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www.FishGame.com Published by Texas Fish & Game Publishing Co., LLC. TEXAS FISH & GAME is the largest independent, family-owned outdoor publication in America. Owned by Ron & Stephanie Ward and Roy & Ardia Neves.

ROY NEVES PUBLISHER

DON ZAIDLE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

CHESTER MOORE EXECUTIVE EDITOR

C O N T R I B U T O R S

JOE DOGGETT DOUG PIKE TED NUGENT BOB HOOD MATT WILLIAMS CALIXTO GONZALES LENNY RUDOW STEVE LAMASCUS LOU MARULLO KENDAL HEMPHILL TOM BEHRENS GREG BERLOCHER PAUL BRADSHAW CAPT. MIKE HOLMES REAVIS WORTHAM JOHN GISEL

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

SENIOR CONTRIBUTING EDITOR SENIOR CONTRIBUTING EDITOR EDITOR AT LARGE HUNTING EDITOR FRESHWATER EDITOR SALTWATER EDITOR BOATING EDITOR FIREARMS EDITOR BOWHUNTING EDITOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR CONTRIBUTING EDITOR CONTRIBUTING EDITOR CONTRIBUTING EDITOR CONTRIBUTING EDITOR HUMOR EDITOR WEBSITE CONTENT MANAGER

A D V E R T I S I N G

ARDIA NEVES VICE PRESIDENT/ADVERTISING DIRECTOR

NICOLE BECKA • MARKETING REPRESENTATIVE 1745 GREENS ROAD, HOUSTON, TX 77032 PHONE 281/227-3001 • FAX 281/227-3002 SUBSCRIPTION/PRODUCT MKTG. 1745 GREENS ROAD, HOUSTON, TX 77032 PHONE 800/725-1134

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GRAPHIC DESIGNER

A D M I N I S T R A T I O N

DENNISE CHAVEZ ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR TEXAS FISH & GAME (ISSN 0887-4174) is published monthly by Texas Fish & Game Publishing Co., LLC., 1745 Greens Road, Houston, Texas 77032. ©Texas Fish & Game Publishing Co., LLC. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without written permission. The publication assumes no responsibility for unsolicited photographs and manuscripts. Subscription rates: 1 year $19.00: 2 years $34.75; 3 years $48.50. Address all subscription inquiries to Texas Fish & Game, 1745 Greens Road, Houston, Texas 77032. Allow 4 to 6 weeks for response. Give old and new address and enclose latest mailing address label when writing about your subscription. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to: TEXAS FISH & GAME, 1745 Greens Road, Houston, TX 77032. Address all subscription inquiries to TEXAS FISH & GAME, 1745 Greens Road, Houston, TX 77032. Email change of address to: dhruzek@fishgame.com Email new orders to: dhruzek@fishgame.com Email subscription questions to: dhruzek@fishgame.com. Periodical postage paid at Houston, TX 77267-9946 and at additional mailing offices.

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E; FISH, TPWD DREAMSTIM , IORBOAZ, PHOTO: CUBE

FEATURES JANUARY 2011 • Volume XXVI • NO. 9

THE TF&G BOAT QUIZ

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Just how comprehensive is your nautical know-how? We are about to find out. Take this year’s Texas Fish & Game Boating Quiz and put your marine mastery to the test.

by Lenny Rudow

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THE O.H. IVIE LUNKER PUZZLE

FIVE FOR TEXAS Is Texas — and are Texas saltwater anglers — ready for a coastwide five-fish limit on speckled trout?

How did a relatively small West Texas lake end up dominating the list of Texas Parks & Wildlife Department ShareLunker producers last year? O.H. Ivie’s performance in 2010 has been compared to that of the heyday of Lake Fork in the 1990s. So what is behind this darkhorse victory, and what is in store for 2011? STORY:

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by Calixto Gonzales CHASED BY HYENAS, STALKED BY LIONS...

34

...is that any way to treat a Lady? Two Texas women who have a number of big-game adventures under their belts certainly think so.

by Chester Moore

40

COVER STORY:

by Shane Belieu

On the Web

LAST MINUTE HUNTS With so many options available to Texas sportsmen — from whitetail deer to ducks, geese, dove and quail — there is no excuse for letting the clock run out on your hunting season.

by Bob Hood

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THE GUNS OF ‘TRUE GRIT’ In this new version of the classic Western, the producers got the guns right, something the original John Wayne movie didn’t quite accomplish.

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COLUMNS and DEPARTMENTS JANUARY 2011 • Volume XXVI • NO. 9

COLUMNS 9 Editor’s Notes

18 TexasWild

New Blood, New Horizons

Celebrate Death

by DON ZAIDLE TF&G Editor-in-Chief

by TED NUGENT TF&G Editor at Large

12 Chester’s Notes The Measure of an Outdoorsman

19 Commentary by KENDAL HEMPHILL TF&G Political Commentator

The Large & the Small

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LETTERS

La Revolución Is On

by CHESTER MOORE, JR. TF&G Executive Editor

14 Doggett at Large

DEPARTMENTS

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TF&G REPORT

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BIG BAGS & CATCHES

38

TRUE GREEN

32 Texas Saltwater Mooning Drum

by JOE DOGGETT TF&G Senior Contributing Editor

by CALIXTO GONZALES TF&G Saltwater Editor

33 Texas Freshwater Old Baits to New

by MATT WILLIAMS TF&G Freshwater Editor

47 Hunt Texas Deer Camp

by BOB HOOD TF&G Hunting Editor

16 Pike On the Edge The Do-Gooder Chronicles

48 Open Season

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Snowbirds

by REAVIS WORTHAM TF&G Humor Editor F I S H

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Letters to the Editor Hunting, Land, & Money FOR MANY YEARS, I HAVE READ TED NUGENT’S columns and articles and agree with much of what he writes. His column in the October issue of Texas Fish & Game, “Anti’s Among Us,” is of a profound revelation that I have been actively trying to warn my family and friends about for nearly a decade. The narrow mindedness of common people endangers everything we as human beings stand for in that people will unwittingly surrender small amounts of our basic rights in order to pacify the obnoxious intonations of a still relative minority of the AntiSecond Amendment movement. Although issues of baiting, the use of crossbows, and even the failed attempt to implement a dove hunting season in Michigan have perhaps had the most baffling results, there is one growing problem that he didn’t point out—hunting leases. The idea that people can charge outrageous sums of money for a piece of land that is barely managed for any practical use. As a boy, I grew up in a small town in the Michigan Thumb where, when I felt like hunting, all I had to do was talk to one of the local farmers and they would let me sit on a fence row or in a plot of woods and I could hunt to my heart’s content. This past year, due to the fact that I could no longer sustain any sort of a decent living for my family in my beloved home state, I moved everything we owned to my wife’s hometown of Corpus Christi, Texas. I have known of the state’s practice of hunters purchasing leases from landowners, but I have never bothered to do so myself because they are much too expensive and, fortunately, there is plenty of federal land nearby. Nevertheless, it struck me funny recently while I was talking to an older gentleman and we somehow got on the topic of his 20 acres of land west of the city. I asked him all the usual questions pertaining to wildlife on his property, to which he had almost no 8 |

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response, stating that he seldom ever went out there. It seemed like an ideal piece of South Texas backcountry and I was amazed by the fact that he owned such a chunk of property and did nothing with it. I barely got him on the subject of whether he hunted on it or not, before he started attempting to throw prices of leasing the land down my throat, expecting me to bite. I was absolutely stunned. It never occurred to me to ask him to hunt it myself. All I was trying to do was make polite conversation. I would never expect anyone to simply open their land to someone, especially a complete stranger, but so many landowners have this idea that because they own a piece of property, they should be nickel and diming everyone who comes near it. The idea of leasing has gotten so out of control that even the folks who own small tracts of land believe they can charge people outrageous prices for a day-hunt or a yearlease; and this gentleman, for some unknown reason, saw dollar signs dancing around me PRESENTS when I got on the topic of hunting. Having grown up in Michigan and hunting many people’s lands, I have always held firm to the idea that, in return of that favor, one is owed to the owner himself; be it backstraps, roasts, chopping firewood, or helping fix their tractors. Whatever the case might be, monetary compensation for the use of God’s green Earth is a concept that will forever remain foreign to my understanding. Perhaps Ted can shed some light on this matter in his next column. Ryon Grant Via email

I WAS PLEASANTLY SURPRISED THAT AN ARTICLE such as Matt Williams’ “Ethical or Not?” would make it into a magazine such as Texas Fish & Game. I say this only due to the high emotional state that some people get in when this is discussed (brush piles). My tournament partner was recently F I S H

Troy Stutes Via email

Send Your Comments to:

Brush Pile Ethics

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banned for life from the Texas Fishing Forums website for asking the same questions Williams posed in this column. All he asked was what were other anglers’ opinions. My partner and I have the Lowrance Structure scan systems and do occasionally discover brush and other structure. We do not, however, cruise the lake just looking for other people’s piles. If during our normal day of fishing we find a pile, then of course we either commit this to memory or mark a waypoint. I know of three instances where anglers were verbally abused by a fellow tournament participant (who happens to be a guide on Sam Rayburn), and one of them was a nonboater. These types of instances give tournament anglers a bad name with the recreational fishermen, and do nothing but create hard feelings. Someday, someone might get hurt or, as Williams wrote, arrested and fined for interfering with other anglers. “Potlickers” are another story. If you bird dog another angler and follow him to where he is placing piles, then you are pretty sorry in my book. On the other hand, if you hire a guide and he puts you on fish like he is supposed to, and you remember the spot (no hand-held GPS), it is no different than taking somebody you know out one day and then returning to find him camped out in your spot. Thanks again for bringing the subject to light.

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Letters to the Editor 1745 Greens Road Houston TX 77032 E-mail: letters@fishgame.com


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Editor’s Notes by Don Zaidle | TF&G Editor-in-Chief

New Blood, New Horizons

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LICE SLOAN, A REGULAR TEXAS FISH & Game reader, recently sent me the following note and accompanying photograph:

“My son-in-law, Trent Abbott, reads Texas Fish & Game with his 20-month-old

twin sons, Ty and Sloan. When they came to my house and spotted the same magazines, they pulled them out to look at them. We took this picture of them. Sloan is pointing to the duck on the cover and Ty is looking for fish, although the book is upside down. These will be the future hunters and fishermen following in their dad’s and granddad’s footsteps.” Seeing something like this is always humbling. It reminds that what we do at Texas Fish & Game is something greater than mere entertainment and dissemination of information. Everyone here, from office assistants to department editors and advertising staff, bears a responsibility to preserve an entire culture—the American outdoors tradition in general, and Texas heritage in particular.

When we see new blood inherit the mantle of outdoors tradition, it validates our efforts and confirms the belief that our culture is crucial to who and what we are as Americans and Texans. It inspires hope for what sometimes seems a murky future, and rejuvenates our resolve to carry the torch proudly and keep the flame bright. You and we are outdoorsmen and women—hunters, trappers, fishermen, conservationists—and we offer no apology and accept no compromise. What we do ensures our own future—or condemns it to oblivion. New blood opens new horizons; may they never grow dim.

E-mail Don Zaidle at DZaidle@fishgame.com. Ty an Sloan Abbot, avid TF&G readers.

The Future

PHOTO COURTESY ALICE SLOAN

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TF&G Report Disease Warning Issued to Hog Hunters THE TEXAS DEPARTMENT OF STATE HEALTH Services (DSHS) is warning Texas hog hunters to take precautions against possible infection with tularemia, a potentially lethal disease usually associated with rabbits and rodents. Processing or handling the raw meat from feral swine can potentially expose a person to the organism that causes tularemia (Francisella tularensis) based on research conducted by a Texas Tech team of scientists from The Institute of Environmental and Human Health. Tularemia is a zoonotic disease, meaning it is shared by humans and animals. Dr. Steven Presley's group sampled over 100 feral swine from three Texas counties: Coryell, Bell, and Crosby. Blood samples from swine in the two Central Texas counties

averaged 20 percent positive for tularemia while 31 percent of the Crosby County hogs exhibited positive test results. These results indicate a significant exposure of the feral swine to this disease organism. Of greater concern is the additional finding that when four of the Crosby County animals were tested for the active presence of the organism, three were positive. Funding limitations have precluded the testing for the organism in the Central Texas hogs, so they have only been determined to have been exposed to the tularemia bacteria at this point, but active infection would not be unexpected. Several forms of tularemia may occur in humans, each dependent on the route of exposure. Skin ulcers and/or swollen lymph nodes can result if the infected fluid from the animal enters the body through skin cuts or abrasions. An oral cavity or throat infection can develop if undercooked meat from an infect-

ed animal is eaten. Inhalation of infected droplets of fluid while processing an infected animal can result in pneumonia, while an eye infection may develop if the droplets enter the mucous membranes of the eye. Even deer flies and ticks are capable of transmitting the bacteria through their bites, usually resulting in skin ulceration or swollen lymph nodes. Due to the different potential routes of exposure, it is important for hunters to practice good personal safety while hunting or processing feral swine or handling fresh meat. The use of insect repellent is always recommended anytime someone is going to be entering environments containing ticks or other disease vectors. The use of eye protection and gloves (latex or nitrile) are strongly recommended for people who will butcher feral hogs, and disposable masks can reduce the risk of inhaling infectious fluid droplets. In addition to tularemia, feral swine may

B IG B AGS&C ATCHES

Jake Becker, age 5, of Marble Falls killed this 8-point buck while hunting with his dad and brother Kole in Hamlin, Texas. He was using a Remington .243.

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Roy Oliver of Winnie caught this 32-1/2inch bull redfish while fishing in East Galveston Bay. The red was his biggest to date and was released after a good fight on light tackle.

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Ten-year-old Avery Bruns shot his first Corsican ram while hunting near Camp Wood, Texas.


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also be infected with the bacteria that cause another zoonotic disease, brucellosis. The same protective measures for tularemia will help prevent infection by the brucellosis bacteria. Since eating undercooked meat from feral hogs can also transmit these two diseases, thorough cooking is advised. While feral hogs from only three counties have been sampled, the magnitude of the positive portion of that population suggests that feral swine from other counties can be expected to also be potential sources of F. tularensis. It is estimated that 1.5 to 2 million feral swine occur in 215 of 254 Texas counties, while 32 of the 50 United States have reported their presence. The overall national population estimate is approximately 4 million. Since feral swine are commonly hunted and harvested for human consumption, particularly during the fall and winter deer hunting season, hunters should be aware of the potential to become exposed to and infected with F. tularensis while handling feral swine carcasses and tissues--particularly bodily fluids. Editor's Note: Common names for tularemia include deerfly fever, rabbit fever, Pahvant valley plague, Ohara disease, yatobyo (Japan), and lemming fever. Symptoms include chills, fever, headache, joint stiffness, muscle pains, possible conjunctivitis, red spot on the skin, enlarging to a sore (ulcer), shortness of breath, sweating, weight loss. The disease is treatable with antibiotics. Tularemia is fatal in about 5 precent of untreated cases, and in less than 1 precent of treated cases. --Don Zaidle

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In August, after considering the CBD petition, EPA denied the request, saying it did not have the legal authority to regulate the production and distribution of traditional ammunition under the Toxic Substance Control Act of 1976. Congress expressly exempted ammunition from being regulated by this law. Some weeks after the agency's decision on traditional ammunition, EPA also denied the other half of the CBD petition to ban fishing tackle. This one-two

punch no doubt prompted CBD to file its lawsuit. National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) continues to stress there is no scientific evidence that traditional ammunition has an adverse impact on wildlife and that a ban on traditional ammunition would have a negative impact on wildlife conservation.

Evinronmentalists Sue to Ban Ammo, Tackle A GROUP OF ENVIRONMENTALISTS LED BY THE Center for Biological Diversity has filed suit against the Environmental Protection Agency to force it to ban lead ammunition and fishing tackle in the US. The suit was brought by the Center for Biological Diversity (CBD), which earlier this year petitioned EPA to ban traditional ammunition as well as fishing tackle containing lead. CBD claims wild birds are being harmed through the ingestion of spent ammunition fragments. T E X A S

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Chester’s Notes by Chester Moore | TF&G Executive Editor

HAVE NEVER KILLED A “TROPHY” WHITETAIL. Well, at least not by the standards set by the bulk of today’s outdoor media. I have killed some beautiful bucks that were truly representative of the areas I took them from, but their antlers look small compared to super bucks so commonly bagged on outdoors television. I am talking about the giant racks plastered on the covers of some publications like buxom blondes on the cover of Playboy. Those bucks have always eluded me. In the early years of my outdoor writing career, someone with a small bit of influence tried to get me canned from writing for a newly founded (and long defunct) archery magazine because I had not taken a trophy whitetail. Actually, if memory serves, it was more correctly a matter of “philosophy.” This person actually did not deem me qualified as an outdoorsman worthy of writing about archery because I had not killed a trophy— but not killed one with a bow. Even more ridiculous. Thousands of magazine and newspaper articles later, I am happy to report, the incident only fueled my resolve to make it in this business, but it did make me hyper aware of the sad and degrading phenomenon of people measuring themselves and others by the game and fish they harvest. In the numerous public appearances I make annually, I do my best to engage everyone who comes out to hear me talk or do a demonstration. I am always excited to hear about what they have been doing in the great outdoors. Genuinely excited. Almost every time, I ask someone about their fishing or hunting experiences and get

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The measure of an outdoorsman lies not in inches of antler collected...

The Measure of an Outdoorsman

some sheepish answer along the lines, “Well, I have never really caught any really big trout” or “I’m not very good at bowhunting. I have taken only a few does.” This saddens me because the amazing experience of being able to venture onto wild ground and pursue fish and game should not be diminished by superficial social rules. I often respond to these kinds of statements with questions:

“Did your heart beat heavy when that doe walked out?” “Did you get a rush of adrenaline when that 23-inch trout sucked under your topwater? The answer is always “yes,” allowing me to conclude with “Celebrate what you have experienced and look ahead to even better experiences tomorrow.” You see, I am driven by one question— what is out there? I want to see, touch, experience, and eat (duck gumbo anyone?) the hidden things of the great outdoors. I spend hours on my deer stand wondering what type of buck or feral hog might come creeping out of the river bottoms. I marvel at the migration of waterfowl, pondering what beautiful species will grace me with a fly-by over the decoys. With each cast I make on Sam Rayburn, I wonder if that next strike might be a 12pounder like I saw Bill Dance catch on television as a kid. And, of course, each time I crawl a curl-tailed grub along the bottom of a bay, I am hoping it is a beautiful, widemouthed, spotted flounder. There is nothing wrong with dreaming

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big, but it is pointless to have dissatisfaction with the outdoors because you do not have as impressive an outdoors photo album as some guy at your workplace. True happiness as an outdoorsman comes not from keeping up with the Joneses, but relating to what made you want to fish and hunt to begin with. Is it carrying on a tradition started by your father? Is it simply collect some venison for the freezer? Maybe it is to shoot a recordbook buck or catch a 10-pound bass, and there is nothing wrong with that. As long as what you are doing pleases your spirit and brings you a sense of joy, peace, and excitement, you are on the right track. My mentor, the late outdoor writer Ed Holder, once told me someone asked him who was the greatest fisherman he knew. They were expecting him to answer one of the top bass pros or guides he knew. His answer? “Someone who enjoys fishing.” I frequently borrow that saying and apply it to all outdoors pursuits. Because, in the end, it is all about enjoyment. The measure of an outdoorsman lies not in inches of antler collected, number of ducks shot, or lunker bass or sow specks caught. Those things are nice, but are not at the core of the joyful outdoors spirit. The measure of a true outdoorsman is how in touch you are with what inspired you to go beyond the pavement, and the legacy you leave for the next generation and the resources they will cherish

E-mail Chester Moore at CMoore@fishgame.com.


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Doggett At Large by Joe Doggett | TF&G Senior Contributing Editor

The Large & the Small HE SMALLMOUTH BASS IS AN OVERLOOKED and unappreciated fish--at least in Texas. This is due to the overwhelming popularity of the largemouth and the relative scarcity of the smallmouth in local lakes and rivers. In my experience, the bass with the smaller mouth has the larger heart. It fights harder, with more flash, making repeated runs and demonstrating remarkable stamina. The largemouth is a strong and powerful fish, no question, but it is short-winded. Both bass will strike on the surface, and both are capable of impressive leaps, but the hooked smallmouth uses water more like a cold-water trout does. It actually lives more like a trout than a bass--especially in the moving water of rivers and streams. I first became aware of the trout-like characteristics of the smallmouth when, as a kid, I spent several summers at Ozark Boys Camp (now the co-ed Camp Ozark) on the Ouachita River in northern Arkansas. Large- and smallmouth bass are native to the small Ouachita, and both succumb to spinning or fly tackle during the same wading or float-fishing session. At least they could 50 years ago; I assume the beautiful little stream still fishes reasonably well. Early on, I learned that the largemouth preferred the slower, deeper pools and backwaters, while the bronze and gold "brownies" favored the currents of the main channel. They held behind boulders and logs, or cruised the gravel bars searching for minnows and crawfish. Or maybe they rose to snatch the odd "terrestrial" floating downstream. Once hooked, a decent brownie would dash across the current before twisting into the air. The line would stretch this way and

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that across the open water--a big thrill for a kid in tennis shoes standing in the knee-deep flow. Conversely, the largemouth from the stale pools sort of grumped and splashed around, nowhere near as dramatic. Both species in the Ouachita averaged 1-2 pounds, so the comparison was valid. Not coincidentally, over in the nearby town of Mount Ida, the river guides with wooden johnboats and tattered straw hats and battered casting rods rated a wild 3- or 4-pound brownie as the top prize of the Ozarks. I suspect it still is. Texas has viable pockets of smallmouth bass fishing. That's a big plus that doesn't get enough recognition. They are not native to the Lone Star State. The brownies were stocked by the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department from other regions, but no matter. We've got 'em now, and they are thriving in select drainages. The common denominator for smallmouth survival "down south" is cool and relatively clear water. Smallmouth are not as demanding as, say, rainbow trout, but most of the shallow ponds, tanks, and sloughs scattered across Texas are too warm and stagnant during the hot-weather months. Several Hill Country rivers and lakes host smallmouth, and the Blanco River is a standout. The West Texas Devil’s River is the finest smallmouth fishery in state. The shallow, rocky stream flows through desert ranch country and feeds Lake Amistad. Fishing the remote Devil's River is tough, both physically and legally, with public access restricted to several put-in sites for float trips. The tumbling currents are green and cool, fed by aquifers and oxygenated by riffles and rapids. Years ago, TPWD released smallmouth in Amistad, calculating that the deep, clear reservoir would provide suitable habitat. I suppose it does--but the brownies preferred the river and scooted upstream. How they got above the steep drop of Dolan Falls is something I cannot answer (maybe a major flood or perhaps a follow-up stock-

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ing), but they are there in great numbers. At least they were 8 or 10 years ago, when I made several float-fishing expeditions to the Devil's River. The smallmouth fishery was excellent due to the combination of favorable habitat and minimal pressure. A special memory was catching and releasing a big one on a light spinning outfit rigged with an old Heddon Baby Torpedo topwater plug saved over the decades from the fledgling Ozark Camp forays. The deep, thick smallmouth was boldly colored from the clear water, with red eyes and burnished flanks accented by black tiger stripes. If it took a deep breath, it would have weighed 5 pounds--trophy class for any region. They don't make a more gorgeous fish; it's not possible. I was reminded of that beautiful bass during a trip last summer to the Lake of the Woods region of southern Ontario. A friend and I portaged a canoe into a small pond near his summer home and he graciously paddled while I fished. Using a fly rod and a small surface bug, I caught and released at least 30 smallmouth from the dark, clear shoreline of reeds, lilies, and logs. Many were in the 2- to 3-pound class. The biggest was just shy of 4 pounds; it fought in a complete circle around the small boat, jumping several times, repeatedly diving and running. It took several spurts of line from the reel. In short, that bass did everything a topranked game fish is supposed to do and, like the Devil's River fish, was absolutely stunning. I'm not bad-mouthing the bigmouth. It is a prolific and remarkably adaptable fish, capable of thriving in most any freshwater this side of a bathtub or a birdbath. But, backed by the huge angling industry, it is grossly over-promoted while the smallmouth is woefully underrated. The brownie, wherever or whenever you encounter it, is a special fish.

E-mail Joe Doggett at JDoggett@fishgame.com


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Pike on the Edge by Doug Pike | TF&G Senior Contributing Editor

The DoGooder Chronicles NE PLUS ONE DOES NOT EQUAL THREE, square pegs don’t fit round holes, and the world is filled with people who believe otherwise. They’re called do-gooders, and most never actually do much good. Regular failures among these folks are not for lack of effort so much as for their programs’ perpetual absence of common sense. Examples abound, and I’ve used these stories of the ridiculous and absurd to entertain my radio audience for more than 11 years now. Such foolishness and ignorance exists in all walks of life, of course, but I draw primarily on stories linked somehow to the outdoors. To date, when I’ve gone looking, I’ve never failed to find a fresh one. Most of the simpletons who captain these time-wasting intrusions into the lives of smart people live and work outside Texas. Not that there’s anything wrong with typical residents in the other 49 states, or that there are no fools drooling on their pillows as they sleep beneath the Lone Star. There is not, and there are, respectively. My experience, however, is that Texans show more common sense when it comes to solving simple problems. In New Jersey years ago, for example, a suburban community (envision Hill Country with an accent) had “issue” with its whitetail population. Seems the residents of that citymeets-country Mayberry took an early liking to the deer and encouraged their presence with flowers and supplemental feed. Then one day, they looked out their kitchen windows over bare flowerbeds and driveways full of “raisins” and realized they

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were awash in whitetails. What to do, oh, what to do? Uh, bowhunt, anyone? Surely, someone recommended recreational hunting, the single most effective wildlife management tool known to wildlife managers. Instead, surely to a chorus of giggles from professional managers (and maybe even the deer), the brain trust charged with reducing that population came up with this: Retrofit two ambulances so that within them, veterinary surgeons could perform tubal ligations on does. Tens of thousands of dollars were invested in the project, whereas a special hunting season actually would have generated revenue—and solved the problem. The ambulance plan did not. It’s difficult under ideal circumstances to trap and sedate whitetails successfully. Waste of time. Waste of money. Call me crazy, but if the best plan you can come up with is sterilization, wouldn’t it be more successful to clip the b u c k s ? When the first buck staggered bow-legged through those swinging doors, every other buck that saw it would turn tail and run for the county line. Problem solved. To reiterate: Recreational hunting is a highly successful management tool. It’s unpleasant for some folks, but in the interest of a herd’s long-term health, personal feelings should be set aside. So should ambulance-conversion schemes. So-called “zero-tolerance” weapons policies in schools make my list, as well. In California a year ago, a young man who duck-hunted early didn’t want to be late for school, so he went there straight from the blind. He knew better than to carry his shotgun onto the campus, so he parked a block away,

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on a public street. His shotgun was stowed and unloaded, and its ammo was in a separate bag. Another student called attention to the shotgun — in the kid’s pickup, off campus — and the young man was promptly suspended. That decision, after much media attention and acknowledgement that the district was about to get its legal pants yanked to its ankles, was just as promptly reversed. Up Northeast somewhere, I think again in New Jersey, an elementary-school child was hauled to the principal’s office for bringing a weapon — a rifle — to school. The knee-jerk discipline heaped on that confused child also was halted and cleared from his record — because the “rifle” was about a half-inch long and cradled in the arms of a 2-inch, prone, plastic soldier glued to the brim of the boy’s ball cap. My favorite misguided management idea to date hasn’t had time yet to fail, but it will. This past fall, politicians and policy makers in Cook County, Illinois, decided to address an overpopulation of rats around the Chicago Loop, an outer-band traffic artery. The only explanation for the county’s rodent-reduction plan, initiated in November 2010, is that its crafters either weren’t interested in or had never heard of poisons or traps or even feral cats. Instead, they installed GPS tracking collars on a handful of coyotes and turned those incredibly smart, potentially dangerous canine predators loose. Those coyotes will get the rats. Then what? Maybe we should put GPS tracking collars on do-gooders and politicians.

E-mail Doug Pike at dpike@fishgame.com ILLUSTRATION: BRETT LAMB, ISTOCK


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Ted Nugent’s TexasWild by Ted Nugent | TF&G Editor-at-Large

Celebrate Death KNOW, I KNOW, UPON READING MY inescapably obvious title, the socially challenged amongst us are spitting coffee or other some such beverage and assorted abused brown lippy substances all over their Texas Fish & Game magazine. In a world gone berserk with the scourge of politically correct denial, I expect nothing less. The good news is that within this fine coterie of rugged outdoorsmen and women in whose hands this fine publication rests, the vast majority of hunters, fishers, trappers and just good ol’ all American grill masters know exactly what I am talking about, and in fact grin with the certainty that though totally unnecessary to state in the world of honest consumers, in America 2010 it is time to state the truth as often as possible, comfortable or otherwise. Though I have heard it stated over and over again (and again, and again, ad nauseum, ad infinitum), I dismiss out of hand the lame claim that the kill is anticlimactic to the hunt itself. Yeah, right. I see it all the time where sporters get way more excited and jubilant when they do not bring home fish and game than when they do. No one cherishes and celebrates the entire hunt and hunting lifestyle more than I do, but give me a break. When the beast is dead at our feet due to the incredible dedication, diligence, patience, sacrifice, and old-fashioned good luck, the fun factor explodes exponentially when we kill, and we all know it. The claim otherwise comes from some elitist, out-of-touch outdoor industry socalled “leaders,” and certain cowardly outdoor writers that are afraid of their own shadows and recoil in abject trembling fear at the assumption that all people outside our sport hate us, hate dead deer, and pretend that their store-bought dinner was never

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alive. Not even close. Of course, known by those of us who actually pay attention to life and hang out with attentive, intelligent, sophisticated folk, we are well aware that our very lives carry on due to the celebration of death. Numerous times each day throughout humankind’s history, it is the flesh of dead creatures that provide Man with life itself. For those of us that hunt, fish, and trap, the term “closer to the earth” was not at all necessary to remind us where our protein and nutrition comes from. As we like to say, you can’t grill it ‘til you kill it. Perfection personified. As we approach our fallen prize, as we turn the straps on the grill, as we take a good hearty snort of aromas at the table, and as we join hands in reverent thanks to the Creator for the miracle of sustainable yield, all the way through the mmm-mmm goods, yums, guttural noises, burps, and assorted other sounds of questionable table etiquette, they all reflect appreciation and joy at the genuine

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celebration of dead stuff everywhere. I have also heard of the feelings of remorse some consumers claim at the death of an animal. I’m not buying it. If ever there was a perfect act and a perfect moment, it is when we balance the herd and bring food home to our loved ones. Remorse? I think not. So, to quote the great Fred Bear, we all surely know that everyday afield does indeed “cleanse the soul,” but of much more importance, done with a sense of excellence and dedication to be the best that we can be, the results will fill our bellies, too. I share a lot of very special meals with my fellow Man in my travels around the world, and I have yet to witness anything other than celebration at the table or campfire. Let it be known that the creatures feed, clothe, shelter, and medicate us. Always have, always will. That is the prime cause of celebration in life, of life, via death. The beast is dead; long live the beast!

E-mail Ted Nugent at TNugent@fishgame.com.

On the Web For more Ted Nugent writings, visit www.tednugent.com PHOTO: TED NUGENT


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Commentary by Kendal Hemphill | TF&G Political Commentator

BOUT TWO YEARS AGO, MY YOUNGEST SON and I went turkey hunting at the Rio Grande Rancho in Mexico, south of Piedras Negras. While we were there, a local rancher was found murdered, with his severed right index finger in his mouth. In March 2010, we crossed the border at Brownsville twice during a mission trip to Ciudad Victoria. Two days after we came back into the U.S., drug cartel gunmen attacked federales at that crossing, and several were killed. A few months later, on a Mexican ranch near Brownsville, members of the Zeta drug cartel murdered 72 migrant workers. Since that time, incidents have occurred on both sides of the border that have greatly curtailed tourism travel, including travel for hunting and fishing into Mexico and even to South Texas. One man was shot and killed on Lake Falcon, which straddles the international border, and others have been detained and robbed. The official stance concerning these incidents is that they are drug related, and no doubt many of them are. The core problem, however, goes much deeper than that. Mexico is in the midst of a civil war, with rival factions of rebels attempting to overthrow the Mexican government. The drug activity, human smuggling, and kidnappings are, by and large, just a way to finance the war effort for these rebels. Richard Maybury has a website called the U.S. & World Early Warning Report, in which he writes about economics and geopolitics. In October 2010, Maybury painted a vivid picture of what is causing the current violence in Mexico. The scenario is

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Civil war is probably the ultimate oxymoron. There is nothing civil about it.

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nothing new, as it has been going on all over the world for centuries, but the current war to our south is likely to have direct effects on us, so it would be wise for us to understand it. Mexico, like most countries in the world, is artificial. The conquering Spaniards made it during their era of expansion by grouping all the different Indian tribes together and saying, “Okay, you are no longer Mayas, or Aztecs, or Incas, or whatever. Now you’re all Mexicans.” Which was convenient for the Spanish, but not so much for the natives. They didn’t like it then, and they don’t like it now. The problem is that these smaller groups or “tribes” are the natural individual governmental units. They all have their own customs, histories, and languages (about 60 in Mexico) and they all believe they have a right to govern themselves. The same thing is happening in the Middle East. The difference is that Texans seldom spend a day fishing on the Tigris River. This is pretty much what happened during the Mexican Revolution in the early part of the Twentieth Century. Then as now, the U.S. government sided with the Mexican government because that’s what governments do. Our problem is that this makes the U.S. government the enemy of the rebel guerillas fighting for independence. This means that, by extension, you and I have become enemies of these guerillas. Civil war is probably the ultimate oxymoron. There is nothing civil about it, and it tends to slop over onto whoever happens to be close by—in this case, the southwestern T E X A S

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United States. A rancher in Arizona has already been murdered on his own property, and there is no reason to expect the violence to stay south of the Rio Grande. The U.S. and Mexican governments portray the situation as nothing but a drug war. There are specific reasons for this. One is to keep Americans living in the border states from panicking. Random criminal violence is one thing, but an actual war a few miles away is something else. People might take drastic measures—such as prepare to defend themselves. The main reason for the deception is that governments are made up of politicians, and politicians have agendas. As long as the violence is seen as a drug war, it is not just Mexico’s problem; the U.S. has to shoulder some of the blame for creating a market for drug dealers. This serves two basic purposes: It allows the Mexican government to claim it isn’t the target of the rebel groups fighting for their independence from a corrupt government (which is a redundancy in itself). It also allows the U.S. government to blame guns for the violence, which gives the anti-Second Amendment crowd more ammo in their war against the freedoms of U.S. citizens. A similar situation occurred in the USSR at the end of the Cold War. When the wall fell in 1989, many of the smaller nations that had been forced together under the iron fist of the United Soviet Socialist Republic became autonomous again. When that happens in Mexico, the violence will subside, and probably not before. In the meantime, it probably isn’t a good idea to plan any hunting or fishing trips south of the border, or even near it. Independence is a wonderful thing, but as Jefferson said, it has to be watered from time to time

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E-mail Kendal Hemphill at KHemphill@fishgame.com.

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How Did a Relatively Small West Texas Lake Dominate Last Year’s ShareLunker List? BY SHANE BELIEU

WHEN THE PHONE RINGS notifying the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department a largemouth bass weighing at least 13 pounds has been caught within the state’s waters, ShareLunker program manager David Campbell takes that call, travels to the site, and certifies the fish. If O.H. Ivie reservoir in West Texas continues the pace set in 2010 for producing 13-pound or bigger fish, Campbell might want to rent a house in nearby Ballinger. O.H. Ivie had a spectacular season in 2010 for producing behemoth bass—a pace not seen since the heyday of Lake Fork in the mid-1990s. Consider the following numbers from the 2009-2010 Toyota ShareLunker Program, which runs from October 1 through April 30 each season: T E X A S

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- Of the 33 ShareLunker entries for the season, O.H. Ivie accounted for 11, or 1/3 of all entries in the state. - The 11 ShareLunkers from O.H. Ivie in 2010 was the highest contribution from any Texas reservoir since Lake Fork in 1996 (21 entries). - A new O.H. Ivie record for largemouth bass of 16.08 pounds was caught on April 30, 2010. - April 30, 2010, also saw a second ShareLunker entry of 13.24 pounds from Wesley Pullig, of Eden, Texas, who went fishing after TPWD employees released his previous entry of 13.09 pounds back into the water earlier the same day. These statistics do not include the numerous other trophies caught during 2010 that fell outside of the ShareLunker dates or just missed the 13-pound threshold. “That’s extraordinary for any lake, but particularly from a relatively small West Texas impoundment,” said TPWD fisheries biologist Mukhtar Farooqi. “The numbers of trophy bass from Lake Ivie in 2010 would be more in line with what we’d expect from larger bodies of water such as Lake Fork or

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Amistad.” Indeed, O.H. Ivie has a surface area of just over 19,000 acres at full pool, but that volume has rarely been seen since the lake’s initial impoundment in 1990. As a water supply reservoir for many surrounding West Texas municipalities, the lake rarely gets a sufficient influx of water in such an arid region to replenish the water loss. In fact, at the time of this writing, the Colorado River Municipal Water District listed the water level at around 25 feet below pool, or roughly 36 percent full. Farooqi said the number of 13-pound fish for 2010 was a pleasant surprise, though there were indicators the boom was coming. “We had an idea that some big bass would be caught in 2010 because we started seeing a trend the previous year. We saw some big fish showing up from various sources such as tournament data, particularly the 2009 Permian Basin Oilman’s Bass Invitational, where we noticed increased weight averages per bass. Additionally, individual angler catches were also revealing larger bass, as a 13-pound bass was caught outside the boundary dates of the ShareLunker program in 2009. Finally, our

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own sampling saw average bass weights trending up.” Farooqi said he hoped Lake Ivie would be able to produce 3-4 entries in the ShareLunker program for 2010, but was as awed as the rest of the public when that number tripled expectations. O.H. Ivie has a solid history of producing lunker bass, but nothing approaching the 2010 explosion of fish weighing 13 pounds or more. The natural questions on every angler’s mind are why here, why now, and, more anxiously, will the trend continue in 2011? Farooqi wakes up thinking of these factors every day and has a grasp on the contributing factors, though he doesn’t believe he can point to one single event that triggered the torrent of big bass. Good Genetics: It is well established that the Florida strain largemouth bass has the genetic package to reach trophy status more quickly and more often than native northern strain fish. Good genetics is a testament to the stocking efforts of TPWD that certainly created a strong foundation for a trophy bass explosion to occur at O.H. Ivie. TPWD stocked Ivie with Florida large-


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mouth bass and fry during the initial fill in 1989, as well as successive years in 1990 through 1992. After a seven-year hiatus, TPWD again stocked with Florida fingerlings and adults in 1999 and 2001, thereby raising the trophy potential. Interestingly, TPWD’s study of the trophy bass caught in 2010 revealed they were all roughly 10 years old, which would mean we are likely reaping the rewards from the 1999 and 2001 stockings. Length and Bag Limit Changes: Farooqi believes a change in the length and bag limits made in 2001 paid dividends in 2010. “In 2001, we went from a five-fish bag limit and 18-inch minimum length to a fivefish bag limit, of which two fish could be under 18 inches. The intent was to encourage some harvest of smaller bass from the lake, thereby reducing competition for forage species, which appears to be working.” Farooqi said studies show the forage mainly consists of gizzard shad and sunfishes, which are protein bars for trophy bass. Populations of both species groups fluctuate, but are currently strong. Tommy Hagler is a professional guide on Ivie as well as maker of the popular Hag’s Tornado soft plastics. He echoed the belief that abundant forage is a major factor in Ivie’s recent fame. “Fishing for all species was really excellent in 2010. In addition to the bass fishing, catfish and crappie fishing was also especially good throughout the year, which indicates to me the predators have an abundance of available food.” Water Levels: Perhaps fluctuating water level is the “wildcard” in trying to understand Ivie’s 2010 big bass magic. As previously referenced, a major challenge facing Lake Ivie, as well as other West Texas water supply reservoirs, is maintaining water levels in such an arid region. Hagler believes the falling water during the past several seasons simply made the lake smaller, thereby increasing the odds of placing a lure in front of a bass’ nose. “During the spring of 2010, we saw the bass really concentrated out on open water points and humps near the spawning flats, so anglers could really have some big days by fishing the submerged vegetation with Carolina rigs and crankbaits. There are simply not as many places for the bass to live as when the water is high, and deep into the shoreline brush.”

Conversely, during periods of increased water levels such in 2005 and 2007, the rising water causes a natural influx of nutrients by flooding terrestrial vegetation. The result is an increased food source for forage species, and ultimately the bass. Finally, taking TPWD’s age estimates of 10 years for most of Ivie’s ShareLunkers in 2010, a study of lake levels shows a period of stability or slight increase in water levels during the years 2000 and 2001. Though inconclusive, Farooqi said this period could have further contributed to strong spawning classes during that time. Good management by TPWD combined with fluctuating water levels lead to the best season in Ivie’s big bass history. The desire to replicate those factors in other Texas reservoirs is understandable, but unlikely to happen, according to Farooqi. “We can and do replicate certain elements of O.H. Ivie’s success in other reservoirs by providing Florida strain genetics and varying length and bag limits per reservoir, but the water levels are totally out of our control. Therefore, we can’t re-create this exact model as a template to take elsewhere.” The 2011 Season: Farooqi and Hagler agreed that 2011 has the potential to be as good as 2010. Farooqi said all 11 ShareLunker from 201 were released back into the reservoir in good health. “I can’t tell you if the big bass catches have peaked yet. My guess is that 2011 will continue to produce numerous trophy bass, due to the fact that fish from other year classes should be emerging for the 2011 season.” Hagler also was hopeful for 2011 and beyond. “The lake level will likely continue to fall, so this will concentrate the fish even more. Of course, Ivie’s record in 2010 is no secret to anyone in Texas, so the fishing pressure will be very heavy. With more and more anglers on the water on any given day, this increases the chances someone is going to intercept some of these big females throughout the season. I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if we see another lake record and several more ShareLunker entries.” As a new year dawns on Lake O.H. Ivie, the eyes of Texas remain on the small West Texas reservoir to see if she can live up to her legendary big bass dream season from 2010.


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PHOTOS: BACKGROUND, MATTHEW JONES, DREAMSTIME; BOATS COURTESY MANUFACTURERS


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BY TF&G BOATING EDITOR

Lenny Rudow T E X A S

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JUST HOW COMPREHENSIVE is your nautical know-how? Are you a competent captain whether you are ripping across a reservoir in a bass boat, meandering through the marsh in a bay boat, cruising the coast in a center console, or driving to the deep on an offshore sportfisher? We are about to find out. Take this year's Texas Fish & Game Boating Quiz, and put your marine mastery to the test. 1. You are running your bass boat from Hotspot A to Hotspot B on Lake Fork at 60 mph in the final minutes of a big-money tournament. You are 1 ounce away from winning and if you can get to the next hotspot in time, you are a lock for first place. You spot a series of wakes ahead, created by another bass boat. You don't want to slow down but you don't want to pound yourself and your partner to smithereens, so you: A. Trim your outboard up slightly. B. Trim your outboard down slightly. C. Twitch the wheel from right to left, right as you hit the wakes. D. What are you, a wimp? The tournament is on the line, so you need to hold on, shut up, and take the pounding. 2. A freak front suddenly pushes through and a 25-knot wind creates 3- to 4foot waves. You are heading with the seas, but it's rough enough that you have no option but to slow down and: A. Trim your outboard up slightly. B. Trim your outboard down slightly. C. Twitch the wheel from right to left, right as you hit the wakes. D. What are you, a wimp? The tournament is on the line, so you need to hold on, shut up, and take the pounding. 3. Dang it. You arrive at the weigh-in two minutes late. You decide you need to get a few more mph out of your bass boat, and will do so by replacing your three-blade aluminum prop (which you know is the correct pitch and diameter), with: A. A four-blade aluminum prop. B. A four-blade stainless-steel prop. C. A three-blade composite prop. D. The above options will not increase speed. 26 |

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4. Still unsatisfied, you decide to buy a new boat. You will be shopping for one that has a notched transom because this: A. Allows the outboard to be mounted higher while maintaining a clean flow of water to the prop, reducing draft and increasing top-end speed. B. Allows the outboard to be mounted lower, giving the prop more bite and speeding the hole-shot. C. Allows the use of an outboard with a shorter shaft. D. You don't want a notched transom; these are dated designs, and jack plates render them obsolete. 5. You are running your new bass boat for the first time when it begins to chine-walk. To counter-steer a chine walk, you should always begin by turning to starboard. True False 6. Tomorrow is a new day and you decide to spend it hunting redfish and speckled trout in your bay boat. You haven't run this boat for a while, so as soon as you clear the ramp, you turn on your VHF radio and try a radio check. This should be performed on channel: A. 16 B. 9 C. Either of the above. D. Neither of the above.

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7. As you putt toward a good casting spot, you run aground. It's easy to get back off of the bottom, but you notice that the engine's tell-tail is not spitting water. Emergency procedure No. 1 is:

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True False 11. Lucky for you, there is also a 22-foot center console parked in your drive-


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way. While the bay boat is in the shop, you decide to go cruising along the coast in search of cobia. While running at a 4500 rpm cruising speed of 30 knots, you glance at the gauges and note that you are burning 17 gallons per hour. The number of statute miles per gallon is: A. 1.5 B. 2.0 C. 2.2 D. 1.8 12. Yikes! You must be cursed. A massive surprise front approaches you again. The waves build quickly, and every so often, a freakishly large one appears: A. About once every 10 minutes. B. About once every 20 minutes. C. About once every half hour. D. About once every hour. 13. Being a well-versed mariner, you know that these waves exist for only about: A. One hour. B. A half-hour. C. 15 minutes D. One minute. 14. Now you have a new problem. You are relatively low on fuel, and you know that traveling through rough seas can reduce your miles per gallon by about: A. 5 percent B. 10 percent C. 25 percent D. 50 percent 15. Outboard-powered boats like your center console are the most popular fishing craft in the US, accounting for about half of all boats on the water. True False 16. You decide you are sick and tired of getting slammed by the seas, and when you get back to the dock, you go directly to the local dealer and start shopping for big offshore sportfishers. The first one you look at has a hull to deck joint that's merely screwed shut, so you pass it by, knowing that the best hull to deck joints

are: A. Screwed together, then sealed with an adhesive. B. Through-bolted shut. C. Fiberglassed shut all the way around the boat. D. It's irrelevant; the hull to deck joint is not a high-stress area. 17. A 36-foot express with a pair of 600-hp inboard diesels catches your eye. There is just one problem: You know that a boat with 1200 diesel horses below decks will burn a lot of fuel. At a normal cruise of 2100 RPM, it should suck down about _______ gallons of diesel per hour. A. 10-20 B. 20-30 C. 30-40 D. 41 or more

might occur if he doesn't turn. Since his sails are down and he is clearly running under power, you know you have the right of way. You stubbornly hold your course until the boats smash into each other. The owner of the sailboat sues you and wins. True False BONUS QUESTION: You decide to say to heck with the big boats and buy a kayak. You paddle through the channel, then over a shallow flat. As you do so, you notice that it becomes harder to paddle as the water becomes shallower. This is due to accelerated water velocity around the kayak's hull, caused by the water depth, which increases hull drag. This is known as "shallow water effect" and the loss of speed as it relates to water depth can be determined using the ____________ method.

18. You decide to take the boat for a sea trial. The dealer sets a course on the GPS, but consistently runs 1 degree off. One degree doesn't seem like much, but if he were to run for 20 miles, that 1-degree error would put him a good ways from the exact destination by:

A. Bertollini. B. Schlicter. C. Schlichting. D. Phonecian.

A. 1840 feet, or about a third of a mile. B. Exactly one mile. C. 2520 feet, or about a half of a mile. D. It is impossible to say with the information provided. 19. As you head back for the dock, you hear the words "pan-pan" repeated three times over the VHF radio. You turn up the volume to listen to the broadcast, because you know these words repeated three times precede: A. A "mayday" emergency distress call. B. An announcement of an emergency that is not immediately life threatening, but without assistance, could become life threatening. C. An announcement regarding national security. D. An announcement of an impending weather situation that could be dangerous. 20. Just as you enter a tight channel, you see a sailboat coming at you from the port side. He doesn't seem to want to change course, and you think a collision T E X A S

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“A FIVE SPECKLED TROUT LIMIT?” That’s the worst thing that could ever happen to fishing on Lower Laguna Madre. Why would anyone want to come all the way down here to catch five trout when they can go to Upper Laguna, Corpus or farther north and catch 10 trout? No one’s going to go down to Port Mansfield, Port Isabel, or Padre. A lot of people are gonna get hurt if they cut the limit to five.” “A five speckled trout limit? That’s the best thing that could ever happen to fishing on Lower Laguna Madre. People will come down here because the fishing is just going to get better with a five-trout limit. More fish will make Lower Laguna the envy of the coast; and hotels, restaurants, and tackle and bait shops will benefit. A lot of people are gonna be happy when they cut the limit to five.” No issue since the Redfish Wars of the 1980s or the on-going “croaker wars” has caused as much debate, spawned the sort of rancor, created the sort of internecine squabbling among anglers the way the movement toward a five-fish limit for Lower Laguna Madre speckled trout has. From the birth of

the “Just Keep Five” movement, through the scoping meetings in 2007, and the final Commission approval and entry into the State Registry, the reduction of the 10-fish bag to half of that was a major issue from Port Mansfield to South Padre Island. The five-fish bag and possession limits

have been the law on Lower Laguna Madre for almost three years, and remain a hot-button issue. Some celebrate the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department decision, and others bemoan it. No one will deny, however, that the reduced bag limit has changed the fishing landscape.

Addition by Subtraction The logic would seem to dictate that reducing the bag limit for speckled trout would translate into a reduced harvest of LLM speckled trout, but preliminary data from TPWD creel surveys show the opposite. “We’ve seen that more speckled trout are being harvested,” said Mark Fisher, Science Director for the Coastal Fisheries Division. “Anglers see the five-fish limit as an attainable goal, so they are fishing longer to reach it.” Fisher said creel surveys show more LLM anglers are finding their trips more satisfying, which could translate to more repeat trips by the same anglers, thus leading to more trout harvested. (A happy coincidence to the latter is an increase in the recruiting of new anglers. Increased success on an initial trip would mean that new fishermen would want to go again and again). A five-trout The size of trout retained has stringer has been also increased. the law on the “With the 10- fish limit, the Lower Laguna for average size of trout retained was nearly 3 years. 15 inches,” Fisher said. “With Just Keep 5 the five-trout limit, a larger percentage of trout are 16 inches.” 30 |

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The extra inch means female trout that reach sexual maturity at 12 inches have the opportunity to spawn that the time to grow that extra inch affords. A small leap to conclude added spawning means more eggs, and thus more recruitment into the biomass. Fisher also noted the surveys point to a shift in who is fishing for trout. More trout are caught by private anglers rather than by guided trips. The reverse was true with the 10trout limit.

The Big Picture So, has the five speckled trout limit been good for Lower Laguna Madre? The data from creel surveys is preliminary. It will take some time to get an accurate picture of the efficacy of the five-trout limit. “We figured on a three-year window to determine if the new limit is working,” said Fisher. “We are just finishing year three.“ It will take time to gather, collate, study, and interpret all the data. It is also important to note that some changes might be due to other factors. The

increase in the success rate of private anglers as opposed to guided anglers, for example, might be as much (or perhaps more) to do with the economic downturn leading to greater austerity among anglers. More fishermen might be eschewing hiring captains and instead splitting trip costs with friends. There is no disputing that the reduced limits have made a difference. The question remains as to whether the difference is positive. The big question is whether there will be a statewide five-fish limit.

Taking it to the People If the brawl during the LLM scoping meetings prior to five fish becoming the law of the land is any indication, any move to a statewide limit could lead to a rumble that would make the World Wrestling Entertainment empire proud. Some anglers are happy with the 10-fish limit, while others think five fish would be a boon to coastal fisheries from Baffin to Sabine.

“I don’t have a problem with a reduced limit,” said Douglas Moore, a San Antonio angler having breakfast at a Three Rivers diner before completing his trek to Baffin one October morning. “I mean, it’s not going to stop my brother and me from going down to fish.” “If anything, it means that we’ll have to go fishing more often,” Moore’s brother, Cliff, said with a wink. “I’ll tell you what: If it’s good for the fishing, then I’m all for it,” Douglas added. Fisher stated TPWD would hold scoping meetings all along the Texas Coast during January to gauge public opinion about expanding the five trout bag to other parts of the Texas Coast. “We’re going to gauge the response to whether we should apply the limit on a regional basis, or if we should implement it statewide,” Fisher said. “We are still in the preliminary stages of the process.” The preliminaries, though, could lead to a rousing main event.


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Texas Saltwater by Calixto Gonzales | TF&G Saltwater Editor

Mooning Drum

Not all full moon fishing takes place in the dark.

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Y FAVORITE TIME TO FISH HAS ALWAYS been on the full moon. It always seems that nature goes absolutely nuts when the moon is at its full splendor. Tides pull fresh- saltwater in and out of the Lower Laguna Madre system, and along with it all sorts of prey. Even in the teeth of winter, the strength of a good tidal flow from a full moon can pull otherwise lethargic fish into a more active mood. The caveat to full-moon fishing is realizing that the more popular species such as speckled trout and redfish are still quite moody in winter. If there has been a series of fronts that push water temperatures below the two species’ comfort levels, nothing short of dynamite will get fish in the boat, full moon or not. In that event, an angler has to march to the beat of a different drum. Black drum, that is, which really ramp up their foraging during the full moon. Schools of these finny, thick-bodied bulldozers spread out in bays and along shorelines looking for anything they can suck down and smash into porridge in their crushers. The north wind can blow, it can drizzle, fog can roll in, and the weather can just be generally snotty, but the drum will be out there, thumping away with their signature thoom, thoom. Hardy fishermen up and down the coast take this opportunity to line shorelines along passes and channels, or anchor near deep flats and holes to take shot at hooking a big ugly. They key to night fishing for black drum is to locate areas with good water flow and access to the deep water that drum prefer as highways to move around. Lighted fishing piers such as the ones that dot areas such as the Humble Channel in Corpus Christi eliminate a lot of the guesswork on finding the noisy bruisers. Drum will be around the lights pretty much from the time the lights

come on at dusk until the dawn. You need to get to one of these piers pretty early because they can be popular during the drum run, and these spots can get crowded. Pier limits on the number of rods each angler can use mitigates the space issue some, but it can still get a little hairy when a school of big uglies are in casting range. An underrated but productive night fishing area is within the shadows of causeways and lighted bridges. Much like with a pier, the lights from the bridge wash over the waters around the pilings and out across the flats that flank the bridge. Drum prowl around the flats and in the eddies between pilings, especially near the deepest part of the channel sucking in crab, shrimp, mantis shrimp (sea lice) and other morsels. Anchor up-current and slightly adjacent to the channel and cast your bait back into the eddy. Use a fish finder rig with a pyramid or flat sinker that will hold in the current. If you have a reel with a clicker, put the rod in a holder and set the alarm. If you are not keen on fishing on a crowded pier, and are uncomfortable with running a boat at night, you can find some excellent night fishing spots that offer a little more elbow room and the security of staying on shore. If you prefer fishing deeper water with

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your own fish attracting lights, try fishing along the afore-mentioned shorelines of channels and passes. Old timers have long known that the parts of channels that allow public access are great drum fishing spots. The jetty systems from Texas City to Brazos Santiago are similarly effective. The biggest difference is that the currents have scoured deeper holes around certain nooks and groins that are apt to hold more fish, and pieces of the jetty’s structure have fallen away and created some hidden structure. These deep holes and rocks are also drum magnets, and a patient angler equipped with plenty of tackle can have a banner evening. For anglers who would rather spend a cold January night in a nice, soft, warm bed, don’t despair: not all full moon fishing takes place in the dark. I had some excellent catches of drum, trout, and redfish at midday and late afternoon. If the tide is moving-the full moon means stronger rising and falling tidesI have had tremendous success for smaller, slot-sized drum fishing the edge where a flat drains into a channel. I anchor off the edge, toss my bait (usually a free-lined shrimp) up onto the flat, and let the draining water push my offering into the drop-off. It doesn’t take very long after that. Black drum are not the prettiest of fish. They do not have the following of the speckled trout or the mystique of the redfish. The flounder is actually uglier, but have a better public relations man in Chester Moore. Still, they can offer some excellent sport, especially if the alternative is to stay at home and watch the Food Network or work on the Honey Do list. In fact, when faced with fixing the toilet kit in the guest bedroom, a big ugly might be downright pretty!

E-mail Calixto Gonzales at CGonzales@fishgame.com. PHOTO: © THOMAS LAMMEYER, DREAMSTIME


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Texas Freshwater by Matt Williams| TF&G Freshwater Editor

Old Baits to New CAN’T REMEMBER EXACTLY WHEN I MADE THE discovery, but it was not a pretty sight. A pair of Rat-L-Traps, a Fat Free Shad, a spinnerbait, a Chug Bug, and two jerkbaits lay wrapped in a colorful ball of plastic held together by twisted maze of rusty treble hooks. The baits had somehow gotten tossed into a dusty corner in my tackle room in the midst of a 2001 spring cleaning project, and they appeared to be showing some serious signs of neglect.

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Most guys would have trashed the lures without thinking twice about it. Not me. I saw $40 worth of perfectly good tools hiding beneath all that dirt and grime, just waiting for a fresh start. Roughly 90 minutes later, the task was complete. Polished clean and armed with new treble hooks, split rings, and skirts, the baits were again ready for war. Several have seen battle multiple times since. Cleaning and maintaining fishing lures is a chore many anglers choose not to tackle. Most will contend it much easier to replace a weathered bait with a new one than it is to perform an overhaul. That might be true. But it also is more expensive, particularly if the lure in question is a premium hard body. Topwaters, jerk-

baits and crankbaits in that class can easily fetch $15 or more on the retail market. Nothing puts me in the mood for pulling some maintenance on tackle like a cold and dreary winter day. If you live in Texas, chances are the month of January will bring with it plenty of good opportunities to take care of business. Here are some worthwhile tackle maintenance tips to keep in mind:

Hard Body Lures (Crankbaits, Jerkbaits & Topwaters) The first step is to remove all the split rings and treble hooks. Toss the bait in a sink or tub partially filled with water that is lukewarm or hot. Sprinkle the lure with Comet or Ajax and rub it lightly with your fingertips or a lightweight brush. The abrasive cleaner should remove any dirt or grime build-up on the paint. Plus, it will dull the finish somewhat to give the lure more of a realistic look. Rinse thoroughly and towel dry This also is a good time to check billed plugs for looseness. Bills that appear to be developing some wiggle can be easily repaired using a two-part epoxy glue. Inspect all hooks and split rings for rust before reassembly. Light surface rust can usually be removed using an abrasive cleaner and wire brush. Badly rusted hooks and split rings should be replaced using parts that duplicate the original size. Using hooks or O-rings that are too large could impair the action of the lure, or cause it to run untrue.

Spinnerbaits, Buzzbaits, and Jigs

with Comet, then buff the surface to a brilliant shine using a quality metal polish. One of the best cleaners I have found is product called Flitz. A 7.6-ounce bottle of the metal polish retails for around $15, but it will last for several years. The polish also is safe for use on painted surfaces, fiberglass, and plastic. It is advertised not to harm gelcote and clear finishes. A less expensive option is Blue Magic Metal Polish. You can pick it up at most auto parts stores for under $10. Ball bearing swivels on spinnerbaits also deserve some attention to keep them turning freely. A good quality penetrating oil such as WD-40 works well for this purpose. If the rubber skirt on a spinnerbait or jig seems frail or appears to be faded, replace it. Spinnerbait and jig skirts are relatively inexpensive. I recently found high quality ZMan silicone skirts for around $3.50 per five-pack on the internet at jannsnetcraft.com. The price decreases on bulk purchases.

Ceramic Eyes and Rod Guides It is wise to perform regular checks on the ceramic eyes on your rod’s line guides. Normal wear and tear can cause ceramic eyes to crack or chip, thus causing an abrasive or sharp edge that can fray or cut fishing line. A good way to check for rough spots is to rub inside the ceramic eyes with a dry cotton ball. If the cotton snags, the eye should be repaired before another cast is made. While maintenance on fishing tackle is no fun in comparison to actually using it, the more love you show your gear the better it will love you back. It can save you some money over the long haul, too.

Like all metal, the blades on spinner- and buzzbaits are prone to tarnish or oxidize over time. Fortunately, it only takes a few minutes to resurrect the out-of-the package sheen. The first step is to remove the skirt. Follow up by cleaning the head and blades T E X A S

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FEW PLACES ARE MORE TREACHEROUS than the wilds of Zimbabwe, Africa. Marred by political instability, corruption, and crime, traveling in the country comes with many warnings from the U.S. State Department. “The political, social, economic, and security situations in Zimbabwe are unpredictable and could deteriorate quickly without warning.” Heavily armed rebels, roving groups of bandits, and carjackers are just some of the threats travelers face here. Then, there is the wildlife. On top of dozens of species of antelope and other hoofed game, the country’s lush habitat supports many man-killing creatures that have drawn hunters from around the world. Sheila Nelson, who serves as Field & Stream marketing for Academy Sports & Outdoors, is one of those hunters. While on an extended safari a few years ago, she and her husband, Shaun, took separate paths at one point to pursue different game. He had big game aspirations of his own and she wanted to take a leopard. “I took a little plane, flew down to meet my outfitter, and when I landed, we literally took off to the field to go hunting.” As rarely happens on a leopard hunt, she took a big, beautiful cat the very first night. With days left on her schedule, she and the outfitter went the next night to check bait that had been set for another hunter. “We left in the middle of the night and were walking toward the jeep when I started hearing brush cracking and this really strange, spooky noise.” Few words were spoken, but she could tell the outfitter was concerned as his pace quickened and the sounds kept getting closer and closer. “Finally, I asked what was coming at us and he said, ‘A bunch of hyenas--and they are not happy with us’.” They finally reached the safety of their jeep, which did not start at first (horror movie scenario, anyone?) and the outfitter asked Nelson if she wanted to shoot a hyena. “Of course I did.” They pulled out into an open field and turned on a predator call. “You could hear them coming in and he told me when he turns on the light, shoot one and keep shooting.” She did, and ended up bagging a monster hyena she had mounted along with her 36 |

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leopard in a unique display. Hyenas are an underrated danger in Africa, as attacks on humans increase every year with little play in the media despite their brutal nature. Hyenas will not just kill but also eat you, including the bones as their powerful jaws crush through them; hyenas leave nothing but blood at a kill site. “It’s something I will never forget,” Nelson said. Carol O’Day, who owns MG Arms in Spring along with her husband, Kerry, will never forget her handgun hunt for African lion. “You could tell the trackers thought I was crazy for wanting to take a lion with a handgun (.50 caliber), but I was determined and had quite the encounter,” O’Day said. Stalking through the South African bush, they came upon a lioness, and stealthily approached to within 35 yards. “We had to set up right there and kind of wait her out. She was twitching and moving, and my guide told me if we got any closer she would attack.” The big female never attacked and fell to accurate shot placement by O’Day. Daring to hunt lion is one of the most dangerous things a sportsman can do. “The amazing thing about a lion is you never want to look one in the eye, even from a far distance, because they lock in on you. You are their sole target whether you are the hunter or not, or the guide, or a tracker; they will come after you if you make eye contact. The hunter becomes the hunted,” she said. And that is exactly what happened with the mountain lion she took with an MG Arms .45 long Colt Dragonslayer. “At one point, my guide and I were separate and he said, ‘Just follow my tracks in the snow.’ I started following his tracks, and I got down in the bottom of this little canyon. I was actually on my hands and knees at one point because it was so thick. I got to looking and put my hand in his track--and in his track was the mountain lion track. “I thought, ‘Who is being stalked now? Is

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it the mountain lion or me?’ So, I made it back to the rim of the canyon and they found me. The chase was still on and I ended up getting the cat.” O’Day said this hunt, like many others, pushed her both physically and mentally. “With the mountain lion, we were all over a bunch of canyons and at an elevation I am not used to, being from Texas. There are lots of things going into a hunt like that, or my African lion hunt, or Cape buffalo, or any variety of dangerous game, that make it interesting; and I think that’s what keeps calling me back to do it again and again.” You might notice I never mentioned these were “lady hunters” or “female hunters” in this story until now. I figured you would notice that without my mentioning it, and more importantly, I have never looked at ladies in the field as some sort of novelty but just equal companions in a quest to follow the call of the wild. Years ago, they might not have been accepted and there might still be a few chauvinists around the campfire, but as these two hunters and statistics show, women are now not only hunting more but are leaders in the hunting industry. Some of them just happen to be gutsy enough to stalk African lions and prowl through the bush at night in pursuit of leopards and hyenas. How cool is that?

On the Web Watch interviews in which Sheila Nelson and Carol O’Day talk with Chester Moore about their big game adventures: www.FishGame.com/video


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Hunt Texas by Bob Hood | TF&G Hunting Editor

Deer Camp HE CLOSE OF DEER HUNTING SEASON IS ONE of my saddest times of the year. Gone until next fall are the laughter of hunters around a smoky campfire; the smell of bacon grease atop a hot camp stove; the sound of squeaky deer blind doors; and the sight of dressed deer hanging from shaded poles. Suits and work clothes replace camouflage coveralls and caps as the dress of the period; bloodstains have been removed from the beds of pickups; and four-wheelers are back in the garage. No more corn kernels down the collars of hunters hitting the “Test” button on feeders, or loud snores from deer camp companions. T h e s e things and other things must lie dormant until next autumn brings idle deer camps back to life. January is a good time for veteran hunters to look back at deer camps they have known, and perhaps for novice hunters to gain even more appreciation for their first deer camp. As I look back at the many deer camps I have been a part of over several decades, I recall some that had electricity, and others that didn’t; some had outhouses, others had shovels. The main accommodations were a variety of tents, old dilapidated houses, travel trailers, motor homes, pickup truck beds, and, occasionally, just the ground. I’ve slept on or in them all, and that’s why I once told

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a fellow hunter I could go to sleep lying down, leaning, or propped up. Deer camp food is equally diverse and challenging. Many of today’s hunters go the easy route with everything from pre-cooked heat-and-eat meals to boiled wieners for hotdogs, block chili, S.O.S. (sausage, gravy, and biscuits), and canned goods. My preference always has been something grilled, smoked, fried, or sautéed such as steaks, fajitas, baby back ribs, and similar fare. The only meat I ever have liked boiled is deer or elk heart, but I don’t have a problem going with the flow. I remember a deer camp near Junction when a friend and I were the only ones there. He told me ahead of time his wife had cooked up a batch of stew and frozen it in a

large butter container, and he said he would bring it for our evening meal. As darkness crept in, he said the container of stew was in his ice chest and asked me to retrieve it. I did, and as I walked back to my friend, I opened the lid to check out the contents. I just shook my head as I handed it to him. “I hope you like butter,” I said. For dinner that night, we fried the eggs I had brought for breakfast and used the butter on toast. T E X A S

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Deer camp is a great place to improvise and invent new recipes. One of my favorite concoctions is smoked nachos I came up with while alone in deer camp. I had a very small grill with a lid. Since nachos are no more than melted cheese on a tostado with whatever other toppings you add, it was an easy chore. I lit eight chunks of charcoal and placed a few broken pieces of mesquite on top of them. I placed the tostados, cheese, and jalapeno nachos on a sheet of foil and closed the lid. The smoked cheese gave the nachos a distinct flavor over oven-cooked nachos. Deer camps all are about memories, whether hunting with friends or alone. As each season ends, it’s time to re-organize for next fall; remove old flashlight batteries, oil rifles, wax bow strings, and check hunting clothes and boots for wear and tear. Years ago, my wife at that time decided the pair of boots I had been wearing for 10 or 12 years were so worn I needed to get a new pair. I argued that they were the most comfortable boots I ever had and I wasn’t about to get rid of them. When I came home from the grocery store the next day, I found her sitting on the hearth of our fireplace watching my boots burn. The incident didn’t cause a divorce, but it probably contributed to it. I often have asked myself why I didn’t leave that pair of boots at deer camp, where they would be safe among other valued things some people do not understand.

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New Engine Design Outperforms Electrics DON RUNKLE, CEO OF ECOMOTORS INTERNATIONAL, BELIEVES EFFICIENT INTERNAL COMBUSTION ENGINES, NOT ALL-ELECTRIC CARS, ARE THE FUTURE OF VEHICLE POWER TECHNOLOGY. Engineers at the Michigan-based startup designed an opposing piston, opposing cylinder (OPOC) engine that uses fewer parts than traditional engines, and generates more power from each piston stroke. Runkle said the OPOC engine is smaller, lighter, and less expensive than existing engines, and a more viable option than electric power. “You’re hearing lots of stuff on clean tech right now that is more efficient, but they miss the other three,” Runkle told Xconomy reporter Erin Kutz. Runkle noted size, weight, and expense of hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles has slowed the widespread adoption of the technology. The EcoMotors technology comes from 38 |

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Peter Hofbauer, who helped develop and commercialize Volkswagen’s first diesel engine. He started working on the OPOC engine in 2003, first for military applications. EcoMotors’ other two top executives, Runkle and president/COO John Coletti, also have experience developing engines at big automakers. Most of the firm’s development work is done at a facility in Livonia, Michigan. The OPOC engine has a single crankshaft in the middle. Together, the components work to create a combustion power event with every revolution, unlike existing 4-stroke engines that combust every other turn. The arrangement results in lower friction and heat rejection, and the engine has a higher power density (power to size and weight ratios) than any other existing engine. “The holy grail of engines is power density,” said Runkle. The company is developing a the sixth generation of the OPOC engine that is long, narrow, and perfectly balanced on both sides, enabling multiple engine “modules” to be stacked together to increase horsepower depending on application, but all modules need not be running when less power is required. For example, a dual-OPOC engine system could shut off one unit at lower speeds or lesser loads, and fire up the second unit only when more power is needed. This could be even further extended when paired with an electric drive system—what Runkle calls a “tribrid system.” The electric motor could be the only part of the engine system running when the car rolls at speeds of 1 or 2 miles per hour. All this would happen under the hood automatically, without any additional steps by the driver. “It will be seamless; that’s the breakthrough,” Runkle said.

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The company said its technology could help make automobiles meet the new corporate average fuel economy (CAFÉ) standards put out by the government, by increasing automobile efficiency by 15 to 50 percent. The 15 percent increase comes in with a single OPOC engine in a car, but stacking with another engine module could add another 30 percent. “When you need half the power, we turn one engine off,” Runkle said. “It’s true modular displacement, which is what the EPA always wanted.” The engine can be configured to run on gasoline, diesel, or even hydrogen. On a grander scale, Runkle said the EcoMotors technology is ultimately cleaner than plug-in electric automobiles because it produces more efficient power without having to tap grid electricity, much of which comes from burning coal. EcoMotors’ big focus overall is a smooth transition for the adoption of its technology by using the same parts that go into today’s engines, and fewer of them. That makes the OPOC engine cheaper than conventional engines, let alone today’s other clean tech auto parts. And the engines could hit the road immediately, with no need to build the network of battery charging stations electric plug-in vehicles would require. The big focus now is to continue testing the engine to prove it performs the way the company says it will in terms of horsepower, efficiency, and emissions at any point of operation. EcoMotors ultimately plans to license its engine architecture to automobile makers so they can develop the engine to work within their own products. At present, most automakers work off of the same basic 4-stroke engine architecture. “What we’re saying is you should switch architectures,” Runkle said. While automobiles are the application people typically think of for engines, EcoMotors isn’t limiting itself to the automotive market. EcoMotors engines are compatible in generators, boats, airplanes, and tractors. “We’re looking to be an engine company, not an automotive engine company, just an engine company,” Runkle said. “If it has an engine, we should have you as a customer.” —Staff Report TG


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Shrimp and Snapper Booming A REPORT TO THE GULF OF MEXICO FISHERY MANAGEMENT COUNCIL ON SHRIMP TRAWL EFFORT AT THE COUNCIL’S MEETING IN OCTOBER INDICATES THAT A VARIETY OF FACTORS ARE COMBINING TO CREATE THE BEST OF ALL WORLDS FOR ANGLERS AND THE GULF. The analysis indicates that while significant percentage of every year class of shrimping effort is down 78 percent from red snapper died in shrimp trawls when the three-year average before Hurricane they were just a few inches long. We have Katrina, the spawning stock for brown and fought NOAA Fisheries and the shrimp white shrimp is the highest ever and the industry to get to this point for more than shrimp industry as a whole had a very prof- two decades, but when the resource is itable year last year. healthy, everyone benefits.” “At the same time, red snapper stocks In 2007, CCA won a landmark deciare rebounding nicely, with many anglers sion when a federal district court judge saying they have never seen as many snapruled that NOAA Fisheries had violated per as they are seeing today,” said Chester the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery ConservaBrewer, chairman of CCA’s National Govtion and Management Act by its continuernment Relations Committee. “These are ing failure to take timely and appropriate not unrelated events. Before the ruling, a steps to rebuild red snapper stocks in the

Gulf of Mexico or to regulate the harm to red snapper caused by shrimp fishing. The judge’s ruling overturned a 2005 rebuilding plan for red snapper because it failed to address and regulate the shrimp fishing industry. While the 2005 hurricane season, a slowing economy, and high fuel prices reduced shrimping effort markedly, regulations enacted because of the CCA lawsuit have held the line to keep wasteful by-catch under control. “The shrimp industry is finally causing less damage, and yet shrimpers are catching big, valuable shrimp and anglers are seeing huge numbers of red snapper,” said Russell Nelson, CCA’s Gulf Fisheries consultant. “It’s been a hard fight to get here and now we have to make sure we stay on the path so everyone continues to reap the benefits.”

—Staff Report TG


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DON’T LET THE CLOCK RUN OUT ON YOUR HUNTING SEASON BY BOB HOOD T E X A S

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WHOEVER SAID, “IF IT WASN’T FOR THE LAST MINUTE, nothing would get accomplished,” might have been a hunter whose season was about to pass with no success or limited time to go afield. But just like a football game with the outcome on the edge as the clock ticks down, things can swing in a hunter’s favor even as the curtain begins to close on another season. It ain’t over ‘til it’s over, and if you are not willing to give up just yet, you might be about to enjoy one of your best hunts ever in the final weeks of many major hunting seasons. It’s all about taking advantage of what’s still out there. The frosts and cold winter temperatures have removed the leaves and other foliage from landscapes that earlier in the season shielded many game animals from hunters’ views. Let’s look at what’s still on the hunters’ clocks this late in the season:

I. Whitetail Deer

II. Waterfowl

The 208 counties in North Texas close the general season on January 2 and the South Zone closes January 13, but that’s not the end of the action until next November. A late antlerless and spike deer season runs January 3-16 in 106 North Texas counties, and January 17-30 in 30 South Texas counties. There also is a special muzzleloader season January 3-16 in 55 counties. With most breeding activity over and food supplies becoming limited, activity around game feeders should be good. If you want to hunt deer past midJanuary, you still can. Operations like The Big Woods on the Trinity that are under the state’s Managed Lands Deer Permit program offer deer hunting through February 28. Big Woods’ buck-doe ratio is above 1:1. The area also is a mecca for hogs and ducks. It’s one of those places where you might bag a deer and hog one day, and enjoy incredible timber hunting for mallard and other duck the next. 42 |

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If you want some really great goose hunting action, you basically have two choices: the coastal prairies, or the wheat fields in West Texas--primarily Knox, Haskell, and Shackelford counties as well as northward to the Lubbock-Floydada area. Specklebelly, snow, and blue geese dominate coastal prairie action until late-arriving Canada geese join the mix, but my best endof-the-season action has been in Knox and surrounding counties, where Canada geese are more plentiful and are joined by latearriving mature specklebellies from Alaska. “We get some snows moving back up from the south at the end of the season, but we will have lots of Canadas and specks at the end of January and early February,” said Tony Stanfield of Stanfield Outfitters in Knox County. “We also have some great geese-dove combination hunts. The dove gather around stock tanks and in mesquite flats in big numbers at that time of the year.” The West Zone goose season for specks and Canadas runs through February 6, while a late season for snow and blue geese

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runs February 7-March 27. The East Zone seasons for snows and blues ends January 23, specklebelly on January 9, and Canadas on January 23. A conservation season for snows and blues runs January 24-March 27. Harsh winter weather to the north also will bring more ducks into North Texas and move those already there farther south. Stock tanks on many private hunting leases often offer some great action, as do the upper areas of many public lakes where waterfowl hunting is allowed. Late-season hunting success will depend on weather and available water, but the action can be incredible. Any true waterfowl hunter won’t let it pass.

III. Quail Quail numbers might be low overall, but there are exceptions--and not just in the traditional hotspots of South Texas. Some areas in West Texas have exceptional quail action. At Ranger Creek Ranch last January and February, the bobwhite quail hunting was awesome. On one day, hunting guide Clint Witherspoon and his dogs put two Oklahoma hunters into 14 coveys that


PHOTO CREDITS: CLOCK, DANIEL SANCHEZ BLASCO, DREAMSTIME; GEESE, HOWARD SANDLER, DREAMSTIME; DOVE, PAUL WOLF, ISTOCK; MALLARD, EGHOLM, ISTOCK; DEER, BRM1949, ISTOCK; QUAIL, BOB HOOD; JAVALINA, BOB HOOD

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averaged 15 birds per covey. Hunters in nearby Haskell and Shackelford counties also had some great late-season action. Heavy vegetation and a lack of moisture has plagued many areas with fair to good quail populations, but those conditions often improve very quickly in January and February after the arrival of colder weather and good frosts. “I think we are going to see the same thing near the end of the season that we saw last year,” said Ranell Walker of Ranger Creek Ranch. “I think we have more quail this year than we had last year. Once the vegetation is knocked down by the weather, there should be some good hunts right before the season ends.” The statewide quail season runs through February 27. Like many hunting operations, Ranger Creek offers hunting packages for a variety of game but has something few others in northern counties can offer--javelina. The ranch has one of the few populations of collard peccaries in Northwest Texas, and the

(From Page 27) 1. B.Trimming down will bring down the nose of the boat, and allow the sharp entry to meet the waves. Trimming up, on the other hand, will force the bow up. Your boat will probably launch, or will smack the waves amidships where the hull is flatter. If you answered "D", don't worry; we have the number of a good chiropractor. 2. A. In these conditions, you need to get the bow up. Keep it down, and you risk digging it into the back of a wave. If you answered "D" to this one, you risk losing the tournament because you will be beating up the fish in your livewell, and they might not survive until weigh-in. 3. D. The right move would be to go to a threeblade stainless-steel prop. The aluminum-to-stainless switch usually increases speed by a couple of mph. Going to a four-blade will improve hole-shot

little pig-like animals can be quite a challenge, especially for archery hunters.

IV. Dove Winter dove hunting can be a hereone-day-gonethe-next experience, but if you get into the heavy flocks that migrate into Texas in late fall and winter, it can be exciting, indeed. Areas near feedlots, grain fields, mesquite flats, gravel pits, and stock tanks often provide some fast action before hunting pressure moves the birds on. The late seasons for doves are December 25-January 9 in the North and Central Zones, and December 25-January 18 in the South Zone. Last-minute dove hunts usually involve

and possibly cruising speed, but will cut top-end. 4. A. 5. False. Always start by going to port (as the boat hops to starboard) since this counters the torque of the propeller, which naturally pushes to starboard. 6. B. Using other non-dedicated channels is okay, but never make a radio check on emergency channel 16; nothing aggravates the Coasties more! 7. C.Try this first, and if it doesn't work, give "B" a shot. Ignore the problem at your own peril; if water isn't flowing through the engine's cooling system, it will overheat in short order. 8. B. To figure out a reciprocal course, add 180 degrees to the original course if it was lower than 180. Subtract 180 if it was higher than 180. 220 180 = 40 degrees 9. A. Square is green, and triangular is red. 10. False. The red light is on the port side of all boats, which means he is to your starboard, giving him the right of way. 11. B. Don't forget to multiply 30 by 1.15 to convert knots (nautical miles per hour) to statute miles per hour. 12. D. For any given conditions, about once every hour you can expect to encounter a wave about twice the height of the average wave. 13. D. These waves are formed when two large waves momentarily combine. Within a minute or so, they separate into two distinct waves. 14. C. In rough seas, all other factors remaining equal, you can expect fuel consumption to rise by 20-30 percent. 15. True. According to the National Marine Manufacturer's Association, 8.2 million out of 16.7 million boats in use in 2009 were outboard powered. T E X A S

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fast action in a matter of an hour or so of hunting, but can result in the harvest of mature, northern-raised dove much larger than the natives taken by Texas hunters earlier in the season.

V. Other Opportunities The above examples are just a few opportunities to consider before you hang up your guns, but there is more. If you want to spice up your hunting experiences, late-season hunts for sandhill cranes, released pheasant and quail, and year-round hunting for exotics and feral hogs can be made done spur-of-the-moment in many areas. All offer a great way to end a season as well as to start a new one.

16. C. "Screwed and glued" is the most common, through-bolted is better, but glassed is best. 17. C. A fuel burn of 16-20 gph is average for a single 600-hp diesel at cruise, so this boat should have a total fuel burn of around 36 gallons per hour. 18. A. One degree of error puts you off course by 92 feet per mile. 19. B. “Pan-pan” is one step below “mayday” on the emergency scale. 20. True. Yes, a sailboat under power is considered a powerboat in the eyes of the law, and you did have the right of way since you were the boat to starboard. But, he might have been holding course because his steering was disabled, he had a medical condition, or for any number of reasons. All “rules of the road” go out the window when someone thinks a collision is possible; you are responsible to try to avoid it. BONUS QUESTION: C. Yep, that one was a toughie. If you got it right, give yourself double credit. SCORING 60 percent or less: You are a hazard to navigation. We would all be better off if you sold your boat and took up golf. 60-70 percent: Remain in port until you brush up on your captaining skills. 80-90 percent: You are a competent captain, whether on the lake or in the ocean. 90 percent or better: We are impressed. Want to go fishing some time? 100 percent: The Navy Seals will be calling you shortly.

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Left to Right: Jeff Bridges plays Rooster Cogburn and Hailee Steinfeld plays Mattie Ross in Paramount Pictures’ “True Grit,” much of which was filmed in Texas.

there are people who do not like western movies. I do not think I have ever met one, but if I did, I am sure I did not trust them. A good western has everything: pretty women, rugged men, horses, shootouts, and guns—lots of guns. Cool guns. People doing cool things with cool guns. Movie and TV westerns are bittersweet to the gunophiles amongst us; even the classics usually get something wrong. Most movie producers and directors seem to know even less about guns than they do about politics and the laws of physics—which is why we see gunslingers firing a Colt Navy revolver 11 times without a reload, half-mile kill shots with flintlock rifles, and bad guys blown off their feet and through saloon doors by twin-tube buckshot. (I will never forget the knuckledragging, mouth-breather bad guy in a Walker, Texas Ranger episode T E X A S

who intoned ominously something like, “We’ll see how tough he is looking down the barrel of my .410 shotgun.”) Heretical though it be, even The Duke himself, John Wayne, was guilty of on-screen firearms malfeasance in one of the best western movies ever—“True Grit.” That 1969 classic had more than a handful of gun bloopers, but a new rendition playing in theaters now corrects them as well as quite a few other historical errors.

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“True Grit: Retribution” is more than a “remake”—it is a redo more true to the 1969 Charles Portis novel (originally a 1968 article series in the Saturday Evening Post) on which it is based, and more accurate in how it presents period guns. Produced by the Coen Brothers of “No Country for Old Men” fame, “True Grit: Retribution” stars Jeff Bridges (son of Lloyd Bridges, who I shall always remember as Mike Nelson in the Sea Hunt TV series) as Marshal Reuben J. “Rooster” Cogburn (John

Wayne in the first movie) and Hailee Steinfeld reprising Kim Darby’s role as Mattie Ross. Whether happenstance or intent, actor Barry Pepper takes the “Lucky” Ned Pepper role (Robert Duvall in the first movie); Matt Damon plays Texas Ranger La Boeuf (Glen Campbell); and Josh Brolin is the central bad guy, Tom Chaney (Jeff Corey). Adding to the overall appeal, the filmmakers shot significant portions of “True Grit: Retribution” in Granger and Austin, Texas.

GUNS & BLOOPERS 1

THE OLD: Conspicuous by absence in the new movie is

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THE NEW: “Rooster” charges the Pepper gang firing a pair of 1851 Navy revolvers.

Cogburn’s loop-lever 1892 Winchester Saddle Ring Carbine, with good reason—the historical setting is post-Civil War 1870s, so the 1892 Winchester did not yet exist. This is one of the two guns John Wayne fires at the Ned Pepper gang in the pivotal (and best) scene when Cogburn charges across a mountain meadow, rifle in one hand (after spin-cocking it, of course) and revolver in the other, horse reigns in his teeth, after bellowing the challenge, “Fill your hand, you son-of-a-bitch!”

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THE OLD: Mattie Ross wields a Colt Walker 1847

“Horse Pistol” revolver (actually a cartridge conversion) inherited from her father, which Rooster calls a Colt’s Dragoon; the Walker is clearly too large, and lacks the loading lever latch of the Dragoon.

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THE NEW: Mattie’s true Colts Dragoon.

On the Web You can view clips from the new movie, behind the scenes video, and hear a TEXAS FISH & GAME interview with Hailee Steinfeld (Mattie Ross) on the TF&G website Video Center: www.FishGame.com/video 46 |

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THE OLD: Lucky Ned Pepper fires a Colt New

Service revolver, mocked up to look like a Single Action Army by adding a fake ejector rod. Typically, actors too slow to handle a single-action revolver used these. In later scenes, Pepper uses an SAA.

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THE NEW: Secretive movie moguls had not released photos of Pepper’s preferred sidearm as of press time, but we are confident it is period authentic.

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THE OLD: Tom Chaney

murders Mattie’s father with a Winchester 1866 “Yellow Boy” rifle modified to look like an 1860 Henry. Later, Cheney’s rifle morphs into an actual Henry rifle.

6 THE NEW: True to the book, Chaney carries a Henry rifle, stolen from Mattie Ross’ father.

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THE OLD: Ned Pepper and a U.S. Marshall

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THE NEW: Pepper fires a .44 rimfire Winchester 1866 “Yellow Boy” at Rooster.

carry 1894 Winchester Saddle Ring carbines, a clear period violation.

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THE OLD & THE NEW: Ranger La Boeuf does long-range sniping with a single-shot Sharps 1874 Cavalry Carbine chambered for the .45-70 cartridge.

PHOTOS: © 2010 PARAMOUNT PICTURES CORPORATION; INTERNET MOVIE FIREARMS DATABASE

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Open Season by Reavis Wortham | TF&G Humor Editor

Snowbirds LEASE TELL ME WHERE WE ARE,” I begged Wrong Willie. He looked out the frosted truck window at the white landscape near the Texas-Oklahoma border and shrugged. “Somewhere in the northeast corner of the Panhandle.” Doc sighed in the back seat. “Wasn’t C.J. Brown supposed to meet us at the store this morning so he could take us to the right place?” “Yes,” Willie answered. “That should have happened six hours ago,” I said. We waited until the local gendarmes came by to see why were sitting suspiciously in a car for four hours with the motor running. “I think we’re on our own.” “We’re definitely on our own,” the Cap’n said, “because we’re lost in this stinking snow storm when we should be hunting pheasants.” “I imagine you can hunt pheasants right now,” Willie said. “Just get out there and get to walking.” “We don’t know who owns this field,” Doc argued. “That’s why we needed C.J. Brown.” “He’s usually not much help anyway,” the Cap’n said. “The last time he set up a hunt, he sent a couple of old boys to take care of us that had just gotten out of the pen.” “They were guards,” I said. “Not former inmates.” “I sure couldn’t tell,” the Cap’n said. “They had as much jailhouse ink in their skin as the inmates.” “Wonder where C.J. Brown met them?” Wrong Willie wondered aloud. “I’m afraid to go there,” Woodrow said. “I think the snow is letting up. Let’s drive. I think I remember this place from a couple of summers ago when we came up here to hunt dove.” I looked around at the landscape. It like

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any other Panhandle pasture: wide open spaces, barbed wire fences, ranch roads, cattle paths, and the occasional windmill beside a feed trough or two. “All right,” I said. “I give up. What looks familiar to you?” “That creek bottom,” Woodrow said. “When the hunting slowed down, I took out a fishing rod and threw a few lures in that stretch of water that empties into the stock tank over there.” I drove slowly along the snowy track, taking care to stay in the ruts lest we get off into a hidden ditch. We passed by the creek and a cluster of ancient cottonwoods. I stopped the truck when a rooster pheasant ran from a nearby fencerow into what was left of a harvested grain field. “This is it,” Woodrow said, opening his door. “How do you know?” I asked, shutting off the engine. “I remember those trees. Let’s hunt.” Still not convinced, the Club members de-trucked and loaded shotguns. Doc volunteered to drive around the field and act as a blocker. He really just wanted to sit in the warm truck until we ran the birds to him at the end of the rows. We lined up, spread out, and walked across the field, taking care to maintain a wide arc, designed to force the birds away from the open center. An excited bird flushed. It was a hen. I know it was so, because I shouted “HEN!” so everyone else could see and not shoot. The Cap’n shouted, “HEN!” Woodrow shouted, HEN!” Wrong Willie shouted, “HEN!” Jerry Wayne, who is hard of hearing, shot and missed. “Was that a hen?” “YES!” Doc shouted from the far end of the field. A truck pulled up beside Doc, he walked over to converse with the occupants. They also unpacked shotguns and spread out to block. We walked, made noise, and took the occasional missed shot. Soon we neared the trucks. When the birds saw the blockers, they flushed and the shoot was on.

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Feathers flew. Snow flew. Birds flew, unscathed. We shot some more. Birds fell. As suddenly as it began, the shoot was over. Laughing and enthusiastic, we picked up our downed birds and joined our new friends. Doc introduced everyone and we piled our birds on the newcomers’ tailgate. One of the men, Oliver, counted the number of pheasants. “Well, old Bill and Dan here can’t hit worth a flip, so we’ll take enough of these birds to fill their limit. That leaves about one each for ya’ll, so that’s about right.” Wrong Willie quickly started to speak up, but Doc held up his hand. “That’s great.” Then to the Club members, “Load up boys, they said we’re in for a monumental snow. We have to get out of here... now.” Instead of arguing, we shook hands with the strangers, climbed in the truck, and slammed the doors. Before anyone could say a word, Doc told me to drive. “Now,” he said, looking back over his shoulder. “Here was the deal. I don’t know those boys. C.J. Brown’s name almost got us arrested. We’re on their land and they let us go when they saw they’d get a hunt without working too hard. They told me they’d count the birds and they wouldn’t arrest us for trespassing, since Oliver is the game warden and Bill and Dan are the deputy sheriffs that own this land.” We drove in silence for a while, pondering our near miss. The Cap’n finally spoke up. “Sounds like it was a good deal all around to me.” We laughed like loons as I drove us home along unfamiliar roads in a snowstorm of historical proportions.

E-mail Reavis Wortham at RWortham@fishgame.com.


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The Satan Hog and Other Beastly Boars BY CHESTER MOORE

PHOTO: © PANTON - FOTOLIA

IF THERE IS A DARK SIDE to hunting in the American South, it comes via wild hogs. No animal from Texas to Florida is more unpredictable, aggressive and in some circumstances downright evil. Take for example, the “Satan Hog”. Back in the mid 1990s, I hunted hogs with dogs at Clarkrange Hunting Lodge in Clarkrange, Tenn. The first morning of the hunt, we jumped up a nice reddishcolored boar with nasty tusks. I decided it was a shooter, so I found a good rest on a tree, squeezed the trigger on the .54 caliber Traditions muzzleloader, and out came the smoke. All I could see was that something was running toward me C O A S T A L

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and I assumed it was 175 pounds of tusks and rage, so I started up the tree. Thankfully, it was just one of the dogs realizing the hog was dead and its work was done. On the way back to the cabin, the dogs jumped up another hog to which the guide said, “I think it’s the Satan hog!” Well, that got my attention. “Could you please explain to me what exactly is the Satan hog?” I asked. “It’s this black boar that charges unprovoked and has killed several dogs. It almost got me once and we haven’t been able to kill it,” he said. I for some reason thought it might be a good idea to go photograph this hog if the dogs had it bayed up. Bad idea!

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In This Issue

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HOTSPOTS FOCUS: ROCKPORT • Fishing Values | BY CAPT. MAC GABLE HOTSPOTS FOCUS: LOWER COAST • Red Resolve | BY CALIXTO GONZALES SPORTSMAN’S DAYBOOK • Tides, Solunar Table, Best Hunting/Fishing Times | BY TF&G STAFF

HOW-TO SECTION

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COVER STORY • The Satan Hog and Other Beastly Boars | BY CHESTER MOORE

HOTSPOTS & TIDES SECTION

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TEXAS HOTSPOTS • Texas’ Hottest Fishing Spots | BY TOM BEHRENS, CALIXTO GONZALES, & BOB HOOD

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TEXAS GUNS & GEAR • Personal Defense Ammo | BY STEVE LAMASCUS

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BOWHUNTING TECH • Those Late Season Hunts |

BY LOU MARULLO

TEXAS KAYAKING • Time to Hang It Up | BY GREG BERLOCHER

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BOAT & RV SHOW SECTION • Special Advertising Section | BY TF&G STAFF

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TEXAS TASTED • Homemade Tortilla Soup | BY BRYAN SLAVEN

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OUTDOOR CLASSIFIED DIRECTORY • Classifieds | BY TF&G STAFF

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PHOTO ALBUM • Your Action Photos | BY TF&G READERS

PAUL’S TIPS • Dynamic Decoys |

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HOTSPOTS FOCUS: GALVESTON • COMPLEX • New Year, New Environment | BY CAPT. MIKE HOLMES

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NEW PRODUCTS • What’s New from Top Outdoor Manufacturers | BY TF&G STAFF

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HOTSPOTS FOCUS: MATAGORDA • Think Out of the Box for Reds | BY CHESTER MOORE

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TEXAS TESTED • Portable Limb, Tuff Truck Bag, Gunslinger | BY TFG STAFF

GEARING UP SECTION

As soon as we arrived on the scene, this black hog, which was only around 150pounds, ran straight at me, forcing me to seek refuge in a tree. I did notice it hooked as it ran by. As soon as the dogs got it again, I jumped back down and started shooting photos and got charged again. Just as I started to think this was a really bad idea, the hog took off and the dogs behind it but they soon returned. They simply could not hold the beast. “Man, that Satan hog is something else,” I said to my guide. “No, that wasn’t it. I’ve never seen that one before. The Satan hog is a whole lot meaner than that,” he said. A few years back I put TF&G Bowhunting Editor Lou Marullo on a big hog in the Pineywoods of East Texas. I was in a ground blind filming just under his tripod stand and watched as his arrow went about halfway into the rib cage. I knew the hog would die but it might take awhile, so I called my Dad on the radio and he rode up from camp on a four-wheeler with his .357 Taurus. Me being possible kin to a bloodhound as I have a natural knack for blood trailing took the gun because I would probably be the first to the wounded boar. Marullo 2 0 1 1

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BY PAUL BRADSHAW

HOTSPOTS FOCUS: UPPER COAST • Clear, Cool Water | BY CAPT. EDDIE HERNANDEZ

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TEXAS BOATING • Image Maker | BY LENNY RUDOW

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clutched tightly his bow and Dad carried an axe handle. Marullo turned to Dad and asked what the ax handle was for. “Better than a stick,” he said. We soon found the hog with the arrow still in it breathing heavily in a mud puddle. Adams chose to take it out with a bow, so he drew back, released the arrow and we heard a big “Smack!” The arrow struck bone and the hog that seemed to be on death’s door, jumped let out a deep, guttural grunt and my hunting party of three soon changed to one. I looked to my right and my Dad who was 60 at the time was about 20 yards back running the other direction. I looked to my left and Marullo was nowhere to be seen. He was gone! So, there I was standing there like Dirty Harry with his huge hog facing me at 15 yards just knowing it was about to head my direction when it fell to the ground. It took a four-wheeler and a lot of ingenuity to get that beast back to camp and a lot of talking to convince Marullo to hunt hogs with me again. Hogs have flat out taken over the coastal marsh in just about every section of the Gulf Coast, and waders are encountering them more frequently than ever.

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www.FishGame.com Donnie Warren of San Antonio was wading a stretch of marsh in the Aransas Bay complex when he found himself between a big sow and her piglets. “I was getting ready to cross over this little hump toward this pond, and as I was getting up from the water onto the land, here comes this huge blond-colored sow and about 10 piglets. I just stood still, hoping she would not see me, but as luck would have it, the wind was blowing right to her and she caught a whiff of me.” “When she did, she ran out into the shallow water toward me about five steps, and I just stood still. I knew there would be no point in running. She just stood there grunting at me for a few seconds, and then turned around, joined her piglets, and walked away. I have encountered plenty of sharks while wading, but never expected to be charged by a pig.” Just the fact these animals have the potential to rip a person to shreds makes things interesting but when you add in their intelligence, a propensity for dwelling in hostile environments and the follies of human hunters things can turn exciting fast.

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LOWER GULF COAST

Baffin Specks, Bird Island Reds by CALIXTO GONZALES cgonzales@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Starvation Point GPS: N27 16.908, W97 32.604 (27.281800, -97.543400) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live bait; Catch 5 or Catch 2000s or Topwaters in chrome/blue, baby trout, soft plastics in Baffin Magic, Morning Glory, plum/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089, 361-449-7441, brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: Warm trends will make trout more aggressive. Suspending lures such as a Catch 5 or Catch 2000 are strong medicine. Eel-imitating plastics on a small (1/8th) jighead are also effective. LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Alazan Bay Shoreline GPS: N27 18.46698, W97 31.03002 (27.307783, -97.517167) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Topwaters in chrome/blue, baby trout, Suspending soft plastics in Baffin Magic, Morning Glory, plum/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089, 361-449-7441, brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: Fish the 3-5í drop-off with suspending lures. On milder days, trout sit in the shallow over dark, warmer mud. Fish slowly and carefully. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Brownsville Ship Channel 52 |

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GPS: N26 2.30202, W97 12.79902 (26.038367, 97.213317) SPECIES: black drum BEST BAITS: live shrimp, fresh shrimp CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: Deeper water holds a number of good fish when trout and redfish aren’t cooperating. Black drum are the stars, but sheepshead and mangrove snapper are also around. Live shrimp on a freeline rig will snare all three. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Bird Island GPS: N26 16.47, W97 16.5 (26.274500, -97.275000) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: live shrimp, gold spoons Gulp! shrimp in Pearl and glow CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: Redfish love the drizzly days after January fronts Drift away from the island and work both shrimp/popping corks and weedless spoons. If the water is off-colored (it usually is), live bait is the best bet. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Long Bar GPS: N26 12.16398, W97 15.957 (26.202733, -97.265950) SPECIES: black drum BEST BAITS: live shrimp/popping cork CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez, 956551-9581 TIPS: inter is drum time. Plenty of fish roam the deep flats in the Southern part of LLM. Fish the edges of the ICW with either live shrimp or fresh shrimp on a fishfinder rig.

LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Dunkin Channel GPS: N26 17.93208, W97 18.10728 (26.298868, -97.301788) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live shrimp, soft plastics in dark patterns, Gulp! Jerkbaits CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: Low tides will concentrate speckled trout in deeper water. Channels such as Dinkin are two good spots for trout concentrations. Freeline live shrimp, or swim soft baits on light heads along drop-offs. Fish the outer eddies when the tide is running. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Dunkin Channel GPS: N26 17.93208, W97 18.10728 (26.298868, -97.301788) SPECIES: flounder BEST BAITS: live shrimp, soft plastics in dark patterns, Gulp! Jerkbaits CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: Use a split shot or heavier jigheads to get your baits or lures down along the bottom to seek out flounder holding in the deeper water. Fish the outer points when the tide is flowing in or out. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Three Islands GPS: N26 16.64298, W97 15.102 (26.277383, -97.251700) SPECIES: black drum BEST BAITS: live shrimp, fresh shrimp CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez, 956551-9581 TIPS: Herds of black drum patrol the flats between the islands and South Padre Island. This is a good way to latch into some nice slot-sized fish that are cooperative and great eating. Fish bait under a popping cork, but work it more slowly. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre

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HOTSPOT: Bird Island GPS: N26 16.47, W97 16.5 (26.274500, -97.275000) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live shrimp, topwaters in Bone, Pearl, Gulp! shrimp in Pearl and glow CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: Let the wind dictate which side of the island to drift. Topwaters will work near shorelines. Live bait and faux shrimp work best on the flats. Watch the terns. They love to steal shrimp under popping corks. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Brazos Santiago Jetties GPS: N26 4.04274, W97 9.20448 (26.067379, -97.153408) SPECIES: black drum BEST BAITS: live shrimp, fresh shrimp, crab chunks CONTACT: Quick Stop, 956-943-1159 TIPS: If you want to find some large bruiser black drum, try the channel side of the jetties. A standard twin-dropper bottom rig works. Use shrimp for the slot-fish, crab for the beasts. Use a 2-4-ounce disk sinker that will glide above the snags. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Long Bar GPS: N26 12.16398, W97 15.957 (26.202733, -97.265950) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live shrimp, Jerkbaits and Gulp! shrimp in chartreuse patterns CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: There is a good concentration of speckled trout that lurk around the Long Bar all year. If the tide is up, fish a jerkbait at the top of the Bar. If the tide is falling, work around the deeper water with a mauler/shrimp or Gulp! combo. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Andy Bowie Park GPS: N26 9.25314, W97 10.20612 (26.154219, -97.170102) SPECIES: sheepshead BEST BAITS: live shrimp, fresh shrimp, 54 |

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CONTACT: Quick Stop, 956-943-1159 TIPS: It may be a surprise to some, but there are actually sheepshead in the surf in winter. Most will hold along the edges of bars. Live or fresh shrimp on fish-finder rigs work well. You’ll also snag quite a few pompano and whiting. Look for shell on sand. LOCATION: Port Mansfield HOTSPOT: Big Oaks GPS: N26 41.96502, W97 27.79098 (26.699417, -97.463183) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Topwaters in dark colors, Catch 5ís; Gulp! shrimp in New Penny, Pearl CONTACT: Captain Richard Lopez, 956207-4715 TIPS: January is a good time to look for a big trout along the Motts. Use larger topwaters such as a Spook or Ghost and fish slowly. If the trout are short striking, move deeper in the water with twitch baits and plastics. LOCATION: Port Mansfield HOTSPOT: Community Bar GPS: N26 34.66902, W97 25.12398 (26.577817, -97.418733) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Topwaters, soft baits in Pearl/chartreuse, glow/chartreuse, purple/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Steven Devries, 956289-3631 TIPS: Fish the east side of the bar. Topwaters are good early. If the water is offcolored, or it’s overcast, fish bait or artificials under a Mauler. LOCATION: Port Mansfield HOTSPOT: Community Bar GPS: N26 34.66902, W97 25.12398 (26.577817, -97.418733) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft baits in Pearl/chartreuse, glow/chartreuse, purple/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Steven Devries, 956289-3631 TIPS: Fish the deep water along the east

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MIDDLE GULF COAST

Topwaters for Copano Trout by TOM BEHRENS tbehrens@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Copano Bay HOTSPOT: Port Bay GPS: N28 1.69398, W97 8.694 (28.028233, -97.144900) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Small topwater lures in chrome/blue CONTACT: Capt. Chris Martin, 361-7852686 TIPS: Work the lure real slow. wade-fishing will provide the best results. LOCATION: Corpus Christi Bay HOTSPOT: Shamrock Cove GPS: N27 46.01802, W97 9.23898 (27.766967, -97.153983) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft plastics; mullet imitation topwaters CONTACT: Capt. Jon Fails, 361-9490133 TIPS: Southeast winds are important; wadefish the beach LOCATION: Corpus Christi Bay HOTSPOT: Shamrock Cove GPS: N27 45.33702, W97 8.11302 (27.755617, -97.135217) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Soft plastics in a Beer color with chartreuse tail CONTACT: Capt. Jon Fails, 361-9490133 TIPS: Drift the flats in the back of the cove while sight casting. LOCATION: Espiritu Santo Bay HOTSPOT: Finger Reed C O A S T A L

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GPS: N28 19.24398, W96 43.311 (28.320733, -96.721850) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: 3/8 or 1/4-ounce jighead with black/chartreuse Texas Tackle Factory soft plastics; live shrimp or cut crab free lined CONTACT: Capt. Chris Martin, 361-7852686 TIPS: Anchor and fish off the bottom LOCATION: Espiritu Santo Bay HOTSPOT: Pringle Lake GPS: N28 19.82898, W96 28.67202 (28.330483, -96.477867) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live shrimp; Texas Tackle Flats Minnow in Roach/chartreuse color CONTACT: Capt. Chris Martin, 361-7852686 TIPS: Excellent spot at this time of the year; drift, using a Flats Minnow under an Alameda Cork LOCATION: Port Aransas HOTSPOT: Morris & Cummings Cut GPS: N27 54.16398, W97 5.68398 (27.902733, -97.094733) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Dead shrimp, live mullet CONTACT: Capt. Randy Filla, 361-2152332 TIPS: Red hot for redfish on a falling tide; fish the edges of the channels, 2-4 feet of water. Early morning fishing will probably not be as good as later in the afternoon.

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BEST BAITS: Cracked crab and mullet CONTACT: Capt. Randy Filla, 361-2152332 TIPS: Fish the bottom. Early morning fishing will probably not be as good as later in the afternoon. LOCATION: Port O'Connor HOTSPOT: Whitaker’s Flats GPS: N28 19.82898, W96 28.67202 (28.330483, -96.477867) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Cut crab on a Carolina Rig; Texas Tackle Trout Killer II in a red/white or plum/chartreuse CONTACT: Capt. Chris Martin, 361-7852686 TIPS: Look for the potholes; the redfish will lie in the "saucers". LOCATION: Rockport HOTSPOT: St. Charles Bay GPS: N28 8.22798, W96 57.333 (28.137133, -96.955550) SPECIES: black drum BEST BAITS: live or dead shrimp, cracked

crab, live mullet CONTACT: Capt. Randy Filla, 361-2152332 TIPS: Fish on the edge of the shell, weight on the bottom and hook on the top LOCATION: San Antonio Bay HOTSPOT: Panther Reef GPS: N28 18, W96 43.19802 (28.300000, -96.719967) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Texas Tackle Trout Killer II in plum/chartreuse on a 1/8-ounce jighead CONTACT: Capt. Chris Martin, 361-7852686 TIPS: Drift while using a Trout Killer II under an Alameda Cork LOCATION: Upper Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Beacroft's Hole GPS: N27 33.09198, W97 19.293 (27.551533, -97.321550) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Mullet imitation baits CONTACT: Capt. Jon Fails, 361-9490133

LOCATION: Port Aransas HOTSPOT: East Morris & Cummings Cut GPS: N27 52.66002, W97 6.456 (27.877667, -97.107600) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Chicken on a Chain using an 1/8-ounce jig CONTACT: Capt. Randy Filla, 361-2152332 TIPS: wade-fishing in 2-4 feet of water; slowly and thoroughly work the area. There will be some big trout in the area. The bite will be real light. LOCATION: Port Aransas HOTSPOT: Jetties GPS: N27 50.61498, W97 3.44298 (27.843583, -97.057383) SPECIES: redfish C O A S T A L

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TIPS: Drift the shoreline, fishing the potholes

UPPER GULF COAST

Matagorda Boiler for Specks by TOM BEHRENS tbehrens@fishgame.com

LOCATION: East Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Boiler Tow Head GPS: N28 39.01602, W95 53.409 (28.650267, -95.890150) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: 3/8-ounce; leadhead jig with a Norton Bull Minnow in Limetreuse or Hot Pink CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281450-4037 TIPS: Concentrate on drifting scattered shell looking for streaky water. The streaks are usually made by baitfish. Find the streaks and the odds are good you will find fish.

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LOCATION: East Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Oyster Farm GPS: N28 41.61102, W95 48.40302 (28.693517, -95.806717) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Corky, Catch 2000, Catch 5 CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281450-4037 TIPS: Check the shallows after a prolonged warm spell. wade-fish throwing a slower lure. LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Sydney Island GPS: N29 58.59, W93 49.43298 (29.976500, -93.823883) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Super Spooks CONTACT: Capt. Eddie Hernandez, 409721-5467, 409-673-3100 TIPS: wade-fish the flats behind the island, fishing later in the afternoons. LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Bridge Bayou GPS: N29 54.14802, W93 46.272 (29.902467, -93.771200) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: MirrOlure Catch 2000, Catch 5 and Corky

CONTACT: Capt. Eddie Hernandez, 409721-5467, or 409-673-3100 TIPS: Catch 2000, Catch 5 and Corky are all slow sinking baits; fish as slow as possible. LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Coffee Ground Cove GPS: N29 57.75702, W93 46.33098 (29.962617, -93.772183) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: MirrOlure Catch 2000, Catch 5, Corky, Salt Water Assassins and Zooms CONTACT: Capt. Eddie Hernandez, 409721-5467, 409-673-3100 TIPS: Good colors for this time of the year are Red Shad in Assassins and White Ice in Zoom baits. LOCATION: West Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: Greens Lake GPS: N29 16.707, W94 59.60202 (29.278450, -94.993367) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: 1/8-ounce; jigheads; soft plastics in Limetreuse, Plum or Red Shad CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman, 409256-7937 TIPS: Drift fishing working bait and color concentrations LOCATION: West Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: Offatts Bayou GPS: N29 16.61898, W94 51.507 (29.276983, -94.858450) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: 52 series Mirror Lures; soft plastics on 1/4-ounce; jigheads CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman, 409256-7937 TIPS: The lighter jighead stays in the strike zone longer. LOCATION: West Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: Confederate Reef GPS: N29 16.19502, W94 56.97402 (29.269917, -94.949567) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Corky, Catch 2000, Catch 5 CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman, 409256-7937 TIPS: Confederate Reef, Offatts Bayou

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and Greens Bayou are the top fishing locations on the Galveston Bay System in January. LOCATION: West Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Cotton Bayou GPS: N28 30.60198, W96 12.603 (28.510033, -96.210050) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: 1/4-ounce; weedless spoons CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281450-4037 TIPS: The best time is after fronts blow through, dropping water levels. Concentrate on the guts.

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GPS: N30 22.84338, W95 33.792 (30.380723, -95.563200) SPECIES: hybrid striped bass BEST BAITS: Storm Swim Shad,live gizzard shad CONTACT: Richard Tatsch, 936-2911277, fishdudetx.com TIPS: Expect to catch larger fish at this time of the year. Hybrids will be bunched up in large schools in 18-22 feet of water.

Use your electronics to find the schools on main lake humps and points. Live shad usually out-produces lures during January. LOCATION: Lake Fork HOTSPOT: Mustang Creek GPS: N32 51.2841, W95 36.90624 (32.854735, -95.615104) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Deep-diving crankbaits,

LOCATION: Matagorda HOTSPOT: River Channel GPS: N28 41.75802, W95 58.67598 (28.695967, -95.977933) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: 3/8 leadhead with a Lit'l Fishie; Hogie, 3-inch double tail shrimp CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281450-4037 TIPS: Drift, feeding the bait out deep behind the boat

PINEY WOODS

Dive Deep on Fork for Bass by BOB HOOD bhood@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Caddo Lake HOTSPOT: Big Green Break GPS: N32 43.55688, W94 2.355 (32.725948, -94.039250) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Cyclone Rattlin' Jigs, Cyclone Lightnin' Blade CONTACT: Paul Keith, caddoguide1@att.net, 318-455-3437, caddolakefishing.com TIPS: Work the cypress trees with blackblue or Texas Craw jig or black-red Lightnin’ Blade in two to four feet of water. Keep moving until you are in the trees that have plenty of hydrilla around them. LOCATION: Lake Conroe HOTSPOT: League Line Hump C O A S T A L

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spinnerbaits CONTACT: Michael Rogge, microg@texascellnet.com TIPS: The pre-spawn is about to start. Look for big fish on main lake points at mouths of creeks. If there is timber, the fish will be suspended. Crank baits that dive to 12-15 feet are best along with large spinnerbaits when slow-rolled through structure.

LOCATION: Toledo Bend Res. HOTSPOT: Main Lake River Ledges GPS: N31 21.63906, W93 39.33312 (31.360651, -93.655552) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Shiners, jigs CONTACT: Greg Crafts, gregcrafts@yahoo.com, 936-368-7151, toledobendguide.com TIPS: In December, January and Febru2 0 1 1

PRAIRIES & LAKES

by BOB HOOD bhood@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Lake Livingston HOTSPOT: River Bend GPS: N30 45.31326, W95 8.09136 (30.755221, -95.134856) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Filleted or scaled fresh carp, buffalo, talapia CONTACT: Dave S. Cox, dave@palmettoguideservice.com, 936291-9602, palmettoguideservice.com TIPS: Use a Carolina rig with 1/2 or one-ounce egg sinker. Drift the bait on the bottom at 12-foot depths where the old river channel drops off to 45 feet. The best launch and bank access is on the west side of Onalaska at the Highway 190 bridge.

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ary there is no size limit. Most fish will be 30 feet or deeper. The daily limit is 50 per person. The lake record is a 4-pounder and it is not unusual to catch 3-pluspounders on this nationally-ranked crappie lake.

Cedar Creek Cats on Cut Shad

LOCATION: Lake Fork HOTSPOT: Mouth of Caney Creek GPS: N32 49.31106, W95 33.6258 (32.821851, -95.560430) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Crappie jigs, minnows CONTACT: Michael Rogge, microg@texascellnet.com TIPS: The crappie have moved to deep water structure and bridges. Fish the mouth of Caney Creek first at 25-40 feet depths. The bridges also are very good places to find crappie at this time of the year as is Sabine River Authority Point.

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LOCATION: Cedar Creek Res. HOTSPOT: Mid-Lake Humps GPS: N32 12.90276, W96 5.2182 (32.215046, -96.086970) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Cut gizzard shad, cut rough fish CONTACT: Jason Barber, kingcreekadventures@yahoo.com, 903-887-7896, kingcreekadventures.com TIPS: Many big blue catfish are caught near the mid-lake humps during January. Use a Santee Cooper rig and make long casts. Drift your bait on the 20-30-foot flats adjacent to the humps. LOCATION: Fayette County Res. HOTSPOT: Hog Pond Trees GPS: N29 56.22324, W96 42.94584 (29.937054, -96.715764) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Shad, worms, punch bait CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, weldon_edna@hotmail.com, 979-229-3103, FishTales-GuideService.com TIPS: Catfish are in full pre-spawn mode. Cast to the trees in 10 feet of water or fish straight down six-inches off bottom. Use a No.4 treble hook and 3/4-ounce egg sinker. Set the hook at the slightest movement of the rod tip when fishing straight down. LOCATION: Gibbons Creek Res. HOTSPOT: Gibbons Creek

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GPS: N30 38.1222, W96 2.9676 (30.635370, -96.049460) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Shad or prepared stinkbait CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, weldon_edna@hotmail.com, 979-229-3103, FishTales-GuideService.com TIPS: Gibbons Creek comes close to the bank here. There are lots of stumps in 12 feet of water. Use 3/4 or one-ounce egg sinker with No.4 treble hook for stinkbait or No.2 Kahle hook for shad. Chumming will increase your chances for channel catfish here. LOCATION: Lake Aquilla HOTSPOT: Deep Humps at Dam GPS: N31 54.12342, W97 12.1008 (31.902057, -97.201680) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Chartreuse 1/2 or 3/4 Mann’s Slab CONTACT: Randy Routh, teamredneck@hotmail.com, 817-822-5539, teamredneck.net TIPS: Watch your graph for schools of whites ganged up on the edges of the humps. Start on the bottom and lift and drop the lure. Try different columns of water until you get strikes. Use binoculars to watch for birds diving for shad and make long casts. LOCATION: Lake Cooper HOTSPOT: Deep River Hole GPS: N33 18.7836, W95 40.18056 (33.313060, -95.669676) SPECIES: hybrid striped bass BEST BAITS: Sassy Shad CONTACT: Tony Parker, tawakonifihing@yahoo.com, 903-348-1619, tonyparkerfishing.com TIPS: Expect a slow bite. Hybrids and white bass will be suspended around the channel. Use a four-inch Sassy Shad on a one-ounce jig and deadstick it by fishing straight down and just holding the lure in the school of fish. It is slow but effective. LOCATION: Lake Lavon HOTSPOT: East Side Cove GPS: N33 4.82364, W96 27.30918 (33.080394, -96.455153) C O A S T A L

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SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Cut bait, live shad CONTACT: Billy Kilpatrick, straightlineguide@yahoo.com, 214-232-7847, straightlineguide.com TIPS: Drift cut bait or live shad in this cove and other shallow coves on the east side of the lake. There are a lot of big blue cats in these areas. There is an abundance of shad around the boat slits that can be caught with a cast net. LOCATION: Lake Lavon HOTSPOT: The Dam GPS: N33 2.01384, W96 27.91692 (33.033564, -96.465282) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Small minnows, crappie jigs CONTACT: Billy Kilpatrick, straightlineguide@yahoo.com, 214-232-7847, straightlineguide.com TIPS: Use your graph to locate any type of structure along the face of the dam. Fish small minnows or crappie jigs around the structure. The area around the pump station also can produce catches of fish by spider-rigging black and blue jigs and minnows.

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TIPS: Fish the stumps along the edges of Kickapoo and other creeks on the north end of the lake with black-blue jigs and white spinnerbaits. The best fishing on the south end of the lake will be on the rocks along the river channel and along the dam. LOCATION: Lake Palestine HOTSPOT: Highway 155 Bridge GPS: N32 7.55874, W95 29.09856 (32.125979, -95.484976) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Crappie jigs CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff, ricky@rickysguideservice.com, 903-5617299, www.rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Fish the bridge pilings with blackchartreuse or white-pink crappie jigs. The best depths will be 20 to 25 feet. LOCATION: Lake Palestine HOTSPOT: Henderson Point GPS: N32 11.85996, W95 29.079 (32.197666, -95.484650) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Spoons, Rat-L-Traps

CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff, ricky@rickysguideservice, 903-561-7299, rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Sand bass will be feeding off the main-lake points early and late. Henderson Point and the secondary points in front of the dam will provide the best action during the early-morning and late-evening hours but mid-day action could be good, too. LOCATION: Lake Somerville HOTSPOT: Big Creek Park Shoreline GPS: N30 19.164, W96 34.374 (30.319400, -96.572900) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Shad or cut bait CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, weldon_edna@hotmail.com, 979-229-3103, FishTales-GuideService.com TIPS: Use a Carolina rig with 3 to 4foot leader and small cork one-foot from hook. Drift 1/2 M.P.H. across the area for big blue cats. This also is a good jug-fishing area. Use a No.4 Kahle hook and one to three-ounce No-Roll sinker depending on the wind.

LOCATION: Lake Lewisville HOTSPOT: Pockrus Hump GPS: N33 5.28894, W97 0.09696 (33.088149, -97.001616) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Fresh gizzard shad, threadfin shad CONTACT: Bobby Kubin, bobby@bobbycatfishing.com, 817-455-2894, bobby-catfishing.com TIPS: Drifting still can produce some nice catfish but anchoring on the main-lake humps and creek channels 30-60 feet will work best. Anchor over areas where you locate schools of shad. Fish shad on Santee Cooper or Carolina rigs with two-ounce weights. LOCATION: Lake Palestine HOTSPOT: Kickapoo Channel GPS: N32 16.6314, W95 29.49966 (32.277190, -95.491661) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Jigs with plastic or pork trailers, spinnerbaits CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff, ricky@rickysguideservice.com, 903-5617299, rickysguideservice.com C O A S T A L

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LOCATION: Lake Texoma HOTSPOT: Paw Paw Creek GPS: N33 51.32622, W96 52.66836 (33.855437, -96.877806) SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: Roadrunners, Sassy Shad jigs CONTACT: Bill Carey, bigfish@striperexpress.com, 877-786-4477, www.striperexpress.com TIPS: Stripers to 20-pounds will hold on points, creeks and humps near deep water. A one-ounce Roadrunner, 7-foot Castaway rod and 20-pound test line is recommended. Live bait also will work. Expect action all day. Watch for feeding gulls to locate fish. LOCATION: Lake Whitney HOTSPOT: State Park Flats GPS: N31 55.05504, W97 21.86928 (31.917584, -97.364488) SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: Storm Wild Eye Shad CONTACT: Randy Routh, teamredneck@hotmail.com, 817-822-5539, teamredneck.net TIPS: The cold temps have pushed the baitfish from the creeks and they have

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ganged up in the safety of numbers, roaming the flats and attracting stripers. Make long casts behind the boat and use trolling motor to troll the swimbaits. Most bites are soft. LOCATION: Richland-Chambers Res. HOTSPOT: Wood Creek GPS: N32 4.23216, W96 17.16912 (32.070536, -96.286152) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Jigs with pork or plastic trailers CONTACT: Steve Schmidt, steve@schmidtsbigbass.com, 682-5188252, schmidtsbigbass.com TIPS: Fish the sunny sides of Wood Creek, targeting docks and stumps at the mouth of the creek first. Elm Creek also has a lot of timber and docks. Be patient and take your time because the bite likely will be slow. Remember to dress for the weather. LOCATION: Richland-Chambers Res. HOTSPOT: 309 Flats GPS: N31 58.71798, W96 6.87 (31.978633, -96.114500) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: One-ounce Silver Glitter

RSR Shad Slabs CONTACT: Royce and Adam Simmons, royce@gonefishing.biz, 903-389-4117, www.gonefishing.biz TIPS: Watch for gulls and pelicans dropping down to pick up shad off the surface. Concentrate on drop-offs and ridges in the area at 20-30 feet depths. Bounce the Slab off the bottom and hold on. You may catch a big hybrid striped bass here, too.

PANHANDLE

Ivie Cats and Ivie Largemouth by BOB HOOD bhood@fishgame.com

LOCATION: OH Ivie Res. HOTSPOT: Upper Colorado River GPS: N31 35.0367, W99 45.99012 (31.583945, -99.766502) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Finesse baits, plastic worms CONTACT: Dave Caudle, fishinwithdave@aol.com, 325-365-1020, fishinwithdave.com TIPS: The river will warm up earlier than other areas. The bass will be active on the cove points. Use finesse baits and lightweighted, dark worms to catch the staging bass. The upper reaches of the Concho River also is a good bet with same baits. LOCATION: OH Ivie Res. HOTSPOT: Yellow Bluff Timber GPS: N31 34.54974, W99 42.51912 (31.575829, -99.708652) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Cheese bait CONTACT: Dave Caudle, fishinwithdave@aol.com, 325-365-1020, fishinwithdave.com TIPS: Look for the trees with roosting cormorants just south of Yellow Bluff. The catfish will be feeding just off the bottom around the trees. Cheese bait and other punch baits will work best. LOCATION: OH Ivie Res.

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HOTSPOT: River Channel Flats GPS: N31 34.31712, W99 41.60238 (31.571952, -99.693373) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Spoons, Slabs CONTACT: Dave Caudle, fishinwithdave@aol.com, 325-365-1020 TIPS: The white bass will be on the sandy flats near the river channel preparing for the spawn. They will be chasing shad up onto the flats throughout the day. Bounce the spoons and jigs off the bottom near the edge of the channel. LOCATION: Possum Kingdom Res. HOTSPOT: Costello Island GPS: N32 54.4662, W98 27.7899 (32.907770, -98.463165) SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: Gamefisher Slab, 1/4-ounce jighead with 3-inch Mister Twister soft plastic CONTACT: Dean Heffner, fav7734@aceweb.com, 940-329-0036 TIPS: The stripers hit best when a cold front line is at the Texas-Oklahoma border. A white lure works best. Fish the river channel north of Costello Island to its headwaters. The stained water will hold warmer temperatures longer than clear waters.

BIG BEND

by BOB HOOD bhood@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Lake Amistad HOTSPOT: Marker 17 GPS: N29 34.56414, W101 17.967 (29.576069, -101.299450) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Soft plastic grubs CONTACT: Larry Scruggs, Amistad Lodge and Adventures, fisherofmenlrs@hotmail.com, 210-789-1645 TIPS: Big slabs hang around sheer rock J A N U A R Y

bluffs from Markers 17 to 24. Fish the coves on the down-wind side of the rocks at 20 feet. Chartreuse is the best color and six-pound test line works best. Don’t be surprised if you hook into a big bass. LOCATION: Lake Amistad HOTSPOT: Marker 17 GPS: N29 34.56414, W101 17.967 (29.576069, -101.299450) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Soft plastic craws, shallowrunning crankbaits, spinnerbaits CONTACT: Larry Scruggs, Amistad Lodge and Adventures, fisherofmenlrs@hotmail.com, 210-789-1645 TIPS: Fish the bend of the river from Markers 17 to 25 for pre-spawn bass, especially the windy points. Numerous canyons and creeks in this area have shallow rock and brush shelves that drop-off into 20 feet of water or more. Red-colored craws work best.

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HOTSPOT: Open Lake GPS: N30 42.30102, W97 20.61006 (30.705017, -97.343501) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Cut bait, live perch, Zote soap CONTACT: Tommy Tidwell, crappie1@hotmail.com, 512-365-7761 TIPS: Jug lines produce some really good catches of blue catfish at this time of year. Shad can be difficult to find but live or dead perch will catch the bigger fish. Zote soap also works well but usually catches the smaller eating-sized fish.

SOUTH TEXAS PLAINS

Cormorants Flock Over Falcon Cats by BOB HOOD bhood@fishgame.com

HILL COUNTRY

Granger Whites and Catfish by BOB HOOD bhood@fishgame.com

Marker 17 Holds Crappie, Bass

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LOCATION: Lake Granger HOTSPOT: Comanche Bluff GPS: N30 42.05736, W97 24.12738 (30.700956, -97.402123) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Shad Raps, Rat-L-Traps, swimbaits CONTACT: Tommy Tidwell, crappie1@hotmail.com, 512-365-7761 TIPS: Head up the San Gabriel River and fish the area around Comanche Bluff. White bass are known to make runs up the river at this time of year. Look for areas where shad are concentrated. The white bass you catch likely will be very large. LOCATION: Lake Granger

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LOCATION: Falcon Lake HOTSPOT: Big Tiger Creek GPS: N26 44.32602, W99 8.74998 (26.738767, -99.145833) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Danny King punch bait, Sure Shot punch bait, chicken liver CONTACT: Robert Amaya, Robert’s Fish N'Tackle,robertsfishntackle@gmail.com, 956-765-1442, robertsfishntackle.com TIPS: Thousand of cormorants are nesting in this area. Look for the big flocks of birds along the brush line roosting areas in trees that are in 8 to 15 feet of water. Use slip cork with a No. 2 treble hook. Catfish weighing four to eight-pounds are common.

On the Web Interactive Hotspot App with over 1,500 fishing spots: www.FishGame.com/hotspots C O A S T A L

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Clear, Cool Water ANUARY IS TYPICALLY NOT THE MOST COMfortable month to run the bay in search of fish. For this reason it is understandable that so many people choose to stay indoors rather than get out and expose themselves. For those who are willing to brave the elements, however, the Sabine ecosystem can really pay off. Years of logging countless hours of wintertime fishing has taught us a thing or two. For starters, fishing the clearest water that you can find is a key ingredient for success. Also you don’t want to waste your time hitting spots with sandy bottoms. The fish will be looking for areas that are

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holding the warmest water. Clear water warms faster than murky water and mud warms quicker and retains heat better than sand. Although the difference in water temperature may seem very little to us, it can be huge to the fish. The slightest variance in water temperature can mean the difference between catching and casting. It may only be a couple of degrees or less but that is very significant to the fish in cold water. Another thing we’ve learned through experience is that straight tailed plastic baits work better than those with more movement. Curl tailed or more wobbly baits don’t really do much for these cold blooded fish in cold water. A better scenario is to offer them a straight tailed soft plastic. Us the lightest lead head that the elements will allow and gently twitch it once it’s on the bottom. The slower the better when their metabolism is low. Other good bait choices are slow sinking mullet imitations like MirOLure Catch V and Catch 2000 as well as Corky Fat Boys

and Devils. These baits are designed to sink very slowly so give them time to get down then twitch and retrieve very slowly also. If you’ve got good sunlight penetrating the water your best bet would be to use darker or natural colored baits. Red shad, Morning Glory and natural mullet or shad work well in bright sun conditions. Lighter colors like glow, chartreuse and limetreuse are much more effective when the sky is overcast. The eastern bank of Sabine Lake has multiple bayous, cuts and drains that empty into the bay. Some of these open up into big shallow ponds that have their own drains and cuts. Because of the large amount of water that moves in and out of the bayous with the tides, your chances of finding decent water to fish somewhere along the eastern shoreline are pretty good. If you’re lucky enough to find clear water that’s also holding bait, there’s a real good chance you’ll be happy you got out and endured the elements.

THE BANK BITE LOCATION: Intracoastal Canal, Hwy 87 (Sabine Pass) SPECIES: Redfish, croaker, black drum BAIT: Fresh dead shrimp, cut bait BEST TIMES: Moving tides

Contact: Eddie Hernandez at, ehernandez@fishgame.com

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New Year, New Environment T HARDLY SEEMS POSSIBLE THAT 11 YEARS HAVE passed since we were pushed from the safety of the 1900’s into the unknown future of 2000 and beyond, but I have the cancelled checks and late notices to prove it. On the bay fishing scene, safe from most intrusions by NOAA Fisheries, not that much has changed on the way of regulations and restrictions. Our biggest changes came following Hurricane Ike, but these are not things we can effectively defend against, so all we can do is roll with the punches and adjust to the aftermath. If Rollover Pass is closed, as it appears it will be, a popular bank fishing spot will be no more, and the water exchange between the bay and the Gulf will be closed, making that section of beachfront a little less productive, ditto the bay side. This will be a loss to both fish and fishermen, but one that we can adjust to, easier than the offshore fishermen can adjust to the restrictive regulations for red snapper. This is the time of year for resolutions, and mine is to fish more in 2011. I plan to take my wife surf fishing in the New Year, for many reasons. The surf was my first introduction to saltwater fishing, many, many years ago – and I still have a love for standing waist deep in the Gulf and flinging a long cast seaward. My wife loves the beach, and I have a 4wd vehicle for the first time in many years, so I see a trend developing. Another reason to try to fish more is because I love to eat fish. As a true southerner, I prefer fried fish, but broiled bull red or flounder does well on the table, also. While I am not a Tred Barta, who professes

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to eat only meat he kills himself, and I am certainly not in the class with a back strap master like Mr. Nugent, I enjoy eating my own harvest from the wild, whether that be venison, feral hog ham or sausage, or fresh fish from surf, bay or offshore. I think fresh caught – or killed – meat devoid of preservatives has a much better flavor, and less fat than commercially raised meat. Many years ago my youngest stepdaughter caught a nice red off the marina dock. She was thrilled at the catch, but not so excited about me cooking it for dinner. Any step-parent – especially of a 12 year old girl – might indentify with my problem here, as she was completely convinced at this point I could do nothing in a correct manner. After I battered the fish and fried it crisp, however, she tasted the first piece and announced to anyone within hearing that it was wonderful. “This doesn’t taste anything like store bought fish – that stuff is nasty – but this is delicious!” In a situation like this, the step- parent is hard pressed to win a few bat-

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tles in a long war. This was one of mine. Fishing the bays is one way to enjoy nature’s bounty. Running a boat across a deeper bay like Trinity or West Bay is another. Nothing quite compares to travel in a boat for pure pleasure, whether blasting across open water at your best speed, challenging big waves with your best technique, or simply cruising along the ICW, watching the water and the birds. No one who has heard the call of the water can ever get over it. Here’s to another good year on boat, beach, or bank.

THE BANK BITE LOCATION: Piers in deeper, more protected water, such as rivers, bayous, and harbors can really pay off – especially at night under lights. Unfortunately, many of these spots are private properCONTINUED ty, including marina docks, SEE PAGE 67 

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but the deeper water surrounding them is often overlooked. This actually goes for pretty much anywhere along the Texas Coast. There are thousands of marker buoys and barnacle-encrusted channel marker poles along the Intracoastal Canal and they hold lots of redfish. These poles make up their own mini ecosystems in much the same way oil and gas platforms do offshore. They are obviHE MATAGORDA COMPLEX HAS MANY ously not a pronounced as rigs, but they do opportunities for anglers draw in fish. during the winter and The first thing you one of the best is targetneed to do is check to ing redfish. The bays themsee if the poles have • Executive Editor selves will hold plenty of reds many barnacles on

Think Out of the Box for Reds

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The bays will hold plenty of reds, but the deeper water surrounding them is often overlooked.

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them. Those spots are good ones to fish because they are likely to draw in lots of baitfish and crustaceans, which reds of course dine on. In addition, the ones located near shorelines with shell are great places to fish. The markers typically designate where the channel and shallows meet, so setting up between the shell along the shore and the marker puts an angler in a great position. Chunk one line in the shallows and another in the deep and there is a very good chance will score on redfish. “Vertical Trapping” is a method I am experimenting with in such areas. It involves using a Rat-L-Trap or similar lipless crankbait and dropping it down over deep holes and simply reeling it up. This is something anglers use for smallmouth bass in channels along the Great Lakes and I am experimenting with it for redfish and other coastal predators in Gulf Coast waters. What is appealing about this method is that it allows for targeting various depths of the water column. If you do not have electronics and have no means of telling where the fish are this can allow you to hit all areas of the column with a lure that mimics what they are feeding on this time of year and one that is hard to ignore. Anglers should remember that tidal movements are what push the bite button coastal-dwelling reds and other fish. For anglers fishing the Intracoastal, remember that straight, narrow canals have a faster moving tide than do wide, shallow C O A S T A L

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areas like bays. With this in mind, watch your tide charts and look for the strongest moving tides to produce the best bites. If you are fishing areas of the Intracoastal very close to the coast, it will not take a huge tide to get good moving water. A tide is like wave in that it weakens the farther you move inland. So, the rule is that the bigger the tide the better the bite will be farther inland. Big tides will also produce nearer the Gulf, but you do not have to have a two-foot

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tide to get results. A six-incher might be enough to get the job done, whereas if you fish on that small 10 miles inland you might see virtually no movement at all and consequently little fish action. Catching reds this time of year may require a little more work, but for those of us who know that the very best sport does not involve a ball, but a rod and reel, they are well worth the effort.

THE BANK BITE LOCATION: Oyster Lake Bridge SPECIES: Redfish, Sheepshead BAITS/LURES: Dead shrimp, crab BEST TIME: Incoming Tides and first hour of outgoing tide on warm afternoons.

GALVESTON and anglers need permis FROM PAGE 65 sion to fish them. Some parks on inland waters, however, such as those on Chocolate and Bastrop Bayous and Oyster Creek do offer both public access and lights for night fishing, along with a good chance of catching fish. ALTERNATE SPOT: Many spots along the Intracoastal Waterway are accessible to bank fishermen, and may shelter flounder and black drum as well as panfish, trout and reds. SPECIES: Few species along the Texas coast migrate significant distances because of cooler weather, although some will head for deeper water. Most simply slow their metabolism down to survive, which means they eat less, and are more challenging to take on hook and line. BEST BAITS: Fresh dead baits oozing a strong scent trail and slow moving artificials are the ticket for fish hesitant to move fast for a meal. With dead baits, fish them every cast as though you were flounder fishing, because you may literally have to drag a bait right over a sluggish winter trout or red to entice a strike. BEST TIMES: This is the time of year when it is probably best to fish during the warmth of the day, if that particular day has any warmth. Pair the sun’s effect on shallower water with a moving tide for best results. CONTINUED

Capt. Mike Holmes runs tarpon, shark, and bluewater trips on a classic 31 Bertram. To book a trip, call 979-415-0535. Email him at mholmes@fishgame.com. C O A S T A L

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Fishing Values

You do not have to emulate a professional fishing guide to catch fish.

HY DOES IT COST SO MUCH money to fish Capt. Mac?” a young man asked me a few months ago at a local fishing tackle store. “I just want to sit and enjoy the morning, getting away from all the hoopla and craziness most of our society deems as normal,” he said “but it seems fishing has gone the way of hunting in that the average person raising a family or paying their way through college or looking for a job in this crazy economic time is getting where "YOU JUST CANT AFFORD IT", and unless you have the latest equipment your probably are not going to catch fish anyway and forget getting a guide they are four to five hundred a day!” I digested his comments and questions and decided it was time for some counseling, Capt. Mac 101 style. “I must admit that our sport has taken an expensive turn” I said “and yes guides are expensive and yes most of us/them have top quality equipment and the latest technology. That doesn’t mean you have to have what we/they have to catch fish.” Strangely enough the parallel between these two types of anglers differs greatly when you get passed their common motives of enjoying fishing and catching fish. Guides need top quality tackle, boats, a reliable vehicle to pull the boat and a list of satellite equipment that a show horse couldn’t jump over. They are on the water almost everyday and their equipment takes a real reel pounding! Cheaper brands and models including boats and motors just don’t hold up and end up costing more in the long run in replacement and repair costs. Put your chin in my hand and listen to me: “You Do Not Have to Emulate a Professional Fishing Guide to

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Catch Fish!” Now put that $300 reel and that $150 rod down and let me show you with specifics. All you really need to fish in our bays is 5 basic things: a license, reel, rod, line, and a cast net. A license will run you from $11.00 for 1 day up to $40.00 for annual privileges. For equipment, let’s start with the reel. I recommend a spinning reel as they cast a country mile and hold up well in this saltwater environment. For 16 to 19 dollars Mitchell makes one called an Avocet that if taken half descent care of will last many years, I have several that I wade fish with from models 2000 to 4000 and they are still going strong. A good bait caster is a Diawa Procaster 6+1 - 40 to 60 dollars. Picking a rod is not rocket science either, take your reel with you and put in on the rod you’re considering. See how the rod balances with the reel on it, it should not be back heavy or front heavy. If it doesn’t feel good in your hand it won’t feel good after 4 hours of wade fishing. A good rod for the money is Garcia's medium heavy and you can buy them at Wal-Mart or Academy for under 25 dollars. For those that are taller a 7 foot rod works well and for shorter folks a 6 or 6&1/2 foot works well. For line, Berkley Trilene Big Game is $6.99 for about 600 yards and I fished with it for over 15 years as a guide before I could afford to use braided line. Cast nets are too numerous to talk about them all; suffice to say that I use an Betts Old Salt 7 footer with 1/2 inch mesh squares and it runs about 60 to 70 dollars.

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There are many good videos on the web for learning how to throw a cast net and in my opinion the brand is not nearly as important as your ability to throw it so practice, practice, practice. With a little patience and one good throw you'll have all the bait you need and have fun doing it. The tally is about $200.00 top end and this stuff will last the recreational angler many years. With a little care and it allows you to fish from public piers and wade fish to your heart’s content. Not bad when you consider the average guide has over $120,000 invested in his/her fishing business which is the recreational anglers cost times about 600 and guess what, you will still catch fish and not put you or your family in hock to enjoy the sport. Fishing can be economical, it can be environmentally friendly and it beats the heck out of letting the cable/satellite TV wash over you as you sit on your duff. The fishing license helps support restocking of fish and helps pay salaries of those game wardens that protect our resource (a much under appreciated job in my opinion). So pinch your pennies, but still get out there amongst us... I'll see you on the water! Meanwhile, here is what you can expect to find on the water in the Rockport vicinity: COPANO BAY - On high tide Italian Bend is a good place for trout and red fish. This is shallow water so ease into this area and look for dark mud adjacent to sand pockets for fish. Soft plastics in root beer and new penny colors work well here. Peeled shrimp on a light Carolina rig is good for black drum at the mouth of Mission Bay. Patience in setting the hook is the key to putting these white meat gems in the box. ARANSAS BAY - Jay Bird Reef is good on high tide for trout using Berkley jerk shads in water melon CONTINUED and grape colors. SEE PAGE 70  Spalding on an C O A S T A L

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Red Resolve ANUARY MEANS PLENTY OF GOOD FISHING for red snapper within Texas’ state waters (within nine nautical miles of shore). The combination near-shore oil and gas drilling rigs, rock-piles, wrecks, and holes, plus the rapid slope to deeper water, combine to create a red snapper fishery that is within easy access of both large boats and the “Mosquito Fleet.” On the blue-bird, flat calm days that fall between cold fronts (usually a Wednesday or Thursday, if you have my buzzard’s luck with weather), it isn’t uncommon to make a longer run than it takes for everyone on the boat to catch a four fish state limit. Red snapper have always been plentiful

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in state waters, especially once the water starts reaching depths beyond 50 feet. The hulks of long-sunken shrimp boats and the natural rocks that are scattered in 50 to 80 feet of water (sometimes as close as 2 miles off the Padre Island National Seashore on the southern coast) are snapper magnates. The establishment of reefs of irrigation pipe, cinderblocks, and even car bodies and refrigerators have added to the housing for these scarlet brutes. Even when snapper were consider “overfished” by the Federal government—which lead to the Draconian regulations that plague recreational fishermen—the numbers of Lone Star snapper were consistently high. “A lot of people aren’t even aware of these fish,” said Captain Frank Vazquez (956-642-7040). “They just run right over them headed offshore. We have a lot of good snapper nearby, in shallower water (less than 100 feet).” “These are fish that are there year around,” Vasquez continued. “Especially

in the winter. (Winter) is the best time to fish for them. You have to pick your days, because of the weather, but when you get out there, you’re going to find lots of nice snapper.” It may not be as simple as finding a calm day, running three miles out of the Mansfield or Brazos Santiago Jetties, and catching a cooler full of snapper, but it isn’t prohibitive for the recreational angler with a good set of electronics to locate some fish. Many of the local maps that you can find at tackle shops and big box sporting goods outlets list the GPS numbers for some of the more popular near-offshore spots from the mouth of the Rio Grande to the Padre Island National Seashore. Hook n Line, for example, makes maps offshore maps of the Upper and Lower Texas Coast that is complete with GPS numbers of some reefs and wrecks in state waters. Remember, however, that these are some of the more popular spots, so be prepared to share the areas with a few of your closest

ROCKPORT HOTSPOT FOCUS outgoing tide with cut bait men FROM PAGE 68 haden/mullet on a fish finder rig is the ticket for keeper reds. The trick here is to wait them out and allow the scent of the cut bait to filter into the surrounding waters. CONTINUED

ST. CHARLES BAY - The black drum action is still good at the mouth of Cavasso creek using fresh dead shrimp. If the wind allows, a free line works best, otherwise use a light Carolina rig. Devils Bayou mid day works well for reds using soft plastics in morning glory and anchovy colors. CARLOS BAY - With a north wind, drift fish across Carlos Lake using a popping cork and Berkley gulp shrimp for trout. Berkley molting crabs works well for reds 70 |

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using the same technique. MESQUITE BAY - The east shoreline is holding reds and some flounder. Use cut mullet and/or sardines for the reds and a tandem action jig head rig using white grubs for the founder. On cooler days fish the deep edges away from the shoreline and on warmer days look for dark mud bottoms closer in.

drum. Fish the deeper water of the cut on the colder days and focus on the shallow reefs adjacent to the cut on the warmer days. Live shrimp is hard to beat here, but fresh dead will work with a little patience. You can access the cut via the Goose Island fishing pier. Fish as you wade to the cut and as you wade back. Here’s Wishing You Tight Lines Bent Poles and Plenty of Bait!

AYERS BAY - Wade fishing the east shoreline using live shrimp free lined or under a silent cork is the formula for reds.

THE BANK BITE

Contact Capt. Mac Gable at Mac Attack Guide Service, 512-809-2681, 361-790-9601

The cut between Aransas Bay and St. Charles is good for trout, reds and black

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friends. Electronics have made a remarkable leap in sophistication over the last three or four years. Anglers will not have to strain the pocketbook to get their hands on some fish locators that can give some high-resonance images of the bottom, so it doesn’t hurt to have your Humminbird or Lowrance scanning while en route to a reef. “I have found lots of productive rocks and reefs by just keeping an eye on my electronics while running,” said Captain Richard Bailey (956-369-5090). “When I see a rise or lump on the screen, I hit the Man Overboard button on the GPS to mark the spot. Some of them are dry holes, and others are just awesome.” Bailey also advises that anglers shouldn’t always anchor up, but drift over the rocks if the current isn’t very strong. Some of the bigger snapper don’t hang directly on the rocks, but away from them a bit and in the middle of the water column—sometimes as shallow as 30 feet. Anchoring up might pigeonhole you into catching the smaller snapper.

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Pool cue rods, windlass-sized reels, and 100 pound line aren’t necessary for these Texas snapper. Anglers can equip themselves with tackle that would be considered as heavy inshore gear in most cases. A seven foot medium-heavy rod capable of handling 2-6 ounces of lead, a 6000-sized spinning or 400-sized casting reel, and 50 braid or 30 pound abrasion-resistant mono or fluorocarbon will work just fine. My goto outfit is a Calcutta 400B on a 7-foot medium-heavy Shimano Teramar rod and spooled with 65 pound Power Pro or Spiderwire Braid. The 16 pound test diameter of the line means that I have roughly 250 yards, plenty to keep me from getting spooled (unless a shark comes along, then all bets are off). An 8-pound red snapper has a surprisingly large mouth, so you don’t have to be timid with your tackle. An 8/0 or 9/0 circle hook is ideal (circle hooks are required for all bottom fishing in state offshore waters). I’ve had great results with Mustad’s Demon Circle. A 2-foot length of 80 pound Cajun Red leader with a 100 pound barrel swivel

T E X A S

F I S H

&

rounds out the rig. Any finfish will work as bait for up close snapper. Menhaden is the most available bait this time of year, but you can also use pinfish, whiting, sand trout, or yellow-tail perch (those pesky little bait stealers that look like white bass). I also had a great deal of success with a 6” Gulp Curlytail grub pinned on a 3 ounce SPRO Bucktail, both in chartreuse. Typically, these snapper will be suspended from the bottom to within 20 feet of the surface, so work your bait or lure from the bottom up. If nothing happens, send your rig back down to the bottom and start over. Chances are, however, if you locate the fish, something will happen before you work for too long.

G A M E ®

Contact Calixto Gonzales at CGonzales@fishgame.com

J A N U A R Y

2 0 1 1

|

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Tides and Prime Times

JANUARY 2011 USING THE PRIME TIMES CALENDAR

The following pages contain TIDE and SOLUNAR predictions for Galveston Channel (29.3166° N, 94.88° W).

T12

T4

T11

T10

TIDE PREDICTIONS are located in the upper white boxes on the Calendar Pages. Use the Correction Table below, which is keyed to 23 other tide stations, to adjust low and high tide times.

T13 T6

T7

T5 T17

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY is shown in the lower color boxes of the Calendar pages. Use the SOLUNAR ADJUSTMENT SCALE below to adjust times for points East and West of Galveston Channel.

T15 T16

AM & PM MINOR phases occur when the moon rises and sets. These phases last 1 to 2 hours.

T14 T18

AM & PM MAJOR phases occur when the moon reaches its highest point overhead as well as when it is “underfoot” or at its highest point on the exact opposite side of the earth from your positoin (or literally under your feet). Most days have two Major Feeding Phases, each lasting about 2 hours.

T19

SOLAR & LUNAR ACTIVITY: Sunrise: 6:34a Sunset: 7:51p

PEAK DAYS: The closer the moon is to your location, the stronger the influence. FULL or NEW MOONS provide the strongest influnce of the month.

T20

AM Minor: 9:11a AM Major: 2:57a PM Minor: 9:40p PM Major: 3:25p

PEAK TIMES: When a Solunar Period falls within 30 minutes to an hour of sunrise or sunset, anticipate increased action. A moon rise or moon set during one of these periods will cause even greater action. If a FULL or NEW MOON occurs during a Solunar Period, expect the best action of the season.

Moonrise:9:27a Moon Set: None Moon Overhead:

T21

4:55p

TIDE CORRECTION TABLE Add or subtract the time shown at the right of the Tide Stations on this table (and map) to determine the adjustment from the time shown for GALVESTON CHANNEL in the calendars.

TIDE PREDICTIONS are shown in graph form, with High and Low tide predictions in text immediately below. SOLUNAR ACTIVITY data is provided to indicate major and minor feeding periods for each day, as the daily phases of the moon have varying degrees of influence on a wide variety of wildlife species.

T9 T8

T3 T2 T1

KEY T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6

PLACE Sabine Bank Lighthouse Sabine Pass Jetty Sabine Pass Mesquite Pt, Sab. Pass Galveston Bay, S. Jetty Port Bolivar

HIGH -1:46 -1:26 -1:00 -0:04 -0:39 +0:14

LOW -1:31 -1:31 -1:15 -0:25 -1:05 -0:06

KEY PLACE HIGH Galveston Channel/Bays T7 Texas City Turning Basin +0:33 +3:54 T8 Eagle Point +6:05 T9 Clear Lake +10:21 T10 Morgans Point T11 Round Pt, Trinity Bay +10:39

LOW +0:41 +4:15 +6:40 +5:19 +5:15

KEY PLACE T12 Pt Barrow, Trinity Bay T13 Gilchrist, East Bay T14 Jamaica Beach, W. Bay T15 Alligator Point, W. Bay T16 Christmas Pt T17 Galveston Pleasure Pier

HIGH +5:48 +3:16 +2:38 +2:39 +2:32 -1:06

LOW +4:43 +4:18 +3:31 +2:33 +2:31 -1:06

KEY T18 T19 T20 T21 T22 T23

PLACE San Luis Pass Freeport Harbor Pass Cavallo Aransas Pass Padre Island (So. End) Port Isabel

SPORTSMAN’S DAYBOOK IS SPONSORED BY:

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION T22 T23

KEYS TO USING THE TIDE AND SOLUNAR GRAPHS TIDE LE VEL GRAPH: Yellow: Daylight

12a

Tab: Peak Fishing Period

6a

12p

6p

12a

Light Blue: Nighttime

BEST:

7:05-9:40 PM

Green: Falling Tide

AM/PM Timeline

Gold Fish: Best Time

Blue: Rising Tide Red Graph: Fishing Score

Blue Fish: Good Time

SOLUNAR AC TIVIT Y: MINOR Feeding Periods (+/- 1.5 Hrs.) Time Moon is at its Highest Point in the Sky 12a

AM/PM Timeline

72 |

AM Minor: 1:20a

PM Minor: 1:45p

AM Major: 7:32a

PM Major: 7:57p

MAJOR Feeding Periods (+/- 2 Hrs.)

Moon Overhead: 8:50a 6a

12p

6p

12a

Time Moon is Directly Underfoot (at its peak on opposite side of the earth)

Moon Underfoot: 9:15p J A N U A R Y

2 0 1 1

T E X A S

F I S H

&

G A M E ®

C O A S T A L

A L M A N A C

HIGH -0.09 -0:44 0:00 -0:03 -0:24 +1:02

LOW -0.09 -1:02 -1:20 -1:31 -1:45 -0:42


Almanac C.qxd:1002 Coastal

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10:51 AM

Page 73

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION

 = New Moon  = First Quarter  = Full Moon  = Last Quarter  = Best Day

BEST:

= Peak Fishing 7:45-9:40 AM Period = FALLING TIDE = RISING TIDE = DAYLIGHT HOURS = NIGHTTIME HOURS

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

MONDAY

TUESDAY

29

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

30

31

SUNDAY

Ja n 1

2

Set: 5:28p Sunrise: 7:12a Set: 12:51p Moonrise: 2:38a

Set: 5:29p Set: 1:33p

Sunrise: 7:12a Moonrise: 3:43a

Set: 5:29p Set: 2:21p

Sunrise: 8:12a Moonrise: 5:45a

Set: 6:30p Set: 4:13p

Sunrise: 8:13a Moonrise: 6:43a

Set: 6:31p Set: 5:09p

AM Minor: 10:30a

PM Minor: 10:55p

AM Minor: 11:21a

PM Minor: 11:46p

AM Minor: ——-

PM Minor: 12:10p

AM Minor: 12:32a

PM Minor: 12:59p

AM Minor: 1:21a

PM Minor: 1:49p

AM Minor: 3:11a

PM Minor: 3:39p

AM Minor: 4:02a

PM Minor: 4:30p

AM Major: 4:18a

PM Major: 4:43p

AM Major: 5:08a

PM Major: 5:34p

AM Major: 5:57a

PM Major: 6:23p

AM Major: 6:46a

PM Major: 7:13p

AM Major: 7:35a

PM Major: 8:03p

AM Major: 9:25a

PM Major: 9:53p

AM Major: 10:16a

PM Major: 10:44p

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 7:15a

Moon Overhead: 6:23a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 8:08a 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 11:00a

Moon Overhead: 9:03a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

THURSDAY

Set: 5:27p Sunrise: 7:11a Set: 5:28p Sunrise: 7:11a Set: 11:35a Moonrise: 12:29a Set: 12:11p Moonrise: 1:33a

Moon Overhead: 5:34a

12a

WEDNESDAY

 28

27 Sunrise: 7:11a Moonrise: None

Tides and Prime Times for JANUARY 2011

Moon Overhead: 11:56a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 5:58p +2.0

BEST:

BEST:

-1.0

BEST:

12:00 — 2:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 8:35p

Moon Underfoot: 9:31p

BEST:

12:30 — 2:30 AM

BEST:

1:30 — 3:30 AM

Moon Underfoot: 11:28p BEST:

5:00 — 7:00 PM

Moon Underfoot: None +2.0

BEST:

3:30 — 5:30 AM

4:30 — 6:30 AM TIDE LEVELS

0

Moon Underfoot: 7:41p

TIDE LEVELS

11:00A — 1:00P

+1.0

Moon Underfoot: 6:49p

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

3:11 am 9:04 am 2:17 pm 9:06 pm

0.29 ft 0.72 ft 0.30 ft 0.96 ft

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

4:11 am 11:16 am 3:16 pm 9:20 pm

C O A S T A L

-0.02 ft 0.77 ft 0.62 ft 0.95 ft

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

A L M A N A C

5:08 am 1:22 pm 4:53 pm 9:31 pm

-0.31 ft 0.94 ft 0.88 ft 0.98 ft

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

T E X A S

6:03 am 3:00 pm 8:15 pm 9:24 pm

-0.56 ft 1.11 ft 1.02 ft 1.02 ft

F I S H

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

&

6:55 am 4:04 pm 9:14 pm 10:29 pm

-0.75 ft 1.22 ft 1.04 ft 1.04 ft

G A M E ®

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

7:48 am 4:42 pm 10:01 pm 11:24 pm

-0.81ft. Low Tide: 8:36 am -0.86ft. 1.20ft. High Tide: 5:20 pm 1.19ft. 1.05ft. Low Tide: 10:17 pm 1.04ft. 1.06ft.

J A N U A R Y

2 0 1 1

|

73

+1.0

0

-1.0


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NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION BEST:

= Peak Fishing Period

7:45-9:40 AM

= FALLING TIDE = RISING TIDE = DAYLIGHT HOURS = NIGHTTIME HOURS

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

4

THURSDAY

5

FRIDAY

6

SATURDAY

7

8

9

Sunrise: 8:13a Moonrise: 7:36a

Set: 6:31p Set: 6:07p

Sunrise: 8:13a Moonrise: 8:24a

Set: 6:32p Set: 7:06p

Sunrise: 8:13a Moonrise: 9:05a

Set: 6:33p Set: 8:04p

Sunrise: 8:13a Moonrise: 9:42a

Set: 6:34p Set: 9:01p

AM Minor: 4:54a

PM Minor: 5:22p

AM Minor: 5:47a

PM Minor: 6:13p

AM Minor: 6:40a

PM Minor: 7:04p

AM Minor: 7:31a

PM Minor: 7:54p

AM Minor: 8:20a

PM Minor: 8:42p

AM Minor: 9:08a

PM Minor: 9:28p

AM Minor: 9:54a

PM Minor: 10:14p

AM Major: 11:08a

PM Major: 11:35p

AM Major: -----

PM Major: 12:26p

AM Major: 12:27a

PM Major: 12:52p

AM Major: 1:19a

PM Major: 1:42p

AM Major: 2:10a

PM Major: 2:31p

AM Major: 2:58a

PM Major: 3:18p

AM Major: 3:44a

PM Major: 4:04p

Moon Overhead: 12:51p 6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 2:33p

Moon Overhead: 1:43p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

Sunrise: 8:13a Set: 6:34p Moonrise: 10:15a Set: 9:55p

SUNDAY

Moon Overhead: 3:19p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Sunrise: 8:13a Set: 6:35p Sunrise: 8:13a Set: 6:36p Moonrise: 10:45a Set: 10:47p Moonrise: 11:14a Set: 11:39p

Moon Overhead: 4:44p

Moon Overhead: 4:02p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 5:24p 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

3

12a

Tides and Prime Times for JANUARY 2011

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 12:24a +2.0

BEST:

BEST:

-1.0

Moon Underfoot: 2:56a

BEST:

1:00 — 3:00 PM

BEST:

8:30 — 10:30 PM

Moon Underfoot: 3:41a BEST:

2:00 — 4:00 PM

Moon Underfoot: 4:23a BEST:

9:00 — 11:00 PM

Moon Underfoot: 5:04a +2.0

BEST:

12:30 — 2:30 PM

5:00 — 7:00 AM TIDE LEVELS

0

Moon Underfoot: 2:08a

TIDE LEVELS

11:00P — 12:00A

+1.0

Moon Underfoot: 1:18a

High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide:

12:29 am 9:20 am 5:53 pm 10:29 pm

74 |

1.06ft. -0.84ft. 1.14ft. 0.99ft.

High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide:

J A N U A R Y

1:29 am 10:02 am 6:21 pm 10:46 pm

1.04ft. -0.78ft. 1.07ft. 0.91ft.

2 0 1 1

High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide:

2:26 am 10:41 am 6:46 pm 11:12 pm

T E X A S

1.00ft. -0.67ft. 1.00ft. 0.81ft.

High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide:

F I S H

3:21 am 11:16 am 7:08 pm 11:48 pm

&

0.93ft. High Tide: 4:17 am 0.84ft. -0.52ft. Low Tide: 11:48 am -0.34ft. 0.93ft. High Tide: 7:30 pm 0.87ft. 0.70ft.

G A M E ®

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

12:33 am 5:20 am 12:18 pm 7:50 pm

C O A S T A L

0.57ft. 0.73ft. -0.15ft. 0.82ft.

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

A L M A N A C

1:23 am 6:35 am 12:45 pm 8:07 pm

0.44ft. 0.63ft. 0.06ft. 0.79ft.

+1.0

0

-1.0


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10:51 AM

Page 75


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12/8/10

10:51 AM

Page 76

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION BEST:

= Peak Fishing Period

7:45-9:40 AM

= FALLING TIDE = RISING TIDE = DAYLIGHT HOURS = NIGHTTIME HOURS

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

10 SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

THURSDAY

 12

11

Set: 6:38p Sunrise: 8:14a Set: 6:38p Sunrise: 8:13a Moonrise: 12:13p Set: 12:31a Moonrise: 12:45p Set: 1:24a

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

13

14

SUNDAY

15

16

Sunrise: 8:13a Moonrise: 1:21p

Set: 6:39p Set: 2:18a

Sunrise: 8:13a Moonrise: 2:02p

Set: 6:40p Set: 3:15a

Sunrise: 8:13a Moonrise: 2:48p

Set: 6:41p Set: 4:14a

Sunrise: 8:13a Moonrise: 3:42p

Set: 6:42p Set: 5:12a

AM Minor: 10:38a

PM Minor: 10:58p

AM Minor: 11:21a

PM Minor: 11:42p

AM Minor: -----

PM Minor: 12:05p

AM Minor: 12:26a

PM Minor: 12:49p

AM Minor: 1:09a

PM Minor: 1:34p

AM Minor: 1:55a

PM Minor: 2:21p

AM Minor: 2:43a

PM Minor: 3:11p

AM Major: 4:28a

PM Major: 4:48p

AM Major: 5:11a

PM Major: 5:32p

AM Major: 5:54a

PM Major: 6:16p

AM Major: 6:37a

PM Major: 7:00p

AM Major: 7:22a

PM Major: 7:47p

AM Major: 8:08a

PM Major: 8:35p

AM Major: 8:57a

PM Major: 9:25p

Moon Overhead: 6:04p 6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 7:29p

Moon Overhead: 6:45p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 8:15p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 9:59p

Moon Overhead: 9:06p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 10:56p 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

Sunrise: 8:14a Set: 6:37p Moonrise: 11:43a Set: None

12a

Tides and Prime Times for JANUARY 2011

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 5:44a +2.0

BEST:

BEST:

-1.0

BEST:

5:00 — 7:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 7:52a BEST:

8:00 — 10:00 PM

Moon Underfoot: 8:40a BEST:

6:30 — 8:30 AM

3:00 — 5:30 PM

Moon Underfoot: 9:32a BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 10:27a +2.0

BEST:

11:00P — 1:00A

8:00 — 10:00 PM TIDE LEVELS

0

Moon Underfoot: 7:07a

TIDE LEVELS

4:30 — 6:30 AM

+1.0

Moon Underfoot: 6:24a

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

2:18 am 8:10 am 1:09 pm 8:21 pm

76 |

0.29ft. 0.55ft. 0.26ft. 0.77ft.

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

J A N U A R Y

3:14 am 10:03 am 1:28 pm 8:29 pm

0.15ft. 0.53ft. 0.44ft. 0.77ft.

2 0 1 1

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

4:09 am 12:25 pm 1:30 pm 8:21 pm

T E X A S

-0.00ft. Low Tide: 4:59 am 0.61ft. High Tide: 7:28 pm 0.61ft. 0.79ft.

F I S H

&

-0.16ft. Low Tide: 5:46 am 0.84ft. High Tide: 6:56 pm

G A M E ®

-0.31ft. Low Tide: 6:31 am 0.91ft. High Tide: 4:04 pm

C O A S T A L

-0.47ft. Low Tide: 7:15 am 0.98ft. High Tide: 4:18 pm

A L M A N A C

-0.63ft. 1.06ft.

+1.0

0

-1.0


Almanac C.qxd:1002 Coastal

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10:51 AM

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 = New Moon  = First Quarter  = Full Moon  = Last Quarter  = Best Day

Tides and Prime Times for JANUARY 2011 MONDAY

TUESDAY

 19

 18

FRIDAY

 20

SATURDAY

 21

SUNDAY

22

23

Sunrise: 8:13a Moonrise: 4:41p

Set: 6:43p Set: 6:10a

Sunrise: 8:13a Moonrise: 5:46p

Set: 6:43p Set: 7:04a

Sunrise: 8:13a Moonrise: 6:53p

Set: 6:44p Set: 7:54a

Sunrise: 8:12a Moonrise: 8:02p

Set: 6:45p Set: 8:39a

Sunrise: 8:12a Moonrise: 9:09p

Set: 6:46p Set: 9:20a

AM Minor: 3:34a

PM Minor: 4:03p

AM Minor: 4:27a

PM Minor: 4:56p

AM Minor: 5:23a

PM Minor: 5:51p

AM Minor: 6:20a

PM Minor: 6:47p

AM Minor: 7:18a

PM Minor: 7:44p

AM Minor: 8:16a

PM Minor: 8:42p

AM Minor: 9:14a

PM Minor: 9:39p

AM Major: 9:48a

PM Major: 10:17p

AM Major: 10:42a

PM Major: 11:11p

AM Major: 11:37a

PM Major: -----

AM Major: 12:06a

PM Major: 12:34p

AM Major: 1:04a

PM Major: 1:31p

AM Major: 2:03a

PM Major: 2:29p

AM Major: 3:01a

PM Major: 3:26p

Moon Overhead: 11:54p

12a

THURSDAY

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 12:52a

Moon Overhead: None 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 1:50a 12a

6a

12p

6p

Sunrise: 8:12a Set: 6:47p Moonrise: 10:15p Set: 9:58a

Moon Overhead: 3:37a

Moon Overhead: 2:44a 12a

6a

12p

6p

Sunrise: 8:11a Set: 6:48p Moonrise: 11:20p Set: 10:35a

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 4:28a 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

 17

WEDNESDAY

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 11:25a +2.0

BEST:

0

-1.0

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 2:17p BEST:

7:00 — 9:00 PM

Moon Underfoot: 3:11p BEST:

12:00 — 2:00 PM

Moon Underfoot: 4:03p BEST:

3:00 — 5:00 AM

11:00A — 1:00P

Moon Underfoot: 4:54p +2.0

BEST:

7:00 — 9:00 PM TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

BEST:

11:00A — 1:00P

Moon Underfoot: 1:21p

TIDE LEVELS

10:30A — 12:30P

Moon Underfoot: 12:23p

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

7:58 am 4:42 pm 8:44 pm 11:37 pm

-0.77ft. Low Tide: 8:42 am 1.10ft. High Tide: 5:08 pm 0.99ft. Low Tide: 9:13 pm 1.02ft.

-0.86ft. High Tide: 12:59 am 1.11ft. Low Tide: 9:26 am 0.94ft. High Tide: 5:35 pm Low Tide: 9:52 pm

1.03ft. -0.89ft. 1.09ft. 0.83ft.

High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide:

2:12 am 10:09 am 6:01 pm 10:37 pm

1.02ft. -0.84ft. 1.04ft. 0.67ft.

High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide:

3:25 am 10:53 am 6:25 pm 11:26 pm

0.96ft. High Tide: 4:43 am 0.88ft. -0.69ft. Low Tide: 11:37 am -0.45ft. 0.97ft. High Tide: 6:48 pm 0.90ft. 0.46ft.

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

12:20 am 6:08 am 12:21 pm 7:10 pm

0.22ft. 0.77ft. -0.16ft. 0.84ft.

+1.0

0

-1.0


Almanac C.qxd:1002 Coastal

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3:10 PM

Page 78

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION BEST:

= Peak Fishing Period

7:45-9:40 AM

= FALLING TIDE = RISING TIDE = DAYLIGHT HOURS = NIGHTTIME HOURS

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

24 SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

 26

25

FRIDAY

27

SATURDAY

28

SUNDAY

29

30

Set: 6:49p Sunrise: 8:11a Set: 6:49p Sunrise: 8:10a Set: 11:12a Moonrise: 12:25a Set: 11:51a Moonrise: 1:31a

Set: 6:50p Sunrise: 8:10a Set: 12:33p Moonrise: 2:36a

Set: 6:51p Set: 1:19p

Sunrise: 8:10a Moonrise: 3:39a

Set: 6:52p Set: 2:09p

Sunrise: 8:09a Moonrise: 4:37a

Set: 6:53p Set: 3:03p

Sunrise: 8:09a Moonrise: 5:31a

Set: 6:54p Set: 4:00p

AM Minor: 10:11a

PM Minor: 10:37p

AM Minor: 11:07a

PM Minor: 11:33p

AM Minor: -----

PM Minor: 12:02p

AM Minor: 12:28a

PM Minor: 12:56p

AM Minor: 1:20a

PM Minor: 1:48p

AM Minor: 2:11a

PM Minor: 2:38p

AM Minor: 3:00a

PM Minor: 3:27p

AM Major: 3:58a

PM Major: 4:24p

AM Major: 4:54a

PM Major: 5:20p

AM Major: 5:49a

PM Major: 6:16p

AM Major: 6:42a

PM Major: 7:10p

AM Major: 7:34a

PM Major: 8:02p

AM Major: 8:24a

PM Major: 8:52p

AM Major: 9:13a

PM Major: 9:40p

Moon Overhead: 5:19a

12a

THURSDAY

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 7:04a

Moon Overhead: 6:11a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 7:59a 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 9:51a

Moon Overhead: 8:55a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 10:45a 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

Sunrise: 8:11a Moonrise: None

Tides and Prime Times for JANUARY 2011

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 5:45p +2.0

BEST:

BEST:

-1.0

BEST:

7:30 — 9:30 PM

Moon Underfoot: 8:27p BEST:

8:00 — 10:00 PM

4:00 — 6:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 9:23p BEST:

2:00 — 3:00 PM

Moon Underfoot: 10:18p BEST:

11:00A — 1:00P

Moon Underfoot: 11:11p +2.0

BEST:

8:00 — 10:00 PM TIDE LEVELS

0

Moon Underfoot: 7:32p

TIDE LEVELS

11:30A — 1:30P

+1.0

Moon Underfoot: 6:38p

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

1:19 am 7:46 am 1:05 pm 7:30 pm

-0.03ft. 0.69ft. 0.16ft. 0.82ft.

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

2:23 am 9:38 am 1:49 pm 7:47 pm

-0.26ft. 0.67ft. 0.46ft. 0.82ft.

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

3:32 am 11:53 am 2:34 pm 8:00 pm

-0.46ft. Low Tide: 4:42 am 0.75ft. High Tide: 2:42 pm 0.71ft. 0.85ft.

-0.62ft. Low Tide: 5:49 am 0.90ft. High Tide: 3:38 pm

-0.73ft. Low Tide: 6:51 am 1.00ft. High Tide: 4:12 pm

-0.80ft. Low Tide: 1.03ft. High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

7:46 am 4:39 pm 9:37 pm 11:48 pm

-0.83ft. 1.02ft. 0.87ft. 0.90ft.

+1.0

0

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 = New Moon  = First Quarter  = Full Moon  = Last Quarter  = Best Day

Tides and Prime Times for JANUARY 2011 MONDAY

TUESDAY

FEB 1

THURSDAY

2

FRIDAY

3

SATURDAY

4

SUNDAY

5

6

Sunrise: 8:08a Moonrise: 6:20a

Set: 6:55p Set: 4:58p

Sunrise: 8:07a Moonrise: 7:03a

Set: 6:56p Set: 5:55p

Sunrise: 8:07a Moonrise: 7:41a

Set: 6:56p Set: 6:52p

Sunrise: 8:06a Moonrise: 8:15a

Set: 6:57p Set: 7:47p

Sunrise: 8:06a Moonrise: 8:46a

Set: 6:58p Set: 8:40p

Sunrise: 8:05a Moonrise: 9:16a

Set: 6:59p Set: 9:31p

Sunrise: 8:04a Moonrise: 9:45a

AM Minor: 3:48a

PM Minor: 4:14p

AM Minor: 4:35a

PM Minor: 5:00p

AM Minor: 5:21a

PM Minor: 5:44p

AM Minor: 6:06a

PM Minor: 6:28p

AM Minor: 6:51a

PM Minor: 7:12p

AM Minor: 7:36a

PM Minor: 7:57p

AM Minor: 8:21a

PM Minor: 8:42p

AM Major: 10:01a

PM Major: 10:27p

AM Major: 10:47a

PM Major: 11:12p

AM Major: 11:33a

PM Major: 11:56p

AM Major: 11:52a

PM Major: 12:17p

AM Major: 12:41a

PM Major: 1:02p

AM Major: 1:26a

PM Major: 1:46p

AM Major: 2:11a

PM Major: 2:31p

Moon Overhead: 11:37a 6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 1:14p

Moon Overhead: 12:27p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 1:58p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 3:21p

Moon Overhead: 2:40p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Set: 7:00p Set: 10:23p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

31

12a

WEDNESDAY

Moon Overhead: 4:01p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: None +2.0

BEST:

0

-1.0

BEST:

12:30 — 2:30 PM

Moon Underfoot: 1:36a

Moon Underfoot: 2:19a

BEST:

8:00 — 10:00 PM

BEST:

12:00 — 2:00 PM

Moon Underfoot: 3:01a BEST:

3:30 — 5:30 AM

Moon Underfoot: 3:41a +2.0

BEST:

11:00A — 1:00P

3:30 — 5:30 AM TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 12:51a

TIDE LEVELS

12:00 — 2:00 PM

Moon Underfoot: 12:03a

Low Tide: 8:33 am High Tide: 4:59 pm Low Tide: 9:40 pm Feb

-0.80ft. High Tide: 12:59 am 0.96ft. Low Tide: 9:15 am 0.82ft. High Tide: 5:15 pm Low Tide: 9:48 pm

0.91ft. -0.73ft. 0.90ft. 0.73ft.

High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide:

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2:00 am 9:52 am 5:30 pm 10:05 pm

0.90ft. -0.63ft. 0.85ft. 0.62ft.

High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide:

T E X A S

2:55 am 10:24 am 5:44 pm 10:30 pm

0.88ft. -0.49ft. 0.80ft. 0.50ft.

F I S H

High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide:

&

3:49 am 10:53 am 6:00 pm 11:01 pm

0.84ft. -0.33ft. 0.77ft. 0.38ft.

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High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide:

4:43 am 11:19 am 6:15 pm 11:37 pm

0.78ft. High Tide: 5:41 am 0.72ft. -0.15ft. Low Tide: 11:44 am 0.04ft. 0.74ft. High Tide: 6:29 pm 0.73ft. 0.26ft.

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Bay Fox Built for Inshore SEA FOX BOAT COMPANY INTRODUCES THE PRO Series 220XT Bay Fox. Measuring over 22’, this precision cut CAD-design was built for inshore and nearshore waters. It has the right amount of freeboard for a low wind profile, without sacrificing safety. The boat’s reverse transom and wide 8’6” beam make it stylish and stable. The downward progressive strakes and Carolina flair offer a dry ride, while the low bow rise and quick plane time can be attributed to the integrated planing pods. A stepped hull was integrated to achieve fuel efficiency and horsepower maximization. The 220XT has standards such as aerated live wells (2); lockable rod storage (up to 10); side mount console rod holders (6); oversized folding rear jumpseats with cushions (2); trolling motor plug with harness; a console with a finished fiberglass liner with lockable compartments; plus more. It also has an upgraded five-position flip-flop seat with a 94-quart removable cooler, recessed toe hold, seat with backrest on the console, and dash space for flush-

Pro Series 220 XT from Sea Fox boats.

mount electronics. Deck space is Bay Fox maximized through ample storage and compact splashwell. The 220XT offers options such as: bimini top; blue mood lights; fishing chair; Garmin depth/fish finder; Jensen stereo with speakers (4); leaning post with a backrest and 72-quart removable cooler; pull-up cleats; on-board battery charger; raw water washdown; spray shield; tunnel hull. It also offers a Team Edition (TE) Package: 800 GPH Rule Tournament Series live well Shoal Draft boats in 14-, 15- and 16foot models.

East Bay

pumps (2), cushioned foot mat, LED live well light, Sea Fox tackle bag, TE decal, utility and knife rack. Each Sea Fox is built using the Fibre4System, a high-density foam-core hull, hand-rolled fiberglass, nonskid deck surfaces, stainless steel hardware and closed cell foam flotation. All Sea Fox boats are NMMA Certified and meet or exceed USCG standards. All Sea Fox boats have a Lifetime Hull Warranty and are powered with Yamaha outboards. To see the current 2011 Sea Fox line up, find a dealer in your area or request a catalog, please visit www.seafoxboats.com.

Get Skinny with New EastBay Shoal Draft Boats USING ALL COMPOSITE BUILDING TECHniques and top of the line materials, they make the boats we build lighter, stronger and more efficient. All of their models are designs that you may have owned in the past, built by manufactures that were using techniques for their time, and East Bay brings those designs out of the past and into the future. The design has been proven over the years and we reinvented

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the design with our all composite construction and hand laid techniques. They are currently building four center console models; sizes range from 14 foot to 18 foot; standard colors white/gray/oyster; custom colors options; livewells; raised consoles and dry storage options available; and complete boat/motor & trailer packages. Up first is the 14 Scooter-T: it can be rigged as a tiller or remote center console, max 50hp. The 15 Bass & Bay: a liner model with a tiller or remote set-up, rear cast deck with dry storage option, side or center console. Their Super Hi Performance ScooterCat 16: maximum efficiency, minimum horse power, eats the hard chop up – it’s a very dry & stable design. EastBay’s largest model is the 17/18 Tunnel-V: Hi bow, low stern, self bailing, full tunnel fishing boat. Get Skinny on an EastBay. Call them at 979-323-9087 or visit them on the web www.txeastbayboats.com.

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New 2011 NauticStar 210 Coastal SURE TO BE THE CROWD PLEASER, THE NEW 210 Coastal does it all. 3 cross rear seating and bow seats for 5 make the 210 a relaxing pleasure boat. Then you can get serious about fishing with standard features like a center console with rod A serious fishing boat with plenty of room.

210 Coastal

holders, 2 aerated bait wells and an in floor cast net storage. The aft and bow seats even convert into casting platforms. Not just a crowd pleaser, the 210 Coastal loves a crowd. More New 2011 features include: Air Assisted Chine, Built-in Jack Plate, Removable Bow Cushions. For more standard features and specs on the new NauticStar 210 Coastal, go to www.nauticstarboats.com or visit a dealer nearest you.


12/8/10

10:53 AM

The Portable Limb

PHOTOS: OUTDOOR LOGICS

DEER HUNTING IN TEXAS MEANS FEEDERS throwing out corn twice a day near a tripod, box, or tree stand. That’s just the way it is. I have no doubt that the majority of you reading this have a feeder sitting out there right now on either three or four legs,

and it’s the legs that are the biggest problem with the feeder. First, raccoons use the legs to get to the timer and either tear it off or spin it manually to get to the corn. If coons aren’t your problem then you probably have hogs that are notorious for pushing on the legs to knock the whole thing over. Well, the folks at Outdoor Logics have overcome the need for legs by producing The Portable Limb. Now any tree can be used to suspend your feeder. You may not know it but you are already familiar with Outdoor Logics, just under a different name. Lonnie Stanley, who you know because of his high quality bass jigs and spinnerbaits sold by Texas based Stanley Lures (fishstanley.com), is the one that came up with the idea for The Portable Limb. Lonnie likes to do more 82 |

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than fish and needed a better way to put out his feeders, making them more portable. I used one this past season to hang a feeder holding 40 pounds of corn from a pine tree and the Portable Limb just laughed at the weight. The Portable Limb is heavy duty, using one inch 12 gauge tubing, and rated to hold 250 pounds of whatever you want to hang on the end. Being thorough I decided to test it and can Hang your feeder honestly from a tree. say it will hold my Portable Limb almost 200 pound self without bending or breaking. Most of you will hang The Portable Limb at just about eye level, using a ladder or ATV to place it in a tree. However, Lonnie advised that a lot of his hunters have great success using a climbing stand to put the Portable Limb 20 or 30 feet up in a tree. By attaching a pulley (or two) these hunters can easily hoist their feeder way up into the tree so that the deer never even know it is there. While the original intent of The Portable Limb was to hang a feeder it can also be used to skin your deer after the hunt. Just hang it in a tree, run a rope through the eyebolt with a gambrel on one end

T E X A S

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G A M E ®

and hoist your deer up for skinning. If you’re so inclined you can even use The Portable limb to hang your wife’s hanging plants or bird feeder in the back yard, but we’ll probably make fun of you if you do. Outdoorlogics.com —Paul Bradshaw

The Original Tuff Truck Bag SOMETIMES I COME ACROSS THINGS TOO LATE. This was the case with the Original Tuff Truck Bag. A nasty, tornado producing front was dropping buckets of rain on my truck as I headed home after a weekend of deer hunting. My whole family was in the cab of the truck, and part of our gear was stuffed into trash bags in the bed, trying to keep it as dry as possible. The rest of our gear had to stay at the deer camp because we ran out of bags. When I got home I saw an advertisement for the Tuff Truck Bag, if I had only known about this a few days earlier I wouldn’t have a bag full of soggy underwear. The Original Tuff Truck Bag is a simple means of keepKeeps gear dry in pickup beds.

Tuff Truck Bag

C O A S T A L

A L M A N A C

PHOTOS: TUFF TRUCK BAG

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PHOTO: SKYHORSE PUBLISHING

ing all your gear dry without limiting the usability of your truck bed by installing a shell or tonnuea cover. Constructed of what their website describes as a nonbreathable PVC material (think very heavy flatbed truck tarps), the bag sits in the bed of your truck when in use but folds up for easy storage when the weather is nice. I currently keep mine under the backseat of my truck ready to use if there is inclement weather. The specifications advise that it is 40” wide, by 50” long, and 22” tall with 26 cubic feet of storage. While I didn’t measure it to verify these dimensions I can tell you it holds a lot of stuff. A few weeks after the soggy trip home the family and I took another hunting trip in the rain, this time armed with the Tuff Truck Bag and I packed that thing full. There were four duffle bags, four backpacks, a few guns, ammo boxes, cleaning kits, boots, a kitchen sink, and I still had room to cram more junk. The Tuff Truck Bag comes with D rings at every corner and four bungee cords to secure it to the bed of the truck. The first time you use it the adjustable bungeed cords can be tricky but after you get the cords adjusted for you specific truck set up is a breeze taking less than a minute. Filling the bag with gear is a simple thanks to an opening that takes up the entire end of the bag, so large items are easily placed inside. The bag is closed with a large zipper, and a flap (held down by Velcro) covering the zipper to make the bag completely waterproof. This bag is a great addition to any truck, giving you the flexibility to continue using your truck as usual, while allowing you too keep your gear dry when needed. Tufftruckbag.com

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The Modern Day Gunslinger There have been very few good books written about learning to use and then using a handgun in self-defense. The best I had ever read, until recently, was No Second Place Winner, written by the late Bill Jordan, Assistant Chief Patrol Agent of the United States Border Patrol, and a world renowned gunslick. I had the privilege of seeing Jordan perform once, and let me tell you, it was an impressive performance. I was still in high school at the time, my father had just joined the Border Patrol, and my own career was far in the dim future. At that time I was contemplating a career as a.... Well, I didn't have a clue. However, that was the moment in time when I began seriously practicing with a handgun. And I confess that after over 40 years of practice I still cannot do what Jordan did. No shame, just fact. Now there is another book out on the open market that is head and shoulders above No Second Place Winner as a text book for handgunners. It teaches so many wonderful things that I cannot recount even a fraction of them here in Ultimate handgun this article, training manual. but I will share a few, just to Gunslinger whet your appetite. The book is titled “The Modern Day Gunslinger” and is touted, correctly, as “the ultimate handgun training manual. It is written by Don Mann, a retired U.S. Navy SEAL. It is published by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. T E X A S

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He begins the book with the Latin “Cogito, ergo armatum sum” which translates to, “I think, therefore I am armed.” I think that says it all. It has been my personal motto for more than 30 years. Chapter 1 is “Weapons and Range Safety.” It covers the subject in a way that makes it plain that there is no excuse for accidents, which is true. If you follow the instructions Mann gives, you will be a safe handgunner, but ready for strife if it should appear. He covers dry-firing – a very important aspect of learning to use a handgun. And he again stresses safety. Over the years I have seen several accidents where an unloaded gun got mysteriously loaded during a dry firing drill and a shot was fired. Luckily, nobody was injured in any of the instances I am aware of, the only damage being to a speedometer, a clock, a television, a car door, and a stuffed pheasant, but the stupidity of it all proves that it was only because of divine intervention that someone wasn't killed or seriously injured. Chapter 3 is “Use of Force.” This is the reason you carry a gun. While you should pray that you never have to use it, you must be physically and mentally prepared to do so. Mann tells you everything you need to know about this aspect of going armed. Other chapters include: Living in a Battlefield, Combat Mindset, Defensive Handgun Ammunition, The Draw Strokes, Multiple Shots, Follow-Through and Scan, Concealed Carry and Holsters, and more. There are many more important aspects to this book. It is a book that should be mandatory reading for every person who carries a gun, whether a civilian, policeman, or military. My advice to you is: buy it, read it, and then read it again at least once a year. In fact, I think every person who applies for a concealed carry permit should be required to read it. It is that good.

G A M E ®

On the Web www.outdoorlogics.com www.tufftruckbag.com www.skyhorsepublishing.com J A N U A R Y

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ny,” said Steven Parks, vice president Sales and co-owner of Parks Mfg. In early October 2010, Silver Wave had its first dealer meeting at the Parks facility in Seminole. Dealers, vendors and media guests were taken on an extensive tour of the facility and shown the many advantages of a family owned and operated PARKS MFG., INC. OF SEMINOLE OK, MAKERS OF boat company when it comes to quality, Blue Wave Boats, has developed a new engineering and craftsmanship. line of high quality pontoon boats, which SilverWave Pontoons will be available they have named Silver Wave. in Play models for enjoying water sports in As a strategic move to grow and create comfort and style, with rear-facing lounges new jobs in a tough economy, the company and built-in ice chests. There will also be chose to diversify into other segments of the Fish models for families who like to wet a boating industry. line when they go out on the water—comParks Mfg. started in business in 1992, plete with fishing chairs, rod holders and built a state-of-the-art 165,000 sq. ft. prolive wells. duction facility in Seminole in 2006, and Silver Wave Pontoons come in 20-foot to 23-foot lengths, with lifetime guaranteed decking and 25-inch diameter pontoons. They also will be available in a tri-poon model, called the “Triple Play” that has industry-leading performance that has to be seen to be believed. Bill Nickle, an industry veteran with over 20 years experience in pontoon engineering and production, has joined the Parks team. “With Bill’s help, we have designed a line of pontoons with superior structural strength, performance, and the latest comforts for the family boating experience,” said Roger Parks, co-owner and CEO of Parks Mfg. One of the many innovations built into Initially, Silver Wave will come in the new Silver Wave pontoon boats is seven base models; the Parks will has an available changing room. work with their dealers to grow opened the line to meet the needs of their Silver Wave Pontoon two market. As with Blue Wave other Boats, they will also be able to offer cusdivisions prior to their Silver Wave expantom-built pontoon boats. sion. “Silver Wave will be a high-quality “We are excited about this opportunity product but will be priced to make sure to reach new customers and new areas... that the customer feels he is getting more our Blue Wave line has increased its revvalue out of every dollar he spends with enue since summer began and we look forour dealers,” said Richard Parks, co-owner ward to the Silver Wave line further and VP Engineering. strengthening our already-debt free compa-

PHOTO: PARKS MFG.

Blue Wave Launches New Boat Line

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Another New Pathfinder FOR THE SECOND TIME LAST SUMMER, MAVERick Boat Company introduced a totally new model to its venerable Pathfinder bay boat line, the 2200 TRS. Combining an upgraded deck layout and integrated aft deck seating, this boat is designed for family versatility on the water. Along with the recently introduced high performance, stepped hull 2300 HPS, this marks the biggest single year product launch since the brand’s inception in 1998. The TRS has a large foredeck with oversized anchor locker and lockable bow storage compartments that can accommodate rods to 9 feet and skis or wakeboards. The roomy aft deck has a 28-gallon center live well, two seats with flip-up backrests and storage underneath, and dedicated rigging and storage boxes. Walk-around room in the cockpit is added by a raised console with toe kick that allows interior access either through a large removable bi-fold door or a cutout behind the standard backrest cushion on the front. The hull enhances a proven running surface with a 25-inch transom and integrated trim tab pockets. Though the boat is rated for up to a 250 horsepower, Pathfinder expects it be most commonly packaged with Yamaha’s economical and efficient F150. “We are really excited about this boat. It’s a go most anywhere, do most anything boat for the whole family without the typical tradeoffs. It’s a perfect compliment to our line-up”, said Scott Deal, MBC President and owner. Pathfinder Boats are manufactured by Maverick Boat Company Inc, builders of the legendary Maverick, Hewes and Cobia boats brands. For more information, go to www.pathfinderboats.com or www.mbcboats.com.

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Boating & RV Trends 2011 DALLAS INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW

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Boating & RV Trends 2011 BY LENNY RUDOW WHEN IT COMES TO THE CURRENT state of the boat buying market, metaphors abound. We hear about rough economic weather, sinking sales, the stormy seas of finance, and businesses gurgling beneath the waters of insolvency. And you can forget about rising tides and calm waters; those disappeared along with the national budget surplus and rising home values. But, just how bad is the boating industry? Haven’t manufacturers been scaling back, consolidating, and trimming operations for several years now? Isn’t the economy seeing some positive indicators these days? There is no simple one-size-fits-all answer, but one thing’s for sure: No matter how bad it is for boat dealers and builders, there is a bright side to this story if you look for it.

Heartless Numbers To gain some insight into the current state of boating, we must look at some cold, hard numbers. The latest data from the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association (NMMA) is disheartening at first glance. Up through this summer, sales of powerboats 15 feet and up (based on by new boat registrations) declined just over 10 percent nationally. That was considered relatively good, since the same period in 2009 was off by 35 percent. Outboard aluminum powered boats in the 18-foot range sold best, while pleasure boat sales were down more than fishing boat sales. The bright side to these stats is Texas led the charge with the largest number of new aluminum boat registrations in the nation. 86 |

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Boating & RV Trends 2011 Despite the availability of this data, a lot of questions remain unanswered. “A big problem right now is that there is no consistency, no history we can use as a reference,” said David Christian, President of LMC Marine Inc., which sells 10 brands of boats and motors and is the world’s largest Triton dealer. “Not only is every quarter different, every week is different. It’s like you are going fishing on an unfamiliar lake and you don’t know whether the fish will be hitting on the surface, down deep, or in between. And what type of bait should you use? No one knows. Fortunately, many people who want boats and have the ability to buy them are starting to get past the economic fear. So, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. We can see it now, even though sometimes we’re not sure if it’s a light at the end, or a train that’s about to hit us.” Consumer demand isn’t the only prob-

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lem the industry in general and dealerships in particular have to contend with. Commercial credit is also a huge issue. “There is a vacuum on the wholesale side,” said Christian. “Getting floor-plan can be difficult, because there are really very few options. And if you can get it, the lender might try to micro-manage.” Ken Lovell, Executive Director of the Boating Trades Association of Metropolitan Houston, agreed that credit is an issue. “Consumer financing has become a challenge to boat dealers trying to make sales in today’s market,” Lovell said. But there might be better days on the way with regards to credit, too. “Recently, the Small Business Lending Bill was passed by Congress in an effort to free up the credit markets for these types of businesses. Hopefully, this will help the entire recreational marine industry.” He also sees a brightening future with regards to demand. “The feedback we received from the exhibitors at our last show indicated that attendees and customers were in a buying mood. A number of boats were sold at the show. If you go out on the water, you can see that boaters are still using their boats in large numbers. Talking to dealers, it has been an excellent year for refurbishing work and used boat sales. I think the outcome of the November elections could have a strong influence on new boat sales for 2011, but whatever the outcome, I do not believe boating will slow down.” When asked what else he sees coming in 2011, Lovell said: “I think one of the biggest problems facing the industry right now is financial uncertainty regarding tax issues for 2011. Hopefully, the elections will help build consumer confidence and encourage new boat sales. We’re in the process of preparing for the Houston International Boat, Sport & Travel Show (January 7-16, 2011), and I would encourage everyone from around the state to visit our show. It will cover over 16 acres and will house well over 1000 boats, along with travel trailers and campers, fishing tackle, wakeboards and accessories, fishing and hunting guides, and myriad other outdoor products. The response from the dealers

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Hot Sellers BASS BOATS: Low-cost aluminum might be making new inroads, but high-end bass boats from the likes of Ranger, Skeeter, and Triton are selling. Customers buying boats today want maximum power, all the bells and whistles, and high-performance boat/motor/trailer packages. The mid-range is suffering. BAY BOATS: Big-name bay boat builders like Blue Wave, Pathfinder, Pro-Line, Shearwater, and Triton, as well as custom Texas shallow-water boats like those made by Dargel, Haynie, and Shallow Sports are seeing decent demand. Again, high-end, rigged-to-the-teeth boats are outselling stripped, inexpensive versions of the same models, and moderately priced boats are not selling as well as either end of the extreme. HUNTING BOATS: Aluminum boats in the 14- to 18-foot range powered with 30- to 60-hp outboard engines are moving best. Hot brands include Alumacraft, Tracker, and Xpress. OFFSHORE BOATS: Center consoles are the top pick. Middleof-the-road cruisers and cabin boats usually chosen by less dedicated anglers are sitting idle on the dealer lots. Twenty-something outboard-powered center consoles from the likes of Cobia, Mako, and Pro-Line are the most likely to sell. Some in the lower cost niche such as Sea Hunt are also selling.

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Boating & RV Trends 2011 and exhibitors has been excellent. In fact, it’s even better than in 2010. Boating is still one of the most affordable and fun ways to spend quality time with family and friends.”

Heartfelt Numbers Fortunately, studies show that Lovell is correct. The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) performed a study of consumer attitudes toward boating last summer and found that the No. 1 predictor of future boat purchase intent was around family and friends that enjoy boating. A healthy 40 percent said they were likely or somewhat likely to buy a new boat between 15 and 25 feet within the next three years. The study found that anglers in particular have not reduced the amount of time spent fishing and actually expect to fish more in the future.

Unfortunately, over a third also said the biggest impediment to going out on the water is a lack of free time. This also relates back to the economy; people are working longer and harder just to maintain current incomes. Although only 22 percent surveyed felt that they were worse off financially than one year ago, 75 percent formed more cautious spending habits and don’t expect to return to their old ones. Over half said they wouldn’t finance a boat purchase, but buy a less expensive boat outright. They are aware of the current difficulties with financing and, perhaps more importantly, people are acutely aware of just how much financial trouble Americans got into during the downturn due to financed debt. They want to avoid these pitfalls in the future. Another industry trend seems to be a move to higher quality, even if in a smaller boat. “People seem to be ratcheting down

the size a little, but not the quality,” said Billy Holmes, Jr., VP of Gulf Coast Marine. “If someone was looking at a 40foot Cabo before, now maybe they are looking at a 35-foot Everglades. They will accept a smaller boat that costs less, but they still want the best boat in that class.” Gulf Coast Marine has been in business since 1954, and has seen many economic changes through the years. Though it will come as a surprise to some, Holmes isn’t so sure that this downturn is the worst the Texas boating industry has been through. “The oil bust in the 80s was this bad,” he said. “And we came through it. The economy has its ups and downs, but if people like to fish, they are going to buy a boat. It might be a less expensive boat, but they will buy what they can afford.” After-sale service is a factor in some buying decisions. “Overall boat sales may be down, but it’s really hurting dealerships that don’t do service,” said Fred Lester, VP at Redwing boats. “Those that take care of their customers are much better off, in the long run.” Some custom and niche boat builders also have an edge. “Niche boats weren’t hurt as bad as mass builders, although election years are never very good,” said Cleve Ford, President of Dargel Boats and of the Lower Rio Grande Boating Trades Association. “But at this point, most of the old inventory and repossessions are cleared out, and although we lost some dealers, the ones that are left are stronger and 2011 should be a good year.”

RVs & Campers Other outdoors industries are facing the same types of issues. RV sales, for example, are often compared with boat sales since both compete for disposable income spent on family-oriented recreation. The RV market is clearly trending towards better times. “The industry is on a rebound, there’s no doubt about it,” said Clark McEwan, Executive Director of the Texas Recreational Vehicle Association. “The economy 90 |

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2011 Boat & RV Show Calendar HOUSTON: 55TH ANNUAL HOUSTON BOAT SHOW January 7 -16, 2011 Reliant Center 8400 Kirby Drive Houston, TX 77573 (713) 526-6361 www.houstonboatshows.com

McAllen Convention Center 700 Convention Center Blvd., McAllen, TX 78501 (956) 682-5566 www.allvalleyboatshow.com

AUSTIN: AUSTIN BOAT, SPORT & OUTDOOR SHOW January 20-23, 2011 Austin Convention Center 500 E. Cesar Chavez, Austin, TX 78701 (512) 494-1128 www.austinboatshow.com RIO GRANDE VALLEY: ALL VALLEY BOAT SHOW February 25-27, 2011

SAN ANTONIO: SAN ANTONIO BOAT & RV SHOW January 27-30, 2011 Alamodome 100 Montana Street San Antonio, TX, 78203 (512) 481 -1777 www.sanantonioboatshow.com CORPUS CHRISTI: 54TH ANNUAL BOAT SHOW AND SALE January 28-30, 2011 American Bank Convention Ctr. 1901 North Shoreline Blvd Corpus Christi, TX

(361) 643-2258 www.ccboatshow.com LONGVIEW: 29TH ANNUAL BOAT, RV & CAMPING EXPO January 28-30, 2011 Maude Cobb Activity Center & Exhibition Hall Longview, TX 75604 (903) 237-4021 www.texaslakecountryexpo.com DALLAS: DALLAS INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW February 4-6; 9-13, 2011 Dallas Market Hall 2200 Stemmons Freeway Dallas, TX 75207 www.dallasboatshow.net

OTHER SHOWS: TEXAS INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW: April 7-10, 2011 Corpus Christi Marina People's Street T-Head Corpus Christi, TX 78401 (361) 425-9920 www.txintlboatshow.com SOUTH WEST INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW: April 14-17, 2011 South Shore Harbour Marina League City, TX 77573 (561) 842-8808 www.southwestinternationalboats how.com

kept people from spending for the past two years, but the desire to buy never went away. There’s a lot of pent up demand out there.” McEwan credits the “Go RVing” campaign (www.gorving.org) for helping keep interest levels strong, but also considers the impacts of lenders and financing: “Credit unions have been really important, because it’s been more difficult for people to get loans the past couple of years. We’re seeing more cash payments and larger down payments, and in 2011 and 2012, we hope to see the banks loosen up a bit. The demand is definitely out there. Attendance is up at the shows—about 30 percent at the Dallas Super Show—and things look very promising.” So, what’s the bottom line for the boating industry? The seas are still choppy and sales have not yet stopped sinking, but the outgoing current has slowed and there is a change coming as certain as the changing of the tide.

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quicker expansion, causing extreme trauma to the nervous system, and, hopefully, causing instant incapacitation. Complete penetration is something to be avoided because of the possibility of the bullet striking an innocent by-stander behind the target. Death is not the desired result of a self defense round, but instant cessation of physical action is.

Personal Defense Ammo WAS ASKED ONE TIME, “IF A 125-GRAIN hollow point .357 Magnum is such a great manstopper, why is it not recommend for deer hunting?” This is a great question and deserves an answer.

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First, a cartridge and bullet for self defense is not intended, necessarily, to kill, but is intended to stop, as nearly instantaneously as possible, the motor functions of a person. A bullet designed to kill is made to give deep, positive penetration, hold together, and cause fatal damage to internal organs. Complete penetration is often considered a good thing as it causes a better blood trail. Instant incapacitation is not a necessity, but a quick kill is mandatory. A quick kill being defined as a dead animal within, say, 50 yards and 10 seconds. A bullet intended for self defense is made to give shallower penetration and

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Another question I get: “I have a little .25 automatic that I carry. Is that a good gun for self defense?” Answer: Hell no! If you are going to carry a gun, carry one with enough power to do the job. The .25 ACP is less powerful than a .22 Long Rifle hollow point. It may kill, but that will almost certainly be a long time after the encounter that caused the shot is over and done and you have been beat, cut, or shot to pieces. Remember the instant incapacitation part of self defense! The .25 ACP is useless as a self defense round. The .32 ACP is very little better. Leave them both at the gun shop and look for something with more power. The .380 ACP is the very minimum I can recommend. Loaded with 90-grain Federal Hydra-Shok ammunition it is the smallest practical self defense round, and it is not nearly as good as the larger and more powerful rounds. The only time the .380 should

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be considered is when concealability is of paramount importance. The real self defense cartridges start with the .38 Special and the 9mm Luger. Both of these rounds, especially in the +P and +P+ hollow point offerings are reasonably good manstoppers. The .38 Special shooting the 129-grain Federal Hydra-Shok hollow point is my personal minimum. If I am going to bet my life on a cartridge's ability to stop a crook in his tracks, I want to be sure it is up to the job. When I was an active duty Border Patrol Agent in the 1990's, I carried a Glock 17 in 9mm Luger. The Border Patrol supplied ammunition and its effectiveness was proven time and again in armed encounters all across the Southern Border. It was a 115grain hollow point loaded to specifications supplied by the Border Patrol. The Federal load was specified as 9 BPLE and chronographed at over 1200 feet per second. Today it would be called a +P+ round. I still have some and am protecting it like the crown jewels. In current ammo I think the Federal 124-grain Hydra-Shok or 115grain C9BP Personal Defense round are the best available. Also good are the Speer Gold Dot 124-grain +P, Barnes XPB 115gr HP, and Winchester Ranger-T 127gr JHP +P+. In the .357, the various 110- and 125grain hollow points are very good. The Federal 125-grain offering has long been thought to be the best, but there are many loads that are just as good. The Speer Gold Dot is really good, as is Winchester's Super X. Bullets heavier than 125 grains are prone to excessive penetration. In the larger calibers one has to be especially careful of over penetration. This is something that is almost unavoidable with such rounds as the .45 Colt and the .44 Magnum when using the standard 240- and 250-grain loads. However, there are loads that are wonderful manstoppers and which lessen, to some extent, the problem of excessive penetration. Using a lighter weight bulC O A S T A L

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let, like for instance a .225-grain hollow point in the .45 Colt, turns it from a deep penetrating hunting round into one of the best personal defense loads made. One of the top loads in the .45 Colt is the Winchester Supreme Elite Bonded PDX 225grain hollow point. This load pushes a .45 caliber bullet along at 850 feet per second. Recoil is mild and it hits like the proverbial “brick through a plate glass window.” The .44 Magnum is not generally considered a personal defense round, but properly loaded it can be one of the best. The best factory load I know of is the Federal 240-grain Hydra-Shok at 1210 feet per second. I would actually prefer that this load was cooled off to about 1000 feet per second, which would further decrease the danger of over-penetration, but at 1200 it is one heck of a manstopper. Another good .44 Magnum load is the Hornady 180-grain XTP. This one is a real screamer at over 1500 fps, and requires a very experienced handgunner to handle it well. But it should be as good a defense load as it is possible to pack into a handgun. Another way to minimize the over-penetration of your .44 Magnum, is to shoot .44 Specials in it. Federal loads a 200-grain semi-wadcutter hollow point and Hornady makes the 180-grain XTP. Either would be a good manstopper. I am testing some new ammo from Cor®Bon, for .45 Colt and .44 Magnum. Both loads consist of a solid copper hollow point weighing 225 grains. The .44 load is rated at 1300 fps, the .45 Colt load claims 1200 fps. That is a moderate load for the big .44, but the load for the big Colt is smokin'! Cor®Bon claims that these bullets will expand reliably yet retain 100% weight, even after penetrating glass or steel. It is called DPX and is extremely good ammo, if rather expensive. But, how much is your life worth? In the .45 ACP my personal favorite is the Federal 230-grain Hydra-Shok. I think this is the most dependable manstopper ever made in the .45 ACP, and it functions flawlessly in my Colt Lightweight Commander. Also good are the Federal 185-grain jacketed hollow point, Cor®Bon's load using a 185-grain Sierra hollow point, CCI's Lawman 200-grain hollow point, Speer Gold Dot, and Remington Golden Sabre. Hardball is not as reliable a stopper as the jacketed hollow points, but some guns do not feed C O A S T A L

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the JHPs reliably. Use JHPs if you can, but if not the 230-grain ball is a decent manstopper; especially when compared to other old style “police loads.” Conclusion: Stay away from the pipsqueak cartridges. If you are going to carry a gun for self-defense, carry one with sufficient power to get the job done. I suggest nothing smaller than the .38 Special or 9mm Luger, and in these two it is necessary to choose your ammunition wisely. The standard old 158-grain lead round-nose bullet in the .38 is a terrible choice. Instead buy something with a good hollow point at top velocity. Something in 110- or 125-grains in the +P loading is probably best. The same applies to the 9mm. Stay away from the hard ball ammo. It gives much too much penetration and very little stopping power.

velocity of the old .32 Smith & Wesson Long until it seems to be a decent manstopper. I am testing it now and it seems to have what it takes to get the job done. The load I have been playing with is the Federal Premium 85-grain Hydra-Shok Low Recoil. Recoil is negligible, accuracy is great, and it should be a great round for ladies or men who are recoil sensitive. That's about it. As my old cop buddy M.D. Beale says. “Stay safe and watch six.” If you require more specific information on a specific cartridge/handgun combination, you can write me at my email address below.

One last thing: There is a new kid on the block that offers some interesting ballistics. That is the .327 Federal Magnum. I have never had any confidence in the .32 calibers, but this round has pushed the

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E-mail Steve LaMascus at guns@fishgame.com

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Those Late Season Hunts O TEXAS BOW HUNTERS, JANUARY USUALLY means the end of another bow hunting season. My wife would consider it a golden opportunity to finally get a few things done around the ole hacienda. Either way, it is the end of fun, as we know it! Although winter has truly taken a grip on Texas, some parts of our State still enjoy a few more days to try their luck and fill those tags. Harvesting a whitetail this late in the season might be tough, but certainly not impossible. It is time to think like a deer… act like a deer… and react to any changes you see the deer in your area make. Mating is not the priority now. You still may find a few bucks that are still chasing a few does around, but it is not the number one thing on their mind. Nourishment and survival instincts once again return. After a very busy season of fighting with other bucks, chasing does for over 2 months and avoiding any danger from predators, the bucks that are still around are totally wiped. They have spent more time following does around that their food intake has diminished substantially… and so has their energy. As a matter of fact, if you are one of the lucky ones who bag a deer this late in the season, you will find that the meat of a buck is very sticky compared to one harvested earlier in the year. There is nothing wrong with your deer. He is just emaciated from all of his activities. The meat may taste a little stronger as well. This is the time when the hunting gets

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serious. Time to separate the men from the boys (sorry ladies… just an expression). I just mean that the hunting may get a little tougher if you want to fill your tag. Try hunting in a place where you would never think of going during the season. A small patch of woods very near a highway may be what you are looking for. A tiny island of brush may hold the buck of your dreams. These deer did not get to be giants by being stupid. They have adapted well to most hunting tactics. That is why you need to shake things up a bit. Believe me, by now; the deer know where all of your stands are. They have smelled or encountered danger there before and have abandoned the area entirely. Oh, they will return to their favorite hangouts again but it will not be until long after things calm down in the woodlot. Last season, I had one of those “I’ll never forget that” experiences. It was the end of the season and I was visiting a friend who lives just outside a small town. When I say just outside, you could throw a rock to the town line. It was mid day when I had to leave. I went out in his yard and in an adjoining field was one of those small brush patches I was talking about. I said to myself… “I wonder…” I headed directly towards that mini deer haven. I found myself quite close before I was convinced that nothing was there. All of a sudden that small patch that was now a mere 15 yards in front of me, exploded with one of the nicest bucks I had ever seen. He felt secure lying in that small patch in the middle of nowhere. He would never suspect any danger and would never see the arrow coming. You simply would need to get there before he does and wait for your opportunity. I know that sounds way to easy. You would be right. Most of the time, you would wait in places like these talking to yourself about what a waste of time this is. I have been there… I know your frustration, but hard times call for hard measures. I think that one of the most important

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things to think about when you are hunting those late season deer is to be in the woods very early. The whitetails have learned that they need to get close to their safe place covered by a blanket of darkness. You just need to be there first! You may hear a deer work his way to his bed while it is still dark. That just means you are in for a long sit as you wait for him to get up and move around a bit. Of course, you still need to control your human scent, but if you can get close to his safe bedding area, he will soon find out that buck is about to have a bad day! A heavy thicket in the middle of a woodlot offers a perfect sanctuary for deer. They can hear when danger approaches and leave undetected. If you are fortunate enough, you could set up just outside one of these hot spots well before dark thirty. Find yourself a well-used deer run, check the wind direction, and sit in the darkness. The biggest problem I have is staying awake! Getting up early and being quiet as I approach my hunting spot is no problem for me. Once I am there and comfortable, I tend to doze off and I would miss an opportunity of a lifetime. My wife tells me I snore so loud that I might mess up everybody else’s opportunity too if you are hunting within 5 miles of my location! Being successful this late in the season can be frustrating… but remember... Nothing good comes easy! One thing is certain, you will not have any luck seeing deer if you are in your living room. Success in the bow hunting world does not always mean you bring home the prize, it means you bring home your memories that last a lifetime.

E-mail Lou Marullo at lmarullo@fishgame.com

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Time to Hang It Up HAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE weekend,” my wife inquired as I poured a Saturday morning cup of coffee. Uh oh! Coffee wasn’t the only thing brewing and I quickly reached for the newspaper. From beyond the extended sports page came: “Why don’t you clean the garage?” Feigning a bad case of “shotgun ear” I waited to see if the moment would pass. “The garage is a mess and you promised me you would keep it clean. There is so much junk in there I can’t park my car in the garage.” “Yes dear, I will clean it up,” I said with a long and drawn out emphasis on the first two words. An eerie silence followed. Lowering the paper ever so slightly to peek over the top, there stood my wife, hands on hips. When our eyes locked I knew she meant business and in an instant my weekend plans had been altered. A quick scan of the garage brought incredulity. How could anyone call my outdoor gear junk? My work bench was piled high with tools, boxes of lures, a drill press, and orphaned fasteners which I have been collecting since 1989. Heck, you never know when you will need a 9/16th copper-clad flutter nut with left handed threads? On the back side of the garage stood two plastic shelves I bought at the home store when we moved into our new house five years ago, now overflowing with fishing tackle. All manner of lures boxes, maps, landing nets, and spools of line were heaped up on each shelf. Between the two racks of shelves was a little alcove housing old rods and reels; basically every rod and reel I have ever owned was stashed there. A 14-foot semi-V aluminum boat (circa 1960) perching on its trailer sat in front of the

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shelves; the boat was filled to the brim with boxes of tear sheets from assorted outdoor publications. My 14-foot kayak sat precariously balanced on top of the clutter, flanked by several paddles and PFDs. Where to start? The very idea of jettisoning valuable outdoor-related assets was a non-starter. I had to get everything organized and quickly. Gear was sorted into categories: bass, bream, catfish, crappie, fly fishing, etc. It quickly became evident that much of the clutter could be reduced simply by organizing the gear I had repeatedly dumped onto the shelves after fishing trips. Even though the small stuff cleaned up nicely, the kayak was another matter; plus, it was rather cumbersome lifting if from one temporary spot to another. I needed a solution that was both easy on the back and wifefriendly. With an open mind, I pondered all possibilities, both indoor and outdoor. Behind the garage seemed like a natural but olfactory input reminded that this bit of real estate was reserved for the dog and I retreated carefully back to the safety of the main yard. Stepping on one of the dog’s calling cards at 4:00 AM would surely put a damper on a fishing trip so I decided that an interior storage site would be a better choice. Contemplating the interior of the garage with an architect’s eye, I considered every possible area where I could store the kayak. Nothing was off limits: floor, ceiling, walls, attic, all were evaluated for their storage potential. The area above the roof joists really isn’t an attic per se but there sure is a lot of space up there. A closer look revealed that roof joists were spaced 24 inches on center and it was highly doubtful no matter how I twisted and turned my kayak that I could get it through the joists. The area above my head but below the joists looked promising as well. A little time on the computer revealed that there were several good kayak hoists on the market that would lift my kayak up to the ceiling. A system of pulleys and ropes are used to raise and T E X A S

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lower your kayak just as you do window blinds. Unfortunately, when the garage door is open it blocks access to the ceiling joists where I wanted to hang my yak . Time for Plan B. The walls of the garage then became the focus of my attention. Additional research revealed a wide assortment of hangers, hooks, and cradles for kayak storage. I contemplated storing the kayak in a vertical fashion but the height of the ceiling joists nixed this plan. Horizontal storage it would be. The only problem now was finding space Shelves, racks for garden tools, pegboards, a work bench, and other assorted handyman accessories hugged the walls. Open space was practically nil but the judicial rearrangement of a workbench freed enough space to house the hull with eight-inches to spare. Given the space limitations I opted for a set of padded kayak racks, fastening them to the wall studs with lag bolts. Rather than a mounting the brackets waist-high, I opted to go low, about six-inches above floor level. Since I only had four-inches on either end of the hull to spare, I was not able to slide my hull into the rack from either end, but instead had to lift it up and set it down exactly in place. To make everything fit I needed to face the top of the kayak towards the wall, making it difficult to position without a hull handle. A year earlier I sequestered a spare luggage strap to my collection of orphaned fasteners because it had two heavy duty brass snaps on either end. Turns out that the luggage strap made a perfect handle for lifting the hull into place when I attached the snaps to the pad eyes on the hull. When you outdoor cup runneth over, January and February are great times to sort though last year’s messes and get organized. And when it comes to your kayak, it is time to hang it up.

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Greg Berlocher can be reached for question or comment at kayak@fishgame.com. J A N U A R Y

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Image Maker VERYONE LIKES TAKING PICTURES AND videos of their outdoor adventures, but doing so on a boat has a litany of unique challenges. Views that looked awesome through the camera lens turn out to be dull when you put them on the computer screen, and scenes that were incredible while you peeked through the video cam’s eye piece look disastrous when you show them on the TV. If you want your boating pics and vids to come out looking as cool as the sights in real life, you’ll have to work at it—here’s how.

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of shooting pictures on a boat is the constant motion. As a result of rocking and rolling, you’ll often have a tilted horizon. Pictures shot at a 45 degree angle, or even a 4.5 degree angle, just plain look weird. Before you hit the button, always eyeball the horizon as well as your subject and make sure it’s straight. If the boat’s in heavy seas, you’ll have to time the rolling with the shutter’s click. Note, however, that some digital cameras have a slight delay between when you press the button and when the picture actually gets taken. In these cases, timing it right is close to impossible. Another problem presented by a moving target is focus. Yes, most of today’s autofocus systems are fast enough to keep up with a boat’s motion. But most also detect where to auto-focus according to what is centered in the lens, or what is “grabbed” when you partially depress the button. In both of these cases, you’re likely to autofocus on something other than your subject by accident, when the boat moves and the

subject moves out of center as a result. The only way to combat this problem is to pay close attention to the auto-focus, and make sure you’re really centered on what you intend when you press the button. BRIGHT IDEAS – Another big problem with using cameras on a boat is glare. Not only do you have glare off the water to contend with, in most cases you also have bright white or off-white gel coat, gleaming in the sunlight. As a result, pictures look washedout and over-exposed. There are two ways of dealing with this issue. First, you can add a filter to your lens to cut down on the light levels. A polarizing filter will not only cut light, but will also allow you to shoot images of fish and lures just beneath the surface of the water. (Shoot the water without one, and you usually get a great mirror-image of the sunlight—and nothing else). But there’s a down-side to using these filters. Leave them on the lens when you shoot in low-light conditions like cloudy days or at sunrise and sunset, and the filter will cut out so much light that all of your pictures look dark. Your second option is to set your camera to under-expose a hair. Experts will be able to look at a light meter or even judge with the naked eye, and know how much to dial it down. The rest of us are best served by bracketing (underexposing, exposing, and overexposing), each image we take, regardless of light levels and conditions. Most modern digital cameras can be programmed to bracket with ease, so every time you hold down the button, three different exposures are shot of the same image. Yes, you’ll end up with a lot of useless photos using this technique; two out of three are virtually guaranteed to come out poorly. But you’re assured that regardless of light conditions, one out of three will be a winner. GO WIDE – When we get special lenses for our cameras, we usually gravitate towards big zooms that can bring the action in close.

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These are great for shooting boat-to-boat, but 99-percent of the time we take pictures of people on the same boat we’re standing on. In this situation, a zoom does more harm than good—even a standard lens may chop out some of the action. Simply backing up away from the subject isn’t an option due to space constraints on most boats. Get a wideangle lens, however, and you’ll find it easier to capture entire scenes, like one buddy netting another’s fish, while you stand just a few feet away.

Video WATERPROOF GETS THE PROOF – If you want to get awesome footage of you and your friends catching fish, get a waterproof video camera. This will allow you to get shots of the fish just prior to netting, film the action as fish are pulled from the water and brought aboard, and even footage of released fish swimming away. Luckily, waterproof video cameras are a lot more common and inexpensive these days than you might think. Some like the Kodak Playsport or the Sanyo Xacti, can

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be submerged up to 10 feet underwater for up to 30 minutes, without causing any damage. They have excellent quality (both are hi-def) and are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Most amazing, they only cost a few hundred dollars. MOUNTING OPTIONS – One of the problems with shooting video on a boat is the need for a dedicated camera-man. You have to concentrate on shooting footage from start to finish, without setting down the camera or taking a break to help out, as you can with a still camera. When you have a limited crew and need assistance to land a fish or reposition the boat, this can add unprofessional bumps, camera turns, and black-outs to the video. A simple way to get around the issue is to get a rail-mount that attaches to the video cam’s tripod mount (such as those made by Ram Mounts). Another option is to get a “hat cam,” (www.hatcams.com) which has the mount built into the brim of a hat. It feels a little odd to have that extra weight swinging around on your head, but after a few minutes you forget it even exists.

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GET CREATIVE – If you want really unique video, you’ll have to get creative. Some of the best footage I’ve ever seen of action in the cockpit of a bluewater battlewagon was taken when a crewmember suspended his video camera from an outrigger line, and ran it out to the end of the rigger. Other incredible shots have been gathered by duct-taping a waterproof camera to the end of a mop handle, shoving it several feet underwater, and recording an entire fight with a grouper from the moment it was hooked to the moment it was landed. So don’t hesitate to experiment, and more or less go wild. The worst thing that can happen is you’ll get poor footage and erase the memory chip, if you don’t like what you see. LEVEL-HEADED – As with still cameras, you want a steady, level horizon. Unfortunately, this is physically impossible to achieve on a moving boat. So instead of concentrating on getting the horizon level in the viewfinder, get the camera CONTINUED perfectly level SEE PAGE 98  with the boat,

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Dynamic Decoys ’M NOT GOING TO LIE TO YOU, LATE SEASON waterfowl hunting in Texas is tough. The ducks you are chasing on east Texas reservoirs, west Texas playas, or coastal marshes in January were being shot at in September on the Canadian prairies. For the past four months these birds have been flying south and you can bet that they have seen a lot of hunters and had plenty of steel flung their direction. They’ve learned to avoid clumps of grass shaped like a rectangle, overly enthusiastic mallard hen calls, and rafts of plastic ducks that aren’t moving around like they should. So to shoot more ducks you need change things up a little and add more movement to your spread. Raise your hand if you own a spinner (a spinning wing duck decoy, not the pointless wheels on the jacked up 1983 Cutlass you see driving around town). This time of year you might as well put that thing in the garage and leave it there until next season. Spinners work on young birds or early in the year, but by now every duck has seen it and it’s less effective. Instead of using a spinner to add motion to your spread (which doesn’t look very natural) use swimming and feeding decoys. They not only look more realistic, which won’t flare the birds, but will also send out ripples in the water which will cause other decoys to move,

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adding even more realism to your spread. If you don’t own any store bought swimming or feeding decoys you can convert some of your standard ones for just a few bucks. The cheapest and easiest way to add motion is via a jerk cord. Jerk cords can be elaborate affairs with multiple decoys, bungee cords, sticks, and spreader bars but the best practice is to keep it simple. All you really need is a weight, some string, and a decoy. The simplest way to do this is to take a small kayak or canoe anchor (two or three pounds), run your line (black trotline string works well) through the eye of the anchor and then tie it to the front of the decoy. Take the anchor out to where you want the decoy to rest and push it down in the mud and run the line back to your blind. When you pull the cord the front of the decoy will dive down into the water mimicking a feeding duck. To add a swimming decoy to your spread what you need is an old decoy, a battery, and a bilge pump. Take the old decoy and cut off the keel, leaving the front line tie eye still attached to the decoy. Buy the smallest bilge pump you can find and attach it to the bottom of the decoy upside down with a few screws. The output of the pump should point towards the back f the decoy. Seal up the screw holes with some all purpose caulk. Drill a small hole in the bottom of the decoy and run the wires from the bilge pump up into the body of the decoy, again sealing the hole with all purpose sealant.

Cut a hole in the back of the decoy, so you can access the bilge pump wires, making sure it is big enough to at least fit a nine volt battery into the decoy. On mine I made a large U shaped cut which leaves the back intact but allows me to bend up the cut part slightly so I can get the battery in and out. Attach the bilge pump wires to a nine volt battery connecter via wire nuts and electrical tape. You can put an on/off switch between the pump and the battery connector if you want but it’s not necessary. To make the bilge pump run, simply plug in a nine volt battery and drop it in the water. To keep the decoy in one general area tie about ten feet of decoy string to the front of the decoy (on the eye you left on the decoy) with a weight on the other end. This will let the decoy swim in one direction until it hits the end of the string then turn and swim in another direction or just swim in one big circle. Either way it will attract ducks; just make sure your other decoys are far enough away that they won’t get tangled up with the swimmer. The bilge does drain batteries so you might want to invest in rechargeables. The key to fooling late season ducks is realism in your set up and live ducks move around. If you want to get more mallards landing in your decoys you need to add a little motion to your spread. E-mail Paul Bradshaw at freshrigs@fishgame.com

TEXAS BOATING and keep it that way. (The afore FROM PAGE 97 mentioned mounts are invaluable for this purpose). Then, as the boat rocks and rolls, the motion of the video remains in synch with it. CONTINUED

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Use these tips and tricks, and soon you’ll be shooting like a pro. And, why not share your newfound talent with the rest of the world? Send your awesome pictures to photos@fishgame.com, and we’ll put them in

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a future edition of Texas Fish & Game.

E-mail Lenny Rudow at boating@fishgame.com

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ILLUSTRATION BY PAUL BRADSHAW

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PHOTO: BRYAN SLAVEN

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Homemade Tortilla Soup HIS HEARTY SOUP IS SURE TO WARM YOU and your family on a cold winter day. It might be a good idea for Super Bowl Sunday, too. This recipe makes 4 to 6 bowls; double it if your kids eat like mine do.

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2 Tbs olive oil 1 cup chopped onions 2 tsp chopped garlic 1 teaspoon chicken bullion 1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped 1 zucchini squash, sliced into 1/4-inch slices 1 can diced tomatoes 1 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced thin 1 ear of corn, shucked and cut fresh from the cob 1-1/2 tsp salt 2 tsp ground cumin 1/2 tsp ground coriander 2 Tbs tomato paste 6 cups chicken stock 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves 2 tsp fresh lime juice 2 cups vegetable oil for frying 6 stale corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-inchthick strips 1 tsp Texas Gourmet's Sidewinder Searing Spice 1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and chopped for garnish In a Dutch oven or large cast iron pot, C O A S T A L

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heat the oil on medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, peppers, salt, cumin, and coriander for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Be sure and stir as you go. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer for 20 minutes. Add the chicken and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cilantro and lime juice, and stir well. Add a teaspoon of chicken bouillon for richness. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm. Heat the oil in a heavy pot to 350 degrees. Add the tortilla strips in batches and fry until golden and crisp, 1-1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and T E X A S

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drain on paper towels. Season to taste with the Texas Gourmet's Sidewinder Searing Spice. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish each serving with the diced avocado, fried tortilla strips, green onion tops, grated Monterrey jack cheese, and chopped cilantro.

Contact Bryan Slaven, "The Texas Gourmet," at 888-234-7883, www.thetexasgourmet.com; or by email at texas-tasted@fishgame.com

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Beverly w/ Redfish Charters

TEXAS SALTWATER

TEXAS SALTWATER

BAFFIN BAY

ROCKPORT

CORPUS CHRISTI

UPPER COAST (SABINE LAKE) Hillman Guide Service

ADVERTISERS, SEND IN YOUR PHOTOS TODAY!

GALVESTON

Stony York Blair’s Guide Service

Chris and John Rockport Red Runner Hillman Guide Service

Kevin and Marvin Redfish Charters

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Rockport Red Runner

McGaughey Family Blair’s Guide Service

TEXAS FRESHWATER

TEXAS HUNTING

TEXAS HUNTING

LAKE AMISTAD

White Oak Outfitters

White Oak Outfitters

EAST TEXAS

SPOTLIGHT: BLAIR’S GUIDE SERVICE My name is Vaughn Blair. I was born and raised in east Texas. My dad took me to the lake every weekend as soon as I could walk. I have always loved being outdoors, and I enjoy showing others what they sometimes miss in this rushed world we now live in. I got my guide license and started Blairʼs Guide Service because I wanted to give people a place where they could go to relax and have fun. I use a 22-foot center console Mako, which allows 360° of casting area and the ability to follow your fish and bring it in. I fish primarily for bass, stripers, catfish, and just about anything thatʼs biting. I fish in Lake Nacogdoches, Lake Palestine, and Sam Rayburn Reservoir. I not only take people out to fish, but have been asked to take people on tours and day trips of local lakes. Most of my clients would love to own a boat, but for various reasons, donʼt. They all love to be on the water, but not all of them fish. I want everyone to have a fun, relaxing time and to leave with a smile and some good stories. Thatʼs why Iʼm here. Iʼm all about the outdoors and want to share it with people who have the same passion. So pick a lake and give me a call! Vaughn Blair, 903-646-3889 C O A S T A L

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Redfish Surfside

Redfish Grass Perch

Sabine Pass

dn’t Thomason di Charlie Paige redfish ch Five-year-old -in 35 s w’ r papa want to let he ide Beach go. She is her rfs caught on Su hing buddy. fis papaw’s best

Amanda Tully with one of th that she caug e three redfish ht while fishi ng with her fa in Sabine Pa mily ss.

Lake Dunlap

off her iles showing rini is all sm ke DunLa on g Kourtney Ma tin at a family ou d has her own grass perch an ne years old lap. She is ni d reel. an d princess ro

Redfish Braunig Lake

Ducks

Rattlesnake

Rockport L-R Noah Sm all, James Sm all, and Jimm Small on a se ie mi-successfu l Rockport sh ot 4 redheads duck hunt in , 2 pintail he and 1 green ns, wing teal.

South Texas

ratt shot a 6-foot d of Beaumon h ut So in p tri Johnny Bree on a hunting e, a bagged a do tlesnake while s son. He also g the trip. Texas with hi rin o javelinas du spike, and tw

Luis Costas of Lu this redfish wh is Fishing Charter caug ht ile fishing at Braunig Lake .

Redfish San Luis Pass

Redfish

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Port Aransas

Galveston

rt ong with Robe vin Ballard, al lveBobby and Ke Friermood, fished the Ga ne is Paul and Blai d won with th ide’s Cup an . ston CCA Gu ut tro 20 d ish an bunch of redf

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Andrew Garc ia of San An tonio caught 8-pound, 4-ou this nc shrimp while e, 28-inch redfish on dead fishing near the Ferry Land ing in Port Ar ansas.

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is 38d released th te caught an his family at th Mitchell Loch wi ng hi st. while fis inch redfish s personal be . This was hi San Luis Pass

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Whitetail Buck Llano County

Largemouth Bass Lake O’ The Pines

Whitetail Buck Port Mansfield

her , age 10, shot h, s Schorlemer El Sauz Ranc Mary France P. H. e th at buck first 10-point . ld fie ns Ma Port just west of

Harold Wheat ca bass while fis ught this 11.46 pound hing on Lake O’ The Pines

ot and, Texas, sh am of Kingsl ter Frank Willingh ck with a .30-30 Winches bu 21under had a this 11-point ty. The 130-po in Llano Coun . ad re sp 3/4-inch inside

Whitetail Buck Crockett County

Whitetail Buck Whitetail Buck

Sam Houston Forest

Paul Maire of W in the Sam Ho illis, shot this 8-point bu ck uston Nationa 15-inch spre l Forest. It ha ad and field da dressed 125 Also pictured lbs. is Paul’s son, Austin, age 9.

ot und Rock sh niel, 16, of Ro Kristen McDa th her mom and dad in wi buck her first deer the 10-point ty. She took Crockett Coun 0 yards. 11 with a .243 at

Palo Pinto County Hunter Wylie , age 9, shot his first buck Palo Pinto Co in un er with a 13-in ty. The buck was a 10-poi ntch spread.

Black Drum Carlos Bay

Amberjack

Mixed Bag

Destin, FL

ound ught this 50-p out ins of Flint ca ends fri d an Danny Hawk ily m hing with fa amberjack fis a. id of Destin, Flor

Rockport Cutter Funder burg, 10, of Se 6-pound shee guin caught tw psheads and an 8.5-pound, o inch black dr um fishing at 26 Rockport with Guide Robert Konyicka .

, with ily Griffith, 12 ith, 9, and Em caught at Carlos William Griff ack drum they k 2 30-pound bl ased 21 blac ught and rele Bay. They ca ester Benge. Ch r he at df an drum with gr

Speckled Trout

Turkey

Sargent

Speckled Trout

Brazos Point

Galveston

Hunter Barr, 17, inch speckled of Houston with his 27trout caught in the surf at Pirate’s Beac h in Galvesto n.

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ht this Victoria caug der itty) Haas of jun Thun Ca Katherine (K d an p k on shrim 22-inch spec Caney Creek while fishing Popping Cork th her husband Michael. wi near Sargent

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Jimmy Smith , 17 the 2-year-old , and Travis Bryant, 16, with turkeys they shot on the Sm Farm at Braz os ith 10-1/2-inch be Point, Texas. The birds ha ards. d

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The Satan Hog and Other Beastly Boars BY CHESTER MOORE

PHOTO: © PANTON - FOTOLIA

IF THERE IS A DARK SIDE to hunting in the American South, it comes via wild hogs. No animal from Texas to Florida is more unpredictable, aggressive and in some circumstances downright evil. Take for example, the “Satan Hog”. Back in the mid 1990s, I hunted hogs with dogs at Clarkrange Hunting Lodge in Clarkrange, Tenn. The first morning of the hunt, we jumped up a nice reddishcolored boar with nasty tusks. I decided it was a shooter, so I found a good rest on a tree, squeezed the trigger on the .54 caliber Traditions muzzleloader, and out came the smoke. All I could see was that something was running toward me I N L A N D

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and I assumed it was 175 pounds of tusks and rage, so I started up the tree. Thankfully, it was just one of the dogs realizing the hog was dead and its work was done. On the way back to the cabin, the dogs jumped up another hog to which the guide said, “I think it’s the Satan hog!” Well, that got my attention. “Could you please explain to me what exactly is the Satan hog?” I asked. “It’s this black boar that charges unprovoked and has killed several dogs. It almost got me once and we haven’t been able to kill it,” he said. I for some reason thought it might be a good idea to go photograph this hog if the dogs had it bayed up. Bad idea!

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In This Issue HOW-TO SECTION

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COVER STORY • The Satan Hog and Other Beastly Boars | BY CHESTER MOORE

HOTSPOTS & TIDES SECTION

52

TEXAS HOTSPOTS • Texas’ Hottest Fishing Spots | BY TOM BEHRENS, CALIXTO GONZALES, & BOB HOOD

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SPORTSMAN’S DAYBOOK • Tides, Solunar Table, Best Hunting/Fishing Times | BY TF&G STAFF

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TEXAS GUNS & GEAR • Personal Defense Ammo | BY STEVE LAMASCUS

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BOAT & RV SHOW SECTION • Special Advertising Section | BY TF&G STAFF

86 87 88 90

BOWHUNTING TECH • Those Late Season Hunts |

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TEXAS TASTED • Homemade Tortilla Soup | BY BRYAN SLAVEN

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OUTDOOR CLASSIFIED DIRECTORY • Classifieds | BY TF&G STAFF

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PHOTO ALBUM • Your Action Photos | BY TF&G READERS

BY LOU MARULLO

TEXAS KAYAKING • Time to Hang It Up | BY GREG BERLOCHER TEXAS BOATING • Image Maker | BY LENNY RUDOW PAUL’S TIPS • Dynamic Decoys | BY PAUL BRADSHAW

GEARING UP SECTION

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NEW PRODUCTS • What’s New from Top Outdoor Manufacturers | BY TF&G STAFF

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TEXAS TESTED • Portable Limb, Tuff Truck Bag, Gunslinger | BY TFG STAFF

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INDUSTRY INSIDER • Blue Wave, Pathfinder | BY TF&G STAFF

www.FishGame.com

As soon as we arrived on the scene, this black hog, which was only around 150pounds, ran straight at me, forcing me to seek refuge in a tree. I did notice it hooked as it ran by. As soon as the dogs got it again, I jumped back down and started shooting photos and got charged again. Just as I started to think this was a really bad idea, the hog took off and the dogs behind it but they soon returned. They simply could not hold the beast. “Man, that Satan hog is something else,” I said to my guide. “No, that wasn’t it. I’ve never seen that one before. The Satan hog is a whole lot meaner than that,” he said. A few years back I put TF&G Bowhunting Editor Lou Marullo on a big hog in the Pineywoods of East Texas. I was in a ground blind filming just under his tripod stand and watched as his arrow went about halfway into the rib cage. I knew the hog would die but it might take awhile, so I called my Dad on the radio and he rode up from camp on a four-wheeler with his .357 Taurus. Me being possible kin to a bloodhound as I have a natural knack for blood trailing took the gun because I would probably be the first to the wounded boar. Marullo clutched tightly his bow and Dad carried an 50 |

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axe handle. Marullo turned to Dad and asked what the ax handle was for. “Better than a stick,” he said. We soon found the hog with the arrow still in it breathing heavily in a mud puddle. Adams chose to take it out with a bow, so he drew back, released the arrow and we heard a big “Smack!” The arrow struck bone and the hog that seemed to be on death’s door, jumped let out a deep, guttural grunt and my hunting party of three soon changed to one. I looked to my right and my Dad who was 60 at the time was about 20 yards back running the other direction. I looked to my left and Marullo was nowhere to be seen. He was gone! So, there I was standing there like Dirty Harry with his huge hog facing me at 15 yards just knowing it was about to head my direction when it fell to the ground. It took a four-wheeler and a lot of ingenuity to get that beast back to camp and a lot of talking to convince Marullo to hunt hogs with me again. Hogs have flat out taken over the inland marsh in just about every section of the Gulf Coast, and waders are encountering them more frequently than ever. Donnie Warren of San Antonio was wading a stretch of marsh in the Aransas

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Bay complex when he found himself between a big sow and her piglets. “I was getting ready to cross over this little hump toward this pond, and as I was getting up from the water onto the land, here comes this huge blond-colored sow and about 10 piglets. I just stood still, hoping she would not see me, but as luck would have it, the wind was blowing right to her and she caught a whiff of me.” “When she did, she ran out into the shallow water toward me about five steps, and I just stood still. I knew there would be no point in running. She just stood there grunting at me for a few seconds, and then turned around, joined her piglets, and walked away. I have encountered plenty of sharks while wading, but never expected to be charged by a pig.” Just the fact these animals have the potential to rip a person to shreds makes things interesting but when you add in their intelligence, a propensity for dwelling in hostile environments and the follies of human hunters things can turn exciting fast.

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LOWER GULF COAST

Baffin Specks, Bird Island Reds by CALIXTO GONZALES cgonzales@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Starvation Point GPS: N27 16.908, W97 32.604 (27.281800, -97.543400) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live bait; Catch 5 or Catch 2000s or Topwaters in chrome/blue, baby trout, soft plastics in Baffin Magic, Morning Glory, plum/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089, 361-449-7441, brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: Warm trends will make trout more aggressive. Suspending lures such as a Catch 5 or Catch 2000 are strong medicine. Eel-imitating plastics on a small (1/8th) jighead are also effective. LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Alazan Bay Shoreline GPS: N27 18.46698, W97 31.03002 (27.307783, -97.517167) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Topwaters in chrome/blue, baby trout, Suspending soft plastics in Baffin Magic, Morning Glory, plum/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089, 361-449-7441, brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: Fish the 3-5í drop-off with suspending lures. On milder days, trout sit in the shallow over dark, warmer mud. Fish slowly and carefully. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Brownsville Ship Channel 52 |

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GPS: N26 2.30202, W97 12.79902 (26.038367, 97.213317) SPECIES: black drum BEST BAITS: live shrimp, fresh shrimp CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: Deeper water holds a number of good fish when trout and redfish aren’t cooperating. Black drum are the stars, but sheepshead and mangrove snapper are also around. Live shrimp on a freeline rig will snare all three. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Bird Island GPS: N26 16.47, W97 16.5 (26.274500, -97.275000) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: live shrimp, gold spoons Gulp! shrimp in Pearl and glow CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: Redfish love the drizzly days after January fronts Drift away from the island and work both shrimp/popping corks and weedless spoons. If the water is off-colored (it usually is), live bait is the best bet. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Long Bar GPS: N26 12.16398, W97 15.957 (26.202733, -97.265950) SPECIES: black drum BEST BAITS: live shrimp/popping cork CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez, 956551-9581 TIPS: inter is drum time. Plenty of fish roam the deep flats in the Southern part of LLM. Fish the edges of the ICW with either live shrimp or fresh shrimp on a fishfinder rig.

LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Dunkin Channel GPS: N26 17.93208, W97 18.10728 (26.298868, -97.301788) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live shrimp, soft plastics in dark patterns, Gulp! Jerkbaits CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: Low tides will concentrate speckled trout in deeper water. Channels such as Dinkin are two good spots for trout concentrations. Freeline live shrimp, or swim soft baits on light heads along drop-offs. Fish the outer eddies when the tide is running. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Dunkin Channel GPS: N26 17.93208, W97 18.10728 (26.298868, -97.301788) SPECIES: flounder BEST BAITS: live shrimp, soft plastics in dark patterns, Gulp! Jerkbaits CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: Use a split shot or heavier jigheads to get your baits or lures down along the bottom to seek out flounder holding in the deeper water. Fish the outer points when the tide is flowing in or out. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Three Islands GPS: N26 16.64298, W97 15.102 (26.277383, -97.251700) SPECIES: black drum BEST BAITS: live shrimp, fresh shrimp CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez, 956551-9581 TIPS: Herds of black drum patrol the flats between the islands and South Padre Island. This is a good way to latch into some nice slot-sized fish that are cooperative and great eating. Fish bait under a popping cork, but work it more slowly. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre

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HOTSPOT: Bird Island GPS: N26 16.47, W97 16.5 (26.274500, -97.275000) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live shrimp, topwaters in Bone, Pearl, Gulp! shrimp in Pearl and glow CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: Let the wind dictate which side of the island to drift. Topwaters will work near shorelines. Live bait and faux shrimp work best on the flats. Watch the terns. They love to steal shrimp under popping corks. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Brazos Santiago Jetties GPS: N26 4.04274, W97 9.20448 (26.067379, -97.153408) SPECIES: black drum BEST BAITS: live shrimp, fresh shrimp,

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crab chunks CONTACT: Quick Stop, 956-943-1159 TIPS: If you want to find some large bruiser black drum, try the channel side of the jetties. A standard twin-dropper bottom rig works. Use shrimp for the slot-fish, crab for the beasts. Use a 2-4-ounce disk sinker that will glide above the snags. LOCATION: Port Mansfield HOTSPOT: Big Oaks GPS: N26 41.96502, W97 27.79098 (26.699417, -97.463183) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Topwaters in dark colors, Catch 5ís; Gulp! shrimp in New Penny, Pearl CONTACT: Captain Richard Lopez, 956207-4715 TIPS: January is a good time to look for a big trout along the Motts. Use larger

topwaters such as a Spook or Ghost and fish slowly. If the trout are short striking, move deeper in the water with twitch baits and plastics. LOCATION: Port Mansfield HOTSPOT: Community Bar GPS: N26 34.66902, W97 25.12398 (26.577817, -97.418733) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Topwaters, soft baits in Pearl/chartreuse, glow/chartreuse, purple/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Steven Devries, 956289-3631 TIPS: Fish the east side of the bar. Topwaters are good early. If the water is offcolored, or it’s overcast, fish bait or artificials under a Mauler.

MIDDLE GULF COAST

Topwaters for Copano Trout by TOM BEHRENS tbehrens@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Copano Bay HOTSPOT: Port Bay GPS: N28 1.69398, W97 8.694 (28.028233, -97.144900) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Small topwater lures in chrome/blue CONTACT: Capt. Chris Martin, 361-7852686 TIPS: Work the lure real slow. wade-fishing will provide the best results. LOCATION: Corpus Christi Bay HOTSPOT: Shamrock Cove GPS: N27 46.01802, W97 9.23898 (27.766967, -97.153983) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft plastics; mullet imitation topwaters CONTACT: Capt. Jon Fails, 361-9490133 54 |

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TIPS: Southeast winds are important; wadefish the beach

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TIPS: Anchor and fish off the bottom

LOCATION: Corpus Christi Bay HOTSPOT: Shamrock Cove GPS: N27 45.33702, W97 8.11302 (27.755617, -97.135217) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Soft plastics in a Beer color with chartreuse tail CONTACT: Capt. Jon Fails, 361-9490133 TIPS: Drift the flats in the back of the cove while sight casting.

LOCATION: Espiritu Santo Bay HOTSPOT: Pringle Lake GPS: N28 19.82898, W96 28.67202 (28.330483, -96.477867) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live shrimp; Texas Tackle Flats Minnow in Roach/chartreuse color CONTACT: Capt. Chris Martin, 361-7852686 TIPS: Excellent spot at this time of the year; drift, using a Flats Minnow under an Alameda Cork

LOCATION: Espiritu Santo Bay HOTSPOT: Finger Reed GPS: N28 19.24398, W96 43.311 (28.320733, -96.721850) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: 3/8 or 1/4-ounce jighead with black/chartreuse Texas Tackle Factory soft plastics; live shrimp or cut crab free lined CONTACT: Capt. Chris Martin, 361-7852686

LOCATION: Port Aransas HOTSPOT: Morris & Cummings Cut GPS: N27 54.16398, W97 5.68398 (27.902733, -97.094733) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Dead shrimp, live mullet CONTACT: Capt. Randy Filla, 361-2152332 TIPS: Red hot for redfish on a falling tide; fish the edges of the channels, 2-4 feet of water. Early morning fishing will proba-

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bly not be as good as later in the afternoon. LOCATION: Port Aransas HOTSPOT: East Morris & Cummings Cut GPS: N27 52.66002, W97 6.456 (27.877667, -97.107600) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Chicken on a Chain using an 1/8-ounce jig CONTACT: Capt. Randy Filla, 361-2152332 TIPS: wade-fishing in 2-4 feet of water; slowly and thoroughly work the area. There will be some big trout in the area. The bite will be real light. LOCATION: Port Aransas HOTSPOT: Jetties GPS: N27 50.61498, W97 3.44298 (27.843583, -97.057383) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Cracked crab and mullet CONTACT: Capt. Randy Filla, 361-2152332 TIPS: Fish the bottom. Early morning

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fishing will probably not be as good as later in the afternoon. LOCATION: Port O'Connor HOTSPOT: Whitaker’s Flats GPS: N28 19.82898, W96 28.67202 (28.330483, -96.477867) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Cut crab on a Carolina Rig; Texas Tackle Trout Killer II in a red/white or plum/chartreuse CONTACT: Capt. Chris Martin, 361-7852686 TIPS: Look for the potholes; the redfish will lie in the "saucers". LOCATION: Rockport HOTSPOT: St. Charles Bay GPS: N28 8.22798, W96 57.333 (28.137133, -96.955550) SPECIES: black drum BEST BAITS: live or dead shrimp, cracked crab, live mullet CONTACT: Capt. Randy Filla, 361-2152332 TIPS: Fish on the edge of the shell, weight on the bottom and hook on the top LOCATION: San Antonio Bay HOTSPOT: Panther Reef

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GPS: N28 18, W96 43.19802 (28.300000, -96.719967) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Texas Tackle Trout Killer II in plum/chartreuse on a 1/8-ounce jighead CONTACT: Capt. Chris Martin, 361-7852686 TIPS: Drift while using a Trout Killer II under an Alameda Cork

UPPER GULF COAST

Matagorda Boiler for Specks by TOM BEHRENS tbehrens@fishgame.com

LOCATION: East Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Boiler Tow Head GPS: N28 39.01602, W95 53.409 (28.650267, -95.890150) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: 3/8-ounce; leadhead jig with a Norton Bull Minnow in Limetreuse or Hot Pink CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281-

450-4037 TIPS: Concentrate on drifting scattered shell looking for streaky water. The streaks are usually made by baitfish. Find the streaks and the odds are good you will find fish. LOCATION: East Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Oyster Farm GPS: N28 41.61102, W95 48.40302 (28.693517, -95.806717) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Corky, Catch 2000, Catch 5 CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281450-4037 TIPS: Check the shallows after a prolonged warm spell. wade-fish throwing a slower lure. LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Sydney Island GPS: N29 58.59, W93 49.43298 (29.976500, -93.823883) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Super Spooks CONTACT: Capt. Eddie Hernandez, 409721-5467, 409-673-3100 TIPS: wade-fish the flats behind the island, fishing later in the afternoons. LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Bridge Bayou GPS: N29 54.14802, W93 46.272 (29.902467, -93.771200) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: MirrOlure Catch 2000, Catch 5 and Corky CONTACT: Capt. Eddie Hernandez, 409721-5467, or 409-673-3100 TIPS: Catch 2000, Catch 5 and Corky are all slow sinking baits; fish as slow as possible. LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Coffee Ground Cove GPS: N29 57.75702, W93 46.33098 (29.962617, -93.772183) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: MirrOlure Catch 2000, Catch 5, Corky, Salt Water Assassins and Zooms CONTACT: Capt. Eddie Hernandez, 409721-5467, 409-673-3100

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TIPS: Good colors for this time of the year are Red Shad in Assassins and White Ice in Zoom baits. LOCATION: West Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: Greens Lake GPS: N29 16.707, W94 59.60202 (29.278450, -94.993367) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: 1/8-ounce; jigheads; soft plastics in Limetreuse, Plum or Red Shad CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman, 409256-7937 TIPS: Drift fishing working bait and color concentrations LOCATION: West Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: Offatts Bayou GPS: N29 16.61898, W94 51.507 (29.276983, -94.858450) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: 52 series Mirror Lures; soft plastics on 1/4-ounce; jigheads CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman, 409256-7937 TIPS: The lighter jighead stays in the strike zone longer. LOCATION: West Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: Confederate Reef GPS: N29 16.19502, W94 56.97402 (29.269917, -94.949567) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Corky, Catch 2000, Catch 5 CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman, 409256-7937 TIPS: Confederate Reef, Offatts Bayou and Greens Bayou are the top fishing locations on the Galveston Bay System in January.

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PINEY WOODS

Dive Deep on Fork for Bass by BOB HOOD bhood@fishgame.com

zard shad CONTACT: Richard Tatsch, 936-2911277, fishdudetx.com TIPS: Expect to catch larger fish at this time of the year. Hybrids will be bunched up in large schools in 18-22 feet of water. Use your electronics to find the schools on main lake humps and points. Live shad usually out-produces lures during January.

LOCATION: Caddo Lake HOTSPOT: Big Green Break GPS: N32 43.55688, W94 2.355 (32.725948, -94.039250) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Cyclone Rattlin' Jigs, Cyclone Lightnin' Blade CONTACT: Paul Keith, caddoguide1@att.net, 318-455-3437, caddolakefishing.com TIPS: Work the cypress trees with blackblue or Texas Craw jig or black-red Lightnin’ Blade in two to four feet of water. Keep moving until you are in the trees that have plenty of hydrilla around them.

LOCATION: Lake Fork HOTSPOT: Mustang Creek GPS: N32 51.2841, W95 36.90624 (32.854735, -95.615104) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Deep-diving crankbaits, spinnerbaits CONTACT: Michael Rogge, microg@texascellnet.com TIPS: The pre-spawn is about to start. Look for big fish on main lake points at mouths of creeks. If there is timber, the fish will be suspended. Crank baits that dive to 12-15 feet are best along with large spinnerbaits when slow-rolled through structure.

LOCATION: Lake Conroe HOTSPOT: League Line Hump GPS: N30 22.84338, W95 33.792 (30.380723, -95.563200) SPECIES: hybrid striped bass BEST BAITS: Storm Swim Shad,live giz-

LOCATION: Lake Fork HOTSPOT: Mouth of Caney Creek GPS: N32 49.31106, W95 33.6258 (32.821851, -95.560430) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Crappie jigs, minnows

LOCATION: West Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Cotton Bayou GPS: N28 30.60198, W96 12.603 (28.510033, -96.210050) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: 1/4-ounce; weedless spoons CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281450-4037 TIPS: The best time is after fronts blow through, dropping water levels. Concentrate on the guts.

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CONTACT: Michael Rogge, microg@texascellnet.com TIPS: The crappie have moved to deep water structure and bridges. Fish the mouth of Caney Creek first at 25-40 feet depths. The bridges also are very good places to find crappie at this time of the year as is Sabine River Authority Point. LOCATION: Lake Livingston HOTSPOT: River Bend GPS: N30 45.31326, W95 8.09136 (30.755221, -95.134856) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Filleted or scaled fresh carp, buffalo, talapia CONTACT: Dave S. Cox, dave@palmettoguideservice.com, 936291-9602, palmettoguideservice.com TIPS: Use a Carolina rig with 1/2 or one-ounce egg sinker. Drift the bait on the bottom at 12-foot depths where the old river channel drops off to 45 feet. The best launch and bank access is on the west side of Onalaska at the Highway 190 bridge. LOCATION: Toledo Bend Res. HOTSPOT: Main Lake River Ledges GPS: N31 21.63906, W93 39.33312 (31.360651, -93.655552)

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SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Shiners, jigs CONTACT: Greg Crafts, gregcrafts@yahoo.com, 936-368-7151, toledobendguide.com TIPS: In December, January and February there is no size limit. Most fish will be 30 feet or deeper. The daily limit is 50 per person. The lake record is a 4-pounder and it is not unusual to catch 3-pluspounders on this nationally-ranked crappie lake.

PRAIRIES & LAKES

Cedar Creek Cats on Cut Shad by BOB HOOD bhood@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Cedar Creek Res. HOTSPOT: Mid-Lake Humps GPS: N32 12.90276, W96 5.2182 (32.215046, -96.086970) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Cut gizzard shad, cut rough

fish CONTACT: Jason Barber, kingcreekadventures@yahoo.com, 903-887-7896, kingcreekadventures.com TIPS: Many big blue catfish are caught near the mid-lake humps during January. Use a Santee Cooper rig and make long casts. Drift your bait on the 20-30-foot flats adjacent to the humps. LOCATION: Fayette County Res. HOTSPOT: Hog Pond Trees GPS: N29 56.22324, W96 42.94584 (29.937054, -96.715764) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Shad, worms, punch bait CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, weldon_edna@hotmail.com, 979-229-3103, FishTales-GuideService.com TIPS: Catfish are in full pre-spawn mode. Cast to the trees in 10 feet of water or fish straight down six-inches off bottom. Use a No.4 treble hook and 3/4-ounce egg sinker. Set the hook at the slightest movement of the rod tip when fishing straight down. LOCATION: Gibbons Creek Res. HOTSPOT: Gibbons Creek GPS: N30 38.1222, W96 2.9676 (30.635370, -96.049460) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Shad or prepared stinkbait CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, weldon_edna@hotmail.com, 979-229-3103, FishTales-GuideService.com TIPS: Gibbons Creek comes close to the bank here. There are lots of stumps in 12 feet of water. Use 3/4 or one-ounce egg sinker with No.4 treble hook for stinkbait or No.2 Kahle hook for shad. Chumming will increase your chances for channel catfish here. LOCATION: Lake Aquilla HOTSPOT: Deep Humps at Dam GPS: N31 54.12342, W97 12.1008 (31.902057, -97.201680) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Chartreuse 1/2 or 3/4 Mann’s Slab CONTACT: Randy Routh, teamredneck@hotmail.com, 817-822-5539, team-

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redneck.net TIPS: Watch your graph for schools of whites ganged up on the edges of the humps. Start on the bottom and lift and drop the lure. Try different columns of water until you get strikes. Use binoculars to watch for birds diving for shad and make long casts.

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straightlineguide.com TIPS: Drift cut bait or live shad in this cove and other shallow coves on the east side of the lake. There are a lot of big blue cats in these areas. There is an abundance of shad around the boat slits that can be caught with a cast net.

LOCATION: Lake Cooper HOTSPOT: Deep River Hole GPS: N33 18.7836, W95 40.18056 (33.313060, -95.669676) SPECIES: hybrid striped bass BEST BAITS: Sassy Shad CONTACT: Tony Parker, tawakonifihing@yahoo.com, 903-348-1619, tonyparkerfishing.com TIPS: Expect a slow bite. Hybrids and white bass will be suspended around the channel. Use a four-inch Sassy Shad on a one-ounce jig and deadstick it by fishing straight down and just holding the lure in the school of fish. It is slow but effective.

LOCATION: Lake Lavon HOTSPOT: The Dam GPS: N33 2.01384, W96 27.91692 (33.033564, -96.465282) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Small minnows, crappie jigs CONTACT: Billy Kilpatrick, straightlineguide@yahoo.com, 214-232-7847, straightlineguide.com TIPS: Use your graph to locate any type of structure along the face of the dam. Fish small minnows or crappie jigs around the structure. The area around the pump station also can produce catches of fish by spider-rigging black and blue jigs and minnows.

LOCATION: Lake Lavon HOTSPOT: East Side Cove GPS: N33 4.82364, W96 27.30918 (33.080394, -96.455153) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Cut bait, live shad CONTACT: Billy Kilpatrick, straightlineguide@yahoo.com, 214-232-7847,

LOCATION: Lake Lewisville HOTSPOT: Pockrus Hump GPS: N33 5.28894, W97 0.09696 (33.088149, -97.001616) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Fresh gizzard shad, threadfin shad CONTACT: Bobby Kubin, bobby@bobby-

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catfishing.com, 817-455-2894, bobby-catfishing.com TIPS: Drifting still can produce some nice catfish but anchoring on the main-lake humps and creek channels 30-60 feet will work best. Anchor over areas where you locate schools of shad. Fish shad on Santee Cooper or Carolina rigs with two-ounce weights. LOCATION: Lake Palestine HOTSPOT: Kickapoo Channel GPS: N32 16.6314, W95 29.49966 (32.277190, -95.491661) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Jigs with plastic or pork trailers, spinnerbaits CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff, ricky@rickysguideservice.com, 903-5617299, rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Fish the stumps along the edges of Kickapoo and other creeks on the north end of the lake with black-blue jigs and white spinnerbaits. The best fishing on the south end of the lake will be on the rocks along the river channel and along the dam.

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LOCATION: Lake Palestine HOTSPOT: Highway 155 Bridge GPS: N32 7.55874, W95 29.09856 (32.125979, -95.484976) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Crappie jigs CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff, ricky@rickysguideservice.com, 903-5617299, www.rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Fish the bridge pilings with blackchartreuse or white-pink crappie jigs. The best depths will be 20 to 25 feet. LOCATION: Lake Somerville HOTSPOT: Big Creek Park Shoreline GPS: N30 19.164, W96 34.374 (30.319400, -96.572900) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Shad or cut bait CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, weldon_edna@hotmail.com, 979-229-3103, FishTales-GuideService.com

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TIPS: Use a Carolina rig with 3 to 4foot leader and small cork one-foot from hook. Drift 1/2 M.P.H. across the area for big blue cats. This also is a good jug-fishing area. Use a No.4 Kahle hook and one to three-ounce No-Roll sinker depending on the wind. LOCATION: Lake Texoma HOTSPOT: Paw Paw Creek GPS: N33 51.32622, W96 52.66836 (33.855437, -96.877806) SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: Roadrunners, Sassy Shad jigs CONTACT: Bill Carey, bigfish@striperexpress.com, 877-786-4477, www.striperexpress.com TIPS: Stripers to 20-pounds will hold on points, creeks and humps near deep water. A one-ounce Roadrunner, 7-foot Castaway rod and 20-pound test line is recommend-

ed. Live bait also will work. Expect action all day. Watch for feeding gulls to locate fish. LOCATION: Lake Whitney HOTSPOT: State Park Flats GPS: N31 55.05504, W97 21.86928 (31.917584, -97.364488) SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: Storm Wild Eye Shad CONTACT: Randy Routh, teamredneck@hotmail.com, 817-822-5539, teamredneck.net TIPS: The cold temps have pushed the baitfish from the creeks and they have ganged up in the safety of numbers, roaming the flats and attracting stripers. Make long casts behind the boat and use trolling motor to troll the swimbaits. Most bites are soft. LOCATION: Richland-Chambers Res. HOTSPOT: Wood Creek GPS: N32 4.23216, W96 17.16912 (32.070536, -96.286152) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Jigs with pork or plastic trailers CONTACT: Steve Schmidt, steve@schmidtsbigbass.com, 682-5188252, schmidtsbigbass.com TIPS: Fish the sunny sides of Wood Creek, targeting docks and stumps at the mouth of the creek first. Elm Creek also has a lot of timber and docks. Be patient and take your time because the bite likely will be slow. Remember to dress for the weather. LOCATION: OH Ivie Res.

PANHANDLE

Ivie Cats and Ivie Largemouth by BOB HOOD bhood@fishgame.com

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(31.583945, -99.766502) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Finesse baits, plastic worms CONTACT: Dave Caudle, fishinwithdave@aol.com, 325-365-1020, fishinwithdave.com TIPS: The river will warm up earlier than other areas. The bass will be active on the cove points. Use finesse baits and lightweighted, dark worms to catch the staging bass. The upper reaches of the Concho River also is a good bet with same baits. LOCATION: OH Ivie Res. HOTSPOT: Yellow Bluff Timber GPS: N31 34.54974, W99 42.51912 (31.575829, -99.708652) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Cheese bait CONTACT: Dave Caudle, fishinwithdave@aol.com, 325-365-1020, fishinwithdave.com TIPS: Look for the trees with roosting cormorants just south of Yellow Bluff. The catfish will be feeding just off the bottom around the trees. Cheese bait and other

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punch baits will work best. LOCATION: OH Ivie Res. HOTSPOT: River Channel Flats GPS: N31 34.31712, W99 41.60238 (31.571952, -99.693373) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Spoons, Slabs CONTACT: Dave Caudle, fishinwithdave@aol.com, 325-365-1020 TIPS: The white bass will be on the sandy flats near the river channel preparing for the spawn. They will be chasing shad up onto the flats throughout the day. Bounce the spoons and jigs off the bottom near the edge of the channel. LOCATION: Possum Kingdom Res. HOTSPOT: Costello Island GPS: N32 54.4662, W98 27.7899 (32.907770, -98.463165) SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: Gamefisher Slab, 1/4-ounce jighead with 3-inch Mister Twister soft plastic CONTACT: Dean Heffner,

fav7734@aceweb.com, 940-329-0036 TIPS: The stripers hit best when a cold front line is at the Texas-Oklahoma border. A white lure works best. Fish the river channel north of Costello Island to its headwaters. The stained water will hold warmer temperatures longer than clear waters.

BIG BEND

Marker 17 Holds Crappie, Bass by BOB HOOD bhood@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Lake Amistad HOTSPOT: Marker 17 GPS: N29 34.56414, W101 17.967 (29.576069, -101.299450) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Soft plastic grubs


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CONTACT: Larry Scruggs, Amistad Lodge and Adventures, fisherofmenlrs@hotmail.com, 210-789-1645 TIPS: Big slabs hang around sheer rock bluffs from Markers 17 to 24. Fish the coves on the down-wind side of the rocks at 20 feet. Chartreuse is the best color and six-pound test line works best. Don’t be surprised if you hook into a big bass. LOCATION: Lake Amistad HOTSPOT: Marker 17 GPS: N29 34.56414, W101 17.967 (29.576069, -101.299450) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Soft plastic craws, shallowrunning crankbaits, spinnerbaits CONTACT: Larry Scruggs, Amistad Lodge and Adventures, fisherofmenlrs@hotmail.com, 210-789-1645 TIPS: Fish the bend of the river from Markers 17 to 25 for pre-spawn bass,

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especially the windy points. Numerous canyons and creeks in this area have shallow rock and brush shelves that drop-off into 20 feet of water or more. Red-colored craws work best.

HILL COUNTRY

Granger Whites and Catfish by BOB HOOD bhood@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Lake Granger HOTSPOT: Comanche Bluff GPS: N30 42.05736, W97 24.12738 (30.700956, -97.402123) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Shad Raps, Rat-L-Traps,

swimbaits CONTACT: Tommy Tidwell, crappie1@hotmail.com, 512-365-7761 TIPS: Head up the San Gabriel River and fish the area around Comanche Bluff. White bass are known to make runs up the river at this time of year. Look for areas where shad are concentrated. The white bass you catch likely will be very large. LOCATION: Lake Granger HOTSPOT: Open Lake GPS: N30 42.30102, W97 20.61006 (30.705017, -97.343501) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Cut bait, live perch, Zote soap CONTACT: Tommy Tidwell, crappie1@hotmail.com, 512-365-7761 TIPS: Jug lines produce some really good catches of blue catfish at this time of year. Shad can be difficult to find but live or dead perch will catch the bigger fish. Zote soap also works well but usually catches the smaller eating-sized fish.

SOUTH TEXAS PLAINS

Cormorants Flock Over Falcon Cats by BOB HOOD bhood@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Falcon Lake HOTSPOT: Big Tiger Creek GPS: N26 44.32602, W99 8.74998 (26.738767, -99.145833) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Danny King punch bait, Sure Shot punch bait, chicken liver CONTACT: Robert Amaya, Robert’s Fish N'Tackle,robertsfishntackle@gmail.com, 956-765-1442, robertsfishntackle.com TIPS: Thousand of cormorants are nesting in this area. Look for the big flocks of birds along the brush line roosting areas in trees that are in 8 to 15 feet of water. Use slip cork with a No. 2 treble hook. Catfish weighing four to eight-pounds are common.

62 |

J A N U A R Y

2 0 1 1

T E X A S

F I S H

&

G A M E ®

I N L A N D

A L M A N A C


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Tides and Prime Times

JANUARY 2011 USING THE PRIME TIMES CALENDAR

The following pages contain TIDE and SOLUNAR predictions for Galveston Channel (29.3166° N, 94.88° W).

T12

T4

T11

T10

TIDE PREDICTIONS are located in the upper white boxes on the Calendar Pages. Use the Correction Table below, which is keyed to 23 other tide stations, to adjust low and high tide times.

T13 T6

T7

T5 T17

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY is shown in the lower color boxes of the Calendar pages. Use the SOLUNAR ADJUSTMENT SCALE below to adjust times for points East and West of Galveston Channel.

T15 T16

AM & PM MINOR phases occur when the moon rises and sets. These phases last 1 to 2 hours.

T14 T18

AM & PM MAJOR phases occur when the moon reaches its highest point overhead as well as when it is “underfoot” or at its highest point on the exact opposite side of the earth from your positoin (or literally under your feet). Most days have two Major Feeding Phases, each lasting about 2 hours.

T19

SOLAR & LUNAR ACTIVITY: Sunrise: 6:34a Sunset: 7:51p

PEAK DAYS: The closer the moon is to your location, the stronger the influence. FULL or NEW MOONS provide the strongest influnce of the month.

T20

AM Minor: 9:11a AM Major: 2:57a PM Minor: 9:40p PM Major: 3:25p

PEAK TIMES: When a Solunar Period falls within 30 minutes to an hour of sunrise or sunset, anticipate increased action. A moon rise or moon set during one of these periods will cause even greater action. If a FULL or NEW MOON occurs during a Solunar Period, expect the best action of the season.

Moonrise:9:27a Moon Set: None Moon Overhead:

T21

4:55p

TIDE CORRECTION TABLE Add or subtract the time shown at the right of the Tide Stations on this table (and map) to determine the adjustment from the time shown for GALVESTON CHANNEL in the calendars.

TIDE PREDICTIONS are shown in graph form, with High and Low tide predictions in text immediately below. SOLUNAR ACTIVITY data is provided to indicate major and minor feeding periods for each day, as the daily phases of the moon have varying degrees of influence on a wide variety of wildlife species.

T9 T8

T3 T2 T1

KEY T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6

PLACE Sabine Bank Lighthouse Sabine Pass Jetty Sabine Pass Mesquite Pt, Sab. Pass Galveston Bay, S. Jetty Port Bolivar

HIGH -1:46 -1:26 -1:00 -0:04 -0:39 +0:14

LOW -1:31 -1:31 -1:15 -0:25 -1:05 -0:06

KEY PLACE HIGH Galveston Channel/Bays T7 Texas City Turning Basin +0:33 +3:54 T8 Eagle Point +6:05 T9 Clear Lake +10:21 T10 Morgans Point T11 Round Pt, Trinity Bay +10:39

LOW +0:41 +4:15 +6:40 +5:19 +5:15

KEY PLACE T12 Pt Barrow, Trinity Bay T13 Gilchrist, East Bay T14 Jamaica Beach, W. Bay T15 Alligator Point, W. Bay T16 Christmas Pt T17 Galveston Pleasure Pier

HIGH +5:48 +3:16 +2:38 +2:39 +2:32 -1:06

LOW +4:43 +4:18 +3:31 +2:33 +2:31 -1:06

KEY T18 T19 T20 T21 T22 T23

PLACE San Luis Pass Freeport Harbor Pass Cavallo Aransas Pass Padre Island (So. End) Port Isabel

SPORTSMAN’S DAYBOOK IS SPONSORED BY:

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION T22 T23

KEYS TO USING THE TIDE AND SOLUNAR GRAPHS TIDE LE VEL GRAPH: Yellow: Daylight

12a

Tab: Peak Fishing Period

6a

12p

6p

12a

Light Blue: Nighttime

BEST:

7:05-9:40 PM

Green: Falling Tide

AM/PM Timeline

Gold Fish: Best Time

Blue: Rising Tide Red Graph: Fishing Score

Blue Fish: Good Time

SOLUNAR AC TIVIT Y: MINOR Feeding Periods (+/- 1.5 Hrs.) Time Moon is at its Highest Point in the Sky 12a

AM/PM Timeline

64 |

AM Minor: 1:20a

PM Minor: 1:45p

AM Major: 7:32a

PM Major: 7:57p

MAJOR Feeding Periods (+/- 2 Hrs.)

Moon Overhead: 8:50a 6a

12p

6p

12a

Time Moon is Directly Underfoot (at its peak on opposite side of the earth)

Moon Underfoot: 9:15p J A N U A R Y

2 0 1 1

T E X A S

F I S H

&

G A M E ®

I N L A N D

A L M A N A C

HIGH -0.09 -0:44 0:00 -0:03 -0:24 +1:02

LOW -0.09 -1:02 -1:20 -1:31 -1:45 -0:42


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NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION

 = New Moon  = First Quarter  = Full Moon  = Last Quarter  = Best Day

BEST:

= Peak Fishing 7:45-9:40 AM Period = FALLING TIDE = RISING TIDE = DAYLIGHT HOURS = NIGHTTIME HOURS

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

MONDAY

TUESDAY

29

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

30

31

SUNDAY

Ja n 1

2

Set: 5:28p Sunrise: 7:12a Set: 12:51p Moonrise: 2:38a

Set: 5:29p Set: 1:33p

Sunrise: 7:12a Moonrise: 3:43a

Set: 5:29p Set: 2:21p

Sunrise: 8:12a Moonrise: 5:45a

Set: 6:30p Set: 4:13p

Sunrise: 8:13a Moonrise: 6:43a

Set: 6:31p Set: 5:09p

AM Minor: 10:30a

PM Minor: 10:55p

AM Minor: 11:21a

PM Minor: 11:46p

AM Minor: ——-

PM Minor: 12:10p

AM Minor: 12:32a

PM Minor: 12:59p

AM Minor: 1:21a

PM Minor: 1:49p

AM Minor: 3:11a

PM Minor: 3:39p

AM Minor: 4:02a

PM Minor: 4:30p

AM Major: 4:18a

PM Major: 4:43p

AM Major: 5:08a

PM Major: 5:34p

AM Major: 5:57a

PM Major: 6:23p

AM Major: 6:46a

PM Major: 7:13p

AM Major: 7:35a

PM Major: 8:03p

AM Major: 9:25a

PM Major: 9:53p

AM Major: 10:16a

PM Major: 10:44p

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 7:15a

Moon Overhead: 6:23a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 8:08a 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 11:00a

Moon Overhead: 9:03a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

THURSDAY

Set: 5:27p Sunrise: 7:11a Set: 5:28p Sunrise: 7:11a Set: 11:35a Moonrise: 12:29a Set: 12:11p Moonrise: 1:33a

Moon Overhead: 5:34a

12a

WEDNESDAY

 28

27 Sunrise: 7:11a Moonrise: None

Tides and Prime Times for JANUARY 2011

Moon Overhead: 11:56a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 5:58p +2.0

Moon Underfoot: 6:49p

BEST:

BEST:

0

-1.0

Moon Underfoot: 9:31p

BEST:

12:30 — 2:30 AM

BEST:

1:30 — 3:30 AM

Moon Underfoot: 11:28p BEST:

5:00 — 7:00 PM

Moon Underfoot: None +2.0

BEST:

3:30 — 5:30 AM

4:30 — 6:30 AM TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

BEST:

12:00 — 2:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 8:35p

TIDE LEVELS

11:00A — 1:00P

Moon Underfoot: 7:41p

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

3:11 am 9:04 am 2:17 pm 9:06 pm

0.29 ft 0.72 ft 0.30 ft 0.96 ft

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

4:11 am 11:16 am 3:16 pm 9:20 pm

I N L A N D

-0.02 ft 0.77 ft 0.62 ft 0.95 ft

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

A L M A N A C

5:08 am 1:22 pm 4:53 pm 9:31 pm

-0.31 ft 0.94 ft 0.88 ft 0.98 ft

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

T E X A S

6:03 am 3:00 pm 8:15 pm 9:24 pm

-0.56 ft 1.11 ft 1.02 ft 1.02 ft

F I S H

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

&

6:55 am 4:04 pm 9:14 pm 10:29 pm

-0.75 ft 1.22 ft 1.04 ft 1.04 ft

G A M E ®

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

7:48 am 4:42 pm 10:01 pm 11:24 pm

-0.81ft. Low Tide: 8:36 am -0.86ft. 1.20ft. High Tide: 5:20 pm 1.19ft. 1.05ft. Low Tide: 10:17 pm 1.04ft. 1.06ft.

J A N U A R Y

2 0 1 1

|

65

+1.0

0

-1.0


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NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION BEST:

= Peak Fishing Period

7:45-9:40 AM

= FALLING TIDE = RISING TIDE = DAYLIGHT HOURS = NIGHTTIME HOURS

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

4

THURSDAY

5

FRIDAY

6

SATURDAY

7

8

9

Sunrise: 8:13a Moonrise: 7:36a

Set: 6:31p Set: 6:07p

Sunrise: 8:13a Moonrise: 8:24a

Set: 6:32p Set: 7:06p

Sunrise: 8:13a Moonrise: 9:05a

Set: 6:33p Set: 8:04p

Sunrise: 8:13a Moonrise: 9:42a

Set: 6:34p Set: 9:01p

AM Minor: 4:54a

PM Minor: 5:22p

AM Minor: 5:47a

PM Minor: 6:13p

AM Minor: 6:40a

PM Minor: 7:04p

AM Minor: 7:31a

PM Minor: 7:54p

AM Minor: 8:20a

PM Minor: 8:42p

AM Minor: 9:08a

PM Minor: 9:28p

AM Minor: 9:54a

PM Minor: 10:14p

AM Major: 11:08a

PM Major: 11:35p

AM Major: -----

PM Major: 12:26p

AM Major: 12:27a

PM Major: 12:52p

AM Major: 1:19a

PM Major: 1:42p

AM Major: 2:10a

PM Major: 2:31p

AM Major: 2:58a

PM Major: 3:18p

AM Major: 3:44a

PM Major: 4:04p

Moon Overhead: 12:51p 6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 2:33p

Moon Overhead: 1:43p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

Sunrise: 8:13a Set: 6:34p Moonrise: 10:15a Set: 9:55p

SUNDAY

Moon Overhead: 3:19p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Sunrise: 8:13a Set: 6:35p Sunrise: 8:13a Set: 6:36p Moonrise: 10:45a Set: 10:47p Moonrise: 11:14a Set: 11:39p

Moon Overhead: 4:44p

Moon Overhead: 4:02p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 5:24p 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

3

12a

Tides and Prime Times for JANUARY 2011

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 12:24a +2.0

BEST:

BEST:

-1.0

Moon Underfoot: 2:56a

BEST:

1:00 — 3:00 PM

BEST:

8:30 — 10:30 PM

Moon Underfoot: 3:41a BEST:

2:00 — 4:00 PM

Moon Underfoot: 4:23a BEST:

9:00 — 11:00 PM

Moon Underfoot: 5:04a +2.0

BEST:

12:30 — 2:30 PM

5:00 — 7:00 AM TIDE LEVELS

0

Moon Underfoot: 2:08a

TIDE LEVELS

11:00P — 12:00A

+1.0

Moon Underfoot: 1:18a

High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide:

12:29 am 9:20 am 5:53 pm 10:29 pm

66 |

1.06ft. -0.84ft. 1.14ft. 0.99ft.

High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide:

J A N U A R Y

1:29 am 10:02 am 6:21 pm 10:46 pm

1.04ft. -0.78ft. 1.07ft. 0.91ft.

2 0 1 1

High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide:

2:26 am 10:41 am 6:46 pm 11:12 pm

T E X A S

1.00ft. -0.67ft. 1.00ft. 0.81ft.

High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide:

F I S H

3:21 am 11:16 am 7:08 pm 11:48 pm

&

0.93ft. High Tide: 4:17 am 0.84ft. -0.52ft. Low Tide: 11:48 am -0.34ft. 0.93ft. High Tide: 7:30 pm 0.87ft. 0.70ft.

G A M E ®

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

I N L A N D

12:33 am 5:20 am 12:18 pm 7:50 pm

0.57ft. 0.73ft. -0.15ft. 0.82ft.

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

A L M A N A C

1:23 am 6:35 am 12:45 pm 8:07 pm

0.44ft. 0.63ft. 0.06ft. 0.79ft.

+1.0

0

-1.0


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NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION BEST:

= Peak Fishing Period

7:45-9:40 AM

= FALLING TIDE = RISING TIDE = DAYLIGHT HOURS = NIGHTTIME HOURS

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

10 SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

THURSDAY

 12

11

Set: 6:38p Sunrise: 8:14a Set: 6:38p Sunrise: 8:13a Moonrise: 12:13p Set: 12:31a Moonrise: 12:45p Set: 1:24a

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

13

14

SUNDAY

15

16

Sunrise: 8:13a Moonrise: 1:21p

Set: 6:39p Set: 2:18a

Sunrise: 8:13a Moonrise: 2:02p

Set: 6:40p Set: 3:15a

Sunrise: 8:13a Moonrise: 2:48p

Set: 6:41p Set: 4:14a

Sunrise: 8:13a Moonrise: 3:42p

Set: 6:42p Set: 5:12a

AM Minor: 10:38a

PM Minor: 10:58p

AM Minor: 11:21a

PM Minor: 11:42p

AM Minor: -----

PM Minor: 12:05p

AM Minor: 12:26a

PM Minor: 12:49p

AM Minor: 1:09a

PM Minor: 1:34p

AM Minor: 1:55a

PM Minor: 2:21p

AM Minor: 2:43a

PM Minor: 3:11p

AM Major: 4:28a

PM Major: 4:48p

AM Major: 5:11a

PM Major: 5:32p

AM Major: 5:54a

PM Major: 6:16p

AM Major: 6:37a

PM Major: 7:00p

AM Major: 7:22a

PM Major: 7:47p

AM Major: 8:08a

PM Major: 8:35p

AM Major: 8:57a

PM Major: 9:25p

Moon Overhead: 6:04p 6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 7:29p

Moon Overhead: 6:45p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 8:15p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 9:59p

Moon Overhead: 9:06p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 10:56p 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

Sunrise: 8:14a Set: 6:37p Moonrise: 11:43a Set: None

12a

Tides and Prime Times for JANUARY 2011

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 5:44a +2.0

BEST:

BEST:

-1.0

BEST:

5:00 — 7:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 7:52a BEST:

8:00 — 10:00 PM

Moon Underfoot: 8:40a BEST:

6:30 — 8:30 AM

3:00 — 5:30 PM

Moon Underfoot: 9:32a BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 10:27a +2.0

BEST:

11:00P — 1:00A

8:00 — 10:00 PM TIDE LEVELS

0

Moon Underfoot: 7:07a

TIDE LEVELS

4:30 — 6:30 AM

+1.0

Moon Underfoot: 6:24a

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

2:18 am 8:10 am 1:09 pm 8:21 pm

68 |

0.29ft. 0.55ft. 0.26ft. 0.77ft.

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

J A N U A R Y

3:14 am 10:03 am 1:28 pm 8:29 pm

0.15ft. 0.53ft. 0.44ft. 0.77ft.

2 0 1 1

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

4:09 am 12:25 pm 1:30 pm 8:21 pm

T E X A S

-0.00ft. Low Tide: 4:59 am 0.61ft. High Tide: 7:28 pm 0.61ft. 0.79ft.

F I S H

&

-0.16ft. Low Tide: 5:46 am 0.84ft. High Tide: 6:56 pm

G A M E ®

-0.31ft. Low Tide: 6:31 am 0.91ft. High Tide: 4:04 pm

I N L A N D

-0.47ft. Low Tide: 7:15 am 0.98ft. High Tide: 4:18 pm

A L M A N A C

-0.63ft. 1.06ft.

+1.0

0

-1.0


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 = New Moon  = First Quarter  = Full Moon  = Last Quarter  = Best Day

Tides and Prime Times for JANUARY 2011 MONDAY

TUESDAY

 19

 18

FRIDAY

 20

SATURDAY

 21

SUNDAY

22

23

Sunrise: 8:13a Moonrise: 4:41p

Set: 6:43p Set: 6:10a

Sunrise: 8:13a Moonrise: 5:46p

Set: 6:43p Set: 7:04a

Sunrise: 8:13a Moonrise: 6:53p

Set: 6:44p Set: 7:54a

Sunrise: 8:12a Moonrise: 8:02p

Set: 6:45p Set: 8:39a

Sunrise: 8:12a Moonrise: 9:09p

Set: 6:46p Set: 9:20a

AM Minor: 3:34a

PM Minor: 4:03p

AM Minor: 4:27a

PM Minor: 4:56p

AM Minor: 5:23a

PM Minor: 5:51p

AM Minor: 6:20a

PM Minor: 6:47p

AM Minor: 7:18a

PM Minor: 7:44p

AM Minor: 8:16a

PM Minor: 8:42p

AM Minor: 9:14a

PM Minor: 9:39p

AM Major: 9:48a

PM Major: 10:17p

AM Major: 10:42a

PM Major: 11:11p

AM Major: 11:37a

PM Major: -----

AM Major: 12:06a

PM Major: 12:34p

AM Major: 1:04a

PM Major: 1:31p

AM Major: 2:03a

PM Major: 2:29p

AM Major: 3:01a

PM Major: 3:26p

Moon Overhead: 11:54p

12a

THURSDAY

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 12:52a

Moon Overhead: None 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 1:50a 12a

6a

12p

6p

Sunrise: 8:12a Set: 6:47p Moonrise: 10:15p Set: 9:58a

Moon Overhead: 3:37a

Moon Overhead: 2:44a 12a

6a

12p

6p

Sunrise: 8:11a Set: 6:48p Moonrise: 11:20p Set: 10:35a

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 4:28a 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

 17

WEDNESDAY

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 11:25a +2.0

BEST:

10:30A — 12:30P

-1.0

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 2:17p BEST:

7:00 — 9:00 PM

Moon Underfoot: 3:11p BEST:

12:00 — 2:00 PM

Moon Underfoot: 4:03p BEST:

3:00 — 5:00 AM

11:00A — 1:00P

Moon Underfoot: 4:54p +2.0

BEST:

7:00 — 9:00 PM

TIDE LEVELS

0

BEST:

11:00A — 1:00P

Moon Underfoot: 1:21p

TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

Moon Underfoot: 12:23p

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

7:58 am 4:42 pm 8:44 pm 11:37 pm

-0.77ft. Low Tide: 8:42 am 1.10ft. High Tide: 5:08 pm 0.99ft. Low Tide: 9:13 pm 1.02ft.

-0.86ft. High Tide: 12:59 am 1.11ft. Low Tide: 9:26 am 0.94ft. High Tide: 5:35 pm Low Tide: 9:52 pm

1.03ft. -0.89ft. 1.09ft. 0.83ft.

High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide:

2:12 am 10:09 am 6:01 pm 10:37 pm

1.02ft. -0.84ft. 1.04ft. 0.67ft.

High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide:

3:25 am 10:53 am 6:25 pm 11:26 pm

0.96ft. High Tide: 4:43 am 0.88ft. -0.69ft. Low Tide: 11:37 am -0.45ft. 0.97ft. High Tide: 6:48 pm 0.90ft. 0.46ft.

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

12:20 am 6:08 am 12:21 pm 7:10 pm

0.22ft. 0.77ft. -0.16ft. 0.84ft.

+1.0

0

-1.0


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NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION BEST:

= Peak Fishing Period

7:45-9:40 AM

= FALLING TIDE = RISING TIDE = DAYLIGHT HOURS = NIGHTTIME HOURS

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

24 SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

 26

25

FRIDAY

27

SATURDAY

28

SUNDAY

29

30

Set: 6:49p Sunrise: 8:11a Set: 6:49p Sunrise: 8:10a Set: 11:12a Moonrise: 12:25a Set: 11:51a Moonrise: 1:31a

Set: 6:50p Sunrise: 8:10a Set: 12:33p Moonrise: 2:36a

Set: 6:51p Set: 1:19p

Sunrise: 8:10a Moonrise: 3:39a

Set: 6:52p Set: 2:09p

Sunrise: 8:09a Moonrise: 4:37a

Set: 6:53p Set: 3:03p

Sunrise: 8:09a Moonrise: 5:31a

Set: 6:54p Set: 4:00p

AM Minor: 10:11a

PM Minor: 10:37p

AM Minor: 11:07a

PM Minor: 11:33p

AM Minor: -----

PM Minor: 12:02p

AM Minor: 12:28a

PM Minor: 12:56p

AM Minor: 1:20a

PM Minor: 1:48p

AM Minor: 2:11a

PM Minor: 2:38p

AM Minor: 3:00a

PM Minor: 3:27p

AM Major: 3:58a

PM Major: 4:24p

AM Major: 4:54a

PM Major: 5:20p

AM Major: 5:49a

PM Major: 6:16p

AM Major: 6:42a

PM Major: 7:10p

AM Major: 7:34a

PM Major: 8:02p

AM Major: 8:24a

PM Major: 8:52p

AM Major: 9:13a

PM Major: 9:40p

Moon Overhead: 5:19a

12a

THURSDAY

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 7:04a

Moon Overhead: 6:11a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 7:59a 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 9:51a

Moon Overhead: 8:55a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 10:45a 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

Sunrise: 8:11a Moonrise: None

Tides and Prime Times for JANUARY 2011

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 5:45p +2.0

BEST:

BEST:

-1.0

BEST:

7:30 — 9:30 PM

Moon Underfoot: 8:27p BEST:

8:00 — 10:00 PM

Moon Underfoot: 9:23p BEST:

4:00 — 6:00 AM

2:00 — 3:00 PM

Moon Underfoot: 10:18p BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 11:11p +2.0

BEST:

11:00A — 1:00P

8:00 — 10:00 PM TIDE LEVELS

0

Moon Underfoot: 7:32p

TIDE LEVELS

11:30A — 1:30P

+1.0

Moon Underfoot: 6:38p

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

1:19 am 7:46 am 1:05 pm 7:30 pm

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-0.03ft. 0.69ft. 0.16ft. 0.82ft.

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

J A N U A R Y

2:23 am 9:38 am 1:49 pm 7:47 pm

-0.26ft. 0.67ft. 0.46ft. 0.82ft.

2 0 1 1

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

3:32 am 11:53 am 2:34 pm 8:00 pm

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-0.46ft. Low Tide: 4:42 am 0.75ft. High Tide: 2:42 pm 0.71ft. 0.85ft.

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-0.62ft. Low Tide: 5:49 am 0.90ft. High Tide: 3:38 pm

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-0.73ft. Low Tide: 6:51 am 1.00ft. High Tide: 4:12 pm

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-0.80ft. Low Tide: 1.03ft. High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

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7:46 am 4:39 pm 9:37 pm 11:48 pm

-0.83ft. 1.02ft. 0.87ft. 0.90ft.

+1.0

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 = New Moon  = First Quarter  = Full Moon  = Last Quarter  = Best Day

Tides and Prime Times for JANUARY 2011 MONDAY

TUESDAY

FEB 1

THURSDAY

2

FRIDAY

3

SATURDAY

4

SUNDAY

5

6

Sunrise: 8:08a Moonrise: 6:20a

Set: 6:55p Set: 4:58p

Sunrise: 8:07a Moonrise: 7:03a

Set: 6:56p Set: 5:55p

Sunrise: 8:07a Moonrise: 7:41a

Set: 6:56p Set: 6:52p

Sunrise: 8:06a Moonrise: 8:15a

Set: 6:57p Set: 7:47p

Sunrise: 8:06a Moonrise: 8:46a

Set: 6:58p Set: 8:40p

Sunrise: 8:05a Moonrise: 9:16a

Set: 6:59p Set: 9:31p

Sunrise: 8:04a Moonrise: 9:45a

AM Minor: 3:48a

PM Minor: 4:14p

AM Minor: 4:35a

PM Minor: 5:00p

AM Minor: 5:21a

PM Minor: 5:44p

AM Minor: 6:06a

PM Minor: 6:28p

AM Minor: 6:51a

PM Minor: 7:12p

AM Minor: 7:36a

PM Minor: 7:57p

AM Minor: 8:21a

PM Minor: 8:42p

AM Major: 10:01a

PM Major: 10:27p

AM Major: 10:47a

PM Major: 11:12p

AM Major: 11:33a

PM Major: 11:56p

AM Major: 11:52a

PM Major: 12:17p

AM Major: 12:41a

PM Major: 1:02p

AM Major: 1:26a

PM Major: 1:46p

AM Major: 2:11a

PM Major: 2:31p

Moon Overhead: 11:37a 6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 1:14p

Moon Overhead: 12:27p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 1:58p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 3:21p

Moon Overhead: 2:40p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Set: 7:00p Set: 10:23p

Moon Overhead: 4:01p 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

31

12a

WEDNESDAY

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: None +2.0

BEST:

0

-1.0

BEST:

12:30 — 2:30 PM

Moon Underfoot: 1:36a BEST:

8:00 — 10:00 PM

Moon Underfoot: 2:19a BEST:

12:00 — 2:00 PM

Moon Underfoot: 3:01a BEST:

3:30 — 5:30 AM

Moon Underfoot: 3:41a +2.0

BEST:

11:00A — 1:00P

3:30 — 5:30 AM TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 12:51a

TIDE LEVELS

12:00 — 2:00 PM

Moon Underfoot: 12:03a

Low Tide: 8:33 am High Tide: 4:59 pm Low Tide: 9:40 pm Feb

-0.80ft. High Tide: 12:59 am 0.96ft. Low Tide: 9:15 am 0.82ft. High Tide: 5:15 pm Low Tide: 9:48 pm

0.91ft. -0.73ft. 0.90ft. 0.73ft.

High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide:

2:00 am 9:52 am 5:30 pm 10:05 pm

0.90ft. -0.63ft. 0.85ft. 0.62ft.

High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide:

2:55 am 10:24 am 5:44 pm 10:30 pm

0.88ft. -0.49ft. 0.80ft. 0.50ft.

High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide:

3:49 am 10:53 am 6:00 pm 11:01 pm

0.84ft. -0.33ft. 0.77ft. 0.38ft.

High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide:

4:43 am 11:19 am 6:15 pm 11:37 pm

0.78ft. High Tide: 5:41 am 0.72ft. -0.15ft. Low Tide: 11:44 am 0.04ft. 0.74ft. High Tide: 6:29 pm 0.73ft. 0.26ft.

+1.0

0

-1.0


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Bay Fox Built for Inshore SEA FOX BOAT COMPANY INTRODUCES THE PRO Series 220XT Bay Fox. Measuring over 22’, this precision cut CAD-design was built for inshore and nearshore waters. It has the right amount of freeboard for a low wind profile, without sacrificing safety. The boat’s reverse transom and wide 8’6” beam make it stylish and stable. The downward progressive strakes and Carolina flair offer a dry ride, while the low bow rise and quick plane time can be attributed to the integrated planing pods. A stepped hull was integrated to achieve fuel efficiency and horsepower maximization. The 220XT has standards such as aerated live wells (2); lockable rod storage (up to 10); side mount console rod holders (6); oversized folding rear jumpseats with cushions (2); trolling motor plug with harness; a console with a finished fiberglass liner with lockable compartments; plus more. It also has an upgraded five-position flip-flop seat with a 94-quart removable cooler, recessed toe hold, seat with backrest on the console, and dash space for flush-

Pro Series 220 XT from Sea Fox boats.

mount electronics. Deck space is Bay Fox maximized through ample storage and compact splashwell. The 220XT offers options such as: bimini top; blue mood lights; fishing chair; Garmin depth/fish finder; Jensen stereo with speakers (4); leaning post with a backrest and 72-quart removable cooler; pull-up cleats; on-board battery charger; raw water washdown; spray shield; tunnel hull. It also offers a Team Edition (TE) Package: 800 GPH Rule Tournament Series live well Shoal Draft boats in 14-, 15- and 16foot models.

East Bay

pumps (2), cushioned foot mat, LED live well light, Sea Fox tackle bag, TE decal, utility and knife rack. Each Sea Fox is built using the Fibre4System, a high-density foam-core hull, hand-rolled fiberglass, nonskid deck surfaces, stainless steel hardware and closed cell foam flotation. All Sea Fox boats are NMMA Certified and meet or exceed USCG standards. All Sea Fox boats have a Lifetime Hull Warranty and are powered with Yamaha outboards. To see the current 2011 Sea Fox line up, find a dealer in your area or request a catalog, please visit www.seafoxboats.com.

Get Skinny with New EastBay Shoal Draft Boats USING ALL COMPOSITE BUILDING TECHniques and top of the line materials, they make the boats we build lighter, stronger and more efficient. All of their models are designs that you may have owned in the past, built by manufactures that were using techniques for their time, and East Bay brings those designs out of the past and into the future. The design has been proven over the years and we reinvented

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the design with our all composite construction and hand laid techniques. They are currently building four center console models; sizes range from 14 foot to 18 foot; standard colors white/gray/oyster; custom colors options; livewells; raised consoles and dry storage options available; and complete boat/motor & trailer packages. Up first is the 14 Scooter-T: it can be rigged as a tiller or remote center console, max 50hp. The 15 Bass & Bay: a liner model with a tiller or remote set-up, rear cast deck with dry storage option, side or center console. Their Super Hi Performance ScooterCat 16: maximum efficiency, minimum horse power, eats the hard chop up – it’s a very dry & stable design. EastBay’s largest model is the 17/18 Tunnel-V: Hi bow, low stern, self bailing, full tunnel fishing boat. Get Skinny on an EastBay. Call them at 979-323-9087 or visit them on the web www.txeastbayboats.com.

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New 2011 NauticStar 210 Inland SURE TO BE THE CROWD PLEASER, THE NEW 210 Inland does it all. 3 cross rear seating and bow seats for 5 make the 210 a relaxing pleasure boat. Then you can get serious about fishing with standard features like a center console with rod A serious fishing boat with plenty of room.

210 Inland

holders, 2 aerated bait wells and an in floor cast net storage. The aft and bow seats even convert into casting platforms. Not just a crowd pleaser, the 210 Inland loves a crowd. More New 2011 features include: Air Assisted Chine, Built-in Jack Plate, Removable Bow Cushions. For more standard features and specs on the new NauticStar 210 Inland, go to www.nauticstarboats.com or visit a dealer nearest you.


12/8/10

11:51 AM

The Portable Limb

PHOTOS: OUTDOOR LOGICS

DEER HUNTING IN TEXAS MEANS FEEDERS throwing out corn twice a day near a tripod, box, or tree stand. That’s just the way it is. I have no doubt that the majority of you reading this have a feeder sitting out there right now on either three or four legs,

and it’s the legs that are the biggest problem with the feeder. First, raccoons use the legs to get to the timer and either tear it off or spin it manually to get to the corn. If coons aren’t your problem then you probably have hogs that are notorious for pushing on the legs to knock the whole thing over. Well, the folks at Outdoor Logics have overcome the need for legs by producing The Portable Limb. Now any tree can be used to suspend your feeder. You may not know it but you are already familiar with Outdoor Logics, just under a different name. Lonnie Stanley, who you know because of his high quality bass jigs and spinnerbaits sold by Texas based Stanley Lures (fishstanley.com), is the one that came up with the idea for The Portable Limb. Lonnie likes to do more 74 |

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than fish and needed a better way to put out his feeders, making them more portable. I used one this past season to hang a feeder holding 40 pounds of corn from a pine tree and the Portable Limb just laughed at the weight. The Portable Limb is heavy duty, using one inch 12 gauge tubing, and rated to hold 250 pounds of whatever you want to hang on the end. Being thorough I decided to test it and can Hang your feeder honestly from a tree. say it will hold my Portable Limb almost 200 pound self without bending or breaking. Most of you will hang The Portable Limb at just about eye level, using a ladder or ATV to place it in a tree. However, Lonnie advised that a lot of his hunters have great success using a climbing stand to put the Portable Limb 20 or 30 feet up in a tree. By attaching a pulley (or two) these hunters can easily hoist their feeder way up into the tree so that the deer never even know it is there. While the original intent of The Portable Limb was to hang a feeder it can also be used to skin your deer after the hunt. Just hang it in a tree, run a rope through the eyebolt with a gambrel on one end

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and hoist your deer up for skinning. If you’re so inclined you can even use The Portable limb to hang your wife’s hanging plants or bird feeder in the back yard, but we’ll probably make fun of you if you do. Outdoorlogics.com —Paul Bradshaw

The Original Tuff Truck Bag SOMETIMES I COME ACROSS THINGS TOO LATE. This was the case with the Original Tuff Truck Bag. A nasty, tornado producing front was dropping buckets of rain on my truck as I headed home after a weekend of deer hunting. My whole family was in the cab of the truck, and part of our gear was stuffed into trash bags in the bed, trying to keep it as dry as possible. The rest of our gear had to stay at the deer camp because we ran out of bags. When I got home I saw an advertisement for the Tuff Truck Bag, if I had only known about this a few days earlier I wouldn’t have a bag full of soggy underwear. The Original Tuff Truck Bag is a simple means of keepKeeps gear dry in pickup beds.

Tuff Truck Bag

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PHOTOS: TUFF TRUCK BAG

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PHOTO: SKYHORSE PUBLISHING

ing all your gear dry without limiting the usability of your truck bed by installing a shell or tonnuea cover. Constructed of what their website describes as a nonbreathable PVC material (think very heavy flatbed truck tarps), the bag sits in the bed of your truck when in use but folds up for easy storage when the weather is nice. I currently keep mine under the backseat of my truck ready to use if there is inclement weather. The specifications advise that it is 40” wide, by 50” long, and 22” tall with 26 cubic feet of storage. While I didn’t measure it to verify these dimensions I can tell you it holds a lot of stuff. A few weeks after the soggy trip home the family and I took another hunting trip in the rain, this time armed with the Tuff Truck Bag and I packed that thing full. There were four duffle bags, four backpacks, a few guns, ammo boxes, cleaning kits, boots, a kitchen sink, and I still had room to cram more junk. The Tuff Truck Bag comes with D rings at every corner and four bungee cords to secure it to the bed of the truck. The first time you use it the adjustable bungeed cords can be tricky but after you get the cords adjusted for you specific truck set up is a breeze taking less than a minute. Filling the bag with gear is a simple thanks to an opening that takes up the entire end of the bag, so large items are easily placed inside. The bag is closed with a large zipper, and a flap (held down by Velcro) covering the zipper to make the bag completely waterproof. This bag is a great addition to any truck, giving you the flexibility to continue using your truck as usual, while allowing you too keep your gear dry when needed. Tufftruckbag.com

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Page 75

The Modern Day Gunslinger There have been very few good books written about learning to use and then using a handgun in self-defense. The best I had ever read, until recently, was No Second Place Winner, written by the late Bill Jordan, Assistant Chief Patrol Agent of the United States Border Patrol, and a world renowned gunslick. I had the privilege of seeing Jordan perform once, and let me tell you, it was an impressive performance. I was still in high school at the time, my father had just joined the Border Patrol, and my own career was far in the dim future. At that time I was contemplating a career as a.... Well, I didn't have a clue. However, that was the moment in time when I began seriously practicing with a handgun. And I confess that after over 40 years of practice I still cannot do what Jordan did. No shame, just fact. Now there is another book out on the open market that is head and shoulders above No Second Place Winner as a text book for handgunners. It teaches so many wonderful things that I cannot recount even a fraction of them here in Ultimate handgun this article, training manual. but I will share a few, just to Gunslinger whet your appetite. The book is titled “The Modern Day Gunslinger” and is touted, correctly, as “the ultimate handgun training manual. It is written by Don Mann, a retired U.S. Navy SEAL. It is published by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. T E X A S

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He begins the book with the Latin “Cogito, ergo armatum sum” which translates to, “I think, therefore I am armed.” I think that says it all. It has been my personal motto for more than 30 years. Chapter 1 is “Weapons and Range Safety.” It covers the subject in a way that makes it plain that there is no excuse for accidents, which is true. If you follow the instructions Mann gives, you will be a safe handgunner, but ready for strife if it should appear. He covers dry-firing – a very important aspect of learning to use a handgun. And he again stresses safety. Over the years I have seen several accidents where an unloaded gun got mysteriously loaded during a dry firing drill and a shot was fired. Luckily, nobody was injured in any of the instances I am aware of, the only damage being to a speedometer, a clock, a television, a car door, and a stuffed pheasant, but the stupidity of it all proves that it was only because of divine intervention that someone wasn't killed or seriously injured. Chapter 3 is “Use of Force.” This is the reason you carry a gun. While you should pray that you never have to use it, you must be physically and mentally prepared to do so. Mann tells you everything you need to know about this aspect of going armed. Other chapters include: Living in a Battlefield, Combat Mindset, Defensive Handgun Ammunition, The Draw Strokes, Multiple Shots, Follow-Through and Scan, Concealed Carry and Holsters, and more. There are many more important aspects to this book. It is a book that should be mandatory reading for every person who carries a gun, whether a civilian, policeman, or military. My advice to you is: buy it, read it, and then read it again at least once a year. In fact, I think every person who applies for a concealed carry permit should be required to read it. It is that good.

G A M E ®

On the Web www.outdoorlogics.com www.tufftruckbag.com www.skyhorsepublishing.com J A N U A R Y

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ny,” said Steven Parks, vice president Sales and co-owner of Parks Mfg. In early October 2010, Silver Wave had its first dealer meeting at the Parks facility in Seminole. Dealers, vendors and media guests were taken on an extensive tour of the facilty and shown the many advantages of a family owned and operated PARKS MFG., INC. OF SEMINOLE OK, MAKERS OF boat company when it comes to quality, Blue Wave Boats, has developed a new engineering and craftsmanship. line of high quality pontoon boats, which SilverWave Pontoons will be available they have named Silver Wave. in Play models for enjoying water sports in As a strategic move to grow and create comfort and style, with rear-facing lounges new jobs in a tough economy, the company and built-in ice chests. There will also be chose to diversify into other segments of the Fish models for families who like to wet a boating industry. line when they go out on the water—comParks Mfg. started in business in 1992, plete with fishing chairs, rod holders and built a state-of-the-art 165,000 sq. ft. prolive wells. duction facility in Seminole in 2006, and Silver Wave Pontoons come in 20-foot to 23-foot lengths, with lifetime guaranteed decking and 25-inch diameter pontoons. They also will be available in a tri-poon model, called the “Triple Play” that has industry-leading performance that has to be seen to be believed. Bill Nickle, an industry veteran with over 20 years experience in pontoon engineering and production, has joined the Parks team. “With Bill’s help, we have designed a line of pontoons with superior structural strength, performance, and the latest comforts for the family boating experience,” said Roger Parks, co-owner and CEO of Parks Mfg. One of the many innovations built into Initially, Silver Wave will come in the new Silver Wave pontoon boats is seven base models; the Parks will has an available changing room. work with their dealers to grow the opened line to meet the needs of their Silver Wave Pontoon two market. As with Blue Wave other Boats, they will also be able to offer custom divisions prior to their Silver Wave expan-built pontoon boats. sion. “Silver Wave will be a high-quality “We are excited about this opportunity product but will be priced to make sure to reach new customers and new areas... that the customer feels he is getting more our Blue Wave line has increased its revvalue out of every dollar he spends with enue since summer began and we look forour dealers,” said Richard Parks, co-owner ward to the Silver Wave line further and VP Engineering. strengthening our already-debt free compa-

PHOTO: PARKS MFG.

Blue Wave Launches New Boat Line

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Another New Pathfinder FOR THE SECOND TIME LAST SUMMER, MAVERick Boat Company introduced a totally new model to its venerable Pathfinder bay boat line, the 2200 TRS. Combining an upgraded deck layout and integrated aft deck seating, this boat is designed for family versatility on the water. Along with the recently introduced high performance, stepped hull 2300 HPS, this marks the biggest single year product launch since the brand’s inception in 1998. The TRS has a large foredeck with oversized anchor locker and lockable bow storage compartments that can accommodate rods to 9 feet and skis or wakeboards. The roomy aft deck has a 28-gallon center live well, two seats with flip-up backrests and storage underneath, and dedicated rigging and storage boxes. Walk-around room in the cockpit is added by a raised console with toe kick that allows interior access either through a large removable bi-fold door or a cutout behind the standard backrest cushion on the front. The hull enhances a proven running surface with a 25-inch transom and integrated trim tab pockets. Though the boat is rated for up to a 250 horsepower, Pathfinder expects it be most commonly packaged with Yamaha’s economical and efficient F150. “We are really excited about this boat. It’s a go most anywhere, do most anything boat for the whole family without the typical tradeoffs. It’s a perfect compliment to our line-up”, said Scott Deal, MBC President and owner. Pathfinder Boats are manufactured by Maverick Boat Company Inc, builders of the legendary Maverick, Hewes and Cobia boats brands. For more information, go to www.pathfinderboats.com or www.mbcboats.com.

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Boating & RV Trends 2011 DALLAS INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW

THIS SECIAL SECTION SPONSORED BY

February 4-6; 9-13, 2011

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55TH ANNUAL HOUSTON BOAT SHOW

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PHOTOS COURTESY ANCIRA RV CENTER

April 7-10, 2011

ALL VALLEY BOAT SHOW February 25-27, 2011

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Boating & RV Trends 2011 BY LENNY RUDOW WHEN IT COMES TO THE CURRENT state of the boat buying market, metaphors abound. We hear about rough economic weather, sinking sales, the stormy seas of finance, and businesses gurgling beneath the waters of insolvency. And you can forget about rising tides and calm waters; those disappeared along with the national budget surplus and rising home values. But, just how bad is the boating industry? Haven’t manufacturers been scaling back, consolidating, and trimming operations for several years now? Isn’t the economy seeing some positive indicators these days? There is no simple one-size-fits-all answer, but one thing’s for sure: No matter how bad it is for boat dealers and builders, there is a bright side to this story if you look for it.

Heartless Numbers To gain some insight into the current state of boating, we must look at some cold, hard numbers. The latest data from the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association (NMMA) is disheartening at first glance. Up through this summer, sales of powerboats 15 feet and up (based on by new boat registrations) declined just over 10 percent nationally. That was considered relatively good, since the same period in 2009 was off by 35 percent. Outboard aluminum powered boats in the 18-foot range sold best, while pleasure boat sales were down more than fishing boat sales. The bright side to these stats is Texas led the charge with the largest number of new aluminum boat registrations in the nation. 78 |

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Boating & RV Trends 2011 Despite the availability of this data, a lot of questions remain unanswered. “A big problem right now is that there is no consistency, no history we can use as a reference,” said David Christian, President of LMC Marine Inc., which sells 10 brands of boats and motors and is the world’s largest Triton dealer. “Not only is every quarter different, every week is different. It’s like you are going fishing on an unfamiliar lake and you don’t know whether the fish will be hitting on the surface, down deep, or in between. And what type of bait should you use? No one knows. Fortunately, many people who want boats and have the ability to buy them are starting to get past the economic fear. So, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. We can see it now, even though sometimes we’re not sure if it’s a light at the end, or a train that’s about to hit us.” Consumer demand isn’t the only prob-

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lem the industry in general and dealerships in particular have to contend with. Commercial credit is also a huge issue. “There is a vacuum on the wholesale side,” said Christian. “Getting floor-plan can be difficult, because there are really very few options. And if you can get it, the lender might try to micro-manage.” Ken Lovell, Executive Director of the Boating Trades Association of Metropolitan Houston, agreed that credit is an issue. “Consumer financing has become a challenge to boat dealers trying to make sales in today’s market,” Lovell said. But there might be better days on the way with regards to credit, too. “Recently, the Small Business Lending Bill was passed by Congress in an effort to free up the credit markets for these types of businesses. Hopefully, this will help the entire recreational marine industry.” He also sees a brightening future with regards to demand. “The feedback we received from the exhibitors at our last show indicated that attendees and customers were in a buying mood. A number of boats were sold at the show. If you go out on the water, you can see that boaters are still using their boats in large numbers. Talking to dealers, it has been an excellent year for refurbishing work and used boat sales. I think the outcome of the November elections could have a strong influence on new boat sales for 2011, but whatever the outcome, I do not believe boating will slow down.” When asked what else he sees coming in 2011, Lovell said: “I think one of the biggest problems facing the industry right now is financial uncertainty regarding tax issues for 2011. Hopefully, the elections will help build consumer confidence and encourage new boat sales. We’re in the process of preparing for the Houston International Boat, Sport & Travel Show (January 7-16, 2011), and I would encourage everyone from around the state to visit our show. It will cover over 16 acres and will house well over 1000 boats, along with travel trailers and campers, fishing tackle, wakeboards and accessories, fishing and hunting guides, and myriad other outdoor products. The response from the dealers

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Hot Sellers BASS BOATS: Low-cost aluminum might be making new inroads, but high-end bass boats from the likes of Ranger, Skeeter, and Triton are selling. Customers buying boats today want maximum power, all the bells and whistles, and high-performance boat/motor/trailer packages. The mid-range is suffering. BAY BOATS: Big-name bay boat builders like Blue Wave, Pathfinder, Pro-Line, Shearwater, and Triton, as well as custom Texas shallow-water boats like those made by Dargel, Haynie, and Shallow Sports are seeing decent demand. Again, high-end, rigged-to-the-teeth boats are outselling stripped, inexpensive versions of the same models, and moderately priced boats are not selling as well as either end of the extreme. HUNTING BOATS: Aluminum boats in the 14- to 18-foot range powered with 30- to 60-hp outboard engines are moving best. Hot brands include Alumacraft, Tracker, and Xpress. OFFSHORE BOATS: Center consoles are the top pick. Middleof-the-road cruisers and cabin boats usually chosen by less dedicated anglers are sitting idle on the dealer lots. Twenty-something outboard-powered center consoles from the likes of Cobia, Mako, and Pro-Line are the most likely to sell. Some in the lower cost niche such as Sea Hunt are also selling.

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Boating & RV Trends 2011 and exhibitors has been excellent. In fact, it’s even better than in 2010. Boating is still one of the most affordable and fun ways to spend quality time with family and friends.”

Heartfelt Numbers Fortunately, studies show that Lovell is correct. The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) performed a study of consumer attitudes toward boating last summer and found that the No. 1 predictor of future boat purchase intent was around family and friends that enjoy boating. A healthy 40 percent said they were likely or somewhat likely to buy a new boat between 15 and 25 feet within the next three years. The study found that anglers in particular have not reduced the amount of time spent fishing and actually expect to fish more in the future.

Unfortunately, over a third also said the biggest impediment to going out on the water is a lack of free time. This also relates back to the economy; people are working longer and harder just to maintain current incomes. Although only 22 percent surveyed felt that they were worse off financially than one year ago, 75 percent formed more cautious spending habits and don’t expect to return to their old ones. Over half said they wouldn’t finance a boat purchase, but buy a less expensive boat outright. They are aware of the current difficulties with financing and, perhaps more importantly, people are acutely aware of just how much financial trouble Americans got into during the downturn due to financed debt. They want to avoid these pitfalls in the future. Another industry trend seems to be a move to higher quality, even if in a smaller boat. “People seem to be ratcheting down

the size a little, but not the quality,” said Billy Holmes, Jr., VP of Gulf Coast Marine. “If someone was looking at a 40foot Cabo before, now maybe they are looking at a 35-foot Everglades. They will accept a smaller boat that costs less, but they still want the best boat in that class.” Gulf Coast Marine has been in business since 1954, and has seen many economic changes through the years. Though it will come as a surprise to some, Holmes isn’t so sure that this downturn is the worst the Texas boating industry has been through. “The oil bust in the 80s was this bad,” he said. “And we came through it. The economy has its ups and downs, but if people like to fish, they are going to buy a boat. It might be a less expensive boat, but they will buy what they can afford.” After-sale service is a factor in some buying decisions. “Overall boat sales may be down, but it’s really hurting dealerships that don’t do service,” said Fred Lester, VP at Redwing boats. “Those that take care of their customers are much better off, in the long run.” Some custom and niche boat builders also have an edge. “Niche boats weren’t hurt as bad as mass builders, although election years are never very good,” said Cleve Ford, President of Dargel Boats and of the Lower Rio Grande Boating Trades Association. “But at this point, most of the old inventory and repossessions are cleared out, and although we lost some dealers, the ones that are left are stronger and 2011 should be a good year.”

RVs & Campers Other outdoors industries are facing the same types of issues. RV sales, for example, are often compared with boat sales since both compete for disposable income spent on family-oriented recreation. The RV market is clearly trending towards better times. “The industry is on a rebound, there’s no doubt about it,” said Clark McEwan, Executive Director of the Texas Recreational Vehicle Association. “The economy 82 |

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2011 Boat & RV Show Calendar HOUSTON: 55TH ANNUAL HOUSTON BOAT SHOW January 7 -16, 2011 Reliant Center 8400 Kirby Drive Houston, TX 77573 (713) 526-6361 www.houstonboatshows.com

McAllen Convention Center 700 Convention Center Blvd., McAllen, TX 78501 (956) 682-5566 www.allvalleyboatshow.com

AUSTIN: AUSTIN BOAT, SPORT & OUTDOOR SHOW January 20-23, 2011 Austin Convention Center 500 E. Cesar Chavez, Austin, TX 78701 (512) 494-1128 www.austinboatshow.com RIO GRANDE VALLEY: ALL VALLEY BOAT SHOW February 25-27, 2011

SAN ANTONIO: SAN ANTONIO BOAT & RV SHOW January 27-30, 2011 Alamodome 100 Montana Street San Antonio, TX, 78203 (512) 481 -1777 www.sanantonioboatshow.com CORPUS CHRISTI: 54TH ANNUAL BOAT SHOW AND SALE January 28-30, 2011 American Bank Convention Ctr. 1901 North Shoreline Blvd Corpus Christi, TX

(361) 643-2258 www.ccboatshow.com LONGVIEW: 29TH ANNUAL BOAT, RV & CAMPING EXPO January 28-30, 2011 Maude Cobb Activity Center & Exhibition Hall Longview, TX 75604 (903) 237-4021 www.texaslakecountryexpo.com DALLAS: DALLAS INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW February 4-6; 9-13, 2011 Dallas Market Hall 2200 Stemmons Freeway Dallas, TX 75207 www.dallasboatshow.net

OTHER SHOWS: TEXAS INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW: April 7-10, 2011 Corpus Christi Marina People's Street T-Head Corpus Christi, TX 78401 (361) 425-9920 www.txintlboatshow.com SOUTH WEST INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW: April 14-17, 2011 South Shore Harbour Marina League City, TX 77573 (561) 842-8808 www.southwestinternationalboats how.com

kept people from spending for the past two years, but the desire to buy never went away. There’s a lot of pent up demand out there.” McEwan credits the “Go RVing” campaign (www.gorving.org) for helping keep interest levels strong, but also considers the impacts of lenders and financing: “Credit unions have been really important, because it’s been more difficult for people to get loans the past couple of years. We’re seeing more cash payments and larger down payments, and in 2011 and 2012, we hope to see the banks loosen up a bit. The demand is definitely out there. Attendance is up at the shows—about 30 percent at the Dallas Super Show—and things look very promising.” So, what’s the bottom line for the boating industry? The seas are still choppy and sales have not yet stopped sinking, but the outgoing current has slowed and there is a change coming as certain as the changing of the tide.

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quicker expansion, causing extreme trauma to the nervous system, and, hopefully, causing instant incapacitation. Complete penetration is something to be avoided because of the possibility of the bullet striking an innocent by-stander behind the target. Death is not the desired result of a self defense round, but instant cessation of physical action is.

Personal Defense Ammo WAS ASKED ONE TIME, “IF A 125-GRAIN hollow point .357 Magnum is such a great manstopper, why is it not recommend for deer hunting?” This is a great question and deserves an answer.

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First, a cartridge and bullet for self defense is not intended, necessarily, to kill, but is intended to stop, as nearly instantaneously as possible, the motor functions of a person. A bullet designed to kill is made to give deep, positive penetration, hold together, and cause fatal damage to internal organs. Complete penetration is often considered a good thing as it causes a better blood trail. Instant incapacitation is not a necessity, but a quick kill is mandatory. A quick kill being defined as a dead animal within, say, 50 yards and 10 seconds. A bullet intended for self defense is made to give shallower penetration and

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Another question I get: “I have a little .25 automatic that I carry. Is that a good gun for self defense?” Answer: Hell no! If you are going to carry a gun, carry one with enough power to do the job. The .25 ACP is less powerful than a .22 Long Rifle hollow point. It may kill, but that will almost certainly be a long time after the encounter that caused the shot is over and done and you have been beat, cut, or shot to pieces. Remember the instant incapacitation part of self defense! The .25 ACP is useless as a self defense round. The .32 ACP is very little better. Leave them both at the gun shop and look for something with more power. The .380 ACP is the very minimum I can recommend. Loaded with 90-grain Federal Hydra-Shok ammunition it is the smallest practical self defense round, and it is not nearly as good as the larger and more powerful rounds. The only time the .380 should

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be considered is when concealability is of paramount importance. The real self defense cartridges start with the .38 Special and the 9mm Luger. Both of these rounds, especially in the +P and +P+ hollow point offerings are reasonably good manstoppers. The .38 Special shooting the 129-grain Federal Hydra-Shok hollow point is my personal minimum. If I am going to bet my life on a cartridge's ability to stop a crook in his tracks, I want to be sure it is up to the job. When I was an active duty Border Patrol Agent in the 1990's, I carried a Glock 17 in 9mm Luger. The Border Patrol supplied ammunition and its effectiveness was proven time and again in armed encounters all across the Southern Border. It was a 115grain hollow point loaded to specifications supplied by the Border Patrol. The Federal load was specified as 9 BPLE and chronographed at over 1200 feet per second. Today it would be called a +P+ round. I still have some and am protecting it like the crown jewels. In current ammo I think the Federal 124-grain Hydra-Shok or 115grain C9BP Personal Defense round are the best available. Also good are the Speer Gold Dot 124-grain +P, Barnes XPB 115gr HP, and Winchester Ranger-T 127gr JHP +P+. In the .357, the various 110- and 125grain hollow points are very good. The Federal 125-grain offering has long been thought to be the best, but there are many loads that are just as good. The Speer Gold Dot is really good, as is Winchester's Super X. Bullets heavier than 125 grains are prone to excessive penetration. In the larger calibers one has to be especially careful of over penetration. This is something that is almost unavoidable with such rounds as the .45 Colt and the .44 Magnum when using the standard 240- and 250-grain loads. However, there are loads that are wonderful manstoppers and which lessen, to some extent, the problem of excessive penetration. Using a lighter weight bulI N L A N D

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let, like for instance a .225-grain hollow point in the .45 Colt, turns it from a deep penetrating hunting round into one of the best personal defense loads made. One of the top loads in the .45 Colt is the Winchester Supreme Elite Bonded PDX 225grain hollow point. This load pushes a .45 caliber bullet along at 850 feet per second. Recoil is mild and it hits like the proverbial “brick through a plate glass window.” The .44 Magnum is not generally considered a personal defense round, but properly loaded it can be one of the best. The best factory load I know of is the Federal 240-grain Hydra-Shok at 1210 feet per second. I would actually prefer that this load was cooled off to about 1000 feet per second, which would further decrease the danger of over-penetration, but at 1200 it is one heck of a manstopper. Another good .44 Magnum load is the Hornady 180-grain XTP. This one is a real screamer at over 1500 fps, and requires a very experienced handgunner to handle it well. But it should be as good a defense load as it is possible to pack into a handgun. Another way to minimize the over-penetration of your .44 Magnum, is to shoot .44 Specials in it. Federal loads a 200-grain semi-wadcutter hollow point and Hornady makes the 180-grain XTP. Either would be a good manstopper. I am testing some new ammo from Cor®Bon, for .45 Colt and .44 Magnum. Both loads consist of a solid copper hollow point weighing 225 grains. The .44 load is rated at 1300 fps, the .45 Colt load claims 1200 fps. That is a moderate load for the big .44, but the load for the big Colt is smokin'! Cor®Bon claims that these bullets will expand reliably yet retain 100% weight, even after penetrating glass or steel. It is called DPX and is extremely good ammo, if rather expensive. But, how much is your life worth? In the .45 ACP my personal favorite is the Federal 230-grain Hydra-Shok. I think this is the most dependable manstopper ever made in the .45 ACP, and it functions flawlessly in my Colt Lightweight Commander. Also good are the Federal 185-grain jacketed hollow point, Cor®Bon's load using a 185-grain Sierra hollow point, CCI's Lawman 200-grain hollow point, Speer Gold Dot, and Remington Golden Sabre. Hardball is not as reliable a stopper as the jacketed hollow points, but some guns do not feed I N L A N D

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the JHPs reliably. Use JHPs if you can, but if not the 230-grain ball is a decent manstopper; especially when compared to other old style “police loads.” Conclusion: Stay away from the pipsqueak cartridges. If you are going to carry a gun for self-defense, carry one with sufficient power to get the job done. I suggest nothing smaller than the .38 Special or 9mm Luger, and in these two it is necessary to choose your ammunition wisely. The standard old 158-grain lead round-nose bullet in the .38 is a terrible choice. Instead buy something with a good hollow point at top velocity. Something in 110- or 125-grains in the +P loading is probably best. The same applies to the 9mm. Stay away from the hard ball ammo. It gives much too much penetration and very little stopping power.

velocity of the old .32 Smith & Wesson Long until it seems to be a decent manstopper. I am testing it now and it seems to have what it takes to get the job done. The load I have been playing with is the Federal Premium 85-grain Hydra-Shok Low Recoil. Recoil is negligible, accuracy is great, and it should be a great round for ladies or men who are recoil sensitive. That's about it. As my old cop buddy M.D. Beale says. “Stay safe and watch six.” If you require more specific information on a specific cartridge/handgun combination, you can write me at my email address below.

One last thing: There is a new kid on the block that offers some interesting ballistics. That is the .327 Federal Magnum. I have never had any confidence in the .32 calibers, but this round has pushed the

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E-mail Steve LaMascus at guns@fishgame.com

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Those Late Season Hunts O TEXAS BOW HUNTERS, JANUARY USUALLY means the end of another bow hunting season. My wife would consider it a golden opportunity to finally get a few things done around the ole hacienda. Either way, it is the end of fun, as we know it! Although winter has truly taken a grip on Texas, some parts of our State still enjoy a few more days to try their luck and fill those tags. Harvesting a whitetail this late in the season might be tough, but certainly not impossible. It is time to think like a deer… act like a deer… and react to any changes you see the deer in your area make. Mating is not the priority now. You still may find a few bucks that are still chasing a few does around, but it is not the number one thing on their mind. Nourishment and survival instincts once again return. After a very busy season of fighting with other bucks, chasing does for over 2 months and avoiding any danger from predators, the bucks that are still around are totally wiped. They have spent more time following does around that their food intake has diminished substantially… and so has their energy. As a matter of fact, if you are one of the lucky ones who bag a deer this late in the season, you will find that the meat of a buck is very sticky compared to one harvested earlier in the year. There is nothing wrong with your deer. He is just emaciated from all of his activities. The meat may taste a little stronger as well. This is the time when the hunting gets

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serious. Time to separate the men from the boys (sorry ladies… just an expression). I just mean that the hunting may get a little tougher if you want to fill your tag. Try hunting in a place where you would never think of going during the season. A small patch of woods very near a highway may be what you are looking for. A tiny island of brush may hold the buck of your dreams. These deer did not get to be giants by being stupid. They have adapted well to most hunting tactics. That is why you need to shake things up a bit. Believe me, by now; the deer know where all of your stands are. They have smelled or encountered danger there before and have abandoned the area entirely. Oh, they will return to their favorite hangouts again but it will not be until long after things calm down in the woodlot. Last season, I had one of those “I’ll never forget that” experiences. It was the end of the season and I was visiting a friend who lives just outside a small town. When I say just outside, you could throw a rock to the town line. It was mid day when I had to leave. I went out in his yard and in an adjoining field was one of those small brush patches I was talking about. I said to myself… “I wonder…” I headed directly towards that mini deer haven. I found myself quite close before I was convinced that nothing was there. All of a sudden that small patch that was now a mere 15 yards in front of me, exploded with one of the nicest bucks I had ever seen. He felt secure lying in that small patch in the middle of nowhere. He would never suspect any danger and would never see the arrow coming. You simply would need to get there before he does and wait for your opportunity. I know that sounds way to easy. You would be right. Most of the time, you would wait in places like these talking to yourself about what a waste of time this is. I have been there… I know your frustration, but hard times call for hard measures. I think that one of the most important

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things to think about when you are hunting those late season deer is to be in the woods very early. The whitetails have learned that they need to get close to their safe place covered by a blanket of darkness. You just need to be there first! You may hear a deer work his way to his bed while it is still dark. That just means you are in for a long sit as you wait for him to get up and move around a bit. Of course, you still need to control your human scent, but if you can get close to his safe bedding area, he will soon find out that buck is about to have a bad day! A heavy thicket in the middle of a woodlot offers a perfect sanctuary for deer. They can hear when danger approaches and leave undetected. If you are fortunate enough, you could set up just outside one of these hot spots well before dark thirty. Find yourself a well-used deer run, check the wind direction, and sit in the darkness. The biggest problem I have is staying awake! Getting up early and being quiet as I approach my hunting spot is no problem for me. Once I am there and comfortable, I tend to doze off and I would miss an opportunity of a lifetime. My wife tells me I snore so loud that I might mess up everybody else’s opportunity too if you are hunting within 5 miles of my location! Being successful this late in the season can be frustrating… but remember... Nothing good comes easy! One thing is certain, you will not have any luck seeing deer if you are in your living room. Success in the bow hunting world does not always mean you bring home the prize, it means you bring home your memories that last a lifetime.

E-mail Lou Marullo at lmarullo@fishgame.com

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Time to Hang It Up HAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE weekend,” my wife inquired as I poured a Saturday morning cup of coffee. Uh oh! Coffee wasn’t the only thing brewing and I quickly reached for the newspaper. From beyond the extended sports page came: “Why don’t you clean the garage?” Feigning a bad case of “shotgun ear” I waited to see if the moment would pass. “The garage is a mess and you promised me you would keep it clean. There is so much junk in there I can’t park my car in the garage.” “Yes dear, I will clean it up,” I said with a long and drawn out emphasis on the first two words. An eerie silence followed. Lowering the paper ever so slightly to peek over the top, there stood my wife, hands on hips. When our eyes locked I knew she meant business and in an instant my weekend plans had been altered. A quick scan of the garage brought incredulity. How could anyone call my outdoor gear junk? My work bench was piled high with tools, boxes of lures, a drill press, and orphaned fasteners which I have been collecting since 1989. Heck, you never know when you will need a 9/16th copper-clad flutter nut with left handed threads? On the back side of the garage stood two plastic shelves I bought at the home store when we moved into our new house five years ago, now overflowing with fishing tackle. All manner of lures boxes, maps, landing nets, and spools of line were heaped up on each shelf. Between the two racks of shelves was a little alcove housing old rods and reels; basically every rod and reel I have ever owned was stashed there. A 14-foot semi-V aluminum boat (circa 1960) perching on its trailer sat in front of the

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shelves; the boat was filled to the brim with boxes of tear sheets from assorted outdoor publications. My 14-foot kayak sat precariously balanced on top of the clutter, flanked by several paddles and PFDs. Where to start? The very idea of jettisoning valuable outdoor-related assets was a non-starter. I had to get everything organized and quickly. Gear was sorted into categories: bass, bream, catfish, crappie, fly fishing, etc. It quickly became evident that much of the clutter could be reduced simply by organizing the gear I had repeatedly dumped onto the shelves after fishing trips. Even though the small stuff cleaned up nicely, the kayak was another matter; plus, it was rather cumbersome lifting if from one temporary spot to another. I needed a solution that was both easy on the back and wifefriendly. With an open mind, I pondered all possibilities, both indoor and outdoor. Behind the garage seemed like a natural but olfactory input reminded that this bit of real estate was reserved for the dog and I retreated carefully back to the safety of the main yard. Stepping on one of the dog’s calling cards at 4:00 AM would surely put a damper on a fishing trip so I decided that an interior storage site would be a better choice. Contemplating the interior of the garage with an architect’s eye, I considered every possible area where I could store the kayak. Nothing was off limits: floor, ceiling, walls, attic, all were evaluated for their storage potential. The area above the roof joists really isn’t an attic per se but there sure is a lot of space up there. A closer look revealed that roof joists were spaced 24 inches on center and it was highly doubtful no matter how I twisted and turned my kayak that I could get it through the joists. The area above my head but below the joists looked promising as well. A little time on the computer revealed that there were several good kayak hoists on the market that would lift my kayak up to the ceiling. A system of pulleys and ropes are used to raise and T E X A S

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lower your kayak just as you do window blinds. Unfortunately, when the garage door is open it blocks access to the ceiling joists where I wanted to hang my yak . Time for Plan B. The walls of the garage then became the focus of my attention. Additional research revealed a wide assortment of hangers, hooks, and cradles for kayak storage. I contemplated storing the kayak in a vertical fashion but the height of the ceiling joists nixed this plan. Horizontal storage it would be. The only problem now was finding space Shelves, racks for garden tools, pegboards, a work bench, and other assorted handyman accessories hugged the walls. Open space was practically nil but the judicial rearrangement of a workbench freed enough space to house the hull with eight-inches to spare. Given the space limitations I opted for a set of padded kayak racks, fastening them to the wall studs with lag bolts. Rather than a mounting the brackets waist-high, I opted to go low, about six-inches above floor level. Since I only had four-inches on either end of the hull to spare, I was not able to slide my hull into the rack from either end, but instead had to lift it up and set it down exactly in place. To make everything fit I needed to face the top of the kayak towards the wall, making it difficult to position without a hull handle. A year earlier I sequestered a spare luggage strap to my collection of orphaned fasteners because it had two heavy duty brass snaps on either end. Turns out that the luggage strap made a perfect handle for lifting the hull into place when I attached the snaps to the pad eyes on the hull. When you outdoor cup runneth over, January and February are great times to sort though last year’s messes and get organized. And when it comes to your kayak, it is time to hang it up.

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Greg Berlocher can be reached for question or comment at kayak@fishgame.com. J A N U A R Y

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Image Maker VERYONE LIKES TAKING PICTURES AND videos of their outdoor adventures, but doing so on a boat has a litany of unique challenges. Views that looked awesome through the camera lens turn out to be dull when you put them on the computer screen, and scenes that were incredible while you peeked through the video cam’s eye piece look disastrous when you show them on the TV. If you want your boating pics and vids to come out looking as cool as the sights in real life, you’ll have to work at it—here’s how.

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of shooting pictures on a boat is the constant motion. As a result of rocking and rolling, you’ll often have a tilted horizon. Pictures shot at a 45 degree angle, or even a 4.5 degree angle, just plain look weird. Before you hit the button, always eyeball the horizon as well as your subject and make sure it’s straight. If the boat’s in heavy seas, you’ll have to time the rolling with the shutter’s click. Note, however, that some digital cameras have a slight delay between when you press the button and when the picture actually gets taken. In these cases, timing it right is close to impossible. Another problem presented by a moving target is focus. Yes, most of today’s autofocus systems are fast enough to keep up with a boat’s motion. But most also detect where to auto-focus according to what is centered in the lens, or what is “grabbed” when you partially depress the button. In both of these cases, you’re likely to autofocus on something other than your subject by accident, when the boat moves and the

subject moves out of center as a result. The only way to combat this problem is to pay close attention to the auto-focus, and make sure you’re really centered on what you intend when you press the button. BRIGHT IDEAS – Another big problem with using cameras on a boat is glare. Not only do you have glare off the water to contend with, in most cases you also have bright white or off-white gel coat, gleaming in the sunlight. As a result, pictures look washedout and over-exposed. There are two ways of dealing with this issue. First, you can add a filter to your lens to cut down on the light levels. A polarizing filter will not only cut light, but will also allow you to shoot images of fish and lures just beneath the surface of the water. (Shoot the water without one, and you usually get a great mirror-image of the sunlight—and nothing else). But there’s a down-side to using these filters. Leave them on the lens when you shoot in low-light conditions like cloudy days or at sunrise and sunset, and the filter will cut out so much light that all of your pictures look dark. Your second option is to set your camera to under-expose a hair. Experts will be able to look at a light meter or even judge with the naked eye, and know how much to dial it down. The rest of us are best served by bracketing (underexposing, exposing, and overexposing), each image we take, regardless of light levels and conditions. Most modern digital cameras can be programmed to bracket with ease, so every time you hold down the button, three different exposures are shot of the same image. Yes, you’ll end up with a lot of useless photos using this technique; two out of three are virtually guaranteed to come out poorly. But you’re assured that regardless of light conditions, one out of three will be a winner. GO WIDE – When we get special lenses for our cameras, we usually gravitate towards big zooms that can bring the action in close.

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These are great for shooting boat-to-boat, but 99-percent of the time we take pictures of people on the same boat we’re standing on. In this situation, a zoom does more harm than good—even a standard lens may chop out some of the action. Simply backing up away from the subject isn’t an option due to space constraints on most boats. Get a wideangle lens, however, and you’ll find it easier to capture entire scenes, like one buddy netting another’s fish, while you stand just a few feet away.

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video camera from an outrigger line, and ran it out to the end of the rigger. Other incredible shots have been gathered by duct-taping a waterproof camera to the end of a mop handle, shoving it several feet underwater, and recording an entire fight with a grouper from the moment it was hooked to the moment it was landed. So don’t hesitate to experiment, and more or less go wild. The worst thing that can happen is you’ll get

poor footage and erase the memory chip, if you don’t like what you see. LEVEL-HEADED – As with still cameras, you want a steady, level horizon. Unfortunately, this is physically impossible to achieve on a moving boat. So instead of concentrating on getting the horiCONTINUED zon level in the SEE PAGE 90  viewfinder, get

Video WATERPROOF GETS THE PROOF – If you want to get awesome footage of you and your friends catching fish, get a waterproof video camera. This will allow you to get shots of the fish just prior to netting, film the action as fish are pulled from the water and brought aboard, and even footage of released fish swimming away. Luckily, waterproof video cameras are a lot more common and inexpensive these days than you might think. Some like the Kodak Playsport or the Sanyo Xacti, can be submerged up to 10 feet underwater for up to 30 minutes, without causing any damage. They have excellent quality (both are hi-def) and are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Most amazing, they only cost a few hundred dollars. MOUNTING OPTIONS – One of the problems with shooting video on a boat is the need for a dedicated camera-man. You have to concentrate on shooting footage from start to finish, without setting down the camera or taking a break to help out, as you can with a still camera. When you have a limited crew and need assistance to land a fish or reposition the boat, this can add unprofessional bumps, camera turns, and black-outs to the video. A simple way to get around the issue is to get a rail-mount that attaches to the video cam’s tripod mount (such as those made by Ram Mounts). Another option is to get a “hat cam,” (www.hatcams.com) which has the mount built into the brim of a hat. It feels a little odd to have that extra weight swinging around on your head, but after a few minutes you forget it even exists. GET CREATIVE – If you want really unique video, you’ll have to get creative. Some of the best footage I’ve ever seen of action in the cockpit of a bluewater battlewagon was taken when a crewmember suspended his I N L A N D

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Dynamic Decoys ’M NOT GOING TO LIE TO YOU, LATE SEASON waterfowl hunting in Texas is tough. The ducks you are chasing on east Texas reservoirs, west Texas playas, or inland marshes in January were being shot at in September on the Canadian prairies. For the past four months these birds have been flying south and you can bet that they have seen a lot of hunters and had plenty of steel flung their direction. They’ve learned to avoid clumps of grass shaped like a rectangle, overly enthusiastic mallard hen calls, and rafts of plastic ducks that aren’t moving around like they should. So to shoot more ducks you need change things up a little and add more movement to your spread. Raise your hand if you own a spinner (a spinning wing duck decoy, not the pointless wheels on the jacked up 1983 Cutlass you see driving around town). This time of year you might as well put that thing in the garage and leave it there until next season. Spinners work on young birds or early in the year, but by now every duck has seen it and it’s less effective. Instead of using a spinner to add motion to your spread (which doesn’t look very natural) use swimming and feeding decoys. They not only look more realistic, which won’t flare the birds, but will also send out ripples in the water which will cause other decoys to move,

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adding even more realism to your spread. If you don’t own any store bought swimming or feeding decoys you can convert some of your standard ones for just a few bucks. The cheapest and easiest way to add motion is via a jerk cord. Jerk cords can be elaborate affairs with multiple decoys, bungee cords, sticks, and spreader bars but the best practice is to keep it simple. All you really need is a weight, some string, and a decoy. The simplest way to do this is to take a small kayak or canoe anchor (two or three pounds), run your line (black trotline string works well) through the eye of the anchor and then tie it to the front of the decoy. Take the anchor out to where you want the decoy to rest and push it down in the mud and run the line back to your blind. When you pull the cord the front of the decoy will dive down into the water mimicking a feeding duck. To add a swimming decoy to your spread what you need is an old decoy, a battery, and a bilge pump. Take the old decoy and cut off the keel, leaving the front line tie eye still attached to the decoy. Buy the smallest bilge pump you can find and attach it to the bottom of the decoy upside down with a few screws. The output of the pump should point towards the back f the decoy. Seal up the screw holes with some all purpose caulk. Drill a small hole in the bottom of the decoy and run the wires from the bilge pump up into the body of the decoy, again sealing the hole with all purpose sealant.

Cut a hole in the back of the decoy, so you can access the bilge pump wires, making sure it is big enough to at least fit a nine volt battery into the decoy. On mine I made a large U shaped cut which leaves the back intact but allows me to bend up the cut part slightly so I can get the battery in and out. Attach the bilge pump wires to a nine volt battery connecter via wire nuts and electrical tape. You can put an on/off switch between the pump and the battery connector if you want but it’s not necessary. To make the bilge pump run, simply plug in a nine volt battery and drop it in the water. To keep the decoy in one general area tie about ten feet of decoy string to the front of the decoy (on the eye you left on the decoy) with a weight on the other end. This will let the decoy swim in one direction until it hits the end of the string then turn and swim in another direction or just swim in one big circle. Either way it will attract ducks; just make sure your other decoys are far enough away that they won’t get tangled up with the swimmer. The bilge does drain batteries so you might want to invest in rechargeables. The key to fooling late season ducks is realism in your set up and live ducks move around. If you want to get more mallards landing in your decoys you need to add a little motion to your spread. E-mail Paul Bradshaw at freshrigs@fishgame.com

TEXAS BOATING the camera perfectly level with  FROM PAGE 89 the boat, and keep it that way. (The aforementioned mounts are invaluable for this purpose). Then, as the boat rocks and rolls, the motion of the CONTINUED

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video remains in synch with it. Use these tips and tricks, and soon you’ll be shooting like a pro. And, why not share your newfound talent with the rest of the world? Send your awesome pictures to pho-

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tos@fishgame.com, and we’ll put them in a future edition of Texas Fish & Game.

E-mail Lenny Rudow at boating@fishgame.com

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ILLUSTRATION BY PAUL BRADSHAW

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PHOTO: BRYAN SLAVEN

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Homemade Tortilla Soup HIS HEARTY SOUP IS SURE TO WARM YOU and your family on a cold winter day. It might be a good idea for Super Bowl Sunday, too. This recipe makes 4 to 6 bowls; double it if your kids eat like mine do.

T

2 Tbs olive oil 1 cup chopped onions 2 tsp chopped garlic 1 teaspoon chicken bullion 1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped 1 zucchini squash, sliced into 1/4-inch slices 1 can diced tomatoes 1 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced thin 1 ear of corn, shucked and cut fresh from the cob 1-1/2 tsp salt 2 tsp ground cumin 1/2 tsp ground coriander 2 Tbs tomato paste 6 cups chicken stock 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves 2 tsp fresh lime juice 2 cups vegetable oil for frying 6 stale corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-inchthick strips 1 tsp Texas Gourmet's Sidewinder Searing Spice 1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and chopped for garnish In a Dutch oven or large cast iron pot, I N L A N D

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heat the oil on medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, peppers, salt, cumin, and coriander for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Be sure and stir as you go. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer for 20 minutes. Add the chicken and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cilantro and lime juice, and stir well. Add a teaspoon of chicken bouillon for richness. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm. Heat the oil in a heavy pot to 350 degrees. Add the tortilla strips in batches and fry until golden and crisp, 1-1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and T E X A S

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drain on paper towels. Season to taste with the Texas Gourmet's Sidewinder Searing Spice. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish each serving with the diced avocado, fried tortilla strips, green onion tops, grated Monterrey jack cheese, and chopped cilantro.

Contact Bryan Slaven, "The Texas Gourmet," at 888-234-7883, www.thetexasgourmet.com; or by email at texas-tasted@fishgame.com

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Beverly w/ Redfish Charters

TEXAS SALTWATER

TEXAS SALTWATER

BAFFIN BAY

ROCKPORT

CORPUS CHRISTI

UPPER COAST (SABINE LAKE) Hillman Guide Service

ADVERTISERS, SEND IN YOUR PHOTOS TODAY!

GALVESTON

Stony York Blair’s Guide Service

Chris and John Rockport Red Runner Hillman Guide Service

Kevin and Marvin Redfish Charters

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Rockport Red Runner

McGaughey Family Blair’s Guide Service

TEXAS FRESHWATER

TEXAS HUNTING

TEXAS HUNTING

LAKE AMISTAD

White Oak Outfitters

White Oak Outfitters

EAST TEXAS

SPOTLIGHT: BLAIR’S GUIDE SERVICE My name is Vaughn Blair. I was born and raised in east Texas. My dad took me to the lake every weekend as soon as I could walk. I have always loved being outdoors, and I enjoy showing others what they sometimes miss in this rushed world we now live in. I got my guide license and started Blairʼs Guide Service because I wanted to give people a place where they could go to relax and have fun. I use a 22-foot center console Mako, which allows 360° of casting area and the ability to follow your fish and bring it in. I fish primarily for bass, stripers, catfish, and just about anything thatʼs biting. I fish in Lake Nacogdoches, Lake Palestine, and Sam Rayburn Reservoir. I not only take people out to fish, but have been asked to take people on tours and day trips of local lakes. Most of my clients would love to own a boat, but for various reasons, donʼt. They all love to be on the water, but not all of them fish. I want everyone to have a fun, relaxing time and to leave with a smile and some good stories. Thatʼs why Iʼm here. Iʼm all about the outdoors and want to share it with people who have the same passion. So pick a lake and give me a call! Vaughn Blair, 903-646-3889 I N L A N D

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Redfish Surfside

Redfish Grass Perch

Sabine Pass

dn’t Thomason di Charlie Paige redfish ch Five-year-old -in 35 s w’ r papa want to let he ide Beach go. She is her rfs caught on Su hing buddy. fis papaw’s best

Amanda Tully with one of th that she caug e three redfish ht while fishi ng with her fa in Sabine Pa mily ss.

Lake Dunlap

off her iles showing rini is all sm ke DunLa on g Kourtney Ma tin at a family ou d has her own grass perch an ne years old lap. She is ni d reel. an d princess ro

Redfish Braunig Lake

Ducks

Rattlesnake

Rockport L-R Noah Sm all, James Sm all, and Jimm Small on a se ie mi-successfu l Rockport sh ot 4 redheads duck hunt in , 2 pintail he and 1 green ns, wing teal.

South Texas

ratt shot a 6-foot d of Beaumon h ut So in p tri Johnny Bree on a hunting e, a bagged a do tlesnake while s son. He also g the trip. Texas with hi rin o javelinas du spike, and tw

Luis Costas of Lu this redfish wh is Fishing Charter caug ht ile fishing at Braunig Lake .

Redfish San Luis Pass

Redfish

Mixed Stringer

Port Aransas

Galveston

rt ong with Robe vin Ballard, al lveBobby and Ke Friermood, fished the Ga ne is Paul and Blai d won with th ide’s Cup an . ston CCA Gu ut tro 20 d ish an bunch of redf

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Andrew Garc ia of San An tonio caught 8-pound, 4-ou this nc shrimp while e, 28-inch redfish on dead fishing near the Ferry Land ing in Port Ar ansas.

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is 38d released th te caught an his family at th Mitchell Loch wi ng hi st. while fis inch redfish s personal be . This was hi San Luis Pass

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Whitetail Buck Llano County

Largemouth Bass Lake O’ The Pines

Whitetail Buck Port Mansfield

her , age 10, shot h, s Schorlemer El Sauz Ranc Mary France P. H. e th at buck first 10-point . ld fie ns Ma Port just west of

Harold Wheat ca bass while fis ught this 11.46 pound hing on Lake O’ The Pines

ot and, Texas, sh am of Kingsl ter Frank Willingh ck with a .30-30 Winches bu 21under had a this 11-point ty. The 130-po in Llano Coun . ad re sp 3/4-inch inside

Whitetail Buck Crockett County

Whitetail Buck Whitetail Buck

Sam Houston Forest

Paul Maire of W in the Sam Ho illis, shot this 8-point bu ck uston Nationa 15-inch spre l Forest. It ha ad and field da dressed 125 Also pictured lbs. is Paul’s son, Austin, age 9.

ot und Rock sh niel, 16, of Ro Kristen McDa th her mom and dad in wi buck her first deer the 10-point ty. She took Crockett Coun 0 yards. 11 with a .243 at

Palo Pinto County Hunter Wylie , age 9, shot his first buck Palo Pinto Co in un er with a 13-in ty. The buck was a 10-poi ntch spread.

Black Drum Carlos Bay

Amberjack

Mixed Bag

Destin, FL

ound ught this 50-p out ins of Flint ca ends fri d an Danny Hawk ily m hing with fa amberjack fis a. id of Destin, Flor

Rockport Cutter Funder burg, 10, of Se 6-pound shee guin caught tw psheads and an 8.5-pound, o inch black dr um fishing at 26 Rockport with Guide Robert Konyicka .

, with ily Griffith, 12 ith, 9, and Em caught at Carlos William Griff ack drum they k 2 30-pound bl ased 21 blac ught and rele Bay. They ca ester Benge. Ch r he at df an drum with gr

Speckled Trout

Turkey

Sargent

Speckled Trout

Brazos Point

Galveston

Hunter Barr, 17, inch speckled of Houston with his 27trout caught in the surf at Pirate’s Beac h in Galvesto n.

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ht this Victoria caug der itty) Haas of jun Thun Ca Katherine (K d an p k on shrim 22-inch spec Caney Creek while fishing Popping Cork th her husband Michael. wi near Sargent

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Jimmy Smith , 17 the 2-year-old , and Travis Bryant, 16, with turkeys they shot on the Sm Farm at Braz os ith 10-1/2-inch be Point, Texas. The birds ha ards. d

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The Satan Hog and Other Beastly Boars BY CHESTER MOORE

PHOTO: © PANTON - FOTOLIA

IF THERE IS A DARK SIDE to hunting in the American South, it comes via wild hogs. No animal from Texas to Florida is more unpredictable, aggressive and in some circumstances downright evil. Take for example, the “Satan Hog”. Back in the mid 1990s, I hunted hogs with dogs at Clarkrange Hunting Lodge in Clarkrange, Tenn. The first morning of the hunt, we jumped up a nice reddishcolored boar with nasty tusks. I decided it was a shooter, so I found a good rest on a tree, squeezed the trigger on the .54 caliber Traditions muzzleloader, and out came the smoke. All I could see was that something was running toward me N O R T H

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and I assumed it was 175 pounds of tusks and rage, so I started up the tree. Thankfully, it was just one of the dogs realizing the hog was dead and its work was done. On the way back to the cabin, the dogs jumped up another hog to which the guide said, “I think it’s the Satan hog!” Well, that got my attention. “Could you please explain to me what exactly is the Satan hog?” I asked. “It’s this black boar that charges unprovoked and has killed several dogs. It almost got me once and we haven’t been able to kill it,” he said. I for some reason thought it might be a good idea to go photograph this hog if the dogs had it bayed up. Bad idea!

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In This Issue OUTDOOR LIFESTYLE SECTION

HOW-TO SECTION

49

COVER STORY • The Satan Hog and Other Beastly Boars | BY CHESTER MOORE

76

TEXAS GUNS & GEAR • Personal Defense Ammo | BY STEVE LAMASCUS

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BOAT & RV SHOW SECTION • Special Advertising Section | BY TF&G STAFF

78 79 80 82

BOWHUNTING TECH • Those Late Season Hunts |

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TEXAS TASTED • Homemade Tortilla Soup | BY BRYAN SLAVEN

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OUTDOOR CLASSIFIED DIRECTORY • Classifieds | BY TF&G STAFF

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PHOTO ALBUM • Your Action Photos | BY TF&G READERS

BY LOU MARULLO

TEXAS KAYAKING • Time to Hang It Up | BY GREG BERLOCHER TEXAS BOATING • Image Maker | BY LENNY RUDOW PAUL’S TIPS • Dynamic Decoys | BY PAUL BRADSHAW

GEARING UP SECTION

HOTSPOTS & TIDES SECTION

64

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SPORTSMAN’S DAYBOOK • Tides, Solunar Table, Best Hunting/Fishing Times | BY TF&G STAFF

NEW PRODUCTS • What’s New from Top Outdoor Manufacturers | BY TF&G STAFF

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TEXAS HOTSPOTS • Texas’ Hottest Fishing Spots | BY TOM BEHRENS, CALIXTO GONZALES, & BOB HOOD

TEXAS TESTED • Portable Limb, Tuff Truck Bag, Gunslinger | BY TFG STAFF

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INDUSTRY INSIDER • Blue Wave, Pathfinder | BY TF&G STAFF

As soon as we arrived on the scene, this black hog, which was only around 150pounds, ran straight at me, forcing me to seek refuge in a tree. I did notice it hooked as it ran by. As soon as the dogs got it again, I jumped back down and started shooting photos and got charged again. Just as I started to think this was a really bad idea, the hog took off and the dogs behind it but they soon returned. They simply could not hold the beast. “Man, that Satan hog is something else,” I said to my guide. “No, that wasn’t it. I’ve never seen that one before. The Satan hog is a whole lot meaner than that,” he said. A few years back I put TF&G Bowhunting Editor Lou Marullo on a big hog in the Pineywoods of East Texas. I was in a ground blind filming just under his tripod stand and watched as his arrow went about halfway into the rib cage. I knew the hog would die but it might take awhile, so I called my Dad on the radio and he rode up from camp on a four-wheeler with his .357 Taurus. Me being possible kin to a bloodhound as I have a natural knack for blood trailing took the gun because I would probably be the first to the wounded boar. Marullo 50 |

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clutched tightly his bow and Dad carried an axe handle. Marullo turned to Dad and asked what the ax handle was for. “Better than a stick,” he said. We soon found the hog with the arrow still in it breathing heavily in a mud puddle. Adams chose to take it out with a bow, so he drew back, released the arrow and we heard a big “Smack!” The arrow struck bone and the hog that seemed to be on death’s door, jumped let out a deep, guttural grunt and my hunting party of three soon changed to one. I looked to my right and my Dad who was 60 at the time was about 20 yards back running the other direction. I looked to my left and Marullo was nowhere to be seen. He was gone! So, there I was standing there like Dirty Harry with his huge hog facing me at 15 yards just knowing it was about to head my direction when it fell to the ground. It took a four-wheeler and a lot of ingenuity to get that beast back to camp and a lot of talking to convince Marullo to hunt hogs with me again. Hogs have flat out taken over the coastal marsh in just about every section of the Gulf Coast, and waders are encountering them more frequently than ever.

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Donnie Warren of San Antonio was wading a stretch of marsh in the Aransas Bay complex when he found himself between a big sow and her piglets. “I was getting ready to cross over this little hump toward this pond, and as I was getting up from the water onto the land, here comes this huge blond-colored sow and about 10 piglets. I just stood still, hoping she would not see me, but as luck would have it, the wind was blowing right to her and she caught a whiff of me.” “When she did, she ran out into the shallow water toward me about five steps, and I just stood still. I knew there would be no point in running. She just stood there grunting at me for a few seconds, and then turned around, joined her piglets, and walked away. I have encountered plenty of sharks while wading, but never expected to be charged by a pig.” Just the fact these animals have the potential to rip a person to shreds makes things interesting but when you add in their intelligence, a propensity for dwelling in hostile environments and the follies of human hunters things can turn exciting fast.

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Tides and Prime Times

JANUARY 2011

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

SYMBOL KEY



New Moon +2.0 +1.0 0 -1.0

3

High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide:

PRIME TIME

12:29 am 9:20 am 5:53 pm 10:29 pm

1.06ft. -0.84ft. 1.14ft. 0.99ft.

Sunrise: 7:35a Moonrise: 7:00a AM Minor: 4:13a PM Minor: 4:40p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

Set: 5:46p Set: 5:22p AM Major: 10:26a PM Major: 10:54p 12:10p None

10 Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

PRIME TIME 2:18 am 8:10 am 1:09 pm 8:21 pm

0.29ft. 0.55ft. 0.26ft. 0.77ft.

Sunrise: 7:36a Moonrise: 11:01a AM Minor: 9:56a PM Minor: 10:16p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

17  Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

Set: 5:51p Set: 11:51p AM Major: 3:46a PM Major: 4:06p 5:23p 5:03a

-0.77ft. 1.10ft. 0.99ft. 1.02ft.

1:19 am 7:46 am 1:05 pm 7:30 pm

Sunrise: 7:33a Moonrise: 11:47p AM Minor: 9:29a PM Minor: 9:55p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

10:30A — 12:30P

Set: 5:57p Set: 5:33a AM Major: 9:06a PM Major: 9:35p 11:13p 10:44a

24

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4:30 — 6:30 AM

PRIME TIME

7:58 am 4:42 pm 8:44 pm 11:37 pm

Sunrise: 7:35a Moonrise: 3:56p AM Minor: 2:52a PM Minor: 3:21p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot: Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

11:00P — 12:00A

-0.03ft. 0.69ft. 0.16ft. 0.82ft.

4

High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide:

Full Moon

1.04ft. -0.78ft. 1.07ft. 0.91ft.

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

3:14 am 10:03 am 1:28 pm 8:29 pm

Sunrise: 7:36a Moonrise: 11:30a AM Minor: 10:40a PM Minor: 11:01p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

18 

Low Tide: 8:42 am High Tide: 5:08 pm Low Tide: 9:13 pm

Sunrise: 7:35a Moonrise: 5:01p AM Minor: 3:45a PM Minor: 4:15p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

11:30A — 1:30P

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

2:23 am 9:38 am 1:49 pm 7:47 pm

Sunrise: 7:33a Moonrise: None AM Minor: 10:25a PM Minor: 10:52p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

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1:00 — 3:00 PM

Set: 5:46p Set: 6:21p AM Major: 11:19a PM Major: 11:45p 1:02p 12:37a

11 0.15ft. 0.53ft. 0.44ft. 0.77ft.

5:00 — 7:00 AM

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

19 

11:00A — 1:00P

High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide:

7:30 — 9:30 PM

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

F I S H

12:59 am 9:26 am 5:35 pm 9:52 pm

Sunrise: 7:35a Moonrise: 6:09p AM Minor: 4:41a PM Minor: 5:10p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

26 

Set: 6:04p Set: 11:07a AM Major: 4:12a PM Major: 4:39p 5:30a 5:57p

T E X A S

Sunrise: 7:36a Moonrise: 12:01p AM Minor: 11:23a PM Minor: 11:45p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

PRIME TIME

PRIME TIME 1.00ft. -0.67ft. 1.00ft. 0.81ft.

8:30 — 10:30 PM

Set: 5:47p Set: 7:20p AM Major: 11:42a PM Major: 12:10p 1:52p 1:28a -0.00ft. 0.61ft. 0.61ft. 0.79ft.

8:00 — 10:00 PM

Set: 5:53p Set: 12:45a AM Major: 5:12a PM Major: 5:34p 6:48p 6:26a

PRIME TIME 1.03ft. -0.89ft. 1.09ft. 0.83ft.

7:00 — 9:00 PM

Set: 5:59p Set: 7:16a AM Major: 10:55a PM Major: 11:24p 12:12a 12:40p

PRIME TIME 3:32 am 11:53 am 2:34 pm 8:00 pm

Sunrise: 7:32a Moonrise: 12:53a AM Minor: 11:21a PM Minor: 11:48p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

&

BEST DAYS

PRIME TIME 4:09 am 12:25 pm 1:30 pm 8:21 pm

PRIME TIME

Set: 5:58p Set: 6:27a AM Major: 10:00a PM Major: 10:29p None 11:42a -0.26ft. 0.67ft. 0.46ft. 0.82ft.

2:26 am 10:41 am 6:46 pm 11:12 pm

Sunrise: 7:36a Moonrise: 8:28a AM Minor: 5:58a PM Minor: 6:22p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

12 

PRIME TIME

Good Day

5

High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide:

PRIME TIME

Set: 5:52p Set: None AM Major: 4:29a PM Major: 4:50p 6:04p 5:43a

-0.86ft. 1.11ft. 0.94ft.





Last Quarter

PRIME TIME 1:29 am 10:02 am 6:21 pm 10:46 pm

Sunrise: 7:35a Moonrise: 7:47a AM Minor: 5:06a PM Minor: 5:32p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

25

J A N U A R Y



First Quarter

PRIME TIME

Set: 6:03p Set: 10:29a AM Major: 3:16a PM Major: 3:42p 4:38a 5:04p



-0.46ft. 0.75ft. 0.71ft. 0.85ft.

8:00 — 10:00 PM

Set: 6:05p Set: 11:49a AM Major: 5:07a PM Major: 5:34p 6:24a 6:51p

G A M E ®

N O R T H

6

High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide:

3:21 am 11:16 am 7:08 pm 11:48 pm

PRIME TIME 0.93ft. -0.52ft. 0.93ft. 0.70ft.

Sunrise: 7:36a Moonrise: 9:04a AM Minor: 6:49a PM Minor: 7:12p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

Set: 5:48p Set: 8:17p AM Major: 12:38a PM Major: 1:01p 2:38p 2:15a

13

PRIME TIME

Low Tide: 4:59 am High Tide: 7:28 pm

-0.16ft. 0.84ft.

Sunrise: 7:36a Moonrise: 12:37p AM Minor: ----PM Minor: 12:07p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

20  High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide:

2:00 — 4:00 PM

2:12 am 10:09 am 6:01 pm 10:37 pm

Set: 5:54p Set: 1:41a AM Major: 5:56a PM Major: 6:19p 7:35p 7:11a

PRIME TIME 1.02ft. -0.84ft. 1.04ft. 0.67ft.

Sunrise: 7:34a Moonrise: 7:19p AM Minor: 5:38a PM Minor: 6:06p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

12:00 — 2:00 PM

Set: 6:00p Set: 8:00a AM Major: 11:52a PM Major: ----1:09a 1:36p

27 Low Tide: 4:42 am High Tide: 2:42 pm

6:30 — 8:30 AM

PRIME TIME -0.62ft. 0.90ft.

Sunrise: 7:32a Moonrise: 1:59a AM Minor: ----PM Minor: 12:14p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

A L M A N A C

4:00 — 6:00 AM

Set: 6:06p Set: 12:34p AM Major: 6:00a PM Major: 6:28p 7:18a 7:46p


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Tides and Prime Times

JANUARY 2011

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

Jan 1 Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

High Tide: 4:17 am 0.84ft. Low Tide: 11:48 am -0.34ft. High Tide: 7:30 pm 0.87ft.

Sunrise: 7:36a Moonrise: 9:36a AM Minor: 7:39a PM Minor: 8:00p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

8

9:00 — 11:00 PM

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

PRIME TIME -0.31ft. 0.91ft.

Sunrise: 7:36a Moonrise: 1:17p AM Minor: 12:28a PM Minor: 12:53p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

21  High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide:

PRIME TIME

Set: 5:49p Set: 9:12p AM Major: 1:28a PM Major: 1:49p 3:21p 3:00a

14 Low Tide: 5:46 am High Tide: 6:56 pm

3:25 am 10:53 am 6:25 pm 11:26 pm

Set: 5:54p Set: 2:38a AM Major: 6:40a PM Major: 7:05p 8:25p 7:59a

0.96ft. -0.69ft. 0.97ft. 0.46ft.

PRIME TIME -0.73ft. 1.00ft.

Sunrise: 7:31a Moonrise: 3:02a AM Minor: 12:38a PM Minor: 1:06p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

Set: 6:07p Set: 1:24p AM Major: 6:52a PM Major: 7:20p 8:14a 8:42p

N O R T H

12:33 am 5:20 am 12:18 pm 7:50 pm

Sunrise: 7:36a Moonrise: 10:05a AM Minor: 8:26a PM Minor: 8:47p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

0.57ft. 0.73ft. -0.15ft. 0.82ft.

Sunrise: 7:35a Moonrise: 2:03p AM Minor: 1:13a PM Minor: 1:40p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

PRIME TIME -0.47ft. 0.98ft.

PRIME TIME

A L M A N A C

11:00A — 1:00P

Set: 6:02p Set: 9:17a AM Major: 1:21a PM Major: 1:47p 2:56a 3:22p

29

Sunrise: 7:31a Moonrise: 4:01a AM Minor: 1:29a PM Minor: 1:57p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

11:00P — 1:00A

Set: 5:55p Set: 3:37a AM Major: 7:26a PM Major: 7:53p 9:18p 8:51a

22

Sunrise: 7:34a Moonrise: 9:34p AM Minor: 7:34a PM Minor: 8:00p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

12:30 — 2:30 PM

Set: 5:49p Set: 10:06p AM Major: 2:16a PM Major: 2:37p 4:02p 3:42a

15

Low Tide: 6:51 am High Tide: 4:12 pm

2:00 — 3:00 PM

3:30 — 5:30 AM

Set: 5:44p Set: 3:28p AM Major: 8:43a PM Major: 9:11p 10:19a 10:47p

High Tide: 4:43 am 0.88ft. Low Tide: 11:37 am -0.45ft. High Tide: 6:48 pm 0.90ft.

3:00 — 5:00 AM

Set: 6:01p Set: 8:40a AM Major: 12:23a PM Major: 12:49p 2:03a 2:30p

28

-0.81ft. 1.20ft. 1.05ft. 1.06ft.

PRIME TIME

Low Tide: 6:31 am High Tide: 4:04 pm

3:00 — 5:30 PM

PRIME TIME

Sunrise: 7:34a Moonrise: 8:27p AM Minor: 6:36a PM Minor: 7:03p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot: Low Tide: 5:49 am High Tide: 3:38 pm

PRIME TIME 7:48 am 4:42 pm 10:01 pm 11:24 pm

Sunrise: 7:35a Moonrise: 5:09a AM Minor: 2:29a PM Minor: 2:57p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

7

SUNDAY

-0.80ft. 1.03ft.

2

Sunrise: 7:35a Moonrise: 6:07a AM Minor: 3:20a PM Minor: 3:48p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot: Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

1:23 am 6:35 am 12:45 pm 8:07 pm

0.44ft. 0.63ft. 0.06ft. 0.79ft.

PRIME TIME

Low Tide: 7:15 am High Tide: 4:18 pm

Sunrise: 7:35a Moonrise: 2:56p AM Minor: 2:01a PM Minor: 2:29p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

-0.63ft. 1.06ft.

PRIME TIME 12:20 am 6:08 am 12:21 pm 7:10 pm

Sunrise: 7:33a Moonrise: 10:40p AM Minor: 8:32a PM Minor: 8:57p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

11:00A — 1:00P

7:46 am 4:39 pm 9:37 pm 11:48 pm

Sunrise: 7:30a Moonrise: 4:55a AM Minor: 2:18a PM Minor: 2:45p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

F I S H

8:00 — 10:00 PM

Set: 5:56p Set: 4:36a AM Major: 8:15a PM Major: 8:43p 10:15p 9:46a

23

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

5:00 — 7:00 AM

Set: 5:50p Set: 10:58p AM Major: 3:02a PM Major: 3:22p 4:43p 4:23a

16

30

T E X A S

PRIME TIME

Sunrise: 7:36a Moonrise: 10:33a AM Minor: 9:12a PM Minor: 9:32p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

4:30 — 6:30 AM

Set: 5:45p Set: 4:23p AM Major: 9:34a PM Major: 10:02p 11:15a 11:43p

9

PRIME TIME

Set: 6:08p Set: 2:18p AM Major: 7:43a PM Major: 8:10p 9:10a 9:37p

PRIME TIME

Low Tide: 8:36 am -0.86ft. High Tide: 5:20 pm 1.19ft. Low Tide: 10:17 pm 1.04ft.

&

0.22ft. 0.77ft. -0.16ft. 0.84ft.

7:00 — 9:00 PM

Set: 6:03p Set: 9:53a AM Major: 2:19a PM Major: 2:45p 3:47a 4:13p -0.83ft. 1.02ft. 0.87ft. 0.90ft.

TIDE STATION CORRECTION TABLE (Adjust High & Low Tide times listed in the Calendar by the amounts below for each keyed location)

NOT FOR NAVIGATION PLACE SABINE BANK LIGHTHOUSE (29.47° N, 93.72° W) SABINE PASS JETTY (29.65° N, 93.83° W) SABINE PASS (29.73° N, 93.87°W) MESQUITE PT, SABINE PASS (29.77° N, 93.9° W) GALV. BAY, SO. JETTY (29.34° N, 94.7° W) PORT BOLIVAR (29.36° N, 94.77° W) TX CITY TURNING BASIN (29.38° N, 94.88° W) EAGLE POINT (29.5° N, 94.91° W) CLEAR LAKE (29.56° N, 95.06° W) MORGANS POINT (29.68° N, 94.98° W) ROUND PT, TRINITY BAY (29.71° N, 94.69° W) PT. BARROW, TRIN. BAY (29.74° N, 94.83° W) GILCHRIST, E. BAY (29.52° N, 94.48° W) JAMAICA BCH., W. BAY (29.2° N, 94.98° W) ALLIGATOR PT., W. BAY (29.17° N, 94.13° W) CHRISTMAS PT, CHR. BAY (29.08° N, 94.17° W) GALV. PLEASURE PIER (29.29° N, 94.79° W) SAN LUIS PASS (29.08° N, 95.12° W) FREEPORT HARBOR (28.95° N, 95.31° W) PASS CAVALLO (28.37° N, 96.4° W) ARANSAS PASS (27.84° N, 97.05° W) PADRE ISL.(SO. END) (26.07° N, 97.16° W) PORT ISABEL (26.06° N, 97.22° W)

PRIME TIME

31

8:00 — 10:00 PM

Low Tide: 8:33 am High Tide: 4:59 pm Low Tide: 9:40 pm

Set: 6:09p Set: 3:15p AM Major: 8:32a PM Major: 8:59p 10:04a 10:31p

G A M E ®

Sunrise: 7:30a Moonrise: 5:43a AM Minor: 3:07a PM Minor: 3:32p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

J A N U A R Y

HIGH

LOW

-1:46

-1:31

-1:26

-1:31

-1:00

-1:15

-0:04

-0:25

-0:39

-1:05

+0:14

-0:06

+0:33

+0:41

+3:54

+4:15

+6:05

+6:40

+10:21

+5:19

+10:39

+5:15

+5:48

+4:43

+3:16

+4:18

+2:38

+3:31

+2:39

+2:33

+2:32

+2:31

-1:06

-1:06

-0.09

-0.09

-0:44

-1:02

0:00

-1:20

-0:03

-1:31

-0:24

-1:45

+1:02

-0:42

PRIME TIME -0.80ft. 0.96ft. 0.82ft.

12:00 — 2:00 PM

Set: 6:10p Set: 4:13p AM Major: 9:19a PM Major: 9:45p 10:56a 11:22p

2 0 1 1

|

53


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Page 54

PINEY WOODS

Dive Deep on Fork for Bass by BOB HOOD bhood@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Caddo Lake HOTSPOT: Big Green Break GPS: N32 43.55688, W94 2.355 (32.725948, -94.039250) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Cyclone Rattlin' Jigs, Cyclone Lightnin' Blade CONTACT: Paul Keith, caddoguide1@att.net, 318-455-3437, caddolakefishing.com TIPS: Work the cypress trees with blackblue or Texas Craw jig or black-red Lightnin’ Blade in two to four feet of water. Keep moving until you are in the trees that have plenty of hydrilla around them. LOCATION: Lake Conroe HOTSPOT: League Line Hump GPS: N30 22.84338, W95 33.792 (30.380723, -95.563200) SPECIES: hybrid striped bass BEST BAITS: Storm Swim Shad,live gizzard shad CONTACT: Richard Tatsch, 936-2911277, fishdudetx.com TIPS: Expect to catch larger fish at this time of the year. Hybrids will be bunched up in large schools in 18-22 feet of water. Use your electronics to find the schools on main lake humps and points. Live shad usually out-produces lures during January. LOCATION: Lake Fork HOTSPOT: Mustang Creek GPS: N32 51.2841, W95 36.90624 (32.854735, -95.615104) SPECIES: largemouth bass 54 |

J A N U A R Y

2 0 1 1

BEST BAITS: Deep-diving crankbaits, spinnerbaits CONTACT: Michael Rogge, microg@texascellnet.com TIPS: The pre-spawn is about to start. Look for big fish on main lake points at mouths of creeks. If there is timber, the fish will be suspended. Crank baits that dive to 12-15 feet are best along with large spinnerbaits when slow-rolled through structure. LOCATION: Lake Fork HOTSPOT: Mouth of Caney Creek GPS: N32 49.31106, W95 33.6258 (32.821851, -95.560430) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Crappie jigs, minnows CONTACT: Michael Rogge, microg@texascellnet.com TIPS: The crappie have moved to deep water structure and bridges. Fish the mouth of Caney Creek first at 25-40 feet depths. The bridges also are very good places to find crappie at this time of the year as is Sabine River Authority Point. LOCATION: Lake Livingston HOTSPOT: River Bend GPS: N30 45.31326, W95 8.09136 (30.755221, -95.134856) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Filleted or scaled fresh carp, buffalo, talapia CONTACT: Dave S. Cox, dave@palmettoguideservice.com, 936291-9602, palmettoguideservice.com TIPS: Use a Carolina rig with 1/2 or one-ounce egg sinker. Drift the bait on the bottom at 12-foot depths where the old river channel drops off to 45 feet. The best launch and bank access is on the west side of Onalaska at the Highway 190 bridge.

T E X A S

F I S H

&

G A M E ®

LOCATION: Toledo Bend Res. HOTSPOT: Main Lake River Ledges GPS: N31 21.63906, W93 39.33312 (31.360651, -93.655552) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Shiners, jigs CONTACT: Greg Crafts, gregcrafts@yahoo.com, 936-368-7151, toledobendguide.com TIPS: In December, January and February there is no size limit. Most fish will be 30 feet or deeper. The daily limit is 50 per person. The lake record is a 4-pounder and it is not unusual to catch 3-pluspounders on this nationally-ranked crappie lake.

PRAIRIES & LAKES

Cedar Creek Cats on Cut Shad by BOB HOOD bhood@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Cedar Creek Res. HOTSPOT: Mid-Lake Humps GPS: N32 12.90276, W96 5.2182 (32.215046, -96.086970) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Cut gizzard shad, cut rough fish CONTACT: Jason Barber, kingcreekadventures@yahoo.com, 903-887-7896, kingcreekadventures.com TIPS: Many big blue catfish are caught near the mid-lake humps during January. Use a Santee Cooper rig and make long casts. Drift your bait on the 20-30-foot flats adjacent to the humps. LOCATION: Fayette County Res. HOTSPOT: Hog Pond Trees GPS: N29 56.22324, W96 42.94584 (29.937054, -96.715764) N O R T H

A L M A N A C


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SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Shad, worms, punch bait CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, weldon_edna@hotmail.com, 979-229-3103, FishTales-GuideService.com TIPS: Catfish are in full pre-spawn mode. Cast to the trees in 10 feet of water or fish straight down six-inches off bottom. Use a No.4 treble hook and 3/4-ounce egg sinker. Set the hook at the slightest movement of the rod tip when fishing straight down. LOCATION: Gibbons Creek Res. HOTSPOT: Gibbons Creek GPS: N30 38.1222, W96 2.9676 (30.635370, -96.049460) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Shad or prepared stinkbait CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, weldon_edna@hotmail.com, 979-229-3103, FishTales-GuideService.com TIPS: Gibbons Creek comes close to the bank here. There are lots of stumps in 12 feet of water. Use 3/4 or one-ounce egg sinker with No.4 treble hook for stinkbait

Page 55

or No.2 Kahle hook for shad. Chumming will increase your chances for channel catfish here. LOCATION: Lake Aquilla HOTSPOT: Deep Humps at Dam GPS: N31 54.12342, W97 12.1008 (31.902057, -97.201680) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Chartreuse 1/2 or 3/4 Mann’s Slab CONTACT: Randy Routh, teamredneck@hotmail.com, 817-822-5539, teamredneck.net TIPS: Watch your graph for schools of whites ganged up on the edges of the humps. Start on the bottom and lift and drop the lure. Try different columns of water until you get strikes. Use binoculars to watch for birds diving for shad and make long casts. LOCATION: Lake Cooper HOTSPOT: Deep River Hole GPS: N33 18.7836, W95 40.18056 (33.313060, -95.669676)

SPECIES: hybrid striped bass BEST BAITS: Sassy Shad CONTACT: Tony Parker, tawakonifihing@yahoo.com, 903-348-1619, tonyparkerfishing.com TIPS: Expect a slow bite. Hybrids and white bass will be suspended around the channel. Use a four-inch Sassy Shad on a one-ounce jig and deadstick it by fishing straight down and just holding the lure in the school of fish. It is slow but effective. LOCATION: Lake Lavon HOTSPOT: East Side Cove GPS: N33 4.82364, W96 27.30918 (33.080394, -96.455153) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Cut bait, live shad CONTACT: Billy Kilpatrick, straightlineguide@yahoo.com, 214-232-7847, straightlineguide.com TIPS: Drift cut bait or live shad in this cove and other shallow coves on the east side of the lake. There are a lot of big blue cats in these areas. There is an abundance of shad around the boat slits that can be


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caught with a cast net.

jigs

LOCATION: Lake Lavon HOTSPOT: The Dam GPS: N33 2.01384, W96 27.91692 (33.033564, -96.465282) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Small minnows, crappie jigs CONTACT: Billy Kilpatrick, straightlineguide@yahoo.com, 214-232-7847, straightlineguide.com TIPS: Use your graph to locate any type of structure along the face of the dam. Fish small minnows or crappie jigs around the structure. The area around the pump station also can produce catches of fish by spider-rigging black and blue jigs and minnows. LOCATION: Lake Lewisville HOTSPOT: Pockrus Hump GPS: N33 5.28894, W97 0.09696 (33.088149, -97.001616) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Fresh gizzard shad, threadfin shad CONTACT: Bobby Kubin, bobby@bobbycatfishing.com, 817-455-2894, bobby-catfishing.com TIPS: Drifting still can produce some nice catfish but anchoring on the main-lake humps and creek channels 30-60 feet will work best. Anchor over areas where you locate schools of shad. Fish shad on Santee Cooper or Carolina rigs with two-ounce weights. LOCATION: Lake Palestine HOTSPOT: Kickapoo Channel GPS: N32 16.6314, W95 29.49966 (32.277190, -95.491661) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Jigs with plastic or pork trailers, spinnerbaits CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff, ricky@rickysguideservice.com, 903-5617299, rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Fish the stumps along the edges of Kickapoo and other creeks on the north end of the lake with black-blue jigs and white spinnerbaits. The best fishing on the south end of the lake will be on the rocks along the river channel and along the dam. 56 |

J A N U A R Y

2 0 1 1

LOCATION: Lake Palestine HOTSPOT: Highway 155 Bridge GPS: N32 7.55874, W95 29.09856 (32.125979, -95.484976) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Crappie jigs CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff, ricky@rickysguideservice.com, 903-5617299, www.rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Fish the bridge pilings with blackchartreuse or white-pink crappie jigs. The best depths will be 20 to 25 feet. LOCATION: Lake Palestine HOTSPOT: Henderson Point GPS: N32 11.85996, W95 29.079 (32.197666, -95.484650) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Spoons, Rat-L-Traps CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff, ricky@rickysguideservice, 903-561-7299, rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Sand bass will be feeding off the main-lake points early and late. Henderson Point and the secondary points in front of the dam will provide the best action during the early-morning and late-evening hours but mid-day action could be good, too.

CONTACT: Bill Carey, bigfish@striperexpress.com, 877-786-4477, www.striperexpress.com TIPS: Stripers to 20-pounds will hold on points, creeks and humps near deep water. A one-ounce Roadrunner, 7-foot Castaway rod and 20-pound test line is recommended. Live bait also will work. Expect action all day. Watch for feeding gulls to locate fish. LOCATION: Lake Whitney HOTSPOT: State Park Flats GPS: N31 55.05504, W97 21.86928 (31.917584, -97.364488) SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: Storm Wild Eye Shad CONTACT: Randy Routh, teamredneck@hotmail.com, 817-822-5539, teamredneck.net TIPS: The cold temps have pushed the baitfish from the creeks and they have ganged up in the safety of numbers, roaming the flats and attracting stripers. Make long casts behind the boat and use trolling motor to troll the swimbaits. Most bites are soft.

LOCATION: Lake Somerville HOTSPOT: Big Creek Park Shoreline GPS: N30 19.164, W96 34.374 (30.319400, -96.572900) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Shad or cut bait CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, weldon_edna@hotmail.com, 979-229-3103, FishTales-GuideService.com TIPS: Use a Carolina rig with 3 to 4foot leader and small cork one-foot from hook. Drift 1/2 M.P.H. across the area for big blue cats. This also is a good jug-fishing area. Use a No.4 Kahle hook and one to three-ounce No-Roll sinker depending on the wind.

LOCATION: Richland-Chambers Res. HOTSPOT: Wood Creek GPS: N32 4.23216, W96 17.16912 (32.070536, -96.286152) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Jigs with pork or plastic trailers CONTACT: Steve Schmidt, steve@schmidtsbigbass.com, 682-5188252, schmidtsbigbass.com TIPS: Fish the sunny sides of Wood Creek, targeting docks and stumps at the mouth of the creek first. Elm Creek also has a lot of timber and docks. Be patient and take your time because the bite likely will be slow. Remember to dress for the weather.

LOCATION: Lake Texoma HOTSPOT: Paw Paw Creek GPS: N33 51.32622, W96 52.66836 (33.855437, -96.877806) SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: Roadrunners, Sassy Shad

LOCATION: Richland-Chambers Res. HOTSPOT: 309 Flats GPS: N31 58.71798, W96 6.87 (31.978633, -96.114500) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: One-ounce Silver Glitter

T E X A S

F I S H

&

G A M E 速

N O R T H

A L M A N A C


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RSR Shad Slabs CONTACT: Royce and Adam Simmons, royce@gonefishing.biz, 903-389-4117, www.gonefishing.biz TIPS: Watch for gulls and pelicans dropping down to pick up shad off the surface. Concentrate on drop-offs and ridges in the area at 20-30 feet depths. Bounce the Slab off the bottom and hold on. You may catch a big hybrid striped bass here, too.

PANHANDLE

Ivie Cats and Ivie Largemouth by BOB HOOD bhood@fishgame.com

LOCATION: OH Ivie Res. HOTSPOT: Upper Colorado River GPS: N31 35.0367, W99 45.99012 (31.583945, -99.766502) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Finesse baits, plastic worms CONTACT: Dave Caudle, fishinwithdave@aol.com, 325-365-1020, fishinwithdave.com TIPS: The river will warm up earlier than other areas. The bass will be active on the cove points. Use finesse baits and lightweighted, dark worms to catch the staging bass. The upper reaches of the Concho River also is a good bet with same baits.

Page 57

SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Spoons, Slabs CONTACT: Dave Caudle, fishinwithdave@aol.com, 325-365-1020 TIPS: The white bass will be on the sandy flats near the river channel preparing for the spawn. They will be chasing shad up onto the flats throughout the day. Bounce the spoons and jigs off the bottom near the edge of the channel. LOCATION: Possum Kingdom Res. HOTSPOT: Costello Island GPS: N32 54.4662, W98 27.7899 (32.907770, -98.463165) SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: Gamefisher Slab, 1/4-ounce jighead with 3-inch Mister Twister soft plastic CONTACT: Dean Heffner, fav7734@aceweb.com, 940-329-0036 TIPS: The stripers hit best when a cold front line is at the Texas-Oklahoma border. A white lure works best. Fish the river channel north of Costello Island to its headwaters. The stained water will hold

warmer temperatures longer than clear waters.

BIG BEND

Marker 17 Holds Crappie, Bass by BOB HOOD bhood@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Lake Amistad HOTSPOT: Marker 17 GPS: N29 34.56414, W101 17.967 (29.576069, -101.299450) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Soft plastic grubs CONTACT: Larry Scruggs, Amistad Lodge and Adventures, fisherofmenlrs@hotmail.com, 210-789-1645 TIPS: Big slabs hang around sheer rock bluffs from Markers 17 to 24. Fish the coves on the down-wind side of the rocks at 20 feet. Chartreuse is the best color and

LOCATION: OH Ivie Res. HOTSPOT: Yellow Bluff Timber GPS: N31 34.54974, W99 42.51912 (31.575829, -99.708652) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Cheese bait CONTACT: Dave Caudle, fishinwithdave@aol.com, 325-365-1020, fishinwithdave.com TIPS: Look for the trees with roosting cormorants just south of Yellow Bluff. The catfish will be feeding just off the bottom around the trees. Cheese bait and other punch baits will work best. LOCATION: OH Ivie Res. HOTSPOT: River Channel Flats GPS: N31 34.31712, W99 41.60238 (31.571952, -99.693373) N O R T H

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six-pound test line works best. Don’t be surprised if you hook into a big largemouth bass. LOCATION: Lake Amistad HOTSPOT: Marker 17 GPS: N29 34.56414, W101 17.967 (29.576069, -101.299450) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Soft plastic craws, shallowrunning crankbaits, spinnerbaits CONTACT: Larry Scruggs, Amistad Lodge and Adventures, fisherofmenlrs@hotmail.com, 210-789-1645 TIPS: Fish the bend of the river from Markers 17 to 25 for pre-spawn bass, especially the windy points. Numerous canyons and creeks in this area have shallow rock and brush shelves that drop-off into 20 feet of water or more. Red-colored craws work best. LOCATION: Lake Amistad HOTSPOT: Pecos River GPS: N29 42.07038, W101 22.08 (29.701173, -101.368000) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Punch bait, shad CONTACT: Larry Scruggs, Amistad Lodge and Adventures, fisherofmenlrs@hotmail.com, 210-789-1645 TIPS: The cane-choked canyons from the Pecos River to Marker 25 attract lots of blue and channel catfish at this time of the year. Use heavy line because you may hook into a monster blue cat. Many types of punch bait will work as will live or dead shad.

HILL COUNTRY

Granger Whites and Catfish by BOB HOOD bhood@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Lake Granger HOTSPOT: Comanche Bluff GPS: N30 42.05736, W97 24.12738 (30.700956, -97.402123) 58 |

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SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Shad Raps, Rat-L-Traps, swimbaits CONTACT: Tommy Tidwell, crappie1@hotmail.com, 512-365-7761 TIPS: Head up the San Gabriel River and fish the area around Comanche Bluff. White bass are known to make runs up the river at this time of year. Look for areas where shad are concentrated. The white bass you catch likely will be very large. LOCATION: Lake Granger HOTSPOT: Open Lake GPS: N30 42.30102, W97 20.61006 (30.705017, -97.343501) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Cut bait, live perch, Zote soap CONTACT: Tommy Tidwell, crappie1@hotmail.com, 512-365-7761 TIPS: Jug lines produce some really good catches of blue catfish at this time of year. Shad can be difficult to find but live or dead perch will catch the bigger fish. Zote soap also works well but usually catches the smaller eating-sized fish.

SOUTH TEXAS PLAINS

Cormorants Flock Over Falcon Cats by BOB HOOD bhood@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Falcon Lake HOTSPOT: Big Tiger Creek GPS: N26 44.32602, W99 8.74998 (26.738767, -99.145833) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Danny King punch bait, Sure Shot punch bait, chicken liver CONTACT: Robert Amaya, Robert’s Fish N'Tackle,robertsfishntackle@gmail.com, 956-765-1442, robertsfishntackle.com TIPS: Thousand of cormorants are nesting in this area. Look for the big flocks of birds along the brush line roosting areas in trees that are in 8 to 15 feet of water. Use slip cork with a No. 2 treble hook. Catfish T E X A S

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LOWER GULF COAST

Baffin Specks, Bird Island Reds by CALIXTO GONZALES cgonzales@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Starvation Point GPS: N27 16.908, W97 32.604 (27.281800, -97.543400) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live bait; Catch 5 or Catch 2000s or Topwaters in chrome/blue, baby trout, soft plastics in Baffin Magic, Morning Glory, plum/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089, 361-449-7441, brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: Warm trends will make trout more aggressive. Suspending lures such as a Catch 5 or Catch 2000 are strong medicine. Eel-imitating plastics on a small (1/8th) jighead are also effective. LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Alazan Bay Shoreline GPS: N27 18.46698, W97 31.03002 (27.307783, -97.517167) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Topwaters in chrome/blue, baby trout, Suspending soft plastics in Baffin Magic, Morning Glory, plum/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089, 361-449-7441, brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: Fish the 3-5í drop-off with suspending lures. On milder days, trout sit in the shallow over dark, warmer mud. Fish slowly and carefully. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Brownsville Ship Channel GPS: N26 2.30202, W97 12.79902 (26.038367, -97.213317) N O R T H

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SPECIES: black drum BEST BAITS: live shrimp, fresh shrimp CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: Deeper water holds a number of good fish when trout and redfish aren’t cooperating. Black drum are the stars, but sheepshead and mangrove snapper are also around. Live shrimp on a freeline rig will snare all three. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Bird Island GPS: N26 16.47, W97 16.5 (26.274500, -97.275000) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: live shrimp, gold spoons Gulp! shrimp in Pearl and glow CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: Redfish love the drizzly days after January fronts Drift away from the island and work both shrimp/popping corks and weedless spoons. If the water is off-colored (it usually is), live bait is the best bet.

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LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Dunkin Channel GPS: N26 17.93208, W97 18.10728 (26.298868, -97.301788) SPECIES: flounder BEST BAITS: live shrimp, soft plastics in dark patterns, Gulp! Jerkbaits CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: Use a split shot or heavier jigheads to get your baits or lures down along the bottom to seek out flounder holding in the deeper water. Fish the outer points when the tide is flowing in or out. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Three Islands GPS: N26 16.64298, W97 15.102 (26.277383, -97.251700) SPECIES: black drum BEST BAITS: live shrimp, fresh shrimp CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez, 956551-9581 TIPS: Herds of black drum patrol the flats between the islands and South Padre Island. This is a good way to latch into

some nice slot-sized fish that are cooperative and great eating. Fish bait under a popping cork, but work it more slowly. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Bird Island GPS: N26 16.47, W97 16.5 (26.274500, -97.275000) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live shrimp, topwaters in Bone, Pearl, Gulp! shrimp in Pearl and glow CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: Let the wind dictate which side of the island to drift. Topwaters will work near shorelines. Live bait and faux shrimp work best on the flats. Watch the terns. They love to steal shrimp under popping corks. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Brazos Santiago Jetties GPS: N26 4.04274, W97 9.20448 (26.067379, -97.153408) SPECIES: black drum

LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Long Bar GPS: N26 12.16398, W97 15.957 (26.202733, -97.265950) SPECIES: black drum BEST BAITS: live shrimp/popping cork CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez, 956551-9581 TIPS: inter is drum time. Plenty of fish roam the deep flats in the Southern part of LLM. Fish the edges of the ICW with either live shrimp or fresh shrimp on a fishfinder rig. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Dunkin Channel GPS: N26 17.93208, W97 18.10728 (26.298868, -97.301788) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live shrimp, soft plastics in dark patterns, Gulp! Jerkbaits CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: Low tides will concentrate speckled trout in deeper water. Channels such as Dinkin are two good spots for trout concentrations. Freeline live shrimp, or swim soft baits on light heads along drop-offs. Fish the outer eddies when the tide is running. N O R T H

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BEST BAITS: live shrimp, fresh shrimp, crab chunks CONTACT: Quick Stop, 956-943-1159 TIPS: If you want to find some large bruiser black drum, try the channel side of the jetties. A standard twin-dropper bottom rig works. Use shrimp for the slot-fish, crab for the beasts. Use a 2-4-ounce disk sinker that will glide above the snags. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Long Bar GPS: N26 12.16398, W97 15.957 (26.202733, -97.265950) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live shrimp, Jerkbaits and Gulp! shrimp in chartreuse patterns CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: There is a good concentration of speckled trout that lurk around the Long Bar all year. If the tide is up, fish a jerkbait at the top of the Bar. If the tide is falling, work around the deeper water with a mauler/shrimp or Gulp! combo. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Andy Bowie Park GPS: N26 9.25314, W97 10.20612 (26.154219, -97.170102) SPECIES: sheepshead BEST BAITS: live shrimp, fresh shrimp, CONTACT: Quick Stop, 956-943-1159 TIPS: It may be a surprise to some, but there are actually sheepshead in the surf in winter. Most will hold along the edges of bars. Live or fresh shrimp on fish-finder rigs work well. You’ll also snag quite a few pompano and whiting. Look for shell on sand. LOCATION: Port Mansfield HOTSPOT: Big Oaks GPS: N26 41.96502, W97 27.79098 (26.699417, -97.463183) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Topwaters in dark colors, Catch 5ís;

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chrome/blue CONTACT: Capt. Chris Martin, 361-7852686 TIPS: Work the lure real slow. wade-fishing will provide the best results.

LOCATION: Port Mansfield HOTSPOT: Community Bar GPS: N26 34.66902, W97 25.12398 (26.577817, -97.418733) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Topwaters, soft baits in Pearl/chartreuse, glow/chartreuse, purple/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Steven Devries, 956289-3631 TIPS: Fish the east side of the bar. Topwaters are good early. If the water is offcolored, or it’s overcast, fish bait or artificials under a Mauler.

LOCATION: Corpus Christi Bay HOTSPOT: Shamrock Cove GPS: N27 46.01802, W97 9.23898 (27.766967, -97.153983) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft plastics; mullet imitation topwaters CONTACT: Capt. Jon Fails, 361-9490133 TIPS: Southeast winds are important; wadefish the beach

LOCATION: Port Mansfield HOTSPOT: Community Bar GPS: N26 34.66902, W97 25.12398 (26.577817, -97.418733) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft baits in Pearl/chartreuse, glow/chartreuse, purple/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Steven Devries, 956289-3631 TIPS: Fish the deep water along the east side of the bar. Trout will concentrate there in cooler water. Work plastics deeper in the water column as slowly as you can.

MIDDLE GULF COAST

Topwaters for Copano Trout by TOM BEHRENS tbehrens@fishgame.com

Gulp! shrimp in New Penny, Pearl CONTACT: Captain Richard Lopez, 956207-4715 TIPS: January is a good time to look for 60 |

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LOCATION: Copano Bay HOTSPOT: Port Bay GPS: N28 1.69398, W97 8.694 (28.028233, -97.144900) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Small topwater lures in

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year; drift, using a Flats Minnow under an Alameda Cork LOCATION: Port Aransas HOTSPOT: Morris & Cummings Cut GPS: N27 54.16398, W97 5.68398 (27.902733, -97.094733) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Dead shrimp, live mullet CONTACT: Capt. Randy Filla, 361-2152332 TIPS: Red hot for redfish on a falling tide; fish the edges of the channels, 2-4 feet of water. Early morning fishing will probably not be as good as later in the afternoon. LOCATION: Port Aransas HOTSPOT: East Morris & Cummings Cut GPS: N27 52.66002, W97 6.456 (27.877667, -97.107600) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Chicken on a Chain using an 1/8-ounce jig CONTACT: Capt. Randy Filla, 361-2152332

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TIPS: wade-fishing in 2-4 feet of water; slowly and thoroughly work the area. There will be some big trout in the area. The bite will be real light. LOCATION: Port Aransas HOTSPOT: Jetties GPS: N27 50.61498, W97 3.44298 (27.843583, -97.057383) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Cracked crab and mullet CONTACT: Capt. Randy Filla, 361-2152332 TIPS: Fish the bottom. Early morning fishing will probably not be as good as later in the afternoon. LOCATION: Port O'Connor HOTSPOT: Whitaker’s Flats GPS: N28 19.82898, W96 28.67202 (28.330483, -96.477867) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Cut crab on a Carolina Rig; Texas Tackle Trout Killer II in a red/white or plum/chartreuse CONTACT: Capt. Chris Martin, 361-785-

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under an Alameda Cork LOCATION: Upper Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Beacroft's Hole GPS: N27 33.09198, W97 19.293 (27.551533, -97.321550) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Mullet imitation baits CONTACT: Capt. Jon Fails, 361-9490133 TIPS: Drift the shoreline, fishing the potholes

UPPER GULF COAST

Matagorda Boiler for Specks by TOM BEHRENS tbehrens@fishgame.com

LOCATION: East Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Boiler Tow Head GPS: N28 39.01602, W95 53.409 (28.650267, -95.890150) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: 3/8-ounce; leadhead jig with a Norton Bull Minnow in Limetreuse or Hot Pink CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281450-4037 TIPS: Concentrate on drifting scattered shell looking for streaky water. The streaks are usually made by baitfish. Find the streaks and the odds are good you will find fish. LOCATION: East Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Oyster Farm GPS: N28 41.61102, W95 48.40302 (28.693517, -95.806717) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Corky, Catch 2000, Catch 5 CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281450-4037 TIPS: Check the shallows after a prolonged warm spell. wade-fish throwing a slower lure. LOCATION: Sabine Lake 62 |

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HOTSPOT: Sydney Island GPS: N29 58.59, W93 49.43298 (29.976500, -93.823883) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Super Spooks CONTACT: Capt. Eddie Hernandez, 409721-5467, 409-673-3100 TIPS: wade-fish the flats behind the island, fishing later in the afternoons. LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Bridge Bayou GPS: N29 54.14802, W93 46.272 (29.902467, -93.771200) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: MirrOlure Catch 2000, Catch 5 and Corky CONTACT: Capt. Eddie Hernandez, 409721-5467, or 409-673-3100 TIPS: Catch 2000, Catch 5 and Corky are all slow sinking baits; fish as slow as possible. LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Coffee Ground Cove GPS: N29 57.75702, W93 46.33098 (29.962617, -93.772183) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: MirrOlure Catch 2000, Catch 5, Corky, Salt Water Assassins and Zooms CONTACT: Capt. Eddie Hernandez, 409721-5467, 409-673-3100 TIPS: Good colors for this time of the year are Red Shad in Assassins and White Ice in Zoom baits. LOCATION: West Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: Greens Lake GPS: N29 16.707, W94 59.60202 (29.278450, -94.993367) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: 1/8-ounce; jigheads; soft plastics in Limetreuse, Plum or Red Shad CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman, 409256-7937 TIPS: Drift fishing working bait and color concentrations

SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: 52 series Mirror Lures; soft plastics on 1/4-ounce; jigheads CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman, 409256-7937 TIPS: The lighter jighead stays in the strike zone longer. LOCATION: West Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: Confederate Reef GPS: N29 16.19502, W94 56.97402 (29.269917, -94.949567) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Corky, Catch 2000, Catch 5 CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman, 409256-7937 TIPS: Confederate Reef, Offatts Bayou and Greens Bayou are the top fishing locations on the Galveston Bay System in January. LOCATION: West Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Cotton Bayou GPS: N28 30.60198, W96 12.603 (28.510033, -96.210050) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: 1/4-ounce; weedless spoons CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281450-4037 TIPS: The best time is after fronts blow through, dropping water levels. Concentrate on the guts. LOCATION: Matagorda HOTSPOT: River Channel GPS: N28 41.75802, W95 58.67598 (28.695967, -95.977933) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: 3/8 leadhead with a Lit'l Fishie; Hogie, 3-inch double tail shrimp CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281450-4037 TIPS: Drift, feeding the bait out deep behind the boat

LOCATION: West Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: Offatts Bayou GPS: N29 16.61898, W94 51.507 (29.276983, -94.858450)

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Bay Fox Built for Inshore SEA FOX BOAT COMPANY INTRODUCES THE PRO Series 220XT Bay Fox. Measuring over 22’, this precision cut CAD-design was built for inshore and nearshore waters. It has the right amount of freeboard for a low wind profile, without sacrificing safety. The boat’s reverse transom and wide 8’6” beam make it stylish and stable. The downward progressive strakes and Carolina flair offer a dry ride, while the low bow rise and quick plane time can be attributed to the integrated planing pods. A stepped hull was integrated to achieve fuel efficiency and horsepower maximization. The 220XT has standards such as aerated live wells (2); lockable rod storage (up to 10); side mount console rod holders (6); oversized folding rear jumpseats with cushions (2); trolling motor plug with harness; a console with a finished fiberglass liner with lockable compartments; plus more. It also has an upgraded five-position flip-flop seat with a 94-quart removable cooler, recessed toe hold, seat with backrest on the console, and dash space for flush-

Pro Series 220 XT from Sea Fox boats.

mount electronics. Deck space is Bay Fox maximized through ample storage and compact splashwell. The 220XT offers options such as: bimini top; blue mood lights; fishing chair; Garmin depth/fish finder; Jensen stereo with speakers (4); leaning post with a backrest and 72-quart removable cooler; pull-up cleats; on-board battery charger; raw water washdown; spray shield; tunnel hull. It also offers a Team Edition (TE) Package: 800 GPH Rule Tournament Series live well Shoal Draft boats in 14-, 15- and 16foot models.

East Bay

pumps (2), cushioned foot mat, LED live well light, Sea Fox tackle bag, TE decal, utility and knife rack. Each Sea Fox is built using the Fibre4System, a high-density foam-core hull, hand-rolled fiberglass, nonskid deck surfaces, stainless steel hardware and closed cell foam flotation. All Sea Fox boats are NMMA Certified and meet or exceed USCG standards. All Sea Fox boats have a Lifetime Hull Warranty and are powered with Yamaha outboards. To see the current 2011 Sea Fox line up, find a dealer in your area or request a catalog, please visit www.seafoxboats.com.

Get Skinny with New EastBay Shoal Draft Boats USING ALL COMPOSITE BUILDING TECHniques and top of the line materials, they make the boats we build lighter, stronger and more efficient. All of their models are designs that you may have owned in the past, built by manufactures that were using techniques for their time, and East Bay brings those designs out of the past and into the future. The design has been proven over the years and we reinvented

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the design with our all composite construction and hand laid techniques. They are currently building four center console models; sizes range from 14 foot to 18 foot; standard colors white/gray/oyster; custom colors options; livewells; raised consoles and dry storage options available; and complete boat/motor & trailer packages. Up first is the 14 Scooter-T: it can be rigged as a tiller or remote center console, max 50hp. The 15 Bass & Bay: a liner model with a tiller or remote set-up, rear cast deck with dry storage option, side or center console. Their Super Hi Performance ScooterCat 16: maximum efficiency, minimum horse power, eats the hard chop up – it’s a very dry & stable design. EastBay’s largest model is the 17/18 Tunnel-V: Hi bow, low stern, self bailing, full tunnel fishing boat. Get Skinny on an EastBay. Call them at 979-323-9087 or visit them on the web www.txeastbayboats.com.

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New 2011 NauticStar 210 Coastal SURE TO BE THE CROWD PLEASER, THE NEW 210 Coastal does it all. 3 cross rear seating and bow seats for 5 make the 210 a relaxing pleasure boat. Then you can get serious about fishing with standard features like a center console with rod A serious fishing boat with plenty of room.

210 Coastal

holders, 2 aerated bait wells and an in floor cast net storage. The aft and bow seats even convert into casting platforms. Not just a crowd pleaser, the 210 Coastal loves a crowd. More New 2011 features include: Air Assisted Chine, Built-in Jack Plate, Removable Bow Cushions. For more standard features and specs on the new NauticStar 210 Coastal, go to www.nauticstarboats.com or visit a dealer nearest you.


12/8/10

12:50 PM

The Portable Limb

PHOTOS: OUTDOOR LOGICS

DEER HUNTING IN TEXAS MEANS FEEDERS throwing out corn twice a day near a tripod, box, or tree stand. That’s just the way it is. I have no doubt that the majority of you reading this have a feeder sitting out there right now on either three or four legs,

and it’s the legs that are the biggest problem with the feeder. First, raccoons use the legs to get to the timer and either tear it off or spin it manually to get to the corn. If coons aren’t your problem then you probably have hogs that are notorious for pushing on the legs to knock the whole thing over. Well, the folks at Outdoor Logics have overcome the need for legs by producing The Portable Limb. Now any tree can be used to suspend your feeder. You may not know it but you are already familiar with Outdoor Logics, just under a different name. Lonnie Stanley, who you know because of his high quality bass jigs and spinnerbaits sold by Texas based Stanley Lures (fishstanley.com), is the one that came up with the idea for The Portable Limb. Lonnie likes to do more 66 |

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than fish and needed a better way to put out his feeders, making them more portable. I used one this past season to hang a feeder holding 40 pounds of corn from a pine tree and the Portable Limb just laughed at the weight. The Portable Limb is heavy duty, using one inch 12 gauge tubing, and rated to hold 250 pounds of whatever you want to hang on the end. Being thorough I decided to test it and can Hang your feeder honestly from a tree. say it will hold my Portable Limb almost 200 pound self without bending or breaking. Most of you will hang The Portable Limb at just about eye level, using a ladder or ATV to place it in a tree. However, Lonnie advised that a lot of his hunters have great success using a climbing stand to put the Portable Limb 20 or 30 feet up in a tree. By attaching a pulley (or two) these hunters can easily hoist their feeder way up into the tree so that the deer never even know it is there. While the original intent of The Portable Limb was to hang a feeder it can also be used to skin your deer after the hunt. Just hang it in a tree, run a rope through the eyebolt with a gambrel on one end

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and hoist your deer up for skinning. If you’re so inclined you can even use The Portable limb to hang your wife’s hanging plants or bird feeder in the back yard, but we’ll probably make fun of you if you do. Outdoorlogics.com —Paul Bradshaw

The Original Tuff Truck Bag SOMETIMES I COME ACROSS THINGS TOO LATE. This was the case with the Original Tuff Truck Bag. A nasty, tornado producing front was dropping buckets of rain on my truck as I headed home after a weekend of deer hunting. My whole family was in the cab of the truck, and part of our gear was stuffed into trash bags in the bed, trying to keep it as dry as possible. The rest of our gear had to stay at the deer camp because we ran out of bags. When I got home I saw an advertisement for the Tuff Truck Bag, if I had only known about this a few days earlier I wouldn’t have a bag full of soggy underwear. The Original Tuff Truck Bag is a simple means of keepKeeps gear dry in pickup beds.

Tuff Truck Bag

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ing all your gear dry without limiting the usability of your truck bed by installing a shell or tonnuea cover. Constructed of what their website describes as a nonbreathable PVC material (think very heavy flatbed truck tarps), the bag sits in the bed of your truck when in use but folds up for easy storage when the weather is nice. I currently keep mine under the backseat of my truck ready to use if there is inclement weather. The specifications advise that it is 40” wide, by 50” long, and 22” tall with 26 cubic feet of storage. While I didn’t measure it to verify these dimensions I can tell you it holds a lot of stuff. A few weeks after the soggy trip home the family and I took another hunting trip in the rain, this time armed with the Tuff Truck Bag and I packed that thing full. There were four duffle bags, four backpacks, a few guns, ammo boxes, cleaning kits, boots, a kitchen sink, and I still had room to cram more junk. The Tuff Truck Bag comes with D rings at every corner and four bungee cords to secure it to the bed of the truck. The first time you use it the adjustable bungeed cords can be tricky but after you get the cords adjusted for you specific truck set up is a breeze taking less than a minute. Filling the bag with gear is a simple thanks to an opening that takes up the entire end of the bag, so large items are easily placed inside. The bag is closed with a large zipper, and a flap (held down by Velcro) covering the zipper to make the bag completely waterproof. This bag is a great addition to any truck, giving you the flexibility to continue using your truck as usual, while allowing you too keep your gear dry when needed. Tufftruckbag.com

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The Modern Day Gunslinger There have been very few good books written about learning to use and then using a handgun in self-defense. The best I had ever read, until recently, was No Second Place Winner, written by the late Bill Jordan, Assistant Chief Patrol Agent of the United States Border Patrol, and a world renowned gunslick. I had the privilege of seeing Jordan perform once, and let me tell you, it was an impressive performance. I was still in high school at the time, my father had just joined the Border Patrol, and my own career was far in the dim future. At that time I was contemplating a career as a.... Well, I didn't have a clue. However, that was the moment in time when I began seriously practicing with a handgun. And I confess that after over 40 years of practice I still cannot do what Jordan did. No shame, just fact. Now there is another book out on the open market that is head and shoulders above No Second Place Winner as a text book for handgunners. It teaches so many wonderful things that I cannot recount even a fraction of them here in Ultimate handgun this article, training manual. but I will share a few, just to Gunslinger whet your appetite. The book is titled “The Modern Day Gunslinger” and is touted, correctly, as “the ultimate handgun training manual. It is written by Don Mann, a retired U.S. Navy SEAL. It is published by Skyhorse Publishing, Inc. T E X A S

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He begins the book with the Latin “Cogito, ergo armatum sum” which translates to, “I think, therefore I am armed.” I think that says it all. It has been my personal motto for more than 30 years. Chapter 1 is “Weapons and Range Safety.” It covers the subject in a way that makes it plain that there is no excuse for accidents, which is true. If you follow the instructions Mann gives, you will be a safe handgunner, but ready for strife if it should appear. He covers dry-firing – a very important aspect of learning to use a handgun. And he again stresses safety. Over the years I have seen several accidents where an unloaded gun got mysteriously loaded during a dry firing drill and a shot was fired. Luckily, nobody was injured in any of the instances I am aware of, the only damage being to a speedometer, a clock, a television, a car door, and a stuffed pheasant, but the stupidity of it all proves that it was only because of divine intervention that someone wasn't killed or seriously injured. Chapter 3 is “Use of Force.” This is the reason you carry a gun. While you should pray that you never have to use it, you must be physically and mentally prepared to do so. Mann tells you everything you need to know about this aspect of going armed. Other chapters include: Living in a Battlefield, Combat Mindset, Defensive Handgun Ammunition, The Draw Strokes, Multiple Shots, Follow-Through and Scan, Concealed Carry and Holsters, and more. There are many more important aspects to this book. It is a book that should be mandatory reading for every person who carries a gun, whether a civilian, policeman, or military. My advice to you is: buy it, read it, and then read it again at least once a year. In fact, I think every person who applies for a concealed carry permit should be required to read it. It is that good.

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ny,” said Steven Parks, vice president Sales and co-owner of Parks Mfg. In early October 2010, Silver Wave had its first dealer meeting at the Parks facility in Seminole. Dealers, vendors and media guests were taken on an extensive tour of the facilty and shown the many advantages of a family owned and operated PARKS MFG., INC. OF SEMINOLE OK, MAKERS OF boat company when it comes to quality, Blue Wave Boats, has developed a new engineering and craftsmanship. line of high quality pontoon boats, which SilverWave Pontoons will be available they have named Silver Wave. in Play models for enjoying water sports in As a strategic move to grow and create comfort and style, with rear-facing lounges new jobs in a tough economy, the company and built-in ice chests. There will also be chose to diversify into other segments of the Fish models for families who like to wet a boating industry. line when they go out on the water—comParks Mfg. started in business in 1992, plete with fishing chairs, rod holders and built a state-of-the-art 165,000 sq. ft. prolive wells. duction facility in Seminole in 2006, and Silver Wave Pontoons come in 20-foot to 23-foot lengths, with lifetime guaranteed decking and 25-inch diameter pontoons. They also will be available in a tri-poon model, called the “Triple Play” that has industry-leading performance that has to be seen to be believed. Bill Nickle, an industry veteran with over 20 years experience in pontoon engineering and production, has joined the Parks team. “With Bill’s help, we have designed a line of pontoons with superior structural strength, performance, and the latest comforts for the family boating experience,” said Roger Parks, co-owner and CEO of Parks Mfg. One of the many innovations built into Initially, Silver Wave will come in the new Silver Wave pontoon boats is seven base models; the Parks will has an available changing room. work with their dealers to grow opened the line to meet the needs of their Silver Wave Pontoon two market. As with Blue Wave other Boats, they will also be able to offer custom divisions prior to their Silver Wave expan-built pontoon boats. sion. “Silver Wave will be a high-quality “We are excited about this opportunity product but will be priced to make sure to reach new customers and new areas... that the customer feels he is getting more our Blue Wave line has increased its revvalue out of every dollar he spends with enue since summer began and we look forour dealers,” said Richard Parks, co-owner ward to the Silver Wave line further and VP Engineering. strengthening our already-debt free compa-

PHOTO: PARKS MFG.

Blue Wave Launches New Boat Line

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Another New Pathfinder FOR THE SECOND TIME LAST SUMMER, MAVERick Boat Company introduced a totally new model to its venerable Pathfinder bay boat line, the 2200 TRS. Combining an upgraded deck layout and integrated aft deck seating, this boat is designed for family versatility on the water. Along with the recently introduced high performance, stepped hull 2300 HPS, this marks the biggest single year product launch since the brand’s inception in 1998. The TRS has a large foredeck with oversized anchor locker and lockable bow storage compartments that can accommodate rods to 9 feet and skis or wakeboards. The roomy aft deck has a 28-gallon center live well, two seats with flip-up backrests and storage underneath, and dedicated rigging and storage boxes. Walk-around room in the cockpit is added by a raised console with toe kick that allows interior access either through a large removable bi-fold door or a cutout behind the standard backrest cushion on the front. The hull enhances a proven running surface with a 25-inch transom and integrated trim tab pockets. Though the boat is rated for up to a 250 horsepower, Pathfinder expects it be most commonly packaged with Yamaha’s economical and efficient F150. “We are really excited about this boat. It’s a go most anywhere, do most anything boat for the whole family without the typical tradeoffs. It’s a perfect compliment to our line-up”, said Scott Deal, MBC President and owner. Pathfinder Boats are manufactured by Maverick Boat Company Inc, builders of the legendary Maverick, Hewes and Cobia boats brands. For more information, go to www.pathfinderboats.com or www.mbcboats.com.

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Boating & RV Trends 2011 DALLAS INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW

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Boating & RV Trends 2011 BY LENNY RUDOW WHEN IT COMES TO THE CURRENT state of the boat buying market, metaphors abound. We hear about rough economic weather, sinking sales, the stormy seas of finance, and businesses gurgling beneath the waters of insolvency. And you can forget about rising tides and calm waters; those disappeared along with the national budget surplus and rising home values. But, just how bad is the boating industry? Haven’t manufacturers been scaling back, consolidating, and trimming operations for several years now? Isn’t the economy seeing some positive indicators these days? There is no simple one-size-fits-all answer, but one thing’s for sure: No matter how bad it is for boat dealers and builders, there is a bright side to this story if you look for it.

Heartless Numbers To gain some insight into the current state of boating, we must look at some cold, hard numbers. The latest data from the National Marine Manufacturer’s Association (NMMA) is disheartening at first glance. Up through this summer, sales of powerboats 15 feet and up (based on by new boat registrations) declined just over 10 percent nationally. That was considered relatively good, since the same period in 2009 was off by 35 percent. Outboard aluminum powered boats in the 18-foot range sold best, while pleasure boat sales were down more than fishing boat sales. The bright side to these stats is Texas led the charge with the largest number of new aluminum boat registrations in the nation. 70 |

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Boating & RV Trends 2011 Despite the availability of this data, a lot of questions remain unanswered. “A big problem right now is that there is no consistency, no history we can use as a reference,” said David Christian, President of LMC Marine Inc., which sells 10 brands of boats and motors and is the world’s largest Triton dealer. “Not only is every quarter different, every week is different. It’s like you are going fishing on an unfamiliar lake and you don’t know whether the fish will be hitting on the surface, down deep, or in between. And what type of bait should you use? No one knows. Fortunately, many people who want boats and have the ability to buy them are starting to get past the economic fear. So, there is some light at the end of the tunnel. We can see it now, even though sometimes we’re not sure if it’s a light at the end, or a train that’s about to hit us.” Consumer demand isn’t the only prob-

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lem the industry in general and dealerships in particular have to contend with. Commercial credit is also a huge issue. “There is a vacuum on the wholesale side,” said Christian. “Getting floor-plan can be difficult, because there are really very few options. And if you can get it, the lender might try to micro-manage.” Ken Lovell, Executive Director of the Boating Trades Association of Metropolitan Houston, agreed that credit is an issue. “Consumer financing has become a challenge to boat dealers trying to make sales in today’s market,” Lovell said. But there might be better days on the way with regards to credit, too. “Recently, the Small Business Lending Bill was passed by Congress in an effort to free up the credit markets for these types of businesses. Hopefully, this will help the entire recreational marine industry.” He also sees a brightening future with regards to demand. “The feedback we received from the exhibitors at our last show indicated that attendees and customers were in a buying mood. A number of boats were sold at the show. If you go out on the water, you can see that boaters are still using their boats in large numbers. Talking to dealers, it has been an excellent year for refurbishing work and used boat sales. I think the outcome of the November elections could have a strong influence on new boat sales for 2011, but whatever the outcome, I do not believe boating will slow down.” When asked what else he sees coming in 2011, Lovell said: “I think one of the biggest problems facing the industry right now is financial uncertainty regarding tax issues for 2011. Hopefully, the elections will help build consumer confidence and encourage new boat sales. We’re in the process of preparing for the Houston International Boat, Sport & Travel Show (January 7-16, 2011), and I would encourage everyone from around the state to visit our show. It will cover over 16 acres and will house well over 1000 boats, along with travel trailers and campers, fishing tackle, wakeboards and accessories, fishing and hunting guides, and myriad other outdoor products. The response from the dealers

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Hot Sellers BASS BOATS: Low-cost aluminum might be making new inroads, but high-end bass boats from the likes of Ranger, Skeeter, and Triton are selling. Customers buying boats today want maximum power, all the bells and whistles, and high-performance boat/motor/trailer packages. The mid-range is suffering. BAY BOATS: Big-name bay boat builders like Blue Wave, Pathfinder, Pro-Line, Shearwater, and Triton, as well as custom Texas shallow-water boats like those made by Dargel, Haynie, and Shallow Sports are seeing decent demand. Again, high-end, rigged-to-the-teeth boats are outselling stripped, inexpensive versions of the same models, and moderately priced boats are not selling as well as either end of the extreme. HUNTING BOATS: Aluminum boats in the 14- to 18-foot range powered with 30- to 60-hp outboard engines are moving best. Hot brands include Alumacraft, Tracker, and Xpress. OFFSHORE BOATS: Center consoles are the top pick. Middleof-the-road cruisers and cabin boats usually chosen by less dedicated anglers are sitting idle on the dealer lots. Twenty-something outboard-powered center consoles from the likes of Cobia, Mako, and Pro-Line are the most likely to sell. Some in the lower cost niche such as Sea Hunt are also selling.

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Boating & RV Trends 2011 and exhibitors has been excellent. In fact, it’s even better than in 2010. Boating is still one of the most affordable and fun ways to spend quality time with family and friends.”

Heartfelt Numbers Fortunately, studies show that Lovell is correct. The Recreational Boating and Fishing Foundation (RBFF) performed a study of consumer attitudes toward boating last summer and found that the No. 1 predictor of future boat purchase intent was around family and friends that enjoy boating. A healthy 40 percent said they were likely or somewhat likely to buy a new boat between 15 and 25 feet within the next three years. The study found that anglers in particular have not reduced the amount of time spent fishing and actually expect to fish more in the future.

Unfortunately, over a third also said the biggest impediment to going out on the water is a lack of free time. This also relates back to the economy; people are working longer and harder just to maintain current incomes. Although only 22 percent surveyed felt that they were worse off financially than one year ago, 75 percent formed more cautious spending habits and don’t expect to return to their old ones. Over half said they wouldn’t finance a boat purchase, but buy a less expensive boat outright. They are aware of the current difficulties with financing and, perhaps more importantly, people are acutely aware of just how much financial trouble Americans got into during the downturn due to financed debt. They want to avoid these pitfalls in the future. Another industry trend seems to be a move to higher quality, even if in a smaller boat. “People seem to be ratcheting down

the size a little, but not the quality,” said Billy Holmes, Jr., VP of Gulf Coast Marine. “If someone was looking at a 40foot Cabo before, now maybe they are looking at a 35-foot Everglades. They will accept a smaller boat that costs less, but they still want the best boat in that class.” Gulf Coast Marine has been in business since 1954, and has seen many economic changes through the years. Though it will come as a surprise to some, Holmes isn’t so sure that this downturn is the worst the Texas boating industry has been through. “The oil bust in the 80s was this bad,” he said. “And we came through it. The economy has its ups and downs, but if people like to fish, they are going to buy a boat. It might be a less expensive boat, but they will buy what they can afford.” After-sale service is a factor in some buying decisions. “Overall boat sales may be down, but it’s really hurting dealerships that don’t do service,” said Fred Lester, VP at Redwing boats. “Those that take care of their customers are much better off, in the long run.” Some custom and niche boat builders also have an edge. “Niche boats weren’t hurt as bad as mass builders, although election years are never very good,” said Cleve Ford, President of Dargel Boats and of the Lower Rio Grande Boating Trades Association. “But at this point, most of the old inventory and repossessions are cleared out, and although we lost some dealers, the ones that are left are stronger and 2011 should be a good year.”

RVs & Campers Other outdoors industries are facing the same types of issues. RV sales, for example, are often compared with boat sales since both compete for disposable income spent on family-oriented recreation. The RV market is clearly trending towards better times. “The industry is on a rebound, there’s no doubt about it,” said Clark McEwan, Executive Director of the Texas Recreational Vehicle Association. “The economy 74 |

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2011 Boat & RV Show Calendar HOUSTON: 55TH ANNUAL HOUSTON BOAT SHOW January 7 -16, 2011 Reliant Center 8400 Kirby Drive Houston, TX 77573 (713) 526-6361 www.houstonboatshows.com

McAllen Convention Center 700 Convention Center Blvd., McAllen, TX 78501 (956) 682-5566 www.allvalleyboatshow.com

AUSTIN: AUSTIN BOAT, SPORT & OUTDOOR SHOW January 20-23, 2011 Austin Convention Center 500 E. Cesar Chavez, Austin, TX 78701 (512) 494-1128 www.austinboatshow.com RIO GRANDE VALLEY: ALL VALLEY BOAT SHOW February 25-27, 2011

SAN ANTONIO: SAN ANTONIO BOAT & RV SHOW January 27-30, 2011 Alamodome 100 Montana Street San Antonio, TX, 78203 (512) 481 -1777 www.sanantonioboatshow.com CORPUS CHRISTI: 54TH ANNUAL BOAT SHOW AND SALE January 28-30, 2011 American Bank Convention Ctr. 1901 North Shoreline Blvd Corpus Christi, TX

(361) 643-2258 www.ccboatshow.com LONGVIEW: 29TH ANNUAL BOAT, RV & CAMPING EXPO January 28-30, 2011 Maude Cobb Activity Center & Exhibition Hall Longview, TX 75604 (903) 237-4021 www.texaslakecountryexpo.com DALLAS: DALLAS INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW February 4-6; 9-13, 2011 Dallas Market Hall 2200 Stemmons Freeway Dallas, TX 75207 www.dallasboatshow.net

OTHER SHOWS: TEXAS INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW: April 7-10, 2011 Corpus Christi Marina People's Street T-Head Corpus Christi, TX 78401 (361) 425-9920 www.txintlboatshow.com SOUTH WEST INTERNATIONAL BOAT SHOW: April 14-17, 2011 South Shore Harbour Marina League City, TX 77573 (561) 842-8808 www.southwestinternationalboats how.com

kept people from spending for the past two years, but the desire to buy never went away. There’s a lot of pent up demand out there.” McEwan credits the “Go RVing” campaign (www.gorving.org) for helping keep interest levels strong, but also considers the impacts of lenders and financing: “Credit unions have been really important, because it’s been more difficult for people to get loans the past couple of years. We’re seeing more cash payments and larger down payments, and in 2011 and 2012, we hope to see the banks loosen up a bit. The demand is definitely out there. Attendance is up at the shows—about 30 percent at the Dallas Super Show—and things look very promising.” So, what’s the bottom line for the boating industry? The seas are still choppy and sales have not yet stopped sinking, but the outgoing current has slowed and there is a change coming as certain as the changing of the tide.

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Personal Defense Ammo WAS ASKED ONE TIME, “IF A 125-GRAIN hollow point .357 Magnum is such a great manstopper, why is it not recommend for deer hunting?” This is a great question and deserves an answer.

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First, a cartridge and bullet for self defense is not intended, necessarily, to kill, but is intended to stop, as nearly instantaneously as possible, the motor functions of a person. A bullet designed to kill is made to give deep, positive penetration, hold together, and cause fatal damage to internal organs. Complete penetration is often considered a good thing as it causes a better blood trail. Instant incapacitation is not a necessity, but a quick kill is mandatory. A quick kill being defined as a dead animal within, say, 50 yards and 10 seconds. A bullet intended for self defense is made to give shallower penetration and quicker expansion, causing extreme trauma to the nervous system, and, hopefully, causing instant incapacitation. Complete penetration is something to be avoided because of the possibility of the bullet striking an innocent by-stander behind the target. Death is not the desired result of a self defense round, but instant cessation of physical action is. Another question I get: “I have a little .25 automatic that I carry. Is that a good gun for self defense?” Answer: Hell no! If you are going to carry a gun, carry one with enough power to do the job. The .25 ACP is less powerful 76 |

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than a .22 Long Rifle hollow point. It may kill, but that will almost certainly be a long time after the encounter that caused the shot is over and done and you have been beat, cut, or shot to pieces. Remember the instant incapacitation part of self defense! The .25 ACP is useless as a self defense round. The .32 ACP is very little better. Leave them both at the gun shop and look for something with more power. The .380 ACP is the very minimum I can recommend. Loaded with 90-grain Federal Hydra-Shok ammunition it is the smallest practical self defense round, and it is not nearly as good as the larger and more powerful rounds. The only time the .380 should be considered is when concealability is of paramount importance. The real self defense cartridges start with the .38 Special and the 9mm Luger. Both of these rounds, especially in the +P and +P+ hollow point offerings are reasonably good manstoppers. The .38 Special shooting the 129-grain Federal Hydra-Shok hollow point is my personal minimum. If I am going to bet my life on a cartridge's ability to stop a crook in his tracks, I want to be sure it is up to the job. When I was an active duty Border Patrol Agent in the 1990's, I carried a Glock 17 in 9mm Luger. The Border Patrol supplied ammunition and its effectiveness was proven time and again in armed encounters all across the Southern Border. It was a 115grain hollow point loaded to specifications supplied by the Border Patrol. The Federal load was specified as 9 BPLE and chronographed at over 1200 feet per second. Today it would be called a +P+ round. I still have some and am protecting it like the crown jewels. In current ammo I think the Federal 124-grain Hydra-Shok or 115grain C9BP Personal Defense round are the best available. Also good are the Speer Gold Dot 124-grain +P, Barnes XPB 115gr HP, and Winchester Ranger-T 127gr JHP +P+. In the .357, the various 110- and 125-

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grain hollow points are very good. The Federal 125-grain offering has long been thought to be the best, but there are many loads that are just as good. The Speer Gold Dot is really good, as is Winchester's Super X. Bullets heavier than 125 grains are prone to excessive penetration. In the larger calibers one has to be especially careful of over penetration. This is something that is almost unavoidable with such rounds as the .45 Colt and the .44 Magnum when using the standard 240- and 250-grain loads. However, there are loads that are wonderful manstoppers and which lessen, to some extent, the problem of excessive penetration. Using a lighter weight bullet, like for instance a .225-grain hollow point in the .45 Colt, turns it from a deep penetrating hunting round into one of the best personal defense loads made. One of the top loads in the .45 Colt is the Winchester Supreme Elite Bonded PDX 225grain hollow point. This load pushes a .45 caliber bullet along at 850 feet per second. Recoil is mild and it hits like the proverbial “brick through a plate glass window.” The .44 Magnum is not generally considered a personal defense round, but properly loaded it can be one of the best. The best factory load I know of is the Federal 240-grain Hydra-Shok at 1210 feet per second. I would actually prefer that this load was cooled off to about 1000 feet per second, which would further decrease the danger of over-penetration, but at 1200 it is one heck of a manstopper. Another good .44 Magnum load is the Hornady 180-grain XTP. This one is a real screamer at over 1500 fps, and requires a very experienced handgunner to handle it well. But it should be as good a defense load as it is possible to pack into a handgun. Another way to minimize the over-penetration of your .44 Magnum, is to shoot .44 Specials in it. Federal loads a 200-grain semi-wadcutter hollow point and Hornady makes the 180-grain XTP. Either would be a good manstopper. N O R T H

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I am testing some new ammo from Cor®Bon, for .45 Colt and .44 Magnum. Both loads consist of a solid copper hollow point weighing 225 grains. The .44 load is rated at 1300 fps, the .45 Colt load claims 1200 fps. That is a moderate load for the big .44, but the load for the big Colt is smokin'! Cor®Bon claims that these bullets will expand reliably yet retain 100% weight, even after penetrating glass or steel. It is called DPX and is extremely good ammo, if rather expensive. But, how much is your life worth? In the .45 ACP my personal favorite is the Federal 230-grain Hydra-Shok. I think this is the most dependable manstopper ever made in the .45 ACP, and it functions flawlessly in my Colt Lightweight Commander. Also good are the Federal 185-grain jacketed hollow point, Cor®Bon's load using a 185-grain Sierra hollow point, CCI's Lawman 200-grain hollow point, Speer Gold Dot, and Remington Golden Sabre. Hardball is not as reliable a stopper as the jacketed hollow points, but some guns do not feed the JHPs reliably. Use JHPs if you can, but

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if not the 230-grain ball is a decent manstopper; especially when compared to other old style “police loads.” Conclusion: Stay away from the pipsqueak cartridges. If you are going to carry a gun for self-defense, carry one with sufficient power to get the job done. I suggest nothing smaller than the .38 Special or 9mm Luger, and in these two it is necessary to choose your ammunition wisely. The standard old 158-grain lead round-nose bullet in the .38 is a terrible choice. Instead buy something with a good hollow point at top velocity. Something in 110- or 125-grains in the +P loading is probably best. The same applies to the 9mm. Stay away from the hard ball ammo. It gives much too much penetration and very little stopping power.

Long until it seems to be a decent manstopper. I am testing it now and it seems to have what it takes to get the job done. The load I have been playing with is the Federal Premium 85-grain Hydra-Shok Low Recoil. Recoil is negligible, accuracy is great, and it should be a great round for ladies or men who are recoil sensitive. That's about it. As my old cop buddy M.D. Beale says. “Stay safe and watch six.” If you require more specific information on a specific cartridge/handgun combination, you can write me at my email address below.

One last thing: There is a new kid on the block that offers some interesting ballistics. That is the .327 Federal Magnum. I have never had any confidence in the .32 calibers, but this round has pushed the velocity of the old .32 Smith & Wesson

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E-mail Steve LaMascus at guns@fishgame.com

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Those Late Season Hunts O TEXAS BOW HUNTERS, JANUARY USUALLY means the end of another bow hunting season. My wife would consider it a golden opportunity to finally get a few things done around the ole hacienda. Either way, it is the end of fun, as we know it! Although winter has truly taken a grip on Texas, some parts of our State still enjoy a few more days to try their luck and fill those tags. Harvesting a whitetail this late in the season might be tough, but certainly not impossible. It is time to think like a deer… act like a deer… and react to any changes you see the deer in your area make. Mating is not the priority now. You still may find a few bucks that are still chasing a few does around, but it is not the number one thing on their mind. Nourishment and survival instincts once again return. After a very busy season of fighting with other bucks, chasing does for over 2 months and avoiding any danger from predators, the bucks that are still around are totally wiped. They have spent more time following does around that their food intake has diminished substantially… and so has their energy. As a matter of fact, if you are one of the lucky ones who bag a deer this late in the season, you will find that the meat of a buck is very sticky compared to one harvested earlier in the year. There is nothing wrong with your deer. He is just emaciated from all of his activities. The meat may taste a little stronger as well. This is the time when the hunting gets

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serious. Time to separate the men from the boys (sorry ladies… just an expression). I just mean that the hunting may get a little tougher if you want to fill your tag. Try hunting in a place where you would never think of going during the season. A small patch of woods very near a highway may be what you are looking for. A tiny island of brush may hold the buck of your dreams. These deer did not get to be giants by being stupid. They have adapted well to most hunting tactics. That is why you need to shake things up a bit. Believe me, by now; the deer know where all of your stands are. They have smelled or encountered danger there before and have abandoned the area entirely. Oh, they will return to their favorite hangouts again but it will not be until long after things calm down in the woodlot. Last season, I had one of those “I’ll never forget that” experiences. It was the end of the season and I was visiting a friend who lives just outside a small town. When I say just outside, you could throw a rock to the town line. It was mid day when I had to leave. I went out in his yard and in an adjoining field was one of those small brush patches I was talking about. I said to myself… “I wonder…” I headed directly towards that mini deer haven. I found myself quite close before I was convinced that nothing was there. All of a sudden that small patch that was now a mere 15 yards in front of me, exploded with one of the nicest bucks I had ever seen. He felt secure lying in that small patch in the middle of nowhere. He would never suspect any danger and would never see the arrow coming. You simply would need to get there before he does and wait for your opportunity. I know that sounds way to easy. You would be right. Most of the time, you would wait in places like these talking to yourself about what a waste of time this is. I have been there… I know your frustration, but hard times call for hard measures. I think that one of the most important

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things to think about when you are hunting those late season deer is to be in the woods very early. The whitetails have learned that they need to get close to their safe place covered by a blanket of darkness. You just need to be there first! You may hear a deer work his way to his bed while it is still dark. That just means you are in for a long sit as you wait for him to get up and move around a bit. Of course, you still need to control your human scent, but if you can get close to his safe bedding area, he will soon find out that buck is about to have a bad day! A heavy thicket in the middle of a woodlot offers a perfect sanctuary for deer. They can hear when danger approaches and leave undetected. If you are fortunate enough, you could set up just outside one of these hot spots well before dark thirty. Find yourself a well-used deer run, check the wind direction, and sit in the darkness. The biggest problem I have is staying awake! Getting up early and being quiet as I approach my hunting spot is no problem for me. Once I am there and comfortable, I tend to doze off and I would miss an opportunity of a lifetime. My wife tells me I snore so loud that I might mess up everybody else’s opportunity too if you are hunting within 5 miles of my location! Being successful this late in the season can be frustrating… but remember... Nothing good comes easy! One thing is certain, you will not have any luck seeing deer if you are in your living room. Success in the bow hunting world does not always mean you bring home the prize, it means you bring home your memories that last a lifetime.

E-mail Lou Marullo at lmarullo@fishgame.com

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Time to Hang It Up HAT ARE YOUR PLANS FOR THE weekend,” my wife inquired as I poured a Saturday morning cup of coffee. Uh oh! Coffee wasn’t the only thing brewing and I quickly reached for the newspaper. From beyond the extended sports page came: “Why don’t you clean the garage?” Feigning a bad case of “shotgun ear” I waited to see if the moment would pass. “The garage is a mess and you promised me you would keep it clean. There is so much junk in there I can’t park my car in the garage.” “Yes dear, I will clean it up,” I said with a long and drawn out emphasis on the first two words. An eerie silence followed. Lowering the paper ever so slightly to peek over the top, there stood my wife, hands on hips. When our eyes locked I knew she meant business and in an instant my weekend plans had been altered. A quick scan of the garage brought incredulity. How could anyone call my outdoor gear junk? My work bench was piled high with tools, boxes of lures, a drill press, and orphaned fasteners which I have been collecting since 1989. Heck, you never know when you will need a 9/16th copper-clad flutter nut with left handed threads? On the back side of the garage stood two plastic shelves I bought at the home store when we moved into our new house five years ago, now overflowing with fishing tackle. All manner of lures boxes, maps, landing nets, and spools of line were heaped up on each shelf. Between the two racks of shelves was a little alcove housing old rods and reels; basically every rod and reel I have ever owned was stashed there. A 14-foot semi-V aluminum boat (circa 1960) perching on its trailer sat in front of the

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shelves; the boat was filled to the brim with boxes of tear sheets from assorted outdoor publications. My 14-foot kayak sat precariously balanced on top of the clutter, flanked by several paddles and PFDs. Where to start? The very idea of jettisoning valuable outdoor-related assets was a non-starter. I had to get everything organized and quickly. Gear was sorted into categories: bass, bream, catfish, crappie, fly fishing, etc. It quickly became evident that much of the clutter could be reduced simply by organizing the gear I had repeatedly dumped onto the shelves after fishing trips. Even though the small stuff cleaned up nicely, the kayak was another matter; plus, it was rather cumbersome lifting if from one temporary spot to another. I needed a solution that was both easy on the back and wifefriendly. With an open mind, I pondered all possibilities, both indoor and outdoor. Behind the garage seemed like a natural but olfactory input reminded that this bit of real estate was reserved for the dog and I retreated carefully back to the safety of the main yard. Stepping on one of the dog’s calling cards at 4:00 AM would surely put a damper on a fishing trip so I decided that an interior storage site would be a better choice. Contemplating the interior of the garage with an architect’s eye, I considered every possible area where I could store the kayak. Nothing was off limits: floor, ceiling, walls, attic, all were evaluated for their storage potential. The area above the roof joists really isn’t an attic per se but there sure is a lot of space up there. A closer look revealed that roof joists were spaced 24 inches on center and it was highly doubtful no matter how I twisted and turned my kayak that I could get it through the joists. The area above my head but below the joists looked promising as well. A little time on the computer revealed that there were several good kayak hoists on the market that would lift my kayak up to the ceiling. A system of pulleys and ropes are used to raise and T E X A S

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lower your kayak just as you do window blinds. Unfortunately, when the garage door is open it blocks access to the ceiling joists where I wanted to hang my yak . Time for Plan B. The walls of the garage then became the focus of my attention. Additional research revealed a wide assortment of hangers, hooks, and cradles for kayak storage. I contemplated storing the kayak in a vertical fashion but the height of the ceiling joists nixed this plan. Horizontal storage it would be. The only problem now was finding space Shelves, racks for garden tools, pegboards, a work bench, and other assorted handyman accessories hugged the walls. Open space was practically nil but the judicial rearrangement of a workbench freed enough space to house the hull with eight-inches to spare. Given the space limitations I opted for a set of padded kayak racks, fastening them to the wall studs with lag bolts. Rather than a mounting the brackets waist-high, I opted to go low, about six-inches above floor level. Since I only had four-inches on either end of the hull to spare, I was not able to slide my hull into the rack from either end, but instead had to lift it up and set it down exactly in place. To make everything fit I needed to face the top of the kayak towards the wall, making it difficult to position without a hull handle. A year earlier I sequestered a spare luggage strap to my collection of orphaned fasteners because it had two heavy duty brass snaps on either end. Turns out that the luggage strap made a perfect handle for lifting the hull into place when I attached the snaps to the pad eyes on the hull. When you outdoor cup runneth over, January and February are great times to sort though last year’s messes and get organized. And when it comes to your kayak, it is time to hang it up.

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Image Maker VERYONE LIKES TAKING PICTURES AND videos of their outdoor adventures, but doing so on a boat has a litany of unique challenges. Views that looked awesome through the camera lens turn out to be dull when you put them on the computer screen, and scenes that were incredible while you peeked through the video cam’s eye piece look disastrous when you show them on the TV. If you want your boating pics and vids to come out looking as cool as the sights in real life, you’ll have to work at it—here’s how.

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of shooting pictures on a boat is the constant motion. As a result of rocking and rolling, you’ll often have a tilted horizon. Pictures shot at a 45 degree angle, or even a 4.5 degree angle, just plain look weird. Before you hit the button, always eyeball the horizon as well as your subject and make sure it’s straight. If the boat’s in heavy seas, you’ll have to time the rolling with the shutter’s click. Note, however, that some digital cameras have a slight delay between when you press the button and when the picture actually gets taken. In these cases, timing it right is close to impossible. Another problem presented by a moving target is focus. Yes, most of today’s autofocus systems are fast enough to keep up with a boat’s motion. But most also detect where to auto-focus according to what is centered in the lens, or what is “grabbed” when you partially depress the button. In both of these cases, you’re likely to autofocus on something other than your subject by accident, when the boat moves and the

subject moves out of center as a result. The only way to combat this problem is to pay close attention to the auto-focus, and make sure you’re really centered on what you intend when you press the button. BRIGHT IDEAS – Another big problem with using cameras on a boat is glare. Not only do you have glare off the water to contend with, in most cases you also have bright white or off-white gel coat, gleaming in the sunlight. As a result, pictures look washedout and over-exposed. There are two ways of dealing with this issue. First, you can add a filter to your lens to cut down on the light levels. A polarizing filter will not only cut light, but will also allow you to shoot images of fish and lures just beneath the surface of the water. (Shoot the water without one, and you usually get a great mirror-image of the sunlight—and nothing else). But there’s a down-side to using these filters. Leave them on the lens when you shoot in low-light conditions like cloudy days or at sunrise and sunset, and the filter will cut out so much light that all of your pictures look dark. Your second option is to set your camera to under-expose a hair. Experts will be able to look at a light meter or even judge with the naked eye, and know how much to dial it down. The rest of us are best served by bracketing (underexposing, exposing, and overexposing), each image we take, regardless of light levels and conditions. Most modern digital cameras can be programmed to bracket with ease, so every time you hold down the button, three different exposures are shot of the same image. Yes, you’ll end up with a lot of useless photos using this technique; two out of three are virtually guaranteed to come out poorly. But you’re assured that regardless of light conditions, one out of three will be a winner. GO WIDE – When we get special lenses for our cameras, we usually gravitate towards big zooms that can bring the action in close.

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These are great for shooting boat-to-boat, but 99-percent of the time we take pictures of people on the same boat we’re standing on. In this situation, a zoom does more harm than good—even a standard lens may chop out some of the action. Simply backing up away from the subject isn’t an option due to space constraints on most boats. Get a wideangle lens, however, and you’ll find it easier to capture entire scenes, like one buddy netting another’s fish, while you stand just a few feet away.

Video WATERPROOF GETS THE PROOF – If you want to get awesome footage of you and your friends catching fish, get a waterproof video camera. This will allow you to get shots of the fish just prior to netting, film the action as fish are pulled from the water and brought aboard, and even footage of released fish swimming away. Luckily, waterproof video cameras are a lot more common and inexpensive these days than you might think. Some like the Kodak Playsport or the Sanyo Xacti, can

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be submerged up to 10 feet underwater for up to 30 minutes, without causing any damage. They have excellent quality (both are hi-def) and are small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. Most amazing, they only cost a few hundred dollars. MOUNTING OPTIONS – One of the problems with shooting video on a boat is the need for a dedicated camera-man. You have to concentrate on shooting footage from start to finish, without setting down the camera or taking a break to help out, as you can with a still camera. When you have a limited crew and need assistance to land a fish or reposition the boat, this can add unprofessional bumps, camera turns, and black-outs to the video. A simple way to get around the issue is to get a rail-mount that attaches to the video cam’s tripod mount (such as those made by Ram Mounts). Another option is to get a “hat cam,” (www.hatcams.com) which has the mount built into the brim of a hat. It feels a little odd to have that extra weight swinging around on your head, but after a few minutes you forget it even exists.

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GET CREATIVE – If you want really unique video, you’ll have to get creative. Some of the best footage I’ve ever seen of action in the cockpit of a bluewater battlewagon was taken when a crewmember suspended his video camera from an outrigger line, and ran it out to the end of the rigger. Other incredible shots have CONTINUED been gathered by SEE PAGE 82  duct-taping a waterproof camera to the end of a mop handle, shoving it several feet underwater, and recording an entire fight with a grouper from the moment it was hooked to the moment it was landed. So don’t hesitate to experiment, and more or less go wild. The worst thing that can happen is you’ll get poor footage and erase the memory chip, if you don’t like what you see. LEVEL-HEADED – As with still cameras, you want a steady, level horizon. Unfortunately, this is physically impossible to achieve on a moving boat. So instead of concentrating on getting the horizon level in the viewfinder, get the camera perfectly level with the boat,

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Dynamic Decoys ’M NOT GOING TO LIE TO YOU, LATE SEASON waterfowl hunting in Texas is tough. The ducks you are chasing on east Texas reservoirs, west Texas playas, or coastal marshes in January were being shot at in September on the Canadian prairies. For the past four months these birds have been flying south and you can bet that they have seen a lot of hunters and had plenty of steel flung their direction. They’ve learned to avoid clumps of grass shaped like a rectangle, overly enthusiastic mallard hen calls, and rafts of plastic ducks that aren’t moving around like they should. So to shoot more ducks you need change things up a little and add more movement to your spread. Raise your hand if you own a spinner (a spinning wing duck decoy, not the pointless wheels on the jacked up 1983 Cutlass you see driving around town). This time of year you might as well put that thing in the garage and leave it there until next season. Spinners work on young birds or early in the year, but by now every duck has seen it and it’s less effective. Instead of using a spinner to add motion to your spread (which doesn’t look very natural) use swimming and feeding decoys. They not only look more realistic, which won’t flare the birds, but will also send out ripples in the water which will cause other decoys to move,

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adding even more realism to your spread. If you don’t own any store bought swimming or feeding decoys you can convert some of your standard ones for just a few bucks. The cheapest and easiest way to add motion is via a jerk cord. Jerk cords can be elaborate affairs with multiple decoys, bungee cords, sticks, and spreader bars but the best practice is to keep it simple. All you really need is a weight, some string, and a decoy. The simplest way to do this is to take a small kayak or canoe anchor (two or three pounds), run your line (black trotline string works well) through the eye of the anchor and then tie it to the front of the decoy. Take the anchor out to where you want the decoy to rest and push it down in the mud and run the line back to your blind. When you pull the cord the front of the decoy will dive down into the water mimicking a feeding duck. To add a swimming decoy to your spread what you need is an old decoy, a battery, and a bilge pump. Take the old decoy and cut off the keel, leaving the front line tie eye still attached to the decoy. Buy the smallest bilge pump you can find and attach it to the bottom of the decoy upside down with a few screws. The output of the pump should point towards the back f the decoy. Seal up the screw holes with some all purpose caulk. Drill a small hole in the bottom of the decoy and run the wires from the bilge pump up into the body of the decoy, again sealing the hole with all purpose sealant.

Cut a hole in the back of the decoy, so you can access the bilge pump wires, making sure it is big enough to at least fit a nine volt battery into the decoy. On mine I made a large U shaped cut which leaves the back intact but allows me to bend up the cut part slightly so I can get the battery in and out. Attach the bilge pump wires to a nine volt battery connecter via wire nuts and electrical tape. You can put an on/off switch between the pump and the battery connector if you want but it’s not necessary. To make the bilge pump run, simply plug in a nine volt battery and drop it in the water. To keep the decoy in one general area tie about ten feet of decoy string to the front of the decoy (on the eye you left on the decoy) with a weight on the other end. This will let the decoy swim in one direction until it hits the end of the string then turn and swim in another direction or just swim in one big circle. Either way it will attract ducks; just make sure your other decoys are far enough away that they won’t get tangled up with the swimmer. The bilge does drain batteries so you might want to invest in rechargeables. The key to fooling late season ducks is realism in your set up and live ducks move around. If you want to get more mallards landing in your decoys you need to add a little motion to your spread.

E-mail Paul Bradshaw at freshrigs@fishgame.com

TEXAS BOATING and keep it that way. (The afore FROM PAGE 81 mentioned mounts are invaluable for this purpose). Then, as the boat rocks and rolls, the motion of the video remains in synch with it. CONTINUED

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Use these tips and tricks, and soon you’ll be shooting like a pro. And, why not share your newfound talent with the rest of the world? Send your awesome pictures to photos@fishgame.com, and we’ll put them in

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a future edition of Texas Fish & Game.

E-mail Lenny Rudow at boating@fishgame.com

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ILLUSTRATION BY PAUL BRADSHAW

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PHOTO: BRYAN SLAVEN

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Homemade Tortilla Soup HIS HEARTY SOUP IS SURE TO WARM YOU and your family on a cold winter day. It might be a good idea for Super Bowl Sunday, too. This recipe makes 4 to 6 bowls; double it if your kids eat like mine do.

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2 Tbs olive oil 1 cup chopped onions 2 tsp chopped garlic 1 teaspoon chicken bullion 1 poblano pepper, seeded and chopped 1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and chopped 1 zucchini squash, sliced into 1/4-inch slices 1 can diced tomatoes 1 lb fresh mushrooms, sliced thin 1 ear of corn, shucked and cut fresh from the cob 1-1/2 tsp salt 2 tsp ground cumin 1/2 tsp ground coriander 2 Tbs tomato paste 6 cups chicken stock 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch cubes 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves 2 tsp fresh lime juice 2 cups vegetable oil for frying 6 stale corn tortillas, cut into 1/4-inchthick strips 1 tsp Texas Gourmet's Sidewinder Searing Spice 1 avocado, peeled, seeded, and chopped for garnish In a Dutch oven or large cast iron pot, N O R T H

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heat the oil on medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic, peppers, salt, cumin, and coriander for 3 to 4 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook for 1 minute. Be sure and stir as you go. Add the chicken stock and bring to a simmer for 20 minutes. Add the chicken and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the cilantro and lime juice, and stir well. Add a teaspoon of chicken bouillon for richness. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm. Heat the oil in a heavy pot to 350 degrees. Add the tortilla strips in batches and fry until golden and crisp, 1-1/2 to 2 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon and T E X A S

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drain on paper towels. Season to taste with the Texas Gourmet's Sidewinder Searing Spice. Ladle the soup into bowls and garnish each serving with the diced avocado, fried tortilla strips, green onion tops, grated Monterrey jack cheese, and chopped cilantro.

Contact Bryan Slaven, "The Texas Gourmet," at 888-234-7883, www.thetexasgourmet.com; or by email at texas-tasted@fishgame.com

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Beverly w/ Redfish Charters

TEXAS SALTWATER

TEXAS SALTWATER

BAFFIN BAY

ROCKPORT

CORPUS CHRISTI

UPPER COAST (SABINE LAKE) Hillman Guide Service

ADVERTISERS, SEND IN YOUR PHOTOS TODAY!

GALVESTON

Stony York Blair’s Guide Service

Chris and John Rockport Red Runner Hillman Guide Service

Kevin and Marvin Redfish Charters

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Rockport Red Runner

McGaughey Family Blair’s Guide Service

TEXAS FRESHWATER

TEXAS HUNTING

TEXAS HUNTING

LAKE AMISTAD

White Oak Outfitters

White Oak Outfitters

EAST TEXAS

SPOTLIGHT: BLAIR’S GUIDE SERVICE My name is Vaughn Blair. I was born and raised in east Texas. My dad took me to the lake every weekend as soon as I could walk. I have always loved being outdoors, and I enjoy showing others what they sometimes miss in this rushed world we now live in. I got my guide license and started Blairʼs Guide Service because I wanted to give people a place where they could go to relax and have fun. I use a 22-foot center console Mako, which allows 360° of casting area and the ability to follow your fish and bring it in. I fish primarily for bass, stripers, catfish, and just about anything thatʼs biting. I fish in Lake Nacogdoches, Lake Palestine, and Sam Rayburn Reservoir. I not only take people out to fish, but have been asked to take people on tours and day trips of local lakes. Most of my clients would love to own a boat, but for various reasons, donʼt. They all love to be on the water, but not all of them fish. I want everyone to have a fun, relaxing time and to leave with a smile and some good stories. Thatʼs why Iʼm here. Iʼm all about the outdoors and want to share it with people who have the same passion. So pick a lake and give me a call! Vaughn Blair, 903-646-3889 N O R T H

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Redfish Surfside

Redfish Grass Perch

Sabine Pass

dn’t Thomason di Charlie Paige redfish ch Five-year-old -in 35 s w’ r papa want to let he ide Beach go. She is her rfs caught on Su hing buddy. fis papaw’s best

Amanda Tully with one of th that she caug e three redfish ht while fishi ng with her fa in Sabine Pa mily ss.

Lake Dunlap

off her iles showing rini is all sm ke DunLa on g Kourtney Ma tin at a family ou d has her own grass perch an ne years old lap. She is ni d reel. an d princess ro

Redfish Braunig Lake

Ducks

Rattlesnake

Rockport L-R Noah Sm all, James Sm all, and Jimm Small on a se ie mi-successfu l Rockport sh ot 4 redheads duck hunt in , 2 pintail he and 1 green ns, wing teal.

South Texas

ratt shot a 6-foot d of Beaumon h ut So in p tri Johnny Bree on a hunting e, a bagged a do tlesnake while s son. He also g the trip. Texas with hi rin o javelinas du spike, and tw

Luis Costas of Lu this redfish wh is Fishing Charter caug ht ile fishing at Braunig Lake .

Redfish San Luis Pass

Redfish

Mixed Stringer

Port Aransas

Galveston

rt ong with Robe vin Ballard, al lveBobby and Ke Friermood, fished the Ga ne is Paul and Blai d won with th ide’s Cup an . ston CCA Gu ut tro 20 d ish an bunch of redf

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Andrew Garc ia of San An tonio caught 8-pound, 4-ou this nc shrimp while e, 28-inch redfish on dead fishing near the Ferry Land ing in Port Ar ansas.

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is 38d released th te caught an his family at th Mitchell Loch wi ng hi st. while fis inch redfish s personal be . This was hi San Luis Pass

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Whitetail Buck Llano County

Largemouth Bass Lake O’ The Pines

Whitetail Buck Port Mansfield

her , age 10, shot h, s Schorlemer El Sauz Ranc Mary France P. H. e th at buck first 10-point . ld fie ns Ma Port just west of

Harold Wheat ca bass while fis ught this 11.46 pound hing on Lake O’ The Pines

ot and, Texas, sh am of Kingsl ter Frank Willingh ck with a .30-30 Winches bu 21under had a this 11-point ty. The 130-po in Llano Coun . ad re sp 3/4-inch inside

Whitetail Buck Crockett County

Whitetail Buck Whitetail Buck

Sam Houston Forest

Paul Maire of W in the Sam Ho illis, shot this 8-point bu ck uston Nationa 15-inch spre l Forest. It ha ad and field da dressed 125 Also pictured lbs. is Paul’s son, Austin, age 9.

ot und Rock sh niel, 16, of Ro Kristen McDa th her mom and dad in wi buck her first deer the 10-point ty. She took Crockett Coun 0 yards. 11 with a .243 at

Palo Pinto County Hunter Wylie , age 9, shot his first buck Palo Pinto Co in un er with a 13-in ty. The buck was a 10-poi ntch spread.

Black Drum Carlos Bay

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ound ught this 50-p out ins of Flint ca ends fri d an Danny Hawk ily m hing with fa amberjack fis a. id of Destin, Flor

Rockport Cutter Funder burg, 10, of Se 6-pound shee guin caught tw psheads and an 8.5-pound, o inch black dr um fishing at 26 Rockport with Guide Robert Konyicka .

, with ily Griffith, 12 ith, 9, and Em caught at Carlos William Griff ack drum they k 2 30-pound bl ased 21 blac ught and rele Bay. They ca ester Benge. Ch r he at df an drum with gr

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Hunter Barr, 17, inch speckled of Houston with his 27trout caught in the surf at Pirate’s Beac h in Galvesto n.

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ht this Victoria caug der itty) Haas of jun Thun Ca Katherine (K d an p k on shrim 22-inch spec Caney Creek while fishing Popping Cork th her husband Michael. wi near Sargent

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Jimmy Smith , 17 the 2-year-old , and Travis Bryant, 16, with turkeys they shot on the Sm Farm at Braz os ith 10-1/2-inch be Point, Texas. The birds ha ards. d

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January 2011  

This issue contains the 2011 Boat Show Guide, OH Ivie Lunker Puzzle, Stalked by Lions: Lady Hunters, Coastwide 5-trout Limit?, The Guns of "...

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