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Lodge Spotlight: Bay Flats Lodge

In this Flylords Lodge Spotlight, our good friend and guide, Lacey Kelly recounts an epic adventure of fishing and hunting had at one of Texas’ most iconic angling destinations: Bay Flats Lodge.

 

Few people know that paradise is nestled along the shores of Texas’ San Antonio Bay. I made the discovery with my best friend Mel last November when I shipped south to Bay Flats Lodge for a few days of good ol’ Texas hunting and fishing. I’m a guide – I’ve hunted and fished my way through Florida and what feels like a million other places, but Bay Flats Lodge is something special.

 

 

The allure of Bay Flats Lodge initially drew me with its renowned November Cast and Blast trips, combining the best of duck hunting and bay fishing. The promise of sight casting to redfish in gin-clear waters, coupled with the thrill of morning duck hunts, was irresistible. Little did I know, that this trip would exceed every expectation.

 

Arriving at Bay Flats Lodge

The lodge, despite its serenity and hidden-away-from-the-world feel, is an easy place to get to. After landing at Corpus Christi International Airport, a mere 1.5-hour drive with T.J., the operations managers for Bay Flats Lodge, brought us to this outdoorsman’s paradise nestled into the middle shores of the Texas coast, just outside the quaint fishing town of Seadrift. The owner of the lodge, Captain Chris, welcomed us upon our arrival and we were immediately treated as family.

 

 

It’s hard to convey the amount of excitement I had when we rolled into camp – I knew the lodge would be incredible, but the blend of rustic charm and modern luxury immediately floored me. The expansive 20,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space offered ample room to unwind after a day on the water. Fire pits crackled invitingly, and the outdoor kitchen had my stomach growling at the promise of unforgettable meals.

 

The rooms were equally impressive, with suites accommodating up to five guests, and each room appointed with all the comforts of an upscale hotel. From the plush bedding to the spotless bathrooms, every aspect of the accommodations is designed to provide the utmost comfort. The rooms are spacious and inviting, with plenty of storage space for gear, luggage, and everything else you lugged along. The suites, with their additional living areas, are perfect for groups or families traveling together.

 

 

If you’ve hunted and fished as much as I have, you know that lodges come in a wide array of “flavors,” and not all are that tasty. This place, though? This is what you picture when you think of Texas hospitality – a place where luxury meets the rugged outdoors, creating an atmosphere that’s perfect for both relaxation and adventure. Plus the lodge has its own pro shop… now that’s cool.

 

Blasting and Casting

As beautiful and inviting as the Bay Flats Lodge is – I was there to hunt ducks and catch redfish, and thanks to the Cast and Blast package, that’s exactly what I did. The Coastal Bend region of Texas is a prime location for waterfowl, with large populations of migrating ducks making their way to the warm waters and abundant food sources. The region is also home to speckled trout, redfish, and flounder – making this fishery one of the best in the area.

 

 

Mornings were spent in the marshes, hunting ducks, while afternoons were dedicated to fishing for redfish and the occasional speckled trout. It was the best of both worlds, providing a diverse and action-packed outdoor experience for this unique girl’s trip.

 

The hunting was great, but the real magic unfolded on the water. The experience of sight casting to schools of tailing redfish from both world-class skiffs and ankle-deep waters was unparalleled. The clear waters allowed for perfect visibility, and the thrill of spotting a feeding redfish, casting, and then feeling the tug on the line was indescribable… until it was time to swap stories around the fire pit.

 

 

A Day to Remember

On our first morning, we set out before dawn, the air crisp and cool. As the sun rose, we positioned ourselves in a marsh blind, surrounded by decoys. The first ducks of the day flew in, and the action began. By mid-morning, we had a successful hunt, and it was time to switch gears and head out for some redfish on the fly.

 

 

The transition from hunting to fishing was seamless. We traded our shotguns for fly rods and boarded the skiff, guided by one of Bay Flats’ knowledgeable and friendly guides. Their expertise, all being U.S. Coast Guard licensed professionals, ensured that each outing was not only successful but educational too.

 

 

The skiff sliced through the calm waters as we made our way to the pristine shores of Matagorda Island, where miles of uninhabited coastline awaited. The guides know these waters intimately, navigating with a confidence that only comes from years of experience. The sight of a school of redfish tailing in the shallows was a sight I’ll never forget. Their tails flicked above the surface, glinting in the sunlight, as they moved through the water in search of food. Casting to these fish required precision and patience, but our guide instructed us calmly as we waited for the perfect window to present our clouser minnows. It was a delicate dance, matching the rhythm of the water and the movement of the fish. When the line finally tightened and the fight began, it was an adrenaline rush like I had daydreamed about during my journey just the day before.

 

 

The battle was exhilarating, the fish darting and pulling, testing my skills and patience. Finally, I landed it – a beautiful redfish that solidified Bay Flats Lodge as a top-tier fishing destination.

 

Our Bay Flats Lodge Guides

The guides at Bay Flats Lodge are nothing short of extraordinary. Each one brings a wealth of experience and knowledge, not only about fishing techniques but also about the local ecosystem. They are passionate about their work and dedicated to providing an exceptional experience for every guest.

 

 

Our guide was a seasoned professional with an infectious enthusiasm for fishing. His ability to spot fish in the water, even from a distance, was remarkable. He shared invaluable tips on casting and positioning, ensuring that we had the best possible chance of landing a quality red.

 

The duck hunting guides were just as skilled and knowledgeable as the fishing guides. They led us to remote marsh blinds and pop-up blinds at the bay’s edge, where we set up our decoys and waited for the ducks to arrive, all while ensuring we were comfortable and ready for the ensuing action.

 

 

Every evening, after fishing and hunting the day away, we gathered around the grill, fire pits, cornhole sets, and dining table to trade stories with guests and guides alike. Everyone from Captain Chris and T.J. to our guides and the gals in the kitchen felt like long-time friends by the time our trip came to an end. It takes a village to run such a successful outfit, and the folks at Bay Flats Lodge have some of the best staff of any lodge I’ve visited.

 

Culinary Delights at Morning, Noon, and Night

We were there to hunt and fish, but each afternoon our minds quickly shifted away from casting and blasting and instead went in the direction of grilling and eating. The cuisine at Bay Flats Lodge was nothing short of spectacular.

 

The outdoor kitchen became my nightly hangout – it was just too hard to ignore the temptation of meat and seafood on the grill and lively conversations with our new friends. I grew to crave the same perfect ritual of storytelling, breaking bread, and preparing for another day’s worth of exciting adventure while reliving the thrills of the day, all punctuated by the aroma of salt water, fresh air, and delicious food.

 

Each evening, pre-dinner appetizers were served in the spacious outdoor kitchen, setting the stage for the four-course meals that followed. Fresh-caught shrimp, ceviche, quail legs, and the day’s catch, accompanied by a complimentary bottle of wine, made for a dining experience that was as memorable as the fishing. The breakfasts were equally as good, but this isn’t a culinary blog.

 

 

Dinner was an event in itself. We gathered in the upstairs dining room of the Main Lodge, a space that was both elegant and inviting. The meals were expertly prepared, showcasing the best of Texan cuisine with a gourmet twist. On our last night, we enjoyed succulent steak paired with a perfectly balanced red wine, followed by a decadent dessert that left everyone raving. It was the best possible way to tie a bow on a successful day of hunting and fishing, so much so that I almost fell asleep at the table. “Stuffed to the gills” is what they call it.

 

 

Evenings at Bay Flats Lodge were a time to relax and reflect on the day’s adventures. Guests gathered around the fire pits, sharing stories and laughter and the shared camaraderie among guests was one of the highlights of the trip. Whether you were a seasoned angler or a novice duck hunter, everyone shared a common passion for the outdoors, and owners Chris and Deb were always there to ensure a perfect stay.

 

Wildlife and Serenity on the Texas Coast

Beyond the fishing and hunting, the region surrounding Bay Flats Lodge is a natural wonder. The vast ecosystems of Matagorda Island and the Guadalupe River Delta are teeming with wildlife. Hundreds of bird species, alligators, deer, and other wildlife add to the sense of a real getaway.

 

 

Exploring these areas was a serene and awe-inspiring experience. The sight of birds soaring overhead, the call of a distant alligator, and the rustle of deer in the brush created a symphony of nature’s sounds. It was a reminder of the beauty and diversity of the natural world and the importance of conserving these healthy and thriving environments.

 

The lodge’s commitment to sustainability and conservation is worth noting. They are dedicated to preserving the natural beauty and wildlife of the region, ensuring that future generations can enjoy the same incredible experiences. Their efforts to protect the environment and promote responsible fishing and hunting practices are unique and are having a real impact on the quality of the San Antonio Bay fishery.

 

 

Places like Bay Flats Lodge remind me of what it means to be an angler, and how we as sportsmen have a role to play in supporting lodges that steward our natural resources and grant sustainable access to the fish and animals we care so much about.

 

A Complete Escape for Everyone

Bay Flats Lodge offers more than just world-class fishing and hunting. It provides a complete escape – a place where the beauty of nature, the thrill of the catch, and the camaraderie of like-minded individuals come together seamlessly. It’s a destination where you can immerse yourself in the great outdoors while enjoying the comforts of home.

 

 

From the moment you arrive, you’ll be captivated by the stunning landscapes, the luxurious accommodations, and the exceptional fishing and hunting opportunities. The guides are experts in their field, the cuisine is outstanding, and the sense of community and hospitality is unmatched.

 

If you’re seeking an unforgettable adventure, whether you’re casting for redfish in the pristine waters of Matagorda Island, hunting ducks in the marshes of the Coastal Bend, or simply enjoying a meal with fellow guests, Bay Flats Lodge on the Texas coast is the destination that promises and delivers on every front. Click HERE to learn more about booking your next trip of a lifetime!