It was a Redfish rampage here at The Lodge over the opening weekend of Teal and Alligators Season. We had guests coming from all over South Texas and as far away as Abilene looking for combination fishing, teal hunting, and Texas sized lizards. Capt. Jake had the Teal penned up for our guests while Capt. Mark and I had dark thirty fishing duties. Capt. James and Capt. Doug were on standby for fishing as the Teal hunters emerged from the field's mid-morning. Capt. Mark's guests, brothers Barry and Don were coming off the water mid-morning to start pulling Alligators.
Fishing Mud/Grass for Redfish
I went to work on some fish straight away with a pretty bull tide lingering from the storms last week. We managed a half limit by around 8:30am on a slow bite to 27" when Mark called me. He said "we just made a drift over here and stuck'em the whole way, come and get'em". We pulled up stakes and eased over to his location and went to work immediately with drags screaming amidst the smell of Corrosion X burning on the light breeze. Capt. Jake called to let me know the Teal hunting didn't go as planned. With standing water everywhere from inland flooding and not enough pressure, we're guessing the birds scattered after the first few vollies leaving our guests with half limits. From the looks of it, fishing and Alligator hunting were going to save the day.
Capt. James and Capt. Doug were staged and ready when our guests hit the lodge from the Teal hunt and were on the water promptly. Doug went to working on them promptly but conditions were deteriorating as the wind slicked off and the fish more or less shut down. He managed to pull off limits fishing Hal M. and sons Ted and Peter from Brenham when the wind kicked back up around mid-day. Capt. James picked up a topwater bite wadefishing with Brian & Randi on their first stop. Best action ended up being on the initial wade with half limits of keepers and a bunch of undersized Trout and Redfish for the effort.
Gator Sized Lizards
The toughest thing about the start of Alligator season is figuring out what locations are going to be most productive. We do that by scouting before the season starts, typically at night. With extensive flooding from Tropical Storm Hermine, our efforts were greatly hampered prior to the Season opener. We initially hit a brick wall on Saturday with Capt. Jake, Kevin, and Corey covering a ton of locations by land, air, and water with disappointing results. With the sun going down on Saturday, the boys were making adjustments and moving farther inland. On Sunday, Capt. Jake called to let me know "the adjustments paid off big time and we've got a number of Alligators on the line". "Rocky just pulled an 11' gator and Don just got his 10 footer. Barry is heading over to meet Kevin and we've got another 10' gator on over there. We had a guest on standby in Victoria looking for a 9' gator and couldn't quite pull it together. We elected to reschedule her hunt to next Saturday. That was a small setback considering the amount of ground we made up after Saturday's let down.
Jake also mentioned that flood waters were receding rapidly and we're expecting this to open up some real estate that we haven't been able to access. Receding flood waters should also stabilize some locations that came up short on results.
Mont at The Lodge
We are pleased to welcome Mont, the founder of 2coolfishing.com to the lodge in search of his trophy mid-week. That Harley's going to look sweet with Alligator seats!
We take a great deal of pride in our Alligator hunting and have tremendous respect for these creatures. All of our animals are harvested and placed in a cooler for skinning and processing by professionals. Hunters of all kinds have a responsibility to dispose of their game in a manner that is respectful to the quarry they seek and the public. Tossing a carcass of any kind in a bar ditch along a public road is inexcusable and just downright bad for hunters and hunting in general.
Capt. Kris Kelley