Fishing in Port Aransas, TX

Discussion in 'Trip Reports with Pics' started by Diehard, Sep 21, 2005.

  1. Disclaimer: This report is pretty long...
    To make a long story short, I nailed some nice Redfish on the fly. :thumb:

    I just got back yesterday from the Texas coast after spending 5 days down there. Man, what a blast. For those of you who haven't been down there to fish, I would urge you to check it out sometime. The waters down there are just so rich and full of fish, it is incredible. The main purpose of the trip was to see family, but I got some fishing in too.

    The first day, my dad and I went out with a friend of the family on his boat. Apparently, he had fished the day before and said it was really slow because of the heavy winds, but we didn't care and wanted to check it out anyway. I brought along my fly rod just in case, but didn't think I would be able to bust it out due to the wind and the area we were going to. Well, the day did start out slow and in the first two hours, we only had one Redfish to the boat which I caught on some bait on the bottom. Suddenly out of the corner of my eye I saw a big dark cloud in the water moving our direction. Opon closer inspection, it was a big-ass school of Redfish! These were not small fish either, most were 2 to 3 feet long. I got my Dad's and our friend's attention and we threw our lines into the school. Instantly we all hooked up. Man, do those fish fight hard! 10 minutes later, we all had our fish in the boat and we casted out again near the school, which luckily had stuck around. My dad and our friend hooked up again before the school left and landed their fish.
    A few other boats that were in the area came over after they saw us into fish, but it was too late because the fish had taken off and we couldn't see them any more. We wanted to stick around just in case the school came back, so we casted out and played the waiting game for an hour or so. If they did come back, this time I was going to be ready. I pulled the fly rod out of the case and set it up.
    After about an hour of waiting, two boats a little ways away were suddenly into double hook-ups. It was back! I got my rod ready and watched for the school. A few guys on the surrounding boats were pointing me out to their buddies, surprised to see someone fly fishing. Soon the school came into view and I started casting. It was really tough with the wind and limited casting area on the boat, so at first I wasn't able to get it out there far enough to reach the school. My dad and our friend were able to though, and they hooked up right away. They said I should forget about the fly rod and pick up some gear and cast in there. Screw that I thought, I am catching one on the fly! Minutes later, the school moved a little closer and I flung a cast right on the edge and started striping. Three big Reds chased after the fly but missed and turned away. Damn! So close. The next cast was a little further into the school and two more fished chased it, and one nailed it! I was stoked! After 10 minutes and an awesome battle, I had my first fly-caught Redfish to the boat, a nice 26" fish. Right away I was casting back to the school and a few casts later, another nice fish nailed the fly. This one was even bigger and measured just over 30". I quickly released him and started casting again. Soon I hooked up again and landed the biggest one yet, around 32" long. No one else out there was fly fishing and I heard one guy in a boat yell, "Damn! That guy with the fly rod got another one! That's his third one!" It was sweet. Unfortunatley though, our friend had to get going and we had to leave the school of big Reds even though they were still out there. I was very reluctant to leave, but it's ok I guess, my arm was getting tired anyway ;)

    The next day my dad, girlfriend and cousin-in-law went out into the flats on a guided kayak trip. That was pretty cool too, but we caught a pretty windy day. The fish were pretty hard to find, but I managed to find some and I caught two fish, both on small surface poppers. These fish just explode on the fly and take off. It was awesome. These were smaller fish in the 20-22" range, but still great. My cousin-in-law caught one and my dad caught three on spining gear. (my girlfriend got skunked). It was pretty cool to stalk these fish in the flats like that.

    The following morning I had an invite to go out into the flats agian with my cousin-in-law and his friend. This time we took a flatbottom boat out to a different area and then waded the shallows for the Reds. For the first few hours it was a little slow and the fish were tough to find. I had 4 or 5 hits, but I think only a few of those were Redfish. Then in one area, we saw a big school of Reds cruising the flats and we snuck up on them. One cast into the school and they spooked, spliting up the school. My cousin-in-law's friend caught one 26"er on spining gear before the school dissapeared, but I couldn't get close enough again before we lost them. We spread out and wandered the flat in search of the school. Suddenly, they appeared 70-80' out in front of me and they were headed my way. I casted out into their path and when they got close I started stripping. One exploded on the fly, but missed it. I casted in again and another fish nailed it but this time I got a hookset. After a good battle, I released a nice 28" Red. The school stuck around for a little while, but we couldn't get any more to take anything, they were too spooked after seeing thier buddies caught. Then they dissapeared again, just as suddenly as they had appeared. Well, we had to get back for a family lunch, so we left. Man was that cool.

    That night we went over to a friend of the family's dock for some night fishing for Speckled Trout. The dock is lit with a big light to attract bait fish, bringing in the trout. My dad, girlfriend and I caught quite a few of these guys which are pretty fun. Most of them were smaller in the 13-15" range. It seemed like the bigger ones were a lot further out, crashing on the surface after bait. I caught mine on flies and my dad and girlfriend used spining rods.

    That turned out to be my last chance to fish this trip, but wow, what a trip. Redfish are definitely one of my favorite fish to catch on fly, if not my favorite. It is hard to beat a fish that you can catch on the surface that just hammers the fly and fights like mad. Check it out if you ever get chance.
     

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  2. Sweet!!!
     
  3. Way to go, man, that sounds like a blast. Great photos too. :eek:
     
  4. Nice report, thanks. I have always wanted to head down there and fish for Red's. Someday.

    Jim
     
  5. Great story. I had the opposite experience in Florida, in fact I will post a little report.

    I have fished reds in some of the San Antonio area lakes before, they have been transplanted to the fresh like stripers.

    Glad you had such a great trip, thanks for the report and photos!
     
  6. I was down there in May. Fishing for reds was very slow (only 1 to boat), but we had insane action fishing the oil rigs. Best fish was a monster Jack Crevalle (thought for sure it would snap my 8 wt. Shoulda been fishing the 10). Also lots of Mahi. Mahi provide unreal surface action. Thanks for the post.
     

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