South Padre Scheduling

South Padre | Pescador Solitario | 2019
Howdy, Shallow Water People…

Hi Folks,

While epic snow has made winter fly fishing here in New Mexico and Colorado a little tougher than usual, our sister company “Pescador Solitario” is kicking butt at many of their international destinations.

Choose from a number of fantastic adventures including Red Fishing in South Padre to bone fishing in the southern Yucatan or fishing for trout and/or fresh water dorado in Argentina.

Check these unbelievable opportunities out, then contact us to book any of these unforgettable adventures!

Tight lines,


Here we go again for 2017… Both the 2015 and 2016 seasons were very good, sometimes ridiculously good. 2016 was weather friendly, with only about 5 days out of 60 that were not fishable. Remember that if you decide to come down but have a weather issue, we offer full weather refunds or rain check dates.

For those of you that fished with us here in the past, a BIG THANK YOU for coming down. For those of you that tried and could not get an open date, now is your chance.

Raquel and I will be hosting clients at the Grey Gull again, our place of business on the island.

It is hard to beat a beautiful sunset from the lodge after a good day on the flats, and then capping things off with casting to the trout, ladyfish, and occasional redfish under the dock lights.

We saw more GIANT redfish under the lights in 2016 than ever before….think 30 to 40 pounds!

We look forward to seeing you down for some of the best and most relaxing flats fishing on the gulf coast.

Here is the general info for those of you who are not familiar with our South Padre operation.
Grey Gull Lodge

We are leasing the Grey Gull for the months of September and October, PRIME TIME in South Padre. The tourists are gone and the town is quiet. The tournaments are generally over, and the winds tend to be light. With advanced notice we can also accommodate those wanting to stay at the Grey Gull from May through August, also excellent months for fishing. We will arrange the Grey Gull and your guides for the times we are not there.

The Grey Gull is a four bedroom, three bath house right on the bay…in fact; it is the best location on the bay. From there, with very little direction you can successfully fish on your own or be guided via flats skiff with Eric Glass, Rick Hartman, or Mark Cowan. The guide will pick you up in their skiffs right at your door step. If Captain Mark is your guide, the boat will be onsite at the lodge and waiting for you 24 hours a
Here is a summary of the pricing for 2017
Includes all guiding, breakfast, on the water lunch, aprés fishing appetizers; two rods per boat
Total Per Day Per Person # People Per Person
2 $482.
4 $379.
6 $344.

For the do it yourself fly angler, renting the Grey Gull through us, without guided fishing or hosted lodging, is $350 per night or $2,350 for a full week (7 nights) WITH an 8th night free if you stay 7 nights. For the months of May through August, the idea is to allow for do-it-yourself fishermen who want to bring their own boat or simple drive the east side flats, beaches for the surf fishing, or experience the jetty fly-fishing action. For trips hosted by Pescador Solitario the program includes a meal package. See the previous pricing.
The Guides
Captain Eric Glass

is now guiding his 25th year on the lower Laguna Madre. He moved to the Rio Grande Valley in 1986, after completing a degree in aquatic biology at Southwest Texas State University. He has been an avid fisherman since early childhood and learned to fly fish at a local golf course, of all places. You may have seen Eric on an ESPN fishing show, or read about Eric in almost any fly fishing magazine. Expect no nonsense fishing with Eric and you will find his knowledge of “where the fish are when” magical. His knowledge of the water and all of the creatures in it is astounding.
Captain Rick Hartman

has been fly fishing for redfish for over 26 years and guiding full time for the last 16 years. He is a tournament caster and puts his skills to good use specializing in sight fishing for redfish, speckled trout and snook in the flats of southeast Texas. Rick takes pride in knowing the waters in South Texas like the back of his hand, a knowledge developed by putting in 175 to 210 days a year guiding anglers to redfish.

Rick has been a part of several television shows and has won a number of competitions for casting and fly fishing including International Best of the West, Texas International Fishing Tournament, Field and Stream Total Outdoorsman Challenge, ESPN Great Outdoor Games Show, and the Fly-Fishing Masters.
Captain Mark Cowan

Most of you already know me for one or more of our international trips. I have been a national and international fishing guide for 28 years. My work has taken me from Africa to Alaska, and everywhere in between. The Lower Laguna Madre, where I have been fishing for 21 years, is my only USA guiding venue.

You can read about my antics in a number of fly fishing publications and see my mug on the cover of some. I have developed a complete selection of custom flies for all of our locations, including the Laguna Madre.

Whether fishing the west side spoil banks and grass flats from my Maverick skiff, or wade fishing the crystal clear sand flats on the east side, you can expect an exemplary effort to connect you with fish. Ask me about the tarpon and snook alternatives, and the many other fly catchable species in the bay and gulf. I love those “outside the box” venues. Expect a day customized to your piscatorial wishes.
The Fishery

You might be thinking South Padre Island is famous for college spring break and a bazillion t-shirt shops. But…the east side flats north of South Padre are spectacular and by far the best wading flats in the Gulf of Mexico. You can walk 6 miles barefooted if you want, and the water is crystal clear. You fish to tails on the softer bottom west side and finish up on hard sand flats on the east side. Expect redfish and seatrout, the larger being in the 30 inch range, and you will likely cast to a few real monsters.

There are plentiful ladyfish and even some snook and tarpon to keep things interesting. Need more, how about GIANT black drum in September and early October. With a requirement of calm seas, on the Gulf side you can surf fish for all of the same and add Jack Crevalle and King Mackerel to the list.
The Fish

Redfish is king in this region. Expect to catch fish mostly in the 5 to 10 pound range. You will likely see a few bigger fish, and with luck hook a 15 pounder. These are not the low IQ redfish found in other areas. The water is clear and these fish require stealth and accurate casting.

If you are a good caster expect to hook 3 to 10 redfish per day. You may find the mother lode in the form of a “herd” of 200 or more fish, all happily tailing, and push those catch numbers to 20 or more reds.

Reds are also a great way to get your youngster started in the salt.

We love to wade those hard bottom flats for reds, but you will also do plenty of fishing from flats skiffs. The guides pride themselves in their skiff handling and fish spotting abilities.
Spotted Seatrout

Also known as “specks”, these fish are prevalent and the smaller fish are cooperative. Here the real trophy is a trout 30 inches or larger, with the big “sows” as hard to hook as a permit.

They like bigger flies than the redfish or smaller trout, so it is a good idea to have two rods rigged, one with a big mouthful of bulky streamer. The fly caught record Spotted Seatrout came from this area.

The guides are nuts about snook and over the past ten years these fish have been steadily increasing in numbers. From blind casting in the ship channel to sight fishing on the flats, these fish are revered. Five to ten pound fish are the norm, but bigger fish are not uncommon.

A great combination is to fish snook early and then head for the flats for reds and trout as the sun gets higher. And don’t forget about the “fat snook” that come to the dock light at night.

Like the snook, tarpon have increased in numbers due in part to better fishery management. These guys are found in the deeper water, and a great experience is cruising the gulf-side beach in a 4-wheel drive, running and gunning as the tarpon attack bait near the shore.

With calm conditions we target these fish from our flats skiffs. This is mostly a September/October experience, coinciding with calm seas. Most are smaller babies (less than 70 pounds) but the big boys are around. A 200 pounder was reportedly landed off the jetties.
Other Species

Ladyfish are around in good numbers and are great fun on light rods. Ladyfish, tarpon, and bonefish are all similar life forms and the ladyfish can’t seem to decide whether to act like a tarpon or a bonefish. You might hook a nice 3 pound fish that jumps and cartwheels like a tarpon, or the fish might just as easily use ½ of your backing in a long screaming run.

Sheepshead are plentiful but extremely difficult to take on a fly. These guys are perhaps the smartest fish on the flats and they have excellent vision. Use permit techniques, but with a size 8 fly and a10 pound fluorocarbon, to take these mostly 2 to 10 pound fish.

Like the tarpon, Jack Crevalle cruise the beach and are also available in early morning deep Laguna water. Watch for swirls and bait crashing. If you have never hooked a big jack you are in for a treat. Count on about 45 minutes of fight for a 20 pound fish. A 12 weight is not too big for the biggest jacks.

Add to the list mangrove snapper, flounder, and pompano to round out the interest. And while you are at it…don’t forget king mackerel and Spanish mackerel that cruise the beaches in the early fall.

And then there is the “big ugly”…the black drum. In the fall months these guys come onto the flats in large numbers and tail just like redfish. I have seen schools of 500 or more fish on the flats.

The most common route is to fly to Harlingen, Texas and drive (45 minutes) to the lodge via rental car. You may want a rent car to drive to restaurants in the evening, or for a non-fishing spouse or family to shop or spend a little time at the beach. Also you can fly to McAllen and drive (1.5 hours) to the lodge via rental car, or Brownsville, about a 45 minute drive. For those of you who don’t rent a car, from Harlingen the Padre Island Shuttle provides a $25 shuttle service timed with arriving flights…easy and fast. Brownsville also provides a similar but somewhat less convenient shuttle service. From many locations in the United States you can fly to Harlingen, Brownsville, or McAllen and be fishing the evening of your arrival. We have a bad weather refund program and always recommend flight arrangements be made that allow for no change fee or something similar.
Other Activities

One of the attractions of our operation on South Padre is that it is a great venue for the non-fishing spouse, with great restaurants, shopping, and the Padre Island National Seashore beaches; white sand that runs 30 plus miles before reaching the Mansfield cut. Horseback riding tours, ATV tours, windsurfing, kite-boarding, paddle boarding, and wildlife-bird watching excursions are all available. Specialty shopping opportunities are present everywhere. For those who did not get enough fishing during the day, how about casting under the light off of our dock. Top water poppers and gurglers are a blast for ladyfish, speckled trout, and the occasional redfish, and with the right tide, Mr. Snook will be around.
Timing of Your Trip

The best months, due mostly to lesser winds, are June through October. September is great for the surf side species…including big tarpon. While tides play an important role, there are many factors in the Laguna Madre that influence the tides and they often vary considerably in relation to what is shown on the charts.

We like moving water because it moves the bait and really gets the fish going.

Due to the vast area we have to fish we can usually find good tidal conditions no matter what time of year and tables. Call us for tide information and what we think about your planned trip time. Here is some general information.

For June through August expect fairly predictable tides with moderate tides most days, and strong spring tides around the dark and full moons. September and October generally have the highest tides. This time offers opportunities not present the remainder of the year. We can pole areas not generally accessible and the fish enjoy the new found freedom, generally being extra cooperative.

Also, there is no question September and October is the best time for the gulf species like tarpon and mackerel, and September is the VERY BEST time if you want to try for a 20 plus pound black drum. And… a cool, windless October day can’t be beat for chasing reds.

Thanks for all the interest and past support. As always, feel free to call for more details. We would always rather talk fishing.

Hope to see you on the water in 2017, and as always, it was great having some of you along on our trips this last season.

Check out the web-site for our other great locations and more info on this one.

We provide a 10% discount to those confirming bookings for September and October of 2017, by Valentine’s Day, 2017.

For our clients, our custom flies are sold at only 20% above our cost. We also offer great deals on terminal tackle.

All the best in your fishing endeavors…

Mark Cowan and Raquel Moncada

For more info, contact Van