Castaway Lodge Seadrift Report
By Capt. Kris Kelley
As the winds have backed down, Trout have been on a voracious feeding pattern as I predicted in my last report. From shorelines to shell reefs, virtually all structure is producing solid limits of Trout. While Trout are in the crosshairs, Redfish aren't far from our thoughts with pods roaming shallow mud/grass flats and shell reefs feeding on finfish and small crabs. Catching them has been hit and miss with the lack of wind and an inability to bracket them.
Arriba Pescado Guides Cup Winner
Working San Antonio Bay shorelines, our Capt. James Eastep managed to bring the Spaw Maxwell Arriba Pescado Guides Cup home to The Lodge. The weigh in required 10 Trout and 3 Redfish for qualification using artificial lures only. Working topwaters and soft plastic paddle tails, Rusty M. and guests managed to dig out their 10 Trout including a number of 23 and 24" fish with Capt. James topping off the Trout part of the stringer with a 27" bruiser. Digging in tight to the shorelines, the guys managed to work up two Redfish including one fish pushing 28" (a Tournament Red). With one Redfish yet to go, everyone was scrambling and pumping the plastics in a frenzied search for the "coup de grace". With the weigh-in requiring participants to be "in line" by no later than 4:00pm, at 5 minutes to 3:00pm Jim stuck another Redfish and it was another fish pushing 28". Now, it was a mad dash to the ramp in Seadrift and 90 to nothing for the weigh-in. That pretty much sealed the First Place honors and the team cleared 2nd Place by a half pound. Congratulations to all the runners-up for making it a tight contest.
Tejas Vaqueros Tournament Redfish Winner
Working mud/grass shallow put the winning Redfish in the box for Capt. James Cunningham fishing with Kenneth L. and guests during the TV Tournament in Port O over the weekend. Conditions didn't materialize on their Trout bite but you can't win them all.
Back To "The Ghan"
The lodge welcomed Chip L. and his two sons, Matt and Trevor. Chip called and asked me to line up a special occasion for him and the boys as Trevor is departing the end of June for his second tour in Afghanistan. Trevor is part of an elite Army Rangers Unit of reconnaissance equivalent to the "Vietnam Era" "Lurps". We salute his service as did the Trout with full limits fishing with me aboard my Haynie 24' Cat working shell in SAB. Many other quests including Paul F. corporate group; Brad M. and guests; Landon K. and father Lynn experienced the same or just short of full limits.
As of now, it seems that there are a lot of fish in a lot of locations which is a little different than the last couple of years and is reminiscent of "the good old days". June historically was a "signature" month for SAB that was categorized by endless days of full limit Trout fishing with our catches ranging from 18" to 24" consistently. Come July, historically our size range would start tailing off and falling in the 16" to 18" range predominantly with a good handful of plus 20" fish. By August, historically, we would be working steadily taking limits in the 15 to 17" range. There was an exception in August and that was anytime we hit a stretch with excessive wind and tide. August was "the month" to catch the Trout coming back around for another spawn. We would intercept them in these conditions during August with Trout pushing 25 to 28" coming to hand regularly. While the size range isn't quite back to "what it was back in the day", it is certainly impressive to someone that has "scene it all" in this location.
As we have passed the "Trout Limit" debates and the tempest that always surrounds the discussion, I'm constantly reminded by the words of "the old timers" that were applying their skills guiding anglers long before me. Their words and emotions evoked an observed "ebb and flow" to fish populations that could only be explained by the whims of Mother Nature and not "the hand of man". While we would like to pat our regulating officials on the back for "perceived" management success, we are also quick to beat them over the head for "perceived" failures and shortcomings. The bottom line, many things just aren't within the grasp of man to "be controlled. Certainly, we have to commend everyone that protects our environment and "sets the table" for Mother Nature to do her thing. We know that environmental degradation certainly puts an end to any discussion concerning a healthy fishery. So, for that, we should all be thankful.
Have a great week and "come see us".
Capt. Kris Kelley