Issuu on Google+

Digital Edition

www.FishGame.com

Jumping Kings:

Texas King Mackerel

AUGUST 2013 VOL. XXX • NO. 4 | $3.95

Alton Jones and the

5 Baits

That Changed Bass Fishing

Busted!

Outdoors Internet Hoaxes Exposed Use Bass Tactics to

‘Wack’ a Flatfish Digital.indd 1

State High School Bass

champs Build an AR-15:

Big Bore for Big Boar 7/24/13 2:56 PM


Coastal.indd 2

7/8/13 7:59 PM


StaffBox-Contents.indd 1

7/8/13 8:01 PM


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 Reavis Wortham Greg Berlocher Paul Bradshaw Capt. Mike Holmes Dustin Ellermann Lisa Moore John Gisel

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

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

A D VE R T I S IN G

Ardia Neves VICE PRESIDENT/ADVERTISING DIRECTOR

Viga Hall • Linda Shelton •

NATIONAL ADVERTISING SALES LOCAL ADVERTISING SALES 1745 Greens Road, Houston, TX 77032 Phone 281/227-3001 • Fax 281/227-3002

S ubs c r i pt i o n s 1745 Greens Road, Houston, TX 77032 Phone 800/725-1134

action subscription fulfillment

Duane Hruzek PRESIDENT

Jennifer Boone • OPERATIONS MANAGER P R O D U C T I O N

Juliana Seale •

GRAPHIC DESIGNER

A D MINI S T R A T I O N

Dennise Chavez ADMINISTRATIVE DIRECTOR

Tonisha Shields •

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

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. Content is not to 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.

2 |

a u g u s t

StaffBox-Contents.indd 2

2 0 1 3

|

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

7/6/13 11:15 AM


StaffBox-Contents.indd 3

7/6/13 11:15 AM


CONTENTS FEATURES

AUGUST 2013 • Volume XXX • NO. 4

22

Wacking Flatfish Picking off flounders at point-blank range using weapons and tactics normally deployed for Bass.

by John N. Felsher

cover story: All-State Bass Colton Mitchell and Dallin Bishop of Leander’s Rouse High School recently won the 2013 Texas High School Bass Championship. One of the prizes they were awarded was a day of fishing with Bassmaster Classic champ Alton Jones on Lake Fork.

STORY:

Five baits that changed bass fishing

Here is a random list of five baits that have revolutionized the past, present and future of a sport enjoyed by millions of anglers worldwide.

52

26

by Matt Williams

30

build A Big Bore ar-15 for a big boar

Story and Cover Photo by Chester Moore ALSO IN August:

Dustin Ellermann continues his multipart series showing you the best components and loads for hunting feral hogs with an AR-15.

by Dustin Ellermann

Jumping Kings King mackerel on the Texas coast offers a big game fishing experience, often as close to shore as just off piers and jetties. With topwater lures, you can even get the thrill of their aerial acrobatics. Story by Mike Price

STORY:

Busted! Outdoors internet hoaxes: the truth behind giant alligators, giant snakes, giant cougars and similar photos circulated via email.

48

38

by Chester Moore 4 |

a u g u s t

StaffBox-Contents.indd 4

2 0 1 3

2 0 1 1

www.FishGame.com |

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

7/8/13 2:57 PM


StaffBox-Contents.indd 5

7/6/13 11:15 AM


CONTENTS COLUMNS & DEPARTMENTS

AUGUST 2013 • Volume XXX • NO. 4

COLUMNS

DEPARTMENTS

Editor’s Notes 10 Practical Water

Commentary 21 Perspective

by DON ZAIDLE TF&G Editor-in-Chief

by Kendal Hemphill TF&G Politcal Commentator

8 letters 12 TF&G Report 12 big bags &

Texas Freshwater 29 About Those Shadow

34 texas dept. of

t

Conservation

Captains

defense

by matt Williams TF&G Freshwater Editor

44 True green

Chester’s Notes 14 The Pheasants of

Texas Bow Hunting 42 Preparation is the Key

by CHESTER MOORE TF&G Executive Editor

by Lou Marullo TF&G Bow Hunting Editor

Doggett at Large 16 Seeing is

Hunt Texas 43 Muy

by JOE DOGGETT TF&G Senior Contributing Editor

by bob hood TF&G Hunting Editor

Pike on the Edge 18 Earning Your

Texas Saltwater 51 Joint

by Doug Pike TF&G Senior Contributing Editor

by Calixto Gonzales TF&G Saltwater Editor

TexasWild 20 Uncle Ted’s Survival

Open Season 56 Stiff

by Ted nugent TF&G Editor At Large

by reavis wortham TF&G Humor Editor

Eagle Pass

Fishing

Age

6 |

Readiness No. 2: The Bag

a u g u s t

StaffBox-Contents.indd 6

2 0 1 3

|

T e x a S

catches

to Success

Digital:

Grande

Resolution

F i s h

&

NEW Mobile Editions: u

iPad

u

iPhone

u

Android

FREE to Subscribers. See your Device App Store, or visit:

FishGame.com Follow us on:

G a m e ®

7/6/13 12:12 PM


StaffBox-Contents.indd 7

7/6/13 11:15 AM


Letters to the Editor Re-Thinking High-fences Don Zaidle’s June issue “Editor’s Notes” column, “Re-Thinking High-fences,” is a good summary. I believe in private property and free enterprise. But, I own businesses and I can tell you that High-fence Hunting is a business! I must pay many types of taxes: property tax, sales tax, inventory tax, etc. But a highfence operation does not have all these taxes. They also don’t have OSHA, the EPA, local health departments, etc. looking over their shoulder and monitoring everything they do. If High-fence operations had all of the above issues, like other businesses, you would not see so many high-fence hunts!

I agree with Don Zaidle that high fencing presents some problems. The real problem with high fencing is that it blocks natural and historic wildlife movement. Deer can be severely stressed when a high-fence blocks access to natural food and water that has been available since time began. Other native species’ range may be disrupted as well, even those that can, with difficulty, get over or through the fence but do not do so unless pursued. I heard one horror story last year that a high-fenced ranch in the Cotulla area had its water wells mostly dry up from the effects of this drought and the cattle had to be taken off but the deer just died. The deer could not escape to the neighbors’ stock tanks or over to the Nueces for what little water it had. I cannot confirm this story and it may not be true. But, it definitely is the sort of risk high fencing presents. The hunting ethics issue is long settled. Boone & Crockett does not accept heads from high-fenced or genetically manipulated deer herds. SCI will score and record heads

Letters.indd 8

a u g u s t

Jay Bute El Lago, Texas

Gar in the Surf

W.T. Gill Via email

8 |

from game farms but identifies these trophies as such and they are clearly second rate; all it takes is some money to get a record head, not skill. One minor irritation for me is when a head from a high-fenced ranch is said to have a Boone & Crockett score. Some contests use the B&C system for scoring. To qualify for scoring, and it is not a B&C score unless measured by a certified measurer, the hunter must affirm that the animal was not “Confined by artificial barriers, including escape-proof fenced enclosures.” If the animal is from a high-fenced ranch, it is disqualified, absolutely, from being scored by a B&C measurer. As such, it simply does not have a Boone & Crocket score, period.

2 0 1 3

|

T e x a S

I saw Chester Moore’s July issue article on alligator gar in the surf on the upper Texas Coast. Since the statute of limitations is surely up by now, I can confess to possibly having something to do with this situation. Back in the very late 1970’s, when I lived on Chocolate Bayou at Liverpool, I took a tub full of cast-netted baby ‘gator gar to High Island with the thought of using them as shark bait in the surf. Gar are tough and bloody, and I had used chucks from small gar successfully to catch much larger gar, so I thought they might be worth a try. After a long weekend of trying them as chunk bait, the only conclusion I was able to reach was that young gar would live in a tub of warm, non-oxygenated water in the sun on a Texas beach for several days. When it was time to leave the beach and return to the real world, I felt the tough little (1-foot long or so) gar deserved at least a chance at survival, so I dumped them into the surf. Although not really expecting it to happen, I had a thought as I watched them swim away, that possibly, someday, a fishermen after bull reds on one of the nearby piers F i s h

&

might get the surprise of his life when he saw the huge mouth of a mature ‘gator gar open as its head breached the surface in the lights under the pier. Mike Holmes Via email

It’s a Snapper-eatTriggerfish World I cannot believe how people don’t get it. Fishing should be about being able to see God’s blessings and the fish the bonus. There is nothing like being on the water early in the morning and seeing that awesome sunrise. I don’t understand why there is such an outcry about the triggerfish. For years, people griped that when they went to the rigs they could not get their baits down fast enough and a triggerfish would take their bait. Last I heard, a red snapper is a lot better to eat, as well as several better fish out there than triggerfish. I can remember fishing Baffin Bay thru the 70’s as a kid and catching 2-1/2-pound golden croaker. What a fight for a young angler! Not to mention great table fare. Now croaker is just bait. To us anglers that enjoy the opportunity just to be on the water and then get a bonus of a fish, this is the greatest. Whiners need to move on and enjoy the opportunities that are still out there and enjoy every day to the fullest. Mark W. Henke San Antonio, TX

Send your Comments to: Editor, Texas Fish & Game 1745 Greens Rd Houston TX 77032 Email: editor@fishgame.com

G a m e ®

7/6/13 11:22 AM


Letters.indd 9

7/6/13 11:22 AM


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

Practical Water Conservation

I

f frank discussion of bathroom habits offends you, do not read this. For many years, Texas has bemoaned its water woes. In short, there are too many people and not enough water, but the problem is a bit more involved. Water does not disappear when “consumed” or used, but moves out of the water delivery system and into the water table, flows downstream to the ocean, or is “locked up” in the biomass. (The composition of every plant, animal, insect, microbe, and person is mostly water.) Most human-use water comes from municipal or regional water suppliers, which acquire it from reservoirs, streams, and wells. After use, it is processed as sewage and then, in most cases, released into streams to ultimately flow back to the ocean. From there, it cycles back inland as vapor and, eventually, precipitation (i.e. the “water cycle” we learned in third grade). Water suppliers have limited throughput capacity, so it is axiomatic that as water demand grows with the human population, suppliers simply cannot keep up. Many water conservation initiatives fall short at addressing real-world issues that contribute greatly to water use—outdated notions of decorum and hygiene based in Victorian prudishness. For example, many cringe at the notion of shaking hands with a man who did not wash after urinating, but never consider that the same man just ran his fingers through his greasy, lice-ridden hair. With the goal of promoting water conservation by tearing down a few nonsensical social taboos, I herewith provide a few practical tips that anyone can practice—and if enough of the millions living in Texas

10 |

EdNotes.indd 10

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

adopt them, could make a huge, tangible difference. This isn’t satire or humor, but practical advice that works. For the Guys — At home, pee in the sink. Every time you urinate into and flush a toilet, two or more gallons of water enter the sewer. Splash a cupful or two of water around the sink bowl to rinse it and flush urine out of the drain trap. — Do not flush urinals in public restrooms, most of which smell anyway, so flushing is kind of pointless. — I have witnessed guys flushing the toilet after each “deposit” in order to eliminate smell when taking a dump. Man-up and knock it off. At home, use a can of Lysol or install a scent dispenser. In public, well, as previously observed, community restrooms stink anyway. Flush once when you finish. — Unless you pee on your hands, have a contact-transmissible disease, or do not wash your man bits when showering, stop washing your hands after peeing. Your junk is probably cleaner than your lips. Note that urine from an undiseased bladder is sterile. For the Gals — Do not flush sanitary napkins or tampons. These cause additional processing problems at the treatment plant, or mess up the septic tank. In public, carry a few plastic zipper bags in your purse and use them to dispose of your “lady things” in the trashcan. — Do not flush after peeing. For Everybody — Carry and use a small bottle of antiseptic hand cleaner or packages of pre-moistened towelettes in lieu of ritualistic washing. — Shower less and adopt the British “tops and tails” hygiene regimen: Wash your face, underarms, and crotch at the sink with a rag, soap, and modest amount of water. Shower only every other day. — Don’t shower after swimming. Pool water is probably more hygienic than what comes out of your tap at home. If you are that worried about pool chemicals on your skin or hair, you probably shouldn’t swim in

T e x a S

F i s h

&

pools. Ditto for lakes or streams. If you think the swim water so “dirty” it poses risk, why are you immersing your body in it, ingesting it (inadvertently but inevitably), getting it in your eyes, etc.? — Set up a catch reservoir beneath home rain-gutter downspouts and use the water for your car and lawn. — Stop washing your car/truck so often. A shiny-clean car impresses no one who really matters. — Stop washing your dog. If it smells, use a brush-through dry chemical cleanser, or just leave it outside. — If you need hot water for cooking, get it from the faucet nearest the water heater— even if it is in the bathroom—rather than letting the kitchen water run until it gets hot. Manufacturers — Market a “smart” automatic urinal flush valve that counts uses and flushes after the tenth or so “customer.” Existing IR sensor models flush after each use, and even though the water used is less than most manual valves, it still amounts to a lot of unnecessary flushing. (Such valves might already exist, but I could not find one.) Government — Lose outdated notions of “sanitation” and “decency,” and revise codes accordingly. e.g.: What is the big deal with “public urination”? Are we really that worried someone might see a man’s junk? And when you consider the myriad chemicals, dead animals, animal feces and urine, and who knows what else that washes into storm drains, is a bit of untreated human urine really that big a health threat? — Create designated “public urination areas” that ensure drainage into the storm system, thus saving the costs associated with enforcement and building/maintaining restrooms, reducing water use, and relieving some of the load on sewage treatment plants. — Create a “sin tax” for wasteful commercial users, such as car washes.

Contact Don Zaidle at DZaidle@fishgame.com

G a m e ®

7/6/13 12:22 PM


EdNotes.indd 11

7/6/13 12:23 PM


Zebra Mussel Spread Continues: Confirmed in Lewisville, Bridgeport

The inexorable spread of invasive zebra mussels continues as the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department confirmed in June, verifying the mollusk’s presence in lakes Lewisville and Bridgeport. Christopher Churchill, a biologist with the USGS who has been monitoring zebra mussels in North Texas rivers and reservoirs, discovered the live juvenile on a settlement sampler near the

Photo: TPWD

The TF&G Report

t

Zebra mussels on a Lake Texoma shoreline.

dam. Churchill indicated that this latest infestation is probably the result of contaminated boats being transported to Lewisville Lake, but it could be the result of downstream transport of zebra mussels from Lake Ray Roberts via Elm Fork of the Trinity River. This latest infestation appears to be relatively new, as no additional specimens have been documented in Lewisville.

Days later, zebra mussel larvae, known as veligers, were confirmed in Lake Bridgeport. A zebra mussel population was suspected in Lake Bridgeport because zebra mussel DNA was found in the fall of 2011 and 2012, and some veligers were detected this spring in plankton tows. Samples collected by the Tarrant Regional Water District (TRWD) from

Big Bags&Catches

Spinner Shark

Alligator gar

San Luis Pass

Lake Livingston

Robbie Rosalez of Hockley caught this 7-foot spinner shark while fishing at San Luis Pass with cut bait. He was fishing at high tide. The shark took him 30 minutes to land.

12 |

TFG Report.indd 12

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

It took four arrows and four good friends to help the Veach boys get this six-foot gator gar into the boat while fishing below the dam at Lake Livingston.

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e ÂŽ

Photo credit

7/8/13 2:59 PM


Lake Bridgeport on June 6 were examined using cross-polarized light microscopy and suspect veligers were detected. Dr. Bob McMahon with The University of TexasArlington (UTA) confirmed these results on June 17. Routine monitoring by the TRWD, UTA, and TPWD will continue on the reservoir to determine whether there is any growth or spread of the mussels. Because lakes Eagle Mountain and Worth are downstream of Lake Bridgeport, they are also at risk and will continue to be monitored.

spread throughout Europe, where it is considered a major environmental and industrial menace. The animal appeared in North America in the late 1980s and within 10 years had colonized all five Great Lakes and the Mississippi, Tennessee, Hudson, and Ohio River basins. Since then, they have spread to additional lakes and river systems, including some in North Texas. Zebra mussels live and feed in many different aquatic habitats, breed prolifically,

and cannot be controlled by natural predators. Adult zebra mussels colonize all types of living and non-living surfaces including boats, water-intake pipes, buoys, docks, piers, plants, and slow moving animals such as native clams, crayfish, and turtles. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service estimates the potential economic impact of zebra mussels in the billions of dollars.

New Emergency Order Signed After the new confirmations, Executive Director Carter Smith signed an emergency order adding the West Fork of the Trinity River including Lakes Bridgeport, Eagle Mountain, and Worth to the list of water bodies under special regulations intended to help control the spread of zebra mussels. The Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission in 2012 amended TPWD’s regulations to help ensure that boats operated on Lake Lavon, parts of the Red River including Lake Texoma, and parts of the Elm Fork of the Trinity River including Lakes Ray Robert and Lewisville are drained (including live wells and bilges) before they leave those water bodies. Taking this precaution is crucial in efforts to slow the spread of this species, since contaminated boats are one of the primary ways this happens. Draining water from boats prevents the spread of a microscopic form of the zebra mussel called a veliger, which is invisible to the naked eye. The emergency rule does create an exemption for persons to travel on a public roadway via the most direct route to another access point located on the same body of water without draining water from their boat. The emergency action would extend the applicability of the current regulation to all impounded and tributary waters of the West Fork of the Trinity River above the Lake Worth dam including Lakes Bridgeport, Eagle Mountain, and Worth.

History and Impact The zebra mussel is a small, non-native mussel originally found in Eurasia. It has

TFG Report.indd 13

7/8/13 2:59 PM


Chester’s Wild Life by Chester Moore | TF&G Executive Editor

The Pheasants of Eagle Pass

A

ringneck pheasant rooster is stunning especially in early morning light. As the sun’s orange rays illuminate the burnt orange, red and white a truly magnificent creation is revealed. Then it takes flight. “Boom!” The report of my 12 gauge echoed across the South Dakota plains as the bird fell and feathers floated in the air. It was the first shot of what I have always considered a dream hunt. Althoughthere would be numerous misses over the next two days, to connect with a pheasant on the first go-round was exhilarating. I was a guest of newfound Texas friends Bradley Cornell, Terry Thompson, Dave Meads and Wade Decker at Eagle Pass Lodge in Ree Heights, SD. Owned by Steve and Debi Munger it is truly an excellent facility with beautiful accommodations, impeccable food, a friendly atmosphere and, perhaps most important, great hunting opportunities. “We really do our best to manage the land and create the perfect place for pheasants and pheasant hunting,” said Steve Munger. In 2000, they took a 1,600-acre parcel of land and designated it for wildlife habitat enhancement. It included restoration of four miles of tree belts, 300 acres of nesting habitat, five waterways with ponds, and strategically placed food plots. “The habitat management has proven to 14 |

A U G U S T

ChesterWildLife.indd 14

2 0 1 3

|

be an ideal setting for wild pheasant production and assures a large crop of wild pheasants each season,” Munger said. Hunters who have pursued “put and take” birds on preserves can expect nothing of the sort here. I have had a great time on preserves in the past but this experience was at a whole ‘nother level. These birds flew fast and long and were as wild as could be. We were there late in the season (it opens in September) but still saw and shot plenty of birds. Well, in some cases we (myself included) shot at plenty of birds without connecting but for there were so many opportunities were always around the corner. I was super impressed with Munger’s passion for pheasants and for giving hunters a quality experience. “We want the lodge to be the kind of place you go and enjoy everything. It’s not about just being a pheasant hunt but an overall experience,” he said. As with every place I go, connections to wildlife has a lot to do with my experience. The property was a wildlife oasis and there is no doubt their management efforts have been successful. It is the perfect property for pheasant and a magnet for waterfowl and whitetail deer. One of the coolest things was watching a pair of golden eagles terrorize some pheasants along a row of trees. They are one of

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

the most majestic birds on the planet and being in their presence was awe-inspiring. A cool treat for me was the coyotes we saw while pushing birds in the fields. Although I prefer photographing these crafty canines, I can see why they offer coyote hunts in the afternoons. This landscape is a predator hunter’s paradise. Pheasants were stocked in Southeast Texas where I lived in 1976. When I was a little boy, I heard tales of hunters taking pheasants near Winnie and Sabine Pass. At the time that seemed quite exotic to me as I dug into my wildlife books and discovered the ringneck pheasants is actually a native of the countries of Georgia and China and were brought here for sporting purposes. The Texas coastal pheasant season was recently closed due to a lack of birds but it is interesting they have a history in our region in my neck of the woods and of course in the Panhandle where there is a thriving population. There is however certainly no lack of pheasant in South Dakota and with this being perfect time to book a hunt there I was excited to bring you this column. I am continually enthralled by the amazing creatures the Lord put on this Earth for us to enjoy, and I have found pheasant to be particularly striking. They are also incredibly tasty. As muchas I like eating wild turkey, they have the big birds beat by a long shot. Pheasants have truly captured my imagination and my taste buds. Just after we returned from the hunt, I learned one of my newfound friends from the trip passed away. Mark Cornell brother of my friend Brad died, leaving us shocked and saddened. I dedicate this column to his memory and as a reminder for us to enjoy every bit of time in God’s great outdoors with good friends and abundant wildlife. For more information on Eagle Pass Lodge, go to www.eaglepasslodge.com.

Contact Chester Moore at CMoore@fishgame.com Photo Chester Moore

7/8/13 3:00 PM


ChesterWildLife.indd 15

7/6/13 11:29 AM


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

Seeing is Fishing

S

ight-casting to shallow fish is a common—and thrilling—denominator across warm-water tides. Fortunately, this specialized and demanding drill is available in the bays and backwaters along our own Texas coast. Regardless of tackle or technique, region or species, all serious “skinny water” anglers respect one rule: maximize the sun. The overhead light penetrates the clear shallows and illuminates the water, vastly improving the elevated angler’s ability to spot sub-surface targets (if not cruising fish, perhaps potholes or similar bottom formations likely to hold fish). This advantage of sighting an unaware fish in advance of a long cast can be huge— the difference between a rushing strike and a boiling panic. Conversely, the lights literally go out when heavy clouds block the high sun. It’s like, What happened? The abrupt difference is dramatic and extremely depressing. Sun management can be the key to success. Conversely, failure to follow the sun’s potential can severely downgrade potential. No other type of fishing is so dependent on bright sunlight, and the beginner who fails to understand this critical factor is in for some frustrating sight-casting sessions. Obviously, a clear and cloudless dawn offers the best potential, but, equally obvious, the best time to go fishing is when you have the chance. A blue sky never can be guaranteed against a fixed schedule. Most likely, the day will be a mix of bright sun and intermittent clouds. The savvy sight-caster strives to maximize the sun by being in productive water as much as possible during the periods of superior visibility. And, of course, no-nonsense polarized sunglasses are mandatory. Most shallow-water anglers prefer high-contrast shades of amber 16 |

Doggett.indd 16

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

or yellow. Vermillion is another effective choice, less harsh than snappy yellow. The main objective is to claim the best flat or shoreline as soon as favorable lighting allows, tidal phase permitting. If Flat A holds the most potential, don’t forfeit sightcasting opportunities by arriving too early and bumbling over fish before the sun is high enough to sparkle the bottom. Utilize the first hour or two by blind casting over a nearby channel or deeper flat, then ease into position. If competition from other boats is a real threat, arrive early to the choice spot and “hang out” until visibility improves. Prime lighting usually occurs between about 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. The angle is high enough to penetrate the water and you can wade, drift, or pole with the onshore summer Gulf wind. The same timetable applies across most of the tropics, where the prevailing trades usually blow from the east or southeast. Regardless of region, this approach keeps both sun and wind at your back—a great advantage for sighting fish and making casts. A prolonged day under marginal visibility might be saved by a burst of late sun; however, be advised that after mid-afternoon, the wind and sun often are at odds. The prime late-afternoon window for spotting fish is into the gusting wind—and the velocity almost always increases during the heat of summer. Stringing surface grass can be a problem along the middle and lower coast. This is a sketchy situation, but at least you can see. The salty angler can minimize the grass by seeking out clean sand or a leeward shoreline. The plugger working into the wind can re-rig with a lure with superior ballistics such as an elongated dog-walker, something you can chunk smartly into the gusts. The fly caster in command of a vicious double-haul can switch to a trim, low profile fly with minimal air resistance. The fly caster without a vicious double haul might consider retiring to the barn—or at least the dock. If during a so-so session a wad of clouds moves in, give some thought to using the “down time” to relocate to new water. Sight-

T e x a S

F i s h

&

casting potential has suffered a temporary setback, so make the most of the blown lighting. This is a judgment call, and much depends on the extent of the cloud cover and how fast the weather is moving. Running from a persistent bank of clouds might put you under sunny sky within a few miles. This is assuming you don’t hit an oyster reef en route. Pay attention to charts on shallow bays and don’t let the sky always dictate the course. The sight-casting session has suffered a major setback when gray ceiling wipes out all hope of bright sun. Sub-surface visibility is reduced from “way over there” to scant yards. The key here is to stand tall and remain vigilant, knowing that if a shot appears it almost certainly will be within a boat length of the poised rod. The plugger should prepare for a short but fast presentation—an under-hand pitch or a side-arm cast. The conventional overhand lob probably won’t cut it...not enough distance to properly load the arcing cast. A limber rod tip can be an ally in loading a short cast and finessing a quiet delivery with the typical 1/4- to 1/2-ounce plug-casting payload. The fly-rodder might consider “overlining” one size, maybe two, to turn over a close-quarters loop. Forget about the flats videos; this is no place for the sizzling 90-foot tight loop that looks so racy on magazine covers. A quick roll cast or side-arm flip might be all you get before the pointblank redfish disappears in a cloud of sand. If the lighting is truly lousy, you have one sight-casting card remaining. Forget the normal knee- to thigh-deep water and press into ankle- to shin-deep shallows. Here, you can scout the surface for movement, the faint wakes of cruising fish or—Yes!—a pod of saucy tails fanning in the breeze. When those bold pennants appear, there is no finer fishing on the coast.

Contact Joe Doggett at JDoggett@fishgame.com

G a m e ®

7/8/13 3:01 PM


Doggett.indd 17

7/6/13 1:57 PM


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

W

ith age comes wisdom. That’s the good news. What old people won’t tell young people is that there are price tags hanging off all those smarts. I fall somewhere in the middle, old enough to feel every pothole and hurdle in the long road ahead, but young (and stubborn) enough to ignore them for as many more days as this gravitationally challenged carcass will allow. Examples, ugly as the may be, abound. It wasn’t many years ago, for instance, that our five-month summer was just the other season here in Texas. (Opposite the seven months of “sprall,” when it can be cool or warm and damp or wet.) I didn’t care so much whether the Gulf puked out a few tropical storms, because they meant better waves for surfing. And if weather were more normal, the usual heat and humidity were just that – usual. Some 20-plus years ago, southeast Texas experienced a summer like few others. Hot as a camp-stove coffee pot, we sweated through 10, maybe 12 consecutive days when overnight lows were in the mid-80s and daytime temperatures raced north of 100 degrees by noon. The heat alone killed about a dozen old people, several of them while playing golf. I love golf and remember enjoying summer’s swelter back then because it thinned crowds. Most old people stayed away inside on triple-digit days. They avoided golf courses and fishing holes for the better parts of that season, because its heat could bygawd kill a man. It’ll be a lot more years before a single summer day can put me in a box, but I’m less tolerant of a baking sun now than even a few years ago. Fishing and golf require roughly the same amounts of energy and 18 |

Pike.indd 18

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

“ It’ll be a lot more years before a single summer day can put me in a box.

Earning Your Age

similar amounts of fluids to keep you from dropping like a baked stone. I pay attention to hydration and drink more water now than I did during two-a-day high-school football practices. Even deep into my 40s, I could get up early, play in direct sunlight all day and never skip a beat. Now, high sun seems to squeeze a little tighter around my neck, to settle on my shoulders and not let up. Even the shade seems hotter than I remember as a younger man, but it’s probably not. And then there’s the actual physical activity in any season.

Until recently, a full day of fishing or chasing golf balls had no lasting effect; I felt the same after 36 holes or eight hours on a rocking bow as I did on the first tee or leaving the dock. I can still play or cast all day – in May, I played 100 holes of golf in a single day for charity – but now, my back begins to stiffen before I’m three steps off the boat or last green. With age also come nagging aches and pains. Not the kind you can shake off with a stretch or a good night’s sleep, the kind that make you pull on your reading glasses to check how many pain-relief tablets you can take in a day. Joints ache, bones ache, feet ache, muscles ache. Usually not all at once, thank goodness, and rarely enough to sideline me if water looks good and the

T e x a S

F i s h

&

tide’s right. Try as I might to remember, there’s no recollection of old people bracing me for this transition. And over the years it took me to get here, I spent no shortage of time hunting, fishing, golfing and otherwise enjoying the outdoors with geezers who could have told me the truth. Sort of like how couples who’ve been married 20 or 30 years go to weddings and smile politely, quietly through the service and reception. The fascinating thing about a column such as this one, of course, is that few people younger than 30 even will read this far. They’ll see the words “age” and “ugly” and “carcass” up top and flip the page hoping for pictures of big fish. People who have a few miles on their tires and maybe have replaced their personal batteries a few times will get it, though, and it may even bring a wry smile to their faces. That’s because our half of the world already knows what the other half won’t know until – if they’re lucky – they reach our age. And make no mistake that there are positives, despite the creaky knee or shoulder, in seniority. You don’t get where we are or feel like we do without enjoying a great ride along the way. If I hadn’t lifted that bag of wet decoys from the truck on the way to a great goose hunt, my back might not hurt so much. If I hadn’t slipped a few times on jetty rocks trying to keep king mackerel from emptying my reels, I wouldn’t have so many scars on my knees. If I hadn’t hit so many practice balls, I would never have carried a singledigit handicap. I’ll keep our secret best I can, as did the generations before me. And if my younger friends who are passionate about the outdoors are lucky, they’ll also wake up old one day, with stories to tell and a jug of ibuprofen on the kitchen counter.

Contact Doug Pike at DPike@fishgame.com

G a m e ®

7/6/13 11:36 AM


Pike.indd 19

7/6/13 11:36 AM


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

Uncle Ted’s Survival Readiness No. 2: The Bag

I

have spent my amazing 64.5-year American Dream life one way or another sharing and promoting my love for independence and readiness with everyone everywhere in my public and private life, emphasizing the critical instinctual mindset to survive and be prepared. When one is properly prepared for life’s unforeseen but mostly predictable challenges, we can be an asset to our family and friends and to a great degree, everyone around us. Failing to be prepared lands us squarely in the liability column of life, and that is just plain lame. The sheeping of America will go down in history as a most embarrassing failure. In a recent column, I outlined the common sense logic of our rugged individualism and how I have lived it forever, and quite honestly, how very simple and very gratifying it is to accomplish. I have always joked, more seriously than humorously, that if you want to go to a knife and gun show I only have to lift my shirt or open my jacket. The basic gear I have on my person at all times represents the pragmatism of why God created pockets and belts. In a life of nonstop adventure, much of it wilderness adventure, my brain developed early on a conclusion based on the possibility of a truck breakdown or God forbid, an emergency aircraft landing, and my insistence on being able to survive with what is on me at the time. Beyond my mobile belt and pocket-laden hardware and sporting goods store, there are other means of preparedness that can be adhered to by anybody, anywhere, anytime. Though some jurisdictions in America and beyond sadly deny basic Second Amendment rights, criminally infringing on our rights to keep and bear arms, individual efforts and choices must be made to

20 |

Nugent.indd 20

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

determine to what extent you are willing to arm yourself based on the laws of the land in which you travel. To each his own. Beyond my “on person” gear, I also have a fat shoulder bag full of yet more goodies that fulfill a thoughtful and responsible utilitarian game plan. As I write this, I am 40,000 feet up in a lovely jet, zooming to another night of blistering soul music with the greatest band on earth, on tour all summer long 50 plus years nonstop. Say Hallelujah! It really is rather amusing the list of gear I have sitting next to me and on the jet with me right now, because I am more loaded up than usual since I will head to our Michigan cabin for the duration of the Midwest leg of our tour. It just so happens that a fully automatic M4 machinegun and over 1000 rounds of loaded hi-capacity magazines reside in the seat to my right. In addition, there are bows, arrows, and an assortment of specialty gear for our upcoming Canadian bear hunts, so this vehicle is about as prepared for anything that anyone could possibly imagine. To say I feel very good would be an extreme understatement. (The M4 and handguns will be legally stored prior to Canada!) In upcoming articles, I will delve into the extensive gear I always have in my plane, touring wardrobe case, trucks, vehicles, barn, home, garage, and cabins. For now, I will stick with identifying that which I carry in my Drago heavy-duty ballistic shoulder bag. It could be considered a quickie “bugout bag” for sure, but somewhat limited for any extended survival emergencies. In it I have substantial first aid, additional pistol magazines and my backup 10mm, two water bottles, some high energy granola type bars and water purification tabs, two

T e x a S

F i s h

&

survival type wrist rope bands, a bundle of heavy duty plastic lock-ties, some heavy duty freezer type Ziploc plastic bags, extra flashlight and batteries, another spare lighter, throat lozenges, spare knife and sharpener, backup reading glasses, this laptop and two spare batteries, an ATT wireless devise for Internet connection, a small sewing kit, elastic braces for knees and wrists, spare sheriff credentials, spare large handkerchief, small camera, important papers including passport and copies of all family members passports, a good supply of strong paper napkins, alcohol wound cleaning pads, obviously more guitar picks, datebooks and phonebooks, a supply of heavy duty para cord, sunglasses, and various business paraphernalia. I also have a bunch of Spare Bladders, an amazing product we use to pee in when in our tree stands. It is a strong zip-top plastic bag with a powder that de-scents and solidifies urine. I cannot live without them when flying private. Combined with my daily carry supplies, I never give it a second thought knowing that long ago I made certain I would always be capable of taking care of myself and those around me that I choose to assist. To some this list of daily gear may seem burdensome, obtrusive, and complicated, but it has never represented any compromise in my mobility or comfort. To the contrary, having what I need readily available at all times is indeed extremely comforting. I’m glad more and more of us are sharing our survival information and ideas, but I am convinced that we must all put forth adequate effort to educate and inspire our family, friends, co-workers, and neighbors beyond the choir that preparedness is everyone’s responsibility. Thanks to all the people who care, it is encouraging to know that more and more people are upgrading their responsibilities in this natural function. It can only be good for everyone.

Contact Ted Nugent at TNugent@fishgame.com

G a m e ®

7/6/13 12:28 PM


Commentary by Kendal Hemphill | TF&G Political Commentator

M

y wife and I watched a short video from Jason Headley recently, called ‘It’s not about the Nail.’ A young couple is sitting on a couch, talking, and the woman says she feels like she has pressure in her head, and doesn’t know if it’s going to go away. The scene then opens to show she has a nail sticking out of her forehead. The man says, “Well, you have a nail in your head,” which irritates and frustrates the woman. She says, “It’s not about the nail. You always do this. You always try to fix it. You never listen to me.” The man says, “If you would just take the nail out . . .” They argue some more, the woman repeats that the man doesn’t listen, so the man shuts up and starts listening. The woman is then happy, even though she still has the nail in her head. Later, I asked my wife what the point of the video was. She said it was that men need to listen to their wives, and everything will be peachy. My take was totally different. The point was that the nail needed to be removed, and the problem would be solved, and listening had nothing to do with it. We both agreed the video was dead on, yet we had opposite opinions of what its message actually was. It would seem that, as Strother Martin said in “Cool Hand Luke,” “What we got here is failure to communicate.” This problem is not exclusive to husbands and wives. It crops up in every area of human interaction, and lately seems to have taken over the political climate in America. The issues we face elicit widely disparate responses from various groups, each of which believes its perspective is accurate, and its solution will solve the problem. Chicago, for example, has some of the most restrictive gun control laws in the coun-

“ What we got here is failure to communicate.

Perspective

try, and very nearly the highest crime rate. Liberals believe further firearms restrictions will help; conservatives believe that would only make the situation worse. As a kid, I was often invited to hunt deer on ranches owned by my father’s friends. One rancher would never allow me to shoot a buck, believing an abundance of males benefitted antler growth. Another, with the opposite view, never let me shoot a doe. Along the Texas coast, many trout between 14 and 15 inches long are caught and released. Often, because of handling,

the slime is rubbed off their skin, fungus grows, and the fish die. Some say this is devastating to the fishery, and the minimum size limit should be lowered to 14 inches. Others claim the fish killed this way are few, and the overall damage insignificant. No matter your view on a given subject, someone holds the opposite opinion. Nowhere is this disparity of consensus more blatant than in the field of outdoor recreation. Whatever you believe to be the best way to conserve our natural resources, others believe you’re dead wrong. The Nikon Company recently managed, without trying, to get smack in the middle of a huge controversy between hunters and non-hunters, when some antis learned that the optics giant makes rifle scopes. How this fact slipped past Nikon customers for years is unclear, but when they found out, some of T e x a S

Commentary.indd 21

F i s h

&

them were livid. British newspaper ‘The Daily Mail’ fanned the flames with a slanted story obviously biased against hunting, which stated that Nikon cameras have been synonymous with wildlife photography for years, and that stunning images of animals are used to promote its products, but that it might come as a shock to animal lovers to learn the company also builds rifle scopes. The paper interviewed Stefano Unterthiner, who was voted Wildlife Photographer of the Year in 2008, and has used Nikon cameras for most of his career. He said, “I always saw Nikon as a company close to nature, but I was wrong. I don’t understand and can’t agree with their support for trophy hunting, which sends out entirely the wrong message to global photographers who love nature. Wildlife needs protecting now more than ever and I urge the company to end its support for trophy hunting.” Nikon is, in fact, a company close to nature, and supports hunting because without the revenue provided by hunters, many of the game animals photographed by Stefano Unterthiner and others would not exist. Without hunting there would be no funds for fish and game programs, wildlife habitat restoration and protection, and enforcement of game laws. Hunters pay the bills. Others who enjoy the benefits of the efforts of hunters may not realize or appreciate that, but without hunters there would be far fewer animals to photograph. The woman in the video was happy when her husband listened to her, and from her viewpoint her problem was solved. But at the end of the video she still had the nail in her head. Giving people what they want might make them happy, but doesn’t necessarily do them any good. Sometimes you just have to ignore the protests and yank out the nail.

G a m e ®

Contact Kendal Hemphill at Khemphill@fishgame.com |

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

21

7/6/13 12:26 PM


Flounders hit a variety of soft plastic baits including worms rigged wacky style with the hook inserted into the middle instead of in the end. (photo by John N. Felsher)

22 |

A U G U S T

Fea 1-Flounder.indd 22

2 0 1 3

|

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e 速

Photo credit

7/8/13 3:05 PM


Wacking Flatfish Picking Off Flounders at Point-Blank Range with Weapons Normally Deployed for Bass

by john n. felsher Although they look nothing alike, largemouth bass and flounders share many traits and often waters. In brackish delta estuaries, bass and flounders frequently prey upon the same forage, gorging themselves on shrimp, baitfish and other morsels. Both predators feed mainly by ambush, using their excellent camouflage to hide in thick cover until tempting morsels pass within range. T e x a S

Fea 1-Flounder.indd 23

F i s h

&

G a m e 速

|

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

23

7/8/13 3:05 PM


Flounders, like this one caught by Kendra Maness, are bass-like predators and they react to lures accordingly. (photo by John N. Felsher) “Flounders are tolerant of fresh water and thrive in brackish marshes,” said Erik Rue, a professional redfish angler and saltwater guide. “Flounders are very aggressive fish and can hit hard. Flounders come up off the bottom to get the bait and then go back to lie on the bottom.” Since they eat the same prey, any lure that might catch bass could tempt flounders. Surprisingly aggressive for such oddlyshaped fish, flounders smash spinnerbaits, crankbaits, occasionally even topwaters or anything else that resembles natural prey such as minnows, baby croakers, sand eels, menhaden, shrimp or other morsels. They particularly like soft plastic baits. Bass anglers along the coast frequently set hooks on a monster flounder thinking they put the steel into big largemouth. Masters of concealment, flounders spend considerable time buried in mud with only their eyes protruding from the silt and looking up for tides to wash food over them. When unsuspecting morsels flow over them, flounders explode from the goo to engulf their prey. Since flounders wait for prey, slow baits work best, particularly ones that subtly sink to the bottom such as a wacky worm. 24 |

A U G U S T

Fea 1-Flounder.indd 24

2 0 1 3

|

T e x a S

“A wacky worm makes a slow, horizontal presentation that’s in the bite window for a long time,” said Howard Hammonds, an angler and soft-plastic lure designer. “It’s a very slow presentation that requires considerable patience. Flounders look up and see the worm silhouette slowly sinking toward them for several seconds. They keep their eyes glued to the sinking worm until it triggers a predator instinct to kill.” To rig a worm wacky style, run a hook through the middle of a worm or similar soft plastic temptation. When rigged properly, the worm should lie flat with the hook crosswise to the seam. Hooked in the middle, the worm slowly sinks horizontally or with the ends folding upward. As the worm sinks, the ends quiver and shake with tempting vibrations. Drifting with the tide, it simulates a wounded sand eel or dying baitfish. “I use floating straight-tail worms, something with neutral buoyancy,” explained Ronnie Addison, a fisherman. “A wacky worm has all kinds of natural movement -- sort of a swimming motion when it sinks. Both ends wobble, shimmy and shake. The ends of the worm fold back and almost touch each other in an undulating

TF&G’s Chester Moore often uses soft plastics and other bass tactics on flatfish. (photo by Chester Moore) F i s h

&

G a m e ®

7/8/13 3:05 PM


motion when I twitch the rod tip.” Since flounders rely heavily upon their mottled brown camouflage to protect themselves from predators and ambush prey, flatfish don’t run from trouble. They stay put and may not spook even if a boat passes over them. Therefore, anglers can often tempt flounders at very close range. For close range delivery, many anglers flip worms next to cover. Using a long rod almost like a cane pole, they can drop baits into tight spots with pinpoint accuracy. Flip baits upstream so that the tidal flow carries the bait into the cover. Sometimes, anglers need to thoroughly search to find fish. However, if anglers find one or two flounders along a good shoreline, they might land a bunch in a short time. Keep inching along a weedy shoreline to probe every possible flounder hiding place. “In a good spot, we sometimes catch four of five in a row and then maybe go through a little lull,” Rue said. “A little while later, we might catch four or five more flounders. The key factors for finding flounders are tidal movement, water conditions and abundance of bait.”

Fea 1-Flounder.indd 25

Lure placement often means more than bait shape, color or selection. A flounder might strike anything that almost lands on it, but refuse to reveal its hiding spot to attack a morsel several feet away. Buried in the mud, a flounder watches as the worm slowly and seductively sinks toward it until it can’t stand the temptation any longer. Let the bait fall all the way to the bottom. If it hits bottom without a strike, pop it back up to the surface, move it a few feet and let it sink again. Keep yo-yoing the worm along the shoreline or drop off edge. Pay close attention to the line as the worm sinks because fish normally slurp a wacky worm as it falls. An angler might not even detect a strike, but just feel a slight tug or a bit of extra weight. Perhaps, an angler might simply notice the line moving in an odd direction. With such a natural looking and feeling bait, a flounder might hold a wacky worm in its mouth for a long time or swallow it. “Often, anglers never feel the fish hit,” Addison advised. “They just see the line move or the fish flash. Once a fish hits a wacky worm, it usually doesn’t let the bait go

because it’s feels so natural and has no resistance in the water. I’ve actually had fish pick bait up when I’ve had a backlash and still be on it when I finished with the backlash.” Although flounders often stay close to shallow shorelines, they sometimes move deeper when in clear water or during bright days. With both eyes on one side of its body, a flounder can’t help by look upward all the time. During low light conditions or in murky water, flounders frequently stay in the shallows where they can see silhouettes drifting down toward them. As the morning progresses, look for flounders in deeper channels or at the bottom of drop-offs where sunlight doesn’t penetrate nearly as far. Besides grass, flatfish may hide around various structure types. Anglers can also use wacky worms around rocky riprap, sunken boats, sandbars, jetties, shell reefs and dock or bridge pilings. Frequently, flounders lurk in tidal eddies behind obstructions and dash out into the current to snatch prey. Wherever anglers can find flounders in water less than five feet deep, they might be able to wack’em!

7/8/13 3:05 PM


Bass fishing lures have always come and gone with trends. Think about it. Every few years it seems as if a hot new bait comes along that throws the angling public into a rabid feeding frenzy. 26 |

Fea 6-Bass.indd 26

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e ÂŽ

Some are so intense that it sparks a race among lure makers to throw something similar together‌.. Quick‌. just to get in on the action and grab a piece of the pie before the interest begins to wane. Occasionally, however, somebody will introduce something truly special to the fishing world that catches bass so well that its reputation never seems to die. Photos: Matt Williams

7/8/13 3:07 PM


Nick Creme did it with the plastic worm. Bill Lewis followed suit with the Rat-LTrap. And Gary Yamamoto also built an eternal keeper in the Senko. Perhaps the biggest driving force behind modern-day trends in fishing lures is professional tournament fishing. Think about that, too. Joe Blow can win a dozen tournaments in

a row using a magical new bait on his home lake in Podunk, N.C. and fishermen back in here in Texas might not ever hear about it. But put the same bait in the hands of a bass pro with a household name and it could become an overnight success, particularly if it results in a runaway victory in a big-league event with a major league following.

T e x a S

Fea 6-Bass.indd 27

F i s h

&

Here is a random list of a five baits that have revolutionized the past, present and future of a sport enjoyed by millions of anglers worldwide: The Bait: Lunker City Slug-Go History: Introduced in the early 1990s by Connecticut angler/lure maker Herb Reed. The Slug-Go was slow to catch

G a m e 速

|

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

27

7/8/13 3:07 PM


on initially, but once it did anglers everywhere went scrambling to get their hands on the bait that started the soft jerk bait craze. Lunker City Slug-Go u

Description: Long and slender, the Slug-Go works best rigged weightless on a 4/0-5/0 offset worm hook. Cast it out, let it sink a little and twitch the rod tip to create the erratic darting, diving action of a disoriented bait fish. In 2006, Field & Stream ranked it No. 6 among the Top 50 greatest lures of all time. Baits that Followed: Zoom Fluke, Bass Assassin Split Tail Shad, Berkley Powerbait Slug, Gambler Super Stud, and Strike King Caffeine Shad. The Bait: Rad Lures Chatterbait History: The Chatterbait was introduced in the mid-2000s, but its coming-out party wasn’t until January 2006 when South Carolina bass pro Bryan Thrift used it to win a Triple A event on Florida’s Lake Okeechobee. The company, which has since sold to Z-Man, has been enjoying brisk sales ever since. Description: Has the looks of a jig with a flat nose blade that causes the bait to displace some serious vibration when it goes in motion. Most effective when fished like a spinnerbait or crankbait around shallow cover. Baits that Followed: Booyah Boogie Bait, Nichols Chatterbox, Strike King Pure Poison, Revenge Viberator. The Bait: Bill Lewis Rat-L-Trap History: The late Bill Lewis wasn’t the first to produce a lipless crankbait, but the tireless lure designer from Alexandria, LA. is certainly the one who made it the class favorite. Of all the bass baits ever invented, the only ones that may have caught more fish than the Rat-L-Trap are the plastic worm or spinnerbait. Description: Opinions vary as to why the Rat-L-Trap is so deadly. Most will agree it has something to with a combination of things -- its elongated shape, a tantalizing quiver and a built-in rattle chamber that creates an enticing racket as the bait speeds through the water column. Another trait that makes the ‘Trap so 28 |

Fea 6-Bass.indd 28

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

effective is its userfriendly nature. Just about anyone, regardless of their fishing skill, can tie on a Rat-L-Trap and catch fish. Just chunk it. Wind it. And hang on. Baits that Followed: Damiki Tremor, Strike King Red Eye Shad, Lucky Craft LVR, Rapala Clackin’ Rap, XCalibur One Knocker, Yozuri Rattlin’ Vibe.

Fishing legend Jimmy Houston shows how to fish the Alabama Rig, at www. FishGame.com/video

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

The Bait: Zoom Horny Toad (Buzz Frog) History: Lizards and Flukes made Georgia-based Zoom Baits famous, but the Horny Toad became the company’s lead celebrity in 2004 as it started a buzz frog craze that forever changed the way that fishermen take Kermit for a stroll. Description: Made from solid soft plastic, the 4 1/4-inch bait is shaped like a

t

The Bait: Alabama Rig History: Lure designer Andy Poss of Muscle Shoals, Ala., enjoyed considerable success using his Alabama Rig on the Tennessee River chain throughout 2010, but it wasn’t until Oct. 2011 that the bass fishing masses really sat up and took notice. They had to. Paul Elias shoved the A-rig down their throats when he took it to Lake Guntersville in Alabama and blew away the field in the Wal-Mart FLW Open with 20 fish weighing upwards of 102 pounds - more than 17 pounds heavier than the nearest competition. Description: The original A-Rig, now owned by Mann’s, features a painted plastic head with five wires that protrude from the bottom at downward angles. Each wire has a swivel snap at the end for holding assorted swim baits that simulate a small school of fleeing bait fish. Baits that Followed:There are dozens of them in different “umbrella rig” configurations at a variety of price points. Yum Yumbrella Flash Mob, Megbass Spark Rig, Picasso School E Rig,

T e x a S

Paycheck Donkey Thrasher, Power Tackle Get ‘Em Going Rig.

frog with a flat belly and Ultra-Vibe legs and feet that make a subtle “pitter pat” as it is reeled across the surface. The toad can be rigged weedless on variety of specially designed frog hooks so it can be buzzed through sparse or extremely thick cover where the big ones live without hanging up. Strikes on the Horny Toad and

t Zoom Horny Toad

members of this exciting family of topwaters are often times so violent that they can be heard from 50 yards away on a windless summer day. Baits that Followed: Stanley Ribbit, Big Bite Top Toad, Kicker Fish X Plodin’ Toad, Gambler Cane Toad, Berkley Chigger Toad, Lake Fork Frog, Mann’s Hardnose Swim Toad, Yum Money Frog, Strike King Rage Tail Toad.

Additional Photos: TF&G; Lunker city; Zoom Bait Co.

7/6/13 11:42 AM


Texas Freshwater by Matt Williams | TF&G Freshwater Editor

About Those Shadow Captains

I

never spent a lot of time around Bob Lyons. But I knew him well enough to know he was a pretty hardcore bass fisherman with a fool-proof plan for beating the oppressive summer heat. Go early. Go late. Or don’t go at all. That was Lyons’ philosophy, and he stuck to it religiously right up until hisdeath in 2006. Lyons lived along the shores of Lake Nacogdoches in eastern Texas. He didn’t fish every day of the week, but he rarely missed Wednesdays. He and a few buddies made somewhat of a ritual of Hump Day bassin’. They always made a point to be on the water several hours before daylight to take advantage of the cooler temperatures. Lyons’ game plan paid off in a very big way on a sultry August morning back in 2004. The way the story goes, he began the day throwing a six inch plastic worm in shallow water. After several casts with no takers, he and his fishing partner decided to try their luck in deeper water. The spot they chose was an underwater shelf near the dam. The water on top of the shelf is 12 feet deep. It falls abruptly into 32 feet of water. Recognizing the spot as a classic big bass area, Lyons changed to a classic big bass bait — a nine inch plastic worm. Lyons made three casts without a strike. Then, on the fourth cast, something magical happened. The line went “thump” as a piscatorial titan sucked the soft plastic bait off the bottom. It was just cracking day, about 6:45 a.m. “The bite was very light, but I was fish-

ing a G. Loomis rod, so it was pretty easy to feel,” Lyons said. “When I set the hook I thought I was on a log, because it wouldn’t move. I slacked off a little bit and the line started to move. That’s when I knew I had a big fish.” The fish fought hard, causing the drag on Lyons’ reel to slip multiple times. Not surprisingly, both he and his partner had serious concerns as to whether or not the 14-pound test Silver Thread fishing line would hold up. “The first time it jumped, I thought Hank was going to go in after it,” he said. “I knew right away it the biggest fish I had ever had on.” Lyons eventually landed the big bass and placed it on a digital scale for evaluation. The scale teetered back and forth, and then settled on 13 pounds, 5 ounces. After snapping a few photos, the angler did the admirable thing and released the fish. Lyons’ bass is the heaviest fish reported from Lake Nacogdoches in several years. To my knowledge, it is the biggest bass ever caught from the 2,200-acre lake during the dog days of summer. Big bass are usually at their heaviest during the spring months. That’s when their bellies are plump with eggs. Fisheries experts say a mature female bass will weigh about 10 percent heavier with eggs than without. If that is true, Lyons’ bass may have topped the 14.02 record had it been caught when it was heavy with roe. Rare as summer lunkers are, you wouldn’t know it by talking to Lake Fork fishing guide Randy Oldfield. Oldfield and his clients have laid claim to numerous summer giants topping the 10-pound mark. Some of the fish have been caught on worms, others on jigs. Most of the bass were holding around well-defined structure away from the bank. An even more common denominator

Contact Matt Williams at MWilliams@fishgame.com

View Matt Williams’ latest Freshwater How-To Videos at: Fishgame.com/video T e x a S

Freshwater-Williams.indd 29

among Oldfield’s impressive army of summer lunkers is that just about all of them have been caught under the cover of darkness. Oldfield works the graveyard shift exclusively during the summer months. He thinks big, summer bass become more active at night because water temperatures grow progressively cooler after the sun goes down. Plus, there are fewer boats on the water to disturb the fish. Only a fool would disagree with Oldfield’s assessment of night fishing. Particularly after considering the 15.69 pound exclamation point he stamped on the convincing formula in August 2003. Oldfield caught the 27 1/2 inch long fish at about 10:30 p.m. He said the bass bit a jig/pork combo as he crawled it out of a grass bed and into a stand of submerged stumps. Using heavy braided line and a stiff rod the angler was able to win the battle in less than a minute. Oldfield weighed the fish on a pair of digital scales and came up with identical scores on both. The guide said he didn’t want to risk killing the fish by hauling it to the bank and having it weighed on certified scales. Instead, he had his client snap a quick photo of the bass before he released it back into the lake. The good deed cost Oldfield a spot on the Texas top 50 list. Had the fish been certified at 15.69 pounds, it would be tied as Texas’s No. 32 big bass of all time. To my knowledge, Oldfield’s bass is the second biggest bass ever reported in Texas by a night fisherman. The state’s top after hour’s lunker, a 17.63 pounder, was caught 23 years ago this month at Lake Fork by Jerry New of Marshall. It takes dedication and patience to stay on the water at night. But for those in search of a big summer bite, it can be well worth the trouble.

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

|

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

29

7/8/13 3:08 PM


30 |

a u g u s t

Fea 3-HogAR15.indd 30

2 0 1 3

|

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e 速

Photo: Dustin Ellermann

7/8/13 3:39 PM


PART FOUR IN A SERIES BY DUSTIN ELLERMANN While the AR15 rifle platform is the most popular rifle in the USA some hunters feel that the common .223 Remington cartridge is underpowered for larger game. Since the AR15 is so versatile it is simple to upgrade your AR15 to a larger cartridge by swapping out the upper. There are several choices of large bore calibers available that will utilize a standard AR15 lower. Some of these are .338 Spectre, .450 Bushmaster, .458 SOCOM and .50 Beowulf. Each cartridge has pros and cons but what tends to be the most mainstream, simple and reliable is the .458 SOCOM. The .458 was conceived after the Task Force Rangers questioned the stopping power of the 5.56 NATO after the Battle of Mogadishu. The smaller and faster 55 grain FMJs weren’t dropping enemy combatants as fast as desired so they set out to find how large a projectile could be launched from the standard M4 platform with minimal changes to the weapon system. The .458 is similar in power and flight to the historic .45-70 Government but in a much shorter cartridge. The .458 SOCOM launches a bullet from 250 to 600 grains at subsonic speeds of 1,050 fps for silencer work and up to 1,900 fps transferring up to 2,300 foot pounds of energy. The results in the Clear Ballistic gel tests showed excellent penetration and energy transfer. Test rounds knocked both gels off of the range table showing expansion after three inches with a trauma channel past eight inches and an overall penetration of 26 inches. There was an initial assumption that since it was a heavier round it would not travel as far as standard cartridges but the tests showed that the momentum carried it quite well through the test medium. The beauty of the .458 SOCOM AR15 is that it only takes three parts to convert your .223 poodle shooter into a big bore boar butcherer. You only need a .458 barrel, bolt and extractor. T e x a S

Fea 3-HogAR15.indd 31

F i s h

&

G a m e ÂŽ

|

a u g u s t

2 0 1 3

|

31

7/8/13 3:39 PM


t The Rock River Arms .458 SOCOM A4 AR15 showing the cartridge’s impressive 26-inch depth of penetration in Clear Ballistics Gel

So if you are converting from a mainstream .223 AR you will remove the hand guard and gas tube, and then use an armorer’s wrench to remove the old barrel and reassemble with the .458 barrel. The bolt and extractor can then be swapped out on the existing bolt group and you are ready to rock. Everything else on the .458 is standard, even the magazines. A standard double stack .223 20 round mag will hold 7 rounds of .458 single stacked and you should be able to stuff 10 rounds of .458 into a 30 rounder. In test firing some 400 grain Corbon soft points it was obvious recoil was increased from the .223. A few rounds fired against

The .458 SOCOM round loads single stack into a standard .223 AR15 magazine but fires a much larger 250 – 500 grain bullet.

t

the author’s bony shoulder while zeroing the Redfield Counterstrike optic left a desire for a rubber recoil pad. But while it was heavier it was still manageable and not entirely brutal. In proving this point we decided to invite a friend over who owned a 32 |

a u g u s t

Fea 3-HogAR15.indd 32

2 0 1 3

|

select fire fully automatic M16 lower to earn a few “man cards” with rapid fire .458. We filmed a magazine dump while launching 4,000 grains downrange in 10 rounds in less than three seconds. At 15 yards the author was able to keep percent of the machine gun madness in a silhouette target. You can watch this video in the blog section of www. fishgame.com. Since this is a heavier and slower cartridge the .458 SOCOM won’t be ideal for long range hunting, but for all practical purposes it should serve the shooter well. I wouldn’t hesitate to take a shot at 200 yards but anything over 300 might be pushing it. With a 100 yard zero, drop calculates to 15 inches at 200 yards but drops to 52 inches at 300 yards. This isn’t to say that long range shooting is impossible, for some .458 enthusiasts have mounted volley sights on their AR build and whacked steel gongs out to 700 yards just like .45-70 shooters can, but at almost $5 a round the SOCOM cartridge is probably a bit expensive as a plinker. So given that this wouldn’t be a longrange rifle we chose the newly released Redfield Counterstrike red/green dot optic with integrated laser optimized with a higher mount specifically designed for AR15s. The 4 MOA dot was bright enough for every light condition we encountered and the ability to switch

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

the reticle from green to red made it easy to match whatever target contrast we wished for the conditions. At night the laser will make quick sight acquisition possible while hunting the destructive hogs. Accuracy was on par for a quality hunting rifle and never larger than 2 inches at 100 yards with some groups less than 1.5 inches. Accuracy is perfectly acceptable. With such a large chunk of lead flying downrange the hunter will never feel as if he has to have pinpoint accuracy with such a cannon. Any vital organs being struck with this round will not last for long. The Rock River Arms A4 .458 SOCOM was also found to be reliable in the testing. In the same lower we used for the K.I.S.S .223 AR15 article last month we never had any malfunctions. The only malfunction that occurred was on the borrowed M16 lower in full auto mode with the bolt hanging open with a round left in the magazine while firing. But we had also borrowed the M16’s bolt group as well so it was impossible to blame the original upper. We found the reliability impressive considering the fat and unique rebated rim and bottlenecked cartridge design. So in summary, if you are looking to squeeze every bit of knockdown power out of a standard AR15 frame the .458 SOCOM is highly recommended. It leaves a large hole with a heavy chunk of lead, and it’s plenty accurate and reliable. You just have to be able to afford its expensive diet. It is ideal for record sized hogs or even Bigfoot. The simplest way to upgrade your AR is to check out www.rockriverarms.com and browse their complete uppers.

Photos: Dustin Ellermann

7/8/13 8:02 PM


Fea 3-HogAR15.indd 33

7/6/13 11:48 AM


Texas Department of Defense Concealed Carry and Pasture Guns

I

n these columns we talk mostly about concealed carry weapons, because that is what is most of the mind of the public these days. But living as I do in the boonies, I do not always carry a concealed weapon, and I know that there are a great many out there like me. A concealed carry weapon is limited in its power and its size. This is not so in a weapon that is carried openly. When we are away from civilization we can carry anything we desire. In my case I often carry a large caliber revolver in a holster on a separate belt, the same way I once carried my .357 Magnum on my river belt. I have several

weapons that I carry, depending on where I am and what I may have to shoot. In some instances I am in places where wild hogs are numerous and where the rancher has requested that I shoot any that I happen across. In these situations, a gun such as a Smith & Wesson Model 629 .44 Magnum, loaded with high velocity 250grain semi-wadcutter bullets is a much better tool than a 9mm semi-auto loaded with 115grain hollow points. Also good is a revolver like my S&W Model 625 Mountain Gun in .45 Colt, which fires a huge 265-grain lead semi-wadcutter at nearly a thousand

| Self Defense | | Concealed Carry | | Tactical | by Steve LaMascus & Dustin Ellermann feet per second. Both of these guns are capable of dropping a large wild hog in his tracks. I have shot several of the beasts and know whereof I speak. Sometimes I do not feel like packing one of the big guns, and prefer to carry a S&W Model 19. It too is loaded with high velocity lead semi-wadcutters, rather than the more common hollow point loads used for anti-personnel purposes. Why? Because when I shoot such critters as wild hogs, I want lots of penetration and because I am not fearful of over-penetration. The gristle plates on the shoulders of a large hog will soak up the light hollow points like a sponge soaks up water. When I am carrying such big bore weapons I do not care if someone sees me carrying a handgun. Still, if I happen to go to town, I can simply tuck the gun in my waistband and cover it with my shirttail. I have done so many times. The pasture gun is not limited as to size.

Self Defense News Roundup Cape Fear Arsenal Begins .223 and 9mm Production

Image: cape fear arsenal

Cape Fear Arsenal began producing .223 Remington ammunition at its North Carolina plant in July, and will begin selling it via commercial sales channels and an e-commerce application

34 |

DoD.indd 34

a u g u s t

2 0 1 3

|

on its website in August. The company expects to produce two million .223 cartridges/month. The cartridges will feature 62-grain FMJ bullets in factory-new brass cases. Starting in January 2014, the company intends to add capacity, manufacturing 115-grain FMJ and 127-grain JHP 9x19mm ammunition at a minimum production rate of three-million rounds/ month. Cape Fear Armory produces its own brass and projectiles in-house, and will have the capacity to supply other manufacturers with brass and bullets. Considering the high

T e x a S

F i s h

&

demand both for .223 Remington and 9mm, the company’s production will be a godsend to ammo-deprived shooters. ON THE WEB: cfarsenal.com

“Jihawg” AntiTerrorist Ammo Infused with Pork Jihawg Ammo has released the industry’s first truly anti-jihadi terrorist defensive ammunition. Jihawg guarantees its ammunition meets or exceeds S.A.A.M.I. standards Continued on page 36 u

G a m e ®

7/8/13 3:13 PM


If you wish you can carry a .500 Smith & Wesson with a 10-inch barrel. It is heavy and cumbersome, but it will take care of any possible situation. The concealed carry gun, on the other hand, is limited in size, because it is carried in civilized surroundings and must be hidden. If it is not properly hidden, some overly timid person who is afraid of guns will see it, call the police, and report a crazy person carrying a gun and preparing to cause mass destruction in the mall. The police will respond and you will be arrested. It happens every day. It is surprising to some just how large a handgun can be carried concealed. A man I know carries a full-size Glock every day, even to church, and nobody has ever noticed it. I often carry a Colt Lightweight Commander or a Kimber Pro Carry covered only by my shirt. I have done so all over the United States and have never had anyone ask if I were armed. If anyone ever noticed, they gave no indication. There is no real reason you cannot carry your concealed carry gun in the pastures, and no reason, assuming it is not one of

DoD.indd 35

the real giants, that you cannot carry your pasture gun in town. However, the former is underpowered for game, and the latter is generally too heavy and too powerful to be used comfortably as a concealed weapon. Also, the holsters used to carry them are different and one is not generally suitable for the other. In my revolvers, especially in the hotter times of the year, I will have at least one snake load set to fire first, followed by the big loads for game. I have killed snakes with full-house .44 magnums, but I find it much easier and less damaging to my ears to use a charge of number 9 shot over a reduced charge of powder. If I need the big loads, I just rotate the cylinder without firing the gun, and have several rounds available that are suitable for anything up to a dinosaur. This is something that isn’t possible with the semi-autos. I obviously prefer revolvers for my pasture guns, but there are a few semiautos that fire cartridges powerful enough to qualify as hunting rounds. I won’t name any because I have no experience with them. A .45 ACP, loaded with 230-grain hardball,

will, just barely, squeak into that category, but I do not like the hardball bullets for anything but practice, having seen them fail to produce the effects I desired on several occasions. However, I have a young friend who has killed a number of wild hogs quite handily with a Glock in .45ACP. I cannot argue with his success. If you carry a gun solely for protection against other humans, it is not necessary to have anything as powerful as the .44 Magnum or the .45 Colt, but if you intend to use it for hunting, especially for wild hogs, I strongly recommend something with plenty of power. This is where the big bore revolver is in a class by itself. Besides, it gives you an excuse to buy another gun. You absolutely have to have a gun for concealed carry, and another for protection when you are out in the pastures. Don’t you? —Steve LaMascus

7/8/13 3:13 PM


Texas Department of Defense News Roundup t Continued from page 34 for velocity, penetration, and accuracy, and coats each projectile with a special ballistic paint infused with pork to make it “haraam�

or unclean to a radical jihadist. This makes Jihawg the only commercially available ammunition with the added deterrent factor of eternal damnation for fundamentalist jihadists. Now Americans can effectively defend themselves, their families, their communities,

and their country from jihadi terrorists. ON THE WEB: www.jihawg.com

Free Gun Initiative Begins In Houston Neighborhood A Houston nonprofit is giving away free shotguns to single women and residents of neighborhoods with high crime rates. The Houston community of Oak Forest is the first neighborhood in the country being trained and equipped by the Armed Citizen Project, a Houston nonprofit. While many cities have tried gun buybacks and other tactics, the nonprofit and its supporters say gun giveaways to responsible owners is actually a better way to deter crime. The organization, which plans to offer training classes in Dallas, San Antonio, and Tucson, Arizona, in the next few weeks, is working to expand its giveaways to 15 cities by the end of the year, including Chicago and New York. ON THE WEB: armedcitizenproject.org Photo: Jihawg Ammo

DoD.indd 36

7/8/13 3:13 PM


U.S. House Votes to Curb DHS Ammunition Purchases The U.S. House of Representatives voted in June to limit the amount of ammunition the Department of Homeland Security can purchase and stockpile. Rep. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., proposed the amendment to the annual DHS spending bill. The House approved the proposal by a 234-192 vote. The amendment blocks funds from being used to buy ammunition until the department submits to Congress a comprehensive report on its ammunition usage and purchase history. Lawmakers and Second Amendment advocates have fumed over reports that DHS and other federal agencies were buying millions of rounds of ammunition, thus fueling the national shortage and driving up prices.

CHL Holders Not Welcome At Carmike Theaters Carmike Cinemas in Tyler will no longer allow CHL holders to carry firearms in the theater. Carmike theaters across the country have the same policy because of the Aurora, Colorado, theater shooting. “If you got a license to carry a gun you ought to be able to carry it in there for protection,” said Oscar Lopez from Tyler. Times Square Cinema in Tyler allows CHL holders to carry in its theater. —TF&G Staff

Find more SHOOTING TIPS and COMMENTARY in DUSTIN ELLERMAN’S TF&G SHOOTING BLOG at FishGame.com/blogs T e x a S

DoD.indd 37

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

|

a u g u s t

2 0 1 3

|

37

7/6/13 11:53 AM


Outdoors Internet Hoaxes: The Truth Behind Giant Alligators, Giant Snakes, Giant Cougars, and Similar Photos Circulated Via Email n by Chester Moore

How many forwarded emails have you received over the last few years documenting huge fish, amazing game camera photos and various unique outdoors images? I am talking about the ones that you can scroll down and see it has been forwarded a couple of dozen times already by the time it hits your inbox. I get them all the time and in almost every case find inaccuracies of some kind and in many cases outright hoaxes. These kinds of wildlife urban legends started gaining momentum about 10 years ago when photos of men holding up gigantic catfish 38 |

A U G U S T

Fea 2-MythBusting.indd 38

2 0 1 3

|

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e 速

Graphic Layout: Texas Fish & Game

7/8/13 3:18 PM


that looked to be flatheads (op, yellow cat) hit the internet in full force. To add to the sensation, the taglines said the fish had been “noodled.” Noodling which was illegal in Texas at the time, is the practice of feeling around holes in the water and literally allowing flatheads to swallow your hand before wrestling them to shore. The first of these emails I received said the fish was from Lake Texoma; the next had it somewhere in Mississippi and then it was Lake Livingston. Something was clearly wrong. Upon close examination of the photo I realized the fish in question was not a flathead but a gigantic European species called a Wels. Wels look very similar to flatheads at first glance but top out at around 10 feet, about twice as big as any flathead. T e x a S

Fea 2-MythBusting.indd 39

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

|

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

39

7/8/13 3:18 PM


A little investigation led to a Spanish outfitter named Dean Kennedy who had caught the fish and posted the photos on his website. Apparently, someone thought it would be funny to steal them and distribute them around cyberspace labeling them as flatheads. My wife Lisa and I ended up booking a trip with Kennedy in 2005 and traveled to Spain to catch Wels. Both of us landed fish measuring more than seven feet in length and learned that Wels are very aggressive and would pull an angler’s arm out of socket if noodled. Every few months there seems to be a new state record speckled trout caught somewhere along the Texas coast. The first one I ever saw (probably 12 years ago) struck me as strange so I did a little research. Turns out the fish was not a speckled trout at all but a similar-looking fish called a corvine. These West Coast surf-dwellers get much bigger than specks. Others have simply shown extra-large trout held super close to the camera. This is a recurring theme in web-based urban legends. While big fish stories are popular internet

Fea 2-MythBusting.indd 40

fodder, they are not the only phony ones out there. Many of them involved random wildlife photos. A recent one involves a shot of a gigantic snake someone took along a highway. You can see part of the road in the photo and what looks like a garden in the background. The forwarded email I got claimed the giant snake was photographed in Louisiana. The shot is somewhat grainy but it looks like a king cobra to me. These giants grow up to 18 feet in length and this snake has the coloring and posturing to match a cobra. Others have said it is a king brown snake from Australia. Either way, it was not taken in Louisiana. Rattlesnakes are common fodder for Internet hoaxes with numerous photos circulating with photos of people holding what looks like humongous rattlers close to the camera. Some of the emails say the snake is more than 10 feet long, which would be a record. The truth is they are larger than average rattlers held close to the camera to make them look bigger. With my knowledge of photography I could easily make a six-foot

rattler look twice that size. Cougar photos are common sources of forwarding frauds. Someone forwarded me a shot of a huge road killed cougar that was allegedly from the Winnie, TX area. A week later I got the same photo and it was identified as coming from near Austin. Then a day or two later the same photo came through but it was labeled as having been hit in Oklahoma. The cat looked too big to come from Texas, as our cats can grow big but nowhere near the size of the behemoths out West. As it turns out the cat was road killed in the mountains of northwestern Arizona. Another cougar photo shows one tailing a deer and the first rendition I received had it coming from near Livingston and then in Colorado. The problem is the deer was a blacktail, not a whitetail or mule deer so those two locations would be an impossibility. How these photos are labeled as coming from so many different areas is baffling but it seems to be a rule the longer the photo circulates the more locations the subject hails from.

7/8/13 3:18 PM


Graphic Illustration: TF&G

Giant rattlesnakes are a popular subject of email-propagated urban legends.

Fea 2-MythBusting.indd 41

t

“Chupacabras” are a popular source of internet hoaxes. These creatures are allegedly a mysterious part flesh and blood/part paranormal creature that sucks the blood out of goats and anything else it pleases. In Texas numerous coyotes and foxes with mange have been photographed and circulated as “chupacabras.” They do look strange especially since the canine teeth appear much longer without fur to hide them, giving them an almost vampire-like look. So far all of these creatures that have been examined by science have turned out to be canine, not paranormal. Despite the frustration of dealing with the inherent dishonesty in some of the obvious hoaxes, I personally like getting the photos. It gets a little annoying after seeing the same photo of the same animal coming from a different location for the fifth time. There are however some legitimate, amazing shots circulating and to be honest it is kind of fun trying to figure out the truth of these modern day urban wildlife legends. Everyone loves a good mystery.

7/8/13 3:18 PM


Texas Bow Hunting by Lou Marullo | TF&G Bowhunting Editor

Preparation is the Key to Success

42 |

Bowhunting.indd 42

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

to a whitetail and definitely are preferred over acorns from red oaks. Where are they located? Do the acorns regularly drop early before the season? More importantly, are the darn squirrels grabbing them up before you can hunt over them? These are just some of the questions you will need answered before you set your stands up. My point here is that you need to locate the food source the deer

I start my scouting in June and July.

W

hen it comes to hunting deer with a bow, one can never have enough time to scout and locate a good ambush spot for opening day! Whitetail bucks start to sport their headgear in May and by now the racks on the big boys are just about done growing. I like to start my scouting ritual every year in June and July by observing deer movement from the comfort of my truck. All I need is a good pair of binoculars, a cup of coffee and maybe some occasional air conditioning. Seriously, this is when the bucks will show themselves in the green fields feeding along side other bucks in the area. You can see when and where they enter the fields every night. That information is vital, but not for opening day. By learning the routes the deer prefer to use to enter a field, you can use a trail camera on those routes and let the camera do the night scouting for you. Who knows? You may have a monster buck lurking around your lease that you never knew existed. Trail cameras are a great tool to include in your hunting arsenal…as long as other hunters leave them alone! Last month I talked about checking your stands and getting them ready for the upcoming season. Now that that task is done, it is time to choose a stand site. You already know what deer are in your area through your scouting. I must point out here that although you see big bucks in the field in June and July, they will not be there on opening day. You really need to learn what food sources are available. What they preferred to munch on before, will now be harvested or ready to harvest and the deer will move on to a ripe food source. That could be apples, milo or acorns just to mention a few. If acorns are plentiful on your lease, then check to see if they are from red oaks or white oaks. Acorns from a white oak are like candy

will be using during the hunting season and use that knowledge to your benefit. Once you have decided the area to put your stands, it is time to choose a good tree. You should remember to respect that nose of a deer and set up downwind from where you suspect the deer to come from. Look for a tree about 20 yards or so away from where you plan your shot. Make sure that there are no dead trees nearby. That could ruin your day if a dead tree decides to fall during a wind storm and head right for you! Not good! Keep as much foliage as you can between you and the target area. It is a good idea to place your stand with a buddy. After you make sure that you are not silhouetted against the sky, but blended in to your surroundings, it is time to cut some small holes so your arrow can fly true if you are fortunate to get a good shot. I usually put my friend in my stand and then I walk the deer runs bent over so I am the same height as a deer. I am

T e x a S

F i s h

&

constantly looking at my friend to locate the best place for a shot that would require as little disturbance to the area as possible. You do not want to go in there with a chainsaw and cut a 20-foot clearing. Just clear enough brush for an arrow to pass through cleanly. Once you are satisfied with your stand placement, it is time to get back to continue with your practicing. Did you notice how that word is in bold letters? It means that you should have already been out there flinging a few arrows getting ready for the hunt. As a matter of fact, you should practice all year long, not only just before the hunting season. Practice makes perfect…or at least better. The more often you shoot the better archer you will become. It is that simple. You do not necessarily have to shoot 100 arrows a night, but at least get out there and shoot 20 or 30. Get to know your bow and how it feels every time you draw the string back. Now is also a great time to find a 3-D target course. Check out the different hunting clubs in your neck of the woods. Some of them will have a safe course already laid out with shots that vary from 20 yards to 50 yards. If you go there with a group of friends some Saturday morning, I guarantee that you will have a great time, lots of laughs and you will be improving your bow hunting skills with each arrow you loose or lose! If, for some reason, you cannot find a 3-D course, then join a hunting club and get involved. Take the initiative to start a bow hunting discussion at your club. It is not easy to clear a path in the woods and set up a 3-D course for many to enjoy, but if you don’t do it…who will? Bow season is quickly approaching and it will not wait for you to get ready for it. Be prepared. Set a plan of attack in place long before the season begins that includes, first and foremost…being a safe, responsible hunter.

Contact Lou Marullo at LMarullo@fishgame.com

G a m e ®

7/8/13 3:20 PM


Hunt Texas by Bob Hood | TF&G Hunting Editor

Muy Grande

I

t has been 42 years since I stopped at a small corner gas station in Freer to gas up and grab a Coke or anything else cold. I was on my way to meet a man in Zapata whom I had met only on the telephone two weeks earlier but who would become a lifelong friend and hunting and fishing companion. Little did I know at the time that I was just a few steps away from meeting a second man on my long journey from Fort Worth down Highway 16. He also would become a lifelong friend and a person for which I would learn to gain a continued respect over the following four-plus decades of hunting, writing and photographing as an outdoor journalist. The year was 1969. Some people may remember it as the year Neil Armstrong made his historic first step onto the moon. I thought about that a couple of months ago while traveling down Highway 16 to Freer. It prompted me to recall other interesting events that occurred in 1969 besides that of Armstrong and the Apollo crew. If you are a sports fan and old enough to remember that year, you might recall National Hockey League coach Jack Kent of the Lakers announcing he would fine his players $100 each for “NOT” arguing with the referee. Some also may recall it being the year the Saturday Evening Post was issuing its last publication after 147 years. Yes, these were historical events for many folks, but history also was in the making for me and the two men I soon would meet face-to-face. The first was Lionel Garza of Freer. He was leaning over the bed of a pickup truck outside his Texaco Center Circle Gas Station when I approached out of curiosity. Lionel was putting a tape measure to the antlers of a huge Southwest Texas buck

Image: Muy Grande Village

Hunting-Hood.indd 43

whose head had been propped atop the tailgate. A few hunters were gathered around to learn the width of the buck’s spread. Behind on a wall was a sign that simply read: “Muy Grande Deer Contest.” Once the hunters’ talk about the deer were over, I introduced myself to Garza and asked about the contest, quickly learning that it was hunters’ talk about wide spreads that had inspired Garza to create his Muy Grande (very large) Deer Contest in 1965.

Garza said his first contest definitely was one to remember. “All we were interested in then was how wide the deer’s antlers were,” Garza said last June prior to the 48th annual Muy Grande Deer Contest and Hall of Fame banquet in Freer. “No one around here cared anything about measuring the antler’s tine lengths or mass in those days.” When the final widths had been measured for the 1965 contest, Homero Garza of Freer emerged as the winner. When Homero Garza asked what his prize would be, Lionel said his heart sank. He did not have a prize. Realizing he had to quickly come up with a prize of some sort so his contest would not lose any integrity, Lionel took a wrist watch he had been awarded for selling Goodyear tires and gave it to the winner. Homero Garza was well pleased and the Muy Grande Deer Contest took another step forward to becoming what today is recognized world-wide as the grand-daddy of all deer hunting contests. Lionel, who has become known as “Muy” to me and his many other friends, has a mind with wheels that never seem to stop turning. He began thinking of ways to make his contest grow even larger, impleT e x a S

F i s h

&

menting several tactics to draw attention to its expanding gas station headquarters. One venture in the 1970s was an “outdoor trophy mantle” of sorts where many South Texas whitetail deer antlers that had been entered into the contest were put on display on the Texaco sign, topped some 25 feet high by a majestic moose rack. The sign became an interesting icon for hunters as they entered the Southwest Texas town on their way to and from hunting ranches. The sign no longer is there. However, that’s what memories are for. Over the years, Lionel has added numerous categories into the Muy Grande Deer Contest to include those for young hunters, women, Boone and Crockett and Pope and Young scorers and even hunters who take javelina, feral hogs and other animals. Members of the large Lionel Garza family, including Imelda Sharber and her husband Kenneth, have taken over the major operations of Muy Grande, but anyone who knows Muy realize the wheels in his mind still are turning. The small gas station at the corner of Highways 16 and 44 in Freer where the Muy Grande Deer Contest got its start has been expanded to include an adjoining property and building improvements. In addition to being a fueling station and convenience store, the “Muy Grande Hunting Villlage” as the facility now is known has a restaurant, gift shop, sporting goods store, catering services, sells feed and ammo and includes a real estate office. Lionel Garza’s recently-designed Muy Grande shirts with a Southwest Texas camouflage pattern designed by Lionel Garza also are available there. Who was the other man I was on my way to meet that day in 1969 further down Highway 16 at Zapata and who would become another lifetime friend in the outdoors? His name is Ramiro Torres, but that’s another story.

G a m e ®

Contact Bob Hood at BHood@fishgame.com |

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

43

7/8/13 3:21 PM


TRUE GREEN Beat the Heat with a Kayak or Canoe

Oklahoma Tornado Debris as Fish Habitat ing from the top and resemble spiders in appearance. They effectively serve as manmade “brush piles,” and are said to have the same fish attracting qualities as trees and other brush. Like any underwater structure, the spider blocks provide cover for predatory fish hoping to ambush bait. The blocks are normally deployed in six to twelve feet of water. —Staff Report «TG photo: Oklahoma Dept. of Wildlife Conservation

The Oklahoma Department of Wildlife Conservation helping with tornado cleanup in the Moore area found a useful purpose for some of the debris. The wildlife agency used concrete blocks from destroyed businesses and farms to make “spider blocks” to sink in state lakes. The agency said it has produced almost 500 of the blocks. The structures are made of concrete blocks with bendable plastic pipes protrud-

Spider blocks made from tornado debri used as fish attractors in Oklahoma lakes.

44 |

TrueGreen.indd 44

a u g u s t

2 0 1 3

|

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is urging you to join one of the fastest-growing segments of outdoor recreation and have some cool summer fun by kayaking or canoeing dozens of Texas’ easily accessible and scenic waterways in a state park or along a designated Texas Paddling Trail. TPWD has made it easier to find the perfect spot to get a close-up look at nature by paddling on more than 50 marked and well-mapped Texas paddling trails offering everything from bayou, river and lake routes to sojourns through saltsprayed coastal bays. For trail maps and photos, where to rent canoes and kayaks, directions to access sites and fishing and wildlife information, visit: www.tpwd.texas.gov/ paddlingtrails. Families looking to flee the city for outdoor summer fun can readily access a number of nearby spots. There are seven Texas PaddlingTrails within an hour of Austin, eight Texas Paddling Trails within an hour of Dallas/Fort Worth, four Texas Paddling Trails within an hour of Houston and six Texas Paddling Trails within an hour of San Antonio. “Texas communities love this program, which has grown enorContinued on page 46 u

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

7/8/13 3:23 PM


2013 Gulf ‘Dead Zone’ Potentially Largest Ever Spring floods across the Midwest are expected to contribute to a very large and potentially record-setting 2013 Gulf of Mexico “dead zone,” according to a University of Michigan ecologist and colleagues who released their annual forecast today, along with one for the Chesapeake Bay. The Gulf forecast calls for an oxygendepleted, or hypoxic, region of between 7,286 and 8,561 square miles, which would place it among the 10 largest on record. The low end of the forecast range is well above the long-term average and would be roughly equivalent to the size of Connecticut, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia combined. The upper end would

TrueGreen.indd 45

exceed the largest ever reported (8,481 square miles in 2002) and would be comparable in size to New Jersey. Farmland runoff containing fertilizers and livestock waste is the main source of the nitrogen and phosphorus that cause the annual Gulf of Mexico hypoxic zone. In its 2001 and 2008 action plans, the Mississippi River/Gulf of Mexico Watershed Nutrient Task Force, a coalition of federal, state and tribal agencies, set the goal of reducing the five-year running average area extent of the Gulf hypoxic zone to 5,000 square kilometers (1,950 square miles) by 2015. Little progress has been made toward that goal. Since 1995, the Gulf dead zone

Image: NOAA

TRUE GREEN 2012’s Gulf dead zone was the fourth smallest on record.

has averaged 5,960 square miles, an area roughly the size of Connecticut. “The size of the Gulf dead zone goes up and down depending on that particular year’s weather patterns. But the bottom line is that we will never reach the action plan’s goal of 1,950 square miles until more serious actions are taken to reduce the loss of Midwest fertilizers to the Mississippi River system, regardless of the weather,” said U-M aquatic ecologist Donald Scavia, Continued on page 47 u

7/9/13 7:10 AM


TRUE GREEN CONTINUED...

Turkey Damage to Crops Exaggerated As populations of wild turkeys have increased, the number of complaints about crop damage has also increased. However, a literature review published in the June 2013 issue of Journal of Integrated Pest Management finds that these claims are mostly exaggerated.

The literature review, entitled “Real and Perceived Damage by Wild Turkeys: A Literature Review,” was conducted to determine real and perceived damage caused by wild turkeys in North America. The results show that although wild turkeys can cause damage to agricultural crops

Louisiana Man Elected DU Board Chairman During Ducks Unlimited’s annual convention held recently in Portland, Oregon, Louisiana resident John Newman was elected chairman of the board of one of the largest waterfowl and wetlands conservation organizations. “For the past 15 years, John has

been an integral part of DU’s board of directors,” said DU CEO Dale Hall. “He’s led numerous committees and volunteered countless hours to further the mission of this great organization. I can’t think of a better, more deserving volunteer than John to lead DU’s board for the next

Beat the Heat

continuous stretch of river trails launched to date. Because many parts of Texas are experiencing drought conditions, it’s always a good idea to consult online specific river flow information (http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/ landwater/water/habitats/rivers/ flow/) in advance and to contact the Texas State Park you’re planning to visit for current lake levels and other water conditions. Water levels at some state parks, such as Inks Lake and South Llano River, remain fairly constant despite ongoing drought. Paddling novices looking for helpful tips before heading out, can watch a how to paddle a canoe video or read a Canoeing and Kayaking 101 brochure.

t Continued from page 44 mously in the past five months,” says Shelly Plante, nature tourism manager for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “We’ve gone from 38 trails to 55 since February and have another two dozen proposed trails in various stages of the certification process.” Just this past May, Plante says seven new trails — three on Belton Lake south of Waco and four along the Brazos River — were added to the Texas Paddling Trails roster. The 35.4 miles of Brazos River trails, known as the Stephen F. Austin Paddling Trail, represents the longest 46 |

TrueGreen.indd 46

a u g u s t

2 0 1 3

|

T e x a S

F i s h

&

such as corn, soybeans, wheat, and hay, the majority of actual damage is usually minor or caused by other wildlife such as whitetailed deer or raccoons. Thus, estimates of damage by wild turkeys are often inflated. The authors found that wild turkeys do occasionally damage specialty crops, turf grass, or ornamental flowers that may have higher value than common agricultural crops, but because of the small size of many specialty operations, simple damage management techniques can reduce damage. —Staff Report «TG two years.” “In my tenure on the board of directors, I’ve seen quite a few changes within the organization,” Newman said. “And I’m proud to say that, through it all, DU still remains one of the largest, most trusted conservation organizations in the nation. I plan to continue this trend and help this organization I love so much, excel.” —Staff Report «TG

Paddlers should keep in mind that open bodies of water (lakes, rivers, bays, bayous, ponds, oceans) are vastly different from neighborhood swimming pools and therefore warrant extra precautions. There are no lifeguards; water conditions can change rapidly and underwater currents sometimes exist. All paddlers should wear a life-jacket. In Texas children under 13 years of age in or on vessels under 26 feet must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved wearable life jacket. In addition, all vessels less than16 feet in length, including canoes and kayaks, must be equipped with one Type I, II, III or V for each person on board. —Staff Report «TG

G a m e ®

7/8/13 3:23 PM


... Dead Zone t Continued from page 45 director of the Graham Sustainability Institute, who contributes both to the Gulf and Chesapeake Bay forecasts. An oxygen-starved hypoxic zone, commonly called a dead zone and shown in red, forms each summer in the Gulf of Mexico. Fish and shellfish either leave the oxygen-depleted waters or die, resulting in losses to commercial and sports fisheries.The annual Gulf forecast is prepared by researchers at U-M, Louisiana State University and the Louisiana Universities Marine Consortium. The Bay forecast is provided by U-M and the University of Maryland’s Center for Environmental Science. Both studies are funded by NOAA. The forecasts are based on nutrient runoff and river-and-stream data from the U.S. Geological Survey, which are then fed into computer models developed with funding from NOAA’s National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science. Floods inundated much of the Midwest this spring. Nutrient-rich runoff from that farming region ends up in the Mississippi River and eventually makes its way to the Gulf. The amount of nitrogen entering the Gulf of Mexico each spring has increased by about 300 percent since the 1960s, mainly due to increased agricultural runoff. According to U.S. Geological Survey estimates, 153,000 metric tons of nutrients flowed down the Mississippi and Atchafalaya rivers to the northern Gulf in May 2013, an increase of 94,900 metric tons over last year’s drought-reduced 58,100 metric tons. The 2013 input is 16 percent higher than the average nutrient load estimated over the past 34 years. In the Gulf and the Bay, the nutrientrich waters fuel explosive algae blooms. When the algae die and sink, bottomdwelling bacteria decompose the organic matter, consuming oxygen in the process. The result is a low-oxygen (hypoxic) or oxygen-free (anoxic) region in the bottom and near-bottom waters—the dead zone. Fish and shellfish either leave the oxygen-depleted waters or die, resulting in losses to commercial and sports fisheries. In the Gulf, the dockside value of commercial

TrueGreen.indd 47

fisheries was $629 million in 2009, and nearly three million recreational anglers contributed more than $1 billion to the region’s economy. The 2013 Gulf estimate is based on the assumption of no significant tropical storms in the two weeks preceding or during the official measurement survey cruise scheduled from July 25 to August 3. If a storm

does occur, the size estimate could drop to a low of 5,344 square miles, slightly smaller than Connecticut. Last year’s Gulf dead zone was the fourth-smallest on record, due to drought conditions. It covered about 2,889 square miles, an area slightly larger than Delaware. —Staff Report «TG

7/8/13 3:23 PM


Brian Tulloch and Garrett Wedham with a king mackerel caught while trolling a ribbon fish near a rig.

48 |

Fea 4-Kings.indd 48

a u g u s t

t

2 0 1 3

|

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e 速

Photos: Mike Price

7/6/13 12:05 PM


Captain Brian Tulloch, Lain Gay, and I left the Matagorda Harbor on July 8, and headed southeast. After running about 13 miles we spotted frigate birds, terns, and gulls, dive bombing over churning water with so much feeding activity that it looked like a giant washing machine. We thought the frenzy was caused by spanish mackerel feeding on some small critters, but it only took two minutes of trolling to hook up to a king mackerel. After catching that king, we bled and gutted it; its stomach was full of tiny one-inch sardines, and one six-inch sardine. It didn’t take long to catch the four kings that we wanted for the table, and then we decided to try to get kingfish to jump out of the water. Lain and I attached a popper and a top dog to a wire leader, and Brian trolled over the area where we had previously found kingfish. The kings did not disappoint us. They spotted the lures and took a running start from deep underwater, grabbed the lures, came soaring out of the water, and did all sorts of aerial acrobatics. Brian had no problem finding the exact spot to troll over. He thought that his fishfinder was reading a small structure on the bottom that the predators and prey were above, but when he went back to the same place a few weeks later, he saw that there was no structure. The mass of sardines was so thick that it looked like solid structure, and this is what had attracted the kingfish. On another offshore trip, again in early July on Brian’s boat, we watched the water change from blue to an inviting indigo color, very close to the spot where we had previously

found kingfish action. As we approached a rig, jumping and splashing menhaden, sardines, and other small fish were being forced out of the water by predators. While tying up to the rig, we heard whooping and hollering; four guys in a 21 foot Shallow Sport, were drifting away from the platform. Three of them were hooked up to king mackerel, and one of the kings had leaped 12 feet out of the water. Kenny Rodgers, his adult sons Keith and Kyle, and his son-in-law, Casey Smith were onboard that Shallow Sport. I contacted them after getting back to Matagorda and asked how they went about fishing for king mackerel. Kenny said, “We went out to catch kingfish just for the sport of it, catching them and letting them go. I’m the only one in the family who likes to eat kingfish. We caught 30 or 40 that day, fishing three different rigs.” To catch the toothy kingfish, Kenny and family use single strand, 40-pound test wire leader, tied with a Haywire twist. When trolling, the Rodgers put a single hook through the nose of a ribbonfish, a second single hook in the center of the bait and they use a treble hook as a trailer. They bump troll by putting the engine in neutral, then forward, and back in neutral. Kenny said, “When you are drifting ribbonfish, the engine in neutral makes them drop, and when you hit forward, the bait look like they are alive.” Kenny and sons started the day trolling with ribbonfish, but after catching and releasing several kings, they changed to top water lures because fishing with the topwaters was more fun.

Story and Photos by MIKE PRICE T e x a S

Fea 4-Kings.indd 49

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

|

a u g u s t

2 0 1 3

|

49

7/8/13 3:25 PM


are“Early alive.” inKenny the season, and sons April started andtheMay, day you trolling won’t withcatch ribbonfish, many kings, but after but they catching are usually and releasing bigger, several and as kings, the summer they changed goes on you’ll to top catch water more, lures because but theyfishing are smaller. with theI think topwaters July and was August more fun. are the best months to fish“Early for kings,” in the saidseason, Kyle, aApril formerand semi-pro May, with you won’t Southern catchKingfish many kings, Association. but theyThey are look usually forbigger, king mackerel and as theonsummer the rigsgoes when on the you’ll shrimping catch more, seasonbutis they closedare(May smaller. 15 toI approximately think July and August July 15), are the andbest near months shrimp to boats fish forwhen kings,” the said season Kyle, is open. a former semi-pro withKing Southern mackerel Kingfish favor Association. water temperatures They of look 68°F for toking 85°F, mackerel and areon abundant the rigsinwhen both near the shrimping shore andseason offshoreis Texas closed waters (May in 15the to summer. approximately They July follow 15), theand bluenear water, shrimp and can boatssometimes when thebe season caughtis off open. piers and jetties. Larger Kingking mackerel mackerel favor sometimes water temperatures travel solo,

50 |

Fea 4-Kings.indd 50

a u g u s t

2 0 1 3

|

T e x a S

A king’s fight is never disappointing.

t Look for kings on rigs and behind shrimp boats.

43 between inches37 should and not 43 be inches, consumed. adults should notTo eatfind more kings, thanlook one for 8 ounce birds, especially meal per frigate week, and birds, women picking of child off sardines bearingthat age have and been children forced should to thenot surface eat more by king than mackerel. one 8 And ouncetomeal get per the month. fish to perform King mackerel aerial acroover batics, 43 inches useshould topwater notlures. be consumed. If you are lucky enough To find to find kings, kingslook thatfor arebirds, crazy with especially feeding frigate fever, birds, you picking will see off the sardines fishermenthat on have your boat been forced yelling,tolaughing, the surfaceand by king high-fiving mackerel. as their And adrenalin to get therises fish with to perform the jumping aerialkings. acrobatics, use topwater lures. If you are lucky enough to find kings that are crazy with feeding fever, you will see the fishermen on your boat yelling, laughing, and high-fiving as their adrenaline rises with the jumping kings.

t

t Use wire leader; kingfish have lots of very sharp teeth.

but of 68°F kingstoare 85°F, usually andinareschools. abundant A kingfish in both over near fifteen shore and pounds offshore is probably Texas female, waters in as the fifteen summer. pounds They is the follow maximum the blue sizewater, for males. and Female can sometimes kingfishbecan caught grow off to piers over andfive jetties. and aLarger half feet kingand mackerel weigh up sometimes to ninetytravel pounds. solo, butYou kingscan aretroll usually topwater in schools. lures, or A cast kingfish and retrieve more than from 15apounds stationary is probably boat. Keith female said, as “When 15 pounds casting, is thereel maximum as fast assize youforcan males. and twitch Femaleyour kingfish rod. can Point grow yourto rod overtowards five andthea water.” half feet Keith and weigh uses aupShimano to 90 pounds. Calcutta 400 reelYou withcan 300troll yards topwater of 20-pound-test lures, or castStren and Magnathin retrieve fromline a stationary and a wireboat. leader. Keith Hissaid, rod is “When a 7 and casting, ½ footreel “kind as of faststiff” as you medium can and top water twitch G. yourLoomis rod. Point that is your made rod for towards catching the pike, water.” andKeith his go uses to atop Shimano water lure Calcutta is a silver 400 Top reel with Dog.300 Heyards said, of “My 20-pound-test tackle worksStren well on Magnathin small kings. line Iand can acatch wirethe leader. big ones His also rod with is a 7this½ rod footand “kind reel,of but stiff” I have medium to fight top them water aG.lotLoomis longer, that and isif made they are for going catching to spool pike, and me, his we go have to top to chase water them lure iswith a silver the boat.” Top Dog. He said, “My tackle works well on Many small kings. peopleI can do not catcheatthekingfish big ones– also the meat with this is grey rod and and oily. reel, but ButI the haveday to after fight one themofaour lot trips, longer,Brian and and if they I and areour going wives to enjoyed spool me,eating we have freshtokingfish chase them steakswith fromthea fifteen-pound boat.” king, and I thought they tasted really Many good. people The State do notof eat Texas kingfish department – the of meat State is grey Health and Services oily. ButSeafood the daySafety after division one of our hastrips, issued Brian an and advisory I and on our eating wives king enjoyed mackerel eating because fresh kingfish they have steaks concentrafrom a tions 15-pound of mercury. king, and Their I thought advisorythey statestasted that king reallymackerel good. The lessState thanof37 Texas inches department are safe for of State unrestricted Healthconsumption. Services Seafood If the Safety fish is between division has 37 and issued 43aninches, advisory adults on should eating not king eat mackerel more because than onethey 8 ounce have concentrameal per week, tions ofand mercury. women Their of child advisory bearingstates age that and children king mackerel shouldless notthan eat 37 more inches thanareonesafe 8 ounce for unrestricted meal per month. consumption. King mackerel If the fish over is

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

Photos: Mike Price

7/8/13 3:25 PM


Texas Saltwater by Calixto Gonzales | TF&G Saltwater Editor

Joint Resolution

I

f you ask anyone who fishes with me, they’ll tell you that my two favorite lures to use are (in any order) soft plastic swim baits, and jointed topwater plugs. I love using both types of lures as often as I can, and my success with them keeps me coming back to the tackle boxes that keep my extensive supply. If you put a gun to my head and forced me to choose, however, I’d have to go with a jointed topwater. My most vivid memory of the effect one of those plugs can do came on a long drift on the Table Top in Laguna Madre’s South Bay. I was using a jointed Reaction Strike with a jerk-pause retrieve over shallow grass and potholes. I was working the lure back across a dumbbell-shaped pothole when a huge speckled trout come up directly behind the plug and followed it. Instinctively, I paused the plug and waited for the trout to smack it. The trout stopped behind the plug and hovered just underneath it. Then he nudged it with his nose and watched. I began a fast, erratic retrieve and the big trout followed. Again I paused, and the trout stopped. Again, he nudged it. This went on for about 30 yards. I’d reel, the trout would follow. I’d stop the bait, and the trout sat underneath it and nudged it as if to say, “Well, what are you going to do now?” Finally, 10 feet from the boat, the trout slapped the lure with his tail, and disappeared. Yeah, I prefer jointed lures. The broken-back plug was a staple in the Texas Coastal angler’s tacklebox for decades, whether it was the Jointed Cotton Cordell, the Jointed Rapala, Mirrolure’s Snake Dancer, or the Bomber Jointed Long A. There is a video still circulating on You Tube of a 12-pound-plus Baffin Bay speckled trout fallilng for a jointed Redfin in pink back/silver sides/yellow belly—the

famous Texas Chicken. Anglers trolled all the major passes up and down the coast with a magnum-sized Long A for rolling tarpon. Flinging a Snake Dancer into the mangroves along Lower Laguna Madre’s South Bay for lurking redfish and the bonus snook was an annual rite of summer. As other lures such as the B&L Corky and various topwaters rose in popularity over the last decade, the space reserved for broken back lures in tackle boxes up and down the coast grew smaller and smaller. The effectiveness of the broken-back plug didn’t fade, just the popularity. There is even a jointed version of the Corky which is very popular on the Upper Texas Coast in late fall and winter. In the early 2000s, broken-back, or jointed, baits began a resurgence, with lures such as Strike King’s King Shad, the Sebile Magic Swimmer, and the Reaction Strike Revolution Shad. Bass fishermen first rediscovered the attractiveness to big bass of the slinky dance of a jointed bait. Slowly, over time, saltwater fishermen took notice that big predators such as trout, redfish, snook, kingfish, and even flounder were willing to eat the same lures and began restocking their tackle boxes. More than many similar plugs, a big selling point of a jointed plug is its realistic profile and action. The jointed—or broken back—has a slightly longer-than-normal profile which mimics the body shape of a mullet, small skipjack, juvenile trout, and other prey that a big predator is partial to. If you couple it with the exaggerated wiggle that that jointed design provides, you can see why a trout, redfish, or snook would take a swing at one. Along with the natural profile is the less-mechanical, more erratic action that the multi-segmented design of modern jointed lures affords. The action is more erratic but still natural. When these segmented lures are fished at faster speeds, their wiggle tightens and the bait continues to run straight. This feature allows the larger versons to be trolled for big beasts such as tarpon, kingfish, Spanish T e x a S

Saltwater.indd 51

F i s h

&

mackerel. Even dorado and small tuna can’t pass up the tight boogy of a trolled Long A. The modern, innovative design of modern jointed lures does not necessarily mean anglers have to re-invent their fishing style to succeed. In fact, the simplest retrieves can be the most effective. One change I’d recommend is a technical one. Most modern jointed plugs come with a small split ring attached to the nose. I usually remove the split ring and tie the lure to a 14-18 inch fluorocarbon leader with a small loop knot. The knot provides the same sort of free-swinging action, but in my opinion provides a stronger connection that is less likely to fail when a big fish is on. The innate action of jointed baits means that a straight-forward, no frills retrieve can prove effective. A steady “slow roll” retrieve can be extremely effective. The twitch-pause cadence that is very popular with jerk baits and soft plastics can be lethal with modern multi-segmented plugs, as is the long sweeppause technique. Another unique experience I’ve had with one of the new-fangled jointed baits was with a little trick called the “Houma Hustle” or “Big Wiggle.” I was fishing South Bay with a friend when we spotted a nice trout resting near some mangroves. My first cast with my jointed plug fell well short of the mark. Rather than reel in and try again, I let the bait rest for a bit, then dropped my rod tip and began shaking it quickly. The vibrations telegraphed down the line to the plug, which began to quiver wildly—a trademark of the Hustle. Instead of the typical back and forth quiver, however, the four segments of the bait began to tremble in different directions at the same time. The big trout turned and lazily cruised over to investigate, watched my offering in the midst of its case of the DTs, and then blasted it in a violent splash. Yeah. I love those jointed plugs.

G a m e ®

Contact Calixto Gonzales at CGonzalez@fishgame.com |

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

51

7/8/13 3:26 PM


The bite was on! A small cool front was blowing over Lake Fork, dropping the barometric pressure and keeping the sun’s rays at bay. “Boys, roll that buzz bait as low as you can. The key is move it just fast enough to keep it above the surface. That drives those big bass crazy,” said 2008 Bassmaster Classic Champion and current Bassmaster Elite Series pro Alton Jones. 52 |

Fea 5-Bass.indd 52

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

Photo credit

7/6/13 12:08 PM


Winners of the texas state high school bass championship spent a day fishing with legendary pro alton jones story and photos by chester moore

t

T e x a S

Fea 5-Bass.indd 53

F i s h

&

Alton jones fished on Lake Fork with Colton Mitchell (above) and Dallin Bishop, the winning team in the 2013 Texas High School State bass championship.

G a m e 速

|

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

53

7/6/13 12:08 PM


54 |

Fea 5-Bass.indd 54

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

t Watch Colton, Dallin and Alton discuss their incredible day on Lake Fork at www.FishGame.com/video

on the Bassmaster Elite Series did.” Most Texas teams are part of the Student Angler Federation (SAF), a collaborative effort of The Bass Federation and FLW Outdoors. Cost is only $25/ year and includes full TBF and FLW benefits, including FLW Magazine e-Edition and insurance coverage for students and their club. Through SAF students have many opportunities to excel and get a taste of what high level competition is all about. For example Mitchell and Bishop will advance to an FLW/TBF High School Fishing Conference Championship. Conference winners will advance to the FLW/TBF High School Fishing National Championship held in conjunction with the FLW College

T e x a S

Alton Jones with State High School Bass co-champ Dallin Bishop.

t

Colton Mitchell and Dallin Bishop did exactly as the Texas fishing legend instructed and it did not take long to hook up. Boom! Mitchell’s lure was hammered by a five-pounder and soon after Bishop scored on a nice fish. The trio would catch more than a dozen fish between three and five pounds that morning, giving them a seriously motivational introduction to Fork. This was a dream trip for Mitchell and Bishop as the duo earned it by winning the Texas High School State Championship for bass fishing representing Rouse High School’s “Rouse Raiders Team.” Texas Fish & Game made the trip possible by collaborating with Jones and the Marble Falls/Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce to honor what may end up being the most profound movement in the history of Texas fishing. “High school bass fishing is really taking off. The college scene has been hot for a number of years but this high school thing has tremendous potential and I for one could not be more honored to have taken these two boys out fishing,” Jones said. “They were respectful, skilled and showed why they are the state champs. I love being able to do things like this and I am always excited to partner with Texas Fish & Game.” High school bass fishing opportunities are spreading like wildfire across the country and Texas is the new area of growth. According to Jones, this has the potential to shape the future of professional fishing. “When you start getting kids focused on this in high school, learning about competition, getting experience, honing their skills and even seeking sponsorships it is easy to see how this will make a positive difference on the future of tournament fishing. Many of the pros of the future will likely come out of high school clubs, go into college and then hit the pro level with much greater experience than those of us currently

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

Fishing National Championship in the spring of 2014. At these events students will compete for thousands in college scholarships and prizes. Each team qualifying for a conference and/or national championship will receive a travel allowance to help offset expenses. The National Champions will also receive a $5,000 scholarship each to use at the university of their choice. “It’s an incredible opportunity and I am so glad we had that opportunity at our school. And Dallin and I are so grateful to Texas Fish & Game, the Marble Falls/ Lake LBJ Chamber of Commerce, and Alton Jones for giving us the opportunity to not only fish Lake Fork but with one of the best fishermen ever. We had no idea this kind of thing would happen to us through our fishing club,” Mitchell said. Bryan Thomas is sponsor of the Lumberton High School Fishing Team and echoes Jones sentiments. “It has grown quickly and we have support from throughout the community. The kids are learning about competition and are really passionate about their clubs and improving their skills.” My wife Lisa Moore started a club last January at Deweyville High School and since then the Deweyville Pirate Angler’s Club has grown tremendously. “It’s so exciting as we have over 20 teams in a 2A school in only a few months. The kids are so into it and what I like is that it gets some kids involved who might otherwise not be into extracurricular events. Our school district is always

Photo: Chester Moore

7/8/13 3:28 PM


important for the sport and it is important for the kids. Fishing is a fun activity they can enjoy for life,” Iaconelli said. “The kids were so excited. They had already fished a tournament on Rayburn and having Mike Iaconelli spend an evening with them was just amazing. We can’t thank him enough.” Iaconelli fielded questions about techniques ranging from fishing swimbaits to proper line selection

t

happy to get kids involved in things to help mentor and motivate. I have been so impressed with our team and I am so proud of what they have accomplished, “she said. In February her team got a very special treat as 2003 Bassmaster Classic Champ/2007 Angler of the Year Mike Iaconelli did a special dinner/seminar for them. “It’s so important to get young people involved in fishing. It is

Mike Iaconelli recently met with Lisa Moore’s Deweyville Pirate Angler’s Club and shared his experiences from the professional tournament trail.

T e x a S

Fea 5-Bass.indd 55

F i s h

&

and gave the students an in-depth look at the movements of bass throughout the year. “It is always exciting to visit with kids and help instruct and inspire them about this sport I love so much. I salute Deweyville High School for having something like this for the students. It’s an awesome opportunity for them,” Iaconelli said. Jenn Doyle is sponsor of the Little Cypress-Mauriceville High School Bass Fishing Team and said the growth potential in Texas is huge. “There is no better state for bass fishing than Texas and there is no place where people are as passionate about the outdoors. We are going to see this grow and see a new generation of highly-skilled anglers coming out of our schools. It is an exciting time.” For more information on the Student Angler Federation go to highschoolfishing.org. B.A.S.S. also has a growing youth fishing division you can learn more about at bassmaster.com/youth.

G a m e ®

|

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

55

7/8/13 3:28 PM


Open Season by Reavis Wortham | TF&G Humor Editor

Stiff I

settled into the large round corner booth in Doreen’s 24 HR Eat Gas Now Café and winced in pain. “What’s wrong with you?” “My lower back is killing me, Doc.” Wrong Willie drummed his fingers on the table. “I know how you feel, my feet hurt for some reason.” “You’re all getting old,” Doc, who is 70, pronounced. “I didn’t have any problems with my back until that weekend I pulled the RV to the lake with Willie here.” He looked surprised. “What does that have to do with anything?” “I was fine until we got ready to leave, and then I picked up those concrete steps you put in front of my trailer door and I think I pulled something.” “That was three years ago! Besides, I was just trying to do you a favor. It was a long drop from your bottom step to the ground. I thought the steps would help with the incline.” “It did, but I shouldn’t have moved them by myself. My back has hurt every day since then.” Woodrow slipped an index finger into the handle of his thick coffee mug. “You need more exercise.” I looked at his not-so-splendid physique. “How much exercise do you get?” “More than you…” Wrong Willie interrupted. “We’re all out of shape. None of us are younger than 58. Last week I got winded just dragging a little eight point buck to my truck. I remember the days when I could pick them up and heave them in the back without breathing hard.” “You’re right,” Jerry Wayne agreed. “Remember back about 20 years ago I picked up two deer at the same time and carried them into the processor. I can’t do that again.” “You probably could,” Willie snorted.

56 |

A U G U S T

Humor-Wortham.indd 56

2 0 1 3

|

“Those little bitty bucks weren’t much bigger than cocker spaniels.” “Were too!” “You guys need to stretch every day,” Doreen called from behind the counter. “You’re getting old and your tendons are tightening up.” “How do you know?” I asked. “Because I was having the same problems until I started taking yoga. Now I stretch every day for half an hour right after I get home from work, even before I change clothes.” The Hunting Club members were momentarily stunned by the mental image of Doreen stretching in the floor of her living room, still dressed in her stained white waitress outfit, varicose veins bulging… Brrr. “I’ll show you.” She came around the counter. We almost shrieked until we realized that she’d worn stretch pants for that cold winter morning. Doreen moved a table and slid the chairs back to clear some room in the empty cafe. “Come on. I’m tired of hearing y’all complaining. We’ll stretch for a few minutes and I guarantee you’ll all feel better tomorrow morning.” Bored, and glad for something to do, Wrong Willie slipped out of the booth and joined her on the floor. “What do I need to do?” “Get the rest of those morons down here.” With a sigh, we milled uncertainly in front of the counter. “First everyone bend over and touch your toes. When you get loose, this will be called the Standing Forward Bend.” Our attempts made us look like rejects from a Hunchback of Notre Dame casting call. Things popped. People wept. “I haven’t seen my toes in years.” Woodrow leaned forward. “Are these my boots?” Doc surprised us all by reaching well past his knees. Backs creaked. Doreen sat on the ground. “Now, some

T e x a S

F i s h

&

runner’s stretches. Everyone get down here.” Three of the Membership are former coaches, so they made feeble attempts to stretch tight hamstrings. Groans filled the café, reminiscent of the Inquisition. “See, you guys are already getting limber. Now for some yoga positions.” Doreen spiraled. “Try this one; it’s called the Spinal Twist.” The name was appropriate. Sitting upright on the floor, she placed her right foot across her left thigh. We followed suit, and more stuff popped. Jerry Wayne fell backward and lay on the floor. “This feels good.” “Don’t stop guys.” Doreen twisted onto her knees, bent over and touched her forehead on the floor, with her arms flat. “Child’s Pose.” Those who could, joined her. The bell over the door dinged as someone came in. With our foreheads on the floor, we couldn’t see who it was, but a sudden gasp of breath caught my attention. Then I heard a voice. “Nine one one! I think there’s a robbery in progress here at Doreen’s café! Everyone is face down on the floor.” “No!” Doreen shouted and jumped to her feet. “We’re just stretching. Come on in. Guys, get up!” Willie groaned and flopped to his side. “I can’t.” “Help.” Doc suggested. “Uh.” Woodrow stopped. “Who’s that standing beside the door? All I can see are feet.” “Olivia Roseth,” the old lady said. “Howdy Miss Olivia. Do you still have nine one one on the phone?” “Yes.” “Good, have them send an ambulance instead of the police. We’re gonna need some help to get up. We’re all a little stiff.”

Contact Reavis Wortham at RWortham@fishgame.com

G a m e ®

7/8/13 3:29 PM


Digital Edition

Riverbank Nights by paul bradshaw

Photo: Canstock:

The first time I ever went night fishing was a long, long time ago on a church outing. A bunch of men in our church decided to take us youngsters out on an overnight camping trip at some local property. We built a fire, played in the woods in the dark, eventually caught a few catfish and I don’t think anyone got more than an hour of sleep. We had a blast. Later, in my teen years, I worked summers at a local nursery (the kind that grows trees not babies) planting, fertilizing, and pruning trees for ten hours per day for minimum wage. Some days after work the other summer help and I would head to the local river, more of a slow moving creek, set a few lines and try to avoid snakes, while pulling in small catfish until midnight. This is where we learned that sleep is overrated if the fish are biting. This is also where we learned one of the guys I worked with was allergic to shellfish since he started swelling up when he touched the shrimp we used for bait but that’s a whole different story. Summer was made for fishing and there is nothing better this time of year than a few fishing poles set up on the bank of a river, a small fire to sit around, and friends running trotlines all T F & G

ALMANAC Digital.indd 57

A L M A N A C

night. When the daytime temperatures reach triple digits, the best option most of us have is to find some slow moving water and fish it under the stars. If you’ve never cast a line into a deep pool in a dark river then you’re truly missing out on one of the finer things in life. If you plan on trying it this year you’ll need a few hints on how to go about doing it successfully because one bad night fishing trip might ruin it for you forever. The world changes when the sun goes down, especially in the places we like to fish, where there isn’t any artificial light to help illuminate your path. Night fishermen need to learn to always do two things. Carry plenty of lights (including ways to make fire along with flashlights and lanterns) and do as much as you can in the daylight.

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

57

7/19/13 4:27 PM


TF&G ALMANAC Table of Contents GEARING UP SECTION

92

sportsman’s daybook • Tides & Prime Times | by TF&G

tested • Wiley-X and 70 texas Humminbird | TF&G OUTDOOR LIFESTYLE industry insider • Chester 71 Moore on GETV | TF&G SECTION fish and game gear• Hot New Special Section • Texas Hunt72 Outdoor Gear | TF&G 99 ing & Shooting State of the Union | by

by

by

staff

staff

FISHING FORECAST SECTION

57

COVER STORY • Riverbank Nights | by paul bradshaw

HOW-TO SECTION

60

texas boating • The 10 Best inventions Not for Boats | by lenny

64 66 68

texas kayaking • Cockleshell Heroes | by greg berlocher

rudow

paul’s tips • Getting Home | by paul bradshaw

texas guns & gear • Why Hunt With the Old Guns? | by steve lamascus

Always scout your fishing location with the sun up. If you wait too late and don’t look at it until after dark then you might end up in a spot that seems perfect but when you start casting lines you find out that it’s either too deep, too shallow, too stump infested, has too much current, too much vegetation, too many snakes, etc… so find your fishing hole in the daylight to give yourself the best chance possible to pick a good one. When you have your location picked then go ahead and set up shop while there is adequate daylight to see what you’re doing. There is nothing worse than tripping over coolers or trying to find matches to start the fire in the dark. So get everything set up while you can see and make adjustments as needed. Have you ever tried to tie on a new rig in the dark? Some people have trouble tying serviceable knots in broad daylight much less by the light of a campfire. Be sure to rig up all your rods the day before you plan to go fishing. If you use rigs that require leaders then tie a few extra of those as well that way if/when you break-off you only have to tie one knot in the dark to attach the leader to your main line instead of multiple. Nighttime bank fishing usually involves more than one rod per angler since more 58 |

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 58

2 0 1 3

T e x a S

staff

staff

74

hotspots focus: upper coast • Upper End Trout | by capt. eddie hernandez

75

hotspots focus: galveston • Hot Time for Saltwater Fishing! | by capt. mike holmes

76

hotspots focus: matagorda • Beach Landings | by mike

78

hotspots focus: rockport • Good Days Gone Bad | by capt.

80

hotspots focus: lower coast • August Rocks | by

82

Texas Hotspots • Texas’ Hottest Fishing Spots | by Cal Gonzales, Bob Hood & Dustin Warncke

by chester moore

116

OUTDOOR CLASSIFIED DIRECTORY • Guides, Gear and More | by TF&G staff

texas tasted • Blackened 117 Redfish Tacos | tf&g Photos • Your Action 118 Photos | TF&G

by bryan slaven

by

readers

price

mac gable

calixto gonzales

lines in the water means more opportunities to catch fish. Since you don’t have enough hands to hold all of these rods, and really don’t just want to leave them on the ground in freespool, you must have rod holders for each of them. Sure, you can buy store bought rod holders but typically these are flimsy and made by a company whose main interest is making a profit, not catching fish. Besides, it’s more fun to make your own. Do you have some rebar (or angle iron) and some two inch PVC pipe sitting around not being used? Then you already have the makings for some great riverbank rod holders. Take the PVC and cut a piece about two feet long. Now take your rebar or angle iron and cut it down to about four feet long. Attach the PVC to the rebar/angle iron with a few hose clamps and you’re done. It’s pretty simple. To use it all you have to do is push or drive the rebar/angle iron end into the mud along the bank. Slide your rod into the PVC pipe and you are ready to fish. It will take a huge fish, making a massive strike, to pull over one of these holders or yank your rod out of it. There are two things that can ruin a night time fishing trip this time of year, bugs and heat. The biggest problem with the F i s h

&

G a m e ®

T F & G

www.FishGame.com heat is dehydration. This might be unheard of advice, but lay off the adult beverages and take plenty of water. You’ll thank me later when you don’t have a headache half the night from being dehydrated. As far as the bugs are concerned there are a few methods for keeping them away but none is better than a Thermacell. Get one or two and set them up around your campfire and you won’t have to worry about mosquitoes in that area all night. For those times when you’re away from the fire and need protection from insects then get some high quality insect repellent. I might lose my man card for this one but some of the best I’ve used is made by Avon. I’ve used it on the beach to repel nasty salt marsh mosquitoes so you know it works. There really is nothing better in the summer than sitting by a river catching a few fish while everyone else is sleeping. Just be sure to do as much as you can during the daylight to make the trip more enjoyable. It also doesn’t hurt to make sure none of your fishing partners are allergic to the bait.

A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:27 PM


ALMANAC Digital.indd 59

7/19/13 4:27 PM


Texas Boating by Lenny Rudow | TF&G Boating Editor

The 10 Best inventions Not for Boats

T

he marine industry is like a step-child of the American economy: most economists tend to ignore it, few companies develop products specifically for it, and yet it has a huge impact on our American economic family. The latest figures from the NMMA (National Marine Manufacturer’s Association), which were arrived at by compiling figures provided by all 50 states, show an impact of 121.5 billion dollars annually. Thirty thousand businesses employing over 338,000 people are directly related to recreational boating. And each year, Americans spend over 51 billion on their boats and boating. Yet despite these facts, we get ignored. We get forgotten. Amazingly few companies

ever develop things just for us. No, instead we have to depend on the trickle-down of technology. Fortunately, there are plenty of inventive boaters out there, who have discovered great ways to put the products developed for other purposes to good use on the water. Here are 10 that will help you float your boat. 1. Closed-Cell Foam – If your butt doesn’t hurt after sitting in a boat seat while running at high speeds, thank closed cell foam. If your boat doesn’t sink after becoming swamped, thank closed cell foam. And if you’ve ever filled a gap, added sounddeadening insulation, or turned a bare compartment into an insulated fishbox, again,

thank closed cell foam. Though it was first developed by Dow Chemicals for its insulating properties, the marine world quickly recognized its value and just one year after its invention, was picked up by the USCG for use in life rafts. You don’t have to put any extra foam on your boat—it’s already in use all over the place—but if you keep a can in your garage, you’ll find countless boatingoriented uses for it. 2. Dramamine – We came close with this one, fellow boaters, but Dramamine was invented with the support of the army, not the navy. Yes, curing motion sickness was the ultimate goal, but no, recreational boating was not on the inventor’s minds. Still, the development of this drug has saved many of us from the horrors of a Technicolor yawn. Put a pack in the glove box, and pass it out to landlubbers before they come aboard. 3. Duct Tape – As one of the greatest inventions in all the history of mankind, duct tape obviously belongs on this list. We’re not even going to try to mention all of the things you can do with duct tape on your boat—suffice it to say that a big, fat roll of this stuff belongs onboard. 4. Elastic Bungee Cords – I doubt there’s a single one of you out there who hasn’t found multiple uses for bungees aboard, and I doubt there are many boats on the water without at least one or two in use at all times. (There are currently four in use and five in stowage aboard my own boat, at this very moment. Yes, I counted.) If you don’t have a few in a drawer or boatbag, you should. And while the history of the bungee is unclear, one thing is for sure: boating was not in the forefront of its development. 5. Epoxy – Two-part epoxies were originally developed for heavy industry, but as it stands today, the boating industry couldn’t

60 |

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 60

2 0 1 3

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

T F & G

A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:27 PM


ALMANAC Digital.indd 61

7/19/13 4:27 PM


Texas Boating survive without it. I was recently reminded of its importance and its potency when I broke the casing of an old outboard’s water pump, then put it back together with a smidge of JB Weld. The stuff is so dang strong that not only did it meld the plastic back into one piece, it also melded two of my fingers together. Keep a tube of this stuff handy, for emergency repairs. 6. GPS – Despite the fact that this was invented for military purposes, it’s one of the most important boating developments, ever. And considering how inexpensive a GPS receiver is these days, there’s no valid excuse for going boating without one. Note: we early adopters were using GPS navigation long before it became stylish in cars, which may be the one and only case of the marine industry beating the automotive industry to the punch.

7. Lithium Ion Batteries – Here’s a fairly recent out-of-industry development which has proved invaluable for boaters. Not only does lithium-ion power countless battery-operated do-dads onboard, it can also power your boat itself. You think an all-electric boat that performs like a gaspowered boat is out of the question? Think again—there are already commercially-produced electric outboards that put out up to 180-hp, and lithium-ion is the way they keep them running for up to half an hour at full-tilt. Range is sure to be extended with more R & D. You may not keep a spare lithium-ion battery onboard today, but stay tuned… 8. The Screw Propeller – Here’s one you might think was invented just for us, but alas, no. The original screw propeller

goes all the way back to the Greek inventor Archimedes, who developed it not for boats, but to lift water for irrigation. Screw propellers weren’t regularly applied to boating until the 1600s, and didn’t become common practice until the mid 1800s. Up until that time, paddlewheels were still the norm for powered boats—seems it took us a long, long time, to catch on to the promise of this one. Anyway, it’s a sure thing there’s one on your boat right now. 9. Smartphones – Yes, we love to hate these devices, too. They can distract you from fishing, never fail to ring at the most inopportune times, and are magnetically attracted to the water. But they are also a great boating tool. Navigation, weather forecasting, checking up-to-date fishing regulations, interfacing with your electronics, and emergency communications are just a few of the purposes they serve onboard a boat. 10. Sonar – Where would we be, without fishfinders? Most of us, of course, already know that its invention was for military purposes. And while we hate to break it to you, even the latest development in fishfinders, CHIRP and Spread Spectrum sonar (which uses multi-frequency bursts instead of single or dual-frequency sound waves), was not developed for us anglers. Again, the military gets credit; the acronym stands for Compressed High Intensity Radar Pulse… unfortunately.

Contact Lenny Rudow at LRudow@fishgame.com Get more boating tips in LENNY RUDOW’s Texas Boating Blog at www.Fishgame.com/blogs

62 |

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 62

2 0 1 3

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

T F & G

A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:27 PM


ALMANAC Digital.indd 63

7/19/13 4:27 PM


Texas Kayaking by Greg Berlocher | TF&G Kayaking Editor

Cockleshell Heroes

O

ver the Memorial Day weekend, I watched “Cockleshell Heroes,” a black and white war movie filmed in 1955, for the first time. The film featured Trevor Howard, a well known British actor. The movie was playing to an empty living room but the British accents caught my attention as I was heading to the man cave. A causal glance at the television revealed a submarine surfacing and ten commandoes boarding tandem kayaks. Wielding double bladed paddles, the commandoes started making their way to the beach. I was instantly drawn in by this previously unknown movie and I watched with rapt attention. The British developed the concept of the commando, specially trained armed forces sent to infiltrate the enemy’s position and destroy things. Based on the commando’s track record of success reeking havoc on the Nazis, the American military sent advisors to learn from their British counterparts so they could institute a similar sort of program. The British Commandos included the Small Boat Section, which ultimately had operations stretching from Scandinavia to Africa. Kayaks weren’t the only boats involved but were the prime focus of the Small Boat Section. Cockleshell Heroes highlights the raid known as Operation Frankton in which 10 commandos were launched at sea and paddled into a harbor in France. The harbor was an important destination for merchant ships and also a base for German U-Boats. The commandos placed magnetic mines on ships and successfully sunk several and damaged others. The movie’s name was derived from the folding kayaks, which were known

64 |

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 64

2 0 1 3

T e x a S

as cockleshells. The boats were also known as folding canoes in Europe. The stealth of kayaks hasn’t been lost on today’s Special Forces. An Internet search on military kayaks revealed a number of manufacturers of folding kayaks. The term “folding kayak” is a bit misleading. The folding kayak’s frame is actually quite similar to the original kayaks designed by the Inuits, but instead of the frame being lashed together with sinew, wood, steel or plastic pieces are assembled to create a lightweight skeleton. Military forces around the world have been using kayaks for special operations for the last 70 years. Folding kayaks are an overlooked option for sportsmen. I spoke with Mark Eckhart, owner of Long Haul Products, regarding their kayaks. “Folding kayaks fill a void in the market,” Eckhart explained. “An entire boat will break down into two bags, which are easy to transport. They are the perfect option for someone who wants to explore far away places and be self sufficient.” “Folding kayaks are also popular with people with limited storage space. Folks who live in apartments come to mind. They can store their kayak in a closet. Some of our customers own motor homes and they can’t put a hard shelled kayak on the roof. We have also sold folding kayaks to people who own small planes, yachts, and sailboats. All want to go kayaking but don’t have the space to stow or transport a hard shell boat.” One of the options that Eckhart discussed that I hadn’t considered is shipping. The total weight for a folding kayak, minus paddles, PFDs, etc, is just 90 pounds. Split between two bags, a kayak could be checked as airline luggage. The bags can also be shipped by US Mail or by a carrier, such as FedEx or UPS. If you want to go kayaking on your vacation but don’t have room in the car, consider shipping your yak to your hotel or lodge ahead of time. Folding kayaks have a skeletal design that is assembled and then covered with a F i s h

&

G a m e ®

T F & G

fabric skin. Some of the designs incorporate air bladders to make the hulls practically unsinkable. Frame components are crafted from aluminum, plastic, or wood. Eckhart is a big fan of the latter, saying “Wooden frames are very robust and strong. The military likes wood for several reasons. One, it completely eliminates your radar signature, and two, in case something does break, you can repair it in the field. You can’t field repair metal or plastic components.” “Our frame has 36 pieces that either snap or lock together with pins. No tools are needed to put it together. A trained person can fully assemble a tandem kayak in seventeen minutes. A trained two-man team can reduce the assembly time to less than eight minutes.” Eckhart is a low volume manufacturer and each of his kayaks is highly customizable. He can add zippered pouches and hatches anywhere you like. I didn’t ask about rod holders but I didn’t sense there were many things Eckhart wasn’t willing to do to have a happy customer. Folding kayaks are in a different league from roto-molded plastic hulls. Eckhart’s standard boats start in the $2,200 range and escalate up to $6,000, depending on options. To learn more about Long Haul Products folding kayaks, visit their web site at www.longhaulproducts.com. Operation Frankton was an overwhelming success but only two of the commando-kayakers survived the raid. Winston Churchill said the operation was so significant that it helped shorten World War II by six months.

Greg Berlocher can be reached for question or comment at GBerlocher@fishgame.com.

A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:27 PM


ALMANAC Digital.indd 65

7/19/13 4:27 PM


Paul’s Tips

Getting Home

I

’m a bit of a klutz. Well, maybe not really a klutz, but I do tend to have some serious bad luck. I get rained on during fishing trips, hailed on during deer hunts and have flats on the interstate in the middle of the night. You would think that I’d learn from all these issues and have emergency supplies on hand at all times, but I’m not really smart so I don’t. Case in point, I was running the other day (really, I was. I do other things besides hunt and fish) and was a good distance from my truck when I stepped on a rock wrong and rolled my ankle. It’s a good thing nobody was around because I may or may not have screamed like a girl. Last month we talked about a few things

you need to keep in your boat to stay safe and make sure it makes it home under its own power. This month we’re going to go over a few things you need to keep with you on all your outdoor excursions in order to make sure you get home from your next hunting or fishing trip under your own power. In the above example, I was less than

a half mile from my truck (as the crow flies) when I slightly injured my leg so help wasn’t that far away. Still, it would have helped immensely if I would have had some way to wrap my ankle to prevent swelling or further injury while making my way back to the vehicle. Now, think about how far away you are from help on some of your hunting excursions. Some hunters walk miles to their stands. What about walkin duck hunters on public land? I know plenty that put in a lot of miles in knee deep mud walking to blinds. What happens if you twist an ankle on the way back from the deer or duck blind? At a minimum the walk will be slow and painful and in a worst case scenario you might not be able to walk at all. A simple elastic bandage (more commonly referred to as an Ace bandage the same way we Texans refer to all soft drinks as Cokes) could be a life saver, or at least make walking easier and get you to real medical treatment faster. An Ace bandage is like the Swiss Army Knife of the first aid world. I’m sure MacGyver carried one everywhere he went. If you sprain an ankle, wrist, or bang up your knee you can wrap it up with the bandage and hobble home. Dislocated shoulder from tripping over a log? No problem, just immobilize it with an Ace bandage sling. Get a nasty cut? Piece of cake. Wash it off, then wrap it up to keep it clean until you get to a doctor. You should never ever go on a hunting or fishing trip (or apparently jogging) without an Ace bandage somewhere in your backpack or boat. I was on a dove hunting trip one time where we were literally swarmed by flying ants. This wasn’t at some exotic dove hunting lodge in Central America; it was in Central Texas after a rain. The swarm CONTINUED ON PAGE 69

66 |

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 66

2 0 1 3

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

T F & G

illistration by paul bradshaw

by Paul Bradshaw | TF&G Contributing Editor

u

A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:27 PM


ALMANAC Digital.indd 67

7/19/13 4:27 PM


Texas Guns by Steve LaMascus | TF&G Shooting Editor

Why Hunt With the Old Guns?

T

he first time I heard about someone hunting with a black powder cartridge rifle (BPCR) my reaction was, why? Why would anyone use such an antiquated firearm when we have spent the last hundred and fifty years perfecting our modern firearms? Why would

68 |

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 68

2 0 1 3

T e x a S

anyone choose to use a gun that shot cast lead bullets wrapped in paper or dipped in grease when modern jacketed or homogenous copper bullets are available? I simply could not understand. Many years passed. I shot a lot of deer and even more predators, hogs, and other game. I shot them with about every caliber known to modern man (that is hyperbole; don’t write me about it). One day I was invited to shoot a deer by one of my friends. I had not put any venison in the freezer yet, and really had hoped that someone would call and offer me a deer they didn’t want. Hopefully it would be cleaned, butchered, wrapped, and frozen. Then all I would have to do was cook and eat it. Or, rather, have

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

T F & G

my wife cook it, so I could eat it. Since that hadn’t happened I decided to take my friend up on his invitation, and then set about deciding which gun I would use. The last couple of years I had filled my freezer with a handgun, which I enjoyed immensely. I also had a couple of new test guns that needed to be used, such as a Mossberg .30-06. But this is a small ranch, the shot would be close, so the aught-six would hardly be sporting. I finally decided on a .45-70 Sharps Replica. I wrote about it in these pages. It is a really nice Italian replica of an 1874 Sharps. Well, that started the trip. I shot my deer using the Sharps and a 400-grain paperpatch bullet loaded over smokeless, not black powder. The result was a dead deer and very little damage to the meat. I could probably have lined up the deer and shot through several at once with the big bullet, but it did just what it was intended to do when it was first introduced a century and a half ago. I loved it. I guess my reaction was mostly because I managed to touch, just for a few minutes, the time of the buffalo hunters. I have read everything I can find on the 1870s and the time of the “buffalo runners” in the Texas Panhandle. My fascination with that era is the reason I bought the Sharps replica. I grew up in a small ranching community in Northwest Texas. Surrounding the town were badlands and prairie where in the 1870s the great “Southern Herd” of the American bison was decimated by Billy Dixon, John Cook, Bat Masterson, Pat Garrett, and others. When I was a youngster there was still a large prairie dog town just a mile west of Benjamin. It was not unusual for someone to find an old bullet, cartridge case, or buffalo skull. I guess you could say I grew up with a love of the outdoors mostly because of where I grew up. It was a place and a time where a person could still be totally alone. Just a mile or two from town in almost any direction I could find solitude and complete silence. A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:27 PM


Paul’s tips These are things I still crave and which I must have on regular occasions to maintain what little sanity I have left. As for the old guns, I have found cartridge cases and bullets scattered over the ground all across Texas, from Webb County to the Red River. It is a rare treat to be walking along a country trail and stumble across one of the old black powder cartridges. It is rare because black powder is very corrosive and the cases, made of brass or copper, usually corrode away in considerably less than the century and a quarter that separates us from those days. Still, I have bullets, cases, and one complete rim-fire cartridge. There are few if any valid ballistic reasons for hunting with the old guns or their modern replicas. But when you step out with a Sharps, or a Remington Rolling Block, or a Winchester High Wall, you are stepping back in time. Since we have no time machines, yet, this is one of the few ways we can touch even a tiny bit of the past. I have found that hunting with the old-timers really is a wonderfully challeng-

T F & G

ALMANAC Digital.indd 69

t CONTINUED FROM PAGE 66 was so bad that one of our hunters had to be placed on oxygen and rushed to the nearest hospital due to the allergic reaction from all the stings. He was lucky we had a paramedic in our group. The lesson learned is to always carry an antihistamine with you even if you aren’t deathly allergic to anything. A few bug bites, an encounter with a stinging nettle, or even a mystery rash can ruin a hunting trip. Here’s one I bet you never thought of, blisters. New boots or ill fitting waders can wreck your feet and in turn your hunting trip. Walking on blisters hurts, but can ing sport. Whether calling coyotes, hunting deer, or hogs, or javelinas, or some other Texas denizen, BPCRs are a great way to make your hunting more fun and more challenging. And if you want to wear a pair of high-topped boots by Russell Moccasin Company, wrap a big bandana around your head, and wear an old beat up hat, who am I to say that you aren’t just getting more into

A L M A N A C

T e x a S

F i s h

&

easily be taken care of with a simple blister kit. A blister kit typically consists of a needle to pop the blisters and some mole skin to place over or around them to take the pressure off. Most of the time we think that we are unbreakable. We don’t have time to slow down or admit that we might get in trouble on one of our hunting or fishing trips, but the facts are that there’s a good chance that we might need some help while on our own. A few precautions can go a long way to making sure you make it home. Contact Paul Bradshaw at PBradshaw@fishgame.com the role of the Buffalo Runner. Weel, pardner, I reckon I ourta wander. Got me a date with a critter up on the Yarner. Ol’ Poison Slinger’s oiled up and ready to roar. Wagh!

G a m e ®

Contact Steve LaMascus at SLamascus@fishgame.com

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

69

7/19/13 4:27 PM


20/20 Vision Anglers are tough on their eyes— long days exposed to sun and glare, windblast, and flying saltwater spray make a good pair of sunglasses a must. Make sure they’re polarized, or you won’t be able to see fish beneath the surface of the water. And they need to be comfortable, too, since you’ll be wearing them for hours on end. On a recent 10-hour fishing trip for calico bass living in the kelp beds off the California coast, I had the chance to try out a pair of WileyX sunglasses called Gravity. My favorite thing about the Gravity is how comfortable it is; these glasses weigh next to nothing, have a padded nose-rest and arms, and come with a removable “climate control” foam facial cavity seal. Why would the facial seal make them more comfortable? WileyX Gravity

Because when we started shooting across the water at speeds in excess of 55-mph, I didn’t have to worry about the wind getting in behind the frames and blowing the glasses off my head, or getting dust into my eyes. Anyone who’s fished on a high performance boat before knows what I’m talking about; flying sunglasses and irritating dust is not at all uncommon once you break 50-mph or so. The lenses on the Gravity are impactresistant to ANSI Z87.1-2003 high velocity impact standards and are OSHA-grade protective eyewear, so you also don’t have to worry about eye danger from swinging jig heads and flying weights. Added bonus: these glasses will also do the trick when you 70 |

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 70

2 0 1 3

T e x a S

go shoot skeet at the range. Like other WileyX models, the Gravity comes in a rigid black zipper-case. Also included in the $90 MSRP are a leash cord and a cleaning cloth. And yes, prescription lenses are available. For more information, visit www.wileyX.com.

Combo Platter Marine electronics have come a long, long way in the past few years. A prime example is the Humminbird 597ci HD DI Combo, which I recently tested out during a day of casting for redfish. In what way is this unit far beyond what we used to fish with? First, consider the Dual-beam sonar with Down Imaging ability. DI utilizes a very thin, very high-frequency 455/800 kHz beam that extends below the boat in a fan-like shape, instead of the usual cone. This allows it to pick up extraordinary detail levels, and with DI you can literally see every

branch on a sunken tree and every sprig of weed coming off the bottom. The screen itself is a 640 x 640 pixel five-inch color display, and has the ability to show target separation down to 2.5 inches. The unit puts out 500 watts RMS and 4,000 watts peak-to-peak, giving it a depth range of 600 feet in standard mode and 350 feet in DI. And the 597ci HD DI Combo also has a built-in 50-channel GPS and antenna, plus built-in UniMap cartography with a card slot for expansion. You can split the screen between chart plotter, fish finder, and DI, to keep track of where you are and what lies below you at any given time. The built-in memory can handle 50 routes, and 2,500 waypoints. Added bonus: the 597ci HD Di is amazingly easy to use. I didn’t crack open the instruction manual one single time, and found the menu system a piece of cake. F i s h

&

G a m e ®

T F & G

Okay: I know what you’re thinking. This is all cool stuff, but this technology has all been around for a few years and I said that this unit is far beyond what we’re used to fishing with. What gives? One of the beautiful things about electronics is that with time, their price goes down instead of up. And while all of these technologies and features may not be new, what is different today is the fact that you can get them all in one package with an MSRP of $599. This is not a miss-print. Humminbird is not kidding. $599. And a quick check with a few big-box store web sites will show that you can get it for a real-world price that’s significantly lower.

Photos: Wiley X; Johnson Fishing

Texas Tested

Humminbird 597 ci HD DI Combo

It wasn’t all that long ago you’d have to pay this much just to get a color fishfinder of this size, without getting Down Imaging, 640 x 640 pixels, and 500 watts of power, much less a built-in 50-channel GPS with built-in chartography. And while using it I couldn’t manage to find one single thing to complain about. Anglers in search of a new combo unit need to check this one out. —Lenny Rudow

A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:27 PM


Industry Insider

ALMANAC Digital.indd 71

t

TF&G Exec. Editor Chester Moore’s series “God’s Outdoors with Chester Moore” will begin airing on GETV 10 Saturdays at 10 a.m. beginning Aug. 31. The show, which began on the Web last year, caught the attention of John Hagee Ministries after Moore spoke at Cornerstone Church San Antonio. “It is such an honor to be a part of GETV which I watch several times a week and to be affiliated with John Hagee Ministries,” Moore said. The program features Moore interacting with wildlife from around the world and teaching from the Bible. “My faith in Christ is the most important thing in my life and a lot of people don’t realize that I don’t have hobbies really. I put my time outside of my job at TF&G and time with my family into children’s ministry and this program and it is super fulfilling. I am blessed to be a part of the best outdoors publication in America and to now be a part of GETV,” Moore said. Upcoming episodes deal with wolves, sharks, baby animals and a variety of exotic snakes. “If you were a fan of Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom or The Crocodile Hunter you will love this program,” Moore said. For more information on how to view the program visit www.getv.com or www.godsoutdoors.com.

Photos Chester Moore:

Moore’s Program to Air on GETV

If you were a fan of “Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kindom,” you will love Chester Moore’s new show on GETV.

7/19/13 4:28 PM


t

Eagle Claw L13

secure. The double barbed keeper on the L13 hook has proved to be an industry leading development and helps to keep baits from twisting, rotating and sliding down the shank while casting and hoisting bass from deep cover. The improved American-made needlepoint has undergone extreme testing in fresh and saltwater environments, both, providing engineers the data necessary to develop specific point-ratios based on techniques and desired target

72 |

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 72

2 0 1 3

T ex a S

original and distinct design that has the proven functional attributes of two of the greatest fishhook designs of all time. Sizes 1/0 – 9/0, all non-offset, the TK6 with its Black Chrome finish has applications as wide and varied as the two hooks that inspired its design. Sizes 7/0, 8/0 & 9/0 come fully equipped with a

TroKar TK6 Best of Both Worlds

brazed eye to eliminate line chaffing or slippage MSRP of $21.99/ea with a varied piece count depending on size. For more information on TroKar visit www.lazertrokar.com.

TroKar TK6 Kahle Circle Hook

t

The new Lazer Sharp L13 Flipping hook from Eagle Claw is hand-crafted from a thick carbon steel wire and intended to give today’s flipping and pitching anglers the backbone necessary to pull hogs through heavy vegetation. The only American-made needlepoint hook in the world, ensures that penetration woes are a thing of the past, as the precision ground needlepoint offers one of the sharpest hooks on the market. The Lazer Sharp L13 Flipping hook features a premium injected molded keeper to keep soft plastics

species. With an MSRP of $4.49 per pack, the Lazer Sharp L13 Flipping hook is a tough deal to beat. Offered in sizes 3/0 - 6/0 with five hooks per package. Visit eagleclaw.com or connect with Eagle Claw on Facebook.

The TroKar TK6 Kahle Circle hook is an ingenious new hook design that has coupled two long time favorites of the saltwater angler….Kahle & Circle hooks. Hailed for their ease of use, hooking ability and keeping power when hooked up, the Kahle design is a perennial all-star when viewed through the eyes of avid inshore anglers. The circle hook is known for its superior ability to hook fish in an anatomically desirable location, resulting in improved postrelease mortality rates and in-turn helping to sustain our vital fisheries. The TK6 takes the best and most desirable characteristics of these two hooks and melds them together to produce an Leupold VX-6 side focus riflescope

t

Lazer Sharp by Eagle Claw L13 Flipping Hook

F i sh

&

G a m e ®

Photos:

Fish and Game Gear

T F & G

Leupold’s Focus on High Performance Leupold has expanded its premier VX-6 line with the introduction of the 4-24x52mm side focus riflescope. Combining Leupold’s legendary durability and crystal-clear optics with the VX-6’s powerful 6:1 zoom ratio, the 4-24x52mm models offer shooters the versatility of 4x to 24x magnification in one riflescope. Compared to standard riflescopes, the VX-6 provides a wider field of view at the lowest power setting, giving hunters a better look at close, fast-moving game. At the highest power setting, the scope pulls distant targets in tighter

A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:28 PM


Off-Road Tires Designed for U.S. Special Forces

Play Ring Around the Target

cal need for enduring bullet penetration and terrain punctures in austere operating conditions, the RP SOF tire provided for a highly reliable and survivable vehicle system. This rugged tire is designed to fit on traditional Atv, utv and sxs platforms as a ‘run-flat’, meaning able to operate at zero pressure for 35 miles at 30 mph. This tire was extensively tested and fielded by multiple specialized elements of DoD and Department of Homeland Security. Multiple after Action reports have shown that the RP SOF Series tire receives a puncture and continues to operate normally, many times without the driver even knowing there has been a tire penetration and subsequent loss of air. For many soldiers, agents and extreme outdoors-

t

The Redring optical shotgun sight is a new concept featuring smart technology that allows the shooter to immediately take fast and instinctive shots with both eyes open. Redring is for fast shotgun shooting and helps beginners and seasoned shooters achieve better aim on moving targets and hit more targets successfully. It gives the hunter another reference point to confidently bag the birds with less-to-zero collateral damage to game. It reads

Redring shotgun sight.

men, this tire has been the literal difference between walking out of the bush or riding. George Young Sales Co., is a privately owned oilfield supply company located five miles east of Artesia, New Mexico. In thirty plus years of service, they have grown from a tubular retailer with one employee to a full-line supply store with multiple divisions. For more information, call (800) 7481907 or visit www.GeorgeYoungSales.com

The RP Special Operations Forces (SOF) Series Run Flat tire was a direct development in response to the harsh environments experienced by U.S. Special Operations Forces and U.S. Border Patrol BORTAC/BORSTAR. With the criti-

RP Spec Op Forces SOF Series Tires

t

for more precise shot placement. Two illuminated reticle options are available: the Boone and Crockett Big Game reticle or the Varmint Hunter. They feature Finger Adjustable, Pop-up resettable, 1/4 MOA per click adjustments and an integrated push button illumination and side focus parallax dial. Both are compatible with Leupold’s Custom Dial System (CDS). With CDS, hunters can get on target at any range, with any load, by matching their scope to the ballistics of their ammunition and sight-in conditions. Each scope comes with one free CDS dial. The non-illuminated model offers the all new TMOA reticle, which features tic marks in 1 MOA increments on the vertical and horizontal crosshairs allowing for range estimation and accurate wind drift and bullet drop compensation in the familiar minute-of-angle measurements. Also new are the VX-6 Target Adjustments with resettable zero and an elevation zero stop. All VX-6 4-24x52mm riflescopes feature side focus parallax adjustment and a 34mm matte black maintube, Leupold’s Quantum Optical System and Xtended Twilight lens coatings.

the backlight and adjusts the ring intensity to the prevailing light. The size of the ring on the target is equal to the shot diameter at 65 feet. The shooter receives an instant indication when the target is within shooting range or if it is too far away for a sure shot. The low profile Redring mounts quickly on any shotgun with a rib. The sight does not need to be calibrated or sighted-in. The anodized aluminum sight is lightweight, so there is no discernible effect on the weight or balance of the gun. Redring gives shooters instant feedback on the correct sight alignment, increasing shooter success for competition, hunting or just plain fun. www.RedringUSA.com.

ONLINE STORE Shop for innovative, new and hard-to-find outdoor gear at

www.FishandGameGear.com T F & G

ALMANAC Digital.indd 73

A L M A N A C

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

73

7/19/13 4:28 PM


Hotspots Focus: Upper Coast

by Capt. Eddie Hernandez

When you fish Sabine Lake in August you’re pretty much getting the best of everything this bay system has to offer. From the Neches River to the Gulf of Mexico and everywhere in between, you can get a little sample of what she can deliver under the right conditions. Those conditions should be favorable as we settle into late summer patterns and the heat wave kicks into overdrive. As long as we stay in semi-drought conditions the salinity levels will stay above normal and big numbers of trout will be pushed deep into the upper reaches of the lake and rivers. The trout bite should be very consistent in the Neches and Sabine Rivers. Catching trout in the rivers and their

“ Catching trout in the rivers is not uncommon.

Upper End Trout

tributaries is not uncommon. The Entergy outfall canal and Bessie Heights marsh give up some serious numbers year round. The higher the salinity levels get the farther up the rivers the trout will go. People have been catching them as far up as the Beaumont Yacht Club for the last few years and I wouldn’t be surprised if some were taken even farther up than that. A little farther down river, the National

Defense Reserve Fleet should be red hot for trout, reds and some nice flounder. Live finger mullet and shad are killer for big numbers and nice, fat trout, but topwaters and plastics fished under a popping cork can get similar results. Fishing the ledges in about four to 12 feet of water should keep you in the zone. In the lake, the sizzling temperatures coupled with the salty water can result in some not so ordinary catches. Jack crevalle, Spanish mackerel, and triple tail have been caught on the north end of the lake in recent years, some by me, and I’ve also seen a sea turtle in Coffee Ground Cove, which is located in the northeast corner of the lake. You can also expect some serious midday slick-offs this month that make it easy to locate and stay on large schools of fish that have shrimp and shad pushed to the surface in full survival mode. Trout, reds, ladyfish and gafftop will be bingeing and purging and will readily accept anything you offer them. If you want to weed out some of the less desirables, try fishing the outskirts of the school and a little deeper and slower, or throw big topwaters. Meanwhile, the ship channel and jetties are still going strong with nice boxes of trout and redfish being caught. Soft plastics with 1/4 or 1/8 oz. lead heads, topwaters, rattletraps and live bait will get the job done. Try to hit it when you’ve got some tidal movement.

the bank bite Location: Pleasure Island Species: Flounder, reds, black drum, croaker Best Baits: Mud minnows, fresh dead shrimp Best Times: All day, especially when tide is moving

Contact Eddie Hernandez at EHernandez@fishgame.com 74 |

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 74

2 0 1 3

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

T F & G

A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:28 PM


Hotspots Focus: Galveston

by Capt. Mike Holmes

Hot Time for Saltwater Fishing!

T F & G

ALMANAC Digital.indd 75

can usually produce “bonito” – properly “little tunny” – the smallest member of the tuna family. While the “bone-eaters” are also not much on the table, they are hard fighters and among the very best sources of fresh cut bait for red snapper and shark. Of course, red snapper season in federal waters – whether it lasted 11 days, or just two off the Texas coast – will be long over by August, if we ended up having a season at all. It is a very sad state of affairs when recreational fishing and an entire support industry can be held hostage by political demands. This is something concerned anglers – and ALL of us should be so concerned – should be after our elected officials about, and that we should remember at the voting booth.

A L M A N A C

T e x a S

F i s h

&

Savvy anglers will notice bay shrimpers dragging the Intracoastal.

A

ugust is a month of hot weather and “hot” fishing action on the upper Texas coast, and for those who can safely withstand the heat, it doesn’t get much better. While shallow water bay fishing may suffer after the sun gets high enough to turn the water to saunalike temperatures, deeper spots like channels – including the ICW – will offer some relief to fish species and the bait they seek. Savvy anglers will have noticed bay shrimpers “dragging” the Intracoastal Waterway in the peaks of winter and summer. This is because deeper water offers a sactuary for marine life in both temperature extremes. These channels also offer a pathway both for fish and bait between the shallow flats and reefs they can comfortably forage on at night and in early morning, late evening periods – making them ideal spots to intercept everything from flounder to redfish. This same line of thinking points to the jetties as a top late summer spot, with the deeper channel side often being preferable during the heat of the day. Working the jetties towards their deeper ends also provides inshore anglers a chance at offshore species like king and Spanish mackerel, ling, and various sharks (even though new shark regulations being proposed as this is written may prohibit retaining some popular species). While jetty walkers can get in on some of this action, boaters will have the advantage, and can also work the surf line for speckled trout, Spanish macks, and jack crevalle. Of course, many do not hold the “yellow jack” in the esteem I always have, because they are totally unfit for human consumption, few who have caught one will deny that not many fish battle so hard and stubbornly on a tight line. Pointing your bow a little farther from shore

Galveston area fishermen without a boat will be happy that the two main beachfront fishing piers are open for business again. The 61st St. Pier has been pretty much completely rebuilt, while the Gulf Coast or 90th St. pier is in business minus the “T” head. These boardwalks to the Gulf provide

G a m e ®

CONTINUED ON PAGE 77

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

u

75

7/19/13 4:28 PM


Hotspots Focus: Matagorda

by Mike Price

Beach Landings

T

he early August surf was green and the waves were manageable so I waded out with a Stanley Wedge Tail Minnow on a 1/8 ounce jig head. Texas surf in August is home to a tremendous variety of fish and when I hooked up I thought it was a super-hard-fighting jack crevalle, but to my culinary delight (jack crevalle are not good eating) it was rambunctious 27-inch redfish. On another August morning my wife and I took an early morning walk on the beach. Shrimp were jumping out of the calm, blue water and fishermen and women were lined up on the beach fishing with all kinds of baits and artificial lures, and nearly all of them were catching. One man was dragging a

two-foot-long bonnethead shark onto the beach; a lady was skillfully fighting a 25 or so inch redfish while her husband held a net at the ready. I stopped to talk with Harlan Boettcher from Eagle Lake. He was walking out of the water with a stringer loaded with trout while his two sons continued to fish in the surf. Soon dad was back out with his boys. If you intend to wade fish in the surf go to www.matagordabay.com and have a look at the Beach Cam. If the surf is only breaking on the first sandbar you can probably wade fish without getting knocked around. However, if the surf is breaking on both the first and second sandbars and the wind is over 8 mph, dealing with the waves will be difficult. Of course you can always fish from the beach, but you may want to use natural bait and a long rod to reach the second gut. The bays are often off color in August, but you can still catch fish in East or West Matagorda Bays. On a sultry mid-August day Donnie Anderson and I fished West

Matagorda Bay with live shrimp. The wind was from the southwest, which muddies the water. Our first stop was the east side of the Diversion Channel. We caught several lady fish and small trout, a couple of hard heads, a croaker, and a sand trout. Every species likes to eat live shrimp. Donnie caught the fish of the day at the next stop a 26-inch redfish at Forked Bayou on the southeast side of West Matagorda Bay. If you want to fish with artificial lures and the water is off color, use lures that emit smell and make noise. Spoons make a distinct sound, and even in murky water a gold spoon will reflect light that can attract predator fish. The Rockport Rattler jig head on a

“ The bays are often off color in August.

“ Gulp soft plastic will attract fish using both sound and smell. Dark colored lures work well because they are easier for the fish to see in murky water. Some fishermen say that a Gulp soft plastic under a popping cork will out fish live shrimp. In stark contrast to the sometimes brown bays in August, offshore waters are blue and clear. Some great fighting and eating fish move closer to shore with the blue water, while some move farther offshore because they are seeking cooler, deeper water. Tuna and wahoo can be found behind shrimp boats as close as 35 miles offshore. Dorado hang out under weed lines. One memorable August day just two miles offshore, my 76 |

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 76

2 0 1 3

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

T F & G

A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:28 PM


Galveston focus brother hooked an eight-foot tarpon under a weed line on light tackle. It leaped vertically completely out of the water and then broke the 20-pound test line. Offshore platforms, less than 25 miles from the beach attract ling and mangrove snapper, but amberjack tend to go deeper than 140 feet deep when the water warms. Red snapper are abundant, but are out of season in August.

the bank bite If you want to fish, but you don’t want to be out in the sweltering August sun, fish at night. LCRA has two public piers on the Old Colorado River. One is just past the sign “Public Beach Access Road” as you drive to the Matagorda County Nature Park at the end of CR 2031. This pier does not have lights, but there is a lighted LCRA pier on the river just before the RV Park; turn right at the sign “Road Ends 1500 Feet”. The lights attract bait fish that, in turn, bring in trout and other predators.

Contact Mike Price at MPrice@fishgame.com

T F & G

ALMANAC Digital.indd 77

t CONTINUED FROM PAGE 75 “bank” fishermen with a chance to battle anything from croakers to tarpon, with bull reds thrown in for good measure. Even boaters will look to the piers for fishing action when the weather is too windy to head offshore, and when I was a die hard surf fisherman I relied on the recorded fishing reports from the Gulf Coast pier as an indicator of how the fishing might be just beyond the third bar (as well as tide and weather conditions). If I were planning to fish offshore in August, and was venturing past the best habitats for shark and tarpon, I would be hunting weed-lines – or even isolated patches of weed and stray floating debris for dolphin (mahi-mahi, not Flipper), ling, and roving kings. In the heat of August, even an occasional billfish or Wahoo meanders much closer to shore than in other months. If we all remember to be careful of the heat – stay hydrated, use sunscreen and wide brimmed hats, and fish mostly early

A L M A N A C

T e x a S

F i s h

&

and late or at night – August can be one of the very best times on the coast.

the bank bite Location: The jetties, beachfront piers and rock groins all allow fishermen on foot to reach deeper water, and sometimes bigger and more numerous fish. Species: Anything from speckled trout closer to the beach to trophy tarpon farther out can – and has – been caught from these structures, and more! Best Baits: Other than to size the bait to the target species, anything might work, from fresh dead bait to artificial offerings. Best Times: Stay out of the direct heat of the mid-day sun – it isn’t good for you and fishing will be slow except in deep water. Night fishing is a good option, early morning and late evening – especially, as always, with proper tidal movement – are the most pleasant and productive times.

G a m e ®

Contact Mike Holmes at MHolmes@fishgame.com.

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

77

7/19/13 4:28 PM


Hotspots Focus: Rockport

by Capt. Mac Gable

Good Days Gone Bad

M

y mom used to have a saying: “Any day you can watch the sun come up and the sun go down is a good day.” For me, any day I can fish or hunt allows me to behold the beauty and majesty that begins and ends each day. Yet, the hours that fill “in between” these mostly taken for granted events can present, shall we say, challenges. I am fortunate to be able to spend most of my waking hours in the company of sportsmen (and women) and while 99.9 percent of these folks are just a downright joy to be around, every now and then I run across one that can make the day arduous, almost painful, and seem never to end. I mean, what’s not to like about heading out on a boat across some of the country’s, if not the world’s, most beautiful waters? The sun is coming up, the salt air is in your nostrils as the waters God created lift you past any problems or issues this life seems to dish out in generous portions. Couple this with the anticipation of some drag-squealing, rod-bending, linesinging action and how could anyone NOT have a good day?! Yet things happen to that 0.1 percent that can create havoc and in some cases dangerous situations for guides and others in close proximity. How does such a potentially glorious day turn so sour? Well, after many conversations and hearing the many stories from guides and clients, any number of things can add up to overload, or meltdown when people are expected to share about 120 square feet (average room on a bay boat) for a day’s fishing. Get too much bad Karma flowing, in close quarters, and sooner or later someone is gonna pee in someone else’s Post Toasties. The following examples are taken from real

78 |

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 78

2 0 1 3

T e x a S

life situations, but the names have been changed to protect the innocent. The couple had booked the fishing trip several months out, when all was well and good between them. The young lady had walked in on her husband having lunch with another attractive lady two days before the fishing trip. They didn’t speak from Dallas to Rockport and when the guide met them at the dock he asked, like always, if the couple had a fishing license. The lady declared “I have mine… don’t care if he has his.” The guide, feeling the tension but hoping it was said in jest, jokingly said “Well, we’ll just have to leave him on the dock” (laughing). “You can leave his sorry ass wherever you want. As a matter of fact, that’s worth a fifty dollar tip if you do!” Hmmm (be careful saying the word “tip” to a hard-working guide; we’ve been known to do some creative things for a good tip.) The guide had seen this before and was sure that after a few fish were in the box, the atmosphere would lighten. He was wrong. The fish were biting, and as luck would have it, HIMS was catching all the fish, which raised the frustration meter in HERS to unprecedented levels. HIMS was catching so many fish he had started getting his own bait, while the guide was showering HERS with so much help and encouragement that it just made matters worse. HIMS was bent over getting bait from the live well and the guide was bent over getting a soda from the ice chest in hopes of cooling HERS’s growing rage, when HERS planted her sandal in HIMS’s booty and launched HIMS off the back of the boat. HIMS started hollering,“Throw me a life vest, throw me a life vest!” to which the guide replied, “Sir, Just stand up its only three feet deep.” Embarrassed, HIMS stood up and said, “Throw me one anyway; I ain’t getting back F i s h

&

G a m e ®

T F & G

on that boat with her.” “You have to get back on the boat,” the guide declared with as much authority as he could muster. “If I do,” HIMS declared, “I will wring her pretty little neck.” At this point the guide moved into what we call “crisis mode” and quickly deduced that, fish biting or not, the day was not salvageable. “Take her back to the dock” HIMS ordered. “I will wait here.” “No sir,” the guide said, “I will not leave you in the water alone. Besides, you are bleeding and vibrio, a flesh-eating bacteria, is bad this year in these waters,” (he lied), “so we must get your wound attended to.” “I don’t know vibrio,” HIMS said, “but would rather face an army of them and all their relatives than be within 20 feet of that #$%^&*” (colorful metaphors were spewing at this point like the proverbial geysers in Yellowstone). “Ma’am,” the guide said, “an infection in these waters could cost him a leg or his life, do you want to have that on your conscience?” She softened slightly, then the guide told HIMS to get in the boat and stay on his end. The guide said, “I will give back your deposit and we can fish when we have better ...ummm weather.” Back at the dock the guide was glad to send the couple on their way ... in separate vehicles. Another: The guide noticed the young man having trouble walking the short distance across the parking lot to his waiting boat. The young man had friends with him and all seemed to be overly joyful and rambunctious, being it was 5:45 in the morning. Seems they had been imbibing all night and the guide, not in the best of moods himself, thought, “Well this is gonna be a short trip. The heat of the day and clients reeking of alcohol ain’t a good mix.” “If you can’t limit us out today then give A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:28 PM


us back our deposit and we will cut our losses right now” declared the inebriated young man. “Don’t listen to him” the other two anglers piped in, “we want to fish and he can stay here if he wants.” The guide’s instinct was to call the trip. But he had already bought $100 worth of bait and the other two guys seemed to be pretty even-headed, so he would do his dead level best to make the day work out. Not more than a mile from the boat ramp, Mister Personality (the drunken guy) started in on the guide’s reels. “I don’t throw spinning reels,” the guy declared. The guide showed him he had two bait casters on the boat. The client grabbed one out of the guide’s hand and then in a loud voice stated, “I ain’t throwing that piece of junk, you’re a frikin guide ain’t you? You should have better reels than that... what is this ‘junk boat guide service?’” The guide smiled and said, “Well, they are a little old, but they are in good shape and I think you’ll like them once you use them.” The two other anglers sat Mister Personality down and told him to chill out. He then grabbed another beer and started spewing it on everything in sight. Then he stood up and durn near fell out of the boat. The guide asked him to sit down before he hurt himself or someone else, to which the man replied “This is my frickin’ charter and you don’t tell me what to do.” It went downhill from there. The guide had had enough. “Yes it is your trip” the guide said, “but that doesn’t give you the right to abuse me or your friends here, so behave yourself or we are going back to the dock.” “You’re going where I tell you to go if I’m paying the bill!,” Mister Personality screamed. “If you mess with me I will have your guide license!” Threatening a person’s way of making a living is serious business. There were three options here: 1. Tie this guy into a knot and put him on a hook; 2. Have the authorities waiting for him at the boat ramp; 3. He could behave himself he and his friends could enjoy a day on the water. Unfortunately, the first option won out. Testosterone levels shot off the chart. Shoving first, then punches were thrown, and both the guide and Mister Personality fell in the water, still tangled around each other like two T F & G

ALMANAC Digital.indd 79

cats whose tails have been tied together. The boat floated away with the other two clients as the two aqua fighters tried to visit violence on each other. As a result, Mister Personality went to jail for public intoxication and the guide lost his license indefinitely. Is there a moral to these stories? Sure. In fact, several — Two wrongs don’t make a right. Cooler heads always prevail. Some things are worth fighting for and when you enter another’s world it’s good to know what those things are. No one has the right to ruin your day without your permission. Here is the thing I’d like to leave you with... A very short distance from both of these situations was a glorious day awaiting these folks that few on this blue marble we call planet earth ever get to experience. We are indeed the Masters of our Fate; we are the Captains of our Souls. ••• The month of August offers no hints at the changes that will come in the next 60 or so days. It is hot and most dedicated anglers sport the dark tan lines that are a result of triple digit temperature days. August can be a tough time to fish. The big three: trout, reds, flounder have had just about every bait imaginable thrown at them. Some seasoned anglers switch to artificial, others opt for cut bait, but the majority sticks with live bait with piggy perch, finger mullet and croakers the main diet. The angler who can apply all of the above has the best chance at putting filets in the freezer. Copano Bay — Trout action is good on Lap Reef using croaker. The key here is not fishing too close to the shell as most keeper trout stay in deeper water this time of year. Newcomb Point is good for reds using cut mullet or menhaden. The grass lines in this area are where I fish using a free line or a very light Carolina rig. Redfish Point is good for trout with the transition from four to seven feet being the best spot for keeper fish. Berkley gulp shrimp under a rattling cork is very effective here.

heat increases. Please be cautious of the new causeway / bridge construction. St Charles Bay — East Pocket can be good for reds early morning during high tide. Cut menhaden is good bait for this area. The shell reefs close to the Goose Island boat ramp are often over looked this time of year due to high boat traffic but it can be highly productive at sunset for trout and reds using free lined live shrimp. Carlos Bay — Cape Carlos Dugout is good for black drum using fresh dead shrimp. This time of year slack tide is best on a light fish finder rig. The grass lines just off Dunham Island are good for reds early morning and late evening using finger mullet; free line is best as a weighted line can get easily stuck on the shell bottom. Mesquite Bay — The mouth of Little Brundrett Lake is a good place for reds using cut piggy perch. Free lined is best or the least amount of weight one can cast well with. The spoil area close to Bludworth Island is a good wade for reds using soft plastics like limetreuse sea shad or new penny jerk shad. The deep edges of Third Chain will still be holding trout with live shrimp under a rattle cork being the best option. Ayers Bay — Drifts down Second Chain Island are good for reds using a live shrimp under a silent cork. Still some good black drum action just off the shoreline of Rattlesnake Island using fresh dead shrimp on a light Carolina rig.

the bank bite Bank Bite — A long wade on the north end of the LBJ causeway is good for trout and reds early morning with live bait just across the road at Sea Gun bait house. It’s hard not to use croaker or finger mullet here. With a south wind at high tide this area can be very productive. Be respectful of the private property that is in this area.

Aransas Bay — The south facing shoreline of Blackjack Peninsula is a good wade for reds using soft plastics in morning glory and limetreuse colors. Fast retrieves are the right action here. Scotch Tom Reef is good for trout using croaker. Work the deeper edges of this reef especially as day

A L M A N A C

T e x aS

F i s h

&

Ga m e ®

Contact Capt. Mac Gable at Mac Attack Guide Service, 512-809-2681, 361-790-9601 Email: mgable@fishgame.com A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

79

7/19/13 4:28 PM


Hotspots Focus: Lower Coast

by Calixto Gonzales

August Rocks

S

o the Dog Days of August have set in with gusto. It’s hot; the winds have either disappeared altogether or make you feel like you’re in a bamboo steamer. Laguna Madre waters have warmed into the mid-80s, and after brief, early morning bites, trout and redfish seem to disappear from the flats. There doesn’t seem much an angler can do in August except get up at Early-thirty to try and get a few fish and then had back to the dock for the teeth of the day. August fishing can be tough sometimes. Fishermen can take heart, however. The jetty systems of both Brazos Santiago and Mansfield passes provide some excellent (and sometimes better) fishing for a variety of fish, some that are highly desirable among even the most discriminating anglers. Some of the most underrated summer fishing in South Texas takes place along either side of the Brazos Santiago Jetties that bookend the pass by the same name which feeds in and out of Lower Laguna Madre. These jetty systems are accessible from land-the north jetties from South Padre Island, and the south jetties from Brownsville via SH 4, and then turning left onto Brazos Island (known locally as Boca Chica Beach) and offer excellent fishing for everything from the four parts of the “Texas Slam” (trout, redfish, flounder, and snook), mangrove snapper, Spanish mackerel, tarpon, and even Kingfish for the properly equipped. Certainly, the most sought-after quarries are speckled trout and redfish. Both fish can be caught from the jetties on the same trip; however, different techniques are called for. Speckled trout will be usually holding closer to the rocks and cruising up and down the gut that runs parallel to the jetties (this is especially true on the north jetties, where

80 |

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 80

2 0 1 3

T e x a S

prevailing currents create gentler eddies and currents that, on an outgoing tide, push water and bait against the surf side of the rocks). Redfish will be prowling the surf away from the jetties and in the guts that intersect them. An incoming tide ascends clean water in from the Gulf, lays swells down makes early mornings magical off the rocks. A fisherman can do well throwing live bait under a popping cork near the rocks for trout (and mangrove snapper, which almost become a nuisance with their abundance), or on a Carolina rig out in the surf for redfish; the bait bucket, however, isn’t necessary. A box filled with chugging topwaters such as the Storm Chug Bug, Pop-A-Dog, similar such poppers, a couple of pink/polka-dot Rat-L-Traps, a ½ silver spoon or two, and a collection of your favorite plastic tails in red/ white, or chartreuse patterns and some 1/8 ounce jigheads (the lighter heads are less apt to snag up) is perfect to keep you mobile. If the wind is straight from the south, you can still fling topwaters parallel to the rocks. In fact, the trout seem a little more aggressive in the more active water. Start an early morning expedition on the jetties by casting back towards the corner where the rocks meet the beach and work the lure back along the bottom. Trout should be there, but there may also be a few big flounder waiting in ambush. From those casts, expand out into the guts and cast parallel to the beach to see if there are redfish. It doesn’t hurt to take a few wire leaders in your tackle box. This time of year, there are schools of Spanish mackerel that tear into bait balls in front of the jetties. They aren’t discriminating, and can clean you out of tackle in a hurry. On the South jetties, the surf is a bit rougher, and the rocks are not laid as smoothly, but the presence of snook in the suds more than makes up for the tougher work. These fish will also attack the same trout and redfish lures with abandon, only they offer some gillrattling jumps for your thrills. The question always comes up about the F i s h

&

G a m e ®

T F & G

sort of tackle needed for the jetties. Honestly, your traditional inshore 10-12 pound tackle is enough, but if you hook into a big red or snook, you are going to be in trouble. Upping slightly to 14-17 pound tackle is a safer bet to handle just about anything that swims the suds around the pink granite, and it gives you a little more power in reserve if Mr. Big comes calling. My preferred rig is a 7 ½ foot medium action casting rod with a Curado 300-e loaded with 10/40 Power Pro braid. This outfit will tackle pretty much any fish you might run into on the rocks (unless a 150 pound tarpon grabs your plug; then, all bets are off). If you are feeling a little ambitious, walk all the way to the end of the jetties to take a shot at a kingfish or tarpon. Tarpon prowl the currents and eddies on the channel side of the jetties when the tide is running. Mulletimitators such as a large Rapala, Bomber Long A, or a Berkley Power Mullet are the best bets to get a poon’s attention. Fly fishermen can use a large Tarpon Bunny or Chicken Feather-type fly on an 8- or 9-weight fly rod. Calm days bring blue water right up into the rocks, and kingfish follow bait into casting range. Use a Magnum Rat-L-Trap in Chrome/blue or a fresh ribbonfish on a classic kingfish rig. Large menhaden (pogies) are best if you can get some that are fresh. Upgrade to a surf rod and high-capacity reel. You never know what may show up and rock your world.

the bank bite Location: Coast Guard Station Species: Speckled Trout, Flounder Tips: Wade fishing with live shrimp/soft plastics under a Mauler.

Contact Calixto Gonzales at CGonzales@fishgame.com

A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:28 PM


ALMANAC Digital.indd 81

7/19/13 4:28 PM


Sportsman’s Daybook Tides and Prime Times

AUGUST 2013

TIDE forecast for GALVESTON CHANNEL (29.3166° N, 94.88° W) SOLUNAR forecast for TEXAS CENTER (31.14° N, 99.39° W) MONDAY

Jul 29

Low Tide: 3:14 AM High Tide: 9:17 AM Low Tide: 5:20 PM

TUESDAY PRIME TIME

0.93ft. 1.17ft. 0.05ft.

6:00 — 8:00 AM

Sunrise: 6:51a Set: 8:34p Moonrise: 12:31a Set: 2:01p AM Minor: ----- AM Major: 5:59a PM Minor: 12:11p PM Major: 6:23p Moon Overhead: 7:14a Moon Underfoot: 7:37p

5 «

PRIME TIME

High Tide: 5:44 AM Low Tide: 10:36 AM High Tide: 2:39 PM Low Tide: 10:18 PM

1.34ft. 1.14ft. 1.26ft. -0.05ft.

6:00 — 8:00 PM

Sunrise: 6:56a Set: 8:29p Moonrise: 5:54a Set: 7:33p AM Minor: 4:54a AM Major: 11:06a PM Minor: 5:17p PM Major: 11:29p Moon Overhead: 12:46p Moon Underfoot: 12:23a

12 Low Tide: 1:21 AM High Tide: 7:39 AM Low Tide: 2:47 PM High Tide: 10:33 PM

0.80ft. 1.28ft. 0.30ft. 1.13ft.

PRIME TIME 11:00A — 1:00P

Sunrise: 7:00a Set: 8:23p Moonrise: 12:25p Set: 11:45p AM Minor: 10:34a AM Major: 4:22a PM Minor: 10:59p PM Major: 4:47p Moon Overhead: 6:07p Moon Underfoot: 5:42a

19 «

PRIME TIME

High Tide: 4:49 AM Low Tide: 9:39 AM High Tide: 2:15 PM Low Tide: 9:48 PM

1.52ft. 1.20ft. 1.46ft. -0.23ft.

5:30 — 7:30 PM

Sunrise: 7:05a Set: 8:16p Moonrise: 7:07p Set: 5:29a AM Minor: 4:26a AM Major: 10:40a PM Minor: 4:55p PM Major: 11:09p Moon Overhead: None Moon Underfoot: 12:21p

26 Low Tide: 2:00 AM High Tide: 7:35 AM Low Tide: 3:16 PM High Tide: 11:34 PM

1.09ft. 1.33ft. 0.23ft. 1.29ft.

PRIME TIME 4:30 — 6:30 AM

Sunrise: 7:09a Set: 8:08p Moonrise: 11:47p Set: 12:46p AM Minor: 10:47a AM Major: 4:35a PM Minor: 11:11p PM Major: 4:59p Moon Overhead: 5:54a Moon Underfoot: 6:18p

82 |

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 82

2 0 1 3

30 »

High Tide: 2:13 AM Low Tide: 4:01 AM High Tide: 9:37 AM Low Tide: 6:20 PM

WEDNESDAY PRIME TIME 7:00 — 9:00 AM

1.12ft. 1.11ft. 1.17ft. -0.03ft.

Set: 8:33p Sunrise: 6:52a Moonrise: 1:10a Set: 2:56p AM Minor: 12:34a AM Major: 6:46a PM Minor: 12:58p PM Major: 7:10p Moon Overhead: 8:01a Moon Underfoot: 8:25p

6 l

High Tide: 6:01 AM Low Tide: 10:54 AM High Tide: 3:29 PM Low Tide: 10:47 PM

PRIME TIME 6:30 — 8:30 PM

1.35ft. 1.07ft. 1.25ft. 0.02ft.

Sunrise: 6:57a Set: 8:28p Moonrise: 6:48a Set: 8:10p AM Minor: 5:38a AM Major: 11:50a PM Minor: 6:01p PM Major: 12:12p Moon Overhead: 1:31p Moon Underfoot: 1:09a

13 Low Tide: 1:56 AM High Tide: 7:41 AM Low Tide: 3:46 PM

PRIME TIME

1.01ft. 1.31ft. 0.14ft.

12:00 — 2:00 PM

Sunrise: 7:01a Set: 8:22p Moonrise: 1:27p Set: None AM Minor: 11:29a AM Major: 5:16a PM Minor: 11:55p PM Major: 5:42p Moon Overhead: 7:00p Moon Underfoot: 6:33a

20 «

High Tide: 5:16 AM Low Tide: 10:19 AM High Tide: 3:30 PM Low Tide: 10:36 PM

PRIME TIME 1.48ft. 1.01ft. 1.47ft. -0.07ft.

6:00 — 8:00 PM

Sunrise: 7:05a Set: 8:14p Moonrise: 7:50p Set: 6:37a AM Minor: 5:19a AM Major: 11:33a PM Minor: 5:46p PM Major: ----Moon Overhead: 12:49a Moon Underfoot: 1:17p

27 Low Tide: 2:24 AM High Tide: 7:44 AM Low Tide: 4:22 PM

PRIME TIME

1.26ft. 1.33ft. 0.22ft.

7:30 — 9:30 PM

Sunrise: 7:10a Set: 8:07p Moonrise: None Set: 1:41p AM Minor: 11:39a AM Major: 5:27a PM Minor: ----- PM Major: 5:51p Moon Overhead: 6:43a Moon Underfoot: 7:07p

T e x a S

F i s h

&

31

High Tide: 4:20 AM Low Tide: 8:58 AM High Tide: 9:46 AM Low Tide: 7:14 PM

1.24ft. 1.19ft. 1.19ft. -0.08ft.

PRIME TIME 2:30 — 4:30 PM

Set: 8:33p Sunrise: 6:53a Moonrise: 1:51a Set: 3:49p AM Minor: 1:19a AM Major: 7:31a PM Minor: 1:43p PM Major: 7:55p Moon Overhead: 8:49a Moon Underfoot: 9:13p

7 «

PRIME TIME

High Tide: 6:21 AM Low Tide: 11:22 AM High Tide: 4:19 PM Low Tide: 11:15 PM

1.35ft. 0.98ft. 1.22ft. 0.12ft.

7:30 — 9:30 PM

Sunrise: 6:57a Set: 8:27p Moonrise: 7:42a Set: 8:44p AM Minor: 6:24a AM Major: 12:12a PM Minor: 6:46p PM Major: 12:35p Moon Overhead: 2:16p Moon Underfoot: 1:54a

14 º

PRIME TIME

High Tide: 12:31 AM Low Tide: 2:34 AM High Tide: 7:40 AM Low Tide: 4:51 PM

1.23ft. 1.21ft. 1.37ft. -0.01ft.

1:00 — 3:00 PM

Sunrise: 7:02a Set: 8:21p Moonrise: 2:29p Set: 12:30a AM Minor: 12:01a AM Major: 6:11a PM Minor: 12:25p PM Major: 6:39p Moon Overhead: 7:56p Moon Underfoot: 7:27a

21 ¡

PRIME TIME

High Tide: 5:41 AM Low Tide: 11:02 AM High Tide: 4:40 PM Low Tide: 11:22 PM

1.43ft. 0.81ft. 1.44ft. 0.15ft.

6:30 — 8:30 PM

Sunrise: 7:06a Set: 8:13p Moonrise: 8:30p Set: 7:43a AM Minor: 6:13a AM Major: 12:02a PM Minor: 6:39p PM Major: 12:26p Moon Overhead: 1:44a Moon Underfoot: 2:10p

28 »

PRIME TIME

High Tide: 4:29 AM Low Tide: 5:31 PM

1.37ft. 0.22ft.

12:30 — 2:30 PM

Sunrise: 7:10a Set: 8:05p Moonrise: 12:31a Set: 2:33p AM Minor: 12:04a AM Major: 6:16a PM Minor: 12:28p PM Major: 6:40p Moon Overhead: 7:31a Moon Underfoot: 7:55p

G a m e ®

T F & G

THURSDAY

Aug 1

High Tide: 4:49 AM Low Tide: 8:01 PM

PRIME TIME 1.31ft. -0.12ft.

4:00 — 5:00 PM

Set: 8:32p Sunrise: 6:53a Moonrise: 2:35a Set: 4:40p AM Minor: 2:03a AM Major: 8:15a PM Minor: 2:27p PM Major: 8:39p Moon Overhead: 9:37a Moon Underfoot: 10:01p

8 «

High Tide: 6:41 AM Low Tide: 11:55 AM High Tide: 5:13 PM Low Tide: 11:45 PM

PRIME TIME 1.34ft. 0.87ft. 1.18ft. 0.25ft.

8:00 — 10:00 PM

Sunrise: 6:58a Set: 8:26p Moonrise: 8:37a Set: 9:18p AM Minor: 7:10a AM Major: 12:59a PM Minor: 7:32p PM Major: 1:21p Moon Overhead: 3:00p Moon Underfoot: 2:38a

15

High Tide: 2:27 AM Low Tide: 3:32 AM High Tide: 7:42 AM Low Tide: 5:58 PM

1.37ft. 1.37ft. 1.43ft. -0.16ft.

PRIME TIME 2:00 — 4:00 PM

Sunrise: 7:02a Set: 8:20p Moonrise: 3:31p Set: 1:20a AM Minor: 12:51a AM Major: 7:06a PM Minor: 1:20p PM Major: 7:35p Moon Overhead: 8:54p Moon Underfoot: 8:25a

22 «

PRIME TIME

High Tide: 6:06 AM 1.39ft. Low Tide: 11:47 AM 0.62ft. High Tide: 5:50 PM 1.40ft.

7:30 — 9:30 PM

Sunrise: 7:07a Set: 8:12p Moonrise: 9:09p Set: 8:47a AM Minor: 7:07a AM Major: 12:55a PM Minor: 7:33p PM Major: 1:20p Moon Overhead: 2:36a Moon Underfoot: 3:01p

29

High Tide: 4:07 AM Low Tide: 6:35 PM

1.44ft. 0.22ft.

PRIME TIME 2:00 — 4:00 PM

Sunrise: 7:11a Set: 8:04p Moonrise: 1:17a Set: 3:22p AM Minor: 12:51a AM Major: 7:03a PM Minor: 1:15p PM Major: 7:27p Moon Overhead: 8:19a Moon Underfoot: 8:43p

A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:28 PM


SYMBOL KEY

l

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.

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

FRIDAY

2 High Tide: 5:08 AM Low Tide: 10:41 AM High Tide: 11:36 AM Low Tide: 8:42 PM

1.34ft. 1.22ft. 1.22ft. -0.13ft.

4:00 — 6:00 PM

High Tide: 3:20 AM Low Tide: 6:34 AM High Tide: 7:31 AM Low Tide: 7:02 PM

1.48ft. 1.45ft. 1.45ft. -0.27ft.

Low Tide: 12:05 AM High Tide: 6:30 AM Low Tide: 12:34 PM High Tide: 7:01 PM

PRIME TIME

High Tide: 4:10 AM Low Tide: 7:29 PM

1.47ft. 0.22ft.

0.65ft. 1.34ft. 0.34ft. 1.30ft.

31 High Tide: 4:11 AM Low Tide: 9:49 AM High Tide: 11:47 AM Low Tide: 8:13 PM

PRIME TIME 9:00 — 11:00 AM

PRIME TIME 4:00 — 6:00 PM

PRIME TIME 9:00 — 11:00 PM

1.47ft. 1.34ft. 1.36ft. 0.23ft.

PRIME TIME 3:30 — 5:30 PM

Sunrise: 7:12a Set: 8:02p Moonrise: 2:54a Set: 4:51p AM Minor: 2:19a AM Major: 8:31a PM Minor: 2:43p PM Major: 8:54p Moon Overhead: 9:54a Moon Underfoot: 10:18p

T F & G

ALMANAC Digital.indd 83

5:00 — 7:00 PM

Sunrise: 7:08a Set: 8:10p Moonrise: 10:26p Set: 10:50a AM Minor: 8:58a AM Major: 2:46a PM Minor: 9:23p PM Major: 3:11p Moon Overhead: 4:16a Moon Underfoot: 4:40p

PRIME TIME

Sunrise: 7:11a Set: 8:03p Moonrise: 2:04a Set: 4:08p AM Minor: 1:36a AM Major: 7:48a PM Minor: 2:00p PM Major: 8:12p Moon Overhead: 9:07a Moon Underfoot: 9:31p

1.54ft. 1.43ft. 1.44ft. -0.33ft.

24 Low Tide: 12:46 AM High Tide: 6:54 AM Low Tide: 1:24 PM High Tide: 8:18 PM

8:00 — 10:00 PM

2:30 — 4:30 PM

PRIME TIME

Sunrise: 7:04a Set: 8:18p Moonrise: 5:28p Set: 3:17a AM Minor: 2:39a AM Major: 8:54a PM Minor: 3:09p PM Major: 9:25p Moon Overhead: 10:54p Moon Underfoot: 10:24a

Sunrise: 7:07a Set: 8:11p Moonrise: 9:47p Set: 9:49a AM Minor: 8:03a AM Major: 1:50a PM Minor: 8:28p PM Major: 2:15p Moon Overhead: 3:26a Moon Underfoot: 3:51p

30

0.41ft. 1.30ft. 0.61ft. 1.11ft.

17 High Tide: 3:53 AM Low Tide: 8:41 AM High Tide: 10:57 AM Low Tide: 8:02 PM

3:00 — 5:00 PM

PRIME TIME 0.39ft. 1.36ft. 0.46ft. 1.35ft.

LOW

A L M A N A C

KEY PLACE Pt Barrow, Trinity Bay Gilchrist, East Bay Jamaica Beach, W. Bay Alligator Point, W. Bay Christmas Pt Galveston Pleasure Pier

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

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

SUNDAY

Sunrise: 6:59a Set: 8:24p Moonrise: 10:28a Set: 10:27p AM Minor: 8:49a AM Major: 2:37a PM Minor: 9:12p PM Major: 3:00p Moon Overhead: 4:30p Moon Underfoot: 4:07a

Sunrise: 7:03a Set: 8:19p Moonrise: 4:32p Set: 2:16a AM Minor: 1:46a AM Major: 8:00a PM Minor: 2:15p PM Major: 8:30p Moon Overhead: 9:54p Moon Underfoot: 9:24a

23 «

1.34ft. 1.22ft. 1.24ft. -0.12ft.

10 Low Tide: 12:15 AM High Tide: 7:18 AM Low Tide: 1:11 PM High Tide: 7:24 PM

8:30 — 10:30 AM

Sunrise: 6:58a Set: 8:25p Moonrise: 9:32a Set: 9:52p AM Minor: 7:59a AM Major: 1:48a PM Minor: 8:21p PM Major: 2:10p Moon Overhead: 3:45p Moon Underfoot: 3:22a

16

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

Set: 8:30p Sunrise: 6:55a Moonrise: 4:10a Set: 6:13p AM Minor: 3:28a AM Major: 9:40a PM Minor: 3:52p PM Major: 10:04p Moon Overhead: 11:12a Moon Underfoot: 11:36p

PRIME TIME

High Tide: 7:00 AM 1.32ft. Low Tide: 12:31 PM 0.75ft. High Tide: 6:12 PM 1.14ft.

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

3 High Tide: 5:19 AM Low Tide: 10:38 AM High Tide: 12:49 PM Low Tide: 9:18 PM

Sunrise: 6:54a Set: 8:31p Moonrise: 3:22a Set: 5:28p AM Minor: 2:46a AM Major: 8:58a PM Minor: 3:10p PM Major: 9:22p Moon Overhead: 10:25a Moon Underfoot: 10:49p

9 «

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

SATURDAY PRIME TIME

»

«

PRIME TIME

best days

New First Full Last Good Moon Qtr Moon Qtr Day

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION

Tide Correction Table

¡

º

4

High Tide: 5:30 AM Low Tide: 10:33 AM High Tide: 1:47 PM Low Tide: 9:49 PM

1.34ft. 1.19ft. 1.26ft. -0.09ft.

PRIME TIME 6:00 — 8:00 PM

Set: 8:30p Sunrise: 6:55a Moonrise: 5:01a Set: 6:55p AM Minor: 4:11a AM Major: 10:23a PM Minor: 4:34p PM Major: 10:46p Moon Overhead: 12:00p Moon Underfoot: None

11

Low Tide: 12:48 AM High Tide: 7:32 AM Low Tide: 1:55 PM High Tide: 8:50 PM

0.59ft. 1.28ft. 0.46ft. 1.09ft.

PRIME TIME 10:30A — 12:30P

Sunrise: 7:00a Set: 8:24p Moonrise: 11:26a Set: 11:04p AM Minor: 9:41a AM Major: 3:29a PM Minor: 10:04p PM Major: 3:53p Moon Overhead: 5:17p Moon Underfoot: 4:53a

18

High Tide: 4:22 AM Low Tide: 9:04 AM High Tide: 12:51 PM Low Tide: 8:57 PM

1.55ft. 1.34ft. 1.45ft. -0.32ft.

PRIME TIME 5:00 — 7:00 PM

Sunrise: 7:04a Set: 8:17p Moonrise: 6:20p Set: 4:22a AM Minor: 3:33a AM Major: 9:48a PM Minor: 4:02p PM Major: 10:17p Moon Overhead: 11:53p Moon Underfoot: 11:24a

25

Low Tide: 1:25 AM High Tide: 7:16 AM Low Tide: 2:17 PM High Tide: 9:46 PM

0.89ft. 1.33ft. 0.27ft. 1.28ft.

PRIME TIME 3:30 — 5:30 AM

Sunrise: 7:08a Set: 8:09p Moonrise: 11:06p Set: 11:49a AM Minor: 9:53a AM Major: 3:41a PM Minor: 10:18p PM Major: 4:06p Moon Overhead: 5:05a Moon Underfoot: 5:29p

Sep 1

High Tide: 4:16 AM Low Tide: 9:40 AM High Tide: 1:01 PM Low Tide: 8:49 PM

PRIME TIME 1.47ft. 1.31ft. 1.39ft. 0.26ft.

4:30 — 6:30 PM

Sunrise: 7:13a Set: 8:01p Moonrise: 3:46a Set: 5:31p AM Minor: 3:01a AM Major: 9:12a PM Minor: 3:24p PM Major: 9:35p Moon Overhead: 10:41a Moon Underfoot: 11:04p

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

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

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

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

using the prime times calendar The facing pages contain TIDE predictions for Galveston Channel (29.3166° N, 94.88° W) and SOLUNAR forecast for TEXAS CENTER (31.14° N, 99.39° W) TIDE PREDICTIONS are located in the upper white boxes on the Calendar Pages. Use the Correction Table above, which is keyed to 23 other tide stations, to adjust low and high tide times. SOLUNAR ACTIVITY is shown in the lower green boxes of the Calendar pages.

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. AM & PM MINOR phases occur when the moon rises and sets. These phases last 1 to 2 hours. 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. 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. 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 PRIME one of these periods will cause evenTIME greater action. If a FULL or NEW MOON occurs during a Solunar Period, expect the best action of the season.

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

83

7/19/13 4:28 PM


UPPER GULF COAST

Never a Drull Moment on E. Mat by George Knighten LOCATION: East Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Drulls Lump GPS: N28 42.29802 W95 49.77456 (28.704967, -95.829576) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Bass Assassins or topwater CONTACT: Capt. Bill Pustejovsky 979-863-7353 captbill@goldtipguideservice.com TIPS: Can be waded or drifted. Use topwaters early and go to BassAssassins when the topwater bite stops. Use red shad if the water is off color and dayglow or something light color if the water is clear. LOCATION: Galveston Jetties HOTSPOT: The Rocks GPS: N29 21.25644 W94 42.83952 (29.354274, -94.713992) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: live shrimp CONTACT: Capt. Greg Francis 409-939-1684 captgreg@saltwaterassault.net TIPS: Anchor out from the rocks and throw live shrimp up close. Put some under a cork and some with just a split shot. Make sure you anchor has a good hold before cutting your engine and figure on your boat swinging with the current. LOCATION: West Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: West End Flats GPS: N29 6.66456 W95 6.28164 (29.111076, -95.104694) SPECIES: speckled trout

84 |

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 84

2 0 1 3

T e x a S

GPS COORDINATES are provided in two formats: “Decimal Degrees” (degrees.degrees) and “Degrees and Minutes” sometimes called “GPS Format” (degrees minutes. minutes). Examples (for Downtown Austin): Decimal Degrees: N30.2777, W97.7379; Degrees and Minutes: N30 16.6662, W97 44.2739. Consult your manual for information specific to your GPS device.

BEST BAITS: topwaters like the Top dog or Super Spook CONTACT: Capt. Greg Francis 409-790-8107 captgreg@saltwaterassault.net TIPS: Early morning best on an incoming tide. Locate rafts of mullet in knee to waist deep water. This area has a good hard bottom and is protected from East to South winds. LOCATION: Trinity Bay HOTSPOT: East Shore Flats GPS: N29 36.45552 W94 44.54922 (29.607592, -94.742487) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft plastic lures or 52M Mirrolures CONTACT: Capt. George Knighten 832-310-9146 gtkphoto@yahoo.com gtkphoto@yahoo.com TIPS: This area has a lot of deep shell. Fish in 5 to 7 ft. of water about a half mile off shore. Look for mullet and slicks to help you pin point the fish. Use a 1/4-ounce leadhead and work the water column. LOCATION: East Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Three Beacons GPS: N28 40.158 W95 53.05398 (28.669300, -95.884233) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: 1/8-ounce leadhead jigs with Norton Black Magic, Chicken on a Chain, or Tequila Sand Eels F ish

&

G a m e ®

T F & G

CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz 281-450-4037 TIPS: With calm winds Wade the mid-bay reefs LOCATION: West Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Gas Well Pads GPS: N28 31.26498 W96 19.73802 (28.521083, -96.328967) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Double rigs - leadhead jig with a worm and a hook with a shrimp CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz 281-450-4037 TIPS: Let the leadhead bounce off the shell LOCATION: Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: Galveston Beachfront GPS: N29 21.71664 W94 46.09998 (29.361944, -94.768333) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Plum/chartreuse soft plastics CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman 409-256-7937 TIPS: Have a “donut” float basket for your fish. Area is known for small shark that will steal your catch. LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Louisiana Point GPS: N29 41.27298 W93 49.68198 (29.687883, -93.828033) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Topwaters, Catch 2000, Catch 5 CONTACT: Capt. Bill Watkins 409-78-2018 or 409-673-9211 TIPS: Fish early in the morning when the trout are up on the flats feeding. LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: East Jetty GPS: N29 40.287 W93 49.72002 (29.671450, -93.828667) SPECIES: speckled trout A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:28 PM


BEST BAITS: Rat Tail baits, the Big Nasty 5 CONTACT: Capt. Bill Watkins 409-78-2018 or 409-673-9211 TIPS: The Jetties always produce at this time of the year. Make sure you have a Louisiana fishing license.

MIDDLE GULF COAST

Aerich Sees Red at Rockport by Dustin Warncke

LOCATION: Rockport HOTSPOT: Aerich Island GPS: N27 55.94814 W97 6.07548 (27.932469, -97.101258) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: little live perch and live finger mullet CONTACT: Capt. Charles Newton 361 729-8220 TIPS: live perch are great for reds because of the wiggle they do and the finger mullet. LOCATION: Aransas Bay HOTSPOT: Long Reef GPS: N28 3.57336 W96 57.4872 (28.059556, -96.958120) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live shrimp or soft plastic lures CONTACT: Capt. Ben Wells 361-790-8107 www.wingandrod.com TIPS: Good drift fishing spot or you can anchor up. Great structure, lot of shell. Tip of the reef or gaps in the shell can be good. LOCATION: Aransas Bay HOTSPOT: Lighthouse Shoreline GPS: N27 51.84564 W97 3.25878 (27.864094, -97.054313) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live Finger Mullet, live croaker, shrimp CONTACT: Capt. Charles Newton 361 729-8220 TIPS: Work the ledge along the shoreline. Use a mustad croaker hook rigged Carolina style. Use 1/8 to 1/4-ounce depending on the current. T F & G

ALMANAC Digital.indd 85

Capt. Chris Martin 888-677-4868 www.bayflatslodge.com TIPS: Fish the drop-offs from the reef

LOCATION: Aransas Bay HOTSPOT: Pauls Mott GPS: N28 2.84172 W96 56.83326 (28.047362, -96.947221) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: topwater, soft plastics, Corkys CONTACT: Capt. Ben Wells 361-790-8107 www.wingandrod.com TIPS: Work the shore line and mouth of the bayou. Also you can fish the shell points coming off of the bank. Can be waded or drifted, great structure. LOCATION: San Antonio Bay HOTSPOT: 2nd Chain Reefs GPS: N28 11.80518 W96 48.66432 (28.196753, -96.811072) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: live shrimp, jerkbait, and shad bodies CONTACT: Capt. Ben Wells 361-790-8107 www.wingandrod.com TIPS: Can be drifted or waded. Redfish will be on the edges of the fingers and in the guts between the fingers of shell. Live shrimp under a cork or soft plastic like mirro-lures 5” soft mullet worked close to the bottom. LOCATION: San Antonio Bay HOTSPOT: Panther Point GPS: N28 12.95262 W96 42.2223 (28.215877, -96.703705) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: TTF soft plastic lures or some thing similar CONTACT: Capt. Chris Martin 888-677-4868 www.bayflatslodge.com TIPS: The point can be waded, it has a lot of shell and a gradual drop-off. The gap between the point and the island just off shore is a good spot to drift. LOCATION: San Antonio Bay HOTSPOT: Dagger Point Reef GPS: N28 16.923 W96 47.53902 (28.282050, -96.792317) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Chartreuse colored Corkys; Texas Tackle Factory East Beast with 1/4 or 1/8ounce leadheads CONTACT:

A L M A N A C

T e x a S

F ish

&

LOCATION: Espiritu Santo HOTSPOT: Rahal Bayou GPS: N28 18.36996 W96 32.91 (28.306166, -96.548500) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Mann CONTACT: Capt. Chris Martin 888-677-4868 www.bayflatslodge.com TIPS: When you have floating grass, the Waker is perfect. The lure runs about two-inches below the surface. LOCATION: Espiritu Santo HOTSPOT: Second Chain of Reefs GPS: N28 10.77996 W96 49.08 (28.179666, -96.818000) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Texas Tackle Factory East Beast soft plastics with an 1/8-ounce jighead CONTACT: Capt. Chris Martin 888-677-4868 www.bayflatslodge.com TIPS: Concentrate on reef points, looking for bait activity; also good spot to use live croaker as bait. LOCATION: Upper Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Yarborough Pass GPS: N27 12.2361 W97 21.96576 (27.203935, -97.366096) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: 3/4-ounce gold spoons CONTACT: Capt. Jon Fails 361-949-0133 TIPS: Water temps drop-off a few degrees in the shallow flats the first couple of hours pole or drift for fish. LOCATION: Corpus Christi HOTSPOT: Shamrock Cove GPS: N27 44.95098 W97 10.00002 (27.749183, -97.166667) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live finger mullet CONTACT: Capt. Jon Fails 361-949-0133 TIPS: Early Wade the bay front

G a m e ®

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

85

7/19/13 4:28 PM


Texas Hotspots LOCATION: Mesquite Bay HOTSPOT: Bray Cove GPS: N28 8.52 W96 48.61002 (28.142000, -96.810167) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Texas Tackle Factory Flats Minnows in Roach/chartreuse CONTACT: Capt. Chris Martin 888-677-4868 www.bayflatslodge.com TIPS: Look for stained water LOCATION: Port Mansfield

LOWER GULF COAST

A Mott-ly Crew of Speckled Trout

Drum Boat was moored prior to Hurricane Dolly. Redfish that didn’t move out to the Gulf in the fall are cruising around the grass and vegetation. Live bait or still-fishing with cut bait are good choices. The old standard, a gold spoon, still catches its share of fish, too. LOCATION: South Padre Island HOTSPOT: North Jetty GPS: N26 4.03932 W97 9.18516 (26.067322, -97.153086) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Live shrimp/popping cork, poppers and chuggers, soft plastics in green/white. CONTACT: Quick Stop, 956-943-1159 TIPS: Fish the surf gut that run parallel to the rocks with live bait or topwaters. Speckled trout cruise along the rocks early in the morning. Fish dawn until the crowds begin forming on the beach, then go back to bed.

by Calixto Gonzales HOTSPOT: Big Oak Motts GPS: N26 41.59344 W97 27.5289 (26.693224, -97.458815) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Topwaters, Catch 5 or B&L Corkies in smoke, pinfish patterns. Soft plastics in LSU, Plum/Chartreuse. CONTACT: Captain Danny Neu 979-942-0165 danny.neu.39@facebook.com TIPS: Focus on holes close to shore. Fish topwaters early on mild days, and throughout the whole trip when clouds dominate. If the fish are sitting deeper, switch to suspending plugs in natural patterns, or soft plastics on small (1/16-1/8 ounce) jigheads. Smoke and Texas Shad are good colors to work with.

LOCATION: South Padre Island HOTSPOT: Andy Bowie Park GPS: N26 11.541 W97 10.32702 (26.19235, -97.172117) SPECIES: shark BEST BAITS: Fresh dead bait (jackfish, stingray, mullet). CONTACT: Quick Stop, 956-943-1159 956-943-1159 TIPS: Shark anglers set up along the beach at Andy Bowie and send out large baits on 9/0 or larger conventional reels loaded with 100-pound line for bulls, blacktips, lemons, and the occasional hammerhead. The preferred bait is a fresh, bloody jackfish, but the real trophy hunters know that a big shark can’t pass up a plate-sized stingray. Night fishing is a great option. Set up your rigs, light up a barbecue pit, get the fajitas sizzling, and wait for a clicker to buzz.

LOCATION: South Padre Island HOTSPOT: The Drum Boat GPS: N26 10.713 W97 11.10696 (26.17855, -97.185116) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Live bait, cut bait, gold spoons, soft plastics in red/white, mullet patterns. CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez 956-551-9581 TIPS: Target the deeper basin where the first

LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Mexequita Flats GPS: N26 3.624 W97 11.532 (26.0604, -97.192200) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Live bait, cut bait/dropper rig. Topwaters in red/white, Bone. Soft plastics in Red/white, Glow, Nuclear Chicken/1/8th ounce head. CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez

86 |

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 86

2 0 1 3

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

T F & G

956-551-9581 TIPS: Work near the shoreline with live bait or cut bait during high tide. If there is an incoming tide, back up and work deeper pockets and edges with soft plastics or live shrimp. The fish might be scattered, but their larger average size more than makes up for the extra effort. LOCATION: South Bay HOTSPOT: South Bay Tabletop GPS: N26 1.548 W97 11.02302 (26.0258, -97.183717) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Live bait, cut ballyhoo/dropper rig. Topwaters in red head/white body, natural mullet. Soft plastics/1/8th ounce head in red/ white, bone/chartreuse, Fire Tiger. CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez 956-551-9581 TIPS: Drift from the Southeast corner of the bay out into deeper water on a mild day. Trout will be spreading out on the flats and holding in deeper pockets. If the tide is up and little wind, try and stick near the mud along the shoreline and fish depth breaks and edges. Live shrimp is best When available, but a slow-worked slugtype of soft plastic can be deadly LOCATION: South Bay HOTSPOT: South Bay Grass GPS: N26 0.51348 W97 12.06906 (26.008558, -97.201151) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Live bait. Cut Bait Gold spoons. Soft plastics in red/white, clear gold, Fire Tiger, Smoke/white belly. Broken-back topwater plugs. CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez 956-551-9581 TIPS: A long drift will locate redfish that tend to spread out along these flats. Watch for cruising pods that will tail early in the morning.. During a warm trend, fish soft plastics in shallower water. Live shrimp or cut ballyhoo chunks under a popping or rattling float work well in chillier weather. The key is to fish as slowly as you can stand, even in warmer weather. Fish need time to locate your offering and decide if they want to kill it. LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Center Reef GPS: N27 16.206 W97 34.362 (27.270100, -97.572700) SPECIES: speckled trout A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:28 PM


BEST BAITS: live pinfish; Soft plastics in strawberry/black back plum/chartreuse, rootbeer/red flake, Morning Glory, Pumpkinseed/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart 361-449-7441 www.brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: Fish deeper water during the heat of Augusts Dog Days. Small pinfish on a Texas Rattlin Rig are tough to beat. Soft plastics in bright colors mimic the noisy little baitfish. Work around the edges of the reef. LOCATION: Port Mansfield HOTSPOT: Marker 22 in East Cut GPS: N26 33.74214 W97 17.57598 (26.562369, -97.292933) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: soft plastics in Pearl/red, strawberry/white, topwaters in Bone, chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Danny Neu 979-942-0165 danny.neu.39@facebook.com TIPS: Locate and wade to the deeper guts around Marker 22 and fish into them. Topwaters work well early. Fish soft plastics on a 1/8th-ounce head into the guts and potholes. Fish the eddies formed by outgoing currents during a falling tide. LOCATION: Port Mansfield HOTSPOT: North of East Cut GPS: N26 34.35798 W97 22.128 (26.572633, -97.368800) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: soft plastics in Pearl/red, strawberry/white, topwaters in Bone, chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Danny Neu 979-942-0165 danny.neu.39@facebook.com TIPS: Drift the flats early in the morning. Fish the sand closest to the island with topwaters early. Watch for guts and depressions where trout will hold as the day warms up. Fish with soft plastics Texas rigged or on small jigheads. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Marker 85 GPS: N26 11.05002 W97 15.18 (26.184167, -97.253000) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live shrimp, cut ballyhoo, soft plastics in Salt/Pepper, clear/red flake, gold spoons CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez 956-551-9581 TIPS: Fish potholes with live shrimp/popping cork T F & G

ALMANAC Digital.indd 87

combos or cut ballyhoo. Use soft plastics under an Alameda Float or Cajun Thunder Gold spoons cover a lot of territory in searching for fish. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Boca Chica Beach GPS: N26 3.82674 W97 8.98866 (26.063779, -97.149811) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: live finger mullet, cut bait, gold spoons, Catch 2000 in gold patterns CONTACT: Quick Stop 956-943-1159 TIPS: Hook live finger mullet through the anal fin to get them to swim above the surf bottom. Throw both live and cut bait on fish-finder rigs. Gold spoons and plugs are also effective on calmer days. Fish the first gut early, second gut later in a.m.

(26.633050, -97.435800) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live croaker; Soft baits in Pearl/ chartreuse, glow/chartreus, purple/chartreuse Topwaters in baby trout, mullet, Bone CONTACT: Captain Steven Devries 956-289-3631 TIPS: Century remains a productive area in August Fish near shore along the weedline early in the morning. As the wind picks up later in the day, fish deeper water with live bait and soft plastics.

LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: East of Three Islands GPS: N26 16.7781 W97 16.31172 (26.279635, -97.271862) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Freelined live shrimp, live finger mullet, Attraxx and soft plastics in Tequila Gold, chartreuse, gold spoons CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas 956-561-4535 TIPS: Watch for tailing and cruising reds. Weedless rigs such as Texas Tandems or Texposed jerkbaits, or a Red Ripper mitigate floating grass. Use and chartreuse patters in your plastic or gold spoons tipped with a red tail. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Intracoastal Waterway GPS: N26 13.25598 W97 16.18002 (26.220933, -97.269667) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Freelined live shrimp, live mullet, Gulp! shrimp, DOA shrimp in chartreuse, glow, Pearl CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez 956-551-9581 TIPS: Free lining live shrimp or Gulp! Lures with just enough split shot to get the bait down along the ICW drop-off is the best bet. Anchor up and fish the edge of the dropoff. The fish will be holding there or cruising along the dropoff. LOCATION: Port Mansfield HOTSPOT: Century Point GPS: N26 37.983 W97 26.148

A L M A N A C

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e 速

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

87

7/19/13 4:28 PM


Texas Hotspots LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Marker 97 GPS: N26 9.24198 W97 14.57298 (26.154033, -97.242883) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Topwaters early, soft plastics in chartreuse patterns, finger mullet CONTACT: Captain Mike Knox 956-243-0039 TIPS: . Fish around the spoils for larger trout. Fish up on the mud and sand early, then back off and fish the ICW drop-off with soft plastics and live

PINEY WOODS

Fork Bass Take Coffee to Bed by Bob Hood and Dustin Warncke bait on a freeline. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: East Shoreline GPS: N26 28.3902 W97 16.377 (26.473170, -97.272950) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft plastics in red/white, cut ballyhoo, live shrimp CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez 956-551-9581 TIPS: Trout spread out over the grass and sand. Grass is a bit sparser than in past years, but trout will hold over patches. Fish clear water where available. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: High School Shoreline GPS: N26 4.83 W97 14.86998 (26.080500, -97.247833) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Topwaters early, soft plastics in chartreuse patterns, fresh ballyhoo CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez 986-551-9581 TIPS: Fish east of the sand bar in deeper water. If the breeze is up Watch for a color change to form a bit fur-

88 |

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 88

2 0 1 3

T e x a S

ther off the shoreline. Drift with the wind with either soft plastics or a skipped 5” ballyhoo. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: South Spoils GPS: N26 6.54942 W97 13.05 (26.109157, -97.217500) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Topwaters early, soft plastics in chartreuse patterns, finger mullet CONTACT: Captain Mike Knox 956-243-0039 TIPS: . Fish around the south ends of these humps as the month goes on. Trout will be working south and looking to fill their appetites as they move along LOCATION: Lake Fork HOTSPOT: Coffee Creek Grass Beds GPS: N32 56.11428 W95 30.39696 (32.935238, -95.506616) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Buzzbaits, Penetrator jigs, frogs CONTACT: Rick Carter 903-765-3474 flwpro@peoplescom.net www.flwpro.com TIPS: Use a 3/4 penetrator jig to punch through the grass on the edge of the creeks. You can also jig up and down and also flip next to the vertical stumps on the edges of grass, flipping several times in the same spot. Buzzbaits and Frogs: Use late and early. Bass are moving shallow for night time feeding and are still there at first light. Frogs are effective over matted grass. LOCATION: Fork HOTSPOT: Lake Fork Bass on the Coffee Creek Grass Beds - Hotspot #1 GPS: N32 56.51796 W95 30.23298 (32.941966, -95.503883) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Buzzbaits, Penetrator jigs, frogs CONTACT: Rick Carter 903-765-3474 flwpro@peoplescom.net www.flwpro.com TIPS: Use a 3/4 penetrator jig to punch through the grass on the edge of the creeks. You can also jig up and down and also flip next to the vertical stumps on the edges of grass, flipping several times in the same spot. F i s h

&

G a m e ®

T F & G

Buzzbaits and Frogs: Use late and early. Bass are moving shallow for night time feeding and are still there at first light. Frogs are effective over matted grass. LOCATION: Conroe HOTSPOT: Dam Area GPS: N30 21.282 W95 34.197 (30.3547, -95.56995) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Primos Dipping Bait CONTACT: Richard Tastch 936-291-1277 admin@fishdudetx.com fishdude.com TIPS: Chum the area at least 30 minutes before setting up with cattle range cubes. Use a piece of cut sponge on a No. 6 or 4 treble hook to help hold the dipping bait. Use a 1/8-ounce sinker and fish the bait just off the bottom for best results. Move from one chummed area to the next when the action slows, re-chumming the area you have been fishing before going to the next spot so it will draw in more fish while you are gone. LOCATION: Lake O the Pines HOTSPOT: Johnson Creek GPS: N32 48.38796 W94 32.73 (32.806466, -94.5455) SPECIES: bream BEST BAITS: Earthworms, crickets CONTACT: Sonny Kopech 903-592-8221 Marion.Kopech@HDSupply.com TIPS: There are many areas on this lake Which produce lots of big bream, including Johnson Creek. Fish a slip-cork rig around the bases of the stumps close to the bank in two to five feet of water. If you start catching several small bream, move to another area to see if you can pick up larger fish. Use a cricket hook on both earthworms and crickets because the longer shaft will make it easier to remove the hook from the fish’s mouth. LOCATION: Lake O the Pines HOTSPOT: Upper Flats GPS: N32 52.37238 W94 42.35004 (32.872873, -94.705834) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Plastic worm, floating frog, jerkbait CONTACT: A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:28 PM


Sonny Kopech 903-592-8221 Marion.Kopech@HDSupply.com TIPS: This area above the Highway 155 bridge is loaded with lots of islands and cuts with stumps and logs. Target the lily pads with floating frogs and jerkbaits, casting into the small openings between the pads and just off the outside edges of the pads. Fish Texas-rigged plastic worms around the stumps and logs near the islands. If the water level is up, fish the plastic worms in the button willows around the islands. LOCATION: Caddo HOTSPOT: Big Cypress River GPS: N32 48.02148 W94 0.18156 (32.800358, -94.003026) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Plastic worms, jigs, frogs CONTACT: Paul Keith 318-455-3437 caddoguide1@att.net caddolakefishing.com TIPS: Fish the heavy hydrilla along the edges of this channel and any other deep channel nearby by punching through it with one-ounce jigs. Fish the plastic frogs over the top of the hydrilla and other vegetation in this area. LOCATION: Toledo Bend HOTSPOT: Bayou Seipe GPS: N31 43.9512 W93 51.14664 (31.732520, -93.852444) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: buzzbaits, spinnerbaits, Rat-LTraps, 10-inch soft plastics CONTACT: Greg Crafts 936-368-7151 gregcrafts@yahoo.com toledobendguide.com TIPS: Nighttime is the prime time for catching black bass because that’s when they are most active. Target shallow water close to deep water near creeks and major points. Use dark-colored lures that are noisy. Days prior to and after a full moon are best. LOCATION: Caddo HOTSPOT: Jackson Arm GPS: N32 43.58268 W94 7.2885 (32.726378, -94.121475) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Soft plastic frogs, buzzbaits, semi-surface lures, spinnerbaits CONTACT: Paul Keith 318-455-3437 T F & G

ALMANAC Digital.indd 89

caddoguide1@att.net caddolakefishing.com TIPS: Start early with buzzbaits around the cypress stumps and grass beds. Later in the morning, fish plastic worms and spinnerbaits around the bases of the trees and outside edges of the grass beds. LOCATION: Caddo HOTSPOT: Stumpy Slough GPS: N32 43.8081 W94 5.68698 (32.730135, -94.094783) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Soft plastic frogs, Flukes, Senkos, buzz baits CONTACT: Paul Keith 318-455-3437 caddoguide@att.net caddolakefishing.com TIPS: Fish this area during the early-morning hours with top-water lures and slow-sinking weightless soft plastics. Target the areas that have both lily pads and grass. LOCATION: Conroe HOTSPOT: Caney Creek Channel GPS: N30 26.9868 W95 36.26388 (30.449780, -95.604398) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Primos dip bait CONTACT: Richard Tatsch 936-291-1277 admin@fishdudetx.com fishdudetx.com TIPS: Locate stumps along the channel in 20-25 feet of water. Chum one-half bag of cattle cubes in two locations. Wrap small piece of sponge around a treble hook, dip it in the bait and lower the hook to the bottom over chum. Jig it slowly off the bottom.

PRAIRIES & LAKES

Sunny Outlook for Tawakoni Whites by Bob Hood and Dustin Warncke LOCATION: Tawakoni HOTSPOT: Sun Point GPS: N32 51.88998 W95 55.67694 (32.864833, -95.927949) A L M A N A C

T e x a S

SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Slabs, Sassy Shads, Spoons, Rat-L-Traps CONTACT: Tony Parker 903-348-1619 tawakoniffishing@yahoo.com tawakonifishsing.com TIPS: Jig the spoons, Slabs and Sassy Shads off the bottom and slowly work your way with your trolling motor toward the point. Be prepared to move occasionally when surfacing action is found. The fish will move in and out of this area so be prepared to experience lulls in the action. If you aren’t finding fish just off the bottom, cast Rat-L-Traps and use a fast retrieve to keep the bait in the upper water column to find where they are traveling. LOCATION: Texoma HOTSPOT: Juniper Point GPS: N33 51.89202 W96 49.88298 (33.864867, -96.831383) SPECIES: striper BEST BAITS: Pencil Poppers, Chub Bugs, Sassy Shads CONTACT: Bill Carey 877-786-4477 bigfish@striperexpress.com striperexpress.com TIPS: Fish the flats here with Chug Bugs and Pencil Poppers during the early-morning hours. The fish are roaming the flats searching for schools of shad. Once the sun begins to get high, switch to chartreuse Sassy Shads and work the edges of the flats as well as around the series of islands at mid-lake nearby. LOCATION: Aquilla HOTSPOT: Triplet Point GPS: N31 54.95496 W97 12.26166 (31.915916, -97.204361) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Rat-L-Traps, Tail-Hummers CONTACT: Randy Routh 817-822-5539 teamredneck01@hotmail.com teamredneck.net TIPS: Work the point shallow early, especially on cloudy days. Watch for bird action to help you locate the schools of white bass that feed on shad in this area. Also fish around the Bubbler and watch for schooling activity just out from the dam. LOCATION: Lewisville HOTSPOT: Old Lake Dallas Channel GPS: N33 7.701 W97 0.47292

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

89

7/19/13 4:28 PM


Texas Hotspots (33.12835, -97.007882) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Fresh shad, Deep Red Blood Spray CONTACT: Bobby Kubin 817-455-2894 bobby@bobby-catfishing.com bobby-catfishing.com TIPS: Drift the Old Lake Dallas channel with fresh dead shad. I prefer to spray the shad with Deep Blood Red Spray as an attractant. There are lots of eating-size blue catfish in this area. Drift at a speed of 0.5 m.p.h. using a drift sock or drift chute to set your drifting speed when the wind is blowing. If there is no wind, use your trolling motor to work along the edge of the channel. I use a Santee-Cooper rig with one-ounce sinker, 36-inch leader, 3/0 or 5/0 circle hook. LOCATION: Palestine HOTSPOT: Ledbetter Bay Humps GPS: N32 7.752 W95 29.01294 (32.1292, -95.483549) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Canadian night crawlers CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff 903-561-7299 ricky@rickysguideservice.com rickysguideservice.com TIPS: There are several humps near the Highway 155 bridge on the main lake side. Drift Canadian night crawlers across the humps slowly. If possible, chum the tops of the humps with soured maize at least 30 minutes before drifting across them. LOCATION: Palestine HOTSPOT: Flat Creek Bridge GPS: N32 7.431 W95 29.226 (32.12385, -95.4871) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Small minnows, crappie jigs CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff 903-561-7299 ricky@rickysguideservice.com rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Use white jigs or small minnows and fish close to the pilings under the bridge. Feel with your lures or bait for brush piles around the bases of the bridge pilings. Dead-stick the lures or minnows if the bites are very light. LOCATION: Palestine

90 |

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 90

2 0 1 3

T e x a S

HOTSPOT: Point Near Spillway GPS: N32 3.468 W95 26.277 (32.0578, -95.43795) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: surface lures, soft plastics CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff 903-561-7299 ricky@rickysguideservice.com rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Start early with surface lures close to the bank and then move out as the sun rises. Fish all the points here that have brush on them with deep-diving crank baits and soft plastics on Carolina rigs. LOCATION: Cedar Creek HOTSPOT: Main Lake Humps GPS: N32 16.24296 W96 8.99418 (32.270716, -96.149903) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: shrimp, chicken entrails, dead minnows CONTACT: Jason Barber 903-603-2047 kingscreekadventures@yahoo.com www.kingcreekadventures.com TIPS: Anchor or drift over the sloping sides of the humps with medium-heavy rods, 12-25-pound test line using shrimp, dead minnows or chicken livers. The best action at this time of the year usually is during the early-morning hours.

(33.310619, -95.650708) SPECIES: hybrid striper BEST BAITS: 4-5-inch Sassy Shads, Spoons CONTACT: Tony Parker 903-348-1619 tawakonifishing@yahoo.com tonyparkerfishing.com TIPS: With a low water level, look for hybrids on the main-lake humps and deeper flats chasing shad during late-evening hours. Look for possible schooling action. Work the lures off the bottom with a stop-and-go retrieve or fish vertically while drifting. LOCATION: Richland Chambers HOTSPOT: Windsock Point GPS: N31 56.42784 W96 7.1991 (31.940464, -96.119985) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Clear Tiny Torpedos, 1/4-ounce chrome-blue Rat-L-Traps CONTACT: Royce and Adam Simmons 903-389-4117 royce@gonefishin.biz www.gonefishin.biz TIPS: Best hours to find schooling white bass are early-morning and late-evening. Check out the south shoreline from Ferguson Point to Windsock Point. The action is at its peak in July and August every year. It is an awesome time to take kids fishing.

LOCATION: Whitney HOTSPOT: State Park Area GPS: N31 54.73392 W97 22.6653 (31.912232, -97.377755) SPECIES: striper BEST BAITS: Jigs, Sassy Shads CONTACT: Randy Routh 817-822-5539 teamredneck@hotmail.com teamredneck.net TIPS: Try downrigging white jigs or Sassy Shads and expect the best bites to come after 8:30 a.m. and lasting until mid-afternoon. Watch your electronics and set the lures to run just above the thermocline, especially close to structure.

LOCATION: Somerville HOTSPOT: Little Crappie Point GPS: N30 18.49998 W96 31.75998 (30.308333, -96.529333) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Minnows, pink-white or blackchartreuse jigs CONTACT: Weldon Kirk 979-229-3103 weldon_edna@hotmail.com FishTales-Guide Service.com TIPS: Fish the minnows or jigs around the brushpiles near the drop-offs. The fish usually bite very lightly. Using a small cork will let you see when a light bite is happening. Lift the cork occasionally because a fish may already have taken the bait.

LOCATION: Cooper HOTSPOT: Harpers Crossing GPS: N33 18.63714 W95 39.04248

LOCATION: Somerville HOTSPOT: Little GPS: N30 18.49998 W96 31.75998

F ish

&

G a m e 速

T F & G

A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:28 PM


(30.308333, -96.529333) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Shad, stinkbait CONTACT: Weldon Kirk 979-229-3103 weldon_edna@hotmail.com FishTales-Guide Service.com TIPS: The south side of the island is best when the water level is low. If there is a south wind blowing, shad should be gathered here from daylight until noon. Anchor close enough to cast to the shore. Use a tight line when winds are high. LOCATION: Gibbons Creek. HOTSPOT: Intake Canal GPS: N30 37.02102 W96 4.33098 (30.617017, -96.072183) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Deep-diving crankbaits, Carolinarigged soft plastics CONTACT: Weldon Kirk 979-229-3103 weldon_edna@hotmail.com FishTalesGuideService.com TIPS: Fish the shoulders of the submerged channel around structure. Start at the mouth of the area with crankbaits and then switch to Carolina rigged soft plastics and work the deeper areas. LOCATION: Palestine HOTSPOT: Main-lake Points GPS: N32 9.41166 W95 27.96978 (32.156861, -95.466163) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Mr. Twister Thunder worms, crankbaits, French Frys CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff 903-561-7299 ricky@rickysguideservice.com rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Fish the boat docks, main-lake and secondary points with Carolina-rigged soft plastics. Work the crankbaits around rocks and stumps. Watermelon usually is the best color at this time of year. LOCATION: Tyler East HOTSPOT: Stillwater Bay GPS: N32 13.12536 W95 7.86252 (32.218756, -95.131042) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Topwater lures, spinnerbaits, DD22s,-football jigs CONTACT: Sonny Kopech 903-399-8822 T F & G

ALMANAC Digital.indd 91

Marion.Kopech@HDSupply.com TIPS: The bite has slowed but you still can find some fish shallow early in the mornings on topwater lures and spinnerbaits. When the sun gets high and you are looking for larger bass you should go deeper with a DD22 or jig on a Carolina rig on humps. LOCATION: Whitney HOTSPOT: State Park Road Bed GPS: N31 54.90798 W97 22.33542 (31.915133, -97.372257) SPECIES: striper BEST BAITS: Jigs with trailers CONTACT: Randy Routh 817-822-5539 teamredneck@hotmail.com teamredneck.net TIPS: Trolling and downrigging is the ticket and the bites usually come later than normal, after 8:30 a.m. and lasting until mid-afternoon. Locate the thermocline with your graph and set your baits just above it. White and chartreuse are best colors. LOCATION: Fayette County HOTSPOT: Fites Ridge GPS: N29 55.50312 W96 44.40678 (29.925052, -96.740113) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Shad Worms, punch bait CONTACT: Weldon Kirk 979-229-3103 weldon_edna@hotmail.com FishTales-GuideService.com TIPS: The water is 50-60 feet deep with a quick drop to 70 feet close by. There is timber and a submerged pond on the bottom. A good anchor a long rope is needed. Fish straight down with 1-oz. egg sinker. The fish will be just above the structure. LOCATION: Somerville HOTSPOT: Nails Creek Point GPS: N30 17.70012 W96 39.21696 (30.295002, -96.653616) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Shad Worms, punch bait CONTACT: Weldon Kirk 979-229-3103 weldon_edna@hotmail.com FishTales-GuideService.com TIPS: Use a slip cork or Carolina rig with 3/4-oz. egg sinker, No.4 treble or 1-0 Kahle hook. Fish around the rocks on the point. Tight-lining is good when fishing out past the rocks. Drifting jug lines

A L M A N A C

T e x a S

F ish

&

southwest down the bank also works well. LOCATION: Whitney HOTSPOT: Railroad Bed GPS: N31 54.83298 W97 21.09996 (31.913883, -97.351666) SPECIES: striper BEST BAITS: White jigs with trailers CONTACT: Randy Routh 817-822-5539 teamredneck01@hotmail.com teamredneck.net TIPS: Drag white on white jigs and trailers along the roadbed in 19-22 feet of water by trolling or down-rigging. The mouth of Little Rocky Creek near the dam also produces lots of fish on artificial lures during August. LOCATION: Lavon HOTSPOT: Power Plant Point GPS: N33 2.28888 W96 31.446 (33.038148, -96.524100) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Small or medium minnows, blackchartreuse 1/8-ounce jigs CONTACT: Billy Kilpatrick 214-232-7847 straightlineguide@yahoo.com straightlineguide.com TIPS: The fish are holding in 15 to 25 feet of water. Fish minnows or jigs just above structure with medium to light-action rods and 10-pound test line. The area around the island, pump stations and 100 yards off the face of the dam also hold fish.

PANHANDLE

Fish the Dam for Henry Largemouth by Bob Hood and Dustin Warncke LOCATION: Alan Henry HOTSPOT: Bass by the Dam on Lake Alan Henry GPS: N33 3.5832 W101 3.1164 (33.05972, -101.05194) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Dark 10” worms, Large jigs, Large crankbaits, Large spinnerbaits CONTACT: G a m e ®

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

91

7/19/13 4:28 PM


Texas Hotspots Norman Clayton 806-792-9220 nclayton40@sbcglobal.net www.lakealanhenry.com TIPS: At this time of the year, the water on Lake Alan Henry will be extremely clear.  Cast to the bank and work the worm down to about 30 feet, and maybe even deeper. It all depends on where you find the bass. For jigs and worms, use a small glass rattle for added noise. LOCATION: Possum Kingdom HOTSPOT: Neelys Slough GPS: N32 51.41238 W98 26.87778 (32.856873, -98.447963) SPECIES: striper BEST BAITS: live shad, 6-inch trailers behind one-ounce bucktail jigs, Pencil Poppers CONTACT: Dean Heffner 940-329-0036 fav7734@aceweb.com TIPS: Downrigging or fishing live bait is best unless there is cloud cover that helps produce good topwater action. Fish from the stump patch to Neelys Slough. Early morning and night fishing can be great, especially during mid-week days. LOCATION: Possum Kingdom HOTSPOT: Stump Patch GPS: N32 50.72478 W98 33.6759 (32.845413, -98.561265) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: crankbaits, Sassy Shad-type jigs, topwaters CONTACT: Dean Heffner 940-329-0036 fav7734@aceweb.com TIPS: I fish from the last light until midnight for suspended fish in 24-42 feet of water with live shad. I never have caught past 42 feet. Take along plenty of insect repellant. The action here is best on hot, still days for white bass and stripers. LOCATION: Possum Kingdom HOTSPOT: Kiowa Trail GPS: N32 54.66504 W98 28.30482 (32.911084, -98.471747) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Rat-L-Traps, deep-diving crankbaits, live shad CONTACT: Dean Heffner 940-329-0036 fav7734@aceweb.com

92 |

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 92

2 0 1 3

T e x a S

TIPS: Topwater lures, Little Georges and Slabs are still working for white bass. Look for schooling activity during the early-morning and late-evening hours, especially on cloudy days. Catfish action also is good at the mouth of the Brazos River upstream. LOCATION: Possum Kingdom HOTSPOT: Hells Gate GPS: N32 51.03642 W98 28.12962 (32.850607, -98.468827) SPECIES: striper BEST BAITS: One-ounce bucktail jigs with trailers CONTACT: Dean Heffner 940-329-0036 fav7734@aceweb.com TIPS: Down-rig one-ounce whitetail jigs with yellow trailers from Hells Gate to the dam and along Broadway between the mouths of Caddo and Cedar creeks. Cover as much area as possible. The best times are during cloudy evenings and at night.

BIG BEND

Boxed Set of Bass on Lake Amistad by Bob Hood and Dustin Warncke LOCATION: Amistad HOTSPOT: Box Canyon GPS: N29 31.4325 W101 10.209 (29.523875, -101.17015) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Texas-rigged plastic worms, Senkos, crawdad-colored medium-diving crankbaits CONTACT: Larry Scruggs 210-789-1645 fisherofmenlrs@hotmail.com TIPS: Fish the backs of the pockets with crankbaits and plastic worms early and then move out to the points and edges of hydrilla beds from late-morning until mid-day. Return to the backs of the coves during the late-evening hours for more active fish.

F ish

&

G a m e 速

T F & G

HILL COUNTRY

Bass on the Ramp and at the Club by Bob Hood and Dustin Warncke LOCATION: Austin HOTSPOT: Walsh Boat Ramp GPS: N30 17.7342 W97 47.10252 (30.29557, -97.785042) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Topwaters, soft plastic swimbaits, soft plastic jerkbaits, lightweight Carolina and Texas rigged soft plastics. CONTACT: Mike Hastings 512-773-7401 gitbit@austin.rr.com www.gitbitguideservice.com TIPS: Concentrate on working lures on the flat adjacent to Austin Country Club golf course and the flat located between the Walsh boat ramp and Tom Miller Dam. LOCATION: Travis HOTSPOT: Arrowhead Point GPS: N30 25.54074 W97 53.70624 (30.425679, -97.895104) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Lures: 1/8-1/4 oz. jigheads rigged with grubs or shad shaped soft plastics and small jigging spoons for Largemouth, Guadalupe White & Striped Bass as well as Crappie CONTACT: Mike Hastings 512-773-7401 gitbit@austin.rr.com www.gitbitguideservice.com TIPS: Isolated boat docks (with bright lights aimed at the water) located on the main lake and in the mouths of major creeks: Briarcliff, Bee Creek, Hurst Creek, Sandy Creek, and Cypress Creek. LOCATION: Austin HOTSPOT: Emma Long Park Bass on Lake Austin GPS: N30 19.47816 W97 50.39676 (30.324636, -97.839946) A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:28 PM


SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Clear and shad-colored topwater lures, smoke glitter or white grub rigged on a jighead, soft plastic jerkbaits, soft plastic swimbaits. CONTACT: Mike Hastings 512-773-7401 gitbit@austin.rr.com www.gitbitguideservice.com TIPS: Look for surface schooling Bass upstream and downstream in areas bordering Emma Long Park, Panther Creek area, and beneath the Highway 360 bridge. LOCATION: Granger HOTSPOT: Major Points and Humps GPS: N30 41.14056 W97 21.86118 (30.685676, -97.364353) SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Twistertail jigs, Sassy Shad jigs, Road Runners, Rooster Tails CONTACT: Tommy Tidwell 512-365-7761 crappie1@hotmail.com www.gotcrappie.com TIPS: This is one of the best times of the year to fish this lake because the water has cleared and the fishing is stable. The white bas are schooling on the main lake humps ad ridges. Watch for bird activity. Fish vertically with the lures. LOCATION: Granger HOTSPOT: Willis Creek-san Gabriel River GPS: N30 41.68974 W97 21.21756 (30.694829, -97.353626) SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Small Jigs CONTACT: Tommy Tidwell 512-365-7761 crappie1@hotmail.com www.gotcrappie.com TIPS: There are lots of standing timber at the mouth of the river and creek, many marking old fence rows. Start at the bottom and slowly raise the bait until you get a bite. Try depths ranging from 4-12 feet. The best time is during the middle of the day. LOCATION: Canyon Lake HOTSPOT: Canyon Dam GPS: N29 52.0314 W98 11.95878 (29.867190, -98.199313) SPECIES: striper BEST BAITS: Striper jigs CONTACT: Steve Nixon 210-573-1230 steve@sanantoniofishingguides.com

LOCATION: Canyon Lake HOTSPOT: Mystic Shores Point GPS: N29 54.75396 W98 17.547 (29.912566, -98.292450) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Shaky Head with BassKandi Sweet Stik CONTACT: Kandie Candelaria 210-823-2153 kandie@gvtc.com TIPS: Fish all the way around the bend on the right and fish the opposite side near the boat ramp. The best colors at this time of the year are Watermelon red, Pumpkinseed and blue fleck. I use a Shaky Head with Bass Kandi Sweet Stik on a Carolina rig.

SOUTH TEXAS PLAINS

Get on the Bus for Falcon Bass by Bob Hood and Dustin Warncke LOCATION: Falcon Lake HOTSPOT: School Bus Cove GPS: N26 48.86898 W99 13.60086 (26.814483, -99.226681) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: spinnerbait, lizards Worms, jigs, crankbait CONTACT: Robert Amaya 956-765-1442 robertsfishntackle@gmail.com robertsfishntackle.com TIPS: Flip or pitch soft plastic lizards Worms or jigs in the outside brush along the shorelines. Start close to the back of the cove and move out toward the main lake. Try a spinnerbait in the open pockets and work deep-diving slowly through the 4-6 feet of water off the points. LOCATION: Falcon Lake HOTSPOT: Old Highway 83 GPS: N26 48.34926 W99 13.77216 (26.805821, -99.229536)

T F & G

ALMANAC Digital.indd 93

sanantoniofishingguides.com TIPS: Look for the striped bass to be deep, 50-80 feet. They will be suspending over the river channel and close to the dam. Trolling the jigs on downriggers in this area produces the most fish.

A L M A N A C

T e x a S

F ish

&

SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Jigs, plastic worms, spinnerbaits CONTACT: Robert Amaya 956-765-1442 robertsfishntackle@gmail.com robertsfishntackle.com TIPS: Start early with topwater lures or spinnerbaits in shallow water. Cloudy days are best. Fish the brush tight with jigs and plastic worms. Carolina rigs with 10-14-inch leaders also work well along the shorelines. LOCATION: Calaveras HOTSPOT: Corvina Cove GPS: N29 17.2557 W98 19.70952 (29.287595, -98.328492) SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: Punch bait, cut shad CONTACT: Steve Nixon 210-573-1230 fishhook0823@aol.com sanantoniofishingguides.com TIPS: The warmer water temperatures are keeping the channel catfish in deeper water along the edges of the creek channel. Target 15 to 22 feet. Use soured maize to chum two to three areas 30 minutes before fishing. The morning action will be best. LOCATION: Falcon Lake HOTSPOT: Siesta Shores Coves GPS: N26 51.63138 W99 15.6111 (26.860523, -99.260185) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Plunker-type topwater lures, 11-inch plastic worms, deep-diving crankbaits CONTACT: Robert Amaya 956-765-1442 robertsfishntackle@gmail.com robertsfishntackle.com TIPS: Use topwater lures early near the shoreline and then after mid-morning fish the outside edges of the submerged brush with Texas-rigged plastic worms and deep-diving crankbaits at 12 to 18 feet deep.

Find Thousands of Texas Fishing Hotspots with our HOTSPOT FINDER app: www.FishGame.com/hotspots

G a m e 速

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

93

7/19/13 4:28 PM


Sportsman’s Daybook Tides and Prime Times

AUGUST 2013

USING THE PRIME TIMES CALENDAR

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

T12

T4

T11

T10

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

T9 T8 T7

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

T6 T17

T3 T2 T1

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 T5

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

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. 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.

T21

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.

KEY PLACE T1 Sabine Bank Lighthouse T2 Sabine Pass Jetty T3 Sabine Pass T4 Mesquite Pt, Sab. Pass T5 Galveston Bay, S. Jetty T6 Port Bolivar

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION

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 Round Pt, Trinity Bay +10:39 T11

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

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

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 PLACE San Luis Pass T18 Freeport Harbor T19 Pass Cavallo T20 Aransas Pass T21 Padre Island (So. End) T22 Port Isabel T23

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

SPORTSMAN’S DAYBOOK IS SPONSORED BY:

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:

5:30 — 7:30 AM

Green: Falling Tide

Gold Fish: Best Time

Blue: Rising Tide Red Graph: Fishing Score

Blue Fish: Good Time

MINOR Feeding Periods (+/- 1.5 Hrs.) Time Moon is at its Highest Point in the Sky

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY:

12a

AM/PM Timeline

94 |

AM/PM Timeline

AM Minor: 1:20a

PM Minor: 1:45p

AM Major: 7:32a

PM Major: 7:57p

Moon Overhead: 8:50a 6a

12p

12a

Moon Underfoot: 9:15p

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 94

6p

2 0 1 3

MAJOR Feeding Periods (+/- 2 Hrs.) Time Moon is Directly Underfoot (at its peak on opposite side of the earth)

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

T F & G

A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:29 PM


SYMBOL KEY = New Moon l º = First Quarter l = Full Moon » = Last Quarter « = Good Day n = Best Day SUNDAY

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

29

Sunrise: 6:37a Set: 8:13p Moonrise: 12:14a Set: 1:40p

TUESDAY

30 »

THURSDAY

31

Sunrise: 6:37a Set: 8:12p Moonrise: 12:54a Set: 2:35p

FRIDAY

Aug 1

Sunrise: 6:38a Set: 8:11p Moonrise: 1:36a Set: 3:27p

SATURDAY

2

Sunrise: 6:39a Set: 8:11p Moonrise: 2:20a Set: 4:18p

3

Sunrise: 6:39a Set: 8:10p Moonrise: 3:07a Set: 5:06p

4

Sunrise: 6:40a Set: 8:09p Moonrise: 3:55a Set: 5:51p

Sunrise: 6:40a Set: 8:09p Moonrise: 4:46a Set: 6:33p

AM Minor: 11:53a

PM Minor: -----

AM Minor: 12:16a

PM Minor: 12:40p

AM Minor: 1:01a

PM Minor: 1:25p

AM Minor: 1:45a

PM Minor: 2:09p

AM Minor: 2:28a

PM Minor: 2:52p

AM Minor: 3:10a

PM Minor: 3:34p

AM Minor: 3:53a

PM Minor: 4:16p

AM Major: 5:41a

PM Major: 6:05p

AM Major: 6:28a

PM Major: 6:52p

AM Major: 7:13a

PM Major: 7:37p

AM Major: 7:57a

PM Major: 8:21p

AM Major: 8:40a

PM Major: 9:03p

AM Major: 9:22a

PM Major: 9:46p

AM Major: 10:05a

PM Major: 10:28p

Moon Overhead: 6:55a

12a

WEDNESDAY

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 8:30a

Moon Overhead: 7:43a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 9:18a 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 10:54a

Moon Overhead: 10:06a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

MONDAY

Tides and Prime Times for AUGUST 2013

Moon Overhead: 11:41a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

feet

feet

Moon Underfoot: 7:19p

+2.0

-1.0

TIDE LEVELS

0

BEST:

6:00 — 8:00 AM

Low Tide: 3:14 AM High Tide: 9:17 AM Low Tide: 5:20 PM

BEST:

7:00 — 9:00 AM

0.93ft. 1.17ft. 0.05ft.

2:30 — 4:30 PM

High Tide: 2:13 AM Low Tide: 4:01 AM High Tide: 9:37 AM Low Tide: 6:20 PM

1.12ft. 1.11ft. 1.17ft. -0.03ft.

T F & G

ALMANAC Digital.indd 95

Moon Underfoot: 8:54p

High Tide: 4:20 AM Low Tide: 8:58 AM High Tide: 9:46 AM Low Tide: 7:14 PM

Moon Underfoot: 9:42p BEST:

T e x a S

&

1.34ft. 1.22ft. 1.22ft. -0.13ft.

Moon Underfoot: None

BEST:

4:00 — 6:00 PM

1.31ft. High Tide: 5:08 AM -0.12ft. Low Tide: 10:41 AM High Tide: 11:36 AM Low Tide: 8:42 PM

F i s h

Moon Underfoot: 11:17p

BEST:

4:00 — 5:00 PM

1.24ft. High Tide: 4:49 AM 1.19ft. Low Tide: 8:01 PM 1.19ft. -0.08ft.

A L M A N A C

Moon Underfoot: 10:30p

High Tide: 5:19 AM Low Tide: 10:38 AM High Tide: 12:49 PM Low Tide: 9:18 PM

G a m e ®

1.34ft. 1.22ft. 1.24ft. -0.12ft.

A U G U S T

+2.0

BEST:

5:00 — 7:00 PM

6:00 — 8:00 PM

High Tide: 5:30 AM Low Tide: 10:33 AM High Tide: 1:47 PM Low Tide: 9:49 PM

2 0 1 3

|

TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 8:07p

1.34ft. 1.19ft. 1.26ft. -0.09ft.

+1.0 0 -1.0

95

7/19/13 4:29 PM


Sportsman’s Daybook

SYMBOL KEY = New Moon l º = First Quarter l = Full Moon » = Last Quarter « = Good Day n = Best Day SUNDAY

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 2nd Score Graph Score Best

TUESDAY

5 «

6 l

Sunrise: 6:41a Set: 8:08p Moonrise: 5:38a Set: 7:12p

THURSDAY

7 «

Sunrise: 6:42a Set: 8:07p Moonrise: 6:31a Set: 7:49p

8 «

Sunrise: 6:42a Set: 8:06p Moonrise: 7:25a Set: 8:25p

Sunrise: 6:43a Set: 8:05p Moonrise: 8:19a Set: 8:59p

FRIDAY

9 «

Sunrise: 6:43a Set: 8:05p Moonrise: 9:13a Set: 9:34p

SATURDAY

10

11

Sunrise: 6:44a Set: 8:04p Sunrise: 6:44a Set: 8:03p Moonrise: 10:09a Set: 10:09p Moonrise: 11:05a Set: 10:47p

AM Minor: 4:36a

PM Minor: 4:59p

AM Minor: 5:20a

PM Minor: 5:43p

AM Minor: 6:06a

PM Minor: 6:28p

AM Minor: 6:52a

PM Minor: 7:14p

AM Minor: 7:41a

PM Minor: 8:03p

AM Minor: 8:31a

PM Minor: 8:54p

AM Minor: 9:23a

PM Minor: 9:46p

AM Major: 10:48a

PM Major: 11:11p

AM Major: 11:32a

PM Major: 11:54p

AM Major: 11:50a

PM Major: 12:17p

AM Major: 12:41a

PM Major: 1:03p

AM Major: 1:30a

PM Major: 1:52p

AM Major: 2:19a

PM Major: 2:42p

AM Major: 3:11a

PM Major: 3:35p

Moon Overhead: 12:27p

12a

WEDNESDAY

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 1:57p

Moon Overhead: 1:13p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 2:42p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 4:11p

Moon Overhead: 3:26p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 4:59p 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

MONDAY

Tides and Prime Times for AUGUST 2013

12a

feet

feet

Moon Underfoot: 12:04a

+2.0

-1.0

BEST:

6:00 — 8:00 PM

TIDE LEVELS

0

BEST:

High Tide: 5:44 AM Low Tide: 10:36 AM High Tide: 2:39 PM Low Tide: 10:18 PM

96 |

1.34ft. 1.14ft. 1.26ft. -0.05ft.

High Tide: 6:01 AM Low Tide: 10:54 AM High Tide: 3:29 PM Low Tide: 10:47 PM

2 0 1 3

1.35ft. 1.07ft. 1.25ft. 0.02ft.

Moon Underfoot: 2:20a

BEST:

6:30 — 8:30 PM

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 96

Moon Underfoot: 1:35a

BEST:

7:30 — 9:30 PM

High Tide: 6:21 AM Low Tide: 11:22 AM High Tide: 4:19 PM Low Tide: 11:15 PM

T e x a S

1.35ft. 0.98ft. 1.22ft. 0.12ft.

F i s h

Moon Underfoot: 3:04a BEST:

BEST:

8:00 — 10:00 PM 8:30 — 10:30 AM

High Tide: 6:41 AM Low Tide: 11:55 AM High Tide: 5:13 PM Low Tide: 11:45 PM

&

1.34ft. 0.87ft. 1.18ft. 0.25ft.

G a m e ®

Low Tide: 12:15 AM High Tide: 7:18 AM Low Tide: 1:11 PM High Tide: 7:24 PM

Moon Underfoot: 4:35a

+2.0

BEST:

9:00 — 11:00 AM

High Tide: 7:00 AM 1.32ft. Low Tide: 12:31 PM 0.75ft. High Tide: 6:12 PM 1.14ft.

T F & G

Moon Underfoot: 3:49a

10:30A — 12:30P

0.41ft. 1.30ft. 0.61ft. 1.11ft.

Low Tide: 12:48 AM High Tide: 7:32 AM Low Tide: 1:55 PM High Tide: 8:50 PM

TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

Moon Underfoot: 12:50a

0.59ft. 1.28ft. 0.46ft. 1.09ft.

+1.0 0 -1.0

A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:29 PM


A l m a n a c

ALMANAC Digital.indd 97

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e 速

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

97

7/19/13 4:29 PM


Sportsman’s Daybook

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 2nd Score Graph Score Best

12

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

13

14 º

Sunrise: 6:45a Set: 8:02p Sunrise: 6:46a Set: 8:01p Moonrise: 12:04p Set: 11:29p Moonrise: 1:05p Set: None

FRIDAY

15

SATURDAY

16

Sunrise: 6:46a Set: 8:00p Sunrise: 6:47a Set: 7:59p Moonrise: 2:07p Set: 12:14a Moonrise: 3:09p Set: 1:05a

SUNDAY

17

Sunrise: 6:47a Set: 7:58p Moonrise: 4:09p Set: 2:01a

18

Sunrise: 6:48a Set: 7:57p Moonrise: 5:06p Set: 3:02a

Sunrise: 6:48a Set: 7:56p Moonrise: 5:59p Set: 4:07a

AM Minor: 10:16a

PM Minor: 10:41p

AM Minor: 11:11a

PM Minor: 11:37p

AM Minor: -----

PM Minor: 12:07p

AM Minor: 12:33a

PM Minor: 1:02p

AM Minor: 1:27a

PM Minor: 1:57p

AM Minor: 2:21a

PM Minor: 2:51p

AM Minor: 3:15a

PM Minor: 3:44p

AM Major: 4:04a

PM Major: 4:29p

AM Major: 4:58a

PM Major: 5:24p

AM Major: 5:53a

PM Major: 6:20p

AM Major: 6:48a

PM Major: 7:17p

AM Major: 7:42a

PM Major: 8:12p

AM Major: 8:36a

PM Major: 9:06p

AM Major: 9:30a

PM Major: 9:59p

Moon Overhead: 5:48p

12a

THURSDAY

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 7:37p

Moon Overhead: 6:41p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 8:35p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 10:35p

Moon Overhead: 9:35p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 11:34p 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

MONDAY

Tides and Prime Times for AUGUST 2013

12a

feet

feet

Moon Underfoot: 5:23a

+2.0

-1.0

TIDE LEVELS

0

BEST:

BEST:

11:00A — 1:00P

0.80ft. 1.28ft. 0.30ft. 1.13ft.

Low Tide: 1:56 AM High Tide: 7:41 AM Low Tide: 3:46 PM

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 98

2 0 1 3

1.01ft. 1.31ft. 0.14ft.

Moon Underfoot: 8:06a

BEST:

12:00 — 2:00 PM

Low Tide: 1:21 AM High Tide: 7:39 AM Low Tide: 2:47 PM High Tide: 10:33 PM

98 |

Moon Underfoot: 7:09a

BEST:

1:00 — 3:00 PM

High Tide: 12:31 AM Low Tide: 2:34 AM High Tide: 7:40 AM Low Tide: 4:51 PM

T e x a S

1.23ft. 1.21ft. 1.37ft. -0.01ft.

F i s h

Moon Underfoot: 9:05a BEST:

2:00 — 4:00 PM

High Tide: 2:27 AM Low Tide: 3:32 AM High Tide: 7:42 AM Low Tide: 5:58 PM

&

1.37ft. 1.37ft. 1.43ft. -0.16ft.

G a m e ®

Moon Underfoot: 10:05a BEST:

3:00 — 5:00 PM

High Tide: 3:20 AM Low Tide: 6:34 AM High Tide: 7:31 AM Low Tide: 7:02 PM

T F & G

1.48ft. 1.45ft. 1.45ft. -0.27ft.

4:00 — 6:00 PM

High Tide: 3:53 AM Low Tide: 8:41 AM High Tide: 10:57 AM Low Tide: 8:02 PM

1.54ft. 1.43ft. 1.44ft. -0.33ft.

Moon Underfoot: 11:05a

+2.0

BEST:

5:00 — 7:00 PM

High Tide: 4:22 AM Low Tide: 9:04 AM High Tide: 12:51 PM Low Tide: 8:57 PM

1.55ft. 1.34ft. 1.45ft. -0.32ft.

TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

Moon Underfoot: 6:14a

+1.0 0 -1.0

A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:29 PM


SYMBOL KEY = New Moon l º = First Quarter l = Full Moon » = Last Quarter « = Good Day n = Best Day SUNDAY

Tides and Prime Times for AUGUST 2013 TUESDAY

19 «

20 «

Sunrise: 6:49a Set: 7:55p Moonrise: 6:46p Set: 5:13a

THURSDAY

21 ¡

Sunrise: 6:50a Set: 7:54p Moonrise: 7:30p Set: 6:20a

FRIDAY

22 «

Sunrise: 6:50a Set: 7:53p Moonrise: 8:11p Set: 7:25a

SATURDAY

23 «

Sunrise: 6:51a Set: 7:52p Moonrise: 8:51p Set: 8:28a

24

Sunrise: 6:51a Set: 7:51p Moonrise: 9:30p Set: 9:29a

25

Sunrise: 6:52a Set: 7:50p Sunrise: 6:52a Set: 7:49p Moonrise: 10:09p Set: 10:29a Moonrise: 10:50p Set: 11:28a

AM Minor: 4:08a

PM Minor: 4:36p

AM Minor: 5:01a

PM Minor: 5:28p

AM Minor: 5:55a

PM Minor: 6:21p

AM Minor: 6:49a

PM Minor: 7:15p

AM Minor: 7:45a

PM Minor: 8:10p

AM Minor: 8:40a

PM Minor: 9:05p

AM Minor: 9:35a

PM Minor: 10:00p

AM Major: 10:22a

PM Major: 10:51p

AM Major: 11:15a

PM Major: 11:42p

AM Major: -----

PM Major: 12:08p

AM Major: 12:37a

PM Major: 1:02p

AM Major: 1:32a

PM Major: 1:57p

AM Major: 2:28a

PM Major: 2:53p

AM Major: 3:23a

PM Major: 3:48p

Moon Overhead: None

12a

WEDNESDAY

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 1:25a

Moon Overhead: 12:31a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 2:17a 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 3:57a

Moon Overhead: 3:07a 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

MONDAY

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 4:46a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

feet

feet

Moon Underfoot: 12:03p

+2.0

-1.0

TIDE LEVELS

0

High Tide: 4:49 AM Low Tide: 9:39 AM High Tide: 2:15 PM Low Tide: 9:48 PM

1.52ft. 1.20ft. 1.46ft. -0.23ft.

BEST:

6:00 — 8:00 PM

High Tide: 5:16 AM Low Tide: 10:19 AM High Tide: 3:30 PM Low Tide: 10:36 PM

1.48ft. 1.01ft. 1.47ft. -0.07ft.

T F & G

ALMANAC Digital.indd 99

Moon Underfoot: 1:51p BEST:

6:30 — 8:30 PM

High Tide: 5:41 AM Low Tide: 11:02 AM High Tide: 4:40 PM Low Tide: 11:22 PM

1.43ft. 0.81ft. 1.44ft. 0.15ft.

A L M A N A C

Moon Underfoot: 2:42p

Moon Underfoot: 3:32p

BEST:

BEST:

7:30 — 9:30 PM

High Tide: 6:06 AM 1.39ft. Low Tide: 11:47 AM 0.62ft. High Tide: 5:50 PM 1.40ft.

T e x a S

Moon Underfoot: 4:22p BEST:

8:00 — 10:00 PM

Low Tide: 12:05 AM High Tide: 6:30 AM Low Tide: 12:34 PM High Tide: 7:01 PM

F i s h

&

0.39ft. 1.36ft. 0.46ft. 1.35ft.

Moon Underfoot: 5:11p

Low Tide: 12:46 AM High Tide: 6:54 AM Low Tide: 1:24 PM High Tide: 8:18 PM

G a m e ®

0.65ft. 1.34ft. 0.34ft. 1.30ft.

A U G U S T

+2.0

BEST:

9:00 — 11:00 PM 3:30 — 5:30 AM

TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

BEST:

5:30 — 7:30 PM

Moon Underfoot: 12:58p

Low Tide: 1:25 AM High Tide: 7:16 AM Low Tide: 2:17 PM High Tide: 9:46 PM

2 0 1 3

|

0.89ft. 1.33ft. 0.27ft. 1.28ft.

+1.0 0 -1.0

99

7/19/13 4:29 PM


Sportsman’s Daybook

SYMBOL KEY = New Moon l º = First Quarter l = Full Moon » = Last Quarter « = Good Day n = Best Day SUNDAY

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

26

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

27

28 »

Sunrise: 6:53a Set: 7:48p Sunrise: 6:53a Set: 7:47p Moonrise: 11:32p Set: 12:24p Moonrise: None Set: 1:19p

FRIDAY

29

Sunrise: 6:54a Set: 7:46p Moonrise: 12:16a Set: 2:11p

SATURDAY

30

Sunrise: 6:54a Set: 7:45p Moonrise: 1:02a Set: 3:00p

31

Sunrise: 6:55a Set: 7:44p Moonrise: 1:49a Set: 3:46p

Sep 1

Sunrise: 6:55a Set: 7:42p Moonrise: 2:39a Set: 4:29p

Sunrise: 6:56a Set: 7:41p Moonrise: 3:31a Set: 5:10p

AM Minor: 10:29a

PM Minor: 10:53p

AM Minor: 11:21a

PM Minor: 11:45p

AM Minor: -----

PM Minor: 12:10p

AM Minor: 12:33a

PM Minor: 12:57p

AM Minor: 1:18a

PM Minor: 1:42p

AM Minor: 2:01a

PM Minor: 2:25p

AM Minor: 2:43a

PM Minor: 3:06p

AM Major: 4:17a

PM Major: 4:41p

AM Major: 5:08a

PM Major: 5:33p

AM Major: 5:58a

PM Major: 6:22p

AM Major: 6:45a

PM Major: 7:09p

AM Major: 7:30a

PM Major: 7:54p

AM Major: 8:13a

PM Major: 8:36p

AM Major: 8:54a

PM Major: 9:17p

Moon Overhead: 5:35a

12a

THURSDAY

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 7:12a

Moon Overhead: 6:24a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 8:01a 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 9:36a

Moon Overhead: 8:48a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

MONDAY

Tides and Prime Times for AUGUST 2013

Moon Overhead: 10:22a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

feet

feet

Moon Underfoot: 5:59p

+2.0

-1.0

TIDE LEVELS

0

BEST:

BEST:

4:30 — 6:30 AM

1.09ft. 1.33ft. 0.23ft. 1.29ft.

Low Tide: 2:24 AM High Tide: 7:44 AM Low Tide: 4:22 PM

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 100

2 0 1 3

1.26ft. 1.33ft. 0.22ft.

Moon Underfoot: 8:25p

BEST:

7:30 — 9:30 PM

Low Tide: 2:00 AM High Tide: 7:35 AM Low Tide: 3:16 PM High Tide: 11:34 PM

100 |

Moon Underfoot: 7:37p

BEST:

12:30 — 2:30 PM

High Tide: 4:29 AM Low Tide: 5:31 PM

T e x a S

1.37ft. 0.22ft.

F i s h

2:00 — 4:00 PM

High Tide: 4:07 AM Low Tide: 6:35 PM

&

1.44ft. 0.22ft.

G a m e ®

Moon Underfoot: 9:12p

Moon Underfoot: 9:59p

BEST:

BEST:

2:30 — 4:30 PM

High Tide: 4:10 AM Low Tide: 7:29 PM

T F & G

1.47ft. 0.22ft.

3:30 — 5:30 PM

High Tide: 4:11 AM Low Tide: 9:49 AM High Tide: 11:47 AM Low Tide: 8:13 PM

1.47ft. 1.34ft. 1.36ft. 0.23ft.

Moon Underfoot: 10:45p

+2.0

BEST:

4:30 — 6:30 PM

High Tide: 4:16 AM Low Tide: 9:40 AM High Tide: 1:01 PM Low Tide: 8:49 PM

1.47ft. 1.31ft. 1.39ft. 0.26ft.

TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

Moon Underfoot: 6:48p

+1.0 0 -1.0

A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:29 PM


BA Feeders

CZ-USA

LensPen/Parkside Optical Inc.

Black Hills Ammunition

DeSantis Holsters

Promatic

Climate Bug Shield

Fishing Lights, Etc

REDRING USA, LLC

CORBON/Glaser

George Young Sales Company

SIG SAUER, Inc.

Cowgirl Relics

KT Coolers

Sun Optics USA

Crackshot

Lansky Sharpeners

Wiley X Eyewear

ALMANAC Digital.indd 101

7/19/13 4:29 PM


Special Hunting Section

T

here really is no place like

Texas. I will never forget arriving at a fishing lodge on the Pacific Coast of Mexico back in 1998. I got there just in

time for dinner and as I sat down joined the conversation on politics. A few minutes later, one of the men looks at me and a says, “You’re from Texas aren’t you?” “Yes. Did the accent tip you off?” I asked.

Duck hunting in Texas is strong where water supplies are abundant. Texas hosts a huge portion of the Central Flyway’s wintering ducks.

102 |

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 102

2 0 1 3

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

T F & G

A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:29 PM


T F & G

ALMANAC Digital.indd 103

A L M A N A C

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e 速

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

103

7/19/13 4:29 PM


Special Hunting Section “No, your accent isn’t strong. No one else thinks as you people do. It is obvious you are a Texan.” I took that as a compliment. Political conversations aside, there is a “live free or die” type of attitude in the Lone Star State that has helped to create what can only be described as the most unique and diverse sporting opportunities found anywhere. It almost goes without saying the whitetail hunting in Texas is stellar. With more than four million deer stateGiant bucks like this one are not only on highly managed private land like Swenson Ranch but are also free-ranging on public land in various locations in the state.

104 |

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 104

2 0 1 3

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

T F & G

A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:29 PM


T F & G

ALMANAC Digital.indd 105

A L M A N A C

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e 速

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

105

7/19/13 4:29 PM


Special Hunting Section wide, hunting is rock solid in each region of the state but the drought most of the state has faced is impacting them in certain regions. Although the harvest data for 2012 was not available at the time of this writing, looking at the 2011 data gives an interesting snapshot of the Texas population. The 2011 estimated harvest was 574,808 white-tailed deer; 309,207 being bucks and 265,601 antlerless deer. You can compare those statistics to the 2010 season, one of Texas’s better seasons,

Anterless deer play a significant role in the annual harvest of whitetails in Texas, accounting for nearly half of the total deer taken each year.

106 |

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 106

2 0 1 3

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e ÂŽ

T F & G

A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:29 PM


T F & G

ALMANAC Digital.indd 107

A L M A N A C

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e 速

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

107

7/19/13 4:29 PM


Special Hunting Section when total deer harvest was estimated at 647,975 deer; 336,550 being bucks and

Texas has a population of more than 4 million whitetailed deer.

311,425 antlerless deer. Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

“Keep in mind the 11-year average

(TPWD) reports a little perspective is in

for annual total harvest is 574,423 deer

order here.

and the lowest estimated harvest occur-

ring during the 2007-08 was an estimated 512,852 deer.” Overall, range conditions in key areas of the state improved and hunters should see solid numbers of deer in the field. In Texas, a bad deer season is better than a 108 |

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 108

2 0 1 3

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

T F & G

A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:29 PM


T F & G

ALMANAC Digital.indd 109

A L M A N A C

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e 速

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

109

7/19/13 4:30 PM


Special Hunting Section Feral hogs are the second most popular animal in Texas with the states’ reputation for producing big, nasty hogs gaining legendary status around the nation via reality television.

good in many states and even if this year turns out to be slower than normal, it will be strong overall. Feral hogs are the second most popular game in Texas and for good reason. With nearly three million of them roaming from border to border there are massive hunting opportunities, especially considering there is no season or bag limit and they can be hunted at night and even out of a helicopter. Texas is bringing in tens of thousands of out of state hunters annually who watch reality TV programs based on these potentially vicious Texas residents. Texas has several species of doves, all of which are similar in appearance and

110 |

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 110

2 0 1 3

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e ÂŽ

T F & G

A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:30 PM


habits, but that each has its own unique

strong and Texas still winters the bulk of

attributes.

the ducks in the Central Flyway but we are losing habitat rapidly, especially agricul-

Mourning doves are the most common and they prefer a mix of wild and

tural wetlands. Hunters with access to fresh

agricultural settings. In most of the state,

water with good vegetation will take many

their preferred foods are milo, wheat and

ducks this year.

corn and they feed heavily on wild plants

Goose hunting is another issue entirely

such as dove weed (croton) and ragweed.

as fewer and fewer snows in particular are

Whitewings are more of a city loving spe-

wintering in Texas. In fact, we have seen

cies and although they were once relegated

some of the lowest numbers in decades as

to the southern half of the state, their num-

documented in several feature stories we

bers have increased dramatically and the

have run in this publication. Isolated pock-

range now includes parts of East Texas.

ets of strong goose hunting exist but the

Hunters also take Eurasian-collared doves

tradition of super strong goose hunting in

in fair numbers in certain areas.

most of Texas is on the decline. the popularity of crossbow hunting. There

many doves in the field this year, especially

are several key reasons why as a lifelong

in close relation to water.

bowhunter, I believe we will see a major

taken a hit. Our duck hunter numbers are

T F & G

ALMANAC Digital.indd 111

crossbow boom in Texas over the next decade. They are as follows:

A L M A N A C

T e x a S

F i s h

&

hunting, this will inspire many hunters to buy a crossbow, learn how to shoot it and hit the field. Additionally, there are numerous key public hunting areas in the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers systems that are bow only throughout the nearly four-month deer season. Since many of these areas are politan areas savvy hunters will likely get

largest in the nation and hunters can expect

Waterfowl is an area where Texas has

Texas has the longest deer season in the nation. With a full month of archery-only

located within a short drive of key metro-

Something else in Texas is on the rise:

The dove population in Texas is the

Long Deer Season

with the program.

Off Season Options Texas never really has an “off” season as there are legal hunting opportunities 365 days a year with the nation’s larg-

G a m e ®

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

111

7/19/13 4:30 PM


Special Hunting Section est population of feral hogs (somewhere around 2.5 million) and the largest herd of exotic animals to be found anywhere. Many hunters who pursue these creatures enjoy something a bit more challenging

112 |

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 112

2 0 1 3

T e x a S

Exotics, such as axis deer, provide Texans with additional year-round hunting opportunities beyond varmints, feral hogs and other species not considered “game animals.”

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

T F & G

A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:30 PM


Varmint numbers are on the rise in Texas and so is the popularity of hunting them. Arguably, coyotes may be the most challenging game in the state.

than rifle hunting so crossbows are a perfect alternative. In fact, there are many archery-only exotic ranches and hog hunting operations in the state that have already opened their gates to crossbow hunters. Texas hunters may use them yearround, unlike many other states. We have an entire calendar year of opportunities and they are increasing all the time. Some metropolitan areas are legalizing archery equipment within the city limits to help decrease feral hogs, which are causing major problems. Most states are cutting out hunter opportunity while Texas is increasing it in many areas.

T F & G

ALMANAC Digital.indd 113

A L M A N A C

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e 速

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

113

7/19/13 4:30 PM


Special Hunting Section tion. Many older hunters have expressed

By giving these older hunters, which often

an interest in crossbow hunting instead

have plenty of disposable income a chance

of traditional bowhunting due to physical

to take a more challenging hunting route,

Aging, baby boomers number 5.6 million

limitations. Surveys show Texas has lots of

the crossbow industry could fare very well.

in Texas or 28 percent of the popula-

older hunters but most of them use guns.

Graying Population According to the Texas Department on

Do it all Texans I doubt many bowhunters permanently put up their compounds, recurves and longbows to hunt strictly with crossbows. There is too much of a spiritual connection with these ancient instruments; however I suspect many bowhunters like me will give crossbows a try. Another growth area is the popularity of public hunting and much of that has to do with the actions of TPWD. They are doing something that allows families to not only continue time-honored hunting traditions but also engage a multitude of access points at a very affordable rate. For $48, hunters can purchase an Annual Public Hunting Permit (APH) and have an opportunity to pursue their outdoors passions on more than 900,000 acres of land. “The price stays the same but the amount of land in the program has increased,” said TPWD private lands leasing biologist Terry Turney. TPWD received a grant from the Farm Services Administration under USDA that has expanded acreage in the program particularly in areas close to urban centers. “The good thing is we have not cut back the state money we have been spending on public hunting. This is over and above that with a goal of allowing easy access to hunting for a variety of species,” Turney said. Doves in particular are an important part of the program. “Our stats have shown hunters will 114 |

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 114

2 0 1 3

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

T F & G

A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:30 PM


Chester Moore, Sr., the author’s father, has been an inspiration to his son, and also to many other young hunters.

drive about 70 miles to dove hunt. We try to get as many areas within that distance of urban centers with the idea a hunter can leave at noon, hunt until dark and then return home at a decent hour.” Dove (and small game) leases are distributed from South Texas (Brooks County) to the Panhandle (Hansford County) and from the Beaumont region (Orange County) to far West Texas (Hudspeth County). TPWD has hit a home run with the APH program and their entire public hunting program. The result is an incredible amount of acreage to hunt for only $48, which is less than eating out these days. There is no

T F & G

ALMANAC Digital.indd 115

A L M A N A C

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

115

7/19/13 4:30 PM


Special Hunting Section The shooting sports are becoming more and more popular in Texas as are defense shooting classes.

greater value to be found in the outdoors market anywhere in the country. Finally, Texas is perhaps the last bastion of freedom for firearms lovers. While most states are creating gun control, Texas has maintained its firearms freedoms and in fact, the top firearms proponent in the country moved here a decade ago, in no small part because of the opportunities listed in this story. “Texas is a unique place with a great vision for freedom. There is still work to do but we have strong leadership here and without a question are heading the right

116 |

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 116

2 0 1 3

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e ÂŽ

T F & G

A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:30 PM


direction in comparison with the rest of the country,” said TF&G Editor-At-Large Ted Nugent. “And besides that the hunting year is second to none. A guy like me who wants to hunt all year can do just that and never run out of amazing hunting options.” —Story and Photos by Chester Moore

Additional Photos: Canstock, Fotolia

Mourning doves are the most common species of Texas dove, and Texas has more dove than any other state.

T F & G

ALMANAC Digital.indd 117

A L M A N A C

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

117

7/19/13 4:30 PM


TEXAS FRESHWATER

TEXAS SALTWATER

OUTDOOR SHOPPER

LAKE TEXOMA

Upper Coast (Sabine Lake)

HUNTING & FISHING GEAR

GALVESTON

Check out our UNIQUE AND NEW products on FISHandGAMEgear.COM

DFW METROPLEX

GUIDE GALLERY Courtesy: Redfish Charters

MIDDLE Coast

ROCKPORT / BAFFIN BAY LAKE AMISTAD

ROCKPORT Courtesy: Redfish Charters

WWW.FISHGAME.COM 118 |

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 118

2 0 1 3

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e 速

T F & G

A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:30 PM


Texas Tasted

Blackened Redfish Tacos

Photos: Bryan Slaven:

by Bryan Slaven | The Texas Gourmet Blackened Redfish Tacos

O

ver the spring and summer, we have caught several redfish and normally we either cook them on the half shell or blacken the fillets. This recipe is a light and healthy version that is great for lunch or for a dinner party. The pico de gallo and Jalacado sauce really add a blast of flavor, we hope you enjoy them! Serves 4 to 6 2 to 3 6 to 8 oz. redfish filets 1 cup- thinly sliced purple cabbage 1 cup- Pico de Gallo 1 cup Jalacado Sauce- recipe follows 1 stick- butter, melted Texas Gourmet’s Sidewinder Searing Spice 16 to 20 corn tortillas- preheated on a comal (griddle) or in the oven and covered with a moist cloth and foil to keep warm in the oven until ready to serve Fresh limes PreparationBrush the fillets on one side with melted butter, then season liberally with Texas Gourmet’s Sidewinder Searing Spice. Place the fillets seasoned side down on a

The Texas Gourmet and his two sons gathering the groceries for this recipe.

preheated black iron skillet that is good and hot over med high heat ( be sure and cook these outside on your propane burner or inside only if you have a heavy duty exhaust fan for your stove) Cook for approximately two minutes, while the first side is cooking, brush the side facing up with butter and liberally season with Texas Gourmet’s Sidewinder Searing

Jalacado Sauce This is a great recipe that combines some flavors we liked separately but they are really good together

diced Juice of ½ lemon, (or as much as you like) 1 tablespoon-Texas Gourmet’s Sidewinder Searing Spice

(Serves several people) 1- Cup mayo ½ fresh and ripe avocado, mashed 2- Green onions- sliced thin 1 fresh jalapeno, stemmed, seeded, and T F & G

ALMANAC Digital.indd 119

Spice , carefully flip the fillets and cook the second side for two to three minutes or until meat is opaque and cuts through easily with a fork. Remove to a warm platter and slice the fillet into long slices, approx. ¾” x 4. Build the tacos, place a slice of redfish in the taco,(most restaurants use two tortillas at one time, it’s up to you) the corn can be a bit brittle but I love the flavor of the corn with the fish. Add a teaspoon or two of Pico de Gallo, and a teaspoon of Jalacado Sauce (see left), then a little squeeze of fresh lime juice. Serve with Mexican rice, or your favorite vegetable. Email Bryan Slaven, “The Texas Gourmet,” at BSlaven@fishgame.com

Combine all of the ingredients, then refrigerate for an hour or more to combine the flavors, serve chilled!

A L M A N A C

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

119

7/19/13 4:30 PM


Redfish

Flounder

Flour Bluff

Texas Coast

Skyler Perez, 19, caught her first fish—a 27-inch, 7-pound, 9 oz. redfish—while fishing the flats off Laguna Shores Road in Flour Bluff.

Dane and Nathan Grissom with a 26-and-a-half-inch flounder caught on a Norton Sand Eel.

Bass

Whitetail

Lake Conroe

Goodrich

Nine-year-old Alex Forsythe caught this largemouth bass on Lake Conroe.

Black Drum Rollover Pass James Arnold caught this 43-inch black drum near Rollover Pass. He was fishing from the bank in shallow, grassy water.

Whitetail Eden Clay Zinnante, age 7, killed his first buck with a 22-250 at 120 yards. It was an 8-point and weighed 190 pounds. He was hunting on his dad’s deer lease in Eden.

Seven-year-old Brody Atwood of Vidor got his first buck (9 point) while hunting on Goodrich Farms in Goodrich, Texas with his dad Allen Atwood.

Speckled Trout Texas Coast Ethan Price caught this 25-inch speckled trout on the third cast, while drift fishing with Capt. Charlie Paradoski, his Papa, and his dad.

120 |

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 120

2 0 1 3

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

T F & G

A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:31 PM


MAIL TO: TFG PHOTOS 1745 Greens Rd, Houston TX 77032 NOTE: Print photos can not be returned.

EMAIL: photos@FishGame.com

For best results, send MED to HIGH quality JPEG digital files only, please.

No guarantee can be made as to when, or if, a submitted photo will be published.

Turkey Frisco 12-year-old Bryce Hulstein of Frisco took his first turkey 3 days after his younger brother took his first. Bryce’s shot was 40 yards.

Redfish

Bass

Port Isabel

Lake Travis

Astrid Torres landed this mammoth redfish weighing 8.5 pounds at sunset in Mexiquita Flats, Port Isabel.

Geron Davis caught this largemouth bass while fishing on Lake Travis.

Feral Hog McCook

Redfish

Lukas Matteo Suarez,8, got his first kill on his first hunt, a 45-pound Russian boar. He took the hog at 65 yards with a .30/30 in McCook.

Rockport Jacob Garcia,10, caught this 25-inch redfish while fishing with his dad in Rockport.

Speckled Trout Corpus Christi Zack Holland caught this trout on his Zebco spin-caster, by himself, after baiting his own hook with live shrimp in Corpus Christi’s Humble Channel.

Flounder Texas Coast Raven De La Rosa caught this 18-inch flounder.

Black Drum Rollover Pass Molly McClelland caught this 37-inch black drum while fishing from the bank near Rollover Pass.

T F & G

ALMANAC Digital.indd 121

A L M A N A C

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

A U G U S T

2 0 1 3

|

121

7/19/13 4:31 PM


122 |

A U G U S T

ALMANAC Digital.indd 122

2 0 1 3

T e x a S

F i s h

&

G a m e 速

T F & G

A L M A N A C

7/19/13 4:31 PM


C3_ALL.indd 3

7/6/13 12:18 PM


C4_ALL.indd 4

7/6/13 12:20 PM


August 2013