky worm for bass, fresh. Already a bad sign, but we fish for a few hours and do not really catch much. The wildlife around there though are use to human encounters which helped with a few good pics.





Being exhausted we get off the water, get a bite to eat, and crash for a few hours in the hotel room.  Later that night we head to Academy and buy a few things that we need, go get a nice steak dinner and then back to the hotel room to rig and plan for another day of pre-fishing. After examining the next 2 launch points we decide to split up and fish and try to cover some more area and hopefully find some fish. The next morning I am dropped off first and fish an area and watch 2 guys rip solid trout, only thing is they are throwing live shrimp. I hang around them and try to catch some but they do not want anything to do with my lure. Still a nice morning to be on the water though.





Willie and Stu pick me up and same with them, seen some fish caught but all on live shrimp. Get back to the hotel and chill for a little bit and then decide to make a quick trip to the casino before the captains meeting that night. Long story short, we all lose but I did get to place  bet on my horse that was suppose to win me some money. Anyways make to the captains meeting at Everything Kayak we start talking to the teams and everyone has had the same problem, really fresh water and no fish. They start to brief us on the rules and check in times for the tournament about to ensue and then they pass the floor to a local guide. He goes over the launch locations and starts to reveal some of secrets for the area. After that he mentions that he has a 38′ pontoon boat and could load up all of the kayaks and take us out to the barrier islands. This of course catches everyones attention and was really a shocker that he was willing to do that. The tournament coordinators talk to him and then ask the participating anglers if they would like to go. I told my teammates they could fish where they wanted to but I was going to be on that boat in the morning. We all talk to a few other teams and tell a few lies about fishing between now and the last tournament we had seen them in. Overall a really good time.

4:15 came early the next day with 3 phones going off at the same time with all different ring tones. We all jump out of bed ready to get this tournament started! Get to the marina, and strategically place our kayaks on the boat and we are off.


Get to the island around daylight and we all jump off, unload, and split ways. Lamar decided to paddle into the wind to some marsh, it was rough. Once there we all kind of go our own way. This is one of the coolest things I have ever got to do and fish. To put it in perspective, I am fishing in the marsh, on an island, 8 miles out in the middle of the Gulf. Does not get to much better than that. Anyways, I start down a cut and nothing, I get to the end and I notice my line is moving sideways. I know what that is, set the hook and a nice 16” red. I am on the board with at least a fish. Go over to the next cut and same thing, in the very end of it I hang into another fish. I start to see the pattern and just head straight to the back of these cuts and there was always a fish in the back of them. Ended up catching 8 or 9 fish with a 20” and a 16″. Get back to the rendezvous point on the beach and come to find my partners found a few fish as well. No big ones, but we have fish to turn in. Talked to a few other schools and a few people found some nice trout and some other fish. Get back to Everything Kayak and turn our scores in and we are in 1st place and leading by 10″. A good lead for the first day. Also in individual I am in 1st by only a quarter of an inch.

I had a buddy that told me to go check out The Half Shell and order the Oyster Orleans. Sounds delicious, so I figured it was worth checking out. Asked Jameson and Drew, the tournament coordinators, if they like oysters and they immediately said they were in! Arrived there, got some oysters on the half shell along with a cold beer, and could not be happier. After my first dozen I ordered the infamous Oyster Orleans. For anyone reading this, if you ever find a Half Shell restaurant, just go ahead and order several dozens of the Oyster Orleans. Hands down the best cooked oysters I have ever had, they are a must have. Get back to the hotel room, pass out for what seamed like only a few minutes and back up again for day 2. We all get to the marina and University of Lafayette decides not to go on the ferry out to the island. A bold move but one of the guys told me “We do not have much to lose after the first day so either we will find fish and win or still be losing.” We depart and I am excited to finish up this day strong. I am the last boat off the mothership and the first one off the Island. I kept the same plan, go deep in the marsh and keep throwing my purple Norton Sand Eel. Sure enough they are right where I left them the first day. First one I catch was 19″, a solid first fish!


End up finding a few more reds and later in the day I hung into a 17.5″ flounder and that puts me an inch over the length I had the day before. After a long hot day on the water I make my paddle back to the rendezvous point and the boat is pulling up. My partners did not have as good of a day as the day before. LSU caught a 30″ red paddling in as the boat was pulling up. We start adding up the inches on the boat ride back and thinking we may be in 2nd or 3rd. Only other team we are not sure about is Lafayette. I hear some one say “No way!” and Lafayette entered there catches from the day and are way ahead! The daring call to stay back looks like it may pay off for the long shot team. We all load up and get back to Everything Kayak and are eagerly waiting for the results. There was a few discretions with some of the pictures sent in and a few points were deducted from a few teams and individuals. Lafayette had a picture and was ineligible and against the rules so the fish did not count to there final score. A true let down but rules are rules and they have to be put in place. They start to pass out prizes and awards and I ended up winning 1st place individual by 2″. That flounder I upgraded with put me ahead just by that much. Since I had the win for this tournament that sealed the deal for me winning Angler of the Year. Me winning this, my prize was a brand new Jackson Cruise 12′! Then they start to announce the teams outcomes and Lamar would take 3rd place. We take a few pictures, say thanks to the people that made it all happen and get back on the road to end a long, fun road trip.


Yesterday was the Saltwater Boys Kayak tournament and I was ready to keep my winning streak going. I got a tip of where some fish were but the only thing was is that it was a long paddle. Hey whatever it takes to catch some quality fish, I am in. Arrive to my launch and it is glass all the way across the lake. Even better I did not need any guidance due to the full moon. This is honestly how bright it was at 5:30 A.M.



This is how pretty is was at 6:00 A.M.


After a 45 min paddle I arrive to the pond that I want to fish. 6 A.M. hits and I can start fishing. I see a few red fish hit along the banks but no luck. At 6:10 right in the middle of the flat I see 6 redfish with all of their tails sticking out the water. My adrenaline starts kicking in and I creep over to them, make a cast, and am hooked up with a nice fish first thing in the morning. Get him on the stringer and thought hell yea, I got the rest of the day to catch one fish. Little did I know, there was not enough time in that day to catch another one. I hit several reds in the face with my lure and they wanted nothing to do with it. I even had a redfish come right beside my kayak and I drug a gold spoon in front of his face, twice, and passed it up. Around 1:15 I make a cast and start thinking about when I need to head back. I was daydreaming about what I was going to do tomorrow, what was for supper, anything except fishing. I look up and see my cork moving and knew I had a fish, but my mind never registered to set the hook. After 4-5 seconds of this I snap, set the hook, fish takes off and spits the hook. After that I decided to just call it a day. Get to the weigh in and I believe 12.6 lbs. won it. My one red was only good enough to get 7th place. Still very cool getting to see them fish do that this morning.


Next Saturday I will be fishing the Triangle Tailchasers tournament and then the week after that I am heading to Port Aransas. Absolutely can not wait to get back out there to PA. Just remember when you think something is going to go a certain way or there will be an undeniable outcome, it does not take much to throw everything out of whack and change up the game.

Enjoy Life



The past few weeks have been awesome and my weekends were filled with water and good times. Last weekend I spent a full Saturday on the water. I fished that morning, left the marsh and then headed to canoe Village Creek with some friends. I went and tried a new spot that has been getting my attention on google maps and has been looking promising. Get to the launch around 6 and after fighting off the mosquitoes we are off. After a short paddle I see a huge tail sticking out the water. After closer examination, I realized that it was a huge black drum. Kind of a let down because a bull red hook up would of been fun! Not long after that I hear Chad holler and he just hung into a smaller red. We mosey around this flat and the wind starts to whipping so it becomes difficult to paddle and fish. I seek what little refuge I can find behind a few grass patches and my second cast, my cork disappears. A little rat red but hey, a fish is a fish, and I will take it. Chad and I stare across this windy flat at a island and we ponder if we wanted to make the paddle or not. It was still pretty early so we decided to make our way there. As soon as we got there I had seen a redfish blowup some bait and a quick cast resulted in a nice 22” red.



We make our way a little further back and I look over at Chad’s cork and watch it pull under. He sets the hook and then I can hear the drag pulling from his rod so I know it is a good one. He gets it up and she weighs just under 7 lbs. Finally a quality fish that we have been searching for.



That was the only good fish that we caught for the morning and the spot is definitely worth going back to as soon as it warms up. It does have some potential to be a really good tournament spot.

Went out this past Friday morning because the weather man said at daylight the wind was going to be NW at 3 mph. Well that is what I get for listening to a meteorologist in SETX.



I get to my launch point and wind is already 10 mph out of the South. Start making my way back and it is still pretty dark but I see something moving along the bank. At first I thought it was a turtle or something but then I realized it was the back of a redfish. I make a few cast at him and can not get him to bite. Not long after, I see another redfish blowup some bait along the shoreline. A few cast at it and the same results, no takers. I push further back into some marsh flats and there is plenty of baitfish but very few signs of reds. I looked across this flat and from 75 yards away I can see the back of a red sticking out. Without a doubt a good tournament fish. I get a few pics from a distance and I move a little closer to get a better picture and then to catch him. By the time I am in position she sneaks back off into the depths of the marsh.


No fish but it seems like they are so concentrated on gorging themselves on baby shad that they want nothing to do with lures. I have talked to a few other people and they have had the same problem as well. Within a few weeks though there is going to be some seriously fat redfish in the marsh and I can not wait for my next tournament.

I am headed to Austin for Memorial Day weekend for a bachelor party, so no fishing this next weekend. I am actually pretty excited about headed there because it has been a while since I have been. I am headed tomorrow after work and I am in search of some trout. It has been killing me that I have not found any trout since March, so tomorrow is another day.

Enjoy Life



Today was an ideal day to be outside! I had moved out of my bed and onto my couch pretty early and could see the rays of light beaming through my windows. I knew it was going to be a beautiful day and could not stand sitting on my couch for the remainder of it. So, around 2, I decided to make  a move and head to Village Creek. I had a worm tied on and was planning on catching some bass, but it really would not of bothered me if I came up empty handed. The sun was shining, the water was the right temperature, and it was the perfect place to be! The fish were not to worried about what I was throwing due to the creek being plentiful with dragon flies. No fish to be caught but still had a great day on the water.




So last weekend I had a college tournament and a Triangle Tailchasers and they were on the same day. I got to work it out where I could fish both. I met up with the college teams and after we all arrived I headed to meet Chad to launch. We pushed off the bank around 6:20 and made our way back into the marsh. The first pond we arrived to Chad makes a quick hook set into a smaller red that he snagged on a topwater. Not long after that I hang into a small 16” rat red. We fish all around the first pond and then move back to the bigger one. After fishing for a little while I hear a redfish crashing along the bank. I make a short paddle and come around to a small pocket. I cast right in the middle of it, make a pop with my cork, and see a “V” pushing through the water coming directly at my cork. I tighten the line and get ready because I already knew what was about to ensue. I set the hook before the cork even went under and the fight was on. Get her to the boat and she was 26” and weighing 6.5 lbs on the Boga grips. Perfect for both tournaments. Not long after I hear Chad yelling, he is hooked up with a fish too. His went 25.5” and right around 6 lbs.  Awesome, just need one more for our third fish for the money tournament. I guess it was around 4 hours later and not a bite, both of us are just hoping for another fish. Stu texted me with an update of how him and Willie were doing and as soon as look down and then back up, my cork was gone. I quickly real in the slack and set the hook and my drag starts screaming! After about 10 seconds of fighting this fish I realize that she is going to be to big for the money tourney, but ideal for the college one. I get her in the boat and she measures 30.5”, a stud fish! I get a few pictures and the a quick release. Then maybe 10 cast after that I hang into another red that for sure would have been a money fish and would have put us in better standings than just the 2 fish we had. After her first good run the line on my hook decides to break and leaves one very disappointed fisherman. Anyways that was the last bite we had and was forced to go to the weigh in with 2 fish. I believe we placed 15 out of 25 boats, but a third fish would of been great to have. With our 2 fish we weighed in 12 lbs 12 oz.. Not bad for 2 fish. For our college tournament, Lamar will take our third win and will seal us a spot for the national championship in Biloxi. Great day of fishing. 



I have been to the marsh a few times and the red fish are stacked in there. The baby shad are moving in thick and the predator fish can not resist! I still have yet to catch some trout but I know they are there. I just have yet to find the tide and bite time to be right when I am available to get to them. Soon though!




Regardless of what is going on in your life at the moment, take a minute to stop and look around. No matter what the conditions are, to windy, being overcast, to cold or hot, problems at work, or whatever it may be. Find something in that day that makes you happy and brings joy to yourself and others. I think thats what life is all about, bringing joy to others and being happy and carefree during the rest of it. In my opinion, if you do that, then mission accomplished.

Enjoy Life



I am sure that everyone has heard an old timer say “Do not plant your garden until after Easter”.  The main reason is that over trial and error throughout the years there has always been a good freeze just before Easter. Well sure enough last weekend brought cold weather and this weekend was superb! I spent my entire holiday weekend on the beach enjoying the company of family, friends, and the sun. Summer has finally begun! The kayak was loaded and the only time I brought it out was to paddle some big lines out in hope for a shark or bull red. That was unsuccessful but at least we tried. My brother and a friend fished Saturday morning and caught a few flounders but no trout or reds. The Lone Star Kayak Series first tournament was this past Saturday and I decided not to fish it due to being at the beach. I was looking forward to it but boy did I have an awesome time on the beach! We were throwing washers, pitching horseshoes, and doing whatever else we could do to have a good time. Needless to say it was a tremendous time.




I know a few guys that fished the LSKS tournament this past week and did very well. Chad had placed 5th and Nate placed 7th, congrats guys. This Saturday is the 2nd Triangle Tailchasers tournament and Lamar is going to host a tournament in our area. Luckily with the launch time I will be able to fish both of them. I plan on pre-fishing Friday and hopefully will find a few fish since I have struck out in the past few times in the marsh. Until then, well you know….

Enjoy Life

Windy Days of April

As I sit here and write this, I am completely exhausted from fighting the wind today on the water. The past month for me has been really busy and held many ups and downs. Some better news, my March Madness bracket won me some cash in a few group challenges I was in. Also, Chad and I placed 7th in the Triangle Tailchaser’s Tournament a few weeks ago. I believe we did alright for being the only kayak team out of the 24 boat teams. Pops purchased a new boat and finally took his boys in it. My brother Blaze was the first to put a fish in the new boat and it was a good one, a nice 30” red.


A little bit later Pops catch’s his first fish in the boat, a 15” flounder, and then brings in two more that were bigger. We all had a good time that day and am looking forward to our next trip.


April is a great month with ideal temperatures for being outdoors but it always comes with high winds. Fishing in high winds is always difficult, particularly when being in a kayak. I could tell you about the obvious of things like paddling against a strong wind is tough, but that is a given. More importantly though, the area you choose to fish on a windy day can save you a lot of trouble and energy. You should always try and find a spot that has a piece of land blocking the wind where you can fish the backside of it. For example, an island or bayou running perpendicular to the direction of the wind. Typically in Southeast Texas, the wind blows out of the South, so I try to find an island that runs from East to West and fish the North side of it. The same goes for a bayou except I fish the South bank that way I am not casting into the wind. That is just a few helpful tips when fishing windy conditions.

Now that you have found a safe haven, that does not guarantee you  will find fish. I found that out today while fishing the Saltwater Boys trout tournament. They broke us up into randomly drawn teams and we all planned on where we would fish today. Of course the wind was the main factor of where we were going to fish, so we played it safe and went to the only place we knew of that was out of the wind. Arrived to our spot and was shocked that there was only one other team there. The other absent teams either knew something I did not know or they were getting blown around in a 20 MPH wind.  We fished all day and only caught a few reds and flounder but could not hang into a trout. I did everything I could to catch one but it just was not happening. My partner called the other teams and no one all day landed a trout, not one! It is really hard to call it a day knowing that a 15” trout could win the tournament and the big fish pot. I guess somedays it just happens like that. On the bright side we ended the day watching the Masters at BWW, drinking a cold beer and eating some wings, and technically in first place. I will be at the beach next weekend and plan on fishing East Bay a little bit and doing some relaxing on the beach.

Enjoy Life

March Madness

What is not to love about March? Seriously, it is one of the more exceptional months that we have. The cold, bitter winter days are coming to an end and are being filled with blue skies and warmer weather. Besides that, there is also St. Patricks Day, which is an awesome holiday, and the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament. If you are not drinking green beer or routing for the other team so your bracket will not be busted, then you need to be on the water. March brings warmer waters from the gulf, which in turn, brings in plenty of bait fish. Bait fish for trout that have been lethargic and hungry all winter. The warmer water temperature makes the fish very active and heated days can produce some serious trout.

This past weekend we never made it to Louisiana due to the teams conflicting schedule, which was alright because it allowed me to do a little pre-fishing for the Sabine Lake Trout Shootout on Sunday. I have been hearing nothing but good things coming from Trinity Bay and that area so I decide to head there Friday. I get to my launch spot and notice that the water is low. So I have to drag my kayak through the mud just to get to the water.


After about 5 steps I almost lose both shoes in the mud and leaves me making my trek barefoot. Finally I reach enough water where I can start to paddle. While making my way, I am scaring off tons of mullet, a promising sign. Fished for a few hours and can not get a bite. After seeing a few gar and carp come up to the surface I decide to dip my finger in the water and taste it. I know it seems weird, but I will explain. The water I tasted was fresh, really fresh. I am trying to target SALTwater fish, not fresh. If the water does not have at least a little salt in it, you will not find trout. They will move out of the area quick to either deeper water or water further south. That is why I taste the water, for the salinity. No salt, no trout. I talked with several others on the water that did not get a bite either, so it was not just me.

Saturday comes around and my partner for the tournament, Chad, does some fishing at an old spot of ours and zeroes out too. So we are headed to this tournament not expecting to do much and having a slow day on the water. The spot we choose has produced fish for us in the past, just not lately. After doing my checks, it looks like the peak feed time was going to be around 6-8 a.m. I figured we had around the first hour of the morning to catch our fish or we were not catching anything at all. I arrive at the launch at 5:30 and shortly followed by Chad. Get our kayaks in the water and just waiting for 6 to hit so we can paddle to our spot. Start heading across the water and notice we are scaring off a lot of bait. Not long after we start paddling, we start seeing a few boats running lights come across the water. We arrive to our spot with a few other boats in the near area. Chad and I split apart by about 20 yards or so and try to locate which way the fish may be in. After 5 minutes of fishing, Chad called me over to come join him. It is still dark and he has already had 2 blow-ups on a topwater, and could see them. As soon as it gets just light enough to see, Chad hangs into a nice trout on topwater. Within the next 10 minutes he hangs 2 more trout and I have already had a few blow-ups myself. My next cast my line breaks and sends my topwater for a ride. I quickly pick up my Corky that I had tied on and make a cast at a swirl that I had just seen. After about 5 bumps I notice the Corky was on top of the water, which typically you want to let it sink and fish it slow. As soon as it breaks the surface a trout slams into it. Get it in and on the stringer, our 3rd fish and we at least have enough fish to go to the weigh-in.  I am throwing this Corky and working it on top of the water as fast as I can and the trout love it! Literally coming out of the water trying to hit it. Chad keeps getting blow-ups and loses 2 nice fish, which looking at it now may of helped us win. There has to be at least 7-10 boats that see us catching trout and are surrounding us. Only seen one of those boats catch a fish and everyone is watching us hammer the trout. Not sure why, but we were directly in the trout. Honestly, Chad had caught one blowing up his topwater 5 foot from the boat and I unhooked one trout, threw my corky back into the water and a trout popped up and hit it. Our only problem was we had 10 trout but just did not have that ringer. At about 7:45 it slows down and I decide to try the other direction where I started fishing earlier. My first cast  and 2 bumps later, I hang into a trout and know right away I found our ringer. Get her in the kayak and on the stringer and fishing just dies. We had all of our fish by 8 a.m., just like I had figured.

Around 11, we still have not caught anything and the wind picks up, bad! A little rain gets mixed in with the 25 MPH wind, so we decide to call it an early day. By far the worst wind I have had while being on the water.


Kayak fishing has become a very unique sport and has spread worldwide. It has drawn a very diverse crowd in which people fish in their own special way. A majority of people are always seeking the best tool for their application of fishing. I personally am a huge fan of sight casting; so I am all for any device to make that an easier task. Bending Branches has created a product to assist anglers and others while being on the water.


The Angler Optimus is a 3-in-1 multi-tool: a push/stakeout pole; a canoe paddle; or a stand-up paddle. The Optimus has many different options and appeals to a multitude of paddlers but the push pole is what captured my attention. I spend a large portion of my time standing on my Jackson Cuda 14′ searching the flats for fish. Ever since I received the Angler Optimus my experience poling around flats has been remarkable. The ease of use has been exceptional and has actually made stalking redfish more productive for me.


Before I would use my paddle to propel myself forwards across a flat, the swirl of the water is often loud and just enough to spook a fish. Also, when bending over to set my paddle down, the pressure wake from my movement will tend to do the same. With the Optimus I can slip it right into the water and guide my way through the marsh. Once I locate a fish, I can drive the pole in the marsh bottom on the front side of my kayak; this will keep myself from propelling forward. I have missed several fish by having forward momentum and not being able to stop in time to make a cast. Once I stop, I can stake the Optimus out in the marsh, make a cast and catch my fish. Whenever and wherever I may be once I get my fish in, I can paddle back over to my push pole, pick it up and start all over again!



Not only is it great for poling around the flats but it can be broke down with my Angler Ace and made into a single paddle for a Stand Up Paddleboard. Instead of me having to purchase a complete different paddle for my S.U.P., the Optimus is compatible with my Ace. Once I get back on my Cuda, I can break it back down and assemble my kayak paddle along with my Optimus push pole!

Bending Branches is a renowned company and has made a practical product for anglers and paddlers. They strive to make an American made product that is durable and will hold up to any challenge. The Angler Optimus is the epitome of what Bending Branches stands for: quality; effectiveness; and efficiency. These qualities are what kayak fishing is about and this is why the Optimus will be with me on every trip that I make.

Enjoy Life