River float trip, Texas style.

-- Last Updated: Oct-15-06 3:37 AM EST --

About 20 kayak fishermen are planning to float the Trinity River in Texas from the Lake Livingston Dam to US 59, a short float of 10 miles. There'll be fishing, the usual poking fun at one another, the side bets on who'll catch the most, and much more. Several of us will probably try fishing for Alligator Gar from some of the sand bars that are adjacent to long pools. Other quarry include striped bass (some big ones), white bass, hybrid white/stripped bass, catfsh (blue, channel, and flathead), crappie, and largemouths.

I got the ball rolling, this is a first for those of us who are registered with texaskayakfisherman.com and will, hopefully, become and annual or semiannual event. Date for the trip is October 28/29. Floats are planned both days. Anyone with a kayak or canoe is welcome to join us. Its not ACA sanctioned and no fees other than to launch below the dam. Just check out the thread at:


The river for now is slow moving with only the legally required release as the lake is 4 ft low from repairs after Hurricane Rita, and the level will not rise without substantial upstream rains, so no releases beyond what is now flowing are expected. The trip should be pleasant and the 10 approxiamate miles covered in a liesurely 4 to 6 hours. Fishing, of course, will take more time.
On the website, my username is greyloon.

10 miles / 4 to 6 hours
Wow, that’s moving for a fishing trip. I usually plan 1mph and frequently am going a lot faster than some of the folks I fish with. I know folks (not to mention any names ShenandoahRiverRat) who will anchor off a ledge and go 0mph for upwards of an hour. I haven’t got that much patience any more, but 2mph average is some pretty quick paddling for fishing a slow moving river. How do you manage that? Do you paddle between “fishy” spots and stop to hit those?

  • Big D

Big D, the trip will take about 4 hours

– Last Updated: Oct-17-06 1:48 AM EST –

if not fishing, I said fishing will take more time. Gerald, one of our resident kayak builders is an experienced water safari racer. He could do the trip in about 2 hours with ease. I expect fishing will take 6-8 hours and that's just hitting high spots. Some are planning to set up on sandbars and fish for 50+lb alligator gar...that will take longer. Gator gar over 10 lbs are best handled from the bank. Myself, I'll do some fishing, but my real reason for going is investigational and fun. The river is 43 miles from my home, pictures show it as a clean and undeveloped area and bald eagles are reported to make their homes on the river. Its about fun. some of will fish more seriously Saturday afternoon, with the large float to come Sunday.

What I'm hoping to do on the trip is identify camping areas and come back another time for a relaxed camping and float fishing trip. Too many in the group don't know anything about river camping and have sit on top kayaks, not the best for carrying camping gear.

That makes more sense
And you might be surprised by how much gear an SOT can handle. Remember the whole inside of that thing is basically one big backpack. When returning from a minor rescue cleanup, I’ve had two paddlers (including me) and three people’s tackle on my 12’ SOT without even touching the inside space.

  • Big D

I’ve wanted to make the float for over
a year, almost had a group committed last Spring, but rains came and the cfs jumped from 1100 to 15,000 the day of the float, so cancelled, no rain date, no float. The core of the group this time is hard core paddlers and fishermen. We’ll do it this or another time. I live too near the coast, everyone thinks that the only place to fish and have fun is there. I’m no lover of the salt, though.