Monday, April 25, 2005

Airboat Redfishing Visual Effects

A Sight To Behold

You expect to see things in an airboat that you just won’t see any other way. That’s one of the fascinating and exciting things about these trips. Yesterday was probably the pinnacle of “visual effects” on an airboat Redfishing trip. I was entertaining Matt Barker and his family from Houston. The water had fallen out slightly, about four inches with this latest cold front. I was heading up a slough into a back lake when I started noticing an eruption of mud boils from the deep water in the cut ahead of me. I slowed way down, off plane as I continued moving up the slough. I didn’t realize it, but the little water fall out put almost every fish from a huge back lake into the slough. I was essentially herding them back into the lake as they boiled and leap frogged over each other moving up the trough. As we entered the mouth of the lake into the “skinny water” things got interesting and “visual” fast. The fish came in herds out of the slough up onto the dump out flat in about four inches of water right in front of us. “They looked like Salmon going up stream” with backs out of the water, tails thrasing as they were scooting into the deeper backside of the flat. Terns and Gulls were going crazy, bait was flying out of the water, and everywhere you looked was nothing but red torpedoes slashing into the slightly deeper mud pockets.

I wasn’t too sure we could catch these fish, my experience with Redfish in 8” of water is not real good with bait. The fish usually don’t eat well, spook easily, etc. They’ll swim over it, around it, everything but eat it. This day was different. We set up on the deepest upwind side of the dump out cove and the fish slowly made their way back to us. Tails and mud boils were everywhere constantly throughout the morning. I targeted two different sets of the deepest mud pockets in the grass in front of us and kept the baits in those locations. To my surprise, the fish were eating and interested in taking the baits, “fresh dead shrmp” so big that you’d rather eat them than fish with’em. The fish had been running toward the lower end of the slot on the last few days. This too was an exception with the first fish coming to hand pushing 27”. I’m expecting the thrashing of that fish to “kill the bite” and shut us down for a period. Another exception, it didn’t. Size continued in the upper middle of the slot and every Redfish that came to the boat beat the client down with big runs and tremendous fights.

With Live Croaker coming of size around here early, the days on the airboat are winding down. I’ll be running for the next couple of weeks if anyone is interested in one of the most unique trips you’ll find anywhere. If you like fishing with bait want to see something different, this is it. Check out the photos from this airboat Redfishing trip and others this Spring, check out Airboat Trip Photos.

Other News

With gas prices what they are, everyone would like to save some money especially when it comes to a saltwater fishing obsession. New for 2005, we’ve introduced some “real money” programs to help you accomplish just that. If you’d like to save money on your next fishing trip, check this out Fishing Trip Discounts. Come see us!


Capt. Kris Kelley

Saturday, April 16, 2005

Airboat Trip, Redfish In Shallow Water

Airboat Redfishing continues hot despite the battles fought in extremely low water. Had a big tide the other day but it's fallen out again. I hate dealing with Redfish super skinny and clear. Caught them in Back Post Lake in a draw. I sat down in 6" of water and put the clients in a little draw in the middle of the lower lake that was probably 14" deep. All the fish had fallen into it from the outgoing tide. Same drill as a couple of days ago, different day. Had to abandon the back lakes on the Island as tide continued to fall with E. at 20. Left there two fish short and finished up in lower Shoalwater near the Spooge Pit. Better fish, though bleached out from being in the bay and not skinny like the back lakes fish.

Fishing John Burley with Burley Waterhouse in Houston and some friends. Did about an hour of C & R after limits, then lunch. This was a nail biter at first. Five stops roughly into the morning and we didn't have the first fish.

Double K

Friday, April 15, 2005

Port O'Connor Airboat Redfish Trip

Airboat Redfishing has been unparalleled this Spring with high tides all Winter. That has kept the fish “local” in the far back reaches of Matagorda Island in airboat country. The fishing has been strong but at times uncomfortable due to weather conditions. Lately, “Spring has Sprung” which has led to some heavy catches combined with the most enjoyable weather. That’s a welcome combination. As we move farther into Spring, the weather is just going to keep getting better. On the Trout scene, lure fishing has been up and down with the weather but by and large rewarding. Drift fishing over shell has coughed up some reasonable boxes for the effort. Wade fishing shorelines and focusing on harder bottoms and shell when the weather permits has paid off with some solid returns.

In other news, I just put the finishing touches on my bay boat, she’s been completely rebuilt and overhauled this Spring. I re-powered with another Suzuki 4-Stroke and went with a Tech Sun all aluminum trailer. After six years and nearly 1,500 days on the water, the old girl was ready for a face lift. I rode her pretty hard over six years and have yet to find anything on the market that would inspire me to replace her. I know there are better boats in certain categories, but I’ve yet to see one that will match the “overall” performance of this commercial Avenger hull. Special thanks to the folks at T&R Marine that furnished the jackplate (Fl); Tech Sun Trailers in League City; Busha Boat Works in Bay City; Jamestown Distributors (MD); Raka Industries; the folks at Interlux Yacht Paint; Seaworthy Marine in Rockport; and my buddy Steve Fowler that talked me through this pride swallowing siege.

If you’ve got a second, check out our web page at You can download an “online color brochure” and sign up for our “confidential” mailing list while you are at it. I’ll shoot you a newsletter from time to time about relevant news and the pulse of the fishing. We’ve also got a “Trip of The Week” slide show and the photo gallery is always amusing.


Capt. Kris “Double K” Kelley

Old School Wintertime Redfishing

Team Coastal welcomed Inland Truck Parts multi-boat trip yesterday from Scottsbluff, NE. With their corporate meetings behind them in San Antonio, it was a day to get “Bowed-Up”. I insisted that they not leave San Antonio before 6:00am which put their arrival here at roughly 9:30am. There is no point in starting early during the late Fall and Winter months. This was proved on the water with the best action occurring between 12:00 and 3:30pm.

The Team Coastal break down went like this: Capt. Mike Patterson took the big boss alone for a “personalized” trip with artificials. Capt. Brett Phillips took two others for fishing with artificials. The remaining five clients had done little fishing but wanted to catch some fish. Capt. Otis Lambright took two and I took three.

Capt. Mike and Brett focused on the sand pockets in the back lakes between Pringle and Pats Bay. Brett came in with 15 Trout 16-21”; one Flounder roughly 18”; and 3 Redfish to 23”. Mike and the big boss, Matt Volmer beat the fish hard coming in with full limits of solid Trout from 16-22”; 2 Redfish to 23”. The best artificial bite was on red/white Bass Assassins tipped with 1/8oz. jig heads. Working the deeper mid-lake sand pockets yielded multiple hook-ups on any given drift. Purple/chart and pumpkin/chart had little success today.

With Capt. Otey-Coyote and myself backing up the trip with the bait fisherman, we bent the boards with solid boxes of Redfish to 26.5”. Capt. Otis Lambright was on a good but lower end slot Redfish bite from the start. He focused on fishing the deeper holes in the back lakes and came in with 8 Redfish to 23”. I went about ZERO for 12 moves before settling on our last stop that yielded 7 Redfish from 21 to 26.5” between 2:30 and 3:30pm.

Winter months are prime for fishing with artificial lures, just look at the numbers. Capt. Mike and Brett’s boxes totaled 35 Trout; 5 Redfish; and a Flounder. Fishing with fresh dead shrimp is lethal for Redfish this time of year. However, it is much more intricate because you are either on the fish or you are not. Fishing with bait will require a narrow focus and pinpoint “where with all” in making the sets. Drifting with lures can cover a lot more water. If the fish are scattered, your chances are a lot better throwing plastic.

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

1-888-618-4868 Toll Free

Port O'Connor Fishing Report

The schedule on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday was as full as it could be. I welcomed Bob Lindsey's party in from the northwest for a half day fishing until 11:00am which was followed by the Applewhite/Byrd half day fishing party with an evening Dove shoot to wrap things up. The boys from Mariah Fuels joined us as well on the shoot. Saturday and Sunday, Applewhite/Byrd for a cast and blast and Mariah Fuels on the Teal ponds. Who said being a fishing and hunting guide is STRESS FREE. The corporate world is a tough one, but in this business, you go for a job interview EVERY DAY!

I'm sure as soon as Bob Lindsey and the boys touched down from Seattle, Wa. that it triggered the 20 knot winds out of every direction that we've had for the last week. You can always tell when low pressure is looming on the horizon, winds on the Texas Coast will always be pumping out of a southerly direction.

Bob and the boys had been in for three days and had a total of roughly 10 fish to show for their individual efforts. Stepping on the Bowed-Up, results better be a little different. With a south wind at 210 degrees, my only guess was the Aransas shoreline. Fishing was slow but productive over shell. The crew managed a slow bite on Redfish to 25" and Trout to 20". NO SIGNS OF RED TIDE IN SAN ANTONIO BAY.

Doubled back to port to clean fish and meet Walker Applewhite and Joe Byrd and crew. By now, the wind was steady at 20 knots and surging. With Dove on everyone's mind, we put forth a half hearted mid bay shell attempt and came up with a few break-offs on Redfish. Grabbing the shotguns wouldn't be interrupted with a bunch of fish cleaning today.

Saturday found winds steady at 20 knots directly from the south. Everything was blown in San Antonio Bay. Pulled up in Welder's and potlicked Redfish to 26" and Trout to 18". Again, the bite was slow but fish were caught on each small adjustment in the area.

Sunday, with the cool front bearing down, fishing was abandoned in lieu of a Teal hunt which yielded a little better than half limits. New birds hit the slough and were landing in the deeks.

Winds are easing up but we still have an offshore flow. Tide has fallen slightly which should help push the Red Tide out of POC. Wind direction doesn't hurt either. Bait trappers have reported zero bait from the traps or dead bait in the traps located in the immediate vacinity of Port O'Connor.

Prior to the front, we had a BULL TIDE which was almost in the parking lot at Dockside Bait and Tackle in Seadrift. It is this very tide and falling temperatures that set the back lakes up for a TOPWATER shootout. Coming weeks will find the artificial bite responding with some awesome surface action.

The back lakes from Pringle west to Cedar and Panther Lake will be home of the Bowed-Up in coming months. I hope you won't pass up some of the best fishing of the year. Check out the Field Reports Page on my web site at for our thoughts on the upcoming waterfowl season. When it comes to fishing, the bite is headed from deep shell to the shallow grass flats. Hit the grass early and often and you're sure to be


Capt. Kris Kelley

1-888-618-4868 Toll Free

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