On the lowest of tides in South Texas the wildlife is thriving on most every flat. You can smell all the animals out there in the still clean air.
There is a plethora of migratory shorebirds of all sizes and colors, scrounging through the matted sea grass and mud of the flats that are now drained. Litle white-yellowish butterflies flicker about in the breeze looking for a mangrove blossom. The sounds of locuts and cicadas fgill the air but the cadence breaks everytime a redfish crashes on some bait along the shoreline.
For someone who has lived way out in the country and even in the big cities, the fragrance of Mother Nature is most appealing.
Aromas of fresh shrimp, crabs, oysters and fish permeate the morning air and my nose tells me it is going to be a fantastic day fly fishing the Lower Texas Coast.
Within minutes of setting up on the flat, we begin to see large fire-orange glowing triangles breaking the surface at over 100 feet away. REDFISH Schools! And Big’uns at that!
We are surrounded. There! 9 o’clock! 60 feet and closing! A fleet of six dark shapes emerges from the diamond glare of the sun. Swimming in a fighter-jet formation, heading straight for the boat are massive well-fed top-slot redfish sweeping across the flat crushing any bait that dares let them get too close.
Bah Bah Bah!!!! She ate with reckless abandon!
“Hey Man?” the guide whispers loudly, hoping the angler on point can hear him but trying not to spook the gang. “There’s a tail at 11o’clock, 40 feet from your tippy toes. See that sheepshead looking right at ya! CAST!” The fly lands a foot short of the fish, leader straight and the game of chase begins. The man on the bow starts stripping and stripping and the fish follows, slowing closing the gap. Then suddenly, just when we think the fish is going to bail, she commits to eating and just nailed the chartreuse shrimp fly throwing a rooster-tail of water behind the line as it ripped away from the boat. “Ahhhh! Sweet!” the man on the bow exclaims.
I Give me a call ASAP to get booked for prime fishing dates in August and September. NOW IS THE TIME! Capt Kenjo 361-500-2552 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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.
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”.
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.
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.
“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.
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.
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
“There she is! 12 O’clock! 30ft and closing fast!” your guide says as you see him quickly drop to his knees in 8 inches of water pointing with the spare rod straight at the fish he just spotted. He secretly hopes you heard him and saw him go on point like a full-bred Setter. Your ears are in tune to his voice though, thanks to spending quite a few days together combing the flats on foot and fortunately, you hear him over the howling wind. A lone but large 30-inch redfish is barreling straight towards you out of the sparsely grown grass line and you barely have just enough time to make the cast. The fly lands right in front of the fish only 15 ft away from the rod-tip and she eats the little purple fly heartily.
Dates in June are still available. I have Friday/Saturday June 9 & 10 available immediately. Call ASAP to reserve your fun-filled day with target-rich environments, sight-casting to South Texas Coastal Redfish, Trout, Black Drum and Sheepshead.
Noah’s First Redfish
The weather has been excellent for tailing redfish as well. With below average winds right now we can fish from the skiff or on foot.
If you have the time in your day, extended day trips (12+ hours) are also available where we will make long runs to very isolated areas where almost every fish will try to eat your fly. Call Capt Ken direct for more details. 361-500-2552
Have you been thinking about fly fishing the Texas Coast? Do you have a desire to learn at an accelerated pace all the aspects of saltwater fly fishing? What are you waiting for? Are you wanting to go to some fly fishing school to learn more about saltwater fly fishing? NO NEED! You can do it right here with Capt Kenjo.
This one almost got away!
Come fly fishing with Kenjo Fly Charters now to sharpen your sight-casting skills. Working with the typically strong winds which are common in saltwater environments Capt Ken will work with you one-on-one to up your game.
With experience comes knowledge. That is, if you pay attention and apply the tips that your guide gives you play by play. to be clear, I am not running a formal school with “programs, curriculum, and classes”. Time on the water provides real-time experience and with Capt Kenjo as your personal teacher, he can help you speed through your learning curve with patience and sound advice. Consistently keeping you in front of fish having many opportunities throughout the day makes for good practice, and well… Practice makes perfect.
31 inch Bull Redfish, On The Fly, In Da Skinny, Flat Got Burned Moments Later Arghhh!
There are a few dates left in May (CALL ME ASAP FOR THOSE) and June is looking golden with good availability. Simply call me direct at 361-500-2552 to pick your date and place a deposit.
DON’T MISS THE BOAT! Get on board for a fun-filled saltwater fly fishing experience that will not only make you a better angler but also one that is quickly adaptable to the conditions and fish behavior as they change throughout the day.
Multi-day trips are available as well and are highly recommended for the serious angler who really wants to learn the fundamentals of saltwater fly casting and fishing. Time well spent on the water with an experienced guide and plenty of fish is what will make you a strong fisherman, and teach you the subtle tweaks and tricks that will put more species in your hands. Quite a few of my Guests come fish with me here on Texas Coast prior to their planned trips to more tropical latitudes to sharpen their skills. The conditions that the Texas Coast dish out will certainly challenge you and are very similar to anything you might face in more remote regions.
I look forward to being your preferred fly guide along the Texas Coast and who knows what awesome situation will present itself next! -Capt Kenjo
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
This year of 2016 has been fantastic with many wonderful days sight-casting redfish of all manners. We got to see tons of fish!
They were laid up, crawling, cruising, floating, tailing, schooled up and blitzing in schools down the grassy shorelines, crushing any and all of the helpless baits that were so abundant this year. Over clean hard sand, in clear water brown bottomed creeks, out among the turtle grass patches and tickling their chins over the fine-haired shoal grass.
By my observations, fish numbers are up, mostly thanks to all the rain Texas has received in the past couple years. This benefits the bottom of the food chain and over time the bounty moves up. 2017 will be another chart topper!
Many thanks to all the Guests who fished with me this year, every time, every one of us got in on some great days, and mad props to those who stuck it out during the more difficult days. The unpredictable weather is exciting and the Number 1 reason why it is important to learn a wide range of techniques in casting. We all still managed to get our hands fishy and learned quite a lot in the process adapting our equipment and techniques to get in front of the fish.
Admiration of the Redfish
There were many first timers as well who got their first taste of saltwater fly fishing, and I know for certain that they are just as hooked as the fish they finally caught! I cherish these moments because then, even a small fish is GIANT!
Looking forward to 2017, the early months in the year can have exceptional opportunities to sight cast. Timing with the weather is easier in Jan/Feb/March so don’t hesitate to call and get on the books to reserve your date. This past Jan/Feb/March was incredible and if you ask me, its quite the best time to fish.
Merry Christmas to you all, and a Happy New Year! Here is a little video from when the fish were blitzing down the grassy shorelines. Tight Lines and Sweet Fishy Dreams!
Going thru some client emails I found a sweet little video that a client put together very nicely of a fantastic day in May sight casting redfish about my old skiff, the 16ft Ankona Shadowcast. Matt had a quick learning curve and within short order was nailing fish left and right. I believe we got 9 fish to hand that day and missed at least 5 others. The big ones escaped without much damage from us but beware, we’ve got our eyes on you again now during the FALL RUN GOING ON NOW!!!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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 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
Afriad of the tides changing. Afriad of breaking off all these fish in the sticks. We switched up to 25lb tippet and went barefoot wading today while out scouting for the next group of charters. Got on some sick action with countless shots at countless fish, none of them under 23 inches and all of them in 16 inches of water or less.
Tomorrow is open if anyone wants to get in on board last minute. Just give me a call and leave a message and I will return your call after 8pm tonight.