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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!

Looking back to spring and forward to summer!

I tried my best to come up with a fishing report that would quantify spring fishing this year, and some pretty strange numbers popped into my head.

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The first is 29, representing the average number of miles per hour the wind has blown each day.  The second is 13, the number of degrees lower the water temperature was on May 27 this year than it was last year according to my log book.  The last is 1, the number of days I have left the dock in the morning without a jacket or sweatshirt on.

What does all this mean?  It tells me that what we have experienced in spring 2014 is so unprecedented  that nothing in my 21 years of log books even came close.  Lucky for me, I run in the same circles with some old salts that have forgotten more about fishing than I will ever know.  Unlucky for me, their reply was a shrug of the shoulders and a profanity (I did mention they are old salts) that I don’t feel compelled to type.  The best I can figure, 2014 is running about four weeks behind schedule.

We are just starting to see croakers big enough to put on a hook, and trout (when we are able to get to them) that are just becoming interested in said croakers.  March, April, and May consisted mainly of shrimp under popping corks, on bottom, or cut mullet or menhaden on bottom.  Results have been mixed, with one great day and one easy pattern followed by one bad day with no pattern at all, mixed in with a wind that seemed to change 180 degrees of direction every 24 hours.  One thing we learned for sure-don’t bother going where you caught them yesterday.  All this being said, some really good fishing was had during spring, with redfish and especially with black drum.

Now, what does this mean going forward?  Cooler than normal water temperatures can only help us as summer approaches, keeping fish active for a greater portion of the day.  Wind always lays down in June, so we will be able to spread out to some areas that have not seen a fishing boat in months.  80% of our fish have been unreachable, so once we can get to them fishing should be pretty great.

Also, it wouldn’t be a fishing report without the mention of rain.  The last two weeks have given us over 3” here in Rockport, but the watershed has gotten much more than that.  The rivers will again be flowing and the bay salinity will come down a notch.  That always does great things for fishing, shrimp, and crabs.  Maybe all the suffering and tough weather we endured all spring will pay some nice dividends coming up this summer and fall.  And even better news- in 33 years when we have a cold, windy spring I will have a log book that will give me some insight into the fishing!

Spring fishing is turning on!

It appears that we can finally put the winter of 13-14 in our rear view mirror and focus on the fishing ahead. Over the last few days, our spring tide came rushing in, bringing bait fish and much needed shrimp populations. While water temperatures are still chilly for this time of year, the fish do seem to be in great shape, fat and hungry.

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Our usual patterns are probably going to be about three weeks behind schedule as a result of the weather, but that will actually help us a great deal in the summer. Right now fish are feeding well on shrimp under corks or dead shrimp on the bottom. While drum fishing was good all winter, the reds just showed up with this tide push. The spawning drum run in the ship channel has been off the chart good this spring, and will probably go on for a couple more weeks. If you want to flex your muscles against some monsters, that’s a great opportunity!

As many of you may have heard, Texas Parks and Wildlife passed a law last week changing our trout limit throughout the Texas coast to five fish per angler, 10 possession. That goes into effect on September 1, and we at Redfish Lodge are delighted to see it. That will leave a lot more fish in the bays for our guests to catch and enjoy, as well as for future generations.

It took a long time, but spring has sprung and it is time to bend a rod!  Hope to see you down at the lodge soon!

We’re ready for spring at Redfish Lodge

The winter of 2013-2014 will definitely go down in history as one of the coldest, starting with the arctic front that came through on November 22 and ending (hopefully?) today, as temps are projected to skyrocket into the mid-40’s!  The long range forecast puts us into the high 70’s by the end of the weekend, and no major drop is expected after that. Maybe spring will get here after all!

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The best news in all this is the gradual temperature drop which gave the fish a chance to acclimate to the conditions, resulting in no loss of fish due to the extreme cold. The worst part is that with only two fishable days per month, the fish have been hard to keep track of. And with lots of days of highs in the 30’s and a water temperature below 40, finding them is only half the battle.

As a result, a shockingly low number of fish have been taken from our bay system this winter, leaving more to catch during the warm spring and summer. By the time the lodge opens in March for 2014, the fish will be hungry and active once again.

On another note, we just finished replacing all of the mattresses, box springs, linens and towels at both the main lodge and the Ruddy, so guests can expect a cool new look and great nights sleep.

Don’t forget to go to our website or Facebook page to vote for the winner of the 2013 photo contest. Also, be sure to bring your camera if you are going to be a guest at Redfish Lodge in 2014. Maybe you could win a free trip in 2015!

Book your trip soon. We hope to see you during our 22nd season at Redfish Lodge!

Dallas Safari Club trade show

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Redfish Lodge is at the Dallas Safari Club Show, starting Thursday, January 9th.

Venture out to the Dallas Convention Center and track us down at Booth 2117. Brian and I will be eagerly waiting for you!

Show hours are:

  • Thursday 10am – 6pm
  • Friday 10am – 6pm
  • Saturday 9am – 6pm
  • Sunday 10am – 4pm

For nearly three decades, Dallas Safari Club’s annual convention has set the standard for sporting enthusiasts from around the world. This year’s Generations promises to be the most successful convention yet.

More than 30,000 outdoors-men and women will attend our four-day exposition Jan. 9-12 at the Dallas Convention Center and Omni Hotel Dallas. While here, they’ll bid in our silent and live auctions for the world’s finest wilderness experiences and sporting equipment, marvel at our wildlife displays, and visit the booths of hundreds of exhibitors from local shops to African hunting lodges.

Best of all, Generations will raise thousands to benefit wildlife conservation and DSC and Dallas Ecological Foundation’s education programs. Plan to be here!  www.biggame.org

Recollections of the 2013 season from Brian

Looking back on 2013, a few key points come to mind. The first is rain, as we had more of it than we have seen since 2009. Lower salinity and cooler water meant more shrimp and crabs, healthier and happier fish, and a great crop of sea grass. All very positive things.

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2013 was also defined by a very late spring, where we did not see a consistent warming trend until mid-May, well over a month past what we consider “normal”. Croaker fishing did not get started until almost June, but shrimp under popping corks remained the best fish producers well into May.

The year, especially the latter part, was also defined by incredibly high tides not normally seen outside of a tropical storm. This forced guides to chase fish in areas we do not normally go, but the fish were there and more often than not they were hungry. It does spread the fish out a lot more, but as a rule the reds and drum like the big tides.

2013 also saw some HUGE reds, including the largest ever landed at redfish lodge, come to the boat. 3 over 40″, and several over 36 was an unusual and pleasant sight to see. Best of all, they were all released!

On the down side, this year had a noticeable fall-off in the trout fishing than we are accustomed to here in Rockport, with a few highlight months in June and July in an otherwise slow year. Ducks were also not very cooperative during the early season.  With so much water inland, they took advantage of the flooded crop fields throughout central Texas and took their sweet time getting to the coast.

The last defining aspect of the year was BUSY, as we saw more guests in 2013 than we have seen in any year since 2007. Thank you to all who visited Redfish Lodge this year and made it such s success. Happy Holidays, and we hope to see you again in 2014.

Looking forward to the fall season at Redfish Lodge

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Summer seems to have come to an abrupt end on the Texas coastal bend, where the effects of hurricane Ingrid have changed the hot, dry 90 degree temperatures to the rain-cooled low 80’s.  And with that rain, the coastal waters have risen tremendously, giving us a big flush of tide and fish.

Summer and early fall fishing in Rockport always hinge on rain and water temperature, and both are working in our favor right now.  Plentiful rains throughout September have fired off the redfishing, and in a few days when this storm tide drops out those fish will take feeding to the next level.  The rivers will start flowing, and the shrimp migration will  have all of the gamefish fired up and feeding.

This puts our expectations for fall fishing right through the roof, and with the very busy second half of September and entire month of October coming up that will mean a lot of happy fishermen.  Just in the last week alone, we have added 15 reds and two trout to the Wall of Fame.  What a difference some rain makes!

If there is a negative impact with the rain, the doves that were plentiful last week have begun to scatter, finding water everywhere they look.  The same is currently true of the teal, which have chosen the newly filled inland ponds over the salt marshes to make their stopover before heading south.  As the standing water starts to soak into the ground, the doves will once again concentrate but the teal will already be migrating out.   Not good news for bird hunters, but a blow we are willing to take to assure excellent fall fishing and a healthy fishery.

We still have some dates available for the fall especially for one night/one day fishing trips. And some great availability for the regular duck season which kicks off November 2. There is one weekend open at the Ruddy in October, so if October 18 – 20 looks good for your group, give us a call.

 

Fall fishing has started!

The official fall fishing season has begun! Join us for great fishing or add a cast and blast for doves or ducks!

Check out this released 36″, 18.5# redfish caught by Stuart Murff today.

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Surf fishing anyone? Cast and Blast anyone?

August has certainly snuck up on us here at Redfish Lodge. We had such a busy spring and first half of summer that one blink and WHAM! August!  We have been very lucky that Copano Bay has had one of its best years in a decade, and not much traveling has been needed to catch some really nice fish. Maybe it was the cool spring, or the welcome  summer rains, but for whatever reason the trout, along with some big reds and a bunch of black drum have made themselves at home in Copano this year.

With summer heating up, we may need to fish deeper water with more tide movement for August. Hopefully we will get a run of great surf weather, as a few trips out there in July gave us a taste of how good it will be.

One blink and September will be here and the water will begin to cool again. This means the redfishing will heat up, not to mention the opening of dove season!  Cast and blast!  Looking at our bookings, it appears that our fall will be just as busy as spring was, so if you want to make a reservation you better get on it!  Hope to see you soon.