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Texas Fish & Game® ★ FEBRUARY 2011 • VOL. XXVI NO.10

COASTAL EDITION


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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

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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

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ARDIA NEVES VICE PRESIDENT/ADVERTISING DIRECTOR

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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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TER MOORE PHOTO: CHES

FEATURES FEBRUARY 2011 • Volume XXVI • NO. 10

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TEXOMA TITANS One of four massive border-straddling Texas lakes, Texoma has become the nation’s premier inland fishery for striped bass, despite the fact that, until the mid1960s, the fish did not even exist in its waters.

COVER STORY:

by Chester Moore

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Gerald Swindle: Lauging All the Way to the Bass

WHATEVER FLOATS YOUR BAIT Advanced — yes advanced — techniques in fishing bobber deployment. From simple plastic floaters to sophisticated sonar weapons, an often underapreciated part of your fishing arsenal.

2004 B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year Gerald Swindle uses a contagious sense of humor to maintain a loose, fun-loving approach to professional fishing. And it has paid off a million times over for him. He spoke with Texas Fish & Game recently about fishing in general and fishing Texas in particular. STORY:

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by Calixto Gonzales

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THE TF&G AMMO QUIZ Just how high is your Ammunition Quotient (AQ)? Do you know your Express from your Magnum and your black from your smokeless powder? Take our Ammunition Quiz and find out.

by Chester Moore

On the Web

by Steve LaMascus

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TF&G’S OWN LONE STAR LEGENDS Hood, Dogget, and Pike. For decades, if you wanted to know what was going on in the Texas outdoors, you looked to these three men.

www.FishGame.com

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COLUMNS & DEPARTMENTS

FEBRUARY 2011 • Volume XXVI • NO. 10

COLUMNS 10 Editor’s Notes

32 Texas Saltwater

Lessons in Conservation

Thoughts and Rants

by DON ZAIDLE TF&G Editor-in-Chief

by CALIXTO GONZALES TF&G Saltwater Editor

DEPARTMENTS 8

LETTERS

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TF&G REPORT

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BIG BAGS & CATCHES

14 Chester’s Notes Fishing with Yoda by CHESTER MOORE TF&G Executive Editor

16 Doggett at Large African Dreams by JOE DOGGETT TF&G Senior Contributing Editor

18 Pike On the Edge 38 Texas Freshwater Snow Job

Fork Big Bass Bounty

by DOUG PIKE TF&G Senior Contributing Editor

by MATT WILLIAMS TF&G Freshwater Editor

20 TexasWild

Big City Buck

by TED NUGENT TF&G Editor At Large

by BOB HOOD TF&G Hunting Editor

22 Commentary

48 Open Season

America’s Gun Genius

Raising Kids on Raw Fish

by KENDAL HEMPHILL TF&G Politcal Commentator

by REAVIS WORTHAM TF&G Humor Editor

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TRUE GREEN

39 Hunt Texas

Ethics, Schmethics

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www.FishGame.com


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Letters to the Editor Reloading Reloaded I VERY MUCH ENJOYED YOUR ARTICLE ON tools for reloading. I consider myself a novice reloader, having loaded mostly .45 ACP rounds. You are so right on needing/wanting to obtain the newest reloading tools that are supposed to help make reloading easier, or help you make more accurate loads. It's a very rewarding hobby.

Doug Bell, Sr. Granbury, TX

Marty & Cynthia Kruse Via email

I ENJOYED STEVE LAMASCUS’ ARTICLE, "Tools for Reloading," very much. I related to each “phase.” It is indeed a most rewarding and interesting hobby, has an ever-growing “need” for the latest gear and gadgets, and the accumulation of catalogues, magazines, and manuals against future need.

Oscar Orum Austin, TX

Adding Restrictions to Antler Restrictions I WOULD LIKE TO SEE THE ANTLER RESTRICtions changed to at least include some type of exemption for kids/women that are new to the sport or have taken very few deer. As a hunter from childhood, I have matured from shooting anything that had horns to being much more selective and just enjoying watching the deer. However, I have never found antlers very tasty, and if I have not harvested a deer by the end of the season, I would like to have the opportunity to take any deer that I see without having to worry with antler restrictions. My wife and I have hunted together for six years, and in that time she has shot only 8 |

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two deer. She had an opportunity at a nice buck this season that I knew was legal, but when she saw the buck, it did not give her time to determine if it was legal. It would have been a very nice second buck for her, and she was disappointed when we met up at her stand and I told her it was legal. The TPWD guideline to use the ear tips in alert position as a gauge for 13 inches is not sufficient. I measured one I have on the wall and it is 14-1/4 inches ear tip to ear tip. I wonder if it would be legal to first shoot the deer with a tranquilizer to measure it.

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I AM A 12-YEAR-OLD BOY IN BRAZORIA County. I have been hunting with my papa (grandpa) since I was about 6 years old. I have always enjoyed the outdoors, especially hunting and fishing. P R E S EisN about TS My main concern this 13-inch rule on bucks. It is a good rule for letting younger bucks get to grow, but I think it should be overruled for us kids because we are new to the sport and it is our dream to kill a buck no matter how wide its horns are. I hunt in Trinity County with my Papa. We had lots of opportunities at bucks last season that were very nice, but I couldn’t shoot at them because of this 13-inch rule. At this one stand called the “Cat House,” we saw this 6-pointer but we could not shoot at him because of this 13-inch rule. I mean, he was absolutely beautiful, big bodied, and a very good deer. After this type of situation, many kids wouldn’t want to go back hunting if they had all these chances at this awesome buck and their parents or grandparents told them they couldn’t shoot at them. Man, that would really stink, so that’s why I think it should be overruled for kids.

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IMAGINE MY SURPRISE WHEN I READ MR. Cal Gonzales’ column and found my brother, John, and I were both quoted in it. I must extend a heartfelt apology from my brother and myself (my youngest brother, Pat, is holding his tongue because he wasn’t in the story). Mr. Gonzales had been talking to us at White Sands in Port Isabel, where the three of us always have breakfast before heading out on the water. He had overheard us talking about how much better the fishing had been down at Padre and Port Mansfield since the five-trout limit was imposed a few years back. We have been catching a lot more keeper trout since then, and the fishing only looks to get better. Mr. Gonzales started talking to us and said he was a writer. We looked at each other and thought “Riiiight.” Then he took out a notepad and started taking down what we were saying, so I thought “Oh, man, maybe he’s for real.” Looks like he was. That’s what I like about your magazine. You actually pay attention to “the little guy” and what we have to say. You take us seriously and write about issues we care about. That means a lot, and my brothers and I appreciate it. I’m sure a lot of other “regular people” do, too.

Cliff Moore Reader since 1995 Via email

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

Chase Richburg Brazoria, TX

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

Lessons in Conservation N 2003, THIS MAGAZINE FORGED A LIAISON with Ducks Unlimited. One of the primary thrusts of this great organization centers on the assessment, inventory, and regulation of the single most pervasive organic chemical in the natural environment, dihydrogen monoxide. Dihydrogen monoxide, or DHMO, is a colorless, odorless, naturally occurring chemical, variously known in industry and medicine as dihydrogen oxide, hydrogen hydroxide, hydronium hydroxide, and hydric acid. Its basis is the unstable radical hydroxide, which appears in a

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number of caustic, explosive, and poisonous compounds such as sulfuric acid, nitroglycerine, and ethyl alcohol. Although the U.S. Government and the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) do not classify DHMO as a toxic or carcinogenic substance, the chemical is a component of many toxic substances, disease-causing agents, and environmental hazards. It can be lethal to humans in quantities as small as a thimbleful. According to information gathered from the United States Environmental Assessment Center (www.dhmo.org), DHMO is a known causative component in thousands of deaths annually, and a major contributor to billions of dollars in damage to property and the environment. Some of the known perils include: • death due to accidental inhalation, even in small quantities

• prolonged exposure to solid DHMO causes severe tissue damage, including loss of appendages and death • a major component of acid rain • causes severe burns in gaseous form • major cause of soil erosion • promotes corrosion and oxidation in many metals • contamination of electrical systems often causes short-circuits • exposure decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes • a suspected contributor to the El Nino weather effect Despite its dangerous qualities, DHMO is widely used: • as an industrial solvent and coolant • in nuclear power plants • as a fire suppressant and retardant


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• in pesticide production and distribution Odder still, American food, drug, and cosmetic producers use DHMO in huge quantities, yet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, Department of Agriculture, and Environmental Protection Agency have yet to issue warnings about the dangers. Uses of DHMO in food and cosmetics include: • food products, including jarred baby food and baby formula, soups, carbonated beverages, and “all-natural” fruit juices • cough medicines and other liquid pharmaceuticals • shampoos, shaving creams, deodorants, and other personal grooming products • bathtub bubble products marketed to children • as a preservative in grocery store fresh produce sections • the production of beer by all the major brewers Most surprising is government’s role in the use of DHMO. The federal government, the State of Texas in general, and the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department in particular are very active in the use, promotion, and propagation of

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DHMO, yet distribution of the information contained here is virtually non-existent. Any reputable scientist, chemist, engineer, biologist, or physician will confirm that all you have thus far read is true. Nonetheless, it is also a sham, a canard, a deliberate misrepresentation of facts to lead the reader to a false conclusion. In other words, it is junk science. If you paid attention in chemistry class, you will recognize “dihydrogen monoxide” contains two hydrogen atoms and one oxygen—H20, water. If you didn’t catch onto the scam until now, don’t feel bad. Many well-educated people fall for this sort of thing. A professor at Notre Dame University, Dr. Jerry T. Godbout, PhD, presented many of these same facts about dihydrogen monoxide to a general chemistry class, then conducted a poll: 59 percent of students supported a ban on DHMO. This is a classic example of the kind of scare tactics environmentalists employ to sway public opinion. They have used this technique to “prove” their cases for global warming, ozone depletion, deforestation, secondhand smoke, the oil shortage, and that 40,000 thousand

species become extinct every year; to predict that that 60 million Americans would die of starvation in the 1980s (didn’t happen), and that half of all species on the planet would be extinct by 2000 (didn’t happen). Do not mistake lies based on junk science hawked by environmentalists for conservation. Environmentalists are to conservationists what snake oil salesmen are to physicians. Hunters and fishermen were the original conservationists responsible for all of the remarkable recoveries of wildlife and habitats over the past 100 years, and they remain the backbone of bona fide conservation efforts in the U.S. and the world. Organizations like Ducks Unlimited, the Coastal Conservation Association, National Wild Turkey Federation, Pheasants Forever, Quail Unlimited, and a host of other “do it yourself” conservation groups are the hope and future of wildlife and habitat—and they do not have to resort to lies and junk science to get the job done.

E-mail Don Zaidle at DZaidle@fishgame.com.


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The TF&G Report Eastern Turkey Hunting Closure THE TEXAS PARKS & WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT is assessing eastern turkey populations and the possible closure of hunting for the species in 15 counties due to population concerns. Since 1995 when Texas’ first spring eastern turkey hunting season was opened in Red River County, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has maintained a conservative approach (a 30-day season, mandatory check stations, one gobbler bag limit) to give the birds ample opportunity to establish in new areas. As turkey numbers increased and flocks expanded into new areas, hunting opportunity increased with a spring hunting season in 43 East Texas counties. In some areas, field observations indicate turkey populations continue to thrive and

harvest data collected through mandatory check stations confirm ample hunting opportunity. But in some counties, there is evidence of decline that concerns wildlife biologists. “We use the data collected from mandatory check stations as a trigger point in identifying areas of concern, and in some of these counties, like Smith County, we haven’t had any harvest in 12 years,” said TPWD turkey program leader Jason Hardin. “That tells us there are very few birds out there and we need to protect them, and where possible, go back into those counties and use our new super stocking program.” Unlike earlier block stocking efforts to reintroduce turkey into an area that relied on a few gobblers and hens to establish viable flocks, the process for reintroduction has been refined through research to determine appropriate numbers and ratios of birds. Closing hunting seasons creates an

opportunity to stock birds and reduce the potential for loss of brood stock before the population is capable of sustaining harvest. “Just because there has been low harvest in some counties doesn’t necessarily mean those areas don’t have any birds,” said Hardin. “When we went out to our field biologists and landowners in some areas, they indicated there were still plenty of turkey out there, but they were protecting them and not hunting them. They said they didn’t want us to take away that opportunity for harvest and we agreed.” In 15 East Texas counties, not only were birds not being harvested, they were not being seen. Counties being considered for hunting season closure and further restocking consideration include Cherokee, Delta, Gregg, Hardin, Houston, Hunt, Liberty, Montgomery, Rains, Rusk, San Jacinto, Shelby, Smith, Tyler, and Walker. “When populations in those counties can

B IG B AGS &CATCHES

Twelve-year-old Seth Briggs of Harper took this 10-point buck with his .243 at 60 yards, while hunting in Mitchell County.

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Eight-year-old Christopher Adams killed his first deer, a 10-point buck, while hunting in the San Antonio area. The photo was submitted by Christopher’s grandfather, Earl Protti.

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Ashley Taunton of Beaumont, age 8, reeled in this 42-inch redfish with help from her dad, Jimmy (pictured), while surf fishing at McFadden Beach with family and friends. The fish, along with several others, was released.


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sustain hunting, we will reopen,” Hardin said. “But, we were seeing more harvest 10 years ago in these counties and most have not had one turkey harvested in he last five seasons or longer.” TPWD is also considering a regulation change that would delay the spring eastern turkey season in the remaining counties by two weeks to give hens time to begin nesting prior to the season opening. “Once hens begin nesting, they typically spend up to 23 hours a day on the nest,” Hardin said. “This makes them less available for accidental harvest. It also makes the gobblers go into a second peak in gobbling activity, which should provide excellent hunting.”

Red Tide Forecast System TEXAS COASTAL FISHERIES MANAGERS CAN now receive early notice of red tide and other toxic algae outbreaks via weekly bulletins generated by the NOAA Harmful Algal Bloom Operational Forecast System. The bulletins are based on observations from state partners coupled with models, imagery, and data from NOAA’s powerful

Ryan Lawrence with a 39-inch redfish caught off the Port Aransas jetties. He was using live shrimp and fishing with his dad Eliot Lawrence.

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tide, current, and weather systems. “Early notification of blooms is essential, and knowing that a bloom is occurring offshore provides our resource managers with sufficient time to coordinate with other responding agencies and formulate a plan before blooms hit the beaches,” said Meredith Byrd, harmful algal bloom response coordinator for the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department. The most common harmful algal bloom

that occurs in the Gulf of Mexico is known as “red tide” and is caused by the algal species Karenia brevis. Occurrences of red tide have historically resulted in fish and marine mammal deaths, shellfish contamination, and even human health risk in the form of respiratory distress.


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

Fishing with Yoda FELT LIKE LUKE SKYWALKER IN “THE Empire Strikes Back” but instead of sitting in an otherworld swamp conversing with pint-sized Jedi Master Yoda, I was in a boat on Missouri’s Table Rock Lake with Rick Clunn. Yes, the Rick Clunn who has won more Bassmaster Classic championships (four) than anyone else, and voted by his peers as the greatest professional angler of all time. “Most of what goes on in fishing is mental,” Clunn said. “Having and maintaining a positive attitude can make the difference between winning a tournament and not winning, or simply having a good or bad day on the water.” Clunn said if anglers go in not believing each cast is going to produce a big fish, they would not put adequate focus on casting and presentation. “If you are in an area where you know there are fish and one lure isn’t producing, have a confidence lure--something you really believe in to go to. Sometimes, that alone can get the ball rolling for you. “Also, it’s good sometimes to pick up and run to another spot and try something you haven’t done in a long time. A little spark of excitement can go a long way on the water.” Clunn is a big believer in awareness of one’s surroundings and believes an angler’s senses can be a huge ally. “The sense of touch can be a huge asset when fish are barely tapping on a lure. With modern lines and rods, your sense of touch can be heightened and help you detect the softest bites, which are sometimes the biggest fish. “Something else to keep in mind is to look for nervous bait, scan for fish in the water, and listen for strikes. By responding to what you encounter and really tuning in to what is going on out there, you can greatly

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The author interviewing Clunn on Tablerock Lake.

enhance your odds of catching Rick Clunn fish.” Last year, Clunn fished the Bassmaster Classic in an 18-foot Tracker aluminum boat, a move that he said was meant to make a point--and for practical reasons. “From a practical standpoint, that tournament was in the Red River, and you can get in a lot of places in an aluminum boat and do a lot of things you cannot do in a big fiberglass boat. You can’t get there as quickly, but there are some advantages.” More importantly, Clunn believes the fishing industry has sold the idea you have to have a huge boat with a huge motor to go fishing, and that is just not true. “I fished a lot of my early Classics in an aluminum boat. The fish do not know what kind of boat you’re in. It is a lot more about what you do than what you are fishing in. People who can only afford aluminum boats should not feel they are necessarily missing something or that they cannot catch a lot of fish.” The boat he fished was a Tracker Tournament V18, a great aluminum-hulled bass boat that comes with everything you would expect from a bass boat, from rod storage to a livewell, but scaled down a tad from the huge professional fiberglass boats. I can totally relate to this because the only boats I have ever owned were aluminum, and I have never felt limited. Other than

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making long runs offshore, I have used aluminum boats very effectively everywhere from the short rigs, jetties, all throughout our bay systems, and on big reservoirs like Sam Rayburn. “These are not what most people think of an aluminum boat, as they come rigged out with so much, but feature a price more people can afford. And in reality, the main limitations for an angler are in his or her mind, not with equipment.” Clunn, who cites his father as his angling hero, said we should focus efforts on promoting young people getting into the sport that can give so much to them. “Fishing is my greatest teacher. It gives me a vehicle to continually learn,” he said. I never saw Clunn wield a light saber or move a rock with his mind, but like George Lucas’s amazing creation, Yoda, this man holds unique wisdom. He has something most anglers don’t, but thankfully is willing to share with those willing to learn. Now take that, apply it your fishing, and make 2011 the best year you ever spent on the water--and remember to pass the tradition along to the next generation. May the Force be with you. Always.

E-mail Chester Moore at CMoore@fishgame.com. PHOTO: NATHAN LUKE


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Dogget at Large by Joe Doggett | TF&G Senior Contributing Editor

African Dreams FRICA IS THE ULTIMATE DESTINATION for big-game hunting and, like many Texans, I have been fortunate to live that dream. Twice. The first safari was to South Africa and Zimbabwe during June 2003. The second was last October to Mozambique. And, like most veterans of even one safari, I am an expert on all aspects of hunting in Africa. Well, sort of. Actually, not really. Given the enormity of Africa and the diversity of hunting, true professional knowledge would be the result of many expeditions and months of hands-on experience. But I can offer one wisdom--I mean, other than to go if you ever get the chance: Regardless of destination, the trip revolves around the rifle. Regardless of rifle, the key to a successful safari is practice, practice, practice. The average deer hunter in Texas is a fair shot-from the stable support of a benchrest or deer stand. Neither discipline counts for much in the bush, where most shots are from shooting sticks or impromptu field rests following a “spot and stalk” on fresh tracks or the sighted animal, itself. The chance is apt to be quick and quite possibly a bit jittery following a long and arduous sneak. Underline the “jittery” part if the quarry is a dangerous animal such as a Cape buffalo. Starting several months out, the serious hunter should schedule regular range sessions and concentrate on firing from sticks and off-hand positions (a scoped .22 rifle is a great tool for off-hand work). Premium ammunition is expensive, especially in the larger calibers, but at least several 20-round boxes should be devoted to pre-safari training. Most important, especially if a hard-kicking, big-bore rifle factors into the program, you must become comfortable with the heft

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and recoil. Being intimidated by an unfamiliar boomer is an excellent way to spoil a long and costly expedition. On my first trip, I took a Winchester Model 70 Safari Express chambered in .416 Remington Magnum for buffalo in Zimbabwe, and a Remington 700 Africa Grade in .375 H&H Magnum for plains game such as kudu, impala, and warthog in South Africa. Each was fitted with a lowprofile 2-1/2 to 8X Leupold scope with exceptional eye relief. The .375 might be on the heavy side for smaller plains game, but it certainly worked at ranges out to 200 yards, and provided legal and capable backup for Cape buffalo if the big gun broke down. I liked the .375 so much I took it as my sole rifle on the recent Mozambique safari. Mozambique is wild country, as opposed to the high-fenced game ranches increasingly scattered across southern Africa. Our hunting concessions, or coutadas, controlled by Zambezi Delta Safaris, encompassed more than 4 million acres of sand forests, savannahs, and swamps. I never saw a paved road. This was real and unreconstructed Africa. Scoff if you will, but I liked the idea of toting a big gun. Poaching with snares and traps and primitive firearms remains a big problem in the remote bush, and you never know when you might accidentally bumble into a poacher-wounded buffalo or elephant or hippo--or leopard or lion or Tyrannosaurus rex, for all I know. The .375 loaded with 300-grain soft points or solids is a legitimate gun for dangerous game; maybe not the best for a closerange charge, but much better than whatever deer rifle you might be carrying for plains game. This might not be an issue in a controlled environment, but I believe it was where we hunted. The .375 also gives an advantage when a raking shot is required, or an animal is partially screened by brush--common occurrences during a spot-and-stalk amid forest, scrub, or swamp. Penetration with a big bullet is the key to clean kills on larger, tougher animals, not

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just on dangerous game. Several of the prized antelope species such as kudu, sable, and waterbuck are way bigger in body size than white-tailed deer. They are more like small elk. The eland antelope is bigger than many Cape buffalo. I used the .375 to shoot a sable during the Mozambique trip. The bull was quartering away at 150 yards, the only chance available. I pulled the shot a bit far back off the wobbly tripod sticks, but the soft-point bullet angled completely through the body and lodged with perfect expansion just behind the far shoulder. That’s the performance, the penetration, you want. My semi-sloppy shot with a lighter gun might have resulted in a lost animal or a long and frustrating tracking job. Don’t count on much blood. Incidentally, the bullet was one of Federal’s Trophy Bonded Bear Claws. Trust me, few PH’s will frown when you arrive in camp with Trophy Bonded Bear Claws or Sledgehammer solids in your TSAapproved bullet box. On the subject of solids, they are designed for maximum penetration on the biggest game, but they substitute well on smaller animals. They deliver an awesome thump but zip right through. If you are planning a one-gun safari, you could do far worse than equip with the classic old .375 Holland & Holland Magnum. That’s exactly what it is--a classic. It was introduced way back in 1912 and remains the benchmark for the all-around African caliber. Many fine calibers are available, but I still like the presence of a classic walnut-stocked .375 H&H for all-around safari duty. The heavy barrel, no-nonsense barrel-band sling attachment, and long, gleaming cartridges just look right in a dusty camp or on the trail of fresh tracks. Whoa, we’re in Africa! But that’s just my opinion. Whatever rifle--or rifles--you pack, do everyone and everything involved a big favor and learn to shoot the thing. E-mail Joe Doggett at JDoggett@fishgame.com


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

Snow Job Y FEDERAL CONSERVATION ORDER, light-goose season remains open in Texas through March 27. Forgive my lack of giddiness. Having hunted light geese in Texas for more than three decades and done so with thousands of like-minded others, I feel confident that by the late-January end of regular season, we’re spent. Our dogs are tired. Our decoys are battle worn. Our favorite socks have holes in their heels. We. Are. Done. Despite our best regular-season efforts, however, federal managers apparently still contend that there are more snow geese than

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can be accommodated by spring nesting grounds. In fact, it was an estimate years ago of roughly a million more birds than were supportable by existing habitat that triggered this “special conservation order” hunt. I saw pictures, talked to experts and wrote columns about the decimation wrought on sub-Arctic nesting grounds by so many geese at once stamping their webbed feet and yanking tender vegetation by its roots. The impact was impressive. A full third of traditional nesting area was entirely devoid of plant life. Nothing grew there, and nothing will during our lifetimes. Another third of the region was threatened with collapse, and mid-continent light geese were working their way through what remained of their precious nesting habitat. Concurrently, the birds were invading

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grounds favored by Canada geese and displacing entire populations of smaller bird species. Something had to be done. Something, but not just anything. To pamper animal-rights groups and avoid news cameras, proposals to poison or bomb major nesting grounds - effective but hardly pretty were scrapped. Ditto any notion that native Canadians be counted upon to collect goose eggs by the tens of thousands. Turns out, there are few roads in wild northern Canada where geese roost, sometimes for a hundred miles; the region makes West Texas look like Manhattan. Which left recreational hunters to turn back the tidal wave of habitat-ravaging snow geese. A late season addendum was adopted, during which hunters could crank electronic callers, unplug shotguns, and shoot as


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many geese as they cared to clean or pay to have cleaned. And for the first couple of years, the plan worked. Sort of. Tens of thousands of snows hit the cold, soggy ground of early spring, but participation dwindled quickly. “New” is fun, but only until it turns old. A lot of people have tried skydiving or bungee-jumping once but never done so again. I made a few early Conservation Order hunts with friends, and most were successful. We didn’t shoot all the snow geese we could, however, because none of us really wanted to eat them afterward. Truth is, the best snowgoose recipe isn’t all that tasty. A good per-

centage of these “spring snow chickens” wind up in Hunters for the Hungry-type programs. And I suppose that if I were truly hungry, a chunk of snow goose might sit well on the fork. I am not, therefore, it does not. These days, you would be hard pressed to find more than one or two goose spreads on a Texas prairie any day in February or March. By then, fancies have turned elsewhere. If the federal government still thinks we need to lighten the light-goose load, then it should release waterfowlers to use those callers during the regular season. From Thanksgiving to New Years Day, Texas goose busters could knock a gaping hole in that population were they allowed to put the Johnny Stewart Orchestra on stage. Then, the birds are plentiful and vulnerable. They are hungry, too, and still putting on fat. In February and March, they are eating far less and, when they do eat, dining on green grass that blows through their systems and lighten the load for the return flight. Enforcement issues could be handled easily enough by requiring hunters who use

electronic callers to display some sort of flag either in the field or at their vehicles. Wardens could watch those spreads to be sure hunters were passing any opportunities at ducks or dark geese. And for lawbreakers: stiff penalties and no “mistakes” allowed. It’s easy enough to distinguish a snow goose from a mallard or even a blue goose from a Canada goose. If you can’t tell a goose from a duck, put down the shotgun, strip off the camouflage, and ask the nurse to help find your Crayons. A runaway population of geese threatens the future of its own nesting area, and we helped create the problem by filling rest-stop roosts along the flyway that enable more geese to survive the continental migration. We are trying to fix what we broke, but there are not enough shotgun shells. Ultimately, the problem will solve itself. Not gracefully or beautifully, neither of which is nature’s way, but effectively nonetheless.

E-mail Doug Pike at dpike@fishgame.com


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

EVER HAS ANY WORD BEEN MORE bastardized than the hyper-politically correct fear mongering of hunting “ethics.” You can’t watch a hunting show, read a hunting publication or hunting article, or listen to a so-called hunting industry leader without hearing ethics this and ethics that repeated ad nauseum, as if we were the most unethical element of society and had some serious explaining to do. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Nobody is questioning our ethics except the lunatic fringe within our ranks who are afraid of their own shadows, or all-out loonies who think venison is unethical. Ignore them. When was the last time you heard ethics mentioned in NASCAR, the NFL, Hollywood, NHL, MLB; or golf, boating, or grocery industries? None of them ever mentions it because there is no need to mention it. They are not afraid of their own shadows, and have leadership and sophisticated representatives who know that they are ethical, are looked upon as ethical, and have absolutely no reason to ever bother defending their ethics. I, for one, have never in my life killed a game animal out of season, in violation of any laws, nor committed an unethical or disrespectful act while hunting. I conduct myself with a conscientious demand to do the right thing, and have found throughout life that, often, the right and ethical thing is at odds with the letter of the law. Our world is so out of control with imbecilic, illogical, nonsensical rules, regulations, and laws as to be laughable. America has more laws, regulations, rules, and guidelines for every imaginable function and process than anywhere else in the world. I believe most of these bureaucrat-driven laws unto themselves, like the bureaucrats who forced them upon us, are themselves unethical.

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When was the last time you heard ethics mentioned in the NFL, Hollywood or golf?

Ethics, Schmethics

My governor shoots coyotes. What does yours do? I am certain it is illegal to discharge a firearm in the Austin, Texas, city limits, but when a dangerous vermin confronts a jogger and his dog, the right thing to do is shoot the coyote dead. I would love to hear the braindead, feeble argument against that—and then do a drug test on the arguer. Funny-stupid. I have broken numerous laws in my life, am damn proud I did so, and under thoughtful, demanding conditions, I will do so again, I assure you.

For example, witnessing a tragic shooting accident many years ago, I broke the speed limit laws while transporting the injured individual to the nearest hospital at a high rate of speed, substantially beyond the posted speed limit. Was that unethical? Of course not. Life and death emergencies supersede arbitrary laws. Unless, of course, you are a clueless, irresponsible sheep and do not know the difference. My responsible, ethical decision saved the man’s life. I did good. I have on more than one occasion discovered wounded deer smashed by vehicles alongside highways and roadways across America. In many of these instances, the thrashing, tortured animal was in the process of flopping its way back onto the traffic-congested roadway while deliriously inept civilians stood around gawking and whimpering, clueless as to what to do. In each instance, I assessed the situation, created a safe environment, whipped out my 10mm, and killed the deer—much to the shock and disbelief of onlookers. By all intelligent considerations, I did the right thing. The law-abiding folks were complicit in the

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development of a potentially unsafe, lifethreatening situation. There are sheep, wolves, and sheepdogs. I am a sheepdog. Over my 62 years of maximizing my time beyond the pavement where the critters roam, I have seen it all. Often I have come upon fawns and other critters that were seriously injured or sick, and obviously suffering and helpless. Even though it was not open season for the species and I did not have an authorized tag for these suffering creatures, I nonetheless dispatched them in a responsible, humane way to end their unnecessary suffering. Against the law, but indisputably ethical. I would love to hear Plan B as perceived by some PC goon. To walk away and allow the animal to suffer would surely be unethical and heartless. I will tell you what’s unethical: Sunday hunting bans in 11 states are unethical. Wasting gobs of tax dollars every year in numerous states by killing bears all year with bait and hounds by government hunters, while forbidding We the-People to hunt bears in the spring or with bait and hounds, is not only unethical and anti-American, it is insane. The bizarre practice of wasting more tax dollars hiring so-called “sharpshooters” to slaughter deer, elk, and other game in areas where We the People own the animals and ground they are found on but forbidden to hunt, is berserk unethical. A 77-year-old law limiting migratory bird guns to three shells is unethical, illogical, and nonsensical, as it serves the single purpose of harassing hunters. There are bag limits based on scientific sustainable-yield harvest realities, not ammo consumption. In states like Michigan and Iowa, where they have many times more dove than they do pheasant, it is legal to hunt pheasant but not legal to hunt the more abundant and prolific dove. That is unethical and stupid. To sit back and allow the overpopulation of wolves to destroy big game populations across the west and still foist the lie that they are “endangered” is unethical, irresponsible, and a crime against nature. The soulless bureaucrats that support such engineered


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waste are corrupt and unethical, and must be replaced ASAP. To prosecute a rancher for killing a livestock-destroying grizzly bear in self-defense is unethical. The enforcement of such laws is unethical, and those wildlife biologists who know better but do nothing to right these wrongs are unethical. They are sheep. Maybe even wolves. As great an organization as it is, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s hypocritical rule that says deer within a private, highfenced property still belong to the state, even though the landowners have receipts for purchase of said deer, and yet still are forbidden to release them from the enclosure, is all unethical and impossible to explain in logical terms. By all logic and sanity, you cannot have it both ways. Considering basic private property rights and trespass laws, there is no way the state should have any say whatsoever in managing animals on enclosed private property once the landowner has purchased said animals. And if the deer belong to the state, then surely a landowner can set them

free back onto state ground and not control them in an enclosure. Ya think? Pick one. Is it unethical to have your bow out of its case in Michigan, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Indiana, New York, Minnesota, and other states? A bow case is an ethical consideration to anyone? Is it unethical to lean your rifle against the tire of your truck? Of course not, but soulless bureaucrats, robotic game cops, and thought-challenged fellow hunters will try to tell you otherwise. These absurd laws are seriously hurting hunting, halting recruitment, and causing attrition in our essential conservation lifestyle. Inexcusable. That’s unethical. I could go on, ad infinitum, ad nauseum. These bad laws and the bureaucrats that make them have to go, ASAP. We must all do our very best to obey all laws and regulations to the best of our abilities, but the real battle cry in the corrupt, power-abusing climate today should be upgrade, logic, reason, common sense, and accountability. God forbid, huh. An honest review of game laws and regulations is long overdue, and until we eliminate

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all such absurdity from our law books, there is no way we can possibly accomplish the goal of retention and recruitment into our beloved hunting lifestyle. The minefield of confusing, arbitrary, unreasonable, and counterproductive laws that have nothing to do with wildlife management or safety must be gutted and cleaned out, and the outdoors community, if honestly committed to recruitment and conservation, should be leading the charge and demanding it. We all know that lying is a sin, but when the Nazis ask if there are any Jewish children hiding in our basement, I pray we would all know exactly what the ethical response should be.

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

On the Web For more Ted Nugent writings, visit www.tednugent.com

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Commentary by Kendal Hempill | TF&G Political Commentator

America’s Gun Genius ECENTLY, WHILE WAITING FOR MY WIFE to buy out the HEB store in Fredericksburg, Texas, I wandered over to the magazine section to kill some time. Periodicals, I believe, present a clear picture of what people are interested in at a given time. And the covers of magazines, more than anything else, reflect what currently appeals to us. Almost half the gun-related magazines on the shelves were adorned with AR-style rifles, which is not surprising these days. What impressed me was that there were nine

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magazine covers, in that one month, which featured pictures of 1911-style semi-automatic pistols. Nine in one month, and the 1911 pistol, while the design has been improved, tweaked, and modified somewhat, is still the same gun John Browning invented over a century ago. Jonathan Browning was a gunsmith and gun builder in Tennessee and Illinois before joining the Mormons and moving to Ogden, Utah. Browning set up shop in Ogden in 1852, and his son John Moses was born a few years later. All the Browning boys learned their father’s trade, but John stood out from the start. He built his first rifle when he was about ten years old, out of scrap wood and an old flintlock barrel, and whatever parts he could find lying around. John managed to shoot three prairie

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chickens with one shot from his first rifle, but when he showed it to his father, instead of the praise he may have expected he got a gentle reprimand. The elder Browning looked at the rifle, shook his head, and said, “John Moses, you’re going on eleven. Can’t you make a better gun than that?” He could, and he did, for the rest of his life. John Moses Browning single-handedly rewrote the history of the firearm. Over his 47-year career as an active firearms inventor, Browning racked up 128 gun patents, from which about 50 million sporting and military firearms have been built. John and his brothers took over their father’s shop after his death in 1879, and started selling a single-shot rifle John had invented at age 23. That rifle became the mainstay of the business, but as popular as it


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was, it might not have brought fame and fortune if Andrew McAusland, a Winchester Repeating Arms Company salesman, had not happened across one. He bought it for fifteen dollars and sent it to the Winchester home office in New Haven, Connecticut. The quality of the rifle was evident to T. G. Bennett, vice president of Winchester, and he knew a competitor when he saw one. So Bennett took a train to Ogden to find out where the rifle had come from and, if possible, buy the rights to it. When he found the small Browning Brothers shop in Ogden he was surprised at the youth of the owners, but when he learned John had invented the Browning rifle, he asked how much he would take for it. John asked, “Just one rifle?” Bennett shook his head. “No, the whole thing. The rights to build and sell it.” John didn’t bat an eye. He reportedly said, “Twenty thousand dollars.” This was at a time when most men earned about a dollar a day. John and Bennett soon agreed on a price of $8000 for the rights to the single-shot

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rifle, freeing John up to spend more time inventing, and forging a relationship that lasted 19 years and made some of the finest firearms of the day available to sportsmen all over the world. Besides sporting arms, Browning invented automatic and semi-automatic guns that, without question, changed the course of history. The Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) has seen action with U.S. troops in every theater in which Americans have fought since the beginning of the 20th century. John invented the first gas-operated machine guns, and his .30- and .50-caliber Brownings have been saving American bacon since the First World War Few ever achieve the level of success in their field enjoyed by John Browning. John’s most popular invention, by far, was the semi-automatic pistol he created for the military during the first decade of the 1900s. Familiarly known as the ‘1911,’ because it was adopted as the official U.S. military sidearm in that year, John’s simple, durable, accurate, and hard-hitting pistol, most commonly chambered for the .45 Automatic

Colt Pistol cartridge, was for years the finest combat handgun available. Some say it still is, and if you give them half a chance, they’ll tell you why, as long as you’ll listen. It is doubtful that any gun, of any type, has developed the following the 1911 has. Originally built by Colt, during the World Wars several other companies manufactured 1911 pistols for the military, including Remington, Winchester, Savage, Burroughs Adding Machine Co., and National Cash Register Co. During WWII, the Singer Sewing Machine Co. built 500 1911 pistols, which have become some of the most sought after by collectors. John Moses Browning would be proud of the popularity his 1911 pistol still enjoys today, a century after its invention. Proud, but not necessarily satisfied. He was working on improvements to the pistol when he died. It seems as long as he lived he never quit “making a better gun.”

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


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GERALD SWINDLE IS KNOWN as the funny man on the Bassmaster Elite Series tournament circuit. The 2004 B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year and constant championship contender sports a continual smile and is always cracking jokes but he is deadly serious about catching bass. And he is glad to help other anglers learn to catch more and bigger largemouth. Last fall I spent some time on the water with Swindle on Lake Conroe leading up to the Toyota Texas Bass Classic and got some unique incite into how the pros eliminate unproductive water. “On a lake like Conroe where you have so many docks you try to go in and find out if they are in the back of the docks, out in the front or tight to the pilings. There will always be some fish around them and starting with them will help you get a good bunch of fish and then maybe back off and find some bigger fish in deeper water,” Swindle said. Swindle said an angler could go crazy looking at all docks and shoreline cover as if they were the same. “You have to pay strict attention to detail and look at what is going on,” Swindle said. Some docks will stick out farther than others. Some will have rock along the back edges and yet others will more and larger pilings. “Bass like things that are different and an angler can eliminate a lot of water and find

out where the fish are more quickly but focusing on what stands out. Let’s say you pitch a jig around a few that have a lot of cover toward the back and don’t get hit, focus on something different. But if you get hit a couple of times you have a pattern you can work with,” he said. When I was in the boat with Swindle he found there were more fish around the docks on the outer edges of the lake that had a little wave action going around them, not much but some chop. “The tiniest of details can mean everything,” he said. Swindle likes to search for fish with spinners and buzz baits as well as topwaters. “If you can get them to come up and hit a topwater or buzz bait you know you have found some aggressive fish.” “Just like that one,” he said after sticking

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Gerald Swindle spent most of his fall of 2010 filming episodes of a new show for The Outdoors Channel called “The Hit List.” This reality based hunting show is built around a set of hunters including Swindle or “hit squads” that focus all their efforts on pinpointing trophy deer by using Moultrie F I S H

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one on a spinner fished under a drainpipe. “That’s one of them crack head bass. Always on the pipe.” His fun-loving demeanor is contagious and it translates into his fishing style. “You have to take this seriously when it is your livelihood but you also have to be loose and have a good time because after all this is fishing.” Being loose allows Swindle to adjust strategies on the fly and go from finding to finesse. After locating these feisty fish, which are often small to medium-sized, he will often, switch to a jig or Carolina-rig to finesse some of the bigger fish into biting. “Whether you’re a pro or a just someone out to improve your fishing eliminating water and also finding the right water is extremely important. Once you find a bite, you can

game camera systems. According to Swindle, hunters survey each deer on their “list” from the time good plots go in, to the time they release their arrow by using technology as the game’s big brother. “It’s really unique and involves real, hard hunting. Nothing like this has ever been doing on outdoors television so I’m really excited,” Swindle said. The show will air in the fall 2011 season.

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Gerald Swindle:

extremely difficult and that sometimes it comes down to paying very close attention to all of the details. “Pressure has a gigantic effect on fish, bass in particular. Anglers make millions of casts in a year on a lake like Conroe or any other popular lake and the fish see and get hooked by lots of different kinds of lures. They can get shy real quicklike and spoil your day if you’re not careful.” “And not all pressure is fishing pressure but also boating pressure. Having a lot of

“If you can’t have fun fishing, there’s something wrong with you.”

boats and jet skis running around a lake can have both positive and negative effects. Anglers should make note of all the things going on when they catch and don’t catch fish,” he said. Although he earns a living from fishing the sport is still fun to him and anglers should never lose their smile. “If you can’t have fun fishing, there’s something wrong with you,” in trademark Swindle fashion.

slow down and start working on that bigger bite.” During our time on the water, the fishing was tough on Conroe with fish running shallow and not biting very aggressively. “You don’t always have a lot of time to learn a lake or maybe you’re just someone wanting to try a new spot. You never know what the situation is going to be, so you have to be able to adjust when you get out there.” For anglers fishing tournaments whether they are local contests or big time money events Swindle said a huge mistake many anglers make is burning out a hole during practice. “All I need is to catch a few fish or even get a few bites to know an area is holding fish. At the end of the day you can kind of think it out and prepare to go back to the spots you think will produce and fish with a jig or plastic to finesse those fish.” On several occasions he had bass hit his lure and start slowly running away with it but he took it away so the fish did not get hooked and educated. “We might be able to catch that one tomorrow,” he said after missing a hard strike around a dock ladder. Swindle said lakes like Conroe that receive a lot of fishing pressure can be T E X A S

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Plumbing the depths of Texas’ Naturally-reproducing striper fishery By Chester Moore T E X A S

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IT LOOKED LIKE SOMEONE TOSSED A GRENADE in the water, sounded like a small whale breaching, and felt like it someone had tied a bowling ball to my line and rolled it down an underwater hill. It was an 8-pound striped bass thrashing violently in the waters of Lake Texoma after attacking my Zara Spook. It was my third or fourth cast, and already I was into hardcore action battling what is without question Texas’ pound-for-pound toughest inland sport fish. My wife, Lisa, threw right along the same shoreline and, in typical Lisa fashion, caught a bigger fish—a 10-pounder that to this day makes her want to throw a topwater whenever she has the chance.

This was my inauguration 10 years ago into the wonders of Lake Texoma. Since then, the 90,000-acre reservoir has seen its striper fishery only improve, drawing anglers from across the country. “I first fished Texoma in 1977, caught some nice stripers, and was hooked immedi-

ately,” said Texoma angling entrepreneur Bill Carey. “I went professional in 1983, opened my guide service—Striper Express—and the rest, as they say, is history.” Right now, Texoma stripers are in between two of the most exciting times of the year. Striped bass were first introduced to Texoma “In the winter, we catch some of our

very biggest fish over structure,” Carey said. His guides fish “old school” and still use flashers on their boat to locate fish, often suspended over humps, ridges, timber, boat wrecks, and other structure. “We fish them vertically with big, heavy jigs. It’s a kind of fishing that requires some patience and a level of awareness because, in the winter, the bite can be soft,” Carey said.

in the mid 1960s. The lake’s unique geology has enabled it to produce the largest documented striper spawn in the nation.

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of fish with electronic sonar fish-finders, then cast the lures and let them sink; reel back with Full of Fight a medium retrieve, and hold on. The fish are hungry and will strike hard. You can have multiple hookups and, at times, everyone onboard the boat can be fighting a fish.” The stripers on Texoma bite throughout the year partly due to the huge population of fish and the voracious nature of the species. “They were first stocked in the lake in 1965, and at first the reaction was negative. Everyone thought because they were so aggressive they were going to eat all of the bass and crappie. The reality is while they may occasionally eat those kinds of fish, 95 By “soft” he means that, in typical sport- percent of their targeted prey is shad, which fish fashion, winter temperatures slow we have in abundance on the lake. What piscine metabolisms and the fish barely grab some people feared has turned into the most a lure or bait. But, once the hook is set, the popular and abundant fishery on the lake.” game changes. The abundance had some to do with “Once you think you have a bite and stocking, but mainly with natural spawns. decide to set the hook, you need to be ready; Striped bass are actually an anadromous the fish comes alive and they fight like crazy. saltwater species with a stronghold on the Stripers are powerful, powerful fish that will East Coast, but can survive and thrive in earn your respect very quickly.” freshwater. At Texoma, salt leaking into the Carey said the spring months might be rivers that feed the lake keep it saline enough the most exciting time to catch a big one. for spawning. “The stripers are staging up rivers to “Some major salt domes leak tons and begin their annual spawn. This is when the tons of salt into the lake, keeping it just right big sows are egg-laden and hungry. Casting for spawning. Texoma has the largest docuartificial lures is the most sporting way to mented inland spawn of stripers in the capture these fighting fish, while enjoying the nation. And over the last decade, we have thrill of the hunt. Soft plastic lures like the had some of the best spawns in the history of Sassy Shad and Coho Minnow jigs are the the lake. It is about as good as it gets right baits of choice. now,” Carey said. “Around Easter, topwater lure fishing The daily bag is 10 fish per person, begins. There is nothing more thrilling than which is highly liberal for a striper fishery, having a big striper explode on a plug with a but perfect for Texoma. vengeance. Early mornings at first light, we “There are lots of fish here, and anglers blind-cast topwaters on the shallow banks. who want to try something different should Anytime your plug is in the water, you are in give Texoma a try. Striped bass are about as the strike zone. I’ve seen anglers finish their fun a fish as you could ever want to catch,” retrieve and, while raising the plug out of the Carey said. water, have a big striper explode on the “I was with Jimmy Houston, and he said, tempting plug. ‘Ask me what my favorite thing to do is’, so “One time a customer of mine had this I did. ‘Throwing a Pencil Popper for stripers happen and he said, ‘You have to have a on Lake Texoma,’ was what he said. strong heart to do this—and I think I wet my “It just doesn’t get much better than pants!’ The reality was that the 15-pound that.” fish threw water all over him.” For more information, call 877-786Carey noted that by mid-May, the fish 4477 or visit striperexpress.com. start finishing the spawn and migrating back into the main lake. “The fish group up in large schools and go on a feeding frenzy. We locate the schools Stripers are powerful fish. Once you hook one, be ready for a battle.

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Texas Saltwater by Calixto Gonzales | TF&G Saltwater Editor them checking your license or cooler.

Thoughts and Rants HOSE WHO KNOW ME WILL FIND IT A BIT ironic that my wife believes I hold back my feelings too much. She says I let things stew and simmer until they bubble over and make a big mess that I have to clean up. “Get it off your chest,” she tells me. “It’s bad for your blood pressure to keep it all in.” She probably means I should hit the gym more often. The great thing is, though, some of what I swallow makes great writing fodder, so here we go...

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• The National Marine Fisheries Gulf Council has finally eased up on the mute button and tried explaining why they have such a huge hang-up for keeping a short red snapper season and draconian bag limit of two fish per day in federal waters—in spite of the fact that both anecdotal and empirical evidence show Gulf red snapper numbers are greater than in recent memory. The logic is that, now that red snapper are no longer classified as overfished, it will take time (until at least 2032) for snapper numbers to reach a consistently self-sustaining level. It’s akin to not touching your savings after building them back up. If that’s so, how does NMFS explain that Gulf snapper numbers never seemed to jibe with its claims of overfishing? Secondly, why did it take so long for it to explain the reasoning? • I don’t think there has been a time in Texas history when Texas Parks & Wildlife Department wardens have proven more valuable. A large percentage of these men and women patrol county and ranch roads and waterways along the Texas-Mexico border. With the chaos of the Mexican drug war encroaching into the United States, they are as much at risk as any Border Patrol agent. Think about that when you complain about 32 |

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• Gotta get off of saltwater fishing for a moment: The nilgai is a big, imposing, tough animal. It runs as fast as a white-tailed deer, can take a shot from a .300 Winchester Magnum and keep trucking, and is surprisingly elusive for so big a critter. Even so, it is considered an invasive species because it was imported from Central Asia over 100 years ago. It almost seems that it deserves a better image. • The mangrove snapper gets about as much respect as the nilgai. • From the never-pass-up-a-free-meal department: While cleaning a 28-inch redfish last fall, I decided to check out the stomach contents. The tally: a 9-inch mullet, two mantis shrimp, and a floating key chain from Land’s End Marina in Tampa, Florida. There was no key, just the key chain. That is just greedy. • I don’t begrudge any angler who wants to try to make a living as a professional captain. It’s a hard job, and the best of captains have to deal with tough clients, tough conditions, a tough economy, last-minute cancellations, and the pressure of producing on days when it makes more sense to stay home in bed. I have had the benefit of meeting some guides that are gracious, generous, and ready to help me with a feature or column. Some I am proud to call friends. There are captains that are not only great sources of information for us members of the media, but also very helpful in providing data and feedback to TPWD, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and organizations such as CCA. They see themselves as stewards and stakeholders of the resources they utilize. They have provided the numbers that lead to important fisheries management decisions and conservation policies. They don’t get near enough credit for their role in helping sustain Texas saltwater fisheries. • While I’m passing out kudos, a tip of

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the hat to executive editor, colleague, and great friend Chester “I Never Met a Flounder I Didn’t Like” Moore. His tireless work in improving the overall health of Texas flounder is unprecedented. Not only that, he has also devoted a great deal of energy to exposing more young people to fishing and hunting. Chester is a good man to ride the river with. I’m fortunate to know him. • The fees from fishing and hunting licenses and excise taxes on fishing and hunting equipment goes toward habitat reclamation, species rehabilitation, and law enforcement. If hunting and fishing were banned, as “animal advocates” advocate, all that money disappears. Has anyone from PETA, ALF, or any of those other merry bands of twits offered an idea of how to replace those funds? • How in the world does a mangy coyote pass as a chupacabra? • Either the Musky Jitterbug is a muchunderrated saltwater bait, or I just let another saltwater fishing secret out of the bag. Either way, the same redfish that swallowed the key chain also blasted a red/white Jitterbug, as did four of its littermates and one suicidal 13-inch trout. Alas, it was my last one, and after a big jackfish took it home with him, the Great Jitterbug Experiment came to an end. • My New Year’s resolution is to try to fish more with my wife and son. I don’t do that near enough, and it won’t be long before my boy is off to college. Like a very good friend tells me all the time: Ay mas tiempo que vida. “There is more time than life.”

E-mail Calixto Gonzales at CGonzales@fishgame.com.


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IT WAS THE SORT OF EXPERIENCE that could lead one to sitting in a dark corner and drinking Sterno. Flounder were stacked up among the groins and eddies of the Corpus Christi Beach breakwater. The damned misery was that the big flatties were nestled tight to the rocks and feeding on schools of finger mullet balled up over them. The problem was, too much weight meant your bait would snag up on the bottom; not enough weight, and the eddies and current kept the bait from getting into the strike zone. In two hours of fishing, I had caught three flounder and broken off more times than I cared to admit. The salt in the wound was the two older men fishing 20 feet from me. Both had culled more flounder than I had caught, and each strung a limit of saddle blankets that made them grunt when they lifted the stringers. They were using the same bait I was, and they were fishing the same general area. The biggest different was the lemon float rigs they were using, which suspended their live mullet just over the hungry flounder, but away from any snags. Once the plastic lemon moved sideways or stood up in the water, the fish was on.

The Wonderful, Ubiquitous Float Call them what you will: cork, bobber, or quill. The float has a wide variety of functions, especially in saltwater fishing. Floats are excellent at their most basic use: as strike detectors. The classic red/white or yellow/orange round float is a timeless regular among anglers young and old. Anyone who has fished can relate to the excitement of seeing a float disappear without a dimple on the water or slant away in a sinking dash as some unknown finny predator takes the bait sitting underneath the bobber. Whether you are a die-hard live bait fisherman, a lure purist, or an angler that alternates with either technique, there should always be space in your tackle box for these ubiquitous pieces of fishing tackle. “I keep a wide variety of floats in my tackle box,” said long-time Laguna Madre angler Pat Moore. “Those suckers can be real assets in a bunch of different fishing situations.” Moore added that the floats have applications from the surface to the bottom. 34 |

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“Even use them when I’m up in Falcon or on Choke Canyon Lake when I’m bass fishing,” he added. Some of the ‘real’ bass fishermen look at me like I’m some kind of nut, but I don’t care. I catch some good fish with my floats, and that’s all that matters.”

The Noisy Float Gets the Grease (or Fish) We all know that saltwater floats also serve as noisemakers. The popping cork does exactly what its name indicates: it gives off a loud “pop!” or chug whenever an angler gives a sharp pull on the rod. The standard popping cork is the Styrofoam, weighted float that comes in a variety of

high-vis colors. They’ve helped catch millions of fish over the years and work with equal deadliness whether bait or lures are T E X A S

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suspended under them. These noisemakers come in a variety of designs, some made from hollow plastic and filled with shot so that they add rattles to the equation (one of my longtime favorite rigs is a Berkley Jerk Shad under an Alameda cork; I’ve caught three of my biggest speckled trout on that rig). Legendary Port Mansfield guide, Captain Bob Fuston, added a dimension to the noisemaking float. The Mansfield Mauler, an ingenious design that mates a 3inch crappie float with beads and heavy wire to create a shallow water-specific popping cork, has slain millions of Lower Laguna Madre gamefish. The stiff-wire design enables anglers to use a shorter leader to suspend lures or bait over shallow grass flats.

Popping corks come in a variety of designs and sizes and work on the simple principle of “popping” loudly whenever jerked.

Noise Makers PHOTO COURTESY MIDCOAST PRODUCTS


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without catching up in snags and botching the presentation. The quill has enough buoyancy to suspend split shot and bait, and easily follows the contour of undercuts and tree roots. Trout anglers who fish for wintertimestocked rainbow trout on the Walking Float Guadalupe River are slowly becoming advocates of the quill. One trek I A float technique from Europe using made to the Guadalupe last year to a quill bobber. experience the trout fishery revealed to me a number of anglers who were

Yanking t the rig elicits a “splash-click!” that attracts fish from long distance. According to Moore, the Mauler and all the permutations that it spawned are equally effective on freshwater species such as largemouth and white bass. “When (black or white) bass are schooling under the birds, a Mauler is absolute death,” said Moore. “I tie on a white curlytail grub or Sassy Shad, toss it out into the feeding fish, and get to work. The noise sets my lure apart from the other shad makes it easier for fish to find it.” Moore also says that fish holding tight brush along a lake or river’s shoreline will come out from under the branches to investigate when a floater clicks or pops. “Think about it,” he said, “a bass will come out of a sunken tree to hit a popper or stick bait. They’ll do the same when to a small popping cork or Mauler. When they see the soft plastic settling under the cork, they don’t notice anything else. It’s fish on!”

Taking a Walk A float technique has crossed the Atlantic from Europe and is slowly making its presence felt along Texas waterways. The walking float is little more than a quill bobber (named after its roots in porcupine quill floats) that can walk a bait or fly with a river’s current. The long thin design of the quill bobber allows the rig to flow naturally PHOTO: GENNADIY KNODRATYEV, DREAMSTIME

floating corn kernels, red worm/marshmallow combos, and wet flies under quills. They caught plenty of trout, especially the bigger ones that were had been and the river a couple of years and were haunting holes other anglers couldn’t reach. The versatility of the float is undeniable, especially when their success translates to steady action, full stringers, and happy anglers.


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GREEN Whale Poop Makes Good Fisheries

PHOTO: US NAVY

Speed Saves Manatees A NEW STUDY SHOWS THAT WHEN BOATERS SLOW DOWN, THE LIKELIHOOD OF PROPELLER STRIKES INJURING PROTECTED FLORIDA MANATEES ACTUALLY INCREASES. Legislation requiring boaters to slow down in manatee habitat resulted in more propeller injuries. Acoustics experts Ed and Laura Gerstein studied the hearing capabilities of manatees and discovered manatees have good hearing abilities at high frequencies, but relatively poor sensitivity in the low frequency ranges associated with boat noise. Manatees might be least able to hear the propellers of boats that have slowed down in compliance with boat speed regulations. Such noise often fails to rise above the noisy background in manatee habitats until the boat is literally on top of the animal. In addition, near-surface boundary 36 |

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effects can cancel or severely attenuate the dominant low-frequency sound produced by propellers. The study prompted the suggestion of equipping boats with high-frequency manatee warning alarms to allow the slow-moving animals time to move out of harm’s way. Of course, just running at faster speeds solves the problem as well, plus raises the prop higher in the water. —Staff Report TG T E X A S

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A whale biologist, apparently a whale poop specialist, says cetacean excrement doesn’t sink when fresh but floats on the surface and is a major contributor to the productivity of ocean fisheries. Whale feces is not heavy clumps that sink to the bottom as most probably envision—a misconception that spawned the metaphor, “lower than whale poop on the bottom of the ocean.” Most whales actually deposit waste that floats at the surface “very liquidy, a flocculent plume,” according to University of Vermont whale biologist Joe Roman. This liquid fecal matter, rich in nutrients, has a huge positive influence on the productivity of ocean fisheries, Roman and his colleague, James McCarthy from Harvard University, have discovered. Their discovery, published in the journal PLoS ONE, is what Roman calls a “whale pump.” Whales carry nutrients such as nitrogen from the depths, which they feed back to the surface via their feces. —Staff Report TG


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Ocean ‘Garbage Patch’ Smaller Than Portrayed CLAIMS THAT THE “GREAT GARBAGE PATCH” BETWEEN CALIFORNIA AND JAPAN IS TWICE THE SIZE OF TEXAS ARE GROSSLY EXAGGERATED, ACCORDING TO AN ANALYSIS BY AN OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY SCIENTIST. Further claims that the oceans are filled “We have data that allow us to make reawith more plastic than plankton, and that sonable estimates; we don’t need the hyperthe patch has been growing tenfold each bole. Given the observed concentration of decade since the 1950s, are equally misplastic in the North Pacific, it is simply leading, pointed out Angelicque “Angel” inaccurate to state that plastic outweighs White, an assistant professor of oceanograplankton, or that we have observed an phy at Oregon State. exponential increase in plastic.” “There is no doubt that the amount of White has pored over published literaplastic in the world’s oceans is troubling, ture and participated in one of the few but this kind of exaggeration undermines expeditions solely aimed at understanding the credibility of scientists,” White said. the abundance of plastic debris and the

associated impact of plastic on microbial communities. That expedition was part of research funded by the National Science Foundation through C-MORE, the Center for Microbial Oceanography: Research and Education. The studies have shown is that if you look at the actual area of the plastic itself, rather than the entire North Pacific subtropical gyre, the hypothetically “cohesive” plastic patch is actually less than 1 percent of the geographic size of Texas. “The amount of plastic out there isn’t trivial,” White said. “But using the highest concentrations ever reported by scientists produces a patch that is a small fraction of the state of Texas, not twice the size.

—Staff Report TG


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Texas Freshwater by Matt Williams | TF&G Freshwater Editor

Fork Big Bass Bounty AMES QUISENBERRY OF EMORY HAS caught his share of big bass from Lake Fork, but none to compare with the bugeyed giant he reeled in from the legendary fishery in northeast Texas last spring. Fishing on March 22 in about 10 feet of water with a live waterdog, the 59-year-old angler landed a 15.61-pounder that tied as the No. 34 heaviest Texas bass of all time. It also ranks as the biggest bass reported from Fork since 2002, when Jim Harrell and Johnny Six caught fish weighing 16.12 pounds and 15.65 pounds. Ironically, both of those fish also were caught on March 22, just eight years earlier than Quisenberry. The feat earned Quisenberry a considerable amount of media attention, largely because he put the fish on loan to Toyota ShareLunker, a state-run spawning and genetics research program aimed at producing bigger and better bass for Texas anglers to catch. What many anglers may not know is the golden egg the fish laid the moment it was placed it on certified scales. The bass won Quisenberry $10,800 in the Lake Fork Bounty Bonanza. Currently in its third season, the LFBB is a big bass contest that gives anglers the opportunity to win lucrative cash prizes and tackle packages in exchange for catching big Lake Fork bass between October 1 and April 30. The program was launched in 2008 by the Lake Fork Area Chamber of Commerce with the support of lakeside business owners and tackle icon Berkley. The idea was to generate some big bass hype around the lake and spur some friendly competition among local and visiting anglers.

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age from Lake Fork Marina. KMOO radio station will pay $999.99 for the first bass weighing exactly 9.99 pounds. LFCC sponsors will pay $300 for the heaviest bass longer than 24 inches each month. The angler who weighs the heaviest bass of the year wins a custom embroidered jacket. Interestingly, the Bounty Bonanza program has not been very well received since its inception. According to LFCC spokesperson Bob Williams of Yantis, about 400 fishermen entered the contest during its inaugural year. Only 350 played last season. “It’s really sort of strange,” Williams said. “People come here and pay $400 to fish with a guide, but they won’t fork out another $25 for shot at winning some big netted $10,800. cash. It hasn’t happened yet, but it is Bonanza Bass only a matter of time until somebody catches one of these fish and misses out on some big money because they were not entered. That will grab a lot of people’s attention.” Williams added that a number of the $300 prizes went unclaimed last year, because anglers who caught overthe-slot fish did not follow through. “I know of several that didn’t even weigh their fish because they didn’t think they would be big enough,” he said. Quisenberry was the first angler in the program’s history to claim one of top-level prizes. A former railroader Berkley tackle package for a fish that tops the from Granbury, he said he has entered the program every year since it started. current state record, 18.18 pounds. “To me, it just doesn’t make sense to go • One $100,000 reward and a $2000 Berkley tackle package for a new IGFA world out there without it,” he said. “This is Lake Fork. I know what lives out there.” record bass, 22 pounds, 4 ounces. We are nearing the peak of big bass season Fish must be weighed on certified scales at a chamber member business, and be donated in Texas. If you have not entered the contest to the Toyota ShareLunker program to be eli- yet, it might be wise to do so before heading for Lake Fork. Anglers can enter the contest gible for the aforementioned prizes. It is much easier win in the Group 2 prize at any participating business, or on-line at category, mainly because the fish don’t have llakeforkbountybonanza.com. to weigh as much. Every contestant who catches a bass E-mail Matt Williams at weighing upwards of 13 pounds and donates MWilliams@fishgame.com. it to ShareLunker wins a $500 tackle packCash prizes range from $300 to $100,000, while merchandise packages are valued from $250 to $2000. Pre-registration is required. The cost is $25. There are eight categories and two groups in which anglers can cash in. The first group of cash prizes is guaranteed by SCA Promotions, a Dallas-based firm that specializes in promotional risk coverage for promotions, contests, and games. • $10,000 cash rewards and $250 Berkley tackle packages to the first three anglers to catch a bass that cracks the Top 50, 15.34 pounds. • One $25,000 reward and a $500 Berkley tackle package for the first fish to bust the Top 10, 16.77 pounds. • One $50,000 Quisenberry’s 15.61 lb. catch reward and a $1000

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Hunt Texas by Bob Hood | TF&G Hunting Editor

LOT OF HUNTERS PAY BIG MONEY TO bag a trophy whitetail buck on private property, often with the assistance of a hunting guide. Buddy Singletary of Lewisville did it the old-fashioned way early last season on public land in an area bustling with the loud noises of overhead jet airplanes, automobile traffic, and everyday bustle of a metropolitan area. Singletary said he was lucky twice: First for having his name drawn in a lottery to hunt with his compound bow on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers public land around Lake Grapevine; and second for simply being in the right place at the right time. In reality, it wasn’t just luck that resulted in Singletary shooting a huge 17-point buck with a 19-3/8-inch spread that grossed over 195 B&C non-typical. Good planning and strategy will result in his name being placed in the Pope and Young record books. Singletary is a construction manager for Cash America and has been hunting deer with a rifle for 15 years, but the Corps restricts deer hunting on its public lands to archery equipment. Also, the Corps does not allow feeders or other methods of attracting deer. Thus, Singletary not only had to put aside the rifle he normally uses to hunt an East Texas lease and go with his Martin Cougar bow, but also had to use practical information gathered from his own scouting skills. “Once I got selected, I started pulling out topographic maps and then went scouting before the season opened,” Singletary said. “I wanted to find an area that was less-accessible and that would be away from places where other hunters would be. I found a place with lots of does and set up a pop-up blind. I had to pack it in about one-half mile, but that really was no problem.”

deer, but as the sun began to rise in the distance, “all hell broke loose.” First, a large eightpointer was spotted in True Trophy the brush only to disappear as quickly as it had been seen. A short while later, three nervous-acting does passed right by him. “Just as they went by, I looked around and saw a monster buck trotting right at me,” Singletary said. “I thought at first it might be the buck I had seen earlier. He was about 35 yards away at a right angle. I had about three seconds to draw and shoot. I hit him high in the shoulder and he went straight down.” The buck weighed approximately 200 Although the pop-up blind provided pounds. Because of the marshy area where it good concealment, it was a wrong choice for went down, Singletary knew he would need that area. He had chosen a marshy area help getting it out. Even though this was thick with briars and lots of deer trails. The Singletary’s first buck taken with a bow and cover was just too thick for a ground blind, he could not see it well where it went down, so he decided to use a borrowed ladder he knew he should give it plenty of time to stand so he could hunt from above the cover. make sure it was dead. He first called his Unlike remote areas where hunters sit in wife to tell her he had shot the deer and then stands and see nothing but animals, birds, called his brother-in-law, Brad Coleman, trees, and brush, and hear only their sounds who arrived about 30 minutes later to help and the wind, the area Singletary hunted is him retrieve the deer. bordered by housing developments no more Singletary said he almost went into shock than a quarter-mile mile away. Even on a when he and Coleman got to the deer and Sunday morning, the Lake Grapevine area realized just how big its antlers were. The awakens with the sounds of residents begin- buck was, indeed, an archery deer of a lifening their day, travelers scurrying in their time, one especially rewarding because it vehicles down the streets and roadways, and came from public lands in a heavily populatairplanes leaving and arriving at nearby ed urban area. Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. Sunday, November 14 dawned cool and E-mail Bob Hood at windless. A day earlier, Singletary had sat BHood@fishgame.com. in the same stand without seeing a single

PHOTO: COURTESY BUDDY SINGLETARY

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Singletary’s 17point buck was taken on public land, with a bow.

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PHOTOS: BACKGROUND, STEVE LAMASCUS; INSET, GRAEMO, DREAMSTIME


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BY TF&G SHOOTING EDITOR

Steve LaMascus T E X A S

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JUST HOW HIGH IS YOUR AMMO QUOTIENT (AQ)? Do you know your Express from your Magnum and your black from your smokeless powder? Find out by taking the Texas Fish & Game Ammunition Quiz. 1. The very first American smokeless power cartridge was: a) .38-55 b) .22 Savage Imp c) .30-30 Winchester d) .30-40 Krag

5. The fastest commercial cartridge ever produced is the: a) .220 Swift b) .204 Ruger c) .17 Remington d) .22 Eargesplitten Loudenboomer

c) a cartridge that is produced by a company that is not a member of the Small Arms and Ammunition Manufacturer’s Institute d) a cartridge that can fire either a bullet or shot

2. The .22-250 was invented by: a) Remington b) Winchester c) Warren Page d) Grosvenor Wotkyns and J.E. Gebby

6. The first American commercial cartridge introduced as a dedicated varmint cartridge was the: a) .250 Savage b) .22 Savage High-Power c) .222 Remington d) .22 Hornet

9. The second number in the .22-250 designates a) the bullet weight b) the original cartridge from which the wildcat originated c) length of the cartridge in millimeters d) velocity measured in meters per second

7. The second number in older cartridges such as the .45-70 and .50-90 stands for: a) the length of the case in millimeters b) the diameter of the case at the base, measured in hundredths of an inch c) the amount of black power in the load, measured in grains d) the amount of cordite in the load, measured in grams

10. The second number in .25-06 stands for: a) the original cartridge from which the wildcat was made b) the year of introduction of the parent cartridge from which the cartridge was made c) that the cartridge is number six in a series of wildcats invented by Col. Townsend Whelen d) It stands for absolutely nothing.

8. When a reloader speaks of a wildcat cartridge, he means: a) a cartridge that is loaded to above SAAMI specifications b) a custom cartridge for which firearms and ammunition are not mass-produced

Magnum, and the gun was so heavy that police officers generally opted to carry a lighter gun in a smaller caliber. 19. ANSWER: A) 20. ANSWER: C) According to the 12th edition of Cartridges of the World, the most powerful commercial handgun round in existence is the .500 Smith and Wesson. BONUS ANSWER: D) According to the 12th edition of Cartridges of the World, the .460 Weatherby was the most powerful cartridge in the world, until the advent of the .700 Nitro Express. The .700 Nitro Express is the current power champ, but it just barely qualifies as a commercial cartridge.

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fame on the buffalo ranges of the mid1870s was the .50-90 Sharps. The larger cartridges, such as the huge .50-140, came along later after most of the buffalo had been killed for their hides. 16. ANSWER: D) According to the 12th edition of Cartridges of the World, the wildcat .10 caliber Eichelberger Long Rifle is the smallest cartridge in the world today. 17. ANSWER: C) 18. ANSWER: C) The .41 Magnum was the brainchild of a group of well-known handgunners, including Skeeter Skelton, Elmer Keith, and Bill Jordan. They intended it to be a hard-hitting but mild-recoiling police cartridge with more power than the .357 Magnum. It turned out, however, to have almost as much recoil as the .44

4. The very first bullet produced by John Nosler was the: a) Ballistic Tip b) Partition c) solid base d) Trophy Bonded Bear Claw

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11. The .17 Flintstone Super Eyebunger is: a) an over-bore .17 caliber wildcat based on the .22-250 case

Super Eyebunger is listed and described in the 1966 edition of P.O. Ackley’s loading manual. 12. ANSWER. D) 13. ANSWER: D) The first recognized 6mm cartridge was the 6mm Lee Navy used by the U.S. Navy in the 1895 Lee Straight Pull bolt-action rifle. This cartridge, with minor variations, was the parent cartridge of the famous .220 Swift. 14. ANSWER: D) The .256 Winchester was introduced in 1960 and was intended as a high-velocity varmint round to be used in handguns. However, it soon became obsolete because the only handgun that was chambered for it was the single-shot Ruger Hawkeye. 15. ANSWER: A) The “Big Fifty” of such

3. The .222 Remington Magnum was invented by Mike Walker of Remington: a) to be a more powerful sporting version of the hugely popular .222 Remington b) to compete with Winchester’s .220 Swift c) as a competitor, along with the .223, to become the U.S. official military cartridge d) as a super-accurate competitor in bench rest competitions


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b) capable of attaining over 5000 feet per second with a 25-grain bullet c) intended to be the fastest cartridge ever invented d) A figment of the author’s imagination. 12. The 7.62x63 is: a) a big game cartridge introduced by Karl Mauser in 1964 b) one of the original chamberings of the Model 1898 Mauser c) the current Russian military cartridge d) the European designation of the .3006 13. The first known 6mm cartridge was: a) the .243 Winchester b) .244 Remington c) .240 H&H Magnum d) 6mm Lee Navy 14. The .256 Winchester Magnum is: a) a new high velocity combination deer/varmint round introduced by Winchester at the 2011 SHOT show in Las Vegas b) a wildcat based on the .270 Winchester case c) a high velocity rifle cartridge introduced in 1925 in the Model 70 Winchester d) a bottlenecked cartridge intended for use in handguns 15. The moniker “Big Fifty” was attached to: a) .50-90 Sharps b) .50-140 Sharps

c) .50-110 Winchester High Velocity d) .50-115 Ballard

20. The most powerful commercial handgun round in the world today is the: a) .454 Casull b) .480 Ruger c) .500 Smith and Wesson d) .460 Smith and Wesson

16. The smallest cartridge known to exist at this time is: a) The .17 HMR b) The .19 Calhoon c) The .14 Eichelberber Dart d) The .10 Eichelberger Long Rifle

Bonus Question: The most powerful sporting rifle cartridge ever produced is the: a) .460 Weatherby Magnum b) .600 Nitro Express c) 12.7x70mm Shuler d) .700 Nitro Express

17. The oldest commercial American self-contained metallic cartridge is: a) .22 Velo Dog b) .14 Lilliput c) .22 Short d) .22 Long Rifle

SCORING UNDER 40 PERCENT: Never buy ammunition while alone, have someone else load your gun for you, and do not handle sharp objects or pointy things. Better still, take up golf or haberdashery. 40-60 PERCENT: Although your friends do not come to you for advice, you can at least safely load your gun yourself—but don’t sort loose ammo without supervision. 60-80 PERCENT: You friends consider you a “guru” and give you “gun stuff” for Christmas. 90 PERCENT OR BETTER: Your photo hangs on the walls of shooting ranges and gun shops above the placard, “The Man, the Legend)” 100 PERCENT: LaMascus better watch himself; his job is definitely in jeopardy.

18. The .41 Remington Magnum was introduced in 1964 to be: a) a handgun-hunting cartridge with more power than the .357 but less recoil than the .44 Magnum b) the most powerful handgun in the world c) a replacement police cartridge of more power than the .357 Magnum d) It was not introduced in 1964. 19. The term “magnum” originally applied to: a) extra-large champagne bottles b) simply larger versions of already existing rifle cartridges c) standard rifle cartridges enlarged by shooting them in a slightly enlarged chamber d) only rifle cartridges with a belt

Flip the Page for the Correct Answers the .223 won the competition, the .222 Remington Magnum was introduced as a sporting cartridge. It is slightly more powerful than the .223 and is still a wonderful choice as a varmint caliber for the reloader. 4. ANSWER: B) John Nosler invented the Partition after a failed moose hunt in 1946. 5. ANSWER: B) The .204 Ruger at 4225 feet per second) It edges out the venerable .220 Swift by just over a hundred feet per second) 6. ANSWER: D) The .22 Savage Hi Power is an old cartridge, introduced in 1912, but it was not the first dedicated varmint cartridge. That honor falls to the .22 Hornet, introduced by Winchester in F I S H

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7. ANSWER: C) This does not apply, however, to the .30-30 and .30-40, which are smokeless powder cartridges. 8. ANSWER: B) A cartridge that is not mass-produced) Often it is made by the handloader from an existing cartridge by changing the angle of the shoulder and/or blowing out the case to hold more powder. 9. ANSWER: B) 250 stands for the .250 Savage, which was the parent cartridge from which the .22-250 was made. 10. ANSWER: B) 06 is the year of introduction (1906) of the .30-06, which was the parent cartridge from which the wildcat .25-06 was made. 11. ANSWER: A) The .17 Flintstone .1930. The .22 Savage Hi Power was originally intended as a big game cartridge.


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Doug Pike (l), Joe Doggett (c), and Bob Hood (r). For decades, if you wanted to know what was going on in the Texas outdoors, you looked to these men. 44 |

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WORDS CAPTURE READERS. The words reside in dictionaries and become sentences worth savoring when sculpted by experienced and knowledgeable writers. Generations of outdoor writers have artfully woven those carefully constructed sentences into stories crafted to transport readers to hunt the Alaskan wilderness, fish in warm Bahamian breezes, or stalk the Big Five on an African savannah. Our nostrils twitch at the mental bovine stench of Cape buffalo; we feel the Arctic chill while stalking caribou; or hear the tiny snap as something as modest as a bream sucks a bug from the still surface of a backwater eddy. Three men—Texas icons—have used words, sentences, paragraphs, and stories to transport the nation’s readers into these worlds. BOB HOOD joined the Ft. Worth Star Telegram in 1962 as a paperboy, and through his love of the outdoors, doggedly worked his way toward a career as an out-

Hood door writer. That love bloomed early as he hunted and fished the North-Central Texas landscape around Comanche. Outdoor editor at the Telegram from 1968 to 2008, Bob is currently Hunting Editor for Texas Fish & Game, and a contributing writer for a number of other publications. His easy writing style places the reader right there, where the action is. “I want my readers to experience the story,” he told me. “A good writer places his audience right beside him, to feel the weather, see what they’re seeing, and feel what they feel. Even the walk to the stand is important, if it is written correctly.” He emphasizes the final shot isn’t what counts; it is the story itself. To develop the story, Hood believes writ46 |

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ers need to get outside. “Back when I had to write articles every day except Monday, I made a comment to Harold McKinney (longtime Star-Telegram sports journalist) that I hoped I can find enough to write about. McKinney quipped back, ‘Well, Bob, you can’t write about the outdoors by staying indoors.’” Hood took that to heart because he knew what McKinney meant. He and wildlife biologist Bill Harvey recreated their own version of John Graves’ Goodbye to a River with a 32-day trip covering 232 miles. “I did everything from frog gigging to varmint calling and the like, as well as big game hunting and every type of fishing I could experience. I’ve been doing it ever since,” Hood said. That and several other common threads wound through the discussions with our other legends—Doggett and Pike. “I didn’t have a clue about what I wanted to do after graduating from the University of Texas in 1972, but I knew I liked the outdoors,” JOE DOGGETT said. He went to college after a tour in the Navy. “I dropped off a resume with Bob Brister at the Houston Chronicle and went fishing. When I got home, I found he’d called and said he was interested. I drove down there, gave him a couple of short stories, and not long after, he offered me a start with the Chronicle on a trial basis.” Apparently, Brister (an outdoor legend himself) liked what he saw in young Doggett and put him on staff to help fill an expanding outdoor section. T E X A S

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Now a richly polished outdoorsman himself, Doggett has been widely published from newspapers to Texas Fish & Game, Field & Stream, and beyond. This quiet, award-winning writer is known for the quality of his work, the life that comes from his pen, and the impeccable character we require of favorite authors. Joe isn’t quite comfortable with the new electronic media of the web and blogs, but he’s willing to embrace the changes and give them a chance. “I’m concerned that outdoor writing is becoming somewhat diluted. These days, I’m seeing way too much mediocre material, and a trend toward choppy writing that is much too short for our subscribers to get a feel of the work itself. I’d prefer less graphs and charts. “That’s a problem our younger writers are experiencing. They can’t branch out to tell a good story, and because of that, they’re

Doggett forced to include way too much technical knowledge and are stuck with the seriousness PHOTOS: COURTESY BOB HOOD, JOE DOGGETT AND DOUG PIKE


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of things. The whole idea of the outdoors is not a B&C deer, or gadgets, calibers, or the size of the fish you catch. A good clicker reel will stop a 2-pound bonefish, so let’s enjoy what we have and get back to the basics of good storytelling that provides information within the copy. When you’re finished reading, you realize that you enjoyed the work and learned something in the process.” Not easily impressed, Doggett is enthusiastic about the third Texas legend on our list. “DOUG PIKE always impressed me as a writer, but unlike some people I’ve read, he was good at the things he covered. He didn’t just write a good game, he knew what he was doing in the field and proved to be a qualified journalist,” Doggett said. “Joe and I are of the same mold and backdoored our way into this because we’re story tellers,” Pike said. “We’re passionate about the outdoors and have been fortunate to find a readership that appreciates our work. “When I first started right out of college, a long-since departed editor in Galveston suggested that I should seek a smaller market to polish my writing skills.” Brister, on the other hand, saw something in Pike’s resume

Pike and samples. “He called and asked if I still wanted to be an outdoor writer, and when I said yes, he spent the next hour trying to talk me out of it.” Pike became both reporter and columnist for the Chronicle and tapped into the needs of his readers. “The biggest compliments I received then and now are from those who say they don’t hunt or fish, but enjoy the show, or my articles, because they are entertaining and give them a sense of time and place in the outdoors.” For more than a quarter-century, Pike’s writing and photographs have won dozens of awards. He is now best known for quality outdoor photos because he doesn’t mind jumping in the water or wading in the mud

to get the image he wants. Pike worked hard at his craft and eventually branched out into radio, where he appears on KBME, SportsTalk 790, along with sharing the Texas Fish & Game and Field & Stream mastheads with Doggett. Feeling that the internet is a race for quantity, not quality, both Doggett and Pike feel that many websites seem to be “publishing” volume rather than the best writing. “That’s why I’m proud to be associated with the quality publications out there that strive to provide a product that will stand the test of time,” Pike said. The trio doesn’t suffer praise well, and give thanks to the masters such as Bob Ruark, Gene Hill, Bob Brister, Hart Stilwell, Charlie Waterman, Homer Circle, Harold McKinney, Corey Ford and many others as sources of inspiration and standard setters. Nonetheless, Hood, Doggett, and Pike stand among the giants, and it is no small source of pride at this magazine that their resumes include the title, “Lone Star Legends.”


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Open Season by Reavis Wortham | TF&G Humor Editor

WANT TO GO FISHING WITH YOU this weekend,” Bubba told me as we sat at the large round corner table in Doreen’s 24 HR Eat Gas Now Cafe. The attending club members snickered and stared into their coffee or out the window. I eased into the conversation, remembering back a few months. “Uh, let me remind you that in order to fish, you have to touch the fish at some point. No matter how hard you try, you’ll finally have to get fishy if you hook something.” “Not the way Rev fishes,” Doc commented and everyone except me laughed. All six-foot, six-inches, and 280 pounds of Bubba failed to make eye contact. “I didn’t have too much trouble during dove season.” “You wouldn’t touch the dead birds,” I reminded him. “I went out there and found them for you.” “Didn’t have to. They were falling in a bare field.” “Well...” he said defensively. “And then I had to walk out there in front of everyone and pick up the bird while you stood there and watched,” I persisted. “There was blood and feathers. I thought I could pick it up until I saw it was dead.” “You would have gotten it if it were alive?” Wrong Willie asked. He failed to get an answer. “And you wouldn’t help me clean the birds,” I finished. “So how are you going to fish?” “How do you do it?” Bubba asked. “I mean, how do you pick up those slimy things?”

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Raising Kids on Raw Fish

“I just lip them in if they’re bass or crappie, or grab them behind the fins if they’re catfish, or hold them behind the gills if I’m catching trout.” “You haven’t caught a trout in so long you’ll probably lip it in,” Doc said, causing more riotous laughter. Ignoring the lame insults, I continued to work on Bubba. “So, you think you can hold a fish?” He thought about it for a long moment, then shook his head. “They’re slimy.”

“Yep. So are the salmon filets you cook on the grill. How do you get them out of the package?” Woodrow asked. Bubba is always grilling at Woodrow’s place in the woods. Bubba dug into his back pocket and produced a pair of blue surgical gloves. “You carry those with you?” Doc asked. “You never know when you need to pick up something nasty. Like raw fish, or maybe a dead dove. That’s it! They’re raw. I don’t like raw stuff.” “You didn’t think so the other day,” I said, waiting for the inevitable. “What are you talking about?” “You ate ceviche at the restaurant. Do you know what ceviche is?” “Kind of a fish pico de gallo.” “Except the fish is cooked with lime juice, so some folks say it’s like sushi. The Cap’n says it’s all technical and the fish is still raw. According to him, you ate raw meat.” Bubba’s blanched. “You said it was cooked.” “I said it was chemically cooked, in lime juice. They just pour the juice on the fish

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and when it turns white, it’s done.” He blanched. “You didn’t tell me.” “Did too. You didn’t listen.” The guys snickered while Bubba digested the news. Then he brightened. “Maybe you can bring along a lot of lime juice and I can pour it over the fish when we catch them. Then they’ll be chemically cooked and won’t be slimy when I touch them.” “We try to practice catch and release,” Youngster said. “You don’t want to release a limed fish.” “It might work on trout,” Wrong Willie thought aloud. “Most of the time we just catch a few and eat them, so it might remove a step.” “Naw,” Woodrow chimed in. “They’re so slimy I can barely stand to touch them myself after they’ve been in the cooler. Sometimes they slime so bad it looks like a cooler full of really thick snot.” Three people in the booth behind us went white. Forks clattered into barely touched plates. The quick slap of plastic, some rattling change, a quick signature, and they were out of there. “Guys, just be reasonable,” I pleaded. “Bubba, to fish, you have to touch them. Period. Now, how good are you at knots?” “You have to tie them up?” “You have to tie hooks onto the line. You’ll need to practice...” “You made me eat raw fish,” he accused and looked around the table as if to organize a riot. “This isn’t going to be easy,” I said to the assemblage. “What about raising kids is easy?” Woodrow asked and started at my large thirty-something, unofficially adopted son. “The problems just get bigger and bigger.” “Ceviche is raw fish?” Bubba asked and then called out an order across the cafe for a really well done burger.

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


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What’s in a Name? WHY WE CALL COASTAL LANDMARKS WHAT WE DO BY CALIXTO GONZALES

ILLUSTRATION: MAP, NOAA, PHOOTO, INSET, JIM HOWARD, CREATIVE COMMONS

YOU’VE GOTTA ADMIT, there are more than a few esoteric names for various towns, regions, and landmarks. There is the town of Weslaco, which derives it’s name from the W.E. Stewart Land Company. There is the thriving community of Climax in North Texas. There is a Pearland with no groves, and a Paris 3000 miles away from the continent of Europe. Part of Texana is immersed in the unique and wonderful names of her places. The Texas Coast is no exception. There are myriad locations and landmarks with some remarkably unique names. The origins of some are obvious: Gasswell Flats surrounds an old gas wellhead. The Humble Channel was a transit channel for Humble Oil. Aransas Pass was named after the Aransas Indians, who were indigenous to the area (the Karankawas were also natives of the region, but can we agree naming anything after a tribe of cannibals is bad policy?). Still, there are landmarks and locations that have names with great and unique stories behind them, and learning about them is an equally interesting experience.

Mother and Father, and the Arms of Saint James The lower Texas Coast is filled with interesting names. The two defining features of the area are excellent examples. Laguna Madre is the name of the vast, hypersaline Lagoon C O A S T A L

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that stretches from Brazos Santiago Pass to the south, northward through Baffin Bay on to just south of Corpus Christi. There isn’t a single angler on the Texas Coast that doesn’t recognize the name Laguna Madre, or the remarkable and diverse fishing opportunities she offers. How many truly know the origin of the name? An article from Texas Parks and Wildlife Magazine, “Laguna Madre” details that the first to discover the 3000 year old water body were nomadic bands of Karankawa and Coahuiltecan Indians, but Spanish Explorer Alvar Alvarez de Pineda, whose early-16th Century expedition were the first Europeans to come into contact with Laguna Madre, is given credit for naming the vast water body braced by the Texas mainland and Padre Island. While on the subject of Padre Island, the answer to the question on the mind of several readers is “no,” Padre Island is not named to complement Laguna Madre. The moniker for

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In This Issue

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HOTSPOTS FOCUS: MATAGORDA

• Wind-blown One Day... | BY BINK GRIMES

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HOTSPOTS FOCUS: ROCKPORT • She Wants to Fish, Too | BY CAPT. MAC GABLE

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HOTSPOTS FOCUS: LOWER COAST • Shipping Out | BY CALIXTO

GONZALES

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SPORTSMAN’S DAYBOOK • Tides & Prime Times | BY TF&G STAFF

HOW-TO SECTION

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COVER STORY • What’s in a Name | BY CALIXTO GONZALES

FISHING FORECAST SECTION

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

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HOTSPOTS FOCUS: UPPER COAST • Late Winter Action | BY CAPT. EDDIE HERNANDEZ

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HOTSPOTS FOCUS: GALVESTON • Our 28-Day Winter | BY CAPT. MIKE HOLMES

the largest barrier island on the Gulf of Mexico has a slightly more colorful origin. “In 1748, King Ferdinand VI of Spain gave his blessing to begin colonizing the Upper Rio Grande,” writes Port Isabel Museum curator Gabriel Godinez in his article The History of Brazos Santiago Pass. In 1767 he awarded land grants in the region to soldiers of the Escandon Expedition and favored subjects of the crown. Among some of the courtiers to win a grant was Padre Jose Nicolas Balli, who was given the Santiago Grant. The stretch was eventually rechristened Padre Island. Godinez also wrote that Brazos Santiago Pass gained its name from Spaniards. A Spanish expedition of 16 ships, commissioned by Francisco de Garay, then-governor of Jamaica, entered the Rio Bravo del Norte (now the Rio Grande) on July 25, 1523, which was the Feast of Saint James. In commemoration of the event, the Spaniards named the pass Los Brazos de Santiago (the “Arms of Saint James). It is one of the few landmarks in the United States to retain its original name, Godinez adds.

Who’s That Girl? Perhaps two of the landmarks along the 50 |

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TEXAS GUNS & GEAR • My Buffalo Rfle | BY STEVE LAMASCUS BOWHUNTING TECH • Stand Down | BY LOU MARULLO

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TEXAS TESTED • StarTron; Magellan | BY TF&G STAFF INDUSTRY INSIDER • Cabela’s; Lund Boats | BY TF&G STAFF

OUTDOOR LIFESTYLE SECTION

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TEXAS TASTED • Barbecue Salmon | BY BRYAN SLAVEN

SPORTING TALES • Trends in Kayaking | BY GREG BERLOCHER OUTDOOR CLASSIFIED DIRECTORY • Guides, Gear and More | BY TF&G STAFF TF&G PHOTOS • Your Action Photos | BY TF&G READERS

PAUL’S TIPS • What to Do with February | BY PAUL BRADSHAW TEXAS BOATING | BY LENNY RUDOW

• First Aid Afloat

TEXAS KAYAKING • The Yak Hack Tour | BY GREG BERLOCHER

GEARING UP SECTION

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NEW PRODUCTS • Hot New Outdoor Gear | BY TF&G STAFF

Texas Coast that is the subject of the most conjecture as to how it got its name are the Lydia Ann Lighthouse and Channel. These two featured sites in the Port Aransas area are well-known among anglers, and local residents are proud of both being part of the community’s identity. Both are rich sources of local flavor. One question persists, even long after the Lighhthouse was deactivated 59 years ago. Who exactly is Lydia Ann? Information provided by Sheri Henneberger of the Port Aransas Chamber of Commerce provides an interesting answer: there may be no answer. A historical marker near the lighthouse tower claims the channel was named after the first keeper’s daughter. Other historians, however, counter that the channel was named after Lydia Ann Dana Hastings Hull Wells, wife of James Wells, Texas Revolution Veteran, settler of St. Joseph’s Island, and the man Jim Wells County is named after. There seems to be no real consensus, and each school of thought has it’s adherents. At the end of the discussion, though, the most anyone can offer is an qualified “who knows?” Still, as with any good story, there is enough mystery to add to the aura of the landmarks. T E X A S

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www.FishGame.com Critter Crazee An interesting fact about the unique names of landmarks is the use of animals. The rattlesnake has more than its share of spots, from Rattlesnake Bay to Rattlesnake Island. Every bay system seems to have at least one Bird Island (Laguna Madre has two). Redfish have several holes, a couple of islands, and even a bay. Tarpon hold their own not only holes, but a river bend on the Rio Grande. Let’s not forget Mustang Pass Cavallo, Horseshoe Bay (granted, not an animal, but animal related). Strangely, not much seems to be named after the speckled trout, but there are plenty of shark holes. Some names are cultural in origin, others are a little more banal or unique. Some are simply a way of titling a waypoint or landmarks, others are memorials to some of the important people in Texas lore and history. So, what’s in a name? Sometimes a little, sometimes a lot.

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LOWER GULF COAST

Beat the Drum if Reds Won’t Play by CALIXTO GONZALES cgonzales@fishgame.com

956369-5090 TIPS: Choose your days carefully. On a nice day, motor around the point and fish the color change just north of it. Use a fish-finder rig with chunks of cut mullet or croaker. Use circle hooks and place your rod in a rod holder.

LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Kenedy Point GPS: N27 16.33698, W97 27.44202 (27.272283, -97.457367) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Corkies, large soft plastics in dark patterns, chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361449-7441 TIPS: the large trout seem to have held up better than expected off of last year’s freeze. Fish the mud around Kenedy with Original Corkies, Mirrolure Catch 5ís, or eel-type soft plastics. Use small jigheads and fish slowly.

LOCATION: South Padre Island HOTSPOT: Marker 29 GPS: N26 5.13702, W97 9.993 (26.085617, -97.166550) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: live shrimp/popping cork, cut bait, crab chunks CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez, 956-551-9581 TIPS: The bayfront flats are premium redfish grounds in winter. They cruise the deeper flats. Cut mullet, crab chunks, or other baits that give off a scent trail are ideal. Use a standard bottom rig with one dropper.

LOCATION: Port Mansfield HOTSPOT: North Jetty GPS: N26 33.8931, W97 16.4985 (26.564885, -97.274975) SPECIES: black drum BEST BAITS: large shrimp, crab chunks CONTACT: Captain Richard Bailey, 956369-5090 TIPS: If the redfish don’t cooperate, try using shrimp and crab to find some of the bigger drum that are cruising the deeper holes around the jetties. The same fishfinder rigs will work for big uglies, too.

LOCATION: South Padre Island HOTSPOT: Marker 29 GPS: N26 5.13702, W97 9.993 (26.085617, -97.166550) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live shrimp/popping cork, soft plastics in dark patterns, topwaters early CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez, 956-551-9581 TIPS: You don’t need to run far to find good trout fishing, even in winter. Make long drifts over the grass flats with either live shrimp or medium-sized topwaters and soft plastics. Fish your lures slowly and feel for the light taps.

LOCATION: Port Mansfield HOTSPOT: North Jetty GPS: N26 33.8931, W97 16.4985 (26.564885, -97.274975) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Cut bait, swimbaits CONTACT: Captain Richard Bailey, 52 |

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SPECIES: sheepshead BEST BAITS: live shrimp, dead shrimp CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez, 956-551-9581 TIPS: Sheepshead start gravitating to the pilings in deeper water of the old causeway. Use a split shot rig with a 25=30-pound leader. Braided line is helpful with its no stretch and abrasion resistant qualities. LOCATION: South Padre Island HOTSPOT: South Bay Channels GPS: N26 2.961, W97 9.993 (26.049350, -97.166550) SPECIES: black drum BEST BAITS: live shrimp, dead shrimp CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: Nice eating-sized black drum cruise in the channels of South Bay during the winter, and they’ll hit on live or fresh shrimp. Use a 1/4-ounce split shot sinker, or even 1/2 ounce egg sinkers if the current is strong. Anchor and fish near bends. LOCATION: South Padre Island HOTSPOT: Dunkin Channel GPS: N26 20.17002, W97 19.22802 (26.336167, -97.320467) SPECIES: flounder BEST BAITS: live shrimp, finger mullet; Soft plastics in dark patterns CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: Flounder hold in the deep water during an outgoing tide. Crawl a live shrimp or finger mullet, or hop a 1/4-ounce jig along the bottom. There are some big flounder caught here every year. LOCATION: South Padre Island HOTSPOT: Gaswell Flats GPS: N26 13.81098, W97 15.42198 (26.230183, -97.257033) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: live shrimp, cut bait, gold spoons, tandem rigs in black/glow, glow/chartreuse C O A S T A L

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CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: Watch for redfish roaming the flats on sunny, mild days. Swim a gold spoon or a tandem jerkbait across the shallows. If the water is off-colored, then use live or cut bait. Most redfish are well within the slot.

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Get Wet for Big Feb Specks by TOM BEHRENS tbehrens@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Corpus Christi Bay HOTSPOT: Packery Channel GPS: N27 37.4856, W97 12.8826 (27.624760, -97.214710) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: She Dog mullet imitation lures CONTACT: Capt. Jon Fails, 361-9490133 TIPS: February is a good month to try for big speckled trout; plan on wading for the big fish.

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LOCATION: Corpus Christi Bay HOTSPOT: Shamrock Cove GPS: N27 46.01802, W97 9.23898 (27.766967, -97.153983) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: She Dog mullet imitation lures CONTACT: Capt. Jon Fails, 361-9490133 TIPS: Clear water in February makes for some great sight casting for shallow redfish LOCATION: Espiritu Santo Bay HOTSPOT: Long Lake GPS: N28 16.81704, W96 36.21546 (28.280284, -96.603591) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Green and black Corky Fat Boys CONTACT: Capt. Chris Martin, 361785-2686 TIPS: Fish the windward shoreline for trophy trout LOCATION: Espiritu Santo Bay HOTSPOT: Shoal Water Bay GPS: N28 21.85026, W96 34.08204 (28.364171, -96.568034) SPECIES: redfish

BEST BAITS: Bone colored topwaters; soft plastics from Texas Tackle Factory Flats Minnows in Roach Chartreuse CONTACT: Capt. Chris Martin, 361785-2686 TIPS: Wading or drifting is good at this time of the year LOCATION: Mesquite Bay HOTSPOT: Spaulding Bight GPS: N28 6.50082, W96 53.43258 (28.108347, -96.890543) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Glow colored Corky Fat Boys CONTACT: Capt. Chris Martin, 361785-2686 TIPS: Work the lure along the south shoreline using a slow fall for trophy trout LOCATION: Port Aransas HOTSPOT: Dagger Island GPS: N27 50.10156, W97 10.266 (27.835026, -97.171100) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Finger Mullet CONTACT: Capt. John Barbee, 361-2220477 TIPS: Free line finger mullet LOCATION: Redfish Bay HOTSPOT: East Shoreline South of Aransas Bridge GPS: N27 54.46806, W97 6.76602 (27.907801, -97.112767) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Finger mullet CONTACT: Capt. John Barbee, 361-2220477 TIPS: Slowly fish the shoreline LOCATION: Rockport HOTSPOT: Estes Flats GPS: N27 57.1182, W97 5.1492 (27.951970, -97.085820) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Finger mullet CONTACT: Capt. John Barbee, 361-2220477 TIPS: Free line finger mullet LOCATION: Rockport HOTSPOT: Estes Flats

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GPS: N27 57.1182, W97 5.1492 (27.951970, -97.085820) SPECIES: black drum BEST BAITS: Dead shrimp CONTACT: Capt. John Barbee, 361-2220477 TIPS: Anchor and fish the edges of holes LOCATION: Upper Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Night Hawk Bay GPS: N27 30.17598, W97 17.86902 (27.502933, -97.297817) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft plastic shrimp tails CONTACT: Capt. Jon Fails, 361-9490133 TIPS: Make long drifts in 3 ñ 4 feet of water LOCATION: San Antonio Bay HOTSPOT: Victoria Barge Canal GPS: N28 32.51658, W96 48.68232 (28.541943, -96.811372) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: 1/4 jigheads with Texas Tackle Factory Plum Chartreuse Trout Killers CONTACT: Capt. Chris Martin, 361785-2686 TIPS: Fish right on the bottom using Texas Tackle Factory, plum chartreuse, Trout Killers in about 16 - 20 feet of water

UPPER GULF COAST

Trout Time on the Upper Coast by TOM BEHRENS tbehrens@fishgame.com

LOCATION: East Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Boiler Bayou GPS: N28 39.01602, W95 53.409 (28.650267, -95.890150) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: 1/4 - 3/8-ounce jigheads with soft plastic baits in chartreuse or pink CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281450-4037 TIPS: Make long drifts over scattered shell or mud flats C O A S T A L

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LOCATION: Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: Sylvan Beach GPS: N29 38.8638, W95 0.8292 (29.647730, -95.013820) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: 51 Series MirrOLures, Catch 2000, Corky Devils in Texas Chicken CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman, 409256-7937 TIPS: wade-fishing area LOCATION: Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: Sylvan Beach GPS: N29 38.8638, W95 0.8292 (29.647730, -95.013820) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: 51 Series MirrOLures, Catch 2000, Corky Devils in Texas Chicken CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman, 409256-7937 TIPS: Wade-fishing area LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Stewt's Island GPS: N29 57.89898, W93 50.89998 (29.964983, -93.848333) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Corkys, Corky Devils, Catch 2000 and Super Spooks CONTACT: Capt. Eddie Hernandez, 409-721-5467, or 409-673-3100 TIPS: wade-fish the area behind the island. Fish slow; many times the trout will attack topwater lures at this time of the year. LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Coffee Ground Cove GPS: N29 57.75702, W93 46.33098 (29.962617, -93.772183) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Corkys, Corky Devils and Catch 2000 CONTACT: Capt. Eddie Hernandez, 409-721-5467, 409-673-3100 TIPS: Trout are in 3 ft. of water; let the lure sink almost to the bottom and twitch it a couple of times. LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Bridge Bayou GPS: N29 54.14802, W93 46.272 (29.902467, -93.771200) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Saltwater Bass Assassins T E X A S

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in Morning Glory or Glow with a chartreuse tail CONTACT: Capt. Edie Hernandez, 409721-5467, 409-673-3100 TIPS: Let the lure sink almost to the bottom and twitch it a couple of times LOCATION: West Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: Confederate Reef GPS: N29 16.19502, W94 56.97402 (29.269917, -94.949567) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft plastic baits using 1/16 ñ 1/8-ounce; jigheads CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman, 409256-7937 TIPS: Use soft plastic baits when the tide starts moving good; use lighter colored baits in clear water--chartreuse, Limetreuse, and Calcasieu Brew LOCATION: West Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: North Deer Island GPS: N29 17.11422, W94 55.49526 (29.285237, -94.924921) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft plastic baits using 1/16 ñ 1/8-ounce; jigheads CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman, 409256-7937 TIPS: Use lighter colored soft plastic baits in clear water—chartreuse, Limetreuse, Calcasieu Brew LOCATION: West Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: Greens Cut GPS: N29 16.707, W94 59.60202 (29.278450, -94.993367) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: 51 Series MirrOLures, Catch 2000, Corky Devils in Texas Chicken CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman, 409256-7937 TIPS: Fish will be in 2 1/2 - 5 feet of water. LOCATION: West Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Cotton Bayou GPS: N28 30.60198, W96 12.603 (28.510033, -96.210050) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: 1/8 or 1/4-ounce; gold Johnson Sprite spoons CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281450-4037 TIPS: Super low tides can produce great

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redfish action. LOCATION: West Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Colorado River GPS: N28 41.75802, W95 58.67598 (28.695967, -95.977933) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Little Fishie and Hoagy 3î Double tail shrimp with 3/8-ounce; jigheads CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281450-4037 TIPS: Use a soft plastic lure with lots of wiggle; drift with the current in the middle of the river, feeding the lure out behind the boat.

PINEY WOODS

Crappie Action on Lake Fork 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: One-half-ounce jigs with trailers, one-half-ounce Rat-L-Traps CONTACT: Paul Keith, caddoguide1@att.net, 318-455-3437, caddolakefishing.com TIPS: Fish black-blue jigs around the cypress trees in three-five feet of water and fish red Rat-L-Traps over the grass at the same depths. Key in on the grass off the points of trees. LOCATION: Caddo Lake HOTSPOT: Big Cypress Bayou GPS: N32 42.5907, W94 6.9642 (32.709845, -94.116070) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Rooster Tails, spoons, Roadrunners CONTACT: Paul Keith, caddoguide1@att.net, 318-455-3437, caddolakefishing.com 56 |

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TIPS: Fish these baits off the bottom in the areas around Johnsons Ranch Marina and Star Ditch in the Big Cypress channel for both white bass and yellow bass. LOCATION: Lake Fork HOTSPOT: Sra Point GPS: N32 50.81262, W95 35.57766 (32.846877, -95.592961) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Jigs, minnows CONTACT: Michael Rogge, microg@texascellnet.com, www.lakeforkguides.com TIPS: The crappie have moved into deep water at the mouths of Big and Little Caney Creeks. Fish the edges of drop-offs off SRA Point, humps at mouth of Dale, Long and Opossum Creeks. You also can catch catfish in 15-20 feet of water over baited holes. LOCATION: Lake Livingston HOTSPOT: White Rock Creek GPS: N30 58.45476, W95 20.30172 (30.974246, -95.338362) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Roadrunners, Bear Paws Ribbed Shad, Rat-L-Traps, Blue Fox Sassy Shad CONTACT: David S. Cox, dave@palmettoguideservice.com, 936291-9602, palmettoguideservice.com TIPS: The best time is following a warming trend after a 1-2-inch rain with water temps over 60 degrees. Go to the back of the creek to find clearing water. Fish the sand bars and points near deeper holes. Fish slowly downstream until you find the fish. LOCATION: Toledo Bend Res. HOTSPOT: Sabine River Sand Bars GPS: N31 21.63024, W93 39.33312 (31.360504, -93.655552) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Slab spoons, Roadrunners, shallow-diving crankbaits CONTACT: Greg Crafts, gregcrafts@yahoo.com, 936-368-7151, toledobendguide.com TIPS: If the river level is high, work the sloughs and pockets with Rat-L-Traps, T E X A S

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PRAIRIES & LAKES

Crappie and Cats Take the Spotlight by BOB HOOD bhood@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Cedar Creek Res. HOTSPOT: Twin Creeks Boat Docks GPS: N32 17.5188, W96 7.57812 (32.291980, -96.126302) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Jigs with soft plastic trailers, spinnerbaits, Rat-L-Traps CONTACT: Jason Barber, kingscreekadventures@yahoo.com, 903-603-2047, www.kingcreekadventures.com TIPS: Focus on the docks and secondary points at the mouth of Twin Creeks. Caney, Clear, Cedar and Prairie creeks also are good for dock fishing. Pitch crawdad or black-blue jig-trailer combos or craw firetiger spinnerbaits or Rat-L-Traps under the docks. LOCATION: Fayette County Res. HOTSPOT: Boggy Creek Timber GPS: N29 56.5188, W96 43.9932 (29.941980, -96.733220) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Stinkbait, shad CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, weldoon_edna@hotmail.com, 979-229-3103, FishTales-GuideService.com TIPS: There is a large single tree here close to the north bank that helps block the wind. Anchor and fish the tree and nearby stumps south of it. The tree is on the edge of a flat near deep water. Chum the area to bring in the fish. Use a tight line. LOCATION: Gibbons Creek Res. HOTSPOT: Near Eagle Point GPS: N30 37.8654, W96 3.1308 C O A S T A L

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(30.631090, -96.052180) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Minnows, black/green jigs CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, weldon_edna@hotmail.com, 979-229-3103, www.FishTales-GuideService.com TIPS: There is a large cedar tree here in 12 feet of water with brush that has been dropped around it. Tie to the tree, fish with cork or tight line close to its trunk. Vary depths of bait until you get a strike. Be patient because crappie come and go. LOCATION: Gibbons Creek Res. HOTSPOT: Near Eagle Point GPS: N30 37.91214, W96 3.0165 (30.631869, -96.050275) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Minnows, black/green jigs CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, weldon_edna@hotmail.com, 979-229-3103, www.FishTales-GuideService.com TIPS: There is a large cedar tree here in 12 feet of water with brush that has been dropped around it. Tie to the tree, fish with cork or tight line close to its trunk. Vary depths of bait until you get a strike. Be patient because crappie come and go.

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a Strike King Shadaliciouse or similar swimbait. The fish will be around shallow brush and timber in Cannon Creek, Doctor’s Creek and other main-lake creeks feeding on shad. LOCATION: Lake Lavon HOTSPOT: Main-Lake Points North of Power Plant GPS: N33 4.30146, W96 27.32976 (33.071691, -96.455496) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Minnows, black-blue jigs CONTACT: Billy Kilpatrick, straightlineguide@yahoo.com, 214-232-7847, straightlineguide.com TIPS: Crappie are staging on all mainlake points. All points including the one north of the Power Plant have structure, most underwater. Using a graph to locate the fish is the key to success. Use 10pound test line with 1/8-ounce jigs. LOCATION: Lake Lewisville HOTSPOT: Doe Branch GPS: N33 12.09738, W96 55.06554

(33.201623, -96.917759) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Fresh threadfin or gizzard shad CONTACT: Bobby Kubin, bobby@bobby-catfishing.com, 817-4552894, bobby-catfishing.com TIPS: A couple of warm days will push baitfish and trophy-sized blue cats into water as shallow as three feet. Use Carolina rigs with 2-ounce weights, 18-inch leaders, 8-ought hooks with large cut bait. Fish shallow flats close to deep drop-off or channels. LOCATION: Lake Palestine HOTSPOT: Flat Creek GPS: N32 13.02936, W95 32.91654 (32.217156, -95.548609) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Three-eighths-ounce spinnerbaits and jigs, Shimmy Shaker Blue Herron CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff, ricky@rickysguideservice.com, 903-5617299, rickysguideservice.com

LOCATION: Lake Aquilla HOTSPOT: Triplet Point GPS: N31 54.84978, W97 12.88818 (31.914163, -97.214803) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: One-ounce Slabs CONTACT: Randy Routh, teamredneck01@hotmail.com, 817-822-5539, www.teamredneck.net TIPS: The white bass have pushed the baitfish into the cuts on Triplet Point. Birds are showing up early and are diving to pick up wounded shad which makes locating the fish easy. Make long casts with chartreuse Slabs and hop them off the bottom slowly. LOCATION: Lake Cooper HOTSPOT: Cannon Creek GPS: N33 20.44464, W95 41.8389 (33.340744, -95.697315) SPECIES: hybrid striped bass BEST BAITS: Strike King Shadaliciouse or similar swimbait CONTACT: Tony Parker, tawakonifishing@yahoo.com, 903-348-1619 TIPS: Look for February hybrids in the creeks in water from two to 10 feet. Throw C O A S T A L

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TIPS: Fish the backs of Flat Creek, Saline Creek, Kickapoo creek and Cobb Creek as well as the upper Neches River with white-chartreuse spinnerbaits or blackblue jigs and Blue Herons along the shallow ridges next to brush slowly. LOCATION: Lake Palestine HOTSPOT: Dam Brushpiles GPS: N32 3.45756, W95 26.26098 (32.057626, -95.437683) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Crappie jigs CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff, ricky@rickysguideservice.com, 903-5617299, www.rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Look for crappie in brushpiles on humps in 18 to 24 feet of water along the face of the dam. Blue-silver and pink-white are the best color choices for the jigs. Fish the jigs slowly in the brush. LOCATION: Lake Somerville HOTSPOT: Dam Area GPS: N30 19.035, W96 31.989 (30.317250, -96.533150) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Shad, cut perch, cut carp CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, weldon_edna@hotmail.com, 979-229-3103, FishTales-GuideService.com TIPS: Big blue cats are in deep water. Use a no-roll 1-3-ounce sinker depending on the wind and try to drift at 1/2 m.p.h. Use a 2-3-foot leader below the sinker with No.4 Kahle hook. A small cork 6-8-inches above hook will help prevent hang-ups. LOCATION: Lake Texoma HOTSPOT: Slickup Slough GPS: N33 54.02406, W96 54.01758 (33.900401, -96.900293) SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: Roadrunners, Sassy Shad jigs CONTACT: Bill Carey, bigfish@striperexpress.com, 877-786-4477, www.striperexpress.com TIPS: Chances of catching trophy fish in February are in your favor. Fish one-ounce white Roadrunner jigs with 7-inch plastic trailers for big fish holding on structure. Watch for seagulls. One-ounce Sassy 58 |

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Shads under the birds also produce big fish. LOCATION: Lake Whitney HOTSPOT: Big Rocky Creek GPS: N31 52.56594, W97 23.89566 (31.876099, -97.398261) SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: Storm Wild Eyed Shad CONTACT: Randy Routh, teamredneck01@hotmail.com, 817-822-5539, teamredneck.com TIPS: The stripers have pushed the shad back up in the creek past the first cut. Make long casts and drag the baits behind the boat using the trolling motor. Chartreuse is the best color to use. LOCATION: Richland-Chambers Res. HOTSPOT: 309 Flats GPS: N31 59.4024, W96 8.95734 (31.990040, -96.149289) SPECIES: hybrid striped bass BEST BAITS: Sassy Shads, one-ounce Silver Slabs CONTACT: Royce Simmons royce@gonefishin.biz, 903-389-4117, gonefishin.biz TIPS: February can be tough or really awesome, depending on water temps and the weather. If the water temps begin to move into the low 50s, the fish will turn on in 20-30 feet of water off the Flats. Also look for gulls to locate schools of white bass.

PANHANDLE

Ivie Bass, Cats and Crappie by BOB HOOD bhood@fishgame.com

LOCATION: OH Ivie Res. HOTSPOT: River Channel Flats GPS: N31 34.41798, W99 42.09672 (31.573633, -99.701612) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Soft plastic jerkbaits, spinT E X A S

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nerbaits, Texas-rigged worms CONTACT: Dave Caudle, fishinwithdave@aol.com, 325-365-1020 TIPS: The pre-spawn period is under way. The best catches will be made up the river on points and edges of flats close to the main channel where the water is the warmest. Fish slowly to catch larger, less aggressive bass. LOCATION: OH Ivie Res. HOTSPOT: Yellow Bluff GPS: N31 34.54974, W99 42.51912 (31.575829, -99.708652) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Punch bait, shrimp CONTACT: Dave Caudle, fishinwithdave@aol.com, 325-365-1020, fishinwithdave.com TIPS: Use chum to bait areas around the timber just south of this area and anchor to fish punch baits or shrimp. The cormorant roosting areas just south of the bluff produce the best catches. LOCATION: OH Ivie Res. HOTSPOT: River Channel Flats GPS: N31 34.18548, W99 42.24606 (31.569758, -99.704101) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: live minnows, crappie jigs CONTACT: Dave Caudle, fishinwithdave@aol.com, 325-365-1020 TIPS: The crappie are in a pre-spawn mood and will be suspended in trees just off shore on the upper river channel. Minnows and jigs are best. Move from tree to tree to catch pockets of moving schools of crappie. LOCATION: Possum Kingdom Res. HOTSPOT: Costello Island GPS: N32 54.50946, W98 27.65598 (32.908491, -98.460933) SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: Rat-L-Traps, deep-diving crankbaits, live shad CONTACT: Dean Heffner, fav7734@aceweb.com, 940-329-0036 TIPS: Concentrate on the area from Costello Island to Bird Island, jigging lures on and off the bottom. Keep rods in rod holders for best results. You are likely to C O A S T A L

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catch largemouth bass and catfish here using the same methods.

BIG BEND

Largemouth and Whites at Amistad by BOB HOOD bhood@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Lake Amistad HOTSPOT: Cow Creek GPS: N29 32.36016, W101 12.6822 (29.539336, -101.211370) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Deep-diving Bombers, Rat-L-Traps CONTACT: Larry Scruggs, Amistad Lodge and Adventures, fisherofmenlrs@hotmail.com, 210-789-1645 TIPS: Search for water in the 20-25-foot range. February is pre-spawn time. If you fish the Mexico side of the lake make sure you buy a Mexico fishing license which is available at Fisherman’s Headquarters at the junction of Highways 277 and 90 in Del Rio. LOCATION: Lake Amistad HOTSPOT: Pecos River GPS: N29 42.40584, W101 21.3744 (29.706764, -101.356240) SPECIES: white bass

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BEST BAITS: Rat-L-Traps, shallow-diving crankbaits CONTACT: Larry Scruggs, Amistad Lodge and Adventures, fisherofmenlrs@hotmail.com, 210-789-1645 TIPS: This is the time of the year the white bass make their spawning runs up the major rivers such as the Pecos. The upper Rio Grande and Devil’s River channels also are good bets. Cast onto sandy or rocky slopes and use a medium to slow retrieve.

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LOCATION: Lake Granger HOTSPOT: River Channel Sloughs GPS: N30 39.702, W97 23.7063 (30.661700, -97.395105) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: 1/16-ounce jigs, minnows CONTACT: Tommy Tidwell, crappie1@hotmail.com, 512-365-7761 gotcrappie.com TIPS: Fish the jigs on slip bobbers in the ditches and sloughs off the river. Crappie can be very shallow after three or more warm days. Another pattern is to fish the main river at night with lights. Use bobbers set at 3-4 feet with live minnows.

SOUTH TEXAS PLAINS LOCATION: Canyon Lake HOTSPOT: Face of Dam GPS: N29 52.0932, W98 11.94492 (29.868220, -98.199082) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Power Worm, Rattlesnake worm, Texas Craw CONTACT: KC's Bassin' Guide Service, kandie@gvtc.com, 210-823-2153 TIPS: Drop shot face of the dam with Secret Weapon Recoil rig, or fish a Texasrigged motor oil-red flake Power Worm or Jewel Jig with 1/2-ounce Texas Craw and Uncle Josh Pork along the breaklines. A 4inch Rattlesnake also can payoff on the points. LOCATION: Lake Granger HOTSPOT: San Gabriel River GPS: N30 39.8571, W97 23.70636 (30.664285, -97.395106) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Small white jigs CONTACT: Tommy Tidwell, crappie1@hotmail.com, 512-365-7761 gotcrappie.com TIPS: Head up the river from the lake and fish the area from Fox Bottom to Dickersons Bottom. White bass can be found all along this area but normally are best

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Campaign for White House Bass by BOB HOOD bhood@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Falcon Lake HOTSPOT: White House Creek Area GPS: N26 56.12184, W99 19.24344 (26.935364, -99.320724) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Large plastic lizards, spinnerbaits, Brush Hawgs CONTACT: Robert Amaya, Robert’s Fish N'Tackle, robert@robertsfishntackle.com, 956-7651442 TIPS: Fish the backs of the creeks in this area along sandstone ledges close to the main channel with white-chartreuse spinnerbaits or plastic lizards in two to eight feet of water. This area is known for monster bass and it is out of the wind.

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Late Winter Action LTHOUGH NOT VERY HIGH ON MOST FOLKS’ lists of favorite times to fish, the month of February, if given the chance, can be very productive if you’re in the right place a the right time. The iffy weather that February brings means that the right time will probably be harder to find then the right place, so you definitely want to take advantage of the milder days if possible. There are fish to be caught on Sabine Lake in February. You just need to know where to find them. Fishing the warmest water possible will definitely work to your advantage. One of our main “go to” spots is the Entergy outfall canal, located about a mile west of Veteran’s Memorial Bridge in the Neches River. The

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discharge from the plant keeps the water warm year round. A lot of times the fish will be stacked in there when you can’t find them anywhere else. Redfish are always plentiful and will take live bait as well as artificial. Live bait, cut bait or fresh dead shrimp will keep you in the action more consistently, but artificials like Hoginars, gold spoons and dark colored soft plastics will also get the job done. There is a lot of area to fish here because this is a relatively long canal. The mouth always seems to hold fish so it is a good place to start. As you work your way down, key on the drains and small cuts on the east side. Work them over good from the points down the ledges and all the way back to the boat. A lot of fish are also caught in the middle of the channel. Live or dead bait Carolina rigged with a 1.0 Kahle hook should get good results. Use an egg sinker and let it roll with the current along the ledge, then drag it slowly back to the boat.

Redfish are always plentiful and will take live bait as well as artificial.

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Redfish, black drum and the occasional nice bonus flounder should keep things interesting. If it’s trophy trout you’re looking for, give the flats behind Stewts and Sidney’s Islands at try. Drifting in 3 to 5 feet of water and slowly twitching MirOLure Catch V, Catch 2000’s or Corky’s is the ticket. Make sure to slow your retrieve way down for these lethargic fish in the cold water. This is also prime wade fishing territory as waders take several huge trout each winter. The same baits mentioned above as well as long soft plastics in Morning Glory or Red Shad bumped gently off the bottom with an 1/8 oz. lead head can help you score big. Also big topwaters like Super Spooks have the potential of producing that fish of a lifetime.

THE BANK BITE LOCATION: Keith Lake Fish Pass (Hwy 87 south of Port Arthur) SPECIES: Reds, Flounder, Drum BAITS/LURES: Live finger mullet, cut mullet, Flounder Pounder CT mullet BEST TIMES: High tides in the morning

Contact Eddie Hernandez at, EHernandez@fishgame.com

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Our 28-Day Winter EBRUARY NORMALLY BRINGS ABOUT ALL the winter we get on the Texas upper Gulf coast, barring the occasional Christmas snowstorm. OK, so its really only happened once in my lifetime, but having snow on the beaches of Freeport and Galveston was a pretty big deal. In February, however, about all we can expect is colder weather and rain, again in most years. While this is a bit of a downer for Mardi Gras celebrations, it can be either good or bad for fishing, depending on individual tolerances and preferences. Fish don’t like really cold water even more than I don’t like it – or at least our common inshore species don’t. This causes them to seek deeper, warmer water, which in turn makes them easier to locate, but as we noted last month, cold-water fishing can be very slow as their metabolism is turned down to the lowest notch.

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Fish don’t like really cold weather—at least our common inshore species don’t.

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tournament winning king mackerel, a nice wahoo, some amberjack, a big barracuda, and an African pompano off these same rigs in warmer weather, the winter bite of inshore fish just reinforced how productive and varied the ecology around offshore structures can be. We even had one catch that was a “double,” with a decent red snapper on one hook, a nice flounder on the other. Even closer rigs in 40 feet of depth or so can harbor large “Gulf ” trout, Texas legal red snapper, and occasionally good-sized grouper. This is pretty much a natural bait

fishery, although smaller jigs tipped with bait could pay off. A “trick” we often used during these cooler months was to load up with live shrimp, when we could find them. Snapper that will nip at dead bait in cold water will absolutely inhale a live shrimp. When the black flags are flying at the bait camps, however, mud minnows are a decent substitute, and I’ve even used the goldfish carp sold for catfish bait with some success. The “Black Salties” sold in many spots should work well, also live croakers, finger mullet, and piggy perch. Big bluefish also move into Texas waters to spawn in the winter, and are tremendous fighters on light tackle, as well as sometimes schooling with Spanish mackerel. I’ve even taken a bluefish or two trolling the near shore banks in winter. Should the weather be too big or your vessel too small, however, fish inside the Galveston jetties, CONTINUED and save the bigSEE PAGE 65 

One interesting alternative to anchoring over deeper holes in bays and tidal streams for those with a suitable boat is to catch a calm day and head offshore. Many common bay and jetty species will do the same when their normal haunts cool down, and they will bite much better in the swirl of a warmer deep water current. The temperature near the bottom in even 100 feet of water really doesn’t change too much with the seasons. On winter trips for red snapper years ago with my good friend Rene Morales, we often encountered “bay” species as far out as the Tenneco Rigs, 18 miles off Freeport. Fishing on the bottom in 90 feet of water one day, we brought in more black drum, sheepshead, and flounder than red snapper, and even a nice “rat” red or two. Since we had caught lots of snapper, small grouper, a C O A S T A L

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Windblown One Day, Wading the Next

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HE DROUGHT OF 2009 WAS A THORN IN the side of coastal fisheries, especially Matagorda. Traditional hotspots were devoid of fish for the primetime

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fish-catching months; however, in 2010, the rain fell, salinity levels dropped, and the fish magically returned. It was the best year I can remember since the 90s. There is no reason 2011 should be different. January catches were consistent between cold fronts. Speckled trout and redfish were in the same locales that made 2010 so consistent. February takes on the same persona as January, but you must pick your days. A fresh cold front blowing 25 knots from the northeast is not a smart choice, but the day after could be. North winds drop tides significantly, congregating fish in deep holes and channels. It is not like shooting fish in a

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barrel, but lower tides do increase your chances. West Bay waders work the guts around Cotton’s and Green’s bayous. You might have to park your boat on the outer sand bar and walk, but the hard sand bottom is an easy trek. Once you get to the deeper water, toss a Gulp, Bass Assassin, TTF Flats Minnow, TTF Hackberry Hustler or a Norton Bull Minnow. If the past quarter-century is any indication, the redfish should be there. Speckled trout in West Bay seek deeper refuge, and few anglers target them. Again, light wind days are a must. Halfmoon Reef and the wells on the upper end of the bay near Palacios are the best bet. Live shrimp, Gulps and soft plastics worked gingerly along the bottom is the pattern. Deeper refuges exist in the Colorado River and Diversion Channel. December 2010 saw excellent catches of trout in the river. Taking a page from the bass playbook, anglers tossed the bank and allowed soft plastics to work along the ledges. Typically, the ledge in the Colorado goes from 2 to 5 to 9 to 20 feet or more. Often specks are hanging on the first drop, but when the weather is chilly, slow your presentation and remain in the 9-20 depths. The same pattern hold true in the Diversion Channel, however, the deepest holes nearest the mouth of West Bay is only 9 feet. Many anglers “bass fish” around logs and other debris deposited from floods. Redfish love the edges as well, especially when the C O A S T A L

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adjacent flats are acres of exposed mud from lower than low tides. Soft plastics tipped with shrimp, Gulps or fresh shrimp on the bottom gets the job done. East Bay waders seek the heaviest trout of the year on the mud. Brown Cedar Flats is not deep, but the mud is. Serious, physically-fit pluggers toss Corkies, MirrOlure Catch 5s, Catch 2000s and soft plastics. The afternoon bite is often better on frigid

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days, allowing the sunlight to warm the mud. Don’t expect many bites, but the ones that do are usually heavy. Drifters work the west end of East Bay over mud and shell with plastics and live shrimp. Again, wind speed and direction is a factor. The good thing about winter is the water clears quickly after a hard-blowing front. One day you might be huddled close to a

fire, the next you could be bundled in waders bowed on a fish. That’s winter in Matagorda.

Contact Bink Grimes at BGrimes@fishgame.com

GALVESTON CONTINUED

 FROM PAGE 63 ger water adventures until conditions are more favorable.

THE BANK BITE LOCATION: Brazos River- Boat fishermen often get into some truly “hot” speckled trout action in the Brazos near the mouth at Bryan Beach by fishing at night under a bright light, but bank fishermen can score from shore with either a small generator powering bright lights aimed over the water, or a battery powered Green light floated off the bank. I “guided” a close friend from East Texas to a 30-pound bull red at the river mouth once on a frigid February night, also. SPECIES: Speckled trout and “sand” trout, croakers and other pan fish will be most common. BEST BAITS: Live or dead shrimp, baitfish, or squid will produce, but when trout are thick, tandem rigged small jigs in white and pink do very well. BEST TIMES: Night fishing, of course, is best at night, so tidal currents will influence peak fishing periods the most. Moving water is best, so look at peak times of both rising and falling times. Dress for success – and the weather.

Capt. Mike Holmes runs charter trips on a classic 31 Bertram. To book a trip, call 979-415-0535. Email him at mholmes@fishgame.com.

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She Wants to Fish Too! FTER SOME PROMPTING FROM MY WIFE as well as a lot of my female clients, I decided to write this article about the challenges we men face in having women on our boats for a full day of fishing. Let me start off by saying some of my best anglers are women, but many years ago I was nervous about women on my boat for a lot of reasons. Many were stupid concerns like casting ability, mental toughness in rough conditions, fear of them getting hurt...etc. etc. etc., but the number one concern was where do they powder their noses on a 23 ft boat with no bathroom facilities within 20 miles? After many years of experimenting and pretty much failing I decided to ask for help from the people it affects the most: women. Let’s consider some of the things these ladies put up with in a fish guided situation. For example, I love having my early morning coffee as I wait for my clients at the dock/pier—it is one thing I really look forward to and enjoy. Most of my male clients arrive with coffee or some form of caffeine injected drink, I mean a nice cup of Joe (coffee) or a Dr Pepper or Diet Coke or one of the new energy drinks is soothing to the soul at the start of a beautiful fishing day. Couple that with a breakfast taco, Egg McMuffin or an apple fritter from the Rockport Bakery (best and biggest I've ever tasted) and bing-bang-bong life is good! Now consider these sworn testimonies from women I trust and listen to:

A

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sickness?” “No, it would make me have to go pee and there is no place to do that on your boat.” Hmmmmmm, this is just not right. I thought I found the answer at Ace Hardware—a pretty pink bucket—that should do the trick. It was about mid-day with my next female client and I was ready, I could tell by looking at her eyes (they were pee green) that she was about to burst. “Jan do you need anything?” I ask, “A drink a snack or to use the bathroom?” She burst out “Yes, I need to go to the bathroom.” “Okay,” I said, and pulled the pink bucket out proud of myself. I handed it to her and said “I will turn my head.” What ensued next was a lesson that one learns in the journey of adverse times. She looked at me and said “Capt. Mac, you don’t have a clue do you...!!! It’s not about a toilet, it’s about privacy,” she said. “Okay, so I go squat on top of the bucket and if I have a strong enough will in the face of the boat rocking and you and other people on the boat with your heads turned waiting, and the potential of another boat rounding the bend to see me in all my glory, IF and I mean IF I could manage to pee it would only be to my horror as my stream plays a serenade on the bottom of your pretty pink bucket for all to hear. I would have been better off not having any hopes of peeing now I have to pee and it’s not gonna be in your bucket!” (So my wife was right. The pink bucket was not a brilliant idea, something about it being sexist.) “Hmmmm ma'am, doing it on the deck of my boat could kill our bait so please don’t do that.” I’m way out on a limb that’s about half sawed off so I decided to share with her how I do it....”Ma'am, I just go over the side perhaps you could do that.” “Fine” she said, “drop your drawers and squat over the T E X A S

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side of the boat, I will take notes.” “Well ma'am I don’t have to squat you see uh... hmmmm.” “I think you are catching on,” she said! After upping anchor and finding a nice weeded sand bar she came back on to the boat a much happier camper. It did however set into motion a series of thoughts about resolving this dilemma and after many years of trying it boils down to everyone is different and their approach and requirements are different where relieving oneself is concerned. Let’s face it, bay boats were created with men in mind and therefore we have a leg up, so to speak. Some of the devices I have looked at / tried are not worth your time, some are to be considered, like the pop-up tent toilet. It’s small and offers privacy and does not get in the way when folded up, it does, however, catch wind and is not practical in over 15 knot winds. Gulf Coast boats offer a built in toilet under the console but it is pretty tight for those of us that are long legged or have a tendency towards the large size. Another option accepted by about 80% of the population is a large beach towel fastened across the back of the leaning post with a 5 gallon bucket and a portapotty lid. If you have the luxury of a swimming platform / ladder and the water is warm enough it has its supporters as well and is sometimes preferred over the portapotty. The most preferred is a stop on a nearby body of land where you have the best of both worlds: privacy and a primitive facility. C O A S T A L

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What is the point, you ask? First, I love having women anglers and want women anglers on my boat; they listen, apply what they learn and catch fish like fishing machines. Second, they have no macho BS for a guide to have to work around. And third, the world’s population includes more women than men. For the boater/guide that will start thinking about and considering their basic needs, like we men do our own, it’s just good for business and you might find that you will have a lot more company of the female persuasion to share your fishing day with..... I just don’t see a down side to this! he cold has set in and everything has slowed down, so should your fishing tactics, this is a time when slow motion is the key to some nice and I mean nice fish. Long quiet casts and muddigging slow retrieves using soft baits whether its cut bait, mud minnows or soft plastics is the formula for fresh trout/reds/black drum for supper. “Quietly soft” warrants remembering for ice cold February.

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reds and out in deeper water for trout, live piggies work well here. The spoil area at the mouth of Dunham Bay is a good spot for sheep head and black drum using squid or fresh dead peeled shrimp. CARLOS BAY: The southwest shoreline of Cedar Reef next to the dugout is good for keeper reds using free lined shrimp and cut menhaden on a Carolina rig. The mouth of Carlos at Beldon Dugout is a good place for trout using live shrimp under a popping cork with an outgoing tide. MESQUITE BAY: The reefs at the mouth of Brays Cove are holding reds and the occasional flounder early morning using free lined shrimp and sand eels in clear and electric chicken. The south shoreline close to rattle snake reef is a good place for black drum using peeled shrimp under a silent cork.

and black/white. The south shoreline of Rattlesnake Island is good for sheep head and reds using live shrimp.

THE BANK BITE The new beach front of the boardwalk on St. Charles is good for reds and trout using live bait (shrimp or mud minnows) under a silent cork. One can wade from Goose Island boat ramp fishing as you go. I have fished this area many times and not had a bite until my wade back when I focus on the deeper water transition out about 30 to 40 yards from the shoreline, so don’t give up and target shallow water in the heat of the day and the deeper water as temperatures cool off.

AYERS BAY: The west pocket of Ayres Island is good for reds and trout using live shrimp, and top water plugs in electric grape

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

ST. CHARLES BAY: Drifting across Egg Point is a good tactic for reds using top waters in bone and red and white colors. The black drum action is still good at Twin Creeks using peeled shrimp on a fish finder rig or if the wind allows free lined. Some flounder are being caught on soft plastics in white and chartreuse on the north shoreline of Cavasso Creek. COPANO BAY: The mouth of Mission Bay is a good bet for reds early morning using cut menhaden. Little Lap Reef is good for trout using live shrimp under a cork. The deeper pockets of the mouth of the Aransas River are a good place for trout using soft plastics in root beer and new penny colors. The deep edges of Lap Reef are holding trout and a few reds as well, use a free line rig and live shrimp. ARANSAS BAY: When the north wind pushes water out of the back lakes of San Jose, the red action is good using mud minnows or cut mullet or menhaden. Jaybird Reef has some good trout action using jerk shad in rainbow and watermelon colors. Deadman Island and the reefs in this area running parallel to the ICW are good for trout and reds. Fish tight to the reefs for C O A S T A L

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Shipping Out EBRUARY IS A TRYING TIME FOR SOUTH Texas anglers. Unstable weather patterns mean that cold fronts that are predicted to stall north of Falfurrias will sometimes ooze or roll down and completely blow out the fishing with a strong northwest wind, or they do stall to the north and completely blow out the fishing with a strong southeast wind. Either way, the fishing can be limited to a very few mild days, so anglers have to make their plans wisely. Captain Allen Salinas (956-943-3474) recommends narrowing your search for piscine glory to the Brownsville Ship Channel. This big ditch is the artery that links Lower Laguna Madre and the IntraCoastal Waterway to the Port of Brownsville, the southernmost major port in the state of Texas. The combination of deep water, ledges, pilings, shoreline structure, and side canals also makes for a diverse and novel ecosystem that provides for excellent fishing opportunities for anyone willing to make the long run up the Channel. One of the most accessible fishing sites on the Ship Channel is the area known as the Y. This linkup between the Port Isabel Canal and the Ship Channel has a large island that bisects the intersection between the two water bodies. The shoreline of the island holds good-sized redfish, especially where small guts push into the island. On a flood tide, it is possible to see redfish tailing inside these guts and indentations. On calmer days, large speckled trout also hang out along the shoreline alongside the reds and closer to the drop-off edges. The best bet to tempt these bruisers is a live shrimp under a Mansfield Mauler or Cajun Thunder, especially if the wind is up. The standard marsh lures—topwaters, gold spoons,

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and Texas-rigged soft plastics (much like Salinas’ own SPI tandem)—are also excellent choices for this fishing situation. If a rogue cold front causes temperatures to dip, or if the trout and redfish don’t seem to be very cooperative, it doesn’t take too much to back up a bit and fish the drop-off around the edges of the island. The shoreline provides just enough of a windbreak to minimize the chop from a north wind. Trout will hold on the edges, as do some chunky sheepshead. Black drum ranging from slotsized fish to beasts over 40 inches also roam up along the deeper part of the channel, especially on the south side of the island. If you move further up the channel, you’ll note some concrete rip-rap lining the edge of the shoreline. It doesn’t hurt to pull up to these formations and bounce a soft plastic, Gulp! Shrimp, or live shrimp on a split shot rig to see if anyone is to home. Redfish like this area, and when there is a warm trend you will also find some solid mangrove snapper and sheepshead sharing the area. Even further up the channel is the Highway 48 Boat Ramp channel and Low Water Bridge. There is little winter boat traffic coming out of this ramp. Fish the points that are formed by the mouth of the channel with live or fresh shrimp on a Carolina Rig for both drum and snapper. Salinas advises not to be surprised if you latch on to some 12-14 inch croaker while working the area. The loud panfish is plentiful in the winter, and they’ll hit live shrimp, but are also known to nail a bottom-bouncing soft plastic or Gulp! Shrimp. Once you start to approach the industrial part of the Ship Channel, you will begin to notice side channels. The riprap on the points of the channel entrances hold sheepshead and mangrove snapper in February, and some of those fish can get rather large (one particular channel is known to yield 3-5 pound snapper from under one deep boat dock). Use live shrimp on a freeline rig, and let it sink along the contour of the point. Standard trout tackle will work, T E X A S

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but leave the 10 pound test at home. These fish require at least 14 pound, and perhaps even 17 pound line to horse them out of their environment (8/30 braid is even more effective, and if the fish are really holding tight to the structure, I’ll go to 10/40 or even 12/60). These finny hoodlums aren’t very leader shy, so you get away with 30 pound fluorocarbon leaders. Trout and redfish will also cruise along the rip rap, especially in areas where it lines a section of the Channel. They’ll also take a live shrimp that is intended for other species. If you want to target them specifically, bounce a shrimp tail or Gulp! Shrimp down the rocks. I’ve also had some success with large-billed crankbaits like a Rapala Shad Rap parallel to the shoreline. Just like with freshwater bass, redfish will hit the crank when the bill collides with a rock and forces the bait to come to a sudden stop. The docks in the industrial area are fish magnets, but exercise caution and common sense while fishing up in the ship channel. A lot of these areas have work going on around them 24 hours a day, and the dockworkers and security personnel don’t take kindly to boats getting too close because of safety and security concerns. There are plenty of areas to fish where you maintain a respectful distance from the oil rigs being built or the ships being loaded/unloaded. There is no need to become a nuisance. Except, of course, to the fish.

THE BANK BITE LOCATION: Highway 48 Bridge at Laguna San Martin SPECIES: Snook, Mangrove snapper BEST BAITS: Live Shrimp, finger mullet. Soft plastics in red/white, chartreuse/white. TIP: Fish bridge pilings on incoming tide. Contact Calixto Gonzales at CGonzales@fishgame.com C O A S T A L

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FEBRUARY 2011

Tides and Prime Times

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 T9

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.

T8 T6 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

T14

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

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

T20

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.

AM Minor: 9:11a AM Major: 2:57a PM Minor: 9:40p PM Major: 3:25p Moonrise:9:27a Moon Set: None Moon Overhead:

T21

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.

4:55p

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION

TIDE CORRECTION TABLE Add or subtract the time shown at the rightof 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 many wildlife species.

T13 T7

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 T12 T13 T14 T15 T16 T17

PLACE Pt Barrow, Trinity Bay Gilchrist, East Bay Jamaica Beach, W. Bay Alligator Point, W. Bay Christmas Pt 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:

CORRECTION NOT TO BEerror,USED Due to a software the tide graphs in our JANUARY 2011 FOR NAVIGATION issue was incorrect. The correct information is available online at www.FishGame.com/tide T22 T23

KEYS TO USING THE TIDE AND SOLUNAR GRAPHS TIDE 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 ACTIVITY: MINOR Feeding Periods (+/- 1.5 Hrs.) Time Moon is at its Highest Point in the Sky 12a

AM/PM Timeline

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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

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

Moon Underfoot: 9:15p F E B R U A R Y

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


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Tides and Prime Times for FEBRUARY 2011 TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

FEB 1

31

THURSDAY

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FRIDAY

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SATURDAY

4

SUNDAY

5

6

Sunrise: 7:08a Moonrise: 5:20a

Set: 5:55p Set: 3:58p

Sunrise: 7:07a Moonrise: 6:03a

Set: 5:56p Set: 4:55p

Sunrise: 7:07a Moonrise: 6:41a

Set: 5:56p Set: 5:52p

Sunrise: 7:06a Moonrise: 7:15a

Set: 5:57p Set: 6:47p

Sunrise: 7:06a Moonrise: 7:46a

Set: 5:58p Set: 7:40p

Sunrise: 7:05a Moonrise: 8:16a

Set: 5:59p Set: 8:31p

Sunrise: 7:04a Moonrise: 8:45a

Set: 6:00p Set: 9:23p

AM Minor: 2:48a

PM Minor: 3:14a

AM Minor: 3:35a

PM Minor: 4:00a

AM Minor: 4:21a

PM Minor: 4:44a

AM Minor: 5:06a

PM Minor: 5:28a

AM Minor: 5:51a

PM Minor: 6:12a

AM Minor: 6:36a

PM Minor: 6:57a

AM Minor: 7:21a

PM Minor: 7:42a

AM Major: 9:01a

PM Major: 9:27a

AM Major: 9:47a

PM Major: 10:12a

AM Major: 10:33a

PM Major: 10:56a

AM Major: 10:52a

PM Major: -----

AM Major: 11:37a

PM Major: 12:02p

AM Major: 12:26p

PM Major: 12:46p

AM Major: 1:11a

PM Major: 1:31a

Moon Overhead: 10:37a

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 12:14p

Moon Overhead: 11:27a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 12:58p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 2:21p

Moon Overhead: 1:40p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 3:01p 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

MONDAY

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

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 11:03p +2.0

-1.0

BEST:

5:30 — 7:30 AM

Moon Underfoot: 1:19a BEST:

6:00 — 8:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 2:01a BEST:

6:30 — 8:30 AM

Moon Underfoot: 2:41a +2.0

BEST:

7:00 — 9:00 AM

3:30 — 5:30 PM

T I D E

L E V E L S

BEST:

5:00 — 7:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 12:36a

L E V E L S

0

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: None

T I D E

+1.0

BEST:

4:30 — 6:30 AM

Moon Underfoot: 11:51p

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

-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


ALMANAC C.qxd:1002 Coastal

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11:27 AM

Page 72

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

TUESDAY

7 Sunrise: 7:04a Moonrise: 9:14a

8

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

 10

9

11

Set: 6:02p Set: 6:02p Sunrise: 7:02a Set: 11:09p Moonrise: 10:19a Set: None

AM Minor: 8:07a

PM Minor: 8:28a

AM Minor: 8:53a

PM Minor: 9:15a

AM Minor: 9:41a

PM Minor: 10:03a

AM Minor: 10:30a

PM Minor: 10:53a

AM Minor: 11:19a

PM Minor: 11:45a

AM Minor: -----

AM Major: 1:57a

PM Major: 2:17a

AM Major: 2:43a

PM Major: 3:04a

AM Major: 3:30a

PM Major: 3:52a

AM Major: 4:18a

PM Major: 4:41a

AM Major: 5:07a

PM Major: 5:32a

AM Major: 5:57a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 5:09p

Moon Overhead: 4:24p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Set: 6:04p Sunrise: 7:02a Set: 6:03p Sunrise: 7:01a Moonrise: 10:57a Set: 12:04a Moonrise: 11:40a Set: 1:01a

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 5:56p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Sunrise: 7:00a Set: 6:05p Moonrise: 12:29p Set: 1:58a

6a

12p

6p

13 Sunrise: 6:59a Moonrise: 1:24p

Set: 6:06p Set: 2:54a

PM Minor: 12:10p

AM Minor: 12:33p

PM Minor: 1:02a

PM Major: 6:23a

AM Major: 6:47a

PM Major: 7:16a

Moon Overhead: 7:41p

Moon Overhead: 6:47p 12a

SUNDAY

12

Set: 6:01p Sunrise: 7:03a Set: 10:15p Moonrise: 9:45a

Moon Overhead: 3:42p

12a

WEDNESDAY

12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

MONDAY

Tides and Prime Times for FEBRUARY 2011

Moon Overhead: 8:37p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 3:21a +2.0

-1.0

BEST:

10:00P — 12:00A

Moon Underfoot: 6:21a BEST:

7:00 — 9:00 AM

8:00 — 10:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 7:14a BEST:

9:00 — 11:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 8:09a +2.0

BEST:

1:30 — 3:30 AM

T I D E

L E V E L S

BEST:

9:00 — 11:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 5:32a

L E V E L S

0

BEST:

8:00 — 10:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 4:46a

T I D E

+1.0

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 4:03a

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

12:16 am 6:47 am 12:07 pm 6:40 pm

72 |

0.15ft. 0.66ft. 0.22ft. 0.73ft.

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

1:00 am 8:05 am 12:27 pm 6:42 pm

F E B R U A R Y

0.05ft. 0.62ft. 0.40ft. 0.74ft.

2 0 1 1

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

1:48 am 9:46 am 12:41 pm 6:25 pm

-0.03ft. Low Tide: 2:45 am 0.62ft. High Tide: 5:55 pm 0.56ft. 0.77ft.

T E X A S

F I S H

-0.12ft. Low Tide: 3:47 am 0.84ft. High Tide: 5:49 pm

&

G A M E ®

-0.22ft. Low Tide: 4:52 am 0.92ft. High Tide: 5:57 pm

C O A S T A L

-0.34ft. Low Tide: 5:52 am 0.98ft. High Tide: 3:50 pm

A L M A N A C

-0.46ft. 1.02ft.

+1.0

0

-1.0


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10:27 AM

Page 73


ALMANAC C.qxd:1002 Coastal

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11:27 AM

Page 74

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

TUESDAY

14

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

16

15

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

 18

17

SUNDAY

19

20

Sunrise: 6:58a Moonrise: 2:25p

Set: 6:06p Set: 3:49a

Sunrise: 6:58a Moonrise: 3:31p

Set: 6:07p Set: 4:40a

Sunrise: 6:57a Moonrise: 4:39p

Set: 6:08p Set: 5:28a

Sunrise: 6:56a Moonrise: 5:47p

Set: 6:09p Set: 6:11a

Sunrise: 6:55a Moonrise: 6:55p

Set: 6:10p Set: 6:51a

Sunrise: 6:54a Moonrise: 8:03p

Set: 6:10p Set: 7:30a

Sunrise: 6:53a Moonrise: 9:10p

Set: 6:11p Set: 8:08a

AM Minor: 1:24a

PM Minor: 1:53a

AM Minor: 2:16a

PM Minor: 2:45a

AM Minor: 3:08a

PM Minor: 3:36a

AM Minor: 4:00a

PM Minor: 4:27a

AM Minor: 4:53a

PM Minor: 5:20a

AM Minor: 5:48a

PM Minor: 6:14a

AM Minor: 6:45a

PM Minor: 7:12a

AM Major: 7:39a

PM Major: 8:08a

AM Major: 8:30a

PM Major: 8:59a

AM Major: 9:22a

PM Major: 9:50a

AM Major: 10:14a

PM Major: 10:41a

AM Major: 11:06a

PM Major: 11:33a

AM Major: -----

PM Major: 12:01p

AM Major: 12:32p

PM Major: 12:59p

Moon Overhead: 9:35p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 10:32p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

Moon Overhead: 11:29p 6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: None 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 1:16a

Moon Overhead: 12:23a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

MONDAY

Tides and Prime Times for FEBRUARY 2011

Moon Overhead: 2:09a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 9:06a +2.0

-1.0

Moon Underfoot: 12:50p

BEST:

4:30 — 6:30 AM

BEST:

5:00 — 7:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 1:43p BEST:

6:00 — 8:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 2:35p +2.0

BEST:

7:00 — 9:00 PM

7:30 — 9:30 AM

T I D E

L E V E L S

BEST:

3:30 — 5:30 AM

Moon Underfoot: 11:56a

L E V E L S

0

BEST:

2:00 — 4:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 11:01a

T I D E

+1.0

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 10:04a

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

6:46 am 3:43 pm 7:57 pm 10:12 pm

74 |

-0.59ft. Low Tide: 7:36 am 1.06ft. High Tide: 3:57 pm 0.98ft. Low Tide: 8:05 pm 0.99ft.

F E B R U A R Y

-0.67ft. High Tide: 12:16 am 1.06ft. Low Tide: 8:24 am 0.90ft. High Tide: 4:16 pm Low Tide: 8:41 pm

2 0 1 1

1.02ft. -0.69ft. 1.04ft. 0.75ft.

T E X A S

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

1:38 am 9:10 am 4:36 pm 9:22 pm

F I S H

1.06ft. -0.63ft. 1.00ft. 0.55ft.

&

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

2:53 am 9:56 am 4:56 pm 10:07 pm

G A M E ®

1.07ft. -0.48ft. 0.95ft. 0.30ft.

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

4:06 am 10:41 am 5:16 pm 10:55 pm

C O A S T A L

1.07ft. -0.25ft. 0.91ft. 0.05ft.

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

5:22 am 11:26 am 5:36 pm 11:47 pm

A L M A N A C

1.03ft. 0.03ft. 0.89ft. -0.17ft.

+1.0

0

-1.0


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11:27 AM

Page 75

    

Tides and Prime Times for FEBRUARY 2011 TUESDAY

21 Sunrise: 6:52a Set: 6:12p Moonrise: 10:18p Set: 8:47a

22 Sunrise: 6:51a Set: 6:13p Moonrise: 11:26p Set: 9:30a

THURSDAY

23 Sunrise: 6:50a Moonrise: None

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

 25

24

SUNDAY

26

27

Set: 6:13p Sunrise: 6:49a Set: 6:14p Sunrise: 6:48a Set: 10:16a Moonrise: 12:31a Set: 11:06a Moonrise: 1:32a

Set: 6:15p Sunrise: 6:47a Set: 12:00p Moonrise: 2:28a

Set: 6:15p Sunrise: 6:46a Set: 12:56p Moonrise: 3:18a

Set: 6:16p Set: 1:53p

AM Minor: 7:45a

PM Minor: 8:12a

AM Minor: 8:46a

PM Minor: 9:14a

AM Minor: 9:47a

PM Minor: 10:16a

AM Minor: 10:47a

PM Minor: 11:15a

AM Minor: 11:44a

PM Minor: -----

AM Minor: 12:09p

PM Minor: 12:36p

AM Minor: 12:59p

PM Minor: 1:25a

AM Major: 1:32a

PM Major: 1:59a

AM Major: 2:32a

PM Major: 3:00a

AM Major: 3:33a

PM Major: 4:02a

AM Major: 4:33a

PM Major: 5:01a

AM Major: 5:30a

PM Major: 5:58a

AM Major: 6:23a

PM Major: 6:50a

AM Major: 7:12a

PM Major: 7:38a

Moon Overhead: 3:02a

12a

WEDNESDAY

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 4:53a

Moon Overhead: 3:57a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 5:50a 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 7:42a

Moon Overhead: 6:46a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 8:34a 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

MONDAY

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

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 3:29p +2.0

-1.0

BEST:

3:00 — 5:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 7:14p

BEST:

4:00 — 6:00 AM

BEST:

5:00 — 7:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 8:08p BEST:

12:00 — 2:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 9:00p +2.0

BEST:

12:30 — 2:30 AM

1:00 — 3:00 AM

T I D E

L E V E L S

BEST:

8:30 — 10:30 PM

Moon Underfoot: 6:18p

L E V E L S

0

Moon Underfoot: 5:21p

T I D E

+1.0

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 4:25p

High Tide: 6:43 am 0.99ft. Low Tide: 12:11 pm 0.33ft. High Tide: 5:55 pm 0.90ft.

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

C O A S T A L

12:43 am 8:13 am 12:55 pm 6:12 pm

-0.35ft. 0.95ft. 0.60ft. 0.92ft.

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

A L M A N A C

1:46 am 9:59 am 1:41 pm 6:23 pm

-0.46ft. 0.95ft. 0.83ft. 0.95ft.

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

T E X A S

2:57 am 12:19 pm 3:06 pm 4:21 pm

F I S H

-0.52ft. Low Tide: 4:15 am 1.00ft. High Tide: 2:29 pm 0.99ft. 0.99ft.

&

-0.53ft. Low Tide: 5:32 am 1.07ft. High Tide: 3:08 pm

G A M E ®

-0.53ft. Low Tide: 1.10ft. High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

F E B R U A R Y

6:40 am 3:33 pm 8:42 pm 11:02 pm

2 0 1 1

|

-0.51ft. 1.07ft. 0.91ft. 0.94ft.

75

+1.0

0

-1.0


ALMANAC C.qxd:1002 Coastal

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11:27 AM

Page 76

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION BEST:

7:45-9:40 AM

= Peak Fishing Period

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

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

TUESDAY

28

WEDNESDAY

Mar 1

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

3

2

SATURDAY

4

SUNDAY

5

6

Sunrise: 6:45a Moonrise: 4:02a

Set: 6:17p Set: 2:50p

Sunrise: 6:44a Moonrise: 4:41a

Set: 6:17p Set: 3:46p

Sunrise: 6:43a Moonrise: 5:16a

Set: 6:18p Set: 4:41p

Sunrise: 6:42a Moonrise: 5:48a

Set: 6:19p Set: 5:34p

Sunrise: 6:41a Moonrise: 6:18a

Set: 6:19p Set: 6:26p

Sunrise: 6:40a Moonrise: 6:47a

Set: 6:20p Set: 7:18p

Sunrise: 6:39a Moonrise: 7:16a

Set: 6:21p Set: 8:10p

AM Minor: 1:45a

PM Minor: 2:10a

AM Minor: 2:28a

PM Minor: 2:51a

AM Minor: 3:09a

PM Minor: 3:31a

AM Minor: 3:49a

PM Minor: 4:10a

AM Minor: 4:29a

PM Minor: 4:49a

AM Minor: 5:10a

PM Minor: 5:30a

AM Minor: 5:53a

PM Minor: 6:13a

AM Major: 7:57a

PM Major: 8:22a

AM Major: 8:40a

PM Major: 9:03a

AM Major: 9:20a

PM Major: 9:42a

AM Major: 10:00a

PM Major: 10:21a

AM Major: 10:39a

PM Major: 11:00a

AM Major: 10:56a

PM Major: -----

AM Major: 11:39a

PM Major: 12:03p

Moon Overhead: 9:25a

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 10:56a

Moon Overhead: 10:12a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 11:38a 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 1:00p

Moon Overhead: 12:19p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 1:40p 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

MONDAY

Tides and Prime Times for FEBRUARY 2011

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 9:48p +2.0

-1.0

BEST:

4:00 — 6:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: None BEST:

4:30 — 6:30 AM

Moon Underfoot: 12:39a BEST:

5:00 — 7:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 1:20a +2.0

BEST:

5:30 — 7:30 AM

6:00 — 8:00 AM

T I D E

L E V E L S

BEST:

3:30 — 5:30 AM

Moon Underfoot: None

L E V E L S

0

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 11:17p

T I D E

+1.0

BEST:

2:30 — 4:30 AM

Moon Underfoot: 10:34p

Low Tide: 7:37 am High Tide: 3:49 pm Low Tide: 8:47 pm

-0.47ft. High Tide: 12:23 am 1.02ft. Low Tide: 8:24 am 0.84ft. High Tide: 4:00 pm Low Tide: 8:57 pm

0.97ft. -0.38ft. 0.96ft. 0.74ft.

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

1:29 am 9:03 am 4:09 pm 9:10 pm

1.00ft. -0.27ft. 0.91ft. 0.62ft.

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

2:26 am 9:36 am 4:20 pm 9:28 pm

1.02ft. -0.13ft. 0.88ft. 0.49ft.

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

3:18 am 10:05 am 4:32 pm 9:53 pm

1.03ft. 0.02ft. 0.87ft. 0.36ft.

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

4:10 am 10:31 am 4:45 pm 10:22 pm

1.03ft. 0.18ft. 0.87ft. 0.25ft.

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

5:01 am 10:56 am 4:57 pm 10:54 pm

1.02ft. 0.34ft. 0.88ft. 0.15ft.

+1.0

0

-1.0


ALMANAC C.qxd:1002 Coastal

1/17/11

10:26 AM

Page 77


1/17/11

10:32 AM

New Hyper-Speed TD Zillion By Daiwa Pulling in 32 inches of line with every crank of the handle, Daiwa's new Zillion Type R baitcasting reel is among the fastest ever built. Creating the speed is a massive, high-tensile brass alloy drive gear pushing a brass alloy pinion gear at a 7.3 to 1 ratio. That means every time you crank the reel's handle one turn, the spool rotates 7.3 turns. Just like a race car, a reel running at this speed requires special engineering attention to ensure long-lasting performance and ease of use. Gear teeth are precision Helical cut (cut at an angle) for smooth winding and even transmission of winding energy. To further ensure adequate winding power, eleven ball bearings firmly support the drive train within a rigid aluminum frame so energy flows efficiently with less wear and stress. The speed of the new Type R makes it the perfect tool for target fishing. Toss to an inviting stickup - work the area around it - burn your bait back with less wasted time in unproductive water. The whole point is to keep your lure in high-potential water, wasting minimal time in low-potential water. In the long run, that means more fish in the boat. MSRP for the new reel is $399.95. Tel: (800) 736-4653, or visit www.daiwa.com 78 |

F E B R U A R Y

2 0 1 1

Page 78

The Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement points out, “Dogs must be under the direct control of you or a handler when off your property. The best way to control Daiwa’s TD Zillion your dog is with a leash.” baitcaster pulls a Anyone who’s ever gone for blazing 32 inches a leisurely stroll with a of line per crank. rambunctious canine, however, knows just TD Zillion how quickly a scampering squirrel or the scent of a rabbit can lead to a loss of control. Just Ducky Products’ line of walker EVERY DOG-WALKING OWNER HAS EXPERIand heeler leashes, however, enced it at least once: Distracted by an puts full command back in the dog owner’s alluring sight or sound, a usually wellhands. Its patented design, material and behaved and -mannered pooch suddenly handle join forces to make The Perfect turns into Speedy Gonzales, taking his Leash safer and more enjoyable for both handler full force ahead with him on Spot and his human companion. his quest. The Perfect Leash by Just Made of proprietary polyurethane, Ducky Products is making this comiThe Perfect Leash stretches to accomcal yet potentially injurious scene a modate sudden momentum. As a result, relic of the past with a patented it eliminates the constant tension on the design that dog’s neck and shoulders. At the same time, it virtually eliminates the possibility of the handler suffering a dislocated shoulder or wrist. That’s because as it expands in New dog leash is response to forward designed to movement, The Perfect reduce leash tenLeash absorbs any jerky sion. pulling between the dog takes all the Perfect Leash and its walker. contentious tension out This absorptive, of the dog-walking experience. pulling-back property also renders The

The Perfect Leash

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

PHOTOS COURTESY MFG’S

ALMANAC C.qxd:1002 Coastal


ALMANAC C.qxd:1002 Coastal

1/18/11

12:10 PM

Perfect Leash an ideal training aid. Its stretch rebound functionality helps correct unruly behavior, making it a great addition to field trials, hunting, agility, trips to the vet and keeping any dog—large or small— by its handlers side. Adults and children alike will find The Perfect Leash’s patented handle a perfect fit. In fact, consumer polls indicate that it provides the most comfortable fit of any leash on the market. Available in four color choices and two sizes—a 35-inch walker and a 14-inch heeler—The Perfect Leash ensures dog owners take their dogs for a walk around the park or neighborhood instead of the other way around. Dog handlers who want to want to make their summer walking excursions more enjoyable can learn more about The Perfect Leash line of walkers and heelers online at justduckyproducts.com

Muzzle Break Cuts Recoil and Sound

Page 79

ling effectiveness without sacrificing any of its high level of recoil reduction. The cleverly engineered combination of a chamber, channels and gas holes facilitates the dispersion of gases away from the muzzle and the shooter thus reducing the noise level. Both muzzle break designs are available in reducible and non-reducible outside diameters. The reducible muzzle brake enables the installation to be accomplished with a flush seamless fit while the non-reducible muzzle brake can be installed with a tapered design that gives a classic fit with outstanding recoil reduction. Muzzle brakes are available for calibers .22 through .458 made from .416 Stainless Steel or Stress Proof Carbon steel both heat treated for superior strength and long service life. All are manufactured with the most current CNC equipment and requires professional gunsmithing installation. Contact Active Tuning Solutions at 713-725-2497, 19319 Mueschke Rd., Tomball, Tx 77377 Web: www.activetuningsolutions.com.

NEW PATENTED MUZZLE BRAKE DESIGNS BY George Vais are available from Active Tuning Solutions. The “MasterBrakes” provide excellent recoil reduction and dramatically decrease

New muzzle brakes from Active Tuning Solutions

the amount of noise that traditionMuzzle Brakes al muzzle brakes emit. The “HuntersBrake” was designed from the ground up for its sound control-

On the Web www.daiwa.com www.justduckyproducts.com www.activegunningsolutions.com


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Engine Protection YOU THOUGHT E-10 WAS BAD FOR YOUR boat or ATV? Just wait until E-15 hits the pumps. Yes, it’s only approved for model year 2007 and newer cars and trucks and is supposed to be kept separate from the E10, but you can bet that sooner or later, E15 will find its way through your fuel systems. Even if you can stay away from E-15 for the time being, E-10 poses enough problems to keep you busy. It’ll gum up anything from a chain saw to a canyon runner, causes phase separation, and speeds the deterioration of your fuel. I’ve used Star Tron to treat the fuel I use in my boats and gas-powered tools to battle the E-problems for about a year now, and I can report that after extended use, it’s worked well at keeping ethanol problems at Protects against bay. The one ethanol damage. time I forgot to add it to the Star-Tron gas tank in my 14’ duck boat, my 15-hp. four-stroke outboard clogged up and needed to have the carburetor rebuilt. Most fuel treatments work by emulsifying water (via alcohol), but that can lead to carbon build-up and other problems. Star Tron works on a completely different principal, because it has enzymes that reduce surface tension between water and fuel molecules, which allows the water to then break down into sub-micron sized droplets. These are so tiny that they flow right through your fuel system and engine without having any effect. At the same time, by 80 |

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upgrade to the Explorist 710 also gets you City Series turn-by-turn mapping. The unit runs for up to 16 hours on a pair of AA batteries, and can accept a microSD card. It even has a 3.2 megapixel camera, microphone, Explorist 610 GPS and speaker builthand-held. in, so you can record your adventures. Magellan I found the menu easy to use and intuitive, and I rarely needed to resort to looking at the instructions. There’s a “one touch” function that allows you to do basic, regular functions without even entering the menu, making it fast and easy to use. Two other functions set the Explorist apart from the older, dedicated maritime-use units of days past: there’s a built-in barometric altimeter which could come in quite handy THESE DAYS, WE EXPECT A LOT FROM for land-based activities, and the unit has a handheld GPS units. We want them to tell three-axis electronic compass. Older comus where we are whether we’re hiking pass functions in handhelds were tough to through a mountain pass, cruising a boat use on land sometimes, because the unit across the bay, or driving a car down the had to be in motion to tell you which way road. And GPS manufacturers have met it was going. But with the three-axis electhis challenge, by building units with more tronic compass, you can be standing still diverse features and greater capabilities. and still figure out compass directions. Magellan is the latest to roll out a new —LR multifunction GPS, with the Explorist Series. I spent the past month keeping tabs on myself with an Explorist 610, to find out if it was up to snuff. The 610 has a three inch color touchscreen, is waterproof to IPX7 standards, and comes with a built-in world map and Summit Series topographic mapping. That’ll help you keep track of your position www.startron.com just about anywhere, but if you want more www.magellan.com detailed mapping while driving, an

preventing the ethanol from binding with the water, it also prevents the formation of all of those problematic gums and varnishes. That means the fuel you treat with Star Tron stabilizes its chemistry and keeps it fresh for up to two years. What’s the down-side to using Star Tron? Just the cost; this stuff isn’t cheap, ranging from $12 to $15 for an eight ounce bottle. But on the bright side, a mere ounce is all you need to treat 16 gallons of fuel, so one of these little bottles takes care of 128 gallons of gas—and that’s a lot less expensive and time consuming than rebuilding your carburetor every other month. Learn more at www.startron.com. —Lenny Rudow

Explore More: Magellan Explorist 610

On the Web

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More Angler Cash to Come CABELA'S RECENTLY ANNOUNCED IT WILL continue to provide awards for top finishing collegiate anglers competing in the 2011 BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship Series. As a long-time supporter of collegiate fishing, Cabela's is committed to continuing to provide opportunities for student anglers who are pursuing their passion for fishing, while at the same time, representing their colleges. “At Cabela's, we view outdoor recreation as a way of life for the whole family,” said Chris Sprangers, Cabela's marketing manager. “So we're proud to have the opportunity to encourage young people to continue their involvement in outdoor pursuits like fishing.” The 2011 BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship Series will feature three major nationally televised events in 2011 including the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship hosted by Lewisville, Texas, the Pepsi Collegiate Bass Fishing Open hosted by Paris/Henry County, Tennessee and the Big Bass Bash hosted by Florence, Alabama. Cabela's Angler Cash awards will be available at these events as well as a number of regional events hosted by several college fishing clubs and sanctioned by the Association of Collegiate Anglers. “Thanks in great part to Cabela's support, collegiate fishing has grown tremendously over the past several years,” stated Wade Middleton, BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship Series Tournament Director. “From the Cabela's collegiate night event at the national championship to their support of smaller regional tournaments, Cabela's continues to encourage growth among this important age class of anglers.” In order to be eligible, participating anglers are required to register for Cabela's C O A S T A L

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Angler Cash and display the Cabela's Angler Cash logo on their boat and jersey. Patches and decals are provided free of charge to registered anglers. The BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship television series will once again be nationally televised with 18 half hours of coverage on the Versus network beginning in August of 2011. Additional coverage of the BoatUS Collegiate Series can be seen on line via streaming video as well on the World Fishing Network as part of the expanded coverage of this series of events.

Lund Signs with Traditions Media THE FISHING LEGENDS AT LUND BOATS recently announced a new partnership with the angling-public relations specialists at Traditions Media, LLC. With continuing innovations in durability, fishable-functionality and high-end on-the-water performance, Lund has built a 60-plus year tradition of excellence that remains unrivaled in the fishing-marine industry. Traditions Media’s immediate role will be to champion Lund’s recent model introductions – such as the new Impact series – and keep the unrivaled leader in fishing boat design and quality in the public eye, as well as help educate anglers about Lund’s many new award-winning features. “We are very excited with Lund Boat’s new partnership with Traditions Media,” said Lund Boats marketing director, Jason Oakes. “This partnership provides Lund with a great opportunity to increase our exposure and to be top-of-mind to the fishing and boating consumer. The team at Traditions Media brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the public relations field and has ties to key players in the fishing and outdoor arena. Lund is thrilled to be working with Traditions Media and to T E X A S

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announce this partnership.” Noel Vick, President of fishing-focused Traditions Media, whose client list includes notables Frabill, Northland Fishing Tackle, Aquateko, StrikeMaster and MarCum Technologies, had long admired the superior quality and performance of Lund Boats, a sentiment that dates back to his earliest angling memories. “I grew up in Lund country,” said Vick. “Even in my fishing circles as a kid, Lund was the brand of boat everyone aspired to own. I can clearly remember the broad smile across my face when I trailered by first new Lund off the dealer lot.” Vick continued: “Passion will be a driving force in our efforts to promote Lund Boats. We're passionate about the product, and of course there's that feeling of kinship working with a legacy manufacturer. “Plus, we'll be working with fishing greats the likes of Al and Ron Lindner, Gary and Tony Roach, Tom Neustrom, Mark Martin, Jeff Gustafson, and the list goes on and on. No doubt, the best of the best on the water are Lund loyalists. We anticipate a long, successful partnership, reinforcing Lund’s legacy of engineering top-tier fishing boats.” To learn more about Lund or to view product videos, visit: www.lundboats.com.

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On the Web www.cabelas.com www.boatus.com www.lundboats.com

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PHOTO: STEVE LAMASCUS

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My Buffalo Rifle AM A HISTORY NUT. SPECIFICALLY I LOVE TO read about the period of the 1870s and the people and events of the Texas Panhandle and Rolling Plains; I also am a student of Custer's fiasco on the Little Bighorn and the earlier trappers and mountain men of the fur trade. In 1874 John R. Cook, formerly of Kansas, was a young adventurer and buffalo hunter. In later life he wrote a book of his adventures on the Texas prairies called The Border and The Buffalo. As I read Cook's very informative and interesting book, I found myself engrossed in it because I recognized so many of the places and names he mentions. I knew where the Double Mountain was. I lived almost within sight of Kiowa Peak. I lived once on the banks of the Salt Fork of the Brazos River. I had driven through Albany many times, which was near the oft-described Fort Griffin, the headquarters of most of the buffalo hunters. I had hunted pheasants within spitting distance of Adobe Walls, and even knew generally where the old Rath City had been by the

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description given in the book. I felt right at home in the pages of The Border and The Buffalo. I felt so at home that I simply couldn't relish my vittles until I had a Model 1874 Sharps rifle like the one Cook described. I really wanted one in one of the more offbeat calibers like .44-77 or .40-65, but finally settled for the more pedestrian .45-70, for the very good reasons that it is easier to load for and ammunition is still loaded by most of the major manufacturers. Besides, records show that after 1876 the .45-70 was the most popular caliber Sharps chambered, so it was accurate in a historical perspective. What I ended up with is a rifle made by Armi Sport in Italy especially for Cimarron

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Arms in Kerrville, Texas. Cimarron calls this model the Billy Dixon Model and I cannot tell it from an original 1870s Sharps rifle. It is a beautiful rifle with a pewter nose cap and double set triggers. The sights that come on the gun are useable, but just barely, especially for someone with eyes the age of mine, so I replaced the original rear sight with a Vernier tang aperture sight from Track of the Wolf that has adjustments for both windage and elevation. I will at some time in the future replace the front sight, which is a standard shiny blade, with an ivory bead. I have ordered the bead front sight and a Marbles adjustable rear tang sight from Dave Gullo at Buffalo Arms, but they were back ordered and my impatience got the best of me. My rifle is heavy. With its 32-inch octagonal barrel it scales nearly 11 pounds and feels heavier than that. The first thing most folks say when they pick it up is, “Man this thing's heavy!” I like that because it cuts felt recoil, which can be considerable when shooting bullets that weigh up to 500 grains and travel at up to 1400 feet per second. My gun is not startlingly accurate, but most of that may be, again, my aging eyes. I can, however, manage to keep most of my shots in about 3 inches at 100 yards, which I would say is quite fine with steel sights, even the aperture variety. I know that the experts with the specially built rifles can betC O A S T A L

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ter this by a large amount, but I am perfectly satisfied, because I never intend to shoot at a thousand yards, or even at 500. In fact, I doubt I will ever shoot at a live animal with it at more than 150 yards. Drop with this old warrior is just too great. My pet load with my Sharps is, right now, a 410-grain Lyman flat-nosed cast bullet, loaded in Winchester cases, over CCI 200 primers and 40 grains of Reloader #7. I have not chronographed the load, but the stats in the reloading manuals say it should clock about 1450 fps. That is plenty, and it will, I promise, shoot through any whitetail deer in existence. I make the bullets very soft, almost pure lead, with just enough tin in them to help the lead cast easily. They are what a buddy calls bubblegum bullets. Even at that I do not expect that they will expand much, if any, in the lightly built whitetail deer; maybe hogs will provide a better test bed. We'll see. I am still experimenting with different loads. This load leaves a lot of lead in the first 2 inches of barrel. The hardness of the bullet does not seem to make any difference.

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I think it is because it takes that far for the bullet to start spinning. Elmer Keith recognized this problem decades ago in his revolvers, so I am in good company. I will, however, try to find some solution, mostly because I hate cleaning the lead out of my guns. Maybe one of the softer, gooier bullet lubes, like SPG will help. Really, it makes little difference. The accuracy does not seem to be affected and the leading is limited to the part of the barrel near the chamber and is not excessive. After 10 shots the gun is still shooting just as well as it was for the first three. I have also ordered some paperpatched bullets. I hope that they will alleviate the leading problem, but I doubt that I use them much because they are very labor intensive. They do, however, look really neat seated in the cases so that a quarter inch or so of the paper is visible above the case mouth. Actually, the paper-patched bullet is probably more historically accurate than the grooved and lubed bullets I usually shoot. From what I read, the paper-patched bullet was the most common projectile on the buf-

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falo ranges. In fact, I have read that in Sharps' factory ammunition, the paperpatched bullet was all that was offered in many of the calibers. I wonder at that since cutting the patches and rolling them on the bullets is very labor intensive and would have raised the price of the ammunition by a fair amount. I also read somewhere once, that at least some of the hide hunters hired someone to do all the reloading. I would think that reloading a hundred or so rounds every day, with a hand tool, melting the lead on a campfire, casting the bullets, and the paper-patching them prior to loading, would take a great deal of time, even for someone experienced in the process. Well, I love my buffalo rifle. I now understand why the old-timers had such an attachment to their guns. This rifle has character and making and loading the bullets just brings me closer to the past I love so much. Living history is a good thing, I think.

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E-mail Steve LaMascus at guns@fishgame.com

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loosen it so much that you run the risk of your stand falling, but you should loosen the tension just a bit. Remember, a tree will grow during the off-season and while it grows, it will continuously put more and more pressure on the strap. If this strap is

Stand Down NOTHER SEASON…ANOTHER MEMORY. ALL good, I hope. Good or bad it is time to put the whitetail season to bed for another year and reflect about the shots you had or did not have during your time in the woods. One thing that should be paramount on your to-do list is getting back out in your “honey hole” and taking your tree stands down. As simple a task as this may sound, you would be surprised at how many seasoned hunters refuse to take the time to get this done. After a long hunting season, many hunters decide to leave their tree stands on the lease ready to go for the following year. This practice is not only not recommended, but also can prove to be very dangerous. Let me explain. As we all know or at least should know, not all hunters are, shall we say, as honest as the day is long. As much as I would like to say I have never had a stand stolen from me, I can’t. It has happened a few times and I think I have finally learned my lesson. Many hunters put their tree stands up and lock it up with a chain wrapped around the tree. It is one way of helping to keep honest people honest. However, once a stand is located, it is a short trip back to the woodlot with a bolt cutter and it is all over but the crying. You can avoid this problem all together by simply removing the stand when the season is over. If, after reading this, you are one of those hunters who still want to take your chances with your stand, then let me offer a small piece of advice. At the very least, you should make the trip back to your stands after the season is over and loosen the strap that holds the stand in place. You do not have to

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Many hunters leave their stands on the lease for the following year. This can prove dangerous.

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not loosened at all, then one day you may find yourself dangling from your harness as your tree stand falls to the ground as soon as you put your weight on it. The strap can and will get so tight that the extra stress of your 200 pound (or more) body will snap it like a twig on a cold day. I forgot to do this one myself, and when I went to take my stand down, the strap was so tight that the buckle used to loosen it could not be moved no matter how hard I tried. The only way to get that strap off was with the help of a very sharp knife. Even then, I had to tug at it for a while before I could pull it from the tree that had started to grow around it. Once you have the stand home, it is a great time to check it thoroughly and carefully. Are all the nuts and bolts still there or did you loose one in the woods? How about those little wing nuts?...those little black wing nuts. Believe me, if you drop one of those in the woods, you will spend the rest of the season looking for it. And although you will not be able to find it, you will still spend hours in your stand looking down from your perch as if you will, all of a sudden, see it lying beneath the leaves. Even though your brain tells you “forget it.” You will still look! You veteran hunters out there T E X A S

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know exactly what I am talking about! Am I right? Did your tree stand make any noise while you stood in it? Maybe it was when you first climbed in or when you shifted your weight a bit. Now is an excellent time to inspect your tree stand and find exactly where that unwanted noise came from. A few squirts of a lubricant will do wonders at stopping those squeaks that you heard in the woods. At the time they seemed like they were 160 db. Now is the time to find it and fix it. While you have the lubricant out, look at your bow. There are a lot of metal parts on that bow and it is very easy to just forget about them. Your sights, quiver, cable guard, and arrow rest all might have some sort of adjusting screws. If you lubricate them, it will be easier to make any adjustments needed next year when you start getting serious about your practicing time again. I would recommend you take the time right now to also put away all your toys. Not those toys, but the ones you used while bow hunting. You know the ones I am talking about…your grunt call, release, range finder…the things that the manufactures “claim” will make our hunt more successful. If I do not put those in a safe place (one that I will be able to remember) right after the season, it will slip my mind and I will go mad looking in every nook and cranny of my house for these items. Then I will end up buying them all over again. Sound familiar? February is a great month to do a little house cleaning on your hunting gear. A little care will go a long way and you will be happy you did when opening day next year comes around. Now, about those shots you missed…

E-mail Lou Marullo at lmarullo@fishgame.com

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What to Do with February ’VE SAID IT BEFORE AND I’LL SAY IT AGAIN, February is my least favorite month of the year. It has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day either. It’s because this is the slowest time of the year for outdoorsmen. Sure you can still hunt hogs and exotics but by in large all hunting seasons are closed. Bass aren’t moving shallow to spawn yet and it’s cold. That’s right, call me “Nancy,” but I don’t like fishing when it’s cold. So what is there to do this time of year? Well, just because I’m not hunting or fishing that doesn’t mean I can’t prepare to hunt or fish. As a matter of fact this is probably the best time to get all your fishing gear ready so let’s go over some of the little things you can do right now to help you catch more fish later. The most important piece of gear you have is your fishing line but it is often the one we ignore the most. Think about it this way, the only thing connecting you to your lure and the fish that decides to eat it is a thin piece monofilament (or braid or fluorocarbon). When the big one hits do you really want to wonder if you’re line is going to hold? So, when is the last time you changed out the line on your reels? If you are anything like me the answer is way too long ago, so take the time right now to go respool every reel you own. Monofilament stretches, gets damaged from use (wrapped around limbs, cast around boat docks, etc…), and also

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deteriorates due to exposure to UV rays (sunlight) so it starts losing strength the minute you put it on. The longer it stays on, the weaker it gets. I’m partial to the Trilene Big Game series of lines. I use everything from the 10 pound line on my spinning reel to the 40 pound on my surf fishing rig, but the key here is to find something you have confidence in and use it. Now, if you put new line on your reels but your rod eyes are damaged you just wasted your time. Rod eyes have come a long way in the past few years and are harder to break than ever before but they can still be damaged. How many times have you stepped on the rods sitting on your

front deck while fighting a bass? Or how many times have the rods ridden in the back of your truck bouncing down back roads to a secret fishing spot? The point is, rod eyes can break which can leave sharp edges that will damage the new line you just put on. To check for damaged eyes take a cotton swab and run it around the entire inside of the eye. Any sharp edges inside the eye will catch little pieces of cotton, showing that they need to be replaced. Normally, the rod eye on the tip suffers the most damage, and thankfully this is the easiest to replace. I keep a lighter, a few extra rod tips, and some glue in my tackle bag so I can make emergency repairs as needed. While we’re talking about tackle bags (or boxes), mine used to be a cluttered mess of mismatched tackle. It would take me ten T E X A S

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minutes to find the specific lure I was looking for. I knew it was in there, somewhere, I just didn’t know where. A few years back I started organizing everything by use, putting topwaters in one box, jigs in another, etc… Each box is labeled for what is in it, with the label facing up. Now when I reach for a box I know exactly what I’m getting. Plus, I labeled each individual slot so that I know exactly what size of bait is in it. I have a friend who invested in a label maker to label all his gear. I don’t go quite that far but I do cut the labels for the lures off the packaging they came in and tape it to the box directly over the slot I put them in. When I’m done with a lure it goes back in the same slot so I always know where it is. If I need a ¾ ounce lipless crankbait it takes me about 20 seconds to locate it where in the past it might have taken the better part of an afternoon. All this preparation might be a little bit of overkill but some preventa-

tive maintenance now can prevent lost fish later. Besides, It’s February, what else do you have to do?

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E-mail Paul Bradshaw at freshrigs@fishgame.com

ILLUSTRATION BY PAUL BRADSHAW

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really gets me upset is gear requirements. For years it has amazed me that the USCG requirements call for PFDs, sound and visual signals, and fire extinguishers, but not for a first aid kit. Isn’t this just as basic and necessary an item to have onboard? I say yes,

First Aid Afloat ET ME START OFF BY SAYING THAT I APPREciate what the United States Coast Guard does immensely; the men and women in the USCG risk life and limb to keep our waterways safe, develop laws and programs that are imperative, and enforce laws that would otherwise be unenforceable. They’ve saved my butt once, and covered it twice during onboard medical emergencies. I (sniff) love you guys! So don’t get me wrong if what I’m about to say sounds like I’m bashing on them. But sometimes, the organization moves at an absolutely glacial pace. Sometimes, it does things that make no sense at all, and then fails to fix them. Their resistance to inflatable PFDs is one example, but the one that

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and I’m sure each and every coastie working in the field would agree. So, why hasn’t the Guard changed the regs? Because it would take around 343,968 man-hours worth of paperwork? Because they’d have to get

Democrats and Republicans to shake on it? This is such a no-brainer that there really is no excuse. What the heck—it’s almost as if the Guard were a government organization, or a branch of the military, or a... oh yeah, wait a sec. What the heck – since the USCG won’t be able to deal with this issue until the glaciers melt and hell freezes over, I figured we’d deal with it right here, right now. Consider it a rule, whether it’s written or not: you should never, ever leave the dock without a first aid kit. Here are the five new regulations about the kit which I’m expecting the Coast Guard to publish, by the year 2112.

Non-USCG CFR #XYZ123/WTH-1 ALL boats must have first aid kits contained in watertight, floating containers. Those band-aids and gauze pads won’t do anyone any good if they’re soaked in saltwater, or moldy from moisture. And few store-bought first-aid kits are in watertight cases, unless you buy those specifically intended for on-the-water use. So inspect yours to be sure it is. If it isn’t, stow the entire kit inside one of those orange ammostyle boxes, which locks down tight on a gasket. In fact, even if your kit is watertight consider getting one of these boxes. They give you a safe, consolidated, waterproof place to put all of your extra emergency gear. You know, the other stuff that really should be aboard, even if the USCG doesn’t require it: a back-up GPS and handheld VHF; a sealed bottle of drinking water, a knife, a compass, and a signal mirror.

Non-USCG CFR #XYZ123/WTH-2 ALL first aid kits intended to fulfill Non-USCG CFR #XYZ123/WTH-1 regulations must include the following firstaid basics: a large roll of gauze; a roll of cloth tape; an assortment of band-aids 86 |

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including butterfly-styles; disinfectant; a pair of scissors; a basic pain reliever such as aspirin or acetaminophen; an Ace bandage; a large (at least 8” x 10”) trauma pad; alcohol pads; a pair of latex gloves; tweezers; and burn relief gel.

Non-USCG CFR #XYZ123/WTH-3 A basic first-aid instruction card must be packed with the kit, and all people who captain their own boats should take a standard first aid/CPR course. We hope you never need to know this stuff, but can anyone think of a good reason not to take the course? It could save a life at sea or at home. If you’ve already taken a course, why bother packing in that instruction card? First off, because it’s easy to forget details, especially in an emergency, and having a back-up to your brain is a good thing. It’s also important because you could be the one to become injured. If you’re unconscious and bleeding, it’s a fair bet you won’t be able to say “elevate the wound and apply direct pressure.” But just about anyone aboard your boat will be able to read those words off of a card. Note: for this same reason, you should always tell people the basic emergency rules when they first step aboard your boat. Show them where the first aid kit and emergency gear is, point out the fire extinguishers, and show them how to get to and wear the life jackets. And just in case you do need a helping hand from the USCG, also explain to your passengers how they can broadcast on channel 16, on the VHF.

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hook slides right back out of the skin and meat. That sounds painful? Trust me, it’s a lot less painful than grabbing the hook and pulling for all you’re worth, before you give up and head for the emergency room— where they will push the end of the hook through, and cut off the point and barb with a pair of bolt cutters. Note: don’t depend on a standard fishing pliers/cutter to do this job. They aren’t strong or sharp enough,

and as you squeeze them tight they’ll cause the hook to wiggle around. Ouch.

Non-USCG CFR #XYZ123/WTH-5 Also in addition to the standard first aid kit, all captains shall add an CONTINUED emergency SEE PAGE 88 

Non-USCG CFR #XYZ123/WTH-4 In addition to the standard first aid kit items, all captains shall add a small pair of high-quality bolt-cutters onboard. These things are a real asset when one of the most common but painful of fishing injuries occurs: someone gets stuck with a hook. You never want to try and pull a hook out backwards; that’s what barbs are designed to prevent, and they do a magnificent job of it, especially when they’re planted firmly in human gristle. Instead, you’ll want to push the hook point all the way through the skin, and use the bolt cutters to cut the barb and point off. Once you do so, the rest of the C O A S T A L

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beefier engine would be needed to get the rig up to highway speeds. The Texas Sidecar Company helped craft the basic chassis and the design went through multiple iterations. Herman expressed his personal thanks to Jeff Skipsky, the head mechanic at Mancuso Harley Davidson, for all of his help making sure the final design was roadworthy and safe at 55 MPH. Herman chose an eleven-foot Trident hull from Ocean Kayak for the Yak Hack. The hull extends about three-feet in front and in back of the side car. The eleven-foot hull is shorter than the hulls he normally fishes from but hull length was sacrificed for road safety. He specifically chose the Trident hull because of the protected storage area, called a Rod Pod, inside the hull. The Rod Pod’s large hatch allows bay rods to be stowed inside – even fly rods. With the hatch secured, his rods are safe from flying road debris. Herman cuts up foam pool noodles and puts them in the interior of the kayak for his rods to lie on. The foam acts as a vibration dampener, eliminating “reel rash” during transit. “I am a minimalist when it comes to fishing,” Herman explained. “I take very little tackle with me on fishing trips. Several rods and a small box of lures is generally all I need for the day. I stow all of that gear inside the kayak.” Herman also stows his backrest, PFD, paddle, and other kayak accessories inside hatches as well. “If I am on the bike and am not on the

Texas ‘Yak Hack’ Tour ADDLING FRIEND AND FELLOW OUTDOOR scribe Jeff Herman has two serious hobbies: restoring vintage Italian scooters and kayak fishing. Herman, known to many by the nom de plume Birds nest, came up with the idea to combine his two passions, creating a scooter with a special sidecar to haul his kayak and then tour the Texas coast on three wheels. Side cars on scooters aren’t a new idea but one specifically designed to haul a kayak may the first of its kind. Side cars in the motorcycle trade are known as hacks and Herman’s new ride quickly became known as the Yak Hack. Herman has been riding scooters for more than 20 years, dating back to his days as a student at Texas A&M. “I was on an extremely limited budget,” he explained. “I was a poor student and had to make the ends meet. Riding a scooter was better than walking.” His love affair with scooters blossomed over the years and Herman now collects and restores old PTWs (power two wheelers). He is particularly fond of old Italian-made bikes as they can hit 70 MPH. For this project though, Herman chose a Vespa 200d, which has a 250 cc engine, figuring the

P

freeway, I will leave the rods in the rod holders sticking straight up,” he added. “If I am only doing 35 MPH and going from one location to another, I don’t worry about stowing everything inside the hull.” Herman has taken several trips in the Yak Hack from his home in Houston to Galveston and Matagorda to insure the final design has all the bugs worked out. “I had bad mechanical problems for about a year but we finally ironed those out and now the Yak Hack performs really well on the road,” he said. Herman had originally planned to make a complete coastal tour, fishing border-toborder on three wheels in just five days but it appears that time demands at work will force him to break his Mexico-to Louisiana fishing trek into smaller, more manageable pieces. Plus, while he may be able to load all of his fishing gear into his kayak for a trip to the coast, there isn’t any extra room for clothes, bedrolls, food, or any extra items he may need besides fishing gear. Herman calculated that his gas mileage is 50 miles to the gallon in the Yak Hack and that it will cost him about $20.00 to fish the entire Texas coast. While Herman’s tour of the Texas coast on three wheels won’t qualify as walkabout angling, it is creative – and frugal. In conclusion, Herman said: “”I have come up with worse ideas but none were as entertaining.” Contact Greg Berlocher at kayak@fishgame.com

TEXAS BOATING CONTINUED

 FROM PAGE 87

“space” blanket to their orange watertight emer-

gency box. Yeah, these blankets look silly and they crackle like those super-loud Sunchips bags whenever you move them, but they actually work. And since hypothermia is 88 |

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the number-one killer of outdoor recreationalists, you should always be prepared to combat it. An emergency blanket gives you that ability, after someone falls into the water or gets stuck out overnight with insufficient clothing. Right next to the blanket, pack in a couple of those instant hand-warmers. You

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don’t want to depend on these for emergency warmth since they grow unreliable with age, but it surely can’t hurt to have a few packs on-hand.

E-mail Lenny Rudow at boating@fishgame.com C O A S T A L

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PHOTO: TERRY BAIN, DREAMSTIME

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Brazos River Barbecued Salmon HAVE BEEN PREPARING GREAT BARBECUE for many years and have always created my own homemade sauces for different cuts of meat or seafood. Grilled salmon has been a favorite dish of mine for years and I always try to prepare a marinade that will stand up to the rich flavor of this awesome fish. Our new Brazos River Barbecue Sauce contains the elements that pare well with salmon but will also caramelize nicely to be a great compliment to quail, ribs, shrimp and many other favorites. I hope you enjoy this dish with friends or family and share it with others that love the great taste of salmon fresh off the grill.

I

Serves 4 to 6 1- 2 to 3 lb. filet of salmon- I prefer the tail section, it contains no pin bones or rib cage bones. Leave the skin on when grilling to keep the filet intact and the skin and scales will act as a barrier to hold in moisture on the hot grill. If you prefer salmon steaks, then allow 4 to 6 eight oz. steaks Heat grill to med. high heat if using gas, if using charcoal, heat to approx. 400 degrees Season the grill with cooking oil to prevent fish from sticking (be sure the grates C O A S T A L

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have been cleaned well before grilling, nobody wants salmon that taste like hamburger or whatever else was last cooked on the grill) 1 lemon – cut into quarters for squeezing over the fish filets

Preparation

When filets are mostly opaque, remove from the grill and place on a preheated platter. Cover loosely with a piece of foil to rest the fish for 4 to 6 minutes (this will force escaping steam back into the fish and will redistribute the juices allowing the meat to be easily removed from the skin with a spatula) Serve with Yellow Squash Casserole and fresh steamed spinach. Bon Appetit!

Place ½ jar of the Texas Gourmet’s Brazos River Barbecue Sauce into a bowl then brush onto the filets skin side down Place the filets on the grill indirectly, brush with the barbecue sauce then cover the grill to hold in heat and allow the filets to cook evenly, be sure and baste again after 7 to 8 minutes T E X A S

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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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PHOTO: COURTESY OCEAN KAYAK

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Trends in Kayaking BY GREG BERLOCHER HE “PLASTIC NAVY” CONTINUES TO GROW across the country as people discover the enjoyment and simplicity of paddling. Unlike mountainous regions, Texas has a very limited number of legitimate whitewater opportunities, so the real growth in the kayak market in our state is angler-driven. A number of new hulls and accessories released this year improve angling performance and functionality.

T

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Purchasing a kayak has traditionally been an a la carte affair, but a number of manufacturers now offer kayak bundles complete with hull, paddle, PFD, and backrest. A few even throw in hats and water bottles. The idea is to simplify your buying decision. In some cases, buffet pricing offers a good value; in others, I suggest ordering off the menu. While paddles and backrests T E X A S

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make the deals attractive, in some cases bundled accessories are marginal quality and not worth the premium bundle price. Always ask if you can upgrade to a better backrest or paddle. If you can’t and the paddle or backrest is clearly substandard, you are probably better off ordering components a-la carte. Another trend is the development of kayak-style accessories normally associated C O A S T A L

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with power boating. The use of electronics by kayak anglers is certainly not new, but manufactures are now introducing models specifically designed for kayak duty. Ice chests designed to fit in the tank well of a kayak are another new development. Recognizing the growth potential in the kayak market, Humminbird has introduced a depth-finder specifically designed for kayak anglers. Instead of relying on special transducer brackets that hang over the side of the kayak, Humminbird designed a special transducer that fits neatly into a scupper hole. Necky Kayaks is a performance-oriented kayak manufacturer well known for excellent touring boats. The company’s new Vector 13 is its first new sit-

that includes the Slide Trax Accessory Systems for mounting electronics and an anchor trolley system. The Hobie Cat Pro Angler kayak carries on the designed-for-fishing trend in several unique ways. The fishing-specific hull form offers great stability, and Kayak-designed its deck design is packed depthfinder with the essentials: an Humminbird easy-to-reach cutting board for bait preparation (or onthe-spot filleting, if so inclined), adjustable Cool Ride Seat, space for 13 Plano tackle boxes, six-rod stowage area, bow and stern stowage lockers, and an impressive 600-pound payload capacity. The Excursion

Asymmetrical paddle blades crafted from glass-reinforced polypropylene are matched to a wrapped fiberglass shaft. Carlisle’s Pad-Lok system allows the blades of the two-piece paddle to be offset at 60 degrees or set inline. Malone Trailer’s Downeaster trailer is a winner on several counts. In addition to getting the award for the worst product name sold in Texas, Malone’s MicroSport XT trailer is the by far the most well thought out kayak trailer I have seen. A rack system ele-

kayak paddle

Carlisle

Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) in an interesting niche in the kayak induson-top kayak released in eight years. The try that has shown steady growth over the sleek new hull doesn’t have a lot of storage last few years. The hull is cross between a capacity and wasn’t specifically designed as sit-on-top kayak and surfboard that you a fishing kayak, but it makes a great angling paddle while standing. I was particularly platform. interested in Ocean Kayaks’ new Nalu Canoe-meets-kayak is the best way to SUP as a fishing platform. Most SUPs are describe the Wilderness Systems Comman- water toys, but the craft has promise as a der series of hulls. Based on the success of fishing platform for those who enjoy standtheir 12-foot model, Wilderness Systems ing up while casting. Trusted paddling has added the Commander 140 to the line. friend Jeff “Birdsnest” Herman reports the The additional 2 feet of length 11-foot Nalu is stable enough to Micro-Sport XT provides a roomier sight-cast from. Herman pointed kayak trailer out that a sit-on-top would be a much better choice for someone Malone that needs to paddle several miles, but noted the Nalu SUP would be a good option if you knew fish are

ride, more leg and foot room, and lots of storage. Duck hunters will love this boat, as the 475-pound carrying capacity allows you to load down the hull with bulging bags of decoys and hunting gear. When hunting season is over, your hull can be used on lakes and bays. The Commander 140 can be ordered with an optional angler package C O A S T A L

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just a short distance away. The Nalu has a seat making it easier to paddle in high winds or in case you get tired of standing. The Carlisle Excursion paddle offers a nice blend of performance and affordability. T E X A S

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vates twin cradles off of the trailer frame, placing the hulls at waist level. Snapping backrests in place, stowing gear in hatches, and securing a milk crate full of gear in the tank well is much easier done while standing up. There is an optional synthetic gear box mounted to the frame for PFDs and other gear. Ocean Kayak hit upon a winning idea when they introduced the Ice Box Storage Pod, a removable ice chest designed to fit into the tank well of their Trident Ultra 4.7 hull. While the ice chest rides too far back in the hull to grab a cold soft drink or bottle of water while paddling, having a low profile ices chest available is a great idea. A group of paddlers heading beyond the breakers could have a designated “refreshment boat. I hope Ocean Kayak expands on this theme with ice chest options for more models. Yak-Gear, the world’s leading supplier of kayak accessories, has introduced several new kits to make it easier to customize your hull. Five- and 10-piece pad eye kits are now available at most kayak shops and outdoor retailers and have everything you need to add additional eyes to your hull. Cloth handles tend to wear out quickly from the repeated strain of lifting fully loaded kayaks, and Yak-Gear’s new handle kit has everything you need to repair a worn out handle or add a pair to a hull lacking handles. Their scupper plug kit allows you to make up to eight plugs.

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Chris Carey Huge Striper Striper Express Guide Service

TEXAS SALTWATER

TEXAS SALTWATER

ROCKPORT

GALVESTON

MIDDLE COAST

FOR ADVERTISING RATES AND INFORMATION CALL 281.869.5519 Debra Redfish Rockport Red Runner

UPPER COAST (SABINE LAKE)

BAFFIN BAY

TEXAS FRESHWATER LAKE AMISTAD CORPUS CHRISTI

Aeric Oliver - Reds Redfish Charters

ADVERTISERS, SEND IN YOUR PHOTOS TODAY! 92 |

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Team Real Crazies Redfish Rockport Red Runner

TEXAS FRESHWATER

Jimmy Britt Striper Striper Express Guide Service

TEXAS HUNTING

TEXAS HUNTING

LAKE TEXOMA

Mitch Skarban Deer White Oak Outfitters

EAST TEXAS

ADVERTISERS, SEND IN YOUR PHOTOS TODAY!

SPOTLIGHT: STRIPER EXPRESS “Welcome To Striper Express!” is the greeting you’ll receive the minute you board one of the Striper Express boats. For owners and pro-guides Bill and Chris Carey, friendliness and professionalism are not just words; they are a way of life. For the past 28 years, Striper Express Guide Service has been offering first class fishing for striped bass on Lake Texoma. “We Sell Fun!“ states the father and son team. Our slogan is, “Every Trip is an Adventure!” They specialize in group outings,meetings and events. Striper Express offers companies large and small a way to recharge and refocus with employees and key clients. Whether a daycation or a conference, you can count on a unique outdoor adventure that your group can drive to and be excited to attend. Lake Texoma boasts twice the state limit for striped bass at 10 fish per person. The lake is located on the Texas-Oklahoma border just 75 miles north of Dallas. This 90,000 acre impoundment is a fisherman’s dream come true. We asked Bill and Chris what are their most memorable moments and without hesitation they both stated, “It’s the Kids! They are our future fishermen!” If you would like to book a guided fishing trip on Lake Texoma, call Bill or Chris Carey at Striper Express Guide Service. You can get in on the “striper success”, too. The toll free number is: 877-786-4477 or visit their website at www.striperexpress.com.

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Duck Panhandle

Redfish Whitetail Buck

Galveston Bay

Laredo

ot iendswood sh . age 10, of Fr Brody Beken, Rancho Nueveo in Laredo at 145 lbs. d his first buck se es dr ld ck fie The 8-point bu

Halle Brumfie ld, her 22-inch re age 5, caught and lande d df parents in Ga ish while fishing with he r lveston Bay.

Whitetail Spike

r first mallard e dl e 11, holds he Emily Cox, ag the mallard in the Panhan ot drake. She sh and duck hunt. e during a goos

Feral Hog

Stringellow WMA Hondo

Mixed Stringer Port Mansfield

Benjamin Ko sler, age 10, of Richmond, his first deer shot on a youth hu nt at Stringfel WMA. The sp lo ike weighed 96 pounds. Be w jamin shot it nwith a Remin gton .223.

feral lled his first ile Cade Love ki Four-year-old y Arms Mini-Bolt .22 lr, wh nr hog with a He o with his father, Dustin nd hunting in Ho Love.

Cecil Woods , Ha caught a mixe rry King, and Carl Ostuki d stringer ne ar in a small Sc ooter. All thre Port Mansfield, e men are ov and believe th er at fishing ke eps you youn 70, g.

Whitetail Buck Montague County

Speckled Trout

Whitetail Deer

Port Mansfield

McColloch County

t buck ot this 9-poin an, age 12, sh , while le rif 0 .3 0Daniel Dugg .3 a County with It was in Montague ard Duggan. his Dad, Rich . ok hunting with to than his Dad a bigger buck

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Hayden Harri s, age 9, shot his first deer the VanZant on ranc He used a Ru h in McCulloch County. ger M77 250 Savage to ha vest his doe rfrom 50 yard s.

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ht arland, caug e, age 5 of Pe re, Hope Valentin d trout on an artificial lu kle d Dad later an m her first spec Mo d ou field. Pr at Port Mans fishing gear. more mature got her some

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Whitetail Buck Zepher

iah at his side, Isa (Lillie Taylor) ot this 13sh le, With NaNaw vil ue from Bosq Dougherty, 7, mily lease in buck at his fa very proud. inch, 9-point tt Taylor was Ma w Pa w Zepher. Pa

Page 95

Redfish

Flounder

Rockport

Sargent

Jacob Finnen , 5, of Pearla nd caught hi first redfish s from pier in Rockpo the Laguna Reef Hotel rt. He was fis hing with his Papaw, Jack Hutson, of Ba ytown.

g po, was visitin 11, of El Cam she en wh t Jaid Hooey, en rg amps at Sa st Grama and Gr ch flounder. It was her fir -in landed this 18 caught it with a mullet. she flatfish, and

Redfish McFadden Beach

Whitetail Spike Red River County

Whitetail Buck Junction

John Gagne, ag season, bagg e 9 during the 2009 yout h ed his first de er, a spike, wi Howa .243. th

a

r hurst, killer he n, 8, from Pine Jordyn Calhou int buck, on the O’Neal po at 23 Rossi rifle first deer, a 6tion, with a .2 Ranch in Junc 60 yards.

Joshua Taun ton, age 6, of Beaumont, ca this 32-inch redf ught and friends at ish while fishing with fam ily McFadden Be was released ach. The fish .

Whitetail Spike

Flounder

Junction

South Padre

Catfish Lake Conroe

nd is uth Padre Isla ison, 9, of So He . er gl Landon Hard an er and saltwat rnaan avid fresh Second in the Texas Inte ed recently plac t. g Tournamen tional Fishin

Four-year-old Keegan Sadd ler, with his first major La ke first catch wa Conroe catfish catch. Hi s s a baby cat from a neighbor’s pond, bu t this was th e “reel” deal .

ot Lumberton, sh am, age 9, of his Matthew Dunh a hunt in Junction, with iton his first buck rifle. The photo was subm h nd. new .243 yout Jerry Stewart, of Nederla a ted by grandp

Whitetail Buck Crystal City

Rainbow Trout

Redfish

Arkansas

South Padre

Weston Woe hr, 7, of San Antonio shot 10-point cull this buck hunting with his uncl Joey Blackm e on near Crys tal City. He m a 100-yard he ade art shot with a .222 Remin gton. C O A S T A L

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s her Austin show r, age 13, of Kaiya Pelletie ught in White River, ca drainbow trout boat fishing with her gran ile Arkansas wh dad.

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Cameron Trev in caught this 28 o, age 11, from Falfurias -inch redfish wh Capt. Johnny Watts at Sout ile fishing with h Padre Island .

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Trends in Kayaking BY GREG BERLOCHER

PHOTO: COURTESY OCEAN KAYAK

THE “PLASTIC NAVY” CONTINUES to grow across the country as people discover the enjoyment and simplicity of paddling. Unlike mountainous regions, Texas has a very limited number of legitimate whitewater opportunities, so the real growth in the kayak market in our state is angler-driven. A number of new hulls and accessories released this year improve angling performance and functionality. Purchasing a kayak has traditionally been an a la carte affair, but a number of manufacturers now offer kayak bundles complete with hull, paddle, PFD, and backrest. A few even throw in hats and water bottles. The idea is to simplify your buying decision. In some cases, buffet pricing offers a good value; in others, I suggest ordering off the menu. While paddles and backrests make the deals attractive, in some cases bundled accessories are marginal quality and not worth the premium bundle price. I N L A N D

A L M A N A C

T E X A S

Always ask if you can upgrade to a better backrest or paddle. If you can’t and the paddle or backrest is clearly substandard, you are probably better off ordering components a-la carte. Another trend is the development of kayak-style accessories normally associated with power boating. The use of electronics by kayak anglers is certainly not new, but manufactures are now introducing models specifically designed for kayak duty. Ice chests designed to fit in the tank well of a kayak are another new development.

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In This Issue HOW-TO SECTION TEXAS GUNS & GEAR • My Buffalo Rfle | BY STEVE LAMASCUS

78

BOWHUNTING TECH • Stand Down | BY LOU MARULLO

79

PAUL’S TIPS • What to Do with February | BY PAUL BRADSHAW

80

TEXAS BOATING | BY LENNY RUDOW

82

TEXAS KAYAKING • The Yak Hack Tour | BY GREG BERLOCHER

83

TEXAS TASTED • Barbecue Salmon | BY BRYAN SLAVEN

84

OUTDOOR CLASSIFIED DIRECTORY • Guides, Gear and More | BY TF&G STAFF

86

TF&G PHOTOS • Your Action Photos | BY TF&G READERS

• First Aid Afloat

COVER STORY • Trends in Kayaking | BY GREG BERLOCHER

FISHING FORECAST SECTION

52

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

64

SPORTSMAN’S DAYBOOK • Tides & Prime Times | BY TF&G STAFF

GEARING UP SECTION

72

NEW PRODUCTS • Hot New Outdoor Gear | BY TF&G STAFF

74

TEXAS TESTED • StarTron; Magellan | BY TF&G STAFF

75

INDUSTRY INSIDER • Cabela’s; Lund Boats | BY TF&G STAFF

Recognizing the growth potential in the kayak market, Humminbird has introduced a depth-finder specifically designed for kayak anglers. Instead of relying on special transducer brackets that hang over the side of the kayak, Humminbird designed a special transducer that fits neatly into a scupper hole. Necky Kayaks is a performance-oriented kayak manufacturer well known for excellent touring boats. The company’s new Vector 13 is its first new sit-on-top kayak released in eight years. The sleek new hull doesn’t have a lot of storage capacity and wasn’t specifically designed as a fishing kayak, but it makes a great angling platform. Canoe-meets-kayak is the best way to describe the Wilderness Systems Commander series of hulls. Based

the hull with bulging bags of decoys and hunting gear. When hunting season is over, your hull can be used on lakes and bays. The Commander 140 can be ordered with an optional angler package that includes the Slide Kayak-designed Trax Accessory Sys- depthfinder tems for mounting electronics and an Humminbird anchor trolley system. The Hobie Cat Pro Angler kayak carries on the designed-for-fishing trend in several unique ways. The fishing-specific hull form offers great stability, and its deck design is packed with the essentials: an easyto-reach cutting board for bait preparaThe Excursion tion (or on-the-spot filleting, if so kayak paddle

www.FishGame.com years. The hull is cross between a sit-on-top kayak and surfboard that you paddle while standing. I was particularly interested in Ocean Kayaks’ new Nalu SUP as a fishing platform. Most SUPs are water toys, but the craft has promise as a fishing platform for those who enjoy standing up while casting. Trusted paddling friend Jeff “Birdsnest” Herman reports the 11-foot Nalu is stable enough to sight-cast from. Herman pointed out that a sit-on-top would be a much better choice for someone that needs to paddle several miles, but noted the Nalu SUP would be a good option if you knew fish are just a short distance

Carlisle on the success of their 12-foot model, Wilderness Systems has added the Commander 140 to the line. The additional 2 feet of length provides a roomier ride, more leg and foot room, and lots of storage. Duck hunters will love this boat, as the 475-pound carrying capacity allows you to load down 50 |

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2 0 1 1

inclined), adjustable Cool Ride Seat, space for 13 Plano tackle boxes, six-rod stowage area, bow and stern stowage lockers, and an impressive 600-pound payload capacity. Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) in an interesting niche in the kayak industry that has shown steady growth over the last few T E X A S

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G A M E ®

away. The Nalu has a seat making it easier to paddle in high winds or in case you get tired of standing. The Carlisle Excursion paddle offers a nice blend of performance and affordability. Asymmetrical padCONTINUED dle blades crafted from glass-reinSEE PAGE 52  I N L A N D

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LOWER GULF COAST and fish slowly.

Beat the Drum if Reds Won’t Play

LOCATION: Port Mansfield HOTSPOT: North Jetty GPS: N26 33.8931, W97 16.4985 (26.564885, -97.274975) SPECIES: black drum BEST BAITS: large shrimp, crab chunks CONTACT: Captain Richard Bailey, 956369-5090 TIPS: If the redfish don’t cooperate, try using shrimp and crab to find some of the bigger drum that are cruising the deeper holes around the jetties. The same fishfinder rigs will work for big uglies, too.

by CALIXTO GONZALES cgonzales@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Kenedy Point GPS: N27 16.33698, W97 27.44202 (27.272283, -97.457367) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Corkies, large soft plastics in dark patterns, chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361449-7441 TIPS: the large trout seem to have held up better than expected off of last year’s freeze. Fish the mud around Kenedy with Original Corkies, Mirrolure Catch 5ís, or eel-type soft plastics. Use small jigheads

LOCATION: Port Mansfield HOTSPOT: North Jetty GPS: N26 33.8931, W97 16.4985 (26.564885, -97.274975) SPECIES: redfish

BEST BAITS: Cut bait, swimbaits CONTACT: Captain Richard Bailey, 956369-5090 TIPS: Choose your days carefully. On a nice day, motor around the point and fish the color change just north of it. Use a fishfinder rig with chunks of cut mullet or croaker. Use circle hooks and place your rod in a rod holder. LOCATION: South Padre Island HOTSPOT: Marker 29 GPS: N26 5.13702, W97 9.993 (26.085617, -97.166550) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: live shrimp/popping cork, cut bait, crab chunks CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez, 956-551-9581 TIPS: The bayfront flats are premium redfish grounds in winter. They cruise the deeper flats. Cut mullet, crab chunks, or other baits that give off a scent trail are ideal. Use a standard bottom rig with one

forced polypropylene are matched  FROM PAGE 50 to a wrapped fiberglass shaft. Carlisle’s Pad-Lok system allows the blades of the two-piece paddle to be offset at 60 degrees or set inline. Malone Trailer’s Downeaster trailer is a winner on several counts. In addition to getting the award for the worst product name sold in Texas, Malone’s MicroSport CONTINUED

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XT trailer is the by far the most well thought out kayak trailer I have seen. A rack system elevates twin cradles off of the trailer frame, placing the hulls at waist level. Snapping backrests in place, stowing gear in hatches, and securing a milk crate full of gear in the tank well is much easier done while standing up. There is an optional synthetic gear box mounted to the frame for PFDs and other gear. Ocean Kayak hit upon a winning Micro-Sport XT idea when they introduced the Ice kayak trailer Box Storage Pod, a removable ice chest designed to fit into the tank well Malone of their Trident Ultra 4.7 hull. While the ice chest rides too far back in the hull to grab a cold soft drink or bottle of water while paddling, having a low profile ices chest available is a great idea. A group of pad2 0 1 1

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dlers heading beyond the breakers could have a designated “refreshment boat. I hope Ocean Kayak expands on this theme with ice chest options for more models. Yak-Gear, the world’s leading supplier of kayak accessories, has introduced several new kits to make it easier to customize your hull. Five- and 10-piece pad eye kits are now available at most kayak shops and outdoor retailers and have everything you need to add additional eyes to your hull. Cloth handles tend to wear out quickly from the repeated strain of lifting fully loaded kayaks, and Yak-Gear’s new handle kit has everything you need to repair a worn out handle or add a pair to a hull lacking handles. Their scupper plug kit allows you to make up to eight plugs.

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dropper. LOCATION: South Padre Island HOTSPOT: Marker 29 GPS: N26 5.13702, W97 9.993 (26.085617, -97.166550) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live shrimp/popping cork, soft plastics in dark patterns, topwaters early CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez, 956-551-9581 TIPS: You don’t need to run far to find good trout fishing, even in winter. Make long drifts over the grass flats with either live shrimp or medium-sized topwaters and soft plastics. Fish your lures slowly and feel for the light taps. LOCATION: South Padre Island HOTSPOT: Queen Isabella Causeway GPS: N26 2.961, W97 11.92098 (26.049350, -97.198683) SPECIES: sheepshead BEST BAITS: live shrimp, dead shrimp CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez, 956-551-9581 TIPS: Sheepshead start gravitating to the pilings in deeper water of the old causeway. Use a split shot rig with a 25=30-pound leader. Braided line is helpful with its no stretch and abrasion resistant qualities. LOCATION: South Padre Island HOTSPOT: South Bay Channels GPS: N26 2.961, W97 9.993 (26.049350, -97.166550) SPECIES: black drum BEST BAITS: live shrimp, dead shrimp CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: Nice eating-sized black drum cruise in the channels of South Bay during the winter, and they’ll hit on live or fresh shrimp. Use a 1/4-ounce split shot sinker, or even 1/2 ounce egg sinkers if the current is strong. Anchor and fish near bends. LOCATION: South Padre Island HOTSPOT: Dunkin Channel GPS: N26 20.17002, W97 19.22802 (26.336167, -97.320467) SPECIES: flounder 54 |

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BEST BAITS: live shrimp, finger mullet; Soft plastics in dark patterns CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: Flounder hold in the deep water during an outgoing tide. Crawl a live shrimp or finger mullet, or hop a 1/4-ounce jig along the bottom. There are some big flounder caught here every year. LOCATION: South Padre Island HOTSPOT: Gaswell Flats GPS: N26 13.81098, W97 15.42198 (26.230183, -97.257033) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: live shrimp, cut bait, gold spoons, tandem rigs in black/glow, glow/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: Watch for redfish roaming the flats on sunny, mild days. Swim a gold spoon or a tandem jerkbait across the shallows. If the water is off-colored, then use live or cut bait. Most redfish are well within the slot.

MIDDLE GULF COAST

Get Wet for Big Feb Specks by TOM BEHRENS tbehrens@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Corpus Christi Bay HOTSPOT: Packery Channel GPS: N27 37.4856, W97 12.8826 (27.624760, -97.214710) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: She Dog mullet imitation lures CONTACT: Capt. Jon Fails, 361-9490133 TIPS: February is a good month to try for big speckled trout; plan on wading for the big fish. LOCATION: Corpus Christi Bay HOTSPOT: Shamrock Cove GPS: N27 46.01802, W97 9.23898 (27.766967, -97.153983) T E X A S

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SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: She Dog mullet imitation lures CONTACT: Capt. Jon Fails, 361-9490133 TIPS: Clear water in February makes for some great sight casting for shallow redfish LOCATION: Espiritu Santo Bay HOTSPOT: Long Lake GPS: N28 16.81704, W96 36.21546 (28.280284, -96.603591) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Green and black Corky Fat Boys CONTACT: Capt. Chris Martin, 361785-2686 TIPS: Fish the windward shoreline for trophy trout LOCATION: Espiritu Santo Bay HOTSPOT: Shoal Water Bay GPS: N28 21.85026, W96 34.08204 (28.364171, -96.568034) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Bone colored topwaters; soft plastics from Texas Tackle Factory Flats Minnows in Roach Chartreuse CONTACT: Capt. Chris Martin, 361785-2686 TIPS: Wading or drifting is good at this time of the year LOCATION: Mesquite Bay HOTSPOT: Spaulding Bight GPS: N28 6.50082, W96 53.43258 (28.108347, -96.890543) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Glow colored Corky Fat Boys CONTACT: Capt. Chris Martin, 361785-2686 TIPS: Work the lure along the south shoreline using a slow fall for trophy trout LOCATION: Port Aransas HOTSPOT: Dagger Island GPS: N27 50.10156, W97 10.266 (27.835026, -97.171100) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Finger Mullet CONTACT: Capt. John Barbee, 361-2220477 I N L A N D

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TIPS: Free line finger mullet LOCATION: Redfish Bay HOTSPOT: East Shoreline South of Aransas Bridge GPS: N27 54.46806, W97 6.76602 (27.907801, -97.112767) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Finger mullet CONTACT: Capt. John Barbee, 361-2220477 TIPS: Slowly fish the shoreline LOCATION: Rockport HOTSPOT: Estes Flats GPS: N27 57.1182, W97 5.1492 (27.951970, -97.085820) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Finger mullet CONTACT: Capt. John Barbee, 361-2220477 TIPS: Free line finger mullet LOCATION: Rockport HOTSPOT: Estes Flats GPS: N27 57.1182, W97 5.1492 (27.951970, -97.085820) SPECIES: black drum BEST BAITS: Dead shrimp CONTACT: Capt. John Barbee, 361-2220477 TIPS: Anchor and fish the edges of holes

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Trout Killers in about 16 - 20 feet of water

UPPER GULF COAST

Trout Time on the Upper Coast by TOM BEHRENS tbehrens@fishgame.com

LOCATION: East Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Boiler Bayou GPS: N28 39.01602, W95 53.409 (28.650267, -95.890150) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: 1/4 - 3/8-ounce jigheads with soft plastic baits in chartreuse or pink CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281450-4037 TIPS: Make long drifts over scattered shell or mud flats

LOCATION: Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: Sylvan Beach GPS: N29 38.8638, W95 0.8292 (29.647730, -95.013820) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: 51 Series MirrOLures, Catch 2000, Corky Devils in Texas Chicken CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman, 409256-7937 TIPS: wade-fishing area LOCATION: Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: Sylvan Beach GPS: N29 38.8638, W95 0.8292 (29.647730, -95.013820) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: 51 Series MirrOLures, Catch 2000, Corky Devils in Texas Chicken CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman, 409256-7937 TIPS: Wade-fishing area LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Stewt's Island

LOCATION: Upper Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Night Hawk Bay GPS: N27 30.17598, W97 17.86902 (27.502933, -97.297817) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft plastic shrimp tails CONTACT: Capt. Jon Fails, 361-9490133 TIPS: Make long drifts in 3 単 4 feet of water LOCATION: San Antonio Bay HOTSPOT: Victoria Barge Canal GPS: N28 32.51658, W96 48.68232 (28.541943, -96.811372) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: 1/4 jigheads with Texas Tackle Factory Plum Chartreuse Trout Killers CONTACT: Capt. Chris Martin, 361785-2686 TIPS: Fish right on the bottom using Texas Tackle Factory, plum chartreuse, I N L A N D

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GPS: N29 57.89898, W93 50.89998 (29.964983, -93.848333) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Corkys, Corky Devils, Catch 2000 and Super Spooks CONTACT: Capt. Eddie Hernandez, 409-721-5467, or 409-673-3100 TIPS: wade-fish the area behind the island. Fish slow; many times the trout will attack topwater lures at this time of the year. LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Coffee Ground Cove GPS: N29 57.75702, W93 46.33098 (29.962617, -93.772183) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Corkys, Corky Devils and Catch 2000 CONTACT: Capt. Eddie Hernandez, 409-721-5467, 409-673-3100 TIPS: Trout are in 3 ft. of water; let the lure sink almost to the bottom and twitch it a couple of times. LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Bridge Bayou GPS: N29 54.14802, W93 46.272 (29.902467, -93.771200) SPECIES: redfish

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BEST BAITS: Saltwater Bass Assassins in Morning Glory or Glow with a chartreuse tail CONTACT: Capt. Edie Hernandez, 409721-5467, 409-673-3100 TIPS: Let the lure sink almost to the bottom and twitch it a couple of times LOCATION: West Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: Confederate Reef GPS: N29 16.19502, W94 56.97402 (29.269917, -94.949567) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft plastic baits using 1/16 ñ 1/8-ounce; jigheads CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman, 409256-7937 TIPS: Use soft plastic baits when the tide starts moving good; use lighter colored baits in clear water--chartreuse, Limetreuse, and Calcasieu Brew LOCATION: West Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: North Deer Island GPS: N29 17.11422, W94 55.49526 (29.285237, -94.924921) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft plastic baits using 1/16 ñ 1/8-ounce; jigheads CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman, 409-

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256-7937 TIPS: Use lighter colored soft plastic baits in clear water—chartreuse, Limetreuse, Calcasieu Brew LOCATION: West Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: Greens Cut GPS: N29 16.707, W94 59.60202 (29.278450, -94.993367) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: 51 Series MirrOLures, Catch 2000, Corky Devils in Texas Chicken CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman, 409256-7937 TIPS: Fish will be in 2-1/2-5 ft. of water. LOCATION: West Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Cotton Bayou GPS: N28 30.60198, W96 12.603 (28.510033, -96.210050) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: 1/8 or 1/4-ounce; gold Johnson Sprite spoons CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281450-4037 TIPS: Super low tides can produce great redfish action. LOCATION: West Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Colorado River GPS: N28 41.75802, W95 58.67598 (28.695967, -95.977933) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Little Fishie and Hoagy 3î Double tail shrimp with 3/8-ounce; jigheads

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CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281450-4037 TIPS: Use a soft plastic lure with lots of wiggle; drift with the current in the middle of the river, feeding the lure out behind the boat.

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TIPS: The crappie have moved into deep water at the mouths of Big and Little Caney Creeks. Fish the edges of drop-offs off SRA Point, humps at mouth of Dale, Long and Opossum Creeks. You also can catch catfish in 15-20 feet of water over baited holes.

PINEY WOODS

Crappie Action on Lake Fork 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: One-half-ounce jigs with trailers, one-half-ounce Rat-L-Traps CONTACT: Paul Keith, caddoguide1@att.net, 318-455-3437, caddolakefishing.com TIPS: Fish black-blue jigs around the cypress trees in three-five feet of water and fish red Rat-L-Traps over the grass at the same depths. Key in on the grass off the points of trees.

LOCATION: Lake Livingston HOTSPOT: White Rock Creek GPS: N30 58.45476, W95 20.30172 (30.974246, -95.338362) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Roadrunners, Bear Paws Ribbed Shad, Rat-L-Traps, Blue Fox Sassy Shad CONTACT: David S. Cox, dave@palmettoguideservice.com, 936291-9602, palmettoguideservice.com TIPS: The best time is following a warming trend after a 1-2-inch rain with water temps over 60 degrees. Go to the back of the creek to find clearing water. Fish the sand bars and points near deeper holes. Fish slowly downstream until you find the fish. LOCATION: Toledo Bend Res. HOTSPOT: Sabine River Sand Bars GPS: N31 21.63024, W93 39.33312 (31.360504, -93.655552) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Slab spoons, Roadrunners,

shallow-diving crankbaits CONTACT: Greg Crafts, gregcrafts@yahoo.com, 936-368-7151, toledobendguide.com TIPS: If the river level is high, work the sloughs and pockets with Rat-L-Traps, crankbaits or Roadrunners. If the level is low, work the sand bars with live crawfish or spoons. If there are strong currents, work the eddies down stream of the points.

PRAIRIES & LAKES

Crappie and Cats Take the Spotlight by BOB HOOD bhood@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Cedar Creek Res. HOTSPOT: Twin Creeks Boat Docks GPS: N32 17.5188, W96 7.57812 (32.291980, -96.126302) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Jigs with soft plastic trailers, spinnerbaits, Rat-L-Traps CONTACT: Jason Barber, kingscreekadventures@yahoo.com, 903-603-2047, www.kingcreekadventures.com TIPS: Focus on the docks and secondary

LOCATION: Caddo Lake HOTSPOT: Big Cypress Bayou GPS: N32 42.5907, W94 6.9642 (32.709845, -94.116070) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Rooster Tails, spoons, Roadrunners CONTACT: Paul Keith, caddoguide1@att.net, 318-455-3437, caddolakefishing.com TIPS: Fish these baits off the bottom in the areas around Johnsons Ranch Marina and Star Ditch in the Big Cypress channel for both white bass and yellow bass. LOCATION: Lake Fork HOTSPOT: Sra Point GPS: N32 50.81262, W95 35.57766 (32.846877, -95.592961) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Jigs, minnows CONTACT: Michael Rogge, microg@texascellnet.com, www.lakeforkguides.com I N L A N D

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points at the mouth of Twin Creeks. Caney, Clear, Cedar and Prairie creeks also are good for dock fishing. Pitch crawdad or black-blue jig-trailer combos or craw firetiger spinnerbaits or Rat-L-Traps under the docks. LOCATION: Fayette County Res. HOTSPOT: Boggy Creek Timber GPS: N29 56.5188, W96 43.9932 (29.941980, -96.733220) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Stinkbait, shad CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, weldoon_edna@hotmail.com, 979-229-3103, FishTales-GuideService.com TIPS: There is a large single tree here close to the north bank that helps block the wind. Anchor and fish the tree and nearby stumps south of it. The tree is on the edge of a flat near deep water. Chum the area to bring in the fish. Use a tight line. LOCATION: Gibbons Creek Res. HOTSPOT: Near Eagle Point GPS: N30 37.8654, W96 3.1308 (30.631090, -96.052180) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Minnows, black/green jigs CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, wel-

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don_edna@hotmail.com, 979-229-3103, www.FishTales-GuideService.com TIPS: There is a large cedar tree here in 12 feet of water with brush that has been dropped around it. Tie to the tree, fish with cork or tight line close to its trunk. Vary depths of bait until you get a strike. Be patient because crappie come and go. LOCATION: Gibbons Creek Res. HOTSPOT: Near Eagle Point GPS: N30 37.91214, W96 3.0165 (30.631869, -96.050275) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Minnows, black/green jigs CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, weldon_edna@hotmail.com, 979-229-3103, www.FishTales-GuideService.com TIPS: There is a large cedar tree here in 12 feet of water with brush that has been dropped around it. Tie to the tree, fish with cork or tight line close to its trunk. Vary depths of bait until you get a strike. Be patient because crappie come and go. LOCATION: Lake Aquilla HOTSPOT: Triplet Point GPS: N31 54.84978, W97 12.88818 (31.914163, -97.214803) SPECIES: white bass

BEST BAITS: One-ounce Slabs CONTACT: Randy Routh, teamredneck01@hotmail.com, 817-822-5539, www.teamredneck.net TIPS: The white bass have pushed the baitfish into the cuts on Triplet Point. Birds are showing up early and are diving to pick up wounded shad which makes locating the fish easy. Make long casts with chartreuse Slabs and hop them off the bottom slowly. LOCATION: Lake Cooper HOTSPOT: Cannon Creek GPS: N33 20.44464, W95 41.8389 (33.340744, -95.697315) SPECIES: hybrid striped bass BEST BAITS: Strike King Shadaliciouse or similar swimbait CONTACT: Tony Parker, tawakonifishing@yahoo.com, 903-348-1619 TIPS: Look for February hybrids in the creeks in water from two to 10 feet. Throw a Strike King Shadaliciouse or similar swimbait. The fish will be around shallow brush and timber in Cannon Creek, Doctor’s Creek and other main-lake creeks feeding on shad. LOCATION: Lake Lavon HOTSPOT: Main-Lake Points North of Power Plant GPS: N33 4.30146, W96 27.32976 (33.071691, -96.455496) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Minnows, black-blue jigs CONTACT: Billy Kilpatrick, straightlineguide@yahoo.com, 214-232-7847, straightlineguide.com TIPS: Crappie are staging on all mainlake points. All points including the one north of the Power Plant have structure, most underwater. Using a graph to locate the fish is the key to success. Use 10pound test line with 1/8-ounce jigs. LOCATION: Lake Lewisville HOTSPOT: Doe Branch GPS: N33 12.09738, W96 55.06554 (33.201623, -96.917759) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Fresh threadfin or gizzard shad

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CONTACT: Bobby Kubin, bobby@bobby-catfishing.com, 817-4552894, bobby-catfishing.com TIPS: A couple of warm days will push baitfish and trophy-sized blue cats into water as shallow as three feet. Use Carolina rigs with 2-ounce weights, 18-inch leaders, 8-ought hooks with large cut bait. Fish shallow flats close to deep drop-off or channels. LOCATION: Lake Palestine HOTSPOT: Flat Creek GPS: N32 13.02936, W95 32.91654 (32.217156, -95.548609) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Three-eighths-ounce spinnerbaits and jigs, Shimmy Shaker Blue Herron CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff, ricky@rickysguideservice.com, 903-5617299, rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Fish the backs of Flat Creek, Saline Creek, Kickapoo creek and Cobb Creek as well as the upper Neches River with white-chartreuse spinnerbaits or blackblue jigs and Blue Herons along the shallow ridges next to brush slowly. LOCATION: Lake Palestine HOTSPOT: Dam Brushpiles GPS: N32 3.45756, W95 26.26098 (32.057626, -95.437683) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Crappie jigs CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff, ricky@rickysguideservice.com, 903-5617299, www.rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Look for crappie in brushpiles on humps in 18 to 24 feet of water along the face of the dam. Blue-silver and pink-white are the best color choices for the jigs. Fish the jigs slowly in the brush.

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fast retrieve. Jigging spoons vertically or making them rise and fall off the bottom after a long cast also works well.

trailers for big fish holding on structure. Watch for seagulls. One-ounce Sassy Shads under the birds also produce big fish.

LOCATION: Lake Somerville HOTSPOT: Dam Area GPS: N30 19.035, W96 31.989 (30.317250, -96.533150) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Shad, cut perch, cut carp CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, weldon_edna@hotmail.com, 979-229-3103, FishTales-GuideService.com TIPS: Big blue cats are in deep water. Use a no-roll 1-3-ounce sinker depending on the wind and try to drift at 1/2 m.p.h. Use a 2-3-foot leader below the sinker with No.4 Kahle hook. A small cork 6-8-inches above hook will help prevent hang-ups.

LOCATION: Lake Whitney HOTSPOT: Big Rocky Creek GPS: N31 52.56594, W97 23.89566 (31.876099, -97.398261) SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: Storm Wild Eyed Shad CONTACT: Randy Routh, teamredneck01@hotmail.com, 817-822-5539, teamredneck.com TIPS: The stripers have pushed the shad back up in the creek past the first cut. Make long casts and drag the baits behind the boat using the trolling motor. Chartreuse is the best color to use.

LOCATION: Lake Texoma HOTSPOT: Slickup Slough GPS: N33 54.02406, W96 54.01758 (33.900401, -96.900293) SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: Roadrunners, Sassy Shad jigs CONTACT: Bill Carey, bigfish@striperexpress.com, 877-786-4477, www.striperexpress.com TIPS: Chances of catching trophy fish in February are in your favor. Fish one-ounce white Roadrunner jigs with 7-inch plastic

LOCATION: Richland-Chambers Res. HOTSPOT: 309 Flats GPS: N31 59.4024, W96 8.95734 (31.990040, -96.149289) SPECIES: hybrid striped bass BEST BAITS: Sassy Shads, one-ounce Silver Slabs CONTACT: Royce Simmons royce@gonefishin.biz, 903-389-4117, gonefishin.biz TIPS: February can be tough or really awesome, depending on water temps and the weather. If the water temps begin to

LOCATION: Lake Palestine HOTSPOT: Dam Brushpiles GPS: N32 3.66696, W95 26.42574 (32.061116, -95.440429) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Main-Lake Points Near Dam CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff, ricky@rickysguideservice.com, 903-5617299, www.rickysguideservice.com TIPS: The white bass will be feeding off the main-lake points. Cast shad-type swimbaits or Rat-L-Traps and use a medium to I N L A N D

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move into the low 50s, the fish will turn on in 20-30 feet of water off the Flats. Also look for gulls to locate schools of white bass. LOCATION: Richland-Chambers Res. HOTSPOT: Highway 2859 Creek GPS: N32 3.78486, W96 14.18742 (32.063081, -96.236457) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Revenge Football Head Jigs, Spinnerbaits CONTACT: Steve Schmidt, steve@schmidtsbigbass.com, 682-5188252, schmidtsbigbass.com TIPS: Fish the sunny side of this creek and others in the area, targeting the main lake and secondary points with slow-rolling white spinnerbaits with Colorado blades or black-blue jigs. The fish will move in and out as cold fronts come and go.

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the main channel where the water is the warmest. Fish slowly to catch larger, less aggressive bass.

PANHANDLE

Ivie Bass, Cats and Crappie by BOB HOOD bhood@fishgame.com

LOCATION: OH Ivie Res. HOTSPOT: River Channel Flats GPS: N31 34.41798, W99 42.09672 (31.573633, -99.701612) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Soft plastic jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, Texas-rigged worms CONTACT: Dave Caudle, fishinwithdave@aol.com, 325-365-1020 TIPS: The pre-spawn period is under way. The best catches will be made up the river on points and edges of flats close to

LOCATION: OH Ivie Res. HOTSPOT: Yellow Bluff GPS: N31 34.54974, W99 42.51912 (31.575829, -99.708652) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Punch bait, shrimp CONTACT: Dave Caudle, fishinwithdave@aol.com, 325-365-1020, fishinwithdave.com TIPS: Use chum to bait areas around the timber just south of this area and anchor to fish punch baits or shrimp. The cormorant roosting areas just south of the bluff produce the best catches. LOCATION: OH Ivie Res. HOTSPOT: River Channel Flats GPS: N31 34.18548, W99 42.24606 (31.569758, -99.704101) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: live minnows, crappie jigs CONTACT: Dave Caudle, fishinwithdave@aol.com, 325-365-1020 TIPS: The crappie are in a pre-spawn mood and will be suspended in trees just off shore on the upper river channel. Minnows and jigs are best. Move from tree to tree to catch moving schools of crappie. LOCATION: OH Ivie Res. HOTSPOT: Main Lake Flats GPS: N31 33.24204, W99 43.8168 (31.554034, -99.730280) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Chrome, chartreuse spoons, jigs CONTACT: Dave Caudle, fishinwithdave@aol.com, 325-365-1020, fishinwithdave.com TIPS: You can catch limits of white bass at this time of the year when the white bass are feeding heavily on shad. Pump jigs and spoons off the bottom in 10 feet of water on the flats near edges of the channel here near deeper water for best results. LOCATION: Possum Kingdom Res. HOTSPOT: Costello Island GPS: N32 54.50946, W98 27.65598

60 |

F E B R U A R Y

2 0 1 1

T E X A S

F I S H

&

G A M E 速

I N L A N D

A L M A N A C


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(32.908491, -98.460933) SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: Rat-L-Traps, deep-diving crankbaits, live shad CONTACT: Dean Heffner, fav7734@aceweb.com, 940-329-0036 TIPS: Concentrate on the area from Costello Island to Bird Island, jigging lures on and off the bottom. Keep rods in rod holders for best results. You are likely to catch largemouth bass and catfish here using the same methods.

BIG BEND

Largemouth and Whites at Amistad by BOB HOOD bhood@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Lake Amistad HOTSPOT: Cow Creek

I N L A N D

A L M A N A C

Page 61

GPS: N29 32.36016, W101 12.6822 (29.539336, -101.211370) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Deep-diving Bombers, Rat-L-Traps CONTACT: Larry Scruggs, Amistad Lodge and Adventures, fisherofmenlrs@hotmail.com, 210-789-1645 TIPS: Search for water in the 20-25-foot range. February is pre-spawn time. If you fish the Mexico side of the lake make sure you buy a Mexico fishing license which is available at Fisherman’s Headquarters at the junction of Highways 277 and 90 in Del Rio. LOCATION: Lake Amistad HOTSPOT: Pecos River GPS: N29 42.40584, W101 21.3744 (29.706764, -101.356240) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Rat-L-Traps, shallow-diving crankbaits CONTACT: Larry Scruggs, Amistad Lodge and Adventures, fisherofmenlrs@hotmail.com, 210-789-1645

T E X A S

F I S H

&

TIPS: This is the time of the year the white bass make their spawning runs up the major rivers such as the Pecos. The upper Rio Grande and Devil’s River channels also are good bets. Cast onto sandy or rocky slopes and use a medium to slow retrieve.

HILL COUNTRY

Face Time at Canyon Dam by BOB HOOD bhood@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Canyon Lake HOTSPOT: Face of Dam GPS: N29 52.0932, W98 11.94492 (29.868220, -98.199082) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Power Worm, Rattlesnake worm, Texas Craw CONTACT: KC's Bassin' Guide Service,

G A M E ®

F E B R U A R Y

2 0 1 1

|

61


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kandie@gvtc.com, 210-823-2153 TIPS: Drop shot face of the dam with Secret Weapon Recoil rig, or fish a Texasrigged motor oil-red flake Power Worm or Jewel Jig with 1/2-ounce Texas Craw and Uncle Josh Pork along the breaklines. LOCATION: Lake Granger

Page 62

HOTSPOT: San Gabriel River GPS: N30 39.8571, W97 23.70636 (30.664285, -97.395106) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Small white jigs CONTACT: Tommy Tidwell, crappie1@hotmail.com, 512-365-7761 got-

crappie.com TIPS: Head up the river from the lake and fish the area from Fox Bottom to Dickersons Bottom. White bass can be found all along this area but normally are best farther up river. Fish the eddies below gravel bars with small white jigs. LOCATION: Lake Granger HOTSPOT: River Channel Sloughs GPS: N30 39.702, W97 23.7063 (30.661700, -97.395105) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: 1/16-ounce jigs, minnows CONTACT: Tommy Tidwell, crappie1@hotmail.com, 512-365-7761 gotcrappie.com TIPS: Fish the jigs on slip bobbers in the ditches and sloughs off the river. Crappie can be very shallow after three or more warm days. Another pattern is to fish the main river at night with lights. Use bobbers set at 3-4 feet with live minnows.

SOUTH TEXAS PLAINS

Campaign for White House Bass by BOB HOOD bhood@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Falcon Lake HOTSPOT: White House Creek Area GPS: N26 56.12184, W99 19.24344 (26.935364, -99.320724) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Large plastic lizards, spinnerbaits, Brush Hawgs CONTACT: Robert Amaya, Robert’s Fish N'Tackle, robert@robertsfishntackle.com, 956-7651442 TIPS: Fish the backs of the creeks in this area along sandstone ledges close to the main channel with white-chartreuse spinnerbaits or plastic lizards in two to eight feet of water. This area is known for monster bass and it is out of the wind.


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FEBRUARY 2011

Tides and Prime Times

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 T9

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.

T8 T6 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

T14

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

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

T20

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.

AM Minor: 9:11a AM Major: 2:57a PM Minor: 9:40p PM Major: 3:25p Moonrise:9:27a Moon Set: None Moon Overhead:

T21

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.

4:55p

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION

TIDE CORRECTION TABLE Add or subtract the time shown at the rightof 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 many wildlife species.

T13 T7

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 T12 T13 T14 T15 T16 T17

PLACE Pt Barrow, Trinity Bay Gilchrist, East Bay Jamaica Beach, W. Bay Alligator Point, W. Bay Christmas Pt 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:

CORRECTION NOT TO BEerror,USED Due to a software the tide graphs in our JANUARY 2011 FOR NAVIGATION issue was incorrect. The correct information is available online at www.FishGame.com/tide T22 T23

KEYS TO USING THE TIDE AND SOLUNAR GRAPHS TIDE 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 ACTIVITY: 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 F E B R 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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Tides and Prime Times for FEBRUARY 2011 TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

FEB 1

31

THURSDAY

2

FRIDAY

3

SATURDAY

4

SUNDAY

5

6

Sunrise: 7:08a Moonrise: 5:20a

Set: 5:55p Set: 3:58p

Sunrise: 7:07a Moonrise: 6:03a

Set: 5:56p Set: 4:55p

Sunrise: 7:07a Moonrise: 6:41a

Set: 5:56p Set: 5:52p

Sunrise: 7:06a Moonrise: 7:15a

Set: 5:57p Set: 6:47p

Sunrise: 7:06a Moonrise: 7:46a

Set: 5:58p Set: 7:40p

Sunrise: 7:05a Moonrise: 8:16a

Set: 5:59p Set: 8:31p

Sunrise: 7:04a Moonrise: 8:45a

Set: 6:00p Set: 9:23p

AM Minor: 2:48a

PM Minor: 3:14a

AM Minor: 3:35a

PM Minor: 4:00a

AM Minor: 4:21a

PM Minor: 4:44a

AM Minor: 5:06a

PM Minor: 5:28a

AM Minor: 5:51a

PM Minor: 6:12a

AM Minor: 6:36a

PM Minor: 6:57a

AM Minor: 7:21a

PM Minor: 7:42a

AM Major: 9:01a

PM Major: 9:27a

AM Major: 9:47a

PM Major: 10:12a

AM Major: 10:33a

PM Major: 10:56a

AM Major: 10:52a

PM Major: -----

AM Major: 11:37a

PM Major: 12:02p

AM Major: 12:26p

PM Major: 12:46p

AM Major: 1:11a

PM Major: 1:31a

Moon Overhead: 10:37a

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 12:14p

Moon Overhead: 11:27a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 12:58p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 2:21p

Moon Overhead: 1:40p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 3:01p 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

MONDAY

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

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 11:03p +2.0

-1.0

BEST:

5:30 — 7:30 AM

Moon Underfoot: 1:19a BEST:

6:00 — 8:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 2:01a BEST:

6:30 — 8:30 AM

Moon Underfoot: 2:41a +2.0

BEST:

7:00 — 9:00 AM

3:30 — 5:30 PM

T I D E

L E V E L S

BEST:

5:00 — 7:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 12:36a

L E V E L S

0

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: None

T I D E

+1.0

BEST:

4:30 — 6:30 AM

Moon Underfoot: 11:51p

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

-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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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

TUESDAY

7 Sunrise: 7:04a Moonrise: 9:14a

8

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

 10

9

11

Set: 6:02p Set: 6:02p Sunrise: 7:02a Set: 11:09p Moonrise: 10:19a Set: None

AM Minor: 8:07a

PM Minor: 8:28a

AM Minor: 8:53a

PM Minor: 9:15a

AM Minor: 9:41a

PM Minor: 10:03a

AM Minor: 10:30a

PM Minor: 10:53a

AM Minor: 11:19a

PM Minor: 11:45a

AM Minor: -----

AM Major: 1:57a

PM Major: 2:17a

AM Major: 2:43a

PM Major: 3:04a

AM Major: 3:30a

PM Major: 3:52a

AM Major: 4:18a

PM Major: 4:41a

AM Major: 5:07a

PM Major: 5:32a

AM Major: 5:57a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 5:09p

Moon Overhead: 4:24p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Set: 6:04p Sunrise: 7:02a Set: 6:03p Sunrise: 7:01a Moonrise: 10:57a Set: 12:04a Moonrise: 11:40a Set: 1:01a

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 5:56p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Sunrise: 7:00a Set: 6:05p Moonrise: 12:29p Set: 1:58a

6a

12p

6p

13 Sunrise: 6:59a Moonrise: 1:24p

Set: 6:06p Set: 2:54a

PM Minor: 12:10p

AM Minor: 12:33p

PM Minor: 1:02a

PM Major: 6:23a

AM Major: 6:47a

PM Major: 7:16a

Moon Overhead: 7:41p

Moon Overhead: 6:47p 12a

SUNDAY

12

Set: 6:01p Sunrise: 7:03a Set: 10:15p Moonrise: 9:45a

Moon Overhead: 3:42p

12a

WEDNESDAY

12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

MONDAY

Tides and Prime Times for FEBRUARY 2011

Moon Overhead: 8:37p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 3:21a +2.0

-1.0

BEST:

10:00P — 12:00A

Moon Underfoot: 6:21a BEST:

7:00 — 9:00 AM

8:00 — 10:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 7:14a BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 8:09a +2.0

BEST:

9:00 — 11:00 AM

1:30 — 3:30 AM

T I D E

L E V E L S

BEST:

9:00 — 11:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 5:32a

L E V E L S

0

BEST:

8:00 — 10:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 4:46a

T I D E

+1.0

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 4:03a

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

12:16 am 6:47 am 12:07 pm 6:40 pm

66 |

0.15ft. 0.66ft. 0.22ft. 0.73ft.

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

1:00 am 8:05 am 12:27 pm 6:42 pm

F E B R U A R Y

0.05ft. 0.62ft. 0.40ft. 0.74ft.

2 0 1 1

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

1:48 am 9:46 am 12:41 pm 6:25 pm

-0.03ft. Low Tide: 2:45 am 0.62ft. High Tide: 5:55 pm 0.56ft. 0.77ft.

T E X A S

F I S H

-0.12ft. Low Tide: 3:47 am 0.84ft. High Tide: 5:49 pm

&

G A M E ®

-0.22ft. Low Tide: 4:52 am 0.92ft. High Tide: 5:57 pm

I N L A N D

-0.34ft. Low Tide: 5:52 am 0.98ft. High Tide: 3:50 pm

A L M A N A C

-0.46ft. 1.02ft.

+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

TUESDAY

14

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

16

15

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

 18

17

SUNDAY

19

20

Sunrise: 6:58a Moonrise: 2:25p

Set: 6:06p Set: 3:49a

Sunrise: 6:58a Moonrise: 3:31p

Set: 6:07p Set: 4:40a

Sunrise: 6:57a Moonrise: 4:39p

Set: 6:08p Set: 5:28a

Sunrise: 6:56a Moonrise: 5:47p

Set: 6:09p Set: 6:11a

Sunrise: 6:55a Moonrise: 6:55p

Set: 6:10p Set: 6:51a

Sunrise: 6:54a Moonrise: 8:03p

Set: 6:10p Set: 7:30a

Sunrise: 6:53a Moonrise: 9:10p

Set: 6:11p Set: 8:08a

AM Minor: 1:24a

PM Minor: 1:53a

AM Minor: 2:16a

PM Minor: 2:45a

AM Minor: 3:08a

PM Minor: 3:36a

AM Minor: 4:00a

PM Minor: 4:27a

AM Minor: 4:53a

PM Minor: 5:20a

AM Minor: 5:48a

PM Minor: 6:14a

AM Minor: 6:45a

PM Minor: 7:12a

AM Major: 7:39a

PM Major: 8:08a

AM Major: 8:30a

PM Major: 8:59a

AM Major: 9:22a

PM Major: 9:50a

AM Major: 10:14a

PM Major: 10:41a

AM Major: 11:06a

PM Major: 11:33a

AM Major: -----

PM Major: 12:01p

AM Major: 12:32p

PM Major: 12:59p

Moon Overhead: 9:35p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 10:32p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

Moon Overhead: 11:29p 6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: None 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 1:16a

Moon Overhead: 12:23a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

MONDAY

Tides and Prime Times for FEBRUARY 2011

Moon Overhead: 2:09a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 9:06a +2.0

-1.0

BEST:

4:30 — 6:30 AM

Moon Underfoot: 12:50p BEST:

5:00 — 7:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 1:43p BEST:

6:00 — 8:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 2:35p +2.0

BEST:

7:00 — 9:00 PM

7:30 — 9:30 AM

T I D E

L E V E L S

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 11:56a

L E V E L S

0

BEST:

3:30 — 5:30 AM

Moon Underfoot: 11:01a

T I D E

+1.0

BEST:

2:00 — 4:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 10:04a

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

6:46 am 3:43 pm 7:57 pm 10:12 pm

-0.59ft. Low Tide: 7:36 am 1.06ft. High Tide: 3:57 pm 0.98ft. Low Tide: 8:05 pm 0.99ft.

-0.67ft. High Tide: 12:16 am 1.06ft. Low Tide: 8:24 am 0.90ft. High Tide: 4:16 pm Low Tide: 8:41 pm

1.02ft. -0.69ft. 1.04ft. 0.75ft.

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

1:38 am 9:10 am 4:36 pm 9:22 pm

1.06ft. -0.63ft. 1.00ft. 0.55ft.

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

2:53 am 9:56 am 4:56 pm 10:07 pm

1.07ft. -0.48ft. 0.95ft. 0.30ft.

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

4:06 am 10:41 am 5:16 pm 10:55 pm

1.07ft. -0.25ft. 0.91ft. 0.05ft.

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

5:22 am 11:26 am 5:36 pm 11:47 pm

1.03ft. 0.03ft. 0.89ft. -0.17ft.

+1.0

0

-1.0


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Tides and Prime Times for FEBRUARY 2011 TUESDAY

21 Sunrise: 6:52a Set: 6:12p Moonrise: 10:18p Set: 8:47a

22 Sunrise: 6:51a Set: 6:13p Moonrise: 11:26p Set: 9:30a

THURSDAY

23 Sunrise: 6:50a Moonrise: None

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

 25

24

SUNDAY

26

27

Set: 6:13p Sunrise: 6:49a Set: 6:14p Sunrise: 6:48a Set: 10:16a Moonrise: 12:31a Set: 11:06a Moonrise: 1:32a

Set: 6:15p Sunrise: 6:47a Set: 12:00p Moonrise: 2:28a

Set: 6:15p Sunrise: 6:46a Set: 12:56p Moonrise: 3:18a

Set: 6:16p Set: 1:53p

AM Minor: 7:45a

PM Minor: 8:12a

AM Minor: 8:46a

PM Minor: 9:14a

AM Minor: 9:47a

PM Minor: 10:16a

AM Minor: 10:47a

PM Minor: 11:15a

AM Minor: 11:44a

PM Minor: -----

AM Minor: 12:09p

PM Minor: 12:36p

AM Minor: 12:59p

PM Minor: 1:25a

AM Major: 1:32a

PM Major: 1:59a

AM Major: 2:32a

PM Major: 3:00a

AM Major: 3:33a

PM Major: 4:02a

AM Major: 4:33a

PM Major: 5:01a

AM Major: 5:30a

PM Major: 5:58a

AM Major: 6:23a

PM Major: 6:50a

AM Major: 7:12a

PM Major: 7:38a

Moon Overhead: 3:02a

12a

WEDNESDAY

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 4:53a

Moon Overhead: 3:57a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 5:50a 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 7:42a

Moon Overhead: 6:46a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 8:34a 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

MONDAY

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

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 3:29p +2.0

-1.0

BEST:

3:00 — 5:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 7:14p

BEST:

4:00 — 6:00 AM

BEST:

5:00 — 7:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 8:08p BEST:

12:00 — 2:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 9:00p +2.0

BEST:

12:30 — 2:30 AM

1:00 — 3:00 AM

T I D E

L E V E L S

BEST:

8:30 — 10:30 PM

Moon Underfoot: 6:18p

L E V E L S

0

Moon Underfoot: 5:21p

T I D E

+1.0

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 4:25p

High Tide: 6:43 am 0.99ft. Low Tide: 12:11 pm 0.33ft. High Tide: 5:55 pm 0.90ft.

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

I N L A N D

12:43 am 8:13 am 12:55 pm 6:12 pm

-0.35ft. 0.95ft. 0.60ft. 0.92ft.

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

A L M A N A C

1:46 am 9:59 am 1:41 pm 6:23 pm

-0.46ft. 0.95ft. 0.83ft. 0.95ft.

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

T E X A S

2:57 am 12:19 pm 3:06 pm 4:21 pm

F I S H

-0.52ft. Low Tide: 4:15 am 1.00ft. High Tide: 2:29 pm 0.99ft. 0.99ft.

&

-0.53ft. Low Tide: 5:32 am 1.07ft. High Tide: 3:08 pm

G A M E ®

-0.53ft. Low Tide: 1.10ft. High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

F E B R U A R Y

6:40 am 3:33 pm 8:42 pm 11:02 pm

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|

-0.51ft. 1.07ft. 0.91ft. 0.94ft.

69

+1.0

0

-1.0


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NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION BEST:

7:45-9:40 AM

= Peak Fishing Period

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

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

TUESDAY

28

WEDNESDAY

Mar 1

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

3

2

SATURDAY

4

SUNDAY

5

6

Sunrise: 6:45a Moonrise: 4:02a

Set: 6:17p Set: 2:50p

Sunrise: 6:44a Moonrise: 4:41a

Set: 6:17p Set: 3:46p

Sunrise: 6:43a Moonrise: 5:16a

Set: 6:18p Set: 4:41p

Sunrise: 6:42a Moonrise: 5:48a

Set: 6:19p Set: 5:34p

Sunrise: 6:41a Moonrise: 6:18a

Set: 6:19p Set: 6:26p

Sunrise: 6:40a Moonrise: 6:47a

Set: 6:20p Set: 7:18p

Sunrise: 6:39a Moonrise: 7:16a

Set: 6:21p Set: 8:10p

AM Minor: 1:45a

PM Minor: 2:10a

AM Minor: 2:28a

PM Minor: 2:51a

AM Minor: 3:09a

PM Minor: 3:31a

AM Minor: 3:49a

PM Minor: 4:10a

AM Minor: 4:29a

PM Minor: 4:49a

AM Minor: 5:10a

PM Minor: 5:30a

AM Minor: 5:53a

PM Minor: 6:13a

AM Major: 7:57a

PM Major: 8:22a

AM Major: 8:40a

PM Major: 9:03a

AM Major: 9:20a

PM Major: 9:42a

AM Major: 10:00a

PM Major: 10:21a

AM Major: 10:39a

PM Major: 11:00a

AM Major: 10:56a

PM Major: -----

AM Major: 11:39a

PM Major: 12:03p

Moon Overhead: 9:25a

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 10:56a

Moon Overhead: 10:12a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 11:38a 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 1:00p

Moon Overhead: 12:19p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 1:40p 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

MONDAY

Tides and Prime Times for FEBRUARY 2011

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 9:48p +2.0

-1.0

Moon Underfoot: None

BEST:

4:00 — 6:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 12:39a

BEST:

4:30 — 6:30 AM

BEST:

5:00 — 7:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 1:20a +2.0

BEST:

5:30 — 7:30 AM

6:00 — 8:00 AM

T I D E

L E V E L S

BEST:

3:30 — 5:30 AM

Moon Underfoot: None

L E V E L S

0

BEST:

2:30 — 4:30 AM

Moon Underfoot: 11:17p

T I D E

+1.0

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 10:34p

Low Tide: 7:37 am High Tide: 3:49 pm Low Tide: 8:47 pm

70 |

-0.47ft. High Tide: 12:23 am 1.02ft. Low Tide: 8:24 am 0.84ft. High Tide: 4:00 pm Low Tide: 8:57 pm

F E B R U A R Y

0.97ft. -0.38ft. 0.96ft. 0.74ft.

2 0 1 1

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

1:29 am 9:03 am 4:09 pm 9:10 pm

1.00ft. -0.27ft. 0.91ft. 0.62ft.

T E X A S

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

2:26 am 9:36 am 4:20 pm 9:28 pm

F I S H

1.02ft. -0.13ft. 0.88ft. 0.49ft.

&

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

3:18 am 10:05 am 4:32 pm 9:53 pm

G A M E ®

1.03ft. 0.02ft. 0.87ft. 0.36ft.

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

4:10 am 10:31 am 4:45 pm 10:22 pm

I N L A N D

1.03ft. 0.18ft. 0.87ft. 0.25ft.

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

A L M A N A C

5:01 am 10:56 am 4:57 pm 10:54 pm

1.02ft. 0.34ft. 0.88ft. 0.15ft.

+1.0

0

-1.0


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1/14/11

1:40 PM

New Hyper-Speed TD Zillion By Daiwa Pulling in 32 inches of line with every crank of the handle, Daiwa's new Zillion Type R baitcasting reel is among the fastest ever built. Creating the speed is a massive, high-tensile brass alloy drive gear pushing a brass alloy pinion gear at a 7.3 to 1 ratio. That means every time you crank the reel's handle one turn, the spool rotates 7.3 turns. Just like a race car, a reel running at this speed requires special engineering attention to ensure long-lasting performance and ease of use. Gear teeth are precision Helical cut (cut at an angle) for smooth winding and even transmission of winding energy. To further ensure adequate winding power, eleven ball bearings firmly support the drive train within a rigid aluminum frame so energy flows efficiently with less wear and stress. The speed of the new Type R makes it the perfect tool for target fishing. Toss to an inviting stickup - work the area around it - burn your bait back with less wasted time in unproductive water. The whole point is to keep your lure in high-potential water, wasting minimal time in low-potential water. In the long run, that means more fish in the boat. MSRP for the new reel is $399.95. Tel: (800) 736-4653, or visit www.daiwa.com 72 |

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The Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement points out, “Dogs must be under the direct control of you or a handler when off your property. The best way to control Daiwa’s TD Zillion your dog is with a leash.” baitcaster pulls a Anyone who’s ever gone for blazing 32 inches a leisurely stroll with a of line per crank. rambunctious canine, however, knows just TD Zillion how quickly a scampering squirrel or the scent of a rabbit can lead to a loss of control. Just Ducky Products’ line of walker EVERY DOG-WALKING OWNER HAS EXPERIand heeler leashes, however, enced it at least once: Distracted by an puts full command back in the dog owner’s alluring sight or sound, a usually wellhands. Its patented design, material and behaved and -mannered pooch suddenly handle join forces to make The Perfect turns into Speedy Gonzales, taking his Leash safer and more enjoyable for both handler full force ahead with him on Spot and his human companion. his quest. The Perfect Leash by Just Made of proprietary polyurethane, Ducky Products is making this comiThe Perfect Leash stretches to accomcal yet potentially injurious scene a modate sudden momentum. As a result, relic of the past with a patented it eliminates the constant tension on the design that dog’s neck and shoulders. At the same time, it virtually eliminates the possibility of the handler suffering a dislocated shoulder or wrist. That’s because as it expands in New dog leash is response to forward designed to movement, The Perfect reduce leash tenLeash absorbs any jerky sion. pulling between the dog takes all the Perfect Leash and its walker. contentious tension out This absorptive, of the dog-walking experience. pulling-back property also renders The

The Perfect Leash

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

PHOTOS : COUTRESY MFG’S

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Perfect Leash an ideal training aid. Its stretch rebound functionality helps correct unruly behavior, making it a great addition to field trials, hunting, agility, trips to the vet and keeping any dog—large or small— by its handlers side. Adults and children alike will find The Perfect Leash’s patented handle a perfect fit. In fact, consumer polls indicate that it provides the most comfortable fit of any leash on the market. Available in four color choices and two sizes—a 35-inch walker and a 14-inch heeler—The Perfect Leash ensures dog owners take their dogs for a walk around the park or neighborhood instead of the other way around. Dog handlers who want to want to make their summer walking excursions more enjoyable can learn more about The Perfect Leash line of walkers and heelers online at justduckyproducts.com

Muzzle Break Cuts Recoil and Sound

Page 73

ling effectiveness without sacrificing any of its high level of recoil reduction. The cleverly engineered combination of a chamber, channels and gas holes facilitates the dispersion of gases away from the muzzle and the shooter thus reducing the noise level. Both muzzle break designs are available in reducible and non-reducible outside diameters. The reducible muzzle brake enables the installation to be accomplished with a flush seamless fit while the non-reducible muzzle brake can be installed with a tapered design that gives a classic fit with outstanding recoil reduction. Muzzle brakes are available for calibers .22 through .458 made from .416 Stainless Steel or Stress Proof Carbon steel both heat treated for superior strength and long service life. All are manufactured with the most current CNC equipment and requires professional gunsmithing installation. Contact Active Tuning Solutions at 713-725-2497, 19319 Mueschke Rd., Tomball, Tx 77377 Web: www.activetuningsolutions.com.

NEW PATENTED MUZZLE BRAKE DESIGNS BY George Vais are available from Active Tuning Solutions. The “MasterBrakes” provide excellent recoil reduction and dramatically decrease

New muzzle brakes from Active Tuning Solutions

the amount of noise that traditionMuzzle Brakes al muzzle brakes emit. The “HuntersBrake” was designed from the ground up for its sound control-

On the Web www.daiwa.com www.justduckyproducts.com www.activegunningsolutions.com


1/14/11

1:43 PM

Engine Protection YOU THOUGHT E-10 WAS BAD FOR YOUR boat or ATV? Just wait until E-15 hits the pumps. Yes, it’s only approved for model year 2007 and newer cars and trucks and is supposed to be kept separate from the E10, but you can bet that sooner or later, E15 will find its way through your fuel systems. Even if you can stay away from E-15 for the time being, E-10 poses enough problems to keep you busy. It’ll gum up anything from a chain saw to a canyon runner, causes phase separation, and speeds the deterioration of your fuel. I’ve used Star Tron to treat the fuel I use in my boats and gas-powered tools to battle the E-problems for about a year now, and I can report that after extended use, it’s worked well at keeping ethanol problems at Protects against bay. The one ethanol damage. time I forgot to add it to the Star-Tron gas tank in my 14’ duck boat, my 15-hp. four-stroke outboard clogged up and needed to have the carburetor rebuilt. Most fuel treatments work by emulsifying water (via alcohol), but that can lead to carbon build-up and other problems. Star Tron works on a completely different principal, because it has enzymes that reduce surface tension between water and fuel molecules, which allows the water to then break down into sub-micron sized droplets. These are so tiny that they flow right through your fuel system and engine without having any effect. At the same time, by 74 |

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upgrade to the Explorist 710 also gets you City Series turn-by-turn mapping. The unit runs for up to 16 hours on a pair of AA batteries, and can accept a microSD card. It even has a 3.2 megapixel camera, microphone, Explorist 610 GPS and speaker builthand-held. in, so you can record your adventures. Magellan I found the menu easy to use and intuitive, and I rarely needed to resort to looking at the instructions. There’s a “one touch” function that allows you to do basic, regular functions without even entering the menu, making it fast and easy to use. Two other functions set the Explorist apart from the older, dedicated maritime-use units of days past: there’s a built-in barometric altimeter which could come in quite handy THESE DAYS, WE EXPECT A LOT FROM for land-based activities, and the unit has a handheld GPS units. We want them to tell three-axis electronic compass. Older comus where we are whether we’re hiking pass functions in handhelds were tough to through a mountain pass, cruising a boat use on land sometimes, because the unit across the bay, or driving a car down the had to be in motion to tell you which way road. And GPS manufacturers have met it was going. But with the three-axis electhis challenge, by building units with more tronic compass, you can be standing still diverse features and greater capabilities. and still figure out compass directions. Magellan is the latest to roll out a new —LR multifunction GPS, with the Explorist Series. I spent the past month keeping tabs on myself with an Explorist 610, to find out if it was up to snuff. The 610 has a three inch color touchscreen, is waterproof to IPX7 standards, and comes with a built-in world map and Summit Series topographic mapping. That’ll help you keep track of your position www.startron.com just about anywhere, but if you want more www.magellan.com detailed mapping while driving, an

preventing the ethanol from binding with the water, it also prevents the formation of all of those problematic gums and varnishes. That means the fuel you treat with Star Tron stabilizes its chemistry and keeps it fresh for up to two years. What’s the down-side to using Star Tron? Just the cost; this stuff isn’t cheap, ranging from $12 to $15 for an eight ounce bottle. But on the bright side, a mere ounce is all you need to treat 16 gallons of fuel, so one of these little bottles takes care of 128 gallons of gas—and that’s a lot less expensive and time consuming than rebuilding your carburetor every other month. Learn more at www.startron.com. —Lenny Rudow

Explore More: Magellan Explorist 610

On the Web

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

PHOTOS: COURTESY STAR-TRON AND MAGELLAN

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More Angler Cash to Come CABELA'S RECENTLY ANNOUNCED IT WILL continue to provide awards for top finishing collegiate anglers competing in the 2011 BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship Series. As a long-time supporter of collegiate fishing, Cabela's is committed to continuing to provide opportunities for student anglers who are pursuing their passion for fishing, while at the same time, representing their colleges. “At Cabela's, we view outdoor recreation as a way of life for the whole family,” said Chris Sprangers, Cabela's marketing manager. “So we're proud to have the opportunity to encourage young people to continue their involvement in outdoor pursuits like fishing.” The 2011 BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship Series will feature three major nationally televised events in 2011 including the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship hosted by Lewisville, Texas, the Pepsi Collegiate Bass Fishing Open hosted by Paris/Henry County, Tennessee and the Big Bass Bash hosted by Florence, Alabama. Cabela's Angler Cash awards will be available at these events as well as a number of regional events hosted by several college fishing clubs and sanctioned by the Association of Collegiate Anglers. “Thanks in great part to Cabela's support, collegiate fishing has grown tremendously over the past several years,” stated Wade Middleton, BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship Series Tournament Director. “From the Cabela's collegiate night event at the national championship to their support of smaller regional tournaments, Cabela's continues to encourage growth among this important age class of anglers.” In order to be eligible, participating anglers are required to register for Cabela's I N L A N D

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Angler Cash and display the Cabela's Angler Cash logo on their boat and jersey. Patches and decals are provided free of charge to registered anglers. The BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship television series will once again be nationally televised with 18 half hours of coverage on the Versus network beginning in August of 2011. Additional coverage of the BoatUS Collegiate Series can be seen on line via streaming video as well on the World Fishing Network as part of the expanded coverage of this series of events.

Lund Signs with Traditions Media THE FISHING LEGENDS AT LUND BOATS recently announced a new partnership with the angling-public relations specialists at Traditions Media, LLC. With continuing innovations in durability, fishable-functionality and high-end on-the-water performance, Lund has built a 60-plus year tradition of excellence that remains unrivaled in the fishing-marine industry. Traditions Media’s immediate role will be to champion Lund’s recent model introductions – such as the new Impact series – and keep the unrivaled leader in fishing boat design and quality in the public eye, as well as help educate anglers about Lund’s many new award-winning features. “We are very excited with Lund Boat’s new partnership with Traditions Media,” said Lund Boats marketing director, Jason Oakes. “This partnership provides Lund with a great opportunity to increase our exposure and to be top-of-mind to the fishing and boating consumer. The team at Traditions Media brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the public relations field and has ties to key players in the fishing and outdoor arena. Lund is thrilled to be working with Traditions Media and to T E X A S

F I S H

&

announce this partnership.” Noel Vick, President of fishing-focused Traditions Media, whose client list includes notables Frabill, Northland Fishing Tackle, Aquateko, StrikeMaster and MarCum Technologies, had long admired the superior quality and performance of Lund Boats, a sentiment that dates back to his earliest angling memories. “I grew up in Lund country,” said Vick. “Even in my fishing circles as a kid, Lund was the brand of boat everyone aspired to own. I can clearly remember the broad smile across my face when I trailered by first new Lund off the dealer lot.” Vick continued: “Passion will be a driving force in our efforts to promote Lund Boats. We're passionate about the product, and of course there's that feeling of kinship working with a legacy manufacturer. “Plus, we'll be working with fishing greats the likes of Al and Ron Lindner, Gary and Tony Roach, Tom Neustrom, Mark Martin, Jeff Gustafson, and the list goes on and on. No doubt, the best of the best on the water are Lund loyalists. We anticipate a long, successful partnership, reinforcing Lund’s legacy of engineering top-tier fishing boats.” To learn more about Lund or to view product videos, visit: www.lundboats.com.

G A M E ®

On the Web www.cabelas.com www.boatus.com www.lundboats.com

F E B R U A R Y

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PHOTO: STEVE LAMASCUS

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My Buffalo Rifle AM A HISTORY NUT. SPECIFICALLY I LOVE TO read about the period of the 1870s and the people and events of the Texas Panhandle and Rolling Plains; I also am a student of Custer's fiasco on the Little Bighorn and the earlier trappers and mountain men of the fur trade. In 1874 John R. Cook, formerly of Kansas, was a young adventurer and buffalo hunter. In later life he wrote a book of his adventures on the Texas prairies called The Border and The Buffalo. As I read Cook's very informative and interesting book, I found myself engrossed in it because I recognized so many of the places and names he mentions. I knew where the Double Mountain was. I lived almost within sight of Kiowa Peak. I lived once on the banks of the Salt Fork of the Brazos River. I had driven through Albany many times, which was near the oft-described Fort Griffin, the headquarters of most of the buffalo hunters. I had hunted pheasants within spitting distance of Adobe Walls, and even knew generally where the old Rath City had been by the

I

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description given in the book. I felt right at home in the pages of The Border and The Buffalo. I felt so at home that I simply couldn't relish my vittles until I had a Model 1874 Sharps rifle like the one Cook described. I really wanted one in one of the more offbeat calibers like .44-77 or .40-65, but finally settled for the more pedestrian .45-70, for the very good reasons that it is easier to load for and ammunition is still loaded by most of the major manufacturers. Besides, records show that after 1876 the .45-70 was the most popular caliber Sharps chambered, so it was accurate in a historical perspective. What I ended up with is a rifle made by Armi Sport in Italy especially for Cimarron

T E X A S

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G A M E ®

Arms in Kerrville, Texas. Cimarron calls this model the Billy Dixon Model and I cannot tell it from an original 1870s Sharps rifle. It is a beautiful rifle with a pewter nose cap and double set triggers. The sights that come on the gun are useable, but just barely, especially for someone with eyes the age of mine, so I replaced the original rear sight with a Vernier tang aperture sight from Track of the Wolf that has adjustments for both windage and elevation. I will at some time in the future replace the front sight, which is a standard shiny blade, with an ivory bead. I have ordered the bead front sight and a Marbles adjustable rear tang sight from Dave Gullo at Buffalo Arms, but they were back ordered and my impatience got the best of me. My rifle is heavy. With its 32-inch octagonal barrel it scales nearly 11 pounds and feels heavier than that. The first thing most folks say when they pick it up is, “Man this thing's heavy!” I like that because it cuts felt recoil, which can be considerable when shooting bullets that weigh up to 500 grains and travel at up to 1400 feet per second. My gun is not startlingly accurate, but most of that may be, again, my aging eyes. I can, however, manage to keep most of my shots in about 3 inches at 100 yards, which I would say is quite fine with steel sights, even the aperture variety. I know that the experts with the specially built rifles can betI N L A N D

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ter this by a large amount, but I am perfectly satisfied, because I never intend to shoot at a thousand yards, or even at 500. In fact, I doubt I will ever shoot at a live animal with it at more than 150 yards. Drop with this old warrior is just too great. My pet load with my Sharps is, right now, a 410-grain Lyman flat-nosed cast bullet, loaded in Winchester cases, over CCI 200 primers and 40 grains of Reloader #7. I have not chronographed the load, but the stats in the reloading manuals say it should clock about 1450 fps. That is plenty, and it will, I promise, shoot through any whitetail deer in existence. I make the bullets very soft, almost pure lead, with just enough tin in them to help the lead cast easily. They are what a buddy calls bubblegum bullets. Even at that I do not expect that they will expand much, if any, in the lightly built whitetail deer; maybe hogs will provide a better test bed. We'll see. I am still experimenting with different loads. This load leaves a lot of lead in the first 2 inches of barrel. The hardness of the bullet does not seem to make any difference. I think it is because it takes that far for the bullet to start spinning. Elmer Keith recognized this problem decades ago in his revolvers, so I am in good company. I will, however, try to find some solution, mostly because I hate cleaning the lead out of my guns. Maybe one of the softer, gooier bullet lubes, like SPG will help. Really, it makes little difference. The accuracy does not seem to be affected and the leading is limited to the part of the barrel near the chamber and is not excessive. After 10 shots the gun is still shooting just as well as it was for the first three. I have also ordered some paperpatched bullets. I hope that they will alleviate the leading problem, but I doubt that I use them much because they are very labor intensive. They do, however, look really neat seated in the cases so that a quarter inch or so of the paper is visible above the case mouth. Actually, the paper-patched bullet is probably more historically accurate than the grooved and lubed bullets I usually shoot. From what I read, the paper-patched bullet was the most common projectile on the buffalo ranges. In fact, I have read that in Sharps' factory ammunition, the paperpatched bullet was all that was offered in many of the calibers. I wonder at that since cutting the patches and rolling them on the I N L A N D

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bullets is very labor intensive and would have raised the price of the ammunition by a fair amount. I also read somewhere once, that at least some of the hide hunters hired someone to do all the reloading. I would think that reloading a hundred or so rounds every day, with a hand tool, melting the lead on a campfire, casting the bullets, and the paper-patching them prior to loading, would take a great deal of time, even for someone experienced in the process.

T E X A S

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Well, I love my buffalo rifle. I now understand why the old-timers had such an attachment to their guns. This rifle has character and making and loading the bullets just brings me closer to the past I love so much. Living history is a good thing, I think.

G A M E 速

E-mail Steve LaMascus at guns@fishgame.com

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loosen it so much that you run the risk of your stand falling, but you should loosen the tension just a bit. Remember, a tree will grow during the off-season and while it grows, it will continuously put more and more pressure on the strap. If this strap is

Stand Down NOTHER SEASON…ANOTHER MEMORY. ALL good, I hope. Good or bad it is time to put the whitetail season to bed for another year and reflect about the shots you had or did not have during your time in the woods. One thing that should be paramount on your to-do list is getting back out in your “honey hole” and taking your tree stands down. As simple a task as this may sound, you would be surprised at how many seasoned hunters refuse to take the time to get this done. After a long hunting season, many hunters decide to leave their tree stands on the lease ready to go for the following year. This practice is not only not recommended, but also can prove to be very dangerous. Let me explain. As we all know or at least should know, not all hunters are, shall we say, as honest as the day is long. As much as I would like to say I have never had a stand stolen from me, I can’t. It has happened a few times and I think I have finally learned my lesson. Many hunters put their tree stands up and lock it up with a chain wrapped around the tree. It is one way of helping to keep honest people honest. However, once a stand is located, it is a short trip back to the woodlot with a bolt cutter and it is all over but the crying. You can avoid this problem all together by simply removing the stand when the season is over. If, after reading this, you are one of those hunters who still want to take your chances with your stand, then let me offer a small piece of advice. At the very least, you should make the trip back to your stands after the season is over and loosen the strap that holds the stand in place. You do not have to

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not loosened at all, then one day you may find yourself dangling from your harness as your tree stand falls to the ground as soon as you put your weight on it. The strap can and will get so tight that the extra stress of your 200 pound (or more) body will snap it like a twig on a cold day. I forgot to do this one myself, and when I went to take my stand down, the strap was so tight that the buckle used to loosen it could not be moved no matter how hard I tried. The only way to get that strap off was with the help of a very sharp knife. Even then, I had to tug at it for a while before I could pull it from the tree that had started to grow around it. Once you have the stand home, it is a great time to check it thoroughly and carefully. Are all the nuts and bolts still there or did you loose one in the woods? How about those little wing nuts?...those little black wing nuts. Believe me, if you drop one of those in the woods, you will spend the rest of the season looking for it. And although you will not be able to find it, you will still spend hours in your stand looking down from your perch as if you will, all of a sudden, see it lying beneath the leaves. Even though your brain tells you “forget it.” You will still look! You veteran hunters out there T E X A S

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know exactly what I am talking about! Am I right? Did your tree stand make any noise while you stood in it? Maybe it was when you first climbed in or when you shifted your weight a bit. Now is an excellent time to inspect your tree stand and find exactly where that unwanted noise came from. A few squirts of a lubricant will do wonders at stopping those squeaks that you heard in the woods. At the time they seemed like they were 160 db. Now is the time to find it and fix it. While you have the lubricant out, look at your bow. There are a lot of metal parts on that bow and it is very easy to just forget about them. Your sights, quiver, cable guard, and arrow rest all might have some sort of adjusting screws. If you lubricate them, it will be easier to make any adjustments needed next year when you start getting serious about your practicing time again. I would recommend you take the time right now to also put away all your toys. Not those toys, but the ones you used while bow hunting. You know the ones I am talking about…your grunt call, release, range finder…the things that the manufactures “claim” will make our hunt more successful. If I do not put those in a safe place (one that I will be able to remember) right after the season, it will slip my mind and I will go mad looking in every nook and cranny of my house for these items. Then I will end up buying them all over again. Sound familiar? February is a great month to do a little house cleaning on your hunting gear. A little care will go a long way and you will be happy you did when opening day next year comes around. Now, about those shots you missed…

E-mail Lou Marullo at lmarullo@fishgame.com

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What to Do with February ’VE SAID IT BEFORE AND I’LL SAY IT AGAIN, February is my least favorite month of the year. It has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day either. It’s because this is the slowest time of the year for outdoorsmen. Sure you can still hunt hogs and exotics but by in large all hunting seasons are closed. Bass aren’t moving shallow to spawn yet and it’s cold. That’s right, call me “Nancy,” but I don’t like fishing when it’s cold. So what is there to do this time of year? Well, just because I’m not hunting or fishing that doesn’t mean I can’t prepare to hunt or fish. As a matter of fact this is probably the best time to get all your fishing gear ready so let’s go over some of the little things you can do right now to help you catch more fish later. The most important piece of gear you have is your fishing line but it is often the one we ignore the most. Think about it this way, the only thing connecting you to your lure and the fish that decides to eat it is a thin piece monofilament (or braid or fluorocarbon). When the big one hits do you really want to wonder if you’re line is going to hold? So, when is the last time you changed out the line on your reels? If you are anything like me the answer is way too long ago, so take the time right now to go respool every reel you own. Monofilament stretches, gets damaged from use (wrapped around limbs, cast around boat docks, etc…), and also

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deteriorates due to exposure to UV rays (sunlight) so it starts losing strength the minute you put it on. The longer it stays on, the weaker it gets. I’m partial to the Trilene Big Game series of lines. I use everything from the 10 pound line on my spinning reel to the 40 pound on my surf fishing rig, but the key here is to find something you have confidence in and use it. Now, if you put new line on your reels but your rod eyes are damaged you just wasted your time. Rod eyes have come a long way in the past few years and are harder to break than ever before but they can still be damaged. How many times have you stepped on the rods sitting on your

front deck while fighting a bass? Or how many times have the rods ridden in the back of your truck bouncing down back roads to a secret fishing spot? The point is, rod eyes can break which can leave sharp edges that will damage the new line you just put on. To check for damaged eyes take a cotton swab and run it around the entire inside of the eye. Any sharp edges inside the eye will catch little pieces of cotton, showing that they need to be replaced. Normally, the rod eye on the tip suffers the most damage, and thankfully this is the easiest to replace. I keep a lighter, a few extra rod tips, and some glue in my tackle bag so I can make emergency repairs as needed. While we’re talking about tackle bags (or boxes), mine used to be a cluttered mess of mismatched tackle. It would take me ten T E X A S

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minutes to find the specific lure I was looking for. I knew it was in there, somewhere, I just didn’t know where. A few years back I started organizing everything by use, putting topwaters in one box, jigs in another, etc… Each box is labeled for what is in it, with the label facing up. Now when I reach for a box I know exactly what I’m getting. Plus, I labeled each individual slot so that I know exactly what size of bait is in it. I have a friend who invested in a label maker to label all his gear. I don’t go quite that far but I do cut the labels for the lures off the packaging they came in and tape it to the box directly over the slot I put them in. When I’m done with a lure it goes back in the same slot so I always know where it is. If I need a ¾ ounce lipless crankbait it takes me about 20 seconds to locate it where in the past it might have taken the better part of an afternoon. All this preparation might be a little bit of overkill but some preventa-

tive maintenance now can prevent lost fish later. Besides, It’s February, what else do you have to do?

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really gets me upset is gear requirements. For years it has amazed me that the USCG requirements call for PFDs, sound and visual signals, and fire extinguishers, but not for a first aid kit. Isn’t this just as basic and necessary an item to have onboard? I say yes,

First Aid Afloat ET ME START OFF BY SAYING THAT I APPREciate what the United States Coast Guard does immensely; the men and women in the USCG risk life and limb to keep our waterways safe, develop laws and programs that are imperative, and enforce laws that would otherwise be unenforceable. They’ve saved my butt once, and covered it twice during onboard medical emergencies. I (sniff) love you guys! So don’t get me wrong if what I’m about to say sounds like I’m bashing on them. But sometimes, the organization moves at an absolutely glacial pace. Sometimes, it does things that make no sense at all, and then fails to fix them. Their resistance to inflatable PFDs is one example, but the one that

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They’ve saved my butt once and covered it twice. I (sniff) love you guys! But...

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and I’m sure each and every coastie working in the field would agree. So, why hasn’t the Guard changed the regs? Because it would take around 343,968 man-hours worth of paperwork? Because they’d have to get

Democrats and Republicans to shake on it? This is such a no-brainer that there really is no excuse. What the heck—it’s almost as if the Guard were a government organization, or a branch of the military, or a... oh yeah, wait a sec. What the heck – since the USCG won’t be able to deal with this issue until the glaciers melt and hell freezes over, I figured we’d deal with it right here, right now. Consider it a rule, whether it’s written or not: you should never, ever leave the dock without a first aid kit. Here are the five new regulations about the kit which I’m expecting the Coast Guard to publish, by the year 2112.

Non-USCG CFR #XYZ123/WTH-1 ALL boats must have first aid kits contained in watertight, floating containers. Those band-aids and gauze pads won’t do anyone any good if they’re soaked in saltwater, or moldy from moisture. And few store-bought first-aid kits are in watertight cases, unless you buy those specifically intended for on-the-water use. So inspect yours to be sure it is. If it isn’t, stow the entire kit inside one of those orange ammostyle boxes, which locks down tight on a gasket. In fact, even if your kit is watertight consider getting one of these boxes. They give you a safe, consolidated, waterproof place to put all of your extra emergency gear. You know, the other stuff that really should be aboard, even if the USCG doesn’t require it: a back-up GPS and handheld VHF; a sealed bottle of drinking water, a knife, a compass, and a signal mirror.

Non-USCG CFR #XYZ123/WTH-2 ALL first aid kits intended to fulfill Non-USCG CFR #XYZ123/WTH-1 regulations must include the following firstaid basics: a large roll of gauze; a roll of cloth tape; an assortment of band-aids 80 |

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including butterfly-styles; disinfectant; a pair of scissors; a basic pain reliever such as aspirin or acetaminophen; an Ace bandage; a large (at least 8” x 10”) trauma pad; alcohol pads; a pair of latex gloves; tweezers; and burn relief gel.

Non-USCG CFR #XYZ123/WTH-3 A basic first-aid instruction card must be packed with the kit, and all people who captain their own boats should take a standard first aid/CPR course. We hope you never need to know this stuff, but can anyone think of a good reason not to take the course? It could save a life at sea or at home. If you’ve already taken a course, why bother packing in that instruction card? First off, because it’s easy to forget details, especially in an emergency, and having a back-up to your brain is a good thing. It’s also important because you could be the one to become injured. If you’re unconscious and bleeding, it’s a fair bet you won’t be able to say “elevate the wound and apply direct pressure.” But just about anyone aboard your boat will be able to read those words off of a card. Note: for this same reason, you should always tell people the basic emergency rules when they first step aboard your boat. Show them where the first aid kit and emergency gear is, point out the fire extinguishers, and show them how to get to and wear the life jackets. And just in case you do need a helping hand from the USCG, also explain to your passengers how they can broadcast on channel 16, on the VHF.

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hook slides right back out of the skin and meat. That sounds painful? Trust me, it’s a lot less painful than grabbing the hook and pulling for all you’re worth, before you give up and head for the emergency room— where they will push the end of the hook through, and cut off the point and barb with a pair of bolt cutters. Note: don’t depend on a standard fishing pliers/cutter to do this job. They aren’t strong or sharp enough,

and as you squeeze them tight they’ll cause the hook to wiggle around. Ouch.

Non-USCG CFR #XYZ123/WTH-5 Also in addition to the standard first aid kit, all captains shall add an CONTINUED emergency SEE PAGE 82 

Non-USCG CFR #XYZ123/WTH-4 In addition to the standard first aid kit items, all captains shall add a small pair of high-quality bolt-cutters onboard. These things are a real asset when one of the most common but painful of fishing injuries occurs: someone gets stuck with a hook. You never want to try and pull a hook out backwards; that’s what barbs are designed to prevent, and they do a magnificent job of it, especially when they’re planted firmly in human gristle. Instead, you’ll want to push the hook point all the way through the skin, and use the bolt cutters to cut the barb and point off. Once you do so, the rest of the I N L A N D

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beefier engine would be needed to get the rig up to highway speeds. The Texas Sidecar Company helped craft the basic chassis and the design went through multiple iterations. Herman expressed his personal thanks to Jeff Skipsky, the head mechanic at Mancuso Harley Davidson, for all of his help making sure the final design was roadworthy and safe at 55 MPH. Herman chose an eleven-foot Trident hull from Ocean Kayak for the Yak Hack. The hull extends about three-feet in front and in back of the side car. The eleven-foot hull is shorter than the hulls he normally fishes from but hull length was sacrificed for road safety. He specifically chose the Trident hull because of the protected storage area, called a Rod Pod, inside the hull. The Rod Pod’s large hatch allows bay rods to be stowed inside – even fly rods. With the hatch secured, his rods are safe from flying road debris. Herman cuts up foam pool noodles and puts them in the interior of the kayak for his rods to lie on. The foam acts as a vibration dampener, eliminating “reel rash” during transit. “I am a minimalist when it comes to fishing,” Herman explained. “I take very little tackle with me on fishing trips. Several rods and a small box of lures is generally all I need for the day. I stow all of that gear inside the kayak.” Herman also stows his backrest, PFD, paddle, and other kayak accessories inside hatches as well. “If I am on the bike and am not on the

Texas ‘Yak Hack’ Tour ADDLING FRIEND AND FELLOW OUTDOOR scribe Jeff Herman has two serious hobbies: restoring vintage Italian scooters and kayak fishing. Herman, known to many by the nom de plume Birds nest, came up with the idea to combine his two passions, creating a scooter with a special sidecar to haul his kayak and then tour the Texas coast on three wheels. Side cars on scooters aren’t a new idea but one specifically designed to haul a kayak may the first of its kind. Side cars in the motorcycle trade are known as hacks and Herman’s new ride quickly became known as the Yak Hack. Herman has been riding scooters for more than 20 years, dating back to his days as a student at Texas A&M. “I was on an extremely limited budget,” he explained. “I was a poor student and had to make the ends meet. Riding a scooter was better than walking.” His love affair with scooters blossomed over the years and Herman now collects and restores old PTWs (power two wheelers). He is particularly fond of old Italian-made bikes as they can hit 70 MPH. For this project though, Herman chose a Vespa 200d, which has a 250 cc engine, figuring the

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freeway, I will leave the rods in the rod holders sticking straight up,” he added. “If I am only doing 35 MPH and going from one location to another, I don’t worry about stowing everything inside the hull.” Herman has taken several trips in the Yak Hack from his home in Houston to Galveston and Matagorda to insure the final design has all the bugs worked out. “I had bad mechanical problems for about a year but we finally ironed those out and now the Yak Hack performs really well on the road,” he said. Herman had originally planned to make a complete coastal tour, fishing border-toborder on three wheels in just five days but it appears that time demands at work will force him to break his Mexico-to Louisiana fishing trek into smaller, more manageable pieces. Plus, while he may be able to load all of his fishing gear into his kayak for a trip to the coast, there isn’t any extra room for clothes, bedrolls, food, or any extra items he may need besides fishing gear. Herman calculated that his gas mileage is 50 miles to the gallon in the Yak Hack and that it will cost him about $20.00 to fish the entire Texas coast. While Herman’s tour of the Texas coast on three wheels won’t qualify as walkabout angling, it is creative – and frugal. In conclusion, Herman said: “”I have come up with worse ideas but none were as entertaining.” Contact Greg Berlocher at kayak@fishgame.com

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“space” blanket to their orange watertight emer-

gency box. Yeah, these blankets look silly and they crackle like those super-loud Sunchips bags whenever you move them, but they actually work. And since hypothermia is 82 |

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the number-one killer of outdoor recreationalists, you should always be prepared to combat it. An emergency blanket gives you that ability, after someone falls into the water or gets stuck out overnight with insufficient clothing. Right next to the blanket, pack in a couple of those instant hand-warmers. You

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don’t want to depend on these for emergency warmth since they grow unreliable with age, but it surely can’t hurt to have a few packs on-hand.

E-mail Lenny Rudow at boating@fishgame.com I N L A N D

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PHOTO: TERRY BAIN, DREAMSTIME

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Brazos River Barbecued Salmon HAVE BEEN PREPARING GREAT BARBECUE for many years and have always created my own homemade sauces for different cuts of meat or seafood. Grilled salmon has been a favorite dish of mine for years and I always try to prepare a marinade that will stand up to the rich flavor of this awesome fish. Our new Brazos River Barbecue Sauce contains the elements that pare well with salmon but will also caramelize nicely to be a great compliment to quail, ribs, shrimp and many other favorites. I hope you enjoy this dish with friends or family and share it with others that love the great taste of salmon fresh off the grill.

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Serves 4 to 6 1- 2 to 3 lb. filet of salmon- I prefer the tail section, it contains no pin bones or rib cage bones. Leave the skin on when grilling to keep the filet intact and the skin and scales will act as a barrier to hold in moisture on the hot grill. If you prefer salmon steaks, then allow 4 to 6 eight oz. steaks Heat grill to med. high heat if using gas, if using charcoal, heat to approx. 400 degrees Season the grill with cooking oil to prevent fish from sticking (be sure the grates I N L A N D

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have been cleaned well before grilling, nobody wants salmon that taste like hamburger or whatever else was last cooked on the grill) 1 lemon – cut into quarters for squeezing over the fish filets

Preparation

When filets are mostly opaque, remove from the grill and place on a preheated platter. Cover loosely with a piece of foil to rest the fish for 4 to 6 minutes (this will force escaping steam back into the fish and will redistribute the juices allowing the meat to be easily removed from the skin with a spatula) Serve with Yellow Squash Casserole and fresh steamed spinach. Bon Appetit!

Place ½ jar of the Texas Gourmet’s Brazos River Barbecue Sauce into a bowl then brush onto the filets skin side down Place the filets on the grill indirectly, brush with the barbecue sauce then cover the grill to hold in heat and allow the filets to cook evenly, be sure and baste again after 7 to 8 minutes T E X A S

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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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Chris Carey Huge Striper Striper Express Guide Service

TEXAS SALTWATER

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ROCKPORT

GALVESTON

MIDDLE COAST

FOR ADVERTISING RATES AND INFORMATION CALL 281.869.5519 Debra Redfish Rockport Red Runner

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BAFFIN BAY

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Aeric Oliver - Reds Redfish Charters

ADVERTISERS, SEND IN YOUR PHOTOS TODAY! 84 |

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Team Real Crazies Redfish Rockport Red Runner

TEXAS FRESHWATER

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LAKE TEXOMA

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EAST TEXAS

ADVERTISERS, SEND IN YOUR PHOTOS TODAY!

SPOTLIGHT: STRIPER EXPRESS “Welcome To Striper Express!” is the greeting you’ll receive the minute you board one of the Striper Express boats. For owners and pro-guides Bill and Chris Carey, friendliness and professionalism are not just words; they are a way of life. For the past 28 years, Striper Express Guide Service has been offering first class fishing for striped bass on Lake Texoma. “We Sell Fun!“ states the father and son team. Our slogan is, “Every Trip is an Adventure!” They specialize in group outings,meetings and events. Striper Express offers companies large and small a way to recharge and refocus with employees and key clients. Whether a daycation or a conference, you can count on a unique outdoor adventure that your group can drive to and be excited to attend. Lake Texoma boasts twice the state limit for striped bass at 10 fish per person. The lake is located on the Texas-Oklahoma border just 75 miles north of Dallas. This 90,000 acre impoundment is a fisherman’s dream come true. We asked Bill and Chris what are their most memorable moments and without hesitation they both stated, “It’s the Kids! They are our future fishermen!” If you would like to book a guided fishing trip on Lake Texoma, call Bill or Chris Carey at Striper Express Guide Service. You can get in on the “striper success”, too. The toll free number is: 877-786-4477 or visit their website at www.striperexpress.com.

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Duck Panhandle

Redfish Whitetail Buck

Galveston Bay

Laredo

ot iendswood sh . age 10, of Fr Brody Beken, Rancho Nueveo in Laredo at 145 lbs. d his first buck se es dr ld ck fie The 8-point bu

Halle Brumfie ld, her 22-inch re age 5, caught and lande d df parents in Ga ish while fishing with he r lveston Bay.

Whitetail Spike

r first mallard e dl e 11, holds he Emily Cox, ag the mallard in the Panhan ot drake. She sh and duck hunt. e during a goos

Feral Hog

Stringellow WMA Hondo

Mixed Stringer Port Mansfield

Benjamin Ko sler, age 10, of Richmond, his first deer shot on a youth hu nt at Stringfel WMA. The sp lo ike weighed 96 pounds. Be w jamin shot it nwith a Remin gton .223.

feral lled his first ile Cade Love ki Four-year-old y Arms Mini-Bolt .22 lr, wh nr hog with a He o with his father, Dustin nd hunting in Ho Love.

Cecil Woods , Ha caught a mixe rry King, and Carl Ostuki d stringer ne ar in a small Sc ooter. All thre Port Mansfield, e men are ov and believe th er at fishing ke eps you youn 70, g.

Whitetail Buck Montague County

Speckled Trout

Whitetail Deer

Port Mansfield

McColloch County

t buck ot this 9-poin an, age 12, sh , while le rif 0 .3 0Daniel Dugg .3 a County with It was in Montague ard Duggan. his Dad, Rich . ok hunting with to than his Dad a bigger buck

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Hayden Harri s, age 9, shot his first deer the VanZant on ranc He used a Ru h in McCulloch County. ger M77 250 Savage to ha vest his doe rfrom 50 yard s.

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ht arland, caug e, age 5 of Pe re, Hope Valentin d trout on an artificial lu kle d Dad later an m her first spec Mo d ou field. Pr at Port Mans fishing gear. more mature got her some

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Whitetail Buck Zepher

iah at his side, Isa (Lillie Taylor) ot this 13sh le, With NaNaw vil ue from Bosq Dougherty, 7, mily lease in buck at his fa very proud. inch, 9-point tt Taylor was Ma w Pa w Zepher. Pa

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Redfish

Flounder

Rockport

Sargent

Jacob Finnen , 5, of Pearla nd caught hi first redfish s from pier in Rockpo the Laguna Reef Hotel rt. He was fis hing with his Papaw, Jack Hutson, of Ba ytown.

g po, was visitin 11, of El Cam she en wh t Jaid Hooey, en rg amps at Sa st Grama and Gr ch flounder. It was her fir -in landed this 18 caught it with a mullet. she flatfish, and

Redfish McFadden Beach

Whitetail Spike Red River County

Whitetail Buck Junction

John Gagne, ag season, bagg e 9 during the 2009 yout h ed his first de er, a spike, wi Howa .243. th

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r hurst, killer he n, 8, from Pine Jordyn Calhou int buck, on the O’Neal po at 23 Rossi rifle first deer, a 6tion, with a .2 Ranch in Junc 60 yards.

Joshua Taun ton, age 6, of Beaumont, ca this 32-inch redf ught and friends at ish while fishing with fam ily McFadden Be was released ach. The fish .

Whitetail Spike

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South Padre

Catfish Lake Conroe

nd is uth Padre Isla ison, 9, of So He . er gl Landon Hard an er and saltwat rnaan avid fresh Second in the Texas Inte ed recently plac t. g Tournamen tional Fishin

Four-year-old Keegan Sadd ler, with his first major La ke first catch wa Conroe catfish catch. Hi s s a baby cat from a neighbor’s pond, bu t this was th e “reel” deal .

ot Lumberton, sh am, age 9, of his Matthew Dunh a hunt in Junction, with iton his first buck rifle. The photo was subm h nd. new .243 yout Jerry Stewart, of Nederla a ted by grandp

Whitetail Buck Crystal City

Rainbow Trout

Redfish

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South Padre

Weston Woe hr, 7, of San Antonio shot 10-point cull this buck hunting with his uncl Joey Blackm e on near Crys tal City. He m a 100-yard he ade art shot with a .222 Remin gton. I N L A N D

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s her Austin show r, age 13, of Kaiya Pelletie ught in White River, ca drainbow trout boat fishing with her gran ile Arkansas wh dad.

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Cameron Trev in caught this 28 o, age 11, from Falfurias -inch redfish wh Capt. Johnny Watts at Sout ile fishing with h Padre Island .

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Trends in Kayaking ILLUSTRATION: MAP, NOAA, PHOOTO, INSET, JIM HOWARD, CREATIVE COMMONS

BY GREG BERLOCHER THE “PLASTIC NAVY” CONTINUES to grow across the country as people discover the enjoyment and simplicity of paddling. Unlike mountainous regions, Texas has a very limited number of legitimate whitewater opportunities, so the real growth in the kayak market in our state is angler-driven. A number of new hulls and accessories released this year improve angling performance and functionality. Purchasing a kayak has traditionally been an a la carte affair, but a number of manufacturers now offer kayak bundles complete with hull, paddle, PFD, and backrest. A few even throw in hats and water bottles. The idea is to simplify your buying decision. In some cases, buffet pricing offers a good value; in others, I suggest ordering off the menu. While paddles and backrests make the deals attractive, in some cases bundled accessories are marginal quality and not worth the premium bundle price. N O R T H

A L M A N A C

T E X A S

Always ask if you can upgrade to a better backrest or paddle. If you can’t and the paddle or backrest is clearly substandard, you are probably better off ordering components a-la carte. Another trend is the development of kayak-style accessories normally associated with power boating. The use of electronics by kayak anglers is certainly not new, but manufactures are now introducing models specifically designed for kayak duty. Ice chests designed to fit in the tank well of a kayak are another new development.

F I S H

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In This Issue HOW-TO SECTION

FISHING FORECAST SECTION

52 54

TEXAS GUNS & GEAR • My Buffalo Rfle | BY STEVE LAMASCUS

70

BOWHUNTING TECH • Stand Down | BY LOU MARULLO

71

PAUL’S TIPS • What to Do with February | BY PAUL BRADSHAW

72

TEXAS BOATING | BY LENNY RUDOW

74

TEXAS KAYAKING • The Yak Hack Tour | BY GREG BERLOCHER

75

TEXAS TASTED • Barbecue Salmon | BY BRYAN SLAVEN

76

OUTDOOR CLASSIFIED DIRECTORY • Guides, Gear and More | BY TF&G STAFF

78

TF&G PHOTOS • Your Action Photos | BY TF&G READERS

• First Aid Afloat

GEARING UP SECTION

SPORTSMAN’S DAYBOOK • Tides & Prime Times | BY TF&G STAFF TEXAS HOTSPOTS • Texas’ Hottest Fishing Spots | BY TOM BEHRENS, CALIXTO GONZALES, & BOB HOOD

64

NEW PRODUCTS • Hot New Outdoor Gear | BY TF&G STAFF

66

TEXAS TESTED • StarTron; Magellan | BY TF&G STAFF

67

INDUSTRY INSIDER • Cabela’s; Lund Boats | BY TF&G STAFF

www.FishGame.com

Recognizing the growth potential in the kayak market, Humminbird has introduced a depth-finder specifically designed for kayak anglers. Instead of relying on special transducer brackets that hang over the side of the kayak, Humminbird designed a special transducer that fits neatly into a scupper hole. Necky Kayaks is a performance-oriented kayak manufacturer well known for excellent touring boats. The company’s new Vector 13 is its first new sit-on-top kayak released in eight years. The sleek new hull doesn’t have a lot of storage capacity and wasn’t specifically designed as a fishing kayak, but it makes a great angling platform. Canoe-meets-kayak is the best way to describe the Wilderness Systems Commander series of hulls. Based on the The Excursion

bulging bags of decoys and hunting gear. When hunting season is over, your hull can be used on lakes and bays. The Commander 140 can be ordered with an optional angler package that includes the Slide Trax Accessory SysKayak-designed tems for mounting depthfinder electronics and an Humminbird anchor trolley system. The Hobie Cat Pro Angler kayak carries on the designedfor-fishing trend in several unique ways. The fishing-specific hull form offers great stability, and its deck design is packed with the essentials: an easy-to-reach cutting board for bait preparation (or on-the-spot filleting, if so inclined), adjustable Cool

kayak and surfboard that you paddle while standing. I was particularly interested in Ocean Kayaks’ new Nalu SUP as a fishing platform. Most SUPs are water toys, but the craft has promise as a fishing platform for those who enjoy standing up while casting. Trusted paddling friend Jeff “Birdsnest” Herman reports the 11-foot Nalu is stable enough to sight-cast from. Herman pointed out that a sit-on-top would be a much better choice for someone that needs to paddle several miles, but noted the Nalu SUP would be a good option if you knew fish are just a short distance away. The Nalu has a seat

Carlisle success of their 12-foot model, Wilderness Systems has added the Commander 140 to the line. The additional 2 feet of length provides a roomier ride, more leg and foot room, and lots of storage. Duck hunters will love this boat, as the 475-pound carrying capacity allows you to load down the hull with

Ride Seat, space for 13 Plano tackle boxes, six-rod stowage area, bow and stern stowage lockers, and an impressive 600pound payload capacity. Stand-up paddleboarding (SUP) in an interesting niche in the kayak industry that has shown steady growth over the last few years. The hull is cross between a sit-on-top

making it easier to paddle in high winds or in case you get tired of standing. The Carlisle Excursion paddle offers a nice blend of performance and affordability. Asymmetrical padCONTINUED dle blades crafted from glass-reinSEE PAGE 54 

kayak paddle

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F E B R U A R Y

2 0 1 1

T E X A S

F I S H

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N O R T H

A L M A N A C

PHOTOS COURTESY MFG’S

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COVER STORY • Trends in Kayaking | BY GREG BERLOCHER

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OUTDOOR LIFESTYLE SECTION


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FEBRUARY 2011

Tides and Prime Times

MONDAY

TUESDAY

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

PRIME TIME 12:59 am 9:15 am 5:15 pm 9:48 pm

Sunrise: 7:29a Moonrise: 6:25a AM Minor: 3:54a PM Minor: 4:18p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

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

PRIME TIME 12:16 am 6:47 am 12:07 pm 6:40 pm

Sunrise: 7:25a Moonrise: 9:31a AM Minor: 8:25a PM Minor: 8:46p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

0.15ft. 0.66ft. 0.22ft. 0.73ft.

Set: 6:16p Set: 10:36p AM Major: 2:15a PM Major: 2:36p 4:01p 3:40a

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

PRIME TIME 6:46 am 3:43 pm 7:57 pm 10:12 pm

Sunrise: 7:19a Moonrise: 2:40p AM Minor: 1:43a PM Minor: 2:12p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

-0.59ft. 1.06ft. 0.98ft. 0.99ft.

7:30 — 9:30 AM

Set: 6:23p Set: 4:12a AM Major: 7:57a PM Major: 8:26p 9:54p 9:25a

21

PRIME TIME

High Tide: 6:43 am 0.99ft. Low Tide: 12:11 pm 0.33ft. High Tide: 5:55 pm 0.90ft.

Sunrise: 7:12a Moonrise: 10:40p AM Minor: 8:04a PM Minor: 8:31p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

1:00 — 3:00 AM

Set: 6:28p Set: 9:04a AM Major: 1:50a PM Major: 2:17p 3:21a 3:48p

28

PRIME TIME 1:00 am 8:05 am 12:27 pm 6:42 pm

Sunrise: 7:24a Moonrise: 10:02a AM Minor: 9:12a PM Minor: 9:33p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

0.05ft. 0.62ft. 0.40ft. 0.74ft.

Sunrise: 7:05a Moonrise: 4:25a AM Minor: 2:04a PM Minor: 2:28p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

-0.47ft. 1.02ft. 0.84ft.

2:00 — 4:00 AM

Set: 6:17p Set: 11:31p AM Major: 3:01a PM Major: 3:23p 4:43p 4:22a

15

PRIME TIME

Low Tide: 7:36 am High Tide: 3:57 pm Low Tide: 8:05 pm

Sunrise: 7:18a Moonrise: 3:46p AM Minor: 2:34a PM Minor: 3:03p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

-0.67ft. 1.06ft. 0.90ft.

8:30 — 10:30 PM

Set: 6:23p Set: 5:03a AM Major: 8:49a PM Major: 9:18p 10:51p 10:23a

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

12:00 — 2:00 PM

Set: 6:11p Set: 5:11p AM Major: 10:06a PM Major: 10:30p 11:46a None

PRIME TIME 12:43 am 8:13 am 12:55 pm 6:12 pm

Sunrise: 7:11a Moonrise: 11:49p AM Minor: 9:05a PM Minor: 9:33p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

-0.35ft. 0.95ft. 0.60ft. 0.92ft.

2:30 — 4:30 AM

Set: 6:29p Set: 9:46a AM Major: 2:51a PM Major: 3:19p 4:16a 4:44p

PRIME TIME

Low Tide: 7:37 am High Tide: 3:49 pm Low Tide: 8:47 pm

52 |

3:30 — 5:30 AM

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

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

WEDNESDAY

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

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

Sunrise: 7:28a Moonrise: 7:03a AM Minor: 4:40a PM Minor: 5:03p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

THURSDAY

PRIME TIME 0.90ft. -0.63ft. 0.85ft. 0.62ft.

12:30 — 2:30 PM

Set: 6:12p Set: 6:08p AM Major: 10:51a PM Major: 11:14p 12:33p 12:10a

9

PRIME TIME

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

1:48 am 9:46 am 12:41 pm 6:25 pm

Sunrise: 7:23a Moonrise: 10:35a AM Minor: 9:59a PM Minor: 10:22p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

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

12:16 am 8:24 am 4:16 pm 8:41 pm

Sunrise: 7:17a Moonrise: 4:55p AM Minor: 3:26a PM Minor: 3:54p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

-0.03ft. 0.62ft. 0.56ft. 0.77ft.

Set: 6:18p Set: None AM Major: 3:48a PM Major: 4:11p 5:28p 5:05a

PRIME TIME 1.02ft. -0.69ft. 1.04ft. 0.75ft.

3:00 — 5:00 AM

Set: 6:24p Set: 5:50a AM Major: 9:40a PM Major: 10:08p 11:48p 11:20a

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

3:30 — 5:30 AM

PRIME TIME 1:46 am 9:59 am 1:41 pm 6:23 pm

Sunrise: 7:10a Moonrise: None AM Minor: 10:06a PM Minor: 10:34p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

-0.46ft. 0.95ft. 0.83ft. 0.95ft.

3:30 — 5:30 AM

Set: 6:30p Set: 10:31a AM Major: 3:52a PM Major: 4:20p 5:12a 5:40p

PRIME TIME

3

PRIME TIME

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

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

Sunrise: 7:28a Moonrise: 7:36a AM Minor: 5:25a PM Minor: 5:47p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

10 

Low Tide: 2:45 am High Tide: 5:55 pm

Sunrise: 7:22a Moonrise: 11:12a AM Minor: 10:48a PM Minor: 11:12p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

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

1:38 am 9:10 am 4:36 pm 9:22 pm

Sunrise: 7:16a Moonrise: 6:05p AM Minor: 4:18a PM Minor: 4:46p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

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

Set: 6:13p Set: 7:04p AM Major: 11:10a PM Major: ----1:17p 12:55a

PRIME TIME -0.12ft. 0.84ft.

PRIME TIME 1.06ft. -0.63ft. 1.00ft. 0.55ft.

PRIME TIME 2:57 am 12:19 pm 3:06 pm 4:21 pm

Sunrise: 7:09a Moonrise: 12:55a AM Minor: 11:05a PM Minor: 11:34p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

-0.52ft. 1.00ft. 0.99ft. 0.99ft.

T E X A S

F I S H

PRIME TIME

&

G A M E ®

N O R T H

4:00 — 6:00 AM

Set: 6:31p Set: 11:21a AM Major: 4:51a PM Major: 5:20p 6:09a 6:37p

PRIME TIME

Set: 6:34p Set: 3:06p AM Major: 8:16a PM Major: 8:40p 9:44a 10:07p

2 0 1 1

4:00 — 6:00 AM

Set: 6:25p Set: 6:32a AM Major: 10:32a PM Major: 10:59p None 12:15p

6:00 — 8:00 AM

F E B R U A R Y

4:30 — 6:30 AM

Set: 6:19p Set: 12:27a AM Major: 4:36a PM Major: 5:00p 6:15p 5:51a

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

8:00 — 10:00 PM

A L M A N A C


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FEBRUARY 2011

Tides and Prime Times

FRIDAY

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

PRIME TIME

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

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

Sunrise: 7:27a Moonrise: 8:06a AM Minor: 6:10a PM Minor: 6:31p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

12:00 — 2:00 PM

Set: 6:14p Set: 7:58p AM Major: 11:55a PM Major: 12:20p 1:59p 1:38a

11

PRIME TIME

Low Tide: 3:47 am High Tide: 5:49 pm

-0.22ft. 0.92ft.

Sunrise: 7:22a Moonrise: 11:54a AM Minor: 11:38a PM Minor: ----Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

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

SATURDAY

Set: 6:20p Set: 1:24a AM Major: 5:25a PM Major: 5:50p 7:06p 6:40a

PRIME TIME

2:53 am 9:56 am 4:56 pm 10:07 pm

1.07ft. -0.48ft. 0.95ft. 0.30ft.

Sunrise: 7:15a Moonrise: 7:14p AM Minor: 5:11a PM Minor: 5:38p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

5:00 — 7:00 AM

Set: 6:26p Set: 7:11a AM Major: 11:25a PM Major: 11:51p 12:42a 1:09p

25 

Low Tide: 4:15 am High Tide: 2:29 pm

5:00 — 7:00 AM

PRIME TIME -0.53ft. 1.07ft.

Sunrise: 7:08a Moonrise: 1:56a AM Minor: ----PM Minor: 12:02p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

4:30 — 6:30 AM

Set: 6:31p Set: 12:14p AM Major: 5:48a PM Major: 6:16p 7:06a 7:33p

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

SUNDAY PRIME TIME

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

0.78ft. -0.15ft. 0.74ft. 0.26ft.

Sunrise: 7:26a Moonrise: 8:35a AM Minor: 6:55a PM Minor: 7:15p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

3:30 — 5:30 AM

Set: 6:15p Set: 8:51p AM Major: 12:45a PM Major: 1:05p 2:40p 2:20a

12

PRIME TIME

Low Tide: 4:52 am High Tide: 5:57 pm

-0.34ft. 0.98ft.

Sunrise: 7:21a Moonrise: 12:43p AM Minor: 12:02a PM Minor: 12:28p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

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

6:00 — 8:00 AM

Set: 6:21p Set: 2:21a AM Major: 6:15a PM Major: 6:42p 8:00p 7:33a

PRIME TIME

4:06 am 10:41 am 5:16 pm 10:55 pm

1.07ft. -0.25ft. 0.91ft. 0.05ft.

Sunrise: 7:14a Moonrise: 8:23p AM Minor: 6:06a PM Minor: 6:33p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

12:00 — 2:00 AM

Set: 6:27p Set: 7:48a AM Major: ----PM Major: 12:20p 1:35a 2:02p

26

PRIME TIME

Low Tide: 5:32 am High Tide: 3:08 pm

-0.53ft. 1.10ft.

Sunrise: 7:07a Moonrise: 2:52a AM Minor: 12:27a PM Minor: 12:55p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

5:00 — 7:00 AM

Set: 6:32p Set: 1:11p AM Major: 6:41a PM Major: 7:08p 8:01a 8:27p

PRIME TIME

6

PRIME TIME

High Tide: 5:41 am 0.72ft. Low Tide: 11:44 am 0.04ft. High Tide: 6:29 pm 0.73ft.

11:00A — 1:00P

Sunrise: 7:26a Moonrise: 9:03a AM Minor: 7:40a PM Minor: 8:00p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

Set: 6:15p Set: 9:43p AM Major: 1:30a PM Major: 1:50p 3:20p 3:00a

13

PRIME TIME

Low Tide: 5:52 am High Tide: 3:50 pm

-0.46ft. 1.02ft.

Sunrise: 7:20a Moonrise: 1:39p AM Minor: 12:52a PM Minor: 1:20p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

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

Set: 6:22p Set: 3:18a AM Major: 7:06a PM Major: 7:34p 8:56p 8:28a

PRIME TIME

5:22 am 11:26 am 5:36 pm 11:47 pm

1.03ft. 0.03ft. 0.89ft. -0.17ft.

Sunrise: 7:13a Moonrise: 9:31p AM Minor: 7:04a PM Minor: 7:30p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

12:30 — 2:30 AM

Set: 6:28p Set: 8:26a AM Major: 12:51a PM Major: 1:17p 2:28a 2:54p

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

7:00 — 9:00 PM

PRIME TIME 6:40 am 3:33 pm 8:42 pm 11:02 pm

-0.51ft. 1.07ft. 0.91ft. 0.94ft.

Sunrise: 7:06a Moonrise: 3:41a AM Minor: 1:17a PM Minor: 1:43p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

5:30 — 7:30 AM

Set: 6:33p Set: 2:08p AM Major: 7:30a PM Major: 7:56p 8:54a 9:19p

PRIME TIME

PRIME TIME

SYMBOL KEY



New Moon

N O R T H



First Quarter

 Full Moon

A L M A N A C





PRIME TIME

Last Quarter Good Day

T E X A S

F I S H

BEST DAYS

&

G A M E ®

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)

F E B R 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

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PINEY WOODS same depths. Key in on the grass off the points of trees.

Crappie Action on Lake Fork

LOCATION: Caddo Lake HOTSPOT: Big Cypress Bayou GPS: N32 42.5907, W94 6.9642 (32.709845, -94.116070) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Rooster Tails, spoons, Roadrunners CONTACT: Paul Keith, caddoguide1@att.net, 318-455-3437, caddolakefishing.com TIPS: Fish these baits off the bottom in the areas around Johnsons Ranch Marina and Star Ditch in the Big Cypress channel for both white bass and yellow 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: One-half-ounce jigs with trailers, one-half-ounce Rat-L-Traps CONTACT: Paul Keith, caddoguide1@att.net, 318-455-3437, caddolakefishing.com TIPS: Fish black-blue jigs around the cypress trees in three-five feet of water and fish red Rat-L-Traps over the grass at the

LOCATION: Lake Fork HOTSPOT: Sra Point GPS: N32 50.81262, W95 35.57766

(32.846877, -95.592961) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Jigs, minnows CONTACT: Michael Rogge, microg@texascellnet.com, www.lakeforkguides.com TIPS: The crappie have moved into deep water at the mouths of Big and Little Caney Creeks. Fish the edges of drop-offs off SRA Point, humps at mouth of Dale, Long and Opossum Creeks. You also can catch catfish in 15-20 feet of water over baited holes. LOCATION: Lake Livingston HOTSPOT: White Rock Creek GPS: N30 58.45476, W95 20.30172 (30.974246, -95.338362) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Roadrunners, Bear Paws Ribbed Shad, Rat-L-Traps, Blue Fox Sassy Shad CONTACT: David S. Cox, dave@palmettoguideservice.com, 936-

forced polypropylene are matched  FROM PAGE 50 to a wrapped fiberglass shaft. Carlisle’s Pad-Lok system allows the blades of the two-piece paddle to be offset at 60 degrees or set inline. Malone Trailer’s Downeaster trailer is a winner on several counts. In addition to getting the award for the worst product name sold in Texas, Malone’s MicroSport CONTINUED

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F E B R U A R Y

XT trailer is the by far the most well thought out kayak trailer I have seen. A rack system elevates twin cradles off of the trailer frame, placing the hulls at waist level. Snapping backrests in place, stowing gear in hatches, and securing a milk crate full of gear in the tank well is much easier done while standing up. There is an optional synthetic gear box mounted to the frame for PFDs and other gear. Ocean Kayak hit upon a winning Micro-Sport XT idea when they introduced the Ice kayak trailer Box Storage Pod, a removable ice chest designed to fit into the tank well Malone of their Trident Ultra 4.7 hull. While the ice chest rides too far back in the hull to grab a cold soft drink or bottle of water while paddling, having a low profile ices chest available is a great idea. A group of pad2 0 1 1

T E X A S

F I S H

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dlers heading beyond the breakers could have a designated “refreshment boat. I hope Ocean Kayak expands on this theme with ice chest options for more models. Yak-Gear, the world’s leading supplier of kayak accessories, has introduced several new kits to make it easier to customize your hull. Five- and 10-piece pad eye kits are now available at most kayak shops and outdoor retailers and have everything you need to add additional eyes to your hull. Cloth handles tend to wear out quickly from the repeated strain of lifting fully loaded kayaks, and Yak-Gear’s new handle kit has everything you need to repair a worn out handle or add a pair to a hull lacking handles. Their scupper plug kit allows you to make up to eight plugs.

N O R T H

A L M A N A C

PHOTO COURTESY MFG

COVER STORY


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291-9602, palmettoguideservice.com TIPS: The best time is following a warming trend after a 1-2-inch rain with water temps over 60 degrees. Go to the back of the creek to find clearing water. Fish the sand bars and points near deeper holes. Fish slowly downstream until you find the fish. LOCATION: Toledo Bend Res. HOTSPOT: Sabine River Sand Bars GPS: N31 21.63024, W93 39.33312 (31.360504, -93.655552) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Slab spoons, Roadrunners, shallow-diving crankbaits CONTACT: Greg Crafts, gregcrafts@yahoo.com, 936-368-7151, toledobendguide.com TIPS: If the river level is high, work the sloughs and pockets with Rat-L-Traps, crankbaits or Roadrunners. If the level is low, work the sand bars with live crawfish or spoons. If there are strong currents, work the eddies down stream of the points.

PRAIRIES & LAKES

Crappie and Cats Take the Spotlight by BOB HOOD bhood@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Cedar Creek Res. HOTSPOT: Twin Creeks Boat Docks GPS: N32 17.5188, W96 7.57812 (32.291980, -96.126302) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Jigs with soft plastic trailers, spinnerbaits, Rat-L-Traps CONTACT: Jason Barber, kingscreekadventures@yahoo.com, 903-603-2047, www.kingcreekadventures.com TIPS: Focus on the docks and secondary points at the mouth of Twin Creeks. Caney, Clear, Cedar and Prairie creeks also are good for dock fishing. Pitch crawdad or black-blue jig-trailer combos or craw firetiger spinnerbaits or Rat-L-Traps under the docks. 56 |

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LOCATION: Fayette County Res. HOTSPOT: Boggy Creek Timber GPS: N29 56.5188, W96 43.9932 (29.941980, -96.733220) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Stinkbait, shad CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, weldoon_edna@hotmail.com, 979-229-3103, FishTales-GuideService.com TIPS: There is a large single tree here close to the north bank that helps block the wind. Anchor and fish the tree and nearby stumps south of it. The tree is on the edge of a flat near deep water. Chum the area to bring in the fish. Use a tight line. LOCATION: Gibbons Creek Res. HOTSPOT: Near Eagle Point GPS: N30 37.8654, W96 3.1308 (30.631090, -96.052180) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Minnows, black/green jigs CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, weldon_edna@hotmail.com, 979-229-3103, www.FishTales-GuideService.com TIPS: There is a large cedar tree here in 12 feet of water with brush that has been dropped around it. Tie to the tree, fish with cork or tight line close to its trunk. Vary depths of bait until you get a strike. Be patient because crappie come and go. LOCATION: Gibbons Creek Res. HOTSPOT: Near Eagle Point GPS: N30 37.91214, W96 3.0165 (30.631869, -96.050275) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Minnows, black/green jigs CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, weldon_edna@hotmail.com, 979-229-3103, www.FishTales-GuideService.com TIPS: There is a large cedar tree here in 12 feet of water with brush that has been dropped around it. Tie to the tree, fish with cork or tight line close to its trunk. Vary depths of bait until you get a strike. Be patient because crappie come and go. LOCATION: Lake Aquilla HOTSPOT: Triplet Point GPS: N31 54.84978, W97 12.88818 (31.914163, -97.214803) T E X A S

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SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: One-ounce Slabs CONTACT: Randy Routh, teamredneck01@hotmail.com, 817-822-5539, www.teamredneck.net TIPS: The white bass have pushed the baitfish into the cuts on Triplet Point. Birds are showing up early and are diving to pick up wounded shad which makes locating the fish easy. Make long casts with chartreuse Slabs and hop them off the bottom slowly. LOCATION: Lake Cooper HOTSPOT: Cannon Creek GPS: N33 20.44464, W95 41.8389 (33.340744, -95.697315) SPECIES: hybrid striped bass BEST BAITS: Strike King Shadaliciouse or similar swimbait CONTACT: Tony Parker, tawakonifishing@yahoo.com, 903-348-1619 TIPS: Look for February hybrids in the creeks in water from two to 10 feet. Throw a Strike King Shadaliciouse or similar swimbait. The fish will be around shallow brush and timber in Cannon Creek, Doctor’s Creek and other main-lake creeks feeding on shad. LOCATION: Lake Lavon HOTSPOT: Main-Lake Points North of Power Plant GPS: N33 4.30146, W96 27.32976 (33.071691, -96.455496) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Minnows, black-blue jigs CONTACT: Billy Kilpatrick, straightlineguide@yahoo.com, 214-232-7847, straightlineguide.com TIPS: Crappie are staging on all mainlake points. All points including the one north of the Power Plant have structure, most underwater. Using a graph to locate the fish is the key to success. Use 10pound test line with 1/8-ounce jigs. LOCATION: Lake Lewisville HOTSPOT: Doe Branch GPS: N33 12.09738, W96 55.06554 (33.201623, -96.917759) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Fresh threadfin or gizzard N O R T H

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shad CONTACT: Bobby Kubin, bobby@bobby-catfishing.com, 817-4552894, bobby-catfishing.com TIPS: A couple of warm days will push baitfish and trophy-sized blue cats into water as shallow as three feet. Use Carolina rigs with 2-ounce weights, 18-inch leaders, 8-ought hooks with large cut bait. Fish shallow flats close to deep drop-off or channels. LOCATION: Lake Palestine HOTSPOT: Flat Creek GPS: N32 13.02936, W95 32.91654 (32.217156, -95.548609) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Three-eighths-ounce spinnerbaits and jigs, Shimmy Shaker Blue Herron CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff, ricky@rickysguideservice.com, 903-5617299, rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Fish the backs of Flat Creek, Saline Creek, Kickapoo creek and Cobb Creek as well as the upper Neches River with white-chartreuse spinnerbaits or blackblue jigs and Blue Herons along the shallow ridges next to brush slowly. LOCATION: Lake Somerville HOTSPOT: Dam Area GPS: N30 19.035, W96 31.989 (30.317250, -96.533150) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Shad, cut perch, cut carp CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, weldon_edna@hotmail.com, 979-229-3103, FishTales-GuideService.com TIPS: Big blue cats are in deep water. Use a no-roll 1-3-ounce sinker depending on the wind and try to drift at 1/2 m.p.h. Use a 2-3-foot leader below the sinker with No.4 Kahle hook. A small cork 6-8-inches above hook will help prevent hang-ups. LOCATION: Lake Texoma HOTSPOT: Slickup Slough GPS: N33 54.02406, W96 54.01758 (33.900401, -96.900293) SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: Roadrunners, Sassy Shad jigs 58 |

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CONTACT: Bill Carey, bigfish@striperexpress.com, 877-786-4477, www.striperexpress.com TIPS: Chances of catching trophy fish in February are in your favor. Fish one-ounce white Roadrunner jigs with 7-inch plastic trailers for big fish holding on structure. Watch for seagulls. One-ounce Sassy Shads under the birds also produce big fish. LOCATION: Lake Whitney HOTSPOT: Big Rocky Creek GPS: N31 52.56594, W97 23.89566 (31.876099, -97.398261) SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: Storm Wild Eyed Shad CONTACT: Randy Routh, teamredneck01@hotmail.com, 817-822-5539, teamredneck.com TIPS: The stripers have pushed the shad back up in the creek past the first cut. Make long casts and drag the baits behind the boat using the trolling motor. Chartreuse is the best color to use. LOCATION: Richland-Chambers Res. HOTSPOT: 309 Flats GPS: N31 59.4024, W96 8.95734 (31.990040, -96.149289) SPECIES: hybrid striped bass BEST BAITS: Sassy Shads, one-ounce Silver Slabs CONTACT: Royce Simmons royce@gonefishin.biz, 903-389-4117, gonefishin.biz TIPS: February can be tough or really awesome, depending on water temps and the weather. If the water temps begin to move into the low 50s, the fish will turn on in 20-30 feet of water off the Flats. Also look for gulls to locate schools of white bass. LOCATION: Richland-Chambers Res. HOTSPOT: Highway 2859 Creek GPS: N32 3.78486, W96 14.18742 (32.063081, -96.236457) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Revenge Football Head Jigs, Spinnerbaits CONTACT: Steve Schmidt, steve@schmidtsbigbass.com, 682-518T E X A S

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8252, schmidtsbigbass.com TIPS: Fish the sunny side of this creek and others in the area, targeting the main lake and secondary points with slow-rolling white spinnerbaits with Colorado blades or black-blue jigs. The fish will move in and out as cold fronts come and go.

PANHANDLE

Ivie Bass, Cats and Crappie by BOB HOOD bhood@fishgame.com

LOCATION: OH Ivie Res. HOTSPOT: River Channel Flats GPS: N31 34.41798, W99 42.09672 (31.573633, -99.701612) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Soft plastic jerkbaits, spinnerbaits, Texas-rigged worms CONTACT: Dave Caudle, fishinwithdave@aol.com, 325-365-1020 TIPS: The pre-spawn period is under way. The best catches will be made up the river on points and edges of flats close to the main channel where the water is the warmest. Fish slowly to catch larger, less aggressive bass. LOCATION: OH Ivie Res. HOTSPOT: Yellow Bluff GPS: N31 34.54974, W99 42.51912 (31.575829, -99.708652) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Punch bait, shrimp CONTACT: Dave Caudle, fishinwithdave@aol.com, 325-365-1020, fishinwithdave.com TIPS: Use chum to bait areas around the timber just south of this area and anchor to fish punch baits or shrimp. The cormorant roosting areas just south of the bluff produce the best catches. LOCATION: OH Ivie Res. HOTSPOT: River Channel Flats GPS: N31 34.18548, W99 42.24606 (31.569758, -99.704101) N O R T H

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SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: live minnows, crappie jigs CONTACT: Dave Caudle, fishinwithdave@aol.com, 325-365-1020 TIPS: The crappie are in a pre-spawn mood and will be suspended in trees just off shore on the upper river channel. Minnows and jigs are best. Move from tree to tree to catch moving schools of crappie. LOCATION: OH Ivie Res. HOTSPOT: Main Lake Flats GPS: N31 33.24204, W99 43.8168 (31.554034, -99.730280) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Chrome, chartreuse spoons, jigs CONTACT: Dave Caudle, fishinwithdave@aol.com, 325-365-1020, fishinwithdave.com TIPS: You can catch limits of white bass at this time of the year when the white bass are feeding heavily on shad. Pump jigs and spoons off the bottom in 10 feet of water on the flats near edges of the channel here near deeper water for best results.

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(29.539336, -101.211370) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Deep-diving Bombers, Rat-L-Traps CONTACT: Larry Scruggs, Amistad Lodge and Adventures, fisherofmenlrs@hotmail.com, 210-789-1645 TIPS: Search for water in the 20-25-foot range. February is pre-spawn time. If you fish the Mexico side of the lake make sure you buy a Mexico fishing license which is available at Fisherman’s Headquarters at the junction of Highways 277 and 90 in Del Rio. LOCATION: Lake Amistad HOTSPOT: Pecos River GPS: N29 42.40584, W101 21.3744 (29.706764, -101.356240) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Rat-L-Traps, shallow-diving crankbaits CONTACT: Larry Scruggs, Amistad Lodge and Adventures, fisherofmenlrs@hotmail.com, 210-789-1645 TIPS: This is the time of the year the

white bass make their spawning runs up the major rivers such as the Pecos. The upper Rio Grande and Devil’s River channels also are good bets. Cast onto sandy or rocky slopes and use a medium to slow retrieve.

HILL COUNTRY

Face Time at Canyon Dam by BOB HOOD bhood@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Canyon Lake HOTSPOT: Face of Dam GPS: N29 52.0932, W98 11.94492 (29.868220, -98.199082) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Power Worm, Rattlesnake worm, Texas Craw CONTACT: KC's Bassin' Guide Service, kandie@gvtc.com, 210-823-2153

LOCATION: Possum Kingdom Res. HOTSPOT: Costello Island GPS: N32 54.50946, W98 27.65598 (32.908491, -98.460933) SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: Rat-L-Traps, deep-diving crankbaits, live shad CONTACT: Dean Heffner, fav7734@aceweb.com, 940-329-0036 TIPS: Concentrate on the area from Costello Island to Bird Island, jigging lures on and off the bottom. Keep rods in rod holders for best results. You are likely to catch largemouth bass and catfish here using the same methods.

BIG BEND

Largemouth and Whites at Amistad by BOB HOOD bhood@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Lake Amistad HOTSPOT: Cow Creek GPS: N29 32.36016, W101 12.6822 N O R T H

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TIPS: Drop shot face of the dam with Secret Weapon Recoil rig, or fish a Texasrigged motor oil-red flake Power Worm or Jewel Jig with 1/2-ounce Texas Craw and Uncle Josh Pork along the breaklines. LOCATION: Lake Granger HOTSPOT: San Gabriel River GPS: N30 39.8571, W97 23.70636 (30.664285, -97.395106) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Small white jigs CONTACT: Tommy Tidwell, crappie1@hotmail.com, 512-365-7761 gotcrappie.com TIPS: Head up the river from the lake and fish the area from Fox Bottom to Dickersons Bottom. White bass can be found all along this area but normally are best farther up river. Fish the eddies below gravel bars with small white jigs. LOCATION: Lake Granger HOTSPOT: River Channel Sloughs GPS: N30 39.702, W97 23.7063 (30.661700, -97.395105) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: 1/16-ounce jigs, minnows CONTACT: Tommy Tidwell, crappie1@hotmail.com, 512-365-7761 gotcrappie.com TIPS: Fish the jigs on slip bobbers in the ditches and sloughs off the river. Crappie can be very shallow after three or more warm days. Another pattern is to fish the main river at night with lights. Use bobbers set at 3-4 feet with live minnows.

SOUTH TEXAS PLAINS

Campaign for White House Bass by BOB HOOD bhood@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Falcon Lake HOTSPOT: White House Creek Area GPS: N26 56.12184, W99 19.24344 (26.935364, -99.320724) SPECIES: largemouth bass 60 |

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BEST BAITS: Large plastic lizards, spinnerbaits, Brush Hawgs CONTACT: Robert Amaya, Robert’s Fish N'Tackle, robert@robertsfishntackle.com, 956-7651442 TIPS: Fish the backs of the creeks in this area along sandstone ledges close to the main channel with white-chartreuse spinnerbaits or plastic lizards in two to eight feet of water. This area is known for monster bass and it is out of the wind.

UPPER GULF COAST

Trout Time on the Upper Coast by TOM BEHRENS tbehrens@fishgame.com

LOCATION: East Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Boiler Bayou GPS: N28 39.01602, W95 53.409 (28.650267, -95.890150) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: 1/4 - 3/8-ounce jigheads with soft plastic baits in chartreuse or pink CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281450-4037 TIPS: Make long drifts over scattered shell or mud flats LOCATION: Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: Sylvan Beach GPS: N29 38.8638, W95 0.8292 (29.647730, -95.013820) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: 51 Series MirrOLures, Catch 2000, Corky Devils in Texas Chicken CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman, 409256-7937 TIPS: wade-fishing area LOCATION: Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: Sylvan Beach GPS: N29 38.8638, W95 0.8292 (29.647730, -95.013820) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: 51 Series MirrOLures, T E X A S

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CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman, 409256-7937 TIPS: Use soft plastic baits when the tide starts moving good; use lighter colored baits in clear water--chartreuse, Limetreuse, and Calcasieu Brew LOCATION: West Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: North Deer Island GPS: N29 17.11422, W94 55.49526 (29.285237, -94.924921) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft plastic baits using 1/16 ñ 1/8-ounce; jigheads CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman, 409256-7937 TIPS: Use lighter colored soft plastic baits in clear water—chartreuse, Limetreuse, Calcasieu Brew LOCATION: West Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: Greens Cut GPS: N29 16.707, W94 59.60202 (29.278450, -94.993367) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: 51 Series MirrOLures, Catch 2000, Corky Devils in Texas Chicken CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman, 409256-7937 TIPS: Fish will be in 2-1/2-5 ft. of water.

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boat.

MIDDLE GULF COAST

Get Wet for Big Feb Specks by TOM BEHRENS tbehrens@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Corpus Christi Bay HOTSPOT: Packery Channel GPS: N27 37.4856, W97 12.8826 (27.624760, -97.214710) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: She Dog mullet imitation lures CONTACT: Capt. Jon Fails, 361-9490133 TIPS: February is a good month to try for big speckled trout; plan on wading for the big fish.

HOTSPOT: Shamrock Cove GPS: N27 46.01802, W97 9.23898 (27.766967, -97.153983) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: She Dog mullet imitation lures CONTACT: Capt. Jon Fails, 361-9490133 TIPS: Clear water in February makes for some great sight casting for shallow redfish LOCATION: Espiritu Santo Bay HOTSPOT: Long Lake GPS: N28 16.81704, W96 36.21546 (28.280284, -96.603591) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Green and black Corky Fat Boys CONTACT: Capt. Chris Martin, 361785-2686 TIPS: Fish the windward shoreline for trophy trout

LOCATION: Corpus Christi Bay

LOCATION: Espiritu Santo Bay HOTSPOT: Shoal Water Bay GPS: N28 21.85026, W96 34.08204

LOCATION: West Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Cotton Bayou GPS: N28 30.60198, W96 12.603 (28.510033, -96.210050) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: 1/8 or 1/4-ounce; gold Johnson Sprite spoons CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281450-4037 TIPS: Super low tides can produce great redfish action. LOCATION: West Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Colorado River GPS: N28 41.75802, W95 58.67598 (28.695967, -95.977933) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Little Fishie and Hoagy 3î Double tail shrimp with 3/8-ounce; jigheads CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281450-4037 TIPS: Use a soft plastic lure with lots of wiggle; drift with the current in the middle of the river. Feed the lure out behind the N O R T H

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(28.364171, -96.568034) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Bone colored topwaters; soft plastics from Texas Tackle Factory Flats Minnows in Roach Chartreuse CONTACT: Capt. Chris Martin, 361785-2686 TIPS: Wading or drifting is good at this time of the year LOCATION: Mesquite Bay HOTSPOT: Spaulding Bight GPS: N28 6.50082, W96 53.43258 (28.108347, -96.890543) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Glow colored Corky Fat Boys CONTACT: Capt. Chris Martin, 361785-2686 TIPS: Work the lure along the south shoreline using a slow fall for trophy trout LOCATION: Port Aransas HOTSPOT: Dagger Island GPS: N27 50.10156, W97 10.266 (27.835026, -97.171100) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Finger Mullet CONTACT: Capt. John Barbee, 361-2220477 TIPS: Free line finger mullet LOCATION: Redfish Bay HOTSPOT: East Shoreline South of Aransas Bridge GPS: N27 54.46806, W97 6.76602 (27.907801, -97.112767) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Finger mullet CONTACT: Capt. John Barbee, 361-2220477 TIPS: Slowly fish the shoreline LOCATION: Rockport HOTSPOT: Estes Flats GPS: N27 57.1182, W97 5.1492 (27.951970, -97.085820) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Finger mullet CONTACT: Capt. John Barbee, 361-2220477 TIPS: Free line finger mullet 62 |

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LOCATION: Rockport HOTSPOT: Estes Flats GPS: N27 57.1182, W97 5.1492 (27.951970, -97.085820) SPECIES: black drum BEST BAITS: Dead shrimp CONTACT: Capt. John Barbee, 361-2220477 TIPS: Anchor and fish the edges of holes LOCATION: Upper Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Night Hawk Bay GPS: N27 30.17598, W97 17.86902 (27.502933, -97.297817) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft plastic shrimp tails CONTACT: Capt. Jon Fails, 361-9490133 TIPS: Make long drifts in 3 ñ 4 feet of water LOCATION: San Antonio Bay HOTSPOT: Victoria Barge Canal GPS: N28 32.51658, W96 48.68232 (28.541943, -96.811372) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: 1/4 jigheads with Texas Tackle Factory Plum Chartreuse Trout Killers CONTACT: Capt. Chris Martin, 361785-2686 TIPS: Fish right on the bottom using Texas Tackle Factory, plum chartreuse, Trout Killers in about 16 - 20 feet of water

LOWER GULF COAST

Beat the Drum if Reds Won’t Play by CALIXTO GONZALES cgonzales@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Kenedy Point GPS: N27 16.33698, W97 27.44202 (27.272283, -97.457367) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Corkies, large soft plastics in dark patterns, chartreuse T E X A S

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LOCATION: South Padre Island HOTSPOT: Marker 29 GPS: N26 5.13702, W97 9.993 (26.085617, -97.166550) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live shrimp/popping cork, soft plastics in dark patterns, topwaters early CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez, 956-551-9581 TIPS: You don’t need to run far to find good trout fishing, even in winter. Make long drifts over the grass flats with either live shrimp or medium-sized topwaters and soft plastics. Fish your lures slowly and feel for the light taps. LOCATION: South Padre Island HOTSPOT: Queen Isabella Causeway GPS: N26 2.961, W97 11.92098 (26.049350, -97.198683) SPECIES: sheepshead BEST BAITS: live shrimp, dead shrimp CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez, 956-551-9581

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TIPS: Sheepshead start gravitating to the pilings in deeper water of the old causeway. Use a split shot rig with a 25=30-pound leader. Braided line is helpful with its no stretch and abrasion resistant qualities. LOCATION: South Padre Island HOTSPOT: South Bay Channels GPS: N26 2.961, W97 9.993 (26.049350, -97.166550) SPECIES: black drum BEST BAITS: live shrimp, dead shrimp CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: Nice eating-sized black drum cruise in the channels of South Bay during the winter, and they’ll hit on live or fresh shrimp. Use a 1/4-ounce split shot sinker, or even 1/2 ounce egg sinkers if the current is strong. Anchor and fish near bends. LOCATION: South Padre Island HOTSPOT: Dunkin Channel GPS: N26 20.17002, W97 19.22802 (26.336167, -97.320467) SPECIES: flounder

BEST BAITS: live shrimp, finger mullet; Soft plastics in dark patterns CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: Flounder hold in the deep water during an outgoing tide. Crawl a live shrimp or finger mullet, or hop a 1/4-ounce jig along the bottom. LOCATION: South Padre Island HOTSPOT: Gaswell Flats GPS: N26 13.81098, W97 15.42198 (26.230183, -97.257033) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: live shrimp, cut bait, gold spoons, tandem rigs in black/glow, glow/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: Watch for redfish roaming the flats on sunny, mild days. Swim a gold spoon or a tandem jerkbait across the shallows. If the water is off-colored, then use live or cut bait. Most redfish are well within the slot.


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New Hyper-Speed TD Zillion By Daiwa Pulling in 32 inches of line with every crank of the handle, Daiwa's new Zillion Type R baitcasting reel is among the fastest ever built. Creating the speed is a massive, high-tensile brass alloy drive gear pushing a brass alloy pinion gear at a 7.3 to 1 ratio. That means every time you crank the reel's handle one turn, the spool rotates 7.3 turns. Just like a race car, a reel running at this speed requires special engineering attention to ensure long-lasting performance and ease of use. Gear teeth are precision Helical cut (cut at an angle) for smooth winding and even transmission of winding energy. To further ensure adequate winding power, eleven ball bearings firmly support the drive train within a rigid aluminum frame so energy flows efficiently with less wear and stress. The speed of the new Type R makes it the perfect tool for target fishing. Toss to an inviting stickup - work the area around it - burn your bait back with less wasted time in unproductive water. The whole point is to keep your lure in high-potential water, wasting minimal time in low-potential water. In the long run, that means more fish in the boat. MSRP for the new reel is $399.95. Tel: (800) 736-4653, or visit www.daiwa.com 64 |

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The Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Dog Law Enforcement points out, “Dogs must be under the direct control of you or a handler when off your property. The best way to control Daiwa’s TD Zillion your dog is with a leash.” baitcaster pulls a Anyone who’s ever gone for blazing 32 inches a leisurely stroll with a of line per crank. rambunctious canine, however, knows just TD Zillion how quickly a scampering squirrel or the scent of a rabbit can lead to a loss of control. Just Ducky Products’ line of walker EVERY DOG-WALKING OWNER HAS EXPERIand heeler leashes, however, enced it at least once: Distracted by an puts full command back in the dog owner’s alluring sight or sound, a usually wellhands. Its patented design, material and behaved and -mannered pooch suddenly handle join forces to make The Perfect turns into Speedy Gonzales, taking his Leash safer and more enjoyable for both handler full force ahead with him on Spot and his human companion. his quest. The Perfect Leash by Just Made of proprietary polyurethane, Ducky Products is making this comiThe Perfect Leash stretches to accomcal yet potentially injurious scene a modate sudden momentum. As a result, relic of the past with a patented it eliminates the constant tension on the design that dog’s neck and shoulders. At the same time, it virtually eliminates the possibility of the handler suffering a dislocated shoulder or wrist. That’s because as it expands in New dog leash is response to forward designed to movement, The Perfect reduce leash tenLeash absorbs any jerky sion. pulling between the dog takes all the Perfect Leash and its walker. contentious tension out This absorptive, of the dog-walking experience. pulling-back property also renders The

The Perfect Leash

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Perfect Leash an ideal training aid. Its stretch rebound functionality helps correct unruly behavior, making it a great addition to field trials, hunting, agility, trips to the vet and keeping any dog—large or small— by its handlers side. Adults and children alike will find The Perfect Leash’s patented handle a perfect fit. In fact, consumer polls indicate that it provides the most comfortable fit of any leash on the market. Available in four color choices and two sizes—a 35-inch walker and a 14-inch heeler—The Perfect Leash ensures dog owners take their dogs for a walk around the park or neighborhood instead of the other way around. Dog handlers who want to want to make their summer walking excursions more enjoyable can learn more about The Perfect Leash line of walkers and heelers online at justduckyproducts.com

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ling effectiveness without sacrificing any of its high level of recoil reduction. The cleverly engineered combination of a chamber, channels and gas holes facilitates the dispersion of gases away from the muzzle and the shooter thus reducing the noise level. Both muzzle break designs are available in reducible and non-reducible outside diameters. The reducible muzzle brake enables the installation to be accomplished with a flush seamless fit while the non-reducible muzzle brake can be installed with a tapered design that gives a classic fit with outstanding recoil reduction. Muzzle brakes are available for calibers .22 through .458 made from .416 Stainless Steel or Stress Proof Carbon steel both heat treated for superior strength and long service life. All are manufactured with the most current CNC equipment and requires professional gunsmithing installation. Contact Active Tuning Solutions at 713-725-2497, 19319 Mueschke Rd., Tomball, Tx 77377 Web: www.activetuningsolutions.com.

NEW PATENTED MUZZLE BRAKE DESIGNS BY George Vais are available from Active Tuning Solutions. The “MasterBrakes” provide excellent recoil reduction and dramatically decrease

New muzzle brakes from Active Tuning Solutions

the amount of noise that traditionMuzzle Brakes al muzzle brakes emit. The “HuntersBrake” was designed from the ground up for its sound control-

On the Web www.daiwa.com www.justduckyproducts.com www.activegunningsolutions.com


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Engine Protection YOU THOUGHT E-10 WAS BAD FOR YOUR boat or ATV? Just wait until E-15 hits the pumps. Yes, it’s only approved for model year 2007 and newer cars and trucks and is supposed to be kept separate from the E10, but you can bet that sooner or later, E15 will find its way through your fuel systems. Even if you can stay away from E-15 for the time being, E-10 poses enough problems to keep you busy. It’ll gum up anything from a chain saw to a canyon runner, causes phase separation, and speeds the deterioration of your fuel. I’ve used Star Tron to treat the fuel I use in my boats and gas-powered tools to battle the E-problems for about a year now, and I can report that after extended use, it’s worked well at keeping ethanol problems at Protects against bay. The one ethanol damage. time I forgot to add it to the Star-Tron gas tank in my 14’ duck boat, my 15-hp. four-stroke outboard clogged up and needed to have the carburetor rebuilt. Most fuel treatments work by emulsifying water (via alcohol), but that can lead to carbon build-up and other problems. Star Tron works on a completely different principal, because it has enzymes that reduce surface tension between water and fuel molecules, which allows the water to then break down into sub-micron sized droplets. These are so tiny that they flow right through your fuel system and engine without having any effect. At the same time, by 66 |

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upgrade to the Explorist 710 also gets you City Series turn-by-turn mapping. The unit runs for up to 16 hours on a pair of AA batteries, and can accept a microSD card. It even has a 3.2 megapixel camera, microphone, Explorist 610 GPS and speaker builthand-held. in, so you can record your adventures. Magellan I found the menu easy to use and intuitive, and I rarely needed to resort to looking at the instructions. There’s a “one touch” function that allows you to do basic, regular functions without even entering the menu, making it fast and easy to use. Two other functions set the Explorist apart from the older, dedicated maritime-use units of days past: there’s a built-in barometric altimeter which could come in quite handy THESE DAYS, WE EXPECT A LOT FROM for land-based activities, and the unit has a handheld GPS units. We want them to tell three-axis electronic compass. Older comus where we are whether we’re hiking pass functions in handhelds were tough to through a mountain pass, cruising a boat use on land sometimes, because the unit across the bay, or driving a car down the had to be in motion to tell you which way road. And GPS manufacturers have met it was going. But with the three-axis electhis challenge, by building units with more tronic compass, you can be standing still diverse features and greater capabilities. and still figure out compass directions. Magellan is the latest to roll out a new —LR multifunction GPS, with the Explorist Series. I spent the past month keeping tabs on myself with an Explorist 610, to find out if it was up to snuff. The 610 has a three inch color touchscreen, is waterproof to IPX7 standards, and comes with a built-in world map and Summit Series topographic mapping. That’ll help you keep track of your position www.startron.com just about anywhere, but if you want more www.magellan.com detailed mapping while driving, an

preventing the ethanol from binding with the water, it also prevents the formation of all of those problematic gums and varnishes. That means the fuel you treat with Star Tron stabilizes its chemistry and keeps it fresh for up to two years. What’s the down-side to using Star Tron? Just the cost; this stuff isn’t cheap, ranging from $12 to $15 for an eight ounce bottle. But on the bright side, a mere ounce is all you need to treat 16 gallons of fuel, so one of these little bottles takes care of 128 gallons of gas—and that’s a lot less expensive and time consuming than rebuilding your carburetor every other month. Learn more at www.startron.com. —Lenny Rudow

Explore More: Magellan Explorist 610

On the Web

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More Angler Cash to Come CABELA'S RECENTLY ANNOUNCED IT WILL continue to provide awards for top finishing collegiate anglers competing in the 2011 BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship Series. As a long-time supporter of collegiate fishing, Cabela's is committed to continuing to provide opportunities for student anglers who are pursuing their passion for fishing, while at the same time, representing their colleges. “At Cabela's, we view outdoor recreation as a way of life for the whole family,” said Chris Sprangers, Cabela's marketing manager. “So we're proud to have the opportunity to encourage young people to continue their involvement in outdoor pursuits like fishing.” The 2011 BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship Series will feature three major nationally televised events in 2011 including the BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship hosted by Lewisville, Texas, the Pepsi Collegiate Bass Fishing Open hosted by Paris/Henry County, Tennessee and the Big Bass Bash hosted by Florence, Alabama. Cabela's Angler Cash awards will be available at these events as well as a number of regional events hosted by several college fishing clubs and sanctioned by the Association of Collegiate Anglers. “Thanks in great part to Cabela's support, collegiate fishing has grown tremendously over the past several years,” stated Wade Middleton, BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship Series Tournament Director. “From the Cabela's collegiate night event at the national championship to their support of smaller regional tournaments, Cabela's continues to encourage growth among this important age class of anglers.” In order to be eligible, participating anglers are required to register for Cabela's N O R T H

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Angler Cash and display the Cabela's Angler Cash logo on their boat and jersey. Patches and decals are provided free of charge to registered anglers. The BoatUS Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship television series will once again be nationally televised with 18 half hours of coverage on the Versus network beginning in August of 2011. Additional coverage of the BoatUS Collegiate Series can be seen on line via streaming video as well on the World Fishing Network as part of the expanded coverage of this series of events.

Lund Signs with Traditions Media THE FISHING LEGENDS AT LUND BOATS recently announced a new partnership with the angling-public relations specialists at Traditions Media, LLC. With continuing innovations in durability, fishable-functionality and high-end on-the-water performance, Lund has built a 60-plus year tradition of excellence that remains unrivaled in the fishing-marine industry. Traditions Media’s immediate role will be to champion Lund’s recent model introductions – such as the new Impact series – and keep the unrivaled leader in fishing boat design and quality in the public eye, as well as help educate anglers about Lund’s many new award-winning features. “We are very excited with Lund Boat’s new partnership with Traditions Media,” said Lund Boats marketing director, Jason Oakes. “This partnership provides Lund with a great opportunity to increase our exposure and to be top-of-mind to the fishing and boating consumer. The team at Traditions Media brings a wealth of knowledge and experience in the public relations field and has ties to key players in the fishing and outdoor arena. Lund is thrilled to be working with Traditions Media and to T E X A S

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announce this partnership.” Noel Vick, President of fishing-focused Traditions Media, whose client list includes notables Frabill, Northland Fishing Tackle, Aquateko, StrikeMaster and MarCum Technologies, had long admired the superior quality and performance of Lund Boats, a sentiment that dates back to his earliest angling memories. “I grew up in Lund country,” said Vick. “Even in my fishing circles as a kid, Lund was the brand of boat everyone aspired to own. I can clearly remember the broad smile across my face when I trailered by first new Lund off the dealer lot.” Vick continued: “Passion will be a driving force in our efforts to promote Lund Boats. We're passionate about the product, and of course there's that feeling of kinship working with a legacy manufacturer. “Plus, we'll be working with fishing greats the likes of Al and Ron Lindner, Gary and Tony Roach, Tom Neustrom, Mark Martin, Jeff Gustafson, and the list goes on and on. No doubt, the best of the best on the water are Lund loyalists. We anticipate a long, successful partnership, reinforcing Lund’s legacy of engineering top-tier fishing boats.” To learn more about Lund or to view product videos, visit: www.lundboats.com.

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On the Web www.cabelas.com www.boatus.com www.lundboats.com

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PHOTO: STEVE LAMASCUS

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My Buffalo Rifle AM A HISTORY NUT. SPECIFICALLY I LOVE TO read about the period of the 1870s and the people and events of the Texas Panhandle and Rolling Plains; I also am a student of Custer's fiasco on the Little Bighorn and the earlier trappers and mountain men of the fur trade. In 1874 John R. Cook, formerly of Kansas, was a young adventurer and buffalo hunter. In later life he wrote a book of his adventures on the Texas prairies called The Border and The Buffalo. As I read Cook's very informative and interesting book, I found myself engrossed in it because I recognized so many of the places and names he mentions. I knew where the Double Mountain was. I lived almost within sight of Kiowa Peak. I lived once on the banks of the Salt Fork of the Brazos River. I had driven through Albany many times, which was near the oft-described Fort Griffin, the headquarters of most of the buffalo hunters. I had hunted pheasants within spitting distance of Adobe Walls, and even knew generally where the old Rath City had been by the description given in the book. I felt right at home in the pages of The Border and The Buffalo. I felt so at home that I simply couldn't relish my vittles until I had a Model 1874 Sharps rifle like the one Cook described. I really wanted one in one of the more offbeat calibers like .44-77 or .40-65, but finally settled for the more pedestrian .45-70, for the very good reasons that it is easier to load for and ammunition is still loaded by most of

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the major manufacturers. Besides, records show that after 1876 the .45-70 was the most popular caliber Sharps chambered, so it was accurate in a historical perspective. What I ended up with is a rifle made by Armi Sport in Italy especially for Cimarron Arms in Kerrville, Texas. Cimarron calls this model the Billy Dixon Model and I cannot tell it from an original 1870s Sharps rifle. It is a beautiful rifle with a pewter nose cap and double set triggers. The sights that come on the gun are useable, but just barely, especially for someone with eyes the age of mine, so I replaced the original rear sight with a Vernier tang aperture sight from Track of the Wolf that has adjustments for both windage and elevation. I will at some time in the future replace the front sight, which is a standard shiny blade, with an ivory bead. I have ordered the bead front sight and a Marbles adjustable rear tang sight from Dave Gullo at Buffalo Arms, but they were back ordered and my impatience got the best of me. My rifle is heavy. With its 32-inch octagT E X A S

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onal barrel it scales nearly 11 pounds and feels heavier than that. The first thing most folks say when they pick it up is, “Man this thing's heavy!” I like that because it cuts felt recoil, which can be considerable when shooting bullets that weigh up to 500 grains and travel at up to 1400 feet per second. My gun is not startlingly accurate, but most of that may be, again, my aging eyes. I can, however, manage to keep most of my shots in about 3 inches at 100 yards, which I would say is quite fine with steel sights, even the aperture variety. I know that the experts with the specially built rifles can better this by a large amount, but I am perfectly satisfied, because I never intend to shoot at a thousand yards, or even at 500. In fact, I doubt I will ever shoot at a live animal with it at more than 150 yards. Drop with this old warrior is just too great. My pet load with my Sharps is, right now, a 410-grain Lyman flat-nosed cast bullet, loaded in Winchester cases, over CCI 200 primers and 40 grains of Reloader #7. I have not chronographed the load, but the N O R T H

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stats in the reloading manuals say it should clock about 1450 fps. That is plenty, and it will, I promise, shoot through any whitetail deer in existence. I make the bullets very soft, almost pure lead, with just enough tin in them to help the lead cast easily. They are what a buddy calls bubblegum bullets. Even at that I do not expect that they will expand much, if any, in the lightly built whitetail deer; maybe hogs will provide a better test bed. We'll see. I am still experimenting with different loads. This load leaves a lot of lead in the first 2 inches of barrel. The hardness of the bullet does not seem to make any difference. I think it is because it takes that far for the bullet to start spinning. Elmer Keith recognized this problem decades ago in his revolvers, so I am in good company. I will, however, try to find some solution, mostly because I hate cleaning the lead out of my guns. Maybe one of the softer, gooier bullet lubes, like SPG will help. Really, it makes little difference. The accuracy does not seem to be affected and the leading is limited to the part of the barrel near the chamber and is not excessive. After 10 shots the gun is still shooting just as well as it was for the first three. I have also ordered some paperpatched bullets. I hope that they will alleviate the leading problem, but I doubt that I use them much because they are very labor intensive. They do, however, look really neat seated in the cases so that a quarter inch or so of the paper is visible above the case mouth. Actually, the paper-patched bullet is probably more historically accurate than the grooved and lubed bullets I usually shoot. From what I read, the paper-patched bullet was the most common projectile on the buffalo ranges. In fact, I have read that in Sharps' factory ammunition, the paperpatched bullet was all that was offered in many of the calibers. I wonder at that since cutting the patches and rolling them on the bullets is very labor intensive and would have raised the price of the ammunition by a fair amount. I also read somewhere once, that at least some of the hide hunters hired someone to do all the reloading. I would think that reloading a hundred or so rounds every day, with a hand tool, melting the lead on a campfire, casting the bullets, and the paper-patching them prior to loading, would take a great deal of time, even for someone experienced in the process. N O R T H

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Well, I love my buffalo rifle. I now understand why the old-timers had such an attachment to their guns. This rifle has character and making and loading the bullets just brings me closer to the past I love so much. Living history is a good thing, I think.

On the Web www.cimarron-guns.com www.buffaloarms.com www.armisport.com

E-mail Steve LaMascus at guns@fishgame.com

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loosen it so much that you run the risk of your stand falling, but you should loosen the tension just a bit. Remember, a tree will grow during the off-season and while it grows, it will continuously put more and more pressure on the strap. If this strap is

Stand Down NOTHER SEASON…ANOTHER MEMORY. ALL good, I hope. Good or bad it is time to put the whitetail season to bed for another year and reflect about the shots you had or did not have during your time in the woods. One thing that should be paramount on your to-do list is getting back out in your “honey hole” and taking your tree stands down. As simple a task as this may sound, you would be surprised at how many seasoned hunters refuse to take the time to get this done. After a long hunting season, many hunters decide to leave their tree stands on the lease ready to go for the following year. This practice is not only not recommended, but also can prove to be very dangerous. Let me explain. As we all know or at least should know, not all hunters are, shall we say, as honest as the day is long. As much as I would like to say I have never had a stand stolen from me, I can’t. It has happened a few times and I think I have finally learned my lesson. Many hunters put their tree stands up and lock it up with a chain wrapped around the tree. It is one way of helping to keep honest people honest. However, once a stand is located, it is a short trip back to the woodlot with a bolt cutter and it is all over but the crying. You can avoid this problem all together by simply removing the stand when the season is over. If, after reading this, you are one of those hunters who still want to take your chances with your stand, then let me offer a small piece of advice. At the very least, you should make the trip back to your stands after the season is over and loosen the strap that holds the stand in place. You do not have to

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not loosened at all, then one day you may find yourself dangling from your harness as your tree stand falls to the ground as soon as you put your weight on it. The strap can and will get so tight that the extra stress of your 200 pound (or more) body will snap it like a twig on a cold day. I forgot to do this one myself, and when I went to take my stand down, the strap was so tight that the buckle used to loosen it could not be moved no matter how hard I tried. The only way to get that strap off was with the help of a very sharp knife. Even then, I had to tug at it for a while before I could pull it from the tree that had started to grow around it. Once you have the stand home, it is a great time to check it thoroughly and carefully. Are all the nuts and bolts still there or did you loose one in the woods? How about those little wing nuts?...those little black wing nuts. Believe me, if you drop one of those in the woods, you will spend the rest of the season looking for it. And although you will not be able to find it, you will still spend hours in your stand looking down from your perch as if you will, all of a sudden, see it lying beneath the leaves. Even though your brain tells you “forget it.” You will still look! You veteran hunters out there T E X A S

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know exactly what I am talking about! Am I right? Did your tree stand make any noise while you stood in it? Maybe it was when you first climbed in or when you shifted your weight a bit. Now is an excellent time to inspect your tree stand and find exactly where that unwanted noise came from. A few squirts of a lubricant will do wonders at stopping those squeaks that you heard in the woods. At the time they seemed like they were 160 db. Now is the time to find it and fix it. While you have the lubricant out, look at your bow. There are a lot of metal parts on that bow and it is very easy to just forget about them. Your sights, quiver, cable guard, and arrow rest all might have some sort of adjusting screws. If you lubricate them, it will be easier to make any adjustments needed next year when you start getting serious about your practicing time again. I would recommend you take the time right now to also put away all your toys. Not those toys, but the ones you used while bow hunting. You know the ones I am talking about…your grunt call, release, range finder…the things that the manufactures “claim” will make our hunt more successful. If I do not put those in a safe place (one that I will be able to remember) right after the season, it will slip my mind and I will go mad looking in every nook and cranny of my house for these items. Then I will end up buying them all over again. Sound familiar? February is a great month to do a little house cleaning on your hunting gear. A little care will go a long way and you will be happy you did when opening day next year comes around. Now, about those shots you missed…

E-mail Lou Marullo at lmarullo@fishgame.com

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What to Do with February ’VE SAID IT BEFORE AND I’LL SAY IT AGAIN, February is my least favorite month of the year. It has nothing to do with Valentine’s Day either. It’s because this is the slowest time of the year for outdoorsmen. Sure you can still hunt hogs and exotics but by in large all hunting seasons are closed. Bass aren’t moving shallow to spawn yet and it’s cold. That’s right, call me “Nancy,” but I don’t like fishing when it’s cold. So what is there to do this time of year? Well, just because I’m not hunting or fishing that doesn’t mean I can’t prepare to hunt or fish. As a matter of fact this is probably the best time to get all your fishing gear ready so let’s go over some of the little things you can do right now to help you catch more fish later. The most important piece of gear you have is your fishing line but it is often the one we ignore the most. Think about it this way, the only thing connecting you to your lure and the fish that decides to eat it is a thin piece monofilament (or braid or fluorocarbon). When the big one hits do you really want to wonder if you’re line is going to hold? So, when is the last time you changed out the line on your reels? If you are anything like me the answer is way too long ago, so take the time right now to go respool every reel you own. Monofilament stretches, gets damaged from use (wrapped around limbs, cast around boat docks, etc…), and also

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deteriorates due to exposure to UV rays (sunlight) so it starts losing strength the minute you put it on. The longer it stays on, the weaker it gets. I’m partial to the Trilene Big Game series of lines. I use everything from the 10 pound line on my spinning reel to the 40 pound on my surf fishing rig, but the key here is to find something you have confidence in and use it. Now, if you put new line on your reels but your rod eyes are damaged you just wasted your time. Rod eyes have come a long way in the past few years and are harder to break than ever before but they can still be damaged. How many times have you stepped on the rods sitting on your

front deck while fighting a bass? Or how many times have the rods ridden in the back of your truck bouncing down back roads to a secret fishing spot? The point is, rod eyes can break which can leave sharp edges that will damage the new line you just put on. To check for damaged eyes take a cotton swab and run it around the entire inside of the eye. Any sharp edges inside the eye will catch little pieces of cotton, showing that they need to be replaced. Normally, the rod eye on the tip suffers the most damage, and thankfully this is the easiest to replace. I keep a lighter, a few extra rod tips, and some glue in my tackle bag so I can make emergency repairs as needed. While we’re talking about tackle bags (or boxes), mine used to be a cluttered mess of mismatched tackle. It would take me ten T E X A S

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minutes to find the specific lure I was looking for. I knew it was in there, somewhere, I just didn’t know where. A few years back I started organizing everything by use, putting topwaters in one box, jigs in another, etc… Each box is labeled for what is in it, with the label facing up. Now when I reach for a box I know exactly what I’m getting. Plus, I labeled each individual slot so that I know exactly what size of bait is in it. I have a friend who invested in a label maker to label all his gear. I don’t go quite that far but I do cut the labels for the lures off the packaging they came in and tape it to the box directly over the slot I put them in. When I’m done with a lure it goes back in the same slot so I always know where it is. If I need a ¾ ounce lipless crankbait it takes me about 20 seconds to locate it where in the past it might have taken the better part of an afternoon. All this preparation might be a little bit of overkill but some preventa-

tive maintenance now can prevent lost fish later. Besides, It’s February, what else do you have to do?

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E-mail Paul Bradshaw at freshrigs@fishgame.com

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really gets me upset is gear requirements. For years it has amazed me that the USCG requirements call for PFDs, sound and visual signals, and fire extinguishers, but not for a first aid kit. Isn’t this just as basic and necessary an item to have onboard? I say yes,

First Aid Afloat ET ME START OFF BY SAYING THAT I APPREciate what the United States Coast Guard does immensely; the men and women in the USCG risk life and limb to keep our waterways safe, develop laws and programs that are imperative, and enforce laws that would otherwise be unenforceable. They’ve saved my butt once, and covered it twice during onboard medical emergencies. I (sniff) love you guys! So don’t get me wrong if what I’m about to say sounds like I’m bashing on them. But sometimes, the organization moves at an absolutely glacial pace. Sometimes, it does things that make no sense at all, and then fails to fix them. Their resistance to inflatable PFDs is one example, but the one that

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They’ve saved my butt once and covered it twice. I (sniff) love you guys! But...

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and I’m sure each and every coastie working in the field would agree. So, why hasn’t the Guard changed the regs? Because it would take around 343,968 man-hours worth of paperwork? Because they’d have to get

Democrats and Republicans to shake on it? This is such a no-brainer that there really is no excuse. What the heck—it’s almost as if the Guard were a government organization, or a branch of the military, or a... oh yeah, wait a sec. What the heck – since the USCG won’t be able to deal with this issue until the glaciers melt and hell freezes over, I figured we’d deal with it right here, right now. Consider it a rule, whether it’s written or not: you should never, ever leave the dock without a first aid kit. Here are the five new regulations about the kit which I’m expecting the Coast Guard to publish, by the year 2112.

Non-USCG CFR #XYZ123/WTH-1 ALL boats must have first aid kits contained in watertight, floating containers. Those band-aids and gauze pads won’t do anyone any good if they’re soaked in saltwater, or moldy from moisture. And few store-bought first-aid kits are in watertight cases, unless you buy those specifically intended for on-the-water use. So inspect yours to be sure it is. If it isn’t, stow the entire kit inside one of those orange ammostyle boxes, which locks down tight on a gasket. In fact, even if your kit is watertight consider getting one of these boxes. They give you a safe, consolidated, waterproof place to put all of your extra emergency gear. You know, the other stuff that really should be aboard, even if the USCG doesn’t require it: a back-up GPS and handheld VHF; a sealed bottle of drinking water, a knife, a compass, and a signal mirror.

Non-USCG CFR #XYZ123/WTH-2 ALL first aid kits intended to fulfill Non-USCG CFR #XYZ123/WTH-1 regulations must include the following firstaid basics: a large roll of gauze; a roll of cloth tape; an assortment of band-aids 72 |

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including butterfly-styles; disinfectant; a pair of scissors; a basic pain reliever such as aspirin or acetaminophen; an Ace bandage; a large (at least 8” x 10”) trauma pad; alcohol pads; a pair of latex gloves; tweezers; and burn relief gel.

Non-USCG CFR #XYZ123/WTH-3 A basic first-aid instruction card must be packed with the kit, and all people who captain their own boats should take a standard first aid/CPR course. We hope you never need to know this stuff, but can anyone think of a good reason not to take the course? It could save a life at sea or at home. If you’ve already taken a course, why bother packing in that instruction card? First off, because it’s easy to forget details, especially in an emergency, and having a back-up to your brain is a good thing. It’s also important because you could be the one to become injured. If you’re unconscious and bleeding, it’s a fair bet you won’t be able to say “elevate the wound and apply

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direct pressure.” But just about anyone aboard your boat will be able to read those words off of a card. Note: for this same reason, you should always tell people the basic emergency rules when they first step aboard your boat. Show them where the first aid kit and emergency gear is, point out the fire extinguishers, and show them how to get to and wear the life jackets. And just in case you do need a helping hand from the USCG, also explain to your passengers how they can broadcast on channel 16, on the VHF.

Non-USCG CFR #XYZ123/WTH-4 In addition to the standard first aid kit items, all captains shall add a small pair of high-quality bolt-cutters onboard. These things are a real asset when one of the most common but painful of fishing injuries occurs: someone gets stuck with a hook. You never want to try and pull a hook out backwards; that’s what barbs are designed to prevent, and they do a magnificent job of

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it, especially when they’re planted firmly in human gristle. Instead, you’ll want to push the hook point all the way through the skin, and use the bolt cutters to cut the barb and point off. Once you do so, the rest of the hook slides right back out of the skin and meat. That sounds painful? Trust me, it’s a lot less painful than grabbing the hook and pulling for all you’re worth, before you give up and head for the emergency room— where they will push the end of the hook through, and cut off the point and barb with a pair of bolt cutters. Note: don’t depend on a standard fishing pliers/cutter to do this job. They aren’t strong or sharp enough, and as you squeeze them tight they’ll cause the hook to wiggle around. Ouch.

Non-USCG CFR #XYZ123/WTH-5 Also in addition to the standard first aid kit, all captains shall add an emergency “space” blanket to CONTINUED their orange SEE PAGE 74  watertight emer-

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beefier engine would be needed to get the rig up to highway speeds. The Texas Sidecar Company helped craft the basic chassis and the design went through multiple iterations. Herman expressed his personal thanks to Jeff Skipsky, the head mechanic at Mancuso Harley Davidson, for all of his help making sure the final design was roadworthy and safe at 55 MPH. Herman chose an eleven-foot Trident hull from Ocean Kayak for the Yak Hack. The hull extends about three-feet in front and in back of the side car. The eleven-foot hull is shorter than the hulls he normally fishes from but hull length was sacrificed for road safety. He specifically chose the Trident hull because of the protected storage area, called a Rod Pod, inside the hull. The Rod Pod’s large hatch allows bay rods to be stowed inside – even fly rods. With the hatch secured, his rods are safe from flying road debris. Herman cuts up foam pool noodles and puts them in the interior of the kayak for his rods to lie on. The foam acts as a vibration dampener, eliminating “reel rash” during transit. “I am a minimalist when it comes to fishing,” Herman explained. “I take very little tackle with me on fishing trips. Several rods and a small box of lures is generally all I need for the day. I stow all of that gear inside the kayak.” Herman also stows his backrest, PFD, paddle, and other kayak accessories inside hatches as well. “If I am on the bike and am not on the

Texas ‘Yak Hack’ Tour ADDLING FRIEND AND FELLOW OUTDOOR scribe Jeff Herman has two serious hobbies: restoring vintage Italian scooters and kayak fishing. Herman, known to many by the nom de plume Birds nest, came up with the idea to combine his two passions, creating a scooter with a special sidecar to haul his kayak and then tour the Texas coast on three wheels. Side cars on scooters aren’t a new idea but one specifically designed to haul a kayak may the first of its kind. Side cars in the motorcycle trade are known as hacks and Herman’s new ride quickly became known as the Yak Hack. Herman has been riding scooters for more than 20 years, dating back to his days as a student at Texas A&M. “I was on an extremely limited budget,” he explained. “I was a poor student and had to make the ends meet. Riding a scooter was better than walking.” His love affair with scooters blossomed over the years and Herman now collects and restores old PTWs (power two wheelers). He is particularly fond of old Italian-made bikes as they can hit 70 MPH. For this project though, Herman chose a Vespa 200d, which has a 250 cc engine, figuring the

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freeway, I will leave the rods in the rod holders sticking straight up,” he added. “If I am only doing 35 MPH and going from one location to another, I don’t worry about stowing everything inside the hull.” Herman has taken several trips in the Yak Hack from his home in Houston to Galveston and Matagorda to insure the final design has all the bugs worked out. “I had bad mechanical problems for about a year but we finally ironed those out and now the Yak Hack performs really well on the road,” he said. Herman had originally planned to make a complete coastal tour, fishing border-toborder on three wheels in just five days but it appears that time demands at work will force him to break his Mexico-to Louisiana fishing trek into smaller, more manageable pieces. Plus, while he may be able to load all of his fishing gear into his kayak for a trip to the coast, there isn’t any extra room for clothes, bedrolls, food, or any extra items he may need besides fishing gear. Herman calculated that his gas mileage is 50 miles to the gallon in the Yak Hack and that it will cost him about $20.00 to fish the entire Texas coast. While Herman’s tour of the Texas coast on three wheels won’t qualify as walkabout angling, it is creative – and frugal. In conclusion, Herman said: “”I have come up with worse ideas but none were as entertaining.” Contact Greg Berlocher at kayak@fishgame.com

TEXAS BOATING gency box. Yeah, these blan FROM PAGE 73 kets look silly and they crackle like those super-loud Sunchips bags whenever you move them, but they actually work. And since hypothermia is the number-one killer of outdoor recreationalists, you should always CONTINUED

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be prepared to combat it. An emergency blanket gives you that ability, after someone falls into the water or gets stuck out overnight with insufficient clothing. Right next to the blanket, pack in a couple of those instant hand-warmers. You don’t want to depend on these for emergency warmth since they grow unreliable

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with age, but it surely can’t hurt to have a few packs on-hand.

E-mail Lenny Rudow at boating@fishgame.com

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PHOTO: TERRY BAIN, DREAMSTIME

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Brazos River Barbecued Salmon HAVE BEEN PREPARING GREAT BARBECUE for many years and have always created my own homemade sauces for different cuts of meat or seafood. Grilled salmon has been a favorite dish of mine for years and I always try to prepare a marinade that will stand up to the rich flavor of this awesome fish. Our new Brazos River Barbecue Sauce contains the elements that pare well with salmon but will also caramelize nicely to be a great compliment to quail, ribs, shrimp and many other favorites. I hope you enjoy this dish with friends or family and share it with others that love the great taste of salmon fresh off the grill.

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Serves 4 to 6 1- 2 to 3 lb. filet of salmon- I prefer the tail section, it contains no pin bones or rib cage bones. Leave the skin on when grilling to keep the filet intact and the skin and scales will act as a barrier to hold in moisture on the hot grill. If you prefer salmon steaks, then allow 4 to 6 eight oz. steaks Heat grill to med. high heat if using gas, if using charcoal, heat to approx. 400 degrees Season the grill with cooking oil to prevent fish from sticking (be sure the grates N O R T H

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have been cleaned well before grilling, nobody wants salmon that taste like hamburger or whatever else was last cooked on the grill) 1 lemon – cut into quarters for squeezing over the fish filets

Preparation

When filets are mostly opaque, remove from the grill and place on a preheated platter. Cover loosely with a piece of foil to rest the fish for 4 to 6 minutes (this will force escaping steam back into the fish and will redistribute the juices allowing the meat to be easily removed from the skin with a spatula) Serve with Yellow Squash Casserole and fresh steamed spinach. Bon Appetit!

Place ½ jar of the Texas Gourmet’s Brazos River Barbecue Sauce into a bowl then brush onto the filets skin side down Place the filets on the grill indirectly, brush with the barbecue sauce then cover the grill to hold in heat and allow the filets to cook evenly, be sure and baste again after 7 to 8 minutes T E X A S

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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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Chris Carey Huge Striper Striper Express Guide Service

TEXAS SALTWATER

TEXAS SALTWATER

ROCKPORT

GALVESTON

MIDDLE COAST

FOR ADVERTISING RATES AND INFORMATION CALL 281.869.5519 Debra Redfish Rockport Red Runner

UPPER COAST (SABINE LAKE)

BAFFIN BAY

TEXAS FRESHWATER LAKE AMISTAD CORPUS CHRISTI

Aeric Oliver - Reds Redfish Charters

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Team Real Crazies Redfish Rockport Red Runner

TEXAS FRESHWATER

Jimmy Britt Striper Striper Express Guide Service

TEXAS HUNTING

TEXAS HUNTING

LAKE TEXOMA

Mitch Skarban Deer White Oak Outfitters

EAST TEXAS

ADVERTISERS, SEND IN YOUR PHOTOS TODAY!

SPOTLIGHT: STRIPER EXPRESS “Welcome To Striper Express!” is the greeting you’ll receive the minute you board one of the Striper Express boats. For owners and pro-guides Bill and Chris Carey, friendliness and professionalism are not just words; they are a way of life. For the past 28 years, Striper Express Guide Service has been offering first class fishing for striped bass on Lake Texoma. “We Sell Fun!“ states the father and son team. Our slogan is, “Every Trip is an Adventure!” They specialize in group outings,meetings and events. Striper Express offers companies large and small a way to recharge and refocus with employees and key clients. Whether a daycation or a conference, you can count on a unique outdoor adventure that your group can drive to and be excited to attend. Lake Texoma boasts twice the state limit for striped bass at 10 fish per person. The lake is located on the Texas-Oklahoma border just 75 miles north of Dallas. This 90,000 acre impoundment is a fisherman’s dream come true. We asked Bill and Chris what are their most memorable moments and without hesitation they both stated, “It’s the Kids! They are our future fishermen!” If you would like to book a guided fishing trip on Lake Texoma, call Bill or Chris Carey at Striper Express Guide Service. You can get in on the “striper success”, too. The toll free number is: 877-786-4477 or visit their website at www.striperexpress.com.

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Duck Panhandle

Redfish Whitetail Buck

Galveston Bay

Laredo

ot iendswood sh . age 10, of Fr Brody Beken, Rancho Nueveo in Laredo at 145 lbs. d his first buck se es dr ld ck fie The 8-point bu

Halle Brumfie ld, her 22-inch re age 5, caught and lande d df parents in Ga ish while fishing with he r lveston Bay.

Whitetail Spike

r first mallard e dl e 11, holds he Emily Cox, ag the mallard in the Panhan ot drake. She sh and duck hunt. e during a goos

Feral Hog

Stringellow WMA Hondo

Mixed Stringer Port Mansfield

Benjamin Ko sler, age 10, of Richmond, his first deer shot on a youth hu nt at Stringfel WMA. The sp lo ike weighed 96 pounds. Be w jamin shot it nwith a Remin gton .223.

feral lled his first ile Cade Love ki Four-year-old y Arms Mini-Bolt .22 lr, wh nr hog with a He o with his father, Dustin nd hunting in Ho Love.

Cecil Woods , Ha caught a mixe rry King, and Carl Ostuki d stringer ne ar in a small Sc ooter. All thre Port Mansfield, e men are ov and believe th er at fishing ke eps you youn 70, g.

Whitetail Buck Montague County

Speckled Trout

Whitetail Deer

Port Mansfield

McColloch County

t buck ot this 9-poin an, age 12, sh , while le rif 0 .3 0Daniel Dugg .3 a County with It was in Montague ard Duggan. his Dad, Rich . ok hunting with to than his Dad a bigger buck

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Hayden Harri s, age 9, shot his first deer the VanZant on ranc He used a Ru h in McCulloch County. ger M77 250 Savage to ha vest his doe rfrom 50 yard s.

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ht arland, caug e, age 5 of Pe re, Hope Valentin d trout on an artificial lu kle d Dad later an m her first spec Mo d ou field. Pr at Port Mans fishing gear. more mature got her some

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Whitetail Buck Zepher

iah at his side, Isa (Lillie Taylor) ot this 13sh le, With NaNaw vil ue from Bosq Dougherty, 7, mily lease in buck at his fa very proud. inch, 9-point tt Taylor was Ma w Pa w Zepher. Pa

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Redfish

Flounder

Rockport

Sargent

Jacob Finnen , 5, of Pearla nd caught hi first redfish s from pier in Rockpo the Laguna Reef Hotel rt. He was fis hing with his Papaw, Jack Hutson, of Ba ytown.

g po, was visitin 11, of El Cam she en wh t Jaid Hooey, en rg amps at Sa st Grama and Gr ch flounder. It was her fir -in landed this 18 caught it with a mullet. she flatfish, and

Redfish McFadden Beach

Whitetail Spike Red River County

Whitetail Buck Junction

John Gagne, ag season, bagg e 9 during the 2009 yout h ed his first de er, a spike, wi Howa .243. th

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r hurst, killer he n, 8, from Pine Jordyn Calhou int buck, on the O’Neal po at 23 Rossi rifle first deer, a 6tion, with a .2 Ranch in Junc 60 yards.

Joshua Taun ton, age 6, of Beaumont, ca this 32-inch redf ught and friends at ish while fishing with fam ily McFadden Be was released ach. The fish .

Whitetail Spike

Flounder

Junction

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Catfish Lake Conroe

nd is uth Padre Isla ison, 9, of So He . er gl Landon Hard an er and saltwat rnaan avid fresh Second in the Texas Inte ed recently plac t. g Tournamen tional Fishin

Four-year-old Keegan Sadd ler, with his first major La ke first catch wa Conroe catfish catch. Hi s s a baby cat from a neighbor’s pond, bu t this was th e “reel” deal .

ot Lumberton, sh am, age 9, of his Matthew Dunh a hunt in Junction, with iton his first buck rifle. The photo was subm h nd. new .243 yout Jerry Stewart, of Nederla a ted by grandp

Whitetail Buck Crystal City

Rainbow Trout

Redfish

Arkansas

South Padre

Weston Woe hr, 7, of San Antonio shot 10-point cull this buck hunting with his uncl Joey Blackm e on near Crys tal City. He m a 100-yard he ade art shot with a .222 Remin gton. N O R T H

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s her Austin show r, age 13, of Kaiya Pelletie ught in White River, ca drainbow trout boat fishing with her gran ile Arkansas wh dad.

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Cameron Trev in caught this 28 o, age 11, from Falfurias -inch redfish wh Capt. Johnny Watts at Sout ile fishing with h Padre Island .

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