Birds Are Working, Bringing Home The Bacon!
Conditions of Late:
Water Level: Low low
Winds: Teens Plus, E, SE & West
Water Temp: Low 70’s
Baromoter: Near 30 & Steady
Castaway Sponsor News
We would like to announce our association with these “high performance” leaders on the water: Chris’s Marine, Mercury Marine, Haynie Boats, and JL Marine Systems, Inc. (maker of Power-Pole) joined the ultimate cast of Sponsors last week. We wanted to take a second to thank Chris and Brian at Chris’s Marine in Aransas Pass; Michelle K. at Mercury Marine; Bobby, Kyle, Mike, and the boys over at Haynie Boats; and Mr. Lenny G. with JL Marine Systems for all their efforts in bringing this together.
We are proud to represent Chris Coulter’s vision of shallow water high performance boats in a product (Haynie Boats) built right here in Seadrift, Texas; powered by The #1 On The Water, Mercury Marine; and, anchored with the best shallow water anchoring system on the market, “Power-Pole” by JL Marine Systems, Inc.
Thanks from all of us at Castaway Lodge!
Last week on the “fishing scene” was also a big week as water temperatures here in Seadrift took a big leap up from the lower 60’s and are peaking at the magical 70 degree mark. This should set the stage for some ballistic action in coming days. If we could get a little water in the bays and on shorelines, it wouldn’t hurt a bit. Bays and back marsh are gutted on the low side with monstrous falling tides during “daylight hours”. When fishing the back lakes and marshes, a quick look at water levels at the ramp and a review of the GPS tide chart can lay out the days targets of opportunity and patterns to consider.
Moving Water Patterns
In our bays systems we have the luxury of picking and choosing the patterns that we would like to fish occasionally. Cold fronts associated with spring time conditions move our water from North to South and pre-frontal Southerly winds will push water from the Southern barrier Island, lakes, bays, and marshes and push it into Northern Bays and marshes. A cold front for instance, with winds hammering out of the North will find water levels falling in upper venues. Run South to the barrier Island, Matagorda Island for us, and you will find water levels rising as winds push water South into these areas. I often times find myself “choosing” rising water rather than falling water. However, both can be lethal at any given time. Rising water affords any number of wind driven locations to ignite as spring winds build kicking the feeding mechanism into “high gear”.
Shallow Water “Tattle Tales”
In a shallow environ with warming temperatures, Redfish will remain shallow without feeling the need to push into “bowls” and deeper depressions. Today was among the first times this spring that I witnessed Redfish “sticking skinny” and staying there as water levels continued to fall. I saw any number of fish “shoulder to shoulder” in 6” of gin clear water on a soft bottom. There is no doubt that the back country is beginning to “come flush” with Redfish regardless of water levels fluctuations, here temperature stability and warming trends are key.
When this happens, there is a particular “signature” in this environ that the fish are present. Liar Birds to Galveston Trout fishermen are our “Tattle-Tales” in the back marsh. I’m speaking of Royal & Common Terns. In a foot-and-half of water or less “typically”, you will find these birds scattered across a flat hovering and diving, hovering and diving. Their strategy is to hover over Redfish and Black Drum as they kick up the bottom while feeding. They watch the surface for small shrimp, minnows, and Mullet that are kicked up or dislodged, and then swoop down for an easy meal. Occasionally, you will find them working Sting-Ray’s as well.
When I see these birds, alone or in groups, spread out across a lake or congregated at one end or the other, it’s usually “game on” and they seldom fail me. As water levels rise, deeper water can camouflage Redfish in these environs and the birds will have a hard time spotting them. So this occurrence will come and go with tide levels and obviously, the presence of foraging fish.
Another big week on the fishing scene next week as we welcome guests from all over South Texas. Good luck on the water!
Capt. Kris Kelley
Castaway Lodge, Inc.
109 W. Austin
Seadrift, TX 77983