Monday, December 25, 2000

Port O'Connor Cast & Blast

"Friends In Low Places"

About The Fish

We’ve got concentrated Redfish as there isn’t a lick of water in the bays and Hog Trout over grass in the sand pockets of the back lakes. I had a 7 and ¾ lb. log off the sand and grass yesterday morning. The water in the back lakes was shredded by the wind and fishing the structure came only from experience of it’s wherabouts. Carmel would best describe the color. I also managed to jerk a 21” Trout from the area as well. I was throwing purple/chart bass assassins with 1/8 oz. jig heads. Using the typical slow up and down retrieve yielded little and I kept grassing up. On one productive drift, I felt the bait grass up so I jerked the hell out of it and cleared it. As it settled, WHAM, and the 21” Trout came to hand. Using the same action a little later in the drift and BOOM, Redfish, no Trout, no Redfish, no Trout, Redfish, yep yep yep the 27” Suzy came to the surface with the menacing look of a downsized version of a Great White Shark.

This was no day to be fishing as the wind was pumping out of the north at better than 20 knots and it was COLD. Surprisingly, the best bite was shortly after day break and that was about all the time I had to fish. We’ve consistently been on fish over grass all winter with good strings of both Trout and Redfish. It doesn’t look like its going to slow down, even in a cold gale.

About The Birds

The ducks have been in hit and miss lately. We’ve got plenty of birds, but they are moving in big groups and landing in the same, raft mode. The geese are on and off grass depending upon the weather. It seems when the weather is hard, they hit the greens just to bounce off them when the high pressure hits the region. We had a 32 bird kill and a 23 bird kill on Saturday with good killing weather. We are shooting mostly Snow geese with a good mixture of Specklebelly and Canada geese.

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Capt. Kris Kelley

Friday, December 08, 2000

Seadrift Guide, Internet Smack Talking

About The Fish

I can’t get a steady bead on the weather for the upcoming weekend and second opener of the South Zone duck season. There is a cold front that looks to be slipping off to the east of us. I can tell you that, as of this writing 10:45am on 12/8, the weather does not appear to be indicative of pre-front conditions. We have absolutely zero wind and from all appearances, high pressure is centered over the area.

Best bet for the weekend, God willing and the creek don’t rise, will be to work the sand pockets and scattered sand and grass flats of the back lake area of Matagorda Island. We’ve been catching solid boxes of Trout and Redfish using 1/8oz. jig heads with Strawberry/White; Purple/Chart; and Pumpkin/Chart in that order of success. There are still solid Trout over shell in San Antonio Bay, if the wind stays under control, working the shell will likely cough up some decent boxes of Trout and a few Redfish.

Editorial Commentary

“Mastery Before Mockery”

I’m always fascinated by comments of others that never bring much if anything to the party in the way of solid or sage advice. Some anglers and a few guides feel the need to narrow themselves into a class of “elitist” mind sets that both limit their abilities to catch fish and their horizons for learning new things.

It seems that some fishing guides assume that much of the fishing public are unaware of the ability of artificial lures in catching fish. It seems to me that you’d be smart, as a fishing guide, to not make “ASS-UMPTIONS” of this nature. I’d much rather be TALKING UP to potential customers than TALKING DOWN at them from some IMAGENARY THRONE contrived by an arrogant mind.

If fishing with artificial lures is your game, GREAT! You can’t ask for a better time of year to enjoy “your game” and Team Coastal is here to get you “Bowed-Up”. See my last report “Back Lake Crankdown” for some real numbers using artificial lures in our waters. You won’t find vague generalities, but specifics and results from this particular trip.

I believe that the benchmark of a professional that makes his living from the water is one that can load an ice chest with fish that has a four year old for a client on a day when the wind is pumping 30 from any direction and using whatever tools it takes to get the job done, i.e., Live Bait or Artificial Lures. When you’ve arrived at this place in your career, in my opinion, then I think your advice should be heeded by anyone with at least a little “WANT TO” on the end of a rod.

It has long been my practice to “LISTEN” intently to the sage advice of long time “watermen” and learn from their experiences. Having full time guides during the wintertime that are full time fishing guides in Rockport provides me with an “outside pipeline” to the sage advice of the masters of this game like Danny Adams Sr.; Jay Watkins; David Nesloney, and others. These guys fit the bill for my benchmark as a professional guide and have forgotten more about fishing the Texas Coast than many will ever know in a lifetime. Some of the history and experiences that they have shared I share with you. Some of them, I do not.

If you enjoy fishing with live bait or artificial lures, I would never criticize your choice of techniques. After all, enjoyment of the outdoors is the first priority. Approaching the fish with whatever “fuels your furnace” is best left to the individual. It is our job as professionals, to best advise our clients on the methods and means that are most effective at any given time of the year. Should that advice not be considered, then the outcome will most likely be to the detriment of the client.

One thing is for sure, poking fun at a particular style of fishing or technique is best left to those that are A) not in the fishing business and B) masters of every approach known to those anglers that set the “benchmark” of a professional fishing guide. IN OTHER WORDS, IF YOU WANT TO CRITICIZE THE METHODS OF OTHERS, THEN YOU’D BEST HAVE “MASTERY BEFORE MOCKERY”!

The second split of duck season for us opens 12/9. Get the “Seadrift Beat” by signing up on our e-mail list at our web page,


Capt. Kris Kelley

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