Hi, I'm Cade. I'm just your everyday do it yourself kind of guy with a passion for the outdoors. Like many of you, I have often found myself a little lost when planning a fishing trip to a new area. Well, break out your Hook-N-Line Fishing map and follow me each month as I travel along the Texas coast, learning the ins and outs of fishing the salt waters along the way.
In this month's edition, I am fishing near Seadrift, near Port O'Connor. Seadrift is nestled against the north shore of San Antonio Bay. For my outing, however, nearby Espiritu Santo Bay was my target water. Access to Espiritu is only a few miles out of downtown Seadrift. Hook N Line map F135 is the most appropriate map for referencing my report.
When and Weather
We visited Seadrift over the weekend of February 18-19, 2012 and as luck would have it we were greeted with a strong norther moving through the area. With the abundance of fishing territory that comprises Espiritu Santo Bay and its smaller surrounding bays and lakes, one can find a prime area to fish practically all year long. In my initial scouting for my early spring trip, the word was that redfish were moving through The Lagoon and Shoalwater in schools. Temps were in the mid to upper 60s, skies sunny, the wind a steady 25mph.
Tackle and Gear
ROD: Castaway Skeleton 7' M
REEL: Shimano Citica 200g6
LINE: Suffix 15lb clear monofilament
LURE: TTF Killer Flats Minnow - pumpkinseed chartreuse - rigged on 1/4 ounce jig.
With matters of convenience in mind, Charlie's Bait Camp (#8 on your Hook-N-Line Fishing Map), should have everything you need for live, fresh dead, and frozen bait. Charlie's, as well as Bayside Express convenience store in Seadrift, both carry a small selection of terminal tackle if you find yourself short a few items.
Hitting the water
There is great fishing available on the San Antonio Bay shoreline right on the bay front in "downtown" Seadrift and Charlie's Bait Camp is a great launch spot for bay boats and kayaks to access Espiritu Santo, The Lagoon, Shoalwater Bay, and Welder's Flats given that is right on the ICW. Charlie's is located at the end of Lane Road. Turn onto Lane from TX-185, then proceed 4.1 miles to the dead end at the ICW. Turn right at the Charlie's sign and follow the blacktop into the parking lot.
To access Espiritu Santo Bay, you will paddle northeast "up" the ICW about 250 yards. There is a large cut to the bay known variously as Fulghum's Cut, Charlie's Cut and also Shoalwater Cut. When you turn into this cut you are already in great fishing territory although there is a lot of boat traffic. Turning left will lead into the Lagoon, a right turn takes you into Shoalwater Bay. Continuing through the main cut will take you out to the north shoreline of Espiritu Santo Bay. Dewberry Island lies to the north of the cut and Long Island stretches to the south. The shorelines of these islands offer excellent shallow water wade and drift fishing and the numerous "cuts" into the Lagoon and Shoalwater Bay are fish magnets.
The excellent launch facility and relatively short paddling distances to excellent fishing makes this area a great spot for rookie and novice kayakers in my opinion.
More experienced paddlers can opt to head southwest - down the ICW from Charlie's - to the famed Welder's Flats area. Welder's Flats is chock full of coves, sloughs, and small lagoons that are famous for holding fish year round.
Public fish cleaning stations are located at Charlie's and there are also cleaning tables in the Seadrift harbor if you are fishing the bay front area.
Where to eat and where to sleep
I always enjoy the eating part of my trips; who doesn't like good food? Seadrift is home to two very good seafood restaurants, Barketts and Bubba's. Barkett's offers a full traditional menu of fried, baked and grilled seafood while Bubba's injects a spicy Cajun flair. Ask to speak to Bubba himself, but only if you want a friendly conversation and a fishing tip or two. The staff at both establishments will go out of their way to make you feel welcome and the food will have you coming back for more.
For all of your fuel, fishing snacks, ice and beverage needs, Bayside Express, the Shell Convenience Store in Seadrift, is open 24/7. Charlie's has ice, gas, beer, sodas and snacks.
Like most coastal towns I have visited, RV parks are not hard to come by. In particular, Breezy Palms Cottages caught my attention by the way of having separate cabins in addition to their RV spots. The grounds and facilities here are all well kept. Beacon 7 is another nice RV facility with quick access to San Antonio Bay.
I got a room at Captains Quarters, a modern motel on the north side of town. The room was clean and comfortable, the rates are fair and the a/c blew cold - a winner all the way around in my book.
The Other Angles
It's no secret that I enjoy kayak angling, but I do my best to look at each location I visit from all angling perspectives. With that said, Espiritu Santo (when launching from Charlie's) is another great spot for what kayaks are made to do. If any of you have a shallow water skiff, you could also navigate the lagoon and flats given the tide is right.
For those of you wanting to make a family trip to Seadrift, the seawall area on the edge of town against San Antonio Bay is set up like a park. Fishing from the bank is common place for locals and visitors alike. There are picnic tables and a covered seating area for picnicking or relaxing.
The City of Seadrift is also in the process of building a pier into the bay.
If you are not already aware, Seadrift is the home of TSFMag. On that note - I want to thank all of the local businesses who have supported TSFMag through the years. Strong local support as well as that all across Texas, along with dedicated readers, keeps TSFMag going strong. Seadrift businesses for you to consider when you visit:
-Barkett's Seafood Restaurant - (longtime landmark establishment, great food.)
-Bubba's Cajun Seafood Restaurant - (popular with locals and visitors, great food.)
-Chunky Monkey's (seafood market - fresh oysters, shrimp and crab.)
-DMS Catering (Executive Chef Dean Schroeder caters dinner parties or even
-Bayside Express (groceries, gas, drinks, beer and fishing tackle.)
-Pooley Land & Realty (Kathleen Lambright - many listings around Seadrift area.)
-Castaway's (Thrift & resale shop; furniture, knick-knacks, clothing.)
-Saltwater Cowgirl (Unique nautical gifts, antiques Piscavore Fishing Clothing)
-Port O'Connor Rods (custom rods and tackle - 20 minutes away in Port O'Connor)
-First National Bank - (Seadrift and Port O'Connor Branches)
-Seadrift Chamber of Commerce (hosting Shrimpfest June 8-9 and Centennial Dec 01)
-Coastline Trailers, (owned and operated by Marty Strakos)
For questions regarding this article, I can be reached at 936-776-7028, by email to[email protected], or find me on Facebook to follow along in my outdoor adventures.