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
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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
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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
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Capt. Kelley
3/15/2015

Texas "Bonefish" & Hot Rods

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.

Did you feel the heat yesterday, man the oscillation in temperatures is amazing. We hosted guests on a skeet shoot on Friday afternoon and were gunning in shorts. The day before I fished guests and was wearing about 3-4 layers and full rain gear. That's Spring in Texas for sure and a constant theme heading into the heart of March is "Hot Rods". Capt. James Cunningham reported working a school of Redfish about the size of a football field; with Capt. Chris Cady sweeping a back lakes pocket knee deep in mixed Black Drum and Redfish. Yes, we're working the flats over mud/grass currently on the big pulls, strong fight, and singing drags of Texas "Bonefish".

Trout Horizons

Trout horizons are in focus as shrimp stocks begin to strengthen in the bays. Last year from here to La. we had an absolute dearth of shrimp in the bays and Trout fishing was correspondingly weak. We're looking for some sign that the trend is shifting and this mild Spring will certainly give us some indication as to that trend. Reports coming in from the shrimp boats are "we're not there yet with trawls over the last two nights yielding poor results. That's the ebb and flow of mother nature at work and we'll find out soon enough what she's up to.

In the mean time, we're focusing on mud stirs and torpedo wakes, humped up water and lots of smiles.

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
3/11/2015

Surrounded...With Plenty of Bullets

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.

Busy busy heading into March Madness and conditions seem to be improving daily. I'm a little put off by the absence of Northwind catalysts on the 10 day weather outlook, but I don't put much stock in those anyway. Capt. Chris Cady put another thumping on them today airboat redfishing the back marsh. I'm going to take a look tomorrow with guests from Houston. Timing on the rain looks about right.

He saw some good schools of Black Drum but they were'nt mixing well and didn't want to play too much. Redfish on the other hand are taking center stage and that should be a consistent theme until the Black Drum start mixing more. Last year and many times the last couple of years it can be a challenge to "limit on Redfish" because the Black Drum just get in the way. All in all it's time to put the fish lug in the back of the truck because some of these ice chests just can't be lifted out of the boat. And, that's a good problem to have.

Contemplating The Navel

When contemplating a trip near term, throw the weather concerns and all the tide chart mumbo jumbo out the window and grab some Frog Toggs, we'll take care of the catching part. Lez geaux!

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
3/9/2015

Bayous Tailing Off, Shallows Heating Up!

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.

2Cool and some sunshine Saturday made for some great fishing as we welcomed guests to our world here in the Spring of 2015. Temps were chilly but the wind stayed in the pocket making for an enjoyable outings. Solid mid slot Redfish continue to hold over mud/grass pockets off deeper venues pushing back and forth on temperature changes. With no big dips in temperatures or water levels near term, they should be there for the long haul. Rain through Tuesday prompted us to shift early week trips to mid-week and we look for the action to continue to impress.

Swarming schools of Black Drum will be making their annual pilgrimage onto sand/grass in search of Spring sand worm blooms. These fish absolutely go nuts over them and it generally times with the fish being egg laden and looking to spawn.

Trout continue to hold over mud/grass and local bait fry tend to pull up out of the bayous and ease on the grass flats. They'll be looking similarly for warmer locations to drop their eggs. Broader shell and outter sand/grass locations will start to see movement as water temperatures continue to move higher. 

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
3/2/2015

Frogg Togg Fashion Show!

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.

It's been looking like a Frogg Togg fashion modeling expose' here lately with folks bundled up to brave the elements. I've been toting about 4-5 layers myself including Under Armor; long sleeve T; Fishing Shirt; Windbreaker; and waterfowl jacket; breathable buff/facemask; and breathable UA beenie and peeling the layers as opportunity arises. 

This weekend provided no exception to the fashion show and the rain made it even more exciting. A misting drizzle fueled our resolve to get on the fish quickly. One of the guys on my boat said "man I thought this was going to suck, sitting in the cold and rain, while not catching a darn thing". We let the rods do the talking.

Measured Move

Saturday's rain also coincided with some pretty big winds out of the East and quite a bit of additional tide. Fish moved up out of the holes onto the flats very near deeper water for one of the first times this Spring. Mud/Grass pockets on these adjacent deep water flats and swales near the pockets produced World Class results.

On the mid coast we have a lot of protected back marsh and shallow bay environs that set-up uniquely to Spring fishing and heavy weather. Many parts of the coast do not enjoy this luxury. 

Five Star Reviews

From Robert M: "
On our way back home after a great wk-end at Castaway Lodge we were very pleased with the hospitality and services. Looking forward to settings up our next trip."

Colin L wrote: "
Great place for hosting a bachelor party, work retreat, or just to go fishing. Our whole group of 15 limited out and it was a blast. The food is great and the hospitality is wonderful. Captain Kris is a wonderful guide and would recommend anybody to book a trip with him."

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
2/27/2015

Bruised Ribs, Redfish Blamed

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.

Holding tight as temperatures plunged of late with fishing sticking toward the deeper venues of the larger back lakes and bayous. Guests from out of State got to experience one of those World Class days catching and releasing over 30 solid Redfish working baits over mud and mud/grass. Winter is back for a minute anyway and we'll expect more of the same heading into March.

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
2/19/2015

Deep to Shallow, Predators Sun Bathing

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.

A couple of great days for catch and release with guests from Canada. They had a ball chasing redfish in the cold front and then got the warm sunshine they were looking for as temps rose. If you want an idea what we were focusing on, check out the report "Plastic Trout & Bayou Reds, North Wind Catalysts".

Day 1 we started off around 10:30 in the teeth of the front and managed 19 slot fish released with about half as many undersized. The weather finally broke on us around 1:30 and the sun poked out which allowed us to warm up a bit.

Day 2 we started off around 9:00 and managed to go deep in the numbers of slot fish pretty quickly. Temps warmed up and the bite on the flats slowly picked up around 2:00 or so. Great days for some great guys from Canada.

We managed to release all but two fish over the two day trip.

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
2/16/2015

Plastic Trout & Bayou Reds, Northwind Catalysts

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.

An absence of cool fronts has led to lots of slick-offs here of late. Glass bays offer more than their share of challenges in approach and bite. Today's front with another on the horizon will bring things back toward a more seasonal norm heading through March. The big winds associated with cold fronts are huge feeding catalysts for shallow minded fish. Temps will determine whether the fish stick on the shallow flats or whether they'll fall off into bayous or leave the back lakes all together and hit outside beaches.

Back Lakes

Our back lake environment that we frequent starts around Pringle and runs Southwest all the way to Panther. Narrowing that down a bit looking at the chains of lakes say from 5th to Pringle, when temperartures drop, all the fish in 5th try to move through the bayous into Long Lake and the safety of the outter bay depths. They may also move into Contee along with all the fish there which will move toward Pringle when challenged by cold water and ultra low tides. There are numerous exits and which they will choose depends on water depths.

Ebb & Flow

This time of year finds an ebb and flow between fish moving onto the flats and running for cover in bayous and outter shorelines as temps vary. We are on very low water right now and that doesn't leave much room for comfort in locales that are less than a foot deep in lots of places. Redfish will move grudgingly but herds of spawning Black Drum are real fast movers when they sense a temp change.

Wade Fishing Artificials

The weekend yielded Trout limits with lighter numbers of Redfish working mud and grass back lakes and outside sand/grass shorelines throwing a variety of topwaters and soft plastics. We'll be hitting the back lakes by airboat the next several days to get a look at concentrations and fish movement there on this weather.

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,


Thank you for calling to check on us. Eric was home by about 10PM last night and I made it home about 1PM today. It was well worth the 600 miles each way to get to fish with you. We had a wonderful time - the fishing was great, the accommodations were excellent, and the food was out

Mel S.
Lubbock, TX

Miss Wendi & Capt. Kris,


Man what a day! The only problem was it was over too fast. Thank you both for your kindness and all your help. All the time I spend with sons is great but to spend it with good people also, makes it priceless. Have a great day!

Johnny & JD
Houston, TX

Kris and Wendi


I can't tell you how much the guys enjoyed the Norm Invitational.


The wind kicked our ass, but we did catch some fish. You have the best guides. I believe Steve would have stayed out all day if we wanted him to. I am so glad my brother got to fish with you. This was

Larry Prellop
Round Rock, TX

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

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
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