Self-chartered Bay Fishing Trips


FCS hosts self-chartered bay fishing trips, primarily to Port O’Connor (POC).

We’ve had many successful fishing trips but only one of our boat captains is a guide and three of them have full-time jobs and only fish on weekends, so don’t expect to always catch limits on these trips.

We primarily target redfish, black drum, and speckled trout but can also catch sheepshead, flounder, jack crevalle, sharks, rays, and a variety of non-game fish such as hardheads and lady fish, so be prepared.  For lure and line recommendations see the bottom of this page.

Here are pictures of some of our successes:

Boats can include Kevin McConnell’s, Randy Rowley’s, Daryl Shipper’s, and Wayne Weilnau’s bay boats, and possibly others.  Kevin, Randy, Daryl, and Wayne can take three hunters or fishermen on their boats in addition to them.  We fish from the boats, unless fishermen want to wade fish and the captain agrees.  In which case the captain’s will take the fishermen to the desired wade fishing spot(s), if possible (factoring in water level, the tide, etc.).


  • The participants (excluding the captain) will split the vehicle and boat gas (the amount depends on the distance traveled and the number of people sharing the gas), a boat wash after the event (to wash the salt and mud off), state or county park fees (if applicable), boat slip fees (if applicable), boat launch fees (if applicable), and toll road fees (if applicable).  The captains have to replace their boat batteries, trailer tires, wheel bearings, etc., and repair things like their trolling motors more quickly due to taking FCS members and guests on such trips than they would if they didn’t take FCS members and guests on such trips; therefore, they are exempt from the above expenses.
  • For Corpus Christi, we’ll stay in an Airbnb house, townhouse, or a motel.
  • For Port O’Connor, Wayne Weilnau’s house can hold up to eight participants.  If we have more participants going than that, some will have to stay in Burl Fulenwider’s travel trailer, or at The Inn at Clark’s (a waterfront inn on the Intercoastal), an Airbnb house, or a motel.  We’ll take the maid cleaning fee to clean Wayne’s house, the RV park rental cost or The Inn at Clark’s/Airbnb’s/motel’s cost, an extra boat(s) slip fee and divide it by the participants (not counting Wayne and Burl).  If Wayne’s house is not available, all participants will stay in Burl’s travel trailer and/or The Inn at Clarks, an Airbnb house, or a motel.
  • Fishermen can use live and/or dead bait (and/or use artificial lures).  If so, the captain will buy the bait and Wayne will divide the cost among everyone.  Everyone in the boat must agree how they will fish before they go out as people who want to fish with lures will become frustrated if the boat isn’t moving often and people who want to fish with dead or live bait will become frustrated if the boat’s moving (as movement will drown live bait and get bait caught in rocks).  Typically, Kevin and Wayne fish primarily with artificials, but will also fish with live and dead bait if artificials aren’t getting results.  Daryl and Randy fish primarily with live and dead bait, but also with artificials.
  • We’ll eat out or get drive-through food.

What to Bring:

  • Saltwater fishing license.
  • Rod & Reel combos (at least two in case you break one; ask your captain what the maximum number is that you can bring – it’s usually no more than four).
  • Lures and/or terminal tackle for live and/or dead bait.
  • Tackle box, bag, or backpack.
  • Headlamp or cap light (waterproof is recommended).
  • Clothing appropriate for the season (including a cap).  You never know when it will rain, so bring rain gear.
  • Drinks and snacks (optional; drinks are highly recommended).  There are storage compartments in the boats to put your drinks and snacks in.
  • Sunglasses (optional, but highly recommended).
  • Bug repellent (optional).
  • Waders (if you plan to do wade fishing; except during late spring, summer, and early fall trips; ask your captain if he plans to do any wade fishing).
  • A fillet knife, fillet board (recommended), and knife sharpener (recommended), four gallon-sized Ziploc bags (to be legal, you’ll need to have your fish in separate bags for separate days), and a medium-sized hard or soft ice chest to take your fish home in (if you get any; leave it in your vehicle or where we’re staying).

The captains are required to have a life jacket for every passenger, so you won’t need one.  However, you can bring your own if you want to.

Randy has extras of many of the items that are listed above (e.g., cap lights, rods and reels, lures, etc.) and will happily loan them if you let him know before we leave.  Of course, if you borrow something and break or lose it he will expect reimbursement.


These fishing trips are a service to FCS members and guests, but the Event Coordinators/leaders will enforce the following expectations:

  • Follow the captain’s instructions and abide by the FCS Bylaws Regarding Conduct.
  • Pay for your share of the truck and boat gas, motel rooms, boat launch, and bait (if used) fees.
  • Pay for items (that are not yours) that you broke or lost (including lures that you borrowed and broke or lost).
  • Help (including helping get the boats back on the trailers).
  • Be prepared to fish (if others have to help you rig properly on the boat, it takes away from their fishing time).  This does not apply to new fishermen.
  • Talk quietly – fish can hear you also and will swim away.
  • Don’t be rude.  Examples of rude behavior include deciding to go get coffee after the boat has already launched and your partners are ready to fish, throwing a cast net from the boat while your partners are actively fishing, and fishing with too many rods out – which prevents your partners from fishing at all.  All of these examples have happened on FCS self-chartered bay fishing trips.
  • Show up.
  • Be on time.
  • Don’t have a pattern of canceling at the last minute.3
  • Don’t ask questions regarding information that has already been conveyed in the Event Coordinator’s/leaders emails (and you would have known the answers if you had read the emails).
  • Return the Event Coordinator’s/leader’s emails, phone calls, and/or texts, if he or she asks a question or asks you to acknowledge something.

Let Wayne Weilnau know if you have any questions at or 512-589-4120.

Lure recommendations

Soft plastics – Egret Baits’ VuDu Shrimp and VuDu Vixen, Z-Man’s EZ Shrimpz, scented Jerk Shad, Paddler, and Pogy, Berkley’s Gulp Alive Shrimp, Ghost Shrimp, Shrimp, Swimming Mullet, Pogy, Ripple Mullets, Mud Minnow/coakers, Salt Strong’s Slam Shaddy, and Saltwater Jerk Shad, Zoom’s Salty Super Fluke, Norton Lures’ Sand Shad, Sand Eel, and Bull Minnow, and Bass Assassin’s BANG Die Dapper, Sea Shad, Saltwater Shad Assassin, and Saltwater Curly Tail Shad.

Soft plastics colors – salt and pepper (Bass Assassin calls it Salt and Pepper Silver Phantom), white/red, red/white, and Bass Assassin’s Chicken on a Chain (light green and white with black specks and a chartreuse tail).

Jig heads:

Spoons – Nacho Daddy Loaded Nachos, Johnson’s Silver Minnow and Gold Minnow, H&H Lure’s Secret Weedless Redfish Spoon, Strike King’s Sexy Spoon, and Nichols Lures’ Mojo Flutter Spoon.  1/2 – 1 ounce in gold or silver.  These are particularly good for redfish and speckled trout.  Redfish seem to prefer gold and trout seem to prefer silver.

Topwaters – walk the dog lures like Bomber’s Badonk-A-Donk, Heddon’s Zara Spook, Zara Spook Jr., and Chug’n Spook Jr., Rapala’s Saltwater Skitter Walk and Skitter V, MirrOlure’s Series III, Pro Dog Jr., or Top Dog Jr., and Yo-Zuri 3DB Topwater Pencil and 3-D Inshore Pencil; poppers like MirrOlure’s C-Eye Poppa Mullet Surface Popper and Heddon’s Chuggar Spook; and torpedo lures like River2Sea’s Whopper Plopper.  The last two lures don’t come with saltwater hooks, so be sure to rinse the hooks with freshwater after use in saltwater.  1/2 – 1 ounce.

Lipless crankbaits/twitch baits – Bill Lewis’s Magnum Force, Mag-Trap, Knock-N-Trap, and Rat-L-Trap, MirrOlure’s MirrODine, MirrODine XL, Paul Brown’s Fat Boy, MirrOMinnow, MirrOMullett, Series III Catch 2000, 52 MR, She Dog, She Pup, Glad Shad, and XXL, and Rapala’s X-Rap Twitchin’ Minnow and Twitchin’ Mullet.  1/2 – 1 ounce.

Crankbaits – Bill Lewis’s Echo and MirrOlure’s MirrOLip 1/2 oz Suspending Crankbait.  1/2 – 1 ounce.

Hard jerk baits/swim baits – Yo-Zuri’s Pin’s Minnow Floating Swim Bait, Crystal 3-D Minnow, Crystal Minnow, 3DS 2-3/4 inch Suspending Minnow, Mag Minnow, and 3-D Inshore, Bomber’s Jointed Long A, Saltwater Grade Heavy Duty Long A, and Magnum Long A, and Cotton Cordell’s Red-Fin. 1/2 – 1 ounce.

Hard bait lure colors – white with red heads, silver with red heads, silver with black backs, silver with blue backs, silver with pink backs, gold with pink backs, bone, and chartreuse.

Rods & Reels, Lines, and Leaders – bass rods & reels work fine for bay fishing.  Just be sure to wash the reels with freshwater after every use (even if you don’t get them wet; especially if you fish from a boat as the spray coming over the deck will get saltwater on them).  Rods should be medium heavy or medium.  Reels should be equipped with 12 – 17 lb. test monofilament or fluorocarbon line or 30 lb. test braid.  If you use braid, be sure to tie on up to a 25 lb. mono or fluorocarbon leader, as braid is easy to cut.  For topwater lures use mono in 12 – 15 lb. test.  For diving lures use fluorocarbon in 14 – 17 lb. test or mono in 12 – 15 lb. test.

Hooks and Swivels – as to hook size, weights, etc., it depends on the fish you’re targeting and where you’re fishing.  If targeting slot redfish (20 – 28″), speckled trout, keeper black drum, flounder, etc., with live shrimp I’ll use a size 2/0 hook and a 1/8 or 1/4 oz. pinch weight or egg sinker above a size 2, 3, or 4 barrel swivel (tie about 18″ of line from the swivel to the hook).  If the current is preventing the shrimp from sinking, use a heavier weight.  The lighter the weight, the more action the shrimp will have.
If the bait stand is out of shrimp or if going after speckled trout exclusively (which is very rare), use either live croaker (and a 3/0 Mustad croaker hook) or piggy perch with a size 2/0 hook.  See above for weight recommendations.
If going after oversized drum (big uglies) or bull redfish (over 28″) with cut sardines, mullet, or 1/2 crab, I’ll use at least a 5/0 – 12/0 hook, as those fish are strong and will tear up lighter hooks.  Below is a picture of a heavy rig that Daryl Shipper came up with and directions for it and another one (a Carolina rig).  If you’re going to fish off of jetties use Daryl’s rig, as the golf ball keeps the weight out of the rocks (somewhat).  Use a one-ounce egg sinker up to 2 oz. (the brand doesn’t matter, as it’s just lead) inside of the golf ball (you’ll need to cut a 1/2″ slit in the ball (from a hole to another) and push the weight inside it.  You’ll also want to use 25 lb. mono or fluorocarbon as a leader, as those rocks will easily cut lines used for bass fishing.  Also, if you catch a ladyfish (aka baby tarpon or poor man’s tarpon) keep it.  They’re not good to eat, but they make good cut bait for big uglies, bull redfish, sharks, sting rays, etc.
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