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Lone✯Star Outdoor News

February 11, 2011

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New culprits? Texas’ Premier Outdoor Newspaper

February 11, 2011

Volume 7, Issue 12

Diseases scrutinized for quail population reductions. Page 4

Cold kills coastal fish


But overall impact low ❘❚ FISHING

On the run White bass make early appearances on Nueces River. Page 8

Salty swimbaits Lifelike lures becoming more popular with coastal anglers. Page 8

Sea Trout regulations No changes — for now. Page 11


For the second year in a row, pockets of game fish killed by a major freeze along the Texas coast were found by anglers and wildlife officials, although early estimates of fish mortality seemed to be less than in previous years. “Dodging a bullet,” was the characterization offered by Robin Riechers, coastal fisheries program director for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “We are still counting dead game fish in the hundreds, which is amazing considering the cold,” he said Feb. 7. “The most notable kills occurred with pinfish, mullet and hardheads.” According to a TPWD memo, “many of the fish seen have been along the shoreline and are small (less than 6-10 inches in length). This weekend, additional fish species have been seen, but in low numbers. See COLD KILLS, Page 20

Beware bacteria Some feral hogs are carrying high levels of bacteria that can cause the disease tularemia. Page 5

Pronghorns on pace Program reaches fund-raising goal. Page 4

Lab remembered Legendary retriever dies unexpectedly. Page 7

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Beyond barebones TPWD faces deep cuts By Mark England LONE STAR OUTDOOR NEWS Legislators have asked the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to slash as much as 25 percent from its proposed 2012-2013 budget. “It’s beyond a barebones budget,” said Gene McCarty, deputy executive director for administration. “It’s cut to the bone.” With Texas facing as much as a $27 billion budget shortfall — thanks to an ecoSee DEEP CUTS, Page 23

ONE OF MANY: Wimberley angler Terry Capps shows off the 13.01-pound bass he caught on O.H. Ivie Reservoir January 30. Capps’ big fish was one of several bass more than 13 pounds that have been caught recently on Ivie. The lake should continue producing big fish through the spring. Photo by Larry D. Hodge, TPWD.

O.H. Ivie producing monster bass By Conor Harrison LONE STAR OUTDOOR NEWS O.H. Ivie Reservoir fishing guide JR Howard has seen the lake produce a staggering run of big fish in the past few months. “We’re not catching a lot of fish,” he said, “but the fish we are catching have been big.” Howard, who owns Lake Ivie Trophy Bass Guide Service, said his clients boated nine fish more than 11 pounds each in December, and he expects that number to climb once the weather stabilizes. “The warmer days between the cold fronts are pretty good,” he said. “Then we’ll get another cold front and it will push them back down again.” The lake was 27 feet low the first week of February — about half its normal acreage, but it

was still producing record bass at a staggering rate. Already this year, the lake has produced four fish more than 13 pounds. Added to last year’s total reported to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, the tally on fish over 13 pounds stands at 14. According to TPWD district biologist Mukhtar Farooqi, the reason for the success had its roots 10 years ago, when conditions were perfect for a great age class of bass. “It takes about 10 years for a fish to get that size,” Farooqi said. “A lot of things have to happen a long time ago including a good spawn, good habitat and lots of food. That adds up to a strong year class. See MONSTER BASS, Page 19

Lost potential: Antlers don’t tell a deer’s age By Conor Harrison LONE STAR OUTDOOR NEWS The 2010-11 whitetailed deer season was a banner year for hunters across Texas. All sorts of records fell at deer contests, thanks to timely rains and great range conditions that helped grow big, healthy antlers. But some deer observers believe a lot of younger bucks were shot because their outstanding racks and large amounts of body fat made them appear older. Consequently, those deer won’t have the chance to reach their full potential.

“Oh yeah, I’ve seen a whole lot of that,” said Daniel Kunz, a South Texas biologist for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “The deer are in such great shape and we kind of predicted that would happen and it did. “I saw a lot of middleaged deer killed by people who thought they were older.” Kunz said he looks for several factors when trying to determine the age of a deer, including loose skin, grey hair on the forehead, a sagging belly and a neck that merges into one muscle with the brisket. “A lot of people made mistakes this year because

of the pot belly and loose skin,” Kunz said. “A lot of younger deer had that this year.” Dave Richards, wildlife photographer and co-author of the book, “Observing and Evaluating Whitetails,” said he wasn’t surprised to hear that many young deer may have been downed last season. “This past year was a good example of why hunters and deer managers should age deer by the body characteristics as the primary criteria, instead of look- FORGET THE RACK: Some deer observers believe a lot of 3- or 4-year-old whiteing at a deer’s antlers,” tailed bucks were shot this past deer season in Texas because their better-thanaverage antlers made them appear older. Consequently, those deer won’t have the See LOST POTENTIAL, Page 23 chance to reach their full potential at ages 6 or 7. Photo by David J. Sams, LSON.

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Lone✯Star Outdoor News

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February 11, 2011

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Diseases may be culprits in quail losses By Bill Miller

struck by Rollins’ findings. “Basically,” Dabbert explained, “there have been a lot of landowners Veteran quail hunters used to be and some people on Dale’s board who great examples of optimism. had populations of quail in the fall — They’ve long known that robust and then they didn’t. populations of quail follow boom“And because they had decent rainand-bust cycles that depend on hab- fall in the spring, some people were itat. Wet years, like 2010, have coin- expecting more of a boom than what cided with a rebound in populations. they got. So that is a concern.” But hunters in West Texas are disBut the research ranch and Quail Tech appointed that they haven’t seen Alliance are not working in vacuums. bunches of new coveys of bobwhites In late January they joined the Caesar during the four-month upland game Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute at season, which wraps up on Feb. 27. Texas A&M-Kingsville for a meeting in And some of these hunters are Sweetwater to discuss quail diseases. reporting an alarming trend, said Rollins called the participants the Dr. Dale Rollins, director of the “big three” in quail research, but other Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch experts also attended. near Roby in Fisher County. They came from Texas A&M They will see their dogs go on University, Texas Parks and Wildlife point, but nothing flushes. Then Department and the Oklahoma they’ll find the Department of bird that was givWildlife Conservation ing scent — dead, and Audubon Texas. with no marks from Rollins called this a predator’s fangs, consortium “Operation just dead. Ideopathic Decline.” “For years,” Ideopathic, he said, Rollins said, “we’ve is a medical term that been stressing habisimply means, “The tat, habitat, habitat. doctors don’t know.” If we build it, they By meeting regularly will come. to share information, “In other words, the members hope if it rains, we have they’ll zero in on the quail. Well, we’ve disease hypothesis. had rain and we But Dabbert warned don’t. against ignoring other “Something is hapreasons for less quail. pening outside the ■ If while cleaning No one, so far, is backhabitat-precipitation harvested quail you notice ing off the belief that paradigm.” something strange like urbanization and overRollins said he is at spots on its liver or hemorgrazing have swept away a loss to explain what rhaging around the heart, native grasses that quail that is. the bird might be diseased. need to thrive. But Rollins and If so, researchers at Texas “One thing that conother quail researchcerns me is seeing verTech University may want ers are taking a new biage like ‘smoking to examine it. To learn how look at disease. gun,’” Dabbert said. “I to ship the bird to Tech, For example, Rollins don’t know if we’ll find a call (806) 885-4567. said the research single smoking gun. ranch is looking at the “One of my greatest possibility of avian fears is that some people will let the peninfluenza in quail. He also noted the work last fall dulum swing so far that we will forget to of the Quail Tech Alliance at Texas keep looking at habitat.” Rollins agreed. Tech University, which last fall dis“The smoking gun, most likely, has covered a scaled quail with antibodmore than one cylinder,” he said. “It is ies that fight West Nile Virus. The Lubbock-based researchers not a muzzleloader.” But to say there are no quail whatproved that the little bird had, at some soever is not true. With about half a point, come in contact with WNV. That was in October, and simi- month of season left, hunters can find lar discoveries have been made in coveys on ranches that have managed another scaled quail and a bob- for quail, Dabbert said. For example, Sam McAlexander of white, said Dr. Brad Dabbert, Quail Amarillo, who manages hunting operTech’s leader. The alliance, which is about a year ations in the Panhandle, reported good old, also found Newcastle disease in activity the last weekend of January. “I found four coveys that averaged quail, and now the researchers are looking for signs of fowl cholera, about 16 birds each in less than an hour,” he said, “so I am very encourDabbert said. But the researchers have been aged about this year’s bird hunting.”



QUAIL QUANDARY: Researchers like Kurt Huffman, above, of the Rolling Plains Quail Research Ranch, Texas Tech University and others have formed a consortium to look at diseases in quail. They wonder if West Nile Virus and Newcastle disease are contributing to smaller populations of bobwhite and blue quail. Photo by Lone Star Outdoor News.

Pronghorn relocation effort reaches fund-raising goal An iconic species of the Trans-Pecos region soon will get a boost when 200 Panhandle pronghorn are released onto the Marfa Plateau in late February, thanks to West Texas conservationists. The initial Pronghorn Restoration Benefit held Jan. 29 at the Granada Theatre in Alpine raised more than $50,000 to match a challenge grant from the Dixon Water Foundation and The Horizon Foundation. The $100,000 was needed to fund the project that will trap 200 pronghorn antelope in the Panhandle and transport to them to the Trans-Pecos.

“The benefit was a huge success,” said Dr. Louis Harveson, professor of Natural Resource Management and director of the Borderlands Research Institute at Sul Ross State University. Harveson is also a member of the TransPecos Pronghorn Working Group. “The challenge grant the Dixon Water Foundation and The Horizon Foundation provided really helped propel our fund-raising efforts,” he said. “We were able to meet that $50,000 challenge which will net us an additional $50,000 from the foundations. “If everything goes well, we will release another 200 pronghorn in 2012.” More than 300 people attended the event in Alpine. “Everyone came together to help return this iconic species to the grasslands,” Harveson said. “I am proud to be a part of it.” —Staff report

COMEBACK: Thanks to the efforts of concerned conservationists, 200 pronghorn will be moved from the Panhandle to the area around Marfa in an effort to repopulate its native range. Photo by LSON.

Lone✯Star Outdoor News

February 11, 2011

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Feral hogs found carrying dangerous bacteria

Annual varmint tournament draws 69 teams

By Bill Miller

The Second Annual Lone Star Lexington Varmint Tournament was held on Jan. 29 and 30, with 69 teams competing. The winning team, D&S Boys, comprised of Forrest Moore, Wayne Orender and Brentt Raybion, turned in one bobcat, four foxes and four raccoons to take home the top prize of $4,140. Teams came from all over, but the contest was based in Lexington. The scoring system gave points for mountain lions, bobcats, foxes, coyotes and raccoons. Side pots were awarded for heaviest animals and mangiest coyote. In all, 15 bobcats, 26 coyotes, 16 foxes and 144 raccoons were turned into the check station. —Staff report

LONE STAR OUTDOOR NEWS History shows that various nations including the U.S. have experimented with making weapons from bacteria, including one that can cause the disease tularemia. High levels of it were recently found in two test groups of feral hogs — one from the Panhandle, the other from Central Texas. It’s called Francisella tularensis, but finding it in the wild and converting it into a weapon are two entirely different processes. Therefore, most people should not be alarmed by the recent discoveries in feral hogs, researchers said. But public health officials have long said that people who hunt wild pigs should guard against many bacteria. And the recent high levels of Francisella tularensis found in hogs reinforces that concern, said a Texas Tech University researcher who helped make the discoveries. “The bacteria can enter any sort of small cut or hangnail,” said Dr. Steve Presley. “If you are handling or cleaning or eating wild game, particularly hogs, deer or rabbits, you should be wearing rubber gloves and eye protection.” And all pork should be thoroughly cooked until it reaches an internal temperature of 180 degrees, Presley said. Tularemia, commonly called “rabbit fever,” is potentially fatal for people. Approximately 126 human cases of the disease are reported each year in the U.S., reported

Weishuhn to premiere new show this summer

CARRIERS: Researchers from Texas Tech University have found feral hogs carrying high levels of the bacteria that can cause the disease tularemia. Researchers said there is no major public health threat, although pig hunters should guard against many bacteria. Photo by David J. Sams, Lone Star Outdoor News.

the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. From 2000 to 2008, only eight cases of tularemia were reported in Texas, according to information from Tech. But it can be a very serious disease if the bacterium enters the body, Presley said. “Get it in a cut on the skin, and you can get a big lesion,” he said. “Breathe it into the lungs, and you get a pneumonic form of the sickness. “Get it in the eye and it can blind you.” Presley is an associate professor at Tech’s Institute of Environmental and Human

Health. He explained that his team was trying to track diseases carried by feral hogs which, he noted, started appearing in large numbers about five years ago on the Panhandle. Samples were taken from about 130 pigs from Crosby County and Bell and Coryell counties in Central Texas. The researchers took samples from the Central Texas test group to compare with the hogs tested in the Panhandle. According to the tests, 50 percent of the Crosby County pigs and 15 percent of the ones from Central Texas showed evidence

of current or past infection with Francisella tularensis. Some of the pigs, Presley said, “were actively infected with it.” “I was surprised to see it in such a high incidence rate,” he added. “The bacteria are constantly present in animals in this area and the feral hog population, but normally it’s only a small number of cases.” Presley said his team is expanding its research to determine if more pigs carry the bacteria. “That’s really all we can do,” he said. But, he concluded, “As far as a public health threat, we’re not at that point right now.”

“A Hunter’s Life,” a new television series featuring Texan Larry Weishuhn, will premiere on Sportsman Channel’s “Big Game Wednesdays” this summer at 10 p.m. The show will chronicle Weishuhn, better known as “Mr. Whitetail,” from his days as a youth hunting squirrels to the present day. “To have an icon like Weishuhn on our network with a brand new series says multitudes about where Sportsman Channel is headed in 2011,” said Gavin Harvey, the channel’s CEO. “We seek out the best of the best and are building our primetime weeknight blocks with non-stop hardcore hunting action.” The series also will showcase Weishuhn’s life as a biologist, conservationist and hunter. Beyond hunting just whitetail, Weishuhn will take on other big game species, such as moose, bear and elk. The show’s creators promise an upbeat show with more action on the ground and less chatting to the screen. “We’ll do things on this show that have never been done before on outdoor television,” Weishuhn said. “Some of it will shock, some will be interesting and we aren’t ’flagging’ it to our viewers. You’ll simply just have to watch the show.” —Staff report

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Where do they find all of this stuff? Designers of Bass Pro interiors seek regional flair By Lance Murray FOR LONE STAR OUTDOOR NEWS When the new Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World store opens next fall in Harlingen, visitors will see that it is more than just a place to buy boats, guns and fishing tackle. Like the other Texas Bass Pro stores in Grapevine, Garland, San Antonio, Pearland and Katy, it will be home to handpainted murals, nature scenes George Carameros and displays of taxidermy. Visitors will find antiques, and memorabilia and tidbits about the history of the area around the store. George Carameros is the visionary behind the displays that make the stores more than just a place to shop. Carameros, director of merchandise presentations, imagery and displays for Bass Pro Shops, said that he and his staff of 50-60 people already have been planning the inside of the Harlingen store. They will draw inspiration from the wide expanse of the state's southern half, he said. “We’ve got the idea already ... we’re excited,” Carameros said from his office in Springfield, Mo.

MUSEUM QUALITY: Bass Pro Shops throughout Texas are showcases of artwork, including displays of taxidermy like the caribou, left, and white-tailed deer above. Designer George Carameros and his staff are now planning the inside of a new store that will open this fall in Harlingen. Photos by Bass Pro Shops.

“There’s so much between San Antonio and Harlingen,” he explained.“We’re going to do all of southwest Texas.” Carameros, a New York native, spent most of his career in the Miami, Fla., apparel industry

doing window displays and merchandising. That experience has paid off as he develops displays for Bass Pro Shops. For example, animals and scenes from South Texas will be at the forefront of the new Harlingen store, including the state’s signature wildflowers, Carameros said. Groundbreaking on the store will be later this spring with opening scheduled for late Fall, said Katie Mitchell, Bass Pro spokeswoman. Carameros, 58, said he and his team are excited about the Harlingen site. “I’ll be down there as soon as they get the walls up,” Carameros said. “We want everyone to feel like it is their store.”

He said the team would head to Harlingen several weeks ahead of the store’s completion to scour the area for items to put in it. Now in his eighth year with Bass Pro Shops, Carameros said his team tries to translate company owner Johnny Morris’ goal of bringing the outdoors to the indoors by melding marketing with imagery. Carameros said the efforts pay off because store patrons spend an average of two to three hours inside the store on each visit. The company recently honored Carameros with the 2010 John A. Morris/David Hardee Passion and Enthusiasm Award for his snack shop idea. The snack shops offer visitors butchershop quality sandwiches that are served in the setting of an old country general store. But Carameros doesn't take all the credit for the company’s award-wining store designs. He attributes it to his team. “I always surround myself with a great team,” he said. “I’m just the coach.”

Lone✯Star Outdoor News

February 11, 2011

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SureShot ’BlackJack’: Nov. 1, 2003 — Jan. 21, 2011 Eager Labrador retriever fetched any bird for anyone

Executive Editor Craig Nyhus Editor Bill Miller Associate Editor Conor Harrison

By Craig Nyhus LONE STAR OUTDOOR NEWS Rockie Martin’s black Labrador retriever, SureShot BlackJack, never competed in field trials. But he was from an outstanding pedigree and became a top-notch, fullservice hunter. “He was just a hunting dog,” said his owner. The 7-year, 2-month-old lab got plenty of practice, much at Pintail Farms near Telephone, where Martin is one of the owners of the large, wetland project and membership-based hunting lodge. “He retrieved at least 5,000 birds,” Martin said. “Ducks, pheasants, quail, doves — he didn’t care. And it didn’t matter who he was with.” At Pintail Farms, as groups left for different hunting spots, BlackJack was ready to go with each group, often hopping in the group’s fourwheeler. “He just didn’t want to be left out,” Martin said. On the last Friday of the 20102011 duck season, the mallards were at Pintail Farms in numbers. “Everything was frozen in the morning,” Martin said. “But by noon it was thawing out. Three of us went out at 12:30 and within 20 minutes had 10 drake mallards.” Then things changed, and quickly. “We were sitting on the grass just soaking in the good hunt,” he said. “Then BlackJack let out a little whelp and died.”

During the trip to the veterinarian in Honey Grove, Martin thought about his friend who would knock sticks into the deep end of the pool to dive down and retrieve them — and who taught himself to retrieve wounded ducks before going back for dead ducks on the water. “The vet said it was most likely a heart attack,” Martin said. “It surprised me; he was a healthy dog in good shape with not an ounce of fat on him. But he died out there doing what he wanted to do.” Martin brought BlackJack back to the lodge. “We decided that BlackJack would want us to go finish our limits,” he said. “It tore my heart out, but it made it a special day.” The next day, BlackJack was buried at a handpicked spot at Pintail Farms, where he can forever watch the ducks come in. “I buried him, put my calls down, and called it a duck season,” Martin said. BlackJack’s story isn’t over, though. He recently sired a litter of pups. “We are picking up puppies from him today (Feb. 3),” Martin said. “We’re going to keep a male and a female.” Martin plans to take the same approach with the male puppy, although the female might be a housedog. “I’ll send him to the trainer and then start hunting him,” he said. “BlackJack Jr. has some pretty big shoes to fill.”

Associate Editor Mark England Graphics Editor Amy Moore Business/Products Editor Mary Helen Aguirre Operations Manager Mike Hughs Accounting Ginger Hoolan Web site Bruce Soileau

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Contributors Kyle Carter Alan Clemons David Draper Wilbur Lundeen Aaron Reed Erich Schlegel David Sikes Scott Sommerlatte Chuck Uzzle Ralph Winingham

Advertising Call (214) 361-2276 or e-mail editor@lone to request a media kit.

JUST A HUNTING DOG: SureShot 'BlackJack' was only 7 years old when he died, possibly of a heart attack, after a January hunt at the Pintail Farms near Telephone. The legendary lab retrieved an estimated 5,000 birds in his life. Photo by David J. Sams, Lone Star Outdoor News.

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Lone Star Outdoor News, a publication of Lone Star Outdoor News, LLC, publishes twice a month. A mailed subscription is $30 for 24 issues. Newsstand copies are free, one per person. Copyright 2011 with all rights reserved. Reproduction and/or use of any photographic or written material without written permission by the publisher is prohibited. Subscribers may send address changes to: Lone Star Outdoor News, P.O. Box 551695, Dallas, TX 75355 or e-mail them to

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White bass make early runs in southern waters By Ralph Winingham FOR LONE STAR OUTDOOR NEWS

THE RUN IS ON: Guide Ray Austin of TopCat Professional Fishing Guide Service unhooks a chunky white bass pulled from the Nueces River during an early morning trip to an area upstream from Lake Corpus Christi. Photo by Ralph Winingham, for LSON.

The old timers who hang out at the Nueces River Fish Camp about six miles upstream from the U.S. 59 bridge watch the river like hawks and have learned to pattern the annual white bass run. “They tell me that about every four or five years, the white bass come up from Lake Corpus Christi a lot earlier than normal — as much as a month early,’’ said Ray Austin of TopCat Professional Fishing Guide Service. “This is one of those years,’’ he said. Typically, white bass in a reproductive mood leave area lakes and make spawning runs up the Nueces, Frio, Guadalupe, Colorado and other area rivers about the middle of February when the water temperature nears the magic 57-degree mark. That is when anglers can really hit some hot white bass fishing action. Reports of early white bass spawn are being received from across the state. For example, during the last weekend of January, anglers on Canyon Lake north of San Antonio reported schools of fish staging to go up the Guadalupe. “In places like East Texas, it is normally in early March when the white bass kick into high gear,’’ said Larry Hodge, spokesman with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Inland Fisheries Division. Hodge pointed out that most areas of the state typically start seeing reports of good catches sometime after mid-February when water temperatures in the rivers begin to climb. “The old saying is that when the red buds bloom, the white bass run, but we haven't seen any red buds yet and the white bass run has already started,’’ Hodge said. The action was expected to ease during the first week of February, as a historic winter storm covered

Swimbaits: Not just for freshwater any more

much of the nation, including Texas. Most of the bass this year have been tipping the scales at over 1 pound and have had an average length of 12-15 inches. The state minimum for white bass is 10 inches, with a bag limit of 25 fish per day. Austin demonstrated his simple, yet effective, technique for putting anglers on some rod-bending white bass action during a recent early morning trip. Launching his boat at the public ramp at the U.S. Highway 59 bridge, he traveled upstream about two miles past the docks at the Nueces River Fishing Camp to where the water is spotted with vegetation and has changed from the color of chocolate milk to a semi-clear green. Using light action rods with either spin-cast or bait-cast reels, he recommends chunking Blakemore Roadrunner jigs — chartreuse plastic tails are a popular color — or small Rat-L-Trap crankbaits to the edge of the vegetation at the banks. “The water in this part of the river is about 19 feet deep in some places,” he said. “Sometimes the whites will be near the bottom and other times they will be cruising several feet from the shore. “When they take the lure, they can really make some good runs.’’ Although trolling crankbaits behind a boat making its way along the river is another popular technique to hook into spawning white bass, he said he prefers the action offered to anglers when a feisty fish snaps up a lure that has been cast in the right spot at the right time. By following Austin’s advice on the morning trip, a limit of white bass was brought into the boat in less than three hours — including one 15-inch fat female that was photographed and released. “I like to release any fish that is 15 inches or longer because they normally are a big female full of eggs,’’ he said. “Releasing them is just a good way to preserve the resource.”

Crappie caught despite fierce winter weather By Nicholas Conklin LONE STAR OUTDOOR NEWS

By Alan Clemons

Minnows or jigs? Shallow brush piles or 40-foot drop-offs? All have yielded winter crappie in Texas, even during the icy and snowy first week of February. Angler Ben Tedrick of Bryan recently made the transition from artificial lures to minnows. He said live bait was effective during the onslaught of winter cold the first week of February. The new strategy has been successful on Somerville Lake, about 88 miles east of Austin, Tedrick said. But, he noted, successful crappie fishing on Somerville depends on flexibility, working certain spots until fish are found. “Especially this time of year when the fish have just moved up into the creeks, you need to fish the heavy structure over deep water,” Tedrick said. But Tedrick is not a total convert to live bait; he has also caught fish with various colored-feather tail jigs. “I use a lot of feather jigs in combinations of chartreuse,” Tedrick said.

FOR LONE STAR OUTDOOR NEWS Mention swimbaits to anglers and many will immediately think of freshwater fishing, with the wide variety of hard- and soft-plastic styles available for everything from crappie and finesse tactics to giant trout-sized baits hurled for giant bass. But the term “swimbait” shouldn’t be specifically designated for non-salty species. Saltwater anglers, especially those pursuing redfish and speckled trout, can find success with the models designed for inshore action as well as some of the freshwater swimbaits for bass and crappie. Swimbaits, which have INLAND ACTION: Capt. Aubrey Black is been around for decades, among the anglers who target redfish replicate the body and movements of forage with swimbaits like the Stanley Wedgetail See SWIMBAITS Page 14

Mullet, which has a slender body and thumping tail that mimics a mullet. Photo by Stanley Lures.


Learning curve: Lake anglers face navigation challenges on the coast By Art Chapman FOR LONE STAR OUTDOOR NEWS

SAFETY FIRST: Coast Guardsmen prepare to conduct a vessel safety inspection at Port Isabel. Officials urge boaters who are new to the coast to enroll in safety classes conducted by the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. Photo by Aaron Reed, for LSON.

The boat ramp parking lot at Rockport’s Cove Harbor rivals that of a Walmart Supercenter on most weekends. Down the road in Aransas Pass, the Conn Brown Harbor boat ramp has the same kind of crowd. Similar scenes prevail all along the Texas Gulf Coast. The waterways are getting crowded. Many of the new boaters are immigrants from the state’s inland

lakes and streams, and they are finding that navigating the open water is unusually challenging. Daryl Shugart, a Grapevine angler, said that when he started going out on Galveston Bay, he was told, “it wasn't a matter of if I was going to get stuck somewhere; it was only a mater of when. “It took about two weeks to prove them right. Now, I tell everyone else the same thing.” If lake fishermen want to move onto the coast, they'll find good fishing, Shugart said, but they'll find a different set of boating conditions.

Saltwater offers changing tides that can turn a safe passage into a shallow pool in mere minutes. Open water also carries a myriad of unfamiliar buoys and it threatens with tugs, barges, tankers and other industrial traffic. The learning curve is steep. The first lesson is to slow down, said Capt. Chuck West, president of the Coastal Bend Guides Association. West is a fishing guide in the Aransas Pass area and the commander of a See LEARNING CURVE Page 11

Lone✯Star Outdoor News

Officials want to keep freshwater fishing stamp By Mark England LONE STAR OUTDOOR NEWS Texas Parks and Wildlife Department officials are testing the waters on making the $5 freshwater fishing stamp permanent. It’s set to expire in 2014, but legislation has been filed to extend it. “The reality is that the kind of dollars coming in from the stamps purchased by anglers is going to be needed in the future,” said Gary Saul, director of Inland Fisheries. “The need for hatcheries’ repair and maintenance is not going to go away.” The stamp was created by the Legislature in 2003 to renovate existing fish hatcheries as well as build a new one in Jasper. While sales of the stamp have raised approximately $40 million so far, renovation and construction costs have exceeded TPWD’s expectations.

For example, the price tag for the Jasper hatchery jumped from about $18 million to more than $30 million — with the hatchery still not completed. That led TPWD to reduce the number of production ponds at the facility, scheduled to open this year. “We’re building a smaller hatchery than we designed,” Saul said. “Once it’s functional and we make the needed critical repairs at other hatcheries, we’d like to come back and build it out.” That could be hard to do if the stamp expires and the Legislature slashes state agency budgets to cope with a budget shortfall of up to $27 billion. So, TPWD has been lobbying anglers to win support for extending the freshwater fishing See FISHING STAMP Page 14

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February 11, 2011

Lone✯Star Outdoor News



AMISTAD: Water fairly clear; 55 degrees; 0.76’ high. Largemouth bass are good on spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jigs, swimbaits, and soft plastic worms. Striped bass are good on crankbaits, slabs, and jigging spoons. White bass are good on crankbaits, slabs, and jigging spoons. Catfish are good on cheesebait, shrimp, and nightcrawlers over baited holes. Yellow catfish are good on trotlines baited with live perch. ARROWHEAD: Water semi–turbid; 41–43 degrees; 3.46’ low. Largemouth bass are slow. Crappie are fair on live minnows and jigs. Blue catfish are good on cut or live shad.

AMISTAD: Good on spinnerbaits, crankbaits, jigs, swimbaits, and soft plastic worms. CHOKE CANYON: Good on watermelon crankbaits and soft plastic lizards in the grass. FALCON: Good on watermelon worms and slow-rolling spinnerbaits in 15–25 feet. LBJ: Good on pumpkinseed worms and black/blue jigs off docks. O.H. IVIE: Largemouth bass are being caught on jigs, splitter spoons, and Rat–L–Traps.


BUCHANAN: Striped bass are good on Pirk Minnows, drifting live shad, and jigging Spoiler Shad swim baits near Shaw Island in 25 feet. CALAVERAS: Striped bass are good on Rat–L–Traps, chicken livers, and shad near the dam. CANYON LAKE: Good on white drop shot worms and watermelon red tubes on jigheads along main lake points and bluffs.


ARROWHEAD: Blue catfish are good on cut or live shad. GRANGER: Blue catfish are good on prepared baits and shad. SAM RAYBURN: Good on stinkbait and shrimp. WALTER E. LONG: Channel and blue catfish are good on shrimp and stinkbait.

CRAPPIE BROWNWOOD: Good on minnows and green tube jigs over brush piles in 10–25 feet. HOUSTON COUNTY: Good on live minnows near the dam and around piers. TEXOMA: Fair to good on live minnows.

BASTROP: Water clear. Largemouth bass are good on watermelon and pumpkinseed Rat–L–Traps, soft plastics, and spinnerbaits. Crappie are good on minnows and chartreuse tube jigs. Channel and blue catfish are good on shrimp and minnows. Yellow catfish are slow.

slow on Rat–L–Traps. White bass are fair to good on slabs. Hybrid striper are fair on slabs and Sassy Shad. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs.

melon soft plastics, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits. Crappie are fair on minnows and green tube jigs. Catfish are good on frozen shrimp and stinkbait.

CHOKE CANYON: Water clear; 56 degrees; 5.79’ low. Largemouth bass are good on watermelon crankbaits and soft plastic lizards in the grass. White bass are fair on minnows. Crappie are fair on minnows. Drum are fair on live worms. Channel and blue catfish are good on shrimp and stinkbait. Yellow catfish are slow.

GRANBURY: Water clear; 51 degrees; 0.83’ low. Largemouth bass are fair on pumpkinseed soft plastic worms, spinnerbaits, and Rat–L–Traps. Striped bass are slow. White bass are slow. Crappie are fair on minnows and green tube jigs. Catfish are good on shrimp, hot dogs, and nightcrawlers. TPWD confirmed a fish kill starting around The Peninsula Subdivision and continuing

COLEMAN: Water clear; 53 degrees;


BELTON: Water clear; 51 degrees; 3.04’ low. Largemouth bass are fair on chartreuse spinnerbaits and crankbaits. Hybrid striper are slow. White bass are slow. Crappie are fair on minnows. Channel and blue catfish are fair on shrimp and stinkbait.

BROWNWOOD: Water clear; 45 degrees; 9.56’ low. Largemouth bass are fair on small crankbaits, chartreuse spinnerbaits, and watermelon worms over brush in 15–30 feet. Hybrid striper are slow. White bass are fair on Li’l Fishies and minnows under lighted docks at night. Crappie are good on minnows and green tube jigs over brush piles in 10–25 feet. Channel catfish are fair on stinkbait, hot dogs, and shrimp in 10–20 feet. BUCHANAN: Water clear; 51 degrees; 10.49’ low. Largemouth bass are fair on drop-shot worms, chartreuse Scoundrel worms on shaky head jigs, and watermelon red curl tail grubs on jigheads along ledges and docks in 10–20 feet. Striped bass are good on Pirk Minnows, drifting live shad, and jigging Spoiler Shad swim baits near Shaw Island in 25 feet. White bass are fair jigging Tiny Traps, blade baits, and jigs along main lake points in 18–30 feet. Crappie are fair on minnows. CADDO: Water murky; 41–43 degrees; 0.77’ high. Largemouth bass are slow. Crappie are fair on minnows. White bass are fair to good on spoons. CALAVERAS: Water clear; 58 degrees. Largemouth bass are fair on watermelon soft plastic worms, minnows, and crankbaits near the dam. Striped bass are good on Rat–L–Traps and shad near the dam. Redfish are fair on perch, shad, and tilapia. Crappie are slow. Channel catfish are good on liver, shrimp, and stinkbait. Blue catfish are good on liver and nightcrawlers. Yellow catfish are slow. CANYON LAKE: Water clear; 54 degrees; 1.20’ low. Largemouth bass are good on green pumpkin Brush Hogs, Texas-rigged red shad worms, and watermelon tubes on jigheads along bluffs. Striped bass are fair on Li’l Fishies and trolling worms and Shad Raps in 30–40 feet. White bass are fair on crankbaits and spinnerbaits along main lake bluffs. Smallmouth bass are good on white drop-shot worms and watermelon red tubes on jigheads along main lake points and bluffs. CEDAR CREEK: Water stained; 42–45 degrees; 2.68’ low. Largemouth bass are

O.H. IVIE: Water lightly stained; 45–49 degrees; 27.16’ low. Largemouth bass are being caught on jigs. Crappie are fair on live minnows. Catfish are fair on prepared bait.

South Padre Although a major cold front made fishing tough the past week, anglers still were catching plenty of redfish along the southernmost portion of the state. Capt. Eric Glass reported great days with clients throwing flies to tailing redfish on the flats. He also reported catching good numbers of trout in the deeper areas. To contact Capt. Glass, call (956) 434-1422. 10.79’ low. Largemouth bass are fair on watermelon soft plastic worms with chartreuse tails. Hybrid striper are fair on minnows and chartreuse striper jigs. Crappie are fair on minnows. Channel catfish are good on stinkbait, nightcrawlers, and shrimp. Yellow catfish are slow. COLETO CREEK: Water fairly clear; 57 degrees (77 degrees at discharge); 0.01’ low. Largemouth bass are slow. Striped bass are slow. White bass are fair on minnows. Crappie are fair on minnows in 10–16 feet. Channel and blue catfish are fair on trotlines baited with perch and shrimp. Yellow catfish are fair on trotlines baited with live perch. CONROE: Water fairly clear; 1.43’ low. Largemouth bass are fair on watermelon and perch-colored soft plastics, crankbaits, and spinnerbaits. Striped bass are slow. Crappie are fair on minnows. Catfish are good on stinkbait, nightcrawlers, and frozen shrimp. FALCON: Water clear; 60 degrees. Largemouth bass are good on watermelon worms and slow-rolling spinnerbaits in 15–25 feet. Striped bass are slow. Crappie are slow. Channel and blue catfish are excellent on frozen shrimp, liver, and stinkbait. Yellow catfish are slow. FAYETTE: Water clear; 57 degrees. Largemouth bass are fair on watermelon red Carolina-rigged soft plastic worms, crankbaits, and spinnerbaits in 10–24 feet. Channel and blue catfish are good on stinkbait and shrimp over baited holes in 15–30 feet. FORK: Water fairly clear; 41–45 degrees; 3.37’ low. Largemouth bass are fair on slow jigs, slow–rolled spinnerbaits and Power Tackle Lateral Perch. Crappie are fair to good on minnows and jigs. Catfish are good on prepared baits and nightcrawlers. FT. PHANTOM HILL: Water clear; 41–43 degrees; 2.85’ low. Largemouth bass are slow. Crappie are fair on minnows. White bass are fair on slabs. Catfish are fair on prepared bait and nightcrawlers. GIBBONS CREEK: Water clear. Largemouth bass are fair on water-

downstream to the Rough Creek area. The most impacted species are threadfin shad, gizzard shad, freshwater drum and sunfishes. GRANGER: Water stained; 51 degrees; 0.48’ low. Largemouth bass are slow. White bass are fair on Shad Rap crankbaits near Comanche Bluff. Crappie are fair on minnows between Fox Bottom and the Primitive Launch under lights at night. Blue catfish are good on prepared baits and shad. Yellow catfish are slow. HOUSTON COUNTY: Water clear; 54 degrees; 0.16’ low. Largemouth bass to 9 pounds are very good on red lipless crankbaits, motor oil-colored jigs, Rat–L– Traps, and jerkbaits in 8 feet. Crappie are good on live minnows near the dam and around piers. Channel and blue catfish are good on juglines baited with live bait. LAVON: Water stained; 42–44 degrees; 5.09’ low. Largemouth bass are slow. Crappie are fair to good on minnows around bridge columns. White bass are fair on slabs and spoons. Catfish are fair on prepared bait. LBJ: Water fairly clear; 52 degrees; 0.25’ low. Largemouth bass are good on pumpkinseed worms and black/blue Curb’s jigs off docks. Striped bass are slow. White bass are fair to good on Li’l Fishies and silver Pirk Minnows near the power plant. Crappie are good on minnows over brush piles. Channel catfish are fair on shrimp and stinkbait. LEWISVILLE: Water stained; 42–46 degrees; 0.57’ low. Largemouth bass are slow to fair on jigs and Power Tackle Lateral Perch. Crappie are fair on minnows. White bass are fair to good on slabs. Catfish are fair on cut shad. LIVINGSTON: Water fairly clear; 52 degrees; 0.22’ high. Largemouth bass are good on chartreuse crankbaits and Rat–L–Traps. Striped bass are slow. White bass are slow. Crappie are fair on minnows. Blue catfish are good on trotlines baited with shad. Yellow catfish are slow. MONTICELLO: Water fairly clear; 59–81 degrees; 0.6’ low. Largemouth bass are good on Rat–L–Traps, Texas rigs and weightless Senkos. Catfish are fair to good on cut and prepared bait.

SALTWATER SCENE NORTH SABINE: Trout and redfish are fair while drifting mud and shell. Waders have taken better trout on the Louisiana shoreline on slow–sinking plugs.

POSSUM KINGDOM: Water stained; 45–49 degrees; 1.51’ low. Largemouth bass are slow. Crappie are fair on jigs and minnows over brush piles. White bass are fair on slabs. Striped bass are fair on live shad. No report on catfish.

SOUTH SABINE: Redfish are fair on the edge of the channel on mullet. Sheepshead and black drum are good at the jetty on live shrimp.

PROCTOR: Water stained; 52 degrees; 5.89’ low. Largemouth bass are fair on chartreuse Rat–L–Traps, crankbaits, and spinnerbaits. Striped bass are slow. White bass are slow. Crappie are fair on minnows and dark blue tube jigs. Channel and blue catfish are good on cut shad and shrimp. Yellow catfish are slow.

TRINITY BAY: Trout are good for drifters working pods of shad and mullet on the east shoreline on Bass Assassins, Trout Killers and Sand Eels. Redfish are good at the spillway on crabs and mullet.

RAY HUBBARD: Water fairly clear; 42–44 degrees; 2.89’ low. Largemouth bass are fair on jigs and split shot-rigged flukes. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs over brush piles. White bass are fair on slabs and minnows. Hybrid striper are slow to fair on slabs. Catfish are fair on chartreuse (use Worm–Glo) nightcrawlers.

BOB SANDLIN: Water off-color; 42–45 degrees; 3.23’ low. Largemouth bass are slow. White bass are fair on slabs. Crappie are fair on minnows. Catfish are fair on cut bait. BRAUNIG: Water clear; 58 degrees. Largemouth bass are good on spinnerbaits, dark soft plastic worms, and minnows in the reeds and near the dam. Striped bass are fair on liver, shad, and spoons. Redfish are fair on spoons, tilapia, crawfish, perch, and shad near Dead Tree Point. Channel and blue catfish are good on liver, shrimp, and shad in 20–30 feet.

NAVARRO MILLS: Water stained; 43 degrees; 0.12’ high. Largemouth bass are fair on small crankbaits near the dam. White bass are slow. Crappie are fair on minnows over brush piles in 10–15 feet. Channel and blue catfish are fair on shrimp and liver near the dam.

RAY ROBERTS: Water clear; 43–47 degrees; 1.31’ low. Largemouth bass are slow on Rat–L–Traps and crankbaits around rocky points. Crappie are slow. White bass are fair on main lake humps and ridges in 30–35 feet on chartreuse/ white 1 oz. slabs. SAM RAYBURN: Water lightly stained; 50 degrees; 8.22’ low. Largemouth bass to 5 pounds are good on red and crawfish lipless crankbaits, white/chartreuse spinnerbaits, and watermelon and green pumpkin soft plastic worms along deeper ridges in 15–20 feet. White bass are fair on watermelon red worms. Crappie are fair on minnows and pink/chartreuse tube jigs. Bream are fair on worms. Catfish are good on stinkbait and shrimp. SOMERVILLE: Water murky; 51 degrees; 1.85’ low. Largemouth bass are fair on chartreuse lipless crankbaits and medium-running crankbaits. Hybrid striper are slow. White bass are slow. Crappie are fair on minnows and green tube jigs. Channel and blue catfish are very good on stinkbait and perch. Yellow catfish are slow. TAWAKONI: Water fairly clear; 42–45 degrees; 3.03’ low. Largemouth bass are slow. Crappie are fair on minnows and jigs over brush piles. White bass are fair on slabs and live minnows. Striped bass and hybrid striper are fair on live shad and topwaters. Catfish are fair on prepared baits. TEXOMA: Water off-color; 41–44 degrees; 0.6’ low. Largemouth bass are slow to fair on jigs and drop-shot rigs. Crappie are fair to good on live minnows. Striped bass are fair to good on 5” Sassy Shad in 15–25 feet. TOLEDO BEND: Water stained; 52 degrees; 7.55’ low. Largemouth bass are fair on watermelon and green pumpkin soft plastics and crankbaits. Striped bass are slow. White bass are slow. Crappie are fair on minnows. Bream are fair on worms. Channel and blue catfish are good on liver, frozen shrimp, and stinkbait. TRAVIS: Water stained; 54 degrees; 13.30’ low. Largemouth bass are fair on chartreuse jigs, pumpkinseed worms, and white grubs in 25–35 feet. Striped bass are slow. White bass are good on minnows and white grubs. Crappie are fair on live minnows. Channel and blue catfish are fair on cut bait and minnows in 30–45 feet. Yellow catfish are slow. WHITNEY: Water stained; 9.04’ low. Largemouth bass are fair on chartreuse Carolina-rigged soft plastic worms. Striped bass are slow. White bass are fair on minnows. Crappie are fair on minnows and Li’l Fishies. Catfish are good on shrimp and stinkbait.

BOLIVAR: Trout are fair to good on the south shoreline on slow–sinking plugs. Black drum and redfish are good at Rollover Pass.

EAST GALVESTON BAY: Trout are fair to good on the north shoreline on Corkies and MirrOlures. Whiting and sand trout are good on the edge of the Intracoastal on fresh shrimp. WEST GALVESTON BAY: Waders have taken trout in the mud and shell on MirrOlures and Corkies in the afternoon. Sheepshead, redfish and black drum are good at the jetty on shrimp and crabs crabs. TEXAS CITY: Black drum and redfish are fair to good in the holes in Moses Lake. Low tides have forced many fish to deep channels. FREEPORT: Sand trout and sheepshead are good on live shrimp on the reefs. Redfish are fair to good at San Luis pass on cracked blue crabs. Redfish are fair to good at the mouths of drains on shrimp. EAST MATAGORDA BAY: Trout are fair for drifters on live shrimp over humps and scattered shell. Redfish are fair to good on the edge of the Intracoastal and at the mouths of drains on jigs tipped with shrimp. WEST MATAGORDA BAY: Redfish are fair to good on the south shorebayous. T Troutt are ffair i on line in the guts and b d finger mullet. ll shell on soft plastics and PORT O’CONNOR: Trout and redfish are fair on Corkies over soft mud in waist–deep water in San Antonio Bay. Trout and redfish are fair for drifters working the back lakes with live shrimp and topwaters. Redfish are good at the mouths of drains. ROCKPORT: Trout are fair on the edge of the ICW on glow DOA Shrimp. Redfish are fair to good in California Hole on mullet and shrimp. PORT ARANSAS: Redfish are fair to good on the ledges of the channel on mullet. Sand trout are good on shrimp in the channel. Tuna are good offshore. CORPUS CHRISTI: Redfish are good in the Humble Channel on crabs and table shrimp. Trout are best on the edge of the flats on live shrimp. BAFFIN BAY: Trout are fair to good in mud and grass on Corkies and Catch 2000s. Trout are fair to good in the guts along the King Ranch shoreline on Corkies. Redfish are fair around spoils on live bait. PORT MANSFIELD: Redfish are fair to good on DOA Shrimp under a popping cork around grass holes. Trout are fair to good on mud along the edge of the ICW on Corkies and MirrOlures and Corkies. SOUTH PADRE: Trout and redfish are fair to good on the edge of the OA Shrimp Intracoastal on DOA Shrimp. Redfish Redfish, black drum and mangrove snapper are fair to good in the channel on shrimp. PORT ISABEL: Trout are fair on the edge of the flats on soft plastics under popping corks. Redfish are good in the holes and guts on scented baits.

Lone✯Star Outdoor News

Trout regulations to stay the same — for now By Conor Harrison LONE STAR OUTDOOR NEWS Bag limits for speckled sea trout on mid-coast bays will remain unchanged — at least for now. Coastal fisheries officials for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department recently recommended that no changes be made in the near-term. The recommendation was made during a hearing of the regulations committee of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission. Fisheries officials have spent the past month getting public input on a five-year downward trend of trout along the middle coast. Part of those discussions was a controversial suggestion to cut the current mid-coast bag limit from 10 to five speckled trout. But that idea won’t go forward, at least for now, because of the staff’s recommendation to not make any changes. “That pretty much kills it,” said Steve Lightfoot, TPWD spokesman. “There’s no official action needed by the commission.” The commission’s meeting on Jan. 27 followed nearly a month of scoping meetings to address speckled trout decreases. But Robin Riechers, coastal fisheries director, said that TPWD biologists also have seen a rise in juvenile trout numbers the past year, prompting the agency to take a wait-and-see approach to future changes. “We have seen high recruitment and an increasing abun-

dance of sub-level fish,” Riechers said. “Aransas Bay had record high recruitment levels (during last summer’s gill net surveys) as well as parts of San Antonio Bay.” Riechers said biologists would continue to closely monitor sea trout populations for any additional decreases. “We want to look at this again in the near future and bring a report back to the committee after the spring gill net surveys,” Riechers said. Some of the public meetings in January became heated during discussions about reduced bag limits. Officials received more than 1,240 comments on this issue from anglers and guides. Riechers said that feedback was split almost evenly between those who wanted a change, 49 percent, and those who didn’t, 51 percent. Some people suggested alternatives like slot limits, raising or lowering the minimum sizes of keeper trout, and having different regulations for guided and recreational trips. When asked if the decision would have been swayed if a stronger percentage of anglers called

for changes, Riechers said it falls back on the science. “Obviously, the commissioners would make any decisions on changes,” he said. “It comes down to two issues. If the biology was real strong (supporting some sort of change), it really wouldn’t make a difference (what opinions people had).” But Riechers said the biology on this issue is “a mixed picture.” Riechers said that mostly recreational anglers were at the scoping meetings, but a lot of guides also attended. Many guides said that a reduced bag limit on trout would hurt business and push people to Louisiana, which currently has a 25-fish limit on sea trout. A five-trout bag limit already has been implemented on the Texas coast, but farther south on the Lower Laguna Madre. It began Sept. 1, 2007 and continues today. Riechers said biologists have seen an overall decrease in trout numbers since the change along the lower coast. However, he did say it looked like the number of juvenile fish less than 15 inches is rising in that area. Overall angler success for trout since 2000 has not gone up, according to Riechers, although license sales have continued to climb.

February 11, 2011

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local Coast Guard Auxiliary flotilla. He also is an instructor at the Sea Academy in Aransas Pass. “They need to learn that on saltwater, you do everything a little slower,” West said. “Until they learn that, they are going to end up with a few bent props.” West added that newcomers should make efforts to learn where the shallow areas exist. “If they don’t want to hire guides, they at least need to make friends at the docks and bait shops and get them to take them out a few times,” West said. “Share the cost of fuel, buy lunch.” But West and others are quick to note that inland anglers aren’t responsible for all the boating problems on the coast. “We see so much unsafe practices on the water,” he said, “and a lot of it is lack of courtesy on everyone’s part, not just the new guys.” Jeff Parrish, the boating law administrator and assistant chief of marine enforcement for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, worked on Baffin Bay for years. He said all fishermen share responsibility for dangers on the water. “I can’t blame it all on inland fishermen,” he said. “It’s basically all fishermen. If you fish down here, you have to know the area.” More people are coming, and West and Parish agree that more education is the only answer for safer fishing and boating conditions. “We really stress basic boating safety courses,” West said. “We firmly believe boaters need to take those classes either through the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary, or U.S. Power Squadron, or Texas Parks and Wildlife.” And without a better-educated boating public, Parrish warned that, “it is only going to get worse and eventually we’ll end up having to shut down some of the areas we now navigate.”

TIPS ■ Here are some tips on making the transition from freshwater to saltwater boating and fishing: 1. Take a boater safety course. Courses are available through the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Power Squadrons, or Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. 2. Search out local knowledge. Every bay has its own set of navigational hazards. Find the local fishermen and ask lots of questions. 3. Hire a guide. Take your maps, and if possible, a handheld GPS so you can mark dangerous channels and flats. 4. Home study. If you can’t take a course, pick up the Coast Guard publication called “Navigation Rules,” available through most marine outlets. 5. Slow down. There are “rules of the road” used in navigating these saltwater passages, but you can never be sure the other guy knows them. Go slow; use common sense. 6. Plan ahead. The National Weather Service offers several good sites for coastal weather including one for the Coastal Bend area. ■ For more information go to

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February 11, 2011

Lone✯Star Outdoor News

GAME WARDEN BLOTTER LONG WALK FOR WARDENS PAYS OFF Cameron County Game Wardens Jarrett Barker and Dan Waddell walked nearly four miles into a remote hunting camp. The wardens found a kill site and drag marks in the federal refuge, an area closed to hunting. The wardens continued into the camp and found a nilgai carcass and an airboat but no people around. The wardens left and walked back to their boat and proceeded to the camp by water. Upon arrival, two individuals were in the camp and admitted to shooting the nilgai on state property and finishing it off after tracking it onto the federal refuge property by cutting its throat. An investigation revealed a spent cartridge at the refuge fence line and an admission by one of the poachers to shooting the nilgai across the refuge fence to “finish it off.” The poachers then dragged the carcass approximately 200 yards to the property line before loading it on an ATV. The federal game warden was informed of the situation and assisted the state wardens in investigating the offense and filing appropriate charges. The poachers were also discarding cigarette butts and beer cans in several places on state land.

BAD TIMING FOR ROAD HUNTERS TPWD biologist Jesse Oetgen was on his annual family vacation deer hunt in Callahan County. While watching the deer feed from the wheat field he was hunting, he observed a pickup truck driving down the Farm Road across the pasture. The pickup truck stopped, and gunfire rang out, dropping a deer in the field. Oetgen had a video camera

SHOOTING AT DUCKS FROM BOAT… WITH PISTOL A duck hunter on Palo Pinto Lake called Palo Pinto County Game Warden Cliff Swofford advising of three hunters in a boat driving around shooting at ducks with a pistol. Swofford responded and observed the three men in a slough and made contact verbally, but the men refused to stop. They then hurried to a pier and tied up the boat. With the help of a constable and a deputy sheriff, the three were observed until Swofford could reach them. Each of the men had operated the boat and each had shot birds. Numerous hunting and water safety cases pending.

EXOTIC SHOT FROM ROADWAY A 21-inch blackbuck antelope was shot from the road in Coke County. Coke County Game Warden Jason Huebner and Tom Green County Game Warden Jim Allen responded. Three men were cited for taking an exotic animal without landowner consent.

DEER SEASON ENDED TOO SOON FOR THIS POACHER After receiving a call regarding a possible deer that was taken out of season, Pecos County Game Warden Chris Amthor located the head of a freshly killed deer on an area ranch. He located and obtained a confession from the shooter. Case filed.

POSTING PICS OF DEAD VULTURES BAD IDEA Presidio County Game Warden Bryan Newman received a tip that pictures of a man with three turkey vultures shot in Presidio County could be found on a Web site. Newman learned that the turkey vultures were taken during a guided hunt back in July 2010. Case and civil restitution pending against the violator.

I GOT A FEELING THAT TONIGHT’S GONNA BE A BAD NIGHT In the early morning hours, Ellis County Game Warden Jeff Powell and Navarro County Game Warden Jimmy Woolley caught four subjects road hunting. After following the truck for a while, the wardens stopped the vehicle. Two persons were in the bed of the truck with a spotlight and rifle. The

and began filming the poachers. He e-mailed Game Warden James Brown the video, and Brown made contact with the three subjects. After 30 minutes of the trio denying the truth, Brown advised the them that their criminal activity had been recorded and they were on video. They all confessed to committing the crime and were taken into custody.

other two had loaded guns in the front seat. The driver said, “I had a bad vibe about hunting tonight when we saw a game warden truck earlier in front of the gas station.” Cases pending. DUCKS COULDN’T FINISH THE BAIT A truck and trailer next to a creek caught the attention of Jefferson County Game Warden Chris Swift. After a few minutes, he heard shooting and decided to sit and wait. Later, a boat pulled up with two duck hunters. Swift checked licenses and shotguns and noticed milo in the kayaks on the boat. He asked if the pond was baited, and they said they baited it in the summer. Swift and the duck hunters went back to the duck blind, and on the first scoop with a net, milo came up in the mud. The pair then said they baited in December and thought the ducks had eaten all the bait. Citations were issued for hunting over bait, an unplugged shotgun, and no hunter education. WIND INCREASE NEARLY CAPSIZES SMALL BOAT At Calaveras Lake, Game Wardens Kathleen Stuman and Garcia observed several fishermen at the crappie wall, a popular fishing location. The wardens noticed a small plastic Buster bass boat tied to the crappie wall. Later in the day, the wind speed increased, with gusts up to 18 miles per hour. The wardens noticed an older man operating the trolling motor at the bow of the small plastic

boat. Two youngsters were bailing water coming over the bow. The wardens approached the boat and removed the youngsters and secured them in the patrol boat as the small boat was halffilled with water. They then towed the boat to the nearest shoreline, removed the excess water and transported the boat to the boat ramp. Garcia advised the subject of the importance of always checking weather conditions, especially when operating a boat of this size. Both youngsters were wearing life jackets. One of the young boys stated it took less than two minutes for the boat to fill with water. BOAT LOST BUT FISHERMAN FOUND An overturned vessel on Falcon Lake was reported to Zapata County Game Wardens Jake Cawthon and Jake Mort. The operator of the vessel was attempting to return to the boat ramp, but his boat began to take on water due to weather conditions. The occupant of the vessel was wearing a PFD and was able to hang on to an ice chest until he was rescued by other fishermen. The sunken vessel was left behind to be recovered once the weather cleared. BOAT COLLIDES WITH ANOTHER, OCCUPANTS EJECTED A boat accident occurred on the Intracoastal Waterway south of Rockport. Aransas County Game Warden Karen Downey and Captain Henry Balderamas responded. A 14-foot flat bottom aluminum boat occupied by two men struck a 16-foot

fiberglass boat that was anchored and occupied by one man who was fishing. The lone occupant remained calm and stayed inside his boat as the aluminum boat struck and catapulted over his boat shearing off the windshield. The two occupants of the striking vessel were both ejected into the very cold water. A passerby plucked the two subjects and brought them to shore where they refused EMS treatment. HUNTING AFTER HOURS Van Zandt County Game Warden Steve Stapleton apprehended two violators roosting ducks on the Neches River in Van Zandt County, 36 minutes after sunset. Cases also were filed for unplugged shotguns, possession of lead shot and breasting out ducks without proper identification. RECURRENT TRESPASSER ON SWAT TEAM MEMBER’S LAND Numerous landowners in Burleson County had complained about a trespasser hunting on their land to Game Warden Sophia Hiatt. The man and his juvenile son trespassed on land belonging to a local SWAT member. The landowner heard shots, ran to the location of the shots with her AR-15 and confronted the trespasser along with a family friend who happened to be bowhunting in the area. She had the friend retrieve the trespasser's identification while she secured the area and violator. When Hiatt arrived, the family friend was holding a dog on a leash with the name and phone number of the trespasser on the collar. The suspect admitted to being on the property but said he hadn't been there before. Hiatt then pulled a knife from her pocket that was given to her by a neighboring landowner (found on his property three weeks prior with the name of the suspect etched in three places) and asked him how it got there. The suspect said he had lost it, and asked for it back. Class A trespassing case pending.

Lone✯Star Outdoor News

February 11, 2011

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February 11, 2011

Swimbaits Continued From Page 8

such as mullet, and smaller ones might mimic shrimp or tinier forage. Body style, color and vibration from movement or the tail combine for success when used in the right area. Current or a slight breeze helps, as does water clarity for swimbaits to be most effective. Lonnie Stanley of Hemphill, founder of Stanley Lures, has fished with swimbaits for years. He recently introduced the 5-inch Wedgetail Mullet specifically for inshore trout and redfish. A steady retrieve on a weighted jighead creates a tight shimmy and noticeable thump from the tail. Let it fall and the tail stands up when it hits bottom. “It’s an upgrade from the old Wedgetail minnow we made years ago, with some softer plastic, eyes and new colors,” Stanley said. “I just kind of swim it with 2-foot pulls and then drop it. It’s just a good pump and drop

Lone✯Star Outdoor News

retrieve, because with that thumping tail it has good vibration and action. I’ve seen redfish and trout turn on it and when it hits the bottom, they crush it.” Jon Culpepper of Houston and his brother, Kris, have won numerous redfish tournaments and fish recreationally along the coast. He opts for a 5- or 6-inch Berkley PowerBait Power Mullet in Sardine or Holographic Gold Shad weighing up to 2 ounces. For big reds in deeper water, they cast the baits on 7-foot-6 medium-heavy action rods with 30- or 50-pound braided line. “You have to have the right equipment, which is one key to being successful,” Jon Culpepper said. “You also have to be in the right area where things are happening. With that big swimbait, you can cover a lot of water and that’s what we like to do.” Freshwater swimbaits come in numerous colors, but for saltwater it’s hard to beat a traditional mullet imitation. Pearl or white, possibly with a touch of chartreuse on the tail, also work. Other standbys include copper (new penny), avo-

Crappie caught Continued From Page 8

“As long as it has chartreuse, or yellow and black, I am happy.” Angler Thomas Castillo of Waco prefers jigs to catch winter crappie. Castillo said he occasionally uses live bait while fishing on Lake Waco, but he mainly sticks to 1/8-ounce jigs under a float. Castillo said that most colors have been productive thus far, but he has found success with pumpkinseed jigs. Adapting to structure and depth has also been the focus on Waco. Castillo spends much of his time fishing along an old demolished bridge. “This time of the year I have been doing really well on them both deep and shallow,” Castillo said. “There’s an old (decommissioned) bridge, that usually, in the evenings and into the night, we’ll catch them around 3 or 4 feet deep.” He said that crappie can push down as deep as 20 to 25 feet during the day. When that happens, he keys on deep-water brushpiles and standing timber for holding fish.

cado, purple, red, “electric chicken” and combinations of those. Culpepper targets deeper water and cuts in bays and swift-moving areas around jetties or coming out of passes with the big swimbait. They look for bait slicks, diving birds and mud boils, which if the water clarity is good will reveal potential redfish or trout feeding in the area. Swimbaits will work on both, deep and shallow and in open water or near vegetation. Larger ones are best for deep water, cooler months with slow retrieves when fish seek bigger meals. “The conditions have to be right to fish open bay patterns, so it becomes much more than just tying on a big swimbait and heading out to the open water,” Culpepper said. “You need to know the layout of the bay system and understand the pattern you are fishing, and know when the conditions are right. “Once you understand the pattern, you can fish this pattern in any large open water bays from Texas to Alabama.”

Castillo’s average fish lately has been in the 10- to 12-inch range, with his largest measuring 16 inches. Anglers also reported that the main lake coves and the shallow flats adjacent to creek channels have been holding crappie. East Texas action on Palestine Lake southwest of Tyler has been hot as well, said guide Mike Weeks. Recent halfday trips have landed more than 100 fish each. Weeks said that the numbers using live bait versus jigs might be split this time of year, but he prefers minnows. “Usually in the fall they will hit the jigs real good,” he said. “When it gets colder they will hit the minnows. “Other guys out there are using jigs, but (crappie) seem to like the minnows better now,” he said. Week’s common depths have been between the 25 to 30 feet, with most fish congregating around the lake’s sunken timber. Another successful spot was near the Lake Palestine Bridge, where a sudden change in depth occurs. “By the bridge, where the water breaks from 25 to 30 feet to about 40 feet, there is a ledge out there that people will fish on,” Weeks said. Weeks said crappie fishing has been steady, even during the snow and ice the first week of February. “Actually, with crappie, if you were out there fishing with it snowing like crazy, they’d be biting like crazy,” Weeks said.

Fishing stamp Continued From Page 9

stamp. Count Ed Parten, former president and now political liaison for Texas Black Bass Unlimited, sold. “Some of our Texas lakes are getting old,” Parten said. “The better our fish hatcheries are, the more fish that will be produced and the better off fishermen will be.” Parten would like some of the money from the stamp dedicated to improving habitat at Texas lakes. That’s a battle for another day, however. Making the stamp permanent is his primary concern. He said the cost is insignificant, “less than the cost of a quality lure.” The hang-up could be getting fellow anglers to absolve TPWD for reneging on its promise that the stamp was a temporary fix. Parten, though, is unperturbed. “I question whether anglers want to keep that promise and jeopardize our fish hatcheries for many years to come,” he said. A tougher sale for extending the freshwater fishing stamp could be the sponsor of the House bill that created it, former legislator Dan Ellis of Livingston. Ellis said he’s sympathetic to TPWD’s plight — to a degree. By his own calculations, the agency could lose 10-15 percent of its budget under recommendations made by the Legislative Budget Board, among others. “I would hate to see Texas Parks and Wildlife suffer because of the budget crunch,” Ellis said. “They’re probably trying to fill the gap. But I specifically put an expiration date in the bill for a reason: I didn’t want it to be selfperpetuating.” He could support extending the life of the freshwater fishing stamp if it’s given a new expiration date, Ellis said. TPWD officials said that’s a possibility. But they argue the hatcheries amount to “industrial facilities.” Most are old and require expensive upgrades to modernize, they said. Saul noted that TPWD installed plastic pond liners at the A.E. Wood Fish Hatchery in San Marcos at a cost of $4 million. They have a 20-year life expectancy. “We’re looking at doing this every 15 years or so at five different hatcheries,” Saul said. “That’s not the kind of thing we’re going to be able to do without a significant inflow of dollars. This is ongoing maintenance that we have to be able to plan for.” Then there are unplanned costs. TPWD had to pay $2 million to install a new water treatment system at the Possum Kingdom Fish Hatchery to deal with golden algae. Before the freshwater fish stamp was created, TPWD had to fund maintance projects out of its operating budget. Without funds from the freshwater fishing stamp, TPWD will have to look for other revenue sources to maintain its hatcheries, Saul said. “Given the current economic climate and the deficit the state’s facing, that’s not going to be an easy thing to accomplish,” he said.

Lone✯Star Outdoor News

February 11, 2011

Page 15

Page 16

February 11, 2011

Lone✯Star Outdoor News

HEROES Heroes Sponsored by

The Future of Duck & Duck Hunting For more information go to Check out Delta Waterfowl’s

TODD WINN of Windcrest (center) boated this 268-pound grouper last fall with help from Capt. Chad Kinney (left) and Justin Drummond (right). The catch was made about 62 miles off Port Mansfield.

NIC HIRSCH, 13, shot this 12-point buck with a .270caliber rifle last deer season in San Augustine County.

Photo Contest & Membership Opportunities

Share an adventure Want to share hunting and fishing photos with other Lone Star Outdoor News readers? Send pictures with contact and caption information to: or

KYLE MCADAMS of Amarillo caught this pike late last year on the Rio Grande River outside Taos, N.M.

Heroes, Lone Star Outdoor News, PO Box 551695, Dallas, TX, 75355

CARY L. SCHEURER of Heath downed this north central Texas whitetailed buck last November. Her caliber of choice was .308.

Congratulations, Caroline! You can claim your Nikon 10x42 Trailblazer ATB binoculars at the Nikon Sport Optics dealer nearest you: Dury's Gun Shop Inc 819 Hot Wells Boulevard San Antonio, TX 78223-2201 (210) 533-5431 g on her ck while huntin , got her first bu read and lle vi sp es ch or -in Fl of 19 ETT, 10, -pointer, with 12 s m-08. as cl 7m 5CAROLINE BURK in 13 d e 0 chambere near Dilley. Th ington Model 70 m family's lease Re a th wi s downed drop tines, wa

CAL RUSHTON of Dallas (center) recently celebrated his 11th birthday with a catfish trip on Lake Worth. Joining him were friends Matthew Theilmann (left) and Ben Hurst (right), both of Dallas. Guide Chad Ferguson put the boys on this cat, which was caught on a live shad.

Lone✯Star Outdoor News

February 11, 2011

Page 17

Page 18

February 11, 2011

Lone✯Star Outdoor News

Sun | Moon | Tides


Height 1.6 H 1.6 H 1.8 H 1.8 H 1.8 H 1.8 H -1.1 L -0.7 L -0.4 L 0.2 L 0.7 L 1.3 L 2.0 H 2.0 H 2.0 H


5:37 p.m. 6:06 p.m. 6:49 p.m. 3:14 p.m. 3:33 p.m. 3:52 p.m. 4:11 p.m. 4:31 p.m. 4:49 p.m. 1:11 p.m.


1.6 L 1.6 L 1.4 L 1.6 H 1.6 H 1.6 H 1.6 H 1.6 H 1.6 H 1.6 L



March 4

Feb. 25


9:00 p.m. 1.8 H 10:43 p.m. 1.8 H 7:36 p.m. 8:27 p.m. 9:21 p.m. 10:16 p.m. 11:15 p.m.

1.1 L 0.5 L 0.2 L -0.2 L -0.5 L

5:03 p.m. 1.8 H

Date Time Height Feb 11 5:43 a.m. -0.3 L Feb 12 7:01 a.m. -0.4 L Feb 13 8:10 a.m. -0.5 L Feb 14 9:10 a.m. -0.6 L Feb 15 10:02 a.m. -0.6 L Feb 16 10:49 a.m. 0.6 L Feb 17 11:32 a.m. -0.5 L Feb 18 2:30 a.m. 0.4 H Feb 19 4:42 a.m. 0.4 H Feb 20 6:37 a.m. 0.3 H Feb 21 1:04 a.m. -0.2 L Feb 22 2:08 a.m. -0.3 L Feb 23 3:13 a.m. -0.4 L Feb 24 4:24 a.m. 0.4 L Feb 25 5:42 a.m. -0.4 L

Time Height 6:45 p.m. 0.5 H 7:26 p.m. 0.6 H 8:12 p.m. 0.6 H 9:04 p.m. 0.6 H 10:06 p.m. 0.6 H 11:44 p.m. 0.5 H 12:12 p.m. -0.3 L 12:45 p.m. -0.2 L 1:06 p.m. 0.0 L 8:42 a.m. 0.3 H 5:53 p.m. 0.5 H 6:11 p.m. 0.6 H 6:42 p.m. 0.7 H 7:18 p.m. 0.7 H



7:15 p.m. 6:20 p.m. 12:59 p.m.

0.1 H 0.2 H 0.2 L





11:54 p.m. 0.0 L 5:54 p.m. 0.3 H


Time 4:44 p.m. 4:17 p.m. 2:46 p.m. 3:04 p.m. 3:23 p.m. 3:42 p.m. 8:07 a.m. 8:54 a.m. 9:42 a.m. 10:30 a.m. 11:21 a.m. 12:17 p.m. 9:25 a.m. 11:19 a.m. 1:01 p.m.

Height 1.3 H 1.3 H 1.4 H 1.4 H 1.4 H 1.4 H -0.9 L -0.6 L -0.3 L 0.1 L 0.6 L 1.0 L 1.6 H 1.6 H 1.6 H

Time 5:14 p.m. 4:47 p.m. 3:16 p.m. 3:34 p.m. 3:53 p.m. 8:16 a.m. 9:03 a.m. 9:50 a.m. 10:38 a.m. 11:26 a.m. 12:17 p.m. 8:13 a.m. 9:55 a.m. 11:49 a.m. 1:31 p.m.

Height 0.8 H 0.8 H 0.9 H 0.9 H 0.9 H -0.6 L -0.5 L -0.3 L -0.2 L 0.1 L 0.3 L 0.9 H 0.9 H 0.9 H 0.9 H

Time 4:06 p.m. 3:39 p.m. 2:08 p.m. 2:26 p.m. 2:45 p.m. 3:04 p.m. 8:04 a.m. 8:51 a.m. 9:39 a.m. 10:27 a.m. 11:18 a.m. 12:14 p.m. 8:47 a.m. 10:41 a.m. 12:23 p.m.

Height 1.1 H 1.1 H 1.2 H 1.2 H 1.2 H 1.2 H -0.5 L -0.4 L -0.2 L 0.1 L 0.4 L 0.6 L 1.4 H 1.4 H 1.4 H


6:03 p.m. 6:32 p.m. 7:15 p.m. 4:01 p.m. 4:20 p.m. 4:39 p.m. 4:58 p.m. 5:18 p.m. 5:36 p.m. 1:37 p.m.


1.3 L 1.3 L 1.1 L 1.3 H 1.3 H 1.3 H 1.3 H 1.3 H 1.3 H 1.3 L



9:47 p.m. 1.4 H 11:30 p.m. 1.4 H 8:02 p.m. 8:53 p.m. 9:47 p.m. 10:42 p.m. 11:41 p.m.

0.9 L 0.4 L 0.1 L -0.1L -0.4 L

5:50 p.m. 1.4 H

Date Feb 11 Feb 12 Feb 13 Feb 14 Feb 15 Feb 16 Feb 17 Feb 18 Feb 19 Feb 20 Feb 21 Feb 22 Feb 23 Feb 24 Feb 25

Time 6:51 a.m. 7:48 a.m. 8:47 a.m. 9:44 a.m. 2:11 a.m. 1:03 a.m. 2:01 a.m. 3:12 a.m. 4:48 a.m. 2:04 a.m. 2:05 a.m. 3:25 a.m. 4:32 a.m. 5:37 a.m. 6:42 a.m.

Height -0.39 L -0.40 L -0.42 L -0.42 L -0.04 H -0.04 H -0.05 H -0.08 H -0.12 H -0.22 L -0.26 L -0.30 L -0.33 L -0.34 L -0.34 L

Time 9:47 p.m. 10:32 p.m. 1:20 p.m.

Height -0.11 H -0.08 H -0.06 H

10:37 AM 11:27 AM 12:11 p.m. 12:49 p.m. 1:14 p.m. 7:13 AM 6:13 p.m. 6:35 p.m. 7:21 p.m. 8:20 p.m. 9:26 p.m.

-0.42 L -0.41 L -0.37 L -0.32 L -0.26 L -0.15 H -0.10 H -0.05 H -0.01 H 0.01 H 0.03 H




6:59 p.m. 7:28 p.m. 4:12 p.m. 4:31 p.m. 4:50 p.m. 5:09 p.m. 5:28 p.m. 5:48 p.m. 1:13 p.m. 2:33 p.m.


0.8 0.8 0.9 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.8 0.6 0.8



Date Time Height Feb 11 2:30 a.m. -0.2 L Feb 12 3:28 a.m. 0.3 L Feb 13 4:25 a.m. -0.4 L Feb 14 5:19 a.m. -0.5 L Feb 15 6:10 a.m. -0.5 L Feb 16 6:59 a.m. -0.5 L Feb 17 12:45 a.m. 1.3 H Feb 18 2:02 a.m. 1.3 H Feb 19 3:19 a.m. 1.3 H Feb 20 4:39 a.m. 1.3 H Feb 21 6:04 a.m. 1.1 H Feb 22 7:36 a.m. .1 H Feb 23 12:24 a.m. -0.3 L Feb 24 1:34 a.m. -0.4 L Feb 25 2:49 a.m. -0.4 L


10:17 p.m. 0.9 H 8:11 p.m. 8:58 p.m. 9:49 p.m. 10:43 p.m. 11:38 p.m.

0.7 L 0.5 L 0.3 L 0.1 L -0.1 L

6:06 p.m. 0.8 H 6:20 p.m. 0.9 H

Time 4:37 p.m. 4:10 p.m. 2:39 p.m. 2:57 p.m. 3:16 p.m. 3:35 p.m. 7:46 a.m. 8:33 a.m. 9:21 a.m. 10:09 a.m. 11:00 a.m. 11:56 a.m. 9:18 a.m. 11:12 a.m. 12:54 p.m.

Height 1.0 H 1.0 H 1.1 H 1.1 H 1.1 H 1.1 H -0.5 L -0.3 L -0.2 L 0.1 L 0.3 L 0.5 L 1.3 H 1.3 H 1.3 H

7:40 p.m. -0.20 H 1:07 p.m. -0.19 L

6:28 p.m. -0.16 H


5:42 p.m. 6:11 p.m. 6:54 p.m. 3:54 p.m. 4:13 p.m. 4:32 p.m. 4:51 p.m. 5:11 p.m. 5:29 p.m. 1:16 p.m.




0.7 L 0.7 L 0.6 L 1.0 H 1.0 H 1.0 H 1.0 H 1.0 H 1.0 H 0.7 L

9:40 p.m. 11:23 p.m.

.1 H .1 H

7:41 p.m. 8:32 p.m. 9:26 p.m. 10:21 p.m. 11:20 p.m.

0.5 L 0.2 L 0.1 L -0.1 L -0.2 L



5:43 p.m. 1.1 H

South Padre Island

Freeport Harbor Time

6:00 p.m. 6:29 p.m. 7:12 p.m. 3:23 p.m. 3:42 p.m. 4:01 p.m. 4:20 p.m. 4:40 p.m. 4:58 p.m. 1:34 p.m.


0.8 L 0.8 L 0.7 L .1 H 1.1 H 1.1 H 1.1 H .1 H 1.1 H 0.8 L



9:09 p.m. 1.2 H 10:52 p.m. 1.2 H 7:59 p.m. 8:50 p.m. 9:44 p.m. 10:39 p.m. 11:38 p.m.

0.5 L 0.3 L 0.1 L -0.1 L -0.3 L

5:12 p.m.

.2 H

Date Time Height Feb 11 2:21 a.m. -0.2 L Feb 12 3:20 a.m. -0.4 L Feb 13 4:20 a.m. -0.5 L Feb 14 5:17 a.m. -0.6 L Feb 15 6:12 a.m. -0.6 L Feb 16 7:06 a.m. -0.6 L Feb 17 7:58 a.m. -0.5 L Feb 18 12:53 a.m. 1.1 H Feb 19 2:29 a.m. 1.1 H Feb 20 4:03 a.m. 1.1 H Feb 21 5:42 a.m. 1.1 H Feb 22 7:32 a.m. 1.1 H Feb 23 12:18 a.m. -0.5 L Feb 24 1:21 a.m. -0.6 L Feb 25 2:30 a.m. -0.7 L

Time Height 2:31 p.m. 1.1 H 2:33 p.m. 1.3 H 2:57 p.m. 1.4 H 3:23 p.m. 1.4 H 3:46 p.m. 1.4 H 4:02 p.m. 1.3 H 4:11 p.m. 1.2 H 8:49 a.m. -0.3 L 9:41 a.m. -0.1 L 10:34 a.m. 0.2 L 11:29 a.m. 0.5 L 12:31 p.m. 0.8 L 9:44 a.m. 1.1 H 12:02 p.m. 1.2 H 1:27 p.m. 1.3 H

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8:38 p.m. 8:40 p.m. 4:14 p.m. 4:12 p.m. 4:06 p.m. 3:55 p.m. 3:37 p.m.

1.1 L 0.9 L 1.0 H 0.9 H 0.8 H 0.8 H 0.9 H


10:58 p.m. 1.2 H 09:07 p.m. 09:44 p.m. 10:29 p.m. 11:21 p.m.

0.6 L 0.3 L 0.0 L -0.3 L

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OUTDOOR PUZZLER | By Wilbur “Wib” Lundeen

Solution on Page 23

47. Name for the chinook salmon 48. A species of quail DOWN 1. The shot shell filler 2. Parts of antlers 3. A bass habitat 4. Term for catching fish on surface lure 5. Angler's term for a nest of bass 6. Area for practice shooting 7. Many hooks on a ____line 12. Act of constructing a fly lure 14. The wolf 16. A species of deer in Florida 17. A grouping of quail 19. _____ of a turkey call can reveal age 21. A name for the sea bass 22. The _____ Walton League

A.M. Minor Major 11:22 5:09 ----- 5:59 12:36 6:50 1:27 7:41 2:18 8:33 3:10 9:24 4:02 10:16 4:55 11:09 5:50 ----6:48 12:35 7:47 1:34 8:49 2:35 9:50 3:36 10:49 4:35 11:46 5:32 12:11 6:25 1:01 7:14 1:47 8:00 2:31 8:42 3:12 9:23

P.M. Minor 11:47 12:12 1:04 1:55 2:47 3:38 4:30 5:22 6:17 7:14 8:15 9:16 10:18 11:18 ----12:38 1:27 2:12 2:54 3:33

Major 5:34 6:26 7:18 8:10 9:01 9:52 10:43 11:35 12:04 1:01 2:01 3:03 4:04 5:04 6:00 6:52 7:40 8:24 9:05 9:44

SUN Rises Sets 07:04 06:06 07:03 06:07 07:02 06:07 07:01 06:08 07:00 06:09 07:00 06:10 06:59 06:11 06:58 06:11 06:57 06:12 06:56 06:13 06:55 06:14 06:54 06:14 06:53 06:15 06:52 06:16 06:51 06:17 06:50 06:17 06:49 06:18 06:48 06:19 06:47 06:19 06:46 06:20

MOON Rises 11:41a 12:30p 1:25p 2:27p 3:32p 4:41p 5:49p 6:58p 8:05p 9:13p 10:21p 11:29p NoMoon 12:35a 1:36a 2:32a 3:22a 4:06a 4:44a 5:19a

Sets 1:04a 2:01a 2:58a 3:52a 4:44a 5:31a 6:14a 6:54a 7:32a 8:10a 8:49a 9:31a 10:17a 11:08a 12:01p 12:57p 1:54p 2:52p 3:48p 4:43p

2011 Feb-Mar 11 Fri 12 Sat 13 Sun 14 Mon 15 Tue 16 Wed > 17 Thu > 18 Fri F 19 Sat > 20 Sun > 21 Mon 22 Tue 23 Wed 24 Thu 25 Fri Q 26 Sat 27 Sun 28 Mon 01 Tue 02 Wed

A.M. Minor Major 11:27 5:14 ----- 6:04 12:41 6:55 1:32 7:47 2:24 8:38 3:15 9:30 4:08 10:21 5:01 11:14 5:56 ----6:53 12:40 7:53 1:39 8:54 2:40 9:55 3:41 10:55 4:41 11:51 5:37 12:17 6:30 1:07 7:20 1:53 8:05 2:36 8:48 3:17 9:28

P.M. Minor Major 11:52 5:40 12:18 6:31 1:09 7:23 2:01 8:15 2:53 9:07 3:44 9:58 4:35 10:49 5:28 11:41 6:22 12:09 7:20 1:07 8:20 2:07 9:22 3:08 10:24 4:09 11:23 5:09 ----- 6:05 12:44 6:58 1:33 7:46 2:17 8:30 2:59 9:11 3:39 9:50

SUN MOON Rises Sets Rises Sets 07:14 06:07 11:39a 1:17a 07:13 06:08 12:27p 2:15a 07:12 06:09 1:23p 3:12a 07:11 06:10 2:25p 4:06a 07:10 06:11 3:32p 4:56a 07:09 06:11 4:42p 5:42a 07:08 06:12 5:52p 6:23a 07:07 06:13 7:02p 7:01a 07:06 06:14 8:12p 7:38a 07:05 06:15 9:22p 8:14a 07:04 06:16 10:32p 8:51a 07:03 06:17 11:41p 9:32a 07:02 06:18 NoMoon 10:16a 07:00 06:18 12:48a 11:05a 06:59 06:19 1:50a 11:59a 06:58 06:20 2:46a 12:55p 06:57 06:21 3:35a 1:53p 06:56 06:22 4:18a 2:51p 06:55 06:23 4:56a 3:49p 06:53 06:23 5:29a 4:45p

P.M. Minor Major 11:59 5:47 12:25 6:38 1:16 7:30 2:08 8:22 3:00 9:14 3:51 10:05 4:42 10:56 5:35 11:48 6:29 12:16 7:27 1:14 8:27 2:14 9:29 3:15 10:31 4:16 11:30 5:16 ----- 6:12 12:51 7:05 1:40 7:53 2:24 8:37 3:06 9:18 3:46 9:57

SUN MOON Rises Sets Rises Sets 07:16 06:19 11:55a 1:16a 07:15 06:19 12:44p 2:13a 07:14 06:20 1:39p 3:10a 07:13 06:21 2:40p 4:04a 07:13 06:22 3:46p 4:56a 07:12 06:23 4:54p 5:43a 07:11 06:23 6:03p 6:26a 07:10 06:24 7:11p 7:06a 07:09 06:25 8:18p 7:45a 07:08 06:26 9:26p 8:23a 07:07 06:26 10:34p 9:03a 07:06 06:27 11:42p 9:45a 07:05 06:28 NoMoon 10:31a 07:04 06:29 12:47a 11:21a 07:03 06:29 1:48a 12:15p 07:02 06:30 2:44a 1:11p 07:01 06:31 3:34a 2:08p 07:00 06:31 4:18a 3:05p 06:59 06:32 4:57a 4:01p 06:58 06:33 5:31a 4:56p

P.M. Minor ----12:38 1:30 2:21 3:13 4:04 4:55 5:48 6:43 7:40 8:40 9:42 10:44 11:44 12:12 1:04 1:53 2:38 3:20 3:59

SUN Rises 07:37 07:36 07:35 07:34 07:33 07:32 07:31 07:30 07:29 07:28 07:27 07:25 07:24 07:23 07:22 07:21 07:19 07:18 07:17 07:16

San Antonio 2011 A.M. Feb-Mar Minor Major 11 Fri 11:34 5:21 12 Sat 12:01 6:11 13 Sun 12:48 7:02 14 Mon 1:39 7:54 15 Tue 2:31 8:45 16 Wed > 3:22 9:37 17 Thu > 4:15 10:28 18 Fri F 5:08 11:21 19 Sat > 6:03 ----20 Sun > 7:00 12:47 21 Mon 8:00 1:46 22 Tue 9:01 2:47 23 Wed 10:02 3:48 24 Thu 11:02 4:48 25 Fri Q 11:58 5:44 26 Sat 12:24 6:37 27 Sun 1:14 7:27 28 Mon 2:00 8:12 01 Tue 2:43 8:55 02 Wed 3:24 9:35



ACROSS 1. A game trail 5. Term for a fighting cod 8. A good boat for river fishing 9. A trophy size sport fish 10. An animal lair 11. Letters for a shotgun model 13. A sound made by the wild turkey 15. _____ baits are popular for large bass 18. A still hunter's position 20. A salmon 22. A quick-to-erect type tent 23. A bear scent 24. A lake bird 26. A bow scope protector 27. A lane marker on rivers 31. The male dall 32. A large member of the deer family 33. Handy items for the outdoor kit 36. Act of fish hitting a bait 37. A game runway 39. A hunter's quarry in Hawaii 41. Propels the boat 42. To construct a fly lure 44. A buck's collection of does 46. A duck species

2011 Feb-Mar 11 Fri 12 Sat 13 Sun 14 Mon 15 Tue 16 Wed > 17 Thu > 18 Fri F 19 Sat > 20 Sun > 21 Mon 22 Tue 23 Wed 24 Thu 25 Fri Q 26 Sat 27 Sun 28 Mon 01 Tue 02 Wed


Port Aransas, H. Caldwell Pier

San Luis Pass

Date Time Height Feb 11 2:48 a.m. -0.3 L Feb 12 3:46 a.m. -0.4 L Feb 13 4:43 a.m. -0.5 L Feb 14 5:37 a.m. -0.5 L Feb 15 6:28 a.m. -0.6 L Feb 16 7:17 a.m. -0.6 L Feb 17 12:14 a.m. 1.4 H Feb 18 1:31 a.m. 1.4 H Feb 19 2:48 a.m. 1.4 H Feb 20 4:08 a.m. 1.4 H Feb 21 5:33 a.m. 1.2 H Feb 22 7:05 a.m. 1.2 H Feb 23 12:42 a.m. -0.4 L Feb 24 1:52 a.m. -0.5 L Feb 25 3:07 a.m. -0.5 L


Feb. 18

Legend: Major=2 hours. Minor=1 hour. Times centered on the major-minor window. F=Full Moon, N=New Moon, Q=Quarter > = Peak Activity. For other locations, subtract 1 minute per 12 miles east of a location, and add 1 minute per 12 miles west of a location.


Port O’Connor Time 3:57 p.m. 3:30 p.m. 1:59 p.m. 2:17 p.m. 2:36 p.m. 2:55 p.m. 7:41 a.m. 8:28 a.m. 9:16 a.m. 10:04 a.m. 10:55 a.m. 11:51 a.m. 8:38 a.m. 10:32 a.m. 12:14 p.m.

Galveston Bay entrance, south jetty

Date Time Height Feb 11 3:47 a.m. -0.3 L Feb 12 4:45 a.m. -0.3 L Feb 13 5:42 a.m. -0.4 L Feb 14 6:36 a.m. -0.5 L Feb 15 7:27 a.m. -0.6 L Feb 16 12:00 a.m. 0.9 H Feb 17 1:22 a.m. 0.9 H Feb 18 2:39 a.m. 0.9 H Feb 19 3:56 a.m. 0.9 H Feb 20 5:16 a.m. 0.9 H Feb 21 6:41 a.m. 0.9 H Feb 22 12:37 a.m. -0.3 L Feb 23 1:41 a.m. -0.3 L Feb 24 2:51 a.m. -0.4 L Feb 25 4:06 a.m. -0.4 L


Feb. 11

Sabine Pass, jetty

Date Time Height Feb 11 2:51 a.m. -0.4 L Feb 12 3:49 a.m. -0.6 L Feb 13 4:46 a.m. -0.7 L Feb 14 5:40 a.m. -0.9 L Feb 15 6:31 a.m. -1.0 L Feb 16 7:20 a.m. -1.0 L Feb 17 12:52 a.m. 1.6 H Feb 18 2:09 a.m. 1.6 H Feb 19 3:26 a.m. 1.6 H Feb 20 4:46 a.m. 1.6 H Feb 21 6:11 a.m. .4 H Feb 22 7:43 a.m. 1.4 H Feb 23 12:45 a.m. -0.6 L Feb 24 1:55 a.m. -0.7 L Feb 25 3:10 a.m. -0.7 L

Solunar | Sun times | Moon times

Moon Phases

Texas Coast Tides Date Time Height Feb 11 2:25 a.m. -0.5 L Feb 12 3:23 a.m. -0.7 L Feb 13 4:20 a.m. -0.9 L Feb 14 5:14 a.m. -1.1 L Feb 15 6:05 a.m. -1.3 L Feb 16 6:54 a.m. -1.3 L Feb 17 12:05 a.m. 2.0 H Feb 18 1:22 a.m. 2.0 H Feb 19 2:39 a.m. 2.0 H Feb 20 3:59 a.m. 2.0 H Feb 21 5:24 a.m. 1.8 H Feb 22 6:56 a.m. 1.8 H Feb 23 12:19 a.m. -0.7 L Feb 24 1:29 a.m. -0.9 L Feb 25 2:44 a.m. -0.9 L

2011 A.M. Feb-Mar Minor 11 Fri 11:47 12 Sat 12:11 13 Sun 1:02 14 Mon 1:53 15 Tue 2:44 16 Wed > 3:36 17 Thu > 4:28 18 Fri F 5:21 19 Sat > 6:16 20 Sun > 7:14 21 Mon 8:13 22 Tue 9:15 23 Wed 10:16 24 Thu 11:15 25 Fri Q ----26 Sat 12:37 27 Sun 1:27 28 Mon 2:13 01 Tue 2:57 02 Wed 3:38

Major 5:35 6:25 7:16 8:07 8:59 9:50 10:42 11:35 12:03 1:00 2:00 3:01 4:02 5:01 5:58 6:51 7:40 8:26 9:08 9:48

Major 6:00 6:52 7:44 8:36 9:27 10:18 11:09 ----12:29 1:27 2:27 3:28 4:30 5:29 6:26 7:18 8:06 8:50 9:31 10:10

Sets 06:24 06:25 06:26 06:27 06:28 06:29 06:30 06:31 06:32 06:33 06:34 06:35 06:36 06:37 06:37 06:38 06:39 06:40 06:41 06:42

MOON Rises 11:54a 12:42p 1:38p 2:40p 3:48p 4:59p 6:11p 7:23p 8:34p 9:46p 10:57p NoMoon 12:08a 1:15a 2:17a 3:13a 4:02a 4:44a 5:21a 5:53a

Sets 1:44a 2:42a 3:39a 4:33a 5:23a 6:07a 6:47a 7:24a 7:59a 8:33a 9:09a 9:48a 10:32a 11:20a 12:13p 1:10p 2:08p 3:07p 4:06p 5:04p


Crock-Pot Wild Pork 3-4 lbs. of wild hog loin roast 2 large onions, sliced 1 tsp. of garlic, minced Salt and pepper to taste 1 quart of sauerkraut, drained 1 tbsp. of caraway seeds 1 can of beef broth 6 potatoes, boiled and mashed Place the pork into a six-quart

Crock-Pot with all ingredients except sauerkraut, potatoes or caraway seeds. Cook on low for six hours. Add sauerkraut and caraway seeds and cook for one or two more hours or until done. Serve over mashed potatoes. — California Department of Fish and Game

Trout Cakes

25. A fly-fishing lure 28. Trapped for the fur 29. A game or wildfowl favored area 30. Arrows, bullets, shells 32. The moray is one 34. This snags the fish

35. A species of grouse 38. Lake, brown or brookie 39. Prevents easy removal of an arrow 40. The hunter's firepower 43. The loop in a bowstring 45. Code for a type bullet

2 pan-size trout (10-12 inches) 1 small onion (finely chopped) 3 tbsps. of parsley 2 eggs (well-beaten) 1 to 1 1/2 cups of dry bread crumbs 3 tbsps. of butter Black pepper to taste

Cook the trout in the oven or a frying pan until the meat is tender and flaky. Debone the fish, and add all the remaining ingredients except the butter. Form the mixture into patties and fry with butter over medium heat until lightly brown. — Colorado Division of Wildlife

Lone✯Star Outdoor News

February 11, 2011

Page 19

Texas lakes serve up huge wintertime bass, some lake records

LAKE AUSTIN RECORD: Austin angler T.J. Nissen caught the new Lake Austin record largemouth bass on Jan. 27 when he hauled in a 16.03-pound lunker, according to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. It was caught in 4 or 5 feet of water and measured 28.25 inches long and it had a 21.7-inch girth. It placed 22nd in the top 50 biggest bass ever caught in Texas. Photo by Larry Hodge, TPWD.

West Texas lake deaths Two West Texas women died Feb. 5 after their boat capsized during a family fishing trip on Lake J.B. Thomas southwest of Snyder in Scurry County. Melody Cook, 46, and Erin Cook, 28, both of Stanton were checking trotlines with their husbands when their 13-foot fiberglass boat overturned. Game wardens believe the incident began when a trotline became wrapped in the propeller

of the boat’s motor, said Mike Cox, spokesman for Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “As they tried to free it, they must have all gotten on the same side of the boat, which caused it to capsize,” Cox said. No one was wearing life jackets and the water was 34 degrees “with patches of floating ice,” Cox said. Kyle Cook, 48, Melody’s husband, stayed with the boat, but lost sight of his wife, Cox said. Kevin Cook, 28, Melody’s stepson, and Erin Cook, his wife, swam

RECORD SPOTTED BASS: Lake Alan Henry produced the new state record spotted bass on Jan. 15 for Lubbock angler Erik Atkins. The 5.62-pound fish, which measured 22.75 inches in length and 15 inches in girth, was confirmed by DNA tests conducted by Texas Parks and Wildlife Department to be a true spotted bass. The new record eclipsed the old state record of 5.56 pounds caught from Lake O’ the Pines in 1966. Photo by Erik Atkins.

toward shore. But once they reached it, Erin was unconscious, Cox said. Her husband gave her CPR, but she could not be revived, Cox said. Melody Cox’s body was recovered 8:50 a.m. Sunday near the lake’s dam. Kevin Cox was treated for hypothermia at Cogdell Memorial Hospital in Snyder. Kyle Cox also was flown to a Lubbock hospital where he, too, was treated for hypothermia. Both men were released from the hospitals on Sunday, Cox said. —Staff report

FROM FALCON: Grandview angler Ky Martin holds the 13.22-pound bass he caught Jan. 31 on Falcon Lake. Martin was pre-fishing for a Bass Champs tournament when he caught the fish around 2 p.m., according to Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Photo by Nathan Reynolds, TPWD.

Monster bass Continued From Page 1

“If all the conditions are there, you see it move through the years as these fish trend toward big fish.” O.H. Ivie was stocked with a Florida strain of largemouth bass in the early 1990s and again at the end of the decade. “We did do smaller stockings in 1999 and 2001,” Farooqi said. “It’s likely these past few fish came from those stockings.” Before last year’s record year, Ivie produced five reported fish more than 13 pounds — three in 2000 and two in 2002, which coincided with the first TPWD stockings in the early 1990s. “It’s not a surprise (to see this many big fish),” said Larry Hodge, a spokesman for TPWD. “We said last year when 11 were caught that, when a lake gets hot, the next year often is better. “It’s a matter of good weather and people out on the lake fishing.”

Farooqi said even though the lake is down, angler access remains good, but because of fluctuating water levels the lake may not continue its hot run into the future. “Some lakes go off for a year or two and some stay consistent over a long period of time,” he said. “We may not be too consistent because water levels often drive age classes. “When water levels go up habitat increases, food increases and year classes increase. I think Ivie has more of a boom-or-bust type situation. With the amount of fishing pressure in a more concentrated area right now, it might help increase catching fish over 13 pounds.” Last year, April proved to be the best month for catching a trophy. If it comes close to January, West Texas anglers might be in for a great spring. “We’ve had good weekend weather recently and lots of people have been able to fish,” Hodge said. “I expect Ivie will continue to produce big fish this year.”

Page 20

February 11, 2011

Lone✯Star Outdoor News

Cold kills Continued From Page 1

“During field reconnaissance, the water clarity remains high and many fish were seen in canals beginning to come off the bottom. With the higher water temperatures, many of the dead fish in the deeper water are beginning to float.” However, low tides the previous week and existing cold water probably helped save some fish because they already had moved to deeper water before the freeze hit. “In past big events, the cold weather came on quick,” Riechers sad. “Having cold weather before the front, the fish were acclimated already. A lot of water was already shoved out of the bays (because of the low tides) and the barge traffic stoppage helped a lot.” Mid-coast guide Capt. Scott Sommerlatte said he flew over East and West Matagorda Bays Sunday, Feb. 6 and counted several hundred dead trout, but called the fish kill “insignificant” in the areas he could view from the air. “I think we escaped anything too terrible,” he said. “I saw a couple of really big trout, but not a single redfish. East Matagorda had most of the dead fish, but this wasn’t as bad as last year — not even close.”

Meetings set on proposed hunting, fishing regulation changes Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has proposed a series of new regulations impacting hunting and fishing ahead of a scheduled meeting of the agency’s commissioners on March 30-31. Among the suggested changes is the closing of spring turkey hunting in 15 eastern counties because of low or non-existent harvest numbers in recent years. Included are Cherokee, Delta, Gregg, Hardin, Houston, Hunt, Liberty, Montgomery, Rains, Rusk, San Jacinto, Shelby, Smith, Tyler and Walker counties. Closing spring turkey seasons in those counties will allow biologists to reassess Eastern turkey restoration efforts, TPWD officials said. All of the public meetings will begin at 7 p.m. They are:

Sommerlatte said it probably would be another three weeks or so before the water warmed up enough to consistently catch fish again. By Monday, water temperatures had warmed up on the coast to between 45.7 degrees in Sabine Pass to 54.1 degrees in Port Mansfield. Sommerlatte added the barges were back operating again on Sunday, and he hadn’t seen them kicking up any dead fish from the shipping channels. A small snook kill was reported in the Lower Laguna Madre, but Capt. Eric Glass guided a client to schools of tailing redfish Sunday, Feb 6 along the southernmost tip of the coast and reported a great day of fly-fishing on the flats. He said his client caught several big redfish on the flats and some big trout in the deeper areas along the southern coast. However, the news wasn’t all happy. E-mailed reports surfaced Monday, Feb. 7 from the Pringel Lake area of a major fish kill involving trout, red and black drum. An angler said the pelicans were making quick work of any dead fish floating to the surface because of prop wash. He said but within a 25-yard radius of the boat, hundreds of dead fish could be seen floating to the surface. —Staff report

March 1: Cherokee County Courthouse, 135 S. Main St., Rusk; TAMU National Resource Center, Room 1003, 6300 Ocean Drive, Corpus Christi. March 2: Lubbock County Courthouse, 904 Broadway St., Lubbock; Marion County Courthouse, Room 210, 114 W. Austin St., Jefferson; Lamar College, Carl Parker Center, 2nd Floor, 1880 Lakeshore Drive, Port Arthur; Lions Field Adult Center, 2809 Broadway St., San Antonio. March 3: TPWD Marine Lab, 1502 Pine Drive, Dickinson. March 8: Sabine County Courthouse, 201 Main St., Hemphill. March 9: South Padre Island Convention Center, 7355 Padre Blvd., South Padre Island; Smith County Courthouse, 100 N. Broadway St., Tyler; Cabela’s, 12901 Cabela’s Drive, Fort Worth. March 10: Hopkins County Courthouse, 118 Church St., Sulphur Springs. —Staff report

Lone✯Star Outdoor News

February 11, 2011

Page 21

PRODUCTS PRO QUALIFIER GORE-TEX RAIN JACKET: Bass Pro Shops’ waterproof jacket will keep anglers warm and dry. Made with a heavy-duty, tear-resistant fabric and two-layer GORETEX performance shell, the jacket features a three-way adjustable hood with extended rain visor, hidden side chest pocket between the front zipper and storm flap, two external D-rings, an inner security pocket, and a drawstring waist and hem. Part of Bass Pro Shops’ Extreme Wet Weather line, the jacket sells for about $140.

EDG BINOCULAR: Nikon’s next generation of EDG binoculars delivers durability and razor-sharp images in any condition. Extra-low dispersion glass eliminates the dispersion that occurs when light rays of varying wavelengths pass through optical glass while its multilayer prism coatings ensure the brightest images even in the lowest light. Additionally, technologies such as the company’s “Field Flattener Lens System,” which results in a higher light transmission rate and flatter characteristics across the entire visible light range, produce a crystal clear field of view and more natural color reproduction. Other features include a redesigned chassis with a short bridge style and additional rubber armor for an easy grip; a multi-function, central focusing knob that provides precise focusing; a magnesium-alloy body that reduces weight; and ergonomically contoured horn-shaped detachable eyecups that block out peripheral light for a clearer field of view. The waterproof and fogproof binoculars will be available in 7x42, 8x42, 10x42, 8x32 and 10x32 models, and will cost about $2,000 to $2,300.


POWERASSIST MULTI-TOOL: SOG’s multi-tool houses two blades, heavy-duty pliers, screwdrivers and more. This is the tool with the onehanded flip opening. Start to open the main blades, which are available when the tool is closed, and the “Assisted Technology” takes over to complete the opening. The 9.3-ounce multi-tool, which has a smooth and comfortable handle, sells for about $120.

SANTIAGO REEL: This is Fin-Nor’s flagship reel. Available in eight models for whatever size species big game anglers are going after, the Santiago has the latest advances in reel materials and design. It features a solid one-piece, fully machined aluminum frame and forged aluminum spool that is supported by a stainless steel center shaft turning on four smooth ceramic and stainless hybrid ball bearings. Its drag system, which includes a large stainless steel drag plate, allows anglers to customize and fine-tune settings to their types of fishing. Featuring a gold anodized corrosion-resistant finish, the reel costs about $500 to $950, depending on model.

(425) 771-6230

(800) 588-9030

GEAR GRABBAR: It is a magnetic bar that grabs small metallic fishing gear and holds it securely until it is needed. The bar, which can be easily and conveniently mounted on a fishing boat, incorporates magnets that will keep gear such as lures with razor-sharp hooks, needlenose pliers, and other fishing tools organized and out of the way. Magnetic Marine Products’ Gear Grabbar sells for about $22. (616) 719-7667





(800) 248-6846

(800) 227-7776

Page 22

February 11, 2011

Lone✯Star Outdoor News

DATEBOOK February 11-13

February 18-20

February 25

March 4-5

Midessa Boat, RV, Sport and Gun Show Ector County Coliseum Odessa

Guadalupe River Trout Unlimited Troutfest 2011 Rio Raft Resort, Canyon Lake

Ducks Unlimited Brazos Valley Banquet The Brazos Center, Bryan (979) 255-8507

Texas Deer Association Spring Gala Banquet Embassy Suites Outdoor World Grapevine (940) 3909723

February 14-15 Texas Wildlife Association Boots on the Ground Event AT&T Center, Austin (210) 826-2904

February 18 Ducks Unlimited Pearland Dinner Epiphany Lutheran Church (713) 907-4264

February 19-20 Cabela's Great Outdoor Days Fort Worth (817) 337-2400 Buda (512) 295-1100 Texas Gun and Knife Association Sh Show Gillespie County Fairgrounds Fredericksburg

February 22-23 Texas Farm and Ranch Expo Taylor County Fairgrounds Abilene

February 26 North Texas Chapter SCI Meeting Embassy Suites Outdoor World (940) 612-1928

March 2-6 Houston Fishing Show Geroge R. Brown Convention Center Houston (281) 350-2741


To advertise in this section, call Mike Hughs at (214) 361-2276 or e-mail him at

March 10 Park Cities Quail Annual Dinner and Auction Frontiers of Flight Museum, Dallas (214) 801-6802

March 12 Dallas Woods and Waters Club Dinner and Benefit Auction (214) 570-8700

Lone✯Star Outdoor News

Deep cuts

Lost potential

Continued From Page 1

Continued From Page 1

nomic downturn and a 2006 school finance reform package that’s operating at a deficit — TPWD is being asked to cut between $140 million to $162 million from its budget over two years. That includes eliminating the capital purchases of new vehicles, boats and computers; eliminating almost all grants, such as those for local parks and shooting ranges; and eliminating as many as 300 employees in 2012. TPWD cuurently employs about 3,000 people. “A lot will happen between now and May when the budget will be voted out as a bill,” McCarty said. “We view this as a starting point. “But it will take a lot to dig out from this low a starting point.” The Texas House of Representatives’ proposed state budget contains the deepest cuts. For example, it would eliminate more than 20 law enforcement positions, while the Texas Senate’s budget does not. Both proposed budgets, however, would drastically change how TPWD functions. “The impact might not be immediate,” McCarty said. “But long-term you would see it, as far as how we assess our fish and wildlife resources: conduct population analysis and such. “And how we react to changes. It would weaken our agency’s ability to perform its core responsibilities of protecting and preserving Texas’ natural resources.” Despite the proposed cutbacks, one group of Texas’ hunters is lobbying legislators to authorize TPWD to spend $2 million to restore quail habitat. The funds have been raised through the sale of upland game bird and migratory game bird stamps. The Quail Coalition — which has 14 chapters in Texas — wants the restricted money spent rather than held to help balance the state’s bottom line. “I think if more hunters knew about it, they’d be outraged,” said Joe Crafton, a Dallas member of QC’s board. “The money is accruing but it’s not being put to work, and they have a crisis on their hands with the decline of quail habitat.” While both the Senate and House have proposed overall state budget cuts of less than 17 percent in 2012-2013, TPWD is looking at much deeper cuts, even though it raises more than half of its revenues through such things as park fees, the sale of hunting and fishing licenses, boat registrations, etc. In 2011, for example, 54 percent or almost $229 million of TPWD’s $423.2 million budget will be generated through such means. TPWD Executive Director Carter Smith said by e-mail that he has been asked “with increasing frequency by hunters and anglers” if he thinks the proposed budget cut is excessive given TPWD generates so much of its own revenue. Smith, however, declined to address the issue, and he appears to be bracing for the worst. “Given the state’s budget picture, I cannot imagine a scenario in which we will not have fewer resources to carry out our mission,” Smith told LSON. “As such, we will have to realign our fisheries, wildlife and law enforcement efforts to match whatever is ultimately appropriated.” Sen. Kel Seliger, R-Amarillo, said the state’s budget crunch has put lawmakers in a tough spot. Seliger, who sits on the Senate Finance Committee, mentioned hearing from caregivers worried that lifelong support programs for the disabled will be cut. “Our parks and wildlife system is absolutely a state treasure,” Seliger said. “But for a short period of time, there will have to be some sacrifices made.” TPWD’s best strategy may be trying to influence how budget cuts are implemented, McCarty said. For example, a year after cutting some 300 employees, the state plans to give TPWD money to refill approximately 70 positions. “We’re going to ask the Legislature to level the cuts off,” McCarty said. “It would be hard to lose so much institutional knowledge and expertise and then try to restore it the next year.”

Richards said. “Undoubtedly, healthy bucks, young and old, had their best antlers ever throughout parts of the state.” Richards agreed that timely rainfall improved nutrition on the range, which yielded better-thannormal antler growth. But Richards said landowners using antlers as an age criteria run the risk of shooting the best-of-the-best 3- and 4-year-old bucks, instead of letting them reach 6 or 7 when a deer reaches his “full antler size potential.” Land managers who study deer all year round probably had a better understanding of the age structures of their bucks, Richards said. At the Los Cazadores Deer Hunting Contest, the majority of the bucks entered this

February 11, 2011

Puzzle solution from Page 18 past season were mature. “Most of the hunters who check deer into the contest are pretty educated about their deer herd,” said Los Cazadores store manager Jason Larue, who said he checked almost 3,000 deer this year. Larue said he spoke to a lot of hunters who knew of certain deer on their lands and said this year was the year to harvest them because of the great range conditions. “A deer should have had a chance this year to express himself,” Larue said. “If he had the potential and age to be big, he’d have shown it this year. “This year also set a great foundation for younger bucks to have a great year next year.”

Page 23

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February 11, 2011

Lone✯Star Outdoor News

February 11, 2011 - Lone Star Outdoor News - Fishing & Hunting  

Daily fishing and hunting news with weekly fishing reports, game warden blotter, fishing and hunting products, events calendar, fishing and...

February 11, 2011 - Lone Star Outdoor News - Fishing & Hunting  

Daily fishing and hunting news with weekly fishing reports, game warden blotter, fishing and hunting products, events calendar, fishing and...