Exploring the San Bernard River's Back Lakes with a 3D Popper

@tx_travis, Fishing Guide -

Exploring the San Bernard River's Back Lakes with a 3D Popper

Fishing Back Water off the San Bernard River 

Just west of Freeport and east of Cedar Lakes runs the San Bernard River.  Here resides a vast and sparsely populated saltwater estuary teaming with wildlife and all a super short run for your scooter or an easy paddle in the kayak. Thinking we may be in-store for some summer thunderstorms we chose this spot due to the proximity of a nearby boat ramp; however, the weather-guessers where wrong as usual and all we faced was blistering heat and a stagnant wind.  

Entrance to back lake fishing off the San Bernard River

Looking into the entrance of our (public water owner) back lake we couldn't help but be pumped with the hopeful rainbow leading to our proverbial pot of gold, schooling redfish.  Excited or not, first task was getting through the falsely tranquil cut.  Here we encountered 3-4" of water over jagged pockets of Oyster and mud that rivals the neighboring Cedar Lakes and Cowtrap.  Not wanting to risk serious damage, we shut down the motor and push/pulled/waded/dragged/poled over and through the debris, undoubtedly adding much more of that infamous Oyster rash Texas skiffs are known for.

Getting past the downed tree, the cut did seem to level out into enough water for a decent poll across a muddy bottom.  Here I started chunking topwaters from my standard tried and true assortment of skitter walks, mirror-lures, and spooks; but nothing working and growing rapidly impatient it was time to try something different.  Reaching into the hatch I pulled out the $14 Yo-Zuri 3D Popper I bought with a Cabela's gift card, but hadn't yet had the nerve to try.   Before I could ask if my fishing partner thought this over-engineered Japanese topwater would work, my first Redfish of the day was on!

Redfish caught on Yo-Zuri 3D Popper topwater

Catching Reds with the Yo-Zuri 3D Popper

Three good pops was all it took and this little guy's attention and he about did a back-flip slamming the lure.  The rest of the action happened to quick for the camera, spinning the skiff around to find a small school of redfish murdering mullet in less than calf deep water.  Working the popper was pretty simple, even with the light action wade rod I was using. Small crank to get the lure flat on top of the water, then a hard pop of the rod and repeat.  I hadn't seen a lure get so much attention from redfish in a bait rich environment in a long time.  Definitely worth the newfound oyster rash our skiff had to endure to get here.  The action went as fast as it came and we spent the rest of the day tooling around the back lake, notably, much easier travel in the lake then it was getting to the lake.  

Wild pig running on the Texas Coast just inside the beach

Not exactly what we were looking for, but we did jump this momma pig and her babies.  Love them or hate them, its always fun to see wild things in Texas, especially when back-dropped by the beautiful coast line. 

We left all the Redfish unharmed and in place for the next persons adventure.  If you are interested in the exact coordinates, or GPS track to access this back water lake please check out our latest fishing e-Guide or support the cause with Public Water Owner Decal.  Unless you are crazy like us and fine with risking damage and potentially getting stuck, I would strongly recommend Kayaks for this adventure.

As always, we love to know what you think, so don't be shy.

Travis Power - Lone Star Guide - Instagram @lonestarguide 


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