Fly Fishing the Texas Coast

Baffin Bay Area : Yarborough Pass/Yarborough Pass Flats

Just south of the mouth of Baffin Bay on the barrier island side of the Laguna Madre are Yarborough Pass and Yarborough Pass Flats. These sites can be reached by water or land vehicle via the Padre Island National Seashore. Yarborough Pass is located at the 15-mile marker, about midway between Big Shell and Little Shell beaches on the Seashore. Once a link between the Laguna Madre and the Gulf of Mexico, the pass was long ago sealed off by wave action and shifting sands. Today it provides an access point to miles of ankle- to knee-deep wadefishing on the upper Laguna Madre.

A four-wheel-drive vehicle is essential to navigate the short stretch of soft sand on the fore-island dune ridge. Once you're over the hump, it's an easy run of about a mile over a hard sand surface to the lagoon. Some anglers trailer in their shallow-draft boats and launch from the old dock at Yarborough Pass. This provides access to prime fishing on the nearby flats as well as Baffin Bay, the Kenedy Land Cut, and the Graveyard.

About 35 miles down from the JFK Bridge is the Kenedy Land Cut. This narrow, 22-mile stretch of the Laguna Madre lined with fishing shacks and floating houseboats holds trout and redfish in its deep channel as well as along its shallow, light sand shorelines. Flyfishers who make the trip often will find schools of seatrout chasing shrimp on the surface in the middle of the channel. Look for diving birds as a sign that trout are feeding in the area. Flycasters fishing from skiffs with trolling motors have miles of sightcasting opportunities for tailing and cruising trout and redfish that move up on the grass beds and light sand bottoms along the shoreline. Since the wind normally is blowing out of the southeast, the west side of the cut is the most favorable for flycasting. Look for trout and reds tailing or following stingrays along the dark grass beds at the edge of the channel drop-off and near depressions at creek mouths.

Another intriguing lower coastal feature in this area is the Graveyard. The Graveyard, or Nine-Mile Hole, is a broad, shallow tidal flat accessed by several channels on the east side of the Kenedy Land Cut. During the late spring and summer months it can draw large schools of redfish as well as large trout, black drum, and ladyfish. The bottom varies from firm to boggy. It is a prime area for driftfishing, wading, and sightcasting, but knowledge of tidal movements in the area and a shallow-draft boat are required, to avoid ending up high and dry. Corpus Christi fly-fishing guides Joe Mendez and Bill Sheka, Jr. regularly track redfish schools in the Graveyard.

Published: 29 Apr 2002 | Last Updated: 15 Sep 2010
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication


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