Special thanks to the organizers of the Tails N Tunes Tournament in Port O this weekend. Proceeds benefitting wounded warriors, what a great event! One thing you can’t do is bet against the one arm fish catching bandit, Capt. James Cunningham. He’s more gifted with one hand than many are with two. From tying blood knots one handed to multi-tasking in the middle of the hottest bites, he can, and does, “it all”. With wounded warriors the focus, he is a champion to those overcoming disabilities while amazing those of us “without them”. For those that don’t know him, questions abound like “how can he fish; can he work a rod; how can he shoot a shotgun; how can he take a fish off; how does he tie knots; what happened to his hand, and so on.
These questions come from our own perception of the difficulty we have in achieving mastery of these things with two hands. Clients remark “he was on his cell phone helping a fellow guide; taking one of our fish off the hook; setting the hook on his own rod; baiting someone elses hook; and, tying a blood not with his feet all at the same time! There may be some embellishment there because he would never be on his cell phone. As to how he lost his hand, let’s just say that varies from Season to Season and is something of legend around The Lodge. James is an excellent Guide, fisherman, and a lethal marksman with a rifle and shotgun. Besides excelling at everything to do with hunting and fishing, he is also an Eagle Scout and active with the Boy Scouts and area youth softball and baseball teams.
He led his team to a win in the Redfish Spot Pot with a $2,200 payout and a Top Ten finish in the Open Division with nearly 25 lbs. If you think catching a Redfish with the most spots is “luck”, roll the dice. He’s won more spot pots than you can imagine and he knows where the “freckled fish” are.
Blistering fishing in the bays led us to some heavy boxes of Trout and Redfish late week and through the weekend. Tim B. and guests hammered full limits of Trout to 20” with me working shell in SAB on Friday. Jim, David, and Tim managed to adapt to the complexities of shell with ease.
Capt. Steve Boldt worked sand/shell mix to full limits of Trout to 23”, Redfish in the middle slot, and a Flounder with the Rick B. party on Saturday. James was fishing the tournament and finished with 34 Trout and several Redfish on the way to his Top Ten finish. They were also working sand/shell mix with the fish tight to the grass on area shorelines. The Jon H. party managed 28 Trout struggling with overall slick conditions, not too bad for some guys that hadn’t been fishing in two years!
Sunday, we hit another slick off but moving water proved lethal for Lynn K. and son as their limit of Trout came together just short of 10:00am. Capt. Steve Boldt reported solid numbers of Trout with the Bill H. party while Capt. James Cunningham couldn’t’ repeat his tournament winning ways for the team from Travis Med.
Get Ready to Shift
What lies ahead in June will be some of the most explosive fishing of the season. In short order, most all of the fish on sand are going to be sliding out to the cooler shell environs. Here they will find milder water temperatures along with ample forage. Moving water to fish is like moving air to humans, it’s like turning on the a/c. Tides, current, and water movement will become more and more important as we head toward summer time temps. The move from sand will be water temperatures exceeding 85 degrees in combination with a lower water level. Super heated sand and mud will be much less attractive and success there will be more sporadic and short-lived.
Capt. Kris Kelley
Castaway Lodge, Inc.
109 W. Austin
Seadrift, TX 77983