Capt. Kelley
4/15/2014

"Big Winds & No Water"

Castaway Lodge Seadrift Report
By Capt. Kris Kelley


Big winds and very low water have been the story over recent days. I often reference water levels as this is something critical in our approach. Check out the top photo and it puts a "face on the name". This is a look at a stretch of the back marsh on a gutted low water level. Again we played cat and mouse with fish that have been penned up in fall out areas and pooled up waiting for levels to rise. On Thursday, we pretty encountered spooky fish and falling water from already low levels but managed to win more battles than we lost. By Friday, the gig was up and we encountered a tough bite in the lower marshes with improving action in upper bays.

Capt. Chris said "that's it, I'm staying off the island until things improve" and that move led him to a strong box for guests of Jim K. on Sunday. We've had some guests hoping to get a look at Trout action but we are still reverting back to Redfish in winds pushing 30 knots. We'll see this pattern break but it just hasn't as of yet. Bait supplies seem to be bolstering and either we're going to get a look at Trout "pre-Croaker" or we aren't. I'm thinking we won't see them until Croaker's show up late May. All that can change with some decent water level and weather stability.

We really enjoyed having lots of great folks down over the last week and want to thank Circle C Services; John C. Jim K; and Clint E. along with all the great folks at Baker Hughes for trusting us with their trips.
Come see us when you get a chance!

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
4/7/2014

"Big Girl Fever & Boga Snafu's"

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; and, Bob's Machine Shop.

Career best fish encounters have their challenges as Capt. Chris Cady found out last week. He's always after that "big Trout" and on a wade fishing trip with topwaters he finally hit the one he was looking for. Fishing was tough all day as the crew ground out location after location taking only some small rat Reds and a few keepers for the effort. An absolute "dead zone" was the way he described the bay with very little signs of bait activity and a lot of torn up water.

Chris decided to take one last look at an area that had been holding some Reds and shortly after entering the water his first cast produced a bucket size blow-up as the bottom dropped out from under his SS Bone/Chart topwater. "Fish-on" and he could tell it was a big Trout. After working the girl down he made the grab with a Boga that he'd been waiting for. End of story, well not exactly. Chris told me he was shaking with excitement and managed to coddle the fish for a measurement and she tipped 29" and went 8.5 Lbs. on the Boga. One of the guests had jumped in the boat to handle the fish while Chris hopped in for a picture. When Chris handed him the Boga, the guest accidently pulled the release and he watched in horror as his biggest Trout dropped out of sight. Well you can say he got the best part of the experience because the fish was going to be released anyway. A picture would have been nice, but I think the replica mount will say enough.

Fishing Scene

On the fishing scene, we are still hot, straight, and normal heading for warming weather. Elevated tides have brought us the usual cast of migrating supsects as we are seeing more secondary species coming to hand. That's got a change of tactics and baits entering the mix and we'll see if we can continue to stay a step ahead of the game. Come see us when you get a chance!

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
3/31/2014

Water Push, Topwaters Digging In

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; and, Bob's Machine Shop.

The first days of Spring and the what looks like a nice Spring tide arriving mid-week make for some great days on the water. Capt. Chris Cady reported a monster topwater bite on a trip Saturday. Fast work on Redfish in the middle slot led to nice Trout action with a big Trout encounter that left him rattled. After catching some 18-20" fish he said "the bottom dropped out from under my topwater and a huge Trout took it hard". After some big runs and tail walking she shook the hook leaving him drained. You can't catch'em all and that's probably a better release. With a Spring tide showing up and a little warming trend, we're going to quickly play catch up ball on the seasonality curve.

Big Water and Slick Bottoms

The big water push combined with a Northeast wind late week which didn't exactly light things on fire. We've got to get some Southerly compenent for it to really take off and I'm sure we will shortly. With big elevations in the tide it can push fish onto flats yet to show any emmergent grasses. A bunch of fish on a slick bottom are hard to deal with and sometimes they just don't want to bite. If I had a nickel every time I've seen that situation I'd have $20. That can be frustrating but that's just the way it goes sometimes.

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
3/23/2014

Skinny Water Showdown

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; and, Bob's Machine Shop.

South winds brought a blistering pace to the action over mud and grass lately. Shallow venues devoid of fish until Saturday came flush with schools making the bold push "ultra skinny". While we continue to pry very low water conditions, the change in winds to a Southerly direction put a murky olive green hue on previously gin clear flats. Large areas I had on the "no fly" list since early February came alive. The Capt's. of Castaway Lodge all went to work amidst a flurry of drag burning bow-ups.

This is the first push shallow for the fish this year. I said before we're running a little late but it's amazing how fast we can catch up. With Sunday's wind switch to the North and gusting into the 20's, I was greeted by not a sole at the boat ramp. That's a familiar sight for us but our guests know what's in store. We lit into a rising water pattern feed as the big winds pushed what little water we have across the bay. I picked up fish quickly on visual through a couple of moves that had us busting the fish box. Black Drum to 24" and Redfish in the middle slot were on a rampage. We love to play in big winds, and today was no exception.

Sure Sign of Spring

We are starting to see the first signs of Pin Perch over grass. They make the run into deeper Gulf waters during the winter. Seeing them show up means warmer waters and hopefully the first sign of a Spring Tide is around the corner.

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
3/21/2014

Fish Traps, Low Water Realities

Castaway Lodge Seadrift Report
By Capt. Kris Kelley


No Spring tide as of yet, water levels remain low and falling here on the back side of the full Moon. We're seeing fish make big moves during the day with areas void at times only to be chocker block a short time later. Capt. Chris made a run at Trout yesterday managing a few smalls and sparse keepers working PCS. Redfish were willing and able as Capt. James and Chris dialed them in mid-day working up near limits for one boat and half limits for another.

Sometimes when the fish get piled up and more or less trapped by low water they can turn "lock-jaw" and play hard to get. It can be a game of cat and mouse with very few secrets between the two. In other words, we know they are there and they know we are after them. Somedays these conditions work in our favor and other days not.

"It's Always Nice to Hear"

This came in from Mike O. at Diversified Steel:

"Great day fishing with Castaway Lodge. Limits of reds and near limits of drum. We threw back about 8 keeper reds and tagged a red over 28". Ms. Wendi is still the best cook on the coast! Thanks for showing my son an awesome fishing adventure that he will never forget. See ya'll soon."

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
3/16/2014

Rubberband Man's "Rolla-Coasta"

Castaway Lodge Seadrift Report
By Capt. Kris Kelley


"Whipsaw Reversals & Back Again"

This week saw a huge whipsaw in conditions on the water. Tuesday's look at fishing was explosive with swarms of Black Drum and Redfish working mud/grass pockets and feeding strong ahead of Wednesday's cool snap. Winds associated with the front ripped the water out of the bays and back lakes and the fish went scurrying for deeper water as temperatures dipped. Conditions were real tough early and they got worse as the water continued to fallout from already very low levels. We had a hard fought near limit trip that ended sight casting to pods of 10 to 15 fish. They were charging the boat as they meandered around a gin clear bowl in one of the back lakes. By Friday, things were coming back around but it took a long time to play out as flats regained some water and a few fish. We managed full limits with a special youngster, his dad, and friends. With southeasterly winds starting to pump on Saturday ahead of the next front, water levels had peaked and Capt. Chris Cady reported solid feeding activity mid-day while fighting intermittent rain showers.

Trout Horizons

There is a dearth of shrimp of on the Texas coast right now. This is something we've been struggling with of late. Amazingly, we saw the first live shrimp at an area bait camp yesterday so we are hoping this is a positive sign that we are getting some bait in the bays. A few more clicks on the water temperarture and I think we'll see them pop.

It is just a roller coaster no doubt right now with some huge swings in conditions. That's always presents fun and challenging days figuring things out.

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

Like us on Facebook or check our photos on Flickrand 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
3/12/2014

Pony Piglets & Mid-20's Trout

Castaway Lodge Seadrift Report
By Capt. Kris Kelley


Back Lakes Beat

We're entering the zone where these weather events from the North no longer become a "setback" but rather become a positive catalyst. Back lakes on the barrier island become the recipient of a rising water event on big winds from the North. That sends hungry schools of Trout, Reds, and Black Drum on a feeding frenzy. Trout and Black Drum looking to drop eggs in the comfort of warm mud/grass pockets have the comfort of a conveyor belt of forage for ambush as well.

Reel-Time

We are seeing an upswing in schools of Black Drum intermixing with Redfish concentrations and many are egg laden "Pony Piglets" in the 17 to 24" range. I'm seeing some lone Trout in the mid to low 20's shallow as well darting around the shallows. This indicates that we are on track for some serious rod bending between mid-March and mid-April. We are a little short on water levels at this time and I'm thinking any water push is going to ignite solid fishing.

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

Like us on Facebook or Pin us on Pinterest 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
3/9/2014

Match The Hatch Like a Waterborn Super Sleuth

Castaway Lodge Seadrift Report
By Capt. Kris Kelley


Back Lakes Beat

It feels great getting back on the water with some regularity. HOWEVER, not everything is coming up rosey off the water. Hearing lots of struggling with the bite despite lots of fish sightings. Fortunately we've been managing to outperform of late with some solid boxes taking what the fish and Mother Nature are willing to give. It's early, and early can present some challenges. Capt. Chris reported full limits of Redfish while taking a few black drum fishing a local tournament. He was among a couple of boats with much to show for the outing. Capt. James reported schooled up Reds shallow but uncooperative over a slick bottom on Thursday and came in with a light fish box. I've been working the flats and deeper venues managing to keep the rods bent fairly well for the conditions. There's not a ton of fish shallow right now and that changes day to day with the weather.

Lure Selection

Redfish have been coming to the table full of Sandeels so if you are lure fishing, matching the hatch can be productive. There's not much in the way of finfish in the shallows to this point. A lot of bait stocks are holding in bayous similarly moving back and forth from shallow to deep depending on temps.

Transitions, Another Spring Puzzler

Spring transitions vary from year to year and we are running late again similar to last Spring as we emmerge from the depths of Winter. There's no real emmergent grass growth as of yet on flats stripped barren by low cool water and ravenous ducks. It's quite amazing how fast a transition can take place but the conditions have to be right with elevated warming waters and rising temps.

For now, fish seeking the comfort of food sources over shallow mud/grass flats are playing the weather moving back and forth deep to shallow and back again. Plunging temperatures send the flats fish deeper until a particular comfort level is reached. It's this seesaw back and forth that finds us ranging from the flats to the swales and deeper venues.

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

Like us on Facebook or Pin us on Pinterest 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
3/3/2014

Mud Boil Mayhem - "Feel The Burn"

Castaway Lodge Seadrift Report
By Capt. Kris Kelley


Lodge News

We'd like to announce that Capt. Avery Wallace has joined the roster here at the lodge. Avery's vast waterbody knowleage and dedication to top flight professionalism and client satisfaction will make a nice addition to an already powerful lineup of highly skilled local watermen. Crazy about duck hunting and airboat redfishing, Avery brings with him a 20' raked airboat powered by a 502/502 and a comfortable fishing and duck hunting platform.

Fishing Report

We managed to hit the weather window right for a change here over the weekend. Guests from Midland and Brenham hit it right airboat fishing the shallow mud/grass environs with Capt. Avery and I. These trips are always fun this time of year. It's hard to beat up close and personal Whooping Crane sightings. Top that with Redfish bursting the slot and stripping drags. If that's not enough, pile on swarms of Black Drum tearing up the bottom looking to spawn and testing the biceps and any weaknesses in our equipment.

Stunning Sights

Just add a little water level rise and a slight warm up between fronts and the fish are coiling up to move into the shallows in search of anything to eat. Capt. Chris and Capt. Avery were scouting ahead of trips and reported seeing enormous schools of Redfish pushing into the 100's along with massive schools of Black Drum staging on outside beaches. These fish are looking to move shallow accessing draws, guts, and openings to ease into shallow bays. The shallow mud/grass bays offer warmth relative to hard sand or oyster shell along with food sources.

Bait Migrations

Not every "Spring" is the same and this one is a little different at this point. Shrimpers are reporting that small bait shrimp are being caught out of 15 fathoms offshore as these cold snaps keep pushing bait stocks out of the bays. We're looking at delays at the bait camps for live shrimp which may push into late March.

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

Like us on Facebook or Pin us on Pinterest 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
2/28/2014

Bait Surge, Fish Ranging

Castaway Lodge Seadrift Report
By Capt. Kris Kelley

Lots of fish showing up after the front according to Capt. Chris Cady coming off an airboat redfishing trip yesterday. Big schools of Black Drum and Redfish were noted on outside beaches looking to push into the back country. Chances are they are ranging back and forth as temperatures fluctuate with weather. Some reports of Trout schooling up over area shell reefs but you've got to have a decent weather window to hit them presently. Soft plastics and shrimp imitations tipped with light jig heads of 1/8 and 1/16oz. are doing the job.

It looks like the weather is shaping up nicely for the weekend and that should make for tight lines with our guests from South Texas.

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

Like us on Facebook or Pin us on Pinterest 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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Filed in: Airboat Fishing

Kris and Wendy,


Thanks for an awesome weekend! My dad, brother, and I really enjoyed ourselves. Dinner was superb on Fri night (cookies were delicious), the accommodations were clean and super-comfy, and of course the fishing on Saturday was excellent. I'm real glad we made it down there

The Cantu's
Houston/Austin/Kingsville, 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

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
I want to thank you again for an excellent fishing trip. You helped me entertain (7) seven clients at once and did it flawlessly....the food was incredible!!!....you guy's knocked it out of the park. In the words of Arnold, "I'll be back"
Nathan S.

Dear Kris & Wendi:


Trent and I had a blast on the GATOR hunt. An 11' 400 lb gator is nothing to sniff at and I know we'll be happy with the mount and skin. You run a first rate outfit. I enjoyed the fellowship and the fine chow. Tell Jake & Jack they need their own reality TV show

Jamie and Trent Page
Austin, TX
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