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6,408 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Wintertime fishing is a source of many good memories for a lot of coastal anglers, and marks some of the very best days of my professional fishing career. But even beyond recent years, I can still remember some quite successful cold weathered fishing outings from my boyhood days. You see, I was one of the fortunate ones whose dad had me fishing just about as soon as I could walk. I was introduced to the sport while using the basic green Zebco setup, but soon advanced to the level-wind class by mastering the art of casting artificial baits using the classic red Ambassadeur 5000 rig, by Abu Garcia. And what a rig it was. Over the years I became so comfortable with that setup that I could almost consistently place a lure inside a metal bucket at thirty yards. But that's a story we can talk about at another time, perhaps. For now, let's get back to cold water trout fishing. Even as a kid I would bundle-up in layer upon layer of warm clothing in order to brave the coldest times of the year out on the water with my Dad. We would drift the boat across deep water holes that held shell pads and other brief, yet seemingly un-noticeable, rises in the bay floor. The cold water fish usually came from the deep water just adjacent to the down-current side of the shell pad, or whatever type of structure we happened to be fishing at the time. Another favorite wintertime technique of his was to locate heavily-grassed areas along deep channels. He would place the boat almost at the bank of the channel thereby allowing us an ample casting range along the drop-off leading to the depths of the channel. We caught many a cold water fish this way, but at times it took a lot of intestinal fortitude and patience. You see, I learned at a very early age that fishing during wintertime meant you weren't allowed to reel-in your lure just as fast as your little hands could turn the handles on the reel. Nope, if you wanted to catch fish when it was cold, you had to fish slowly (and I do mean slow).

Some folks say things never change. And as for wintertime fishing, they're probably right. I still maintain, to this day, that if you're going to be successful in cold water, you're going to have to slow things down - your retrieve, your wade, and your casting pattern. So, next time you're out on the water on a bone-chilling day, look for that one deep hole consisting of some known structure that you can slowly work your favorite bouncing plastic bait across. Another thing that seems to remain constant is the claim that it is imperative that the deep area in which you stop to fish must have an available supply of mullet. Many old salts will tell you that they won't even stop the boat in a wintertime area if they don't see mullet action. They'll tell you that even though the preferred depth of water is inviting to the large trout, the large trout will look elsewhere unless there are large baitfish readily available. So, if you happened upon a nice catch the day before in a prime wintertime spot, but today the fish appear to have moved, don't be alarmed. Weather patterns nudge fish from particular locations and baitfish may have been relocated by wind and tide. The relocation of the food source can be very subtle, yet illusive. Look within close proximity of where you fished yesterday, and more times than not you may just find that the fish have not moved far at all - look for the baitfish.

Winter months along our mid-coast region offer hit and miss opportunities for even the most avid trout enthusiast. Some of January's prevailing weather conditions often dictate whether we even have a chance to get out on the water. This year's cold weather has already been somewhat stronger than recent years, and we will probably find that the fish will no longer wish to linger in the shallows, not even during the warmer parts of the afternoon. The wintertime trout will be forced to go deep, and we will note trout successes primarily over shell and shell/mud mixes while offering plastic tails and darker selections of the Norton Sand Eel Junior. It's only a guess of mine, but I predict that this month and next may mean that we may not experience the quantity of fish that we have previously grown accustomed to as of only a month ago, but that the size of the wintertime fish will not be affected in the least, meaning we may be in for some rather impressive catches of some really large wintertime trout. If you can plan to fish the days between the cold fronts and are able to take advantage of the calmer winds, you should find the fish if you setup a session or two atop or amidst your favorite shell pad or reef. But, if you're still looking for that one catch-of-a-lifetime, don't give up just yet, as the months of February and March aren't far off either.

I hope everyone had a safe and happy Christmas holiday. It will soon be time to put the guns away as the end of another hunting season rapidly approaches, and all of us here at Bay Flats Lodge wish you and yours a Happy New Year and an even better fishing season in 2010. Additionally, we want to remind everyone of the 2010 Winter Fishing Special for the months of January, February, and March when you and your guest(s) can fish at Bay Flats Lodge on San Antonio Bay and receive the Winter Fishing Special package at a tremendously discounted rate. In years past these dates have moved fast, so call 1-888-677-4868 to inquire or to book your spot early.

Remember to practice CPR, "Catch, Photo, and Release", whenever possible on trophy Trout and Reds…Guide Chris Martin, Port O'Connor/Seadrift region. www.BayFlatsLodge.com …1-888-677-4868

6,408 Posts
Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Big Water Ducks

Strong north wind delivered huge flocks of redheads, pintails with a mix of widgeon and gadwalls along with air temperatures in the mid twenties. The lodge welcomed back Tom Bleakly and guests all the way from Baltimore, Maryland. These guys are no strangers to hunting ducks in extreme conditions, especially ducks on Chesapeake Bay. One of the hunters stated, "Compared to all the ducks we see at home in one season, we saw that many ducks in one flight this morning, we cannot believe how many pintails and redheads you guys have in this area." The crew hunted with BFL guide David McClelland finishing up with 20-ducks, a 5-bird average per hunter.

For the fourth season Mark N. crew from Tennessee make it down for an annual duck hunt. BFL guide Harold Dworaczyk put the guys on plenty of action for day-1 with solid flights of redheads and pintails. It was a "pick & chooses" shot kind of morning. They finished up with 18 ducks for the morning.

John P. and crew learned real quick haw lethal ground layout blinds can work in the marsh, and even if it was some of the guy's first duck hunt. They manage to become quick learners on how to shoot out of a layout. "This isn't real easy even if the birds are at your feet." Not only were the birds floating at your feet, with winds gusting to 35 mph, it made for some very interesting challenges. BFL guide TJ Christensen stated "One moment the ducks were at the edge of the grass, next second they were 20 yards past the decoys." Texas weather can change in a minute, and making sure your prepared for extreme wet & cold conditions can make the difference between a miserable or comfortable duck hunt.

Looking Ahead

Friday evening the lodge welcomed 16 guests for a busy weekend of duck hunting. Prospects remain favorable for Saturday morning; especially with wind forecast North 15-18 mph. Reports to follow…


January, February and March are wonderful months for catching trophy size trout on the middle-coast. Because it's traditionally colder, many anglers choose to sit at home rather than go fishing. If they only knew what they we're missing. The best trip of my career was February 4, 2003. We caught and released 5 trout between 5 and 8 pounds, along with many 4-pound class fish that day. All fish were caught on Norton bull minnows and Corky fat boys. Bigger trout along with less boat traffic and crowds makes it most attractive for catching a lifetime trophy trout during these months.

Bay Flats Lodge announces the 2010 WINTER FISHING SPECIAL. Mark your calendars to join us from January through March 2010. You and your guest can fish at Bay Flats Lodge on San Antonio Bay and receive this 2010 WINTER FISHING SPECIAL at a discounted rate. This special is good Monday through Sunday.

Normal price for 3 anglers to fish a full day with all meals and lodging would be $1025.00; your cost for this package is only $700.00 plus tax for 3 anglers. So breaks down to $233.00 per person, or bring 4 anglers, and the cost is $199.99 per person. You must bring 3-people, or cover the cost for 3. Bring a 4th angler for only $100.00.

Call 1-888-677-4868 to book your spot early. Last year these dates moved fast.

•Guided full day fishing trip
•Lodging and all meals
•Artificial lures provided
•Live bait is additional charge
•Multi-boats 8-full time guides
•Individuals or small groups welcomed

Because weather can be unsettled during winter months we would like to offer the following for re-booking options.

•Re-schedule a different Fishing Special date
•Re-schedule at the Fishing Special rate for only the months of January, February or March
•Re-schedule during the next years Fishing Special dates

50% non-fundable deposit is required to confirm dates. There are no refunds for not showing up or cancellations. If your trip is cancelled due to bad weather while you're staying at Bay Flats Lodge, meals and lodging will be charged at $75.00 per person.

Bay Flats Lodge
Captain Chris Martin-Owner
391 Bayside Drive P.O. Box 580
Seadrift, Texas 77983-0580
Cell 1-361-746-0280
Office 1-361-785-2686
Toll Free 1-888-677-4868
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