Capt. Kelley
5/24/2015

Trout Reflections & Cyclical Punctuation

Castaway Lodge Seadrift Report
By Capt. Kris Kelley

Sponsored by: Mercury Marine; Air Ranger Airboats; Haynie Bay Boats; Baysport Marine Victoria; Castaway Rods; JL Marine; Pure Fishing; Corrosion X; and, Bob's Machine Shop.

We fished through the unsettled weather of late without skipping a beat as usual. No doubt we are in a long-term cyclical change. Just as the drought in 09 was severe and punctuated the changed from a wet cycle to a dry cycle, so too is the transition from a dry cycle being pucntuated by the weather this Spring. This is way more familiar to us having fished wet cycles for most of our careers. The lessons of those years and the coinciding excellent fishing have not been forgotten. The lessons from 09 through the Winter of 2015 will similarly be etched in our memories. Recreational fishermen get a lot of things wrong on their perceptions of weather and events like coastal flooding. One perception is the freshwater runoff is going to ruin the fishing. Of course, the opposite is the case as evidenced by rebounding Trout action up and down the Texas Coast.

While the drought years took their toll on the environment, one thing there is no substitue for is the experience of years of fishing through a wet cycle. The fish are responding in kind and while not every wound has been healed or every pattern in perfect form; we are seeing signs of improved predictability and a return to familiar patterns. 

TROUT NUMBERS

I called bottom a few months back on Trout fishing in a timely report and so far "that call" has been a good one. June is a historic "primetime" month during wet cycles and we are looking for it to "prove up" our feelings. 

The States timely cutback on the limits last Fall was probably a good thing in the long run. I'd never have said that 6 years ago, "pre-drought". As I've gotten older, my perception is that 10 Trout per person was "some number" too much in terms of shear meat that people can put to good use. Between the State and recreational fishermen's input, they decided the right number was 5. 

Since 2009, Trout have had the upper hand over anglers in a hyper saline environment and now the deck is being stacked against them as the bays freshen up. I'm sure they've been beaten up over that time and the cycle change should start an immediate "healing". That said, their predictability in this environment is going to weigh against them and the limit restrictions should help mitigate their vulnerability to thehook allowing a more healthy rebound in numbers, size, and shear scope.

PERFECT STORM

It's becoming fairly obvious that Texas is setup for a rough Summer as everyone is maxed out on their rain tolerance and we've yet to get into the Tropical Season. I seriously doubt that we will go unscathed from a myriad of Tropical events that usually coincided with a wet cycle and that's going to mean one thing, more rain and more flooding. 

LODGE NEWS
Attached pictures are from trips late week through Saturday, enjoy. 

Check dates and inquire at http://www.seadriftbayfishing.com/Calendar

Like us on Facebook or check our photos on Flickr and we promise to "love you back"!

Capt. Kris Kelley
Castaway Lodge
1-888-618-4868 
www.seadriftbayfishing.com
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Capt. Kelley
5/19/2015

Trout to 23", "Improving Redfish Predictability"

Castaway Lodge Seadrift Report
By Capt. Kris Kelley

Sponsored by: Mercury Marine; Air Ranger Airboats; Haynie Bay Boats; Baysport Marine Victoria; Castaway Rods; JL Marine; Pure Fishing; Corrosion X; and, Bob's Machine Shop.

Trout limits to 23" and improving Redfish predictability in big winds today boat fishing for Capt. James Cunningham, Capt. Jake Huddleston and I. Wade fishing reports yielded Redfish limits for Capt. James Eastep with half limits of Trout. Capt. Chris Cady put up solid Black Drum limits but light numbers of Redfish by Airboat. Lots of water in the back back marsh and many locations extremely fresh and tea stained are giving him fits. Sight fishing is non-existent right now. We are all working bait over all structure at present.

Check dates and inquire at http://www.seadriftbayfishing.com/Calendar

Like us on Facebook or check our photos on Flickr and we promise to "love you back"!

Capt. Kris Kelley
Castaway Lodge
1-888-618-4868
www.seadriftbayfishing.com
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Capt. Kelley
5/18/2015

Solid Trout & Texas Bonefish

Castaway Lodge Seadrift Report
By Capt. Kris Kelley

Sponsored by: Mercury Marine; Air Ranger Airboats; Haynie Bay Boats; Baysport Marine Victoria; Castaway Rods; JL Marine; Pure Fishing; Corrosion X; and, Bob's Machine Shop.

Trout in a variety of conditions continue to impress with full to near limits working over shell pads and reefs, mud and shell or wading shorelines. Big weather, storms, and tore up water find us digging back to the Redfish and Black Drum playbook. Weather staibility is around the corner. See you there.

Check dates and inquire at http://www.seadriftbayfishing.com/Calendar

Like us on Facebook or check our photos on Flickr and we promise to "love you back"!

Capt. Kris Kelley
Castaway Lodge
1-888-618-4868
www.seadriftbayfishing.com
Facebook: Castaway Lodge
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Capt. Kelley
5/10/2015

Pop A Box....Again

Castaway Lodge Seadrift Report
By Capt. Kris Kelley

Sponsored by: Mercury Marine; Air Ranger Airboats; Haynie Bay Boats; Baysport Marine Victoria; Castaway Rods; JL Marine; Pure Fishing; Corrosion X; and, Bob's Machine Shop.

Blistering South winds bring a strong bite on Trout with full limits to 24" for wade fishing guests along with huge boxes of Redfish and Black Drum. Weather instability predicted for next week is stabilizing and we are fielding a heavy schedule. We'll be working live bait over area shell as winds stabilize (if they stabilize) or tucked up shallow over mud/grass in velocity. Pretty typical May thus far with Trout fishing definately rebounding over last Spring Year over Year.

We'd like to thank everyone for covering us up and continuing to make Castaway Lodge "the destination" here on the middle coast. 

Check dates and inquire at http://www.seadriftbayfishing.com/Calendar

Like us on Facebook or check our photos on Flickr and we promise to "love you back"!

Capt. Kris Kelley
Castaway Lodge
1-888-618-4868 
www.seadriftbayfishing.com
Facebook: Castaway Lodge
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Capt. Kelley
4/29/2015

Emerging Into "The Eye"

Castaway Lodge Seadrift Report
By Capt. Kris Kelley

Sponsored by: Mercury Marine; Air Ranger Airboats; Haynie Bay Boats; Baysport Marine Victoria; Castaway Rods; JL Marine; Pure Fishing; Corrosion X; and, Bob's Machine Shop.

We are very busy and that schedule has coincided with lots of turbulent weather of late. Fishing yesterday in sunshine the last half of the day with NO RAIN was pretty surreal. We've been slugging it out in every kind of wind direction; waterlevel; and endless precipitation. Guests have been much less prepared than we could imagine with all the forewarning of rain but everyone made it through ok.

We've been buried in high tides which has had Redfish scattered and concealed in a blanket of water and further shielded by cloud cover, poor visibility, and of course rain. We've been bouncing schools of Black Drum and pulling Redfish out of them when visibility is tough. The big pull of these fish is just infectous.

April Into May - Transition Time

We'll slowly be saying goodbye to live shrimp and soon saying hello to live finfish. Other transitions in coming weeks will include a focus on cut finfish when approaching Redfish and less reliance on shrimp in general. Back lakes will give way to broader shell reefs and open bay venues and shallow bays over mud/grass.

Check dates and inquire at http://www.seadriftbayfishing.com/Calendar

Like us on Facebook or check our photos on Flickr and we promise to "love you back"!

Capt. Kris Kelley
Castaway Lodge
1-888-618-4868
www.seadriftbayfishing.com
Facebook: Castaway Lodge
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Capt. Kelley
4/22/2015

Cool Running, Hot Fishing

Castaway Lodge Seadrift Report
By Capt. Kris Kelley

Sponsored by: Mercury Marine; Air Ranger Airboats; Haynie Bay Boats; Baysport Marine Victoria; Castaway Rods; JL Marine; Pure Fishing; Corrosion X; and, Bob's Machine Shop.

We continue getting a good flush as fresh water inflows have freshened up SAB and surrounding bay systems. Inflows subsided a week or so ago but reports indicate that "the dam is about to break" and we look for another wave of freshwater "with velocity" pushing in. Local rainfall has been heavy and guests braving April showers have been rewarded with heavy boxes.

We've been working shell reefs and mud/grass venues by bayboat and airboat here in April and expect broader bay shell reefs to open up as weather stabilizes. Trout action waned lately with Redfish and Black Drum picking up the slack.


Check dates and inquire at http://www.seadriftbayfishing.com/Calendar

Like us on Facebook or check our photos on Flickr and we promise to "love you back"!

Capt. Kris Kelley
Castaway Lodge
1-888-618-4868
www.seadriftbayfishing.com
Facebook: Castaway Lodge
Pinterest: Castaway Lodge

 


Capt. Kelley
4/1/2015

Seadrift Trout N Slam, When In Rome...!

Castaway Lodge Seadrift Report
By Capt. Kris Kelley

Sponsored by: Mercury Marine; Air Ranger Airboats; Haynie Bay Boats; Baysport Marine Victoria; Castaway Rods; JL Marine; Pure Fishing; Corrosion X; and, Bob's Machine Shop.

Solid Trout action today with full limits as Capt. Chris Cady and Capt. Donnie Heath were scouting ahead of upcoming trips. They managed to reinforce it with a Seadrift Slam, Trout, Redfish & Black Drum!

Everyone is probably tired of the rain, right now, we'll take all we can get so button up, we're hoping April flowers bring April showers! We've got lots of work to do as we weave our way through the curve in salinity levels and improving bait migrations. This summer will be a tell and right now things are going our way.

Check dates and inquire at http://www.seadriftbayfishing.com/Calendar

Like us on Facebook or check our photos on Flickr and we promise to "love you back"!

Capt. Kris Kelley
Castaway Lodge
1-888-618-4868
www.seadriftbayfishing.com
Facebook: Castaway Lodge
Pinterest: Castaway Lodge

 


Capt. Kelley
3/30/2015

"Calling Bottom, Mid-Coast Tradecraft"

Castaway Lodge Seadrift Report
By Capt. Kris Kelley

Sponsored by: Mercury Marine; Air Ranger Airboats; Haynie Bay Boats; Baysport Marine Victoria; Castaway Rods; JL Marine; Pure Fishing; Corrosion X; and, Bob's Machine Shop.

Man O man, the weather continues to present an "upside shocker" as April's come early this year. We've got freshwater inflows coursing into the bays; live shrimp starting to show at area bait camps (albeit way late); and swarms of schooling Trout, Redfish, and Black Drum looking to add a few pounds heading toward warmer water temperatures. 

A Look Back & Forward

2009 marked the beginning of a hyper-salinated curve here on the mid-coast and that's a wrecking ball that we've worked in and around since that time. Right now, the trend is your friend and it looks like drought conditions may have broken and hopefully we are swinging toward more traditional rainfall and run-off. We'll absolutely need to see a return to "Gulf Events" with Tropical Storms; Lows; and surely the eventual Hurricane to be sure of a shift in rainfall patterns. 2013 was the first summer that we've witnessed mid-day "daytime heating thunderstorms" since 2009. That just shows how entrenched we were in drought conditions and we will very much want to see the big T-heads forming over Gulf waters again this summer. This is another sign of a change in the trend toward more rainfall. While much of the Eastern part of Texas is "flush with water levels" the Western watersheds are still very much on the low side.

Curves & Covering

This presents an opporunity to "call bottom" on waning Trout numbers and the death of high salinity levels. While water concerns are at Defcon 3 in the State of Texas, continuation of a wet cycle and beneficial run-off to area bays will mean one thing, great fishing! Calling bottom in anything always presents the risk of being "early" which is the same as being "wrong". However, things are certainly looking like it's the right call and the "trend is certainly our friend"!

Check dates and inquire at http://www.seadriftbayfishing.com/Calendar

Like us on Facebook or check our photos on Flickr and we promise to "love you back"!

Capt. Kris Kelley
Castaway Lodge
1-888-618-4868 
www.seadriftbayfishing.com
Facebook: Castaway Lodge
Pinterest: Castaway Lodge

 


Capt. Kelley
3/23/2015

Hashtag "TexasBonefish"

Castaway Lodge Seadrift Report
By Capt. Kris Kelley

Sponsored by: Mercury Marine; Air Ranger Airboats; Haynie Bay Boats; Baysport Marine Victoria; Castaway Rods; JL Marine; Pure Fishing; Corrosion X; and, Bob's Machine Shop.

Plastic Trout & Reds

Topwaters and soft plastics in plumb/chart and pumpkin/chart working up some nice boxes of Trout and Redfish wadefishing with Capt. James Eastep here lately. No doubt the temperature curve is prompting the topwater bite. Trout populations look decent on the keeper side of the scale with a lot of room for growth.

Working Bait

Mixing schools of Redfish and Black Drum dispersed to their separate corners over the last few days. Mild winds late week had airboat fishing take the day relative to other approaches. The Redfish were certainly hovering over grass with solid Ponies holding in mud pockets and not mixing well.

Rain Fish

Fishing in the rain on Saturday was the right call for guests and rain it did. With it came the catalytic winds that sparked full double limits for Capt. Chris Cady and I with Capt. James Eastep hot on our heels just short of "double" a couple of Redfish short of full limits of Redfish and Black Drum.

Forecast

Broader bay venues will continue to open up given the mild looking forecast over the 10 day. There is still a dearth of live bait at local bait stands but I'm thinking it's gotta be approaching the "strike zone".

Check dates and inquire at http://www.seadriftbayfishing.com/Calendar

Like us on Facebook or check our photos on Flickr and we promise to "love you back"!

Capt. Kris Kelley
Castaway Lodge
1-888-618-4868
www.seadriftbayfishing.com
Facebook: Castaway Lodge
Pinterest: Castaway Lodge

 


Capt. Kelley
3/18/2015

New Growth Signals Change

Castaway Lodge Seadrift Report
By Capt. Kris Kelley

Sponsored by: Mercury Marine; Air Ranger Airboats; Haynie Bay Boats; Baysport Marine Victoria; Castaway Rods; JL Marine; Pure Fishing; Corrosion X; and, Bob's Machine Shop.

The smell of high octane and the lope of American Muscle echoing through the air here in March means getting shallow with flats fish by airboat and shallow running tunnel cats. Swarming schools of Texas Bones grazing on sand worms and "mowing the lawn" on anything that suits their fancy. Texas top tier skinny water predators are on the prowl.

Mud/grass continues to be a focus working bait on schooling fish aggressively or defensively as the day develops. Add wind and the fishing gets pretty aggressive. Some of the slick-offs of late have led to a much more defensive tone. The playbook varies day to day but the results speak for themselves.

Trips have been productive and we've got to thank the many new and existing guests for the visits. I had the pleasure of fishing Jeff Taylor with his son and friends recently. Jeff and I go back a long way, back to the Prairie goose hunting days outside Katy. I mentored him coming up in the business and he was a great kid. Jeff moved on to be one of Houston's successful home builders but he still keeps cutting waterfowl on the prairies for fun now. It was a special day fishing with his son that I'd never met, age 12, and his spitting image. I guess that's what you call the "circle of life".

Environmental Snapback (Looks Encouraging)

With the scalding salinity of the 09 drought and then again in 11 we have seen a retracement in shallow back lake grass beds. These shallows have been slicked off to nothing but mud bottoms during that time. Well it looks like things may be beginning to heal a bit as I've surveyed some extreme shallow reaches and I'm seeing some re-growth extending into previously barren parts of lakes. So the relative importance is "no grass, no fish" and vice versa in those lakes. Obviously we've been getting a lot of rain but not a lot of runoff down the rivers. Venues farther up the food chain are still anxiously trapping any water that would make it our way down the Guadalupe and San Antonio Rivers. So the main benefits to us right now must be coming via local rainfall and close-in runoff.

Water is a big issue in the State and lots of folks are jockeying for it's control. We've seen Rice Farmers starved and cut-off; we have certainly been starved here on the coast. Hopefully we continue to reverse the drought cycle and take some of the pressure off. One thing that can't be underestated is the importance of fresh water flows to the bays.

Check dates and inquire at http://www.seadriftbayfishing.com/Calendar

Like us on Facebook or check our photos on Flickr and we promise to "love you back"!

Capt. Kris Kelley
Castaway Lodge
1-888-618-4868
www.seadriftbayfishing.com
Facebook: Castaway Lodge
Pinterest: Castaway Lodge

 

Kris, thanks again, Mark and Trish had a blast, just being on the water. James did a great job not just with the fish, laughing and joking, and of course giving me a hard time for missing fish. He made the trip really enjoyable for everyone. You’ve got a great business going for you and Wen

Brian M.
San Antonio, TX

Kris-


I can't thank you enough for all you do and the past two Spring Breaks have been a blast! We can't wait to get back out on the water again. Thank you for making our mother/son fishing trip so special.


You're the Best!

Mel
Katy, TX
I have hunted the Louisiana coast my whole life and I am always the one that runs the trolling motor and nets the fish and does the duck calling when I hunt or fish. I just want to say even if you have your own place you really owe it to yourself to come down and spend some time with Ms. Wendi and D
Kevin "Chambo" Chaumont
Lake Charles, LA

We have not quit reliving the day that we spent with you today. There is no way to tell you how much fun we had making memories with you. The coaching and fishing were not to be beat! You are the best and we can't wait to come back soon and share another beautiful day fishing with you again soon.

Janet James and Malinda Lewis
Houston, TX

Hey Kris! Thanks again for the great fishing trip and EXTREME patience you had helping us get our limit. You are truly a professional and know how to produce even when the fish aren't biting and the conditions are all wrong. This sister's trip will always be a wonderful memory.

Sissy Lastinger
Melbourne, FL
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