Bay Flats Lodge on San Antonio Bay
December 29, 2016
Capt. Chris Martin
If you happen to be one of the more regular readers of the tips and methods offered by the many guides that extend helpful information, then you should by now be recognizing a recurring theme, a theme dealing primarily with the preferred bottom structure of wintertime fishing. The best bottom structure during the wintertime is mud that is mixed with shell. You will find that fish hold in such areas due to the warmer water temperatures provided by the penetrating sunlight that heats up the mixture of mud and shell on the bottom. Trout and redfish holding in these areas are less lethargic, and are more likely to feed on the readily accessible baitfish, primarily wintertime mullet, that also seek the comforts of these more consistently warm water temperatures. Many of the reefs in the Espiritu Santo and San Antonio Bay systems are indicative of these preferred structural conditions, providing mud on one side and sand on the other side, with general water depths ranging from four to six feet.
But how do you familiarize yourself with bottom structure? Well, depending solely upon the proverbial fishing map simply won’t supply you with what you need when hunting for that one trophy-sized sow trout that predominately roams these wintertime hot spots. Getting out of the boat and wade-fishing these areas is the core requirement if you wish to discover the bottom structure of a particular location. A common mistake often made by folks is that they tend not to fish reefs that appear to be made up of harder sand bottoms. However, on any given day such reefs can, and will, be just as productive as the more popular reefs that happen to be surrounded by softer bottoms. Focusing on key reef structure, in conjunction with active bait transitions, will certainly increase your prospect of catching more quality trout in cold weather conditions.
Wintertime months also present another favorable opportunity for coastal anglers – the passage of seasonal cold fronts. When utilizing the post cold front timeframe as a tool, remember to recognize the seventy-two-hour rule as you search for large specks that may be cruising the flats. Three solid days of sunshine will generally be enough time to significantly warm the water in most situations to support the general movements of trout and reds. The quantity of fish that one may catch during this period will probably be fewer, but the quality will generally be much greater. Choosing a flat that is immediately adjacent to deeper water is a must, and remembering that colder water temps slow the metabolism rate of the trout and that the slower and more methodical trout will feed only out of necessity, the wintertime angler should always practice to reduce their lure retrieval speeds in order to accommodate a sluggish bite. Lure selection will need to match that of the natural bait that happens to be available during the wintertime, with the mullet imitations in both plastic and plug variations being excellent choices. Slow-sinking baits, like Corkies, and soft plastics with shad tails will be found at the end of many lines.
eat job Colton Knipling. An amazing example of a young professional fishing guide who gets it. Thanks for all you do. Now, please enjoy the feedback from your guests you guided. Again, THANK YOU!
Dear Captain Chris Martin and Staff,
I just completed the survey that was sent on behalf of your lodge, but I wanted to share a little more in depth details.
We brought our family for the first time to your lodge and had an incredible time. In fact, it’s depressing coming back to the real world! We arrived on Tuesday, December 27th and left today, Thursday, December 29th. Bay Flats Lodge is impeccable! Our oldest son, David W. experienced your lodge and amenities about a month ago and could not wait to return with his mom, dad and brother. The lodge, our guide (Captain Colton Knipling), ladies that cooked breakfast, dinner and prepared our lunches, grounds keeper, janitorial staff are off the chain.
On Wednesday, we started the day with two awesome ladies greeting us in the lodge area with a first class breakfast. Bacon, sausage, eggs, biscuits & gravy, plus, too much to mention was a great way to start the day. We left with our fishing guide, Captain Colton Knipling, who knew exactly where the fish were. In fact, we limited out by noon. However, Captain Knipling continued to serve us and allowed us to fish until we decided to go back to the lodge. Upon arrival, at the lodge, we found our rooms cleaned, beds were made and all of our things neatly placed. We were not expecting this at all. Later that evening we gathered, at the pavilion where we found yummy appetizers, fried quail legs and bacon wrapped shrimp. The ladies then prepared a gourmet meal- ribeye steaks, mash potatoes and asparagus. Finally, to top it off, we were served pecan pie with ice cream. After eating such an amazing dinner, we went back down to the pavilion to watch the Texas A&M vs Kansas State game, then went to bed.
Thursday morning we were greeted again with your awesome staff, and hospitality of first class service. However, the weather forecast did not look good. In fact, we were getting constant updates- cold front predicted to hit the area, at 8 a.m., small craft advisory, and temperature would drop, every hour, along with winds to gust 28 miles per hour. The inclement weather and forecast did not stop Captain Colton Knipling. We were out in the bay when the front blew in. Again, Captain Colton Knipling knew exactly where the fish were. We continued to catch fish, while the winds blew and temperature dropped. We had the best time….and hope that Captain Colton Knipling did too. We came back to the lodge around 11 ish and ate our yummy sandwiches. One of the ladies ( I did not get her name) heated our sandwiches, and served us hot chocolate chip cookies. Again, your service was outstanding.
Finally, we just wanted to compliment you on your organization, and give you a little more detail than what we could have on the survey. Thank you again for a memorable experience. We will be back and will highly suggest Bay Flats Lodge to all of our fiends. We hope to meet you and your wife soon.
Best wishes on a prosperous New Year!
David and Dianna J., David W. and Lance J.
Watch Our Latest Videos
2016-17 Winter Fishing Special (December thru March)
|You and your party can enjoy a great ending to the year with some well-deserved rest and relaxation as you savor some fabulous cuisine, enjoy first-class accommodations, and experience great fishing at some of the best rates Bay Flats Lodge will offer all year long.
$412 per person 2 Guests per boat
$275 per person 3 Guests per boat
$232 per person 4 Guests per boat
(Includes 1 night lodging, 3 meals, and 1 full-day of fishing
Live bait provided at additional charge, if requested.
6.00% Texas Hotel Occupancy Tax not included.
Deer Season Is Here…
Open marshlands and sandy swamps covered by grassy plants, and nearly impenetrable motts of trees and brush, are both natural environs that make for a great attraction to the deer, and Bay Flats Lodge hunters are able to take advantage of both. Being less than three hours from Houston, Austin, or San Antonio, our deer hunting property is located along the coastal bend region, providing time saving convenience to hunters. Gone are the days of having to drive into the depths and remoteness of south Texas, or out to the far reaches of some of the more secluded western regions of the state in order to enjoy a trophy hunt of a lifetime. Hunting whitetails with Bay Flats Lodge means spending more time enjoying the finer things in life such as the pleasure of the hunt itself, the camaraderie of friends and family, and the truly finest accommodations and service offered anywhere along the Texas coast.
Our whitetail hunting area was developed locally several years ago, and the land and the wildlife have been managed closely ever since. In that we hold exclusive outfitting privileges on this hunting area, and because it sits just moments away from our Lodge, we are able to provide our customers with a whitetail hunt second to none. We invite you to experience Bay Flats Lodge, the premier hunting and fishing destination on the Texas coast for your next trophy-class whitetail deer hunt.
Three-Day Weather Forecast
Friday 10 % Precip. / 0.0 in
Cloudy. High 61F. Winds ENE at 10 to 15 mph.
Friday Night 70 % Precip. / 0.05 in
Considerable cloudiness. Occasional rain showers later at night. Low 58F. Winds SSE at 5 to 10 mph. Chance of rain 70%.
Saturday 70 % Precip. / 0.15 in
Showers and a few thunderstorms likely. High near 70F. Winds SSW at 10 to 15 mph. Chance of rain 70%.
Saturday Night 10 % Precip. / 0.0 in
Mainly cloudy. Low 64F. Winds SSW at 5 to 10 mph.
Sunday 10 % Precip. / 0.0 in
Cloudy. High 74F. Winds S at 10 to 15 mph.
Sunday Night 50 % Precip. / 0.03 in
Cloudy skies early followed by scattered showers and thunderstorms later during the night. Low 66F. Winds S at 15 to 25 mph. Chance of rain 50%.
Strong offshore flow and large seas will slowly subside through Friday morning. Onshore flow will then develop on Friday as high pressure quickly moves east. A weak to moderate onshore flow is then expected through the weekend. Isolated to scattered showers will also be possible this weekend, especially on Saturday. A weak cold front is expected to move across the coastal waters on Monday. Weak offshore flow behind this front will transition to onshore by Tuesday night.
Coastal Water Temperature:
Rockport 64.0 degrees
Seadrift 71.1 degrees
Port Aransas 64.9 degrees
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