Public Fishing, Paddling Access Expands on Brazos, San Marcos, and Llano Rivers

Cool news coming out of Austin!  We are excited to see additional paddling opportunities opening up across the state.  From the Lighthouse Lakes paddling trail to this announcement, the explosion in kayaking across Texas has been incredible.  

AUSTIN – Anglers and paddlers have some new options for their next fishing and paddling trips. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is pleased to announce two new opportunities to hit the water on the Brazos and San Marcos rivers while reopening public access at a former leased site on the Llano River.

The three public leased river access sites secured by the TPWD River Access and Conservation Areas Program include the new locations of Brazos Outdoor Center and Spencer Canoes and Shady Grove Campground along with a renewed lease at the Kingsland Slab RV Camp.

“Texas has over 40,000 miles of perennial rivers and creeks, and with 95% of the land held in private ownership, it can be a real challenge finding safe legal access for paddling and fishing.” said John Botros, TPWD River Access Coordinator. “These three newest leased access areas are great locations for bank, wade, and kayak fishing and paddling opportunities for the public.”

The Brazos Outdoor Center is downstream from Lake Granbury and provides a third public access site along the Brazos River. The site features 200 feet of river frontage for bank and wade fishing. Canoes and kayaks can be rented, and shuttle services are available for various lengths of paddle experiences depending on the time of year and river flow conditions. Additional amenities include restrooms, outdoor shower, and boat washing station. Access at the site is open from 30 minutes before sunrise to 30 minutes after sunset for bank angling and launching non-motorized boats, canoes, or other floatable devices for the purpose of fishing.

Spencer Canoes and Shady Grove Campground is located near Martindale and is one of two access sites along the San Marcos River. The site boasts 200 feet of river frontage for bank or wade fishing and provides very different paddling / fishing experiences depending on the direction one floats to/from Spencer Canoes. The 5-mile float from the San Marcos River Retreat to Spencer Canoes offers swift water river sections such as Cottonseed Rapids as well as a portage around Martindale dam. The 5.25-mile section downstream of Spencer Canoes offers excellent fishing opportunities in the slower backwaters of the San Marcos River down to Staples dam. In addition, camping is available at the Shady Grove Campground for an extra charge.

The Kingsland Slab RV Camp is one of five public access sites established on the main stem of the Llano River. The site has 750 feet of river frontage for bank or wade fishing along with RV camping that includes electric, water, and sewer available throughout the campground. Kingsland Slab is an excellent place to catch White Bass when they are running upriver in the early spring. When rains provide flow and water temperatures reach 55 to 60°F, White Bass gather in the upper ends of Lake LBJ and begin migrating into the Llano River. White bass spawn over gravel or rock in 2 to 8 feet of flowing water.

The objective for TPWD is to establish lease agreements with landowners, resulting in increased river access for both anglers and paddlers. Since 2012, more than 20 public river access leases have been established with cooperating landowners. These agreements for leased access areas enabled or enhanced paddling and river fishing on more than 211 miles of 10 different rivers across Texas. A map, area descriptions and special conditions on public use for each site can be found on the TPWD River Access and Conservation Areas webpage.

River Access and Conservation Areas are funded by a combination of sources including donations from the Texas Parks and Wildlife Foundation, sales of the Texas Rivers Conservation License Plate, and grant awards through the U.S. Farm Bill and Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Program.

Find out more information about other river access initiatives including our Texas Paddling Trails Program by visiting the TPWD River Fishing page.

Review: J.B. Dillon Chambers Boots

Living in Texas, I have purchased my fair share of boots through the years. Through experience, I have come to rely on certain brands for specific functions. Specifically, Lucchese dress boots, Ariat (with rubber soles) for general ranch work and light hunting, Wolverine for serious hunting, and Red Wing work boots. J.B. Dillon now joins my list of preferred cowboy boots!

I have been wearing the J.B. Dillon Chambers full quill ostrich boots for several months now. They are exceptionally comfortable and easy to wear all day. And they look fantastic in Chestnut!

One question I get asked, is “How do they compare to Tecovas?” This is a fair question as I would consider them competitors working the same space. In fact, I have a pair of Tecovas The Earl and it is a very fine boot. For me personally, the J.B.Dillon Chambers is more comfortable than my Tecovas. Now, you may have a different experience as “comfort” is subjective to each person. For sure the Tecovas are know for being very “soft” leather and they are. However, how they feel in the hand is not the important part, it is how they feel on your feet after eight hours that is key. And to me, my J.B. Dillons are more comfortable.

J.B. Dillon Chambers
J.B. Dillon Chambers full quill ostrich

J.B. Dillon boots are manufactured in Leon, Mexico. I would take a pair of boots hand-built in Leon over a pair made in China any day. Many of the well-known boots you are familiar with are mostly made in China these days – Ariat, Justin, and Tony Lama to name a few. Leon has a proud history of leather manufacturing going back decades and their skilled craftsmen produce excellent shoes, boots, and jackets. You can rest assured you are purchasing a top-notch boot.

J.B. Dillon Chambers

The J.B. Dillon Chambers features full quill ostrich leather – available in Chestnut (pictured here), Midnight, and Desert Siena. The company offers free shipping, returns, and exchanges (within 60 days). The packaging and presentation are first-rate. The Chambers are listed at $395. The full lineup starts at $209.

J.B. Dillon Chambers
J.B. Dillon Chambers in Midnight

J.B. Dillon also offers a complete line of Women’s boots. These range from straight-forward design to some that are quite out there. My wife has a pair of the Desert Willows.

J.B. Dillon Desert Willon

One note of caution when shopping for boots. Don’t allow some salesman to convince you that the boot will become comfortable after you break it in. True, a leather sole boot will be stiff at first but no boot should be uncomfortable to walk around the store in. Would you buy a pair of shoes that didn’t fit? Then why would you spend hundreds of dollars on a nice pair of boots that don’t fit right? If it hurts your feet in the store it will still hurt six months down the road.

For the record, my J.B. Dillon Chambers boots were easy to put on and comfortable to wear from the very first day!

J.B. Dillon Chambers Ostrich
J.B. Dillon Chambers Ostrich

J.B. Dillon boot company.

Capt. Nathan Port Mansfield Trophy Trout

It’s been feeling more like April than February lately. With the strong south winds, it has made it tough to stay on the big trout bite. We narrowed down the area, but the depths at which these fish were holding seemed to change daily.Trophy Trout

We have caught some solid fish over the last few days, but today it came together with our biggest going 8.75#”. Today our fish fell for Softdine XL’s and Down South Lures chicken of the c, as well as true plum super models. All our fish have been released in great condition. Just enjoying the great fishery of the Lower Laguna.Trophy Trout

Capt. Nathan Beabout

Cell:(210)452-9680

nmsportsmansadventures.comTrophy Trout

Capt. Nathan Beabout

Cell: (210) 452-9680

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Port Mansfield Report

Sometimes when your chasing big trout, you just have to hang in there and grind.

That’s exactly what these boys did, and were rewarded for it. We saw ever changing conditions over their 3 days. Gale force winds, slick calm days, and 85 degree air temps.

I would like to congratulate Walker on his PB trout, 7#” long, caught on a black/green Softdine XL. We had a couple other big troutthat were picture worthy, but the bites were few and far between. Had several in the 4-5# range over the 3 days. There were a lot of baits detroyed by bruser redfish too! All our fish were released in great shape.

Capt. Nathan Beabout

Cell:(210)452-9680

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Trophy Trout Trophy Trout

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Port Mansfield Trout Report

Let me start this story by saying, the good Lord blessed me on the water today!

I would have loved to seen the clients fighting these fish, over me.

I had 5 bites today, second bite of the morning was a 31”@8.25# trout. Got two more bites on our next few wades. Then the last wade of the day starting around 1:30pm, I hooked a 30”8.5# trout. Im always conservative on the length, being that it’s measured off the rod before being released. But, clients helped me measure and confirmed! Lol

These fish are the reason we are down here, and today was just tough, but well worth it. Clients had some reds and trout to 4.5#. Guess you never know who is going to make the right cast, but being in the correct area helps.

Capt. Nathan Beabout

Cell:(210)452-9680

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Capt. Nathan Beabout

Cell: (210) 452-9680

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Port Mansfield Trophy Trout Report

Well………..
Trying to figure out how to describe this groups Mansfield trip.
A good repeat summer client brought down a father/son team, and we were blessed to walk into a good bite. Evan the 13 year old hung in there all day and is a pretty good stick. Both the dad and him set their PB’s on day one, but we had a few days to try and upgrade Evans again.

Trophy Trout
Trophy Trout

Fish were caught in thigh to crotch sand pockets.
Aaron’s fish is pictures first, a 29”@7.75#.
Then Evan’s at 25”@4.5#
Landon and myself also got in on the action. His was just shy of 7#, and mine was 29.5”@8#.
Our trout and reds were released in good condition.

Trophy Trout
Trophy Trout

Day 3 of 4 with this group proved to be the best yet. Day 2 was tough under the high pressure with just a couple solid fish caught. But, day 3, Landon and Aaron upgraded their PB’s.

Aaron’s fish tipped the scales at 8.5#”
Landon’s went 8#@29”
Evan matched his again

Trophy Trout
Trophy Trout

We had multiple fish over 6#, and walked away from the bite trying to beat in some rain showers.
Today, unfortunately the rain canceled our plans of making a wade over the same ground before the front hit. Hopefully when the winds start backing off tomorrow I can relocate these fish for coming clients.

Trophy Trout
Trophy Trout

Open January dates:
20-22

Capt. Nathan Beabout

Cell: (210) 452-9680

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Seadrift Sight Casting

Had a lot of fun with new clients today. With the perfect sight casting conditions, they were able to experience another style of fishing. Seeing redfish cruising the banks just gets you blood pumpin!

We have a handful of dates left available for November. Whether it’s wading or sight casting, give us a call.

Capt. Nathan Beabout

Cell:(210)452-9680

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Capt. Nathan Beabout

Cell: (210) 452-9680

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Seadrift Sight Casting Report

Well it worked out, we found fish super skinny, and even in flooded up areas that are typically dry. These fish were fooled by DSL’s candy apple and color x. These clients released all their reds, just out havin’ fun!

Wednesday and Thursday look great for sight casting. If you have ever wanted to try it, give us a call.

Capt. Nathan Beabout

Cell:(210)452-9680

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Capt. Nathan Beabout

Cell: (210) 452-9680

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POC Jetty Report

Today was a great way to end our bull red trips for the year! BeBull Redautiful weather and some fun repeat clients. These boys had a ball ending the day with 21 bulls between 39-45”. With the cooler water temps these big fish swam off to spawn, and fight another day with no problem.Bull Red Bull Red

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Trout and Flounder!

Aaaaaannd day 5!
It has been an eventful string of trips with these boys. As always, I can’t wait for the next ones.

Today we didn’t find any big trout, but some solid 3# fish, along with a couple nice flounder. Our top baits were DSL’s chicken of the c, purpatraitor, and purple reign. We managed a few bites on dirty tequila and magic grass. All our fish were caught on windward banks in thigh deep water.

Capt. Nathan Beabout
Cell:(210)452-9680
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Capt. Nathan Beabout
Cell: (210) 452-9680
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Seadrift/POC Jetty Report

Day 3 and 4 of 5, started before the sun came up wading over oyster shell. With 5 guys we did 2 pack drop offs on small reefs, that way we all had room to fish the right zone. From the moment we hoped out, we had fish hitting DSL’s chicken of the c and purpinator.

With the wind staying low all day, we stayed on the shell and was able to consistently catch fish throughout the day. The only thing that changed was our bait selection. As the clouds burned of magic grass and chicken of the c were the better baits.

Today we planned to go to the jetties. Unfortunately with the strong SE winds it over took the currents, and for me, I have never been successful at the jetties for bulls without a current. We still had a lot of fun sharing stories, and ooh yeah missing one bite! Lol.

Tomorrow we are setting our sites on wading, and trying to use the approaching front to find one or two big trout. Whatever happens, I know we will have a ball doing it.

Capt. Nathan Beabout
Cell:(210)452-9680
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Capt. Nathan Beabout
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Seadrift Report

It was a pretty consistent bite before sunrise, there were some smalls mixed in, but the better fish were 17-19”. Then shortly after sunrise we started playing musical chairs with the thunderstorms. Finally settling in on a windward bank of sand/grass for some redfish action!

The trout on the shell this morning wanted strawberry wine and chicken of the c. Redfish were after dirty tequila and spicey pumpkinseed.

We got some good fronts coming later in the weekend and early next week. Hopefully it will drop our tides, and cool the waters back off. If this will happen I know the fishing pattern will become a little more predictable throughout the day.

Give us a call for November availability, whether its wading or sight casting.

Capt. Nathan Beabout
Cell:(210)452-9680
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Capt. Nathan Beabout
Cell: (210) 452-9680
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