Castaway Lodge Seadrift Report
By Capt. Kris Kelley
Getting a Grip
I don't exactly know how to describe the fishing at present? I'm getting mixed messages and right now there are quite a few things "that don't go together". John Humbert and I discussed this briefly at the ramp on Saturday afternoon. We both seemed to agree that the fish are advanced on the calendar; his guess a month; my guess 1.5 months. The fish are telling me it's April but the bottom grasses are saying February. What do I mean by that? Right now I'm seeing a class of Redfish (8"- 21") in the back lakes that I've never seen there until at least the first week of April. Wendi is telling me we are going to have a pretty rigourous cold snap mid-week, maybe that will reset things or at least bring them in line. Neil G. at Charlies says he's heard stories about Hoppers (shrimp) in the bay and he's looking for them to mature to the point that they will make a near term showing at local bait camps.
Big water movements from early weeks ultra low conditions to post frontal flooding late week was about as big a challenge as I expected. As predicted we made the best of it and we did manage decent fishing with guests from Texas, IA, and NE. Early action in the broader bays seemed to be best from morning through mid-day with a slow grind thereafter.
Goose Hunting & Thumping Sounds
The sound of carbon fiber blades of airboats thumping through humid skies and stainless steel Bravo 1's churning the saltwater are musings compared to the sound of our first "helicopter flyin" here to the lodge. When your guest says "my jet takes too long to get in the air but my helicopter will have us there in 45 minutes from Austin" you know they are serious about fast moving transportation and time management. The flight in was about the smoothest part of the trip as the goose/fish combination and following morning goose hunt turned sour. We pulled the plug on the first morning hunt and called an audible on arrival night electing to fish in the morning due to poor scouting reports but optimistic outlook for Sunday morning. Capt. Chris did a great job getting the guests on fish before things flat lined mid-day.
Mid-day Saturday yielded similarly poor scouting reports for geese and we pulled the plug on the Sunday morning hunt as well. Our guests elected to fly out mid afternoon Saturday to their ranch in S. Texas for some hog hunting (by helicopter of course). In the perfect world of outfitting and guiding, we'd have been killing geese on Saturday morning and catching fish Saturday afternoon and we'd have been smoking them again on Sunday morning. In the "real world" of guiding and outfitting, we have to do things a little differently and adjust schedules in concert with scouting reports and reschedule, scrap, and abandon at times.
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Capt. Kris Kelley