Meet the Bay Flats Team
Meet Our Management & Staff
Witnessing Capt. Chris Martin strategically maneuver a slow-moving topwater 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 doubles 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 placed 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 former contributing outdoor writer for Texas Fish & Game Magazine, Salty Angler Magazine, and has written for Sporting Classics Magazine. He’s also 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 all BCT donations they collect from guests. Chris also believes in and supports catch and release, believing it is the lodge’s first step in taking care of the bay systems and marine habitat.
Chris and the lodge have been highlighted throughout the years in the media. In 2019, Bay Flats Lodge became a featured sponsor for Trophy Fish Hunter TV on the CBS sports channel. Chris has hosted numerous Ducks Unlimited events including an all-women’s outdoor media camp. He’s been seen on NBC Outdoor Sports hosting Majesty Outdoors TV, and he’s hosted Benelli on Assignment both on Versus TV, and The Outdoor channel. He and the lodge were featured in A Hundred Years of Texas Waterfowl Hunting book by R.K. Sawyer, and he’s hosted the Gander Mountain Outdoors Fishing show. Most recently, Bay Flats Lodge served as the setting of an edition of the Savage Arms Migration Series – Redhead Paradise | Texas Gulf. The lodge was also displayed on the Local Knowledge Fishing Snow, in the episode called Texas Reds – Lone Star Low Land.
Following years of hard work and dedication building one of the most prestigious hunting and fishing lodges on the Gulf coast, Chris now enjoys traveling with his wife Deb. Many of their destinations are closely related to Chris’ closest passions, which are snow skiing and scuba diving. Chris’ newest-found affection, however, is a love of coastal saltwater fly-fishing that he’s developed. It’s a work in progress for him, but he’ll certainly become as successful at it as all of his other endeavours over the years.
Chris and Deb 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.
Briley has literally grown up from a young age at Bay Flats Lodge. She has spent many seasons at the Lodge fishing and hunting with her Dad and Papa. Growing up she quickly found she had a love for the business but most of all the people. She spends many long hours playing sports and working towards her education. She’s looking forward to working as a part time social media influencer.
Hunter is a new resident to the Seadrift community, but he is no stranger to the mid-coast region of Texas. Being the grandson of BFL’s owners, Capt. Chris and Deb Martin, Hunter’s been coming to help his grandparents at the lodge ever since he was a young child.
Once he was old enough to have a job, Hunter worked as a lodge employee over the summer, and from that point on he knew that he wanted to make a career out of working at the lodge.
He went to college and studied business management, and while there worked part time at Academy Sports and Outdoors, learning a lot about the differences in hunting and fishing equipment. He also learned how to help and assist customers by utilizing that which Academy calls “Greet, Help, Thank”.
Hunter achieved the rank of Eagle Scout on May 3, 2016, where he learned how to be a great leader by being selected to be his troop’s Senior Patrol Leader on multiple occasions. Hunter is a great team member, and he joins Bay Flats Lodge as a Guest Services and Reservations member of our management staff. Need help getting your bags to your room, or your coolers to the outdoor kitchen? Just look for Hunter – he’ll be glad to help you!
Conner Hedrick has spent many years hanging around the lodge. He has a love for all things outdoors, especially fishing. His primary goal is to become a full-time fishing guide. He’s currently head of maintenance while also learning everything about our bay system. Conner is a major asset in our Kick Plastic initiative. He’s responsible for sanitizing all Yeti drinkware, along with distributing our Yeti water backpacks and lunch bags each morning to the guides.
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!
Sulema Esquivel is a mother of three children, has seventeen grandchildren, and she has two great-grandchildren. She grew up in the Texas valley in the town of McAllen, but moved to Seadrift in 2007. She loves going to the bay front with her dog lady, and loves eating fresh shrimp and crawfish.
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. God bless her!
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.
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!
Matthew comes to Bay Flats Lodge from Inez, TX, where he and his fiancé, Cassidy, call home for them and their two canine babies – Gus and Sadie. Matthew is a Texan through and through – he’s been hunting and fishing ever since he was a small child. In years past, Matthew has worked in sales, customer service, and leadership positions in the food service and supply chain industry, and is experienced with industrial and commercial restaurant equipment. He’s even a certified NCCER welder, as well. Matthew’s passion for food allows him to flourish, expanding his restaurant skills as he cooks for our Bay Flats Lodge guests. On your next visit to the lodge, look for Matthew’s smiling face and welcoming demeanor downstairs in the outdoor kitchen for appetizers, and then again upstairs in the dining hall.
Taylor has not only worked in the serving industry for five years, but she also has her cosmetology license. She loves working with people, but most of all enjoys being able to bring a smile to their faces. She has lived in Seadrift for her entire life, and she hopes to one day start a family of her own here.
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.
Korine Kistner, also known as “Kori”, comes to Bay Flats Lodge from the nearby coastal town of Aransas Pass, where she was raised with three brothers. She has been a resident of Seadrift for two years, and she has become an integral part of our housekeeping staff. Her passion for housekeeping began as a child when she helped clean houses in Port Aransas with her Mom and Aunt. Kori later went on to add to her housekeeping experience while working at the Hamptons Inn of Rockport.
Her passion for housekeeping is shared by her affection for fishing, hunting, camping and other outdoor activities spent with friends and family. She insists that becoming a part of the housekeeping staff at Bay Flats Lodge has been a dream come true, where the magic of the coastal views never cease to amaze her.