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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!

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.

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.

Stuart Murrff

Bastante Bay Bash Winners

Congratulations to Brian Holden, Scott Isbell, Ryan Waggoner and Kevin Callum! They are the 2013 Bastante Bay Bash fishing tournament winners. They weighed in 5 fish and won by less than 1/2 a pound!Brian tourny win

A great letter from a new guest!

We get letters….glad they had such a great trip!

My husband and I recently stayed at Redfish Lodge to celebrate our one year anniversary (July 12-14) and had a wonderful time. We wanted to send you a note to tell you that our experience was above our expectations with not only the fishing, but during our time on the property as well.

Upon arrival Mary Helen greeted us on the grounds, gave us a brief tour and promptly whipped up a tasty appetizer for us to snack on after our drive in from Houston.  That evening we enjoyed many of the great amenities such as playing a game of ping pong while wishing we would find ourselves hanging a wooden fish on the wall of fame. Our evening host, Mace, took great care of us… Even going out of his way to purchase a loaf of bread for  me to feed the ducks after he saw how much fun I was having while feeding them left over rolls from our fabulous dinner.

We went to bed with great anticipation of the following mornings fishing trip not really sure what to expect with it being the middle of July in Texas and lets be honest… My husband is the experienced fisherman of the family and I wasn’t even entirely sure how to hold the rod and reel!  Heather, our morning host promptly knocked on our door that morning. For me, five am came very quickly! However, Jason was up out of bed and  eager  to get on the water. After getting ready, we enjoyed a tasty, hot breakfast and discovered the lunch selections laid out ready to pack for the boat trip. Heather was not only a great cook but she was so friendly and started getting us excited about the day on the water.  So far the trip had been a great success and we hadn’t even started fishing!!

A peaceful, relaxing vacation was underway and we had exceptional staff caring for us and we’d eaten wonderful food and drank plenty of beer and wine.  However, the real adventure really started as we stepped on Captain Joel’s boat before day break. He was very knowledgeable and got us right to work finding trout. He was incredible patient with me while teaching me how to cast while keeping my extremely talented husband baited up and reeling in fish!  That first day was a rough one as the wind decided to not blow leaving it fairly hot and the bottle nose dolphins were uncannily attracted to every good fishing hole :). While that was no issue for me as I thought it was fantastic to see one so close, I quickly realized it was bad for fishing!  Even with the odds not being in our favor, Joel worked us around the bay. My husband and I walked away with 14 keeper trout with one coming in at 23 inches! I have to admit… I contributed very little to the expedition as I found myself mostly pulling in ‘hard head’s or sub-15 inch trout. Yet still by the end of the day I had the biggest smile as I learned to cast on my own and could even untangle my reel should I find myself in an unfortunate situation my casting didn’t go well.

Our first day was a huge success all thanks to Joel for managing between two very different skill levels in tougher fishing conditions. Luckily, we(and by we I really mean Jason) were able to catch our own dinner and that evening the fish were amazingly prepared by Mary Helen. The new arrivals were very jealous of our pecan crusted trout and couldn’t wait for their turn the night after.

And if everything aforementioned wasn’t good enough, we still haven’t even gotten to the best part.  The next morning, 5am came and again we got ready, had breakfast and were meet by Joel ready to take us out for day two. I wasn’t really expecting to have a better time that day than we did the day before… But somehow we managed to do exactly that.  Joel’s coaching the day before must have sunk in overnight (combined with a lot of luck) because that day we worked the bay again and pulled 20 keeper speckled  trout, 1 sand trout and a 20.5 red fish!  Of the 20 keeper speckled trout over 7 where over 20 inches. (20 1/4, 23, 23, 23 1/2,  24,  24 1/8, and 24 1/4). Proudly I can say that reeled in five of the seven!! Jason and Joel were both equally impressed with my secret talent for bay fishing.  Joel truly made our fishing experience fun and memorable for both of us… Even stopping to let us take some great photos on the boat at the end  of the day! I’d love to share the photos with you showing Jason and my smiling faces and our mess of fish!Thanks to all of the staff at Redfish Lodge for making our experience so amazing.  Jason and I were very pleased and have some fantastic memories  from our first anniversary. It was truly one that we will both treasure and are sure to return in the future

July fishing report

And people think the fishing slows down in the summer…check out this 42″, 40# beauty caught & released by guest Cody Nath.Cody Nath 42inch 40lb

Latest Photo contest entry

The newest photo contest entry – Guest Marc Perez with his 30” redfish and 24” trout caught on a white Berkley Gulp 3” shrimp- 1/16 jig head.

He says “Thank you to Brian and all the staff at Redfish Lodge.”

Marc Perez