Castaway Lodge Seadrift Report
By Capt. Kris Kelley
For some reason big tournament weekends always seem to mesh with brutally elevated winds and the past weekend was no exception. Friday, Seadrift monitors picked up winds gusting to 30 MPH between 8 am and 1 pm. This has been the story for days now. In the drought cycle of 2009, the winds ramped up on or around 6/11 and blew near 30 all day and 25 all night until August 22nd. 2009 was my first introduction to a cycle of this nature and it was extremely challenging both mentally and physically. Like an old song, I've seen rain, flooding, Tropical this, and Hurricane That, but never an endless cycle of near 30 MPH winds all day and all night. During that siege, we managed to keep our guests on fish with respectable numbers, somedays better than others. I remember when the cycle broke near the end of August, we laid into the fish deep into the Fall and I was glad to see a break in the cycle.
Guided Division "Rodeo Uncorked"
We've had some lulls in the wind and it looks like we may potentially have another coming toward the middle end of this week. That is, if you put any stock in an extended marine forecast. Despite the challenges, we put our money on Red and hit it numerous times here lately. Our Capt. James and Capt. Doug were both entered in the 2nd Annual Port O'Connor Redfish Rodeo "Uncorked" Tournament benefitting the Port O'Connor Volunteer Fire/EMS. My team last year took 1st Place but elected to not fish it this year. With plenty of pressure, James and Doug stepped up to the plate for a "nail biter" all the way to the end. At the end of Day 1, Capt. Doug was sitting in first place in the Guided Division with 16.33 Lbs. Capt. Clint Anderson was sitting in 2nd with 15.95 and Capt. James was in 3rd with 13.74lbs. 4th place was more than 4lbs behind James.
With carbon copy wind and weather Doug struggled with size as did Capt. James. When it came down to the wiegh in on Day 2, there was less than a pound separating 1st from 3rd and Clint managed to edge Doug out for top honors with 30.03 lbs. Capt. Doug took 2nd Place with 29.57lbs and Capt. James held on to 3rd with 29.08lbs. Capt. Doug managed to also take 2nd Place Redfish Stringer and 2nd Place "Heaviest Stringer". Congratulations to everyone for making the tournament a tight race to the finish. Ths makes our second top three finish this month with capt. James Eastep taking the win in the Guides Cup earlier this month.
We hosted the Norm Invitational again this year celebrating school Teach Mr. Norm Stuempke from Austin. This has been an annual event now for 5 years running and it always seems to coincide with lack luster fishing. This changed big time this year and Redfish took center stage along with some decent Trout action. students of Norm flock to the lodge every year coming in from distant places at times to celebrate a great teacher and someone that had a tremendous impact on their lives. Everyone managed to limit on Redfish and Norm always manages to catch the first "good one" to kick everything off. Our hats off to you Norm!
Other guests and trips also managed to go deep into the Redfish and we want to thank everyone for trusting us to get it done in challenging conditions. Hope you have a great week!
Facebook Official Lodge Page
Capt. Kris Kelley