Capt. Todd Jones– Today consisted of a solid morning of “fun fishing” with good buddies! Several trout in the 22” range. Somehow our math skills were a little lacking, but it’s always good luck to leave one out there for next time! Wade fishing with lures should continue to improve into February, March, and April, so call (888) 677-4868 today to take advantage of a $25 per/person discount on food and lodging when you book a wade fishing trip (with lures) for any day in February.
FRIDAY – Jan 18th
Capt. Steve Boldt– There was a definite chill in the air, but this morning’s crew got the job done. For being a half-day trip, they managed a very descent box today with a three-man redfish limit and several black drum to top things off. They’ll all eat well when they get home!
SUNDAY – Jan 20th
Capt. Doug Russell– A cold front blew through town overnight, so by shooting time this morning things had cooled down quite a bit as the thermometer dropped into the 30’s. The morning didn’t turn out being one of the absolute best days of shooting for us, but it certainly wasn’t the worst either with nine birds. Hoping for more cold weather soon!
For the next couple months along the midsection of theTexas coast, speckled trout anglers can prosper when keying on mud and grass in protected coves, area drains, small bayous, and narrow channels that lead out of the back lake areas that are situated out on Matagorda Island. Many big wintertime trout have been hooked while slowly working natural and artificial baits in just such places out on “the Island” during February and March. However, in order to catch one of these big fish, you’ll first have to target them.
These “big gals” can often be persuaded to eat a number of different artificial baits this time of the year, but some types of lures certainly outperform others. One steady producer that anglers can usually depend on is the slow sinking and suspending baits. These are the ones like the original plastic Corky, the Corky Fat Boy, and the Corky Devil – and now the newer line of Soft-Dine baits – of which all sink slowly toward the mud and grass until messaged to return toward the surface via a smooth, minimal motion of the rod tip. Some of the older, more popular suspending baits, depending on the brand and model (the Catch 5, Catch 2000, and the 27MR MirrOdines), will automatically position themselves in the water anywhere from 6 to 12 inches, or even two feet, below the surface. They can generally be retrieved at a steady pace with an occasional slight twitch from the end of your rod tip throughout the course of the retrieve. They’re nothing short of fun, and can be downright effective at catching big cold-water trout when worked properly amongst the right conditions.
Top waters will also produce during the next couple months, with some of the favorites being any of the larger surface walkers by MirrOlure, Heddon, and Rapala, to include the newer ones made available by the Paul Brown line of lures. One reason to throw top waters this month and next is that you’ll need to be presenting bigger baits because big trout are usually looking for a large meal right now, like a single (big) mullet for example. You’ll also find that these heavier top water baits are quite easy to toss and to retrieve in high-wind conditions that we’re so often faced with during this time of the year. Large top water lures should definitely have a permanent spot in your wintertime tackle box, as they have certainly yielded full stringers on many wintertime occasions.
If you prefer hunting your big trout this winter using soft plastic tails, then you might think seriously about lightening your overall presentation. Cold weather trout tend to move rather slowly during this time of the year, and because of this you should look at using a 1/16-ounce lead-head with your plastic tails versus the 1/8-ounce head that you may typically otherwise throw. Granted, numerous and massive strikes in February may become few-and-far-between, but try not to get frustrated when the action’s slow. Just keep grinding, and remember that good things always seem to come to those who persevere the cold during wintertime!
In closing, we’d like to remind everyone of our 2019 HUNT FOR TROPHY TROUT SPECIAL. From now through the end of February, wade fishing guests will receive a $25 DISCOUNT off their nightly lodging and meals each day. There are several February dates still available, but they’ll go fast, so don’t hesitate in phoning and making your reservations today…1-888-677-4868.
AUSTIN –The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is expanding public fishing and paddling opportunities on the Llano River with four public access sites opening just in time for winter trout stocking this month.
“The Llano River is a short drive away from major urban areas like San Antonio and Austin, but in the past recreation on it has been limited by a lack of public access points,” said John Botros, TPWD River Access and Conservation Areas Program Coordinator. “These new sites greatly expand the public’s options for safe, legal and high-quality bank fishing and paddling access on the river. Seasonal rainbow trout stocking this month makes it the perfect time to explore this scenic Hill Country river with family and friends.”
The four Llano River public access sites secured by the TPWD River Access and Conservation Areas Program can be found at:
South Llano at County Road 150: A kayak/canoe launch and a quarter-mile of bank fishing access on the South Llano River upstream of Junction at the County Road 150 bridge crossing.
Main stem Llano at Pete’s Pecan Patch: A kayak/canoe launch, 800 feet of bank fishing access and day-use picnicking areas surrounded by a historic pecan orchard near Junction at 325 Kimble County Road 3121.
Although all of the sites are now open for public access, historic flooding on the Llano River in October 2018 impacted some amenities at the sites including signage and kiosks. Anglers and paddlers hoping to utilize these sites should keep in mind that they are mostly in a natural state, meaning no staff, restrooms, running water or other features they would expect from a park. A map, area descriptions and special conditions on public use for each site can be found on the TPWD website.
To provide seasonal fishing opportunities for anglers and paddlers while the weather is still cool, TPWD will be stocking rainbow trout in the Llano River in late January in the reach downstream of Castell in Llano, at South Llano River State Park in Junction, and at the James Crossing in Mason at Highway 2389. Dates and directions to each stocking site can be found online in the TPWD rainbow trout stocking schedule.
Although rainbow trout make for great winter fishing, year-round the Llano River is home to many popular sport fish including largemouth bass and the Texas state fish – the Guadalupe bass. Anglers are encouraged to practice catch-and-release of sport fish in this river, especially after recent flooding which may have displaced some of the native fish populations.
As part of the river access agreements with cooperating landowners, TPWD biologists will be conducting scientific surveys in the river this spring to monitor fish populations and streambank vegetation, and to identify opportunities for invasive species treatment and habitat restoration. Survey data will be used to ensure that increased public use does not have a negative impact on natural resources.
It has been a fun few days in Port Mansfield. We started off with a north wind 15-25mph with rain for two day. Ended with 5-10mph out of the SW and partly cloudy skies.
We fished all ranges of water columns, from shin deep to waist deep. What we quickly learned is the better trout were in the crotch deep zone over grass beds. Redfish were in this zone as well up to shin deep.
A variety of colors in Softdine XL’s, but that got narrowed down to 2-3 baits. Our best soft plastic was the DSL Strawberry Wine super model. Minus keeper size fish, these boys were rewarded with 4-6# trout for their efforts. One, set his personal best using lures with a nice 6 pounder. All our fish on our Mansfield trips are released, it is simply the search for a personal best!
It’s always a blast down here in Port, and I know next weeks cold front is really going to stir up the big bite. We still have open dates for Port Mansfield Trophy Trout, so give us a shout. We can try to set your new personal best!
Not a bad way to start the new year in Seadrift, TX.! Little to no boat traffic and miles of shallow flats holding good trout from 17-27”.
Our lure selection today ranged from DSL’s pumpkinseed to Corky fatboys and XL’s. Most fish were caught in knee to thigh deep water, wherever we could find concentrations of bait fish.
Folks, if y’all haven’t booked with us in either Seadrift or Port Mansfield, TX. this winter, you are missing out. Fishing continues to be strong, and many great weather days ahead. Give us a call for availability in either location.
Capt. Stephen Boriskie– Good few days with calm conditions and pleasant temperatures made for some relaxation and trout catching on Vudu Shrimp and Texas Tackle Factory soft plastics. The bite is steady, and they don’t care what they eat, so come get you some at Bay Flats Lodge Resort & Marina in Seadrift, TX 1-888-677-4868.
Capt. ‘Lil John Wyatt– Great times were made Wednesday and Thursday with these guys. Lots of stories were told, and plenty of fish were put in the box. It was one of those trips where I feel like there will also be a lot of stories told when they home! Good times!
FRIDAY – Nov 30th
Capt. Chris Martin– Went grocery shopping today with Capt. Buzz Dillon. Today’s grocery store was made up of drains over mud and grass, where the tides came up along with the temperature. It was foggy early in the day, but south winds later in the morning gradually built to 15-18mph. Glow colored Corky devils worked well, along with Reaction Strike plum/chartreuse plastic tails rigged on a 1/8oz. jig-head while being dredged across the bay floor. I may not have achieved a personal-best fish today, but I certainly had a great day of fishing with a fellow fishing guide.
Capt. Doug Russell– Three at a time today for a solid hour. Burning arms and a broken net, but fun! These monsters provided some great fun today, and everyone got in on the act!
Capt. Perry Rankin– Well, the day started off being a bit foggy with lots of smaller fish, but Jerry and Gary finally picked up some good fish. These guys had a great time with lots of fish to take home. Looks like they will be back next year!
SATURDAY – Dec 1st
Capt. Jeremy McClelland– Got to guide some good men on Friday and Saturday with good results! The trout we found were “thick” fish (lots of meat to ‘em)! We got into some reds also that were perfect for both a tremendous fight, as well as a spectacular meal!
One for the books in Seadrift, TX. today. ENE winds 15-20, overcast, thigh deep water at 54 degrees. Throwing green/silver, bone/silver, and chartruese/silver Corky Fatboys.
We had at least 15 trout from 20-25″, 1@26″, 3@27″, and 1@28″. We laughed and shook our heads in disbelief, it has been a long time since I have seen numbers like this in a day. But, I know this weather has helped our chances. Every trout was released to fight another day.
Give me a shout, and let’s go fishing. I know there are more days like this ahead!
Grand Isle, Louisiana (October 24, 2018): Three-time IFA Kayak Tour Champion and Team USA member Benton Parrott has added another win to his already impressive competitive track record, taking tops at the IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Championship held October 19-20 in Grand Isle, Louisiana. This most recent win makes it Benton’s fourth IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Championship win.
The Navarre, Florida-based angler narrowly edged out competitor Aaron Clay’s two-day, four-fish score of 120.125 inches of redfish and speckled trout with 120.375 inches, taking home a Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 boat and PowerPole Micro Anchor valued at $4,450 retail combined, and $420 cash in the Anglers’ Advantage program.
While Parrott had planned to pre-fish the day before the event, fierce winds kept him and others off the water. Nonetheless, Friday, October 19th, saw competitors launch to compete in Day One of the 2018 IFA Kayak Fishing Tour Championship, although fishing conditions were described as terrible.
“It was a grind to catch decent trout on Day One given how the wind had stirred up and dirtied the water,” says Parrott.
Still, Parrott persisted. “On Day One I started in the marshes by working points, flats, and reefs. The key was jumping spots, hitting seven different areas and working baits through the three main areas of the water column. I threw topwaters; Rapala Ripstops to work the midrange; and also bounced bottom with soft plastics. But after jumping seven spots, I only had a 16 ¼-inch trout. I decided to drive the half hour down to Grand Isle where I launched out into the Pass and was able to land a 43-inch redfish working depths anywhere from 20 to 60 feet of water. With three hours left in the tournament I pulled out of the Pass and went back to the marsh to try to upgrade my trout, which I did with a 17-incher.”
As I halt all outdoor activities while this strong cold front bears down on us today in the middle coast I am reminded of how solid the first half of October has been. When the calendar turned to ten-one, it was almost like a switch was flipped and all of the sudden we had higher, more normal Fall water levels. The air seemed different even though a front had not slipped through. The water seemed cooler and the fish more active. The days are shorter giving way to more overnight rest. Even the crowds had thinned out around here as if deer season had already begun. Add it all up and the result was a fish almost every cast!
Redfish are the talk right now with numbers of undersized fish in the 18″ to 19″ range abundant. My experience has been the smaller under 10″ rat reds are not as common as these larger ones ending up on the hook. Limits of slot redfish are almost the norm with a few oversize thrown in to keep it real. I have polled our guides with text messages throughout the day and they are catching similar fish too. It doesn’t seem to matter whether it’s live or dead shrimp but they are both working better than cutters.
The speckled trout catch isn’t up to snuff in my trips right now like in the past few years for this time of year. Most of my guys are in the boat throwing bait and I chalk it up to the higher than preferred winds we have been seeing due to these fronts that are now blasting through Texas. I cannot seem to get out on the reefs where they have been holding because of the angry bay both before and after the fronts. The wade fishing trips however have produced impressive numbers and size of trout using either croaker or lures, true to wading year round.
Black drum and Sheepshead with a rare showing of Flounder are the other species we have been boxing regularly in this first half of October. This is to say we are not limiting out on these guys but seeing good numbers. This should continue in the rest of the month and on into the end of the year.
It’s no wonder why this is our favorite time of the year and why the lodge is booked almost every guide for every day. This is the perfect time to round up the family or customers and get to the coast. When you are catching a fish on almost every cast it makes you realize what a wonderful abundant resource we have in our coastal waters. There are many to thank for such a bounty aside from mother nature and the time of the year. Conservation efforts are working and you can see that in the numbers of fish we have and also in the health of our bay and our estuaries. Donate where you can to these groups and participate with your time and effort to ensure the future generations not only will have the right to fish and the waters to do so, but they will likely enjoy days like we are having right now wearing out your arms and putting some fine fish on the dinner table.