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exlonghorn

Boating around Houston?

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exlonghorn

I am in the process of relocating from Austin, TX to the Houston area (yeah, I know...WHYYYY).  Absolutely loved summers on Lake Austin...beautiful scenery, a few restaurants, some well-maintained parks to anchor near.  Is there a similar place around Houston?  Lake Conroe looks nice, but it's a big lake like Lake Travis...probably not good for my 21 VLX.  Lake Houston seems like it should be good, but it doesn't seem very popular for some reason.  San Jacinto river possibly?  I'm avoiding any brackish rivers or lakes.  I appreciate any insights you can share.

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Steve B.

I skied a ton on the San Bernard, kind of where it almost meets the Brazos.  Close to an hour from Sugarland. Glass all day for miles.

Steve B.

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exlonghorn
1 hour ago, Steve B. said:

I skied a ton on the San Bernard, kind of where it almost meets the Brazos.  Close to an hour from Sugarland. Glass all day for miles.

Steve B.

That intersection looks to be near the coast.  Brackish/salt water there?

 

The Brazos actually looks to be a larger river...how is that?

 

Why do folks seem to avoid Lake Houston?  A good-sized freshwater lake that close to Houston should be crawling with boaters and people.  Is the water that nasty?  I typically don't wakeboard much these days...wakesurfing more now, along with anchoring and hanging out.  

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RevWil

Lake Conroe is great for surfing. I did it as a vacation spot once a year with my 2010 VLX. Didn't ever get a tube or wakeboard out though - water is much rougher than our usual spot on Lake Placid in Texas.

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Steve B.
9 hours ago, exlonghorn said:

That intersection looks to be near the coast.  Brackish/salt water there?

 

The Brazos actually looks to be a larger river...how is that?

 

Why do folks seem to avoid Lake Houston?  A good-sized freshwater lake that close to Houston should be crawling with boaters and people.  Is the water that nasty?  I typically don't wakeboard much these days...wakesurfing more now, along with anchoring and hanging out.  

We went just outside Brazoria, on rt. 521. About 20 miles or so north of the coast. The Brazos is a bit wider. But, it is much more silty, gator'y at this point in the river. Yes, Lake Houston can be kinda nasty and huge waves. Not sure what part of Houston you are in, but how about Clear Lake, right near the space center ?  We were able to get not too bad a water there a few times.

Steve B.

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kerpluxal
23 hours ago, exlonghorn said:

I am in the process of relocating from Austin, TX to the Houston area (yeah, I know...WHYYYY).  Absolutely loved summers on Lake Austin...beautiful scenery, a few restaurants, some well-maintained parks to anchor near.  Is there a similar place around Houston?  Lake Conroe looks nice, but it's a big lake like Lake Travis...probably not good for my 21 VLX.  Lake Houston seems like it should be good, but it doesn't seem very popular for some reason.  San Jacinto river possibly?  I'm avoiding any brackish rivers or lakes.  I appreciate any insights you can share.

Staying away from brackish water will lead into 6 results:

Where in Houston are you planning to move to?

  1. Lake Houston
    1. Decent water.. Murkish.. At dam is deep (haha 28 ft) 
    2. Unless you live in one of the Neighborhoods the only access will be Duessen Park (free and at dam) or Lake Houston Marina ($10.00 and full of idiots lol.. at 1960 bridge in Huffman.. Deep water by bridge and Marina.. be careful venturing out.. follow channel markers.
    3. One restaurant on water and one marina with food
    4. Alligators
  2. USJWF... Upper San Jancinto West Fork
    1. Glassy water.. very murkish..depth level varies tremendously (from inches to 18 ft average depth is 5 ft (unless this last rain storm changed things again)..
    2. Very silty bottom so major rain storms change the river channels and depths.. new sand bars appear and old ones disappear/get smaller/ get bigger.
    3. Limited access
      1. Kingwood has the only boat ramp to river and it gets shallow coming out (2 ft)
      2. Can be access from Lake Houston but please don't try without someone showing you the way
        1. Can't see bottom and most visible routes are extremely shallow.
    4. Once pier is fixed from last flood there are some restaurants available (~4)
    5. Alligators
  3. USJEF... Upper San Jancinto Eat Fork
    1. Same as West Fork
    2. Easier to get to from Lake Houston Marina
      1. Stay on channel markers
    3. Runs not as long
    4. The Commons has a private beach and boat ramp
    5. Alligators
  4. Lake Conroe
    1. Feeds USJ and Lake Houston.
    2. Deeper Lake than Lake Houston
    3. over 90% bulk headed
    4. Heard it is good if you ride weekday/early morning.. 
      1. Not worth my effort so I don't take my boat there.. Usually rough as hell and good for tubing.. I did not have fun surfing here due to being so rough.
    5. Lots of Restaurants and bars.. plenty of Marinas.. some gas stations on lake are the same as the one on the street so fuel price is low at these.
    6. I don't know of any public ramps but there are plenty of private ramps for neighborhoods and marinas for $ access
  5. Lake Livingston
    1. Can't provide you an assessment... It is Texas largest lake... but I have never ridden it
    2. Alligators
  6. Trinity River
    1. Miles and Miles of glass
    2. Public access at Hwy 19
    3. Great place to stay at Bethy Creek for weekend get away.
    4. Turns into the Dirty T during rain storms
    5. Murkish during rainy season, clears up when no rain (not Austin clear though)
    6. Lots of Gators... I usually see at least one on every outing..

There are more choices.. but Houston is a big town and not knowing what part of Houston you are moving too I could not advise on those Lakes (lake bryan, lake bastrop,,,etc) as they closer located to other parts of town. I live in Kingwood and ride mainly the USJ and Lake Houston. If you want a "guide" on the USJ/Lake Houston.. Hit me up.. I am out almost every weekend ;)... There is also a Houston community of riders on either GCWA or H Town Surfers... 

There are plenty of Private lakes as well... Have you already bought a home in the area?

I am from your area (Seguin) so I know your struggles ;)

Edited by kerpluxal

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cowwboy

So is there any lakes without gators down there???

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Steve B.

They are just about everywhere in the Houston area. Even the little water fountain ponds in front of business's. I've skied at two private ski lakes on the east side, and they were gator free. I think. ha.

Steve B.

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jwl019
58 minutes ago, cowwboy said:

So is there any lakes without gators down there???

The only way to tell for sure is to go out several times at night with a spotlight and look for their eyes.  Then again, if you want to ski those bodies of water, you may not want to know how many there actually are.

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toddrparr

Conroe gets gets ROUGH quick, not a bad weekday option or winter. the Trinity is the place to go, @kerpluxal I have yet to see a gator in my 3 trips - I try not to see them... Lake Sommerville is not a bad option is the wind is not too heavy and no gators. Depending on where you live, Lake Austin is only 2 hours away...

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kerpluxal

@cowwboy not that I am aware (in Houston area).. I have not seen any on Conroe but I do not venture up there... and I sure that there is as there has been articles written on them there.

On the USJ West and East fork.. I have not seen them... however is an article on sighting at the boat ramp that I use: https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=6&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0ahUKEwiDi92u3f7RAhXJAxoKHcEjCcIQFgg6MAU&url=http%3A%2F%2Fabc13.com%2Farchive%2F6297409%2F&usg=AFQjCNE6b2XHyDWFdocMM9NJAfnCeqkEXA

I have seen 2 on lake houston on the same day.. It was in a cove where we have a slalom course at.. needless to say.. I did not ski... this was my first sighting ever on a gator.

I see at least one on every outing to Trinity.. @toddrparr.. Unfortunately my crew likes to LOOK for them and point them out to the rider.. they somehow get a kick out of it... I yell at my driver to get me quickly when I go down and they point one out..

I have not heard of an attack on Humans in these body of waters, but I have heard of pets being eaten/attacked.. They tend to move away from boat traffic and noises

I wish I had a pic when my friend was surfing and we spotted a lochness monster crossing the Trinity.. ended up being a heard of wild boar.. but they looked like a giant serpentine from afar and his face while surfing was hilarious..

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toddrparr

@kerpluxal if my wife and son saw one out there I think it would be our last trip, out of sight out of mind. We saw one at Sam Rayburn last year and she freaked out, it was 3 feet long. I can't imagine what she would do if we saw a Trinity monster, http://www.dallasnews.com/news/texas/2016/10/13/900-pound-alligator-may-largest-ever-caught-alive-texas - a bit upstream from us...

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kerpluxal
7 minutes ago, toddrparr said:

@kerpluxal if my wife and son saw one out there I think it would be our last trip, out of sight out of mind. We saw one at Sam Rayburn last year and she freaked out, it was 3 feet long. I can't imagine what she would do if we saw a Trinity monster, http://www.dallasnews.com/news/texas/2016/10/13/900-pound-alligator-may-largest-ever-caught-alive-texas - a bit upstream from us...

... do y'all ski the Trinity above Livingston or below Livingston... I have never been on the Trinity below Livingston  Dam.. OUT OF SITE out of MIND.. 100% agree :whistle:

Then bring in the alligator gar... scary looking fish.. but do not attack humans.. or none recorded.. River Monsters did an episode on the Trinity River on them... They get HUGE.. I had one rider go down and touch one... his feet came out of water lol...

 

Edited by kerpluxal

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DatTexasBoy
3 hours ago, toddrparr said:

@kerpluxal if my wife and son saw one out there I think it would be our last trip, out of sight out of mind. We saw one at Sam Rayburn last year and she freaked out, it was 3 feet long. I can't imagine what she would do if we saw a Trinity monster, http://www.dallasnews.com/news/texas/2016/10/13/900-pound-alligator-may-largest-ever-caught-alive-texas - a bit upstream from us...

My wife said the same thing when we first started riding the Trinity, but now she is used to it and never thinks about it. Once you ride the Dirty T youll never be the same.

Its the Delta of South Texas. A little Dirty but always some Butter to be had.

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toddrparr

@kerpluxal we put in at the highway 19 bridge above Livingston and run up the river past the cliffy section. 

@DatTexasBoy the wife is coming around, the riding is sooo good. 

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ConnollyCrew
10 hours ago, jwl019 said:

The only way to tell for sure is to go out several times at night with a spotlight and look for their eyes.  Then again, if you want to ski those bodies of water, you may not want to know how many there actually are.

Alligators??

 

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granddaddy55
On 2/7/2017 at 11:29 AM, cowwboy said:

So is there any lakes without gators down there???

Coastal Texas and Louisiana are you kidding? There everywhere but I have been skiing with them now for  37 years.  Their birders and fisherman, it's not like Florida with all the smaller inland lakes in neighborhoods where any small animal or child  sitting lakeside looks like and can become  food, in the open water they have plenty to hunt and eat and they fear man as we hunt them, but when your in the boat and fishing they will go after your bait or float on mainly the float!

Edited by granddaddy55

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granddaddy55
On 2/7/2017 at 11:09 PM, ConnollyCrew said:

Alligators??

 

At our ski spot the bonnet care spillway there are many, with my older boats we would go tie up a whole chicken at 5 pm or later and wait for dusk and watch the assembly of orange eyes, the big one latches on and shakes the tree violently while the little ones look on, great fun!!!

Edited by granddaddy55

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