Meet the Bay Flats Team
Meet Our Management & Staff
Witnessing Capt. Chris Martin strategically maneuver a slow-moving top water bait over a calm Espiritu Santo flat at sunrise, one could never imagine Chris having lived anywhere else other than the Texas coastal area. That’s right, Chris is originally from North Carolina, but his family relocated to Victoria, Texas, while he was still young. As a result, Chris has been fortunate enough to have been fishing Texas Gulf Coast waters, all the way from the Galveston Bay system to the San Antonio Bay system, since the young age of eight years old. Chris’s competitiveness started at an early age from team sports to winning first place halter and western pleasure at many horse shows across the state to include Ft. Worth Stock Show. When Chris was a sophomore in high school he and his double partner won varsity state championship in tennis.
Chris attended St. Thomas University, and later moved on to work 20 years in sales and marketing. It was at this point that Chris decided it was time for him to chase his life-long goal, to pursue his passion and love for wade fishing and casting artificial lures.
Today, Capt. Chris Martin, and his wife Deb, permanently reside in Seadrift, Texas, where they have begun to place the finishing touches on what was once only a dream. They are the proud owners and operators of Bay Flats Lodge, which overlooks the pristine waters of San Antonio Bay.
Captain Chris is a contributing outdoor writer for Texas Fish & Game Magazine and Salty Angler Magazine, and has written for Sporting Classics Magazine. Chris is an avid photographer who also enjoys making short videos. Chris has worked with CCA Texas and their National Habitat Program, the Building Conservation Trust for years in the form of fishing trips with lodging and meals. The lodge also matches dollar-for-dollar on all BCT donations they collect from guests. He believes in taking care of our bay systems and marine habitat.
During 2019 TV Season, Bay Flats Lodge became featured sponsor for Trophy Fish Hunter TV on the CBS Sports channel. He has hosted numerous Ducks Unlimited Outdoor Media Camps including an all women’s outdoor media camp H DU TV. He has been seen on NBC Outdoor Sports hosting Majesty Outdoors TV, hosted Benelli On Assignment both on Versus TV, and The Outdoor channel. Featured in A Hundred Years of Texas Waterfowl Hunting book by R.K. Sawyer. Has hosted the Gander Mountain Outdoors Fishing show. Chris is involved with the Combat Marine Outdoors by hosting lunch for the combat wounded Marines.
Chris, and his wife Deb, enjoy traveling together. Chris’s passion includes snow skiing and scuba diving. They are members of St. Patrick Catholic Church in Seadrift.
After deciding to make Seadrift their weekend home in 1998, Chris and Deb bought a trailer house just yards off of San Antonio Bay. Each Friday was spent traveling from Houston to Seadrift to prepare for a weekend of fishing or hunting entertainment. After a full week of cleaning decorated model homes each night, Deb would arrive early Friday afternoon to prepare food and to clean the trailer. That same year, Chris obtained his captain’s license, and every weekend was reserved for guiding. During the week, however, Deb continued to clean houses and Chris continued to sell tires back in Houston.
In the summer of 2001, Chris and Deb acquired a house on a private canal in Seadrift, and Bay Flats Lodge was born. The new Lodge provided them an ability to host twelve nightly guests. Deb had to leave her commercial home cleaning business in Houston so she could focus all her attention on cooking, cleaning, and booking trips at the Lodge. By the end of 2004, however, business was growing so rapidly that the Lodge was often having to turn away guests.
The current lodge came online in 2007, and it could accommodate up to 30 guests each night. In preparation of its opening, Deb searched night and day for the perfect items to fill each room – just the right room furnishings, bedding, and wall art. She selected everything personally and with care. In doing so, Deb has managed to provide not only a look and feel of some of the finest hotels and lodges worldwide, but she’s also preserved the authentic appearance and semblance of the Texas coastal experience.
Rather than providing a modern-day encounter along the shores of San Antonio Bay, Deb has chosen to allow Lodge guests an exceptional opportunity to completely escape the hectic routine of today’s world. Although rather scarce today, Deb feels like Bay Flats Lodge is intended to serve us all as an exceptional lesson about some of those things most meaningful in life, as well as about fishing and duck hunting. She and the staff have a keen understanding of why their guests select the Lodge as their choice for getting away from it all. Deb’s greatest satisfaction comes from watching Lodge visitors unwind and become relaxed again as they revitalize themselves. A day does not go by that Deb doesn’t make every effort to ensure that Bay Flats Lodge continues to provide a phenomenal and preferred destination for their guests for years to come.
Capt. T.J. Christensen has spent the majority of his adult life pursuing a passion that many others dream of, but that few seldom get to experience. With the protected Gulf Coast inland fisheries and Matagorda Island marsh as his office space, Capt. T.J. spent more than twenty years as a licensed U.S. Coast Guard captain and hunting and fishing guide for Bay Flats Lodge. In 2013, however, the owners of Bay Flats Lodge, Capt. Chris Martin, and his wife Deb, presented Capt. T.J. with an opportunity of a lifetime – the role as Operations Manager for the lodge. It was that same year that Capt. T.J. retired the keys to his boat and accepted a new path to personal and professional growth with the lodge. His first major challenge in his new role was to oversee the entire building process of the The Flats facility, which would allow Bay Flats Lodge to practically double their occupancy at the time. Since those initial days, Capt. T.J. has learned what it takes to be an accomplished Operations Manager for the largest, most successful hunting and fishing lodge and resort on the Texas coast. From hiring local talent for lodge staffing, or recruiting the best in the business for the Bay Flats team of professional guides, to managing all the general day-to-day lodge procedures, Capt. T.J. Christensen does it all. He takes great pride in providing only the best the industry has to offer to our family of guests – a true dedication to your comfort that will be obvious during your stay at Bay Flats Lodge.
Our Marketing Administrator for Bay Flats Lodge, Murray Martin, grew up in the small town of Dickinson, TX, which is halfway between Houston and Galveston. He began fishing the Galveston Bay system at practically the same moment he took his first steps as a child. Murray’s dad and grandad saw to it that Murray knew everything there is to know about coastal fishing, and later began teaching him the finer points of duck and goose hunting.
After receiving his Industrial Engineering degree from what was then Southwest Texas State University, Murray proudly served our country as a Cobra and Blackhawk helicopter mechanic and crew chief in the U.S. Army. Following that, Murray worked in engineering positions for more than twenty-five years for a couple of leaders in the high-tech industry – Texas Instruments and Dell.
Murray ventured away from corporate-America life in 2008, and has never looked back. He has since owned his own construction company, held a partnership in an oilfield service business, managed a local Austin trucking firm, and has even returned to the classroom at the University of Texas in Austin, TX, to receive a certification in Digital Marketing.
Murray’s ties to Bay Flats Lodge go back to the mid-1990’s, when Murray’s wife made arrangements for him to go on a blast and cast trip with Capt. Chris Martin as a birthday gift. Murray later learned he was actually Capt. Chris’ first duck hunting customer after Chris officially became a licensed guide. Murray and Chris have been working together throughout the years ever since those initial hunting and fishing days – once you have Bay Flats Lodge in your blood, you simply can’t get enough of it!
With the 2020 global pandemic accelerating the arrival of the new digital era, today Murray participates and contributes to the marketing side of the Bay Flats Lodge business. Digital Marketing is a rapidly changing field, and the changes are only going to continue to become faster as the digital age matures. If you’re not able to stay ahead of the industry curve in today’s market, you can quickly find yourself being swept aside by the competition. That’s why focusing on the marketing challenges of Bay Flats Lodge is so very important in today’s environment. And that’s why Murray is proud to be a part of yet another team that is rapidly becoming recognized as an industry leader.
Randy offers years of experience in public speaking, and fifteen years in providing corporate entertainment including accommodations, meals, and transportation with hunting and fishing guides. He brings three decades of management experience – skilled in motivating, equipping, team building, and coordinating both large and small groups of people. Randy is also skilled in technical writing, with experience in publishing articles, press releases, and training documents.
Patsy moved to Seadrift, TX, in 1968, at the tender age of one, and she has been a fixture in the Seadrift community ever since. Starting her working career at the well known Barketts seafood restaurant at the age of 15, Patsy spent the next thirty years honing her customer satisfaction skills in the restaurant industry. In October of 2017, following Hurricane Harvey’s destruction of Barkett’s restaurant in Seadrift, Patsy joined the team at Bay Flats Lodge as the Manager of Guest Services. So, next time you visit the Lodge, the first person you’ll see could very well be Patsy! You can’t miss her – she’ll be the one with the warm smile, and the one that you’ll swear you’ve known your entire life! She’s that good, and that outgoing – trust us on this one! Patsy is the best!
A smiling face and a warm greeting are the first things on the breakfast menu at Bay Flats Lodge. Judy Brown will greet you and make you feel right at home. Judy was born in Seadrift. After marrying Judy moved to several different locales with her husband who served in the Coast Guard. After 36 years Judy moved back to Seadrift in 2016 and joined the team at Bay Flats Lodge. When you come to Bay Flats Lodge Judy will brighten up your day and make breakfast something to remember.
Stephanie Stiles is what some may refer to as a part-timer. Part of her time is spent here in Seadrift working with the breakfast and lunch team, while the other part of her time is spent in Michigan enjoying her grandchildren. With seven years of Lodge experience to her credit, Steph is a big part of what makes Bay Flats Lodge so special. If you’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy a wintertime lunch here at the Lodge during duck season, then you truly know how special Steph really is!
Mary Ellen, also known as “Little”, wasn’t born in Seadrift but she got here early in life. Born in Texas City her family moved to Seadrift when she was an infant. Little got her name when she went to work at Barkett’s Restaurant. She was so small they gave her a bench to stand on while she was washing dishes. Working at Barkett’s for thirty-six years honed Little’s cooking skills which she brought to Bay Flats Lodge in 2018.
A thirty year resident of Seadrift, Elizandra, also known as Millie, has been with Bay Flats Lodge since 2018. One of the reasons the food service is outstanding here at the lodge is the hard work Millie supplies. When Millie isn’t at the lodge you’ll find her at her own home enjoying friends and family.
Mary Smith, part of our evening food service crew is a lifelong resident of Seadrift Texas. She comes to Bay Flats Lodge having worked in the food service industry for fourteen years. With three wonderful kids and a passion for hunting and fishing, Mary is a perfect fit here at the lodge.
Maria is a long-time resident of Seadrift, Texas, and she has been with the Bay Flats Lodge team since 2019. You’ll find Maria in the kitchen both mornings and evenings, as she makes sure your dining experience is first-class!
Maria, also know as Lupe, is a long-time member of the Bay Flats Lodge housekeeping team. With a passion for details, Lupe is a big reason Bay Flats Lodge is known for its cleanliness. Lupe and her family have called Seadrift, Texas, home for more than six years.
Heidi is the daughter of Judy Brown who is on our Breakfast Team. A longtime resident of Seadrift, Heidi came to Bay Flats in 2020. As part of the Housekeeping team Heidi makes sure your room is everything you want it to be.
Heather Cooksey comes to Bay Flats Lodge from Port Lavaca, Texas. Having grown up in Houston, Heather, her husband, and her three children now call the central Texas coast home. One of the things that makes Bay Flats Lodge special is the housekeeping crew, and Heather plays a big part in that role.
Meet Our Talented Guides
Capt. Steve Boldt was born and raised a short distance from the Texas coast in Victoria, Texas, and is a third-generation fisherman of the Seadrift/Port O’Connor area. His grandfather started fishing these waters shortly after his return from WWII, and Capt. Steve’s father fished these same waters his entire life. With all of this knowledge passed on to him, he now possesses the versatility and ability to take on any style of fishing in any given condition while still producing positive results.
Shortly after graduating from high school, Capt. Steve enlisted in the United States Navy and worked as an Aviation Machinist Mate – Second Class. He knows and understands the value of a job well done, and that drives him to take his passion for the outdoors to the next level. Capt. Steve is not only a super fisherman, he is also a very savvy duck hunting guide.
Capt. Cooper Hartmann is originally from Johnson City, TX, where he grew up fishing small rivers and lakes in the surrounding Texas hill country. As a boy, his passion was bass fishing, but that all changed while on a family vacation down in Port Mansfield, TX. That’s when Cooper learned a lot about sight-casting to redfish, and consequently fell in love with saltwater fishing. Capt. Cooper hasn’t looked back since that family vacation to the south Texas coast, and today has even made it to the top of the competitive saltwater fishing community by winning the coveted Rudy’s Redfish Championship, as well several other top-5 finishes in the Elite Redfish Series, and other tournaments too numerous to list. Capt. Cooper enjoys his ability to make a living at doing what he loves to do most in life, and he’s been doing it for the past 13 years as a member of the team of professional Bay Flats Lodge guides. His teaching skills allow him to share with guests the proper way to fish that, in turn, gives them the best opportunity at catching fish. Capt. Cooper’s personable attitude provides guests with a sense of comfort the moment they meet him, and his top-of-the-line equipment and boat help in maintaining his guest’s comfort throughout the entire day on the water.
Captain Stephen Boriskie has been a full-time fishing and duck hunting guide at Bay Flats Lodge since December of 2012. His friendly smile, welcoming nature, and lightning-quick wit puts customers at ease from the moment they step aboard.
Stephen earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting at the University of Houston. He then moved through many facets of business and professional development. He worked in banking in the early 1980’s and quickly moved on to corporate insurance in Galveston, followed by a move to Austin for a career in State Government. From there, he enjoyed a successful sales career in the advertising world for over 25 years. Stephen then took up residence on the middle Texas coast, where his passion was realized, and he joined Bay Flats Lodge as a full-time fishing and duck hunting guide.
Stephen is a native Texas coastal resident who was introduced to fishing and hunting at an early age. He would walk the Galveston jetties and fish East Galveston Bay during the warmer months of the year and focus on West Galveston Bay for the winter months. Stephen is extremely knowledgeable about the seasonal demands and varieties of fishing techniques, as well as the preferred bait and tackle choice for each time of the year. Captain Stephen has spent more than 40 years fishing the Texas bays between Louisiana and Mexico, and his knowledge of the fish and duck patterns makes his level of expertise quite impressive in the guiding arena.
He has a strong desire for getting things done right the first time with respect to customer service, which is naturally and internally fueled by his own passion for the great outdoors. He also has a gift for providing a fabulous entertainment experience for the Bay Flats Lodge guests; people like him and enjoy his company. Stephen’s goal is to provide guests with the best fishing and duck hunting experiences of their lives. His keen knowledge and personable skills have resulted in many happy and pleased guests returning to Bay Flats Lodge year after year due to their experiences with him. For Stephen, he personally receives the most satisfaction by taking guests who are new to the sport and teaching them to become better anglers and hunters. He excels in instructing our guests in proper techniques and safety and in the development of lifelong skills they can use beyond their Bay Flats visit.
Stephen also reinforces the ideals of conservation and the importance of taking care of our bays and natural resources for future generations. Stephen has a natural way with guests coming to enjoy a fishing or hunting experience; whether novice or expert, they always leave with a fresh sense of new knowledge and an eager desire to return again. Because of this, many of our return guests who have fished or hunted with Stephen in the past will request him as their guide on future trips to Bay Flats Lodge.
Captain Stephen has written nearly 100 articles on the subject of coastal fishing, and he has been published in Texas magazines, newspapers, and is regularly found in today’s social media. He is a weekly guest on The Great Outdoors on AM 1300 The Zone, where he gives reports on fishing conditions and results, while also promoting Bay Flats Lodge. His enthusiasm for the show is drawn and inspired from his many years of listening to AM radio while driving to Galveston in the family car. The talk in those earlier times generated a mental image of saltwater fishing, which Stephen never forgot. He took it all in, and it provided a basis from which he is able to share both past and present memories with his guests.
Captain Stephen enjoys life along the Texas coast with his wife, Brandy, and his adult children, Casey and Luke. Stephen and Brandy are expecting a new arrival in the Fall of 2020, a boy named Tipton James.
Stephen’s philosophy on fishing is simple, “The best time to go fishing is when you can,” and his motto is “One More Cast.” His ultimate goal is furnish you the best fishing and duck hunting experience anywhere in the world, and he has been very successful in this endeavor. His integrity and work ethic are unmatched, which drives him to high expectations of himself in order to provide a quality experience to our guests. Anyone who has fished and hunted with Captain Stephen Boriskie knows the amount of heartfelt effort he pours into giving each of his Bay Flats Lodge guests a first-class experience and an everlasting memory.
Capt. Doug Russell grew up in north Texas, and later went on to receive a Business Management degree from Tarleton State University in Stephenville, TX. In addition to his passion for the great outdoors, Capt. Doug loves to rodeo. Between his collegiate rodeo career and his time spent on the PRCA rodeo circuit, Doug spent 12 years of his earlier years competing professionally as a bull rider. Today, Capt. Doug still enjoys spending time with his wife and two daughters while camping, hunting, and fishing. He’s been a part of the professional team of Bay Flats guides since 2013, and our guests couldn’t ask for a guide with a greater passion for teaching. Capt. Doug’s dedication to customer service and improving the skills of his fishing and duck hunting guests has, and always will be, a top priority of his.
Sargent Beach and East Matagorda Bay are places Billy Freudensprung calls home, and is where he developed his passion for the great outdoors at a very early age. It was here that he first experienced the thrill of a redfish peeling line off of his reel, of a speckled trout shaking its head as it dances across the surface of the water, and the excitement of sitting in a duck blind just as soon as he could manage to hold a shotgun.
Billy is one who can certainly be described as being somewhat obsessive when it comes to chasing big trout and redfish with either live bait or with artificial lures. He enjoys entertaining clients who share the same level of enthusiasm he does for fishing, and he loves to spend time catching-up with repeat customers that he now calls friends.
Duck hunting is also in Billy’s blood, as there is very little else which motivates him more than to see a flock of ducks cup their wings as they put on the brakes just before landing in the decoy spread. It’s called waterfowl hunting, and it has become a way of life for Billy.
Billy is known as being one to work a little harder to ensure that his clients have a memorable experience, and can be counted on to go out of his way to make sure your trip is a successful one. Whether it’s fishing that you prefer, or if duck hunting is more your game, Billy will certainly provide you with a fun and safe day out on the water.
Capt. ‘Lil John Wyatt has been fishing along the Texas Gulf Coast most all his life, and he has been doing it professionally now for more than twenty years. His amazing love of the outdoors, and his experience in wildlife and agricultural management of a 500-acre ranch near Seadrift, has allowed him to build lasting relationships with many of the guests he has hosted over the years. Additionally, his talent and extreme professionalism has provided him with a truly gifted ability to mentor to novice sportsmen in all aspects of hunting and fishing.
Those who know him may say Capt. ‘Lil John is a natural-born hunter and fisherman, as he enjoys nothing more than being afield or out on the bay. His vast hunting knowledge extends beyond his world-class level of trophy whitetail deer, dove, turkey, and even the ever-popular feral hogs, as well. But that’s not the end of John’s hunting knowledge. He has also made a name for himself over the years as being well versed in the fine art of hunting trophy speckled trout and redfish with artificial lures along the shallow bay shores of Port O’Connor and Seadrift.
John currently fishes out his beautiful El Pescador 24 Cat that makes plying the sometimes-angry waves of the open bay, or the skinniest waters of Matagorda Island’s back lakes, seem like a walk in the park compared to other boats out there these days. But not only does he have a smooth riding boat, John also possesses an ability to smooth the edges of a long day of hunting or fishing for his customers through his passion for cooking, which he has been doing for quite some time now.
Capt. Jeremy McClelland grew up owning his first fishing pole before he could crawl, and was right at home when it came to hunting and fishing – literally! He was raised on a 3,500-acre working cattle ranch in Jack County, Texas, that was owned by his grandparents, and where his parents lived while they managed the ranch. Between the ranch and another 10,000-acres his family had access to, there were twenty stock-tanks and two huge lakes that were each filled with bass, crappie, blue gill, and channel catfish. As a kid, if Jeremy was awake, he was fishing – hopping from one pond to the next while fishing out of an old round, rubber tire inner tube. But, Jeremy’s love of the outdoors didn’t stop at the ponds.
As one might only imagine, Jeremy has also enjoyed hunting all of his life, and never recalls being left at home whenever his father, and two older brothers, would decide to go hunting instead of fishing. He and his brothers were introduced at a young age to the hunting of quail, dove, turkey, whitetail deer, hogs, squirrel, rabbits, raccoons, coyotes, ducks, and probably just about any other wild animal that happens to be readily available in the upper mid-portion of Texas.
However, all of the time that Jeremy had spent on the water as a young boy had worn a special spot in his heart for the sport of fishing. At about the age of eight, Jeremy began traveling to Port O’Connor with his uncle to enjoy brief periods of wade fishing with lures. Jeremy had already mastered fishing with a large variety of plugs and plastics in many different freshwater applications, so it only took a couple of these Port O’Connor trips before Jeremy was hooked for good on what would later in life become his dream – to be a Texas coastal fishing guide somewhere near the town of Port O’Connor.
Time passed, and when he was finally old enough to drive, Jeremy made his way down to Port O’Connor and Seadrift at every opportunity. He spent most of his time fishing and exploring the vastness of Espiritu Santo Bay and San Antonio Bay, and the myriad of back lakes located out on Matagorda Island, saving freshwater fishing as only a fill-in for when he was unable to make it to the coast. He had already begun his guiding career a couple years earlier, running hunting and fishing trips on private land at the age of fourteen, but he never lost his passion for the pursuit of the saltwater.
Jeremy later started guiding trophy bass and trophy crappie fishing trips for a large outfitter at the age of twenty, while also opening a newly established home building business that he started that same year. Now, after twenty years of owning and operating a successful business he built on integrity and trust, Jeremy is now retired from the business world and is enjoying his lifelong ambition of being a saltwater fishing guide on the Texas coast. He possesses a keen knowledge of the San Antonio Bay fishery that anglers of all levels can benefit from, and he is well versed at all types of bay fishing, to include artificial lures, as well as live bait. So, next time you’re fishing with us here at Bay Flats Lodge and you want to ensure a great day out on the water, make it a point to inquire about Capt. Jeremy’s availability. He’ll keep you focused on having a good time!
Perry hails from the Lake Jackson area where his father owned a marina, and most of his memorable years were spent either on, or near, the water. As a young adult, Perry dedicated 6 years to the Airforce and obtained a degree in Equipment Engineering. He traveled to Idaho and worked in the semiconductor industry. That took him to Oregon, where he continued to saltwater fish for salmon and halibut. After his high-tech career, he went to the British Columbia wilderness where he was a guide for a lodge for eight plus years. He eventually moved back to Texas where he pursued his true passion for Gulf Coast inshore fishing.
Born and raised in Yoakum, Texas, Capt. Kevin Matula graduated from Victoria High School, and later attended San Jacinto Community College. After his first year in college, Kevin realized that he simply wasn’t cutout for sitting inside a classroom, so he joined the U.S. Navy where he served for the next two years before being honorably discharged.
Upon his release from the Navy, Kevin moved to Oklahoma where he took courses and began training for a career in welding while attending the Tulsa Welding School. Being in Tulsa also presented Kevin with a chance to participate in the fine art of bull riding as part of the North American Bull Riding Association (NABRA). He later moved back to Texas in 2000 and went to work for his uncle’s construction company as a carpenter until he was hired by Harmony Construction at Formosa Plastics in Point Comfort, Texas, as a welder. In 2005, Kevin became a general mechanic for Alcoa’s Point Comfort Operations for more than eleven years before falling victim to a mass-layoff in 2016 resultant of Alcoa’s decision to end all their production efforts in Point Comfort. That’s when Kevin decided to begin chasing his passion for saltwater fishing – a chase which Kevin turned into a career.
Ever since he can remember, Kevin has loved to fish. It all started with a cane pole, some monofilament, a hook, a cork, and a grasshopper (or worm). Kevin recalls spending many days catching perch, bass, or catfish in a pond, and he never grew tired of it. His first taste of saltwater fishing came as just a young boy when he went with his dad to a small town he had never heard of before, Indianola, Texas. They took his dad’s little fiberglass boat, and they camped on what is now known as the spoils in Lavaca Bay. It was love at first cast in the saltwater. Kevin stayed awake all night fishing. Although he only caught hardheads, he couldn’t get enough of it. That was also the first time Kevin got a taste of wade fishing. After that, he was hooked.
It was nearly a two hour drive from Kevin’s house to the bay, so he didn’t have many chances to fish saltwater while growing up. However, he started fishing saltwater on a regular basis when he moved back to Texas in 2000. Saltwater fishing soon became Kevin’s “drug-of-choice” – wading in the water as the sun came over the horizon, seagulls gawking, waves lapping the shore, and throwing the old original tout tails. His passion is wade fishing with artificial baits, and his experience doing so, is what he has to offer his clients. Treat yourself to a fun-filled day out on the water by requesting Capt. Kevin Matula during your next stay at Bay Flats Lodge.
Capt. Garrett Wygrys is no exception to the old phrase, “Once a fisherman, always a fisherman.” Being a native of the bayside city of Port Lavaca, Texas, Garrett was born with fishing in his veins. While still a child, Garrett’s family relocated to Alice, a small town in south Texas, where he spent his younger years discovering his love and admiration for the outdoors. Living inland meant he didn’t always have access to saltwater, so like most others who live to fish, Garrett had no trouble adapting to his land-locked environment by learning to enjoy all of that which freshwater fishing has to offer. However, lake fishing simply couldn’t fill the saltwater void in his life, and Garrett found himself spending all of his free summertime days back in Port Lavaca fishing just as much as he possibly could.
This went on throughout Garrett’s high school years until he graduated, at which time he decided to move back to the Port Lavaca area for the sole purpose of being able to pursue his saltwater passion without interruption. He has since become an avid angler who appreciates the comfort of fishing for recreation, as well as the challenges brought about by fishing professionally. He also thoroughly enjoys the competition of saltwater tournament fishing, and has achieved recognition and placement in multiple competitions such as the Rudy’s Redfish Rivalry, the Rojo Classic, and the annual Poco Bueno tournament to name just a few.
When Garrett isn’t fishing, you can bet he’s thinking about fishing, or about which hunting season is coming up around the corner. Fishing is a great way to make new friends, and Garrett looks forward to sharing his knowledge, interest, and his contagious enthusiasm for saltwater fishing with you and your guests, so ask for him when planning your next trip to Bay Flats Lodge.
Capt. Todd Jones was raised by his grandparents in Victoria, Tx, and spent his early years with his grandfather down on the Texas Gulf Coast, between the two small fishing communities of Seadrift and Port O’Connor. He must have swallowed just enough saltwater over the course of those early years to keep it permanently coursing through his veins, because he hasn’t been able to wander too far away ever since.
Capt. Todd married shortly after graduating from Victoria High School, and after one year of college he realized a better course for his family. He enlisted in the United States Marine Corps, where he served four years stationed at Camp Pendleton while assigned to HMLA 367, MAG 39, a helicopter squadron. After being honorably discharged, Capt. Todd decided the west coast was just too far from the salt waters of the Gulf, so he and his family returned to Victoria.
After attending the police academy, Capt. Todd served as a police officer with the City of Victoria, as well as the Victoria County Sheriff’s Office. He spent time as an undercover narcotics officer, patrol officer, and a detective.
At a crossroads, Capt. Todd decided to return to school, pursuing an interest in the healthcare industry. He then spent several years in a managerial position in the nursing home industry, providing long term care for the elderly, who have always held a special place in his heart.
From there, Capt. Todd decided it was time to take the leap and dedicate himself to a passion that he feels is his true calling.
Capt. Todd has spent years in the many back lakes in the San Antonio Bay area casting to tailing or cruising redfish, seeking that adrenaline rush of witnessing a redfish just before it turns on a lure in a torpedo-like motion and latches on. He also enjoys that solid thump of a hungry speckled trout when it grabs your croaker, or as it inhales your plastic bait when you twitch it a few times. Those are a couple techniques Todd has learned on his own over the years, but there are many others he learned through the vast knowledge of other experienced anglers.
Capt. Heath Borchert grew up in central Texas fishing the freshwater lakes and rivers of the hill country with his grandparents. But because they loved all types of fishing, they would always make springtime and summertime trips to the coast to enjoy some saltwater action also. That’s where Capt. Heath became hooked on the pull of broad-shouldered redfish, and the shaking heads of trophy speckled trout.
Capt. Heath moved to the coastal city of Victoria, Texas in his early 20’s, which gave him a lot more time to fish coastal waters, and that is when he started becoming quite familiar with the Port O’Connor area. As he became more and more knowledgeable of the Coastal Bend region, Capt. Heath gave up the use of live bait, as he turned in his shrimp for artificial lures. He had discovered there’s no other sensation in the world quite equal to the thrill he received as he watched his top water plugs being engulfed by big yellow-mouthed sow trout, and he’s been tossing lures ever since then.
Living on the coast and becoming a part of it’s culture has allowed Capt. Heath to share his personal fishing knowledge and experiences with his own family and children, and has also made it possible for him to pursue teaching other people what he has learned in his many years of fishing. After thirty years in the oilfield and trucking industries, Capt. Heath now enjoys fishing as a professional fishing guide at Bay Flats Lodge. If you’re searching for a nice day out on the water with a truly qualified and skillful expert, look no further than to Capt. Heath Borchert. He currently offices out of a new 2018 24’ Tran Cat, and he’s ready and willing to help you and your guests enjoy all that is to be offered by our superior San Antonio Bay fishery. It doesn’t matter if you have never fished, or whether you happen to be a seasoned saltwater veteran, Capt. Heath will most certainly have something helpful to offer. Request Capt. Heath during your next stay at Bay Flats Lodge!
Captain Rudy Briseno was born and raised fishing the waters of the Gulf Coast. He grew up fishing at his father’s side and never stopped. When he isn’t fishing, he enjoys shooting birds or spending time with his family. Living close to the water, he fishes every chance he has, rain or shine. His experience and intimate knowledge of fish migration patterns, bottom structure, and tidal/moon phases makes him exceptionally qualified to locate fish consistently.
After earning his captain’s license, he worked independently before joining Bay Flats Lodge. During that time, Captain Briseno built a base of repeat customers. He takes pride in his ability to put clients on fish regardless of their ability. He enjoys all types of saltwater fishing, whether it’s fishing the flats or wading the shorelines using live bait or artificial lures.
Whether it’s the first time you’ve casted a line, or you’re a seasoned angler, we invite you to join Captain Briseno for an exciting and unforgettable fishing trip catching flounder, bull reds, redfish, speckled trout, and much more! When you fish with Captain Briseno, he will provide you with quality rods and reels (spin casting or bait casting), all new tackle, live bait, or the latest up to date artificial baits for your fishing trip. All you need to bring is your fishing license!
Come spend the day with Captain Rudy Briseno! You will not regret it! FISH ON!
Capt. James Welder was born and raised in Victoria, Texas. At the early age of three, he was catching bass and blue-gills out of the ponds on his family’s ranch. Shorty after wards, he started fishing in saltwater and never looked back.
Capt. James spent his summers in Rockport fishing everyday he could in the bays of Aransas, Mesquite and Corpus Christi, just to name a few. When he wasn’t fishing, he was working cattle on his family’s south Texas ranches.
After college, James received his Captain’s license in 2005 and has been guiding ever since. For the last four summers, he worked as a private captain on an offshore boat out of Rockport, Texas. Capt. James loves all types of fishing and can help anyone from a beginner on their first trip to an avid outdoorsman. Whether it’s wading with artificial or chasing tailing reds with a fly rod, Capt. James can make a special day out of your time here on the water and at Bay Flats Lodge.
Capt. Mike grew up here in our town of Seadrift, TX, so he’s not a novice when it comes to being familiar with our area bays and surrounding marsh country. His absolute passion is wading for big wintertime trout with MirrOlure Soft-Dines – what a rush! However, Capt. Mike is also very, very fond of duck hunting, so on any given day during duck season, you may just find him in a duck blind in the morning, and then wading a shoreline after lunch. He enjoys people, and is great with our Lodge guests, their families, and all their friends. Capt. Mike is one of the most personable, most comfortable guides you may ever fish with, and his knowledge is surpassed by few. He loves what he does, and it shows!
Captain Weston Hall has been fishing the waters of Port O’ Connor since he was old enough to walk. Born and raised in Victoria, Texas, Captain Hall spent many days on the waters of Port O’ Connor with his dad who taught him everything he knows. His passions have grown for his family and for fishing as the years have passed, and as he achieved his captain’s license in 2017. Those who know Capt. Weston know him to be kind, patient, and willing to teach anybody about fishing that will listen. He enjoys fishing in the coastal bend area, particularly in Port O’ Connor and Seadrift and specializes in trout and redfish.
Capt. Collin Gee has been plying the waters of the Port O’Connor area for close to 20 years, and has been a full-time resident of Port O’Connor since 2008. He started guiding in 2012 with the encouragement of friends and family that recognized his gift and passion for the outdoors. Not only is he a licensed guide, but he is also a licensed ship captain and has a degree from Texas A&M in Marine Science. So, in addition to fun, rest assured your trip will be safe and professional. Who knows, you might even learn something. He has strong family values and encourages family groups.
Captain Owen Gayler was born and raised in Nacogdoches, Texas. His love for the water and fishing started at a very young age, and by the time he was eighteen, he was frequenting the coast just so he could wade fish for trout and redfish. After spending a summer working on an offshore boat, Owen knew that he loved fishing, but more importantly that he loved watching people catch fish and have a great time.
A few short years later, Capt. Owen began fly fishing while hunting for redfish in any back-lake area he could find, from South Padre Island to Louisiana. He has a thirst and a passion for the backcountry, and a drive to find new water and happy fish. Because it happens to be a target-rich environment for sight casting, the Texas Coastal Bend region has definitely become Capt. Owen’s favorite area for hunting redfish, especially given the massive amount of clear, shallow water of the seemingly endless number of back-lake areas.
Capt. Owen spent years working as a cowboy on ranches from New Mexico to Louisiana, but later settled back in his hometown of Nacogdoches where he setup a cow/calf operation, along with a preconditioning yard for yearlings. “Ranching was the one industry I could be in which allowed me to make my own schedule for fishing whenever I wanted to,” Owen says.
Capt. Owen is old-school in his beliefs and in his work. He brings an extremely strong work ethic off the ranch and onto his skiff, and it’s that work ethic that pushes him to explore new-water places where others may not try to go. He’s not afraid to pilot his skiff into tight areas that open up to bigger water. Backcountry fly fishing adventure is in his blood!
Born and raised in Victoria, Tx, Capt. Brad Graham grew up learning how to fish the Seadrift and Port O’Connor areas from his grandfather. He’s a local fisherman who has spent his life studying, learning, and honing his fishing skills and instincts along our region of the Texas coast. Capt. Brad knows our bay systems. This lifelong pursuit has allowed him to dependably provide our guests with fun-filled excitement on their quest for the three favorite Texas inshore species – speckled trout, redfish, and flounder.
You can choose to fish from the boat, or you can wade fish with live bait or artificial lures. Capt. Brad’s main goal is to provide our guests with the highest quality fishing experience, including a shot at catching your personal-best ever fish and learning proper fishing techniques and practices. Capt. Brad would love to share his passion for coastal fishing with you, along with his many years of experience. When fishing with him, you’ll quickly note there’s no need for him to share a big fish story with you, or tell you about the one that got away. When you fish with Capt. Brad Graham as your guide, you can be certain you’ll have a great day on the water.
Capt. Trent Martinez was born and raised on the Texas coast, here in Seadrift, Texas. When you’re born in a town that sits right on the bay, you start fishing when you’re very young, and Trent was no exception. A love of the water, and everything that comes with it, as well as a lifetime of local knowledge, makes Capt. Trent a special guide.
Capt. Cody Miller was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas. Since childhood, he has been fascinated with all things fishing. During his early twenties, Cody began his fly fishing obsession when an uncle of his gave him a fly rod. After a few years of chasing fish on the Brazos River and throughout the Hill Country, Cody was struck with a bad case of wanderlust. In 2006, he began traveling and guiding the western United States and Alaska. For 10 years Cody worked in Alaska as a guide, a commercial fisherman, and an adventure jet boat operator. In the fall of 2008, Cody began exploring the marsh and flats along the Coastal Bend region of Texas. When Capt. Cody isn’t chasing redfish in the marsh, you can usually find him tying up some flies for redfish to devour, scuba diving wherever and whenever possible, skiff camping along some faraway beach, exploring the road less traveled, and always looking for new waters to fish.