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Anglers’ Patron Saint

In our continuing quest to provide the best possible fishing experience, Redfish Lodge explores every conceivable avenue. Our latest is to employ the Patron Saint of Fishing. So far we have found that, depending upon the culture and text we research, seven different saints lay claim to this title. The choices are as follows:

  • Andrew the Apostle
  • Anthony of Papau
  • Benno
  • Nicholas of Myra
  • Our Lady of Salamera (Virgin Mary)
  • Peter the Apostle
  • Zeno of Verona

St. Andrew is definitely one of the top contenders but Andrew does not seem to specialize in fish; he seems to be a generalist. We all know what is said about a “Jack of all Trades…”

St. Anthony may be to fishing what Bob Eucker is to baseball. He may be very good at talking fishing, but his on-water experience is very sketchy. He should only be evoked if desperate.

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Okay, who was praying for a white Christmas?

St. Benno, although a relatively minor deity, seems to have a soft spot for anglers; so we have given him a B plus.
St. Nicholas of Myra, not to be confused with the Christmas, St Nicholas, must have sneaked on the list. His credentials are very obscure. Especially when you look at Myra on an ancient map. Where does one fish in the desert?

Our Lady of Salamera (The Virgin Mary) is the patron of almost everything. She is far too busy with more urgent matters to be called on by anglers. If you have a big, hungry crowd and want to serve fish, her son has some experience with that. You may want to send him a prayer.

St. Peter the Apostle, although very busy with a multitude of responsibility, is never-the-less one Saint that will take time to be a positive influence on the boat or from shore. His mortal career as a fisherman in the Sea of Galilee comes in handy for this task.

St. Zeno of Verona is our choice to be the patron of Redfish Lodge. He is always depicted with rod in hand and occasionally with his catch as well. Zeno is our choice if a miracle is required to make the fish bite. He is doing a fine job at his newly appointed post, as you would see on any trip with one of our Redfish Lodge guides.

Chuck Scates

scan_3As many of you may have heard, our former general manager and current guide Chuck Scates was diagnosed with mastoid cancer in October. He underwent a radical neck dissection on November ninth, and is currently undergoing chemotherapy and radiation to eliminate any remaining cancer cells. His recovery is coming along nicely, and although he is currently off the water he is planning to return to guiding on April 1.

Chuck would like to extend his appreciation for all of the concerned phone calls and prayers, and hopes to see all of you on the water again soon. Chuck would also like to add that due to his surgery, he will only be able to yell at his fishermen half as much as he has in the past, so leave the ear plugs at home.

Yes! We Have No Bananas …

… And Other Fishing Superstitions!

bananasDid you ever wonder why there are no bananas in the fruit bowl at Redfish Lodge. It has nothing to do with budgets, bugs, or allergies..it is far more serious that that. Bananas have long been considered the ultimate curse for a fishing vessel. Since the ancient Polynesians first started fishing the oceans, it was noticed that vessels that headed out on long journeys and brought bunches of bananas for nourishment often did not return. It seems logical, bananas last a long time even in the heat, they are not heavy or bulky, and they are very good for you. Why, then, was the fate of so many fishing vessels sealed when they loaded up the bananas? Now in the days of science and enlightenment, we do have an answer. Journeys of several weeks or more allowed the thousands of banana spider eggs located in the banana bunches to hatch, and when the fishermen went to bed, they really went to bed. The highly poisonous banana spiders bit them and the ship with the dead crew was lost at sea forever. In the modern era of pesticides, cell phones, and GPS navigation, it is unlikely to say the least that these events will transpire again, but once a superstition is born it will not go away easily. For this reason, bananas are best left in the supermarket. Serious fishermen and guides alike have removed them from their diets altogether. Excessive? Maybe, but you do not want to provoke the ire of the fish gods!

In Europe since the dawn of the domesticated animal, it has been considered a bad omen to begin a fishing trip when the cattle in the fields are lying down. Conversely, it is considered lucky if they are standing. As ridiculous as this may seem, again with a little applied modern science we find that it is rooted in truth. Most all animals, with the exception of humans, plan their day around a lunar clock rather than a solar one. Their active and inactive periods are defined by the position of the moon rather than that of the sun. The sun is merely a convenience for those of us not blessed with the ability to see in the dark. This means that birds, deer, cows, and fish have the same activity periods during the lunar day. A cow lying down really does mean that the fishing will not be as good as if it was standing! Why, you ask, does superstition not hold true to hunting in European culture. The answer lies in the method of hunting used in most European nations. They do not sit in a blind and wait for an active animal to come to them. They send pushers into the woods to beat the trees with sticks and force even sleeping animals to move. While a fish has to be a willing participant in fishing, stag, pheasants, boar, and other game can be coerced into participating whether their schedule suggests it or not.

Want to avoid some other errors in judgement that may turn the fish gods against you? Superstition suggests that you never step over a fishing rod lying on the ground or on the deck of the boat. An easy way to avoid this is to never put a rod there. It is an invitation for it to be broken, and having a rod broken is a sure way not to catch fish. Never board or even cross a fishing vessel until you are invited to do so by the captain. Why? Not only does superstition suggest it, but it is just rude. In ancient times when this practice began, guides probably took these rude people to bad fishing holes, making the fishing poor and bringing about the lore. Never catch a fish on the first cast of the day. Hard to find the science in this one, but better to cast in the wrong direction and reel fast so as not to take any chances.

While this list is nearly endless, there are a few of the more important ones to remember. The good news is there is a fool-proof cure for any curse you may place on yourself, your boat, or the fish. A pineapple, be it fresh, canned, dried, or squeezed into juice will always win the favor of the fish gods. If you are in real trouble, putting a small portion of your pineapple product into the water as a sacrifice will surely bail you out. Science? Sure, fish love…the…smell…of pineapple? Yeah, that’s it! Just make sure that if you bring dried pineapple in a trail mix that there is no dried bananas in there. We don’t want to open that can of worms … ah spiders again.

Big Boys in the Bay

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During Labor Day weekend 2004, guest Wayne Penello caught a 37-inch, 20-pound redfish. He was fishing with Captain Paul Brown in Ayers Bay using live piggy perch as bait. This fish broke a long standing Lodge record of 36 inches and 18 pounds caught in 1995. Wayne’s fish, however, would not enjoy the view from the top for long. Two months and two days later the record was broken again. On November 6, Jared Davis caught the new record while fishing with Captain Cody Kubicek in San Antonio Bay. His red, caught on a live shrimp under a popping cork, tipped the scales at a whopping 27 pounds! This 41-inch behemoth took half an hour to land, and will be gracing Jared’s wall when the taxidermist finishes with it.

We are left to wonder whether these two catches were coincidence, or if they are a sign of things to come. Are some of the redfish that normally migrate to the Gulf staying in the bays? The overall health of our bay system has been deemed excellent by Parks and Wildlife biologists, and baitfish are plentiful and accessible. Maybe these big reds are finding our bays too tempting to leave and are sticking around a few extra years. Next year may see another record boken, and another …

Babes on the Bay Tournament

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On April 30, 2005, Rockport played host to the 6th annual Babes on the Bay fishing tournament, one of the largest CCA fundraising events in the organization. 534 women anglers competed on 156 teams for fun, prizes, and a year’s worth of bragging rights. For the first time in the tournament’s six year history, two Redfish Lodge guides participated in the guided division to measure their skills against many other local professionals.

As seems to be the case with this event every year, the weather was as uncooperative as possible. A strong front blew through at 6:00 am on the morning of the tournament, bringing with it sustained north winds in the 45+mph range and gusts to 55mph. Conditions deteriorated throughout the day, as the winds refused to subside and the water quality went downhill fast. Some anglers never left dock, some began returning immediately, and some of the tougher ladies stuck it out and fished for the day.

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Weigh-in took place between 12:00pm and 4:00pm, and teams could weigh in three trout and one redfish toward their total. 99 teams scratched, meaning they had no eligible fish. The remaining 57 teams wearily staggered in throughout the weigh-in time, some with four fish, many with just one. When all teams were accounted for and the standings were posted, Redfish Lodge guides Brian Holden and Cody Kubicek held the first and second place positions on the leaderboard by a huge margin over an otherwise tightly packed field. In addition, Tonya McLeod on Brian’s team won the prize for the redfish with the most spots (13), earning her a gold redfish pendant with 13 diamonds on it.

Besides the contestants in the Babes on the Bay tournament, there were six other boats on the water that day. They were the rest of the Redfish Lodge squad, putting together nice boxes of reds for a full house of lodge guests and practicing for the next big tournament to be held in “unfishable” conditions. The moral of the story is a simple one. If you have a trip planned to Redfish Lodge and there may be some bad weather during your stay, remember two things. Bring your rain jacket or windbreaker, and leave the rest to the Lodge guides. They will keep you safe and put you on fish in any conditions. For more information about Babes on the Bay, visit babesonthebay.com.

Your Vacation Can Now Last Another 24 Hours …

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Enjoy a complimentary 3rd night* when you book a 2 day/2 night Guided Fishing Package at Redfish Lodge between the dates of June 30th to July 9th or August 30th to September 7th, 2004.

* Does not include a 3rd day of guided fishing. Not valid with any other specials.

What to do with your 24 extra hours?

  • Test your shotgunning skills on some clay targets
  • Enjoy a libation at Mister Jimbo’s Outdoor Caribbean Bar
  • Soak in the hot tub
  • Sun and sip on our spacious deck
  • Wade fish 24 hours a day
  • Enjoy the surroundings while relaxing on the wrap around porch
  • Cool off in the pool
  • Thrill to a sunrise or sunset
  • Fish day or night from our 500’ pier
  • Tour the local waters by kayak
  • Hunt for seashells, rattlers, and other Texas critters
  • Play cards in the card room
  • Check out the 300 species of bird life
  • Win a game of billiards
  • Catch a trophy fish under or beach lights at night
  • Check out the spoonbill, heron and shorebird rookery near the end of the point.
  • Try catch and release to help conserve the local fishery

VIP Conference Plan

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The VIP Conference Plan offers caring personal service, superior facilities and true professionalism that comes with your next executive meeting at Redfish Lodge, one of Texas most exclusive and unique properties. The VIP Plan meeting package includes:

  • Complimentary meeting room
  • Tasteful welcome reception
  • Inspiring breaks with complimentary beverages
  • Exclusivity for groups of up to 8, 18 or 26
  • A unique amenity for each participant.
  • Two hour fishing school
  • Evening shore wade fishing (all gear provided by the lodge)
  • Fantastic gourmet meals
  • Airport service

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For assistance planning your next meeting at the exclusive Redfish Lodge, please call 1-800-392-9324.

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Scates’ Red Shrimp

Hook: Standard saltwater, size 4 to 1/0. Mustad 34007, 3407 Tiemco 811S; Daiichi 2546; Partridge CS52
Thread: Danville 3/0 Monocord or 6/0 Uni-thread
Weedguard: 15 lb. hard Mason monofilament or similar
Antennae/mouth: Red bucktail and natural brown bucktail
Shellback: Red crystal flash
Eyes: Melted monofilament, colored black
Body: Red chenille
Legs: Very soft black hackle
Tail: Red crystal flash from the shellback

Tying Instructions

1. Start behind the eye of the hook, wrap halfway down the bend and back to the middle of the shank.

2. Tie in a 3″ piece of 15 lb. monofilament on top of the hook. Wrap down the bend and fasten the monofilament weedguard in place. Cover the wraps with cement.

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3. For antennae, tie in a sparse bunch of red bucktail, slightly longer than the length of the hook. Cut off a small bunch of natural brown bucktail and even the tips. Tie in the brown bucktail so the tips surround the red bucktail, trim and taper the butts. Over this add a large bunch of red crystal flash for the shellback.

4. Prepare each eye by melting the end of a piece of monofilament into a ball. Color the melted end black and trim the monofilament to length. Wrap to a point opposite the hook barb and attach the monofilament eyes so they stick up and out from the shank. Bring your thread in front of the hook point and attach a single black hackle by the butt.

5. Wrap back to the mouth and antennae, directly above them tie in a piece of large red chenille. Advance your thread and wrap the chenille to the eye of the hook. Tie it off, but don’t crowd the eye. The black monofilament eyes should be sticking out just above the chenille.

6. Make four or five evenly spaced wraps of black hackle up to the hook eye and tie it off. Take your scissors and carefully cut off the barbs on top.

7. Pull the red crystal flash over the body to create the shellback. Tie off the crystal flash on top then pull the butt ends down and underneath. Tie them back and trim them short to imitate the shrimp’s tail.

8. Pull the monofilament weedguard forward and through the eye of the hook, adjust it for length and secure it with a few wraps of thread. Pull it back on top, tie it down again and trim the excess. Cover the head with thread, whip finish and cement.

Spring Salad with Crab Meat

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INGREDIENTS
6 cups spring salad mix
1 cup of mandarin oranges in light syrup
1 cup of fresh sliced strawberries
½ cup of walnuts
½ cup of crumbled blue cheese
1 pound of fresh crab meat

DRESSING
¾ cup of olive oil
½ cup of balsamic vinegar
¼ cup of honey
½ tsp. of garlic
½ tsp. of season all salt
¼ tsp. of black pepper
1 pinch of ground sage

1. Mix all dressing ingredients and whisk well.
2. Mix all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Then toss well with dressing.

Enjoy!

Big Bay Brawl

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You feel a good hard strike, and set the hook with enthusiasm. The weight of the fish becomes apparent. As the drag begins to steadily peel out you think to yourself, or out loud, “nice red.” 30 seconds and 150 yards later, the fish shows no sign of stopping. You have 10 wraps of line left on your spool and you think to yourself, or out loud, “oh sh.., how do I slow this thing down”. By now all of the other anglers in the boat have reeled in their lines and are staring dumbfounded at the absurd bend in your rod, ignoring the shouts and rapid movements of the guide as he prepares the boat to give chase. That is, if you were lucky enough to be in a boat when you got the fish on to begin with.

If you were wading, you are already staring dejectedly at the shiny arbor in the middle of your spool where your line used to be. Your mystery fish swims free with a new piece of lip jewelry, probably never even noticing that he was hooked to begin with.
The guide is now moving the boat toward the powerful fish that seems by this point to be about two time zones away with no sign of turning. The line is not yet returning to your spool, but at least it has stopped going out. The boat is nearly on plane headed toward your adversary. Finally there is an opportunity to gain back some of your long lost line and close the gap that just moments ago seemed hopelessly insurmountable.

Twenty yards off the bow of the boat, the fish swirls on the surface and you strain your eyes to get a positive ID on the monster to which you are bound. What you see brings more questions that answers, as it does not meet the description of anything in the bay fishing reference library of your brain. You turn to your guide to ask the obvious, and for the first time since the hookset, you see the knowing smirk on his face. The fish makes another run, and again you can easily count the wraps left on the spool.

The boat chase begins and the question shifts from “do I have enough line” to “do we have enough gas.” Thirty more minutes pass with little change. He takes, you take back. He takes more, you swear under your breath. Each time he finally appears to get tired and you begin to feel victorious, he peels off another run that makes you invent an entire vocabulary of cuss words.

Over an hour from the start of the battle the fish finally lays on its side next to the boat and the guide reaches over and grabs its tail. As it comes aboard kicking and squirming, the entire boat breathes a sigh of relief. This is usually followed by a grand cheer from all of the spectator boats that you were completely unaware of until now. You are now posing for a picture with a Jack Crevalle, an unusual but seemingly more frequent visitor to the Rockport bays. It is long and tall and heavy and yellowish green and despite its twenty-something pound weight and formidable countenance, you cannot believe that something this size could give you the workout you just endured. After the photo session you set the fish free, and look around at the completely unfamiliar surroundings that you have not taken in for the better part of an hour. “Where are we” you ask, not realizing that besides the incredible length of time it took to land the behemoth, it took several miles as well.

A dozen deep breaths, a Gatorade, and a weary smile later you are back to yourself again. The guide fires up the motor and asks “shall we go back there and hook up another.” All the anglers on the boat look at one another and take stock of the events of the past hour, then simultaneously reply “let’s try somewhere else.”

An event like this one was extremely common last fall, and shows no sign of letting up this spring. Several schools of these “Green Hornets” have already been sighted in the bay resulting in a number of hookups and some great memories. They get their nickname partly because of their color and partly because of their behavior, swarming over a reef or shoreline in a white foam devouring everything in their path. If you have a line in the water and see them coming your way, you have a decision to make. Get out of their way,or learn firsthand why everyone who poses for a picture with one of these beasts has the same sweaty, exhausted half-grin on his or her face.