Gulf Coast Fisherman Magazine Vol 41 No 3 - Page 31

Paddling Out by Jeff Herman L IGHTHOUSE L AKES With Capt. Dean “Slowride’ Thomas I t’s been 15 years since Captain Dean “Slowride” Thomas first started showing folks the beauty and majesty of Lighthouse Lakes. The flats and black mangrove mazes of Lighthouse Lakes are a Texas treasure and Slowride has become their unofficial ambassador. Long before kayaking was a mainstay on the Texas coast, Captain Thomas opened up Slowride Guide Services in Aransas Pass. His primary focus was to put butts in kayaks, redfish on the end of a fishing pole, and smiles on as many faces as possible. No doubt, this business plan was a gamble. The affable Thomas with his thick as molasses, straight out of central casting, Texas drawl said, “I never would have guessed… Ya know? It is going strong. It has worked out well.” Aside from taking folks kayak fishing, he has expanded to do kayak rentals, eco-tours and even birding. Also new for the 2017 season, Slowride and “his girl Carrie” (Too be clear that is annunciated “Gurrrl” in Slowride patois.) have expanded the business and offer a vacation rental called “Happy Hour House.” A perfect little bungalow a few blocks from the water. This is the ultimate rental for couples or a group of kayakers. Clean, convenient and all the amenities you could need. There is no doubt he’s the local expert on Redfish Bay and the surrounding waters, and I am always excited to go down and fish with him when our schedules line up. It was a late spring trip, and just like anywhere on the coast, spring trips can be burdened by unpredictable weather and high winds. On the coastal bend “high winds” can mean a good day is 20 mph, and as I drove into Aransas Pass it was howling with gusts up to 30. Somehow, the fishing gods took mercy on me, though, and the next day the winds disappeared. I mean it was eerily still when we met at the launch. We launched our kayaks just before first light and paddled onto the flats adjacent to the mangroves. With no wind, the water looked as flat as a sheet of ice. The only ripples wer R&Ff6'&VpFR7W&f6RBFR6666vb&VFf6F"FR( 76( bvPf6GF6rF6R&Bf62FR7Vv2W7BVrfW"FPw&fW2FV6B( FW&^( 2W7VǐfWrƗGFR&VG2vr&VBF2fB( ФfWrFFR7G&W2FW"2b7VR6r&66RWBbFRvFW"FPV667BfWrfVWBg&BbFR&V@vFFvFW"Gv6Ɩ62Bv0&VBWWfVR&VB6FR67Fr0WfW"&&rGFW"vB6RFRf6&RBv2F6F6B&VV6PF26&7FW"6V&ǒFRFFFƖrFv&G266@FV7GFVB6R7FFP6&VƖRfWr67G2vW&RFRvFfbBFVW6VBf"֖WFPFFRvBv2VrW6pFV6RB7F7BRFRFW"67@BvF( FW&RB2( W6F6VvBFRf'7B6B&VBbFRFvRv&VBW"v7&72&vPfBb6Vw&72G&gFrfW"6VWp&2B6FƖr&VR7&'2vV&V@f6vVBRFV6VfW2vvPvVB67B( 2֗72fWrB6F6fWrFW"FR&rvFFR7VvW FR6BFRvB7FW7FVBvRvW&RG&VFVBFvF6rFR&VG0frW"FvFW'2&"FFR7G&W2G'Vǒ7V66FF2B&RgVF6VB&RvVBFVvFRFV&W'2@6Rbf66VvBvR&FB&VG2@G&WBW"Vff666&R6&G22vPFFVBFFRV6'WBFW&R2vR66RFFƖrƖvFW6PW2B27V66RBFFƖpF&VvFRW2vF6w&FR2v0w&VBFFRvFW"fW&ǒ&Rf&rG& &r&VFvF6FFV( 6w&F^( F26&RfVBC6w&FTwVFR6Фr2`&67f&Vw&VBBv6P7Fƶr&VG2FR'6थTŒ( "TuU5B( "4UDT$U""r3