I recently went on a weekend kayaking fishing trip down in Rockport on the Texas coast and while we weren’t successful in catching any keepers, I feel like we arrived at a productive planning strategy for future trips. We chose Goose Island State Park since we were already familiar with the area and we could stay right on the water.
Pro Tip: Not only does staying on the water allow you to fish from your campsite, but the constant breeze tends to help keep the mosquitoes away.
The basis of our planning was reviewing information in the Hook-N-Line Fishing Maps, which includes GPS coordinates for points of interest, kayak drop off points, depth charts, and more.
We cross referenced that with low and high tide times, sunrise and sunset times, as well as minor and major fishing times based on the gravitational pull of the moon. You can find charts like these in magazines such as the Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine.
Once we had all that information we selected our launch and way points we wanted to try and hit. We had planned on maximizing our time out on the water, but with a short break or two back at camp to keep our energy levels up.
Once we had our GPS coordinates picked out we programmed them into our Garmin in a way that was easily readable on the water without having the need to reference material.
We would denote the type of fishing for that location:
- A for Anchor
- D for Drift
- W for Wade
We would also denote the type of fish we were mainly fishing for at that location:
- R for Redfish
- T for Trout
- B for Blackdrum
- S for Sheepshead
It didn’t take long to realize our planned expeditions were a bit on the ambitious side in terms of distance covered in the accounted time span. The main thing we didn’t plan for at the time was the wind, both direction and speed, which have a large effect on the distance you can cover and the directions you drift.
In terms of gear, we bought the typical tackle we would use and pretty close to the same setup if we planned on being out fishing all day off a pier or something. The main items we brought were a few pre-rigged poles (rigged for different types of casting and bait), a little extra tackle for the type of fishing planned that day, a net, a small cooler (for water, beer, and food), and a kayak anchor.
We didn’t happen catch any keepers, but we had a lot of fun, learned some things, and made some memories.