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

TOM BEHRENS • GREG BERLOCHER • PAUL BRADSHAW • HERMAN BRUNE • JOE DOGGETT • JOHN GISEL • CALIXTO GONZALES • KENDAL HEMPHILL • CAPT. MIKE HOLMES • BOB HOOD • STEVE LAMASCUS • PATRICK LEMIRE • LOU MARULLO • JIMMY D. MOORE • TED NUGENT • DOUG PIKE • LENNY RUDOW • WAYNE C. WATSON • MATT WILLIAMS • REAVIS WORTHAM •

TROPHY QUEST COORDINATOR KAYAKING EDITOR CONTRIBUTING EDITOR CONTRIBUTING EDITOR SENIOR CONTRIBUTING EDITOR WEBSITE CONTENT MANAGER SALTWATER EDITOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR ASSOC. OFFSHORE EDITOR HUNTING EDITOR FIREARMS EDITOR SALTWATER RIGS EDITOR BOWHUNTING EDITOR NORTH HOTSPOTS EDITOR EDITOR AT LARGE SENIOR OFFSHORE EDITOR BOATING EDITOR LEGAL AFFAIRS EDITOR FRESHWATER EDITOR HUMOR EDITOR

A D V E R T I S I N G

ARDIA NEVES VICE PRESIDENT/ADVERTISING DIRECTOR NICOLE MCKIBBIN • NATIONAL MARKETING REP. DENISE BELL • NATIONAL MARKETING REP. 1745 GREENS ROAD, HOUSTON, TX 77032 PHONE 281/227-3001 • FAX 281/227-3002

SUBSCRIPTION/PRODUCT MKTG. 1745 GREENS ROAD, HOUSTON, TX 77032 PHONE 800/725-1134

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• SUBSCRIBER SERVICES MANAGER • FIELD REPRESENTATIVE • NEWSTAND REPRESENTATIVE

P R O D U C T I O N

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

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FEATURES JANUARY 2010 • Volume XXV • NO.9

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THE WALKABOUT ANGLER TF&G embarks on a year-long trek to explore and extoll the challenges and virtues of low-tech mobility in the pursuit of angling adventures.

by Reavis Wortham

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SECRETS OF THE FLOUNDER BITE With help from the University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas, we have uncovered secrets that will help you catch more and bigger flatfish.

by Chester Moore

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PRACTICAL BOATS FOR PRACTICAL ANGLERS Despite the popularity of big bass and bay boats, probably more fish hit the decks of aluminum johnboats than any other watercraft. Here is a quick guide to some of the better options in low-cost boating.

by John Felsher

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BEATING THE RAP Between December 1 and February 28, the limits on Texas’ top crappie lakes actually reverse themselves: anglers are required to keep ALL of the first 25 crappie they catch, even those under the normal 10-inch minimum.

ON THE COVERS: COASTAL INLAND/NORTH: The barefoot boy on a country road or beachfront pier with a cut “fishing pole” over his shoulder is iconic to American culture. The boy might be older, the fishing pole high-tech, and the feet shod with wading boots, but the spirit remains the same in a new feature series for 2010—the Walkabout Angler.

Photo by JCH Fotolia.com

ALSO IN JANUARY:

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USED BOAT DO’S & DON’TS Buying a used boat is always risky. In a bad economy, involuntary neglect by some sellers makes it even riskier. by Lenny Rudow

by Matt Williams

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LAST CHANCE SPECKS White-front geese (specklebellies) have long been consistent bag-fillers for Texas waterfowlers. But hunting pressure and relaxed limits have “educated” the birds so that by Jaunary, they have wised up to the most common hunting tactics.

by Bink Grimes 4

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www.twitter.com/FishandGame

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COLUMNS and DEPARTMENTS JANUARY 2010 • Volume XXV • NO.9

COLUMNS 10 Editor’s Notes

45 Texas Saltwater Log Roll

A Thousand Words

by CALIXTO GONZALES TF&G Saltwater Editor

by DON ZAIDLE TF&G Editor-in-Chief

13 Chester’s Notes

DEPARTMENTS 8

YOUR LETTERS

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TF&G REPORT

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BIG BAGS & CATCHES

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TRUE GREEN

46 Hunt Texas

No-Fishing Zones Are Here

The Whitetail Legacy

by CHESTER MOORE, JR. TF&G Executive Editor

by BOB HOOD TF&G Hunting Editor

14 Doggett at Large Cover Your Backups

by JOE DOGGETT TF&G Senior Contributing Editor

15 Pike On the Edge Hunters: Take the Offensive

by DOUG PIKE TF&G Offshore Editor

16 TexasWild

Baits, Backstraps & Bureaucrats by TED NUGENT TF&G Editor-at-Large

37 Texas Freshwater TPWD Secrecy Erodes Confidence

www.facebook.com/pages/Texas-Fish-Game-Magazine/86524948620

47 Open Season Cross-Dressing Cross-Up

by REAVIS WORTHAM TF&G Humor Editor

by MATT WILLIAMS TF&G Freshwater Editor 6

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Letters TF&G A “TURN-OFF” TO KIDS - PART II In non-respect to the TF&G a “turn-off ” to Kids letter in the November issue: I, too, have never written a letter to any magazine or paper before. I have had a subscription to your fine magazine for years. When I get your mag, I read it from cover to cover, ads included. I highlight areas for references and note the page number. I was in total shock to learn that Texas Fish & Game would dare promote patriotism. The very gall to promote love of our country and respect for Old Glory! For Mr. Baggett’s information, that’s our flag; the worldwide symbol of our country; land that I love, respect, and have defended; the good old USA (United States of America). My daughter, who is in college, states she really wasn’t interested in (to paraphrase), “Your points of view.” I know many kids in my area, and I can’t find any with your point of view. Why would you not sit those youngsters down and explain what the flag stands for. Among many things is freedom of religion, speech, to vote, and—oh, yes—freedom to bear arms and defend yourself. I read numerous sports, woodworking, and DIY magazines. They all mention flag, God, Christmas, Easter, Halloween, etc. Are Mr. Baggett’s kids offended by these also? Most kids I know skip over what they don’t want to read. Mr. Baggett’s whole letter seems very suspect to me. My answer to him: If you don’t like it, don’t read it. Rob Robinson “A Proud American” Via email I am a long time reader/subscriber and have advertised with you in the past. I enjoy reading my Texas Fish & Game and look forward to receiving it each month. Keep up the great work and continue doing what you do best. Note: What you do best is not political news and commentary. James Wommack Corpus Christi, TX 8

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John Baggett expressed our feelings exactly. We asked for this subscription not knowing your heavy political content. We are now seeking a magazine that focuses on fish and game. T.S. Randolph Via email A reader in the November Letters to the Editor suggests that “politically conservative” articles are turning kids off and that TF&G should leave such subjects to other magazines. I strongly disagree. The politically sensitive, common-sense editorial posture of TF&G is the main reason I have continued to renew my subscription, and I believe it is critical that new recruits to our outdoor sports be made aware of the tenuous context in which we must enjoy them. If we do not respond to the distorted emotional propaganda of PETA, HSUS, and Friends of Animals, and the devious attempts of the “politically correct” gun haters to take away our constitutional right to keep and bear arms, we could lose our right to fish and hunt. A deer being eaten alive by coyotes in an overpopulated area isn’t going to feel grateful to the “animal rights” fanatics, and while I have no particular interest in “assault weapons,” it was in fact the “assault weapons” with which they had just defeated the British army that the authors of the Constitution guaranteed us the right to keep and bear. John Hahn Via email In response to John Baggett’s letter to the editor in the November issue of TF&G: I really don’t know where to start, Mr. Baggett, there are so many things wrong with your letter. If you only know two “younger generation” that you are sharing your TF&G and your love of the outdoors, hunting, and fishing with, you really aren’t doing your share. You should get more involved and not make the kind of judgment you have made from this limited experience. Where would they get the information that Zaidle, Moore, Lemire, Nugent, Watson, Hemphill, Brune, F i s h

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et al bring us every month? Do you think that the Left Coast entertainment industry, the national and local newspapers, or the television networks are going to? Where else but excellent publications like TF&G, which have the ability and willingness to put the truth out there, can we learn what groups that conflict with our interests are doing? I do not like “extremist” on either side of an issue, but TF&G articles have been objective, fair, and educational. Everyone should see all sides of an issue, and then with their intelligence, education, and experience make up her/his own mind. I have four children, three of whom participate in (and enjoy) hunting and fishing, and one who doesn’t. That’s their decisions. I don’t think any are “right” or “wrong.” It’s just that they are adults and have a right to decide for themselves. As far as not being a letter writer, maybe we should all do more of that. Write our representatives in Austin and Washington. Write our local newspapers. Write to the networks when they have an obviously biased viewpoint promoted with misinformation and cloaked in sugar as part of an “entertainment” program. If you think that anti-hunting and antifishing are not part of a political agenda for some, I don’t think you understand politics or politicians either. I, for one, will not leave discussions of the flag, the ability to hunt and fish, gun ownership, the right to vote for the candidate of my choice, states rights, individual rights, the right to express your opinion, political opinions, etc. to The National Rifleman—and I pray neither will Texas Fish & Game and other responsible publications out there. If the focus is going to be on “fish and game and Texas hunting and fishing,” we first need to make sure there will be a hunting and fishing for that younger generation of the future. To that end, we can’t silence voices as important as TF&G and its writers. Sanitize and censor TF&G? I think not! Patrick Larson Beaumont, TX


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

A Thousand Words

special section of our website. To provide inspiration and get the ball rolling, here is a few of my own “non-consumptive” outdoors photos, uncaptioned. See if you can figure out what they are. Send your answers and your photos to ReaderPhotos@fishgame.com.

PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS IS a wholly American adage, popular but incorrect attribution to Chinese philosopher Confucius notwithstanding. An American ad man, Fred R. Barnard, coined the phrase to hawk advertising on the sides of streetcars. Whatever the origin, the phrase succinctly sums the value of photographs for teaching, telling stories, or just pure entertainment. As outdoors professionals, almost all of our 1 staff members are accomplished photographers. We photograph darn near everything imaginable in macro and telephoto detail. Which is fine as far as it goes, but we are not so shortsighted as to 2 think we have seen and photographed it all. We know there is some very cool stuff we have not experienced or seen, let alone photographed—but many of our readers have. To that end, we want to see your outdoors pho3 tographs, whether shot yourself or via trail cam. And not just “hero shots” of you or friends with game and fish, but anything outdoors related, from flora, insects, sunsets, and campfires to bow wakes, beavers, and bison. Some we will publish and most we will post to a

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TF&G Report

TPWD Poised To Join Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact AME LAW VIOLATORS IN TEXAS COULD FACE additional consequences for their actions under an interstate agreement recognizing suspension of hunting, fishing, and trapping licenses in other states. The Texas Parks & Wildlife Commission approved a regulation for Texas to join 31 other states currently participating in the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact. The Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact is an agreement that unresolved hunting and fishing violations in one state can affect a person’s hunting or fishing privileges in other participating states. Any person whose license privileges or rights are suspended in a member state could also be denied future purchase of a license in Texas until they have satisfied suspension in the other state. If a person’s hunting, fishing, or trapping rights are suspended in Texas, they may also be suspended in member states as well. “This cooperative interstate effort will enhance Texas game wardens’ ability to protect and manage our wildlife resources,” said Maj. David Sinclair, chief of fisheries and wildlife enforcement with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. “If a person plans to hunt, fish, or trap in Texas and they have a license suspension in another state, this compact allows us to deny them a license. The same will hold true for a Texan with a suspended license looking to hunt or fish elsewhere.” The Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact also establishes a process whereby wildlife law violations by a non-resident from a member state are handled as if the person were a resident, meaning they can be served a ticket rather than being arrested, booked, and bonded. This process is a convenience for hunters, fishermen, and trappers of member states, and increases efficiency of game wardens by allowing more time for enforce-

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ment duties rather than violator processing procedures. The concept of a wildlife violator compact was first advanced in the early 1980s by member states in the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies. Law enforcement administrators and wildlife commissioners from several states began discussing the idea of a compact based on the format of the existing Drivers License Compact and Non-Resident Violator Compact, both of these related to motor vehicle operator licensing and enforcement. In 1985, draft compacts were developed independently in Colorado and Nevada. Subsequently, these drafts were merged and the Interstate Wildlife Violator Compact was created. In 1989, compact legislation was passed into law in Colorado, Nevada, and Oregon. These three states formed the nucleus of the Compact. TPWD will be developing policies and procedures, but no timeline has been set for formally joining the Compact.

Offshore Oil Lease Deal Benefits Conservation A U.S. Department of the Interior (USDOI) oil and natural gas lease sale for the Central Gulf of Mexico Outer Continental Shelf of nearly 36 million acres could produce up to 1.3 billion barrels of oil and 5.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. Texas stands to share 12.5 percent of revenues from those leases that will be deposited into the Land and Water Conservation Fund for use by all 50 states to enhance parklands and for other conservation projects. The USDOI Minerals Management Service has proposed that oil and gas Lease T E X A S

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Sale 213 for the Central Gulf of Mexico Planning Area be held 17 March 2010. The proposed sale encompasses about 6800 unleased blocks covering more than 35.9 million acres offshore of Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama. The proposed Central Gulf of Mexico lease sale could result in production of up to 1.3 billion barrels of oil and 5.4 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. The acreage is located from 3 to 230 miles offshore in water depths ranging from 10 feet to more than 11,200 feet. Since January 2009, the Minerals Management Service has conducted two offshore auctions and Interior’s Bureau of Land Management has held 29 onshore oil and gas lease sales. Together, these sales generated more than $931 million in revenues shared between the states and federal government. The proposed sale area includes an area known as 181 South, which has about 4.2 million acres, located in the southeastern part of the Central Planning Area. The acreage in the 181 South area was offered for lease for the first time since 1988 in last year’s Central Gulf Lease Sale 208, as mandated by the Gulf of Mexico Energy Security Act of 2006. An enhanced revenue sharing program also mandated by that Act allows Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas to share 37.5 percent of all revenue from leases in that area.

On the Web www.gomr.mms.gov/homepg/lsesale/ 213/cgom213.html

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TF&G Report PHOTO COURTESY OF TPWD

fishing opportunity. For a list of stocking locations, see the TPWD website. No fishing license is needed to fish at TFFC, and rods, reels, and bait are furnished free. Anglers are allowed to bring their own tackle and bait, but no treble hooks are allowed. A $5 fee is charged for the opportunity to harvest five rainbow trout; catch-and-release fishing is free. Regular admission fees ($5.50 adults, $4.50 seniors, $3.50 children ages 4 through 12) apply.

Rainbow Trout Fishing Available Across the State AINBOW TROUT FISHING COMES TO THE Texas Freshwater Fisheries Center (TFFC) in Athens and at other locations across the state each December, once water temperatures cool enough for the cold-water fish to survive. Whether fly-fishing or using other tackle, anglers will increase their success rate by using baits that look similar to the floating fish pellets the hatchery-raised trout are accustomed to eating. One brand is Berkley Hatchery Formula Chews, available online and at major outdoor retailers. The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department

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On the Web purchases trout each year and stocks them into, streams, urban ponds, and state park lakes around the state in order to increase

www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/fish/management/ stocking/trout_stocking.phtml www.basspro.com

BIG BAGS & CATCHES

MACKEREL—PORT ARANSAS

BUCK—BURLESON COUNTY

FLOUNDER—WEST BAY GALVESTON

Shafer Shope, age 11, of Belton, Texas, with his first king mackerel, caught while fishing with his dad and uncle out of Port Aransas. He also caught his limit of red snapper.

Rhan Burrell of Houston, Texas, took this 8point buck with a .308 Remington 7600 at 116 yards in Burleson County, Texas.

Joe Prendki and daughter Emme, age 2, of Houston, Texas, had fun catching these two 23inch flounder at night in West Bay Galveston. This was Emme’s first time seeing flounder and she couldn’t understand why they are flat.

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Chester’s Notes by Chester Moore, Jr. | TF&G Executive Editor TF&G FIRST

No-Fishing Zones Are Here /

O-FISHING ZONES HAVE BEEN A HOT TOPIC of conversation in this magazine over the years. Beginning with President Bill Clinton’s executive order that created millions of acres of no-fishing areas in the Pacific, to the recent push to shut down fishing at the Flower Gardens out of Galveston, we have never kept our eye on this story. Government-enforced no-fishing zones are a terrible idea, and anyone who supports them obviously thinks our illustrious leaders are also doing a good job managing health care, trade, and our borders. In other words, they are delusional. The truth is, no-fishing zones are already here; they just do not have the fancy title. TF&G contributor Kyle Tomek touched on this in our September 2009 edition, but I want to take it farther. I, along with thousand of other anglers, have to deal with a 120,000-acre-plus nofishing zone every year on Sabine Lake as the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) shuts down fishing in the Sabine National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) October 15-March 15. The very best fishing opportunities in my entire region are off limits for five months without good reason. I have heard excuses ranging from water-

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fowl management to a lack of funding for wardens, but the reality is we paid for the land, pay for its management, but cannot utilize it during some of the best fishing times. The huge Aransas NWR has an open season for April 15-October 15, knocking back angling opportunities for half a calendar year. In the Laguna Atascosa NWR, fishing is allowed only in Adolph Thomae, Jr. Park. On Pleasure Island (just outside of Port Arthur), anglers have been shut out of the north and south levees off and on for the last few years by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. A variety of issues has contributed to this problem, and I will admit the Corps has been more lenient than I initially expected but we are talking more than 10 solid miles of bank fishing access. When you take into account the impending shutdown of Rollover Pass, the restriction of beach access all along the coast, the huge loss of piers and the Texas City Dike from Hurricane Ike, we have huge no-fishing zones already in place and restricting anglers. I will proudly proclaim we have been writing about this issue for a long time and keeping bank fishing access open has been a personal crusade of mine. However, we never really connected the dots until now. No-fishing zones are no-fishing zones whether they are given that title or are simply fishable areas anglers cannot fish. The reason you have not heard much about these default no-fishing zones is because they affect mainly low to middle-income bank fishermen. The official no-fishing zones that some are rightfully afraid will come to the Gulf affect rich, influential guys fishing for dolphin, wahoo, marlin, and other species most anglers will never catch. For some sad reason, those who fish for reds, specks, and flounder from the bank or simply like to crab do not get the same kind of concerns placed over their fishing holes. T E X A S

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I have nothing against rich, influential guys. In fact, I would really like to be the rich part of that equation but it is time we all see what is really happening with fishing access and do something about it. We have all made a lot of fuss over red snapper but that fishery only represents a tiny minority of Texas anglers. I agree things are messed up with their management but we have no-fishing zones creeping up everywhere and I have not heard a peep. Have you? Last year I was on the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) committee that helped steer the new flounder regulations. During one of the meetings, a couple of commercial fishermen suggested we prohibit fishing around the passes during the fall run. In other words, create a no-fishing zone. I along with others spoke against the idea and TPWD wisely shot it down but you heard it here first, official no-fishing zones have been brought to the table here in Texas. The truth is they do not scare me nearly as much as the low-key ones we have talked about. We can easily get the angling community riled up over something with “No-fishing” in its title. However, while we were sleeping hundreds of thousands of acres were taken away from anglers. It is time to do something about it. If you would like to make a stand for increasing angler access and rolling back this frightening trend, email me at cmoore@fishgame.com. We will run a special letters section on the issue to highlight the righteous anger I know will be out there when everyone can see the issue as clearly as I do now.

(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at cmoore@fishgame.com. You can hear him on the radio Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at www.klvi.com.) G a m e ® / J A N U A R Y

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

When you find a piece of equipment that really suits your style, buy a backup. As soon as you don’t, the item will be discontinued and no longer readily available. Here’s another tip when dealing with manufacturers of outdoor products: “New and improved” sometimes translates in the field or on the water to “cheaper to make and less reliable.” Certainly, this is not always the case. Many new-of-the-year products are significant upgrades over previous models. Most current top-end rods and reels are the finest the sport has known. Technology has advanced so much that many of today’s midrange models are superior to the highest grades available 10 or 15 years ago; however, the top quality comes with a price. You can expect to pay several hundred dollars for the finest casting rods and reels, and at least twice that amount for the best fly tackle. But, returning to the original premise, the backup for a prized older model might be obtained for a fraction of a comparable current issue. Rods, unlike reels, have few parts to wear out. And, to repeat, this is a proven product in your hands; you know the delicate tweaks and subtle actions that make it sing across the water. For example, my all-time favorite fly rod for serious rainbow trout fishing in Alaska (25- to 30-inch-plus fish) is a 9-foot, 6-inch G. Loomis IMX 8-weight. The four-piece “travel” rod is at least 20 years old; they phased out IMX years ago. IMX was top-of-the-line composition but a bit sketchy. The blanks occasionally broke

against little or no abuse, but when you got a good one, you really got a winner. This old rod is an ounce, maybe two, heavier than current top rods, but big deal. I mean, what difference in the real world (opposed to the gloss of marketing hype) does that make for a big, tough angler. Or even a skinny, wimpy angler. Come on—4 ounces versus 3 ounces, and that’s a tripkiller? That particular “excruciatingly heavy” rod is a marvelous blend of extra length for mending line and tight crispness for driving aggressive casts. At least it is for me. I’ve caught several thousand rainbows on that stick during annual late-summer trips to Alaska; no doubt, it would be a great bonefish tool, as well, but I don’t dare risk stumbling over a rum bottle and breaking it down on a tropical flat somewhere. That discontinued rod is my on-going reminder to double up. Try to locate one in excellent condition now. Some new rods from top houses are better, no question, but I know exactly how to make that old 9-6 IMX boomer spring to life. Rods and reels often improve each few years but manufacturers always are looking for ways to cut costs. The savings of even a few pennies per unit can add up and, to repeat, the cost cutting might come at the expense of quality control. Old-timers might recall Winchester’s questionable call in 1964, when benchmark models such as the Model 70 bolt rifle were cheapened and classics such as the Model 12 pump shotgun were dropped. Not all of their newer models were junk—but by most reviews they just weren’t as good as older, more-expensive-to-make ones. The cachet associated with a “Pre-’64” Winchester continues to carry a handsome price tag on the used gun racks. Fortunately, the newer Winchesters again are excellent. But I’m straying from the original premise of covering yourself. Even if the product is a shiny 2010 model, if you are truly pleased with its performance, act on the assumption that a bean counter somewhere will push for the corporate decision to drop it. Admittedly, some doubles are more cost-

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ly than others, but nobody can accuse me of not following my own advice. I purchased a new Chevrolet Tahoe two-door “Sport Package” SUV in 1995 and liked it so much that I bought a second one in 1999—the final year for the shorter two-door style Tahoe. A quail hunting and bay fishing friend, Norman Frede, put the bug in my ear. Of course, he’s in the business of selling Chevrolets, but the plan made perfect sense to me. The first Tahoe increasingly was relegated to beach detail. By 1999, it was a highly evolved “beachmobile” with after-market Yakima watersport roof racks, a front grill, and any number of obnoxious surf decals. An interior roof rack accommodates up to six rods and reels and, traveling solo, you can lower the passenger-side leather seat and insert a 10-foot Fry longboard. With the rear seat down and the back filled with tackle bags and coolers and surfing accessories, the vehicle maintains a “cocked and locked” attitude for upgraded beach potential. Many afternoons, while working at the Houston Chronicle, fellow outdoor writer Doug Pike and I would bolt for the garage (“Screw the staff meeting!”) and blast down Highway 288 to Surfside. But the price for this cavalier state of readiness was an increasingly salty aura. The Beach Tahoe was an offensive choice for squiring around town, hence the shiny new Town Tahoe. The latter vehicle still looks good, with clean paint, tender mileage and the ever-socool slightly jacked rear end. It is a real SUV, not just something you take to the supermarket. It was paid off years ago and remains reliable—not a free ride, but a lot cheaper than outfitting in a new rig. Every few months someone offers to buy it, and every few weeks I congratulate myself on having the wisdom to double up. And, no, the Beach Tahoe is not for sale either— although, oddly, nobody seems interested in that one.

E-mail Joe Doggett at doggett@fishgame.com


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Pike on the Edge by Doug Pike | TF&G Offshore Editor

Hunters: Take the Offensive Y EARS ACHE FROM THE CACOPHONOUS chorus of outdoors-related apathy that rings these days from sea to shining sea. If we do not change our tune, there may come an autumn in which there is no opening day. That will not happen first in Texas, to be sure, but outdoorsmen’s privileges in every state, even ours, are being challenged and rescinded every year. Bottom line—and this is nothing new: Nobody cares about us but us. The “us” to whom I refer is folks who hunt and fish, people who know how to shoot and cast, and how to get what they kill from the ground to the grill. Birders and hikers and other non-consumptive users of the outdoors make great allies in most cases, but do not assume any such alliance exists until you hear specifically that it does. Our problem as hunters and fishermen is that, without rebuttal, we allow ourselves to be criticized and ridiculed and insulted by people who know about wildlife and fisheries what John Wayne knew about pedicures and petit fours. They are not stupid people; they are misinformed people. And to underestimate the persuasive powers of smart people who disagree with you is a recipe for the failure of any cause. When they spout off against our passions, we get jelly-kneed and lose our voices. It happens at parties and in offices, at PTA meetings and in places of worship. Someone says

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they do not like hunting, and we retreat to a corner. We do not have to defend ourselves, of course, but doing so is a good idea if we intend to keep watching ducks fall into decoys or bucks step into senderos. Here are a couple of heavy bullets for your counterpoint gun; be willing to fire them. Richard Louv and Randall Eaton each published excellent books recently on the positive aspects of direct involvement with the outdoors and of hunting, respectively. In Boys to Men of Heart, Eaton notes that in societies around the world where boys are raised by hunters and become hunters, men tend to be more compassionate and humble than men in societies that do not hunt. Louv’s research for Last Child in the Woods revealed that kids who are involved directly with the outdoors tend to have fewer behavioral and attention disorders, and they T E X A S

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score higher on standardized tests than do children who are all city and no country. Present that information. Explain to an anti-hunter that recreational hunting is an invaluable wildlife management tool and that sportsmen fund nearly every wildlife and fisheries restoration program in the nation. If hunting did not exist, you should ask, how would wildlife be managed, and who would fund efforts to protect wildlife? We are so scared of offending anyone that even the hosts of hunting shows—television programs that air every minute of the hunt from rolling out of the bunk to posing with dead animals— have mistaken themselves for farmers. Hunters kill animals. Farmers harvest crops. I am a good hunter but a horrible farmer. Write a letter. Make a phone call. Tell your friends. Call it what it is. That way, there is less chance that we or what we do will be misunderstood. In response to a 2009 op-end piece in the New York Times that included a passing mention of hunting, a woman who strongly opposes the sport actually suggested (I’ll paraphrase here) that we get our meat from the grocery store, where no animals are harmed to make it. She and too many others are outspokenly against us. At some point, we might want to think about mounting a loud and clear defense.

E-mail Doug Pike at offshore@fishgame.com G a m e ® / J A N U A R Y

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

OZENS OF OLD APPLE TREES LINED OUT along a steep ridge unfolding into an eternal marshland, pocked with islands of oaks, chokecherry, and maples. Scattered clumps of grey dogwood, willows, reeds, cattails, autumn olive, tag alders, and untold vines and tangles of puckerbrush abounded. The whole beautiful place reeked of wildlife, especially whitetail deer. Good Lord. At some time, a man planted all those apple trees. This man hunted amongst them for a shot at a deer. And like millions of my fellow gung-ho hunters across America, this man also planted crops and food plots on my hunting grounds to optimize my chances for a good shot at game. Surely, by no stretch of the imagination, could anyone attempt to claim that all these attractants are anything less than bait. Like the waterhole we sit over during extremely dry conditions, the mock scrapes we create in our favorite buck woods, or the trail of doe urine we strategically plot out to cross in front of our tree stand—write this down--it is all bait. I will not enter the embarrassing world of rhetorical redundancy here as it pertains to the junk science of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD). Like all my hunting buddies and me, all hunters should have already done their homework on the mutated protein prion transmissible spongiform encephalopathy (TSE) that is CWD, or how the Colorado Division of wildlife injected deer with scrapie, the domestic sheep version of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD) back in 1967, or how Mad Cow erupted from the insane government-sanctioned practice of feeding animal parts from livestock that had

died from unknown causes to other livestock, and how the CWD scare is about as real as Al Gore’s global warming hoax. I dismiss it out of hand, and you should, too. Deer do not need bait thrown around to have nose-to-nose contact. Their lives are nose-to-nose contact, nose to butt contact, nose to eyeball contact, and nose to ear contact, with or without man’s involvement. Find a person who says otherwise, and you are looking at a liar of a fool. Period. Think about it. The U.S. government takes tax dollars to provide supplemental feed for public wildlife when severe winters jeopardize western herds, then turn around and tell We the People that we can’t feed wildlife on our own private property. That’s like the insane outrage from soulless bureaucrats who tell their employers, We the People, that we must be unarmed and helpless but we must pay for their armed security detail. Makes sense, huh, Governor Doyle. Sure, if you reside on Planet of the Apes, or in Wisconsin. We could go on how these same corrupt bureaucrats waste a few gazillion more of our already hammered tax dollars to further destroy our health care system, the whole time voting for their own state of the art, unlimited health care system that We the People have never had any say in deciding. Yeah, these are the people I trust to make wildlife decisions in my life...never. Unlike some locales, such as Michigan, my former lost love of a home state, in the wonderful, last best place Republic of Texas and elsewhere, my long gun can join me on the front seat of my truck, dove season begins when it’s supposed to, and Texas deer hunters spend more than a billion dollars a year on deer corn, supplemental feed products, wildlife food plots, and other wildlife attractants. Add a few billion dollars more on private property owned and maintained just for hunting, and you get the picture that We the People are still in control in the Lone Star State. I am right at home there, thank you. Remember the Alamo. I do it all, and I love it all, including cleverly positioning an automatic feeder to spray corn into shadowy groves where I might get

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a close shot at a doe or buck at some point. Not only are all these strategies over-the-top exciting and absolutely fair chase, but, astonishingly, we can find fellow hunters who would like to ban one or more of these legal methodologies for some strange, selfish, unsophisticated, small-minded, and unfounded reasons. Phooey, or other such Hooked on Phonics verbiage. Got straps? Get straps, and get them the way you like. Whatever your personal choice in hunting, have at it, I am with you. This includes the farmer or rancher who couldn’t care less about “sport” or “challenge” but simply wants some delicious, succulent venison for the grill. Enough with the “ethics” hysteria. You want meat, get meat. Buy a license, eat venison. Have a nice day. The finest human beings in mankind are found in hunting camps in America. Unfortunately, some of the biggest dolts are part of our family, too. Ignore the dolts, embrace the BloodBrothers. America is about choice, about freedom. Beware of bureaucrats, for whenever they mingle in anything, they destroy it or immediately turn assets into liabilities. It’s what bureaucrats do. I don’t like any of them. We are facing many problems in America, and deer bait is not one of them. In our beloved hunting lifestyle, the real problems are illogical, counterproductive game laws seemingly designed to impede recruitment and create attrition. Sunday hunting bans, minimum age limits, shooting hours, crossbow bans, bait, the vulgar practice of hiring sharpshooters and government hunters to kill our game, three shell limits on migratory fowl, bow and gun case laws, no hunting in state and national parks, and so many more inconsistent, nonsensical rules that have nothing to do with safety or science. Deer corn is not on the list, or at least shouldn’t be. Believe me. Until we unite to open the gates to more and new hunters, we will be in danger. We must unite and focus on meaningful priorities and leave the squawking to the anti’s. E-mail Ted Nugent at tnugent@fishgame.com


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was honored when Texas Fish & Game editor Don Zaidle asked me to write the introduction to this series called “Walkabout Angling.” Don and I are kindred souls, leaning toward non-typical outdoor pursuits such as walk-in fishing as opposed to traditional boat excursions. For me, that comes from a lifetime of footbound experiences that began with my parents. I recall a massive tree trunk probably 20 feet from root to main fork, which was a particularly treacherous viaduct on a 40year-old, long-forgotten trail through the woods leading to one of the Old Man’s favorite fishing spots on Sander’s Creek. I remember the time our entire family crossed the log on our way to one of the summer’s last fishing trips. It would have been just as easy to drive our truck one mile down the highway to the two-lane bridge and launch the boat to Dad’s fishing hole, but the Old Man preferred to hike from the house, though twice the distance. Even back then, he knew we needed exercise and felt the hike to the fishing hole served as an adventure all its own. He subscribed to writer Edward Abbey’s admonition to escape the “infernal machine” and walk or crawl to experience the outdoors. Mama never complained about the walk, even across the foot log while wearing a skirt that swirled around her legs and caught cockleburs and sandspurs along the way. Dad led the way with his Zebco 33 carried backwards to avoid brush entanglements. Mama followed with her own cane pole and an empty bucket. Little Brother and I walked drag, poking our fiberglass rods into every bush and armadillo hole along the route. “Dad, I can’t make it,” Little Brother whined in his seven-year-old voice. “I’m sick.” “Go on back, then,” the Old Man sympathized. “You don’t have any fever,” Mama said, 20

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A kid, a bicycle, and a stringer of fish—Americana at its finest.

PHOTO BY GRADY ALLEN

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feeling his forehead with the back of her hand. “You’ll be all right.” Our mini-safari moved slower after that, with Little Brother stopping to retch with frustrating and entertaining regularity. Two steps, gag! Two steps, retch! I watched with interest, noting his strained neck muscles and bugged eyes, reminiscent of the offending road-killed frog I’d convinced him to taste earlier in the day. Our expedition stalled at the foot log. The Old Man crossed first to demonstrate the stability of the natural bridge. He was a log-walker from way back in the days when he had no shoes for his callused feet. On that day, his worn brogans barely slowed him down. Mama, who always seemed skittish about everything under the sun, slipped her shoes off and crossed barefoot as if she were on a F i s h

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sidewalk, virtually skipping to the other side. “Wow,” I said, amazed that she was capable of something other than washing dishes. “Mama, when did you learn that?” She whispered something to the Old Man and they laughed, arms around each other, on the opposite side of the bridge. “You’d be surprised at what I can do,” she called. Until then, it hadn’t occurred to me that the young girls I knew would some day grow up to become mothers. Mama suddenly looked different to me standing over there, and I saw the girl she once was. Little Brother finally yakked up the frog. Mama shot back across, once again becoming our mother and forgetting the fish waiting at the end of the path. She held his head and declared the trip over. Such dim trails and primitive bridges were magnets beckoning me to step back into


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the realm of our forefathers and generations beyond. We know those Old Folks fished, because scores of bone fishing hooks rest quietly in museum cases across the world. We have read about birch bark canoes, and before that, dugouts. I am sure primitive man straddled floating logs or bobbed toward their favorite fishing holes in a ring of gourds—perhaps to catch supper, or just for the sheer experience of it all. In an age of automobiles, intercontinental flight, and the Segway “human transporter,” one could make the case that walking is “unconventional.” But as Zaidle says, we are peripatetic by nature—born to walk. Nature has proven that. As soon as babies’ muscles develop, they flip and crawl because mankind was meant to move. Not long afterward, little ones pull up to stand, swaying like college students after last call until some yet unknown neuron flashes and a first step is taken amid shrieks of delight and applause from admiring parents. From then on, we are ambulatory. That is what these articles will be about: traveling by elementary means to a special or secret fishing hole or new and unexplored creek or lakeshore. Pure words of wisdom from perambulant fishermen will virtually leap from these pages—the shared knowledge of outdoorsmen who learned as children to wade wet and dabble creeks for crappie, wade-fish the coast, or to simply hike in to locations devoid of fishermen and related detritus. Our experienced writers will discuss transporting lightweight johnboats, kayaks, and canoes on their backs, and maybe someone will even examine more personal floating vessels such as belly boats. We will cover angling and fish on the terminal end of quality tackle. Walkabout angling requires different techniques for nota-second-thought basics such as keeping and transporting live bait during the day, catch preservation (streamside stringer caches, for instance), collapsible rods, and an assortment of gear to better outfit the roving fisher-

The Tacklebox B a s i c

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Although gear will vary with species and locale, every Walkabout Angler needs some basic equipment.

Lowrance GPS

Gerber Multitool

Plano 1070 Compact Tacklebox Sliva Compass

m a n . Additionally, we will cover community lakes and private ponds accessible to those with landowner connections, and even fishing from abandoned bridges. Walkabout angling is not limited to walking. Adventurous anglers use bicycles, dirt bikes, or ATVs to quickly reach areas inaccessible within a fixed time frame by walking. The number of magazine and newspaper articles, TV productions, and conversations covering fishing from a boat are innumerable. The Walkabout Angler series of print and internet articles are dedicated to those who like to do it in a simpler way. The reader will come to understand the determination of anglers to pursue their passion, even if it means leaving common techniques behind, T E X A S

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relearning what has been forgotten and is new once again—or to follow Edward Abby’s advice to get out and walk or crawl into the outdoors. Then, maybe we will see and experience something old fashioned freshened with technology that makes the pursuit much easier than bone hooks and gut string. Hang on and enjoy the hike.

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TF&G FIRST

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by Chester Moore, Jr.

FLOUNDER PHOTO BY CHESTER MOORE, JR.

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n my book Flounder Fever, I address a couple of different kinds of flounder strikes. Over the last few years, I have studied this intensely and identified four separate varieties ranging from the mighty to the mysterious, and each presents its own kind of opportunities and problems for anglers. Based on captive flounder observations, experiences in the wild, and video provided by the University of Texas Marine Science Institute (UTMSI) in Port Aransas, I have uncovered some secrets of flounder bites that will help you catch more and bigger flatfish. R AW H UNGER : This is the one most anglers are familiar with—the hard thump! signifying a hungry flatfish collecting a meal. This bite occurs when flounder are actively feeding, with the initial hard strike often followed by several smaller ones. In the video provided by UTMSI, you see large captive flounder grabbing sardines about the size of a large finger mullet, holding them on the edge of their mouths a few seconds, and then swallowing. Setting the

Timing is everything for turning strikes into catches.

ACTUAL VIDEO SCREEN CAPTURE

Go to http://www.fishgame.com in our video library and check out this exclusive footage provided by the University of Texas Marine Science Institute.

On the Web

ommending anglers wait two long seconds before setting the hook when http://www.fishgame.com/video/default.aspx using lures for flounder, which goes back to my captive underwater observahook on the initial strike would result in tions over a decade ago. pulling it out of the fish’s mouth, hence the In most cases, lures are smaller than the 10-second rule for live bait. I have been rec- live bait used for flounder. Therefore, the 24

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Never before seen flounder striking footage! Learn why the 10 second rule works.

lures are deeper in the fish’s mouth, allowing a good opportunity for hook-set. In many cases, flounder spit the hook once they figure out the plastic is not a real baitfish. G R E E D Y : The first time I visited UTMSI, I had the great honor of feeding the flounder there, including an 8-pounder that swam up and took a sardine out of my hand. There were lots of fish in the tank, and I noticed they often would grab the bait, hold it, and swim away to eat. You will see this in the video. I believe this is what happens when you get a solid hit and your line starts moving away in a slow, but determined fashion. I believe this is when flounder are schooled up tightly and individuals are trying to eat without letting the others in on the action. In fact, the day before I penned this story, I had this


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exact thing happen in a spot where we caught several flounder within a 10-squarefoot area. Each bite was followed by a swimaway. The secret to hooking these fish is to let them run with the bait and not set the hook until they either start running quickly (probably swallowed the hook) or they stop for a few seconds. At this point, you will feel some bumps come up the line as the fish starts devouring its prey, which gives you the opportunity you have been waiting for. C AN ’ T R ESIST : Sometimes, a flounder will lightly grab a bait or lure, hold it on the edge of its mouth, and sit with it. I call this the “can’t resist” strike because it usually comes when a flounder is not feeding heavily, but has food presented so close it simply cannot resist striking it. Many times, you simply feel a little pressure on your line when dragging across the bottom. The proper protocol is to stop and wait. No matter if you are fishing with a lure or live bait, wait 10-20 seconds, slowly reel in the slack, and set the hook if you feel strong pressure. Sometimes, the fish will swallow if it thinks

it is about to lose its food, and other times it will take a hard bite, which allows you to set the hook. D OMAIN D EFENSE : I first posited this theory of flounder behavior back in 1998 after studying captive fish, and experiencing frustration with getting strikes I knew were flounder and not catching the fish. Flounder are a territorial, and even when not hungry will sometimes lash out at a bait when it comes swimming by. I think what often happens is the fish strike and let go, sitting an inch or two away. In this situation, setting the hook immediately would be fruitless because it is not in the fish’s mouth, and waiting can be equally unproductive if you do not take action. If you are encountering fish in this fashion, there are several things you can do to trigger an engulfing strike. I have been using a tiny rattle chamber invented by Lance Stringer called the XXS Rattles that has been very effective for enticing flounder strikes when the fish are not actively feeding. I have been inserting it into my hot pink-colored 4-inch Bomber Saltwater Grade Mud

Minnows, thus giving it an extra sound the fish do not typically hear. This seems to aggravate them enough to hold on. Lure anglers can up the odds by tipping plastics with shrimp to give a smell and taste that might turn the flounder on enough to warrant holding on. Gulp! Baits can work in the same fashion. If you are missing the fish no matter what you do, let the lure sit a couple of seconds and gently shake it without moving it much. By kicking up the sediment and creating motion in front of the fish, you might trigger a strike and transform your frustration into a flatfish in the boat.

On the Web http://www.fishgame.com/video/default.aspx


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PHOTO COURTESY OF LUND BOATS

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Small, practical boats are less expensive and, in some ways, more serviceable.

exans like to think that everything is bigger in the Lone Star State, but bigger doesn’t necessarily mean better. As gasoline prices soar, anglers in diminutive craft can often find better fishing for less. Some of the best fishing occurs in the smallest, least accessible waters. Despite the popularity of big bass and bay boats, probably more fish hit the decks of aluminum johnboats than any other watercraft. Growing up, I spent considerable hours fishing from a 14-foot aluminum boat powered by a 6-horsepower outboard before moving up to a 15-horse. Sometimes, I could fish five or six days before refilling the 6-gallon gas tank. In the old days, anglers choosing the small-boat option could fish only from such ubiquitous aluminum johnboats, wooden skiffs, or canoes. Used for millennia on waters ranging from potholes to the Pacific Ocean, canoes and kayaks can put anglers into the tiniest waters. Gliding along silently without burning an ounce of gasoline, anglers in paddle craft can thoroughly fish a

pond measuring just a few acres. Often, paddlers discover outstanding fishing in virtually untouched waters. Sometimes, narrow ditches actually lead to wider, deeper waters hidden behind thick cover. Just a few yards from major waterways or highways, perhaps surrounded by urban sprawl, anglers in small boats might find isolated places where they can cast in solitude to fish that seldom—if ever—see lures. Canoes can usually carry more weight and, configured as they are as utilitarian workhorses, more gear by volume than kayaks. Anglers in canoes can fish in teams, while kayaks generally work best for solo anglers, although some large ‘yaks can hold more than one person with incredible stability. Some companies specifically design kayaks for fishing or perhaps even for particular kinds of fishing. They might incorporate comfortable seats, baitwells, rod holders, enclosed storage areas, and other. Sometimes, anglers can slip a couple of rods into built-in holders and troll while paddling across their favorite fishing hole. Anglers can use kayaks to catch everything from bluegill to blue marlin. On the coast, many anglers use kayaks to

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penetrate marshes and seek redfish, flounder, and other fish in shallow flats or lagoons where outboards could never run. Making virtually no noise and casting minuscule silhouettes, anglers sitting low in kayaks can sneak up on spooky fish. As “no motor” zones proliferate, kayaks allow anglers to fish areas that others cannot visit. To eliminate long paddling stretches, some anglers haul kayaks close to their favorite honey holes with larger boats before setting off to fish. For anglers who prefer pushing their craft with something other than muscle power, many small vessels can support electric motors or even small gasoline outboards. Anglers who cannot afford a big-rig boat can buy a stable, comfortable craft that fits their price range and fishing goals. Some plastic versions resemble diminutive bass boats and can accommodate two or more anglers, carrying enough equipment for a comfortable day of fishing. Sometimes called “baby bass boats,” these rectangular craft can include swivel seats suspended over pontoons. Ranging from 8 to 14 feet long, some weigh less than 100 pounds and can carry more than 600 pounds and cost less than $600. They typically fit in the bed of a


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pickup truck, eliminating the need for trailers. Two anglers can usually carry a baby bass boat short distances and drop it into a small honey hole. Anglers can also find various inflatable boats that slip into the bed of a truck. These boats can carry surprisingly large loads in very light packages, possibly enabling anglers to pack them into remote areas. Some cost less than $150. For those who worry about inflatables deflating, folding boats snap together quickly in a more rigid package. When not in use, anglers can store folding boats like a 4-inch stack of lumber that weighs less than 100 pounds. There is no rule mandating that full-size boats cost more than your home. Aluminum boats rigged out for tiller-steer outboard operation up to center- and side-console configurations come in at a fraction of the cost of a fiberglass rig of the same size. They might not be as pretty, but shallower draft and rugged construction make them more utilitarian—truly practical boats for practical anglers. Baby bass boats, inflatables, and folding

boats make the perfect platform for fishing petite ponds and out of the way lakes that do not allow access for larger craft. These inaccessible waters characteristically receive very little pressure, even in the middle of a major city. Some could probably benefit from additional pressure to keep fish from stunting. People might pass up some of the best fishing around as they drive to work or even when towing a boat to a larger system. Although fish could enter these systems naturally, state agencies frequently stock such small lakes with various species. In addition, anglers might release some of the fish they catch into tiny lakes near their homes. “Ponds can produce big fish,” said Mike Echols, a professional bass angler. “I’ve caught bass up to 10 pounds in ponds. Fish in ponds are more sensitive to pressure because they can’t move around as much. Put a few boats into a small pond and fish might sense that and stop biting.” With limited surface water, ponds might remain stable and fishable while roaring storms whip large lakes into frothy milkshakes or rains transform rivers into raging

torrents. In some cases, intense cold or adverse weather can actually improve fishing in a pond. Created by crews excavating soil, gravel, minerals, or material to build roads or levees, some ponds or “borrow pits” actually hold incredibly deep water. Extreme conditions might even concentrate fish in deep holes, making them easier to catch. “Many ponds are square or rectangular with little structure,” Echols said. “The corners of pits are usually very good. There’s usually a flat around the corners and maybe some weeds or fallen logs. On the flats, I throw topwater baits. The flats usually drop off into deeper water. There, I fish a Texasrigged worm or a jig.” Unfortunately, many small waters sit on private land and anglers need to obtain permission before fishing them. However, a simple phone call or a knock on a door might result in an invitation to fish a lunker paradise that few other anglers can experience.


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PHOTO COURTESY OF LEWISTON MAINE CUMBERLAND FARMS

GREEN

PHOTO COURTESY OF CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE

Gov. Perry Defends Fishing JOINED WITH THREE OTHER GULF STATE GOVERNORS TO OUTLINE THEIR CONCERNS OVER THE POTENTIAL NEGATIVE IMPACTS OF CATCH SHARE PROGRAMS ON THEIR STATES’ ECONOMIES, AND HOW SUCH PROGRAMS COULD RESTRICT CITIZENS’ ACCESS TO FISHERIES RESOURCES. IN ADDITION TO GOV. PERRY, LOUISIANA GOV. BOBBY JINDAL, MISSISSIPPI GOV. HALEY BARBOUR, AND ALABAMA GOV. BOB RILEY HAVE ALL SIGNED ON TO THE EFFORT COORDINATED BY COASTAL CONSERVATION ASSOCIATION (CCA) AND THE CENTER FOR COASTAL CONSERVATION (CENTER) TO FIND A BETTER SYSTEM TO BALANCE THE NEEDS OF THE PUBLIC.

“We have already seen the negative impacts of the Gulf red snapper catch share system, and are concerned about potential negative impacts from the pending program for Gulf grouper,” the governors’ letter stated. “Creating an exclusive harvesting right for a small group of commercial fishermen inherently marginalizes other users who do not have the same access privileges. In purely commercial fisheries this effect can have both economic and management benefits. But when applied in mixed-use fisheries, recreational anglers are forced to focus their efforts in limited state waters or not participate in the fishery at all. Neither of these outcomes is desirable.” “Recreational angling is an important part of Texas’ economy and culture,” Continued on page 32 

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CCORDING TO A REPORT BY POINT CARbon, an independent consulting company that tracks global carbon and energy markets, U.S. climate legislation could push gas prices 13 cents higher at the pump, a result of the cost to oil companies for carbon permits. Oil industry analysts believe a U.S. cap-and-trade system would thrash demand for gasoline and lead to the shuttering of many refineries. The U.S. senate is currently debating legislation that narrowly passed the U.S. House of Representatives in June that would require companies to hold carbon credits for their emissions. Point Carbon analysts said in press reports that the legislation would lead to substantial costs, since few permits would be available to each company in the first years of the program. Power companies could face greater constraints because many states regulate consumer energy prices, thus limiting how much cap-and-trade costs companies can pass along to consumers.

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IN A LETTER TO U.S. SECRETARY OF COMMERCE GARY LOCKE, TEXAS GOVERNOR RICK PERRY

Cap-and-Trade Legislation = Higher Gas Prices

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TEXAS PARKS & WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT HELICOPTER CREWS HAVE BEEN TREATING FLOATING MATS OF GIANT SALVINIA AND WATER HYACINTH ON TOLEDO BEND RESERVOIR WITH HERBICIDE TO RID THE IMPOUNDMENT OF THE INVASIVE PLANTS. TPWD aquatic vegetation biologist Howard Elder surveyed the situation from the air and reported: • 2000 total acres affected • southerly winds broke apart the main concentration, resulting in a few large mats

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and many smaller ones intermixed with scattered plants • the worst infestations were on the Texas portion of the reservoir • many plants pushed against the shore and into small south-facing coves, some of which were 100 percent covered • plants were spread over 16 miles from Patroon Bayou above Pendleton Bridge to the southern point of Housen Bayou Crews from North Star Helicopter, Inc., of Jasper under contract with TPWD, car-

ing this goal has been the ability to acquire

CCA Funds Sea Center Flounder Boat TEXAS HAS SEEN A DRAMATIC DECLINE IN SOUTHERN FLOUNDER NUMBERS, PROMPTING TEXAS PARKS & WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT (TPWD) OFFICIALS TO EXPLORE VARIOUS MANAGEMENT OPTIONS TO INCREASE THE STATEWIDE POPULATION. recently initiated is a dedicated effort to rear hatchery raised juvenile southern flounder for stocking into Texas’ bays and estuaries. The ultimate goal at Sea Center Texas (SCT) in Lake Jackson is to develop new techniques for growing flounder on a largescale basis to help compensate for poor class recruitment regardless of the season. A critical aspect and challenge in achiev-

the quantity of broodstock that is required to consistently spawn captive flounder. Studies indicate that three males are needed for every female for successful fertilization of flounder eggs. For the last couple of years, SCT has been able to acquire adult southern flounder through a variety of methods. Efforts by SCT staff, CCA sponsored guided fishing trips and fish donated by the public are a few methods that have been used to gather broodstock. These efforts have been productive but it has become apparent that hook and line collection simply is not enough to bring in the amount of fish this program needs to be successful. One method that has proved to be very T E X A S

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Aerial Salvinia Treatment at T-Bend ried out the herbicide application. Larger concentrations of vegetation were targeted first while smaller mats and scattered plants will be treated as conditions allow. Results from the treatments may take weeks to be fully visible due to cooler water temperatures. Additional treatments will be necessary to reduce concentrations in areas inaccessible to aerial treatment. —Staff Report TG

successful is in other areas of the state is “netting”. This method is similar to gigging flounder under the lights but nets are used rather than gigs. This allows the fish to be gently lifted into the boat with no harm done to the subject. With catch rates as high as 50 fish in a three hour period, it is also an extremely efficient and effect way to collect broodstock. To this end, CCA Texas is pleased to announce the gifting of $14,000 to SCT for the purchase of a welded aluminum boat, motor and associated equipment. The boat will be used by SCT staff to ensure SCT and other hatcheries have sufficient numbers of fish to ensure reaching production and research goals for the future. “CCA Texas is proud to be part of another important project related to the recovery of the southern flounder,” said Robby Byers, CCA Texas executive director. “The staff at Sea center Texas is doing great work and this boat will assist them in their efforts. CCA Texas and our members are committed to seeing flounder numbers rebound and this boat is another big step in the flounder recovery process.” —Staff Report TG G a m e ® / J A N U A R Y

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GREEN TF&G TRUE GREEN

PHOTO COURTESY OF CREATIVE COMMONS LICENSE

CONSERVATION PARTNERS

Dogs Take Time To Get the Point NEW RESEARCH SUGGESTS FEMALE ALLIGATORS ARE MONOGAMOUS BREEDERS AND NOT THE INDISCRIMINATE FLOOSIES SCIENTISTS ONCE THOUGHT. A study by the Department of Psychology at the University of Florida suggests dogs do not understand human pointing gestures until they reach a certain age, information hunting-dog dog trainers should find handy. The findings, accepted for publication in the journal Animal Behavior, suggest that

the ability to understand pointing gestures is not innate as previously theorized, but a skill that develops with age and experience. Nicole Dorey and her team studied 36 puppies representing multiple breeds, such as German shepherds, collies, Dachshunds and pointer breeds. “To determine the age at which domestic dogs first show the ability to understand human pointing cues, we tested puppies in their human caregivers’ homes when the puppies were 9–24 weeks old,” Dorey wrote. “We found little evidence that puppies younger than 21 weeks had the ability to follow human pointing gestures.” The findings are consistent with studies on other animals. When tested on their ability to understand human pointing, chimpanzees steadily improve from the age of 8 months to 3 years. Children and dogs perform equally well on pointing studies when the children are age 2 and younger. Three-year-old children do much better than dogs on such tests. It likely has to do with the emergence of certain language skills in young humans. Other studies indicate the part of the brain that handles visual cues also processes language. —Staff Report TG

Perry said. “I appreciate CCA bringing this issue to my attention and look forward to continuing to work with the recreational angling community to find a solution to this issue.” “Governor Perry and his fellow Governors in Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama have brought to light a number of the problems inherent to catch share programs in mixed-use fisheries,” said Robby Byers, CCA Texas executive director. “Governor Perry’s leadership on this issue is helping the voice of the recreational angler be heard.” CCA recently filed a lawsuit in federal district court challenging the adoption and implementation of Amendment 29 to the Gulf of Mexico Reef Fish Management Plan, which gives away a majority share of Gulf grouper to the commercial fishing industry through a catch share program. The Obama Administration has made the implementation of catch share programs in federal fisheries a priority, and both CCA and the Center have been working at the state and federal level to oppose their use in fisheries that have a large and growing recreational component. “Catch shares are a huge concern for recreational anglers, and Governor Perry and his fellow Gulf State governors obviously share those concerns,” said Patrick Murray, CCA president. “We are extremely grateful to Governor Perry for taking the lead on this effort, and to governors Jindal, Barbour and Riley for taking such an extraordinary step to raise the visibility of this issue and protect their citizens’ access to public marine resources.”—Staff Report TG



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Decked Out for Ducks HERE IS NO MIDDLE GROUND IN DUCK hunting. It is a sport that you either love or hate, that’s it. You can’t just kind of like it. It takes a special breed of outdoorsman to want to get up at 3:00 a.m. to wade through water that is just half a degree from turning solid, then sit in the mud with frostbitten fingers and make noises most selfrespecting adults would be embarrassed by, all in the name of taking a few ducks. One of the best parts about duck hunting is all the toys that go with it. Shotguns, dogs, decoys, waders, calls, boats… I still have a pedal-powered boat in the back yard that is begging to be turned into a floating duck blind, but that’s a different article for a different time. Since we are on the subject of boats, let’s assume you have an old flat-bottom boat upside down in the backyard and want to turn it into the ultimate duckkilling machine, but don’t know where to start. It can seem like an overwhelming job, but really isn’t hard when you get the basics down and don’t worry about frivolous things you will never use. When we get a boat for duck hunting (and trust me, if you look in my yard, you will understand that I know all about this) we worry about the big things. Items such as camo pattern, blind size and design, and whether or not we get a short-shaft mud motor or outboard are all at the top of the list of things we consider, and these are all very important but more an individual choice rather than something that can be covered with one broad statement.

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As a rule of thumb, buy or build a low profile blind to hide the boat as much as possible, do your own home-made camo job on the hull with flat spray paint (black, brown, gray) and cardboard stencils, hang a small horsepower outboard on the transom, and you can hunt just about any water in the state. Your duck boat’s main purpose is to safely transport you and a ton of gear to and from your hunting location, so keep this in mind when you start your project. Weigh the function versus weight for items such as flooring to determine if they really are needed. A lot of things can be added to a duck boat, but the first thing you must think about

by Paul Bradshaw is safety equipment. Most of this is required by law anyway, but always have a fire extinguisher, life jackets for everyone on board, noise making device, throw cushion, 12-gauge flares (since most hunters will be carrying a 12-gauge shotgun), paddle, push-pole, and first aid kit for you and your dog. Carry a few basic tools as well. Many boats have been limped home with repairs made by a pair of pliers and duck tape. The second aspect of the duck boat that must be considered is the lighting. When you launch a boat three hours before daylight, good lighting in and around the boat, is a must. While lights showing you where to go are important (we will get to those in a minute), the lights inside the boat showing A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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you where you dropped your duck calls are just as critical. The good part about internal lighting is that it can be relatively cheap and found at the local dollar store. For those of you who stay up way too late, you will recognize these from the infomercials at midnight—tap lights (yes, the ones probably hanging in your closet right now) hung on the sides of the boat work exceptionally well to illuminate the floor. These battery powered lights come with an adhesive backing, so they just peel and stick to any flat surface; they cost next to nothing. If you don’t want your duck hunting buddies to make fun of your wife’s lights in your boat, go to the local auto parts store and get some of the more manly LED tap lights. They can run about $10 each, so you can light up the whole boat for next to nothing and maintain your manly image. External lighting is important, but can be overdone. You don’t want to run down the lake looking like something on the SyFy channel in a B grade alien movie. The purpose is to see what’s in front of you so you don’t hit a stump in the dark. Don’t get drawn into buying the way-too-cool remote controlled spotlight that rotates 360 degrees (yes, I have one) because it’s very difficult to work the remote while cruising down the lake, and that’s only if the batteries in the remote are still good and you haven’t dropped it in the water. Instead, get some basic automotive off-road lights (waterproof) and mount them on the bow. Then get a high-powered headlamp spotlight (like ‘coon hunters wear) to look all around as G a m e ® / J A N U A R Y

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In This Issue

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HOTSPOTS FOCUS: ROCKPORT • Surfing | BY CAPT. MAC GABLE

GEARING UP SECTION

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HOTSPOTS FOCUS: LOWER COAST • Decisions, Decisions | BY CALIXTO GONZALES

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INDUSTRY INSIDER • Fish-N-Hunt: Paul Perrin’s Lasting Legacy | BY CHESTER MOORE, JR.

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

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

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SHOOT THIS • New Marlin Bolt-Action | BY STEVE LAMASCUS

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BOWHUNTING TECH • Last-Minute Deer | BY LOU MARULLO

HOW-TO SECTION

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COVER STORY • Decked Out for Ducks | BY PAUL BRADSHAW

HOTSPOTS & TIDES SECTION

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TEXAS HOTSPOTS • Texas’ Hottest Fishing Spots | BY TOM BEHRENS, CALIXTO GONZALES, TRIPP HOLMGRAIN, & KYLE TOMEK

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HOTSPOTS FOCUS: UPPER COAST • Patience Pays | BY CAPT. EDDIE HERNANDEZ

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TEXAS BOATING • Life Saving Technology | BY LENNY RUDOW

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TEXAS KAYAKING • Multi-piece Paddles | BY GREG BERLOCHER

OUTDOOR LIFESTYLE

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TEXAS GUNS & GEAR • What is a Keith Bullet? | BY STEVE LAMASCUS

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TROPHY FEVER • A Boy and his Alligator | BY TOM BEHRENS

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SALTWATER BAITS & RIGS • Vermilion Candy | BY PATRICK LEMIRE

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DISCOVER THE OUTDOORS • Classifieds | BY TF&G STAFF

FRESHWATER BAITS & RIGS • Capps and Coleman Rig | BY PAUL BRADSHAW

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TEXAS TASTED • Cajun Meatloaf with Yellow Squash Casserole | BY BRYAN SLAVEN

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

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HOTSPOTS FOCUS: GALVESTON COMPLEX • 2010 Begins! | BY CAPT. MIKE HOLMES

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HOTSPOTS FOCUS: MATAGORDA • Boldness in the Coldness | BY BINK GRIMES

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WILDERNESS TRAILS • Second Efforts | BY HERMAN W. BRUNE

needed while keeping your hands free to steer. Have you ever been lost on a lake in the fog or couldn’t find you are way to the blind in the dark because you missed a landmark? It’s hard to believe, but I’ve done both, more than once, that’s why any hardcore duck hunter who takes a boat out multiple times per week

would be remiss not to install a GPS in their rig. Handhelds are fine and I’ve made my way to and from blinds using one for years, but mount a holder for it in your boat to keep your hands free. I have a matching holder in my boat and four-wheeler so I can use the same GPS on both.

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Better than a handheld, the high end depthfinders with GPS and built in lake maps are much better when you are cruising along in the morning and can’t see more than 10 feet in front of you. The lake maps and depthfinder keep you in the channels and off the shore while the GPS feature takes you to your blind. A $1000 GPS on a $200 boat might look strange, but is worth it. The first time you make it back to shore in the fog or during a storm, you will never question the money spent on it. It’s cheap life insurance for you and your family. Big boats can take a lot of weight in one area with little effect on the way in sits in the water and rides; small duck boats cannot. Once you add a motor, five or more gallons of fuel, a battery or two, an overly stuffed hunter, and various other items to the stern of the boat, the nose tends to ride high. Get around this by mounting some of these items in the front. Batteries and fuel can be moved up front to balance out the load. There are myriad ways to customize your own boat to make it more efficient for duck hunting, but if you start with the basics of safety, lighting, navigation, and camouflage, you will be way ahead of the game.


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Sheep Dolphin LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Dolphin Point (drive-up access) GPS: N26 4.044, W97 9.712

SPECIES: sheepshead BEST BAIT(S): live shrimp CONTACT: Quick Stop, 956-943-1159 TIPS: Big convict fish start aggregating along the rocks and the drop-offs when water temperatures dip. These aren’t the numbers that are present in March during the spawn, but there are plenty to keep fishermen from getting bored. Put a live shrimp 3 feet under a popping cork to suspend it over the rocks

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and right in a sheepy’s face. Don’t wait for the cork to submerge; it might simply move six inches or flop over on its side.

LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: South Bay GPS: N26 1.458, N97 11.023 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAIT(S): live bait; cut bait; SPI Lures Tandems in smoke, mullet, black/glitter, glow/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: There is always a resident population of speckled trout in South Bay the yearround, and they aren’t hard to find. Fish the deeper, darker water. Set up a long drift. If you decide to eschew bait and use lures, then choose darker color patterns. Fish them slowly with as little action as possible. Trout pre-

fer a more subtle presentation in winter.

LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Pirate’s Landing Fishing Pier GPS: N26 4.476, W97 12.193 SPECIES: sheepshead BEST BAIT(S): live shrimp CONTACT: Pirate Landing Fishing Pier, 956-943-7437 TIPS: This is an excellent spot for a family fishing trip. There is the security provided by the pier railings, a shop to buy munchies, and some good fishing. You don’t have to go too far down the pier. Plenty of keeper-sized sheepshead hang out around the pilings near the sea wall. A free-shrimp rig with a split shot and No. 1 flounder hook is enough. Use stout tackle. There are some big fish under the pier. LOCATION: South Padre Island HOTSPOT: Brazos-Santiago Jetties (shore access) GPS: N26 4.080, W97 SPECIES: Mangrove Snapper BEST BAIT(S): live or fresh shrimp, Fish Bites strips in shrimp CONTACT: Quick Stop, 956-943-1159 TIPS: Nothing can turn a crummy day into a memorable one faster than a cooler-full of these feisty panfish that seem to bite even when nothing else will. A free-lined shrimp or Fish Bite fished near the rocks with a 1/4ounce barrel sinker works great. Winter visitors have taken to uses Yankee rigs such as a Gapen Baitwalker to mitigate snagging on the granite LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Condo Channel GPS: N26 5.217, W97 9.930 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAIT(S): live shrimp, cut bait soft plastics, topwaters CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez, 956551-9581 TIPS: Pods of redfish travel up and down

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the boat channel and onto the sandbar in front of the condos on balmy days. Anchor up and fish with live bait under a popping cork or cut bait on the bottom. Fish topwaters on top of the sand bar early in the morning. Work the deeper channel once in a while just on spec.

LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Unnecessary Island GPS: N26 12.672, W97 16.333 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAIT(S): live bait, Gulp! Shrimp in New Penny; SPI Lures Tandems in red/white, new penny, rootbeer CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: Start your drift between the mainland and the island. Fish deeper water on a clear day, or the island‘s shallows early or on a cloudy day. Topwaters are good when fished slowly, or you can work soft plastics along the depth breaks. Dark colors work best, but red/white is also effective. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Arroyo City Docks GPS: N26 20.061, W97 26.375 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAIT(S): live Shrimp. Jerkbaits, small topwaters CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: Lights off the cabins draw scads of trout during wintertime. The bigger fish lurk around the shadows on the perimeter of the lights. Topwaters such as the classic Heddon Tiny Torpedo can be real fun in these conditions. If you see residents fishing their dock lights, move on and fish an unoccupied one. Or, you can ask if you can fish the edges. Courtesy is the catchword in this situation.

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tom fish with large chunks of crab or jumbo fresh shrimp for the big ones, free-line with live shrimp for the eaters. For something different, bounce a bucktail/live shrimp combo on the bottom.

LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Peyton’s Bay GPS: N26 24.528, W97 21.703 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAIT(S): live shrimp. SPI Lures Tandems in Pearl/chartreuse, Pearl/pink CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: Watch for nervous bait or large swirls to cue you onto the presence of redfish in this shallow bay. Ease up to them and cast live bait under a popping cork or a soft plastic. Don’t put too much action to the cork. The fish might be a bit spooky. LOCATION: Port Mansfield HOTSPOT: Big Oaks GPS: N26 41.468, W97 27.791 SPECIES: Trophy speckled trout BEST BAIT(S): Topwaters, Catch 5’s , Catch 2000’s or B&L Corkies in smoke, pinfish

patterns. Soft plastics in red/white, bonechartreuse CONTACT: Captain Steve Devries, 956289-3631 TIPS: Shift your focus from to the shoreline in January. Trout follow high tides up close to shore to take advantage of warmer much and the bait it attracts. Suspending lures are crucial tools in your tackle box, but give a topwater a go after a stretch of mild days, when trout are more aggressive.

LOCATION: Port Mansfield HOTSPOT: South of Bennie’ GPS: N26 30.590, W97 23.246 SPECIES: Trophy speckled trout BEST BAIT(S): Topwaters, Catch 5’s or B&L Corkies in smoke, pinfish patterns. Soft plastics in red/white, bone-chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Steve Devries, 956289-3631 TIPS: Slow is the word, so wade-fishermen have the advantage. A low profile is less likely to alarm an ultra-spooky trophy trout. Fish suspending plugs in the mid-depths and fish as slow as you can stand (or slower, even). If the trout are still moody, switch over to a soft

LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: The Cabins. GPS: N26 23.932, W97 20.591 SPECIES: Black drum BEST BAIT(S): live shrimp, fresh shrimp, crab chunks CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez, 956551-9581 TIPS: Drum fishing improves steadily as the cold fronts roll in during January. Fried drum fillets or hot chowder are welcome changes from the typical winter fare. If you don’t need fillets for the freezer, there will be some big uglies swimming around, too. BotA L M A N A C / T E X A S

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plastic with an eel-style profile. The subtle action might be just enough to get a big sow to bite.

LOCATION: Port Mansfield HOTSPOT: The Targets GPS: N26 30.590, W97 24.603 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAIT(S): Topwaters, Catch 5’s or B&L Corkies in smoke, pinfish patterns. Soft plastics in red/white, bone-chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Steve Devries, 956289-3631 TIPS: Captain Devries reports that the Targets are equally as good for redfish in January as it is for big speckled trout. Fish shallower during warmer days. Watch for panicked mullet jumping for safety and focus in that general area. Unlike trout with the winter grumps, a redfish will chase down a lure and give it a good whack. LOCATION: Port Mansfield HOTSPOT: San Antonio Shack GPS: N28 42.871, W97 27.211 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAIT(S): Topwaters, B&L Corkies, soft plastics in dark colors CONTACT: Captain Steve Devries, 9562889-3631

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TIPS: It’s a long run all the way to the flats around the TPW shack near San Antonio Bar, but the trip can be well worth it. Redfish love the grass flats that surround the flat, and the ICW gives them a nearby escape route when the weather turns. A Ghost or Spooktype topwater can be fished around the sand pockets in the grass. Switch over to eel-type soft plastics and fish the drop-offs on cooler days.

Trout of San Antone LOCATION: San Antonio Bay HOTSPOT: Chicken Foot Reef GPS: N28 12.931’, W96 47.154’ SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Mansfield Mauler with Norton Bull Minnows in Electric Blue with char-

treuse tail, and Morning Glory; Berkley Gulp is also becoming popular. CONTACT: Capt. Bob Hill, 361-983-4325 TIPS: The oyster reefs, probably 20-30 in San Antonio Bay, are excellent for attracting trout at this time of the year. Chicken Foot Reef is one of the better-known locations. Fish your lure slowly around the edges of the reefs. The Mauler works better over the reefs than the standard popping cork because it has more movement when you “pop” it. The trout seem to like that extra movement.

LOCATION: San Antonio Bay HOTSPOT: Half Moon Reef GPS: N28 19.972’, W96 46.806’ SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Mansfield Mauler with Norton Bull Minnows in Electric Blue with chartreuse tail, and Morning Glory; Berkley Gulp is also becoming popular. CONTACT: Capt. Bob Hill, 361-983-4325 TIPS: The oyster reefs, probably 20-30 in San Antonio Bay, are excellent for attracting trout at this time of the year. Half Moon Reef is one of the better locations. Fish your lure slowly around the edge of the reef. The Mauler works better over the reefs than the standard popping cork because it has more movement when you “pop” it. The trout seem to like that extra movement. LOCATION: San Antonio Bay HOTSPOT: Welders Flats GPS: N28 20.371’, W96 38.696’ SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Live shrimp under a popping cork CONTACT: Capt. Bob Hill, 361-983-4325 TIPS: Drift-fish close to deep water. The water is going to be cold; when it warms up the fish move up onto the flats. LOCATION: San Antonio Bay HOTSPOT: Midway Reef GPS: N28 21.154’, W96 31.513 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Live shrimp under a popping cork CONTACT: Capt. Bob Hill, 361-983-4325 TIPS: Drift-fish close to deep water. When the water heats up during the winter warming spells, the fish will move up onto the flats.

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When it again cools off, the fish migrate back down into the deep water.

LOCATION: San Antonio Bay HOTSPOT: Pringle Lake GPS: N28 19.829’, W96 28.672’ SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Drift-fishing using live shrimp under an Alameda Rattling Cork CONTACT: Capt. Bob Hill, 361-983-4325 TIPS: The back lakes can hold some big trout at this time of the year if there is sufficient water in them. Spawning sometimes occurs in January - February. “I’ve caught some 30 inch trout in the lakes in the dead of winter.” LOCATION: San Antonio Bay HOTSPOT: Victoria Channel GPS: N28 22.983’, W96 43.648’ SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Live shrimp under an Alameda Rattling Cork CONTACT: Capt. Bob Hill, 361-983-4325 TIPS: Drift-fish across the lake. There can be some big trout spawning at this time of the year LOCATION: East Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Tripod GPS: 28 40.518’, W95 53.054; SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Lime colored soft plastics using 1/4- or 3/8-ounce lead jigheads CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281-4504037 TIPS: Drift-fish over deep shell. Bump the lure along the bottom. LOCATION: Colorado River HOTSPOT: Selkirk Island back to the Intracoastal Canal GPS: N28 41.758’, W95 58.676’ BEST BAITS: Hogie Double Shrimp Tail; chartreuse Crème Little Fishies; Norton Bull Minnow; all with a 3/8 leadhead jigs SPECIES: speckled trout CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281-4504037 TIPS: The colder the outside temperatures are, fish move into the deepest holes. Throw the bait out behind the boat and drift down with the current. A trolling motor is a big asset in this type of fishing. It helps to use braided line and a sensitive rod. The bite can be light.

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LOCATION: West Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Green’s Bayou back to the east GPS: N28 29.887’, W96 14.202’ SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Leadhead jigs with Norton Black Magic Bull Minnows; 1/4- to 1/8ounce gold spoons CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281-4504037 TIPS: The better fishing will be after a strong frontal passage and low tides. Concentrate on the guts along or close to the shoreline using a slow retrieve. When the tide is low, it dumps all the water out of the back areas and the redfish and bait come out with it. LOCATION: Matagorda HOTSPOT: Beachfront GPS: N28 43.213’, W95 41.828’ SPECIES: Whiting BEST BAITS: Fresh dead bait, Spider Sinker CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281-4504037 TIPS: Sometimes in January and February, whiting will school along the beachfront. BANK ACCESS: Fish from the beach using a long rod and cast out into the surf, fishing on the bottom. Occasionally a good redfish is caught. LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Penescal Point GPS: N27 15.582, W97 25.436 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Topwaters early, soft plastics in morning glory, plum/chartreuse pumpkinseed/chartreuse, corkies in darker patterns CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089. 361-449-7441. brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: Fish the mud around the point after a cold front. Milder days might mean more aggressive trout, so fish with dark-colored soft plastics higher in the water column. If the weather is more wintery in nature, fish deep and very, very slowly. Keep a finger on the line to detect soft strikes. LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Marker 202 GPS: N27 19.464 , W97 23.607 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft plastics in morning glory, plum/chartreuse pumpkinseed/chartreuse, black/chartreuse, B&L Corkies in similar patterns A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089. 361-449-7441. brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: The deep water around the rock piles is a good choice for wintertime trout. Fish as tight as you can to the outcroppings. Fish soft plastics or suspending plugs near the bottom with a *twitch,-twitch-pause* retrieve. trout will usually strike on the pause. LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Marker 202 GPS: N27 15.641, W97 23.607 SPECIES: black drum BEST BAITS: live shrimp, crab chunks, fresh shrimp CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089. 361-449-7441. brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: The ICW just outside of Baffin is a major drum highway. Fish with live shrimp under a cork, or on a bottom rig with large fresh shrimp or crab chunks on a 3/0 Khale hook and bottom rig (the same Chatterweights you’ve been using for trout and redfish will work nicely).

LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Rocky Slough GPS: N27 10.639, W97 26.445 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft plastics in morning glory, plum/chartreuse pumpkinseed/chartreuse, black/chartreuse, B&L Corkies in similar patterns. CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089. 361-449-7441. brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: Drift around the deeper rocks with soft plastics and suspending plugs. On milder days, you can fish shallow water if the trout are more active. If that is the case, a slightly faster retrieve will trigger strikes from aggressive trout. LOCATION: Upper Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: ICW GPS: N27 37.167, W97 15.004 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live shrimp. Soft plastics CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089. 361-449-7441. brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: Water temperature draws trout to the dropoff of the big ditch in winter, just like in summer. In this case, it’s warmer water. FreeG a m e ® / J A N U A R Y

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line a shrimp or a shrimp tail on a light (1/16th) jighead along the edge. Gulp! Shrimp tails are an excellent option.

have to put the bait right in front of them. Please be aware that these fish are vulnerable to over-exploitation when they are so aggregated. Practice some moderation.

LOCATION: Upper Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: King Ranch GPS: N27 25.402, W97 2.075 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live shrimp. Soft plastics in Avocado/chartreuse, Motor Oil/chartreuse, Pumpkinseed/chartreuse. Topwaters CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089. 361-449-7441. brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: trout will spread out on the potholes after a stretch of mild weather. Drift and fish the potholes thoroughly. A drift sock is a handy tool. It will slow down and direct your drift so you can fish more efficiently. Use a live shrimp or soft plastic under a Paradise Popper or similar noisemaker. Don’t shie away from a topwater.

LOCATION: Upper Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: 55 Channel GPS: N27 31.431, W96 18.274 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live shrimp, soft plastics in Plum, Mardi Gras, rootbeer, rootbeer/red flake CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089. 361-449-7441. brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: Anchor up near the edge of the channel and fish the deeper water thoroughly. Hop a jig or shrimp (or a combination of the two) along the channel edges. In cooler weather, trout will be sitting near the bottom, and you will have to put the lure right on their noses.

LOCATION: Upper Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: JFK Causeway GPS: N27 25.402, W97 2.075 SPECIES: flounder BEST BAITS: live shrimp. Soft plastics in red/white, Texas Shad CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089. 361-449-7441. brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: Work along the pilings and the deep holes for some robust flatties. Use a a bottom rig to get a live shrimp or baitfish down, or a ¼ ounce jighead with a soft plastic such a shad or shrimp tail. HOTSPOT: Padre Isles GPS: N27 37.587, W96 17.387 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft plastics in Plum, Mardi Gras, rootbeer, rootbeer/red flake CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089. 361-449-7441. brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: The deep water remains a viable option after a strong front that drops air and water temperatures precipitously. Fish slowly and near the bottom with soft plastics. These fish have their noses in the mud, so you will C10

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Madame Specks LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Madame Johnson Bayou GPS: N29 50.839’, W29 50.839’ SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Corky Devils, Super Spooks; stained water-dark color, clear water-light color

CONTACT: Capt. Steve Davis, 409-4601220 TIPS: Make long drifts from the shoreline, going from shallow to deep water. If you get a blow-up on the Spook, put the rod down and throw a Corky Devil. A lot of times, they will come back around and hit the Corky Devil. LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Black’s Bayou GPS: N29 59.610’, W93 45.783 SPECIES: speckled trout F i s h

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BEST BAITS: Swim Minnow CONTACT: Capt. Steve Davis, 409-4601220 TIPS: Fish “slow, slow, slow.” The fish get lethargic but they will bite. You just have to be patient. LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Jetties GPS: N29 40.371’, W93 50.250’ SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Cut mullet or cracked crab fished on the bottom with a big weight CONTACT: Capt. Steve Davis, 409-4601220: TIPS: Big bull reds are present at this time of the year. Get the bait on the bottom with a big weight and hold on to your rod. LOCATION: Galveston West Bay HOTSPOT: Greens Cut GPS: N29 16.589’, W94 59.852’ SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: bass Assassin and Brown Devil Eye in Limetreuse, Chartreuse CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman, 409-2567937 TIPS: Drift-fish the color changes. The trout are in the clear water waiting for the bait to come out of the murky water. Let the weather conditions dictate lure presentation. If outside temperatures are cold, work the bait slowly along the bottom; speed up the lure presentation after a warming trend. LOCATION: Chocolate Bay HOTSPOT: Shell reefs GPS: N29 11.528’, W95 06.767’ SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: bass Assassin in Morning Glory, Texas Roach and 10W40 CONTACT: Steve Hillman, 409-256-7937 TIPS: Fish the oyster and shell reefs LOCATION: Galveston West Bay HOTSPOT: Carancahua Reef GPS: N29 12.898’, W95 00.442’ SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: bass Assassin and Brown Devil Eye in Limetreuse, Chartreuse CONTACT: Steve Hillman, 409-256-7937 TIPS: The stretch from Greens Cut all the way to Carancahua Reef is where to catch


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trout in the winter. Look for color changes. Bump the lure off the bottom, slowly. If it’s a couple days after a warming trend and bait movement is spotted, work the lure fast

LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Bessie Heights GPS: N30 04.520’, W93 91.960’ SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Brown Lures in Black Cat and ReAction Lures’ Bayou Chub Minnow in Avocado Red Flake CONTACT: Capt. Randy Foreman, 409985-7619 TIPS: When the northwesterly winds come in with the hard fronts, the only thing left will be small mullet living in the 8 - 10 foot deep ditches in the marshes. Fish these areas for redfish in January. LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Black Bayou GPS: N29 59.610’, W93 45.783’ BEST BAITS: Brown Lures in Black Cat and ReAction Lures’ Bayou Chub Minnow in Avocado Red Flake SPECIES: redfish

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CONTACT: Capt. Randy Foreman, 409985-7619 TIPS: When the northwesterly winds come in with the hard fronts, the only thing left will be small mullet living in the 8- to 10-foot deep ditches in the marshes. Fish these areas for redfish in January.

ReAction Lures’ Bayou Chub Minnow Avocado Red Flake CONTACT: Capt. Randy Foreman, 409985-7619 TIPS: Go up into the marshes; fish the cuts and drains. Swim the bait real slow, imitating the action of a mullet.

LOCATION: Neches River System HOTSPOT: Anywhere small ditches branch off the river GPS: N29 59.213’ W93 50.621 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Brown Lures Black Cat and ReAction Lures’ Bayou Chub Minnow Avocado Red Flake CONTACT: Capt. Randy Foreman, 409985-7619 TIPS: Influx of water coming down the river negates pretty much the trout action. Try this area in January for redfish.

Somerville Cats LOCATION: Lake Somerville HOTSPOT: Dam Rock Island SPECIES: catfish GPS: N30 18.780, W096 31.665 BEST BAITS: Shad, worms, shrimp dipped in stinkbait

LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Keith Lake GPS: N29 46.150’ W93 57.002’ SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Brown Lures Black Cat and

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CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, 979-229-3103, weldon_edna@hotmail.com TIPS: Fish 16-20 foot water around the island, look for sharp drop off areas. Set rods out around the boat casting toward the island for channels, deeper or blues and yellows. Large fish hang here during the winter months. Use a 2/0-4/0 Kahle hook with a one ounce slip sinker here.

LOCATION: Lake Somerville HOTSPOT: Pelican Island SPECIES: catfish GPS: N30 18.127, W096 34.429 BEST BAITS: Shad, cut bait, worms CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, www.FishTalesGuideService.com TIPS: Fish steep drop off on northwest side of island. Water is at its coldest this time of year. Large Blue Cats cruise deeper water and will follow this creek channel that comes close to the island. Use 4/0 Kahle hooks with one ounce slip sinker. Put out several rods around the boat in this area. LOCATION: Lake Texoma HOTSPOT: Juniper Point East SPECIES: striped bass GPS: N33 51.892’, W96 49.833’

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BEST BAITS: Road Runner and Sassy Shad jigs CONTACT: Bill Carey 877-786-4477, bigfish@striperexpress.com TIPS: Cool water temperatures make the fish go into a feeding frenzy. Large fish up to 20 pounds can be expected. A 4- to 6-inch Sassy Shad on a 1-ounce jighead will work the best. Texoma’s stripers prefer white glow and chartreuse colors. Road Runner 1 ounce jigs with a 7-inch worm are deadly on the big fish holding on structure. Fish the main lake points, mouths of creeks and humps near deep water. Always keep your eyes on the seagulls. Large schools of stripers can be under the birds. BANK ACCESS: Juniper Point East LOCATION: Lake Richland-Chambers HOTSPOT: Long Arm Branch Point GPS: N31.59.201, W096.12.294 SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: 1-ounce Silver or Chartreuse Slabs TIPS: The Long Arm Branch Point is a great spot for catching magnum white bass in the early winter. The fish will be pushing shad up on the edges of this point and having a feeding frenzy, as they get ready for the colder weather to arrive. Use your electronics

to find the baitfish and fish in water depths ranging from 25’-35’. Bounce the slab slowly off the bottom for best success. CONTACT: Royce Simmons, www.gonefishin.biz, 903-389-4117 BANK ACCESS: Fisherman’s Point Marina, 903-389-5218

LOCATION: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir HOTSPOT: Colinas Timber Edge GPS: N31 02.039 W97 34.903 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Dark 4” soft plastic worms on Carolina Rig CONTACT: Bob Maindelle, 254-368-7411 TIPS: Best fished on SE, S, or SW wind so you can fish deep to shallow and maintain contact with rig. LOCATION: Lake Whitney HOTSPOT: Big Rocky Creek GPS: N52.795’, W97 23.682’ SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: Storms Wildeye Shad (chartreuse) CONTACT: Randy Routh, 817-822-5539 TIPS: Cast out 30 feet behind boat and turn trolling motor on medium speed and drag baits behind boat in mouth of creek and nearby humps. Stripers have baits pushed up in the mouth of big rocky gorging on them. BANK ACCESS: Walling Bend

Blue Cat Flats LOCATION: Granger Lake HOTSPOT: Willis Creek flats GPS: Area northeast of Willis Creek Park SPECIES: blue catfish

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CONTACT: Tommy Tidwell 512-365-7761 www.gotcrappie.com TIPS: Fish the shallow open and timbered flats with rod and reel. Good fish will be in water as shallow as 2 feet. BANK ACCESS: Willis Creek Park around the pavilion LOCATION: Granger Lake HOTSPOT: Deep-water areas out from the dam. GPS: All along the dam out to 1/2 mile. SPECIES: blue catfish BEST BAITS: Fresh shad CONTACT: Tommy Tidwell, 512-3657761, www.gotcrappie.com TIPS: Drift-fish the deep flats from 15 to 25 feet deep using drift socks if necessary. BANK ACCESS: Best access is along the West Boat Ramp area in Wilson Fox Park

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around the trees and work it in the heavy stuff. Use 50-pound braid, a battened down drag, and a heavy action rod with plenty of backbone to horse these fish out of the junk. Even then, you might latch into a fish that will wreck your tackle.

LOCATION: Falcon Lake HOTSPOT: Rio Grande River GPS: N26 56.350, W99 22.670 SPECIES: catfish

BEST BAIT(s): Cut Shad, prepared baits. CONTACT: Falcon Lake Tackle, (956)-7654866. TIPS: Most of the catfish that you will yank out of the riverbed are solid 2-4 pound skillet fish. If you drop a chunk of fresh shad on a bottom rig into one of the deeper holes in the river bends, you could latch into a 25- to 30pounder. If you have a boatload of children on board (don’t forget the PFD’s), a jar of Super Sticky or blood bait and a dip worm

Government Bass LOCATION: Falcon Lake HOTSPOT: Government Cut GPS: N26 34.088, W99 8.722

SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAIT(S): Plastic worms and flipping tubes in red, red watermelon, red bug. CONTACT: Falcon Lake Tackle, (956)-7654866 TIPS: Fish the flooded brush in the back of the cove. Bass are sitting on their beds. Work your worm or tube into the any beds you spot and let it sit. Eventually Mr. Mom will get irritated enough and pick up the bait to either kill it or move it. Use braided line and a stout rod. LOCATION: Falcon Lake HOTSPOT: Goose Bay GPS: N26 29.151, W99 8.247 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAIT(s): Gulp! 10” Humpback worms in red, red watermelon, grape. Flipping Lizards. CONTACT: Falcon Lake Tackle (956)-7654866. TIPS: bass will be near the trees along the submerged ditch. Flip and walk your baits A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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should be enough to keep reels screaming and kids squealing for an afternoon.

Louisiana Large LOCATION: Toledo Bend South HOTSPOT: Louisiana Islands

GPS: N31 12.290’, W93 35.350 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: 3/4-ounce and 1-ounce white chartreuse spinnerbaits with double willow leaf blades, grass jigs, deep-diving crankbaits, 5/8-ounce and 3/4-ounce jigging spoons CONTACT: Joe Joslin, 337-463-3848, www.joejoslinoutdoors.com TIPS: High lake levels insure lots of power plant generating this month, making the Louisiana Islands even more productive. Prefrontal conditions will have bass holding close to cover, especially in low-light conditions. Fish large spinnerbaits using a yo-yo or slow roll retrieve to maximize your success with lower water temperatures. With cold, highpressure conditions consider a jigging spoon fished vertically in 25 to 40 feet as well as deep-diving crankbaits and football jigs on points and ridges in 12 to 25 feet. Opt for fluorocarbon line when possible. BANK ACCESS: Below generators for largemouth bass, catfish and striper. Fishing is best when generators are running. Call 337286-5244 for pre-recorded generator schedule. LOCATION: Toledo Bend North HOTSPOT: Sabine River GPS: N31 56.101, W93 58.794 SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Road Runners, Rat-L-Traps, tail spinners, mid-diving crankbaits, slab spoons CONTACT: Greg Crafts, 936-368-7151, www.toledobendguide.com TIPS: White bass will be migrating from the main lake area into the Sabine River proper. Where to fish is determined on the C14

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river’s level. If the river level is high, work the mouths of feeder creeks where they dump into the river and flooded sloughs and backwater with Road Runners and Rat-L Traps. If the river is low, use these baits to work the river channel inside bends, sand bars and eddies. Start on the south end of the river and work north as the white bass travel up river. The more current present, the further up river the fish will be traveling. BANK ACCESS: Public parks and marinas, crappie on live minnows, catfish on cut bait and liver

LOCATION: Lake Conroe HOTSPOT: Main Lake GPS: N30 22.980, W95 34.930 SPECIES: hybrid stripers BEST BAITS: live shad, Storm Swim Shad, CONTACT: Richard Tatsch, 936-291-1277, www.fishdudetx.com TIPS: hybrid stripers are now in full swing and this is the time of year to catch trophy fish and possibly a lake record hybrids. Fish will be found all around the lake on main lake points and humps. This time of year, they will start to group up in large schools in depths of 18 to 22 feet. Once you find fish in one area, it is quite possible to catch a limit in a matter of minutes. Good electronics are most helpful in locating fish! Live shad is your bait of choice but a Swim Shad will work well if you can control their depth. BANK ACCESS: Stowaway Marina, bream and catfish on live minnows or worms under cork

Hitting the Walleye LOCATION: Lake Meredith HOTSPOT: The Marina at Lake Meredith

GPS: N35 42.250, W101 33.199 SPECIES: walleye F i s h

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BEST BAITS: minnows, red wiggler earthworms CONTACT: Mel Phillips, 806-353-3654, fishman@suddenlink.com TIPS: In January Lake Meredith can be quite cold. Your best bet is to fish the marina’s heated crappie house for walleye and a variety of other species. Minnows and red wiggler earthworms are your baits of choice but chicken livers, shrimp and cut bait are also productive. Walleye is the draw on Lake Meredith but half the fun of fishing the crappie house is not knowing what you will catch until you catch it. Walleye, largemouth bass, sand bass, and catfish are all likely to end up in the ice chest! BANK ACCESS: The main ramp at the marina, catfish on stinkbait, cut bait and chicken or turkey livers LOCATION: Possum Kingdom Lake HOTSPOT: Mouth of Rock Creek Camp GPS: N38 52.122, W98 24.394 SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: live shad, Sassy Shad, slabs, jigs CONTACT: Dean Heffner, 940-329-0036, fav7734@aceweb.com TIPS: Slow presentations mean success in the cold of winter on Possum Kingdom. Work jigs, Sassy Shad and slabs fast on the rise, and slowly on the fall. Work live shad as you normally would. Egg sinkers and short leaders work best. You might also “cheat” with minnows this time of year as shad are deep and fish will readily take something live and perky. One-and-a-half cranks off the bottom in 20 to 40 feet with both live bait and artificials is the name of the game unless you get an active school under birds. Watch for birds first thing and then concentrate on working 20 to 30 foot breaklines as the morning wears on. Work slowly! BANK ACCESS: North D&D, largemouth and smallmouth bass on plastic worms, catfish on stinkbait and livers

Email: Calixto: cgonzales@fishgame.com Kyle: ktomek@fishgame.com Tripp: tholmgrain@fishgame.com Tom: tbehrens@fishgame.com


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Patience Pays OU HAVE TO HAVE PATIENCE WHEN FISHING. If I had a nickel for every time I heard my dad utter these words when I was a kid, I would be a wealthy man. Patience really is a key ingredient to successful angling. Mixed with confidence, knowledge, skill, and luck, a little patience can definitely go a long way. This is never more true than in the month of January. Here on Sabine Lake, a lot of our biggest trout of the year are taken during this month. I’m talking about double-digit “gator trout” that would make an excellent addition to anybody’s trophy room. These are trout that you are not going to catch if you don’t have patience—lots of it. When fishing Sabine in January, you have to be disciplined enough to grind it out for several hours in less than desirable conditions, hoping for one or two big bites. Hit the flats and look for bait. Mullet and mud are two of the key components when hunting wintertime trophy trout. Set up in areas that you know have a nice hard mud bottom and make long drifts parallel with the shoreline. Match the hatch by using mullet imitation plugs and try to keep the

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depth between 3 and 5-1/2 feet. Work these areas thoroughly and try to cover as much water as possible. Wading is never a bad idea when the water temperature drops as “Old Man Winter” is breathing down your neck. These fish are lethargic and it’s important to take your time when presenting your lure to them. They are not feeding as often as they will in the warmer months, but they still need to eat. They want it big and they want it slow. One of the biggest mistakes some people make in cold water is working their bait too fast. I like to tell my clients that if they think they are working it too slow, slow it down some more. The trout’s metabolisms are down and they are not feeding aggressively. They are just looking for a meal, and the easier the better. Big, slow-sinking plugs like MirrOlure, Catch V, Catch 2000, and Corky are very effective. Let the bait do its job and sink slowly. Give it a couple of very light twitches, then give it time to make another slow

descent. I know some fishermen who don’t twitch it at all. They simply give the reel 1/4 of a turn, let it sink, and then do it again. Natural colors work well, as do lighter colors like Bone and chrome/chartreuse. You never know which one they will want, but I think it depends on which one crosses their faces first. Make sure everyone is throwing something a little different so you can figure it out. Keep in mind it’s January, so be patient, and you might just get that new addition to your trophy room.

Contact: Eddie Hernandez, ehernandez@fishgame.com

www.twitter.com/FishandGame

THE BANK BITE LOCATION: Intracoastal Canal, Hwy 87 (Sabine Pass) SPECIES: redfish, croaker, black drum BAIT: Fresh dead shrimp, cut bait BEST TIMES: Any tidal movement A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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2010 Begins! Y, MY—TIME DOES FLY. SEEMS LIKE ONLY A short time ago we were worried about “Y2K,” afraid our computer systems would crash and we would all be thrown back into the dark ages and forced to survive with weapons and our wits. Now, here we are, still using computers that have enslaved us even more to their services, and worried about an economic and social collapse that will force us to survive with stockpiled ammunition; at least, some of us are. For bay fishermen, weather is always a bigger factor in their pursuit of an enjoyable time on the water than anything else, and we can only hope for changes in the New Year to correct what was out of whack in 2009. At this point, it appears we have been spared a major tropical storm since Ike, but also suffered through the worse drought in Texas since records were kept on such things. While this situation appears to be getting better as I write, the effects will take some time to be fully felt. Lack of freshwater com-

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ing into the bays throws off the salinity of the whole system, but especially back bay marshes and tidal streams. The eastern portions of the Galveston Bay system had already seen severe saltwater intrusion from the hurricane, and didn’t get enough rain to correct this. These important nursery areas do not work as they should with such high salinity as we have seen, which threatens future stocks of finfishes, crabs, oysters, and shrimp. On the bright side, since saltwater “wedges” have encroached far up most coastal rivers, creeks, and bayous, saltwater species should be feeding in stretches of water where black bass, crappie, and freshwater catfish would be more common. The rivers I have crossed had been green and clear all summer, making for excellent fishing conditions. This could be a welcome change for many fishermen, especially with fewer mosquitoes to harass nighttime anglers, allowing for good fishing in protected waters. My prediction for the first month of the New Year is that fishing the Galveston Bay Complex, if dry conditions persist, will be most productive in those back bay areas. Cooler weather always means bait or lures must be moved more slowly, and dead bait is sometimes more productive than live— with fewer “bait stealers” to bother with. When the rains return, they might do so

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with a vengeance, pushing most species to the passes and beachfronts.

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

THE BANK BITE LOCATION: If January still harbors dry weather conditions, back bay areas should be productive. The various parks around Anahuac provide fishing access to the back edge of Trinity Bay, and at times specks and reds will be found under the I10 bridge over the Trinity River. ALTERNATE SPOT: Should rains return and fill the bays with muddy fresh water, go west, young man. The San Luis Pass area will shine from the beachfront pier or the shoreline of the State park on the Follett’s Island side. Wading the area of the Galveston side of the Pass can be good, but currents are deceptive. SPECIES: Redfish, speckled trout, flounder, and panfish. BEST BAITS: Dead shrimp and cut baitfish have their most effective moment in cold weather, but live shrimp is great when it can be found, also soft plastics bounced slowly along the bottom. BEST TIMES: As always, inshore fishing is ruled by water movement. In the back bay, incoming tides raise water depth to allow fish to enter very shallow areas. When the tide turns, food species are often sucked out of their hiding places into deeper water. At the passes, an outgoing tide is often best, as it can move both bait and target species from the bays into more accessible waters along the banks.


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Boldness in the Coldness CARLET EARLOBES AND BLISTERING extremities do not accompany what I call fishing weather. Nevertheless, if you plan to fish in January, expect a cold boat ride and numb fingers and toes. “It gets cold, but the colder it gets the more water that is blown out of the bay,” said guide Bobby Gardner. “And, the lower the tides, the better for redfish.” Gardner braves the frigid winds of winter and makes the hour-long boat ride to the friendly confines of the western reaches of West Matagorda Bay. Donned in Iditarodlike togs, the seasoned captain works all the deep guts in proven locales like Cotton’s Bayou, Middle Grounds, and Green’s Bayou. “They are always there,” he said. “You may have to park a long ways away and walk across the sand to get to them, but when you get there it is usually easy limits.” The sand Gardner refers to is the sand bars normally covered by tides. During low winter tides, the bars are exposed and so are the guts – the only terrain holding water. “The reds get landlocked until the tides rise,” he said. “Soft plastics and gold spoons have worked best for me.” When cold winds blow, most opt for the short ride to the Colorado River, and the leeward cover it provides. It is not the most glamorous fishing around, but neither is hours on the couch watching way too many footballs games. “It is a slow, methodical approach in the cold,” said guide Tommy Countz. “There

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are some large trout in the river during the winter, the trouble is locating them and getting them to bite.” Some days they bite, some days they don’t—just like any fishing trip. However, Countz says the best way to locate schools of fish is to slow-troll several baits like Norton Bull Minnows and Sand Eels. “We put out about four rods and troll down the middle until a rod bends,” said Countz. “The jigs bump along the bottom and cover more ground. If we find some fish, we will circle back and troll through them again.” Winter is not always frigid around here, so when the sun warms temperatures to the 60s in the afternoon, Countz said trout move along the bank to find food. “It can be just like bass fishing,” he said. “The river drops from two, to five, to nine feet along the bank and the trout hang close to the drops, depending on the water temperature.” Never dismiss the night. Piers along the river turn on lights at night to draw mullet,

A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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THE BANK BITE WHERE: Palacios Pavilion Pier SPECIES: whiting, black drum, trout BAITS: soft plastics, fresh shrimp shad, and shrimp. Often, some of the largest trout of the year are caught on the coldest nights. Corkies, MirrOlures, ED Lures, MirrOdines, and glow plastics worked gingerly through the water column excite lethargic fish. If you don’t have access to a pier, set up lights along the bank of the Diversion Channel and go to work. Catch the Diversion Channel on a falling tide and expect redfish as well.

Contact: Bink Grimes, www.binkgrimesoutdoors.com

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THE BANK BITE

Surfing HIS IS NOT ABOUT FISHING ON THE INTERNET or buff guys and pretty girls trying to catch the curl of the biggest wave. It is about catching fish just off your favorite beach from a boat. When conditions are right and with the right boating skills, the surf can be some of the best hooked-up action of the year for trout, reds, and sharks. The occasional tarpon can be a bonus. I have fished the surf for years and can tell you it requires a different set of boating skills than just about any form of fishing you will do on the Texas coast. Every year anglers that lack these skills learn the hard way and the results are swamped boats, capsized boats, and/or seriously injured anglers. You have to be able to read the waves, their heights, and their relationship to the guts. On the middle Texas coast there are 4-5 guts, the first gut being the closest to the shoreline and the fifth farther out in deeper water. Most of the fish that I catch are in one of these five guts and you have to position your boat accordingly, which brings us to the most critical part, and that’s anchoring correctly. As waves roll in from the Gulf, they crest as they get into shallow water and the cresting is multiplied as they hit these guts or humps in the sea floor. With a stiff wind, the waves will be breaking almost in the middle between the guts, and on calmer days they will break almost on top of the gut itself. Do not position your boat where the waves are breaking. The type of anchor is critical as well. I have seen boats washed up on the shore when anglers used the wrong type of anchor. For my money, the Danforth is one of the best for this type of fishing. You’ve read the waves, found the sweet spot for your boat, and you anchor up only to find out you’ve got a 2-knot current ripping you either north or south down the beach front. This moves you out of the sweet spot and you find yourself rapidly approaching the wave break. Don’t panic. Simply power toward your anchor

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and reset your boat, compensating for the current. Some use a second anchor to secure the back of the boat, which keeps their bow into the waves; others use a different tie off point on their boat to compensate. ANATOMY OF A SURF DISASTER: You’ve played the wind and have positioned your boat bow into the waves away from the break, no current is running, and the trout are biting. You fail to see your boat drifting ever so slightly sideways as the current picks up, your port side is now on a headon collision with a wave. The wave hits and crests over the side of your boat and over 100 gallons of saltwater is now sloshing around on the deck of your boat. The gentle swells that your boat was riding over are now knocking you off your feet because the anchor is now holding you deeper into the water due to the extra 1000 pounds of saltwater in the boat. One more wave and your boat will be swamped or capsized. This happened three times that I know of just last year alone. The key here is to not panic, start your motor (not your bilge pumps) first, then cut your anchor rope and get your bow into the waves, switch your bilges on, and motor out where the waves aren’t breaking. I can’t stress enough what the added weight of that water does to the normal buoyant characteristics of your boat. Also, as you motor out the water will shift to the back of your boat, causing the lower unit of your motor and prop to dig deeper into the water. If in close like in the second gut, your prop will probably hit the guts, killing the engine. Stay on top of the ignition key, get the motor started, and continue to ease out until out of the break zone. Surf-fishing from a boat can be safe and lots of fun if you take the time to learn its characteristics. It’s not the bay, though, and presents its own set of unique rules that one must learn and follow. COPANO BAY: Good black drum action close to Turtle Pen area using peeled shrimp on a Carolina rig. Trout action is good using popping cork and shrimp on mid-bay shell reefs. The key here is to fish the deeper water on cold days and shallow water on the warmer days. Reds can be caught drifting the south shoreline close to the airport, use a Super Spook on calm days and F i s h

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THE LBJ CAUSEWAY IS THE BEST BET FOR SHEEP HEAD ACTION. JIGGING ACTIONS USING SMALL PIECES OF SQUID AND A SMALL TREBLE OR KALE HOOK WHILE WALKING DOWN THE PIER IS ALWAYS GOOD THIS TIME OF YEAR. DON’T USE TOO LIGHT OF LINE OR THEY WILL BREAK YOU OFF ON THE PILINGS. I LIKE BRAIDED LINE AS A MAIN LINE WITH A FLUOROCARBON LEADER. Rat-L-Traps on the windier days. ST. CHARLES BAY: Drift across Cow Chip using fish bites on 1/16-ounce jigs for reds. Use cut bait for reds in the mouth of Devils Bayou. Some trout on free-lined mud minnows at the mouth of Cavaso Creek where it transitions to deeper water. Black drum in the twin Creeks area using peeled shrimp. ARANSAS BAY: The shell piles at the mouth of Dunham Bay are a good place to hang some big trout, the action will not be fast, but once hooked up it will be furious. Any type of fin bait like piggies or pin perch is a good bet here. The sand pockets in front of Hog Island will be holding reds in the slot, cut bait of Berkley crab under a silent cork is the formula. CARLOS BAY: High tides Carlos Lake will be drift heaven using sand eels in electric grape and morning glory colors for reds. The deep trench known as Carlos Cut is a good place for trout on slack tides, crank baits that are deep divers is the key here, bumping the lure off the bottom is a killer tactic, wait for a tap then set the hook don’t over react . MESQUITE BAY: Drift Brays Cove using popping cork and shrimp on colder days focus on the mid-bay structure for trout on warmer days near shore shallow water is best for reds. The north shoreline next to the fish huts is a good place for reds during high tide, cut mullet or sardines will produce some good slot red action. Ayres Bay: With some good cold weather waders, wade the north oyster reef sections that are prevalent for this area, throwing Berkley gulp sand eels in root beer and pumpkin colors; don’t overlook the shallow water for some really big trout. Contact Capt. Mac Gable at Mac Attack Guide Service, 512-809-2681, 361-790-9601


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THE BANK BITE

Decisions, Decisions KNOW WHAT YOU’RE THINKING: WINTER IS NOT the time for Joe Angler. All the fishing is specialized and directed at trophy trout—“the fish of a thousand hours.” The typical weekend angler doesn’t have the time, ambition, or resources to be successful in January. “Besides,” you tell me, pointing an accusing finger at your humble writer, “aren’t you the one who says that winter means cold fronts rolling in Friday night and killing the whole weekend?” Granted, fishing gets iffy during January. Some weekends—when the vast majority of us do our fishing (yes, even me)—are completely shot. The weekends of mild weather are absolutely golden, and Lower Laguna Madre anglers are not without myriad options. The big decision is what to fish for. Here are a few options to mull over while sitting at breakfast at White Sands Marina in Port Isabel or Sweet Gregory P’s in Mansfield. SHEEPSHEAD GALORE: The great part of the winter sheepshead run is the easy-access nature of the fishery. On days when the weather permits, all a fisherman needs to do is head to the Brazos Santiago jetties with some live or fresh shrimp and a reasonably stout spinning or conventional outfit with 15-pound line to catch a quick limit of five sheepies over 15 inches long. The easiest rig involves a No. 2 Longshank hook 3 feet under a popping cork, with a No. 3 split shot sinker 6 inches above the hook to hold everything down. Toss the rig up against the rocks and wait. The float holds the bait above the rocks and also indicates when a sheep is grazing on your bait. Boaters also have an easy time of it when they search for sheep. The Queen Isabella Causeway is loaded with them. Anchor up underneath the Causeway and allow your boat to

I

drift within 10 feet of the pilings. Free-lining a live shrimp up against the pilings is all it takes. Again, you will want to use stout tackle for this application, because there are some big fish down there, and you want to force them away from the pilings and into open water as soon as you can. A free-shrimping setup is different in design from the rig you use around jetties. A 1/0 short-shank hook such as the Lazer Sharp 7226 Red Octopus hook replaces the longshank hook, and a split shot is the only other terminal tackle you’ll need on your leader. Keep a finger on your line, because these guys are hellacious bait thieves. LONG BAR TROUT: “Yeah, yeah, yeah, sheepshead everywhere. Big whoop,” you grumble. “What about trout?” One excellent choice for fishermen looking for chillin’ trout is Long Bar. Though it is generally considered a springtime/early summer fishing spot, Long Bar is also a good wintertime trout spot. After a series of mild days, speckled trout will take advantage of a high tide and come up on the bar to both forage and absorb some of the warmth from the winter sun. Try noisy topwater such as Normark’s SkitterWalk or the Pradco Super Spook. Contrary to the super-slow retrieves that are recommended for wintertime topwaters, a faster retrieve that causes a great deal of commotion is best. As cold-blooded trout warm up, they become more active and a fast retrieve is ideal to draw reaction strikes from the revived fish. A 1/4-ounce gold spoon, an underrated trout lure, fluttered along is another good choice; moreover, the lure might prove effective if trout are short-striking the topwaters. Should a north wind drive a cold front down from Canada, then trout will back off of Long Bar and into the deeper water that braces it. In that case, you can fish the edge of the drop-off with a Mansfield Mauler/jig combo. Gulp! Shrimp in New Penny or Ivory are the go-to baits for post-frontal trout. The Mauler allows you to slow down your retrieve, and keeps the lure in one spot for a longer time. The click-clack of the Mauler provides the A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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HOT SPOT: Pirates Landing Fishing Pier GPS: N26 4.799, W97 12.402 SPECIES: Speckled Trout, Sheepshead, Panfish TIPS: Night fish under the lights with live shrimp for best results. sound factor that trout find so attractive, and the length of the leader between it and the lure keeps the latter in the strike zone. These fish are in a neutral mood due to the weather change, and the longer you can keep a lure in their faces, the better your chances at drawing a strike. WINTER DRUMS: It isn’t difficult to find an area that produces good numbers of black drum. Just a little north and west of the Causeway is a broad flat (N26 04.58, W97 12.08) near the current Pirate’s Fishing Pier (a long cast from the pier can easily reach the area). The best times to fish the area are the calm days after a cold front, and at night during the full moon. Large shrimp on a Carolina rig work well for these bruisers (most of the fish will be over the maximum 30-inch slot), but the best bait for large black drum is crab chunks with the carapace removed. Pass a 5/0 circle hook through a leg socket and out the top of the crab, chuck the whole rig out, and set the rod in a holder to wait. Another good area to prospect for black drum is the mouth of the Arroyo Colorado. (N26 21.902, W97 19.523). These blacks move up and down the drop-off of the Arroyo in tight schools all the way through March. In fact, many fishermen pull up to fish for these noisy buggers when the wind roughs up the bay too much. The same live shrimp/popping cork rig that you use for trout and redfish will work just fine for these drum. Fishing Lower Laguna Madre in winter isn’t similar to fishing the same waters in summer, but they are not dead waters. There are fish out there in the same variety as in warmer seasons. Just bundle up, keep warm, and have at it. Contact: Calixto Gonzales by email at cgonzales@fishgame.com G a m e ® / J A N U A R Y

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Tides and Prime Times

JANUARY 2010 USING THE PRIME TIMES CALENDAR

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

T12

T4

T11

T10

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

T13 T7

T6 T5 T17

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

T15 T16

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

T14 T18

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

T19

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

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

T20

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

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

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

T21

4:55p

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

KEY T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6

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

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

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

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

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

T22 T23

KEYS TO USING THE TIDE AND SOLUNAR GRAPHS TIDE LE VEL GRAPH: 12a

Tab: Peak Fishing Period

6a

12p

6p

AM/PM Timeline

12a

Light Blue: Nighttime

BEST:

7:05-9:40 PM

Green: Falling Tide

Gold Fish: Best Time

Blue: Rising Tide Red Graph: Fishing Score

Blue Fish: Good Time

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

AM/PM Timeline

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AM Minor: 1:20a

PM Minor: 1:45p

AM Major: 7:32a

PM Major: 7:57p

MAJOR Feeding Periods (+/- 2 Hrs.)

Moon Overhead: 8:50a 6a

12p

6p

12a

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

Moon Underfoot: 9:15p

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

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

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

KEY T18 T19 T20 T21 T22 T23

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

SPORTSMAN’S DAYBOOK IS SPONSORED BY:

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION

Yellow: Daylight

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

T9 T8

T3 T2 T1

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

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


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NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION 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

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

 30

29

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

 Ja n 1

 31

SUNDAY

 2

 3

Sunrise: 7:11a Moonrise: 2:28p

Set: 5:28p Set: 3:53a

Sunrise: 7:12a Moonrise: 3:24p

Set: 5:28p Set: 5:00a

Sunrise: 7:12a Moonrise: 4:27p

Set: 5:29p Set: 6:05a

Sunrise: 7:12a Moonrise: 5:36p

Set: 5:30p Set: 7:05a

Sunrise: 7:12a Moonrise: 6:49p

Set: 5:30p Set: 8:00a

Sunrise: 7:13a Moonrise: 8:01p

Set: 5:31p Set: 8:48a

Sunrise: 7:13a Moonrise: 9:10p

Set: 5:32p Set: 9:29a

AM Minor: 1:29a

PM Minor: 7:43p

AM Minor: 2:20a

PM Minor: 8:35p

AM Minor: 3:17a

PM Minor: 9:33p

AM Minor: 4:18a

PM Minor: 10:34p

AM Minor: 5:21a

PM Minor: 5:52p

AM Minor: 6:26a

PM Minor: 6:55p

AM Minor: 7:28a

PM Minor: 7:56p

AM Major: 7:43a

PM Major: 8:11p

AM Major: 8:35a

PM Major: 9:06p

AM Major: 9:33a

PM Major: 10:04p

AM Major: 10:34a

PM Major: 11:05p

AM Major: 11:37a

PM Major: ——-

AM Major: 12:11a

PM Major: 12:40p

AM Major: 1:15a

PM Major: 1:42p

Moon Overhead: 9:42p 6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 11:47p

Moon Overhead: 10:44p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: None 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 1:52a

Moon Overhead: 12:51a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

28

12a

Tides and Prime Times for JANUARY 2010

Moon Overhead: 2:49a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 9:13a +2.0

BEST:

0

-1.0

BEST:

2:30 — 4:00 A

Moon Underfoot: 12:19p BEST:

3:30 — 5:00 A

4:30 — 6:00 A

Moon Underfoot: 1:22p BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 2:21p BEST:

5:30 — 7:00 A

Moon Underfoot: 3:16p +2.0

BEST:

6:00 — 7:30 A

1:00 — 3:30 A TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 11:15a

TIDE LEVELS

2:00 — 3:30 A

Moon Underfoot: 10:12a

Low Tide: 6:52 AM High Tide: 3:58 PM

-0.55 ft Low Tide: 1.22 ft High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

7:40 AM 4:43 PM 9:06 PM 9:57 PM

-0.77 ft 1.32 ft 1.21 ft 1.22 ft

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

8:30 AM 5:26 PM 9:24 PM 11:42 PM

-0.94 ft Low Tide: 9:20 AM -1.04 ft 1.35 ft High Tide: 5:59 PM 1.34 ft 1.23 ft Low Tide: 10:05 PM 1.15 ft 1.25 ft

A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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

F i s h

1:19 am 10:08 am 6:32 pm 10:50 pm

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1.21 ft -1.01 ft 1.28 ft 1.03 ft

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

2:37 am 10:58 am 7:04 pm 11:43 pm

1.15 ft High Tide: 3:57 am 1.04 ft -0.90 ft Low Tide: 11:46 am -0.69 ft 1.18 ft High Tide: 7:32 pm 1.08 ft 0.85 ft

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-1.0


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NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION BEST:

= Peak Fishing Period

7:45-9:40 AM

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

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

MONDAY

Tides and Prime Times for JANUARY 2010

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

4

5

SATURDAY

8

SUNDAY

9

10

Set: 5:34p Sunrise: 7:13a Set: 5:35p Sunrise: 7:13a Set: 11:15a Moonrise: 12:21a Set: 11:50a Moonrise: 1:23a

Set: 5:35p Sunrise: 7:13a Set: 12:26p Moonrise: 2:25a

Set: 5:36p Set: 1:06p

Sunrise: 7:14a Moonrise: 3:25a

Set: 5:37p Set: 1:50p

AM Minor: 8:28a

PM Minor: 8:54p

AM Minor: 9:24a

PM Minor: 9:49p

AM Minor: 10:17a

PM Minor: 10:41p

AM Minor: 11:06a

PM Minor: 11:31p

AM Minor: 11:54a

PM Minor: ——-

AM Minor: 12:15a

PM Minor: 12:41p

AM Minor: 1:01a

PM Minor: 1:27p

AM Major: 2:15a

PM Major: 2:41p

AM Major: 3:12a

PM Major: 3:36p

AM Major: 4:05a

PM Major: 4:29p

AM Major: 4:54a

PM Major: 5:18p

AM Major: 5:42a

PM Major: 6:06p

AM Major: 6:28a

PM Major: 6:53p

AM Major: 7:14a

PM Major: 7:40p

Moon Overhead: 3:42a 6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 5:20a

Moon Overhead: 4:32a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 6:09a 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 7:48a

Moon Overhead: 6:57a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 8:39a 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

FRIDAY

 7

6

Sunrise: 7:13a Set: 5:32p Sunrise: 7:13a Set: 5:33p Sunrise: 7:13a Moonrise: 10:15p Set: 10:07a Moonrise: 11:19p Set: 10:41a Moonrise: None

12a

THURSDAY

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 4:07p +2.0

BEST:

BEST:

-1.0

BEST:

3:00 — 5:30 AM

Moon Underfoot: 6:33p BEST:

4:00 — 6:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 7:22p BEST:

4:30 — 6:30 AM

Moon Underfoot: 8:13p BEST:

5:30 — 9:00 AM

6:00 — 10:30 AM

Moon Underfoot: 9:05p +2.0

BEST:

2:00 — 4:00 AM TIDE LEVELS

0

Moon Underfoot: 5:44p

TIDE LEVELS

2:00 — 4:00 AM

+1.0

Moon Underfoot: 4:56p

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

12:43 am 5:27 am 12:34 pm 7:58 pm

0.62 ft 0.88 ft -0.39 ft 0.99 ft

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

1:48 am 7:09 am 1:22 pm 8:21 pm

0.35 ft 0.74 ft -0.06 ft 0.91 ft

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

2:54 am 9:05 am 2:10 pm 8:42 pm

0.08 ft 0.66 ft 0.28 ft 0.87 ft

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

3:59 am 11:15 am 3:06 pm 8:59 pm

-0.18 ft 0.70 ft 0.59 ft 0.86 ft

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

5:01 am 1:44 pm 5:16 pm 9:12 pm

-0.41 ft Low Tide: 5:58 am 0.84 ft High Tide: 3:32 pm 0.82 ft 0.88 ft

-0.57 ft Low Tide: 6:52 am 0.99 ft High Tide: 4:24 pm

-0.69 ft 1.07 ft

+1.0

0

-1.0


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NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION BEST:

7:45-9:40 AM

= Peak Fishing Period

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

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

 13

12

FRIDAY

 14

SATURDAY

 15

SUNDAY

 16

 17

Sunrise: 7:14a Moonrise: 4:22a

Set: 5:38p Set: 2:38p

Sunrise: 7:13a Moonrise: 5:15a

Set: 5:39p Set: 3:30p

Sunrise: 7:13a Moonrise: 6:04a

Set: 5:39p Set: 4:24p

Sunrise: 7:13a Moonrise: 6:48a

Set: 5:40p Set: 5:20p

Sunrise: 7:13a Moonrise: 7:28a

Set: 5:41p Set: 6:16p

Sunrise: 7:13a Moonrise: 8:03a

Set: 5:42p Set: 7:11p

Sunrise: 7:13a Moonrise: 8:34a

Set: 5:43p Set: 8:04p

AM Minor: 1:47a

PM Minor: 2:13p

AM Minor: 2:34a

PM Minor: 3:00p

AM Minor: 3:21a

PM Minor: 3:46p

AM Minor: 4:09a

PM Minor: 4:33p

AM Minor: 4:56a

PM Minor: 5:20p

AM Minor: 5:44a

PM Minor: 6:06p

AM Minor: 6:30a

PM Minor: 6:51p

AM Major: 8:00a

PM Major: 8:26p

AM Major: 8:47a

PM Major: 9:12p

AM Major: 9:34a

PM Major: 9:59p

AM Major: 10:21a

PM Major: 10:45p

AM Major: 11:08a

PM Major: 11:31p

AM Major: 11:29a

PM Major: ——-

AM Major: 12:20a

PM Major: 12:41p

Moon Overhead: 9:31a 6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 11:13a

Moon Overhead: 10:22a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 12:03p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 1:34p

Moon Overhead: 12:50p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 2:17p 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

11

12a

Tides and Prime Times for JANUARY 2010

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 9:57p +2.0

BEST:

0

-1.0

BEST:

3:30 — 5:30 AM

9:00A — 12:30P

Moon Underfoot: None BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 12:26a BEST:

5:00 — 7:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 1:12a BEST:

5:30 — 7:30 AM

Moon Underfoot: 1:56a +2.0

BEST:

6:00 — 8:00 AM

12:30 — 3:30 PM TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 11:38p

TIDE LEVELS

å3:00 — 5:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 10:48p

Low Tide: 7:40 am High Tide: 5:02 pm

-0.75 ft Low Tide: 1.09 ft High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

8:25 am 5:32 pm 10:42 pm 11:48 pm

-0.77 ft Low Tide: 9:05 am -0.75 ft 1.06 ft High Tide: 5:52 pm 1.01 ft 0.95 ft Low Tide: 10:19 pm 0.93 ft 0.95 ft

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

12:57 am 9:41 am 6:07 pm 10:06 pm

0.96 ft -0.71 ft 0.96 ft 0.87 ft

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

1:53 am 10:13 am 6:21 pm 10:19 pm

0.94 ft -0.64 ft 0.91 ft 0.78 ft

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

2:43 am 10:43 am 6:37 pm 10:51 pm

0.91 ft -0.54 ft 0.87 ft 0.68 ft

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

3:33 am 11:10 am 6:53 pm 11:31 pm

0.84 ft -0.41 ft 0.84 ft 0.57 ft

+1.0

0

-1.0


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

Tides and Prime Times for JANUARY 2010 MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

19

SATURDAY

 22

21

23

24

Set: 5:44p Set: 8:57p

Sunrise: 7:13a Moonrise: 9:31a

Set: 5:44p Set: 9:49p

Sunrise: 7:12a Moonrise: 9:59a

AM Minor: 7:16a

PM Minor: 7:36p

AM Minor: 8:02a

PM Minor: 8:21p

AM Minor: 8:47a

PM Minor: 9:07p

AM Minor: 9:32a

PM Minor: 9:53p

AM Minor: 10:18a

PM Minor: 10:41p

AM Minor: 11:06a

PM Minor: 11:31p

AM Minor: 11:56a

PM Minor: ——-

AM Major: 1:06a

PM Major: 1:26p

AM Major: 1:52a

PM Major: 2:11p

AM Major: 2:37a

PM Major: 2:57p

AM Major: 3:21a

PM Major: 3:43p

AM Major: 4:07a

PM Major: 4:30p

AM Major: 4:54a

PM Major: 5:18p

AM Major: 5:43a

PM Major: 6:10p

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 4:17p

Moon Overhead: 3:37p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Set: 5:45p Sunrise: 7:12a Set: 5:47p Set: 5:46p Sunrise: 7:12a Set: 10:42p Moonrise: 10:28a Set: 11:37p Moonrise: 11:00a Set: None

SUNDAY

Sunrise: 7:13a Moonrise: 9:03a

Moon Overhead: 2:57p

12a

20

FRIDAY

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 4:59p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Set: 5:49p Sunrise: 7:11a Set: 5:48p Sunrise: 7:11a Moonrise: 11:36a Set: 12:35a Moonrise: 12:18p Set: 1:36a

Moon Overhead: 6:33p

Moon Overhead: 5:44p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 7:27p 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

18

THURSDAY

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 2:37a +2.0

BEST:

0

-1.0

BEST:

1:30 — 4:00 PM

Moon Underfoot: 4:38a BEST:

2:30 — 4:30 PM

Moon Underfoot: 5:21a BEST:

3:00 — 6:00 PM

Moon Underfoot: 6:08a BEST:

4:00 — 6:30 AM

4:30 — 7:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 6:59a +2.0

BEST:

7:30 — 10:00 AM TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 3:57a

TIDE LEVELS

1:00 — 3:30 PM

Moon Underfoot: 3:17a

High Tide: 4:26 am 0.76 ft Low Tide: 12:13 am Low Tide: 11:36 am -0.25 ft High Tide: 5:28 am High Tide: 7:10 pm 0.80 ft Low Tide: 12:02 pm High Tide: 7:24 pm

0.44 ft 0.67 ft -0.08 ft 0.77 ft

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

12:58 am 6:45 am 12:28 pm 7:33 pm

0.31 ft 0.58 ft 0.11 ft 0.74 ft

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

1:45 am 8:25 am 12:53 pm 7:31 pm

0.15 ft 0.54 ft 0.32 ft 0.74 ft

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

2:36 am 10:27 am 1:15 pm 7:11 pm

-0.01 ft Low Tide: 3:31 am 0.57 ft High Tide: 6:43 pm 0.52 ft 0.77 ft

-0.19 ft Low Tide: 4:31 am 0.85 ft High Tide: 6:32 pm

-0.39 ft 0.95 ft

+1.0

0

-1.0


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NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION BEST:

7:45-9:40 AM

= Peak Fishing Period

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

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

25

26

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

 28

27

SATURDAY

SUNDAY

 30

 29

 31

Sunrise: 7:11a Moonrise: 1:08p

Set: 5:50p Set: 2:40a

Sunrise: 7:10a Moonrise: 2:06p

Set: 5:51p Set: 3:44a

Sunrise: 7:10a Moonrise: 3:12p

Set: 5:51p Set: 4:46a

Sunrise: 7:09a Moonrise: 4:23p

Set: 5:52p Set: 5:44a

Sunrise: 7:09a Moonrise: 5:36p

Set: 5:53p Set: 6:35a

Sunrise: 7:08a Moonrise: 6:47p

Set: 5:54p Set: 7:20a

Sunrise: 7:08a Moonrise: 7:56p

Set: 5:55p Set: 8:00a

AM Minor: 12:20a

PM Minor: 12:48p

AM Minor: 1:12a

PM Minor: 1:43p

AM Minor: 2:08a

PM Minor: 2:39p

AM Minor: 3:05a

PM Minor: 3:36p

AM Minor: 4:03a

PM Minor: 4:33p

AM Minor: 5:02a

PM Minor: 5:30p

AM Minor: 6:00a

PM Minor: 6:27p

AM Major: 6:34a

PM Major: 7:03p

AM Major: 7:28a

PM Major: 7:58p

AM Major: 8:23a

PM Major: 8:55p

AM Major: 9:20a

PM Major: 9:52p

AM Major: 10:18a

PM Major: 10:48p

AM Major: 11:16a

PM Major: 11:44p

AM Major: ——-

PM Major: 12:13p

Moon Overhead: 8:25p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 10:30p

Moon Overhead: 9:26p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 11:32p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 12:32a

Moon Overhead: None 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 1:28a 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

Tides and Prime Times for JANUARY 2010

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 7:55a +2.0

BEST:

-1.0

Moon Underfoot: 11:01a

BEST:

1:00 — 3:00 AM

BEST:

2:00 — 4:00 AM

3:00 — 5:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 12:02p BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 1:00p BEST:

10:00A — 12:30P

Moon Underfoot: 1:55p +2.0

BEST:

12:00 — 2:00 AM

12:30 — 2:30 AM TIDE LEVELS

0

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 9:58a

TIDE LEVELS

9:00 — 11:00 AM

+1.0

Moon Underfoot: 8:55a

Low Tide: 5:32 am High Tide: 6:20 pm

C26

-0.59 ft Low Tide: 6:30 am 1.03 ft High Tide: 4:03 pm

• J A N U A R Y

-0.78 ft Low Tide: 1.11 ft High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

2 0 1 0 /

T E X A S

7:26 am 4:25 pm 8:31 pm 10:51 pm

F i s h

-0.94 ft Low Tide: 8:19 am 1.15 ft High Tide: 4:50 pm 1.05 ft Low Tide: 8:54 pm 1.06 ft

&

-1.03 ft High Tide: 12:44 am 1.13 ft Low Tide: 9:10 am 0.96 ft High Tide: 5:14 pm Low Tide: 9:33 pm

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

1.07 ft -1.03 ft 1.08 ft 0.80 ft

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

2:09 am 9:59 am 5:38 pm 10:19 pm

1.06 ft -0.91 ft 1.00 ft 0.58 ft

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

3:28 am 10:46 am 6:00 pm 11:09 pm

1.01 ft -0.70 ft 0.92 ft 0.33 ft

+1.0

0

-1.0


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Fish-N-Hunt: Paul Perrin’s Lasting Legacy ADE-FISHING THE COASTAL WATERS OF Texas and beyond would not be what it is today without Paul Perrin. You might know him as the commanding presence selling Walk-N-Wade leg guards for stingray protection at sport shows in the 1980s and 90s, exclaiming, “You’re crazy if you don’t wear these!” Or touting some other frank endorsement. Paul Perrin had a presence as big as Texas and although retired from the show circuit since 1998 due to a stroke, his legacy has only gained strength through time. It carries on through his inventions and innovations that make Wade-fishing safe and more comfortable than it was when he found-

W

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• J A N U A R Y

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T E X A S

ed Fish-N-Hunt Inc. with his wife Pat in 1984. His inventing spirit soared after witnessing a friend get hit by a stingray on a beach in Mexico.

by Chester Moore, Jr. Perrin years ago told the story to outdoor writer Jerry Labella for his story, “Stingrays: A Wade-fisherman’s Nightmare”. “After playing medic on a Mexican beach, I realized I was too old to go through the same thing he did,” Perrin recounted. What ensued was experimentation with a variety of materials eventually settling on the

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kind used in bulletproof vests. And of course, eventually there was testing with a live stingray, which fortunately for Perrin proved successful. “Dad definitely wasn’t afraid to experiment and that translated to the quality products we see today. He was always tinkering with something and refining things so it was functional and worked for the fishermen who were slugging it out wading day in and day out,” said his son Phil Perrin. Phil said his father was not afraid to use fear as a selling tactic and often put photos of real life stingray strikes at his booth. “He would tell people they were nuts not to protect themselves and had no fear in selling.” Mark Jennings remembers meeting Perrin at a sports show in Houston when he first started wade-fishing and at first being taken aback by the descriptions of a stingray strike. “I didn’t know if I should get into this Wade-fishing thing or not but after talking with Mr. Perrin I realized there was a way to protect myself. I never wade without one of his wading belts and always have stingray protection. I owe that to a chance meeting many years ago,” Jennings said. “The gear holds up. I recently went to the new store and upgraded some of my equipment and was impressed with all the company has to offer now.” That kind of testimony is greatly appreciated but common for the Perrins and the new owners of Fish-N-Hunt. “Dad never met a stranger out there and was very good with people and really cared about helping protect them and make their fishing more comfortable. That was very important to him,” Phil Perrin said. And so was fishing with his family and friends. “We never lacked for an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors and remember lots of good times on the water fishing for speckled trout and redfish.” Besides taking his family and clients fishing, Paul Perrin made sure that those without


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the same opportunities his family had were able to enjoy these pursuits as well. Bart Reece’s family bought insurance from Perrin and that relationship translated to one of mentoring in the great outdoors. “My father had polio when he was a young man and could not take me hunting and fishing but Paul Perrin took the time to make sure I had opportunities to fish and that had a really big impact on me and it still does,” Reece said. “It really says something about a man to take a young person under their wing like that and help them out.” Letting go of Fish-N-Hunt was not an easy task for the Perrin’s not necessarily because of nostalgia or finances but because of their concern Paul’s inventions would continue to be made with quality. “I have made much bigger deals with many other companies that took a whole lot less time to do. The Perrins wanted to be sure everything was going to be done just right and that is part of what makes doing business with them such a pleasure,” said Mac Delaup of Fish-N-Hunt. Fish-N-Hunt continues with a commit-

Page C29

ment to its customers to provide exceptional fishing and hunting products, made of high quality materials for durability and use only proven innovative designs for functionality, comfort, and protection. Operated by friends who have a passion for the great outdoors, Perrin’s tradition of developing and producing unique, functional and long lasting gear lives on through the company’s products being sold all along the Gulf Coast and in a new retail location at 5829 Sam Houston Parkway in Houston. Besides the wading belts, nets, shooting blind bags, shotgun shell carriers and other unique amenities, they also make custom rods and carry Flatstalker Boats, American Rodsmiths Rods, Brown Lures, a variety of sporting art along with Got Tail and CCA licensed apparel. “This is a great place with lots of great gear for anyone with a love for coastal fishing,” said renowned coastal artist Sam Caldwell who attended a special event there last August to celebrate Perrin’s life. “You know people will benefit from Paul Perrin’s innovations for many, many years. Every time someone steps into their waders to

A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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wade-fish, they will be using something he invented or that one of his inventions inspired. Whether the anglers know it or not he has made their fishing easier and safer and that is quite a legacy to pass on.” Paul Perrin may have started out to simply solve a problem he saw but instead he has fundamentally changed Wade-fishing forever. His works are still benefiting the many people he came into contact with, and so many more through dogged determination, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a giving heart.

On the Web See an extended video tribute to Paul and Pat Perrin at www.fishgame.com/videocenter.

G a m e ® / J A N U A R Y

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Yeti Coolers Grizzly Bear Proof The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC), a board overseen by the U.S. Forest Service, has tested the Yeti Tundra 250 qt cooler and approved it as a Grizzlyproof container. This means the entire line of Yeti Tundra Coolers (35, 45, 65, 85, 105, 120, 155 and now 250 qt.) have been deemed Grizzly-proof! “We’re proud to be the first cooler to survive the IGBC tests,” says Ryan Seiders, owner of Yeti Coolers,” and proud that our entire Tundra line has passed the tests.” The IGBC testing simulates bear attacks and then subjects products to an hour encounter with two adult Grizzly bears. The ultimate goal is to eliminate accidental bear feeding. Once a bear is fed, it will come back to a campsite, typically necessitating that the bear be destroyed. So, not only will a Yeti Cooler protect your food, it will protect the bears, as well. Yeti’s Grizzly-proof durability is the result of polyethylene, one-piece, rotationalmolded construction, which is the same material

a n d process used to make whitewater kayaks. The lids are also one-piece, molded and attached to the cooler body with a metal rod through a fulllength hinge. The cooler can be securely C30

• J A N U A R Y

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T E X A S

Page C30

closed through integrated padlock ports on both front corners. Padlocks are required for the cooler to be bear-proof. Yeti Tundra coolers are also known by outdoor experts as the best insulated coolers available, with commercial-grade, polyurethane foam insulation that’s four to six times thicker than other coolers. For additional information on GrizzlyProof Yeti Tundra coolers, call 512-3949384, email yeticoolers@gmail.com, or go to www.yeticoolers.com.

Po-Pole Shallow Water Anchor Po-Pole is an aluminum bracket, either custom made for your transom angle or adjustable with a ¾” x 8’or 1” x 10’ solid fiberglass pole that slides through the bracket into the bottom to anchor your boat. The 10’ pole is designed to be used as a push pole also. Prices range from $140.00 (8’ stationary bracket) to $250.00 (10’ pole, adjustable bracket and pole holder clips). This product was designed for the angler on a budget. It does everything the electric/hydraulic unit does for a fraction of a cost. For more information, visit Po-Pole.com, call Roger at (281)910-0317, or email rdomingue6@att.net. F i s h

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Prime Location a Crooked Tree? No Problem Have you ever found that perfect spot for a day of prime hunting and then realized your treestand would not sit correctly on the tree and you had to find another spot? Amacker Outdoors has the perfect treestand for you. The Jack Plate Timb-R-Lock® Treestand has an innovative design that allows the stand to attach to any tree trunk or limb, whether it’s vertical, horizontal or anything in between. The Jack Plate Timb-RLock is fixed to the tree in two places by sturdy nylon straps and secured by tightening the straps with the ratchets until the stand is tightly flush against the tree surface. The T-Bar screw is added for aid in hanging the stand. Once the large 25” x 33” platform is in place, the stabilizer pin is removed allowing the seat and platform to level at any angle. The adjustable padded seat can be flipped up so the user can stand straight up or lean back against it. As Joe Amacker says, “If it ain’t an Amacker, it ain’t worth hangin’!” To learn more about Amacker products please go to www.amacker.com or contact Jennifer Thomas at jthomas@sellmark.net or 817225-0310 x113.

ICON Waterproof Flashlights Whether you’re taking a night cruise, working deep in the engine or docking at dusk, there’s one tool you won’t think of


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until you can’t go on without it. Introducing ICON, a line of sleek, long-lasting LED flashlights, with a waterproof O-ring seal that protects the light up to two meters deep. Rogue (www.myiconlight.com) has two separate compact models made perfect for everyday use. The state-of-the-art LED light guarantees long lasting light. Ergonomically designed, ICON has an open-architecture structure, never before seen in the consumer flashlight market. This design provides a solid grip, leaving hands cool and dry. Virtually indestructible, the aerospace -aluminum body means it can be dropped, thrown and rattled around without any damage. The Rogue 1 design is smaller (4.5 inches), requiring online one AA battery, while Rogue 2 is longer (6.5 inches), and requires two AA batteries. . Both come in three stylish colors-silver, green and black. Don’t be caught in the dark on the water - rely on ICON. Visit www.myiconlight.com.

Stormy Kromer Cord Cap New for fall 2009, Stormy Kromer introduces their Cord cap. When it comes to rugged good looks, the folks at Stormy Kromer tend to err on the side of rugged. So it was with that in mind that this attractive (yet fully functional) cap was created. Made in the USA with a 100% cotton cord outer and a 1 0 0 % broadcloth

Page C31

A Step Up for Man, a Leap in Safety and Convenience The new STEP n TOW swing out step is a versatile tool for pick-up trucks and SUV’s. It allows easy access to the pick-up bed or roof racks. From the durable galvanized, powder coated finish to the 18”, 90° swing out safe non-skid rubber foot- step, this product boasts quality through and through. Fits any standard 2” receiver, ideal for the home owner, farm, DIY, contractors, trailers (utility, travel, camping and boating), any-

one and everyone needing access to the back of a pick-up truck or the roof rack of any sport utility vehicles. STEP n TOW always offers convenience and safety for everyone in the family or work place. STEP n TOW also becomes a versatile

winch mounting platform with the addition of the winch mounting block (p/n 72251). This system will satisfy any standard two bolt mounting pattern with winches up to 3000 lb capacity. Simply place the STEP n TOW in the 2” receiver and you’re ready to pull in more ways than one. Features at a glance: • Fits any standard 2” receiver • 2” drop, 3/4” rise • Rated to 6000 lb (V5 certified) • Rugged two step galvanized then powder coat finish • Safe non-skid foot-step • 18” swing out step, locks into position, rated at 350 lb in the open or closed position • Winch Mount (2 bolt pattern up to 3000 lb) Step n Tow is a small manufacturing and marketing company located in northeastern Connecticut referred to as the “Quiet Corner”. The Step n Tow was developed like most “niche” products, out of necessity. It was the idea of John Lipski that eventually evolved into the Step n Tow. In 2005, after years of fumbling with the ball mount and step idea, the Step n Tow began to take shape and now is a reality. See it at StepnTow.com or call 860-9350121.

l i n e r, this cap offers all the durability of its wooly cousin, just with a little more flair. The stylish unisex design is coveted equally by men and women. For more information call 906-9321339 or go to www.stormykromer.com.

A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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New Marlin Bolt-Action OR AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER, MARLIN Firearms has been known for its leveraction rifles. While they have made both bolt-action and semi-auto .22 rimfires, their bread and butter have been the lever-actions in .30-30 and .45-70.

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Now, Marlin has stepped outside their comfort zone and introduced a new bolt-action centerfire rifle. My test sample of the XL-7 in .30-06 is a standard, off-the-rack, Plain Jane model with blued metal and synthetic stock. The most eye-catching aspect of the gun is the new trigger. It resembles the Savage AccuTrigger, but is supposed to be completely different. First impression was favorable: The gun is well fitted, the stock is well designed, and when I put it to my shoulder, it felt like it belonged there. The bolt worked smoothly, more smoothly that I expected for the modest cost of the gun. The only negative I could find at first glance was with the Pro-Fire ™ trigger. I expected, after all the publicity, a welladjusted, crisp, light trigger. However, it was creepy and gritty. It broke at 3.5 pounds consistently, but could have been better finished. My buddy Todd Tate and I mounted a scope on the gun and headed out to the range. First ammo up was some Fiocchi RWS C32

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with 180-grain bullets. I had received this for testing last year and never got around to shooting it. This would be a great time to try it. Todd was doing the shooting and I was spotting for him; we had already sighted the gun at 25 yards. He fired the first shot 100 and it was an inch or so low and left. Since we were shooting for group, we didn’t change the sights. Todd sent number 2 downrange. I was watching through a spotting scope but couldn’t find the shot on the foot-square target.

“I think you pulled that one off the paper,” I said. “Try another shot.” Todd gave me a dirty look, but hunkered down behind the Marlin, pulled it up tight to his shoulder, peered through the scope, and carefully squeezed off the third shot. At first, I thought he had missed again, then I noticed that the hole from the first shot looked a bit oblong through the 25-power

by Steve LaMascus Alpen spotting scope. We walked down to the target board and, sure enough, the hole was just slightly enlarged. Still, we could clearly see the evidence of all three bullets. The group measured…. Well, I don’t know, exactly, but it was certainly less than a halfinch, and probably around a quarter-inch. I was impressed — with Todd’s shooting, the new Marlin, and the Fiocchi ammo. But one group does not make a proper test and it does not prove the true accuracy of the gun! Shooting continued with other ammo. Next up was a handload consisting of 165-grain Hornady InterBonds over 58 grains of H4350, sparked by Federal Gold Medal Match primers. The Marlin liked F i s h

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them okay, but not as well as the Fiocchi. The InterBonds printed groups of between 1 ¼ and 1 ½ inches. Winchester 150-grain Super-X Power Points were next and shot wonderfully, around an inch. Federal’s 150-grain PowerShok was next at bat and also ran just at an inch. Altogether, the rifle was supremely accurate. Average accuracy with all loads tested was between 1- and 1-1/4-inches. Even today with computer-controlled manufacturing, any rifle that will average one-inch 3-

shot groups is above average. This gun is one I feel confident in recommending. On the surface, it seems to have taken the best parts of such time-tested guns as the Weatherby Vanguard and Savage 110 and combined them into a rocksolid gun that shoots great and sells for what we today consider dirt-cheap. Retail price on these guns runs from about $325.00 to just over $350.00. While there is nothing earthshakingly novel in its makeup, this is my choice for the best new gun of the decade.

E-mail Steve LaMascus at guns@fishgame.com

PHOTO COURTESY MARLIN FIREARMS


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LastMinute Deer NOTHER YEAR HAS PASSED US BY, BUT IN some parts of Texas, deer season is still going strong. If you have a tag and an empty freezer, you still have a good chance to score on a nice whitetail. You will just need to know where to find them. It is time to change hunting tactics a bit. With all the hunting pressure in the woods lately, the deer have learned to adapt once again and go into survival mode. All year long deer have to avoid the hog hunters, hikers, and just about any other human activity in the woods. Now add to the equation a number of deer hunters, both bow and rifle, that have invaded the whitetail’s home turf, and you will be amazed that there are any deer left in the woodlot at all. Where do they go? How can you find them? After being chased all season, the deer find the most unlikely places to hide until the pressure cools down a bit. In order to find these elusive masters you will most likely have to put up with a few people who may think you have totally lost it. You should try hunting in those small islands in the middle of fields. Or those little 2-acre woodlots that you find in the middle of nowhere. Get in there well before it thinks of getting light and just sit and wait. If deer are using the field to feed in, you might find the buck you were looking for heading straight for your “island” where he feels secure. I mean…who in their right mind would search for him there?

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I know what you are thinking. You just have no confidence that the deer are really in there. Oh, you read about it and have read about it before, but still you have a hard time convincing yourself that you are not wasting your time. My answer to that is, “What have you got to lose?” You already have spent countless number of hours searching for him in your favorite woodlot and you still have your tag. He just might be in that small sweet spot that no one would ever think of hunting. If you are like me, by this time of the year, you are so tired of getting up at dark thirty in the morning, your warm bed, and some much needed sleep sound so much better than yet another trek in the woods trying to bring home some venison. It is not a bad idea to try your luck later in the day. So how can you expect to fill your tag in the middle of the day when the deer are already in their beds? I agree that it is extremely difficult to be successful if you are alone. The deer hear you coming from a mile away and are ready to sneak off to parts unknown. I have tried a couple of tricks that have worked—at least some of the time. You will need the aid of a friend or two. Here is where you find who your real friends are. The first thing you need to do after locating a small patch of woods is to check the wind direction. Both you and your buddy should line up at one end of the thicket. Keep the wind in your face and have you friend start to zigzag slowly through his side of the woods. Wait about five minutes or so and then you should start to walk slowly through your side of the woods. It is important that you are as quiet as you can be. By zigzagging through one side of the woods, any deer that may be bedded down should simply sneak off to the other side of the woods and wait for your friend to pass on by. Often times, a deer will not only move to the other side of the woods, but will try to circle behind the intruder to catch his scent and then bed back down. This is why you, as the second A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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driver, should be alert at all times. If a deer is indeed bedded down there, you have an excellent chance of seeing him try to sneak away from the first driver and walk right to you unaware of your presence. If you see him before he sees you, you might fill your freezer that afternoon! Another way to drive deer in the late season involves two of your friends. If you already know a well used deer trail that could be an escape route, set up near that deer run. It is important to remember to keep the wind in your face. Have your buddies walk along the outer perimeter of the small woodlot. They should carry with them something that would leave a foreign smell to the woods. It could be some cheap cologne, after shave, or even a can of W-D 40. Every once in a while, they can spray a little of this scent onto a bush as they walk the outside of the woods. Now you are using the buck’s best defense, his nose, against him. Have your friends start slowly bumping the deer along in the woods towards you. If the deer start to head for the edge of the woodlot, they will smell what they perceive to be danger. After all, they just heard someone walking the edge of their bedroom. They will want to stay in the woods and your friends should bump the deer right to you. It might work…might not, but it sure beats watching the hunting shows on TV while you still have a tag to fill.

E-mail Lou Marullo at lmarullo@fishgame.com

www.facebook.com/pages/Texas-Fish-Game-Magazine/86524948620

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day, Chuck Cotton, a friend of the Hughes’, found when he went to check the baited line they had a gator, but didn’t know how big it was, as the line and bait were under water.

A Boy and his Alligator

by Tom Behrens “Bring Simon,” was the first thing Scott Hughes heard from Cotton when he answered the phone. “We have a gator!” Simon is a little over 3 feet tall and

HAT DAD DOESN’T WAIT FOR THE special day when his son or daughter bags their first deer? How about when their offspring bags their first alligator—a possible staterecord size gator? Five-year-old Simon Hughes dispatched a 12-foot, 6-inch alligator weighing 800plus pounds with a single shot from his trusty .410 shotgun. The gator was taken from a slough off the Trinity River below Lake Livingston. The area is a part of private wetlands that the family owns. In July, Scott Hughes, Simon’s dad, after surveying a pond on their acreage, noticed an overabundance of alligators in the 8-foot length. He applied to Texas Parks & Wildlife Department for harvest tags and received two. A line baited with roadkill armadillo was hung over the water on Saturday. The next

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weighs maybe 45 pounds, but like many kids in the Pineywoods of east Texas, can

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handle a gun. He has been practicing for over a year. “I asked, ‘What size is he?’,” Hughes said, referring to the alligator. “I can’t tell,” replied Cotton. “I think he’s hung up in deadfall. I can’t budge it. I think he’s dead.” After Scott and Simon made it down to the slough, Scott Hughes and Chuck Cotton pulled on the line and couldn’t budge the reptile. “We hooked the baited line to the ATV winch on the mule we rode in on,” said Hughes. “We had to chock the tires on the mule to keep it from sliding backwards.” For a while, it was a tug of war between the winch and the gator. The gator, which wasn’t dead, was winning the battle as the ATV started sliding down the bank. Finally, the winch began winning the battle, slowly inching the monster gator to the surface. “He had to come up for air, but we never noticed it,” said Hughes. “He was full of fight.” Simon was ready with his shotgun, never retreating as the gator came up out of the water. He was standing on the bank next to Cotton within 6 feet of the gator. PHOTOS COURTESY THE HUGHES FAMILY


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TROPHY FEVER PHOTOS

WHITETAIL BUCK—CORYELL COUNTY

WHITETAIL BUCK—LLANO COUNTY

WHITETAIL BUCK—WEBB COUNTY

Chance McMullins of Rowlett, Texas, shot his first deer—a 10-point buck—in Coryell County.

Laura Massingill with son Mason, age 5, of Dallas, Texas, took her first buck in Llano County. The 8-pointer was shot with a .22-250.

Danny Alcocer, Jr., age 15, of Laredo, Texas, shot this 9-point buck with a 7.08mm in Webb County. This was Danny’s first buck.

“We got him up the first time and he went back down; had to hit the reverse on the winch,” said Hughes. “Chuck knew it was a big gator. I, as yet, had never seen it. It took about 40 minutes, but we got him up a second time and got his head out of the water. Simon shot him behind the right eye, in the gator’s brain, with his single-shot .410 shotgun.” “The gator did his death roll,” said Simon.

He wasn’t next to the line, but Scott Hughes started yelling for Cotton to get Simon out of the way. “I didn’t know if the gator was going to go down the bank toward him, or try to come out on the bank.” At the same time, a fearless Simon was trying to reload his single shot .410. Finally, after a four-hour battle, the dead alligator was up on the bank. Chris Gregory, the TPWD big game biologist for Polk County, estimated the trophy gator was 35-

40 years old. The head alone weighed 109 pounds. Danny Moye of Moye’s Taxidermy is mounting the alligator’s head: “I’m glad we don’t have to mount this one life-size because I would have to build a body to fit him. You can’t buy a mannequin this big.” Simon said of the adventure: “Well, I got my gun out and shot him.”

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Life Saving Technology HE 48-FOOT SPORTFISHERMAN SUDDENLY lists to port, and the captain opens the engine room to discover massive flooding. With the batteries over-topped, he’s shocked the moment he tries to enter the compartment to turn on the crash pumps. Unable to evacuate the water, the boat sinks in minutes. Halfway across the state, two divers, overcome by a strong tide, are pulled away from their boat and out to sea. They float away from shore without anyone noticing, and no boats are within sight. Miles inland, a canoeist overturns, smacking his head against a rock outcropping. He struggles to shore, and spits warm blood on the ground.

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All of the people involved in these lifethreatening accidents survive, thanks to modern technology. Modern safety gear technology has advanced so far, and the prices have dropped so much, that there’s almost no excuse for not taking advantage of it. Today, we have a wide range of gear that gives your safety margin a huge boost—but are you taking full advantage of it? If not, then it’s time to check out these seven safety items that have become common and inexpensive thanks to advances in modern technology. Any or all of them could save your life. DSC DELIVERY: DSC capability is in all fixed-mount VHF radios sold today, and has been for several years. Unless your radio is more then 10 years old it’s quite likely that it is DSC equipped. And unfortunately, it’s nearly as likely that you haven’t set up your equipment for DSC broadcasting. It’s a shameful but simple reality: most guys simply don’t bother to hook DSC up. Is your VHF’s DSC active right now? If the answer is “no,” then don’t bother reading any farther—the single most important thing you can

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do to immediately increase your safety factor by a huge margin is to get it up and running. Hooking up and activating DSC is much simpler then most people think. To get it functional all you need to do is get a free (FREE!) MMSI number, which takes all of two minutes on the BoatU.S. website (www.boatus.com and click on the “safety” tab, then look for “MMSI number”). Then interface your VHF and your GPS. This is also easier then you’d think, since the vast majority of units now talk to each other via NMEA0183. We’re talking about splicing together three wires. That’s it. You say you don’t have a color-coded diagram of the wires sprouting out of your radio? You can find it for virtually any unit with a simple Google search. Take these two painless steps, and when you transmit a distress call, your exact latitude and longitude will be transmitted with it automatically, as will your vessel name and pertinent information. DON’T CELL IT SHORT: By now just about everyone relies on their cell phone, but just about everyone has also discovered that these devices must not be depended on as safety gear because at times, even in areas with perfectly good cell coverage, they inexplicably fail to work. When they do work, however, they make for incredibly fast and convenient communications. And you can broaden their usefulness as a safety device by mounting a cell amplifier on your boat. These units are surprisingly affordable - Digital Antenna’s DA 4000 cell phone amplifier, for example, costs about $200 plus $200 more for the necessary antenna and hardware. That seems like a worthwhile expenditure, since you’ll be able to use your cell phone 30 to 50 miles from the nearest towers. Another cellular advancement that can give you a safety boost is the advent of waterproof phones. A few years ago, a waterproof cell was hard to come by, and the least expensive models went for $350 or more. Today, however, you can pick up a waterproof cell for a hair under $200.


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E-PERFECT: EPIRB (emergency position indicating radio beacon,) has been around a while now, and remains the most reliable form of distress beacon on the water today. Activate an EPIRB and the Coast Guard knows where you are, who you are, and that you’re in serious trouble. EPIRBs interface with Cospas-Sarsat, the international SAR (search and rescue) satellite system, which then calculates your position via triangulation (or GPS, when the EPIRB is GPSequipped). So far, EPIRBs have assisted in the rescue of over 22,000 people. So, why doesn’t everyone carry one? Even the cheap ones go for close to a grand. P-PERFECT: An alternative to the EPIRB is a PLB, or Personal Locator Beacon. These are smaller (about the size of a handheld GPS), lighter, and less expensive than EPIRBS. Much less expensive, in fact, with the average PLB running between $400 and $500. The main difference between these units is that EPIRBS are meant to broadcast a Mayday for a vessel, while PLBs broadcast for an individual. They can be clipped to a life jacket or belt loop with a lanyard. EPIRBS, meanwhile, are significantly larger and heavier and are commonly mounted to the boat itself. PFDELIVERY: Few of us wear PFDs because we’ve been boating for years with only one option, the big puffy orange thing. Fat chance you’ll wear that all day, right? I wouldn’t either. But that argument went the way of the dodo years ago, when inflatable PFDs became USCG approved. Today, you can get either suspender-types or belt packs, in ripcord or water-activated versions. Suspenders are considered safer because once activated no further action is required to keep you afloat, while belt packs inflate in front of your body and need you to pull the collar over your head for proper deployment. Both are far more comfortable than the orangies. I’ve requested everyone on my boat wear belt packs while offshore for the past 10 years, and through literally thousands of uses, only two people have ever complained that they were uncomfortable and only one has every inflated accidentally. Luckily, we’ve never needed them, but if the time ever comes, they could be true lifesavers. SATELLITE SAVERS: Satellite messengers are the latest assistants in both marine and landbased SAR situations. The SPOT satellite messenger (www.findmespot.com) is a unit you’ve probably heard about in the past few

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years, as a good alternative to an EPIRB or PLB. They’re smaller (about the size of a compact hand-held GPS) and much less expensive ($100 for the unit and $100 per year to keep them activated,) yet they accomplish the same mission. When you press the 911 button on a SPOT it sends your GPS coordinates and an emergency alert to the GEOS emergency response center in Houston, Texas. GEOS then dispatches emergency responders in your area, in an average time of 11 minutes. Added bonus feature:

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whenever the SPOT is turned on, you can send pre-programmed e-mail messages (such as “I’m broken down but safe,”) and loved ones can constantly track your position on Google Maps. OVERBOARD OBSERVATION: Owners of large boats or anglers who overnight offshore will want to keep tabs on their crewmembers, and there are some new ways to do so, again thanks to modern technology. MOB alert sys-

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Multi-piece Paddles AYAK PADDLES ARE THE MODEL OF simplicity when it comes to marine propulsion. Unlike outboard engines, there are no batteries to charge and keep free of corrosion; no need to fill them with gas or top off fluid levels; they don’t need additives to flush out injectors; and don’t have water pumps that fail. I have never heard of a kayak paddle described as cold natured, cantankerous, or said to be clearing its throat. No, paddles are rather simple devices free of the complexities associated with power boating. But as simple as they are, multi-piece paddles do require a bit of care to keep them in top shape and to extend their useful life. A good paddle is a solid investment. Get stuck using a cheap stick on fishing trip covering several miles, and you quickly realize that a bargain-bin paddle is a waste of money. Good paddles with fiberglass blades can be found in the $100-200 range, and carbon paddles push the price tag to around $400. Until you log some hours in a kayak, it is hard to wrap your mind around paying four Cnotes for a paddle. But if you paddle miles at a time, they are worth every penny. One of the first things most kayak shops hear when someone drops a large sum on a

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paddle is: How do I take care of it? The new paddle owner obviously wants to take good care of their purchase. Although higher-end paddles are relatively maintenance free, they do require a bit of attention. Multi-piece paddles have 2-4 sections that join with a ferrule joint. The tolerance between the male and female pieces is measured in thousandths of an inch. Such a close fit is required to ensure the assembled sections feel like a single shaft and don’t wobble when you paddle. It doesn’t take much to interfere with such a finely engineered joint, especially in the outdoors. Sand, grit, river slime, and salt residue are tiny invaders that penetrate ferrule joints. You must rid the ferules of these invading particles or that clean, snug fit will become a thing of the past. It is important that you wash your paddle after every trip. Start by disassembling all of the sections. Next, wash each with clear, running water, paying close attention to the ferrules. Soap isn’t needed, just water. If you got lots of crud in the ferrule, you might swab out the joint with a finger, but that should be enough to dislodge any clinging particles. Once all of the sections have been rinsed, store them in a standing position to allow the water to run off. Ignore these simple steps, and you might find that you own a new one-piece paddle, if you get my drift. I bought a used two-piece fiberglass paddle last month, and the seller admitted that he couldn’t separate the sections. Working together, we twisted the sections in opposite directions while pulling them apart. Slowly, we got the stuck joint to loosen.

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broadcast and an “incident” waypoint is established on your GPS. These systems aren’t cheap ($700-1000) but their value is incalculable. E-mail Lenny Rudow at boating@fishgame.com

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A quick inspection revealed salt residue inside. Plenty of water and a soft kitchen towel loosened the remnants of the gentleman’s last bay trip, and the joint is now good as new. Although tempting, never add lubricant to your ferrule. The lubricant, especially petroleum-based spray, will gum up over time, ultimately attracting more grime. When grime and grit get inside the ferrule joint, they grind away with every stroke. The best bet is to keep the ferrule as clean as possible to ensure the paddle’s longevity. Should you be wishing you had read these pearls of wisdom last year and cant break your paddle down into sections, first enlist the help of a friend. Two people working together can often separate the halves of an obdurate, pigheaded paddle. If you aren’t successful, there are three other options: Use more drastic action, take the paddle to a full service kayak shop, or return it to the manufacturer. Shipping objects longer than 5 feet costs a premium, so most kayakers go for option one or two. The object is to separate the sections without doing any harm to the ferrule joint or paddle shaft. Kayak shops use heat guns to quickly warm the female section of the joint, causing it to expand slightly. The miniscule amount of expansion is sometimes enough to break the bond between paddle halves. The heat needs to be applied quickly and in the right spot so the paddle’s shaft expands, but isn’t burned. The same applies to fingers and hands. Maintaining a kayak paddle isn’t much different than maintaining any other fishing tackle. It really is simple; you just need the will to do it after every trip. Swap notes with Greg and other TF&G staff on-line at the new Texas Fish & Game Community Forums: www.forum.fishgame.com.

Email Greg Berlocher at kayak@fishgame.com


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What is a Keith Bullet? HAVE NO IDEA HOW MANY TIMES I HAVE HEARD some type of semi-wadcutter bullet called a “Keith bullet.” It seems that the term has become generic for a semi-wadcutter, and that is inaccurate. There are semi-wadcutters, and there are Keith bullets. All Keith bullets are semi-wadcutters, but not all semi-wadcutters are Keiths. A semi-wadcutter is a lead bullet (generally, although some jacketed or coated bullets have that form) that has a square shoulder and a square-pointed nose extending well forward of the shoulder. These are the only mandatory distinguishing features that I know of for a semi-wadcutter, and they are shared with the Keith. On the other hand, a true Keith bullet is a very distinct form of the semi-wadcutter. In 1928, Elmer Keith sent a crude drawing of a bullet to Lyman Products (then called Lyman Gun Sight Corporation), which had recently purchased Ideal. This bullet was adopted by Lyman/Ideal and introduced as the now famous No. 429421, the original Keith bullet for the .44 Special. No. 429421 became so popular that Keith followed it up with several more, most notably No’s. 454424 for the .45 Colt and 358429 for the .38 Special. What made these bullets so popular different from all the semi-wadcutters that were to follow? First, we were just coming out of the era when most rifle and pistol bullets had round noses. The round nose gave the handgun bullet a good profile for accuracy and pene-

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tration on game, but did nothing for its actual killing power. Keith realized this and designed his bullets with a big flat point (meplat) and a sharp, bore-diameter cutting shoulder with the same longitudinal thickness as the rest of the driving bands. His idea was that the flat point and square shoulder would cut flesh and blood vessels as well as paper targets, rather than merely pushing things aside as did the round-nosed bullets. The whole Keith enchilada is: A long nose with a radiused ogive for excellent longrange accuracy; wide, flat point for greater impact; three equally wide driving bands, the front band having a sharp, square shoulder; a single deep, flat-bottomed lube groove; deep crimp groove, slanted to the rear to assist in opening a deeply crimped cartridge case; and a square, flat base. If the bullet does not fit this description, it is not a Keith bullet. A great many very good bullets out there are not Keiths. I regularly use the Ray Thompson-designed bullets (Lyman 358156GC and 429244GC—GC meaning “gas check”) and think they are every bit as good as those designed by Elmer Keith, but are different and therefore are semi-wadcutters or Thompson bullets. At the time Elmer was designing his bullets, they were, as far as we know, the first of their kind. There were other bullets that had one or more of the features Keith incorporated, but his were the first with all the features in one package. I think it is safe to say that, for a time, Elmer’s bullets were the most popular in the country for revolvers. Today, there are so many different bullets and so many really good jacketed-bullets that modern designs have eclipsed the wonder of the Keith bullet. I think this is a mistake. The new LBT (Lead Bullet Technologies) bullets with the huge flat point but no driving band shoulder is said to be a better game bullet than the Keith. The thinking goes that the square shoulder does nothing, and the wide meplat is the most important A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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feature for a bullet to be used on game. Maybe. However, I have shot both at both game and targets and it seems to me the Keith does exactly what Elmer said it did: Cuts a nice big hole that lets fluid out and air in. I have not found the LBT-type bullets noticeably superior in any way. When the .41 Magnum appeared in 1964, Lyman introduced a “Keith” bullet for it, No. 410459. Elmer did not design it, and it did not conform to his three equal driving bands, wide meplat, and square-bottomed lube groove formula. Elmer did not like the design and was probably miffed that they had the gall to introduce a “Keith” that he didn’t design, so he sent his own design to Hensley & Gibbs. H&G introduced their No. 258, which in reality is the only true Keith bullet for the .41 Magnum. That is not to say the 410459 is not a good bullet; it is, and I use it (because I can’t find an H&G mold). However, its meplat is too small and it has a rounded grease groove. Currently, there are few true Keith bullet molds on the market. The old Lyman 429421 was redesigned for easier casting and is no longer what Elmer envisioned. The only modern bullet that I am personally familiar with that is true to the original is the RCBS 44-250-K, but I have heard that some SAECO and NEI bullets fit the description. Why is all that important? Well, it probably isn’t, but now you know what a Keith bullet really is, and I have purged my need to tell you. So there. E-mail Steve LaMascus at guns@fishgame.com G a m e ® / J A N U A R Y

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Vermilion Candy ERMILION SNAPPER EAT THIS BAIT LIKE IT’S candy, hence the name. It is soft artificial bait strips, specifically Berkley Gulp! and Carr Specialty Baits Fishbites. With the long closure period of the red snapper fishery in Federal waters, vermilion snapper, which has no closure, gains in importance as a targeted offshore species. They have become “the other snapper.” Vermilion are usually found in large numbers, unlike lane and mangrove snapper, which also have no closed season. Standard vermilion snapper baits are small natural squid strips, but these artificials are another way to go. The captain and a fisherman earlier urged me to try some Gulp! baits. The final push came from another fellow fisherman, Lee Bull. Telling me of his success catching a vermilion snapper double limit while on an overnight offshore trip finally convinced me. With input from those three guys, I finally put some I had been carrying on several trips to good use. They did indeed work, not only “as advertised” but, more importantly, as my fishing friends said they would. They are relatively small baits. Their scent, look, natural feel, and toughness on the hook lets you make multiple catches on each piece. They

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come in an assortment of shapes, sizes, and colors. The one I am referring to is Berkley Gulp! Saltwater that comes in a pouch containing 30 triangular shaped pieces with rounded ends. Mine were labeled “squid.” The Fishbites, also labeled Saltwater, are packaged 15 to a resealable pouch with each triangular piece measuring about the same size as the Gulp! baits. Mine were labeled “crab.” Both have the same vermilion snapper catching ability.

Rigging up for vermilion snapper is best accomplished with a double or triple drop 40-pound mono leader. At the top is a 130pound Spro Power Swivel, followed by two or three dropper knot loops, and a surgeon’s F i s h

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loop at the bottom. Each dropper loop gets a circle hook that has its mono loop passing through its eye from the bend side of the hook, and then looped around the hook shank twice. A bank sinker is attached to the bottom loop. Usually, a 2- to 4-ounce sinker is enough to keep the rig vertical in the water when fished. I use several manufacturers’ circle hooks. All have a bend portion that is about the size of a nickel. They are: Gamakatsu 42412, 3/0; Eagle Claw L2004EL, 6/0; Daiichi D84Z, 3/0; and Mustad 39951 BLN, 3/0. These are all in-line, non-stainless steel. An educated guess as to the depth to be fishing can be obtained from the depthfinder on your boat, or from the deck crew if on a charter or party boat. Bait time in the strike zone is increased by virtue of not having to re-bait nearly as often as when using natural squid. Hesitation in using Gulp! or Fishbites no doubt resulted in my taking less vermilion snapper, plus who knows what else. The “what else” to be caught includes just about anything that eats fish or squid in offshore waters. This particular double or triple drop rig, while fished mostly at the mid-depths when targeting vermilion snapper, is really a bottomfishing rig. Built and baited as described, it is also bound to be very effective for pier, beach, and bay fishing. These Gulp! and Fishbites baits are indeed “Vermilion Candy.” Give them a try and don’t hesitate as I did. They will be another part of your fishing arsenal, along with this sure-fire rig that gets it done.

E-mail Patrick Lemire at saltrigs@fishgame.com ILLUSTRATION BY PATRICK LEMIRE


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Capps and Coleman Rig HILE NOT EVEN CLOSE TO BEING AS large as the bass fishing tournament circuit, the world of crappie fishing for money is still competitive and has its own angling celebrities. These men won’t rival the superstars of BASS, but at the top of this short list of competitive crappie anglers are the names Ronnie Capps and Steve Coleman, who together have six National Championships and over $1.3 million in winnings. It is obvious these men know what they are doing so it would be wise to learn the techniques they use to win tournaments, the most popular being a trolling rig appropriately named the Capps and Coleman Rig. This rig can be found pre-tied and purchased from BNM Fishing but if you’re on the lake and need one immediately here’s how to make it. This is a rig used for slow trolling at depths greater than five feet and can be used to go 30 to 40 feet deep. If you are using this rig in deep water, use lighter line that will cut through the water easier making the presentation hang more vertically beneath the boat. This means there is less line out between the rod tip and the bait, which means less line to stretch when you set the hook or bow when you change speed and direction. This rig is fairly simple and can be made with items you should have rolling around the bottom of your tackle box right now. All you’ll need is a three-way-swivel, a couple hooks or jigs, some weight, and leader material. Start the rig by tying your main line to one of the eyes on the three-way-swivel. The type of knot used isn’t important for imparting action on the rig so just use the one you feel most comfortable tying. This next part is just personal preference but if you are holding the swivel in front of you

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with the eye pointing straight up that has the main line tied on then on the bottom right eye tie on a short leader around 18 inches to two feet long. Use a light monofilament, six to eight pound, for your leader material. On the end of this leader, tie on one of the hooks or small (1/32 or 1/64th) jigs. I prefer jigs due to their versatility. You can change colors, skirt material or even tip it with a minnow but sometimes a simple hook and minnow is more effective, especially in the winter when crappie are lethargic and unwilling to bite. On the last swivel eye (which currently has nothing attached) tie on another leader made from the same six to eight pound monofilament, but this time make it a long one. The

leader should be at least four feet long and can stretch as far as eight feet depending on angler preference. On the end of this leader, again tie on either a small bait hook or jig. If you’re not

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sure what mood the fish are in then use a minnow on one leader and a jig on the other until you figure out which one the fish are hitting better. On this longer leader, about 18 inches to two feet below the threeway swivel, crimp on a rubber core sinker. The size of the sinker needed is dependent on how deep and how fast you want to troll. If you plan to troll rather quickly or deep then use a minimum of a 1-ounce sinker. If you don’t have a rubber core sinker then multiple split shot can be used as substitute. To fish this rig most crappie anglers put out a few rods off the front of the boat, point the bow into the wind, and slowly troll along the

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Second Efforts HE RED MULE TWISTED ITS NOSE FORWARD, straining against the bit. It snatched some of the reins from my hands, a motion that grated my nerves. There was no reason for such behavior other than it was a bad habit. And, there was no fixing the animal, so a rider may as well put up with the jerk, literally and figuratively. Two months of getting up at 3:30 a.m., riding and hiking the mountains all day, and then crawling back into the bag at 10:00 p.m. was sawing on my funny bone. Everybody was tired. The horses and mules heaved down the frozen trails with their heads hanging, each step a labored effort. My hunters, Jeff and Will, were good sports but were becoming resolved to

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the idea that this expedition was going to be a dry run. “Didn’t the brochure say y’all were 10 for 13 during rifle season last year?” they asked. “Yep,” I said. “And last week we were six for six. But I’m telling you – two feet of snow and three days of sub-zero weather will make these critters timber-up. It may take ’em a while to show up where I expect to see ’em.” Everyday we left camp in the dark and by first light were scouring the mountains along the river. Each day we drifted further to the mountain front following the inevitable sign of migration pushed by an early blast of winter. And each day we built a fire in a spruce thicket, toasted our sandwiches, and talked about life and politics. I also watched my hunters’ spirits fade and felt their confidence in me slipping away. This was nothing new. By this point in the season, it takes strong individuals to maintain enthusiasm in an exhausted camp. Often, much of the crew is sick of

each other. All of the crew wants to hang the outfitter, and the cook is thinking about poisoning the whole bunch. The livestock and crew have lost enough weight to qualify as Somali refugees while the hunters are happily oblivious. And, the trend holds true for Texas. At the end of the season the fish have gone into deeper water, the geese have gotten wise to spreads, and the Muy Grande bucks have become nocturnal. Hunters look at their guides thinking that they better not quit their day job at the welding shop; and they let him know his tip won’t cover next month’s child support. The only recourse for the guide is to conjure a second effort and pull a rabbit out of thin air. Show them why you get paid the big money – the same wages as 1992. This was our situation. Jeff and Will were pooped. It was the last hour of the last day of the last hunt, and we were empty. We were on the trail back to camp and were passing the last turnoff trail that wound up a hill and afforded a chance to glass and look around. The argument raged in my head: These guys are cooked! There’s no reason to ride up that hill! They’re ready to get to camp and thaw out. It’ll be dark by the time we

FRESHWATER RIGS  Continued from Page C41 edge of a channel, hump, or point. As you troll, the bait on the short leader will ride along vertically in the water. The leader with the weight will ride slightly deeper, depending on how far down the leader you put the weight, and slightly behind the first, allowing you to fish a couple slightly different depths. Adjust your speed (slower for deeper, faster for shallower) until you find the right depth the fish are suspending. E-mail Paul Bradshaw at freshrigs@fishgame.com C42

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get back anyway… They can’t say we didn’t make an honest effort! I rode past the side-trail and stopped, looked at myself, shook my head, and reined my mule toward the hill. Dammit! I have to try. Will followed but Jeff balked. “I’ll wait for y’all down here,” he said. We rode to the first knob and surveyed the country to the west. The sky was clearing and the you-can-see-forever vistas colored with soft autumn hues contrasted against the whiteouts of the last few days. For a moment, I was sad to be leaving. This lonely top-of-the-world feeling was a prime reason for me returning to the cool high country every year. Likewise, I appreciate the guests who are attracted to these locales. They prefer the company and amenities of a wilderness camp to the fat cat plastic personalities and trivialities accompanied by civilization. But despite this instant of warm fuzziness, there were no elk. I turned back. It occurred to me that there was a lookout that we passed without inspection. Halfway down the trail I veered east and tried to glass from the saddle. The red mule dropped its head and started grazing. For a split second, a patch of buckskin flashed in my binoculars. Then the magnified movements as the mule ripped at grass stole my prize. I leapt from its back and searched. “There’s elk, but I think it’s a cow!” Will stepped off his horse and came up beside me. “Where?” I pointed and we both stared at the distant beast. Then in unison we proclaimed, “That s.o.b. has horns!” We hustled to tie our rides and dove down the hill and into the trees while Jeff gawked at us from below. We lost sight of the bull as soon as we entered the woods and relied on our sense of direction. Naturally, I drifted left and Will drifted right. We confabbed in committee and got straight. The snow muffled our trotting steps and the forest hid our approach. Then a glimpse of buckskin paralyzed me. “Unhhh!” I said. Will glared and asked, “Where?” I took him by the arm, stepped him over two steps and pointed. He raised his rifle and tried to find a rest. The bull was moving toward our left. In a second, he would

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be gone. Will abandoned the notion of a rest and free-handed his shot. The elk made the telltale bound upwards and vanished into the woods, and, at the perfect time Will and I heard a crash. We were about to congratulate ourselves when the bull bolted back out of cover and down the hill. Will shot twice more and the escapee picked up a gear heading south. Now I rushed to find the bull as darkness fell. I tracked our fleeing prey for

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almost a mile without blood, then returned to the original scene. Here, we found that the first shot killed the bull we intended to kill. The second and third shots had been at a second bull and neither of them hit. Will was impressed. I was thankful that second efforts pay off. E-mail Herman W. Brune at wilderness@fishgame.com

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TEXAS SALTWATER Terry & P hillip Po Hybrid Str pe Striper Ex iper pre Guide Serv ss ice

CORPUS CHRISTI

BAFFIN BAY

ROCKPORT

Aust eil & Joey Clint O’N ut Tro Limits of ice uide Serv Hillman G

in

For Classified Rates and Information call Dennise at 1-800-750-4678, ext. 5579.

ADVERTISERS, SEND IN YOUR PHOTOS TODAY!

GALVESTON

For Classified Rates and Information call Dennise at 1-800-750-4678, ext. 5579. Allycia Oli v 31-inch R er ed Redfish C fish harters

UPPER COAST (SABINE LAKE)

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Roger & Randy Ell is Speckled Trout Hugo Ford Guide Se rvice

Reds Flounder, Trout, & r ate ltw Akins Sa Guide Service

TEXAS FRESHWATER

Taylor Family of Tem ple, Texas Redfish Redfish Charters

TEXAS HUNTING

OUTDOOR SHOPPER

LAKE AMISTAD

OUTDOOR SHOPPER EAST TEXAS ADVERTISERS, SEND IN YOUR PHOTOS TODAY!

SPOTLIGHT: HILLMAN GUIDE SERVICE For Classified Rates and Information call Dennise at 1-800-750-4678, ext. 5579.

TEXAS HUNTING

ADVERTISERS, SEND IN YOUR PHOTOS TODAY!

My entire life has been spent here on Galveston Bay. My great, great grandfather and his family moved here in the early 1920’s and he became one of the first shrimpers on Galveston Bay. He trawled with his boat, “Grandpa’s Pride” which was a 16-foot wooden hull that was powered by a 4-cylinder engine and a transmission from a Model T. My pawpaw and my father both followed in his footsteps by starting their own seafood businesses. We lived in a very small frame house on Dickinson Bayou from the early 70’s to the early 80’s. In 1982, I got my first boat which was a 12-foot John boat powered by an old 9.9 Johnson. During summer, when I wasn’t working on an oyster boat or filleting fish in our seafood market, I would venture out to areas in Dickinson Bay and lower Galveston Bay that my dad and my great uncle BB Hillman had shown me. I learned how to use MirroLures and Kelly Wiggler shrimp tails at a very early age because of them. It became obvious that saltwater was in my veins. Through my heritage and my love for fishing I decided to start my own charter business in 2004. I enjoy meeting people and I thoroughly enjoy sharing my fishing experience with them. Hillman Guide Service is 4 generations of knowledge, hard work, and the blessing of being able to share it with others all rolled into one. I run a 23-foot Gulf Coast and a 22-foot Boston Whaler equipped with state-of-the-art electronics. Please visit me at www.hillmanguideservice.com or call me at 409-256-7937 to schedule your next fishing trip. Happy fishing! —Captain Steve Hillman A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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Cajun Meatloaf with Yellow Squash Casserole NE OF MY FAVORITE MEALS GROWING UP was meatloaf. This is my spicy grown up version, if you do not want it spicy, then simply leave out the jalapeno and cayenne pepper.

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Cajun Meatloaf 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 1 stalk celery, chopped 1/2 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, chopped 2 green onions, minced

2 large jalapenos, seeded, and chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 2 bay leaves 3/4 tsp salt 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground 1/4 tsp nutmeg 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce 1 Tbs Texas Gourmet’s Sweet Chipotle Season All 2 Tbs unsalted butter 1/4 cup milk 1/4 cup catsup 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, fine, dry

1 lb. lean ground beef 1/2 lb. lean ground pork shoulder 2 eggs, slightly beaten Preheat the oven to 375. Mix the onion, celery, bell pepper, green onions, garlic, bay leaves, salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, Sweet Chipotle Season All , nutmeg, and Worcestershire sauce in a medium sized bowl. Melt the butter in a heavy 10-inch skillet over moderate heat. Add the vegetable/spice mixture and cook uncovered for 6 minutes, stirring constantly until the onions and peppers are soft. Remove from the heat and let cool until warm to the touch. Discard the bay leaves. Stir in the milk, catsup, and breadcrumbs. In a large bowl, combine the beef, pork, eggs, and the breadcrumb mixture. Pack the meat mixture into a greased, 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.

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(At this point, the meatloaf can be covered tightly with aluminum foil and stored. Refrigerate for up to 4 days; freeze for up to 3 months. Place the covered meatloaf in the freezer; when frozen, remove

One of my

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meatloaf in an 8-inch round then cut in half, freeze, etc.) Bake the meatloaf, uncovered, 50-55 minutes or until it is dark brown and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Slice to desired thickness and serve with boiled redskin potatoes and zucchini, pepper, and tomato gratin—or yellow squash casserole.

favorite meals

Yellow Squash Casserole

growing up was

5 to 6 yellow squash (or combination of yellow and zucchini squash) sliced into 1/4inch rounds 1 white or yellow sweet onion- chopped 2-3/4 sticks of unsalted butter- (or 6 Tbs margarine) 3 tsp olive oil 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed fine 2 eggs, beaten 1/2 tsp Beau Monde (spice found in the spice section of your favorite grocery store) 3/4 cup milk 1 cup mozzarella, grated 1/2 tsp black pepper

meatloaf. This is up version…

my spicy grown

from the pan, wrap in heavy-duty aluminum foil, label, and return to freezer. If you intend to microwave the frozen meatloaf, shape the

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Sauté onion in butter until clear. Add squash, season with Beau Monde Seasoning and black pepper. Sauté until softened, remove from heat, transfer to a large bowl, add Ritz cracker crumbs, eggs, milk, olive oil, mozzarella cheese; stir well to combine. Place in a greased 9x9 baking dish and bake in a preheated 325 oven uncovered for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot. Contact Bryan Slaven, "The Texas Gourmet," at 888-234-7883, www.thetexasgourmet.com; or by email at texas-tasted@fishgame.com

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Note: All non-digital photos submitted become the property of Texas Fish & Game and will not be returned. TF&G makes no guarantee when or if any submitted photo will be published.

SEND YOUR PHOTOS TO: photos@fishgame.com or by mail at:

1745 Greens Road Houston, Texas 77032

JAVELINA—MCMULLEN COUNTY

SPECKLED TROUT—ARROYO CITY

PERCH—BLANCO RIVER STATE PARK

Melvin Rutledge caught these two speckled trout Kate Davis, age 6, of George West, Texas, with her Hannah Carrola, age 5, of Houston, Texas, caught her first perch while fishing with her uncle David at the same time while night fishing with his first trophy javelina, taken in McMullen County. during an outing to the Blanco River State Park. brother Michael near Green Island out of Arroyo City. The specks were 19 and 24 inches.

BASS—BEDIAS

WHITETAIL BUCK—KERR COUNTY

Father and daughter, Joey and Avery Heering of Houston, Texas, show off Avery’s first fish, caught at Bedias, Texas. The 3.2-pound bass was caught on a Barbie fishing pole.

Randall Taylor, age 9, shot his first deer on the Kotham Ranch in Kerr County, Texas. He used a youth model H&R 223 to bag the 8-point, 135pound whitetail buck.

REDFISH—PORT MANSFIELD

SMALLMOUTH BASS—THE ADIRONDACKS

CATFISH—LEON COUNTY

Marlin Vasek, age 13, from Frelsburg, Texas, caught his first two redfish in Port Mansfield. The reds were 4-1/2 pounds, 24 inches and 8 pounds, 27-1/2 inches, and were caught on Berkley Gulp! bait.

Jane Covey, age 4, of College Station, Texas, shows her sister Ellen, age 2, the smallmouth bass she caught while wade-fishing with their dad John on Piseco Lake in the Adirondacks.

Five-year-old Palmer Hill of McKinney, Texas, caught this 1-pound catfish in a private lake in Leon County, while fishing with his dad, David Hill.

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Decked Out for Ducks HERE IS NO MIDDLE GROUND IN DUCK hunting. It is a sport that you either love or hate, that’s it. You can’t just kind of like it. It takes a special breed of outdoorsman to want to get up at 3:00 a.m. to wade through water that is just half a degree from turning solid, then sit in the mud with frostbitten fingers and make noises most selfrespecting adults would be embarrassed by, all in the name of taking a few ducks. One of the best parts about duck hunting is all the toys that go with it. Shotguns, dogs, decoys, waders, calls, boats… I still have a pedal-powered boat in the back yard that is begging to be turned into a floating duck blind, but that’s a different article for a different time. Since we are on the subject of boats, let’s assume you have an old flat-bottom boat upside down in the backyard and want to turn it into the ultimate duckkilling machine, but don’t know where to start. It can seem like an overwhelming job, but really isn’t hard when you get the basics down and don’t worry about frivolous things you will never use. When we get a boat for duck hunting (and trust me, if you look in my yard, you will understand that I know all about this) we worry about the big things. Items such as camo pattern, blind size and design, and whether or not we get a short-shaft mud motor or outboard are all at the top of the list of things we consider, and these are all very important but more an individual choice rather than something that can be covered with one broad statement.

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PHOTO COURTESY LUND BOATS

As a rule of thumb, buy or build a low profile blind to hide the boat as much as possible, do your own home-made camo job on the hull with flat spray paint (black, brown, gray) and cardboard stencils, hang a small horsepower outboard on the transom, and you can hunt just about any water in the state. Your duck boat’s main purpose is to safely transport you and a ton of gear to and from your hunting location, so keep this in mind when you start your project. Weigh the function versus weight for items such as flooring to determine if they really are needed. A lot of things can be added to a duck boat, but the first thing you must think about

by Paul Bradshaw is safety equipment. Most of this is required by law anyway, but always have a fire extinguisher, life jackets for everyone on board, noise making device, throw cushion, 12-gauge flares (since most hunters will be carrying a 12-gauge shotgun), paddle, push-pole, and first aid kit for you and your dog. Carry a few basic tools as well. Many boats have been limped home with repairs made by a pair of pliers and duck tape. The second aspect of the duck boat that must be considered is the lighting. When you launch a boat three hours before daylight, good lighting in and around the boat, is a must. While lights showing you where to go are important (we will get to those in a minute), the lights inside the boat showing A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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you where you dropped your duck calls are just as critical. The good part about internal lighting is that it can be relatively cheap and found at the local dollar store. For those of you who stay up way too late, you will recognize these from the infomercials at midnight—tap lights (yes, the ones probably hanging in your closet right now) hung on the sides of the boat work exceptionally well to illuminate the floor. These battery powered lights come with an adhesive backing, so they just peel and stick to any flat surface; they cost next to nothing. If you don’t want your duck hunting buddies to make fun of your wife’s lights in your boat, go to the local auto parts store and get some of the more manly LED tap lights. They can run about $10 each, so you can light up the whole boat for next to nothing and maintain your manly image. External lighting is important, but can be overdone. You don’t want to run down the lake looking like something on the SyFy channel in a B grade alien movie. The purpose is to see what’s in front of you so you don’t hit a stump in the dark. Don’t get drawn into buying the way-too-cool remote controlled spotlight that rotates 360 degrees (yes, I have one) because it’s very difficult to work the remote while cruising down the lake, and that’s only if the batteries in the remote are still good and you haven’t dropped it in the water. Instead, get some basic automotive off-road lights (waterproof) and mount them on the bow. Then get a high-powered headlamp spotlight (like ‘coon hunters wear) to look all around as G a m e ® / J A N U A R Y

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In This Issue GEARING UP SECTION

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INDUSTRY INSIDER • Fish-N-Hunt: Paul Perrin’s Lasting Legacy | BY CHESTER MOORE, JR.

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

HOW-TO SECTION

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COVER STORY • Decked Out for Ducks | BY PAUL BRADSHAW

HOTSPOTS & TIDES SECTION

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TEXAS HOTSPOTS • Texas’ Hottest Fishing Spots | BY TOM BEHRENS, CALIXTO GONZALES, TRIPP HOLMGRAIN, & KYLE TOMEK SPORTSMAN’S DAYBOOK • Tides, Solunar Table, Best Hunting/Fishing Times | BY TF&G STAFF

needed while keeping your hands free to steer. Have you ever been lost on a lake in the fog or couldn’t find you are way to the blind in the dark because you missed a landmark? It’s hard to believe, but I’ve done both, more than once, that’s why any hardcore duck hunter who takes a boat out multiple times per week

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TEXAS BOATING • Life Saving Technology | BY LENNY RUDOW

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TEXAS KAYAKING • Multi-piece Paddles | BY GREG BERLOCHER

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SALTWATER BAITS & RIGS • Vermilion Candy | BY PATRICK LEMIRE

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FRESHWATER BAITS & RIGS • Capps and Coleman Rig | BY PAUL BRADSHAW

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TEXAS GUNS & GEAR • What is a Keith Bullet? | BY STEVE LAMASCUS

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WILDERNESS TRAILS • Second Efforts | BY HERMAN W. BRUNE

would be remiss not to install a GPS in their rig. Handhelds are fine and I’ve made my way to and from blinds using one for years, but mount a holder for it in your boat to keep your hands free. I have a matching holder in my boat and four-wheeler so I can use the same GPS on both.

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SHOOT THIS • New Marlin Bolt-Action | BY STEVE LAMASCUS

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BOWHUNTING TECH • Last-Minute Deer | BY LOU MARULLO

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FISH THIS • Flatsmaster Assassin | BY GREG BERLOCHER

OUTDOOR LIFESTYLE SECTION

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TROPHY FEVER • A Boy and his Alligator | BY TOM BEHRENS

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DISCOVER THE OUTDOORS • Classifieds | BY TF&G STAFF

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TEXAS TASTED • Cajun Meatloaf with Yellow Squash Casserole | BY BRYAN SLAVEN

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

www.FishGame.com Better than a handheld, the high end depthfinders with GPS and built in lake maps are much better when you are cruising along in the morning and can’t see more than 10 feet in front of you. The lake maps and depthfinder keep you in the channels and off the shore while the GPS feature takes you to your blind. A $1000 GPS on a $200 boat might look strange, but is worth it. The first time you make it back to shore in the fog or during a storm, you will never question the money spent on it. It’s cheap life insurance for you and your family. Big boats can take a lot of weight in one area with little effect on the way in sits in the water and rides; small duck boats cannot. Once you add a motor, five or more gallons of fuel, a battery or two, an overly stuffed hunter, and various other items to the stern of the boat, the nose tends to ride high. Get around this by mounting some of these items in the front. Batteries and fuel can be moved up front to balance out the load. There are myriad ways to customize your own boat to make it more efficient for duck hunting, but if you start with the basics of safety, lighting, navigation, and camouflage, you will be way ahead of the game.


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Sheep Dolphin LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Dolphin Point (drive-up access) GPS: N26 4.044, W97 9.712

SPECIES: sheepshead BEST BAIT(S): live shrimp CONTACT: Quick Stop, 956-943-1159 TIPS: Big convict fish start aggregating along the rocks and the drop-offs when water temperatures dip. These aren’t the numbers that are present in March during the spawn, but there are plenty to keep fishermen from getting bored. Put a live shrimp 3 feet under a popping cork to suspend it over the rocks and right in a sheepy’s face. Don’t wait for the cork to submerge; it might simply move six inches or flop over on its side.

LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: South Bay GPS: N26 1.458, N97 11.023 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAIT(S): live bait; cut bait; SPI Lures Tandems in smoke, mullet, black/glitter, glow/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: There is always a resident population of speckled trout in South Bay the yearround, and they aren’t hard to find. Fish the deeper, darker water. Set up a long drift. If you decide to eschew bait and use lures, then choose darker color patterns. Fish them slowly with as little action as possible. Trout prefer a more subtle presentation in winter.

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LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Pirate’s Landing Fishing Pier GPS: N26 4.476, W97 12.193 SPECIES: sheepshead BEST BAIT(S): live shrimp CONTACT: Pirate Landing Fishing Pier, 956-943-7437 TIPS: This is an excellent spot for a family fishing trip. There is the security provided by the pier railings, a shop to buy munchies, and some good fishing. You don’t have to go too far down the pier. Plenty of keeper-sized sheepshead hang out around the pilings near the sea wall. A free-shrimp rig with a split shot and No. 1 flounder hook is enough. Use stout tackle. There are some big fish under the pier. LOCATION: South Padre Island HOTSPOT: Brazos-Santiago Jetties (shore access) GPS: N26 4.080, W97 SPECIES: Mangrove Snapper BEST BAIT(S): live or fresh shrimp, Fish Bites strips in shrimp CONTACT: Quick Stop, 956-943-1159 TIPS: Nothing can turn a crummy day into a memorable one faster than a cooler-full of these feisty panfish that seem to bite even when nothing else will. A free-lined shrimp or Fish Bite fished near the rocks with a 1/4ounce barrel sinker works great. Winter visitors have taken to uses Yankee rigs such as a Gapen Baitwalker to mitigate snagging on the granite LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Condo Channel GPS: N26 5.217, W97 9.930 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAIT(S): live shrimp, cut bait soft plastics, topwaters F i s h

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CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez, 956551-9581 TIPS: Pods of redfish travel up and down the boat channel and onto the sandbar in front of the condos on balmy days. Anchor up and fish with live bait under a popping cork or cut bait on the bottom. Fish topwaters on top of the sand bar early in the morning. Work the deeper channel once in a while just on spec. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Unnecessary Island GPS: N26 12.672, W97 16.333 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAIT(S): live bait, Gulp! Shrimp in New Penny; SPI Lures Tandems in red/white, new penny, rootbeer CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: Start your drift between the mainland and the island. Fish deeper water on a clear day, or the island‘s shallows early or on a cloudy day. Topwaters are good when fished slowly, or you can work soft plastics along the depth breaks. Dark colors work best, but red/white is also effective. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Arroyo City Docks GPS: N26 20.061, W97 26.375 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAIT(S): live Shrimp. Jerkbaits, small topwaters CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: Lights off the cabins draw scads of trout during wintertime. The bigger fish lurk around the shadows on the perimeter of the lights. Topwaters such as the classic Heddon Tiny Torpedo can be real fun in these conditions. If you see residents fishing their dock lights, move on and fish an unoccupied one. Or, you can ask if you can fish the edges. Courtesy is the catchword in this situation. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre


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HOTSPOT: The Cabins. GPS: N26 23.932, W97 20.591 SPECIES: Black drum BEST BAIT(S): live shrimp, fresh shrimp, crab chunks CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez, 956551-9581 TIPS: Drum fishing improves steadily as the cold fronts roll in during January. Fried drum fillets or hot chowder are welcome changes from the typical winter fare. If you don’t need fillets for the freezer, there will be some big uglies swimming around, too. Bottom fish with large chunks of crab or jumbo fresh shrimp for the big ones, free-line with live shrimp for the eaters. For something different, bounce a bucktail/live shrimp combo on the bottom. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Peyton’s Bay GPS: N26 24.528, W97 21.703 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAIT(S): live shrimp. SPI Lures Tandems in Pearl/chartreuse, Pearl/pink CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474

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TIPS: Watch for nervous bait or large swirls to cue you onto the presence of redfish in this shallow bay. Ease up to them and cast live bait under a popping cork or a soft plastic. Don’t put too much action to the cork. The fish might be a bit spooky. LOCATION: Port Mansfield HOTSPOT: Big Oaks GPS: N26 41.468, W97 27.791 SPECIES: Trophy speckled trout BEST BAIT(S): Topwaters, Catch 5’s , Catch 2000’s or B&L Corkies in smoke, pinfish patterns. Soft plastics in red/white, bonechartreuse CONTACT: Captain Steve Devries, 956289-3631 TIPS: Shift your focus from to the shoreline in January. Trout follow high tides up close to shore to take advantage of warmer much and the bait it attracts. Suspending lures are crucial tools in your tackle box, but give a topwater a go after a stretch of mild days, when trout are more aggressive. LOCATION: Port Mansfield HOTSPOT: South of Bennie’

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gets are equally as good for redfish in January as it is for big speckled trout. Fish shallower during warmer days. Watch for panicked mullet jumping for safety and focus in that general area. Unlike trout with the winter grumps, a redfish will chase down a lure and give it a good whack.

LOCATION: Port Mansfield HOTSPOT: San Antonio Shack GPS: N28 42.871, W97 27.211 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAIT(S): Topwaters, B&L Corkies, soft plastics in dark colors CONTACT: Captain Steve Devries, 9562889-3631 TIPS: It’s a long run all the way to the flats around the TPW shack near San Antonio Bar, but the trip can be well worth it. Redfish love the grass flats that surround the flat, and the ICW gives them a nearby escape route when the weather turns. A Ghost or Spooktype topwater can be fished around the sand pockets in the grass. Switch over to eel-type soft plastics and fish the drop-offs on cooler days.

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Trout of San Antone LOCATION: San Antonio Bay HOTSPOT: Chicken Foot Reef GPS: N28 12.931’, W96 47.154’

SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Mansfield Mauler with Norton Bull Minnows in Electric Blue with chartreuse tail, and Morning Glory; Berkley Gulp is also becoming popular. CONTACT: Capt. Bob Hill, 361-983-4325 TIPS: The oyster reefs, probably 20-30 in San Antonio Bay, are excellent for attracting trout at this time of the year. Chicken Foot Reef is one of the better-known locations. Fish your lure slowly around the edges of the reefs. The Mauler works better over the reefs

than the standard popping cork because it has more movement when you “pop” it. The trout seem to like that extra movement.

LOCATION: San Antonio Bay HOTSPOT: Half Moon Reef GPS: N28 19.972’, W96 46.806’ SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Mansfield Mauler with Norton Bull Minnows in Electric Blue with chartreuse tail, and Morning Glory; Berkley Gulp is also becoming popular. CONTACT: Capt. Bob Hill, 361-983-4325 TIPS: The oyster reefs, probably 20-30 in San Antonio Bay, are excellent for attracting trout at this time of the year. Half Moon Reef is one of the better locations. Fish your lure slowly around the edge of the reef. The Mauler works better over the reefs than the standard popping cork because it has more movement when you “pop” it. The trout seem to like that extra movement. LOCATION: San Antonio Bay HOTSPOT: Welders Flats GPS: N28 20.371’, W96 38.696’ SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Live shrimp under a popping cork CONTACT: Capt. Bob Hill, 361-983-4325 TIPS: Drift-fish close to deep water. The water is going to be cold; when it warms up the fish move up onto the flats. LOCATION: San Antonio Bay HOTSPOT: Midway Reef GPS: N28 21.154’, W96 31.513 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Live shrimp under a popping cork CONTACT: Capt. Bob Hill, 361-983-4325 TIPS: Drift-fish close to deep water. When the water heats up during the winter warming spells, the fish will move up onto the flats. When it again cools off, the fish migrate back down into the deep water. LOCATION: San Antonio Bay HOTSPOT: Pringle Lake GPS: N28 19.829’, W96 28.672’ SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Drift-fishing using live shrimp under an Alameda Rattling Cork

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CONTACT: Capt. Bob Hill, 361-983-4325 TIPS: The back lakes can hold some big trout at this time of the year if there is sufficient water in them. Spawning sometimes occurs in January - February. “I’ve caught some 30 inch trout in the lakes in the dead of winter.”

TIPS: The better fishing will be after a strong frontal passage and low tides. Concentrate on the guts along or close to the shoreline using a slow retrieve. When the tide is low, it dumps all the water out of the back areas and the redfish and bait come out with it.

LOCATION: San Antonio Bay HOTSPOT: Victoria Channel GPS: N28 22.983’, W96 43.648’ SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Live shrimp under an Alameda Rattling Cork CONTACT: Capt. Bob Hill, 361-983-4325 TIPS: Drift-fish across the lake. There can be some big trout spawning at this time of the year

LOCATION: Matagorda HOTSPOT: Beachfront GPS: N28 43.213’, W95 41.828’ SPECIES: Whiting BEST BAITS: Fresh dead bait, Spider Sinker CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281-4504037 TIPS: Sometimes in January and February, whiting will school along the beachfront. BANK ACCESS: Fish from the beach using a long rod and cast out into the surf, fishing on the bottom. Occasionally a good redfish is caught.

LOCATION: East Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Tripod GPS: 28 40.518’, W95 53.054; SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Lime colored soft plastics using 1/4- or 3/8-ounce lead jigheads CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281-4504037 TIPS: Drift-fish over deep shell. Bump the lure along the bottom. LOCATION: Colorado River HOTSPOT: Selkirk Island back to the Intracoastal Canal GPS: N28 41.758’, W95 58.676’ BEST BAITS: Hogie Double Shrimp Tail; chartreuse Crème Little Fishies; Norton Bull Minnow; all with a 3/8 leadhead jigs SPECIES: speckled trout CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281-4504037 TIPS: The colder the outside temperatures are, fish move into the deepest holes. Throw the bait out behind the boat and drift down with the current. A trolling motor is a big asset in this type of fishing. It helps to use braided line and a sensitive rod. The bite can be light.

LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Penescal Point GPS: N27 15.582, W97 25.436 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Topwaters early, soft plastics in morning glory, plum/chartreuse pumpkinseed/chartreuse, corkies in darker patterns CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089. 361-449-7441. brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: Fish the mud around the point after a cold front. Milder days might mean more aggressive trout, so fish with dark-colored soft plastics higher in the water column. If the weather is more wintery in nature, fish deep and very, very slowly. Keep a finger on the line to detect soft strikes. LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Marker 202

GPS: N27 19.464 , W97 23.607 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft plastics in morning glory, plum/chartreuse pumpkinseed/chartreuse, black/chartreuse, B&L Corkies in similar patterns CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089. 361-449-7441. brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: The deep water around the rock piles is a good choice for wintertime trout. Fish as tight as you can to the outcroppings. Fish soft plastics or suspending plugs near the bottom with a *twitch,-twitch-pause* retrieve. trout will usually strike on the pause. LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Rocky Slough GPS: N27 10.639, W97 26.445 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft plastics in morning glory, plum/chartreuse pumpkinseed/chartreuse, black/chartreuse, B&L Corkies in similar patterns. CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089. 361-449-7441. brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: Drift around the deeper rocks with soft plastics and suspending plugs. On milder days, you can fish shallow water if the trout are more active. If that is the case, a slightly faster retrieve will trigger strikes from aggressive trout. LOCATION: Upper Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: ICW GPS: N27 37.167, W97 15.004 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live shrimp. Soft plastics CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089. 361-449-7441. brushcountrycharters.com

LOCATION: West Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Green’s Bayou back to the east GPS: N28 29.887’, W96 14.202’ SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Leadhead jigs with Norton Black Magic Bull Minnows; 1/4- to 1/8ounce gold spoons CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281-4504037 A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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TIPS: Water temperature draws trout to the dropoff of the big ditch in winter, just like in summer. In this case, it’s warmer water. Freeline a shrimp or a shrimp tail on a light (1/16th) jighead along the edge. Gulp! Shrimp tails are an excellent option. LOCATION: Upper Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: King Ranch GPS: N27 25.402, W97 2.075 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live shrimp. Soft plastics in Avocado/chartreuse, Motor Oil/chartreuse, Pumpkinseed/chartreuse. Topwaters CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089. 361-449-7441. brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: trout will spread out on the potholes after a stretch of mild weather. Drift and fish the potholes thoroughly. A drift sock is a handy tool. It will slow down and direct your drift so you can fish more efficiently. Use a live shrimp or soft plastic under a Paradise Popper or similar noisemaker. Don’t shie away from a topwater. LOCATION: Upper Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: JFK Causeway GPS: N27 25.402, W97 2.075 SPECIES: flounder

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BEST BAITS: live shrimp. Soft plastics in red/white, Texas Shad CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089. 361-449-7441. brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: Work along the pilings and the deep holes for some robust flatties. Use a a bottom rig to get a live shrimp or baitfish down, or a ¼ ounce jighead with a soft plastic such a shad or shrimp tail. HOTSPOT: Padre Isles GPS: N27 37.587, W96 17.387 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft plastics in Plum, Mardi Gras, rootbeer, rootbeer/red flake CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089. 361-449-7441. brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: The deep water remains a viable option after a strong front that drops air and water temperatures precipitously. Fish slowly and near the bottom with soft plastics. These fish have their noses in the mud, so you will have to put the bait right in front of them. Please be aware that these fish are vulnerable to over-exploitation when they are so aggregated. Practice some moderation. LOCATION: Upper Laguna Madre

HOTSPOT: 55 Channel GPS: N27 31.431, W96 18.274 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live shrimp, soft plastics in Plum, Mardi Gras, rootbeer, rootbeer/red flake CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089. 361-449-7441. brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: Anchor up near the edge of the channel and fish the deeper water thoroughly. Hop a jig or shrimp (or a combination of the two) along the channel edges. In cooler weather, trout will be sitting near the bottom, and you will have to put the lure right on their noses.

Madame Specks LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Madame Johnson Bayou GPS: N29 50.839’, W29 50.839’ SPECIES: speckled trout

BEST BAITS: Corky Devils, Super Spooks; stained water-dark color, clear water-light color CONTACT: Capt. Steve Davis, 409-4601220 TIPS: Make long drifts from the shoreline, going from shallow to deep water. If you get a blow-up on the Spook, put the rod down and throw a Corky Devil. A lot of times, they will come back around and hit the Corky Devil.

LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Black’s Bayou GPS: N29 59.610’, W93 45.783 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Swim Minnow CONTACT: Capt. Steve Davis, 409-4601220 TIPS: Fish “slow, slow, slow.” The fish get lethargic but they will bite. You just have to be patient.

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LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Jetties GPS: N29 40.371’, W93 50.250’ SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Cut mullet or cracked crab fished on the bottom with a big weight CONTACT Capt. Steve Davis, 409460-1220: TIPS: Big bull reds are present at this time of the year. Get the bait on the bottom with a big weight and hold on to your rod. LOCATION: Galveston West Bay HOTSPOT: Greens Cut GPS: N29 16.589’, W94 59.852’ SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: bass Assassin and Brown Devil Eye in Limetreuse, Chartreuse CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman, 409-2567937 TIPS: Drift-fish the color changes. The trout are in the clear water waiting for the bait to come out of the murky water. Let the weather conditions dictate lure presentation. If outside temperatures are cold, work the bait slowly along the bottom; speed up the lure presentation after a warming trend. LOCATION: Chocolate Bay HOTSPOT: Shell reefs GPS: N29 11.528’, W95 06.767’ SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: bass Assassin in Morning Glory, Texas Roach and 10W40 CONTACT: Steve Hillman, 409-256-7937 TIPS: Fish the oyster and shell reefs LOCATION: Galveston West Bay HOTSPOT: Carancahua Reef GPS: N29 12.898’, W95 00.442’ SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: bass Assassin and Brown Devil Eye in Limetreuse, Chartreuse CONTACT: Steve Hillman, 409-256-7937 TIPS: The stretch from Greens Cut all the way to Carancahua Reef is where to catch trout in the winter. Look for color changes. Bump the lure off the bottom, slowly. If it’s a couple days after a warming trend and bait movement is spotted, work the lure fast

LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Bessie Heights GPS: N30 04.520’, W93 91.960’ SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Brown Lures in Black Cat and

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ReAction Lures’ Bayou Chub Minnow in Avocado Red Flake CONTACT: Capt. Randy Foreman, 409985-7619 TIPS: When the northwesterly winds come in with the hard fronts, the only thing left will be small mullet living in the 8 - 10 foot deep ditches in the marshes. Fish these areas for redfish in January.

LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Black Bayou GPS: N29 59.610’, W93 45.783’ BEST BAITS: Brown Lures in Black Cat and ReAction Lures’ Bayou Chub Minnow in Avocado Red Flake SPECIES: redfish CONTACT: Capt. Randy Foreman, 409985-7619 TIPS: When the northwesterly winds come in with the hard fronts, the only thing left will be small mullet living in the 8- to 10-foot deep ditches in the marshes. Fish these areas for redfish in January. LOCATION: Neches River System HOTSPOT: Anywhere small ditches branch off the river GPS: N29 59.213’ W93 50.621 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Brown Lures Black Cat and ReAction Lures’ Bayou Chub Minnow Avocado Red Flake CONTACT: Capt. Randy Foreman, 409985-7619 TIPS: Influx of water coming down the river negates pretty much the trout action. Try this area in January for redfish. LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Keith Lake GPS: N29 46.150’ W93 57.002’ SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Brown Lures Black Cat and ReAction Lures’ Bayou Chub Minnow Avocado Red Flake CONTACT: Capt. Randy Foreman, 409985-7619 TIPS: Go up into the marshes; fish the cuts and drains. Swim the bait real slow, imitating the action of a mullet.

Somerville Cats LOCATION: Lake Somerville HOTSPOT: Dam Rock Island A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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SPECIES: catfish GPS: N30 18.780, W096 31.665 BEST BAITS: Shad, worms, shrimp dipped in stinkbait CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, 979-229-3103, weldon_edna@hotmail.com TIPS: Fish 16-20 foot water around the island, look for sharp drop off areas. Set rods out around the boat casting toward the island for channels, deeper or blues and yellows. Large fish hang here during the winter months. Use a 2/0-4/0 Kahle hook with a one ounce slip sinker here. LOCATION: Lake Somerville HOTSPOT: Pelican Island SPECIES: catfish GPS: N30 18.127, W096 34.429 BEST BAITS: Shad, cut bait, worms CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, www.FishTalesGuideService.com TIPS: Fish steep drop off on northwest side of island. Water is at its coldest this time of year. Large Blue Cats cruise deeper water and will follow this creek channel that comes close to the island. Use 4/0 Kahle hooks with one ounce slip sinker. Put out several rods around the boat in this area. LOCATION: Lake Texoma HOTSPOT: Juniper Point East SPECIES: striped bass GPS: N33 51.892’, W96 49.833’ BEST BAITS: Road Runner and Sassy Shad jigs CONTACT: Bill Carey 877-786-4477, bigfish@striperexpress.com TIPS: Cool water temperatures make the fish go into a feeding frenzy. Large fish up to 20 pounds can be expected. A 4- to 6-inch Sassy Shad on a 1-ounce jighead will work the best. Texoma’s stripers prefer white glow and chartreuse colors. Road Runner 1 ounce jigs with a 7-inch worm are deadly on the big fish holding on structure. Fish the main lake points, mouths of creeks and humps near deep water. Always keep your eyes on the seagulls. Large schools of stripers can be under the birds. G a m e ® / J A N U A R Y

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BANK ACCESS: Juniper Point East LOCATION: Lake Texoma HOTSPOT: Paw Paw Creek and Willis Bridge GPS: N33 53.992’, W96 53.796’ SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: Road Runner and Sassy Shad jigs CONTACT: Bill Carey (877-786-4477), bigfish@striperexpress.com TIPS: January is a big fish month at Lake Texoma. The cool water winter fishing is legendary. Large stripers up to 20+ pounds will hold on structure. A 7-foot medium heavy rod with 20-pound test is recommended. The 1-ounce Road Runner jigs with a white 7-inch worm will produce fish located on main lake points, the mouths of creeks and humps with deep water nearby. The cooler the weather the better the fishing holds true for these fighting fish. Bait fishing with live shad is also an excellent way to catch stripers. Keep your eyes on the seagulls; they can be your best fish locator. BANK ACCESS: The Oil Wells and Texas Flats (Using the same baits mentioned, shad will work best on the banks, tie on jigs if the seagulls are working near you.)

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ing all around presenting a great reaction bite.

LOCATION: Lake Fairfield HOTSPOT: Brushy Point Warm Water Discharge GPS: N31.47.480, W96.04.610 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Carolina-rigged Nichols Creature bait (Watermelon Red) CONTACT: Don Mattern, 903-478-2633, 903-724-0961 TIPS: In January the bass and Reds will be cruising the Discharge Cove to eat on large schools of shad. This point has an abundant amount of sunken brush piles. From 4 feet out to about 12 feet you will find this heavy brush. The bass and reds will set up on this brush and the Carolina rig will get them both. I have caught reds up to 15 pounds dragging this rig along this cover and in the next cast caught 4 lb. bass. Work the sides the top and the end of the point and when you feel a brush pile just shake that weight on your rig. The leader should be about 2 foot or so and the current is very strong. When the weight is sitting still, the 2-foot leader has the bait moving all around presenting a great reaction bite.

LOCATION: Lake Fairfield HOTSPOT: Brushy Point Warm Water Discharge GPS: N31.47.480 - W96.04.610 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Carolina-rigged Nichols Creature bait (Watermelon Red) CONTACT: Don Mattern, 903-478-2633, 903-724-0961 TIPS: In January the bass and Reds will be cruising the Discharge Cove to eat on large schools of shad. This point has an abundant amount of sunken brush piles. From 4 feet out to about 12 feet you will find this heavy brush. The bass and reds will set up on this brush and the Carolina rig will get them both. I have caught reds up to 15 pounds dragging this rig along this cover and in the next cast caught 4 lb. bass. Work the sides the top and the end of the point and when you feel a brush pile just shake that weight on your rig. The leader should be about 2 foot or so and the current is very strong. When the weight is sitting still, the 2-foot leader has the bait mov-

LOCATION: Lake Fairfield HOTSPOT: Warm Water Discharge Cove GPS: N31.47.646 - W96.04.481 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Carolina-rigged Nichols Creature bait and Rat-L-Traps (Watermelon Reds and Firetiger) CONTACT: Don Mattern, 903-478-2633, 903-724-0961 TIPS: The colder temperatures move the shad and baitfish into the warm water discharge cove where the power plant discharges water in about the 84-degree range keeping the cove an astounding 70 - 80 degrees. There is a flat about 4 feet in front of the cable going across the discharge channel. A strong current is made by the turbines and the redfish will run in and out of this cut. The Carolina rig will catch both bass and Reds. The extended leader on the rig will have a lot of action in the strong current. Just drag it along the bottom. The Rat-L-Trap will also catch reds in this current.

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LOCATION: Lake Fairfield HOTSPOT: Warm Water Discharge Cove GPS: N31.47.646 - W96.04.481 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Carolina-rigged Nichols Creature bait and Rat-L-Traps (Watermelon Reds and Firetiger) CONTACT: Don Mattern, 903-478-2633, 903-724-0961 TIPS: The colder temperatures move the shad and baitfishes into the warm water discharge cove where the power plant discharges water in about the 84-degree range keeping the cove an astounding 70-80 degrees. There is a flat about 4 feet in front of the cable going across the discharge channel. A strong current is made by the turbines and the redfish will run in and out of this cut. The Carolina rig will catch bass. The extended leader on the rig will have a lot of action in the strong current. Just drag it along the bottom. LOCATION: Lake Richland-Chambers HOTSPOT: Long Arm Branch Point GPS: N31.59.201, W096.12.294 SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: 1-ounce Silver or Chartreuse Slabs TIPS: The Long Arm Branch Point is a great spot for catching magnum white bass in the early winter. The fish will be pushing shad up on the edges of this point and having a feeding frenzy, as they get ready for the colder weather to arrive. Use your electronics to find the baitfish and fish in water depths ranging from 25’-35’. Bounce the slab slowly off the bottom for best success. CONTACT: Royce Simmons, www.gonefishin.biz, 903-389-4117 BANK ACCESS: Fisherman’s Point Marina, 903-389-5218 LOCATION: Lake Richland-Chambers HOTSPOT: Pelican Island GPS: N31.58.9490, W096.10.600 SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: 1.5-ounce chartreuse slabs TIPS: The pelican island area is excellent area for wintertime white bass. Tie on a larger slab and move it very slow off the bottom in water depths of 30 feet or greater. The fish will be hugging the bottom and as the water temperature cools to the low 50s, they will be


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very lethargic. The bite will often be nothing more than a light tick or often you just feel dead weight on the end of your line. When in doubt set the hook and hold on! CONTACT: Royce Simmons, www.gonefishin.biz, 903-389-4117

LOCATION: Lake Richland-Chambers HOTSPOT: Pelican Island GPS: N31.58.9490, W096.10.600 SPECIES: hybrid stripers BEST BAITS: 1.5-ounce chartreuse slabs TIPS: The Pelican Island area is a wintertime haunt for big stripers. Tie on a larger slab and move it very slow off the bottom in water depths of 30 feet or greater. The fish will be hugging the bottom and as the water temperature cools to the low 50’s, they will be very lethargic. The bite will often be nothing more than a light tick or often you just feel dead weight on the end of your line. When in doubt set the hook and hold on! CONTACT: Royce Simmons, www.gonefishin.biz, 903-389-4117 LOCATION: Belton Lake HOTSPOT: Live Oak Park Cove GPS: N31 06.925 W97 28.650 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Slow shad crankbaits on warmer days, small jigs with pork eels on colder days CONTACT: Bob Maindelle, 254-368-7411 TIPS: Watch for shad flicking along the east cove shoreline and fish near the bait. BANK ACCESS: Via Live Oak Ridge Park (Corps of Engineers) LOCATION: Belton Lake HOTSPOT: Live Oak Park Cove GPS: N31 06.925, W97 28.650 SPECIES: smallmouth bass BEST BAITS: Slow shad crankbaits on warmer days, small jigs with pork eels on colder days. CONTACT: Bob Maindelle, 254-368-7411 TIPS: Watch for shad flicking along the east cove shoreline and fish near the bait. BANK ACCESS: Via Live Oak Ridge Park (Corps of Engineers) LOCATION: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir HOTSPOT: Colinas Timber Edge GPS: N31 02.039 W97 34.903 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Dark 4” soft plastic worms on Carolina Rig

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CONTACT: Bob Maindelle, 254-368-7411 TIPS: Best fished on SE, S, or SW wind so you can fish deep to shallow and maintain contact with rig. LOCATION: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir HOTSPOT: Colinas Timber Edge GPS: N31 02.039 W97 34.903 SPECIES: smallmouth bass BEST BAITS: Dark 4” soft plastic worms on Carolina Rig CONTACT: Bob Maindelle, 254-368-7411 TIPS: Best fished on SE, S, or SW wind so you can fish deep to shallow and maintain contact with rig. LOCATION: Belton Lake HOTSPOT: White Flint Cove GPS: N31 13.480 W97 28.450 SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Live minnows under slip bobber, afternoons or night CONTACT: Bob Maindelle, 254-368-7411 TIPS: A good location, but only if we’re back near full pool elevation BANK ACCESS: Via White Flint Park (kayaking possible here) LOCATION: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir HOTSPOT: Comanche Cove GPS: N31 01.800, W97 37.790 SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Live minnows under slip bobber, afternoons or night CONTACT: Bob Maindelle, 254-368-7411 TIPS: If fishing with multiple anglers, stagger your depths. Once fish are contacted, move all baits to successful depth. BANK ACCESS: From off of Comanche Gap Road across Corps of Engineer property LOCATION: Lake Whitney HOTSPOT: Big Rocky Creek GPS: N52.795’, W97 23.682’ SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: Storms Wildeye Shad (chartreuse) CONTACT: Randy Routh, 817-822-5539 TIPS: Cast out 30 feet behind boat and turn trolling motor on medium speed and drag baits behind boat in mouth of creek and nearby humps. Stripers have baits pushed up in the mouth of big rocky gorging on them. BANK ACCESS: Walling Bend LOCATION: Lake Aquilla HOTSPOT: Deep Humps A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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GPS: N31 54.214’, W97 12 178’ SPECIES: White bass BEST BAITS: 1-ounce chartreuse slabs CONTACT: Randy Routh, 817-822-5539 TIPS: Watch graph along humps and you will see the white bass stacked up on the edges of the humps. Drop slabs down and bounce off bottom making contact with bait as it falls. Carry binoculars and watch for the birds diving on shad, the white bass push the shad to the surface and quick limits are coming from under the birds. LOCATION: Lake Whitney HOTSPOT: Big Rocky Creek GPS: N52.795’, W97 23.682’ SPECIES: stripers BEST BAITS: Storm’s Wild Eye Shad (chartreuse) CONTACT: Randy Routh, 817-822-5539 TIPS: The stripers have the shad pushed back up in the creek past the first cut; make longs cast and drag baits behind the boat using the trolling motor. BANK ACCESS: Walling Bend. LOCATION: Lake Aquilla HOTSPOT: Triplet Point GPS: N31 53.533’, W97 12.375’ SPECIES: White bass BEST BAITS: Chartreuse 1-ounce Slabs CONTACT: Randy Routh, 817-822-5539 TIPS: The whites have the bait pushed up in the cuts on triplet point. Keep on the lookout for birds working. Make long casts with slabs and work them up and down fluttering them through the fish. Most bites occur during the bait’s descent. LOCATION: Richland-Chambers Reservoir HOTSPOT: Elm Creek GPS: N32, 04’ 26”, W96 17’91” SPECIES: black bass BEST BAITS: Watermelon and Blue/Black Jigs CONTACT: Steve Schmidt, steve@schmidtsbigbass.com, 682-518-8252 TIPS: A lot of timber and stumps exist here. Just take a jig work the edges of the docks and stumps. Slow down the bait if you struggle for bites. BANK ACCESS: Oak Cove Marine LOCATION: Richland-Chambers Reservoir HOTSPOT: Tree Top GPS: N32 04’ 02”, W96 14’43” SPECIES: Black bass G a m e ® / J A N U A R Y

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BEST BAITS: Watermelon and Blue/Black Jigs CONTACT: Steve Schmidt, steve@schmidtsbigbass.com, 682-518-8252 TIPS: A lot of timber and stumps exist here. Just take a jig work the edges of the docks and stumps. Slow down the bait if you struggle for bites. BANK ACCESS: Oak Cove Marine

Government Bass LOCATION: Falcon Lake HOTSPOT: Government Cut GPS: N26 34.088, W99 8.722 SPECIES: largemouth bass

BEST BAIT(S): Plastic worms and flipping tubes in red, red watermelon, red bug. CONTACT: Falcon Lake Tackle, (956)-7654866 TIPS: Fish the flooded brush in the back of the cove. Bass are sitting on their beds. Work your worm or tube into the any beds you spot

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and let it sit. Eventually Mr. Mom will get irritated enough and pick up the bait to either kill it or move it. Use braided line and a stout rod.

LOCATION: Falcon Lake HOTSPOT: Goose Bay GPS: N26 29.151, W99 8.247 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAIT(s): Gulp! 10” Humpback worms in red, red watermelon, grape. Flipping Lizards. CONTACT: Falcon Lake Tackle (956)-7654866. TIPS: bass will be near the trees along the submerged ditch. Flip and walk your baits around the trees and work it in the heavy stuff. Use 50-pound braid, a battened down drag, and a heavy action rod with plenty of backbone to horse these fish out of the junk. Even then, you might latch into a fish that will wreck your tackle.

TIPS: Most of the catfish that you will yank out of the riverbed are solid 2-4 pound skillet fish. If you drop a chunk of fresh shad on a bottom rig into one of the deeper holes in the river bends, you could latch into a 25- to 30pounder. If you have a boatload of children on board (don’t forget the PFD’s), a jar of Super Sticky or blood bait and a dip worm should be enough to keep reels screaming and kids squealing for an afternoon.

Flats Cats LOCATION: Granger Lake HOTSPOT: Willis Creek flats GPS: Area northeast of Willis Creek Park SPECIES: blue catfish BEST BAITS: Live shad, Sure Shot prepared bait CONTACT: Tommy Tidwell 512-365-7761 www.gotcrappie.com

LOCATION: Falcon Lake HOTSPOT: Rio Grande River GPS: N26 56.350, W99 22.670 SPECIES: catfish BEST BAIT(s): Cut Shad, prepared baits. CONTACT: Falcon Lake Tackle, (956)-7654866. TIPS: Fish the shallow open and timbered flats with rod and reel. Good fish will be in water as shallow as 2 feet. BANK ACCESS: Willis Creek Park around the pavilion LOCATION: Granger Lake HOTSPOT: Deep-water areas out from the dam. GPS: All along the dam out to 1/2 mile. SPECIES: blue catfish BEST BAITS: Fresh shad CONTACT: Tommy Tidwell, 512-3657761, www.gotcrappie.com TIPS: Drift-fish the deep flats from 15 to 25 feet deep using drift socks if necessary. BANK ACCESS: Best access is along the West Boat Ramp area in Wilson Fox Park LOCATION: Lake Medina HOTSPOT: Antone Hollow

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GPS: N29 33.331 W98 59.168 SPECIES: Guadalupe bass BEST BAITS: white and chrome Zara Puppies, shad colored poppers, black/chartreuse and white crankbaits that dive to 10 feet, 1/4ounce chrome or gold Rat-L Traps and ¼ounce to 3/16-ounce white spinnerbaits with gold blades CONTACT: Dave Burlington, 210-8339417, www.bassindave.com TIPS: Early in the month, fish the backs of creeks focusing on edges of flats and channel secondary points. Later in the month, follow the bass toward the mouths of creeks to main lake points, bluffs, and channel banks. If the bite is tough, slow down with a drop-shot rig, fishing 4 to 6 inch black/chartreuse and watermelon red or green pumpkin finesse worms. Most bass are in 1 to 15 foot depths and are still very active, chasing shad and feeding heavily. bass located next to vertical drops in 15 to 20 feet of water will provide good action, only slowing down during major cold fronts that drop water temperatures below 50 degrees. BANK ACCESS: Bandera County Park, catfish on stinkbait and night crawlers LOCATION: Lake Dunlap HOTSPOT: Lower Lake GPS: N29 39.464, W98 04.162 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: chartreuse and black crankbaits, white or pearl baby flukes, and watermelon red and green fleck tubes, white spinnerbaits with gold blades, brown or black jigs with some red flecks or strands CONTACT: Dave Burlington, 210-8339417, www.bassindave.com TIPS: Focus on vertical banks and channel ledges along flats. Start by fishing crankbaits and slow rolling spinnerbaits. If these don’t produce, opt for plastic flukes. If the bite continues to be tough, fish Texas-rigged soft plastics in tight cover and Carolina-rigged soft plastics along the ledges of flats. Change up with jigs, as they tend to get a bigger bite. BANK ACCESS: I-35 bridge public boat ramp and park, catfish on night crawlers and stinkbait

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CONTACT: Dave Burlington, 210-8339417, www.bassindave.com TIPS: White bass will be schooled around main lake points and the islands in 25 to 50 feet of water. Idle over and around these areas until you see schools of baitfish and larger fish with your electronics. Position yourself over these targets, fishing with live minnows and jigging spoons. White bass have a tendency to move as you catch them and the baitfish scatter, so when your bite slows, simply relocate them for continued action. BANK ACCESS: Arkansas Bend County Park, largemouth bass on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and soft plastics LOCATION: Lake Buchanan HOTSPOT: Garrett to Shaw Island GPS: N30 50.376, W98 25.062 SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: live bait, 1/2 to 1-ounce white/chartreuse striper jigs, 1/2 to 1-ounce white and chrome jigging spoons, 6 to 8 inch shad colored swimbaits CONTACT: Dave Burlington, 210-8339417, www.bassindave.com TIPS: With electronics, look for stripers in 25 to 40 feet of water where they can be found chasing large balls of shad this time of year. Large “V” shaped blips above and to the sides of shad schools are indicators you have located feeding fish. Drift live bait through these schools. Trolling striper jigs and swimbaits through the schools is also

very effective for covering water and finding active fish. Once over a school of stripers, you can vertically jig spoons, drop live bait, or hop swimbaits to get bites BANK ACCESS: Burnet County Park, catfish on stinkbait, night crawlers and frozen shrimp

LOCATION: Lake LBJ HOTSPOT: Sandy Creek GPS: N30 34.281, W98 25.140 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: white or black buzzbaits, white or black spinnerbaits with gold blades, white and chartreuse shallow running crankbaits, white flukes, wacky-rigged black/blue fleck Senkos CONTACT: David Burlington, 210-8339417, www.bassindave.com TIPS: Primary and secondary creek points and flats or small pockets with deeper water nearby will now hold the largest concentrations of fish. Look for bass to be aggressive and very shallow (1 to 3 feet on low-pressure days leading up to and through a passing front). Once a front has passed, the bass will be mostly inactive and move a bit deeper, into 6 to 10 feet of water along vertical breaklines and close to any existing cover. Begin your fishing by covering water quickly with crankbaits and spinnerbaits to determine the activity level of the bass. Slow down and fish wacky rigged Senkos if the bite is slow. BANK ACCESS: Flying K Recreational Area, bass on spinnerbaits and soft plastics

LOCATION: Lake Travis HOTSPOT: Anderson Bend GPS: N30 22.397, W98 00.482 SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: live minnows and 1/2-ounce chrome jigging spoons A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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LOCATION: Canyon Lake HOTSPOT: Sailboat Marina area GPS: N29 52.200, W98 12.450 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Texas-rigged watermelon candy or blue fleck Power Worms, 3/8-ounce Secret Weapon spinnerbaits, Senko style plastics CONTACT: Kandie Candeleria, 210-8232153, kandie@gvtc.com TIPS: With the lake rising, work the cut and the point to the right of the marina. Look for fish to be shallow as they are enjoying the extra oxygen created from flooded bushes. Throw Berkley 7-inch Power Worms in watermelon candy if the sun is high, or in blue fleck and Texas-rigged if cloudy. If bass are chasing shad, try a 3/8-ounce Sidearm or Quickstrike Secret Weapon spinnerbait. Drop-shotting around the marina should produce quality fish. A 1/16-ounce Tru-Tungsten Flea Flicker hook with a small weight on the bottom will create some loft movement and good results. If the bite is slow, Texas-rig a Senko type bait and fish it weightless around brush piles and submerged trees. BANK ACCESS: Canyon Park Campground, crappie on minnows and crappie jigs LOCATION: Wright Patman Lake HOTSPOT: Kelly Creek GPS: N33 17.151, W94 14.259 SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: live minnows, black and chartreuse tube jigs CONTACT: Doug Rochelle, K&D Guide Service, 903-671-3494, reteeks77@aol.com TIPS: Wright Patman’s water level is now above normal so most crappie will be on points or holding on brush close to open water. Work a jig two to three inches off the bottom and continue to raise your bait until you discover at which level the fish are suspended. Fishing should be best between daylight and 11:00 AM in 10 to 14 feet of water. With the water high be careful in windy conditions are there is the potential for high waves on this lake. BANK ACCESS: Red River Road bridge crossing Big Creek, catfish on night crawlers and cut shad, bream by bridge piers on crickets and worms

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Louisiana Large LOCATION: Toledo Bend South HOTSPOT: Louisiana Islands GPS: N31 12.290’, W93 35.350 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: 3/4-ounce and 1-ounce white chartreuse spinnerbaits with double willow

leaf blades, grass jigs, deep-diving crankbaits, 5/8-ounce and 3/4-ounce jigging spoons CONTACT: Joe Joslin, 337-463-3848, www.joejoslinoutdoors.com TIPS: High lake levels insure lots of power plant generating this month, making the Louisiana Islands even more productive. Prefrontal conditions will have bass holding close to cover, especially in low-light conditions. Fish large spinnerbaits using a yo-yo or slow roll retrieve to maximize your success with lower water temperatures. With cold, highpressure conditions consider a jigging spoon fished vertically in 25 to 40 feet as well as deep-diving crankbaits and football jigs on points and ridges in 12 to 25 feet. Opt for fluorocarbon line when possible. BANK ACCESS: Below generators for largemouth bass, catfish and striper. Fishing is best when generators are running. Call 337286-5244 for pre-recorded generator schedule.

LOCATION: Toledo Bend North HOTSPOT: Sabine River GPS: N31 56.101, W93 58.794 SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Road Runners, Rat-L-Traps, tail spinners, mid-diving crankbaits, slab spoons CONTACT: Greg Crafts, 936-368-7151, www.toledobendguide.com TIPS: White bass will be migrating from the main lake area into the Sabine River proper. Where to fish is determined on the river’s level. If the river level is high, work the mouths of feeder creeks where they dump into the river and flooded sloughs and backwater F i s h

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with Road Runners and Rat-L Traps. If the river is low, use these baits to work the river channel inside bends, sand bars and eddies. Start on the south end of the river and work north as the white bass travel up river. The more current present, the further up river the fish will be traveling. BANK ACCESS: Public parks and marinas, crappie on live minnows, catfish on cut bait and liver

LOCATION: Lake Conroe HOTSPOT: Main Lake GPS: N30 22.980, W95 34.930 SPECIES: hybrid stripers BEST BAITS: live shad, Storm Swim Shad, CONTACT: Richard Tatsch, 936-291-1277, www.fishdudetx.com TIPS: hybrid stripers are now in full swing and this is the time of year to catch trophy fish and possibly a lake record hybrids. Fish will be found all around the lake on main lake points and humps. This time of year, they will start to group up in large schools in depths of 18 to 22 feet. Once you find fish in one area, it is quite possible to catch a limit in a matter of minutes. Good electronics are most helpful in locating fish! Live shad is your bait of choice but a Swim Shad will work well if you can control their depth. BANK ACCESS: Stowaway Marina, bream and catfish on live minnows or worms under cork

Hit the Walleye LOCATION: Lake Meredith HOTSPOT: The Marina at Lake Meredith GPS: N35 42.250, W101 33.199 SPECIES: walleye BEST BAITS: minnows, red wiggler earthworms

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na’s heated crappie house for walleye and a variety of other species. Minnows and red wiggler earthworms are your baits of choice but chicken livers, shrimp and cut bait are also productive. Walleye is the draw on Lake Meredith but half the fun of fishing the crappie house is not knowing what you will catch until you catch it. Walleye, largemouth bass, sand bass, and catfish are all likely to end up in the ice chest! BANK ACCESS: The main ramp at the marina, catfish on stinkbait, cut bait and chicken or turkey livers

LOCATION: Lake Graham-Eddleman HOTSPOT: Power plant discharge area GPS: N33 07.594, W98 36.340 SPECIES: hybrids BEST BAITS: live shad, minnows and perch, jigs and slabs CONTACT: Dean Heffner, 940-329-0036, fav7734@aceweb.com TIPS: Fish the generator plant discharge area with live bait just 1-1/2 cranks off the bottom with short leaders. Also, fish jigs in the same area to change things up. Keep an eye out for birds, as they are a sure sign of baitfish and hybrids below. If the bite is slow, works slabs on schools of fish found away from the discharge area. For best results, be sure to cover area in a slow and methodical fashion. BANK ACCESS: Hwy 380 public boat ramp, crappie on live minnows, bass on plastic worms, catfish on cut bait and liver

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LOCATION: Possum Kingdom Lake HOTSPOT: Mouth of Rock Creek Camp GPS: N38 52.122, W98 24.394 SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: live shad, Sassy Shad, slabs, jigs CONTACT: Dean Heffner, 940-329-0036, fav7734@aceweb.com TIPS: Slow presentations mean success in the cold of winter on Possum Kingdom. Work jigs, Sassy Shad and slabs fast on the rise, and slowly on the fall. Work live shad as you normally would. Egg sinkers and short leaders work best. You might also “cheat” with minnows this time of year as shad are deep and fish will readily take something live and perky. One-and-a-half cranks off the bottom in 20 to 40 feet with both live bait and artificials is the name of the game unless you get an active school under birds. Watch for birds first thing and then concentrate on working 20 to 30 foot breaklines as the morning wears on. Work slowly! BANK ACCESS: North D&D, largemouth and smallmouth bass on plastic worms, catfish on stinkbait and liver

LOCATION: Caddo Lake HOTSPOT: Hwy 1 Bridge Area (Pole A15) GPS: N32 42.112, W93 56.561 SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: live bait rig with (2) two #6 light wire hook rigs 2 to 3 feet apart with a 3/8-ounce bell weight at the bottom. CONTACT: Dennis North, 903-687-2128, www.fishingwithdennis.com TIPS: Now is the time to fish the Highway 1 Bridge in Louisiana, as you will find some big crappie that have moved into the river channel where they are feeding on bait fish in preparation for the spring spawn. They have a boat ramp at Mooringsport Park boat ramp is most convenient. BANK ACCESS: Caddo Lake State Park, panfish, catfish, large mouth bass, crappie and white bass Email: Calixto: cgonzales@fishgame.com Kyle: ktomek@fishgame.com Tripp: tholmgrain@fishgame.com Tom: tbehrens@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Palo Pinto Reservoir HOTSPOT: Power plant discharge area GPS: N32 39.318, W98 18.244 SPECIES: sand bass BEST BAITS: live shad and minnows, 1/4ounce and 3/8-ounce jigs and slabs CONTACT: Dean Heffner, 940-329-0036, fav7734@aceweb.com TIPS: Work your baits perpendicular to the current from the power plant discharge, using a slow rolling motion to bounce baits off the bottom. Then back off where fish are deep and present them with jigs and slabs. Get jigs as close to the cement inside the fence as possible. If warm water is discharging, you are going to catch fish. BANK ACCESS: Any of the parks and public boat ramps by the generator plant, crappie on live minnows, catfish on stinkbait, cut bait and liver

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Tides and Prime Times

JANUARY 2010 USING THE PRIME TIMES CALENDAR

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

T12

T4

T11

T10

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

T13 T7

T6 T5 T17

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

T15 T16

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

T14 T18

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

T19

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

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

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

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

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

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4:55p

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

KEY T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6

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

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

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

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

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

T22 T23

KEYS TO USING THE TIDE AND SOLUNAR GRAPHS TIDE LE VEL GRAPH: 12a

Tab: Peak Fishing Period

6a

12p

6p

AM/PM Timeline

12a

Light Blue: Nighttime

BEST:

7:05-9:40 PM

Green: Falling Tide

Gold Fish: Best Time

Blue: Rising Tide Red Graph: Fishing Score

Blue Fish: Good Time

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

AM/PM Timeline

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AM Minor: 1:20a

PM Minor: 1:45p

AM Major: 7:32a

PM Major: 7:57p

MAJOR Feeding Periods (+/- 2 Hrs.)

Moon Overhead: 8:50a 6a

12p

6p

12a

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

Moon Underfoot: 9:15p

• J A N U A R Y

2 0 1 0 /

T E X A S

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

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

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

KEY T18 T19 T20 T21 T22 T23

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

SPORTSMAN’S DAYBOOK IS SPONSORED BY:

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION

Yellow: Daylight

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

T9 T8

T3 T2 T1

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

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

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


ALMANAC I.qxd:1001 Inland

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NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION BEST:

7:45-9:40 AM

= Peak Fishing Period

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

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

 30

29

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

 Ja n 1

 31

SUNDAY

 2

 3

Sunrise: 7:11a Moonrise: 2:28p

Set: 5:28p Set: 3:53a

Sunrise: 7:12a Moonrise: 3:24p

Set: 5:28p Set: 5:00a

Sunrise: 7:12a Moonrise: 4:27p

Set: 5:29p Set: 6:05a

Sunrise: 7:12a Moonrise: 5:36p

Set: 5:30p Set: 7:05a

Sunrise: 7:12a Moonrise: 6:49p

Set: 5:30p Set: 8:00a

Sunrise: 7:13a Moonrise: 8:01p

Set: 5:31p Set: 8:48a

Sunrise: 7:13a Moonrise: 9:10p

Set: 5:32p Set: 9:29a

AM Minor: 1:29a

PM Minor: 7:43p

AM Minor: 2:20a

PM Minor: 8:35p

AM Minor: 3:17a

PM Minor: 9:33p

AM Minor: 4:18a

PM Minor: 10:34p

AM Minor: 5:21a

PM Minor: 5:52p

AM Minor: 6:26a

PM Minor: 6:55p

AM Minor: 7:28a

PM Minor: 7:56p

AM Major: 7:43a

PM Major: 8:11p

AM Major: 8:35a

PM Major: 9:06p

AM Major: 9:33a

PM Major: 10:04p

AM Major: 10:34a

PM Major: 11:05p

AM Major: 11:37a

PM Major: ——-

AM Major: 12:11a

PM Major: 12:40p

AM Major: 1:15a

PM Major: 1:42p

Moon Overhead: 9:42p 6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 11:47p

Moon Overhead: 10:44p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: None 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 1:52a

Moon Overhead: 12:51a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

28

12a

Tides and Prime Times for JANUARY 2010

Moon Overhead: 2:49a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 9:13a +2.0

BEST:

0

-1.0

BEST:

2:30 — 4:00 A

Moon Underfoot: 12:19p BEST:

3:30 — 5:00 A

4:30 — 6:00 A

Moon Underfoot: 1:22p BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 2:21p BEST:

5:30 — 7:00 A

Moon Underfoot: 3:16p +2.0

BEST:

6:00 — 7:30 A

1:00 — 3:30 A TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 11:15a

TIDE LEVELS

2:00 — 3:30 A

Moon Underfoot: 10:12a

Low Tide: 6:52 AM High Tide: 3:58 PM

-0.55 ft Low Tide: 1.22 ft High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

7:40 AM 4:43 PM 9:06 PM 9:57 PM

-0.77 ft 1.32 ft 1.21 ft 1.22 ft

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

8:30 AM 5:26 PM 9:24 PM 11:42 PM

-0.94 ft Low Tide: 9:20 AM -1.04 ft 1.35 ft High Tide: 5:59 PM 1.34 ft 1.23 ft Low Tide: 10:05 PM 1.15 ft 1.25 ft

A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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

F i s h

1:19 am 10:08 am 6:32 pm 10:50 pm

&

1.21 ft -1.01 ft 1.28 ft 1.03 ft

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

2:37 am 10:58 am 7:04 pm 11:43 pm

1.15 ft High Tide: 3:57 am 1.04 ft -0.90 ft Low Tide: 11:46 am -0.69 ft 1.18 ft High Tide: 7:32 pm 1.08 ft 0.85 ft

G a m e ® / J A N U A R Y

2 0 1 0

I19

+1.0

0

-1.0


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NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION BEST:

= Peak Fishing Period

7:45-9:40 AM

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

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

MONDAY

Tides and Prime Times for JANUARY 2010

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

4

5

SATURDAY

8

SUNDAY

9

10

Set: 5:34p Sunrise: 7:13a Set: 5:35p Sunrise: 7:13a Set: 11:15a Moonrise: 12:21a Set: 11:50a Moonrise: 1:23a

Set: 5:35p Sunrise: 7:13a Set: 12:26p Moonrise: 2:25a

Set: 5:36p Set: 1:06p

Sunrise: 7:14a Moonrise: 3:25a

Set: 5:37p Set: 1:50p

AM Minor: 8:28a

PM Minor: 8:54p

AM Minor: 9:24a

PM Minor: 9:49p

AM Minor: 10:17a

PM Minor: 10:41p

AM Minor: 11:06a

PM Minor: 11:31p

AM Minor: 11:54a

PM Minor: ——-

AM Minor: 12:15a

PM Minor: 12:41p

AM Minor: 1:01a

PM Minor: 1:27p

AM Major: 2:15a

PM Major: 2:41p

AM Major: 3:12a

PM Major: 3:36p

AM Major: 4:05a

PM Major: 4:29p

AM Major: 4:54a

PM Major: 5:18p

AM Major: 5:42a

PM Major: 6:06p

AM Major: 6:28a

PM Major: 6:53p

AM Major: 7:14a

PM Major: 7:40p

Moon Overhead: 3:42a 6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 5:20a

Moon Overhead: 4:32a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 6:09a 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 7:48a

Moon Overhead: 6:57a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 8:39a 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

FRIDAY

 7

6

Sunrise: 7:13a Set: 5:32p Sunrise: 7:13a Set: 5:33p Sunrise: 7:13a Moonrise: 10:15p Set: 10:07a Moonrise: 11:19p Set: 10:41a Moonrise: None

12a

THURSDAY

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 4:07p +2.0

BEST:

BEST:

-1.0

BEST:

3:00 — 5:30 AM

Moon Underfoot: 6:33p BEST:

4:00 — 6:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 7:22p BEST:

4:30 — 6:30 AM

Moon Underfoot: 8:13p BEST:

5:30 — 9:00 AM

6:00 — 10:30 AM

Moon Underfoot: 9:05p +2.0

BEST:

2:00 — 4:00 AM TIDE LEVELS

0

Moon Underfoot: 5:44p

TIDE LEVELS

2:00 — 4:00 AM

+1.0

Moon Underfoot: 4:56p

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

12:43 am 5:27 am 12:34 pm 7:58 pm

0.62 ft 0.88 ft -0.39 ft 0.99 ft

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

1:48 am 7:09 am 1:22 pm 8:21 pm

0.35 ft 0.74 ft -0.06 ft 0.91 ft

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

2:54 am 9:05 am 2:10 pm 8:42 pm

0.08 ft 0.66 ft 0.28 ft 0.87 ft

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

3:59 am 11:15 am 3:06 pm 8:59 pm

-0.18 ft 0.70 ft 0.59 ft 0.86 ft

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

5:01 am 1:44 pm 5:16 pm 9:12 pm

-0.41 ft Low Tide: 5:58 am 0.84 ft High Tide: 3:32 pm 0.82 ft 0.88 ft

-0.57 ft Low Tide: 6:52 am 0.99 ft High Tide: 4:24 pm

-0.69 ft 1.07 ft

+1.0

0

-1.0


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ALMANAC I.qxd:1001 Inland

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9:46 AM

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NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION BEST:

7:45-9:40 AM

= Peak Fishing Period

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

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

 13

12

FRIDAY

 14

SATURDAY

 15

SUNDAY

 16

 17

Sunrise: 7:14a Moonrise: 4:22a

Set: 5:38p Set: 2:38p

Sunrise: 7:13a Moonrise: 5:15a

Set: 5:39p Set: 3:30p

Sunrise: 7:13a Moonrise: 6:04a

Set: 5:39p Set: 4:24p

Sunrise: 7:13a Moonrise: 6:48a

Set: 5:40p Set: 5:20p

Sunrise: 7:13a Moonrise: 7:28a

Set: 5:41p Set: 6:16p

Sunrise: 7:13a Moonrise: 8:03a

Set: 5:42p Set: 7:11p

Sunrise: 7:13a Moonrise: 8:34a

Set: 5:43p Set: 8:04p

AM Minor: 1:47a

PM Minor: 2:13p

AM Minor: 2:34a

PM Minor: 3:00p

AM Minor: 3:21a

PM Minor: 3:46p

AM Minor: 4:09a

PM Minor: 4:33p

AM Minor: 4:56a

PM Minor: 5:20p

AM Minor: 5:44a

PM Minor: 6:06p

AM Minor: 6:30a

PM Minor: 6:51p

AM Major: 8:00a

PM Major: 8:26p

AM Major: 8:47a

PM Major: 9:12p

AM Major: 9:34a

PM Major: 9:59p

AM Major: 10:21a

PM Major: 10:45p

AM Major: 11:08a

PM Major: 11:31p

AM Major: 11:29a

PM Major: ——-

AM Major: 12:20a

PM Major: 12:41p

Moon Overhead: 9:31a 6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 11:13a

Moon Overhead: 10:22a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 12:03p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 1:34p

Moon Overhead: 12:50p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 2:17p 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

11

12a

Tides and Prime Times for JANUARY 2010

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 9:57p +2.0

BEST:

0

-1.0

BEST:

3:30 — 5:30 AM

9:00A — 12:30P

Moon Underfoot: None BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 12:26a BEST:

5:00 — 7:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 1:12a BEST:

5:30 — 7:30 AM

Moon Underfoot: 1:56a +2.0

BEST:

6:00 — 8:00 AM

12:30 — 3:30 PM TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 11:38p

TIDE LEVELS

å3:00 — 5:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 10:48p

Low Tide: 7:40 am High Tide: 5:02 pm

-0.75 ft Low Tide: 1.09 ft High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

8:25 am 5:32 pm 10:42 pm 11:48 pm

-0.77 ft Low Tide: 9:05 am -0.75 ft 1.06 ft High Tide: 5:52 pm 1.01 ft 0.95 ft Low Tide: 10:19 pm 0.93 ft 0.95 ft

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

12:57 am 9:41 am 6:07 pm 10:06 pm

0.96 ft -0.71 ft 0.96 ft 0.87 ft

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

1:53 am 10:13 am 6:21 pm 10:19 pm

0.94 ft -0.64 ft 0.91 ft 0.78 ft

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

2:43 am 10:43 am 6:37 pm 10:51 pm

0.91 ft -0.54 ft 0.87 ft 0.68 ft

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

3:33 am 11:10 am 6:53 pm 11:31 pm

0.84 ft -0.41 ft 0.84 ft 0.57 ft

+1.0

0

-1.0


ALMANAC I.qxd:1001 Inland

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

Tides and Prime Times for JANUARY 2010 MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

19

SATURDAY

 22

21

23

24

Set: 5:44p Set: 8:57p

Sunrise: 7:13a Moonrise: 9:31a

Set: 5:44p Set: 9:49p

Sunrise: 7:12a Moonrise: 9:59a

AM Minor: 7:16a

PM Minor: 7:36p

AM Minor: 8:02a

PM Minor: 8:21p

AM Minor: 8:47a

PM Minor: 9:07p

AM Minor: 9:32a

PM Minor: 9:53p

AM Minor: 10:18a

PM Minor: 10:41p

AM Minor: 11:06a

PM Minor: 11:31p

AM Minor: 11:56a

PM Minor: ——-

AM Major: 1:06a

PM Major: 1:26p

AM Major: 1:52a

PM Major: 2:11p

AM Major: 2:37a

PM Major: 2:57p

AM Major: 3:21a

PM Major: 3:43p

AM Major: 4:07a

PM Major: 4:30p

AM Major: 4:54a

PM Major: 5:18p

AM Major: 5:43a

PM Major: 6:10p

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 4:17p

Moon Overhead: 3:37p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Set: 5:45p Sunrise: 7:12a Set: 5:47p Set: 5:46p Sunrise: 7:12a Set: 10:42p Moonrise: 10:28a Set: 11:37p Moonrise: 11:00a Set: None

SUNDAY

Sunrise: 7:13a Moonrise: 9:03a

Moon Overhead: 2:57p

12a

20

FRIDAY

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 4:59p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Set: 5:49p Sunrise: 7:11a Set: 5:48p Sunrise: 7:11a Moonrise: 11:36a Set: 12:35a Moonrise: 12:18p Set: 1:36a

Moon Overhead: 6:33p

Moon Overhead: 5:44p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

18

THURSDAY

Moon Overhead: 7:27p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 2:37a +2.0

BEST:

0

-1.0

BEST:

1:30 — 4:00 PM

Moon Underfoot: 4:38a BEST:

2:30 — 4:30 PM

Moon Underfoot: 5:21a BEST:

3:00 — 6:00 PM

Moon Underfoot: 6:08a

Moon Underfoot: 6:59a

BEST:

4:00 — 6:30 AM

4:30 — 7:00 AM

+2.0

BEST:

7:30 — 10:00 AM TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 3:57a

TIDE LEVELS

1:00 — 3:30 PM

Moon Underfoot: 3:17a

High Tide: 4:26 am 0.76 ft Low Tide: 12:13 am Low Tide: 11:36 am -0.25 ft High Tide: 5:28 am High Tide: 7:10 pm 0.80 ft Low Tide: 12:02 pm High Tide: 7:24 pm

0.44 ft 0.67 ft -0.08 ft 0.77 ft

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

12:58 am 6:45 am 12:28 pm 7:33 pm

0.31 ft 0.58 ft 0.11 ft 0.74 ft

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

1:45 am 8:25 am 12:53 pm 7:31 pm

0.15 ft 0.54 ft 0.32 ft 0.74 ft

A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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

F i s h

2:36 am 10:27 am 1:15 pm 7:11 pm

&

-0.01 ft Low Tide: 3:31 am 0.57 ft High Tide: 6:43 pm 0.52 ft 0.77 ft

-0.19 ft Low Tide: 4:31 am 0.85 ft High Tide: 6:32 pm

G a m e ® / J A N U A R Y

2 0 1 0

-0.39 ft 0.95 ft

I23

+1.0

0

-1.0


ALMANAC I.qxd:1001 Inland

12/3/09

9:46 AM

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NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION BEST:

7:45-9:40 AM

= Peak Fishing Period

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

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

25

26

THURSDAY

FRIDAY

 28

27

SATURDAY

SUNDAY

 30

 29

 31

Sunrise: 7:11a Moonrise: 1:08p

Set: 5:50p Set: 2:40a

Sunrise: 7:10a Moonrise: 2:06p

Set: 5:51p Set: 3:44a

Sunrise: 7:10a Moonrise: 3:12p

Set: 5:51p Set: 4:46a

Sunrise: 7:09a Moonrise: 4:23p

Set: 5:52p Set: 5:44a

Sunrise: 7:09a Moonrise: 5:36p

Set: 5:53p Set: 6:35a

Sunrise: 7:08a Moonrise: 6:47p

Set: 5:54p Set: 7:20a

Sunrise: 7:08a Moonrise: 7:56p

Set: 5:55p Set: 8:00a

AM Minor: 12:20a

PM Minor: 12:48p

AM Minor: 1:12a

PM Minor: 1:43p

AM Minor: 2:08a

PM Minor: 2:39p

AM Minor: 3:05a

PM Minor: 3:36p

AM Minor: 4:03a

PM Minor: 4:33p

AM Minor: 5:02a

PM Minor: 5:30p

AM Minor: 6:00a

PM Minor: 6:27p

AM Major: 6:34a

PM Major: 7:03p

AM Major: 7:28a

PM Major: 7:58p

AM Major: 8:23a

PM Major: 8:55p

AM Major: 9:20a

PM Major: 9:52p

AM Major: 10:18a

PM Major: 10:48p

AM Major: 11:16a

PM Major: 11:44p

AM Major: ——-

PM Major: 12:13p

Moon Overhead: 8:25p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 10:30p

Moon Overhead: 9:26p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 11:32p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 12:32a

Moon Overhead: None 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 1:28a 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

Tides and Prime Times for JANUARY 2010

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 7:55a +2.0

BEST:

-1.0

Moon Underfoot: 11:01a

BEST:

BEST:

2:00 — 4:00 AM

3:00 — 5:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 12:02p BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 1:00p BEST:

10:00A — 12:30P

Moon Underfoot: 1:55p +2.0

BEST:

12:00 — 2:00 AM

12:30 — 2:30 AM TIDE LEVELS

0

BEST:

1:00 — 3:00 AM

Moon Underfoot: 9:58a

TIDE LEVELS

9:00 — 11:00 AM

+1.0

Moon Underfoot: 8:55a

Low Tide: 5:32 am High Tide: 6:20 pm

I24

-0.59 ft Low Tide: 6:30 am 1.03 ft High Tide: 4:03 pm

• J A N U A R Y

2 0 1 0 /

-0.78 ft Low Tide: 1.11 ft High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

T E X A S

7:26 am 4:25 pm 8:31 pm 10:51 pm

F i s h

-0.94 ft Low Tide: 8:19 am 1.15 ft High Tide: 4:50 pm 1.05 ft Low Tide: 8:54 pm 1.06 ft

&

-1.03 ft High Tide: 12:44 am 1.13 ft Low Tide: 9:10 am 0.96 ft High Tide: 5:14 pm Low Tide: 9:33 pm

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

1.07 ft -1.03 ft 1.08 ft 0.80 ft

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

2:09 am 9:59 am 5:38 pm 10:19 pm

1.06 ft -0.91 ft 1.00 ft 0.58 ft

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

3:28 am 10:46 am 6:00 pm 11:09 pm

1.01 ft -0.70 ft 0.92 ft 0.33 ft

+1.0

0

-1.0


ALMANAC I.qxd:1001 Inland

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Page I25


ALMANAC I.qxd:1001 Inland

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9:46 AM

Page I26

Fish-N-Hunt: Paul Perrin’s Lasting Legacy ADE-FISHING THE COASTAL WATERS OF Texas and beyond would not be what it is today without Paul Perrin. You might know him as the commanding presence selling Walk-N-Wade leg guards for stingray protection at sport shows in the 1980s and 90s, exclaiming, “You’re crazy if you don’t wear these!” Or touting some other frank endorsement. Paul Perrin had a presence as big as Texas and although retired from the show circuit since 1998 due to a stroke, his legacy has only gained strength through time. It carries on through his inventions and innovations that make Wade-fishing safe and more comfortable than it was when he found-

ed Fish-N-Hunt Inc. with his wife Pat in 1984. His inventing spirit soared after witnessing a friend get hit by a stingray on a beach in Mexico.

I26

F i s h

W

• J A N U A R Y

2 0 1 0 /

T E X A S

by Chester Moore, Jr. Perrin years ago told the story to outdoor writer Jerry Labella for his story, “Stingrays: A Wade-fisherman’s Nightmare”. “After playing medic on a Mexican beach, I realized I was too old to go through the same thing he did,” Perrin recounted. What ensued was experimentation with a variety of materials eventually settling on the

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kind used in bulletproof vests. And of course, eventually there was testing with a live stingray, which fortunately for Perrin proved successful. “Dad definitely wasn’t afraid to experiment and that translated to the quality products we see today. He was always tinkering with something and refining things so it was functional and worked for the fishermen who were slugging it out wading day in and day out,” said his son Phil Perrin. Phil said his father was not afraid to use fear as a selling tactic and often put photos of real life stingray strikes at his booth. “He would tell people they were nuts not to protect themselves and had no fear in selling.” Mark Jennings remembers meeting Perrin at a sports show in Houston when he first started wade-fishing and at first being taken aback by the descriptions of a stingray strike. “I didn’t know if I should get into this Wade-fishing thing or not but after talking with Mr. Perrin I realized there was a way to protect myself. I never wade without one of his wading belts and always have stingray protection. I owe that to a chance meeting many years ago,” Jennings said. “The gear holds up. I recently went to the new store and upgraded some of my equipment and was impressed with all the company has to offer now.” That kind of testimony is greatly appreciated but common for the Perrins and the new owners of Fish-N-Hunt. “Dad never met a stranger out there and was very good with people and really cared about helping protect them and make their fishing more comfortable. That was very important to him,” Phil Perrin said. And so was fishing with his family and friends. “We never lacked for an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors and remember lots of good times on the water fishing for speckled trout and redfish.” Besides taking his family and clients fishing, Paul Perrin made sure that those without


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the same opportunities his family had were able to enjoy these pursuits as well. Bart Reece’s family bought insurance from Perrin and that relationship translated to one of mentoring in the great outdoors. “My father had polio when he was a young man and could not take me hunting and fishing but Paul Perrin took the time to make sure I had opportunities to fish and that had a really big impact on me and it still does,” Reece said. “It really says something about a man to take a young person under their wing like that and help them out.” Letting go of Fish-N-Hunt was not an easy task for the Perrin’s not necessarily because of nostalgia or finances but because of their concern Paul’s inven-

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unique amenities, they also make custom rods and carry Flatstalker Boats, American Rodsmiths Rods, Brown Lures, a variety of sporting art along with Got Tail and CCA licensed apparel. “This is a great place with lots of great gear for anyone with a love for coastal fishing,” said renowned coastal artist Sam Caldwell who attended a special event there last August to celebrate Perrin’s life. “You know people will benefit from Paul Perrin’s innovations for many, many years. Every time someone steps into their waders to wade-fish, they will be using something he invented or that one of his inventions inspired. Whether the anglers know it or not he has made their fishing easier and safer and that is quite a legacy to pass on.” Paul Perrin may have started out to simply

solve a problem he saw but instead he has fundamentally changed Wade-fishing forever. His works are still benefiting the many people he came into contact with, and so many more through dogged determination, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a giving heart.

On the Web See an extended video tribute to Paul and Pat Perrin at www.fishgame.com/videocenter.

This is a great place with lots of great gear for anyone with a love for coastal fishing.

tions would continue to be made with quality. “I have made much bigger deals with many other companies that took a whole lot less time to do. The Perrins wanted to be sure everything was going to be done just right and that is part of what makes doing business with them such a pleasure,” said Mac Delaup of Fish-N-Hunt. Fish-N-Hunt continues with a commitment to its customers to provide exceptional fishing and hunting products, made of high quality materials for durability and use only proven innovative designs for functionality, comfort, and protection. Operated by friends who have a passion for the great outdoors, Perrin’s tradition of developing and producing unique, functional and long lasting gear lives on through the company’s products being sold all along the Gulf Coast and in a new retail location at 5829 Sam Houston Parkway in Houston. Besides the wading belts, nets, shooting blind bags, shotgun shell carriers and other A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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Yeti Coolers Grizzly Bear Proof The Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee (IGBC), a board overseen by the U.S. Forest Service, has tested the Yeti Tundra 250 qt cooler and approved it as a Grizzlyproof container. This means the entire line of Yeti Tundra Coolers (35, 45, 65, 85, 105, 120, 155 and now 250 qt.) have been deemed Grizzly-proof! “We’re proud to be the first cooler to survive the IGBC tests,” says Ryan Seiders, owner of Yeti Coolers,” and proud that our entire Tundra line has passed the tests.” The IGBC testing simulates bear attacks and then subjects products to an hour encounter with two adult Grizzly bears. The ultimate goal is to eliminate accidental bear feeding. Once a bear is fed, it will come back to a campsite, typically necessitating that the bear be destroyed. So, not only will a Yeti Cooler protect your food, it will protect the bears, as well. Yeti’s Grizzly-proof durability is the result of polyethylene, one-piece, rotationalmolded construction, which is the same material

a n d process used to make whitewater kayaks. The lids are also one-piece, molded and attached to the cooler body with a metal rod through a fulllength hinge. The cooler can be securely I28

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closed through integrated padlock ports on both front corners. Padlocks are required for the cooler to be bear-proof. Yeti Tundra coolers are also known by outdoor experts as the best insulated coolers available, with commercial-grade, polyurethane foam insulation that’s four to six times thicker than other coolers. For additional information on GrizzlyProof Yeti Tundra coolers, call 512-3949384, email yeticoolers@gmail.com, or go to www.yeticoolers.com.

Po-Pole Shallow Water Anchor Po-Pole is an aluminum bracket, either custom made for your transom angle or adjustable with a ¾” x 8’or 1” x 10’ solid fiberglass pole that slides through the bracket into the bottom to anchor your boat. The 10’ pole is designed to be used as a push pole also. Prices range from $140.00 (8’ stationary bracket) to $250.00 (10’ pole, adjustable bracket and pole holder clips). This product was designed for the angler on a budget. It does everything the electric/hydraulic unit does for a fraction of a cost. For more information, visit Po-Pole.com, call Roger at (281)910-0317, or email rdomingue6@att.net. F i s h

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Prime Location a Crooked Tree? No Problem Have you ever found that perfect spot for a day of prime hunting and then realized your treestand would not sit correctly on the tree and you had to find another spot? Amacker Outdoors has the perfect treestand for you. The Jack Plate Timb-R-Lock® Treestand has an innovative design that allows the stand to attach to any tree trunk or limb, whether it’s vertical, horizontal or anything in between. The Jack Plate Timb-RLock is fixed to the tree in two places by sturdy nylon straps and secured by tightening the straps with the ratchets until the stand is tightly flush against the tree surface. The T-Bar screw is added for aid in hanging the stand. Once the large 25” x 33” platform is in place, the stabilizer pin is removed allowing the seat and platform to level at any angle. The adjustable padded seat can be flipped up so the user can stand straight up or lean back against it. As Joe Amacker says, “If it ain’t an Amacker, it ain’t worth hangin’!” To learn more about Amacker products please go to www.amacker.com or contact Jennifer Thomas at jthomas@sellmark.net or 817225-0310 x113.

ICON Waterproof Flashlights Whether you’re taking a night cruise, working deep in the engine or docking at dusk, there’s one tool you won’t think of


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until you can’t go on without it. Introducing ICON, a line of sleek, long-lasting LED flashlights, with a waterproof O-ring seal that protects the light up to two meters deep. Rogue (www.myiconlight.com) has two separate compact models made perfect for everyday use. The state-of-the-art LED light guarantees long lasting light. Ergonomically designed, ICON has an open-architecture structure, never before seen in the consumer flashlight market. This design provides a solid grip, leaving hands cool and dry. Virtually indestructible, the aerospace -aluminum body means it can be dropped, thrown and rattled around without any damage. The Rogue 1 design is smaller (4.5 inches), requiring online one AA battery, while Rogue 2 is longer (6.5 inches), and requires two AA batteries. . Both come in three stylish colors-silver, green and black. Don’t be caught in the dark on the water - rely on ICON. Visit www.myiconlight.com.

Stormy Kromer Cord Cap New for fall 2009, Stormy Kromer introduces their Cord cap. When it comes to rugged good looks, the folks at Stormy Kromer tend to err on the side of rugged. So it was with that in mind that this attractive (yet fully functional) cap was created. Made in the USA with a 100% cotton cord outer and a 1 0 0 % broadcloth

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A Step Up for Man, a Leap in Safety and Convenience The new STEP n TOW swing out step is a versatile tool for pick-up trucks and SUV’s. It allows easy access to the pick-up bed or roof racks. From the durable galvanized, powder coated finish to the 18”, 90° swing out safe non-skid rubber foot- step, this product boasts quality through and through. Fits any standard 2” receiver, ideal for the home owner, farm, DIY, contractors, trailers (utility, travel, camping and boating), any-

one and everyone needing access to the back of a pick-up truck or the roof rack of any sport utility vehicles. STEP n TOW always offers convenience and safety for everyone in the family or work place. STEP n TOW also becomes a versatile

winch mounting platform with the addition of the winch mounting block (p/n 72251). This system will satisfy any standard two bolt mounting pattern with winches up to 3000 lb capacity. Simply place the STEP n TOW in the 2” receiver and you’re ready to pull in more ways than one. Features at a glance: • Fits any standard 2” receiver • 2” drop, 3/4” rise • Rated to 6000 lb (V5 certified) • Rugged two step galvanized then powder coat finish • Safe non-skid foot-step • 18” swing out step, locks into position, rated at 350 lb in the open or closed position • Winch Mount (2 bolt pattern up to 3000 lb) Step n Tow is a small manufacturing and marketing company located in northeastern Connecticut referred to as the “Quiet Corner”. The Step n Tow was developed like most “niche” products, out of necessity. It was the idea of John Lipski that eventually evolved into the Step n Tow. In 2005, after years of fumbling with the ball mount and step idea, the Step n Tow began to take shape and now is a reality. See it at StepnTow.com or call 860-9350121.

l i n e r, this cap offers all the durability of its wooly cousin, just with a little more flair. The stylish unisex design is coveted equally by men and women. For more information call 906-9321339 or go to www.stormykromer.com.

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New Marlin Bolt-Action OR AS LONG AS I CAN REMEMBER, MARLIN Firearms has been known for its leveraction rifles. While they have made both bolt-action and semi-auto .22 rimfires, their bread and butter have been the lever-actions in .30-30 and .45-70.

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Now, Marlin has stepped outside their comfort zone and introduced a new bolt-action centerfire rifle. My test sample of the XL-7 in .30-06 is a standard, off-the-rack, Plain Jane model with blued metal and synthetic stock. The most eye-catching aspect of the gun is the new trigger. It resembles the Savage AccuTrigger, but is supposed to be completely different. First impression was favorable: The gun is well fitted, the stock is well designed, and when I put it to my shoulder, it felt like it belonged there. The bolt worked smoothly, more smoothly that I expected for the modest cost of the gun. The only negative I could find at first glance was with the Pro-Fire ™ trigger. I expected, after all the publicity, a welladjusted, crisp, light trigger. However, it was creepy and gritty. It broke at 3.5 pounds consistently, but could have been better finished. My buddy Todd Tate and I mounted a scope on the gun and headed out to the range. First ammo up was some Fiocchi RWS I30

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with 180-grain bullets. I had received this for testing last year and never got around to shooting it. This would be a great time to try it. Todd was doing the shooting and I was spotting for him; we had already sighted the gun at 25 yards. He fired the first shot 100 and it was an inch or so low and left. Since we were shooting for group, we didn’t change the sights. Todd sent number 2 downrange. I was watching through a spotting scope but couldn’t find the shot on the foot-square target.

“I think you pulled that one off the paper,” I said. “Try another shot.” Todd gave me a dirty look, but hunkered down behind the Marlin, pulled it up tight to his shoulder, peered through the scope, and carefully squeezed off the third shot. At first, I thought he had missed again, then I noticed that the hole from the first shot looked a bit oblong through the 25-power

by Steve LaMascus Alpen spotting scope. We walked down to the target board and, sure enough, the hole was just slightly enlarged. Still, we could clearly see the evidence of all three bullets. The group measured…. Well, I don’t know, exactly, but it was certainly less than a halfinch, and probably around a quarter-inch. I was impressed — with Todd’s shooting, the new Marlin, and the Fiocchi ammo. But one group does not make a proper test and it does not prove the true accuracy of the gun! Shooting continued with other ammo. Next up was a handload consisting of 165-grain Hornady InterBonds over 58 grains of H4350, sparked by Federal Gold Medal Match primers. The Marlin liked F i s h

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them okay, but not as well as the Fiocchi. The InterBonds printed groups of between 1 ¼ and 1 ½ inches. Winchester 150-grain Super-X Power Points were next and shot wonderfully, around an inch. Federal’s 150-grain PowerShok was next at bat and also ran just at an inch. Altogether, the rifle was supremely accurate. Average accuracy with all loads tested was between 1- and 1-1/4-inches. Even today with computer-controlled manufacturing, any rifle that will average one-inch 3-

shot groups is above average. This gun is one I feel confident in recommending. On the surface, it seems to have taken the best parts of such time-tested guns as the Weatherby Vanguard and Savage 110 and combined them into a rocksolid gun that shoots great and sells for what we today consider dirt-cheap. Retail price on these guns runs from about $325.00 to just over $350.00. While there is nothing earthshakingly novel in its makeup, this is my choice for the best new gun of the decade.

E-mail Steve LaMascus at guns@fishgame.com

PHOTO COURTESY MARLIN FIREARMS


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LastMinute Deer NOTHER YEAR HAS PASSED US BY, BUT IN some parts of Texas, deer season is still going strong. If you have a tag and an empty freezer, you still have a good chance to score on a nice whitetail. You will just need to know where to find them. It is time to change hunting tactics a bit. With all the hunting pressure in the woods lately, the deer have learned to adapt once again and go into survival mode. All year long deer have to avoid the hog hunters, hikers, and just about any other human activity in the woods. Now add to the equation a number of deer hunters, both bow and rifle, that have invaded the whitetail’s home turf, and you will be amazed that there are any deer left in the woodlot at all. Where do they go? How can you find them? After being chased all season, the deer find the most unlikely places to hide until the pressure cools down a bit. In order to find these elusive masters you will most likely have to put up with a few people who may think you have totally lost it. You should try hunting in those small islands in the middle of fields. Or those little 2-acre woodlots that you find in the middle of nowhere. Get in there well before it thinks of getting light and just sit and wait. If deer are using the field to feed in, you might find the buck you were looking for heading straight for your “island” where he feels secure. I mean…who in their right mind would search for him there?

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I know what you are thinking. You just have no confidence that the deer are really in there. Oh, you read about it and have read about it before, but still you have a hard time convincing yourself that you are not wasting your time. My answer to that is, “What have you got to lose?” You already have spent countless number of hours searching for him in your favorite woodlot and you still have your tag. He just might be in that small sweet spot that no one would ever think of hunting. If you are like me, by this time of the year, you are so tired of getting up at dark thirty in the morning, your warm bed, and some much needed sleep sound so much better than yet another trek in the woods trying to bring home some venison. It is not a bad idea to try your luck later in the day. So how can you expect to fill your tag in the middle of the day when the deer are already in their beds? I agree that it is extremely difficult to be successful if you are alone. The deer hear you coming from a mile away and are ready to sneak off to parts unknown. I have tried a couple of tricks that have worked—at least some of the time. You will need the aid of a friend or two. Here is where you find who your real friends are. The first thing you need to do after locating a small patch of woods is to check the wind direction. Both you and your buddy should line up at one end of the thicket. Keep the wind in your face and have you friend start to zigzag slowly through his side of the woods. Wait about five minutes or so and then you should start to walk slowly through your side of the woods. It is important that you are as quiet as you can be. By zigzagging through one side of the woods, any deer that may be bedded down should simply sneak off to the other side of the woods and wait for your friend to pass on by. Often times, a deer will not only move to the other side of the woods, but will try to circle behind the intruder to catch his scent and then bed back down. This is why you, as the second A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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driver, should be alert at all times. If a deer is indeed bedded down there, you have an excellent chance of seeing him try to sneak away from the first driver and walk right to you unaware of your presence. If you see him before he sees you, you might fill your freezer that afternoon! Another way to drive deer in the late season involves two of your friends. If you already know a well used deer trail that could be an escape route, set up near that deer run. It is important to remember to keep the wind in your face. Have your buddies walk along the outer perimeter of the small woodlot. They should carry with them something that would leave a foreign smell to the woods. It could be some cheap cologne, after shave, or even a can of W-D 40. Every once in a while, they can spray a little of this scent onto a bush as they walk the outside of the woods. Now you are using the buck’s best defense, his nose, against him. Have your friends start slowly bumping the deer along in the woods towards you. If the deer start to head for the edge of the woodlot, they will smell what they perceive to be danger. After all, they just heard someone walking the edge of their bedroom. They will want to stay in the woods and your friends should bump the deer right to you. It might work…might not, but it sure beats watching the hunting shows on TV while you still have a tag to fill.

E-mail Lou Marullo at lmarullo@fishgame.com

www.facebook.com/pages/Texas-Fish-Game-Magazine/86524948620

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day, Chuck Cotton, a friend of the Hughes’, found when he went to check the baited line they had a gator, but didn’t know how big it was, as the line and bait were under water.

A Boy and his Alligator

by Tom Behrens “Bring Simon,” was the first thing Scott Hughes heard from Cotton when he answered the phone. “We have a gator!” Simon is a little over 3 feet tall and

HAT DAD DOESN’T WAIT FOR THE special day when his son or daughter bags their first deer? How about when their offspring bags their first alligator—a possible staterecord size gator? Five-year-old Simon Hughes dispatched a 12-foot, 6-inch alligator weighing 800plus pounds with a single shot from his trusty .410 shotgun. The gator was taken from a slough off the Trinity River below Lake Livingston. The area is a part of private wetlands that the family owns. In July, Scott Hughes, Simon’s dad, after surveying a pond on their acreage, noticed an overabundance of alligators in the 8-foot length. He applied to Texas Parks & Wildlife Department for harvest tags and received two. A line baited with roadkill armadillo was hung over the water on Saturday. The next

weighs maybe 45 pounds, but like many kids in the Pineywoods of east Texas, can

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handle a gun. He has been practicing for over a year. “I asked, ‘What size is he?’,” Hughes said, referring to the alligator. “I can’t tell,” replied Cotton. “I think he’s hung up in deadfall. I can’t budge it. I think he’s dead.” After Scott and Simon made it down to the slough, Scott Hughes and Chuck Cotton pulled on the line and couldn’t budge the reptile. “We hooked the baited line to the ATV winch on the mule we rode in on,” said Hughes. “We had to chock the tires on the mule to keep it from sliding backwards.” For a while, it was a tug of war between the winch and the gator. The gator, which wasn’t dead, was winning the battle as the ATV started sliding down the bank. Finally, the winch began winning the battle, slowly inching the monster gator to the surface. “He had to come up for air, but we never noticed it,” said Hughes. “He was full of fight.” Simon was ready with his shotgun, never retreating as the gator came up out of the water. He was standing on the bank next to Cotton within 6 feet of the gator. PHOTOS COURTESY THE HUGHES FAMILY


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TROPHY FEVER PHOTOS

WHITETAIL BUCK—CORYELL COUNTY

WHITETAIL BUCK—LLANO COUNTY

WHITETAIL BUCK—WEBB COUNTY

Chance McMullins of Rowlett, Texas, shot his first deer—a 10-point buck—in Coryell County.

Laura Massingill with son Mason, age 5, of Dallas, Texas, took her first buck in Llano County. The 8-pointer was shot with a .22-250.

Danny Alcocer, Jr., age 15, of Laredo, Texas, shot this 9-point buck with a 7.08mm in Webb County. This was Danny’s first buck.

“We got him up the first time and he went back down; had to hit the reverse on the winch,” said Hughes. “Chuck knew it was a big gator. I, as yet, had never seen it. It took about 40 minutes, but we got him up a second time and got his head out of the water. Simon shot him behind the right eye, in the gator’s brain, with his single-shot .410 shotgun.” “The gator did his death roll,” said Simon.

He wasn’t next to the line, but Scott Hughes started yelling for Cotton to get Simon out of the way. “I didn’t know if the gator was going to go down the bank toward him, or try to come out on the bank.” At the same time, a fearless Simon was trying to reload his single shot .410. Finally, after a four-hour battle, the dead alligator was up on the bank. Chris Gregory, the TPWD big game biologist for Polk County, estimated the trophy gator was 35-

40 years old. The head alone weighed 109 pounds. Danny Moye of Moye’s Taxidermy is mounting the alligator’s head: “I’m glad we don’t have to mount this one life-size because I would have to build a body to fit him. You can’t buy a mannequin this big.” Simon said of the adventure: “Well, I got my gun out and shot him.”

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HE 48-FOOT SPORTFISHERMAN SUDDENLY lists to port, and the captain opens the engine room to discover massive flooding. With the batteries over-topped, he’s shocked the moment he tries to enter the compartment to turn on the crash pumps. Unable to evacuate the water, the boat sinks in minutes. Halfway across the state, two divers, overcome by a strong tide, are pulled away from their boat and out to sea. They float away from shore without anyone noticing, and no boats are within sight. Miles inland, a canoeist overturns, smacking his head against a rock outcropping. He struggles to shore, and spits warm blood on the ground.

All of the people involved in these lifethreatening accidents survive, thanks to modern technology. Modern safety gear technology has advanced so far, and the prices have dropped so much, that there’s almost no excuse for not taking advantage of it. Today, we have a wide range of gear that gives your safety margin a huge boost—but are you taking full advantage of it? If not, then it’s time to check out these seven safety items that have become common and inexpensive thanks to advances in modern technology. Any or all of them could save your life. DSC DELIVERY: DSC capability is in all fixed-mount VHF radios sold today, and has been for several years. Unless your radio is more then 10 years old it’s quite likely that it is DSC equipped. And unfortunately, it’s nearly as likely that you haven’t set up your equipment for DSC broadcasting. It’s a shameful but simple reality: most guys simply don’t bother to hook DSC up. Is your VHF’s DSC active right now? If the answer is “no,” then don’t bother reading any farther—the single most important thing you can

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do to immediately increase your safety factor by a huge margin is to get it up and running. Hooking up and activating DSC is much simpler then most people think. To get it functional all you need to do is get a free (FREE!) MMSI number, which takes all of two minutes on the BoatU.S. website (www.boatus.com and click on the “safety” tab, then look for “MMSI number”). Then interface your VHF and your GPS. This is also easier then you’d think, since the vast majority of units now talk to each other via NMEA0183. We’re talking about splicing together three wires. That’s it. You say you don’t have a color-coded diagram of the wires sprouting out of your radio? You can find it for virtually any unit with a simple Google search. Take these two painless steps, and when you transmit a distress call, your exact latitude and longitude will be transmitted with it automatically, as will your vessel name and pertinent information. DON’T CELL IT SHORT: By now just about everyone relies on their cell phone, but just about everyone has also discovered that these devices must not be depended on as safety gear because at times, even in areas with perfectly good cell coverage, they inexplicably fail to work. When they do work, however, they make for incredibly fast and convenient communications. And you can broaden their usefulness as a safety device by mounting a cell amplifier on your boat. These units are surprisingly affordable - Digital Antenna’s DA 4000 cell phone amplifier, for example, costs about $200 plus $200 more for the necessary antenna and hardware. That seems like a worthwhile expenditure, since you’ll be able to use your cell phone 30 to 50 miles from the nearest towers. Another cellular advancement that can give you a safety boost is the advent of waterproof phones. A few years ago, a waterproof cell was hard to come by, and the least expensive models went for $350 or more. Today, however, you can pick up a waterproof cell for a hair under $200.


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E-PERFECT: EPIRB (emergency position indicating radio beacon,) has been around a while now, and remains the most reliable form of distress beacon on the water today. Activate an EPIRB and the Coast Guard knows where you are, who you are, and that you’re in serious trouble. EPIRBs interface with Cospas-Sarsat, the international SAR (search and rescue) satellite system, which then calculates your position via triangulation (or GPS, when the EPIRB is GPSequipped). So far, EPIRBs have assisted in the rescue of over 22,000 people. So, why doesn’t everyone carry one? Even the cheap ones go for close to a grand. P-PERFECT: An alternative to the EPIRB is a PLB, or Personal Locator Beacon. These are smaller (about the size of a handheld GPS), lighter, and less expensive than EPIRBS. Much less expensive, in fact, with the average PLB running between $400 and $500. The main difference between these units is that EPIRBS are meant to broadcast a Mayday for a vessel, while PLBs broadcast for an individual. They can be clipped to a life jacket or belt loop with a lanyard. EPIRBS, meanwhile, are significantly larger and heavier and are commonly mounted to the boat itself. PFDELIVERY: Few of us wear PFDs because we’ve been boating for years with only one option, the big puffy orange thing. Fat chance you’ll wear that all day, right? I wouldn’t either. But that argument went the way of the dodo years ago, when inflatable PFDs became USCG approved. Today, you can get either suspender-types or belt packs, in ripcord or water-activated versions. Suspenders are considered safer because once activated no further action is required to keep you afloat, while belt packs inflate in front of your body and need you to pull the collar over your head for proper deployment. Both are far more comfortable than the orangies. I’ve requested everyone on my boat wear belt packs while offshore for the past 10 years, and through literally thousands of uses, only two people have ever complained that they were uncomfortable and only one has every inflated accidentally. Luckily, we’ve never needed them, but if the time ever comes, they could be true lifesavers. SATELLITE SAVERS: Satellite messengers are the latest assistants in both marine and landbased SAR situations. The SPOT satellite messenger (www.findmespot.com) is a unit you’ve probably heard about in the past few

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years, as a good alternative to an EPIRB or PLB. They’re smaller (about the size of a compact hand-held GPS) and much less expensive ($100 for the unit and $100 per year to keep them activated,) yet they accomplish the same mission. When you press the 911 button on a SPOT it sends your GPS coordinates and an emergency alert to the GEOS emergency response center in Houston, Texas. GEOS then dispatches emergency responders in your area, in an average time of 11 minutes. Added bonus feature:

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Multi-piece Paddles AYAK PADDLES ARE THE MODEL OF simplicity when it comes to marine propulsion. Unlike outboard engines, there are no batteries to charge and keep free of corrosion; no need to fill them with gas or top off fluid levels; they don’t need additives to flush out injectors; and don’t have water pumps that fail. I have never heard of a kayak paddle described as cold natured, cantankerous, or said to be clearing its throat. No, paddles are rather simple devices free of the complexities associated with power boating. But as simple as they are, multi-piece paddles do require a bit of care to keep them in top shape and to extend their useful life. A good paddle is a solid investment. Get stuck using a cheap stick on fishing trip covering several miles, and you quickly realize that a bargain-bin paddle is a waste of money. Good paddles with fiberglass blades can be found in the $100-200 range, and carbon paddles push the price tag to around $400. Until you log some hours in a kayak, it is hard to wrap your mind around paying four Cnotes for a paddle. But if you paddle miles at a time, they are worth every penny. One of the first things most kayak shops hear when someone drops a large sum on a

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paddle is: How do I take care of it? The new paddle owner obviously wants to take good care of their purchase. Although higher-end paddles are relatively maintenance free, they do require a bit of attention. Multi-piece paddles have 2-4 sections that join with a ferrule joint. The tolerance between the male and female pieces is measured in thousandths of an inch. Such a close fit is required to ensure the assembled sections feel like a single shaft and don’t wobble when you paddle. It doesn’t take much to interfere with such a finely engineered joint, especially in the outdoors. Sand, grit, river slime, and salt residue are tiny invaders that penetrate ferrule joints. You must rid the ferules of these invading particles or that clean, snug fit will become a thing of the past. It is important that you wash your paddle after every trip. Start by disassembling all of the sections. Next, wash each with clear, running water, paying close attention to the ferrules. Soap isn’t needed, just water. If you got lots of crud in the ferrule, you might swab out the joint with a finger, but that should be enough to dislodge any clinging particles. Once all of the sections have been rinsed, store them in a standing position to allow the water to run off. Ignore these simple steps, and you might find that you own a new one-piece paddle, if you get my drift. I bought a used two-piece fiberglass paddle last month, and the seller admitted that he couldn’t separate the sections. Working together, we twisted the sections in opposite directions while pulling them apart. Slowly, we got the stuck joint to loosen.

TEXAS BOATING  Continued from Page I-35 tems, like Raymarine’s Life Tag and MobiLert, are small monitors, which can be worn by everyone onboard. They wirelessly broadcast to a base station, mounted at the helm of your boat. When the link is broken – as in, someone has fallen off the boat – an alert is I36

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broadcast and an “incident” waypoint is established on your GPS. These systems aren’t cheap ($700-1000) but their value is incalculable.

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A quick inspection revealed salt residue inside. Plenty of water and a soft kitchen towel loosened the remnants of the gentleman’s last bay trip, and the joint is now good as new. Although tempting, never add lubricant to your ferrule. The lubricant, especially petroleum-based spray, will gum up over time, ultimately attracting more grime. When grime and grit get inside the ferrule joint, they grind away with every stroke. The best bet is to keep the ferrule as clean as possible to ensure the paddle’s longevity. Should you be wishing you had read these pearls of wisdom last year and cant break your paddle down into sections, first enlist the help of a friend. Two people working together can often separate the halves of an obdurate, pigheaded paddle. If you aren’t successful, there are three other options: Use more drastic action, take the paddle to a full service kayak shop, or return it to the manufacturer. Shipping objects longer than 5 feet costs a premium, so most kayakers go for option one or two. The object is to separate the sections without doing any harm to the ferrule joint or paddle shaft. Kayak shops use heat guns to quickly warm the female section of the joint, causing it to expand slightly. The miniscule amount of expansion is sometimes enough to break the bond between paddle halves. The heat needs to be applied quickly and in the right spot so the paddle’s shaft expands, but isn’t burned. The same applies to fingers and hands. Maintaining a kayak paddle isn’t much different than maintaining any other fishing tackle. It really is simple; you just need the will to do it after every trip. Swap notes with Greg and other TF&G staff on-line at the new Texas Fish & Game Community Forums: www.forum.fishgame.com.

Email Greg Berlocher at kayak@fishgame.com


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Vermilion Candy ERMILION SNAPPER EAT THIS BAIT LIKE IT’S candy, hence the name. It is soft artificial bait strips, specifically Berkley Gulp! and Carr Specialty Baits Fishbites. With the long closure period of the red snapper fishery in Federal waters, vermilion snapper, which has no closure, gains in importance as a targeted offshore species. They have become “the other snapper.” Vermilion are usually found in large numbers, unlike lane and mangrove snapper, which also have no closed season. Standard vermilion snapper baits are small natural squid strips, but these artificials are another way to go. The captain and a fisherman earlier urged me to try some Gulp! baits. The final push came from another fellow fisherman, Lee Bull. Telling me of his success catching a vermilion snapper double limit while on an overnight offshore trip finally convinced me. With input from those three guys, I finally put some I had been carrying on several trips to good use. They did indeed work, not only “as advertised” but, more importantly, as my fishing friends said they would. They are relatively small baits. Their scent, look, natural feel, and toughness on the hook lets you make multiple catches on each piece. They

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come in an assortment of shapes, sizes, and colors. The one I am referring to is Berkley Gulp! Saltwater that comes in a pouch containing 30 triangular shaped pieces with rounded ends. Mine were labeled “squid.” The Fishbites, also labeled Saltwater, are packaged 15 to a resealable pouch with each triangular piece measuring about the same size as the Gulp! baits. Mine were labeled “crab.” Both have the same vermilion snapper catching ability.

Rigging up for vermilion snapper is best accomplished with a double or triple drop 40-pound mono leader. At the top is a 130pound Spro Power Swivel, followed by two or three dropper knot loops, and a surgeon’s F i s h

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loop at the bottom. Each dropper loop gets a circle hook that has its mono loop passing through its eye from the bend side of the hook, and then looped around the hook shank twice. A bank sinker is attached to the bottom loop. Usually, a 2- to 4-ounce sinker is enough to keep the rig vertical in the water when fished. I use several manufacturers’ circle hooks. All have a bend portion that is about the size of a nickel. They are: Gamakatsu 42412, 3/0; Eagle Claw L2004EL, 6/0; Daiichi D84Z, 3/0; and Mustad 39951 BLN, 3/0. These are all in-line, non-stainless steel. An educated guess as to the depth to be fishing can be obtained from the depthfinder on your boat, or from the deck crew if on a charter or party boat. Bait time in the strike zone is increased by virtue of not having to re-bait nearly as often as when using natural squid. Hesitation in using Gulp! or Fishbites no doubt resulted in my taking less vermilion snapper, plus who knows what else. The “what else” to be caught includes just about anything that eats fish or squid in offshore waters. This particular double or triple drop rig, while fished mostly at the mid-depths when targeting vermilion snapper, is really a bottomfishing rig. Built and baited as described, it is also bound to be very effective for pier, beach, and bay fishing. These Gulp! and Fishbites baits are indeed “Vermilion Candy.” Give them a try and don’t hesitate as I did. They will be another part of your fishing arsenal, along with this sure-fire rig that gets it done.

E-mail Patrick Lemire at saltrigs@fishgame.com ILLUSTRATION BY PATRICK LEMIRE


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Capps and Coleman Rig HILE NOT EVEN CLOSE TO BEING AS large as the bass fishing tournament circuit, the world of crappie fishing for money is still competitive and has its own angling celebrities. These men won’t rival the superstars of BASS, but at the top of this short list of competitive crappie anglers are the names Ronnie Capps and Steve Coleman, who together have six National Championships and over $1.3 million in winnings. It is obvious these men know what they are doing so it would be wise to learn the techniques they use to win tournaments, the most popular being a trolling rig appropriately named the Capps and Coleman Rig. This rig can be found pre-tied and purchased from BNM Fishing but if you’re on the lake and need one immediately here’s how to make it. This is a rig used for slow trolling at depths greater than five feet and can be used to go 30 to 40 feet deep. If you are using this rig in deep water, use lighter line that will cut through the water easier making the presentation hang more vertically beneath the boat. This means there is less line out between the rod tip and the bait, which means less line to stretch when you set the hook or bow when you change speed and direction. This rig is fairly simple and can be made with items you should have rolling around the bottom of your tackle box right now. All you’ll need is a three-way-swivel, a couple hooks or jigs, some weight, and leader material. Start the rig by tying your main line to one of the eyes on the three-way-swivel. The type of knot used isn’t important for imparting action on the rig so just use the one you feel most comfortable tying. This next part is just personal preference but if you are holding the swivel in front of you

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with the eye pointing straight up that has the main line tied on then on the bottom right eye tie on a short leader around 18 inches to two feet long. Use a light monofilament, six to eight pound, for your leader material. On the end of this leader, tie on one of the hooks or small (1/32 or 1/64th) jigs. I prefer jigs due to their versatility. You can change colors, skirt material or even tip it with a minnow but sometimes a simple hook and minnow is more effective, especially in the winter when crappie are lethargic and unwilling to bite. On the last swivel eye (which currently has nothing attached) tie on another leader made from the same six to eight pound monofilament, but this time make it a long one. The

leader should be at least four feet long and can stretch as far as eight feet depending on angler preference. On the end of this leader, again tie on either a small bait hook or jig. If you’re not

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sure what mood the fish are in then use a minnow on one leader and a jig on the other until you figure out which one the fish are hitting better. On this longer leader, about 18 inches to two feet below the threeway swivel, crimp on a rubber core sinker. The size of the sinker needed is dependent on how deep and how fast you want to troll. If you plan to troll rather quickly or deep then use a minimum of a 1-ounce sinker. If you don’t have a rubber core sinker then multiple split shot can be used as substitute. To fish this rig most crappie anglers put out a few rods off the front of the boat, point the bow into the wind, and slowly troll along the

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Flatsmaster Assassin HEN I HEAR THE TERM “SPINNERBAIT,” I conjure up images of “safety pin” style lures equipped with a double hook and a rudimentary rubber skirt girdled tightly around a leadhead. The early spinnerbaits of my youth, like the H&H and Pico Piggy Boat, were deadly on bass but easy on the wallet. Reports of Louisiana anglers catching marsh redfish on spinnerbaits were initially regarded as fish stories and dismissed out of hand but eventually Lone Star anglers caught on and spinnerbaits are now a common sight on saltwater fishing trips. Spinnerbaits have grown in popularity on the Texas coast to the point that “saltwater spinnerbaits” are now marketed. The gang at Bayside Sales sent me a handful of Flatsmaster Assassin spinnerbaits to try on my next trip to the coast. Made by Cape Lookout Lures in North Carolina, the Flatsmaster Assassin features a weedless spoon as its base with a wire arm and spinner coming off the front. The design goal was immediately clear: combine the wobble of weedless spoon with the flutter and vibration of a spinnerbait. New tackle to test mandates an immediate fishing trip in order to do a full-fledged evaluation. This of course irked my child bride, but risking a serious case of matrimonial stick-eye, I pressed on. My tires crunched to a halt the next morning 20 minutes before first light. I quickly knotted on a topwater, tucked two Flatsmaster Assassins in my shirt pocket, and slinked through the spartina grass into the shin-deep bay water. The wind and tide were right; even the mosquitoes left me alone as I quietly eased through the dappled water. There was only

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one problem: no bait activity. Thirty minutes passed with not even a hint of interest in my topwater. Now that the baseline had been established I clipped off the topwater plug, substituting the gold Flatsmaster Assassin. Even before the first cast I was somewhat surprised by the heft of the lure. A long, arching cast was made across the grass bed I was exploring. The bail of my spinning reel snapped close and the line came tight, a pleasing vibration tingled its way up the twelve-pound test mono. My rod tipped bowed a bit, reacting to the resistance of the spinning blade, but it wasn’t a deep arch like the type you get from a deep-diving crankbait. Twenty minutes passed without a strike. Although I was still fishless, I was beginning to like the Flatsmaster Assassin. The wire arm comes off the eye of the spoon and makes a 90 degree bend; the short arm provides the pinot point for the spinner. I was concerned that the wire harness would become horribly tangled during a cast. I was wrong. I discovered you could retrieve the Flatsmaster Assassin very slowly and dance it across the top of thick seagrass. As I fished my way back to my Suburban, I probed the water edge of the bright green spartina edging the bay. In a flash, the water humped up in front of a charging red that had switched on its automatic targeting mechanism. Overcome with adrenaline, I set the hook prematurely, quickly snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. The whiff was a rookie mistake, leaving me disgruntled but confirmed in my belief that the Flatsmaster Assassin can be counted on to draw strikes, even when conditions don’t cooperate. Overall, I give the Flatsmaster Assassin a F i s h

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good grade. The lure in 5 inches long, weighs 3/8 ounce and comes in ten different colors, and has stick-on eyes. Depending on your preference, you can buy the Flatsmaster Assassin with either of two styles of willow leaf blades. Although the lure has a number of plusses, a few negatives prevent it from being the next Bo Derek. First, the hook wasn’t as sharp as I would like it to be. Touching it up with a hone or file would be a good idea before hitting the water. Straight from the packaging, the wire weed guard on the back of the spoon did little to prevent strands of shoal grass from accumulating on the single hook. It took me several attempts to reposition the weed guard to deter the grass buildup but eventually I could claim the lure truly weedless. The Flatsmaster Assassin is available at Fishing Tackle Unlimited in Houston, Marburger’s in Seabrook, Tackle Town in Rockport, and select Academy Stores.

On the Web www.capelookoutlures.com Email Greg Berlocher at fishthis@fishgame.com PHOTO BY GREG BERLOCHER


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What is a Keith Bullet? HAVE NO IDEA HOW MANY TIMES I HAVE HEARD some type of semi-wadcutter bullet called a “Keith bullet.” It seems that the term has become generic for a semi-wadcutter, and that is inaccurate. There are semi-wadcutters, and there are Keith bullets. All Keith bullets are semi-wadcutters, but not all semi-wadcutters are Keiths. A semi-wadcutter is a lead bullet (generally, although some jacketed or coated bullets have that form) that has a square shoulder and a square-pointed nose extending well forward of the shoulder. These are the only mandatory distinguishing features that I know of for a semi-wadcutter, and they are shared with the Keith. On the other hand, a true Keith bullet is a very distinct form of the semi-wadcutter. In 1928, Elmer Keith sent a crude drawing of a bullet to Lyman Products (then called Lyman Gun Sight Corporation), which had recently purchased Ideal. This bullet was adopted by Lyman/Ideal and introduced as the now famous No. 429421, the original Keith bullet for the .44 Special. No. 429421 became so popular that Keith followed it up with several more, most notably No’s. 454424 for the .45 Colt and 358429 for the .38 Special. What made these bullets so popular different from all the semi-wadcutters that were to follow? First, we were just coming out of the era when most rifle and pistol bullets had round noses. The round nose gave the handgun bullet a good profile for accuracy and pene-

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tration on game, but did nothing for its actual killing power. Keith realized this and designed his bullets with a big flat point (meplat) and a sharp, bore-diameter cutting shoulder with the same longitudinal thickness as the rest of the driving bands. His idea was that the flat point and square shoulder would cut flesh and blood vessels as well as paper targets, rather than merely pushing things aside as did the round-nosed bullets. The whole Keith enchilada is: A long nose with a radiused ogive for excellent longrange accuracy; wide, flat point for greater impact; three equally wide driving bands, the front band having a sharp, square shoulder; a single deep, flat-bottomed lube groove; deep crimp groove, slanted to the rear to assist in opening a deeply crimped cartridge case; and a square, flat base. If the bullet does not fit this description, it is not a Keith bullet. A great many very good bullets out there are not Keiths. I regularly use the Ray Thompson-designed bullets (Lyman 358156GC and 429244GC—GC meaning “gas check”) and think they are every bit as good as those designed by Elmer Keith, but are different and therefore are semi-wadcutters or Thompson bullets. At the time Elmer was designing his bullets, they were, as far as we know, the first of their kind. There were other bullets that had one or more of the features Keith incorporated, but his were the first with all the features in one package. I think it is safe to say that, for a time, Elmer’s bullets were the most popular in the country for revolvers. Today, there are so many different bullets and so many really good jacketed-bullets that modern designs have eclipsed the wonder of the Keith bullet. I think this is a mistake. The new LBT (Lead Bullet Technologies) bullets with the huge flat point but no driving band shoulder is said to be a better game bullet than the Keith. The thinking goes that the square shoulder does nothing, and the wide meplat is the most important A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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feature for a bullet to be used on game. Maybe. However, I have shot both at both game and targets and it seems to me the Keith does exactly what Elmer said it did: Cuts a nice big hole that lets fluid out and air in. I have not found the LBT-type bullets noticeably superior in any way. When the .41 Magnum appeared in 1964, Lyman introduced a “Keith” bullet for it, No. 410459. Elmer did not design it, and it did not conform to his three equal driving bands, wide meplat, and square-bottomed lube groove formula. Elmer did not like the design and was probably miffed that they had the gall to introduce a “Keith” that he didn’t design, so he sent his own design to Hensley & Gibbs. H&G introduced their No. 258, which in reality is the only true Keith bullet for the .41 Magnum. That is not to say the 410459 is not a good bullet; it is, and I use it (because I can’t find an H&G mold). However, its meplat is too small and it has a rounded grease groove. Currently, there are few true Keith bullet molds on the market. The old Lyman 429421 was redesigned for easier casting and is no longer what Elmer envisioned. The only modern bullet that I am personally familiar with that is true to the original is the RCBS 44-250-K, but I have heard that some SAECO and NEI bullets fit the description. Why is all that important? Well, it probably isn’t, but now you know what a Keith bullet really is, and I have purged my need to tell you. So there. E-mail Steve LaMascus at guns@fishgame.com G a m e ® / J A N U A R Y

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Second Efforts HE RED MULE TWISTED ITS NOSE FORWARD, straining against the bit. It snatched some of the reins from my hands, a motion that grated my nerves. There was no reason for such behavior other than it was a bad habit. And, there was no fixing the animal, so a rider may as well put up with the jerk, literally and figuratively. Two months of getting up at 3:30 a.m., riding and hiking the mountains all day, and then crawling back into the bag at 10:00 p.m. was sawing on my funny bone. Everybody was tired. The horses and mules heaved down the frozen trails with their heads hanging, each step a labored effort. My hunters, Jeff and Will, were good sports but were becoming resolved to

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the idea that this expedition was going to be a dry run. “Didn’t the brochure say y’all were 10 for 13 during rifle season last year?” they asked. “Yep,” I said. “And last week we were six for six. But I’m telling you – two feet of snow and three days of sub-zero weather will make these critters timber-up. It may take ’em a while to show up where I expect to see ’em.” Everyday we left camp in the dark and by first light were scouring the mountains along the river. Each day we drifted further to the mountain front following the inevitable sign of migration pushed by an early blast of winter. And each day we built a fire in a spruce thicket, toasted our sandwiches, and talked about life and politics. I also watched my hunters’ spirits fade and felt their confidence in me slipping away. This was nothing new. By this point in the season, it takes strong individuals to maintain enthusiasm in an exhausted camp. Often, much of the crew is sick of

each other. All of the crew wants to hang the outfitter, and the cook is thinking about poisoning the whole bunch. The livestock and crew have lost enough weight to qualify as Somali refugees while the hunters are happily oblivious. And, the trend holds true for Texas. At the end of the season the fish have gone into deeper water, the geese have gotten wise to spreads, and the Muy Grande bucks have become nocturnal. Hunters look at their guides thinking that they better not quit their day job at the welding shop; and they let him know his tip won’t cover next month’s child support. The only recourse for the guide is to conjure a second effort and pull a rabbit out of thin air. Show them why you get paid the big money – the same wages as 1992. This was our situation. Jeff and Will were pooped. It was the last hour of the last day of the last hunt, and we were empty. We were on the trail back to camp and were passing the last turnoff trail that wound up a hill and afforded a chance to glass and look around. The argument raged in my head: These guys are cooked! There’s no reason to ride up that hill! They’re ready to get to camp and thaw out. It’ll be dark by the time we

FRESHWATER RIGS  Continued from Page I-39 edge of a channel, hump, or point. As you troll, the bait on the short leader will ride along vertically in the water. The leader with the weight will ride slightly deeper, depending on how far down the leader you put the weight, and slightly behind the first, allowing you to fish a couple slightly different depths. Adjust your speed (slower for deeper, faster for shallower) until you find the right depth the fish are suspending. E-mail Paul Bradshaw at freshrigs@fishgame.com I42

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get back anyway… They can’t say we didn’t make an honest effort! I rode past the side-trail and stopped, looked at myself, shook my head, and reined my mule toward the hill. Dammit! I have to try. Will followed but Jeff balked. “I’ll wait for y’all down here,” he said. We rode to the first knob and surveyed the country to the west. The sky was clearing and the you-can-see-forever vistas colored with soft autumn hues contrasted against the whiteouts of the last few days. For a moment, I was sad to be leaving. This lonely top-of-the-world feeling was a prime reason for me returning to the cool high country every year. Likewise, I appreciate the guests who are attracted to these locales. They prefer the company and amenities of a wilderness camp to the fat cat plastic personalities and trivialities accompanied by civilization. But despite this instant of warm fuzziness, there were no elk. I turned back. It occurred to me that there was a lookout that we passed without inspection. Halfway down the trail I veered east and tried to glass from the saddle. The red mule dropped its head and started grazing. For a split second, a patch of buckskin flashed in my binoculars. Then the magnified movements as the mule ripped at grass stole my prize. I leapt from its back and searched. “There’s elk, but I think it’s a cow!” Will stepped off his horse and came up beside me. “Where?” I pointed and we both stared at the distant beast. Then in unison we proclaimed, “That s.o.b. has horns!” We hustled to tie our rides and dove down the hill and into the trees while Jeff gawked at us from below. We lost sight of the bull as soon as we entered the woods and relied on our sense of direction. Naturally, I drifted left and Will drifted right. We confabbed in committee and got straight. The snow muffled our trotting steps and the forest hid our approach. Then a glimpse of buckskin paralyzed me. “Unhhh!” I said. Will glared and asked, “Where?” I took him by the arm, stepped him over two steps and pointed. He raised his rifle and tried to find a rest. The bull was moving toward our left. In a second, he would

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be gone. Will abandoned the notion of a rest and free-handed his shot. The elk made the telltale bound upwards and vanished into the woods, and, at the perfect time Will and I heard a crash. We were about to congratulate ourselves when the bull bolted back out of cover and down the hill. Will shot twice more and the escapee picked up a gear heading south. Now I rushed to find the bull as darkness fell. I tracked our fleeing prey for

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almost a mile without blood, then returned to the original scene. Here, we found that the first shot killed the bull we intended to kill. The second and third shots had been at a second bull and neither of them hit. Will was impressed. I was thankful that second efforts pay off.

E-mail Herman W. Brune at wilderness@fishgame.com

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TEXAS HUNTING

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My entire life has been spent here on Galveston Bay. My great, great grandfather and his family moved here in the early 1920’s and he became one of the first shrimpers on Galveston Bay. He trawled with his boat, “Grandpa’s Pride” which was a 16-foot wooden hull that was powered by a 4-cylinder engine and a transmission from a Model T. My pawpaw and my father both followed in his footsteps by starting their own seafood businesses. We lived in a very small frame house on Dickinson Bayou from the early 70’s to the early 80’s. In 1982, I got my first boat which was a 12-foot John boat powered by an old 9.9 Johnson. During summer, when I wasn’t working on an oyster boat or filleting fish in our seafood market, I would venture out to areas in Dickinson Bay and lower Galveston Bay that my dad and my great uncle BB Hillman had shown me. I learned how to use MirroLures and Kelly Wiggler shrimp tails at a very early age because of them. It became obvious that saltwater was in my veins. Through my heritage and my love for fishing I decided to start my own charter business in 2004. I enjoy meeting people and I thoroughly enjoy sharing my fishing experience with them. Hillman Guide Service is 4 generations of knowledge, hard work, and the blessing of being able to share it with others all rolled into one. I run a 23-foot Gulf Coast and a 22-foot Boston Whaler equipped with state-of-the-art electronics. Please visit me at www.hillmanguideservice.com or call me at 409-256-7937 to schedule your next fishing trip. Happy fishing! —Captain Steve Hillman A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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Cajun Meatloaf with Yellow Squash Casserole NE OF MY FAVORITE MEALS GROWING UP was meatloaf. This is my spicy grown up version, if you do not want it spicy, then simply leave out the jalapeno and cayenne pepper.

O

Cajun Meatloaf 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 1 stalk celery, chopped 1/2 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, chopped 2 green onions, minced

2 large jalapenos, seeded, and chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 2 bay leaves 3/4 tsp salt 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground 1/4 tsp nutmeg 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce 1 Tbs Texas Gourmet’s Sweet Chipotle Season All 2 Tbs unsalted butter 1/4 cup milk 1/4 cup catsup 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, fine, dry

1 lb. lean ground beef 1/2 lb. lean ground pork shoulder 2 eggs, slightly beaten Preheat the oven to 375. Mix the onion, celery, bell pepper, green onions, garlic, bay leaves, salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, Sweet Chipotle Season All , nutmeg, and Worcestershire sauce in a medium sized bowl. Melt the butter in a heavy 10-inch skillet over moderate heat. Add the vegetable/spice mixture and cook uncovered for 6 minutes, stirring constantly until the onions and peppers are soft. Remove from the heat and let cool until warm to the touch. Discard the bay leaves. Stir in the milk, catsup, and breadcrumbs. In a large bowl, combine the beef, pork, eggs, and the breadcrumb mixture. Pack the meat mixture into a greased, 9x5x3-inch loaf pan.

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(At this point, the meatloaf can be covered tightly with aluminum foil and stored. Refrigerate for up to 4 days; freeze for up to 3 months. Place the covered meatloaf in the freezer; when frozen, remove

One of my

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meatloaf in an 8-inch round then cut in half, freeze, etc.) Bake the meatloaf, uncovered, 50-55 minutes or until it is dark brown and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Slice to desired thickness and serve with boiled redskin potatoes and zucchini, pepper, and tomato gratin—or yellow squash casserole.

favorite meals

Yellow Squash Casserole

growing up was

5 to 6 yellow squash (or combination of yellow and zucchini squash) sliced into 1/4inch rounds 1 white or yellow sweet onion- chopped 2-3/4 sticks of unsalted butter- (or 6 Tbs margarine) 3 tsp olive oil 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed fine 2 eggs, beaten 1/2 tsp Beau Monde (spice found in the spice section of your favorite grocery store) 3/4 cup milk 1 cup mozzarella, grated 1/2 tsp black pepper

meatloaf. This is up version…

my spicy grown

from the pan, wrap in heavy-duty aluminum foil, label, and return to freezer. If you intend to microwave the frozen meatloaf, shape the

Sauté onion in butter until clear. Add squash, season with Beau Monde Seasoning and black pepper. Sauté until softened, remove from heat, transfer to a large bowl, add Ritz cracker crumbs, eggs, milk, olive oil, mozzarella cheese; stir well to combine. Place in a greased 9x9 baking dish and bake in a preheated 325 oven uncovered for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot. Contact Bryan Slaven, "The Texas Gourmet," at 888-234-7883, www.thetexasgourmet.com; or by email at texas-tasted@fishgame.com


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Note: All non-digital photos submitted become the property of Texas Fish & Game and will not be returned. TF&G makes no guarantee when or if any submitted photo will be published.

SEND YOUR PHOTOS TO: photos@fishgame.com or by mail at:

1745 Greens Road Houston, Texas 77032

JAVELINA—MCMULLEN COUNTY

SPECKLED TROUT—ARROYO CITY

PERCH—BLANCO RIVER STATE PARK

Melvin Rutledge caught these two speckled trout Kate Davis, age 6, of George West, Texas, with her Hannah Carrola, age 5, of Houston, Texas, caught her first perch while fishing with her uncle David at the same time while night fishing with his first trophy javelina, taken in McMullen County. during an outing to the Blanco River State Park. brother Michael near Green Island out of Arroyo City. The specks were 19 and 24 inches.

BASS—BEDIAS

WHITETAIL BUCK—KERR COUNTY

Father and daughter, Joey and Avery Heering of Houston, Texas, show off Avery’s first fish, caught at Bedias, Texas. The 3.2-pound bass was caught on a Barbie fishing pole.

Randall Taylor, age 9, shot his first deer on the Kotham Ranch in Kerr County, Texas. He used a youth model H&R 223 to bag the 8-point, 135pound whitetail buck.

REDFISH—PORT MANSFIELD

SMALLMOUTH BASS—THE ADIRONDACKS

CATFISH—LEON COUNTY

Marlin Vasek, age 13, from Frelsburg, Texas, caught his first two redfish in Port Mansfield. The reds were 4-1/2 pounds, 24 inches and 8 pounds, 27-1/2 inches, and were caught on Berkley Gulp! bait.

Jane Covey, age 4, of College Station, Texas, shows her sister Ellen, age 2, the smallmouth bass she caught while wade-fishing with their dad John on Piseco Lake in the Adirondacks.

Five-year-old Palmer Hill of McKinney, Texas, caught this 1-pound catfish in a private lake in Leon County, while fishing with his dad, David Hill.

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HERE IS NO MIDDLE GROUND IN DUCK hunting. It is a sport that you either love or hate, that’s it. You can’t just kind of like it. It takes a special breed of outdoorsman to want to get up at 3:00 a.m. to wade through water that is just half a degree from turning solid, then sit in the mud with frostbitten fingers and make noises most self-respecting adults would be embarrassed by, all in the name of taking a few ducks. One of the best parts about duck hunting is all the toys that go with it. Shotguns, dogs, decoys, waders, calls, boats… I still have a pedal-powered boat in the back yard that is begging to be turned into a floating duck blind, but that’s a different article for a different time. Since we are on the subject of boats, let’s assume you have an old flat-bottom boat upside down in the backyard and want to turn it into the ultimate duck-killing machine, but don’t know where to start. It can seem like an overwhelming job, but really isn’t hard when you get the basics down and don’t worry about frivolous things you will never use. When we get a boat for duck hunting (and trust me, if you look in my yard, you will understand that I know all about this) we worry about the big things. Items such as

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camo pattern, blind size and design, and whether or not we get a short-shaft mud motor or outboard are all at the top of the list of things we consider, and these are all very important but more an individual choice rather than something that can be covered with one broad statement. As a rule of thumb, buy or build a low profile blind to hide the boat as much as

by Paul Bradshaw possible, do your own home-made camo job on the hull with flat spray paint (black, brown, gray) and cardboard stencils, hang a small horsepower outboard on the transom, and you can hunt just about any water in the state. Your duck boat’s main purpose is to safely transport you and a ton of gear to and from your hunting location, so keep this in mind when you start your project. Weigh the function versus weight for items such as flooring to determine if they really are needed. A lot of things can be added to a duck boat, but the first thing you must think about is safety equipment. Most of this is required by law anyway, but always have a fire extinguisher, life jackets for everyone on board, A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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noise making device, throw cushion, 12gauge flares (since most hunters will be carrying a 12-gauge shotgun), paddle, pushpole, and first aid kit for you and your dog. Carry a few basic tools as well. Many boats have been limped home with repairs made by a pair of pliers and duck tape. The second aspect of the duck boat that must be considered is the lighting. When you launch a boat three hours before daylight, good lighting in and around the boat, is a must. While lights showing you where to go are important (we will get to those in a minute), the lights inside the boat showing you where you dropped your duck calls are just as critical. The good part about internal lighting is that it can be relatively cheap and found at the local dollar store. For those of you who stay up way too late, you will recognize these from the infomercials at midnight—tap lights (yes, the ones probably hanging in your closet right now) hung on the sides of the boat work exceptionally well to illuminate the floor. These battery powered lights come with an adhesive backing, so they just peel and stick to any flat surface; they cost next to nothing. If you don’t want your duck hunting buddies to make fun of your wife’s lights in your G a m e ® / J A N U A R Y

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In This Issue HOTSPOTS & TIDES SECTION

GEARING UP SECTION

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

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INDUSTRY INSIDER • Fish-N-Hunt: Paul Perrin’s Lasting Legacy | BY CHESTER MOORE, JR.

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TEXAS HOTSPOTS • Texas’ Hottest Fishing Spots | BY TOM BEHRENS, CALIXTO GONZALES, TRIPP HOLMGRAIN, & KYLE TOMEK

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BOWHUNTING TECH • Last-Minute Deer | BY LOU MARULLO

OUTDOOR LIFESTYLE SECTION HOW-TO SECTION

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TEXAS GUNS & GEAR • What is a Keith Bullet? | BY STEVE LAMASCUS

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FRESHWATER BAITS & RIGS • Capps and Coleman Rig | BY PAUL BRADSHAW

COVER STORY • Decked Out for Ducks | BY PAUL BRADSHAW

boat, go to the local auto parts store and get some of the more manly LED tap lights. They can run about $10 each, so you can light up the whole boat for next to nothing and maintain your manly image. External lighting is important, but can be overdone. You don’t want to run down the lake looking like something on the SyFy channel in a B grade alien movie. The purpose is to see what’s in front of you so you don’t hit a stump in the dark. Don’t get drawn into buying the way-too-cool remote controlled spotlight that rotates 360 degrees (yes, I have one) because it’s very difficult to work the remote while cruising down the lake, and that’s only if the batteries in the remote are still good and you haven’t dropped it in the water. Instead, get some basic automotive off-road lights (waterproof) and mount them on the bow. Then get a high-powered headlamp spotlight (like ‘coon hunters wear) to look all around as needed while keeping your hands free to steer. Have you ever been lost on a lake in the fog or couldn’t find you are way to the blind in the dark because you missed a landmark? It’s hard to believe, but I’ve done both, more than once, that’s why any hardcore duck hunter who takes a boat out multiple times

per week would be remiss not to install a GPS in their rig. Handhelds are fine and I’ve made my way to and from blinds using one for years, but mount a holder for it in your boat to keep your hands free. I have a matching holder in my boat and four-wheeler so I can use the same GPS on both. Better than a handheld, the high end depthfinders with GPS and built in lake maps are much better when you are cruising along in the morning and can’t see more than 10 feet in front of you. The lake maps and depthfinder keep you in the channels and off the shore while the GPS feature takes you to your blind. A $1000 GPS on a $200 boat might look strange, but is worth it. The first time you make it back to shore in the fog or during a storm, you will never question the money spent on it. It’s cheap life insurance for you and your family. Big boats can take a lot of weight in one area with little effect on the way in sits in the water and rides; small duck boats cannot.

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DISCOVER THE OUTDOORS • Classifieds | BY TF&G STAFF

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TEXAS TASTED • Cajun Meatloaf with Yellow Squash Casserole | BY BRYAN SLAVEN

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

Once you add a motor, five or more gallons of fuel, a battery or two, an overly stuffed hunter, and various other items to the stern

of the boat, the nose tends to ride high. Get around this by mounting some of these items in the front. Batteries and fuel can be moved up front to balance out the load. There are myriad ways to customize your own boat to make it more efficient for duck hunting, but if you start with the basics of safety, lighting, navigation, and camouflage, you will be way ahead of the game.

PHOTO BY PAUL BRADSHAW


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Tides and Prime Times

JANUARY 2010

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

SYMBOL KEY





First Quarter

New Moon

4

PRIME TIME

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

12:43 am 5:27 am 12:34 pm 7:58 pm

0.62 ft 0.88 ft -0.39 ft 0.99 ft

2:00 — 4:00 AM

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

PRIME TIME 1:48 am 7:09 am 1:22 pm 8:21 pm



0.35 ft 0.74 ft -0.06 ft 0.91 ft

3:00 — 5:30 AM

Full Moon



Last Quarter

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



Good Day

PRIME TIME 2:54 am 9:05 am 2:10 pm 8:42 pm

0.08 ft 0.66 ft 0.28 ft 0.87 ft

PRIME TIME

4:00 — 6:00 AM

BEST DAYS

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

PRIME TIME 3:59 am 11:15 am 3:06 pm 8:59 pm

-0.18 ft 0.70 ft 0.59 ft 0.86 ft

4:30 — 6:30 AM

Sunrise: 7:36a Set: 5:47p Moonrise: 10:34p Set: 10:26a AM Minor: 8:47a Set: 2:34a PM Minor: 9:12p Set: 2:59p Moon Overhead: 4:01a Moon Underfoot: 4:26p

Sunrise: 7:36a Set: 5:47p Moonrise: 11:39p Set: 11:00a AM Minor: 9:43a Set: 3:30a PM Minor: 10:07p Set: 3:55p Moon Overhead: 4:51a Moon Underfoot: 5:15p

Sunrise: 7:36a Set: 5:48p Moonrise: None Set: 11:33a AM Minor: 10:35a Set: 4:23a PM Minor: 10:59p Set: 4:47p Moon Overhead: 5:39a Moon Underfoot: 6:03p

Sunrise: 7:36a Set: 5:49p Moonrise: 12:42a Set: 12:06p AM Minor: 11:25a Set: 5:13a PM Minor: 11:49p Set: 5:37p Moon Overhead: 6:28a Moon Underfoot: 6:52p

11

12

13 

14 

PRIME TIME

Low Tide: 7:40 am High Tide: 5:02 pm

-0.75 ft 1.09 ft

å3:00 — 5:00 AM

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

PRIME TIME 8:25 am 5:32 pm 10:42 pm 11:48 pm

-0.77 ft 1.06 ft 0.95 ft 0.95 ft

3:30 — 5:30 AM

PRIME TIME

Low Tide: 9:05 am -0.75 ft High Tide: 5:52 pm 1.01 ft Low Tide: 10:19 pm 0.93 ft

9:00A — 12:30P

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

12:57 am 9:41 am 6:07 pm 10:06 pm

PRIME TIME 0.96 ft -0.71 ft 0.96 ft 0.87 ft

5:00 — 7:00 AM

Sunrise: 7:36a Set: 5:52p Moonrise: 4:46a Set: 2:52p AM Minor: 2:05a Set: 8:18a PM Minor: 2:31p Set: 8:44p Moon Overhead: 9:50a Moon Underfoot: 10:16p

Sunrise: 7:36a Set: 5:53p Moonrise: 5:40a Set: 3:44p AM Minor: 2:52a Set: 9:05a PM Minor: 3:18p Set: 9:31p Moon Overhead: 10:41a Moon Underfoot: 11:07p

Sunrise: 7:36a Set: 5:54p Moonrise: 6:28a Set: 4:39p AM Minor: 3:39a Set: 9:52a PM Minor: 4:05p Set: 10:17p Moon Overhead: 11:32a Moon Underfoot: None

Sunrise: 7:36a Set: 5:55p Moonrise: 7:12a Set: 5:35p AM Minor: 4:27a Set: 10:39a PM Minor: 4:52p Set: 11:04p Moon Overhead: 12:22p Moon Underfoot: None

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PRIME TIME

High Tide: 4:26 am 0.76 ft Low Tide: 11:36 am -0.25 ft High Tide: 7:10 pm 0.80 ft

1:00 — 3:30 PM

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

PRIME TIME 12:13 am 5:28 am 12:02 pm 7:24 pm

0.44 ft 0.67 ft -0.08 ft 0.77 ft

1:30 — 4:00 PM

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

PRIME TIME 12:58 am 6:45 am 12:28 pm 7:33 pm

0.31 ft 0.58 ft 0.11 ft 0.74 ft

2:30 — 4:30 PM

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

PRIME TIME 1:45 am 8:25 am 12:53 pm 7:31 pm

0.15 ft 0.54 ft 0.32 ft 0.74 ft

3:00 — 6:00 PM

Sunrise: 7:35a Set: 5:58p Moonrise: 9:23a Set: 9:15p AM Minor: 7:35a Set: 1:24a PM Minor: 7:55p Set: 1:45p Moon Overhead: 3:16p Moon Underfoot: 2:56a

Sunrise: 7:35a Set: 5:59p Moonrise: 9:50a Set: 10:08p AM Minor: 8:20a Set: 2:10a PM Minor: 8:40p Set: 2:30p Moon Overhead: 3:56p Moon Underfoot: 3:36a

Sunrise: 7:34a Set: 6:00p Moonrise: 10:17a Set: 11:02p AM Minor: 9:05a Set: 2:55a PM Minor: 9:25p Set: 3:15p Moon Overhead: 4:36p Moon Underfoot: 4:16a

Sunrise: 7:34a Set: 6:01p Moonrise: 10:46a Set: None AM Minor: 9:50a Set: 3:40a PM Minor: 10:11p Set: 4:01p Moon Overhead: 5:18p Moon Underfoot: 4:57a

25

26

27

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Low Tide: 5:32 am High Tide: 6:20 pm

PRIME TIME -0.59 ft 1.03 ft

9:00 — 11:00 AM

Sunrise: 7:32a Set: 6:05p Moonrise: 1:22p Set: 3:04a AM Minor: 12:38a Set: 6:52a PM Minor: 1:07p Set: 7:21p Moon Overhead: 8:44p Moon Underfoot: 8:14a

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PRIME TIME

Low Tide: 6:30 am High Tide: 4:03 pm

-0.78 ft 1.11 ft

1:00 — 3:00 AM

Sunrise: 7:32a Set: 6:06p Moonrise: 2:20p Set: 4:08a AM Minor: 1:31a Set: 7:46a PM Minor: 2:01p Set: 8:17p Moon Overhead: 9:46p Moon Underfoot: 9:15a

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

PRIME TIME 7:26 am 4:25 pm 8:31 pm 10:51 pm

-0.94 ft 1.15 ft 1.05 ft 1.06 ft

2:00 — 4:00 AM

Sunrise: 7:32a Set: 6:06p Moonrise: 3:26p Set: 5:10a AM Minor: 2:26a Set: 8:42a PM Minor: 2:58p Set: 9:13p Moon Overhead: 10:49p Moon Underfoot: 10:17a

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Low Tide: 8:19 am High Tide: 4:50 pm Low Tide: 8:54 pm

PRIME TIME -1.03 ft 1.13 ft 0.96 ft

3:00 — 5:00 AM

Sunrise: 7:31a Set: 6:07p Moonrise: 4:38p Set: 6:07a AM Minor: 3:23a Set: 9:39a PM Minor: 3:55p Set: 10:10p Moon Overhead: 11:51p Moon Underfoot: 11:20a


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Tides and Prime Times

JANUARY 2010

FRIDAY

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

1:19 am 10:08 am 6:32 pm 10:50 pm

SATURDAY PRIME TIME

1.21 ft -1.01 ft 1.28 ft 1.03 ft

5:30 — 7:00 A

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

SUNDAY PRIME TIME

2:37 am 10:58 am 7:04 pm 11:43 pm

1.15 ft -0.90 ft 1.18 ft 0.85 ft

6:00 — 7:30 A

3

PRIME TIME

High Tide: 3:57 am 1.04 ft Low Tide: 11:46 am -0.69 ft High Tide: 7:32 pm 1.08 ft

1:00 — 3:30 A

Sunrise: 7:35a Set: 5:44p Moonrise: 7:04p Set: 8:23a AM Minor: 5:40a Set: 11:55a PM Minor: 6:11p Set: ----Moon Overhead: 1:10a Moon Underfoot: 1:41p

Sunrise: 7:35a Set: 5:45p Moonrise: 8:17p Set: 9:10a AM Minor: 6:44a Set: 12:29a PM Minor: 7:13p Set: 12:59p Moon Overhead: 2:11a Moon Underfoot: 2:40p

Sunrise: 7:35a Set: 5:46p Moonrise: 9:27p Set: 9:50a AM Minor: 7:47a Set: 1:33a PM Minor: 8:14p Set: 2:00p Moon Overhead: 3:08a Moon Underfoot: 3:35p

8

9

10

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

PRIME TIME 5:01 am 1:44 pm 5:16 pm 9:12 pm

-0.41 ft 0.84 ft 0.82 ft 0.88 ft

5:30 — 9:00 AM

PRIME TIME

Low Tide: 5:58 am High Tide: 3:32 pm

-0.57 ft 0.99 ft

6:00 — 10:30 AM

PRIME TIME

Low Tide: 6:52 am High Tide: 4:24 pm

-0.69 ft 1.07 ft

2:00 — 4:00 AM

Sunrise: 7:36a Set: 5:50p Moonrise: 1:45a Set: 12:42p AM Minor: ----Set: 6:00a PM Minor: 12:12p Set: 6:25p Moon Overhead: 7:17a Moon Underfoot: 7:41p

Sunrise: 7:36a Set: 5:50p Moonrise: 2:48a Set: 1:21p AM Minor: 12:34a Set: 6:46a PM Minor: 12:59p Set: 7:12p Moon Overhead: 8:07a Moon Underfoot: 8:32p

Sunrise: 7:36a Set: 5:51p Moonrise: 3:48a Set: 2:04p AM Minor: 1:19a Set: 7:32a PM Minor: 1:45p Set: 7:58p Moon Overhead: 8:58a Moon Underfoot: 9:24p

15 

16 

17

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

PRIME TIME 1:53 am 10:13 am 6:21 pm 10:19 pm

0.94 ft -0.64 ft 0.91 ft 0.78 ft

5:30 — 7:30 AM

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

2:43 am 10:43 am 6:37 pm 10:51 pm

PRIME TIME 0.91 ft -0.54 ft 0.87 ft 0.68 ft

6:00 — 8:00 AM

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

PRIME TIME

3:33 am 11:10 am 6:53 pm 11:31 pm

0.84 ft -0.41 ft 0.84 ft 0.57 ft

12:30 — 3:30 PM

Sunrise: 7:35a Set: 5:56p Moonrise: 7:50a Set: 6:32p AM Minor: 5:15a Set: 11:26a PM Minor: 5:38p Set: 11:50p Moon Overhead: 1:09p Moon Underfoot: 12:45a

Sunrise: 7:35a Set: 5:56p Moonrise: 8:24a Set: 7:27p AM Minor: 6:02a Set: 11:47a PM Minor: 6:24p Set: 12:13p Moon Overhead: 1:53p Moon Underfoot: 1:31a

Sunrise: 7:35a Set: 5:57p Moonrise: 8:55a Set: 8:22p AM Minor: 6:49a Set: 12:38a PM Minor: 7:10p Set: 12:59p Moon Overhead: 2:36p Moon Underfoot: 2:15a

22 

23

24

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

PRIME TIME 2:36 am 10:27 am 1:15 pm 7:11 pm

-0.01 ft 0.57 ft 0.52 ft 0.77 ft

4:00 — 6:30 AM

PRIME TIME

Low Tide: 3:31 am High Tide: 6:43 pm

-0.19 ft 0.85 ft

4:30 — 7:00 AM

PRIME TIME

Low Tide: 4:31 am High Tide: 6:32 pm

-0.39 ft 0.95 ft

7:30 — 10:00 AM

Sunrise: 7:34a Set: 6:02p Moonrise: 11:16a Set: None AM Minor: 10:37a Set: 4:25a PM Minor: 10:59p Set: 4:48p Moon Overhead: 6:03p Moon Underfoot: 5:40a

Sunrise: 7:33a Set: 6:03p Moonrise: 11:52a Set: 12:57a AM Minor: 11:25a Set: 5:12a PM Minor: 11:49p Set: 5:37p Moon Overhead: 6:52p Moon Underfoot: 6:27a

Sunrise: 7:33a Set: 6:04p Moonrise: 12:33p Set: 1:59a AM Minor: ----Set: 6:01a PM Minor: 12:15p Set: 6:28p Moon Overhead: 7:46p Moon Underfoot: 7:18a

29

PRIME TIME

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

31 

10:00A — 12:30P

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

12:44 am 9:10 am 5:14 pm 9:33 pm

1.07 ft -1.03 ft 1.08 ft 0.80 ft

Sunrise: 7:30a Set: 6:08p Moonrise: 5:52p Set: 6:58a AM Minor: 4:21a Set: 10:37a PM Minor: 4:52p Set: 11:07p Moon Overhead: None Moon Underfoot: 12:22p

2:09 am 9:59 am 5:38 pm 10:19 pm

PRIME TIME 1.06 ft -0.91 ft 1.00 ft 0.58 ft

12:00 — 2:00 AM

Sunrise: 7:30a Set: 6:09p Moonrise: 7:05p Set: 7:42a AM Minor: 5:20a Set: 11:34a PM Minor: 5:49p Set: ----Moon Overhead: 12:51a Moon Underfoot: 1:20p

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

PRIME TIME

3:28 am 10:46 am 6:00 pm 11:09 pm

1.01 ft -0.70 ft 0.92 ft 0.33 ft

12:30 — 2:30 AM

Sunrise: 7:29a Set: 6:10p Moonrise: 8:15p Set: 8:21a AM Minor: 6:18a Set: 12:05a PM Minor: 6:45p Set: 12:32p Moon Overhead: 1:47a Moon Underfoot: 2:14p

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NOT FOR NAVIGATION PLACE SABINE BANK LIGHTHOUSE (29.47° N, 93.72° W) SABINE PASS JETTY (29.65° N, 93.83° W) SABINE PASS (29.73° N, 93.87°W) MESQUITE PT, SABINE PASS (29.77° N, 93.9° W) GALV. BAY, SO. JETTY (29.34° N, 94.7° W) PORT BOLIVAR (29.36° N, 94.77° W) TX CITY TURNING BASIN (29.38° N, 94.88° W) EAGLE POINT (29.5° N, 94.91° W) CLEAR LAKE (29.56° N, 95.06° W) MORGANS POINT (29.68° N, 94.98° W) ROUND PT, TRINITY BAY (29.71° N, 94.69° W) PT. BARROW, TRIN. BAY (29.74° N, 94.83° W) GILCHRIST, E. BAY (29.52° N, 94.48° W) JAMAICA BCH., W. BAY (29.2° N, 94.98° W) ALLIGATOR PT., W. BAY (29.17° N, 94.13° W) CHRISTMAS PT, CHR. BAY (29.08° N, 94.17° W) GALV. PLEASURE PIER (29.29° N, 94.79° W) SAN LUIS PASS (29.08° N, 95.12° W) FREEPORT HARBOR (28.95° N, 95.31° W) PASS CAVALLO (28.37° N, 96.4° W) ARANSAS PASS (27.84° N, 97.05° W) PADRE ISL.(SO. END) (26.07° N, 97.16° W) PORT ISABEL (26.06° N, 97.22° W)

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HIGH

LOW

-1:46

-1:31

-1:26

-1:31

-1:00

-1:15

-0:04

-0:25

-0:39

-1:05

+0:14

-0:06

+0:33

+0:41

+3:54

+4:15

+6:05

+6:40

+10:21

+5:19

+10:39

+5:15

+5:48

+4:43

+3:16

+4:18

+2:38

+3:31

+2:39

+2:33

+2:32

+2:31

-1:06

-1:06

-0.09

-0.09

-0:44

-1:02

0:00

-1:20

-0:03

-1:31

-0:24

-1:45

+1:02

-0:42

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by Tom Behrens, Calixto Gonzales, Tripp Holmgrain, and Kyle Tomek

Somerville Cats LOCATION: Lake Somerville HOTSPOT: Dam Rock Island SPECIES: catfish

GPS: N30 18.780, W096 31.665 BEST BAITS: Shad, worms, shrimp dipped in stinkbait CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, 979-229-3103, weldon_edna@hotmail.com TIPS: Fish 16-20 foot water around the island, look for sharp drop off areas. Set rods out around the boat casting toward the island for channels, deeper or blues and yellows. Large fish hang here during the winter months. Use a 2/0-4/0 Kahle hook with a one ounce slip sinker here. LOCATION: Lake Somerville HOTSPOT: Pelican Island SPECIES: catfish GPS: N30 18.127, W096 34.429 BEST BAITS: Shad, cut bait, worms CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, www.FishTalesGuideService.com TIPS: Fish steep drop off on northwest side of island. Water is at its coldest this time of year. Large Blue Cats cruise deeper water and will follow this creek channel that comes close to the island. Use 4/0 Kahle hooks with one ounce slip sinker. Put out several rods around the boat in this area.

Sassy Shad on a 1-ounce jighead will work the best. Texoma’s stripers prefer white glow and chartreuse colors. Road Runner 1 ounce jigs with a 7-inch worm are deadly on the big fish holding on structure. Fish the main lake points, mouths of creeks and humps near deep water. Always keep your eyes on the seagulls. Large schools of stripers can be under the birds. BANK ACCESS: Juniper Point East

LOCATION: Lake Texoma HOTSPOT: Paw Paw Creek and Willis Bridge GPS: N33 53.992’, W96 53.796’ SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: Road Runner and Sassy Shad jigs CONTACT: Bill Carey (877-786-4477), bigfish@striperexpress.com TIPS: January is a big fish month at Lake Texoma. The cool water winter fishing is legendary. Large stripers up to 20+ pounds will hold on structure. A 7-foot medium heavy rod with 20-pound test is recommended. The 1-ounce Road Runner jigs with a white 7-inch worm will produce fish located on main lake points, the mouths of creeks and humps with deep water nearby. The cooler the weather the better the fishing holds true for these fighting fish. Bait fishing with live shad is also an excellent way to catch stripers. Keep your eyes on the seagulls; they can be your best fish locator. BANK ACCESS: The Oil Wells and Texas Flats (Using the same baits mentioned, shad will work best on the banks, tie on jigs if the seagulls are working near you.)

LOCATION: Lake Texoma HOTSPOT: Juniper Point East SPECIES: striped bass GPS: N33 51.892’, W96 49.833’ BEST BAITS: Road Runner and Sassy Shad jigs CONTACT: Bill Carey 877-786-4477, bigfish@striperexpress.com TIPS: Cool water temperatures make the fish go into a feeding frenzy. Large fish up to 20 pounds can be expected. A 4- to 6-inch

LOCATION: Lake Fairfield HOTSPOT: Brushy Point Warm Water Discharge GPS: N31.47.480 - W96.04.610 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Carolina-rigged Nichols Creature bait (Watermelon Red) CONTACT: Don Mattern, 903-478-2633, 903-724-0961

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TIPS: In January the bass and Reds will be cruising the Discharge Cove to eat on large schools of shad. This point has an abundant amount of sunken brush piles. From 4 feet out to about 12 feet you will find this heavy brush. The bass and reds will set up on this brush and the Carolina rig will get them both. I have caught reds up to 15 pounds dragging this rig along this cover and in the next cast caught 4 lb. bass. Work the sides the top and the end of the point and when you feel a brush pile just shake that weight on your rig. The leader should be about 2 foot or so and the current is very strong. When the weight is sitting still, the 2-foot leader has the bait moving all around presenting a great reaction bite. LOCATION: Lake Fairfield HOTSPOT: Brushy Point Warm Water Discharge GPS: N31.47.480, W96.04.610 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Carolina-rigged Nichols Creature bait (Watermelon Red) CONTACT: Don Mattern, 903-478-2633, 903-724-0961 TIPS: In January the bass and Reds will be cruising the Discharge Cove to eat on large schools of shad. This point has an abundant amount of sunken brush piles. From 4 feet out to about 12 feet you will find this heavy brush. The bass and reds will set up on this brush and the Carolina rig will get them both. I have caught reds up to 15 pounds dragging this rig along this cover and in the next cast caught 4 lb. bass. Work the sides the top and the end of the point and when you feel a brush pile just shake that weight on your rig. The leader should be about 2 foot or so and the current is very strong. When the weight is sitting still, the 2-foot leader has the bait moving all around presenting a great reaction bite. LOCATION: Lake Fairfield HOTSPOT: Warm Water Discharge Cove GPS: N31.47.646 - W96.04.481


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SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Carolina-rigged Nichols Creature bait and Rat-L-Traps (Watermelon Reds and Firetiger) CONTACT: Don Mattern, 903-478-2633, 903-724-0961 TIPS: The colder temperatures move the shad and baitfish into the warm water discharge cove where the power plant discharges water in about the 84-degree range keeping the cove an astounding 70 - 80 degrees. There is a flat about 4 feet in front of the cable going across the discharge channel. A strong current is made by the turbines and the redfish will run in and out of this cut. The Carolina rig will catch both bass and Reds. The extended leader on the rig will have a lot of action in the strong current. Just drag it along the bottom. The Rat-L-Trap will also catch reds in this current. LOCATION: Lake Fairfield HOTSPOT: Warm Water Discharge Cove GPS: N31.47.646 - W96.04.481 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Carolina-rigged Nichols Creature bait and Rat-L-Traps (Watermelon

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Reds and Firetiger) CONTACT: Don Mattern, 903-478-2633, 903-724-0961 TIPS: The colder temperatures move the shad and baitfishes into the warm water discharge cove where the power plant discharges water in about the 84-degree range keeping the cove an astounding 70-80 degrees. There is a flat about 4 feet in front of the cable going across the discharge channel. A strong current is made by the turbines and the redfish will run in and out of this cut. The Carolina rig will catch bass. The extended leader on the rig will have a lot of action in the strong current. Just drag it along the bottom.

LOCATION: Lake Richland-Chambers HOTSPOT: Long Arm Branch Point GPS: N31.59.201, W096.12.294 SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: 1-ounce Silver or Chartreuse Slabs TIPS: The Long Arm Branch Point is a great spot for catching magnum white bass in the early winter. The fish will be pushing shad up on the edges of this point and having a feeding frenzy, as they get ready for the

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colder weather to arrive. Use your electronics to find the baitfish and fish in water depths ranging from 25’-35’. Bounce the slab slowly off the bottom for best success. CONTACT: Royce Simmons, www.gonefishin.biz, 903-389-4117 BANK ACCESS: Fisherman’s Point Marina, 903-389-5218

LOCATION: Lake Richland-Chambers HOTSPOT: Pelican Island GPS: N31.58.9490, W096.10.600 SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: 1.5-ounce chartreuse slabs TIPS: The pelican island area is excellent area for wintertime white bass. Tie on a larger slab and move it very slow off the bottom in water depths of 30 feet or greater. The fish will be hugging the bottom and as the water temperature cools to the low 50s, they will be very lethargic. The bite will often be nothing more than a light tick or often you just feel dead weight on the end of your line. When in doubt set the hook and hold on! CONTACT: Royce Simmons, www.gonefishin.biz, 903-389-4117

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LOCATION: Lake Richland-Chambers HOTSPOT: Pelican Island GPS: N31.58.9490, W096.10.600 SPECIES: hybrid stripers BEST BAITS: 1.5-ounce chartreuse slabs TIPS: The Pelican Island area is a wintertime haunt for big stripers. Tie on a larger slab and move it very slow off the bottom in water depths of 30 feet or greater. The fish will be hugging the bottom and as the water temperature cools to the low 50’s, they will be very lethargic. The bite will often be nothing more than a light tick or often you just feel dead weight on the end of your line. When in doubt set the hook and hold on! CONTACT: Royce Simmons, www.gonefishin.biz, 903-389-4117 LOCATION: Belton Lake HOTSPOT: Live Oak Park Cove GPS: N31 06.925 W97 28.650 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Slow shad crankbaits on warmer days, small jigs with pork eels on colder days CONTACT: Bob Maindelle, 254-368-7411 TIPS: Watch for shad flicking along the east cove shoreline and fish near the bait. BANK ACCESS: Via Live Oak Ridge Park (Corps of Engineers) LOCATION: Belton Lake HOTSPOT: Live Oak Park Cove GPS: N31 06.925, W97 28.650 SPECIES: smallmouth bass BEST BAITS: Slow shad crankbaits on warmer days, small jigs with pork eels on colder days. CONTACT: Bob Maindelle, 254-368-7411 TIPS: Watch for shad flicking along the east cove shoreline and fish near the bait. BANK ACCESS: Via Live Oak Ridge Park (Corps of Engineers) LOCATION: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir HOTSPOT: Colinas Timber Edge GPS: N31 02.039 W97 34.903 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Dark 4” soft plastic worms on Carolina Rig CONTACT: Bob Maindelle, 254-368-7411 TIPS: Best fished on SE, S, or SW wind so you can fish deep to shallow and maintain contact with rig. N8

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LOCATION: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir HOTSPOT: Colinas Timber Edge GPS: N31 02.039 W97 34.903 SPECIES: smallmouth bass BEST BAITS: Dark 4” soft plastic worms on Carolina Rig CONTACT: Bob Maindelle, 254-368-7411 TIPS: Best fished on SE, S, or SW wind so you can fish deep to shallow and maintain contact with rig. LOCATION: Belton Lake HOTSPOT: White Flint Cove GPS: N31 13.480 W97 28.450 SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Live minnows under slip bobber, afternoons or night CONTACT: Bob Maindelle, 254-368-7411 TIPS: A good location, but only if we’re back near full pool elevation BANK ACCESS: Via White Flint Park (kayaking possible here) LOCATION: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir HOTSPOT: Comanche Cove GPS: N31 01.800, W97 37.790 SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: Live minnows under slip bobber, afternoons or night CONTACT: Bob Maindelle, 254-368-7411 TIPS: If fishing with multiple anglers, stagger your depths. Once fish are contacted, move all baits to successful depth. BANK ACCESS: From off of Comanche Gap Road across Corps of Engineer property LOCATION: Lake Whitney HOTSPOT: Big Rocky Creek GPS: N52.795’, W97 23.682’ SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: Storms Wildeye Shad (chartreuse) CONTACT: Randy Routh, 817-822-5539 TIPS: Cast out 30 feet behind boat and turn trolling motor on medium speed and drag baits behind boat in mouth of creek and nearby humps. Stripers have baits pushed up in the mouth of big rocky gorging on them. BANK ACCESS: Walling Bend LOCATION: Lake Aquilla HOTSPOT: Deep Humps GPS: N31 54.214’, W97 12 178’ F i s h

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SPECIES: White bass BEST BAITS: 1-ounce chartreuse slabs CONTACT: Randy Routh, 817-822-5539 TIPS: Watch graph along humps and you will see the white bass stacked up on the edges of the humps. Drop slabs down and bounce off bottom making contact with bait as it falls. Carry binoculars and watch for the birds diving on shad, the white bass push the shad to the surface and quick limits are coming from under the birds. LOCATION: Lake Whitney HOTSPOT: Big Rocky Creek GPS: N52.795’, W97 23.682’ SPECIES: stripers BEST BAITS: Storm’s Wild Eye Shad (chartreuse) CONTACT: Randy Routh, 817-822-5539 TIPS: The stripers have the shad pushed back up in the creek past the first cut; make longs cast and drag baits behind the boat using the trolling motor. BANK ACCESS: Walling Bend. LOCATION: Lake Aquilla HOTSPOT: Triplet Point GPS: N31 53.533’, W97 12.375’ SPECIES: White bass BEST BAITS: Chartreuse 1-ounce Slabs CONTACT: Randy Routh, 817-822-5539 TIPS: The whites have the bait pushed up in the cuts on triplet point. Keep on the lookout for birds working. Make long casts with slabs and work them up and down fluttering them through the fish. Most bites occur during the bait’s descent. LOCATION: Richland-Chambers Reservoir HOTSPOT: Elm Creek GPS: N32, 04’ 26”, W96 17’91” SPECIES: black bass BEST BAITS: Watermelon and Blue/Black Jigs CONTACT: Steve Schmidt, steve@schmidtsbigbass.com, 682-518-8252 TIPS: A lot of timber and stumps exist here. Just take a jig work the edges of the docks and stumps. Slow down the bait if you struggle for bites. BANK ACCESS: Oak Cove Marine


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LOCATION: Richland-Chambers Reservoir HOTSPOT: Tree Top GPS: N32 04’ 02”, W96 14’43” SPECIES: Black bass BEST BAITS: Watermelon and Blue/Black Jigs CONTACT: Steve Schmidt, steve@schmidtsbigbass.com, 682-518-8252 TIPS: A lot of timber and stumps exist here. Just take a jig work the edges of the docks and stumps. Slow down the bait if you struggle for bites. BANK ACCESS: Oak Cove Marine

Government Bass LOCATION: Falcon Lake HOTSPOT: Government Cut GPS: N26 34.088, W99 8.722

SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAIT(S): Plastic worms and flipping tubes in red, red watermelon, red bug.

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CONTACT: Falcon Lake Tackle, (956)-7654866 TIPS: Fish the flooded brush in the back of the cove. Bass are sitting on their beds. Work your worm or tube into the any beds you spot and let it sit. Eventually Mr. Mom will get irritated enough and pick up the bait to either kill it or move it. Use braided line and a stout rod. LOCATION: Falcon Lake HOTSPOT: Goose Bay GPS: N26 29.151, W99 8.247 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAIT(s): Gulp! 10” Humpback worms in red, red watermelon, grape. Flipping Lizards. CONTACT: Falcon Lake Tackle (956)-7654866. TIPS: bass will be near the trees along the submerged ditch. Flip and walk your baits around the trees and work it in the heavy stuff. Use 50-pound braid, a battened down drag, and a heavy action rod with plenty of backbone to horse these fish out of the junk. Even then, you might latch into a fish that will wreck your tackle.

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LOCATION: Falcon Lake HOTSPOT: Rio Grande River GPS: N26 56.350, W99 22.670 SPECIES: catfish BEST BAIT(s): Cut Shad, prepared baits. CONTACT: Falcon Lake Tackle, (956)-7654866. TIPS: Most of the catfish that you will yank out of the riverbed are solid 2-4 pound skillet fish. If you drop a chunk of fresh shad on a bottom rig into one of the deeper holes in the river bends, you could latch into a 25- to 30pounder. If you have a boatload of children on board (don’t forget the PFD’s), a jar of Super Sticky or blood bait and a dip worm should be enough to keep reels screaming and kids squealing for an afternoon.

Flats Cats LOCATION: Granger Lake HOTSPOT: Willis Creek flats GPS: Area northeast of Willis Creek Park SPECIES: blue catfish

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BANK ACCESS: Bandera County Park, catfish on stinkbait and night crawlers BEST BAITS: Live shad, Sure Shot prepared bait CONTACT: Tommy Tidwell 512-365-7761 www.gotcrappie.com TIPS: Fish the shallow open and timbered flats with rod and reel. Good fish will be in water as shallow as 2 feet. BANK ACCESS: Willis Creek Park around the pavilion LOCATION: Granger Lake HOTSPOT: Deep-water areas out from the dam. GPS: All along the dam out to 1/2 mile. SPECIES: blue catfish BEST BAITS: Fresh shad CONTACT: Tommy Tidwell, 512-3657761, www.gotcrappie.com TIPS: Drift-fish the deep flats from 15 to 25 feet deep using drift socks if necessary. BANK ACCESS: Best access is along the West Boat Ramp area in Wilson Fox Park LOCATION: Lake Medina HOTSPOT: Antone Hollow GPS: N29 33.331 W98 59.168 SPECIES: Guadalupe bass BEST BAITS: white and chrome Zara Puppies, shad colored poppers, black/chartreuse and white crankbaits that dive to 10 feet, 1/4ounce chrome or gold Rat-L Traps and ¼ounce to 3/16-ounce white spinnerbaits with gold blades CONTACT: Dave Burlington, 210-8339417, www.bassindave.com TIPS: Early in the month, fish the backs of creeks focusing on edges of flats and channel secondary points. Later in the month, follow the bass toward the mouths of creeks to main lake points, bluffs, and channel banks. If the bite is tough, slow down with a drop-shot rig, fishing 4 to 6 inch black/chartreuse and watermelon red or green pumpkin finesse worms. Most bass are in 1 to 15 foot depths and are still very active, chasing shad and feeding heavily. bass located next to vertical drops in 15 to 20 feet of water will provide good action, only slowing down during major cold fronts that drop water temperatures below 50 degrees. N12

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LOCATION: Lake Dunlap HOTSPOT: Lower Lake GPS: N29 39.464, W98 04.162 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: chartreuse and black crankbaits, white or pearl baby flukes, and watermelon red and green fleck tubes, white spinnerbaits with gold blades, brown or black jigs with some red flecks or strands CONTACT: Dave Burlington, 210-8339417, www.bassindave.com TIPS: Focus on vertical banks and channel ledges along flats. Start by fishing crankbaits and slow rolling spinnerbaits. If these don’t produce, opt for plastic flukes. If the bite continues to be tough, fish Texas-rigged soft plastics in tight cover and Carolina-rigged soft plastics along the ledges of flats. Change up with jigs, as they tend to get a bigger bite. BANK ACCESS: I-35 bridge public boat ramp and park, catfish on night crawlers and stinkbait

white/chartreuse striper jigs, 1/2 to 1-ounce white and chrome jigging spoons, 6 to 8 inch shad colored swimbaits CONTACT: Dave Burlington, 210-8339417, www.bassindave.com TIPS: With electronics, look for stripers in 25 to 40 feet of water where they can be found chasing large balls of shad this time of year. Large “V” shaped blips above and to the sides of shad schools are indicators you have located feeding fish. Drift live bait through these schools. Trolling striper jigs and swimbaits through the schools is also very effective for covering water and finding active fish. Once over a school of stripers, you can vertically jig spoons, drop live bait, or hop swimbaits to get bites BANK ACCESS: Burnet County Park, catfish on stinkbait, night crawlers and frozen shrimp

LOCATION: Lake Travis HOTSPOT: Anderson Bend GPS: N30 22.397, W98 00.482 SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: live minnows and 1/2-ounce chrome jigging spoons CONTACT: Dave Burlington, 210-8339417, www.bassindave.com TIPS: White bass will be schooled around main lake points and the islands in 25 to 50 feet of water. Idle over and around these areas until you see schools of baitfish and larger fish with your electronics. Position yourself over these targets, fishing with live minnows and jigging spoons. White bass have a tendency to move as you catch them and the baitfish scatter, so when your bite slows, simply relocate them for continued action. BANK ACCESS: Arkansas Bend County Park, largemouth bass on spinnerbaits, crankbaits and soft plastics

LOCATION: Lake LBJ HOTSPOT: Sandy Creek GPS: N30 34.281, W98 25.140 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: white or black buzzbaits, white or black spinnerbaits with gold blades, white and chartreuse shallow running crankbaits, white flukes, wacky-rigged black/blue fleck Senkos CONTACT: David Burlington, 210-8339417, www.bassindave.com TIPS: Primary and secondary creek points and flats or small pockets with deeper water nearby will now hold the largest concentrations of fish. Look for bass to be aggressive and very shallow (1 to 3 feet on low-pressure days leading up to and through a passing front). Once a front has passed, the bass will be mostly inactive and move a bit deeper, into 6 to 10 feet of water along vertical breaklines and close to any existing cover. Begin your fishing by covering water quickly with crankbaits and spinnerbaits to determine the activity level of the bass. Slow down and fish wacky rigged Senkos if the bite is slow. BANK ACCESS: Flying K Recreational Area, bass on spinnerbaits and soft plastics

LOCATION: Lake Buchanan HOTSPOT: Garrett to Shaw Island GPS: N30 50.376, W98 25.062 SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: live bait, 1/2 to 1-ounce

LOCATION: Canyon Lake HOTSPOT: Sailboat Marina area GPS: N29 52.200, W98 12.450 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Texas-rigged watermelon

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candy or blue fleck Power Worms, 3/8-ounce Secret Weapon spinnerbaits, Senko style plastics CONTACT: Kandie Candeleria, 210-8232153, kandie@gvtc.com TIPS: With the lake rising, work the cut and the point to the right of the marina. Look for fish to be shallow as they are enjoying the extra oxygen created from flooded bushes. Throw Berkley 7-inch Power Worms in watermelon candy if the sun is high, or in blue fleck and Texas-rigged if cloudy. If bass are chasing shad, try a 3/8-ounce Sidearm or Quickstrike Secret Weapon spinnerbait. Drop-shotting around the marina should produce quality fish. A 1/16-ounce Tru-Tungsten Flea Flicker hook with a small weight on the bottom will create some loft movement and good results. If the bite is slow, Texas-rig a Senko type bait and fish it weightless around brush piles and submerged trees. BANK ACCESS: Canyon Park Campground, crappie on minnows and crappie jigs

LOCATION: Wright Patman Lake HOTSPOT: Kelly Creek GPS: N33 17.151, W94 14.259 SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: live minnows, black and chartreuse tube jigs CONTACT: Doug Rochelle, K&D Guide Service, 903-671-3494, reteeks77@aol.com TIPS: Wright Patman’s water level is now above normal so most crappie will be on points or holding on brush close to open water. Work a jig two to three inches off the bottom and continue to raise your bait until you discover at which level the fish are suspended. Fishing should be best between daylight and 11:00 AM in 10 to 14 feet of water. With the water high be careful in windy conditions are there is the potential for high waves on this lake. BANK ACCESS: Red River Road bridge crossing Big Creek, catfish on night crawlers and cut shad, bream by bridge piers on crickets and worms

Louisiana Large LOCATION: Toledo Bend South HOTSPOT: Louisiana Islands GPS: N31 12.290’, W93 35.350

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SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: 3/4-ounce and 1-ounce white chartreuse spinnerbaits with double willow leaf blades, grass jigs, deep-diving crankbaits, 5/8-ounce and 3/4-ounce jigging spoons CONTACT: Joe Joslin, 337-463-3848, www.joejoslinoutdoors.com TIPS: High lake levels insure lots of power plant generating this month, making the Louisiana Islands even more productive. Prefrontal conditions will have bass holding close to cover, especially in low-light conditions. Fish large spinnerbaits using a yo-yo or slow roll retrieve to maximize your success with lower water temperatures. With cold, highpressure conditions consider a jigging spoon fished vertically in 25 to 40 feet as well as deep-diving crankbaits and football jigs on points and ridges in 12 to 25 feet. Opt for fluorocarbon line when possible. BANK ACCESS: Below generators for largemouth bass, catfish and striper. Fishing is best when generators are running. Call 337286-5244 for pre-recorded generator schedule. LOCATION: Toledo Bend North HOTSPOT: Sabine River GPS: N31 56.101, W93 58.794 SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Road Runners, Rat-L-Traps, tail spinners, mid-diving crankbaits, slab spoons CONTACT: Greg Crafts, 936-368-7151, www.toledobendguide.com TIPS: White bass will be migrating from the main lake area into the Sabine River proper. Where to fish is determined on the river’s level. If the river level is high, work the mouths of feeder creeks where they dump into the river and flooded sloughs and backwater with Road Runners and Rat-L Traps. If the river is low, use these baits to work the river channel inside bends, sand bars and eddies. Start on the south end of the river and work north as the white bass travel up river. The more current present, the further up river the fish will be traveling. BANK ACCESS: Public parks and marinas, crappie on live minnows, catfish on cut bait and liver LOCATION: Lake Conroe HOTSPOT: Main Lake GPS: N30 22.980, W95 34.930 SPECIES: hybrid stripers BEST BAITS: live shad, Storm Swim Shad, A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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CONTACT: Richard Tatsch, 936-291-1277, www.fishdudetx.com TIPS: hybrid stripers are now in full swing and this is the time of year to catch trophy fish and possibly a lake record hybrids. Fish will be found all around the lake on main lake points and humps. This time of year, they will start to group up in large schools in depths of 18 to 22 feet. Once you find fish in one area, it is quite possible to catch a limit in a matter of minutes. Good electronics are most helpful in locating fish! Live shad is your bait of choice but a Swim Shad will work well if you can control their depth. BANK ACCESS: Stowaway Marina, bream and catfish on live minnows or worms under cork

Hit the Walleye LOCATION: Lake Meredith HOTSPOT: The Marina at Lake Meredith GPS: N35 42.250, W101 33.199 SPECIES: walleye

BEST BAITS: minnows, red wiggler earthworms CONTACT: Mel Phillips, 806-353-3654, fishman@suddenlink.com TIPS: In January Lake Meredith can be quite cold. Your best bet is to fish the marina’s heated crappie house for walleye and a variety of other species. Minnows and red wiggler earthworms are your baits of choice but chicken livers, shrimp and cut bait are also productive. Walleye is the draw on Lake Meredith but half the fun of fishing the crappie house is not knowing what you will catch until you catch it. Walleye, largemouth bass, sand bass, and catfish are all likely to end up in the ice chest! BANK ACCESS: The main ramp at the marina, catfish on stinkbait, cut bait and chicken or turkey livers LOCATION: Lake Graham-Eddleman HOTSPOT: Power plant discharge area GPS: N33 07.594, W98 36.340 SPECIES: hybrids BEST BAITS: live shad, minnows and perch, jigs and slabs CONTACT: Dean Heffner, 940-329-0036, fav7734@aceweb.com TIPS: Fish the generator plant discharge G a m e ® / J A N U A R Y

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area with live bait just 1-1/2 cranks off the bottom with short leaders. Also, fish jigs in the same area to change things up. Keep an eye out for birds, as they are a sure sign of baitfish and hybrids below. If the bite is slow, works slabs on schools of fish found away from the discharge area. For best results, be sure to cover area in a slow and methodical fashion. BANK ACCESS: Hwy 380 public boat ramp, crappie on live minnows, bass on plastic worms, catfish on cut bait and liver

LOCATION: Palo Pinto Reservoir HOTSPOT: Power plant discharge area GPS: N32 39.318, W98 18.244 SPECIES: sand bass BEST BAITS: live shad and minnows, 1/4ounce and 3/8-ounce jigs and slabs CONTACT: Dean Heffner, 940-329-0036, fav7734@aceweb.com TIPS: Work your baits perpendicular to the current from the power plant discharge, using a slow rolling motion to bounce baits off the bottom. Then back off where fish are deep and present them with jigs and slabs. Get jigs as close to the cement inside the fence as possible. If warm water is discharging, you are going to catch fish. BANK ACCESS: Any of the parks and public boat ramps by the generator plant, crappie on live minnows, catfish on stinkbait, cut bait and liver LOCATION: Possum Kingdom Lake HOTSPOT: Mouth of Rock Creek Camp GPS: N38 52.122, W98 24.394 SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: live shad, Sassy Shad, slabs, jigs CONTACT: Dean Heffner, 940-329-0036, fav7734@aceweb.com TIPS: Slow presentations mean success in the cold of winter on Possum Kingdom. Work jigs, Sassy Shad and slabs fast on the rise, and slowly on the fall. Work live shad as you normally would. Egg sinkers and short leaders work best. You might also “cheat” with minnows this time of year as shad are deep and fish will readily take something live and perky. One-and-a-half cranks off the bottom in 20 to 40 feet with both live bait and artificials is the name of the game unless you N14

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get an active school under birds. Watch for birds first thing and then concentrate on working 20 to 30 foot breaklines as the morning wears on. Work slowly! BANK ACCESS: North D&D, largemouth and smallmouth bass on plastic worms, catfish on stinkbait and liver

Sheep Dolphin LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Dolphin Point (drive-up access) GPS: N26 4.044, W97 9.712

SPECIES: sheepshead BEST BAIT(S): live shrimp CONTACT: Pirate Landing Fishing Pier, 956-943-7437 TIPS: This is an excellent spot for a family fishing trip. There is the security provided by the pier railings, a shop to buy munchies, and some good fishing. You don’t have to go too far down the pier. Plenty of keeper-sized sheepshead hang out around the pilings near the sea wall. A free-shrimp rig with a split shot and No. 1 flounder hook is enough. Use stout tackle. There are some big fish under the pier.

San Antone Trout SPECIES: sheepshead BEST BAIT(S): live shrimp CONTACT: Quick Stop, 956-943-1159 TIPS: Big convict fish start aggregating along the rocks and the drop-offs when water temperatures dip. These aren’t the numbers that are present in March during the spawn, but there are plenty to keep fishermen from getting bored. Put a live shrimp 3 feet under a popping cork to suspend it over the rocks and right in a sheepy’s face. Don’t wait for the cork to submerge; it might simply move six inches or flop over on its side.

LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: South Bay GPS: N26 1.458, N97 11.023 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAIT(S): live bait; cut bait; SPI Lures Tandems in smoke, mullet, black/glitter, glow/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Allen Salinas, 956943-3474 TIPS: There is always a resident population of speckled trout in South Bay the yearround, and they aren’t hard to find. Fish the deeper, darker water. Set up a long drift. If you decide to eschew bait and use lures, then choose darker color patterns. Fish them slowly with as little action as possible. Trout prefer a more subtle presentation in winter. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Pirate’s Landing Fishing Pier GPS: N26 4.476, W97 12.193 F i s h

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LOCATION: San Antonio Bay HOTSPOT: Chicken Foot Reef GPS: N28 12.931’, W96 47.154’ SPECIES: speckled trout

BEST BAITS: Mansfield Mauler with Norton Bull Minnows in Electric Blue with chartreuse tail, and Morning Glory; Berkley Gulp is also becoming popular. CONTACT: Capt. Bob Hill, 361-983-4325 TIPS: The oyster reefs, probably 20-30 in San Antonio Bay, are excellent for attracting trout at this time of the year. Chicken Foot Reef is one of the better-known locations. Fish your lure slowly around the edges of the reefs. The Mauler works better over the reefs than the standard popping cork because it has more movement when you “pop” it. The trout seem to like that extra movement. LOCATION: San Antonio Bay HOTSPOT: Half Moon Reef GPS: N28 19.972’, W96 46.806’ SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Mansfield Mauler with Norton Bull Minnows in Electric Blue with chartreuse tail, and Morning Glory; Berkley Gulp is also becoming popular. CONTACT: Capt. Bob Hill, 361-983-4325 TIPS: The oyster reefs, probably 20-30 in San Antonio Bay, are excellent for attracting trout at this time of the year. Half Moon Reef


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is one of the better locations. Fish your lure slowly around the edge of the reef. The Mauler works better over the reefs than the standard popping cork because it has more movement when you “pop” it. The trout seem to like that extra movement.

LOCATION: San Antonio Bay HOTSPOT: Welders Flats GPS: N28 20.371’, W96 38.696’ SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Live shrimp under a popping cork CONTACT: Capt. Bob Hill, 361-983-4325 TIPS: Drift-fish close to deep water. The water is going to be cold; when it warms up the fish move up onto the flats.

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LOCATION: Galveston West Bay HOTSPOT: Carancahua Reef GPS: N29 12.898’, W95 00.442’ SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: bass Assassin and Brown Devil Eye in Limetreuse, Chartreuse CONTACT: Steve Hillman, 409-256-7937 TIPS: The stretch from Greens Cut all the way to Carancahua Reef is where to catch trout in the winter. Look for color changes. Bump the lure off the bottom, slowly. If it’s a

couple days after a warming trend and bait movement is spotted, work the lure fast

Email: Calixto: cgonzales@fishgame.com Kyle: ktomek@fishgame.com Tripp: tholmgrain@fishgame.com Tom: tbehrens@fishgame.com

Madame Specks LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Madame Johnson Bayou GPS: N29 50.839’, W29 50.839’ SPECIES: speckled trout

BEST BAITS: Corky Devils, Super Spooks; stained water-dark color, clear water-light color CONTACT: Capt. Steve Davis, 409-4601220 TIPS: Make long drifts from the shoreline, going from shallow to deep water. If you get a blow-up on the Spook, put the rod down and throw a Corky Devil. A lot of times, they will come back around and hit the Corky Devil.

LOCATION: Galveston West Bay HOTSPOT: Greens Cut GPS: N29 16.589’, W94 59.852’ SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: bass Assassin and Brown Devil Eye in Limetreuse, Chartreuse CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman, 409-2567937 TIPS: Drift-fish the color changes. The trout are in the clear water waiting for the bait to come out of the murky water. Let the weather conditions dictate lure presentation. If outside temperatures are cold, work the bait slowly along the bottom; speed up the lure presentation after a warming trend.

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Fish-N-Hunt: Paul Perrin’s Lasting Legacy ADE-FISHING THE COASTAL WATERS OF Texas and beyond would not be what it is today without Paul Perrin. You might know him as the commanding presence selling Walk-N-Wade leg guards for stingray protection at sport shows in the 1980s and 90s, exclaiming, “You’re crazy if you don’t wear these!” Or touting some other frank endorsement. Paul Perrin had a presence as big as Texas and although retired from the show circuit since 1998 due to a stroke, his legacy has only gained strength through time. It carries on through his inventions and innovations that make Wade-fishing safe and more comfortable than it was when he found-

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ed Fish-N-Hunt Inc. with his wife Pat in 1984. His inventing spirit soared after witnessing a friend get hit by a stingray on a beach in Mexico.

by Chester Moore, Jr. Perrin years ago told the story to outdoor writer Jerry Labella for his story, “Stingrays: A Wade-fisherman’s Nightmare”. “After playing medic on a Mexican beach, I realized I was too old to go through the same thing he did,” Perrin recounted. What ensued was experimentation with a variety of materials eventually settling on the

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kind used in bulletproof vests. And of course, eventually there was testing with a live stingray, which fortunately for Perrin proved successful. “Dad definitely wasn’t afraid to experiment and that translated to the quality products we see today. He was always tinkering with something and refining things so it was functional and worked for the fishermen who were slugging it out wading day in and day out,” said his son Phil Perrin. Phil said his father was not afraid to use fear as a selling tactic and often put photos of real life stingray strikes at his booth. “He would tell people they were nuts not to protect themselves and had no fear in selling.” Mark Jennings remembers meeting Perrin at a sports show in Houston when he first started wade-fishing and at first being taken aback by the descriptions of a stingray strike. “I didn’t know if I should get into this Wade-fishing thing or not but after talking with Mr. Perrin I realized there was a way to protect myself. I never wade without one of his wading belts and always have stingray protection. I owe that to a chance meeting many years ago,” Jennings said. “The gear holds up. I recently went to the new store and upgraded some of my equipment and was impressed with all the company has to offer now.” That kind of testimony is greatly appreciated but common for the Perrins and the new owners of Fish-N-Hunt. “Dad never met a stranger out there and was very good with people and really cared about helping protect them and make their fishing more comfortable. That was very important to him,” Phil Perrin said. And so was fishing with his family and friends. “We never lacked for an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors and remember lots of good times on the water fishing for speckled trout and redfish.” Besides taking his family and clients fishing, Paul Perrin made sure that those without


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the same opportunities his family had were able to enjoy these pursuits as well. Bart Reece’s family bought insurance from Perrin and that relationship translated to one of mentoring in the great outdoors. “My father had polio when he was a young man and could not take me hunting and fishing but Paul Perrin took the time to make sure I had opportunities to fish and that had a really big impact on me and it still does,” Reece said. “It really says something about a man to take a young person under their wing like that and help them out.” Letting go of Fish-N-Hunt was not an easy task for the Perrin’s not necessarily because of nostalgia or finances but because of their concern Paul’s inventions would continue to be made with quality. “I have made much bigger deals with many other companies that took a whole lot less time to do. The Perrins wanted to be sure everything was going to be done just right and that is part of what makes doing business with them such a pleasure,” said Mac Delaup of Fish-N-Hunt. Fish-N-Hunt continues with a commit-

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ment to its customers to provide exceptional fishing and hunting products, made of high quality materials for durability and use only proven innovative designs for functionality, comfort, and protection. Operated by friends who have a passion for the great outdoors, Perrin’s tradition of developing and producing unique, functional and long lasting gear lives on through the company’s products being sold all along the Gulf Coast and in a new retail location at 5829 Sam Houston Parkway in Houston. Besides the wading belts, nets, shooting blind bags, shotgun shell carriers and other unique amenities, they also make custom rods and carry Flatstalker Boats, American Rodsmiths Rods, Brown Lures, a variety of sporting art along with Got Tail and CCA licensed apparel. “This is a great place with lots of great gear for anyone with a love for coastal fishing,” said renowned coastal artist Sam Caldwell who attended a special event there last August to celebrate Perrin’s life. “You know people will benefit from Paul Perrin’s innovations for many, many years. Every time someone steps into their waders to

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wade-fish, they will be using something he invented or that one of his inventions inspired. Whether the anglers know it or not he has made their fishing easier and safer and that is quite a legacy to pass on.” Paul Perrin may have started out to simply solve a problem he saw but instead he has fundamentally changed Wade-fishing forever. His works are still benefiting the many people he came into contact with, and so many more through dogged determination, an entrepreneurial spirit, and a giving heart.

On the Web See an extended video tribute to Paul and Pat Perrin at www.fishgame.com/videocenter.

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What is a Keith Bullet? HAVE NO IDEA HOW MANY TIMES I HAVE HEARD some type of semi-wadcutter bullet called a “Keith bullet.” It seems that the term has become generic for a semi-wadcutter, and that is inaccurate. There are semi-wadcutters, and there are Keith bullets. All Keith bullets are semi-wadcutters, but not all semi-wadcutters are Keiths. A semi-wadcutter is a lead bullet (generally, although some jacketed or coated bullets have that form) that has a square shoulder and a square-pointed nose extending well forward of the shoulder. These are the only mandatory distinguishing features that I know of for a semi-wadcutter, and they are shared with the Keith. On the other hand, a true Keith bullet is a very distinct form of the semi-wadcutter. In 1928, Elmer Keith sent a crude drawing of a bullet to Lyman Products (then called Lyman Gun Sight Corporation), which had recently purchased Ideal. This bullet was adopted by Lyman/Ideal and introduced as the now famous No. 429421, the original Keith bullet for the .44 Special. No. 429421 became so popular that Keith followed it up with several more, most notably No’s. 454424 for the .45 Colt and 358429 for the .38 Special. What made these bullets so popular different from all the semi-wadcutters that were to follow? First, we were just coming out of the era when most rifle and pistol bullets had round noses. The round nose gave the handgun bullet a good profile for accuracy and pene-

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tration on game, but did nothing for its actual killing power. Keith realized this and designed his bullets with a big flat point (meplat) and a sharp, bore-diameter cutting shoulder with the same longitudinal thickness as the rest of the driving bands. His idea was that the flat point and square shoulder would cut flesh and blood vessels as well as paper targets, rather than merely pushing things aside as did the round-nosed bullets. The whole Keith enchilada is: A long nose with a radiused ogive for excellent longrange accuracy; wide, flat point for greater impact; three equally wide driving bands, the front band having a sharp, square shoulder; a single deep, flat-bottomed lube groove; deep crimp groove, slanted to the rear to assist in opening a deeply crimped cartridge case; and a square, flat base. If the bullet does not fit this description, it is not a Keith bullet. A great many very good bullets out there are not Keiths. I regularly use the Ray Thompson-designed bullets (Lyman 358156GC and 429244GC—GC meaning “gas check”) and think they are every bit as good as those designed by Elmer Keith, but are different and therefore are semi-wadcutters or Thompson bullets. At the time Elmer was designing his bullets, they were, as far as we know, the first of their kind. There were other bullets that had one or more of the features Keith incorporated, but his were the first with all the features in one package. I think it is safe to say that, for a time, Elmer’s bullets were the most popular in the country for revolvers. Today, there are so many different bullets and so many really good jacketed-bullets that modern designs have eclipsed the wonder of the Keith bullet. I think this is a mistake. The new LBT (Lead Bullet Technologies) bullets with the huge flat point but no driving band shoulder is said to be a better game bullet than the Keith. The thinking goes that the square shoulder does nothing, and the wide meplat is the most important F i s h

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feature for a bullet to be used on game. Maybe. However, I have shot both at both game and targets and it seems to me the Keith does exactly what Elmer said it did: Cuts a nice big hole that lets fluid out and air in. I have not found the LBT-type bullets noticeably superior in any way. When the .41 Magnum appeared in 1964, Lyman introduced a “Keith” bullet for it, No. 410459. Elmer did not design it, and it did not conform to his three equal driving bands, wide meplat, and square-bottomed lube groove formula. Elmer did not like the design and was probably miffed that they had the gall to introduce a “Keith” that he didn’t design, so he sent his own design to Hensley & Gibbs. H&G introduced their No. 258, which in reality is the only true Keith bullet for the .41 Magnum. That is not to say the 410459 is not a good bullet; it is, and I use it (because I can’t find an H&G mold). However, its meplat is too small and it has a rounded grease groove. Currently, there are few true Keith bullet molds on the market. The old Lyman 429421 was redesigned for easier casting and is no longer what Elmer envisioned. The only modern bullet that I am personally familiar with that is true to the original is the RCBS 44-250-K, but I have heard that some SAECO and NEI bullets fit the description. Why is all that important? Well, it probably isn’t, but now you know what a Keith bullet really is, and I have purged my need to tell you. So there. E-mail Steve LaMascus at guns@fishgame.com PHOTO BY STEVE LAMASCUS


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Capps and Coleman Rig HILE NOT EVEN CLOSE TO BEING AS large as the bass fishing tournament circuit, the world of crappie fishing for money is still competitive and has its own angling celebrities. These men won’t rival the superstars of BASS, but at the top of this short list of competitive crappie anglers are the names Ronnie Capps and Steve Coleman, who together have six National Championships and over $1.3 million in winnings. It is obvious these men know what they are doing so it would be wise to learn the techniques they use to win tournaments, the most popular being a trolling rig appropriately named the Capps and Coleman Rig. This rig can be found pre-tied and purchased from BNM Fishing but if you’re on the lake and need one immediately here’s how to make it. This is a rig used for slow trolling at depths greater than five feet and can be used to go 30 to 40 feet deep. If you are using this rig in deep water, use lighter line that will cut through the water easier making the presentation hang more vertically beneath the boat. This means there is less line out between the rod tip and the bait, which means less line to stretch when you set the hook or bow when you change speed and direction. This rig is fairly simple and can be made with items you should have rolling around the bottom of your tackle box right now. All you’ll need is a three-way-swivel, a couple hooks or jigs, some weight, and leader material. Start the rig by tying your main line to one of the eyes on the three-way-swivel. The type of knot used isn’t important for imparting action on the rig so just use the one you feel most comfortable tying. This next part is just personal preference

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but if you are holding the swivel in front of you with the eye pointing straight up that has the main line tied on then on the bottom right eye tie on a short leader around 18 inches to two feet long. Use a light monofilament, six to eight pound, for your leader material. On the end of this leader, tie on one of the hooks or small (1/32 or 1/64th) jigs. I prefer jigs due to their versatility. You can change colors, skirt material or even tip it with a minnow but sometimes a simple hook and minnow is more effective, especially in the winter when crappie are lethargic and unwilling to bite. On the last swivel eye (which currently has nothing attached) tie on another leader made from the same six to eight pound monofila-

ment, but this time make it a long one. The leader should be at least four feet long and can stretch as far as eight feet depending on angler preference. On the end of this leader, again tie on either a

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small bait hook or jig. If you’re not sure what mood the fish are in then use a minnow on one leader and a jig on the other until you figure out which one the fish are hitting better. On this longer leader, about 18 inches to two feet below the threeway swivel, crimp on a rubber core sinker. The size of the sinker needed is dependent on how deep and how fast you want to troll. If you plan to troll rather quickly or deep then use a minimum of a 1-ounce sinker. If you don’t have a

rubber core sinker then multiple split shot can be used as substitute. To fish this rig most crappie anglers put out a few rods off the front of the boat, point the bow into the wind, and slowly troll along the

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My entire life has been spent here on Galveston Bay. My great, great grandfather and his family moved here in the early 1920’s and he became one of the first shrimpers on Galveston Bay. He trawled with his boat, “Grandpa’s Pride” which was a 16-foot wooden hull that was powered by a 4-cylinder engine and a transmission from a Model T. My pawpaw and my father both followed in his footsteps by starting their own seafood businesses. We lived in a very small frame house on Dickinson Bayou from the early 70’s to the early 80’s. In 1982, I got my first boat which was a 12-foot John boat powered by an old 9.9 Johnson. During summer, when I wasn’t working on an oyster boat or filleting fish in our seafood market, I would venture out to areas in Dickinson Bay and lower Galveston Bay that my dad and my great uncle BB Hillman had shown me. I learned how to use MirroLures and Kelly Wiggler shrimp tails at a very early age because of them. It became obvious that saltwater was in my veins. Through my heritage and my love for fishing I decided to start my own charter business in 2004. I enjoy meeting people and I thoroughly enjoy sharing my fishing experience with them. Hillman Guide Service is 4 generations of knowledge, hard work, and the blessing of being able to share it with others all rolled into one. I run a 23-foot Gulf Coast and a 22-foot Boston Whaler equipped with state-of-the-art electronics. Please visit me at www.hillmanguideservice.com or call me at 409-256-7937 to schedule your next fishing trip. Happy fishing! —Captain Steve Hillman A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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LastMinute Deer NOTHER YEAR HAS PASSED US BY, BUT IN some parts of Texas, deer season is still going strong. If you have a tag and an empty freezer, you still have a good chance to score on a nice whitetail. You will just need to know where to find them. It is time to change hunting tactics a bit. With all the hunting pressure in the woods lately, the deer have learned to adapt once again and go into survival mode. All year long deer have to avoid the hog hunters, hikers, and just about any other human activity in the woods. Now add to the equation a number of deer hunters, both bow and rifle, that have invaded the whitetail’s home turf, and you will be amazed that there are any deer left in the woodlot at all.

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FRESHWATER RIGS  Continued from Page N19 edge of a channel, hump, or point. As you troll, the bait on the short leader will ride along vertically in the water. The leader with the weight will ride slightly deeper, depending on how far down the leader you put the weight, and slightly behind the first, allowing you to fish a couple slightly different depths. Adjust your speed (slower for deeper, faster for shallower) until you find the right depth the fish are suspending. E-mail Paul Bradshaw at freshrigs@fishgame.com N22

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Where do they go? How can you find them? After being chased all season, the deer find the most unlikely places to hide until the pressure cools down a bit. In order to find these elusive masters you will most likely have to put up with a few people who may think you have totally lost it. You should try hunting in those small islands in the middle of fields. Or those little 2-acre woodlots that you find in the middle of nowhere. Get in there well before it thinks of getting light and just sit and wait. If deer are using the field to feed in, you might find the buck you were looking for heading straight for your “island” where he feels secure. I mean…who in their right mind would search for him there? I know what you are thinking. You just have no confidence that the deer are really in there. Oh, you read about it and have read about it before, but still you have a hard time convincing yourself that you are not wasting your time. My answer to that is, “What have you got to lose?” You already have spent countless number of hours searching for him in your favorite woodlot and you still have your tag. He just might be in that small sweet spot that no one would ever think of hunting. If you are like me, by this time of the year, you are so tired of getting up at dark thirty in the morning, your warm bed, and some much needed sleep sound so much better than yet another trek in the woods trying to bring home some venison. It is not a bad idea to try your luck later in the day. So how can you expect to fill your tag in the middle of the day when the deer are already in their beds? I agree that it is extremely difficult to be successful if you are alone. The deer hear you coming from a mile away and are ready to sneak off to parts unknown. I have tried a couple of tricks that have worked—at least some of the time. You will need the aid of a friend or two. Here is where you find who your real friends are. The first thing you need to do after locating a small patch of woods is to check the wind direction. Both you and your buddy should line up at one end of the thicket. Keep F i s h

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the wind in your face and have you friend start to zigzag slowly through his side of the woods. Wait about five minutes or so and then you should start to walk slowly through your side of the woods. It is important that you are as quiet as you can be. By zigzagging through one side of the woods, any deer that may be bedded down should simply sneak off to the other side of the woods and wait for your friend to pass on by. Often times, a deer will not only move to the other side of the woods, but will try to circle behind the intruder to catch his scent and then bed back down. This is why you, as the second driver, should be alert at all times. If a deer is indeed bedded down there, you have an excellent chance of seeing him try to sneak away from the first driver and walk right to you unaware of your presence. If you see him before he sees you, you might fill your freezer that afternoon! Another way to drive deer in the late season involves two of your friends. If you already know a well used deer trail that could be an escape route, set up near that deer run. It is important to remember to keep the wind in your face. Have your buddies walk along the outer perimeter of the small woodlot. They should carry with them something that would leave a foreign smell to the woods. It could be some cheap cologne, after shave, or even a can of W-D 40. Every once in a while, they can spray a little of this scent onto a bush as they walk the outside of the woods. Now you are using the buck’s best defense, his nose, against him. Have your friends start slowly bumping the deer along in the woods towards you. If the deer start to head for the edge of the woodlot, they will smell what they perceive to be danger. After all, they just heard someone walking the edge of their bedroom. They will want to stay in the woods and your friends should bump the deer right to you. It might work…might not, but it sure beats watching the hunting shows on TV while you still have a tag to fill.

E-mail Lou Marullo at lmarullo@fishgame.com


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Cajun Meatloaf with Yellow Squash Casserole NE OF MY FAVORITE MEALS GROWING UP was meatloaf. This is my spicy grown up version, if you do not want it spicy, then simply leave out the jalapeno and cayenne pepper.

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Cajun Meatloaf 1 medium yellow onion, chopped 1 stalk celery, chopped 1/2 medium red bell pepper, cored, seeded, chopped 2 green onions, minced 2 large jalapenos, seeded, and chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 2 bay leaves 3/4 tsp salt 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper 1/2 tsp black pepper, freshly ground 1/4 tsp nutmeg 1 Tbs Worcestershire sauce 1 Tbs Texas Gourmet’s Sweet Chipotle Season All 2 Tbs unsalted butter 1/4 cup milk

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1/4 cup catsup 1/2 cup breadcrumbs, fine, dry 1 lb. lean ground beef 1/2 lb. lean ground pork shoulder 2 eggs, slightly beaten Preheat the oven to 375. Mix the onion, celery, bell pepper, green onions, garlic, bay leaves, salt, cayenne pepper, black pepper, Sweet Chipotle Season All , nutmeg, and Worcestershire sauce in a medium sized bowl. Melt the butter in a heavy 10-inch skillet over moderate heat. Add the vegetable/spice mixture and cook uncovered for 6 minutes, stirring constantly until the onions and peppers are soft. Remove from the heat and let cool until warm to the touch. Discard the bay leaves. Stir in the milk, catsup, and breadcrumbs. In a large bowl, combine the beef, pork, eggs, and the breadcrumb mixture. Pack the meat mixture into a greased, 9x5x3-inch loaf pan. (At this point, the meatloaf can be covered tightly with aluminum foil and stored. Refrigerate for up to 4 days; freeze for up to 3 months. Place the covered meatloaf in the freezer; when frozen, remove from the pan, wrap in heavy-duty aluminum foil, label, and return to freezer. If you intend to microwave the frozen meatloaf, shape the meatloaf in an 8-inch round then cut in half, freeze, etc.) Bake the meatloaf, uncovered, 50-55 minutes or until it is dark brown and pulls away from the sides of the pan. Slice to desired thickness and serve with boiled redskin potatoes and zucchini, pepper, and tomato gratin—or yellow squash casserole.

2-3/4 sticks of unsalted butter- (or 6 Tbs margarine) 3 tsp olive oil 1 sleeve Ritz crackers, crushed fine 2 eggs, beaten 1/2 tsp Beau Monde (spice found in the spice section of your favorite grocery store) 3/4 cup milk 1 cup mozzarella, grated 1/2 tsp black pepper Sauté onion in butter until clear. Add squash, season with Beau Monde Seasoning and black pepper. Sauté until softened, remove from heat, transfer to a large bowl, add Ritz cracker crumbs, eggs, milk, olive oil, mozzarella cheese; stir well to combine. Place in a greased 9x9 baking dish and bake in a preheated 325 oven uncovered for 40 minutes or until golden brown. Serve hot. Contact Bryan Slaven, "The Texas Gourmet," at 888-234-7883, www.thetexasgourmet.com; or by email at texas-tasted@fishgame.com

www.twitter.com/FishandGame

Yellow Squash Casserole 5 to 6 yellow squash (or combination of yellow and zucchini squash) sliced into 1/4inch rounds 1 white or yellow sweet onion- chopped A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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Note: All non-digital photos submitted become the property of Texas Fish & Game and will not be returned. TF&G makes no guarantee when or if any submitted photo will be published.

SEND YOUR PHOTOS TO: photos@fishgame.com or by mail at:

1745 Greens Road Houston, Texas 77032

JAVELINA—MCMULLEN COUNTY

SPECKLED TROUT—ARROYO CITY

PERCH—BLANCO RIVER STATE PARK

Melvin Rutledge caught these two speckled trout Kate Davis, age 6, of George West, Texas, with her Hannah Carrola, age 5, of Houston, Texas, caught her first perch while fishing with her uncle David at the same time while night fishing with his first trophy javelina, taken in McMullen County. during an outing to the Blanco River State Park. brother Michael near Green Island out of Arroyo City. The specks were 19 and 24 inches.

BASS—BEDIAS

WHITETAIL BUCK—KERR COUNTY

Father and daughter, Joey and Avery Heering of Houston, Texas, show off Avery’s first fish, caught at Bedias, Texas. The 3.2-pound bass was caught on a Barbie fishing pole.

Randall Taylor, age 9, shot his first deer on the Kotham Ranch in Kerr County, Texas. He used a youth model H&R 223 to bag the 8-point, 135pound whitetail buck.

REDFISH—PORT MANSFIELD

SMALLMOUTH BASS—THE ADIRONDACKS

CATFISH—LEON COUNTY

Marlin Vasek, age 13, from Frelsburg, Texas, caught his first two redfish in Port Mansfield. The reds were 4-1/2 pounds, 24 inches and 8 pounds, 27-1/2 inches, and were caught on Berkley Gulp! bait.

Jane Covey, age 4, of College Station, Texas, shows her sister Ellen, age 2, the smallmouth bass she caught while wade-fishing with their dad John on Piseco Lake in the Adirondacks.

Five-year-old Palmer Hill of McKinney, Texas, caught this 1-pound catfish in a private lake in Leon County, while fishing with his dad, David Hill.

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don’t recall the old-timer’s name, but I remember well the brief conversation we shared on a chilly December morning in 1992 in the cozy warmth of The Bass Lantern restaurant at Lake Fork. The topic of discussion was the special wintertime crappie limit the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department had placed on Fork and Lake O’ The Pines the previous year. “Sonny, you won’t find a much better crappie lake than this one, and I am hoping the new limit will help keep it that way,” he said. “A ton of fish were being wasted before they changed it. Believe it or not, I saw times when the wind was just right that you could follow a trail of dead crappie straight to the boats down by the dam.” The special limit in question requires anglers to retain the first 25 crappie caught, regardless of size, as opposed to following the standard statewide minimum length limit of 10 inches. The rule is time specific in that it applies only during the three-month period spanning 1 December-28 February. A similar wintertime “no cull” limit was put in place for the Texas side of Toledo Bend in 1998. The only exception is that anglers are allowed to retain 50 fish daily instead of 25 in order stay reciprocal with Louisiana limits. Failure to abide by the regulation is grounds for a citation. The offense is Class C misdemeanor punishable by a fine of $25500. The special winter “no cull” rule on select lakes accommodates crappie behavior and angler perception. Crappie are school fish that spend a high percentage of their lives in deep water. During the dead of winter, when surface temperatures dip below 50 degrees, crappie frequently gather in water depths beyond 25 feet. The fish gravitate to channels, points, brush, timberlines, and other structure that attracts clouds of shad. Like other fishes, the crappie’s air bladder inflates and deflates slowly to help it achieve neutral buoyancy as it moves up or down in the water column. When a fish is snatched out of deep water, its air bladder is sometimes unable to adjust quickly enough to compensate for the sudden change in pressure that occurs when it is reeled to the surface.

The air bladder over-inflates when this happens and “hyperbuoyancy” sets in, causing excessive pressure to be placed on other internal organs. This can hamper the crappie’s ability to swim upright and re-submerge once released, ultimately causing many fish to die from stress or predator attacks as they fin helplessly on the surface for hours on end. Fork, Lake O’ the Pines, and Toledo Bend support bountiful populations of crappie, thus making them popular destinations

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SPECIAL REGS ON CRAPPIE & CATS Crappie and catfish anglers need to be aware of “special” length and bag limit regulations that are in effect on several Texas lakes:

CRAPPIE: Between 1 December and 28 February, there is a “no-cull” rule in effect on crappie caught from Toledo Bend, Fork, and Lake O’ the Pines. The regulation was implemented several years ago, because of the high incidence of delayed mortality in fish pulled from deep water. Anglers are required to keep every crappie they catch up to a legal limit.

CATFISH: Several lakes have restrictive length and creel limits on blue, channel, and flathead catfish that vary from the statewide regs. See the 2009-10 Texas Outdoors Annual for the updated list.

among crappie anglers. Those in the know have learned the fish stack like cord wood in deep water in the same places each winter. “Back when the crappie fishing at Fork was at its height, it was fairly common to have 150 to 200 boats piled up out there between SRA Point and Bird Island at one time,” recalled Martin Edwards, former owner of Minnow Bucket Marina. “At &

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times, it looked like a Spanish armada out there. You could literally walk from boat to boat. It’s not as big a deal as it used to be, but Fork still gets a ton of pressure each winter.” Much the same could be said of the winding stretch of the Big Cypress Creek channel on the lower end of Lake O’ the Pines, and the famed mid-lake stretch of the Sabine River on Toledo Bend known as the “Chicken Coop.” Once word gets out that the wintertime crappie bite is in progress on those lakes, anglers flock in droves in hopes of stocking their freezers with succulent filets. “It is nothing out of the ordinary to see 100-plus boats lined up out there along the Big Cypress channel on a cold winter day,” said Tim Bister, the Marshall-based TPWD fisheries biologist who oversees Lake O’ the Pines. “It’s a pretty awesome sight.” It would be false to say that every angler who soaks a jig or shiner for crappie catches a 25-fish, 10-inch limit on a given day, but those who do might have to sort through 1525 undersize fish to get there. Even if only half of the released fish go belly-up due to an over-inflated bladder, the picture isn’t very appealing, especially if there are 200 other anglers in the vicinity and a percentage of them are doing the same thing. Therein lies the sociological foundation for the restrictive crappie regulation that l goes into effect each winter. For many anglers, tossing back dozens of short crappie they knew were going to die was perceived as an involuntary waste of game. “Before we implemented the rule, there were a lot of deep-caught crappie being released because they were under the 10inch minimum, and a lot of those fish were dying,” said Ken Kurzawski, regulations coordinator for the TPWD inland fisheries division. “There is always a certain amount of that with any length limit, but it seemed real excessive on those lakes. The public perception was that there were a bunch of fish being killed and wasted. That was the primary reason behind going to the no-release regulation.” So, sack up a mess of “skillet size” crappie this winter without guilt or fear—it’s legal and good for the fishery.


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Texas Freshwater by Matt Williams| TF&G Freshwater Editor TF&G FIRST

TPWD Secrecy Erodes Confidence F STATE AGENCIES WERE ALLOWED TO MAKE New Year’s resolutions, now would be a good time for the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department to make a vow to stop keeping secrets from its constituents. Doing so would save some of the department’s honest employees a world of embarrassment. Plus, it might improve customer relations with the people who pay their salaries—Texas hunters and anglers. TPWD has been called to the carpet several times over the years for withholding information from the public. Witness the media blitz that resulted in September 2008, after the wildlife division unofficially “opened” dove season two days early for select members of a team engaged in a threeyear lethality study aimed at determining the effectiveness of steel shot vs. lead shot on mourning dove. Outfitters and hunters alike were outraged, because they felt the pre-season shoot would dampen opening day shoots in adjacent fields. The media reacted because TPWD did not think it was important enough to give anyone advance notice of the study shoot. The second day of the pre-season study shoot was subsequently canned, but the damage was already done. TPWD was shamed so badly that it hosted a press conference in Austin this summer to brief the media before the final leg of the study was carried out. You would think the folks at TPWD would have learned a textbook lesson about public relations by now. Apparently, they

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have not. Otherwise, its hatchery or inland fisheries divisions would not have waited nearly six months to brief constituents about a major construction flaw discovered last April at the state’s $27 million John D. Parker East Texas Fish Hatchery. Here is a little background: The facility, currently under construction below the Sam Rayburn Reservoir dam in Jasper County, is being funded using money generated by annual Freshwater Fishing Stamp sales to about 1 million anglers. In other words, the hatchery is an angler investment spearheaded by angler dollars. TPWD is the agency in charge of overseeing the project, which broke ground in July 2008 with a scheduled completion date of March 2010. Progress was moving along nicely until last April. That’s when TPWD learned that at least two sections of 60-inch and 48inch-diameter drainage pipe linked to 45 acres of production ponds had collapsed 1017 feet underground. Further investigation revealed that up to 11,000 feet of additional pipe might need to be removed and replaced in order to fix the problem—a task that could tack on several million dollars to the cost of the project, according to Scott Boruff, TPWD deputy executive director. The department hired Tulanay-Wong Engineering, Inc. of Beaumont to evaluate the drainage system, find out the cause of the failure, and suggest the best way to fix it. Boruff also expects the investigation to determine who will ultimately be held liable for absorbing the cost to fix the problem. The parties involved include the building contractor, Allco, Inc. of Beaumont, and the hatchery designer, HDR FishPro of Omaha, Nebraska. The evaluation was still ongoing as September gave way to October. TPWD officials said the glitch could delay the completion date until fall or winter of 2010, but it could take even longer should the liability debate wind up in a courtroom. While problems frequently occur in construction projects of this magnitude, I have to believe that any investor would frown on being kept in the dark for as long as Texas freshwater anglers were snubbed on this deal. T E X A S

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Look at it this way: Let’s say you are the sole investor in a $10 million construction project. Now, let’s assume the project meets with a stumbling block that potentially could cost several million dollars in labor, materials, and interest money to fix. Would you not expect the entity overseeing the project to inform you about the problem sooner than six months after the fact? After learning about the pipe failure in late September, I made phone calls to Austin to find out the details. Key TPWD representatives on the list included Boruff, inland fisheries director Phil Durocher, chief of inland hatcheries Todd Engeling, and TPW Commission Chairman Peter Holt of San Antonio. Each was helpful in providing details about the drainage pipe issue. However, no one offered a satisfactory explanation as to why the department waited until fall to tell its investors about a problem they had known about since spring. Holt’s response pretty much summarizes the reply offered by every TPWD official when asked about the delayed notification: “I don’t disagree that the fishermen deserved to know, but at the same time we weren’t quite sure what the problem was for quite a while. We have to be careful, because we’re trying to work with the partners to get this hatchery built in a cooperative, collaborative manner. Our goal is the end result, to get this hatchery built and get it built the right way.” Just so you know, TPWD finally issued a press release to inform Texas fishermen about the pipe failure on September 25, just days after reporters started asking questions. It is worth noting that Beaumont Enterprise reporter Sarah Moore actually visited the hatchery site on assignment in early September. Moore’s story centered on how great the new facility will be once complete, which is true. Interestingly, however, the reporter said her TPWD tour guide never bothered to tell her about all the crumpled drainage pipe buried in the sandy soil beneath their feet. While TPWD might think differently, that is secrecy any way you slice it. It is disrespectful to Texas anglers, too. E-mail Matt Williams at freshwater@fishgame.com G a m e ® / J A N U A R Y

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The November stubble held remnants of the harvest littering deep tractor ruts. As the sun wakened, so did the roost in the western sky. Gaggles began brewing as a cacophony of honks and yodels brought the coastal prairie to life. The first set made a beeline for our locale; we had made the right choice, validated by the phosphorous glow of excrement sprinkled about the field. We

Goose hunting has changed. These are not the same specklebellies your grandfather told you about. “I have been doing this a long time,” said guide Dennis Sbrusch of Bill Sherrill Waterfowl in Wharton. “Everybody knows snow geese are hard to hunt, and more hunters are finding out specks are not as easy as they used to be.” It began about seven seasons ago, particularly when Texas raised the bag limit from

as if they had a meeting the night before and received a crash course on the aspirations of shotgunners. Whoever lectured that night made an impact; late-season specks have been tougher to hunt since. “We know it is coming,” said Sbrusch. “Specks decoy so easily in November. It really makes us (guides) look good. But, we know once

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Late-season specklebellies are more wary and challenging to hunt than early-season birds.

quickly sunk our silhouettes beneath the foothigh straw, gave a quick three-note gargle, and wings locked—easy pickin’s at 15 yards. You gotta love specklebellies. White-front geese (specklebellies) have long been the “gimme” bird of Texas goose hunters. Much like green-winged teal to duck hunters, specks are consistent bagfillers on the rice prairies of Texas. However, count on the above scenario playing out through January, and light straps will humble you. 40

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one to two birds a day. That thrilled seasoned goose hunters like me. Think about it: A six-man hunt able to harvest six specks now was a guaranteed dozen-bird hunt before the first snow goose hit the dirt. All was well with easy limits throughout November and into the first few days of December. Then, without warning, specklebellies became fickle; flipped the light switch, so to speak. What were laughable, gullible flocks of decoying barred birds, turned to affluently snobbish avians. It was F i s h

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December gets here and these birds have been hunted for a month, they are going to change. It is a day-to-day thing once December gets here.” Why the drastic change? Pressure. Hunting pressure increased 100 percent when the limit went from one to two birds. What had been one to two flocks busted for a limit has now been extended to double that number and more. Hunting parties have grown larger, especially with the sensibility of the snow goose. A group of 10 hunters figures they can harvest 20 birds as a group, a respectable hunt by any account. Shooting


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A flight of specks on approach pattern for a decoy spread.

20 or more birds requires bird traffic, and more flocks being shot at results in more flocks being educated. It is not legal to harvest birds in the above scenario of “group hunting.” The law clearly states each hunter is allowed two birds per man. Once you have harvested your pair, it is unlawful to “help” others in the hunting party attain their limit. It is against the law to attain a “boat limit” while hunting migratory game birds. To put it plainly, you must shoot your own birds. “Sometime around December 5-10 is when they have flipped the switch the past few years,” said Sbrusch. “Your hunters look at you like, ‘What is wrong?’ ” Other waterfowlers believe food, or lack thereof, has an impact on the specklebelly’s attitude. In November, there is an abundance of food on the ground. Notice that flocks of geese (snows and specks) congregated together in the middle of fields for daily grazing. The middle of the field is the safest spot away from predators like coyotes, bobcats, and Homo sapiens. As the food becomes scarce, birds are forced to move to edges of fields. Flocks scatter into smaller

groups, and by late December and certainly January, dark geese are not associating with light geese. Notice, too, small groups of specks in fields alone, while large flocks of snows continue to feed gregariously in fields of green wheat or rye grass. Tested goose hunters know a change in tactics is a must to harvest January specks. Begin with your decoys. Limit the number of dark goose decoys in your white spread. Now, if you are hunting an area with large concentrations of Canada geese, you have to make a decision: Is the possibility of fooling cacklers more likely than tricking specks? If so, add pepper. If too spicy for specks, go light on the pepper. “Just take a look in the field in January and you will see why we fix our spreads the way we do,” said Sbrusch. “You have to mimic the birds, and by this time of year, specklebellies are segregating themselves from snow geese.” We have all heard the adage: “If you can’t say nothing good, don’t say nothing at all.” It holds merit for goose hunters, too. By January, specks have heard every T E X A S

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sweet and sour note on the prairie. Neither sounds good. Hence, it is easy to spot a rookie goose hunter in January—first by their decoy placement, second by their calling. Veteran callers know to swallow their calls’ leave them at home. This time of year, it is all about location. If specklebellies want your field, feel blessed. If not, blow ‘em off and go about your business. When you see specklebellies in the air in January, listen to their silence. Few if any yodel unless they are alarmed. “We shoot a lot more snow geese in January than we do specklebellies,” said Sbrusch. “We don’t even really expect to shoot specks anymore since they have become so weird. We shoot more by just being quiet and still and letting the birds come to us.” In other words, play the quiet game. “Keep your call in your pocket. That’s the best advice I can give.”

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sed boat buyer beware: You could end up with a stinker just as easily as a sweetheart. Buying a used boat is a risky proposition in any economy, but it’s even riskier these days since many people have postponed regular maintenance or left their boat sitting on dry land for months at a time, causing seals to dry and gel coats to fade. But there is a bright side to the marine world’s slow-down: Many people are downright desperate to get rid of their boats. In fact, boats are commonly selling at a fraction of book value, so this is a great time to buy—if you know what to look for.

The Walkthrough The first stage in checking out any used boat is a simple walk-through. This can be done on dry land or in the water, but doing it on land is better since it lets you look at the hull bottom for chips, dings, and cracks. If you find any, mark it down on your pad. What pad? You know, the pad you are writing on. A good shopper carries a notepad and a pen to take down detailed notes about every boat. Make separate pages headed: Looks, Accessories, Cushions, Canvas, Electrical, Structure, and Electronics. Keep a page or two free for extra notes. Did you find any blemishes on the exterior; gel coat cracking in the common places, like around cleats, rail stanchions, and other through-bolted hardware? If so, write it down. If you decide to make an offer on the boat, those notes will be ammunition for haggling a lower price. Check out all of the boat’s accessories and make sure they work. Turn everything on and off—running, deck, and spreader lights; windshield wipers; fish-finders and chart plotters; VHF radios; stereos; bilge, washdown, and livewell pumps. If it has a switch, test it out. Cushions are items to examine closely. Mildew stains and cracks in the vinyl are obvious problems, but also un-zip the cushion covers and inspect the foam inside. Is it intact and springy, or compressed and crumbling? If it is compressed, you will need to replace it or risk a bruised butt; if it is crum44

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bling, the foam will soon be useless. Do the same check on coaming bolsters and back rests. Canvas tops should be inspected for holes, tears, and sags. Canvas loses its waterproofing properties with age, so you also want to put it to a spray test. Turn on the washdown pump and give the top a good spritz. Then inspect its underside for drips and leaks. Checking the electrical system might take some contortions, because you want to look where no man has looked before. Specifically, go to connections in the bilge, behind the dash, and in the anchor locker. Green crud on connections is bad, a heatshrink seal is good. Grab the wiring harnesses and give them a shake. If they move freely, downgrade them in your notes; all wires should be well organized, loomed, and supported every 6 inches or so. The boat’s structure is, of course, imperative. Some people will hire a surveyor to assess it—a good idea, especially with large boats—but most of us will trust our own eyes, so make sure you look at the common trouble spots. A rotted transom (on boats built with wood-cored transoms) is one of the most common issues. If the boat has an outboard, rock it up and down while looking for flexing in the transom. You can also tap on the fiberglass with a hammer and listen for a hollow sound. Stringers must also be checked closely. Look for cracks where they are bonded to the hull, and consider any separation or delamination a critical flaw. Look closely at the hull-to-deck joint and make sure it isn’t coming apart. Sometimes it is visible under the gunwales; if not, you can always get a glimpse of it by poking your head into the anchor locker and shining a flashlight around. Inspect the rub rail closely, too. If you spot an unusual hump in it, or see a place where it is spreading at the seams or popping off, you could have a joint issue hidden underneath. If looking at an aluminum boat, push a Phillips head screwdriver against the hull every few feet. Probe thoroughly for weak spots, and if you find any, consider the boat a dud. Finally, get a gander at the electronics. Everyone has their own favorite brands, so F i s h

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used boat electronics might or might not be of use to you. If they are to your liking, check the plugs in the back where cracks and breaks commonly occur, then fire up the units and make sure they do not suffer from aged, fading screens.

The Sea Trial To assess the motor’s condition, you need to splash the hull. But first, run a compression check and be sure cylinder pressures are within 10 percent of each other. If not, you are looking at a big problem just waiting to happen. Check the lower unit oil; pull the lower screw plug, drip a bit into a clear plastic cup, and hold it up in the sunlight. If you spot any water in the oil, run away. If the motor is a four-stroke, check the crankcase oil as well. Look for not only water but also for cleanliness; dirty oil is a sure sign of lackluster maintenance. Glance at the prop, too, and make sure it is not all dinged up. Ready to go for a ride? Watch for excessive smoke upon start-up. Now hit the throttle and make sure the boat pops onto plane quickly enough for your tastes. Run the trim up and down to be sure it operates smoothly; if it is jerky and uneven, it might be low on fluid, indicating a leaky seal and a hefty repair bill. Work the throttle and wheel to feel how smoothly they operate. As the boat is running, make sure there are not any significant vibrations at any particular RPM. If satisfied with the test run, it is time to make an offer. Whip out your pad and use it to make a list of all the repairs or upgrades you consider appropriate. Give each an approximate value and subtract it from the asking price. The remaining number is your starting point offer—but don’t offer it yet. Times are tough and you do not want to part with any cash you do not have to spend, and the seller knows how hard it is to sell a used boat right now. Cut your offer another 15 or 20 percent and toss it onto the table. Get ready to negotiate. Play your cards right, and you could end up with a real sweetheart of a boat—for the price of a stinker.


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Texas Saltwater by Calixto Gonzales | TF&G Saltwater Editor

Log Roll APTAIN LARRY CORBETT ORDERED AS HE pulled in our fourth redfish in 15 minutes.“Hit the man-overboard button!” “I want to mark this stretch.” While Corbett tussled, I hit the MOB button on his GPS plotter, then grabbed the net and scooped the 25-inch spottail onboard. Corbett quickly measured the fish, dropped it into the ice chest, and reached into his tackle bag to withdraw a hardbound high-school composition book and chewedup ballpoint pen. He mumbled some details to himself as he jotted them down in the book, pausing only to look at his watch or get the exact numbers off his plotter. “Keep fishing,” he said. “I’ll be done in a minute.” We were in the middle of a wide-open redfish bite—and Corbett was taking notes? “The fish are here right now,” Corbett told me. He held up the slightly warped book in front of me. “This tells me when they might be back.” Fishing logbooks are important tools for professional and recreational fishermen alike. As I learned on that trip with Corbett so many years ago, some anglers consider a logbook so important they never leave the dock without it. Federal and international regulations require all commercial fishermen to keep logbooks of both fishing and non-fishing activity for each trip. They submit them to the appropriate regulatory administrations, such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). If an electronic logbook is used, then the data is emailed. Charter captains holding federal permits must also keep per-trip catch logs that they submit to the feds. NOAA agents sort, evaluate, and factor them into policy decisions, sometimes to the chagrin of commercial and recreational interests alike. Recreational anglers do not have to submit personal logs for scrutiny by federal or state bureaucracies, but these fishing diaries are vital fishing tools. Anglers and skippers

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guard them jealously, and judiciously record any information they consider important. I remember when I tried to sneak a peak into Corbett’s that he simply snarled, “Don’t!” with a look that promised that I’d be slogging back to port if I failed to heed the warning. A logbook offers a simple and efficient way for fishermen to narrow their fishing strategies to those potentially most effective for any given set of conditions, thus saving time, fuel, and effort. Detailed logs also allow captains to record reference points they can rely on from year to year. I started keeping a log some eight years ago, about the same time I began writing for Texas Fish & Game. Initially, it was a method of keeping track of information I found useful (and still do) for stories. As my log grew, I began to notice it was a valuable way of tracking fish habits and migrations on Lower Laguna Madre. There is some variance from year to year from a number of factors such as weather, water temperature, and so on, but fish habits remain fairly consistent. Fish will return to the same structure every year, and migration patterns hold true, barring any significant events that might alter them. Fishing logs can be little more than a spiral notebook, a ring binder with a ream of paper, a high school composition book like Corbett’s, or worksheets set up with a computer program such as Excel. Available software for electronic fishing logbooks is primarily geared to the commercial fishing sector and the regulations its members must abide by, but technology has come a long way toward enhancing recreational angler logbooks. With a simple click of the mouse, an angler can tap into condition data and maps provided by NOAA, and weather forecasts and current sea conditions are provided by the National Weather Service, all of which can prove important information for a logbook. Most importantly, fishermen can download data straight from the electronics on their boat console. GPS and GPS/sonar units store waypoints and programmed spots (remember the man overboard button?) that fishermen can recall from the internal memory and jot down in their hardcopy logbooks T E X A S

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or download directly to a laptop computer or portable data device. If the GPS unit is capable of accepting an SB Memory card, you can store your waypoints and spots to the card and transfer them to another GPS unit with similar functions. Waypoint recording is an important piece of logbook keeping, said Dale Logue, product manager for Humminbird Electronics. “You can mark the time, date, depth, and GPS numbers of each waypoint.” Logue said that a new program on the horizon will enhance waypoint management even further. Humminbird PC software will allow transfer of waypoints from a unit to a desktop or laptop, where users can rename them, or even highlight and view them using Google Earth. Humminbird PC adds an electronic element to logbook keeping that will expand its effectiveness for fishermen. CatchLog Trading is designing a version of the CatchLog electronic logbook program specifically for recreational anglers. CatchLog managing director Dieter Bohm said CatchLog is a simple program that does not require high-level computer skills to use: “Anyone who can use the internet can use CatchLog to log on to a web-based database, record their own data, and view general catches from other fishermen. Anglers can view their own catch records for any period of time or moon phase and species.” Logbooks have come a long way from a waterlogged composition book and chewedup pen, but they still give the studious fisherman an edge over a quarry that has always been well educated; they do live in schools, you know.

On the Web www.noaa.gov www.nws.noaa.gov E-mail Calixto Gonzales www.catchlog.com cgonzales@fishgame.com

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Hunt Texas by Bob Hood | TF&G Hunting Editor “During the remainder of the day, we passed through a flat country and found a great many deer. We saw around us, almost at the same time, as many as three or four hundred of these animals.” During the colonization of Texas from the early 1800s to about the Civil War period, many American explorers and settlers reported seeing large numbers of whitetail deer in South, East, Central, and portions of

The Whitetail Legacy

S ANOTHER WHITETAIL DEER SEASON closes, scores of jeeps, pickup trucks, and four-wheelers have begun their journeys home brandishing new scratches from the brush, clumps of mud, dust, and maybe bloodstains from a quarry that holds a place of upmost distinction in the hearts and minds of many hunters. As I witness such an exit from the woods each year, I often have wondered how anyone could not realize how important whitetail deer have been to mankind since he first stepped foot on this continent. We all can learn from lessons in history and I cannot think of many history lessons as important as that involving the whitetail deer and the animal’s role in the development and perseverance of life in the United States. The whitetail deer played a tremendous role in the American frontier. Early American Indians used the whitetail deer for clothing, blankets, food, and items to barter, and early explorers and colonists likewise utilized the skins and meats extensively. The famed trophy whitetail deer area of South Texas was much less brushy 400 years ago than today, with most of the dense brush confined to rivers, creeks and draws, but it was loaded with whitetail deer. Manzanet, in the Teran expedition of 1691, reported large numbers of deer and buffalo in a “level region without trees” in northern Medina County. In 1722, another Spanish explorer, Juan Antonio de la Pena, wrote in his diary of the Aguayo expedition that he passed through an area near the Medina and Atascosa county lines where,

West Texas. One observer in 1844 reported seeing “more deer than I supposed existed in America” in an area in Nueces County. But it wouldn’t stay that way. As settlements in Texas increased, deer harvest also increased. Thousands were killed by commercial hunters in the mid1800s through the early 1900s for their hides, not their meat. A Texas Parks & Wildlife Department report once claimed that an early Texas trader operated a place in Indian country near Tradinghouse Creek near Waco. The report said the trader shipped approximately 75,000 deerskins from 1844 through 1853. When the whitetail deer appeared to be on the verge of extinction near the turn of the century, the legislature moved to protect the animal the public had begun to love, respect,

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The whitetail deer has survived many habitat changes, both natural and that manipulated by man. It has survived extensive market hunting, droughts, and more.

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and hunt in sporting manners. By 1881, Texas had adopted a five-month closed hunting season on deer. By 1909, the state had its first hunting licenses, and by 1919, six game wardens were hired to patrol the entire state. By 1925, market hunting was out and deer hunting was for meat, not hides. Hunters were few due to poor access on large pieces of land with few roads and few vehicles. By 1950, however, hunters’ attitudes had changed even more. Thanks largely to the oil industry, more roads provided the increased numbers of vehicles owned by hunters to better access, and landowners recognized the economic values of leasing their lands for hunting. With such an increased interest among the public and state wildlife officials, whitetail deer numbers continued to increase to its present day population of around 4 million, the highest deer population of any state in the U.S. The whitetail deer has survived many habitat changes, both natural and that manipulated by man. It has survived extensive market hunting, droughts, and more. I realize that everyone might not agree with all of the present hunting regulations on deer, but you are not likely to hear the deer complaining. From the youth-only seasons to Managed Lands Deer Permit areas, private hunting leases, spike-antlerless seasons, archery-only season that now includes crossbows, muzzleloader season, general season, etc., we have more opportunity to hunt deer today than we ever have before. And we have more deer to hunt today than ever before. Sometimes the deer are easy to find, at other times, you might think there is not a single deer in the area. But, rest assured, the whitetail deer are out there, and they not only are growing in numbers but also in respect among those willing to spend time getting to know more about them.

E-mail Bob Hood at hunting@fishgame.com.


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Open Season by Reavis Wortham| TF&G Humor Editor

Cross-Dressing Cross-Up HITE-HAIRED JUDGE HILL SAID FROM behind his extremely tall bench. “I can’t wait to hear this story,”

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The Hunting Club members present carefully studied the floor, toed the scuffed floorboards of the old courthouse, and waited for someone else to say something….anything. Doc cleared his throat, and everyone waited for pearls of wisdom to fall from his lips and get us out of trouble. Instead, he just nudged Delbert P. Axelrod, who said nothing. “Well,” Judge Hill began again. “Ned, maybe you better tell me what happened and why these boys are standing in front of me this evening.” “Yes, sir,” Constable Ned said. “I was driving down the highway when I saw this one right here…” He pointed at Delbert. “…running out of the parking lot of Adolph’s motor court wearing nothing but a pair of wool socks, pantyhose and a tee shirt that says Alaskan Hookers work best.” Ned paused when Delbert finally broke his silence. “The shirt really says Alaska Hookers, Singles, Doubles, or Triples, Have It Your Way. Rev it brought it back to me from Alaska.” He opened the upper part of his coat. “See?” “Um humm,” Judge Hill said. “Since you’re the first one to speak, maybe you better tell me about why you were running through the snow in a pair of pantyhose.” Delbert looked at us for help, but we were still too mad at him to say anything, so we just waited. “All right, see, Rev here started it.” “I did not!” I yelled, but calmed myself when Constable Ned took a step toward me. “I just told you that I heard pantyhose helps you stay warm and keeps you from getting rubbed raw if you ride a horse all day.” ILLUSTRATION BY CHRIS ARMSTRONG

“See?” Delbert asked. “There. He said it again. I was a little worried about getting rubbed too much when we rode horses into Big Bend. So Rev here had a pair in his suitcase…” Judge Hill looked at me. “Ahem,” I began. “I had those old pantyhose in an inside pocket of my hunting bag because I carried them on a pheasant hunt a few weeks ago to put the birds in to keep the feathers fresh so I could have one stuffed.” “Does that work?” Judge Hill asked, suddenly interested. “Yes, sir,” Wrong Willie agreed. “I’ve done it for years. You just cut the legs off, slide the bird in head first…” “You cut the birds legs off first?” Constable Ned asked. “No,” Doc joined in. “You cut the legs off the pantyhose. If you don’t, then you have the panty part all flopping around and that’s what people notice and then the conversation usually gets around to…” “Never mind,” Judge Hill interrupted. “Go on Delbert.” “So we were in the hotel room talking about the trip, because I’ve never been to B i g Bend, and I g o t worried

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about my legs, so Rev told me about his wife’s pantyhose and I told him I might try them.” “But he was embarrassed about putting on women’s foundation garments in front of us,” Woodrow chimed in. “And who could blame him, because none of the rest of us would ever be caught in our wife’s drawers.” I held up a hand. “Nobody say a word.” “They ain’t drawers,” Jerry Wayne spoke up. “Drawers are different.” “What difference does it make,” Willie instinctively argued, because they’ve been at it since they were kids. He just forgot where he was. “It will make a lot of difference if the Judge here puts us in jail because Delbert was cross dressing,” the Cap’n said. “I wasn’t cross dressing. I just put them on to see if I’d wear them, but the hair on my legs itched real bad and poked through and I didn’t like the looks, so I started to sit down and take them off and I and lost my balance and fell against the commode. When I did, the tank broke and water shot all over the bathroom, and you know judge, the water up here is really cold in the wintertime.”

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Open Season Judge Hill nodded in agreement, because there wasn’t anything else to say. “So I ran out of the bathroom to get help, but I didn’t know how slick wet pantyhose feet are, especially with the socks in them…” “You had your socks on inside of the hose?” Judge Hill asked, making a note on his paper. “Well, the floor was already cold, so I just slipped them on over my wool socks and just for the record: I put them on over my boxer shorts, too.” The Cap’n began to snicker and I felt my face flush, because I wanted to laugh too. “Go on,” Judge Hill said, smiling. “Well, I ran out of the bathroom and my feet slipped and I fell and cut Doc’s feet out from under him and he fell backwards…” “I landed on my tailbone,” Doc growled around the grin on his face. “It still hurts and I’m getting too old to fall like that.” “Understood and noted,” Judge Hill

wrote some more. “So I Doc got up and tried to hit me with his belt and it smacked across the backs of my thighs and that hurt like fire, so I jumped up on the bed…” “And he landed right on my stomach,” I said. “Knocked the breath out of me and made me spill my drink, so I kicked at him…” “What did you spill?” the Judge asked. “Single malt.” The Judge frowned and made a note. “That’ll be another charge. Maybe even a felony.” “And he fell on the other bed and we bumped heads,” Jerry Wayne butted in, pointing to the lump on his forehead…” “And Jerry Wayne jumped up and swung at Delbert…” Woodrow said. “And Delbert ran out of the door and across the parking lot…” I said. “And that’s when I picked them up and brought them in,” Constable Ned finished.

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We were all snickering and grinning like idiots when the Judge broke out in loud guffaws, causing Constable Ned to laugh and we joined in. We didn’t laugh, though, about the fine for public lewdness, fighting, disturbing the peace, destruction of private property, or the court costs, but the Judge was a pretty good guy and told us we could hunt next year on his place just out of town. The Cap’n totaled it up, and the fines were slightly less than the cost of a guide, so we figured it was a wash. I just wish he had given me back those pantyhose, because the wife didn’t know I had taken her last new pair. E-mail Reavis Wortham at humor@fishgame.com


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January 2010  

The Walkabout Angler, Used Boat Do's and Don'ts, Last Chance Geese, Staying Legal with Undersize Crappie, Flounder Secrets and much more.

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