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June 2017 Fishing Report

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The spring coastal winds have been above average so far for sure, but accessibility to a lot of the water in the bay system has not been necessary. That’s because fishing close to home has been so good. The protected waters right around Redfish Lodge have been very productive for trout, including some really nice sized specimens, as well as reds and a few flounder.

The same has been true of the reefs and shorelines near the launch ramp at Goose Island State Park, so long boat rides have not been needed to find good fish.

On days when the wind relaxes a bit and we have an opportunity to look around, we are continually amazed by the great trout populations on the many reefs and shorelines in the area. Croakers and lures have been very productive, and the fish have been concentrated on the shallow shell for the most part.

If you’ve been following our Facebook page, you probably noticed a number of monster reds that have also been caught and released in the past few weeks. Not sure why the bay is full of them as well, but it has been fun fighting them!

Decent amounts of periodic rain has prevented the bay water from getting too hot or too saline, and that usually keeps the trout action hot throughout the summer.

With the winds coming down, as they always do in late June, there will probably be some opportunities to hit the gulf for some great near shore and surf fishing. Ling, king mackerel, tripletail, reds, and trout can all be found in an average surf trip, and that makes for an exciting day. Even if the breezes are blowing, the bay trout action promises not to disappoint.

April 2017 Fishing Report

The first fishing report of our 25th season. Dates are still available for May and June, call or email me to book for great fishing, food and fun!

The 2017 season has begun at Redfish Lodge, and the spring winds have been here to greet us!  Warm air, low tides, and hard southeast winds have dictated the weather pattern thus far, and there are a few more cold fronts headed our way in the next week.  Luckily, the fish seem to be fond of the wind, as the drum and reds have been very cooperative.  Bottom fishing on the windward shorelines of bays from St. Charles to San Antonio with shrimp and mullet has resulted in some great catches, as well as an amazing number of whooping crane sightings and photos.  On a few mornings when the wind slacked slightly, the trout were eager to take a live shrimp under a popping cork on some of the area reefs.

With the arrival of the equinox and the big tide it brings, lots of baitfish and slicking trout have been flooding past Redfish Lodge the past few days.  Water temps have warmed to 74 degrees, and the trout have begun staging for their spawn.  The big girls are up shallow, so wading is the best way to get them to bite.  Wet wading is now comfortable, but be sure to bring long pants as there are already a few jellyfish around.  All the fish we are catching seem to be fat and happy, the result of a mild winter and plenty of food.  The bays are loaded with hopper shrimp and mullet, and a few menhaden can already be seen in the channels.

Croakers are still about a month away, but shrimp has been really good for all species including flounder.

In a few weeks the wind will let up and the patterns will change, but for now we will keep targeting the dirty water and keeping the rods bent.

2016 Fishing Report

Congratulations to Randy Jenkins who landed and released this 47 inch and 42 lbs bullred. A new Redfish Lodge record!

Congratulations to Randy Jenkins who landed and released this 47 inch and 42 lbs bullred. A new Redfish Lodge record!

With some time to reflect on Redfish Lodge’s 2016 season, I am still firmly convinced that it was the most successful year from a fishing standpoint that we have ever had. While it was happening I found that thought repeatedly running through my mind, and in retrospect I was not simply caught up in the moment.

WE CAUGHT LOT OF FISH!

A perfect culmination of light winds, high tides, and rain working in conjunction with the newly opened Cedar Bayou has had a tremendous positive impact on our fishery. Trout have enjoyed an incredible resurgence in both size and quantity, which is still holding true in winter fishing. Redfish were plentiful throughout the year, with a lot of giants released back to the bays, including a new lodge record set in October. All manner of baitfish and crabs were present en masse throughout the season, making our fish population fat and healthy. Until this past weekend, the winter has been mild and summer-like allowing our fish to continue to feed and thrive. Now that we have had a good cold snap, the winter fishing pattern should fully emerge.

As we come out of a cold weekend and back to temperatures in the 80’s this week, it is only natural to stop daydreaming about the unprecedented 2016 season and start looking to 2017. With the bays in the best shape they’ve been in the last 20 years and a fish population that seems to be headed straight up, the prospects are exciting to say the least. Make your reservation now to see for yourself what this season has in store!

July Fishing Update

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The prolific rain that dominated our spring has been reduced to an occasional sea breeze shower, but its lingering effects can still be seen in the health and vitality of the bays.  Baitfish, shrimp, and crabs are still abundant. The trout fishing has remained consistent through July in spite of the unusually high winds.  The wind has settled a bit now, and the mid-bay reefs that were inaccessible a few weeks ago are teeming with good keeper-size trout.  Redfish and drum became a bit scarce in the last month, as they seem to do every year, but their resurgence has already begun.  August always marks their return to a normal feeding pattern, especially if we have some tropical activity to get them fired up.  As the cooler months approach, the fishing is going to shift from good to amazing, a by-product of a great spring and a healthy bay.

All the rain has also done wonders for the grain crops, so the dove will find plenty to eat when they begin to head south in a few weeks. Low salinity has also produced a bumper crop of sea grass to help keep the ducks in our area throughout November and beyond, as long as a large amount of rain doesn’t fall inland and flood the prairie between now and then.  All in all, it is shaping up to be a great autumn for sportsmen on the Texas coast, so make your reservations soon if you haven’t already.

There are not many spots left!

Redfish Lodge May 2016 Fishing Update

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Many anglers & guides alike look back on the mid-nineties as the “glory days” of trout fishing on the Texas coast. I was just a few years into the business, & at the time I did not appreciate the abundance of fish & the quality of the estuary. By 2004, the drought had begun to affect our bays & fishing had become tougher as a rule. I often fondly looked back at the “good old days” when trout seemed to be bigger & everywhere while I was routinely making a 30-mile run to find fish in the late 2000’s.

I almost always mention rain & its effects on our fishing in each of my reports, & the last 20 months or so have blessed us with unprecedented rains in the Rockport area. This inflow of fresh water, in addition to the reopening of Cedar Bayou in September, 2014, has made a tremendous impact on our fishery.

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Looking back on April & May, I can say with confidence that I have NEVER seen trout of this quality & abundance in our bay system in the 23 years I have been fishing the waters of Rockport. Salinity is low, bait fish is available & abundant, shrimp & crabs are everywhere, & we, the anglers, are the beneficiaries of it all.

Another round of significant rain is expected here in the next few days, all but assuring that our summer salinity levels & water temps will stay low, and that our fishing will remain at or near this incredibly high level for the next several months.

If you want to participate in some amazing fishing, book a trip to Redfish Lodge this summer and see for yourself. There is no doubt in my mind that years from now we will look back at this season as the “glory days” of trout in Rockport.

Redfish April 2016 Fishing Update

The 2016 fishing season is still quite young, and yet it seems that we have seen every condition nature can throw at us. High tides followed by extreme low tides, strong winds followed by slick calm days, pouring rain followed by high pressure and blue skies, an ever changing assortment of conditions have kept Redfish Lodge guides on their toes.

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While a variety of fishing techniques have been employed in a variety of areas under a variety of conditions, the outcomes have remained relatively consistent. Fish are being brought to the boat.

On the calmer days when the water greens up, live shrimp under popping corks have been keeping our anglers busy. Trout, and LOTS of them, have been eating on the shell reefs of Copano, Aransas, and Mesquite bays. While a lot of these fish are small, focusing on pockets of bigger fish has resulted in some nice boxes coming to the dock. These pretty days are also productive for wading with lures, as bigger trout mixed with a spattering of reds have been cruising the mullet rafts on the shorelines.

On the days when the winds are stronger, reds and drum are taking advantage of the dirty water ambush scenario by feeding on shrimp and mullet on both reefs and shorelines. Gulf menhaden are beginning to show up in the bays, and the reds have been responding positively to them as well.

The dramatic weather variations of a coastal spring will soon be coming to an end, but the fishing is only going to ramp up. Salinity conditions are ideal in the bay system right now, along with bait fish, crabs and shrimp in unprecedented numbers. The gamefish are fat and healthy, and the population seems to be in great shape.

2016 is on track to be the best fishing year in Redfish Lodge history!

Redfish Lodge 2016 Fishing Report

We always put a lot of emphasis on rain here in the coastal bend as so much of our fishery depends on it to thrive. 2015 brought rain in volumes that most people cannot remember in their lifetime living in Rockport. As a result, the bays flourished. Seagrass grew in places it has not been seen in decades, crab, shrimp and menhaden populations are at all-time highs. The bay is in optimum condition which is great news for its aquatic residents.

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With food aplenty, we saw some of the biggest redfish ever caught in these bays over the last three months. Several in excess of 40 inches have been released this fall including a couple of 44-inch giants that rode the tide into the bays in search of blue crabs. The seagrass and lower salinity, combined with the proper flow of the cedar bayou cut and the abundance of food has brought a resurgence to the trout that has resulted in increased numbers and size all over the bay system. Flounder have also been making a comeback with the highest recorded catches here at Redfish Lodge in over a decade.

Drum populations have remained excellent, making for some really stellar fishing action throughout 2015.

Winter is supposed to be cooler and wetter than normal this year, but it is certainly taking its time getting here. Warm water and lots of food are still present here in December, giving the fish a bonus opportunity to fatten up for winter.

2015 was a great fishing season, and there is no sign of slowing down for 2016. We will be at the Dallas Safari Club show January 7-10 and the Houston Safari club show January 15-17, so please stop by our booth and say hello. We’d love to see you. Also, if you would like to take advantage of 2015 pricing for your 2016 fishing trip, get with Melissa or Virginia for a reservation. Deposits must be received by December 31 to get last year’s rates.

2016 looks to be a great year, we hope to see you then at Redfish Lodge.

Summer 2015 Fishing Update

The rains of spring and early summer have created some spectacular summer trout fishing in the Rockport area.

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Cooler than normal bay waters and lower salinity have translated into a bounty of healthy, hungry trout. The waters in the middle of Aransas and Mesquite bays finally turned to the beautiful shade of green that Rockport anglers are accustomed to seeing when the wind subsided in late July.

Drum and reds have been scattered all over the shell in the northern part of our bay system and eagerly hit a shrimp or crab in the early part of the day. Copano, San Antonio, and St. Charles bays are still holding a lot of fresh water and as a result are not getting a lot of fishing pressure. This means the fall tide will open some untapped fisheries and keep the action going strong through fall.

Cedar Bayou is flowing great and has resulted in a lot more crabs in the bays and that means a redfish buffet come September. All the seagrass that grew as a result of the rains should translate into a great shrimp migration as well as a good duck season.

2015 has been one of the best fishing years so far, and shows a lot of promise for the rest of the season as well.

We have a bit of space in the Ruddy in the first few weeks of September but limited availability at both lodges in October. But it never hurts to ask as groups move dates often!  It’s going to be first come, first serve for the choice cast & blast dates for dove and duck season.

Check out our newly revamped website – www.redfishlodge.com – Suggestions, comments and recommendations are welcome!

Have a great rest of the summer, hopefully we’ll see you in the fall.

A Spring Fishing Report From Brian

Lots of rain combined with lots of tide has been a recipe for lots of fish! This spring has been really productive for trout and drum alike, and in the last two weeks the reds have decided to join the party. Shrimp, menhaden, and mullet have all been producing good numbers of fish, and so have plastics when the winds are down.

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We are on the cusp of croaker season right now, with a few croaker flags flying above bait stands in town. It’s been tough to transition to croakers when shrimp have been producing so well, but the day is coming soon.

All bays have been really consistent in producing fish, on shell reefs as well as shorelines and grass beds. Another round of rain is due this week, promising more fresh water and good fish activity well into summer. Join the fun! We still have dates available for June, July & August.

An early season fishing report from Brian

As a result of some really skillful planning, the opening of the 2015 Redfish Lodge season coincided almost perfectly with the arrival of spring.  I say almost because our first day was rained out by over 3” of rain.

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We recovered quickly, and the warm days that have followed have produced some surprising numbers of trout on live shrimp and plastics alike.  Many are small and will provide a great crop for next year, but there are some nice keepers mixed in as well.

Light winds have granted access to mid-bay reefs, and they are holding abundant fish.  The copious rains of the last week have left Copano the color of iced tea, which is great to see and great for the sea grass a couple of months down the road.  Water temperatures have jumped out of the 50’s and  are approaching 70 degrees.  Bait fish are starting to show up in good numbers, and the fish are ready for them.

Spring is in full swing, and we are taking full advantage of it.  We still have a few open dates, so if you haven’t gotten the memo…Winter is over!  Let’s go fishing!