Welcome to Bat City Outdoors


News: Paddling Texas: A Guide to the State’s Best Paddling Routes available for order.

Waves of live music, heaps of barbecue, personalities like Kinky, tireless Texas fight football fans, electric get-downs on 6th Street, it’s all right here. And still people treat each other like neighbors – Austin is just right.

Even so, that urban just right can bake on like sun-dried mud. When it does, it can only be scraped off in the outdoors. Luckily, Austin has some of that too. It’s in the rivers and ravines and with the waterfolk and wildlife that are Bat City outdoors.

Here you’ll find stories about the outdoors in Austin and beyond. And, you’ll find information to help get you out there.

Thanks for reading,
Shane Townsend

Bat City Outdoors |
From Austin. For Outdoorsfolk Everywhere.


Back Country Kings Gear Guide


This gallery contains 17 photos.

Earlier this year an opportunity presented itself: Hop a place to Juneau, hop a float plane up the Taku River to Tatsamenie Lake and spend a week in a back-country camp where I would have a chance to catch multiple … Continue reading

Backcountry Kings

Cold fog hangs white like muslin over the Juneau morning, masking the waters of the Taku River. To the Native Tlingit, “taku” is “salmon.” The river has long been central to the lives of people here and it’s one of the most important salmon fisheries in the world. An hour bush flight up the watershed runs the glacier-fed Tatsatua River. This stream is known by few. And, the salmon are plentiful, gorgeous, and gear-busting big.

38" Back Country King

38″ Back Country King

Let’s try it,” says my bush pilot Denis. Ahead stands the Coastal Mountain range, the Stikine Ice Fields, goats and grizzlies, and pristine North American wilder- ness. He hands me earplugs and stows an over- night bag and a sat phone – just in case.

I strap into the co-pilot’s seat and laugh at the prospect. The only switch in reach reads, “Do not turn off in flight.” No worries there. Tick, tick, tick Denis flips a dozen switches. The growl of the single-prop de Havilland Beaver fills my chest. Denis looks over and nods. The prop blurs then disappears, pulling the floats through the chop and then skimming the river’s surface. We are up and catching half-glimpses of the wilderness below. The thickening curtain forces us downward. We fly the river toward Tatsamenie Lake where I hope to rendezvous with the largest Pacific salmon, the Chinook, Oncorhynchus tshawytscha: the King.

Read the full story here at GAFF Magazine.

Sanibel & Southern Instinct


This gallery contains 12 photos.

My father-in-law and I spent the day on the water with Capt. Ryan Kane from SouthernInstinct.com. I highly recommend doing the same if you’re in the Sanibel area. We caught reds and specks and other species and got a good … Continue reading

TX Legends Billfish Tournament

From August 6-10, fifty boats competed in the Texas Legends Billfish Tournament. The reward: bragging rights and $715,000 in prizes.

Final Results:

  • 1st Place –  Bert Steindorf’s Bandit w/ Capt. Kevin Scott
  • 2nd Place – John Ramming’s Rebecca w/ Capt. Tommy Guildner
  • 3rd Place – Cliff Thomas’ Mine Time w/ Capt. Ray Peterson
  • 4th Place – Will Lett’s Mojo w/ Capt. Brian Phillips


  • Largest fish weighed – 104.5 pound yellowfin tuna on Rebecca
  • Largest blue marlin released – Legacy
  • 1st blue marlin released – Tico Time
  • Most billfish released – Mine Time

Photos taken with a Canon. For hi-res versions, contact BatCityOutdoors@gmail.com