Tag Archives: charters

What We Learn

redfish, drum, fly fishing, port aransas, texas, coast, guide, saltwater, charter, airflo, sims, hatch, beavertail, marsh, spartina, grass, sunrise, mullet, crab, shrimp, fly only, catch and release, trout, speckled, speck, snaggletooth, sock, deep, water, skinny, culture, wade, fishing

29inch redfish in sock deep water

Often-times I am amazed at what we learn when spending time in the outdoors observing wild animals in their niche habitat. If you can slow down enough you will be amazed. Somehow, there are times when I see a fish and begin reading its behavior and I soon anticipate that the fish is going to make a turn there, and then we will have a good clean shot with the fly.

Return guest Tom (6’3″), caught this redfish 20 feet from us only seconds after I dropped to my knees and went on point as this 29 inch over-slot redfish came barreling towards us in sock-deep water through a thin line of spartina grass. Despite cloudy conditions Tom has learned how to present a fly close range to a fish that is closing the gap fast. Come fish with me and learn how to keep from over-shooting the fish that are charging you head on.

 

redfish, drum, fly fishing, port aransas, texas, coast, guide, saltwater, charter, airflo, sims, hatch, beavertail, marsh, spartina, grass, sunrise, mullet, crab, shrimp, fly only, catch and release

Look at that smile!

First-time Guest Barrie worked well through a tough day and prevailed when he learned how to lay the fly gently on the water and tweak his fly selection to entice some very spooky fish that had been keeping him on his toes. Dark grassy bottom, cloudy skies with plenty of wind made it difficult to see the fish but once he knew what to look for in this situation he was soon taking shot after shot at fish left and right. You can just feel the sense of accomplishment Barrie has just by the look on his face! With no time to loose, Barrie will be back again in June to overcome a whole new set of challenges.

 

 

 

redfish, drum, fly fishing, port aransas, texas, coast, guide, saltwater, charter, airflo, sims, hatch, beavertail, marsh, spartina, grass, sunrise, mullet, crab, shrimp, fly only, catch and release, trout, speckled, speck, snaggletooth

Gail stuck 3 trout in 3 casts. The big one ate first but got away under the boat, but the other two just wanted to a photo op with such a fun lady!

 

Spotted sea trout, or speckled trout, are one of the most difficult fish to sight cast on the fly. Their body shape and markings make them excellent at the game of hide-and-seek, and their patience to lay motionless for extended periods of why many fisherman pass over some fine trophies without hardly ever knowing that a big sow trout was laying in wait for its next meal. It is a true spectacle though when you finally get a legitimate cast at a big ole mamma trout and she charges your fly like lightning then turns away at 90 degrees without breaking stride in defiant rejection of the chosen offering. Rumor has it this is common for trout anglers to experience which is why so many of them wade very deep edges looking for “easy-pickins”.

 

 

 

 

redfish, drum, fly fishing, port aransas, texas, coast, guide, saltwater, charter, airflo, sims, hatch, beavertail, marsh, spartina, grass, sunrise, mullet, crab, shrimp, fly only, catch and release, trout, speckled, speck, snaggletooth, houndfish

Traffic be damned, we spotted this houndfish at 80ft, closed the gap to 65 feet and Jose threw the fly right where it needed to be!

Its always good to be ready and being able to throw a clean cast out of 80-90 feet will prove to be invaluable in the salt even if the majority of the time only 30-50ft cast are necessary. Some fish just wont let you get closer and this houndfish was the same, as we moved towards the houndfish, it moved away from us and we were barely able to close the gap enough for Jose to fire off a beautiful cast and get the fly right where it needed to be. On the business end of this fish, rarely spotted inside the bay.

Redfish Sunrises

redfish, drum, fly fishing, port aransas, texas, coast, guide, saltwater, charter, airflo, sims, hatch, beavertail, marsh, spartina, grass, sunrise

Sunrise Sessions are the BEST!

The alarm on his smartphone springs to life at 0430hrs and is quickly silenced by stiff, dry and cracked fingers fumbling to get the damn touchscreen on his phone to recognize his gesture. Within minutes a fresh batch of coffee is ready and out the door the early bird flies.

CREEEEEAK!!!

“I’ve got to figure out how to get that door to stop creaking!” he thinks to himself as he turns slowly to secure it behind him praying the rest of the family doesn’t wake up at such an ungodly hour. Replacing the hinges and even some oil just did not resolve all the horrific creaks this door makes. “This may require more research”, and he sticks the mental note in the back of his head, at the bottom of his priority list. Backing and Tailing Redfish are on his mind, consuming his thought processes.

Hooking up the boat trailer to the rusty old Silverado is a snap. Its been done so many times before. Locked and loaded, the Sunrise Guide is happy the garage door oil DID work well.

redfish, drum, fly fishing, port aransas, texas, coast, guide, saltwater, charter, airflo, sims, hatch, beavertail, marsh, spartina, grass, sunrise, mullet, crab, shrimp, fly only, catch and release, trout, speckled, speck, snaggletooth

Another redfish release

SPLASH! The boat slides off the trailer and into the water, plugs? Check! The over-used engine fires up with ease and she idles dockside awaiting her passengers for the day.

As false dawn nears, part of the sky is illuminated between towering clouds providing just enough light on the water to race to the flats in search of tailing and backing redfish. “Hopefully we will see a school of redfish today” the Sunrise Guide thinks quietly as he begins to feed everyone’s imagination with “tips & tricks for redfish”. Within another minute, he can see on the face of his Anglers that it is already too much to remember. Experience is the best teacher sometimes.

redfish, drum, fly fishing, port aransas, texas, coast, guide, saltwater, charter, airflo, sims, hatch, beavertail

Stalked this fine fish in a transition area where a steady flow of redfish and drum lasted practically all day. Nailed it!

Settled in on the flat, up on the pole looking for signs of life, a wake appears just ahead of the boat but on the upwind backside. “Damn near impossible shot. Gotta let that one go.” The guide whispers, and then suddenly another darts off in a long curving line to the left as it struggles to get outside of the Anglers casting range.

“Ya took too long to make a move on that fish but this is a good place to wade”, he mentions to his Guest. “Let’s start here. The Game has only just begun…” And the Sunrise guide knows just what is in store for his sleepy eyed Angler… A target-rich environment with lots of opportunities to sight-cast to redfish in such shallow water that their backs are in the air and if in a “deeper” spot, their tails will be waving for attention to the morning’s spectators.

What transpires over the next few hours for the willing anglers who are not afraid of a challenge, paints their imagination in full color through their own eyes engraving those moments in memory in vivid detail.

There are some quality sized redfish in the shallows right now and the tides are right for small groups to be found. I have a few dates open this week and a few in July, simply give me a call to get on board! Capt Kenjo 361-500-2552

redfish, drum, fly fishing, port aransas, texas, coast, guide, saltwater, charter, airflo, sims, hatch, beavertail, marsh, spartina, grass, sunrise, mullet, crab, shrimp, fly only, catch and release

Calf Deep Redfish Upper Slot

 

Texas Coast Spring Run

red drum, fly fishing, port, aransas, texas, coast, rockport, corpus christi, redfish, spottail, tail, sight, casting, mangroves, spartina, cord, grass, spring

Pat nailed this bronze 28 inch redfish on a PERFECT day

Spring has most certainly sprung on the Texas Coast and many first-timers have gotten exactly what they came for… to sight cast Texas Redfish along the coast near Port Aransas. Many thanks to those of you who have fished with me so far this year! It is you and the fish together that has made it so great to be a fly guide in South Texas!

The red drum, trout and black drum are in great shape due to the good rains we have experienced for the past three springs. This has helped keep the fish well fed throughout the low periods while spawning and during the somewhat colder winters. The fresh water that comes in the form of rain here promotes life and abundance from the smallest of organisms to the largest.

red drum, fly fishing, port, aransas, texas, coast, rockport, corpus christi, redfish, spottail, tail, sight, casting, mangroves, spartina, cord, grass, spring

First-timer Wolf stuck this fine 27 inch redfish with a trick cast out from behind a a 3-stick mangrove at close range.

What this means is a better than average redfish run this spring (currently going on NOW). And of course, another banner summer and fall. Hell, I am already looking forward to the winter. But lets not rush the seasons please. We have ALOT of fish to catch this year!

Lets get one thing straight about the Texas Coast. The Wind blows. It doesn’t really stop. If it does and youre out there fishing in no wind, you certainly spend a fair amount of time outdoors because if you waited for it to stop, it would blow again by the time you were ready to go. AND on most days if the wind isnt blowing you will wish it was blowing just to help keep you cool. All the better reasons to learn to cast in the wind. You can fish just about anytime.

red drum, fly fishing, port, aransas, texas, coast, rockport, corpus christi, redfish, spottail, tail, sight, casting, mangroves, spartina, cord, grass, spring

Cloudy with a chance of Redfish

I betchya a school of tailing top-slot redfish 30-ft upwind is a damn good reason to learn to cast upwind. I can help you with that too. But lets have the casting lessons off the water. All the more reason to take a few casting classes through your local fly shop. Remember the hand-eye-coordination thing takes time to master, be patient with yourself and practice a few minutes everyday which is better than 8hrs on Saturday (with you guide). Weekdays are better anyways for fishing!

Speaking of weather, I have said it before, dont worry about the weather when you book. Even the National Weather Service can hardly keep their forecast updated fast enough.

red drum, fly fishing, port, aransas, texas, coast, rockport, corpus christi, redfish, spottail, tail, sight, casting, mangroves, spartina, cord, grass, spring

Doubled-up First Timers

Any forecast for more than a few days out is misleading because the patterns are just changing more rapidly than before. BUT, despite the weather, good and bad, or whatever other people call bad, it hasn’t really slowed the fish down very much. It certainly hasn’t kept us at the dock, as long as there is a favorable route to the fishing grounds to keep us safe we will go. Of course, I need to see some excitement in your eyes too when it is time to leave the dock. The water temperatures are PRIME right now and should remain prime for a while more before dead of summer really sets in.

This period is when the fish are eating everything from crabs to mullet to shrimp to you name it. The fish are schooled up thicker and thicker each day and tailing more and more too. Again, despite the clouds, wind, rain or sunshine. All this is going on RIGHT NOW!

I have immediate availability for this week and some availability through April and May on into summer but dates are steadily filling up so don’t hesitate to book a trip based on the weather.

red drum, fly fishing, port, aransas, texas, coast, rockport, corpus christi, redfish, spottail, tail, sight, casting, mangroves, spartina, cord, grass, spring

Vibrant Colors from Schooling Red Drum

There is a damn good chance you’ll get to see some redfish action much like what you might see in some heavily produced DVD. The only exception is you’re going to get to witness these fish doing their thing first-hand. Nothing beats watching a school of redfish stacked tight enough together you couldn’t put your foot between them, all in 8 inches of water with their tails waving in the air, flagging you from 150 yards away.

red drum, fly fishing, port, aransas, texas, coast, rockport, corpus christi, redfish, spottail, tail, sight, casting, mangroves, spartina, cord, grass, spring

Sight-casted Tailing Redfish

And then, half way there, the fish’s position demands that you circumnavigate a 100ft oyster reef just to get close enough for a shot with the fly rod. The pressure is immense and continues to build all the way up to the fish. 80ft and closing, 50ft now, 40ft, 30FEET! Your guide then whispers, “Hey, Are you gonna cast? Take the shot!” and then finally… a cast is made and a fish is hooked. The End. Now, lets do it again!!!

DATES AVAILABLE! CALL NOW!

Capt Kenjo 361-500-2552

Full Swing Fall

Dredge yer Reds!

Dredge yer Reds!

Fall is in full swing and the tides are favorable right now. The skies have been interesting to work with playing with our eyes as the light dances between the thick and thin clouds. Nonetheless, the sight fishing has been good at times and more surprisingly the muddin redfish schools we found on a super windy day was a blast with double hook-ups on both fly and spin occurring 3 times.

Rusty got'em!

Rusty got’em!

When we are able to stalk the flats slowly with good sun and skies the redfish haven’t been far apart and are willing to eat just about any crab or shrimp fly when presented well to an unsuspecting redfish.

Looking at fish looking at bait.

Looking at fish looking at bait.

There are still hoards of bait like crabs, shrimp and finger mullet way up in the marsh in the super shallow water and as our tides continue to fall so will the bait and this will draw even more redfish and trout up shallow to feed heavily. Alot of the grass is still flooded and the crabs will be needing to make a big move soon as the air temperatures drop.

1st Time Sight-Casted Redfish

1st Time Sight-Casted Redfish

This trend should continue for a while more and November and December can see some awesome sight fishing days as the weather usually mellows-out a bit during this time. The fish are responding to the continued drop in average water levels and temps putting on the feedbag to regain their strength after spawning and to prepare for the onset of winter. Just ask me why winter is my favorite time!

Doubled up Mud Reds on fly and spin in windy conditions!

Doubled up Mud Reds on fly and spin in windy conditions!

Today the water temps in knee deep soft bottom flat read 76 degrees in one dead-end slough and not far away in another marsh drain it read 81 degrees… Granted these two areas are completely different which is indicative of the dramatic difference in water temps.

By making these observations it became apparent that the fish in the cooler location seemed to be sulking on the bottom over soft sand, not moving and just deep enough we couldn’t see them. These fish should be worked extremely slow, like crazy slow and from a distance.

Orange and Blue Fall Colors on display

Orange and Blue Fall Colors on display

Park off to the side, best to have some grass as cover, then make a long cast and dredge the bottom with the fly, long and slow with a little twitch at the end… The fish will hit on the twitch. This is a surefire method for fishing a 2-3 foot deep flat when you cannot sight the fish yet you know they are there from other signs.

In the warmer water the fish were certainly more active and were a little more visible because they were cruising or crawling instead of laid-up. These fish can be stalked one by one as your guide poles you through the maze of channels in the grassy marsh.

There are dates open in November and only a few remaining in December. Give me a call to book even if you decide to race down here on a whim last minute. We are locked and loaded and ready to float! Keep the hooks sharp, Capt Kenjo 361-500-2552. Also now taking reservations for Winter!

October Marsh Landscape

October Marsh Landscape

Red Summers

redfish drum fly fishing port aransas

Sunrise Tailing Redfish

Hot hot hot! Thats the easiest way to describe dead of summer-time along the Texas Coast… If you are fishing gentlemen’s hours this time of year chances are you are seeing double from the potential heat-stroke, but now is when the old saying “early bird gets the worm” hold the most truth.

We have been pounding on some fine redfish early in the mornings with their tails up, and they are eating just about anything you throw at them so long as you don’t bomb the cast.

redfish tail fly fishing port aransas corpus christi rockport coast gulf mexico

Do you see it too?

Delicate presentations are key, as most shots are coming at close range. By 9am though most of the tailing has stopped but then the sun is high enough to spot these fish in the water.

redfish trout topwater port aransas texas gulf coast

Topwater Redfish at Sunrise

I have been telling everyone lately, I have found 3 situations where it is imperative that we wade fish and will list them for you hear. These are also 3 excuses to buy a good pair of wading boots!

 

 

  1. The fish are in such skinny water that the boat might bump or drag the bottom occasionally, and the sound that makes will scare the fish, even if it doesn’t send them bolting away it can give them lockjaw.

    redfish fly fishing port aransas texas coast gulf mexico

    Windy Fishy

  2. The winds are honking (usually any winds over 15mph). This makes it difficult to fish slow enough. If the boat is moving too fast along the flat then there isn’t enough time to spot the fish and the fish doesn’t have much time to reveal themselves to us, which limits the number of shots you get at each fish. In the afternoons I prefer to work into the wind with the sun to our backs that way we can move super slow along the flat and that gives us more time to find that well camouflaged fish in the grass.
  3. ¬†This is the big one… when there are so many fish in one tight area, the boat itself can spook the group of fish, interrupting their feeding pattern and behavior. Stopping the boat simply isn’t an option because the boat creates noise and sometimes this cannot be helped. It is then best to park the boat off to the side, preferably behind some cover like cord grass to obscure it and then wade into the fishy area like a ninja, moving painfully slow.
    cord grass port aransas texas gulf coast fly fishing

    Cord Grass Galore

    August is a very good month for chances at BIG redfish in our area as those larger redfish are moving into the shallows to gorge themselves to get ready for the spawn. The boat records have been both set and broken during this month so I encourage you, if you want your chance at a sight-casted redfish over 30inches in super clear shallow water, this is the time to get on the books. Give me a call ASAP to secure your reservation! Keep your hooks sharp, Capt Ken 361-500-2552

Boot deep Redfishing

Redfish port aransas fly fishing Rockport Corpus christi

Backs out of the water

Some redfish have been visiting the shallows and these fish are up skinny on the feed. No nonsense, with a good cast these fish are pouncing the fly like a cat on a mouse.

Fly fishing redfish port aransas

Pothole redfish

When visibility is limited working the potholes strategically can also produce some decent fish.

I even tried taking a little video of the redfish feeding up shallow. Gotta watch the top of the frame to see it, and I don’t know if the quality is good enough.

Back at it tomorrow. I have some dates available this summer. Just give me a call and leave me a message. I’ll gladly return your call once I get off the water!

Capt Ken Jones 361-500-2552

Bayside Jack

jack crevelle, fly fishing, port aransas, guide

35lbs of raw power

The Jacks are in the bay!!! Spin fishing clients Steve and Kim got more than they bargained for when Steve hooked into this monster jack crevalle. After a 20 minute rodeo running the engine to chase down this fish in 6 feet of water Steve had enough and we parted the leader. There are also some other early arriving species to my surprise and excitement but I wont disclose this little tidbit at this time… For now, give me a call and lets go bust up some gangs of jacks!

Capt Kenjo 361-500-2552

Quality or Quantity

fly fishing, redfish, speckled trout, trophy, beavertail, strike, first cast, port aransas, saltwater, guide, charter, aransas, pass, rockport, corpus christi

First cast of an epic day

I am beginning to love the effects El Nino is having on our fishing! The abundance of fresh water from the heavens last year has made for a super abundance of food for the fishes! The fishing has been way above average lately not counting against what madness went down in February.

Considering the quality and quantity of fish that I am finding… take your pick! Do you want shots at good numbers of fish or a few good shots at quality fish of several species? And even despite inclement weather, some fabulous fishing is occurring for dedicated anglers.

gator, trout, fly fishing, port, aransas, redfish, speckled, flats, guide, saltwater, black drum, redfish, mullet, flies

Gator trout pre-release

Fortunately, the new Beavertail Skiff is the driest ride I have ever had on a flats skiff and even in rough conditions this boat performs very well.

By any measure this new boat goes everywhere the old boat could get. That’s the most thrilling part! Or, well, maybe seeing more than a dozen trophy trout in one day is a little more thrilling but nailing a 28-inch below average trout really got the blood pumping. Our imaginations have soared for the week following and still continues to grow and call us back to the water.fly fishing, redfish, speckled trout, trophy, beavertail, strike, first cast, port aransas, saltwater, guide, charter, aransas, pass, rockport, corpus christi, topwater,

I have been running into a real mecca of giant trout and even on the days we couldn’t sight cast we got them dialed in on topwater flies. Some glorious fish have been revealing themselves putting on the feed-bag, and even sometimes when the angler least expects it. Lessons are learned by all in situations like that… “Never take your eye off the fly!”

fly fishing, redfish, speckled trout, trophy, beavertail, strike, first cast, port aransas, saltwater, guide, charter, aransas, pass, rockport, shrimp fly, corpus christi

chartreuse and black fly

The redfish are also hungry and some 20+ fish schools of oversized redfish are begging to be caught. Chartreuse shrimp and mullet flies are my go to color and choice flies of all time regardless of light conditions. Then I go to blue crab flies (bigger is better if you ask me) and don’t forget to have some plain white topwater flies ready to zing! The majority of the black drum have been a little scarce from my normal operating areas the last week but those that I did find were close to 10lbs and have even found at least 1 drum per trip between 25-40lbs. Ya Ya!

Here also is a little video of my good buddy Bob playing tug-o-war with a very respectable trout on a fine day last week while breaking-in the new skiff. Give me a call directly to book your next Texas Fly Fishing Adventure! Capt Kenjo 361-500-2552

 

 

 

 

5wt Redfish

redfish, skinny, flats, guide, fishing, fly, saltwater, coast, texas, port aransas

Salty Bendo on a 5 wt hooked up to a nice 22inch redfish in 6 inches of water

So I get this call, last minute, and Matt says, “Can we go fishing tomorrow?”

“Absolutely!” I tell him. “Be at the dock at 9am. Tomorrow is a fine day to use the 5wt!”

And sure enough, while the main water bodies were frigid, getting skinny in my skiff was the key to finding the right water temperatures and those little lakes and creeks had loads of redfish in them.

redfish, skinny, flats, guide, fishing, fly, saltwater, coast, texas, port aransas

Uber skinny water redfish on 5wt couldn’t resist the chartreuse shrimp fly!

 

We didn’t find a single fish in water deeper than 12 inches. Matt did pretty work with his 5wt Scott rod and landed 9 redfish before 3pm! We got some very aggressive eats from these fish and the big ones we chased kept the excitement levels on top of the roof!

Forget about the weather and leave that up to your guide and it is sure he will put you on the fish!

Fall Run Update

“It has been crazy!” to say it in as few words as possible. Somehow I thought being a sleep deprived fly fisherman all these years would make being a sleep deprived parent easier but let me tell you folks… There is no comparison. October was by far the busiest month of the year. Thank you to all my clients who fished with me during a crazy month and through some wild weather patterns!

Cat and mouse was played with the weather (and fish) all season, some of us got out there on some fantastic days and others persevered through cloudy days. A few others have had to reschedule.

The fish are still very prevalent and I am seeing schools of fish again mostly black drum and redfish mix throughout the day. The most consistent and persistent casters on cloudy days are seeing good action with speckled trout.

The redfish have been upper slot fish and I am seeing at least one over slot red per day. There are plenty of ham sized black drum around as well. It is beginning to look like the weather trend is 4-5 days between cold fronts with the day or two after the front subsiding being the best weather days… the day or two before the next front are trending to be cloudy but we’ll see if this farmer’s forecast pans out!

I’ve got a few days in November available, particularly before and after the holiday. Give me a call to take your chance to roll the dice!

Lastly, here are some of the photos that actually developed into halfway decent shots

redfish, fly, fishing, headshot, mug, port aransas, texas, coastm gulf, flats, guide, charters, corpus, rockport, aransas

Redfish Head First

 

 

 

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Hooked up again!

 

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I sight cast to this 40-inch heifer from the rock with a crab fly! Thanks to Bob for leadering the fish and shooting this photo!

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Tom & Jerry

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Rich Waldner’s Spoon fly tricked this 29-incher with Outdoor Journalist Phil Shook on the long rod and with the fly of choice!

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David worked tirelessly on some of the toughest fish I have encountered this year!