Bay Flats Lodge Resort & Marina
January 3, 2018
SEADRIFTíS NEARBY WINTER FISHING
One of the hardest things to do when fishing at this time in the year is determining productive water, and probably one of the best ways to do this is to veto areas which you know will be unproductive due to winter weather and tidal conditions - focus on areas that will hold quality fish based on the season. This seems a monstrous task in the warm weather months alone, but it can become an even bigger challenge when the wind and water turn cold. As a general rule, fishing deeper water in wintertime tends to be more productive, and our coastal region surrounding the bayside towns of Seadrift, Port OíConnor, and Matagorda offers quite a few of what have long been some good coastal cold-weather sites and deep-hole hot spots - places like the Army Hole, the Port OíConnor jetties, the Matagorda boat basin, and the Intracoastal Waterway (ICW).
Even closer to Bay Flats Lodge, in the immediate Seadrift area, is the Victoria Barge Canal, one of but many results of the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway and the Gulf Intracoastal Canal Association that was formed back in 1905. The thirty-five mile Victoria Barge Canal was completed to a navigable depth of nine feet and to a width of one hundred feet in 1968. Then, in 1995, work began to widen and deepen the canal to correspond to the mandatory government requirements that the canal must be twelve feet in depth and one hundred twenty-five feet wide, and this was completed back in March of 2002. This means that the Victoria Barge Canal now matches the size and depth of the ICW with which it connects, and thus the canal offers deep-water access for fish and protection from the elements for anglers during the colder times of the year. The canalís deep-water attributes have proven time and again to be a great place to find good wintertime fish that stage themselves within its confines to escape the harshness of the cold weather.
Donít fish in the canal if you want to wade fish, as mud and silt on the canal floor make walking difficult, plus the banks of the canal tend to drop-off irregularly and sometimes very rapidly, and there can often be a lot of barge traffic to contend with, as well. Drift fishing is the safest method, and many wintertime anglers have found it rewarding. If the canal water is clear, drift until you find the bite and then drop anchor while jigging plastic tails up and down the center of the canal. If the waterís muddy, simply drift while casting your lure and letting it sink completely before jigging it across the bottom and back to the boat. One last item worth mentioning is the need for tidal movement if you expect to catch fish - no tidal movement in the canal generally means no catching.
In closing, Bay Flats Lodge Resort & Marina wishes 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. Remember to practice CPR, ďCatch, Photo, and ReleaseĒ, whenever possible on trophy Trout and RedsÖGuide Chris Martin, Port OíConnor/Seadrift region. www.BayFlatsLodge.comÖ1-888-677-4868.
LATE-SEASON DUCK CONSIDERATIONS
If youíre a veteran of coastal hunting in Texas then you know what usually awaits you as the end of the season approaches Ė the ducks become very wary and getting a chance to shoot can be tough, and foul weather and low temperatures usually become the norm rather than the exception. But there are things waterfowl hunters can do that can help them be better prepared and to help them be more successful toward the end of the season.
Camouflage around your blind should be a big concern when youíre hunting the end of the season. The ducks have become very shy and uncertain, and you may be required to hunt in different places each day using temporary and mobile blinds. Over-compensate for camouflage based on where you setup each day by brushing your blind with nearby natural vegetation. You might use tall salt grass one day, and palm leaves and bushes the next, but whatever cover you use, use a lot of it. Make sure to also camouflage overhead as best you can, because youíll find out the hard way that late-season ducks will keep flying if they see anything out of the ordinary.
Adding more camouflage is one thing you can do late in the season, but another thing to look at is any and all adjustments you might be able to make thatíll help enhance your odds. One is changing the size of shot that you shoot at late-season birds. Because the ducks have become quite fickle, you may not get as many shots at them now as you did earlier in the season. Because youíll need every shot to count, shoot larger size shot when hunting late in the season Ė going from No. 4 to No. 2 shot.
Other alterations you can make is to decrease the number of decoys you throw out each hunt, and routinely allow for a dedicated open spot in the spread for approaching ducks to land in. Also, keep in mind the necessity for you to change your calling habits now that itís late in the season. Near the end of each season you may find it advantageous to just let the ducks do whatever they want, and not call to them at all. A lot of times it works just fine!
Ducks have keen eyesight, can hear really well, and theyíre able to pick out whoís doing things wrong down below. Being successful late in the season means youíll need to ensure your camouflage, blind, decoys, and calling are all natural enough and logical enough to deceive them. Taking whatever time necessary in preparing for your late-season efforts is only going to benefit you. Good luck on the end of another great season, and in the upcoming New Year!
HEREíS WHAT SOME RECENT GUESTS SAIDÖ
Judy was great in the kitchen, and Capt. Cody Spencer worked hard and was good with the boys! - Troy B. 12/24/18
The food and hospitality were both excellent! - Sean F. 12/20/18
Capt. Jason Wagenfehr is a excellent guide, and I really enjoyed fishing with him! - George L. 12/18/18
SEVEN-DAY WEATHER FORECAST
Thursday 20 % Precip. / 0.00 in
Cloudy early with peeks of sunshine expected late. Slight chance of a rain shower. High 56F. Winds NW at 10 to 20 mph.
Friday 0 % Precip. / 0.00 in
A mainly sunny sky. High 63F. Winds WNW at 5 to 10 mph.
Saturday 0 % Precip. / 0.00 in
Sunny skies. High 66F. Winds ESE at 5 to 10 mph.
Sunday 10 % Precip. / 0.00 in
Some sun in the morning with increasing clouds during the afternoon. High 72F. Winds SSE at 10 to 15 mph.
Monday 70 % Precip. / 0.06 in
Cloudy with occasional light rain in the afternoon. High 73F. Winds S at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 70%.
Tuesday 20 % Precip. / 0.00 in
Partly cloudy skies. High 71F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph.
Wednesday 10 % Precip. / 0.00 in
Sunshine and clouds mixed. High 66F. Winds NE at 5 to 10 mph.
A moderate northwest flow is expected to become strong across the offshore waters by Thursday afternoon as high pressure builds across the area. Rain chances will taper off throughout Thursday as drier air pushes across the area. Moderate northwest flow Thursday evening will gradually diminish overnight becoming light to moderate by early Friday. Light to moderate onshore flow will return on Saturday as surface high pressure moves east. An upper level disturbance will contribute to isolated showers Monday.
Coastal Water Temperature:
Port Aransas 55.9 degrees
Seadrift 53.1 degrees
Matagorda Bay 53.1 degrees
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Captain Chris Martinwww.BayFlatsLodge.com
Meet Our Partners:
ES Custom Boats
Simmons Custom Rigging
ForEverlast - Hunting & Fishing Products
Costa Del Mar
CCA - Texas
Building Conservation Trust - CCAís National Habitat Program
Ducks Unlimited - Texas
Black Cloud Ammunitions
Finck Cigar Company
The Texas Gourmet
Stacy Hedrick - Realtor
Law Call Lanyards
Hector Mendieta Tunes & Tails Fishing Tournament
Copeland Duck Calls
Reaction Strike Lures
Swan Point Landing
Jecoís Marine & Tackle