Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Fishing Texas Post Hurricane

This is my first report “post Hurricane Claudette” and I wanted to let everyone know that Wendi and I came through the hurricane with little more than extensive tree damage. I can’t say enough thanks to Wendi for preparing us for the storm while I was fishing. “Thanks baby for everything, you are a tough gal and a credit to Texas women. I love you!” I wanted to thank everyone for their concern, phone calls, e-mails, and offers of assistance. This was my first occasion to see the American Red Cross and Salvation Army at work. Many thanks to the Salvation Army for food, ice, cleaning supplies, and support during the aftermath of the storm.

Our hearts go out to those less fortunate that lost everything. The storm was pretty scary and Wendi and I rode it out here in Seadrift. It was an impressive display of mother natures fury. While the storm was ferocious, the aftermath was truly challenging. Here in Seadrift, we were without power from Tuesday around noon until Thursday at 6pm. We didn’t get power back on until Friday around 3pm. Preparing for a hurricane is essential. If you make it through the storm, afterwards you cannot get fuel, ice, or any essentials of daily living. We were fortunate, we had water. The City of Seadrift had the forethought years ago to purchase a huge generator to power the water plant in case of an emergency. Without power, Wendi and I slept in the back of her Montero Sport with the a/c blasting. We did this for two nights while working to clear debris from our property for three days. We cooked for ourselves and neighbors on our charcoal grill and fish fryer. Something as simple as a plate of food can make a huge difference in peoples lives after a tragedy such as this. We managed to save our food with ice and storing much in our commercial deep freeze which stayed frozen for the duration.

Fishing Report

Sunday, July 20th was my first day back on the water. I welcomed in Glen Riff and family from San Antonio. I hadn’t been on the water since the storm and I was horrified to find the water in such horrible shape. Evidently, it was a pumping west wind over night that had it trashed and not the storm. Reports I had was that the water was gorgeous on Saturday. Having not been on the water for days, I was extremely cold and stunned amid the chocolate milk conditions. After a short survey, I decided that just about everything was torn up and I’ve “been there and done that before”. We worked the deep edges of shell reefs and pads in both ESB and SAB with live Croaker. We managed to chisel out near limits to 23” before calling it a day with 35 Trout.

With the water torn up, it was hard to get a gauge on the fishing. I had heard reports of a new cut through Steamboat Island. It appears to be just a small pocket that has opened in the northern tip of the island and is not a cut. As to whether or not this storm will have a positive affect on fishing remains to be seen.

I’ve got pictures up from the latest trips along with a couple from the aftermath of the storm at http://www.coastalwaterfowl.com/gallery2f.asp Check them out when you get a chance.

Now is also the time to schedule “Airboat Redfishing” trips for September, October, and November. These trips specifically target Redfish during their “staging” time when they school up for the migration to the gulf. Fishing for them by airboat makes for an exhilarating experience.

Bird Hunting Update

Since my last newsletter, duck season details have taken a “positive” turn. It seems that a mid April blizzard in Canada has the breeding prairie pothole region full of water. Hatch rates and nesting success are reported to be “high”. Word has it that we are going to have another liberal season with 74 days and 6 ducks. Word also has it that we are likely to NOT see restrictions on Pintail harvest as we did last year. This is good news for waterfowl hunters nationwide. Teal hunters are going to see a 16 day “early season” this year. The State has set the final dates as September 13th to the 28th. Our Dove season will start on September 20th and run through November 5th. We are getting quite a few inquiries for duck season dates at this time and it is time to consider these trip dates. We are also actively booking Teal/Fish and Dove/Fish combination trips for September and October.

It looks like this Fall is shaping up for some great hunting and fishing. There is something about fishing in the Fall that makes the memories even sweeter. Cooler weather and great fishing just seem to embrace the changing of the season. I’ll see you there!


Capt. Kris Kelley

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