Page 1


TLB-OutdoorBooks.qxd

4/2/08

4:59 PM

Page 1


C2_ALL.qxd

5/2/08

8:50 AM

Page 1


0806 Staff box

5/1/08

12:17 PM

Page 1


0806 Staff box

5/1/08

12:17 PM

Page 2

www.fishgame.com Published by Texas Fish & Game Publishing Co., LLC. TEXAS FISH & GAME is the largest independent, familyowned 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

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

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

P R O D U C T I O N

JIMMY BORNE ART DIRECTOR

LINDSAY WHITMAN

• GRAPHIC ARTIST

A D V E R T I S I N G

ARDIA NEVES VICE PRESIDENT/ADVERTISING DIRECTOR NICOLE MCKIBBIN • NATIONAL MARKETING REP. DENISE RONQUILLE • NATIONAL MARKETING REP. DAN DEBOER • REGIONAL ADVERTISING MGR. KEITH BROWN • REGIONAL MARKETING REP. TOM FERGUSON • REGIONAL 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

DUANE HRUZEK MARKETING/CIRCULATION DIRECTOR

JUDDARA MOSS HEIDI GERKE LARRY FRIEDMAN JOE LUCA

• • • •

SUBSCRIBER SERVICES MANAGER SUBSCRIBER SERVICES REP FIELD REPRESENTATIVE NEWSTAND REPRESENTATIVE

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

DENNISE (YORK) CHAVEZ

NATIONAL ADVERTISING COORDINATOR/RECEIVABLES MANAGER

SAMANTHA MAYS REGIONAL ADVERTISING

COORDINATOR

MICHELLE WARD ADMINISTRATOR 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.

MEMBER AUDIT BUREAU OF CIRCULATIONS

2

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®


0806 Staff box

5/1/08

12:17 PM

Page 3


0806 Contents

5/8/08

1:40 PM

Page 4

JUNE 2008 • Volume XXIV • NO.2

26

TF&G TRUCK BUYER’S GUIDE 2008 The Big Three (America’s truck makers) continue to respond to changing economic and environmental demands — while keeping performance a priority.

by Dan Murphy

34

THE UPSIDE OF DOWN LAKES By forcing baitfish to concentrate into deeper water, and by reducing the number of small prey fish, receding lake levels—in the short term—can have positive impact on a lake’s game fish populations.

by Barry St. Clair

42

BOWHUNTING TROUT & REDFISH Sight-casting to trout and redfish in skinny water is often compared to bowhunting. In fact, mimicking the bowhunter while stalking reds and specks will improve your success on the flats. Here are six effective tactics.

ON THE COVERS: Gasoline prices may have scared movie producers and soccer moms away from trucks and suvs and back to sports cars and mini-vans, but — at least in Texas —there remains a strong market for fullsize pickups and sport utility vehicles. After all, if you are active in the outdoors, you can’t pull your boat, haul your ATV or work your feed plot very well with a Mini Cooper. That’s why each year we pay homage to the vehicles that add much to the outdoor experience, with our annual Truck and ATV buyers guide.

Photos by Gerald Burleight

by Greg Berlocher

46

GIVE’EM THE COLD SHAD Menhaden, pogy, shad, whatever you call ‘em, they are the go-to live bait for trout in summer. The problem is, they’re hard to keep alive in summer heat. Here’s how enterprising summer anglers fish them dead, without losing their “fishability.”

ALSO IN JUNE:

57

TRUCK & SUV ACCESSORIES Special Section.

by Chester Moore

52

CONVENTIONAL VS. SIDE-BY-SIDE In Texas, it could take a stable-full of ATVs to meet an outdoorsman’s all-terrain needs. But if you have choose—conventional cyclestyle, or side-by-side truck-style—we thought a little guidance would be helpful.

by Dan Murphy 4

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

84

HYBRID TRUCKS Wimp or Warrior?

by Tom Behrens


0806 Contents

5/1/08

12:21 PM

Page 5


0806 Contents

5/1/08

12:21 PM

Page 6

JUNE 2008 • Volume XXIV • NO.2

COLUMNS

74 TF&G Test Pilot

10 Editor’s Notes

Unleaded Venison & Health Insurance

Blue Wave 1900 VLC Nautic Star 210 SC Pathfinder 2200XL

by DON ZAIDLE TF&G Editor-in-Chief

by LENNY RUDOW TF&G Boating Editor

DEPARTMENTS 8

80 Texas Deer Hunting 12 Got a

20 Chester’s Notes

Texas Black Bears Well Documented

Lease?

by CHESTER MOORE TF&G Executive Editor

82 Texas Freshwater FLW Fantasy Fishing League

Chicken Soup For the Other Guy

by MATT WILLIAMS TF&G Freshwater Editor

by KENDAL HEMPHILL TF&G Commentator

24 Doggett at Large

90 Texas Offshore

12

TF&G REPORT

81

TROPHY QUEST

88

TFG ON

Big Water, Big Bait

Old 786CX-2 and Me

by DOUG PIKE TF&G Offshore Editor

by JOE DOGGETT TF&G Senior Contributing Editor

32 Texas Saltwater

CAMPUS

Evolution Of a Saltwater Fisherman by CALIXTO GONZALES TF&G Saltwater Editor

40 Texas Bowhunter 94 Open Season

6

• J U N E

Old Rockdog, New Bow Tricks

Techno Camping

by TED NUGENT TF&G Bowhunting Editor

by REAVIS WORTHAM TF&G Humor Editor

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

BIG BAGS & CATCHES

by PAUL BRADSHAW TF&G Contributing Editor

22 Commentary

YOUR LETTERS

&

G a m e ®

92

WINGS OVER TEXAS


0806 Contents

5/1/08

12:21 PM

Page 7


Letters

5/1/08

12:23 PM

Page 8

TF&G THE LEADER—EVEN ABOUT BIOFUEL After viewing the stories on the news over the last few weeks about biofuel and how it is starving people around the world and destroying wildlife habitat, I wanted to say thanks to Texas Fish & Game. Chester Moore’s story last fall about biofuel was far ahead of its time and something I have not read in any outdoors magazine, including national magazines like Sports Afield, which I subscribe to. This is the kind of thing that makes people think, and I would like to thank Chester Moore for his leadership in being bold enough to write such a story, and the whole

magazine for always being ahead of the pack when it comes to what is really going on in the outdoors. Keep doing what you are doing— because no one else is. R.L. West Mesquite, TX

FLOUNDER CONSERVATION We have been long-time readers of Texas Fish & Game and big fans of Chester Moore for the last 10 years. His article about the flounder issue hit the nail on the head in how we need to address the problem. I don’t think the state will ban recreational gigging—nor should they—but I do believe we should cut it back. Actually, a five-fish bag limit would be perfect for all recreational flounder fishing. I agree that we need to cut out commercial fishing for the species. When a fishery is down 56 percent, it should not be on the commercial take list. I also applaud Moore’s efforts to restore the fishery through stocking. He is one of the few who actually practices what he preaches and puts his money where his mouth is on this issue—or any other for that matter. Please keep us informed on this flounder problem and let us know what we can do. Rick and Elaine Courtney Via email While I appreciate Chester Moore’s concern about dwindling flounder stocks and seeking solutions to a recovery, I disagree about saving gigging as a legitimate means of harvest. It goes against the principle of trying to get flounder on the “game fish” list. Game fish can’t be gigged legally. For a person (notice I didn’t say “fisherman”) who gigs to look you in the eye and say, “I never gig undersized fish,” is one who is being intellectually dishonest. I also have a problem with the character-

8

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

ization of gigging being “an important part of Texas fishing heritage.” If we use that logic, then I guess we should bring back gillnetters, market hunters, poll taxes, women not being able to vote, and segregation. Those were all Texas “traditions” at one time, too. I appreciate the concern for the flounders’ demise. I personally think they are one of my favorite species to fish for; I have been fishing at Seawolf Park for them since 1976 and have witnessed their decline from no limits to 20 per day to 10 per day. I’m willing to accept changes to current regs, maybe a fivefish per day bag limit. Paul “Shoemaker” Pryor Via email I greatly enjoyed and agreed with Chester Moore’s recent column about flounder restoration. I just wish he had mentioned the great effort by the “Bay Team,” which holds small tournaments with no entry fee to catch fish for the breeding and stocking program. I recently started attending the ones I can make, and hope it continues. I first discovered these tournaments in Texas Fish & Game, and hope to see them grow as much as possible. Thanks again for the article about a great fish I would hate to lose. Richard Miller Via email I agree with the article about flounder conservation. A man could go and catch him a good mess up until a few years ago. Now you catch 10, and all but two are undersize, so you kill 5-8 and have two to take home; this just doesn’t make sense to me. Why don’t they set the limit to eight, and if you catch eight, whatever size they are is legal, so your first eight are your limit. That way you could have a mess to take home and cook. I think the flounder problem is not only


Letters

5/1/08

12:23 PM

Page 9

the shrimping by-catch, but also the gigging and them not classified as a game fish. If you talk to someone that is gigging, they talk about getting their limit before midnight and another limit after midnight; this is just not right. You can count the crab traps also for the number of flounder going down. There should not be a crab trap in Sabine Lake or up the Sabine or Neches rivers past the Rainbow or Louisiana bridges, or River Cove, Cypress Cove, or any part of Keith Lake. I have watched crabbers run their traps in the marsh when they couldn’t see me and didn’t know I was there, and saw them taking flounder and catfish, cutting them up, and than putting them in their traps for bait because they were not big enough to sell. If you really want to bring back the flounder, stop gigging and crab traps, classify them as game fish, cut the limit to eight, and reduce the legal length to 12 inches. Gary Miller Port Neches, TX After reading Chester Moore’s column on flounder in Texas Fish & Game, I must say I could not agree more. He is right saying we need to eliminate the commercial fishery for them. Their numbers are down more than 50 percent in 20 years, and they still allow commercial harvest. How crazy is that? It makes no sense whatsoever. We need to ban commercial gigging and cut the bag limits, too. Thanks so much for what you do for flounder and for the Gulf coast. Darryl Jones Seadrift, TX

GENTLEMAN COWBOY BRUNE My wife and I recently met Herman Brune at a gas station in Columbus, Texas, and he was one of the most friendly and personable people we have ever met. He gave us a copy of his book, Lost Rider of Yaupon Creek, and autographed it for us. The book was fantastic! I have always been a big fan of his, and when my monthly copy of Texas Fish & Game shows up, his column is what I read first.

Thanks for making Herman Brune such an integral part of your magazine. Joe & Lisa Shackett West Point, TX

MONKEY BUSINESS I always look forward to Reavis Wortham’s columns in the Bryan-College Station Eagle newspaper and Texas Fish & Game magazine. His “The Monkey Tree” Open Season column in the March issue reminded me of my own monkey story from my childhood. There was a lady in our church in Kaufman, Texas, who babysat me occasionally, and she owned about a dozen Rhesus monkeys kept in a large cage in the backyard of her country home. I was around 5 or 6 years old and she was keeping me while my parents were out. She adamantly told me to stay away from the monkey cage, but how do you really expect a kid to stay away from a cage full of monkeys? Of course, I got too close and one of the monkeys reached out and grabbed me by the hair. Then a couple of more monkeys came over to see what the one monkey had caught, and they started pulling my ears and nose and anything else they could grab. I was screaming as any kid who had been captured by a gang of monkeys would be expected to scream. Mrs. Harris came out and they let me go, but she didn’t have to waste her breath telling me to stay away from the monkey cage anymore. Keep up the great articles and stories. I, too, run with a group of fellow hunters much like “the Hunting Club” group integral to many of Wortham’s stories. We all have bird dogs and travel the U.S. chasing whatever is in season, but mostly we hunt bobwhite and blue quail here in Texas. We have a menagerie of Brittanies, English setters, English pointers, and one English cocker to keep us entertained. After 20 years of bird hunting, you can certainly fill a book with dog stories. Oran Mikeal Bryan, TX Send your letters to Editor, Texas Fish & Game 1745 Greens Rd Houston Tx 77032 Email: editor@fishgame.com


Editors Notes

5/1/08

12:25 PM

Page 10

Unleaded Venison & Health Insurance

I

N MARCH, STATE HEALTH DEPARTMENTS IN North Dakota, Minnesota, and Iowa declared hunter-killed venison donated to charitable food distribution centers posed a health risk due to bullet lead contamination. Official Chicken Little disciples in Minnesota and North Dakota ordered food banks and soup kitchens to destroy all venison in stock. Iowa’s state health agency lifted its temporary venison distribution ban in April after testing revealed 8 out of 10 samples had no detectable lead, and 2 had less than 1 part per million—which the agency said presented no recognized risk for lead exposure. Hunter groups were understandably put off by such nonsense. “It’s alarmist and not supported by any science,” said Lawrence Keane of the National Shooting Sports Foundation. “High quality protein is now taken out of the mouths of needy, hungry people.” Safari Club International’s Sportsmen Against Hunger program donated 317,000 pounds of venison last year—enough for more than 1.2 million meals. “It’s provided a lot of free meals to a lot of people,” said SCI spokesman Doug Burdin. “Hunters are doing something they love and helping others at the same time. This is disheartening, and we certainly don’t think this program should come to an end on the unscientific assessment that has occurred here.” Had this fatuous bull-s ... stuff originated in California, New Jersey, or some other common sense-challenged enclave, I doubt it would have garnered much notice. But the states involved are hunter’s havens, which makes me wonder about the real motivation. Animal rights terrorists ploy, anyone? Speaking of health issues, in the March 2008 issue, saltwater editor Cal Gonzales wrote about the state of professional fishing 10

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

guides and health insurance, bringing this national issue into outdoors-related relevance. A sizable chunk of the outdoors industry workforce consists of self-employed individuals; fishing and hunting guides, outfitters, bait and gun shop proprietors, bait shrimpers, gunsmiths, freelance outdoor writers and photographers, boat sellers and mechanics, freelance wildlife biologists, et al. Each of them is responsible for making their livings by wits and skills, providing their families and themselves with all basic needs, including health care. All but the most reclusive hermits know about the “health care crisis” and catalytic absurd costs. Observers cite costs of malpractice claims as a principal element behind $20 Tylenol tablets (just one) and $200 maternity tests for elderly male patients (a classic example of lawyer-prescribed liability mitigation) on hospital bills. Health care institutions and providers must pay court-imposed malpractice claims (many unfounded and frivolous, but juries almost invariably side with the “little guy” and “sticking it to rich doctors”) and resultant rises in malpractice insurance premiums. To stay in business, the health care industry has no choice but to pass the costs on to the consumer (that’s you and me). Corresponding premium rates have priced health care insurance beyond the means of those not covered by employee insurance plans—i.e., the selfemployed. The situation has prompted calls to “nationalize” health care (make health care a government service) a la Canada and England. Because I trust government only to royally foul up everything it touches, I blanch at the notion of nationalized health care. On the other hand, having been in private business of one form or another most of my life, I also appreciate the need for affordable health care, especially for those among us who are older than our teeth. Therefore, as a service to my fellow outdoors industry workers, I offer a modest proposal that would at least provide some relief if not an outright cure for health care woes: - Create state and federal tax-based subsidy programs for health insurance, funded by taxes of 25-50 percent on elective cosmetic surgeries and procedures (including liposuction, Botox &

G a m e ®

injections, hair restoration, dental cosmetics, and “erectile dysfunction” medications). - Similarly earmark-tax “over-the-counter” cosmetic products and services such as hair styling, makeup, perfume and cologne, nail polish, manicure and pedicure, hosiery and lingerie, jewelry, body piercing, tattooing, and “designer” eyeglasses. According to statistics published by the American Society for Aesthetic Surgery, from 1997-2002, incidence of cosmetic procedures increased 228 percent, contributing mightily to the $10 billion cosmetic surgery market. Overthe-counter cosmetics industry revenues nearly tripled that with $29 billion. If taxed at 25 percent, cosmetic surgery alone would put $2.5 billion into health care subsidy coffers. Assuming a family paid $1000 per month for health insurance, the tax-based subsidy could pay 100 percent of that for more than 200,000 households of self-employed breadwinners. Factoring in funds garnered by the other tax categories and an equitable disbursement scheme, health care costs become far less daunting. Other than the predictable gored-ox bellowing by respective industry stakeholders, such taxation poses no real burden on anyone, is 100 percent voluntary, and provides muchneeded relief for many. After all, the latest beauty trend “do” or vanity-driven makeover hardly rank as necessities. Please do not start up and write me letters about my perceived “sexism”; men count significantly among “image conscious” American consumers. Nor am I incognizant of the need for legitimate corrective procedures and treatments for birth defects and disease- or injuryinduced deformities; treatment for these conditions would be exempt from taxation, so please hold the “draconian” appellation for something more suited. Of course, political beneficiaries of the sebaceous ministrations of the affected industries will not implement this proposal—it makes far too much sense and has little perceived re-election value. Still, we can hope. On a related note, I wonder if insurance providers will now target hunters for higher premiums as a “risk group.” E-mail Don Zaidle at editor@fishgame.com


Editors Notes

5/1/08

12:25 PM

Page 11


TF&G Report

5/1/08

12:28 PM

Page 12

Gasoline Price Refunds For Sportsmen

F

UEL PRICES AT AL AN ALL-TIME HIGH, AND everyone hunting, fishing, or spending time outdoors has experienced pain at the pump with no relief in sight—at least, not for everyday fuel purchases. However, fuels used in off-road applications are eligible for a refund from the state for taxes paid at the pump. The Texas government’s third largest source of revenue is the 8.4 cents of every dollar spent on gasoline for vehicles traveling on public roads. In 2000, gasoline sales taxes generated $2.1 billion dollars. Keep in

mind, however, that the average price of gasoline in January 2000 was a mere $1.22. The fuel tax refund claim offers a 20 cents per gallon refund for uses away from public roads. Boats, ATVs, tractors, aircraft, and even lawn equipment fall under this category. While sitting in on a Texas senate subcommittee discussing agriculture, former staff member Suzanne Brangan first learned of the refund. “I called my dad right away,” she said. “He fishes often and was surprised he was

not taking advantage of the refund for his outboard motor. Undoubtedly, more people should be informed of the refund’s existence. Most of all, I think it should more closely reflect the fluctuating gas prices.” Form 06-106 of the Texas Claim for Refund of Gasoline or Diesel Fuel Taxes can be accessed online. The state of Texas recommends a few steps when pursuing this refund. First, save all receipts proving purchase of gasoline in Texas. Make a list of offhighway equipment and on-road vehicles by fuel type. Lastly, maintain a distribution list

BIG BAGS & CATCHES

FLOUDER—LaPorte

BASS—Lake Amistad

DEER—Hempstead

Brady Maxwell of LaPorte, Texas, caught these two flounder while fishing with his dad. The flounder weighed 6.8 pounds and 7.2 pounds, and both were over 25 inches long.

Dustin Ratliff of Rankin, Texas, caught this 27-inch, 13.1-pound bass on Lake Amistad, using a 6-inch watermelon red Yum Dinger.

James Shaffer of Deer Park, Texas, killed this buck in Hempstead, Texas. The buck weighed 170 pounds and scored 128.

12

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®


TF&G Report

5/1/08

12:28 PM

Page 13


5/1/08

12:28 PM

Page 14

The State of Texas offers some relief for gasoline price paroxysm.

PHOTO BY JIMMY BORNE

TF&G Report


TF&G Report

5/1/08

12:28 PM

Page 15

by fuel type of all fuel used. The claim must be “filed and postmarked within one year from the first day of the calendar month following the purchase” of gasoline or diesel. Regaining 20 cents on every gallon initially sounds minute, but imagine the amount of money recoverable on an entire year’s worth of offshore, bay fishing, camping, and hunting outings—and even mowing the lawn. Details on applying for the refund are available from the Texas State Comptroller website (http://www.window.state.tx.us/); the refund form is available at www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/taxforms/98-661.pdf or from: Texas Comptroller of Public Accounts Post Office Box 13528, Capitol Station Austin, Texas 78711-3528 Pho. 800-252-5555

Details of refund eligibility include: • losses by fire, theft, or accident (100 gallons or more) • uses of gasoline in the operation of a motorboat • uses of gasoline in tractors for agricultural purposes or for mowing a right-of-way • uses of gasoline in aircraft and aircraft servicing equipment • uses of gasoline in a stationary engine • any use of gasoline except in a vehicle operated or intended to be operated on the public highways of this state Other exemptions and additional information are available on the internet (http://www.window.state.tx.us/taxinfo/audi t/motorfue/index.htm) —Kyle Tomek

Twice-Caught ShareLunkers In April 2008, a Lake Casa Blanca largemouth bass made its second trip to Athens as a Budweiser ShareLunker. Cesar Gomez of Laredo caught the 13.33-pound bass 1 April 2008. When Texas Parks & Wildlife Department personnel electronically scanned the fish to see if it contained a passive integrated transponder (PIT) tag, the display lit up. All ShareLunkers are tagged, and a check of the number revealed this fish had been caught 14 February 2006 by Abilene angler Jay Stevens. At that time, the fish became Budweiser ShareLunker 397. Returned to the lake and caught again, the fish is now also ShareLunker 451. Though remarkable, the event was not


TF&G Report

5/1/08

12:28 PM

Page 16

unprecedented—something TPWD did not mention when issuing a press release about the catch. One year ago almost to the day, one of two Budweiser ShareLunkers caught on the same day, 10 April 2007, from Lake Fork had been caught previously and entered in the ShareLunker program. Dale Washington of Godley, Texas, was fishing in 20 feet of water at Fork with a shad colored DD-22 when he caught a 13.05-pound largemouth that became ShareLunker No. 436. The same fish had been caught 5 April 2006—again, a year prior almost to the day—by Robert Jones of Clute, Texas, and was entered into the program as Budweiser ShareLunker No. 415. The bass was later returned to the lake. In another similarity, the Fork doublelunker was only 0.04 pound heavier the second time around, and the Casa Blanca fish

16

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

had gained only 0.13 pound but was bigger in length and girth by 2.25 and 1.5 inches respectively. The twice-caught Fork bass’ length was constant at 25.5 inches, and its girth slightly less at 20.5 inches as compared to 21 inches the first time it was caught. According to ShareLunker program manager David Campbell, even these two double-lunkers are not unique. “I don’t know how many times it has happened, maybe four times that I remember,” Campbell said of the 2007 Fork catch. “I remember one fish that was caught a couple more times that summer and released back into the lake. When the program was at Tyler, occasionally if they caught a big fish and it was out of ShareLunker season, I would run over there with a scanner just to see if it was one of our fish. We had one bass that was in the program that was caught [in 2006] at Allen Henry and then again [in

&

G a m e ®

2007] out of Fork. ShareLunker bass do not always go back to the same lake where they were caught. “It’s entirely up to the angler,” Campbell said. “If they want to meet with us and take the fish back out and release it, that’s their privilege. They can release it where they caught it or wherever they want to. If they tell me they are not going to meet me, I will find a secluded place somewhere and release it. We released five one year at one place. We had all the anglers release their fish together. That has happened a couple of times.” Lake Casa Blanca has now produced five ShareLunkers. The 1680-acre lake on the outskirts of Laredo was stocked with northern largemouth bass in 1966 and Florida largemouth bass since 1978.


TF&G Report

5/1/08

12:28 PM

Page 17


TF&G Report

5/1/08

12:28 PM

Page 18


TF&G Report

5/1/08

12:28 PM

Page 19


Chester's Notes

5/1/08

12:30 PM

Page 20

Texas Black Bears Well Documented

20

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

This black bear photo was captured on a game camera in East Texas and submitted to the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department.

PHOTO COURTESY OF TPWD

T

HE HEADLINE OF AN APRIL 15 TEXAS PARKS & Wildlife Department (TPWD) news release boldly declared: “Black bears are on the move in Texas!” That is not news to our readers, because this magazine has covered the expansion of black bears in the Pineywoods and TransPecos regions since 2003. Since that time, we have published numerous stories about the black bears reestablishing in Texas, including a September 2007 story featuring a photo of a huge bear caught on video by bowhunter Mary Bone near Leakey, Texas. The point is, when it comes to bears and many other conservation issues, you read it first in Texas Fish & Game—and always will. The bear expansion story has been a personal interest of mine for many years, and turned into a full blown fascination after I had the opportunity to work a bit with captive bears in 1994-96. “We have some bears, mostly sub-adult males that are crossing over from neighboring states,” said TPWD East Texas wildlife director Nathan Garner in a TF&G story called “Black Bears Returning to Pineywoods” from May 2004. “These young males are out looking to find females to start their own territories with, and one of the mysteries we are trying to unlock is exactly what they do when they get here and do not find any females. That is one of many questions we have.” As noted in that story, since 1977, TPWD has confirmed bear sightings in Newton, Jasper, Hardin, Polk, San Jacinto, Angelina, Nacogdoches, and Shelby counties, all bordering Oklahoma and Arkansas. West Texas is also seeing an increase in black bears with drifters from Mexico and New Mexico that started showing up in the early 1980s. Now, that population is growing and bear sightings are common in Big Bend National Park, where officials have had to put up “Bear Crossing” signs. “A few of those bears have shown up in the

Texas Hill Country,” Garner said. In the 2004 story, we reported one young male showed up at the Heart of the Hills fish hatchery near Kerrville, where a TPWD employee observed it. We also reported that in cooperation with TPWD, Garner initiated a study in 1993 to survey habitat suitability to determine which areas could best support black bears, using habitat suitability index (HSI) values to evaluate environs at four study areas in East Texas. Criteria included food, cover, and human impact factors. An HSI value of 1.0 indicated most suitable, while 0.0 meant no suitability. Biologists involved in the study considered an HSI value greater than 0.50 favorable and less as unfavorable. The eight variables tested for the Middle Neches River Corridor (246,695 acres) from Diboll to Steinhagen Lake had an overall HSI of 0.89. The Lower Neches River Corridor from Steinhagen Lake on southward (311,609 acres) had HSI values ranging from 0.0 to 1.0 and an overall average of 0.79. The Sulphur River Bottom near Arkansas (51,000 acres) had an overall HSI of 0.76. The Big Thicket National Preserve (72,812 acres) between Beaumont and Saratoga rated 0.73. &

G a m e ®

“What this means in layman’s terms is there is suitable bear habitat in the region, but there are still many obstacles for these animals to overcome if they start becoming more numerous in the state,” Garner said at the time of the original story. Poaching will be one of the biggest hurdles; it runs rampant in portions of East Texas, and TPWD is working hard to get the word out that shooting a bear would be a very bad idea. All black bear in the East Texas and Louisiana region are labeled Ursus americanus luteolus, the Louisiana black bear, a distinct subspecies listed as “threatened” by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and “endangered” by TPWD. Shooting a bear in Texas would not be like taking a deer out of season or going over the bag limit on quail. In East Texas, it would be a federal crime, and in the rest of the state, it would involve fines suited to killing a state-designated threatened species. The return of the black bear to Texas has become a big story that will get even bigger as these iconic animals continue to reclaim their former range. And TF&G will keep you up to date with the latest and most in-depth information available—count on it.

E-mail Chester Moore at cmoore@fishgame.com


Chester's Notes

5/1/08

12:30 PM

Page 21


5/1/08

12:31 PM

Page 22

Chicken Soup For the Other Guy

A

FEW YEARS AGO, IN DENALI NATIONAL Park, Alaska, I ran smack dab into the root of the civilized world’s problems. Not that I went to Alaska to find problems, you understand. I went to Alaska to catch fish and see mountains and try to avoid getting eaten by a bear. But, then, my dad always said that rattlesnakes are where you find them, which, I think, meant that you generally are not looking for the bad things in life to happen, but they happen anyway. So, I was standing beside a river at a brief stopover on the bus tour to Wonder Lake, watching my friends take pictures of some caribou standing under a bridge (you know how those caribou hate being around people and pipelines and such), and I started talking to a bored-looking park ranger. The guy was mid-thirties, with a neatly trimmed beard and a tired-of-answering-tourist-questions look. I decided to ask him some questions. Since drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) has always been an interesting subject for me, I asked him what he thought was going to happen with that. He dismissively told me there was no way the drilling would be allowed. I asked him why, and he condescendingly explained how the drilling was a Bad Thing because it 22

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

would disrupt the native people’s ancient way of life, and, of course, give the animals indigestion. None of that cut any ice with me, so I mentioned that the natives who live in the proposed ANWR drilling area wanted the oil exploration, so they could finally get decent jobs and adequate schooling and medical care, and maybe even indoor plumbing. And that’s when the root emerged. The guy looked at me as if I were a duck trying to tell him how to file his tax return and said, “Maybe they don’t know what’s best for them.” I turned around and walked away, because I figured I would have gotten into trouble for hitting a park ranger, even a very stupid one. This guy has an easy government job; lives in a nice house with toilets that flush and heaters that heat; eats food he doesn’t have to kill; wears clothes he doesn’t have to

Wanting good things for ourselves is not the height of selfishness.

Commentary_Debate

make; and when he gets sick, goes to a licensed doctor in a modern hospital, and doesn’t have to hook dogs to a sled to get there. And for some reason, he knows that allowing these same amenities to the natives in the ANWR is bad, because then they would no longer live the way their ancestors did. The root of the world’s problems is that some of us think we know what’s best for others. This park ranger was a classic example. The folks in Kaktovik don’t know what’s best for the folks in Kaktovik, because they’re not smart enough, or educated enough, or informed enough, or something else enough—and they never will be, as long as they live where they are, in the Nineteenth &

G a m e ®

Century; which is where Mr. Park Ranger wants them to stay. Wanting good things for ourselves is not the height of selfishness. Everyone wants that. The height of selfishness is having good things and denying others the same chance to get them. But, then, life is not fair, especially if the government is involved. As I write this in mid-March, the U.S. Supreme Court is hearing arguments concerning the Washington D.C. gun ban, which is obviously, even to people who don’t speak English, unconstitutional. It looks as though the intent of our forefathers will win out and the ban will be overturned. This would never have been necessary if the ban, which was passed by people who thought they knew what was best for others, had not been enacted to begin with. It turns out they were wrong anyway, because Washington D.C. has been the most dangerous place in America since the institution of the ban in 1976. As any thinking man knows, gun control has nothing to do with guns; it is about control. The same is true of the animal rights movement. If people do not want to eat meat, wear leather or fur, or own pets, fine. The problems arise when AR terrorists try to tell others how to conduct their personal lives based on values and principles warped by some misguided and misinformed view of right and wrong. Adults, of course, can take care of themselves, and are responsible for their own decisions. It is another matter when the gun control idiots or AR space cadets go into our schools and attempt to brainwash our children. Telling kids it is wrong to own guns, hunt, fish, and eat meat is a criminal act, and should be treated as such. We owe our children the truth, at the very least. Well, that and flushing toilets.

E-mail Kendal Hemphill at commentary@fishgame.com


Commentary_Debate

5/1/08

12:31 PM

Page 23


Doggett

5/1/08

12:33 PM

Page 24

Old 786CX-2 and Me

24

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

PHOTO BY JOE DOGGETT

G

LOWING TALES AND GRAPHITE RODS ARE two things that serious anglers seldom have in short supply. And both are maintained for quick-draw use. I must confess to a lifelong passion for collecting quality rods. Perhaps this stems from a tackle-deprived childhood during which the acquisition of even a single “beater” was a big event. I still recall with great fondness my first good casting rod, a 5-1/2-foot pistolgrip Roddy, and the first good fly rod, an 81/2-foot Shakespeare Wonderod. Both were bought during the late 1950s and both were constructed of hollow fiberglass—the cutting-edge blank material of the time. The sculpted cork grips, trim blanks, and gleaming guides bespoke an elegance that carried the game to a higher level—and I have lusted for quality fishing rods ever since. Fortunately, this addiction is easy to justify. Rods require little storage space and even the finest ones are relatively inexpensive alongside some of the other gadgets we covet. And, of course, the fishing rod is a functional tool as well as a source of pride. The wellchosen rod can repay itself many times over through quality time on the water. I have dozens of casting rods and fly rods, as well as a scattering of offshore rods and spinning sticks. This stash probably is larger than yours—in no small part because I have been a professional outdoor writer for four decades—but if you are hardcore about angling, I am confident you have a wellrounded, even excessive, quiver. I am equally certain that, among the towering, tapering array, you have one or two “really special” rods, go-to sticks that inspire great confidence. These might not be the most expensive rods in the lineup; indeed, they most likely are battered, faded, scuffed,

and weathered Old 786CX-2 still had the moxie to whip this sailfish. numerous trips to far-flung destinafrom years of sertions around the vice. A guide foot might be bent, a guide wrap might be re- world; peacock bass in Brazil, black bass in wound, and the grip almost certainly is New Guinea, barracuda in the Bahamas, and snook in the Yucatan are a few of the chipped. Such an aged beater in a garage sale many extreme encounters with old 786CXmight bring mere pocket change, but the per- 2. That salty casting rod and I have teamed sonal memories are worth far more than the top-end price tag of a gleaming new model. I for some surprisingly large fish, including can cite several examples from my extensive several tarpon in the 80- to 100-pound class collection, but one in particular comes to off Rio Parismina in Costa Rica. On the mind. This is because I recently unpacked recent trip to Sailfish Bay Lodge near Iztapa, Guatemala, old 786CX-2 tallied two the rod from a successful expedition. The trip was to Guatemala and the rod is 80- to 90-pound Pacific sailfish on ballyhoo an All Star. It is a heavy-action, two-handed, baits rigged with circle hooks. The rod was fitted with a Penn Interna6-foot, 6-inch casting rod of that company’s discontinued T38X series. It is a 786CX-2 tional 965 casting reel, a wide-framed model model with a long, 10-1/2-inch cork handle, filled with 200 yards of 20-pound monofilaand the short 2-inch fore grip that reflects the ment. The savvy light-tackle skipper was “backing down” whenever possible, and the classic roots of Gulf Coast plugging tackle. This is not a “trout rod.” The action is smooth drag of the Penn and the powerful much too stiff, rated for 20-pound line and butt of the rod had both sails finning along3/4- to 1-ounce payloads. It is a two-piece side within 20 minutes for clean releases. Old 786CX-2 returned home in good travel rod with a telescopic butt section, and the entire rig breaks down to fit into a 33- shape, having survived another hard-core inch carrying tube. The short length allows session—not to mention the tender mercies of various baggage handlers. I probably the rod to be packed in a large duffle bag. I have had old 786CX-2 at least 15 should retire it to a place of honor in the den years. Actually, I started out with two of rod rack. In terms of fish fought and memothem, but the littermate exploded several ries fueled, it certainly has earned a rest. Then again, that might not be fair. Fishyears ago while deep-jigging for red snapper off Freeport. The reel was spooled with non- ing rods are made to be used. stretch braid and the overload on a hard E-mail Joe Doggett at strike snapped the butt section. doggett@fishgame.com The remaining rod has been included on &

G a m e ®


Doggett

5/1/08

12:33 PM

Page 25


Fea1

5/1/08

26

12:37 PM

• J U N E

Page 26

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

PHOTOS COURTESY OF FORD, CHEVY, & DODGE


Fea1

5/1/08

12:37 PM

Page 27

by Dan Murphy T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

27


Fea1

5/1/08

12:37 PM

Page 28

he American auto industry faces demands for cleaner emissions, better gas mileage, and a tide of consumers swept to offerings from the other side of the Pacific. I might be a delusional optimist, but my bet is on the Big Three. I’m no economist or marketing guru, but what I’ve seen at the end-ofthe-year car shows bolsters that optimism. I keep hearing that old Dylan refrain, “and the times they are a changin’ “—changes in direction, engines, and fuels. The changes just keep coming, and for the better. Last year, we recorded the first steps toward clean diesels in heavy-duty pickups. This year, Ford and Dodge concentrated on introducing revamped, gas-powered halftons, both 2009 models that will be available in fall of this year. General Motors Chevrolet division has introduced the 2009 Silverado Hybrid halfton (the first in its class) on the heels of the hybrid Chevy Tahoe introduced for the 2008 model year (see the hybrid Tahoe review elsewhere in this issue). Jeep tried a small diesel in its Liberty, dropped that idea, and put one in the Cherokee, a much more likely host. We’ll also look at Toyota’s Sequoia, a full-sized SUV that can easily keep pace with the company’s Tundra. The focus is on the halfton and smaller trucks, but that’s where the news is for 2008-09.

28

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

FORD F-150 Ford and Dodge went to their customers to figure out what direction we wanted our trucks to take. The answer was something I’ve been harping about for years: We want our trucks to look and perform like trucks— big, beefy, capable, and macho. Of course, we don’t want to give up a lot of the truck luxury we’ve gotten used to, as long as fits into the way trucks are still used. Both companies listened to our lament, and there are similarities in the F-150 and Ram 1500 for 2009. As of deadline, full details on the F-150 and Ram were not available, nor were the actual trucks outside of the shelter of convention centers in Los Angeles and Detroit. So, if you think I’m skipping gleefully through some of the specs, you are right—but I am not doing it by choice. The Dodge Ram is a more complete

&

G a m e ®

rebuild. The 1500 has a more commanding presence, which is saying a lot, considering the platform that set the standard for machismo over 14 years ago. The front grill “juts out” from a sloping hood and fender tops. The tailgate has a spiffy little aerodynamic flair to it, plus the Ram badge on the back can be seen for miles. Even with these cosmetics, you can still tell it’s a Dodge Ram that’s been spending time in the gym. Now for the upgrades that matter to us: You’ll still have a choice of V-6 and V-8 engines plus a new 5.7-liter Hemi V-8. The Hemi incorporates a less restrictive air flow system, taller compression, variable valve timing that controls when valves open to adjust to driving conditions plus variable-displacement technology allowing the engine to run on four cylinders at easy cruising speeds. The latter you’ll recognize as fuel-saving technology, but don’t start sweating. By improving the efficiency of the engine (plus some weight savings we’ll get to), the updated Hemi boasts a 10 percent increase in power over previous Dodge V-8s (380 horsepower, 404 pound-feet of torque) as well as a 4 percent increase in fuel economy. Dodge replaced the conventional leaf spring rear suspension with coil-springs, reducing weight by 40 pounds and improving ride quality and handling due to reduced friction and more effective suspension action. The payload rating is 1850 pounds, and with the tow package you can haul 9100 pounds, so there’s no loss in capacity with the change, and Dodge claims coil springs offer greater durability. Other features include four-wheel disc brakes, an Electronic Stability Program to replace our panicking brain in a skid, hill start assist, brake assist, and trailer sway control, plus on-demand or part-time four-wheel-drive. With all that driving help, it’s nice to see there’s still a sixPHOTO COURTSEY OF FORD


Fea1

5/1/08

12:38 PM

Page 29


Fea1

5/1/08

12:38 PM

Page 30

DODGE RAM 1500 speed manual transmission available with all three motor choices. In the past, the Ram 1500 suffered from a too-small Quad Cab and a too-long Mega Cab. Thankfully, we now have a four-door Crew Cab with the extra 6 inches over the Quad. Dodge gave more attention to the interior with center console and 38-count ‘em, 38—places to hide stuff. But, the king of all storage compartments is the RamBox in the bed of the Crew Cab. These dual, lockable, drainable compartments square off

30

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

the wheel well protrusions into the bed and can hold up to five cases of beer or coolers or camping gear. Love that RamBox. As further proof that Dodge is listening to real truck owners, even with the RamBox, you can still haul 4x8 plywood in the bed. Ford defines its F-150 makeover as “modern tough”—a more squared off front end and bigger grille. They added a full inch to its height and, depending on the cab configuration, six inches to its length. The hydroformed high-strength steel frame is

&

G a m e ®

lighter but provides 10 percent more torsional rigidity and higher towing and hauling capabilities. The steel tube structure from the base of the A-pillar up along the roof and down the rear of the cab also enhances strength and safety. Engine choices are all V8s: two 4.6-liter options, two-valve and three-valve, and a 5.4-liter upgrade. No performance numbers yet. Transmission options are all automatic, but there is a range of axle ratios available. Lots of electronic safety equipment to save us from ourselves. We’ll have more interior room, a rear camera to help hook up the boat trailer, and a redesigned front and rear suspension system. Ford succeeded in giving us a more imposing, bolder presence with the F-150 and whetting our test-drive appetites. In their emphasis on “tough,” both Ford and Dodge half-tons for 2009 will serve us well as sportsmen, and that’s all good news. Whether you’re green or overwhelmed by gas prices, the Chevy Silverado Hybrid is another piece of good news. Estimates put the fuel savings at 25 percent overall, 40 percent when you’re stuck with city driving. To put that in perspective, non-hybrid Silverados are EPA estimated at 15 mpg city and 19 mpg on the highway. The power plant, a two-mode hybrid GM has incorporated into its SUVs, takes advantage of most of the fuel savings technology currently available. Under 30 mph, the full-sized pickup relies on a 300-volt nickel-metal-hydride battery. The V8, 6-liter engine includes cylinder deactivation that cuts back on cylinders at cruising speeds. The only tow figures (6100 pounds—not impressive for heavy duty work, but adequate for most of our applications) are available for the two-wheeldrive model, none on the 4x4 version. Other high-tech-high-mileage systems include an electronic variable tranny (EVT) that provides infinitely variable gearing for efficiency. When the engine’s under heavy load (high speeds or towing/hauling) the transmission switches back to conventional fixed gears. A 300-volt battery powers the EVT, A/C compressor, and, through the Accessory Power Module, feeds the power steering system, 12-volt battery, and other systems as well as storing electricity captured during braking. Accessories can draw power off the engine, so in essence, the big battery takes that onus off the engine so the power is used simply to go. The bottom line on this baby: You can have your full-sized truck and still save gas PHOTO COURTSEY OF DODGE


Fea1

5/1/08

12:38 PM

Page 31

money. Silverado Hybrid drivers should also qualify for the $2300 federal hybrid rebate. One last half-ton, this time the Toyota Sequoia SUV, which borrowed its heft and capabilities from the Tundra pickup: In reality, it borrowed everything from the front bumper to the B pillar. The optional engine is a 5.7-liter V-8 that cranks out 381 horsepower and 401 pound-feet of torque—plenty of juice to tow at the 10000-pound rating. One of the components contributing to the engine’s performance is the Dual Variable Valve Timing with Intelligence (VVT-I) that optimizes the valve timing and contributes to the higher output and increased efficiency. As for its off-road performance, the Sequoia is not designed for hardcore offroading but is off-road capable. Which is a polite way to say, you can take it on degraded truck trails, but don’t try any rock steps or knee-deep mud. If you need more from a 4x4 and can travel a bit lighter, the 2008 Jeep Grand Cherokee WK CRD is powered by a Mercedes-designed 3-liter V-6 diesel. With 215 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque from 1600 to 2800 rpm, mated with

PHOTO COURTSEY OF CHEVY

CHEVY SILVERADO a 3.73:1 low gear, you don’t even have to travel that light. At 7200 pounds, the tow rating is close to Dodge’s 5.7-liter Hemi V8. Most of the drive train is similar to the gas-powered Cherokee. It also features a whole tureen of vegetable soup: Hill Descent Control (HDC), Hill Start Assist (HAS), a German-engineered W5J400 automatic specifically tuned to the diesel’s power band. With a 425-mile range on a tank (21.2 gallons), the diesel Grand Cherokee lets you

T E X A S

F i s h

head for the backcountry and stay there for quite a while. If you have any doubt that diesels will transition well into smaller packages, the Cherokee should dispel all of them. All the manufacturers did their homework, found out we really wanted our trucks to look and perform like trucks, and delivered.

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

31


Saltwater

5/1/08

12:51 PM

Page 32

Evolution Of a Saltwater Fisherman

I

DO NOT COME FROM A FAMILY OF OUTDOORSMEN. My mom grew up in Brownsville, Texas, about 45 minutes from Port Isabel and South Padre Island. I’m sure she would fish more if it didn’t involve being outside so much. My dad grew up in Atascosa County, 30 miles south of San Antonio. His youth was very hard. A three-year drought ruined his father’s farm, and the entire family—including two brothers and two sisters—had to work to prevent the loss of it. Fishing and hunting weren’t for sport, but to literally put meat on the table. I’m sure he would fish with me more than the handful of times he has, if it didn’t bring back memories of those rough times, and if it didn’t involve being outside so much. Mom and Dad understood that that fishing and hunting were very important to me, and they worked hard to encourage it. One year, when I was 13, the five of us spent an entire week in a condominium at South Padre Island, and five of those seven days were spent fishing from our 16-foot tri-hull, which Dad hauled down from Edinburg with his 1982 Delta 88. Of course, the various rods, reels, tackle, and perceived expertise were provided by this stalwart writer, and a fine time was actually had by all (including my big brother, Paco, who’s contemporary idea of fishing is cross-examining some poor schmoe during a big trial; he’s really good at it, too). 32

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

What strikes me to this day is that Mom and Dad dedicated so much of our vacation to my passion. They didn’t, and don’t, prefer me over my two brothers, but they wanted to make sure that we all enjoyed ourselves. So, along with the visits to the beach, and the tour of the lighthouse, and the museum of the wreck of the Atocha, we fished. And they put up with me, my fishing, and my misadventures. One day, I came home from a fishing expedition at the local golf course water hazard with a catfish spine firmly imbedded in the soft flesh behind my right thumb and on top of my right hand. The catfish managed to stay behind (but I showed him—he was going to go through life lacking a dorsal fin). Mom’s first reaction was to let the damn thing stay in my hand forever. After she realized it wouldn’t reflect well on her mothering skills to send me out into the world with part of another creature sticking out of me, Mom relented and took me to see Dr. Ben. Dr. Ben Garza has been my doctor since I was three years old. In the three decades he has known me, he has yanked my tonsils, treated my asthma, and held my son. He has also been privy to my misadventure as an aspiring fisherman. Thus, he was more amused than surprised when Mrs. Gonzales brought in her 13-year-old middle child with a catfish spine sticking out of his hand. Pecks on the cheek and pleasantries were passed back in forth over the table where my hand was propped. (We’re Mexican; the appropriate displays of affection must be exchanged before business.) “He’s incredible, isn’t he? ” Dr. Ben asked. “Incredible wasn’t among the words I was thinking of,” Mom said, rolling her eyes toward the ceiling. Dr. Ben numbed my hand with a dose of Novocain and began working out the spine. Catfish spines are barbed, which makes them a little tricky to remove. This one was stuck deep. As Dr. Ben worked it out of me, little bits of subcutaneous particles and blood came out with it. &

G a m e ®

Mom went pale and looked like she was going to pass out. “Are you all right, Judy?” Dr. Ben asked. “Do you need to sit down?” “Next time, I swear I’m leaving it inside you,” Mom gagged as she turned away and looked at the model of a human pelvis on the wall. Dr. Ben finally dug the spine out of my hand and held the thing aloft for the nurse, Mom, and me to see. It was an inch long (I could have sworn it was at least three, maybe four times that size), thin, and very sharp. In the movies, it would have been streaked with blood, with thin tendrils of gore trailing from it to the gaping hole in my hand. In real life, there weren’t any streaks, tendrils, or even a gaping hole. There was simply a long, pearlcolored, serrated thorn; a puckered, starshaped puncture hole (the scar of which I’m looking at as I write this); a gawking kid; an indifferent nurse; and a slightly queasy parent. Dr. Ben was actually quite pleased. “Now I have something to add to my collection,” he said. Collection? After the nurse dressed my wound and gave me a tetanus shot as a precaution (or maybe as punishment for putting Mom through this), Dr. Ben led Mom and me to his office. From behind his desk, he withdrew a small test tube. In it were the prizes from some of my previous visits: Two fishhooks cut out of the same foot a year apart; a BB that had rolled around my forehead for two months before I told Mom and Dad about it (never, ever tape a paper target to a brick wall); and now a catfish spine. As far as I know, Dr. Ben still has that collection. That those who guide us can put up with the nonsense we aspiring outdoorsmen put them through is nothing short of epic. Thanks, Mom and Dad. You did all right.

E-mail Calixto Gonzales cgonzales@fishgame.com


Saltwater

5/1/08

12:51 PM

Page 33


Fea2

5/1/08

1:33 PM

Page 34

by Barry St. Clair 34

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

PHOTO BY DOUG STAMM


Fea2

5/1/08

1:33 PM

Page 35

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

35


Fea2

5/1/08

1:33 PM

Page 36

he lack of normal rainfall in 2005 and 2006 across much of Texas had a dramatic effect on lake levels scattered across the state. Water, or the lack of it, was the topic of conversation for anglers who saw their favorite lake levels diminish daily. It got to the point where many lakefront property owners with boat slips could no longer launch their boats. Public and private boat ramps on many reservoirs were left high and dry. Even on the deep ends of many reservoirs, launching a boat became an ordeal on the ramps that remained open. Most private marina and ramp owners either dredged or extended their launch sites as much as they could afford. Lakeside and area businesses catering to the angling crowd suffered or went out of business. Anglers were forced to travel great distances to other lakes with accessible ramps. Many just stopped fishing because low water levels created hazardous conditions. Can any good result from low lake levels? How are fish populations and angling affected? The answers might be surprising, because there is an upside to lake drawdowns. As lake levels recede away from shorelines, small fishes and invertebrates such as crayfish, snails, and water-dwelling insects move toward deeper water. This provides a bonus of food for large predatory species because the small prey organisms have fewer places to hide. Game fishes such as largemouth bass and crappie can benefit greatly from the migration of prey. The larger the bass, the more it will profit from the increased level of groceries. Receding lake levels can substantially reduce the population of small fishes without reducing the number of large predators. In short-term drawdowns, the populations of larger fishes are generally enhanced by the effects. Reducing the number of small prey fishes such as bluegill and green sunfish that feed on largemouth bass eggs and fry is also a potential benefit to increasing the number of largemouth bass available during a period of drought. The short term effect of less predation on bass eggs and offspring will result in a larger number of bass surviving and growing to adulthood. When the number of bass

increases to the point they reach the carrying capacity of the habitat, overall size will decrease as the fish compete for a limited food supply. That process usually requires several years to manifest and is not a significant problem for short-term drawdowns. In any given body of water, the carrying capacity is described as the maximum poundage of a given fish species that a specific habitat can support for a given period (Bennett, Management of Lakes and Ponds, 1970). Consensus among biologists is that shortterm decreasing lake levels results in a population of predatory game fishes that will increase in size and number. Another benefit of reduced water levels is that game fishes become more concentrated. As habitat shrinks, there are fewer places for them to hide. As a result, they become easier for anglers to find. Creeks return to their channels; fishes relate more to solid manmade structures such as bridge pilings and riprap areas along roadways and dam faces. Old fence lines, tree rows, and roadbeds become more obvious. These places become hotspots for angling activity as other static cover is left high and dry. Finding fish is half the battle of catching them. Shrinking water levels makes the chore simpler, and that is a bonus for anglers. Here is a good example of how game fishes can be concentrated by decreasing water levels: In early summer of 2006, I was cruising along the shoreline of a favorite lake in north Texas. Lake levels were low on all area lakes, but this one still had accessible ramps. I wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to look for previously submerged structure that could be holding fish. Sonar units and maps are excellent tools for helping anglers find hotspots, but nothing takes the place of actually viewing sites to determine their fishattracting potential. I motored around a point that, when inundated, had provided plenty of fishcatching action on previous adventures. As I started to circle the end of the jutting piece of land, I noticed a cut between the main peninsula and what appeared to be a subpoint; I never suspected its presence when the lake was full. As I approached the area, small shad began leaping from the water. Behind them were unmistakable swirls of larger fish preying on them. The cut through the main and sub-point was acting as a funnel for the baitfish moving around the landmass. Immediately, I tied on a chrome Little Cleo spoon and eased into


Fea2

5/1/08

1:33 PM

Page 37


5/1/08

1:33 PM

Page 38

casting range with the trolling motor. I cast shallow, worked the lure to the edge of the cut, and let it flutter to the bottom. It never made it. The lure got slammed by a 4-pound largemouth bass. On the next cast, a hefty white bass engulfed the lure. For the next 20 minutes, almost every cast yielded a strike from a black or white bass. Those fish were packed into that cut, taking advantage of the feeding opportunity provided by the terrain changes due to the shrinking lake level. As it becomes more difficult to launch boats or reach fishable water from the shoreline, angling pressure on receding lakes decreases dramatically. Less pressure means game fishes are more likely to be caught by those willing to venture out on the lakes. Fewer fishermen also means fewer fishes will be harvested. That improves the numbers available for anglers. When water levels return to normal pool, those increased numbers of fish can provide excellent angling for several years. When water levels recede dramatically, the sudden appearance of stumps, sand bars, and other potentially dangerous hazards becomes an issue. This has a dramatic effect on non-angling recreational traffic; pleasure boating decreases. Anglers have had to learn to co-exist with heavy levels of use by nonfishermen. Boaters, skiers, and jet-ski enthusiasts have as much right to use and enjoy the water as do anglers, but many times, the different types of recreation are at odds with one another. When lakes drop and become full of obstacles, conflicting use lessens. This provides anglers with better opportunities to fish areas unmolested by other types of users. When lakes recede and leave bottom areas uncovered, a very important process occurs: oxidation of accumulated organic matter. This chemical reaction allows nutrients bound up in the partly decayed material that settles to lake bottoms to be broken down into soluble forms. Those nutrients will then be available when the water rises again to help feed plankton, insects, invertebrates, small fishes, and aquatic vegetation. That process will in turn provide a larger food supply for game fishes. Ultimately, drawdowns improve the productivity of lakes when they refill. When lakes fill after periods of drought, the vegetation that sprouted on the lakebed will provide excellent habitat and feeding opportunities for game fishes. Plant growth will typically be heavy, and this provides excellent spawning and hiding places. The 38

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

A lake that has recovered from low water levels usually has better fishing than it did before the low period. abundance of food and cover will also increase the number of surviving fry for game and forage species. This new territory will also significantly improve the opportunities for anglers to once again catch fish in shallow water areas. Droughts and floods are natural cyclical processes. While they can cause serious stress to outdoors-related businesses that depend upon fishing and other water-based recreation, reservoir drawdowns are for the &

G a m e ÂŽ

most part beneficial to fish populations. Sooner or later, the rains will come, the reservoirs will be replenished, the fishing will be fantastic, and harmony will be restored. Those happy events occurred in 2007, when heavy rains fell across much of Texas, filling lakes to the brim and then some. Anglers will reap the rewards for years to come.

PHOTO BY GRADY ALLEN

Fea2


Fea2

5/1/08

1:33 PM

Page 39


Nugent

5/1/08

1:43 PM

Page 40

Old Rockdog, New Bow Tricks

Y

OUNG NUGE HUNKERED DOWN IN THE pucker brush of multi-flora rose and various prickled shrubbery at the edge of the Dearborn Hills golf course, not far from the Detroit city limits, Osage longbow in hand, Port Orford cedar arrow nocked, locked and ready to rock, doc! My gung-ho youthful predator eyes were locked onto the fat, russet bushytailed fox squirrel running along the power line overhead. You would think I was ambushing a wounded Cape buffalo by the intense passion of the moment, and as far as I was concerned, I was. I was bowhunting baby, and these neighborhood limb rats absolutely qualified as big game for my cousin Mark Schmitt and I. BloodBrothers on the hunt. Serious stuff. This was way back in the 1950s, preKwiky-Quiver era, so my bow hand held onto two spare turkey fletched arrows, ala Cochise and Ishi, ready for backup. As the high-wire squirrel loomed directly overhead, I peeked out from under the canopy of leafy cover, smoothly stepped to the side and drew back my bow like a SpiritWild ballerina, and let one fly. The big, wide, three blade Bodkin broadhead smacked the unsuspecting rodent square in the head, catapulting it up and off the wire, tumbling to the ground, arrow and all. Headshot shish-ka-rodent. It was beautiful! As I raced to snatch up my prize, Mark yelled to me that there was another golden 40

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

furred target now scrambling a few yards out in the line of bushes behind us heading for a nearby house. I pivoted and nocked another arrow just as the squirrel reached the top of the ten foot fencerow brush, and arrow number two in less than ten seconds was launched. This arrow had an old MA3, three blade head, which sliced in and out of the bushytail square in the shoulder, dropping it like a bad habit. Mark and I grabbed our pair of big game prizes and held them up high with broad smiles, praise and glory, when both of us noticed yet another limb rat scurrying from limb to limb on a huge old white oak tree thirty yards away down the hill towards the golf course fairway. We dropped the rodents and sprinted down the hill to cut off squirrel number three. With my one remaining arrow, I gazed way up into the towering oak, while Mark skirted the big tree on the downhill side. I saw a slim whiff of bushytail blowing slightly in the breeze as the crafty squirrel attempted to hide from our view. With but a sliver of body showing above the heavy oak limb, I nonetheless brought up my bow, yanked the bowstring bringing the arrow nock into the corner of my mouth and touched ‘er off. Pook! From my little lightweight, 30-pound longbow, this slow moving, but pretty, lobbed arrow skewered the fat booger amidships. It failed to make a critical jump, crashing to earth with a pleasant thump! Mark and I danced a pure American Indian tribal bowhunting celebration dance right there on the edge of the golf course, as passing golfers watched with interest. I remember it all vividly as if it occurred this morning. Wonderful memories. In those early years of archery purity, I had the natural hand-eye thing down. No thought process, no pressure, simply pointing the arrow at what I wanted to hit and letting it go. I purchased all my arrows from the old Miller Feed Store on Grand River Avenue, in Redford nearby, with hardearned lawn cutting and snow shoveling

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

money, so I consciously took shots that would allow me the best opportunity to recover my precious projectiles. But other than that, we were just having fun. Good, clean, all American quality youthful outdoor, natural fun. And good Lord did we love our bows and arrows. Gung-ho, hardcore, over the top, extremist bowhunters were we. Perfect. I went from that first longbow to a semirecurve Shakespeare bow in 1959, both of which I still have, then graduated up to Wing, Herters, and Damon Howett recurves over the years, ultimately into the wonderful world of Fred Bear laminated works of archery art. And boy oh boy could I shoot! Back then, it seemed I just couldn’t miss. To the best of my knowledge as a kid, there were no such things as bow sights to assist my accuracy until the 1960s. A review of my cherished Bear Archery catalogs from that era show ever increasing bow sight development. We all learned the point and shoot, gap method of arrow placement. Even as I grew older and eventually went compound, I stuck to what I knew best and continued to shoot instinctively, even canting my compound bows exactly like I would my old fashioned bows, ala Fred Bear and Howard Hill. Dealing with the curse of target panic for a while did drive me to experiment with various bow sights in the 1980s and ‘90s, but when it came time to bowhunt, 99 percent of the time I went bare bow, no sights. Having great admiration and respect for gentleman bowhunter and innovator Claude Pollington, I came to appreciate his ingenious Red Dot sighting system on his amazing CP Oneida bows, also adapted to other makes and models as well. But I always went back to instinctive shooting. October 2007, and the fall solstice was erupting in an orgy of venison afoot. I had bagged a few splendid whitetails in Texas and Michigan in the first few weeks of the season, when the new Sims fiber optic bow sight showed up along with their new drop away rest. Checking in with master bowman Bryan Schupbach in Jackson, Michigan, he


Nugent

5/1/08

1:43 PM

Page 41

convinced me to try some- Even old “beast-stickers” like Nugent benefit from new bow technology. straightest, most efficient thing new and different with arrow energy and penetration my first drop away rest and delivery. these killer new sights. Why not? Gordy, his evening, just before dark, a big, fat MichiLet this be proof positive that an old dog master bow technician at Schupbach’s gan swamp donkey doe snuck up the ridge can indeed learn new tricks. I highly recomSporting Goods, took my new Martin Fire- below me, and at twenty yards I repeated mend that every bowhunter and archer keep Cat bow and set it up just like he would for my shooting mantra of the day and drilled abreast of new gear and be willing to experhimself, and handed it to me. The bow felt her perfectly through both lungs for my first iment with advancing and changing technolperfect and I must say that when I came to deer kill using sight pins, a peep and a drop ogy. There may be some little gadget or full draw, the little kisser button naturally away arrow rest. It felt as wonderful as any adaptation and change that you discover snugged right into the corner of my mouth instinctive mystical flight of the arrow in my that will make you a better shot and more and the 20 yard pin settled dead center into life, and I must say I was very intrigued if effective in the field. We will never know if the peep sight on my string without any not downright hooked on this new system. we fail to scrutinize the various possibilities I went on that season to truly whack ‘em out there. After a long, fifty plus years of adjustment whatsoever. I gently squeezed the trigger on my Scott release and I’ll be and stack ‘em in four states, and didn’t have arrow flinging excitement, I know that I will damned if that zebra arrow didn’t smack any trouble adapting to my new bowhunting be on the lookout for new and innovative dead center into the Delta deer target’s tricks. In fact, my lightweight 50-pound equipment and accessories that may make vitals perfecto! Wow! It felt as natural as a FireCat delivered killer penetration on many me a deadlier bowhunter. I’m celebrating kid whacking squirrels with his longbow in a big, hard boned deer and hog, with dead- this fact with tender backstraps over ly efficient arrow flight from what I believe mesquite coals tonight, and it doesn’t get 1955. I was a bit surprised at how the bow and now to be the most forgiving arrow rest I any better than this. sights came up naturally. About 100 deadly have ever experienced. There is no question E-mail Ted Nugent at accurate arrows later, I left the range and that a drop away rest provides total arrow bowhunting@fishgame.com headed back home to the woods. That and fletching clearance, resulting in the PHOTO BY TED NUGENT

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

41


Fea3

5/1/08

1:48 PM

Page 42

by Greg Berlocher

42

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

PHOTO BY DON ZAIDLE


Fea3

5/1/08

1:48 PM

Page 43

MATHEWS BOW PHOTO INSET BY JIMMY BORNE

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

43


Fea3

5/1/08

1:48 PM

Page 44

he deer slayer eased forward, ever cognizant that the slightest noise would startle the prey. Single steps marked his stealthy march. The wily veteran crouched to disguise his profile, knowing the odds were stacked against him. As he moved into range, the prey suddenly turned and moved slowly toward him, unaware of his presence. He was keenly aware of string on his index finger, all of his senses on high alert. It was time. This day was like so many others, but also very different: the prey didn’t have antlers—it had fins. The deer slayer loosed his payload and the tiny shrimp pattern dropped a scant foot in front of the big trout’s nose. The sow, famished from multiple summer spawns, inhaled the fly, wallowing a large hole in the shallow water as the stainless steel hook found purchase. Sight-casting to trout and redfish in skinny water is often compared to bowhunting, and for good reason: The seemingly disparate pursuits share a number of parallels. Mimicking bowhunters while stalking spots and specks will improve your success on the flats. Here are six highly effective tactics:

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

Me and My Shadow

Every bowhunter knows that they need to blend in to be successful. Camouflage comes in a number of lifelike patterns and the faux foliage breaks up the human silhouette. Flats fishermen should consider their apparel before wading across an ankle to knee-deep flat. This isn’t to suggest that anglers wear the marine equivalent of a full ghillie suit, but fishing attire in muted shades is much less visible than other colors. Bright white shirts reflect sunlight and are easily seen by the fish you are stalking.

Shallow-water fish are spooky creatures. With only a thin sheath of water covering their backs, trout and redfish milling about the shallows are easy targets for osprey, heron, and pelican predators. Shadows from above are harbingers of impending doom and fish respond accordingly. Avoid casting a shadow over the area you intend to fish. Consider the long shadows your body creates at dawn and dusk and factor this into the equation when setting out on a wade. The best approach is to cast with the sun off one of your shoulders. Having the sun in your face is the next best alternative. Crouching minimizes the length of your shadow, and reduces your overall silhouette. In extreme conditions, use a side-arm cast rather than an overhead one. The delivery of a fly or lure can also spook fish. Consider the shadow put off by a hefty dog-walking plug as it sails across a flat. Even small shadows will spook fish at times; if today happens to be one of those days, adjust your tactics accordingly. Fly-fishermen should be cognizant of the shadows their fly line makes as it zips back and forth through the air. Keep the number of false casts to a minimum when you see a fish. If you need to make a few false casts, cast away from your target until you have reached the desired distance and then change direction on your last cast.

Move Slowly

Masking Scent

I have yet to read a description of a successful stalk that included the adjectives “hurried,” “swift,” or “hasty.” Good stalkers move slowly, deliberately taking single steps only when the time is right. In addition to tortoise-like movements, good stalkers freeze in place for prolonged periods, concerned more with listening and

Deer possess an incredible sense of smell, alarming them of upwind threats. Speckled trout and redfish don’t actually smell adversaries, but use their lateral lines in much the same manner to sense pressure changes caused by nearby sharks or porpoises—or bipedal predators. Every step we make while wade-fishing

Blend In

44

seeing than with moving. I am unaware of any TPWD regulation that requires wadefishermen to move briskly through the water, but unfortunately, many fishermen feel the only way to catch fish is to cover a lot of ground—or maybe run the fish down. One of the best sight-casters I know will stand in the same spot for 30 minutes or longer when he finds the right combination of moving water, baitfish, and structure. A good rule of thumb for wading in shallow water: If you can hear yourself moving through the water, you are going too fast.

&

G a m e ®


Fea3

5/1/08

1:48 PM

Page 45

creates a pressure wave. These roll across the flat, alerting every fish in the vicinity to your presence. Slow, measured steps minimize pressure waves, thereby reducing the chances of spooking fish. An errant stumble will quickly bring to an end a promising stalk.

Aim for the Donut, Not the Hole Bowhunters are keenly aware of their limitations and will pass up a shot if is outside their range. This discipline forces them to shoot only when a deer can be killed cleanly with an arrow to a vital area. Discipline is the key word, and understanding where to place your shot is right behind on the scale of importance. Sightcasting to spots and specks requires accuracy as well, but you want to hit the donut rather than the bull’s eye. As discussed previously, trout and redfish in skinny water are more skittish than a 14year-old after a triple cappuccino. Land a lure or fly directly on a fish’s head and it will make a panicked dash for deeper water.

Land a lure too far away, and it might no be seen, especially if you are casting to a redfish that is rooting around in a grass bed. The donut is a zone of water rough 1-3 feet in diameter around the fish.

REAL BOWFISHING • If interested in learning more about real bowfishing for redfish and other game fishes, the following websites have lots of good information:

Instincts Drive Behavior Instinct is an inborn or innate tendency within a certain species. Successful deer hunters study and understand everything they can about their quarry, and do their best to appeal to a deer’s natural instincts. Flats fishermen should take a few pages from the deer hunter’s playbook when presenting an artificial lure or fly. When casting to a fish finning in shallows, your lure or fly should mimic baitfish behavior. If it lands within the strike zone, begin moving it as if the lure is trying to escape. As soon as the fish sees it, you want to create the impression the bait is fleeing, which will trigger a reaction strike. The kiss of death is landing the lure on the far side of the fish and retrieving it right toward the fish’s mouth. “Hey, sailor, hungry tonight?” Baitfishes never swim up to a predator as if to serve themselves up as din-

T E X A S

F i s h

www.backwaterbowfishing.com www.bowfishingassociation.com www.louisianabowfishing.com www.jerrylabella.com/bowfishing Also see the book, Practical Bowfishing by William Hovey Smith, presented by the publishers of the Archer’s Bible. Available from www.amazon.com. ner. Fish know this and their instincts quickly shut down their jaw muscles.

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

45


Fea4

5/1/08

1:52 PM

Page 46

by Chester Moore 46

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

PHOTO BY DOUG STAMM


Fea4

5/1/08

1:52 PM

Page 47

SHAD FISH INSET PHOTO BY JOE RICHARD

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

47


5/1/08

1:52 PM

Page 48

enhaden, pogy, shad— common names for Brevoortia patronus, arguably the most important link in the food chain in the Gulf of Mexico, and a highly underrated bait for speckled trout and redfish. Where I am from on the Upper Coast, we call them “shad,” and during summer months, they are the go-to bait choice for many anglers. I have used shad off and on for many years, but first started to consider it a top bait for big specks and reds during the late 1990s when a local tournament essentially became a showcase for anglers fishing with shad. When covering the event for the Port Arthur News and Orange Leader newspapers, the winning anglers would almost always tell me they were using shad either live or “cold.” The “live” part is easy to figure out. Hooked through the body, a live shad moves around a lot, emits oil, and has a reflective shine that makes it irresistible for predators. The “cold” choice is a bit different.

48

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

PHOTO BY JOE RICHARD

Fea4

Menhaden or “shad” are dietary staples for most coastal predatory fishes. Unless you have an oxygen diffusion unit for your livewell, it is difficult to keep shad alive during summer months. At some point, anglers figured out that by laying shad on top of ice and keeping them dry, the baitfish retain a hookable texture and work just as well as the live version. Most anglers keep the drain plugs open in their ice chests so the water drains instead of engulfing the shad,

&

G a m e ®

which makes them mushy once dead. There are a number of ways to fish these shad, the most popular being under a popping cork. I like to drift the open waters of Sabine Lake during the heat of summer with a cold (or live) shad drifted 2 feet under an Old Bayside Paradise Popper. This cork is easy to use and its titanium shaft makes it virtually indestructible, which is important for anglers like me who tend to be a bit destructive with their own equipment. “I use those corks a lot and have found them to be indispensable for the summer shad fishery,” said Sabine Lake guide and Upper Coast Hotspots Focus columnist Capt. Skip James. “What we do is drift the open areas in the mid-lake area around large concentrations of shad, which the trout and reds feed on heavily. By presenting them with a wounded shad, which is evident by its swimming action or lack of it, and the oils it emits with the combination of a loud popping cork above it to get attention, you have the formula for catching lots of fish.” James said during the heat of summer, lures can be unfruitful at times, so shad is the only way to go: “We have a hard time getting live shrimp up here on Sabine, so shad is what we use. It’s starting to catch on in other areas, too. For a long time, I was lures only, and still fish mainly lures because I do not like feeding fish, but I do want to catch them, and sometimes I have to use shad to do that.” One drawback to drifting the mid-bay areas during summer can be large numbers of ladyfish (skipjack) that sometimes get to your bait before the trout have a chance. “Ladyfish are hard to compete with, but if you are fishing a spot that you know has trout, drop your shad down to 3 feet below the cork and see if that helps. If it doesn’t, just move on and find fish elsewhere,” James said. Some anglers prefer fishing the shad on a Carolina (fish-finder) rig, which consists of an egg weight rigged above a swivel and attached leader. This method works well in transition zones from cuts to the main body of bays, and shallow flats coming off islands along the Intracoastal. Rig up an 18- to 24inch leader finished off with sharp Kahlestyle hook for best results. This fishing can be very productive for trout and reds as well, but it is very tidally driven. If you are fishing a spot such as an oyster reef on the southern end of a bay system, then incoming tides are often best. Trout like


Fea4

5/1/08

1:52 PM

Page 49


Fea4

5/1/08

1:52 PM

Page 50

to feed on the bait that comes in and out of the Gulf, and the rising tide brings in lots of it. Conversely, on the north end of bay systems, outgoing tides that flush the marsh are often the best, and will spark trout feeding. If you are jetty fishing, try the outside of the jetties first if the tides are going out, and the outside of the walls if it is coming in. It is not an exact science, but I have found that rule works most of the time. Fishing with the Carolina rig along the edges of the boat cut or using the popping cork rig along the rocks can be extremely effective.

50

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

Trout cannot feed in an area if there is no water. In other words, if the tide has been falling for a while and a flat has little water on it, pass it up. This might seem obvious, but even a flat with just perhaps a foot of water can be trout-free in some areas. On that same note, fish on structure that breaks up tides. If you find a spot that is breaking up a strong current, fish that spot and expect the trout to hold tight to structure. Redfish exhibit different behavior in relation to tides and feeding on shad. If you have a big wind blowing, it will often push bait-

&

G a m e ®

fishes against the north shoreline of a bay system, or concentrate them in areas where the wind’s effects are lessened, as in a protected cove. Here is where it is important to remember that a tide is like a wave in that it lessens in strength as it moves inland. That is why it is important to keep up with the tidal correctional tables for the areas you fish. If the tides are given for the Port Aransas Jetties and you are fishing on the north end of Copano Bay, you will not see the same tidal movement. In planning your trips, keep in mind that in most cases water exchange will lessen the farther you move inland. If the reds are feeding on a flat coming out of a marsh, you need to know there will be water on those flats. If you are expecting the fish on the edge of an area where baitfish are clinging on high tides, you will want to find the tides that are high and falling. Conversely, tides will be strongest the closer you get to the Gulf, so it is important to make note of the intricacies of fish feeding in relation to these big tides. Even a small tide can create big movement at a jetty or fish pass, like Rollover Pass on the Bolivar Peninsula. Small passes do not require big tides to push lots of water in or out of bay systems. In these fish funnels, a Carolina rig can be very effective for reds. The only problem is that it also draws strikes from gafftops, which can actually be a bonus if you are signed up for the CCA STAR Tournament. I know dissecting how species bite in relation to certain tides might seem nit-picky, but in many circumstances, I have found it makes a big difference. These are guidelines you can use for you favorite fishing holes, but you will have to make your own notes to get the best results. Some spots will have different characteristics, which is why I believe it is important to keep a fishing log. By the way, if you want details on logs, check out my blog at www.fishgame.com. There are instructions there on how to make one. Speaking of logs, looking back at mine, I noticed that over the last few years, my biggest trout during the summer have came on either shad bait or topwater lures. I admit to a much greater preference for catching them on Skitter Walks, Top Dogs, and the like, but if the big specks want shad, shad they shall have—fresh and live, or chilled just right.


Fea4

5/1/08

1:52 PM

Page 51


Fea5

5/1/08

52

1:54 PM

• J U N E

Page 52

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

PHOTO BY DON ZAIDLE


Fea5

5/1/08

1:54 PM

Page 53

Which ATV for You? • by Dan Murphy

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

53


Fea5

5/1/08

1:54 PM

Page 54

hen I win the lottery, I’m going to have a stable of ATVs. There’s really no way around it. This scheme hit me when I started looking at the 2008 ATVs, and all their variations in terms of how we use them. If I lived in another state, it might be easier selecting for the specific sporting life I’ve chosen. I live in Texas, and we’ve got just about everything but 14,000-foot peaks to scoot around in— and when elk fever hits, the Rockies aren’t out of reach. If I looked realistically at the range of ATVs and their features, I’d conclude I didn’t need one of each (that’s a lottery dream). Obviously, a good ATV can take you from the Gulf to the bayou to arid West Texas as well as a traipse through the Hill Country. Like a Morgan horse, today’s ATVs can multi-task. As you browse through the list of specifications and features, the final choice is determined more by what you’re looking for than what you intend to do with the beast. If you’re really in the market for a sportspecific ATV, related accessories, and special editions, the ATV’s answer to vehicle trim lines are worth exploring. Accessories play a big role in an ATV’s versatility. Arctic Cat’s Speedrack system is a prime example. With a series of generic storage and rack components, and specialized items like gun scabbards and bow case holders, you can customize your Arctic Cat to accommodate both your sport and your campsite preferences. Kawasaki’s NRA Outdoors Brute Force is covered in a camouflage pattern, all the way down to the wheels. Camo, plus weight capacity matched to a capable drive train and handling, are all features you will appreciate on a trail. Back to the basic ATV: Terrain features have ceased to be an ATV issue, unless (whether by choice or geography) you find yourself in mud—the thick, sticky variety. If that’s the case, Yamaha’s Big Bear is the standard against which all mudders are judged. The Bear is air-cooled to avoid the clogging and overheating suffered by liquid54

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

cooled systems. The increased capacity oil cooler is well protected behind the front fenders. The Mikuni carburetor might seem like a technological throwback, but it can be adjusted on the trail while fuel injection counterparts cannot. Whether your mud runner sports carbs or fuel injection, look for a high-placed air intake if you know you’re going to get wet a lot. Electronic components are marine grade and the differential is fully lockable—all components of the perfect mud recipe. Another consideration when ATV shopping is that two-seaters and sporty handling are not mutually exclusive. I’ve looked and can’t find anything in the hunters’ handbook that says the travel leg of your trip can’t be fun. Yamaha’s Rhino has had the corner on that market for quite a while, and now the Polaris Ranger RZR has entered the sport RUV stable. Powered by a 760cc, fourstroke, fuel-injected engine, the Ranger RZR has been tested at a top speed of 55 mph. A low center of gravity (the engine sits behind the seat rather than underneath it) provides improved handling through twists and turns. Independent rear suspension gives the tough little Ranger a respectable 10-inch ground clearance. Even with an emphasis on “sport,” the RZR still has a payload capacity of 300 pounds and tow capacity of 1500 pounds, plus a Polaris “lock and ride” cargo system. Here’s a scenario: The truck trail between pavement and your fishing spot isn’t rocky, eroded, or under water, and you’d rather enjoy the scenery than break any land speed records. In addition, comfort and capacity ranks high on your list of necessities. There is a whole slew of RUVs that fit the bill, and a run through of their features makes a good start on your search. Club Car has introduced a new line of rough and ready RUVs. The XRT series starts with a two-wheel-drive light duty 800/810, 850, and 1200 up to the 4x4 1550 SE. The latter is equipped to haul over 15 cubic feet and up to 800 pounds of gear in its bed box, with a total vehicle capacity of 1600 pounds. With a six-point rollover protection system, you and three buddies can negotiate rugged terrain in safety. The XRT 1550 is available with a 23 horsepower air-cooled Kawasaki gas or 20 horsepower Kubota diesel engine, independ&

G a m e ®

ent double A-series with coil over shocks in the front and swing arm with coilovers in the back suspension, four-wheel disc brakes, and IntelliTrak AWD that locks up the rear differential. In the useful category, Kawasaki’s new Teryx RUV combines the utility Mule with the Brute Force’s performance and innovation in a two-seater that can easily take you up and over rough terrain. The Teryx takes full advantage of Kawasaki’s best—a V-twin 750 cc engine and continuously variable transmission (CVT) putting the emphasis in sport without compromising utility. With adjustable Kayaba suspension and gascharged shocks, the Teryx stays under control even at speed. A servo-control switch activates four-wheel-drive and a hand lever activates the front differential control, letting the driver select how much the wheels lock up. The tilting cargo bed handles 500 pounds and the tow rating hits 1200 pounds. For rough country, torque is good but torque control is better. That’s one of the assets of the Yamaha Rhino for 2008. As you’re winding your way up or down trails that could double as rock-root-stump-scree obstacle courses, torque you can finesse trumps torque that launches you out of a simulated starting gate. This useful torque results from a 26cc increase in engine size (up to 686cc) with a noticeable increase in power at low- to mid-range. Throttle response is also improved with Yamaha’s new fuel injection system. The Rhino also includes a grab bar on the passenger side, which beats trying to dig your fingernails into the dash, and polyethylene half-doors. Both make for a safer, more secure ride for both passenger and driver. For those who have to factor cost into the useful/sporty mix, the Polaris Sportsman 400 HO, built on the Hawkeye platform, is a serious workhorse. Powered by a 455cc single-cylinder engine, the Sportsman features independent rear suspension, Mikuni carburetor, true all-wheel-drive, and a CVT that also couples engine braking to the rear wheels for safer descents. Stock tires are a reasonable 24 inches, but there’s plenty of fender room to go up a couple of notches. Polaris’ take on the two-seater offers a good alternative if you often travel solo, need extra cargo space, or just like the feel of


Fea5

5/1/08

1:54 PM

Page 55

straddling an ATV. The Polaris 800 and 500 EFI Touring models feature a back seat that can be folded down for maximum rear rack space. The 700 and 500 X2 ATVs include a back seat that folds to enable a cargo box. With our brand of ATVs, there’s a fine line between utility and performance. We know they have to do both; it’s just a matter of the degree to which one dominates the other. When it comes to suspension, the line blurs completely; the better a suspension performs, the more utility you get out of the ATV. Let’s go back to the Polaris Sportsman as a benchmark for bump absorption mastery. The company credits suspension guru/designer Jeff Bennett with the Sportsman series’ ability to isolate the rider from whatever gnarly bumps and grinds you’re rolling over. Some of us consider a little horsepower good and a lot of horsepower even better. Arctic Cat heard us and delivered with the Thundercat 1000 H2 EFI with a rip-roaring 950cc V-twin Hemi, electronic fuel injection (great for altitudes and those Rockies elk hunts), a race-bred suspension with 12-inches of ground clearance and 10inches of travel, push-button four-wheeldrive, and locking front differential. If you need to justify this kind of pure power, use the old stereo system analogy: The more power built into a stereo, the better it sounds at any volume level. Besides, you never know when you might need to race for help, chase a deer, or make up for lost time getting to the duck blind. I can think of thousands of uses for that much engine. So there you have it, or at least some of it. We could easily fill the magazine matching features to opportunities for the sporting life in Texas, but we can’t do that. As much fun as it can be to run out to your local ATV shop and start kicking tires on new models, we suggest you first match what you need with what will put a big possum-grin on your face. Then go kick the tires.

PHOTO BY MARGARET PENNY

ATVS TO THE RESCUE As mentioned in prior issues of this magazine, I am a member of the Boonsville-Balsora Fire Department, and as such enjoy intimate familiarity with the challenges, requirements, and dangers of emergency services. Our department routinely fights wildfires and structure fires, performs rescue and search operations, provides emergency medical services to the sick and injured, and performs first response service for all local emergencies in our district—and sometimes outside our district in rendering mutual aid. Many of the hundreds of emergencies we service annually occur in rugged wildland settings that tax men and equipment in the extreme. Getting water and manpower to the flanks and head of a wildfire is all but impossible with a conventional brush or attack truck; and if you think carrying a medical patient out of the LBJ National Grasslands or the backside of a large cattle ranch to a helicopter landing zone or ambulance-accessible roadway on a basket stretcher is easy, try it sometime. We long ago recognized the need for an all-terrain conveyance equipped for wildland firefighting and rescue, but simply could not afford it. Then, last year, we received a Federal Emergency Management Agency grant to purchase an ATV. After evaluating our needs and examining the capabilities of a number of vehicles, we settled on a Kubota RTV900 side-byside. This model fit our application to a tee. Its 21.6-horsepower diesel engine, multi-range hydrostatic transmission, four-wheeldrive, and 1653-pound payload can deliver 100 gallons of water, firefighting and EMS equipment, and two personnel just about anywhere needed. A live hydraulic system powers the firefighting water pump, eliminating the added weight of an auxiliary gasoline engine. The RTV900’s 25 mph maximum speed makes it much safer in the always-hazardous fire service. As you can see in the photo, we have already put “Utility 121” to good use fighting wildfire, and expect it to meet and exceed our needs in search-and-rescue, rough terrain EMS, incident recognizance, and logistic operations. —Don Zaidle

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

55


0806 GG Pimp Your Ride

5/1/08

1:58 PM

Page 56


0806 GG Pimp Your Ride

5/1/08

1:58 PM

Page 57


0806 GG Pimp Your Ride

5/1/08

1:58 PM

Page 58


0806 GG Pimp Your Ride

5/1/08

1:58 PM

Page 59


0806 GG Pimp Your Ride

5/1/08

1:58 PM

Page 60

PU-Products Texas Best Meats

Carry items safely & securely with our Line-X coated Rhino Plate & your choice of 4 JUG RAX. The Plate mounts directly onto your Rhino or UTV bed to easily carry jugs, coolers, tackle boxes, buckets and more. Never lose something overboard again!

Texas Best Beef Jerky is prepared in our own USDAInspected facility! TEXAS BEST MEATS Phone: 800-373-9679 Web: www.texasbestbeefjerky.com

PU-PRODUCTS Phone: 619-334-1913 Web: www.pu-products.com

PIMP GG60

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®


0806 GG Pimp Your Ride

5/1/08

1:58 PM

Page 61

Bedslide Rokstraps

Bedslide, whether you carry hunting and fishing gear or your business on the back of your truck, Bedslide brand products make the job easy BEDSLIDE Phone: 888-807-0099 Web: www.bedslide.com

The Ultimate Stretch Strap-They put regular bungees to shame! From 95 to 200 lb Breaking Strain, available in hook ends or loopthru, these straps are polyester braided, have a solid rubber core, case hardened hooks and many more amazing features. You will never use anything else. DEALERS WANTED! ROKSTRAPS Phone: (619) 334-1913 Web: www.rokstrap.com


0806 GG Pimp Your Ride

5/1/08

1:58 PM

Page 62

Allen Samuels Autoplex Polaris The Turnover Ball Gooseneck Hitch maximizes towing capacity and bed space. Converts from a hitch to a level bed in seconds. 30,000 lbs Trailer Weight. 7,500 lbs Tongue Weight. ALLEN SAMUELS AUTOPLEX Phone: 888-826-5797 Web: allensamuelsautoplex.com

Polaris has the off-road covered. For hunting, working, trail and sport riding, Polaris has the vehicle to fit your needs and your lifestyle.

Phone: 800-342-3764 PIMP GG62

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

POLARIS Web: www.polarisindustries.com G a m e ®


0806 GG Pimp Your Ride

5/1/08

1:58 PM

Page 63

Scabbard Technologies

Scabbard keeps your long gun secure in your ATV, UTV or any hunting vehicle. Outfitters, sporting clay courses and ranches will find the Scabbard a MUST HAVE, to keep their hunting and shooting arenas safe and secure.

The Scabbard comes with soft, weatherproof padded lining, nylon cover in black or camo, stock retainer and barrel strap. Simple, safe, secure storage for your long gun while you’re on the move.

SCABBARD TECHNOLOGIES Phone: 877-486-8723 Web: www.scabbardtech.com

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

PIMP GG63


0806 GG Pimp Your Ride

5/1/08

1:59 PM

Page 64

Allen Samuels Autoplex Hitch Safe Multimedia Infotainment System Its 20GB hard drive stores playlists, maps, points of interest, JPEG images & more! ALLEN SAMUELS AUTOPLEX Phone: 888-826-5797 Web: allensamuelsautoplex.com

Converts receiver into vault. Great for outdoor sports where carrying keys is a hassle or can become lost. Dustcover conceals/protects, 10,000 possible combinations

HITCH SAFE Phone:800-654-1786 Web: www.hitchsafe.com

Never Be Locked Out Again! Far better than one of those magnetic things that fall off (and everyone knows where to find) and far more secure than throwing on top of tire or in gas lid! PIMP GG64

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ÂŽ


0806 GG Pimp Your Ride

5/1/08

1:59 PM

Page 65

I 45 Sales

I-45 Sales is your Texas One Stop Shop for all of your recreational needs. Call now to demo can am ATV, Seadoo, PWC or boats now I-45 SALES Phone: 903-326-5802 or 877-I34 Sales

Web: www.i-45sales.com

1800 acres full of Trails, Fishing, Mud, RV Spots, Cabins etc. Check out our events. RURAL SHADE ATV RANCH Phone: 903-396-7464 Web: www.ruralshadeatvranch.com


0806 GG Pimp Your Ride

5/1/08

2:53 PM

Page 66

TaleGator

Get the Ford special edition Talegator, the latest in the Talegator range for your pickup truck.Future products will include college, beverage and GM logos.

Add the latest and most comfortable seating system available to the tailgate of your pickup truck. Ideal for fishing, hunting and sporting events.

TALEGATOR Phone: 1–866–67GATOR Web: www.thetalegator.com

PIMP GG66

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®


0806 GG Pimp Your Ride

5/1/08

1:59 PM

Page 67

KT Coolers

KT Coolers offers self-contained “Walk-in Coolers” designed for the cold storage of harvested game. “Skid Mount”and “Trailer” models are also available. KT COOLERS Phone: 361-571-5051 Web: www.ktcoolers.com


0806 GG Pimp Your Ride

5/1/08

2:53 PM

Page 68

UV Country

SALTWATER STRATEGIES: Pat Murray’s No Nonsense Guide to Coastal Fishing.—Our best selling saltwater book. Just $14.95 TEXAS FISH & GAME PUBLISHING Phone: (800) 750-4678 Web: www.FishGame.com

Largest Kawasaki mule authorized dealership in the USA. Specializing in sales, service, parts, custom outfitting of the Kawasaki mule utility vehicle.

Introducing the all new Kawasaki Teryx 4x4 off road recreational utility vehicle. Sales, service, parts, custom outfiting. UV COUNTRY Phone: 713-649-0556 Web: www.uvcountry.com PIMP GG68

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®


0806 GG Pimp Your Ride

5/1/08

1:59 PM

Page 69

Swift Hitch

Designed to assist anyone who has ever struggled with hitching a trailer. Swift Hitch is totally portable. Includes wireless, hi-resolution color display unit and night vision camera with magnetic mount, selectable reverse (default) or normal image. 12-volt socket charge cable also included. Once charged – runs continuous for up to 4 hours. Step 1: Mount magnetic camera on your tailgate. Step 2: View your hitch angle while backing up using the handheld color display. Step 3: Hitch up and Go! SWIFT HITCH Phone: 888-809-5183 Web: www.swifthitch.com

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

PIMP GG69


0806 GG Pimp Your Ride

5/1/08

1:59 PM

Page 70

Tamarack ATV Accessories

TEXAS WATERFOWL by TF&G Executive Editor Chester Moore. The most authoratative book on Texas waterfowl available. $14.95 TEXAS FISH & GAME PUBLISHING Phone: (800) 750-4678 Web: www.FishGame.com

Tamarack Boom-It™ Featuring a JBL Marine® stereo, two 5” 75-watt waterproof speakers, and radio presets-- this “boombox” is Sirius®-ready, and MP3 compatible. Available in June 2008!

Tamarack Deluxe Lounger® The most luxurious ATV box with a comfortable seat, featuring an LED taillight and neoprene padded handgrips. Key lockable and BUILT TO LAST!

The Tamarack Tube-It™ Don’t like a box on the rear rack? The Tamarack Tube-It™ is a revolutionary, watertight, quick-release storage tube that does NOT USE RACK SPACE! TAMARACK ATV ACCESSORIES Phone: 800-269-6701 Web: www.tamarackatv.com PIMP GG70

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®


0806 GG Pimp Your Ride

5/1/08

1:59 PM

Page 71

Truck Covers USA

American Cargo Lights – the most sophisticated and unique cargo lighting system available. A must have for all truck beds, toolboxes and other cargo unit structures.

The American Work Cover from Truck Covers USA A truck cover & toolbox that really works! A multifunctional product with a unique space saving design.

TRUCK COVERS USA Phone: 858-622-9135 Web: www.truckcoversusa.com

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

PIMP GG71


0806 GG Pimp Your Ride

5/1/08

1:59 PM

Page 72

Leer

LEER fiberglass tonneaus are ideal to transport, protect and secure the gear you need, whether your weekend is full of chores or an outdoor adventure.

LEER truck caps turn your pickup bed into a huge lockable, weather-protected space and provide the perfect platform for a Thule roof rack system.

LEER Phone: : 888-832-1194 Web: www.leer.com/gonefishing

PIMP GG72

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ÂŽ


0806 GG Pimp Your Ride

5/1/08

1:59 PM

Page 73


TF&G Test Pilot

5/7/08

8:56 AM

Page 74

Blue Wave 1900 VLC

C

AN YOU FIND A WELL-BUILT BOAT THAT COVERS all the fishing bases and performs like a thoroughbred, but costs significantly less than the competition? That’s exactly what Blue Wave’s new 1900 does— and when Texas Marine brought our test

ratio. The windshield/grab rail design is another strong point. The windshield is removable with the turn of a few handscrews, and the stainless-steel grab rail folds down. That means you can get under low bridges, or stow the boat in the garage if you like. We tested the 1900 VLC rigged with a Yamaha F115 TLR four-stroke outboard on the transom, and zipped up into the mid 40’s. The hull gripped the water no matter how hard I cranked the wheel over, and throttle response is best described as crisp. It was a calm, beautiful morning when we ran our test, so I had to hunt down some boat

cushion with a removable backrest. Is it a functional rig—100 percent. And don’t think it doesn’t come without any perks: there’s a livewell in the aft deck and a second one forward of the console, the foam-filled hull is completely unsinkable, Blue Wave’s trademark “Wave Grip” non-skid, triple vertical rodholders on either side of the console, two flush-mount rodholders in the aft deck, a 72-quart cooler under the helm seat, and a 12-V outlet at the helm. But the biggest perk is knowing that you got the maximum bang for your buck, when a 1900 VLC is parked in your driveway.

PHOTO BY GERALD BURLEIGH

Nautic Star 210 SC

Y

BLUE WAVE 1900 VLC Category: Bay Boat Length:

18 ft. 7 in.

Hull:

V-bottom

Beam: 7 ft. 6 in.

wakes to get a feel for Max HP: 115 Draft: 12 in. boat to the ramp in how the 1900 VLC Seabrook, we discovCapacity: 5 people or 675-lbs would handle waves. ered that this is one website: www.bluewaveboats.com Luckily, a trawler bay boat can be had for less than $20,000. That’s a rarity in plodded by at just the right moment, throwtoday’s marine marketplace. Even more rare: ing up a sizable bow wake. Hammering the throttle and running right through it proved quality is not sacrificed. Many boats that offer understated pricing no problem—and proved that the 1900 are built with sub-par construction tech- VLC is vibration and rattle-free upon niques; not the 1900 VLC. Look at the impact. So, if this boat is so darn sweet, why is hinges and hardware, for example. Where you might expect to find screws, you’ll find the price so darn low? It’s a relatively simple, through-bolts. Now open up a dry stowage straightforward boat. The foredeck, for box. Expensive boats have gaskets around example, has a single stowage compartment the hatches, and the 1900 VLC does, too. plus and anchor locker, while the aft deck The hatches themselves are light but strong, has two compartments. Cleats are standard thanks to cutting edge RTM molding tech- top-mounts, and instead of a complex folding niques that optimize the resin-to-fiberglass seat in the aft deck, there’s a bench seat 74

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

OU WANT TO FISH, MOM WANTS TO SWIM IN a quiet cove, your teenage daughter wants to water ski, and your son wants to try wakeboarding—this could turn a getaway at the lake into one big family argument, if you don’t do something quick. Fortunately, you have the solution: A Nautic Star 210 SC deck boat, which can make all the family members happy, all the time. When it comes to sheer diversity the 210 SC is off the charts. The one we tested can feed your fishy feelings with an aerated livewell under the forward seat, two pedestal-mount bassboat-style seats, and a trolling motor harness built in. Dips in the lake or beaching and exploring will be easier thanks for forward and aft foldaway swim ladders. And if you like to rinse off afterwards, you’ll like the transom shower. A skitowing pylon comes standard, as does the four-speaker JBL marine stereo system with MP3 jack. Carrying both wakeboards and skis is no problem, because the 210 SC has


PHOTO COUTESY OF NAUTIC STAR

TF&G Test Pilot

5/1/08

2:02 PM

Page 75

tions and fishing situations, ranging from the backwater to the blue water. With 21 feet, 10 inches LOA and a relatively aggressive 15-degree deadrise, this hull can take on a chop and run long distances without wearing out the crew. Many bay boats don’t have that much V in the bottom, and the boats pound as a result. The trade-off? Deeper V’s require more draft and often don’t plane as quickly. The 2200 combats this issue with a stepped transom design that allows it to run shallower than NAUTIC STAR 210SC the norm. Pathfinder boosts shallow water abilities even more by rigging with a 10” Category: Deck Boat hydraulic jack plate, as the 2200XL is set Length: 21 ft. Beam: 8 ft. 6 in. Hull: V-bottom gobs of stowage design. Maybe it’s up, and you’ll easily run over ankle-deep Max HP: 200 Draft: 1 ft. 4 in. space under the true what they say— flats. Just how diverse is the Pathfinder’s fishaCapacity: 10 people or 1,350-lbs deck. You want dry that you can’t make bility? Trollers will appreciate the four gunwebsite: www.nauticstarboats.com stowage compartall people happy, all wale-mounted rodholders, while light-tackle ments for the rest of the time—but a casters will make good use of the vertical your gear? Just flip up the seats in the fore Nautic Star 210 SC just might be able to. console quad-racks. Naturally, everyone will and aft cockpits; there’s plenty. In fact, the like the fact that there’s a 25-gallon livewell seating is far more plentiful than you expect and an optional 28-gallon release well in the from a boat of this size, and both cockpits aft deck. The 2200XL holds a hefty 60 galare capable of seating five people. So when lons of fuel, so you’ll have no problem makthe kids each want to bring a friend or two or ing the haul to distant fishing spots. Those even three, you can accommodate them— runs will be shorter than you expected, not that you’ll necessarily want to share this too—with a 200-hp Yamaha HPDI on the comfort zone, which is plusher than usual transom we shredded the bay at highway because Nautic Star uses an upholstery speeds, and this boat is rated to take anothcalled “Leather Touch,” which feels soft but er 50 ponies. It’s no wonder the 2200XL acts tough. Of course, everyone who comes can handle this kind of juice, when you cononboard will appreciate the portable head, F AN ANGLER WANTS TO GO FLATS FISHING ON sider the way it’s put together. Just glance in the console. day one, fish the inlet on day two, and down the hull sides and you’ll see an indicaWith a 150-hp outboard on the transom head for the rigs on day three—or do all tion of how Pathfinder approaches boat the 210 SC is sportier than you’d guess, three in one day—he’ll need a boat building: you won’t find those cheap plastic popping onto plane quickly enough to put a smile on any water skier’s face. Stability in a that’s adaptable and capable. A boat like rings evident on many competitors, but beam sea, even when at rest, was also better Pathfinder’s 2200XL. This rig is put instead, every through-hull fitting is stainthan the norm thanks to the full, wide beam together to handle a diverse range of condi- less-steel and those below the waterline have seacocks. The trolling motor mount is supported by an aluminum backing plate sandwiched into the bow, cleats are flush-mounted, and steering is hydraulic. Pop open a hatch and you’ll note PATHFINDER 2200XL that the compartCategory: Bay Boat ments are lipped, gasLength: 21 ft. 10 in. Beam: 8 ft. 6 in. keted, and open on Hull: V-bottom gas-assist struts. Now Max HP: 250 Draft: 11 in. close that hatch back Capacity: not published, request is in. up, quickly now, and website: www.pathfinderboats.com toss that gear onboard. We’d better get going, if we’re going to hit the flats, the inlet, and the rigs today—all in this one boat.

Pathfinder 2200XL

PHOTO COURTESY OF PATHFINDER

I

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

75


TF&G Test Pilot

5/1/08

2:03 PM

Page 76


TF&G Test Pilot

5/1/08

2:03 PM

Page 77


TF&G Test Pilot

5/1/08

2:03 PM

Page 78


TF&G Test Pilot

5/1/08

2:03 PM

Page 79


TrophyQuest

5/2/08

11:48 AM

Page 80

Got a Lease?

T

EXAS IS A WHOLE DIFFERENT COUNTRY when it comes to gaining access to land for the purpose of deer hunting, but just wait, the rest of the world will catch up eventually. In northern states, access to prime deer country is either had by walking onto the nearest public property or via a handshake will a local farmer. Yankees look at you like you have two heads when you mention the words “deer lease.” That term just isn’t in their vocabulary and the thought of actually paying to hunt is outrageous. However, things aren’t that simple down here. Depending on which source you look at, somewhere between 93 & 97 percent of Texas is privately owned (meaning it is not owned by the local, state, or federal government). So with a few exceptions, if you want to play you have to pay, sometimes a lot and the prices are going up annually. I’m not saying it is right or wrong, it’s just the way it is and will continue to be into the foreseeable future. A man has a right to make an income off the land he legally owns and if that means leasing the hunting rights to another individual or company then so be it. Leases are a way of life around here so get used to it. Most of you reading this are painfully (financially) aware of that and have secured your lease already by either finding a new annual or seasonal lease or renewing your contract with your old one. But there are a few of you out there reading this that are panicking because deer season is just around the corner and your stands and feeders are still in the garage because you have no place to take them. Either you lost your lease to somebody with deeper pockets, got tired of not seeing any deer on the old lease and got 80

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

For more information go to www.tpwd.state.tx.us/exptexas/programs/hunt-texas/ off willingly, or for some other reason you simply don’t have access to your old private hunting grounds. It happens. In the past, this would have been a huge issue for two reasons. First, most leases will be booked with a group of hunters by the first of the year or early spring. Second, beating the bushes in the traditional manners of asking a buddy, calling chambers of commerce, or going to the local feed store to ask around are not really conducive to finding a lease for an individual quickly. These methods take time to finally track down all the parties involved, and by the time you find the man in charge, the spot has been filled, and the process starts all over. In the end, you might be relegated to bumming the occasional hunt from a friend or taking your chances hunting public, which can have phenomenal animals if you are willing to put in the work to locate them. Well, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) feels your pain. Noting the problems hunters and landowners sometimes have getting together in a timely fashion, TPWD has launched the Hunt Texas Online Connection. Located at www.tpwd.state.tx.us/hunttexas, this site gives landowners and lease managers the opportunity to list their leases, either entire leases or single openings, so that hunters anywhere in the state (or country for that matter) can go to one location and find a lease. Think of it as a corkboard for the 21st century. &

G a m e ®

Starting in February, landowners and lease managers started listing year-round, seasonal, and day-leases on the site complete with acreage, price, and county. As of May 15, you have access to these listings and can contact the person who posted them to check their availability and make arrangements to visit them. The beauty of it is, you can contact multiple lease managers from anywhere in the state all in the same day. If you’ve read this column before, you know that I don’t always agree with the programs Texas Parks and Wildlife institutes in the name of conservation or hunter opportunity, since quite a few seem to be directed towards benefiting specific small groups within the hunting community while ignoring the less influential majority. Well, this isn’t one of those programs. This one appears to have hunters in mind making it easier for them to locate a lease with minimal effort. It also appeals to the next generation of hunters who have grown up with the internet and spend quite a bit of time browsing various sites hoping to luck into a lease. Now they have a one-stop shop where they can peruse multiple listings to find one in their price range and preferred location. Time will tell how successful this program is but a comprehensive lease list has been a long time coming, and this is a good first step toward that. E-mail Paul Bradshaw at deerhunting@fishgame.com


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

A

11:56 AM

Page C1

NY SALTWATER ANGLER WORTH HIS SALT knows what a popping cork is, and its effectiveness for catching speckled trout along the Texas coast. The concave portion at the top of the cork, when given the right coaxing from the angler, emits a popping noise. According to old salts and fisheries biologists, the distinctive “pop” imitates the sound of a trout attacking a school of shrimp. One feeding fish usually attracts others to the picnic. Fishing a popping cork for trout is like any other fishing technique—it’s just the beginning. There are Alameda and Mansfield Mauler rigs, and conventional popping corks—big ones and small ones. How to rig a popping cork is where this great fish-catching tool bows to the whims of the angler. Capt. Bob “Mangus” Driscoll is a confirmed believer in the Alameda cork setup. Don’t ask him what “Mangus” means because his answer is, “Whatever you want it to mean.” Also don’t be too slow reeling in a trout caught under a popping cork, or he will tell you to speed it up because he has to get home and feed the dog. Driscoll is an easygoPHOTO BY GRADY ALLEN

ing individual, good to fish with, but he does take his popping cork fishing seriously. He likes the Alameda better than a conventional popping cork because it not only puts off the pop if fished correctly, but also has rattles that put off additional trout-attracting noise. His favorite time of the year to fish

by Tom Behrens under an Alameda rig is April through September. It’s all about water temperature. “When the water temperature hits 70 degrees, you better have your hook in the water,” Driscoll said. “Right after the black drum migration into shallower water, come the trout.” Driscoll uses a spinning reel rigged on a long-handled rod. The long handle helps with casting the rig long distances. Line choice is 30-pound braided Pro Line. “Pro Line has the diameter of an 8-poundtest monofilament line, allowing me to store more on the reels,” said Driscoll. “The main reason is braded line doesn’t stretch like A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

monofilament line.” That’s a big plus when making a long cast and then drifting the cork and bait along behind you. When you set the hook, you want to make sure the trout is hooked. Driscoll attaches a No. 7 barrel swivel between the line and leader. His leader, about 4 feet in length, is 12-pound monofilament. Before he ties on a No. 8 treble hook, he places a red bead on the leader. “The red gives off the appearance of blood to the hungry predator trout,” he said. “Sometimes I use other colors, it depends a lot on the water color I am fishing.” About 8 inches above the bead and hook, he squeezes on a 1/4-ounce split shot to hold down bait shrimp. “You can add more weight based on how fast the tide is moving; I adjust the weight to keep the shrimp down,” said Driscoll. Don’t forget that the bead can slide up and down between the split shot and hook. When fished correctly, you have the noise put off by the popping cork, its rattles, and the click of the bead as it slides between the split shot and &

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

C1


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

11:56 AM

Page C2

In This Issue C1

COVER STORY • Popping for Trout | BY TOM BEHRENS

HOTSPOTS & TIDES SECTION

C4

TEXAS HOTSPOTS • Texas’ Hottest Fishing Spots | BY CALIXTO GONZALES & JD MOORE

C12

HOTSPOTS FOCUS: UPPER COAST • June Jumps on Sabine Lake | BY CAPT. SKIP JAMES

C14

HOTSPOTS FOCUS: GALVESTON COMPLEX • Summer’s here & the Fishin’ is Easy (almost) | BY CAPT. MIKE HOLMES

C15

HOTSPOTS FOCUS: MATAGORDA & MID COAST • A Calm, Green Tide | BY BINK GRIMES

C16

HOTSPOTS FOCUS: ROCKPORT TO PORT ARANSAS • Warmer Water, Faster Horses | BY CAPT. MAC GABLE

C17

HOTSPOTS FOCUS: CORPUS TO BAFFIN BAYS • Clear Water Brings Good Fishing | BY CAPT. JIM ONDERDONK

C18 C20

HOTSPOTS FOCUS: LOWER COAST • Another King | BY CALIXTO GONZALES SPORTSMAN’S DAYBOOK • Tides, Solunar Table, Best Hunting/Fishing Times | BY TF&G STAFF

GEARING UP SECTION

C28

TEXAS TESTED • Thermacell; SPOT; Greenhead Goose Stools | BY TF&G STAFF

C30

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

C34

INDUSTRY INSIDER • The Boat Ramp; Sebile; Skeeter | BY TF&G STAFF

C36

SHOOT THIS • Smith & Wesson Model 41 Target Pistol | BY STEVE LAMASCUS

HOW-TO SECTION

C44 C46 C47 C48 C50 C51 C55 C56 C58 C59 C60

TEXAS BOATING • Loading & Docking 101 | BY LENNY RUDOW SALTWATER BAITS & RIGS • Mangrove Two-Step | BY PATRICK LEMIRE FRESHWATER BAITS & RIGS • Floating a Wacky Worm | BY PAUL BRADSHAW TEXAS KAYAKING • Glassing for Bass | BY GREG BERLOCHER MISTER CRAPPIE • Stay “In the Zone” | BY WALLY MARSHALL REDFISH TRAILS • It Starts at the Prop | BY DR. TOMMY LOMONTE TEXAS GUNS & GEAR • The .280 Remington | BY STEVE LAMASCUS HUNT TEXAS • Watching the Embers Burn | BY BOB HOOD TEXAS OUTDOOR LAW • New ‘08-’09 Hunt/Fish Regs | BY WAYNE C. WATSON WOO’S CORNER • Night Fishing Tips | BY WOO DAVES WILDERNESS TRAILS • The Lostrider, Part III-The Conclusion | BY HERMAN W. BRUNE

OUTDOOR LIFESTYLE

C38 C52 C54 C62 C64 C66 C68 C70 C72 C74 C76 C78

SPECIAL HUNTING SECTION • Trophy Fever | BY TF&G STAFF TOURNAMENT INSIDER • Equipment Key to Jones’ Classic Win | BY MATT WILLIAMS ON & OFF THE ROAD • TPWD Nixes River Access Plan | BY TF&G STAFF MY PLACE OUTDOORS • Kids, Adults, and Kids | BY RYAN VICK GURLZ PAGE • Pee-pee, Chak-chak | BY MARI HENRY AFIELD WITH BARRY • Float Tube Fishing | BY BARRY ST. CLAIR NEWS FROM THE COAST • Biologists Study Texas Tidal Streams | BY TF&G STAFF CHESTER IN THE FIELD • Waterfowl on My Mind | BY CHESTER MOORE SPORTING TALES • Cooking Dutch | BY REAVIS Z. WORTHAM TEXAS TASTED • Barbecued Crab | BY BRYAN SLAVEN DISCOVER THE OUTDOORS • Classifieds | BY TF&G STAFF PHOTO ALBUM • Your Action Photos | BY TF&G STAFF


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

11:56 AM

Page C3

hook. The Alameda cork can easily be placed anywhere on the 4-foot leader without having to cut it. The cork placement determines how deep you fish the shrimp. Simply place the leader line in the slit on the side of the cork, wrap the line at both ends around the plastic tag, and secure in place by snapping the line in the provided slot. “You want to find where the fish are,” Driscoll said. “I can have one of my customers fishing at 3-foot and another at 2-foot. You can even have one fishing 2 inches off the bottom. Whatever one draws the strike is where you set all the rest.” The size of shrimp is important. “The shrimp are scare at different times of the year-very small,” said Driscoll. “I like using the bigger shrimp, 4-6 inches, and a white shrimp over a big brownie. The white shrimp seems to have a little more action. If you don’t use them in fishing, take them home

and eat them. If I can handpick them, I pick the biggest shrimp I can get. There is a saying that big trout only go after big baits. In the springtime, these female trout are hungry and they are eating whatever is in front of them.” Tide is the main thing anywhere you fish. You have to look at the tide and wind direction. Where I fish, an incoming tide is the best, although sometimes you can hit them on outgoing. During a full moon, it’s going to be an early or late bite. Driscoll likes is the 4-inch size cork, green top and black bottom. The black bottom is harder for fish to see. “Anybody can make this rig,” he said. “You can use fluorocarbon line as your leader material, but I just recommend a good 20- or 30-pound-test monofilament for leader material. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. You can cast the rig with no problems with up to about a 5-foot leader. When you get above that, then it’s time to go to a slip cork.”

You can anchor up or drift-fish with a cork, but Driscoll’s favorite method is the latter. “Cast the rig as far as you can downwind towards the new water you are fishing toward,” Driscoll said. “Reel up the slack line and pop the cork. You don’t want to continuously pop the cork. Repeat the procedure as many times as needed to get the cork back to the boat.” If you are fishing behind the boat you are fishing water that the boat has already passed over, and it’s likely that any fish that were there have been spooked. Also, if you are dragging the cork behind the boat, the bait will be pulled to the surface. “Hold the rod at a 45-degree angle when retrieving slack; when you feel the resistance of the cork, then pop it,” said Driscoll. The Alameda or regular popping cork both catch fish. In wave conditions, just the bouncing and bobbing of the cork adds an extra touch of magic to the presentation to trout.


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

11:56 AM

Page C4

by Calixto Gonzales, South Zone Fishing Editor & JD Moore, North Zone Fishing Editor

Chica ‘Hoo Trout LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Boca Chica Beach (bank access) GPS: N26 3.800, W97 9.102

spoons; soft plastics in red and white CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez, 956551-9581 TIPS: Both trout and redfish will cross the bars and cruise the guts along the beach across from South Padre Island. Live bait is the best bet for surf predators, but it’s easier to work up and down the beach if you take a small boxful of spoons, 1/4 ounce jigheads, and a couple of bags of plastics. Fish the wade gut early in the morning, especially on a high tide.

SPECIES: speckled trout, redfish BEST BAITS: live mullet, ballyhoo; gold

LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: North Brazos Santiago Jetties

JD

Calixto

GPS: N26 4.080, W97 9.280 SPECIES: snook BEST BAITS: finger mullet; soft plastics in chartreuse, smoke CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez, 956551-9581 TIPS: The suds near the jetty tip provide shelter for some sizeable snook. It takes some careful handling by an experienced boater (novices might want to defer to easier scenarios), but you will have some shots to take a big linesider. Toss soft plastics or live baits parallel to the granite, especially in areas that have rock groins. Let the bait fall along the edges. A sharp jerk/fall technique is best to tempt snookums into coming out to play. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: South Bay Channel GPS: N26 2.692, W97 10.974 SPECIES: speckled trout, flounder BEST BAITS: live bait; topwaters; soft plastics in red/white, New Penny CONTACT: Captain Luke Bonura, 956457-2101 TIPS: Fish the mouths of the channel during moving tides. Fish the interior on an incoming tide, and outer fringes on an outgoing. Live bait under a popping cork produces well when trout are very active. Hopping soft plastics on a 1/8-ounce jighead along the channel edges will produce both trout and flounder. A good technique is to pin a live shrimp onto a jighead and bounce it back along the bottom. Flounder really like that. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Railbed (bank access) GPS: N26 3.830, W97 9.920 SPECIES: speckled trout, flounder BEST BAITS: live shrimp; Gulp! shrimp in Nuclear Chicken, Lime Tiger; soft plastics in chartreuse patterns; gold spoons

C4

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

11:56 AM

Page C5


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

11:56 AM

Page C6

ALL GPS COORDINATES VERIFIED BY

CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez, 956551-9581 TIPS: Two rows of base stones that disappear into Laguna Madre along the shoreline of Brazos Island don’t look like much, but the hold both trout and flounder in the summer. Free-line a shrimp or finger mullet to tempt both fish early in the morning, or later in the evening. If the fish movement occurs later in the day, fish the deeper water with bottom bouncing jigs or fish-finder bait rigs. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Green Island GPS: N26 23.310, W97 19.876 SPECIES: speckled trout, redfish BEST BAITS: live shrimp/popping cork; topwaters; gold spoons, red spinnerbaits; soft plastics in clear/red, red/white, Pearl/red CONTACT: Captain Ruben Garcia, 956459-3286 TIPS: Green Island continues to produce

C6

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

through June, with trout joining redfish on the hit parade. Smaller topwaters such as Top Dog Jr and Saltwater Chug Bug can be aggressively fished in sand pockets and along spoil banks. As the day warms up, move to deeper water and use a shrimp/popping cork rig or a spinnerbait fished near the bottom. Gold blades work best. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Cullen Channel GPS: N26 15.759, W97 117.273 SPECIES: flounder BEST BAITS: live shrimp, finger mullet; soft plastics in clear/red, red/white, Pearl/red CONTACT: Captain Luke Bonura, 956-4572101 TIPS: Anecdotal evidence indicates that flounder might be experiencing a bit of resurgence. Fish the edges of the channel on an incoming tide for flounder with live shrimp or finger mullet on a split shot rig. Bounce soft

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

plastics along the bottom. As the tide falls, fish the deeper par to of the channel. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Gaswell Flats GPS: N26 16.309, W97 16.222 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live shrimp; Gulp! shrimp in Nuclear Chicken, Lime Tiger; soft plastics in chartreuse patterns; gold spoons; topwaters in Bone, Bone/chrome CONTACT: Captain Ruben Garcia, 956459-3286 TIPS: After deferring to redfish during April and May, trout reappear at Gaswell during June. Many fishermen casting gold spoons for reds will be surprised to find that some of the bigger trout will also hit the flatware. Most fish will be caught on live shrimp under a noisemaker cork or on swimming plastics. Topwaters work well early in the morning, as well.


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

11:57 AM

Page C7

ALL GPS COORDINATES VERIFIED BY

LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Stover Point GPS: N26 112.150, W97 17.480 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: topwaters; soft plastics in clear/red, red/white, Pearl/red; cut bait CONTACT: Captain Luke Bonura, 956457-2101 TIPS: Drift just east of the point and watch for potholes. Topwaters fished around the edges of the holes will get ambushed. As the day grows long, fish near the spoils of the ICW to find trout lurking around the dropoffs. Night fishing is also a good tactic for June, especially around the full moon. Anchor up and cast toward the shoreline with chunks of ballyhoo or mullet.

Check the Gauge for Baffin Specks LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Tide Gauge GPS: N27 18.248, W97 27.593

SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live croaker; topwaters early; soft plastics in Strawberry/black back, Plum/chartreuse, Rootbeer/red flake, Morning Glory, Pumpkinseed/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089, 361-449-7441 TIPS: The greater availability of croaker as summer progresses makes them the focus of hungry trout in Baffin. Free-line them on a 3/0 Kahle hook along the drop-offs, giving them a twitch occasionally to prevent them from hiding in structure or weeds. If you prefer lures, the same topwaters and plastics that have worked throughout the spring will work in June. LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Center Reef GPS: N27 16.206, W97 34.362 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live croaker; soft plastics in

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

F i s h

Plum/chartreuse, Rootbeer/red flake, Morning Glory, Pumpkinseed/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089, 361-449-7441 TIPS: Move to fishing the outside edges of the reef with free-lined croaker. Trout will be cruising around the rocks, looking for an easy meal. For best hookups, use a widegapped hook such as a Kahle or wide-bite circle or octopus hook. Rods with soft tips and sturdy actions are best for live bait applications. Eel and shad tails are also very effective when fished on a 1/8- to 1/16ounce hook. LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Black Bluff GPS: N27 13.972, W97 31.112 SPECIES: speckled trout, redfish BEST BAITS: topwaters; soft plastics in Plum/chartreuse, Rootbeer/red flake, Morning Glory, Pumpkinseed/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089, 361-449-7441 TIPS: Yes, there are redfish in Baffin. Working topwaters along the shoreline early will get theirs and some hungry trout’s atten-

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

C7


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

11:57 AM

Page C8

ALL GPS COORDINATES VERIFIED BY

tion. Back off and fish the weedline edges as the sun gets higher during the morning. Swim soft plastics across the edges and boundaries to give fish a target to ambush. Give the shoreline a second try late in the day just before dusk. LOCATION: Upper Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: West of ICW GPS: N27 33.684, W97 16.759 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: soft plastics in Plum/chartreuse, Rootbeer/red flake, Morning Glory, Pumpkinseed/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089, 361-449-7441 TIPS: Look for irregularities in the contours of weedlines along the spoil banks that run parallel to the ICW. Trout will hold inside those breaks and niches and strike out at prey that happens by. soft plastics that have a great deal of tail action are good choices for this sort of fishing. If you need to force yourself to slow down, match your plastic with a Mauler or Alameda float. The noise also adds a dimension to your presentation. LOCATION: Corpus Christi Bay HOTSPOT: Shamrock Cove GPS: N27 45.437, W97 9.717 SPECIES: speckled trout, redfish BEST BAITS: live shrimp, croaker; small topwaters, gold spoons; soft plastics in Avocado/chartreuse, Motor Oil/chartreuse, Pumpkinseed/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Tim Duncan, 361949-2115, 361-834-6305 TIPS: Fish live croaker or shrimp around the weedlines and for speckled trout, or drift the flats for patrolling redfish. Reds will also strike smaller topwaters such as a Spook Jr in Bone, or gold spoons. Trout will also respond to Cocahoes or Gulp! Swim Shad in dark green patterns/chartreuse tail. LOCATION: Corpus Christi Bay HOTSPOT: East Flats GPS: N27 48.991, W97 97.139 SPECIES: speckled trout, redfish BEST BAITS: topwaters; gold spoons; soft plastics in Avocado/chartreuse, Motor Oil/chartreuse, Pumpkinseed/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Tim Duncan, 361C8

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

949-2115, 361-834-6305 TIPS: Swim gold spoons or soft plastic right over the tops of the grass for best results. Both trout and redfish get further and further into the grass as the day heats up. redfish will also attack larger topwaters such as a She Dog or SkitterWalk. As the water warms up, you might want to downsize your offerings. LOCATION: Aransas Bay HOTSPOT: Long Reef GPS: N28 3.618, W96 57.679 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live croaker CONTACT: Captain George Rose, 361727-9227, 361-463-7700 TIPS: If you want to catch trout on Long Reef in the summer, then your best bet is a live croaker free-lined along the reef edges. Pop your rod every half-minute or so to prevent the croaker from getting into cover and out of the reach of the hungry trout. Your standard trout rods will work just fine, but a softer tip will keep you from ripping the bait out of a trout’s mouth. LOCATION: Aransas Bay HOTSPOT: Traylor Island GPS: N27 55.995, W97 4.494 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: gold spoons; Gulp! bait/Popping cork; live piggy perch CONTACT: Captain George Rose, 361727-9227, 361-463-7700 TIPS: Drift the flats alongside Traylor Island for redfish. You can swim a gold spoon or work a popping cork with a Gulp! shrimp or Swim Shad in patterns such as Mango or Nuclear Chicken. If you can get some live pinfish, work those underneath the popping cork. Redfish will come up out of the grass to drill it.

West Jet Reds LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: West Jetties GPS: N29 40.371, W93 50.250 SPECIES: speckled trout, redfish BEST BAITS: soft plastics in chartreuse, Glow/chartreuse, Pearl/chartreuse &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

CONTACT: Captain Bill Watkins, 409-7862018, 409-673-2018 TIPS: Fish the deep holes that are alongside the jetties. Trout and redfish stack up inside these holes. Anchor upstream of the holes and cast into the edges and allow your bait to sink to the fish. You can sweep the lure back to you and let the current bring it back into the hole on the drop. Fish will usually strike on the slack line. LOCATION: Sabine Pass HOTSPOT: Louisiana Beachfront GPS: N29 41.482, W93 42.325 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: soft plastics in Glow/chartreuse, Pearl/chartreuse, Green Tomato, Strawberry/white CONTACT: Captain Bill Watkins, 409-7862018, 409-673-2018 TIPS: Trout stack up in the guts and depth breaks along both the Texas and Louisiana beachfronts. Watch for bird action and fish around the school. Larger fish hold beneath the primary school. If you don’t spot birds, watch for slicks and nervous bait to cue you in on where schools of trout are holding. LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Blue Buck Point GPS: N29 47.780, W94 54.439 SPECIES: trout BEST BAITS: topwaters; soft plastics in Limetreuse, Plum; Gulp! shrimp or shad tails CONTACT: Captain Bill Watkins, 409-7862018, 409-673-2018 TIPS: Trout can be located all over the middle part of the lake in June. The deeper water near Blue Buck Point is a good starting area. Watch for bird activity and slicks. Topwaters work well early in the morning, but larger fish will attack soft plastics more readily this time of year. LOCATION: East Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Gulf Cut GPS: N28 42.919, W95 53.210


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

11:57 AM

Page C9


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

11:57 AM

Page C10

ALL GPS COORDINATES VERIFIED BY

SPECIES: speckled trout, redfish, flounder BEST BAITS: live bait; soft plastics in chartreuse patterns, Plum/chartreuse; Gulp! baits CONTACT: Captain Mark Talasek, 979244-0044, 979-479-1397 TIPS: Spring tides push water through Gulf cut into the bay, and plenty of redfish, trout, and flounder follow the water in. The bay side of the cut is an excellent area to look for your Texas Slam. Live bait worked on split shot rigs will work for all three species. If you prefer artificials, soft plastics work best. Fish the edges of the cut for flounder, and out on the flats for trout and redfish. Incoming tides are best. LOCATION: West Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Cotton’s Bayou GPS: N28 30.552, W96 12.453 SPECIES: speckled trout, redfish BEST BAITS: soft plastics in chartreuse patterns, roach, black/bold/chartreuse, Morning Glory, Pumpkinseed CONTACT: Captain Mark Talasek, 979244-0044, 979-479-1397 TIPS: Cotton’s Bayou is a good wade-fishing area. Work soft plastics on a 1/8-ounce jighead. Cast parallel to the shoreline, and watch for slicks that mark where fish are

feeding. If the water is off-colored, use darker patterned plastics. The cleaner the water, the better chartreuse patterns will work. LOCATION: West Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Green’s Bayou GPS: N28 29.738, W96 13.565 SPECIES: speckled trout, redfish BEST BAITS: soft plastics in chartreuse patterns, Roach, black/gold/chartreuse, Morning Glory, Pumpkinseed CONTACT: Captain Mark Talasek, 979244-0044, 979-479-1397 TIPS: As grassbeds start to heat up with the summer conditions, bait start stacking up over them. redfish and trout key in on these piscine buffets, and locating them is easier. You will sometimes see nervous bait and the shadows of big fish strafing them. Work the edges of the grassbed or directly over them.

Catfish Cutups LOCATION: Braunig HOTSPOT: Water Outlets GPS: N29 15.277, W98 23.202 SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: cut bait, dough balls, night crawlers

CONTACT: Jeff Snyder, 210-649-2435, www.alamoredfish.com TIPS: Drift the 18- to 25-foot depths in

the main lake and deep channels for blue catfish that can get big. These fish will be holding and feeding in deep water, but not below 25 feet due to lack of dissolved oxygen. If you are using prepared baits, use a No. 4 spring treble hook on a 24-inch leader and just enough lead to keep your bait vertical. Strip off 25 feet from your reel, and mark the spot with a magic marker. LOCATION: Calaveras HOTSPOT: West Hump GPS: N29 17.042, W99 19.429 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: live shad, tilapia, or sunfish CONTACT: Jeff Snyder, 210-649-2435, www.alamoredfish.com TIPS: Redfish will be cruising around deeper humps in 15-25 feet of water. Vertical fishing with live bait is the best technique to get these expatriated bruisers to hit. The same rigs for Braunig catfish will work on Calaveras redfish. Keep your bait in a round container with a strong aerator and fresh water. Put a sealed Zip-Loc or vacuum bag with ice in the container to keep the water cool. Your bait will appreciate it. LOCATION: Rio Grande River HOTSPOT: River above Anzalduas Dam GPS: N26 25.100, W97 57.220 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: plastic worms in black, Black Grape; willow leaf spinnerbaits in chartreuse/white, white CONTACT: Anzalduas State Park, 956519-9550 TIPS: Warm weather will push bass up into the overhangs and tree roots that line the Rio Grande. Toss around fallen trees and overhanging branches with spinnerbaits. If the fish are way up in the tree roots, flipping with a 7- to 9-inch worm on a Texas rig should get their attention. Fish early in the morning before pleasure boaters chop up

C10

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

11:57 AM

Page C11

ALL GPS COORDINATES VERIFIED BY

the water. Have a care not to fish the Mexican shoreline. They protect their sovereignty quite jealously. LOCATION: Lake Amistad HOTSPOT: California Creek GPS: N29 32.856, W101 00.898 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Bone or blue/chrome Zara Spook, Chug Bug CONTACT: Mike Hawkes, 210-275-1309 TIPS: Bass start breaking out of their postspawn funk and get aggressive again. Fish topwaters early in the morning along weedlines and stickups. Watch for jumping shad as clues that bass are on the prowl and actively feeding.

Stripers Go to School Hungry LOCATION: Lake Texoma HOTSPOT: Washita Flats & Point GPS: N33 55.024, W96 33.956 SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: topwaters, slabs, live shad CONTACT: Bill Carey, 877-786-4477, bigfish@graysoncable.com TIPS: Stripers are on their post spawn

bite, and are grouped in main lake channels. They roam the lake in large schools eating anything in sight. Work topwaters early and 1-ounce slabs later in the day. Try chartreuse, chrome, and white topwaters for best results. Cast topwaters to surfacing fish and later in the morning drop slabs vertically and rip them up. Drift live shad across the ledges. Locate bait balls on your electronics as the stripers will be nearby ready to ambush bait. BANK ACCESS: Sheppard AFB Recreation Area, whites, cats, crappie

Fayette Carolina Bass

GPS: N29 56.115, W96 44.785 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: topwaters, Carolina- or Texasrigged worms CONTACT: Bob Green, 281-460-9200, bobgreen@cvtv.net TIPS: Work topwaters such as buzzbaits and Spooks early and late. On points and humps, stay with the Carolina and Texas rigs. Work very slowly. BANK ACCESS: Park Prairie Pier, all species

East Texas Crank Bass LOCATION: Lake Palestine HOTSPOT: Kickapoo Creek GPS: N32 17.349, W95 29.923

SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: crankbaits, spinnerbaits, tube jigs, jig-n-pig CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff, 903-5302201, ricky@rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Work south on the main lake points and in the deeper creeks. Work the boat docks in the creeks with crankbaits and spinnerbaits. When brush is present under the docks, flip tube jigs and jig-n-pigs.

Contact South Regional Fishing Editor Calixto Gonzales by email at hotspotssouth@fishgame.com Contact North Regional Fishing Editor JD Moore by email at hotspotsnorth@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Lake Fayette County HOTSPOT: West Point A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

C11


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

11:57 AM

Page C12

June Jumps on Sabine Lake

T

HE MONTH OF JUNE OFFERS EXCELLENT opportunities for saltwater anglers testing their skills for Sabine specks, reds and flounders. The weather is generally decent and the fishing is consistent. Many savvy old salts make Sabine their top pick for early summer fishing. Here’s some helpful information that can save you time and put more and bigger fish in the box:

Sabine Specks Over the years, there have been a couple of locations and techniques that consistently yield good boxes of trout. Anglers fishing live bait near the breaklines in the Intracoastal Waterway around the mouth of the Neches River always catch fish. In this area, trout readily take finger mullet, shad, or mud minnows. Depending on the current, use half ounce to 1-ounce egg sinkers with about a 15-inch leader. Take an anchored position directly over the breakline, somewhere around 10-20 feet around sharp sudden drops seem to produce best. Remember, you’re stalking a pod of early summer trout. Be patient, fish an hour; if no contact, then relocate. At the mouth of the Neches River, buoys 64, 64A, and 64B are the best bite zones. This is an area where everything comes together. The lake, the Intracoastal, and the river all intersect in this location. Because of the water depth, trout will body up and hold in that deep sanctuary zone. It’s common for C12

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

small pods of trout to break away from the main body and trade down these break lines searching for prey. High tides are best here. Some of our biggest trout each June come near buoy 64A. Get there early in the morning. This spot has always been popular among the locals. We have tried plastics here with limited success; live bait always works better. For the guys who like to use artificial lures, try the east banks from Blue Buck point north. Throw minnow baits such as MirrOlure Catch 5 and spoons. The retrieve is stop and go. Use the run and gun approach. Beat a lot of bank and the fish will tell you what zone there using. High tides flooding into the shoreline grass produce best.

Redfish Sabine lake is famous for its year-round redfish action. Folks that fish this body of water, as well as guides, all agree the restocking program is working. Several years ago over 900,000 young redfish were released. It worked. When searching for reds on Sabine, employ two simple techniques: First, fish the main points and secondary points north of Blue Buck point. Concentrate your casting fifteen to twenty feet off the bank. Use popping corks such as an Old BaySide Paradise Popper rigged with a chartreuse plastic. The wind is your friend, so drift-fish these points. As you fish, watch for surfacefeeding reds and singles trailing in the grass line. If you discover this, you can bet there are other active fish nearby, usually bigger and better fish in adjacent deeper water. The second technique for June reds is meat—live mullet, shad, or mud minnows. A good plan to execute when using live bait is to cruise all the shoreline north of Garrison’s Ridge. Visually search for new emerging underwater grass beds. Take an anchored position and work the outside &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

edges of the grass line. Hard bottom pockets, inside or between grassbeds, are overlooked. If you find them, fish them. Don’t be surprised if you run into bonus flounder.

Flounder Early season flatfish on Sabine Lake are predictable. Three main areas consistently put out big stringers. First, the rocks on the south retainer wall of Pleasure Island. This riprap cover holds both numbers and “trophy” flounder. You’ll lose baits in the rocks, but it’s worth it if you discover a working group of fish. Use mud minnows or small jigs tipped with shrimp. Second, the flats on the lake side of Sydney and Stewart islands. At first glance, these flats appear to be a lot of territory. To narrow it down, use a Cajun depth-finder (Calcutta pole) to feel for hard bottom areas. Mark these areas, come back, and fish them. Again, mud minnows and small jigs tipped with shrimp work best. Third, the entire east bank of the Louisiana side of Sabine from Blue Buck point up is famous for flatfish. Points, cuts, shell banks, and grass beds all attract and hold early summer flounder. Try Blue Buck Point and in front of the spoils. You can always make contact with summer flounder in those two zones. Contact: Skip James 409-886-5341, jjames@gt.rr.com.

THE BANK BITE HOTSPOT: Keith Lake Fish Pass LOCATION: Hwy. 87 South of Pt. Arthur SPECIES: flounder, reds LURE/BAITS: Old BaySide 4-inch Speck Grub tipped with fresh, dead shrimp or mullet BEST TIMES: High tides in the morning


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

11:57 AM

Page C13


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

11:57 AM

Page C14

Summer’s here and the Fishin’ is Easy (almost)

J

UNE IS A MONTH WITH GREEN TIDES AND both warming water and fishing, although the contrast is not as great after a relatively mild winter like the one of 2008. We had the right combination of heavy rains and low winter tides to properly flush the Galveston Bay system, yet not enough freshwater to push trout completely out of the bays. If the wind isn’t too brisk, June bay fishing should be very good, as having a comfortable and safe day on the water contributes as much to the pleasure of the trip as the weight of the catch on the scale. Back bay action for redfish should be good, especially on days with good tidal movement to pull bait out of the grass—or let predators go in after them. Wading or drifting

the edge of the marsh grass or along shallow oyster reefs with live finger mullet and mud minnows or fresh dead mullet is the proven method here, although dead shrimp can produce surprising results on reds. Soft plastics and topwaters work for those who prefer them, and the time honored gold spoon is good anywhere it can be fished without catching grass. Some flounder should be picked up in the same areas, on the same baits. For trout, look closer to the Gulf. Fish inside passes like Rollover and San Luis, and work the protected south shorelines and shallow reefs of East Bay and West Galveston Bay on high tides, especially. I had a friend who commercial shrimped West and Chocolate Bays for years. He said in spring and

THE BANK BITE LOCATION: Freeport or Galveston Jetties SPECIES: speckled trout, reds, panfish, flounder BAITS: live or dead, hard or soft artificials BEST TIMES: Moving tide. early summer when the water was clear, he’d often knock off early and take some jumbo shrimps to catch big trout just inside the San Luis Pass Bridge. He always took the cowling off his outboard when he was into fish. If another boat came by while he was fighting a big one, he’d drop the rod and stand on it, start beating on the motor with a ball peen hammer while cursing it loudly. He said the approaching boat would nearly always veer away, instead of risking having to stop fishing and tow him in! Of course, recreational fishermen are not like that anymore. I took a group out in West Bay behind the Pass in June one year when the water clarity was good enough to see my anchor on the sand in the 20+ depths on the deep part of the channel. Later we eased my 24 foot deep vee hull through the intricate channels between the sand bars as I worked my way back out to open water, and the passengers got out at one point to wade. One hooked and landed a very nice flounder in the clear water and clean sand. As an experienced flounder pounder, it was his largest ever, and made him a very happy man. We also drifted the backside of West Galveston Island in a very accommodating breeze, and later stopped for a try at reds in a protected cove off Chocolate Bayou on our way in to Lute’s Marina. A very pleasant, relaxing day on the bay—which is what it should be all about. 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.

C14

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

11:57 AM

Page C15

A Calm, Green Tide

L

IMP FLAGS FLYING AT THE BAIT CAMP AND beach water mercury readings near 80 gets the conversation going: “I wonder what the surf looks like.” It is never, “I wonder if the trout are in the surf.” Everyone knows specks are there; still, the right conditions are needed to validate the truth. The “right” conditions are winds 10 knots or less and a high barometer. Weak summer

cold fronts are the ticket. North winds lose their punch by the time they cross the Red River, normally blowing five knots as high pressure sets in bringing calm winds and blue skies. “Try to get there as fast as you can,” said guide Mark Talasek of Matagorda. “The big white shrimp should be tight on the beach and the trout will be ganging in there working on them.” Talasek works the guts between the first and second sand bars on the incoming tide, then gets in his boat and works the outer bars as the tide falls. “I like to wade the surf as much as possible so I can work an area thoroughly. But, as the tide falls, the trout fall to the deeper water and it gets dangerous if you wade out too far to try

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

F i s h

THE BANK BITE LOCATION: Matagorda Beachfront SPECIES: trout, Spanish mackerel, shark BAITS: topwaters, soft plastics, live shrimp, finger mullet BEST TIME: Work the first gut on the incoming tide, and the outer bars on outgoing. to reach them,” he said. Bass Assassins, Norton Sand Eels, Hogies, Stanley Wedgetails, and Texas Trout Killers are popular soft plastics. Pluggers work She Dogs, She Pups, Top Dogs, Catch 5s, Super Spooks, and SkitterWalks. Livebaiters fill limits with croakers and live shrimp.

Continued on Page C16

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

C15


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

11:57 AM

Page C16

Warmer Water, Faster Horses

A

S WE MOVE INTO JUNE, WARMER WATER temperatures mean faster fishing techniques. This subtle change can make the difference in your success. The pre-dawn and late evening angler will be rewarded this time of year as early morning brings a rise in water temperature and late evenings just the opposite. Speed up your retrieve and don’t pay as much attention to slight bumps and taps as in cooler months. The bays come alive this time of year with a wide variety of small bait-stealing fishes, from our old friend Mr. Hardhead to croaker, piggies, and bluefish. These thieves love to bump artificial baits as well as grab a shrimp twice their size and swim in circles. I speed up my whole fishing game threefold for this reason. Any good fish will normally hammer the bait this time of year, and leaves no mistake it

has come to visit your hook. St. Charles Bay: Early morning, work a topwater off the shell reefs that run close to the east shoreline. A He Dog or Skitter walk in Bone/white or Electric/red is good for keeper reds. As the sun grows on the horizon, switch to pin perch on a fish-finder rig with a carbon leader. Scout Hole is a good bet late evenings, free-lining medium sized croaker. Aransas Bay: Fish reefs like Thompson’s Toe Head and Long Reef using pin perch and live shrimp under a quiet cork. Late evening should see you on reefs that parallel the ICW (shell or sand) with cut bait on a fish-finder rig. The new spoil area at the mouth of Dunham Bay has some nice black drum you can catch on peeled shrimp. Copano Bay: Work the deep-water reefs on a high tide and a falling moon phase. The trick here is quietly locating the fish, so a trolling motor or push pole is helpful. If you don’t have a hit within five casts, keep moving. The mid-bay reefs with croaker or a Bone colored Super Spook will put some trout on ice. Carlos Bay: Think transition to deep water here. A prime spot for that is the shell reefs adjacent to and on the opposite side of Carlos Dugout. A gold/red spoon will reward you with some nice reds. Sand eels in Salt &

THE BANK BITE LOCATION: Northwest Shoreline of St. Charles Bay SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: cut menhaden on a Carolina rig BEST TIMES: Moving tide. Pepper and Morning Glory colors are excellent for trout as well. Mesquite Bay: Look for slicks on calmer days, I prefer trash can lid-sized slicks, as this indicates the beginning regurgitation process. I drift with a sock upwind of such slicks, and have followed them all the way to a shoreline catching trout. A popping cork and shrimp is as good as it gets with an early-forming slick. Ayres Bay: This is a good croaker bay with several deep-water reefs. Don’t know where they are? Get the annual Texas Lakes & Bays Fishing Atlas, which has most of the hotspots pinpointed on maps—including GPS coordinates. Contact: Capt. Mac Gable, Mac Attack Guide Service, 512-809-2681, 361-790-9601

HOTSPOTS FOCUS: MATAGORDA & MID COAST Continued from Page C15 “Black or Roach-colored Bass Assassins is about all I put in my pocket when I leave the boat,” said Talasek. “If they are not eating them, then they are not eating as far as I am concerned.” The appeal of the Texas surf is its propensity to cough up fish, and its easy access for peripatetic anglers without boats. Cross the ferry into Galveston and most of the surf-fishing traffic is found from San Luis Pass to Surfside. Farther south, the 18 miles of beach from Sargent to Matagorda can be accessed from the town of Matagorda. Mitchell’s Cut in Sargent does not allow C16

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

for vehicles to head west toward Matagorda; however, the sands from Sargent lead back toward the mouth of the San Bernard River. A four-wheel drive vehicle is recommended. The beach west of the mouth of the Colorado River in Matagorda to the Port Aransas jetty can only be reached by boat; nevertheless, car access begins again in Port Aransas and runs all the way to East Cut in Port Mansfield via the Padre Island National Seashore in Corpus Christi. The beach south of East Cut can be traversed from South Padre Island. “Any day you can get in the surf, you better go,” said guide Lynn Smith. “I love throwing topwaters on the beach.” &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

Anglers work tight to the beach on the incoming tide and deeper on the outgoing. The farther south you travel along the coast, generally, the better the water clarity and deeper the guts and troughs that separate the sand bars. “Croakers are deadly in the surf,” said guide Rhett Price. “Toss them in the guts and hang on. Limits are usually the norm.” Keep a spare rod in the car and a quick change of clothes in the car and be ready to hit the beach at a moment’s notice. Great surf fishing is only a calm day away. Contact: Bink Grimes, www.binkgrimesoutdoors.com


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

11:58 AM

Page C17

Clear Water Brings Good Fishing

T

HANK GOODNESS, THE HIGH WINDS associated with April and May are gone. Baffin Bay’s water clarity is improving as lighter winds prevail and the brown tide is seemingly dissipated. The water exchange coming from Packery Channel is starting to have a very good impact on the Bay. We have seen more redfish and flounder already this year than we did all of last year. The water temperature is warmed up and the Baffin beauties’ metabolisms have skyrocketed. Trout are feeding several times a day. I can say, “Someone turned the switch on—Mother Lagoon is hot.” Most of the game fish have been holding on the murky-to-clearer transition lines over grassy bottoms around sandy potholes, waiting to ambush baitfishes. Key in on this type of bottom. Watch for trout slicks, bait activity, and birds working. Consider Wind conditions; you can pretty much bet if there is wind, it will be south-southeast. For those who prefer live bait, free-line shrimp or croaker. Rig them up with 18-20 inches of fluorocarbon shock leader, in conjunction with Texas Rattlin’ Rigs chatter weights and a Mustad Ultra Point wide gap croaker hook in size 6/0. Numerous trout and redfish have fallen to Brown’s Devil Eyes in Rootbeer, rigged under a Saltwater Assassin Kwik Cork with a 24-inch leader. Saltwater Assassins in Plum rigged with a 1/16-ounce screw lock

jighead have been working well, too. Topwater action has been really hot the first two hours of daylight; He Dog for windy days and Top Pup for calmer days. Pink, Bone, Pearl, and black with chartreuse head have been my go-to colors. When fishing, you must have a good allaround rod. Most fishermen have two rods, one for throwing plastics, and one for throwing topwaters. Well, do I have the rod for you: the new Shimano Cumara. I personally have been using the 6-foot, 8-inch medium-fast-action rod. It is built on an IM-10 blank with Fuji Concept Sic Guides and a custom split reel-seat. It is so sensitive you can throw plastics, but also has enough backbone to throw topwaters. One rod that can do it all—what a bargain. Of course, it

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

F i s h

THE BANK BITE LOCATION: Packery Channel Jetty SPECIES: redfish, trout BEST BAITS: free-lined shrimp or finger mullet BEST TIMES: during any tidal movement is paired up with the new Core reel. Starting from Corpus, if your looking for redfish with a mixed bag of speckled trout, fish the east side of the spoil banks around Night Hawk. This area can be waded or drift-fished. For more trout action, fish the Pure Oil Channel, Boat Hole, and King Ranch

Continued on Page C18

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

C17


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

11:58 AM

Page C18

Another King

T

HE JETTIES WERE VERY KIND TO ME THAT June day in 1998. Tossing a Bone Chug Bug along the surfside rocks of the North Brazos Santiago jetties had already produced three fat, silvery trout, and I was latched onto number four when a man stopped to watch me. He was carrying a 12-foot Ugly Stik surf spinning rod mated with a Penn 8500SS. He also sported a gaff and a billy club. After I strung my trout, I looked at his setup and asked what the deal was. “Oh, I’m going down to the end to see if I can get a king,” he answered. “They seem partial to these big chrome Rat L Traps.” He showed me the 5-inch long lipless crankbait that easily weight an-ounce or more. We chatted for a few more minutes before he started on the long march to the jetty tip, and I went back to casting for my trout. Twenty minutes and four trout later, I met him as he was coming back. He had an empty reel and a sheepish grin on his face. “I hooked into a big fish on the first cast,” he said without being asked. “Three

hundred yards of 20-pound gone in 45 seconds. He never even slowed down.” When summer’s southeasterly breezes push clean, clear gulf water close to Texas beaches, most fishermen begin to think about big surf running trout and rampaging schools of Spanish mackerel. Some think about the sharks of Kong-like proportions that prowl up and down the surf guts, but few seem to think about the seashore’s potential to produce some exciting big game fishing to the shorebound or bayboatequipped angler. The two most prevalent species are the two kings of the Texas coast: the speedy kingfish, and the cosmopolitan tarpon. (Some wag out there is going to ask this, so I might as well get it out of the way: By “kingfish” I’m referring to the king mackerel, not the two species of whiting, which were given the proper names of “Gulf Kingfish” and “Southern Kingfish” by someone in the National Fisheries service who has a very high opinion of the little buggers.) The most common mackerel species associated with fishing from Texas Jetties is the Spanish mackerel, Scomberomorus maculatus, which start showing up in the surf in large schools in late might and early June. The fishing is fast and exciting when a large school of “smacks” strafes schools of menhaden, sardines, and mullet within casting distance of the rocks (along with a few 1- to

3-pound bluefish that co-mingle with the mackerel when busting bait), and anyone with a chrome spoon and wire leader can get their fill of screaming drags in a hurry. The jetty passes, however, also see some numbers of kingfish show up, especially after a stretch of “ice cream” day. These marauders are more than happy to snap up some unsuspecting rock-hopper’s Tony Acetta Krocodile or Kastmaster and take off for the horizon at 20 knots. All they usually leave in their wake is someone with and empty reel and red-hot drag asking, “What was that?” Well-equipped anglers can even the odds against these kings. Most jetty-bound king fishermen will equip themselves with a 1012-foot long surf spinning rod such as one of the Ugly Stik BWS 1100 series, or a Shimano Tiralejo. They match them with big coffee grinder spinning reels in the 8001000 size that are capable of holding at least 300 yards of 20-pound line. Some astute anglers have taken to filling some of the big reels with 300 yards of 40-pound Power Pro Braid, which has the diameter of 10-pound line, and then filling the remainder of the spool with 30-pound line. A Penn 9500 SS—the most popular reel for this sort of application-has a capacity of 300 yards of 30-pound test. The braid/mono combo conceivably increases that capacity to about 500 yards, perhaps a bit more, depending on the diameter of the mono used. (You might want to load the braid first

HOTSPOTS FOCUS: CORPUS TO BAFFIN BAYS Continued from Page C17 shoreline. You will find the trout in the deeper (4 feet) areas, drop-offs, and deeper grass beds. Drift-fishing and working the deeper grass lines will produce good number of specks. Working our way down to Baffin, the Tide Gauge will be holding mixed bags of trout and reds. You want to fish the outside C18

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

of the bar. If you are looking for redfish, try the Yarborough Flats area. This area can be waded or you can drift-fish it. You should be able to sight-cast, too. Another good area for reds would be the Middle Ground, a.k.a. “the Gutter.” You will find a mixed bag of reds and trout here. One thing that you need to remember is when that hot Texas sunshine hits the &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

water, the shallower water will heat up faster. You are going to want to fish shallow early in the day, and as the shallow water temperature rises, move out to deeper water. The warmer the water gets, the less oxygen it will hold, and trout will move out until it cools down. Contact: Capt. Jim “Donk” Onderdonk, 361-774-7710, www.pocolocolodge.com


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

11:58 AM

Page C19

because then you know exactly how much braid is on the spool, but remember this caveat: You need to use a few yards of mono backing and wind the braid on very tight, or the braid will slip and mess with your drag.) Rigging and bait for granite kings is pretty straightforward: A standard kingfish rig with a fresh ribbonfish is standard. Tie an inflated, tennis ball-sized balloon to your line between 8 and 10 feet above your rig, and pitch it out into the current. The outflows should feed the rig out into open water. Some fishermen use live menhaden or hardtails (blue runners) if they can get them, but live baits are harder to control and make for a real hump if you have to catch them elsewhere and bring them with you. Lures are more popular among shorebound anglers fishing for kingfish. As I wrote in the opening vignette, the 1-1/4ounce Magnum Force Rat-L-Trap in chrome/blue back is an excellent choice. They cast a mile, and are very easy to use. Simply burn them back to you with a fast retrieve. Magnum baits such as the Bomber A-Salt, Sebile 7-inch Jointed Magic Swimmer, or Yo-Zuri Magnum Crystal Minnow also work well. Fish these with a slower retrieve, especially on a calmer day. Some fishermen seem to prefer to tote along a 3-foot gaff and a billy club to better subdue any king they are able to bring to the rocks. The gaff makes sense, since it allows you more control of a thrashing, snapping kingfish. Like their larger, more pelagic cousins, the wahoo, the choppers on a kingfish can really ruin a good pair of flip-flops, and the toes in them. The trick is, of course, getting the darn fish to strike in the first place. Then you can start worrying about where you put the gaff.

Contact: Calixto Gonzales by email at hotspotssouth@fishgame.com

THE BANK BITE LOCATION: Isla Blanca Park Surf (N26 8.250, W97 10.090) SPECIES: speckled trout, redfish TIPS: Fish shell areas with live bait or soft plastics. A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ÂŽ / J U N E

2 0 0 8

•

C19


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

11:58 AM

Page C20

Tides and Prime Times for JUNE 2008 USING THE PRIME TIMES CALENDAR

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

T12

T4

T11

T10

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

T9 T8

T13 T7

T6 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

T5

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.

AM & PM MAJOR phases occur when the moon reaches its highest point overhead as well as when it is “underfoot” or at its highest point on the exact opposite side of the earth from your positoin (or literally under your feet). Most days have two Major Feeding Phases, each lasting about 2 hours. PEAK DAYS: The closer the moon is to your location, the stronger the influence. FULL or NEW MOONS provide the strongest influnce of the month.

T20

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

T21

TIDE CORRECTION TABLE Add or subtract the time shown at the 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

T22 T23

View TIDE PREDICTIONS for all Texas Coastal Tide Stations and DATES at...

www.FishGame.com 2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

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

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

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

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

KEY T18 T19 T20 T21 T22 T23

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

SPORTSMAN’S DAYBOOK IS SPONSORED BY:

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION

• J U N E

TIDE PREDICTIONS are shown in graph form, with High and Low tide predictions in text immediately below.

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

T14 T18

T19

C20

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 C.qxd

5/1/08

11:58 AM

Page C21

Tides and Prime Times for JUNE 2008

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION

MONDAY

TUESDAY

26

 27

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

THURSDAY

28

FRIDAY

29

SATURDAY

30

SUNDAY

May 31

Jun 1

Set: 8:07p Sunrise: 6:18a Set: 12:46p Moonrise: 1:48a

Set: 8:08p Set: 1:45p

Sunrise: 6:17a Moonrise: 2:19a

Set: 8:08p Set: 2:46p

Sunrise: 6:17a Moonrise: 2:50a

Set: 8:09p Set: 3:49p

Sunrise: 6:17a Moonrise: 3:25a

Set: 8:09p Set: 4:57p

Sunrise: 6:17a Moonrise: 4:04a

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

AM Minor: 11:08a

PM Minor: 11:31p

AM Minor: 11:56a

PM Minor: ——-

AM Minor: 12:18a

PM Minor: 12:41p

AM Minor: 1:01a

PM Minor: 1:24p

AM Minor: 1:43a

PM Minor: 2:07p

AM Minor: 2:26a

PM Minor: 2:52p

AM Minor: 3:13a

PM Minor: 3:42p

AM Major: 4:56a

PM Major: 5:19p

AM Major: 5:44a

PM Major: 6:07p

AM Major: 6:30a

PM Major: 6:52p

AM Major: 7:13a

PM Major: 7:36p

AM Major: 7:55a

PM Major: 8:19p

AM Major: 8:39a

PM Major: 9:06p

AM Major: 9:27a

PM Major: 9:56p

Moon Overhead: 6:13a 6a

12p

Moon Overhead: 7:43a

Moon Overhead: 6:58a

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 8:28a 12a

6a

12p

Moon Overhead: 10:07a

Moon Overhead: 9:16a

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 11:03a 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

Sunrise: 6:18a Set: 8:07p Sunrise: 6:18a Moonrise: 12:45a Set: 11:47a Moonrise: 1:18a

12a

WEDNESDAY

12a

FEET

+2.0

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 6:36p

Moon Underfoot: 7:21p

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 8:06p

BEST:

4:50-6:30 AM

BEST:

5:35-7:20 AM

6:25-7:55 AM

Moon Underfoot: 8:52p

Moon Underfoot: 9:41p

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 10:34p

BEST:

7:30-9:20 PM

Moon Underfoot: 11:33p

BEST:

7:45-9:50 AM

BEST:

8:30-10:45 AM

+1.0

TIDE LEVELS

TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

0

-1.0

+2.0

9:20-11:15 AM

0

Low Tide: 2:28 am 0.14 ft High Tide: 11:25 am 1.45 ft

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

3:15 am 11:43 am 7:27 pm 9:11 pm

0.29 ft 1.39 ft 0.99 ft 1.00 ft

Low Tide: 4:08 am 0.48 ft High Tide: 11:54 am 1.32 ft Low Tide: 6:22 pm 0.75 ft

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

12:04 am 5:12 am 12:01 pm 6:44 pm

1.04 ft 0.71 ft 1.26 ft 0.44 ft

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

1:50 am 6:27 am 12:04 pm 7:20 pm

1.21 ft 0.95 ft 1.25 ft 0.10 ft

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

3:14 am 7:54 am 12:03 pm 8:03 pm

1.42 ft 1.18 ft 1.30 ft -0.22 ft

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

4:25 am 9:30 am 11:56 am 8:50 pm

1.62 ft 1.36 ft 1.38 ft -0.50 ft

KEYS TO USING THE TIDE AND SOLUNAR GRAPHS TIDE LE VEL GRAPH: Yellow: Daylight Tab: Peak Fishing Period Green: Falling Tide Blue: Rising Tide Red Graph: Fishing Score

12a

6a

BEST:

7:05-9:40 PM

12p

6p

SOLUNAR AC TIVIT Y: 12a

AM/PM Timeline Light Blue: Nighttime

MINOR Feeding Periods (+/- 1.5 Hrs.)

AM Minor: 1:20a

PM Minor: 1:45p

AM Major: 7:32a

PM Major: 7:57p

Time Moon is at its Highest Point in the 12a Sky

Moon Overhead: 8:50a

Gold Fish: Best Time Blue Fish: Good Time

AM/PM Timeline

Moon Underfoot: 9:15p

6a

12p

6p

MOON PHASE SYMBOLS

MAJOR Feeding Periods (+/- 2 Hrs.)

12a

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

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

F i s h

z œ {  

&

= New Moon = Fi rst Quarter = Full Moon = L a s t Q u a r te r = Best Da y

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

C21

-1.0


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

11:58 AM

Page C22

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION

z œ z  

BEST:

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

MONDAY

TUESDAY

2

WEDNESDAY

3

z

THURSDAY

4

5

Sunrise: 6:16a Moonrise: 4:50a

Set: 8:10p Set: 7:25p

Sunrise: 6:16a Moonrise: 5:45a

Set: 8:11p Set: 8:37p

Sunrise: 6:16a Moonrise: 6:48a

Set: 8:11p Set: 9:43p

Sunrise: 6:16a Moonrise: 7:57a

AM Minor: 4:06a

PM Minor: 4:38p

AM Minor: 5:07a

PM Minor: 5:40p

AM Minor: 6:13a

PM Minor: 6:46p

AM Major: 10:22a

PM Major: 10:53p

AM Major: 11:23a

PM Major: 11:56p

AM Major: 12:06a

PM Major: 12:30p

Moon Overhead: 12:04p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 2:16p

Moon Overhead: 1:09p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

FRIDAY

6

SUNDAY

7

8

Set: 8:12p Sunrise: 6:16a Set: 10:40p Moonrise: 9:09a

Set: 8:12p Sunrise: 6:16a Set: 8:13p Set: 11:27p Moonrise: 10:19a Set: None

AM Minor: 7:23a

PM Minor: 7:55p

AM Minor: 8:32a

PM Minor: 9:02p

AM Minor: 9:36a

PM Minor: 10:04p

AM Minor: 10:35a

PM Minor: 11:00p

AM Major: 1:07a

PM Major: 1:39p

AM Major: 2:16a

PM Major: 2:47p

AM Major: 3:23a

PM Major: 3:50p

AM Major: 4:22a

PM Major: 4:47p

Moon Overhead: 3:21p 12a

SATURDAY

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 5:17p

Moon Overhead: 4:22p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Sunrise: 6:16a Set: 8:13p Moonrise: 11:25a Set: 12:07a

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 6:07p 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

Tides and Prime Times for JUNE 2008

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

= New Moon = Fi r s t Q u a r t e r = Fu l l M o o n = Last Quarte r = B es t Da y

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: None +2.0

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 12:36a BEST:

10:30AM-12:20PM

Moon Underfoot: 1:43a BEST:

11:20AM-1:15PM

Moon Underfoot: 2:49a BEST:

2:15-8:15 PM

Moon Underfoot: 3:52a BEST:

3:20-9:00 PM

4:20-9:15 PM

Moon Underfoot: 4:51a BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 5:43a +2.0

BEST:

3:20-5:00 AM

4:20-5:50 AM

+1.0

TIDE LEVELS

TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

0

-1.0

0

High Tide: 5:29 am Low Tide: 9:40 pm

C22

1.77 ft High Tide: 6:30 am 1.84 ft High Tide: 7:28 am 1.84 ft High Tide: 8:24 am -0.70 ft Low Tide: 10:33 pm -0.80 ft Low Tide: 11:28 pm -0.79 ft

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

1.78 ft

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

Low Tide: 12:23 am -0.69 ft Low Tide: High Tide: 9:14 am 1.68 ft High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

1:20 am 9:56 am 4:23 pm 4:58 pm

-0.49 ft 1.56 ft 1.29 ft 1.29 ft

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

2:15 am 10:30 am 4:52 pm 7:32 pm

-0.23 ft 1.43 ft 1.06 ft 1.10 ft

-1.0


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

11:58 AM

Page C23


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

11:58 AM

Page C24

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION BEST:

= Peak Fishing Period

7:45-9:40 AM

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

MONDAY

TUESDAY

9

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

WEDNESDAY

10

THURSDAY

œ 11

FRIDAY

12

SATURDAY

13

SUNDAY

14

15

Set: 8:14p Set: 1:12a

Sunrise: 6:16a Moonrise: 2:19p

Set: 8:14p Set: 1:40a

Sunrise: 6:16a Moonrise: 3:13p

Set: 8:15p Set: 2:08a

Sunrise: 6:16a Moonrise: 4:09p

Set: 8:15p Set: 2:37a

Sunrise: 6:16a Moonrise: 5:05p

Set: 8:15p Set: 3:08a

Sunrise: 6:16a Moonrise: 6:02p

Set: 8:16p Set: 3:42a

AM Minor: 11:26a

PM Minor: 11:49p

AM Minor: ——-

PM Minor: 12:12p

AM Minor: 12:32a

PM Minor: 12:53p

AM Minor: 1:11a

PM Minor: 1:31p

AM Minor: 1:48a

PM Minor: 2:09p

AM Minor: 2:26a

PM Minor: 2:48p

AM Minor: 3:05a

PM Minor: 3:29p

AM Major: 5:15a

PM Major: 5:38p

AM Major: 6:01a

PM Major: 6:23p

AM Major: 6:43a

PM Major: 7:03p

AM Major: 7:21a

PM Major: 7:42p

AM Major: 7:59a

PM Major: 8:20p

AM Major: 8:37a

PM Major: 8:59p

AM Major: 9:17a

PM Major: 9:40p

Moon Overhead: 6:53p 6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 8:17p

Moon Overhead: 7:35p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 8:58p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 10:26p

Moon Overhead: 9:41p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 11:13p 12a

6a

12p

6p

FEET

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 7:14a BEST:

5:10-6:45 AM

Moon Underfoot: 7:56a BEST:

6:20-7:45 PM

7:00-8:30 PM

Moon Underfoot: 8:37a BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 9:19a BEST:

7:40-9:10 PM

8:15-9:55 PM

Moon Underfoot: 10:03a BEST:

2:40-5:10 PM

Moon Underfoot: 10:49a +2.0

BEST:

3:20-6:10 PM

+1.0

TIDE LEVELS

TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

0

-1.0

12a

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 6:31a +2.0

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

Sunrise: 6:16a Set: 8:13p Sunrise: 6:16a Moonrise: 12:26p Set: 12:42a Moonrise: 1:24p

12a

Tides and Prime Times for JUNE 2008

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

0

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

3:12 am 10:57 am 5:34 pm 9:46 pm

0.07 ft 1.32 ft 0.81 ft 0.99 ft

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

4:10 am 11:17 am 6:14 pm 11:53 pm

0.39 ft 1.23 ft 0.54 ft 0.99 ft

Low Tide: 5:19 am 0.69 ft High Tide: 11:32 am 1.17 ft Low Tide: 6:52 pm 0.30 ft

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

1:52 am 6:54 am 11:42 am 7:27 pm

1.10 ft 0.94 ft 1.15 ft 0.09 ft

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

3:32 am 8:55 am 11:41 am 8:00 pm

1.25 ft High Tide: 4:42 am 1.11 ft Low Tide: 8:33 pm 1.16 ft -0.07 ft

1.38 ft High Tide: 5:31 am -0.18 ft Low Tide: 9:07 pm

1.46 ft -0.25 ft

-1.0


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

11:58 AM

Page C25

z œ z  

Tides and Prime Times for JUNE 2008 TUESDAY

16

1 7

THURSDAY

{ 18

FRIDAY

1 9

SATURDAY

2 0

2 1

22

Set: 8:16p Set: 4:21a

Sunrise: 6:16a Moonrise: 7:52p

Set: 8:16p Set: 5:05a

Sunrise: 6:16a Moonrise: 8:42p

Set: 8:16p Set: 5:54a

Sunrise: 6:16a Moonrise: 9:28p

Set: 8:17p Set: 6:47a

AM Minor: 3:48a

PM Minor: 4:12p

AM Minor: 4:34a

PM Minor: 4:59p

AM Minor: 5:23a

PM Minor: 5:49p

AM Minor: 6:15a

PM Minor: 6:40p

AM Minor: 7:08a

PM Minor: 7:33p

AM Minor: 8:01a

PM Minor: 8:25p

AM Minor: 8:54a

PM Minor: 9:17p

AM Major: 10:00a

PM Major: 10:25p

AM Major: 10:47a

PM Major: 11:12p

AM Major: 11:36a

PM Major: ——-

AM Major: 12:02a

PM Major: 12:28p

AM Major: 12:56a

PM Major: 1:20p

AM Major: 1:49a

PM Major: 2:13p

AM Major: 2:42a

PM Major: 3:05p

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 12:53a

Moon Overhead: 12:02a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Sunrise: 6:16a Set: 8:17p Moonrise: 10:10p Set: 7:44a

SUNDAY

Sunrise: 6:16a Moonrise: 6:58p

Moon Overhead: None

12a

WEDNESDAY

Moon Overhead: 1:44a 12a

6a

12p

6p

Sunrise: 6:17a Set: 8:17p Moonrise: 10:47p Set: 8:43a

Moon Overhead: 3:24a

Moon Overhead: 2:35a 12a

6a

12p

6p

Sunrise: 6:17a Set: 8:17p Moonrise: 11:20p Set: 9:41a

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 4:11a 12a

6a

12p

6p

FEET

BEST:

6:00-10:30 PM

Moon Underfoot: 12:28p BEST:

7:05PM-12:10AM

Moon Underfoot: 1:19p BEST:

5:45-9:10 PM

Moon Underfoot: 2:10p BEST:

6:35PM-12:30AM

Moon Underfoot: 3:00p BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 3:48p BEST:

7:30PM-1:00AM

8:20PM-2:30AM

Moon Underfoot: 4:34p BEST:

+2.0

9:10PM-2:50AM

+1.0

TIDE LEVELS

TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

0

-1.0

12a

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 11:37a +2.0

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

MONDAY

= New Moon = Fi r s t Q u a r t e r = Fu l l M o o n = Last Quarte r = B es t Da y

0

High Tide: 6:10 am Low Tide: 9:42 pm

1.50 ft High Tide: 6:43 am 1.51 ft High Tide: 7:16 am 1.50 ft High Tide: 7:48 am 1.49 ft High Tide: 8:21 am -0.29 ft Low Tide: 10:17 pm -0.31 ft Low Tide: 10:53 pm -0.31 ft Low Tide: 11:28 pm -0.29 ft

1.48 ft

Low Tide: 12:03 am -0.25 ft Low Tide: 12:37 am -0.18 ft High Tide: 8:52 am 1.46 ft High Tide: 9:19 am 1.42 ft

-1.0


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

11:58 AM

Page C26

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION BEST:

7:45-9:40 AM

= Peak Fishing Period

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

MONDAY

23

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

24

THURSDAY

 25

FRIDAY

26

Set: 8:18p Sunrise: 6:18a Set: 8:18p Sunrise: 6:17a Set: 8:18p Set: 11:37a Moonrise: 12:20a Set: 12:36p Moonrise: 12:50a Set: 1:36p

SATURDAY

27

SUNDAY

28

29

Sunrise: 6:18a Moonrise: 1:22a

Set: 8:18p Set: 2:40p

Sunrise: 6:18a Moonrise: 1:58a

Set: 8:18p Set: 3:48p

Sunrise: 6:19a Moonrise: 2:39a

Set: 8:18p Set: 5:00p

AM Minor: 9:45a

PM Minor: 10:07p

AM Minor: 10:34a

PM Minor: 10:55p

AM Minor: 11:21a

PM Minor: 11:43p

AM Minor: ——-

PM Minor: 12:07p

AM Minor: 12:29a

PM Minor: 12:54p

AM Minor: 1:15a

PM Minor: 1:42p

AM Minor: 2:04a

PM Minor: 2:33p

AM Major: 3:34a

PM Major: 3:56p

AM Major: 4:23a

PM Major: 4:45p

AM Major: 5:10a

PM Major: 5:32p

AM Major: 5:56a

PM Major: 6:19p

AM Major: 6:41a

PM Major: 7:06p

AM Major: 7:28a

PM Major: 7:55p

AM Major: 8:18a

PM Major: 8:48p

Moon Overhead: 4:57a

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 6:24a

Moon Overhead: 5:41a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 7:09a 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 8:49a

Moon Overhead: 7:57a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 9:46a 12a

6a

12p

6p

FEET

+2.0

12a

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 5:19p BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 6:02p BEST:

3:30-5:15 AM

Moon Underfoot: 6:46p BEST:

4:20-5:50 AM

Moon Underfoot: 7:32p BEST:

5:05-6:30 AM

5:45-7:20 AM

Moon Underfoot: 8:22p BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 9:16p BEST:

6:35-8:15 AM

7:45-9:30 PM

Moon Underfoot: 10:16p BEST:

+2.0

2:30-5:05 PM

+1.0

TIDE LEVELS

TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

0

-1.0

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

Sunrise: 6:17a Set: 8:17p Sunrise: 6:17a Moonrise: 11:51p Set: 10:40a Moonrise: None

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

Tides and Prime Times for JUNE 2008

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

0

Low Tide: 1:13 am High Tide: 9:41 am

C26

-0.05 ft Low Tide: 1.37 ft High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

• J U N E

1:49 am 9:58 am 4:10 pm 7:52 pm

2 0 0 8 /

0.12 ft 1.30 ft 0.85 ft 0.89 ft

T E X A S

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

F i s h

2:29 am 10:08 am 4:38 pm 10:36 pm

&

0.35 ft 1.23 ft 0.59 ft 0.88 ft

Low Tide: 3:13 am 0.63 ft High Tide: 10:10 am 1.19 ft Low Tide: 5:17 pm 0.28 ft

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

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

12:48 am 4:08 am 10:03 am 6:02 pm

1.02 ft 0.92 ft 1.20 ft -0.03 ft

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

2:39 am 5:28 am 9:40 am 6:52 pm

1.24 ft High Tide: 4:02 am 1.19 ft Low Tide: 7:45 pm 1.27 ft -0.34 ft

1.46 ft -0.60 ft

-1.0


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

11:59 AM

Page C27

z œ z  

Tides and Prime Times for JUNE 2008 TUESDAY

30

Jul 1

THURSDAY

2

z

FRIDAY

3

Set: 8:18p Set: 6:12p

Sunrise: 6:19a Moonrise: 4:26a

Set: 8:18p Set: 7:21p

Sunrise: 6:20a Moonrise: 5:32a

Set: 8:18p Set: 8:22p

Sunrise: 6:20a Moonrise: 6:44a

Set: 8:18p Set: 9:15p

Sunrise: 6:20a Moonrise: 7:56a

AM Minor: 2:57a

PM Minor: 3:28p

AM Minor: 3:55a

PM Minor: 4:28p

AM Minor: 4:57a

PM Minor: 5:30p

AM Minor: 6:01a

PM Minor: 6:33p

AM Major: 9:13a

PM Major: 9:44p

AM Major: 10:11a

PM Major: 10:44p

AM Major: 11:13a

PM Major: 11:46p

AM Major: ——-

PM Major: 12:17p

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 12:59p

Moon Overhead: 11:53a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 2:03p 12a

6a

12p

6p

SATURDAY

4

Sunrise: 6:19a Moonrise: 3:28a

Moon Overhead: 10:48a

12a

WEDNESDAY

5

6

Set: 8:18p Sunrise: 6:21a Set: 10:00p Moonrise: 9:06a

Set: 8:18p Sunrise: 6:21a Set: 8:18p Set: 10:38p Moonrise: 10:11a Set: 11:11p

AM Minor: 7:05a

PM Minor: 7:34p

AM Minor: 8:07a

PM Minor: 8:33p

AM Minor: 9:04a

PM Minor: 9:29p

AM Major: 12:51a

PM Major: 1:20p

AM Major: 1:54a

PM Major: 2:20p

AM Major: 2:52a

PM Major: 3:17p

Moon Overhead: 3:56p

Moon Overhead: 3:02p 12a

SUNDAY

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 4:45p 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

MONDAY

= New Moon = Fi r s t Q u a r t e r = Fu l l M o o n = Last Quarte r = B es t Da y

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 11:20p +2.0

BEST:

3:20-5:45 PM

Moon Underfoot: None BEST:

10:05AM-12:05PM

Moon Underfoot: 12:26a BEST:

11:10AM-1:15pm

Moon Underfoot: 1:31a BEST:

12:10-2:20 PM

Moon Underfoot: 2:33a BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 3:30a BEST:

1:15-3:10 PM

Moon Underfoot: 4:21a +2.0

BEST:

2:10-4:05 PM

3:10-5:05 PM

+1.0

TIDE LEVELS

TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

0

-1.0

0

High Tide: 5:04 am Low Tide: 8:40 pm

1.62 ft High Tide: 5:55 am -0.79 ft Low Tide: 9:35 pm

1.70 ft High Tide: 6:41 am 1.71 ft High Tide: -0.89 ft Low Tide: 10:30 pm -0.90 ft Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide:

7:22 am 12:12 pm 1:58 pm 11:22 pm

1.65 ft High Tide: 7:57 am 1.55 ft 1.46 ft Low Tide: 12:38 pm 1.33 ft 1.47 ft High Tide: 3:35 pm 1.38 ft -0.81 ft

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

F i s h

&

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

12:13 am 8:26 am 1:24 pm 5:04 pm

-0.62 ft 1.43 ft 1.14 ft 1.25 ft

G a m e ® / J U N E

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

1:01 am 8:52 am 2:19 pm 6:36 pm

2 0 0 8

-0.35 ft 1.32 ft 0.92 ft 1.10 ft

C27

-1.0


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

11:59 AM

Page C28

Thermacell Skeeter-Scatter Tweaks Game Noses, Too

Thermacell

H

AVE MOSQUITOES OR DEER FLIES EVER bothered you on a hunting or fishing trip? Of course they have. On a recent hunting trip, I thought it wise to try a new product that guaranteed protection from these critters and other flying pests—a Thermacell “appliance.” The company claims this product will keep pests away for up to 12 hours. We have all heard such claims before (often with dubious inthe-field performance), so I was naturally skeptical. (Some products I have used seemed to attract bugs!) After using a Thermacell, I can tell you it lives up to its claims. I was amazed. I hunted near a swamp just to give it a good test. I sat and waited a few minutes until the bugs found me, and then activated the unit. Within minutes, the area was free of flying insects. Thermacell units cover a 15-foot radius. This is a nice feature if you are night-fishing with a friend or camping with your family. The Thermacell is a very simple to oper-

ate and lightweight. Simply place one of the three supplied blue pads under the grid on the face of the unit. A small butane canister screws into the bottom of the unit. After a minute or so, you simply turn the switch to the “On” position, and then click the button on the right to ignite the unit. A small viewing hole located on the top allows you to see if it is working properly. When the blue pad turns white, it is time to exchange it for a new one. Extra pads and butane canisters are sold separately. Thermacell units come in plain colors and camouflage patterns. The product literature says the unit is perfect for fishing, camping, and hunting

among other outdoor activities. A new wrinkle that was not yet available when I tested the Thermacell unit might help hunters hide from deer as well as mosquitoes: repellent pads that also contain odor masking scent. The new Earth Scent pads emit the smell of musky dirt and decaying leaves—a convincing scent designed to mask human odors and linger continuously for up to four hours. I strongly recommend this product—it really works. Contact: The Schawbel Corporation, 866-753-3837, www.thermacell.net —Lou Marullo

On The SPOT Do you put safety first when you are on the water? Do you have an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB)? If you answer yes to the first question and no to the second, chances are you don’t have an EPIRB because of cost; they can range from $400 for a low-performance unit to several thousand dollars for a nicer one.

SPOT Emergency Position Indicating Radio

Enter the SPOT, the world’s newest and least-expensive panic button on the water. While constantly tracking your location, this cell phone-sized waterproof lifesaver will alert the GEOS International Emergency Response System of your exact location and C28

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

11:59 AM

Page C29

personal information if you hit the 911 button. It floats and can send a signal while bobbing on the surface of the water. When I tested the unit, I dropped it overboard then looked on my laptop PC to make sure it was still tracking my exact position. On my PC? You bet! The SPOT puts your location on Google Maps in real time, both visually and with latitude/longitude. Coverage is virtually worldwide, and you can use the unit to send pre-prepped e-mail and text messages you plan on your computer prior to the trip. Back on land, I gave the SPOT the oops-dropped-it-on-concrete test, and the rubber-armored exterior did its job. There is no LCD screen to worry about breaking; instead, the unit uses a series of small flashing lights to let you know what function is engaged. Since it puts your location on the internet, your family can check your location at any time to make sure your voyage is going according to plan. (Don’t tell Honey Bun you are chasing redfish if you are really planning to duck into the local watering hole—you’ll get busted!) This feature also makes the unit useful to anglers who are fishing on different boats and want to keep track of each other, but don’t want to give away their location over the radio. Worried a unit like this will be tough to figure out? Don’t be. Operation and on-line account setup took me less than one hour to figure out. The best thing of all is the SPOT’s price: At $169 for the unit and a $99/year subscription fee, this is by far the least expensive form of emergency alternative communication on the water today. Contact: SPOT Inc., 866-651-7768, www.findmespot.com —Lenny Rudow

Greenhead Goose Stools

able) and the birds reacted so well, my shoulder was sore for days. At a glance, you will see that the finish on these decoys is picture-perfect. The heads and necks are flocked, the body paint is non-reflective, and there are three body styles each with three different head positions. Put a dozen in a field, take a few steps back, and you’ll be able to fool yourself into

thinking real geese are right in front of you. These decoys also add motion to your spread, since they sit atop a “Realmotion” wire base and stake system. Unlike some other stake systems, these decoys keep their heads into the wind when a breeze blows, too, preventing that spun-around-backwards decoy that can ruin the appearance of your entire spread. The downside to these decoys? Price. A half-dozen costs between $130 and $170 (depending on style and size; you can choose full size or scaled-down lesser “species”), which certainly keeps them out of the “cheap” category. They do come in mixed packs (the Harvester pack, for example, includes three feeders, two active heads, and one looker head) so you can get a small number of the Pro-Grades and use them to spruce up a spread of regular decoys. On the other hand, when you consider cost, remember: When you are hunting wary birds, quality counts, and you won’t be able to do better than these Greenheads. Contact: Greenhead Gear, 800-3335119, www.greenheadgear.com —LR

Greenhead Goose Stools Fool Geese Serious waterfowl hunters know decoy quality makes a huge difference, especially when you are on a late-season hunt and the birds are cagey. When it comes to full-body goose decoys, you will have a tough time finding any decoy that looks more realistic than Greenhead Gear’s new Pro-Grade full body goose. I hunted Canada geese over these decoys (specklebellies are also availA L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

C29


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/5/08

10:45 AM

Page C30

Stainless Steel BBQ Smoker

section with an adjustable height charcoal tray. In addition, the remote smoker box is 18” x 18”, comes with an adjustable height charcoal tray and a steak grate for more even grilling room. The remote smoker box has Hybrid-Grills.com is proud to announce two adjustable air inlets and an adjustable the new Professional 48 stainless steel grill. damper between the main oven and smoker The Pro 48 is a gas grill, charcoal grill and box. Couple that with the adjustable BBQ smoker all in one convenient heavy damper in the smoke stack and you have an duty unit. Now you only need one grill to almost infinite amount of air flow adjustdo all styles of outdoor ment available to suit all BBQ cooking you your needs. The would ever want door and lid to to do. Like the smoker all Hybridbox are Grills.com lipped for pits, it is an excelm a d e lent seal f r o m to prevent 3/16” thick air and 304 grade smoke leakage stainless steel and and the main features thick cast stainoven has a large rear less steel gas burners door for easy cleanout that will never require Hybrid Grill’s Stainless Steel BBQ Smoker and fire tending withreplacement. The Pro out disturbing the 48 features a 48” L x 23” W main oven heavy duty stainless steel cooking grates. that includes a 18” L x 23” W gas grill sec- The Pro 48 is currently priced at $4,795 tion and a 30” L x 23” W charcoal grill while supply lasts. Please visit us at

Put a Pro Hitch in Your Trailer’s Giddy-up In 2007, Draw-Tite, Hidden Hitch and Reese introduced Pro Series SC, which married the best benefits of Weight Distribution with built in friction sway control. There have been so many upgrades and improvements that it’s now the Reese SC (P/N 66151-66158). C30

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

Utilizing the familiar, easy-to-use Reese serrated washer adjustment head system; the Reese SC features a heavyduty shank bar, tapered spring bars for a smoother ride and better weight transfer, NEW universal spring bar brackets to fit just about any trailer frame imaginable, and new friction-coated pad hangers. A new lift handle makes snapping the bars

up into the pad hangers quick and &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

Hybrid-Grills.com or sales@hybridgrills.com to get yours today.

Rapid Convertible System for the Yamaha Rhino Curtis Industries has introduced a new, revolutionary, modular cab system for the Yamaha Rhino utility vehicle that allows rapid transformation from a fully enclosed cab to an open-air ride in 60 seconds. The Curtis Rapid Convertible System (RCS) allows the user to choose one or all components for maximum flexibility as the weather changes. A simple ROPS base frame with cab receiver mounts provides safety and easy installation of the modular components. The roof, windshield and rear panel feature a unique, easy on, no-tools, pin to slot connection and a heavy duty quick release latch. The strong but lightweight hard-coated polycarbonate windshield quickly vents for varying temperatures and is designed and tested for full speed travel with the windeffortless. This new system features over 10 times the friction anti-sway resistance than competitors’ units. Available in 600, 800, 1,200 and 1,500 lb. tongue weight ratings, the new Reese SC features a limited lifetime warranty. Note: This is a great solution to the age-old problem of using weight-distribution on trailers with surge-brake couplers…like boat trailers! For more information: 1-800-6323290 ; www.towingproducts.com.

Reese SC Pro Series hitch.


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/5/08

10:45 AM

Page C31

shield open or closed. optional Curtis Industries’ modular An wiper kit is also cover for Yamaha Rhino available. Cab panels are designed using advanced technology and materials. The Rapid-Convertible System uses thermoformed TPO material (not ABS plastic or fiberglass) for all body panels. TPO offers superior lowtemp impact resistance, higher heat-deflection and greater dimensional stability than ABS or fiberglass. Side doors quickly convert to half doors - no tools required, Curtis half doors also provide safety and protection. Available in black, cab components – base frame, roof, windshield, doors, and rear panel – can be purchased separately or as a complete cab. US and Foreign patents pending. For more information visit www.curtiscab.com or call 800-343-7676.

Wellcraft 340 Coastal The 340 Coastal is a first-class fishing boat with luxury accommodations. The moment you step aboard, the first thing you appreciate is space and storage areas throughout. The large cockpit deck is low to the water and designed for fishing, but is also ideal for entertaining on board. The

340 boasts a richly appointed cabin, with sleeping for six, a full galley and full head with a stand-up shower. An E-Plex digital control system allows touch screen monitoring of all on board electrical operations. The Scarab-designed high performance matched with four-stroke outboard power provide a level of performance and economy, unheard of in a boat of this size. LOA: 34 feet, beam: 11’9”, dry weight: 13,500 lbs, fuel: 382 gallons, deadrise: 20 degrees, draft (engine up): 20” The 340 Coastal is available in Midnight Blue or Onyx Black hull color options and the several interior fabric options. Yamaha F350 TXR are: top speed: 51.4 mph @ 6100 rpm and cruising speed: 33.1 mph @ 4000 rpm. Wellcraft Marine, 1651 Whitfield Ave., Sarasota, FL 34243 Phone: (941) 753-7811 www.wellcraft.com

continuously for up to four hours per mat. Earth Scent mats work in all ThermaCELL Mosquito Repellent products. The unit operates on a single butane cartridge, which heats a mat releasing allethrin, an insect repellent that is a synthetic copy of a natural insecticide found in chrysanthemum flowers. Each butane cartridge will operate the unit for 12 hours. ThermaCELL has been evaluated and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for safety and effectiveness.

ThermaCell Repels Bugs, Attracts Game ThermaCELL®, the only butane-operated mosquito repellent system is now also a cover scent. ThermaCELL has added a new hunting-friendly cover scent to its mosquito repellent technology that not only creates a 15x15 foot zone of protection against mosquitoes and black flies, but also helps to disguise hunters from a deer’s best defense....its nose. Utilizing the same highly effective mosquito repellent as the original ThermaCELL unscented mats, the new Earth Scent also emits the smell of musky dirt and decaying leaves — a convincing scent designed to mask human odors and linger

Wellcraft’s 340 Coastal

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

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

C31


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/5/08

10:45 AM

Page C32

ThermaCell The ThermaCELL Earth Scent mosquito repellent refill kit will be available in July and includes one butane cartridge, three Earth Scent mosquito repellent refill mats and MSRP is $6.99. ThermaCELL, a division of The Schawbel Corporation of Bedford, Massachusetts, utilizes patented technology to create cordless, portable appliances powered by replaceable butane cartridges. For more information on ThermaCELL’s complete line of products please call 1-8-NOSKEETERS. For retail locations visit www.thermacell.com.

Ranger Z520 Comanche

Hypertech: More Sass, Less Gas

Touting an ultra-responsive, high performance hull design, Ranger’s all-new Z520 Comanche is quickly becoming the most talked-about rig on the water. New features are fused with what many consider to be the ideal tournament-engineered interior layout. It all combines to create a serious fishing machine that knows how to take up the slack and make things happen. Measuring 20 feet, 9 inches with a 95inch beam, the Z520 Comanche is rated for a beefy 250 horespower, to get drivers to their favorite spot and back to weigh in when time is of the essence. The vessel also has two 24-gallon fuel tanks for making long runs. “The history of Ranger Boats is intertwined with professional bass fishing, and the future will be, too,” said Ranger Boats President Randy Hopper. “This design has all the features and styling of Z Comanche and the hull of the 520VX and lots of extra features that no other boat has. This boat was built for competing in bass tournaments at the highest levels. No other boat delivers the power, the space, the performance, fishability and features that this boat delivers.” Ranger Boats, P.O. Box 179, Flippin, AR 72634. Phone: 1-800-373-BOAT. Web: www.rangerboats.com

Use less fuel and get more power with Hypertech’s new E-CON Economy Power Programmer. The E-CON is designed for the driver who needs better fuel mileage and more power, but doesn’t want to pay for other high-performance features. Every ECON is programmed with Hypertech’s Max Energy Tuning™, Diagnostics, and Back to Stock options. The E-CON also comes with a USB cable and a CD containing software to enable quick updates over the internet. Suggested retail price is just $329.95. Hypertech’s Tuning extracts every bit of energy possible out of every molecule of fuel, giving users more miles-per-gallon at partthrottle

Ranger Z520 Comanche C32

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

Hypertech Eand more Con Power power at wide open throttle, Programmer plus their customers are claiming 2 to 6 mpg gains, and increasing their range by 100 miles or more per tank. E-CON provides optimized tuning for gas powered vehicles that use regular unleaded fuel, and two Fuel Program levels for diesel owners. At the same time, it adds power and torque, and reads and clears diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) or “checkengine” lights. Installation is simple, just plug Hypertech’s E-CON Economy Power Programmer into the vehicle’s under-dash connector, choose the tuning program that appear on E-CON’s scrolling screen. Then with the push of a button, simply re-program the vehicle’s computer for improved power and mileage. Hypertech products are street-legal in all 50 States and have a Money-Back, Satis-


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/5/08

10:45 AM

Page C33

faction Guarantee. Information on the complete line of Hypertech Power Tuning products is available from: Hypertech, 3215 Appling Rd., Bartlett, TN 38133. Phone: 901-382-8888 Web: www.hypertech.com

are designed to absorb the shocks and vibrations whilst encountering an obstacle on the road. The brackets prevent the shock or vibration to pass from the skid plate to the vehicles chassis or to the mechanical assembly. For more information – phone: 860963-2357 or visit www.asfir.com

ASFIR Accessories Toughen Up Jeeps LEER Tops Love to Go Fishing!

Jeep JK Winch Bumper Innovative ATL winch bumper is designed and develEveryone knows that nothing beats a oped to replace the original bumper. The bumper fits around an integrated heavy duty pickup truck when you have to get to your winch platform. ATL Bumpers are favorite fishing spot – whether you’re towing designed to enhance the flow of air across a boat or just toting gear. And there’s so the vehicles cooling components and allows much gear! From life jackets to bait buckets, for access to the winch for maintenance. fishing takes the right equipment, and nothATL bumpers are characterized in low ing protects, transports, and secures the gear weight and in keeping close proximity to the in your pickup like a LEER truck cap. LEER caps have been filling the needs vehicle’s original contour lines. Fits most winch manufactures bolt mounting footprints. Jeep JK Skid PlatesThe skid plates are made from 6mm quality heavy-duty aluminum. They are laser cut and bent on a computerized bending machine for consistent quality. Each skid plate is designed with service openings to enable servicing the vehicle without dismantling the LEER truck caps are designed with anglers in mind. plates. The skid plates are designed to enable free airflow to the of dedicated anglers as long as they’ve been made, but today’s LEER models have been vehicles cooling system. The skid plates are screwed onto the specifically designed to provide the storage, original holes in the vehicle. They are convenience and security features fishing mounted onto the vehicle via brackets, which enthusiasts need most. For example, the LEER Fisherman package adds a Thule Roof Rack, a Frabill expandable lockable rod and reel holder, and other storage conveniences, turning a LEER-equipped pickup truck into the world’s largest tackle box. No wonder so many LEER-equipped trucks are seen at favorite Texas fishing spots and boat ramps. LEER caps – or their low-profile cousins, tonneaus – keep all that expensive gear safe, handy and protected from the environment. Plus, they give you a place to put all the fish you catch on the drive home. Like pickups, LEER caps fit the way sporting Texans live, work, and ASFIR winch bumper and skid plate for Jeeps. play. A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

To find out more about LEER products for fishing enthusiasts, visit www.leer.com/texasfish.

Zeiss RF Binocs Declare Victory Zeiss introduces the Victory 8x45 and 10x45 T* RF laser rangefinder binoculars – the world’s first premium binocular with rangefinding capability, LED display and integrated BIS™ ballistic calculator. Hunters now have accurate distance to target (up to 1,300 yds) and corrected ballistic holdover – programmable for 6 different common ballistic trajectories – at their fingertips in the field. Hunters will experience crystal clear images thanks to the high-performance optical design and high-contrast LED display. No more grayish looking images when trying to estimate the condition and size of an animal – a visual disadvantage typically found in rangefinding optics that use more common, low-contrast LCD displays. The OneTouch feature – a first for the civilian market – produces less shaking while ranging and therefore a clearer image. When the measurement button is pressed, Victory rangefinding the reticle used binocular to target the object illuminates. When released, the range is immediately measured and displayed within 1 second. This generates considerably less shake and also saves time in comparison to other rangefinding binoculars on the market that require the user to press the button twice. MSRP: Victory 8x45 T* RF – $3,352.00, Victory 10x45 T* RF - $3,409.00 Carl Zeiss Optical, Inc., 13017 N. Kingston Ave., Chester, VA 23836. Phone: 1-800-441-3005 Web: www.zeiss.com/sports.

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

C33


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

11:59 AM

Page C34

Fun for All at The Boat Ramp

J

ODY JORGENSON AT THE THE BOAT RAMP, A boat business in Port Neches, said that the experience of buying a boat should be fun and not a hassle. The Boat Ramp has been in business for almost 20 years. “I have been doing this since I have been a very young man,” Jorgenson said. “My dad and I started the business together. When he passed away, I bought the company. I guess it was a family business, but I want people to realize it wasn’t given to me.” The company, under the leadership of Jorgenson, has earned the sterling reputation it carries in the boating community. The Boat Ramp carries just about any boat type a person might want-flats, duck hunting and marsh boats, offshore, bay, aluminum Jon boats, family pontoons, bass boats and work boats. “We pretty much do it all,” said Jorgenson. Last year, Jorgensen received the Business Man of the Year award in his area. In addition, the company has been one of the top 20 Suzuki dealers in the U.S. since 1998. “We stock right at about $2.5 million inventory in boats, motors, trailers and parts,” said Jorgenson. His biggest selling boats are Carolina Skiff and Sea Chaser. He fishes from a 25foot Carolina Skiff equipped with a 150 Suzuki: “It’s just so versatile. My 14-yearold son doesn’t like catching small fish anyC34

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

more. The lake and marsh don’t really appeal to him much. He wants to go offshore. But, old Dad still likes to go into shallow water catching redfish and flounder. It runs 50 mph and my fuel economy is unbelievable. I have a boat that is versatile; I can make my son happy and I can stay happy.” With gasoline at an all time high, fuel economy is a No. 1 priority. “We are seeing outboards that are getting 5-8 miles a gallon, but it all depends on how somebody runs their boat,” Jorgenson said. “We do business a lot different than most of your other boat dealers. We do not do pressure sales. We do not play the bait and switch games that a lot of people are doing now. For example, at the recent Houston boat show, I probably had 20 people come up to me and ask how much more the trailer is going to cost them. The trailer, dealer prep, make ready, and freight are not included in the advertised price. “Or maybe the trailer is included, but not a model suitable for trailering the boat long distances. They want to hit you with a big upgrade on trailer prices. They add the cost for a stainless steel prop and the batteries for your boat. Their pricing seems really good on the boat up front, but when they start adding everything, you are not getting a good deal. “A similar situation sometimes exists with outboard motors. The advertised motor may not include steering controls, gauges and other items needed to run the motor properly.” Jorgensen claims the internet probably has been the worst thing that has happened to the boat business: “You look at a price that’s advertised. You think you can get it for that, but you can’t get the boat for that price. Our prices include everything—stainless steel prop, your trailer. The only thing you have to add is your fishing poles and safety equipment. You are ready to go. We try to make buying a boat fun, make it easy for our customers, make them feel comfortable when &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

they come in here. “When you leave our dealership, you don’t have to ask any questions on how to take care of your new boat. I have a man whose job is to go from top to bottom with you, showing you how to break in the motor, how everything works. If you are first time boat owner, we like to take you to the river and show you how to load it and unload the boat. “We’ve got a great service department, a great parts department, a super friendly staff. We know what we are doing here. If we sell you a boat we want to make sure we can sell your friend a boat and their friend a boat.” The Boat Ramp Inc. is located at 302 S. Twin City Hwy. in Port Neches, Texas. Their phone number is 409-722-0865; web address is www.boatrampmarine.net. —Tom Behrens

Kriet, Faircloth Join Sébile Pro Team Sébile, one of the hottest new international bait brands in the United States, has announced the addition of two professional bass anglers to its U.S. pro fishing team Jeff Kriet and Todd Faircloth. “Jeff and Todd are not just good fishermen, they are also good guys and that’s important to us,” said Sébile’s U.S. sales and marketing director Keeton Eoff in making the announcement. “Both men have qualified for the Bassmaster Classic annually for the past few years and they are back in it again in ‘08. They are truly among the country’s elite anglers and we’re proud to have them on our team.” Kriet is from Ardmore, Okla., and Faircloth resides in Jasper, Texas. Both anglers travel the country fishing the BASS Elite series tournaments and other high profile


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

11:59 AM

Page C35

events, and both have been especially successful in their pro angling careers in recent years. Each has won more than one-half million dollars in tournament earnings, and both have won a major BASS event. And the two anglers are usually among the elite few who always seem to be at top in contention for the prestigious BASS Angler-ofthe-Year title every year. “Sébile baits caught my eye when they first hit the market here a couple of years ago and I’ve been throwing them ever since,”

Kriet said. “I love to fish hard baits. Their brand new square-billed Crankster is awesome and is going to win me a lot of money this year. I definitely see it having a role in my Classic appearance on South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell.” Faircloth echoed his fellow angler’s sentiments, saying he has been using Sébile baits for a while now with great success. “You don’t live where I do in south Texas without having a lot of confidence and expertise in fishing crankbaits,” he said. “Sébile baits

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

F i s h

offer a truly unique approach in their designs. The Blood Red series in particular has become a fast favorite because it combines visual appeal with realistic motion, and I’m always looking for every advantage I can get.” Sébile baits are named after international angler and lure designer Patrick Sébile. The Frenchman has spent a lifetime studying gamefish and their feeding habits. He

Continued on Page C36

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

C35


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

11:59 AM

Page C36

Smith & Wesson Model 41 Target Pistol

W

HEN I WAS YOUNGER, I LOVED TO shoot National Match-style pistol target competitions. For the Uvalde Gun Club, this usually involved a .22 rimfire target pistol and the standard slow, timed, and rapid-fire courses. It was a game of precision. I eventually got reasonably good at it, but when I went into

law enforcement, I left that part of my life behind.

by Steve LaMascus Just the other day, I got a hankering to shoot another good .22 target pistol. To that end, I called Smith & Wesson and ordered

for testing a new Model 41 with a 5-1/2inch barrel. When it arrived, I set it aside, as I was testing several other guns at the time. It sat there in its blue plastic box for a couple of weeks before I got a chance to try it out. I’m sorry I waited. In my opinion, the Model 41 is one of the best handguns in its class. It is flawlessly fitted and finished; the bluing is as deep and black as the Marianas Trench; and the grips feel perfect in my hand. Accuracy is above standard. I have shot a lot of different target handguns over the years and the Model 41 is as good as any and better than most. In my opinion, it shoots like a good rifle. Out to 50 yards, no

INDUSTRY INSIDER Continued from Page C35 has paid special attention to the sounds, shapes, and swimming actions that trigger strikes the most, and that’s the premise behind every bait in the Sébile lineup. All of the company’s baits fall into one of two series: Evidence or Possessed. Baits in the Evidence series rely more on their action than light and sound. Baits in the Possessed series are built around design features that provide lifelike baitfish mimicry through unique use of internal “body fluids” and reflective particles suspended in it. Sébile’s “Blood Red” baits take baitfish motion and mimicry to a whole new level in artificial lures. The special red-colored fluid literally creates motion, visually and physically, as energy is transferred fore and aft while the lure is being fished. Because of the energy transfer that occurs, Blood Red baits continue to quiver, tremble, and pulsate just like a frightened baitfish, at rest as well as during retrieve. Follow the tournament success of new Sébile team anglers Jeff Kriet and Todd Faircloth along the BASS Elite trail at www.bassmaster.com C36

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

Skeeter Announces 2008 Owner’s Tournament Skeeter Products, Inc., celebrating its 60th Anniversary this year, is proud to announce its 2008 Skeeter Owner’s Tournament Series schedule, giving its owners the opportunity to fish three of the nation’s top bass lakes, including South Carolina’s Lake Murray, and win thousands of dollars in cash doing so. For 2008, the Skeeter Owner’s Tournament Series will kick-off on June 19-22 on Lake Fork, Texas, known for its huge largemouth bass. Skeeter owners from across the country participated in last year’s event, featuring more than 800 boats and 1,500 anglers, making it the largest single boat brand tournament in the country. The Owner’s Tournament Series then travels to South Carolina’s Lake Murray on September 19-21. For the third year in a row, the company and its owners will travel to South Carolina, this time to the bass rich waters of Lake Murray. Constructed in the 1930s, Lake Murray covers an area of 78 square miles, with 649 miles &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

of shoreline. Lake Murray may be famous for its Striped Bass, but there are plenty of Largemouth Bass to be caught in this lake. The Tournament Series concludes with a visit to Patoka Reservoir, an 8,800-acre largemouth bass fishery near Jasper, Indiana, on October 11-12. Patoka Reservoir is well known for its quality and quantity of Largemouth Bass, and was the host site for the 2005 BASS Northern Divisional. Skeeter initiated its Owner’s Tournament Series as a way to thank its owners. “These events prove how hard our company, its employees and our dealers will work to keep a strong relationship with our owners,” said Daren Cole, Skeeter’s Marketing Manager. Skeeter will make complete tournament information available on its website (www.skeeterboats.com), including entry applications, rules and regulations. You may also visit your local Authorized Skeeter Dealer for more information. For information about tournament venues, please visit www.lakeforkchamber.org.


PHOTO COURTESY OF SMITH & WESSON

ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

11:59 AM

Page C37

rabbit is safe when I have the Model 41 in my hand. At 25 yards, the gun shoots much better than I do. I expect it would beat 1 inch, but I can no longer see well enough to make it do so. The metal-to-metal fit of the gun is fabulous. The slide is like velvet. The trigger is set from the factory at a crisp, creep-free 3 pounds. There is no comparison with many of the modern semi-auto .22s on the market today. The Smith & Wesson Model 41 is a true competition-ready target pistol, yet small and light enough to carry and hunt with. If you are thinking about buying a .22 handgun to hunt small game and prefer a

semi-auto, I heartily recommend the Model

41. It is head and shoulders above the cheaper versions with fixed sights. With the heavier barrel, it holds steadier and it is without a doubt more accurate. It would make a squirrel gun extraordinaire. At a retail of $1209, it is certainly on the high side for casual plinking, but if you are looking for a

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

F i s h

gun that will last several normal lifetimes, shoot like a good rifle, and is handsome to boot, this is it. I shot the Model 41 for several weeks and found no faults in it. It functioned perfectly and shot every time I pulled the trigger. If I could find someone who would pay me what my old Citation is worth, I might just keep the Smith & Wesson. It is all the .22 handgun anyone could ever want.

&

G a m e ÂŽ / J U N E

2 0 0 8

•

C37


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:00 PM

Page C38

Tales of Three Trophies S

OMETIMES, IT IS HARD TO PICK WHICH TO publish of the many Trophy Fever submissions we receive from readers. This month, we opted to publish three. —Don Zaidle

Brock’s Two-forOne Bucks BROCK DAVIS SHOT HIS FIRST DEER. The day before that, he shot and missed, and the

C38

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

scope busted his nose in the recoil. Pretty sad, but he did good for a five-year-old. The next day, an eight-point walked out, but Brock never would pull the trigger (I don’t blame him after what happened the day before). The deer stood around for five or six minutes, but Brock was too scared to shoot. After the deer ran off, Brock decided he wanted to shoot. I told him it was too late now and he probably wouldn’t get another chance. One hour later, four bucks walked in

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

to the feeder. This time, he said he wasn’t going to miss his chance. He shot one time at an eight-point. The deer dropped straight to the ground. Brock was giving me high-fives and was on cloud nine. We got out of the stand and walked to the deer. To our amazement, in addition to the eight-point there was a sevenpoint on the ground right beside him! Now Brock was really on cloud nine! We couldn’t believe it. We guessed the bullet must have pene-


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:00 PM

Page C39

Trophy Fever

PHOTOS COURTESY OF KYLE DAVIS

Special Hunting Section

trated both deer, the second one unseen behind the first. Whatever the case, Brock was the happiest five-year-old in the world.

Five-year-old Brock Davis displays the two trophy bucks he shot with one “magic” bullet.

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

F i s h

He still carries the empty cartridge case, calling it his “magic bullet.” —Kyle Davis

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

C39


5/1/08

12:00 PM

Page C40

Special Hunting Section

Trophy Fever

The Double Beam Buck I HAD AN EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME THIS PAST season that I hope you and your readers will enjoy. I was invited by my boss to come down to Webb County and hunt at his ranch lease. We were about 20 miles north of Laredo as the crow flies. This was my first South Texas experience and I was in for a special treat.

coming toward us. When he got in a clear spot about 110 yards from our blind, he turned and looked right in our direction, presenting a clear body shot. I put the crosshairs of my Weaver scope right on his vitals, and with one shot from my old Remington “03-A3” .30-06, he was down. The buck was a non-typical with an unusual “double beam” formation of its left antler. It had a 19.5-inch inside spread, 5inch bases, and scored 144-2/8 at an estimated 5.5-6.5 years old. It was the perfect South Texas experience, and a memory that will stay fresh forever. —William S. McAnelly

PHOTO COURTESY OF WILLIAM S. McANELLY

State Record Black Drum

William McAnelly’s double beam buck. My boss had spotted a buck a few weeks back that he wanted me to shoot from his blind. He had been in his blind early on Friday morning and watched this buck lock horns with a younger 12-pointer and flip the younger buck on its back. In other words, this older buck was the “alpha” of this side of the ranch. Within just a few hours of pulling into the lease and getting in the blind, we spotted this fella. He was the last buck to come out that evening, and he was chasing a doe down a sendero and into a thicket. His presence caught the attention of four other mature bucks feeding at a corn feeder about 100 yards away, and they quickly scrambled. I grew a little anxious, wondering if we would see this buck come back out of the thicket. About two minutes later, he was C40

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

ON NOVEMBER 8, 2 007, MY FATHER-IN-LAW, Scott Elliott, and I went to Matagorda for a fishing weekend. We were to check in that day, and Scott had an eight-hour head start. He began fishing that morning around 6 a.m. He called me up at 10 a.m. and told me he had caught a huge 22-inch flounder. I got out of work at 2 p.m. and headed that way. The next day, we launched the boat around 6 a.m. and began to fish on the Colorado River at the Locks. Scott caught another flounder early and was bragging because I was still scoring a “goose egg.” We had been throwing live mullet and some soft plastics, but the action was slow. We decided to buy some Shrimp for the afternoon. Later in the day, Scott caught another keeper flounder and I was getting very agitated. I had fished for close to a full day with nothing to show. I finally felt a little tug and my line felt heavy. I reeled and reeled until I pulled in a crab. I netted it and cracked it open, thinking a radical change in bait and tactics might improve my luck. I re-baited with crabmeat and tossed it out just over the 30-foot drop, hoping for a trophy redfish. We finally began catching fish—lots of rat reds and a few flounder, trout, and even some black drum. I had finally put one fish in the cooler when Scott pulled in a 36-inch red. I was just happy to catch a keeper. Just the, my other line—the one baited with crab—began to bounce. I jumped up, grabbed it, set the hook, and began to reel. My rod bent over in a U and line was

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

peeling off against the drag. It slowed down and I tried to reel. I would get a foot of line and the fish would peel out 2-3 feet. After 25 minutes of fighting, Scott pulled anchor and we moved to the middle of the river. It was pitch black and we could not see a thing. Scott hooked up the flounder gigging light and we shined it at the front of the boat. I reeled and reeled. We let the large fish drag the boat for a bit, and then I finally caught a glimpse of the fish—a massive black drum. It turned and peeled line. This went on for another 5-10 minutes before we got him to the boat. Scott reached down and miraculously scooped the large beast into the net. The tail of the fish was hanging about 3 feet out of the net. He could not lift it out of the water by himself; I had to help him. The drum was 54 inches and weighed 80-100 pounds. We took some photographs and decided a fish this old and big needed to go back into the water. We shoved it overboard into the water, but it just lay there floating, almost lifeless. I grabbed its massive tail and began to move the fish from side to side and up and down in the water to move water over its gills. Scott backed up the boat

PHOTO COURTESY OF MATT LAMBERT

ALMANAC C.qxd

Matt Lambert and his state record drum. up to get more water moving, and then I could tell the fish would live. We continued to revive the fish for five more minutes, then it began thrashing its tail and I could not hold on anymore. I watched as it swam off in the dark water. I was fishing with a 7-foot Ugly Stick,

Continued on Page C42


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:00 PM

Page C41

Chaparral WMA, Wildlife, Survive Wildfire

A

MASSIVE WILDFIRE THAT TORCHED 95 percent of the 15,200-acre Chaparral Wildlife Management Area spared much of the wildlife on the state’s premier public hunting site, according to initial findings during aerial surveys by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department biologists. Biologists overflew the area aboard TPWD law enforcement helicopters, counting deer and other animals, and will compare those findings with other recent annual aerial survey results, which should provide an estimate of wildlife loss from the fire. “I am amazed how adaptive wildlife can be during a natural disaster; we found very few carcasses and have observed a lot of live animals—horned lizards, whitetail deer, javelina, and quail,” said David Synatzske, Chaparral WMA manager. “We have between 20 and 25 wildlife biologists and technicians on the site assessing damage and fixing fences and they are not finding dead animals. We discovered about 30 dead animals in one location, but have not found concentrations elsewhere. I drove the entire 30-mile perimeter fence line and found only two carcasses. Considering 95 percent of the area burned, that’s incredible.” Synatzske said the fire, which started Friday, March 14, and was extinguished the following Monday, consumed about 50,000 acres in Dimmit and LaSalle counties, including portions of some of the state’s most celebrated trophy whitetail hunting ranches. Yet, the blaze left some pockets untouched throughout the Chaparral WMA and he believes those areas likely provided refuge for wildlife. As far as infrastructure, Synatzske said the research building and some trailers were PHOTO BY CHASE FOUNTAIN © TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT

destroyed, and they will have to replace the gameproof fencing around the perimeter. That’s 30 miles of fence, which he said is going to be the biggest expense. The area also has 23 miles of PVC pipe feeding

tation, we are thankful there were no injuries and that wildlife loss was not as bad as might be expected with a fire of this magnitude,” said Mike Berger, TPWD wildlife director. “Obviously, we are concerned about the short term impacts at the Chap from this wildfire, and we should be,” noted Carter Smith, TPWD executive director. “But, the bigger story, I think, is whether these sorts of intense wildfires will be a growing pattern throughout South Texas.” Smith recalled that fire used to be a major part of the South Texas landscape, when it was more of a savannah like system. Now, because of the longtime build-up of brush and exotic grasses, such as buffel grass and guinea grass, as well as changes in land use practices, he believes there will be a heightened frequency and intensity of wildfires in the future. “The tremendous amount of brush that we see now in South Texas was not historically present there, but has built up over time as a result of overgrazing, changing land use patterns, and suppression of fire,” Smith explained. “The exotic grasses that are now a major part of the understory are very flammable, and candidly, not adversely impacted by fire.” Research into how this ecosystem recovers from a large-scale fire will begin immediately on the Chaparral WMA, according to Synatzske, who noted the area has now become a 15,000-acre research laboratory. “Our folks are identifying research sites and projects,” he said. We’re already seeing signs of green-up, so the process has begun.” “It should be interesting to see how the Chap responds, as well as what happens in the future on the wildfire front,” Smith summed up. “That is going to impact the ecology and landscape of South Texas.”

watering stations and irrigating pastures. Work has begun work repairing those water supply lines. “While we hate seeing this type of devasA L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

C41


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:00 PM

Page C42

Exploding Bows

I

T WAS A BEAUTIFUL AFTERNOON IN JUNE LAST year when it happened. It came without warning and with a fury so powerful that it will live in our memories for a very long time. I was spending the afternoon shooting my bow and getting in a little extra practice. My friend, Tom Ryan, who often shoots with me (and admittedly is a better shot), was complaining that his bow was shooting very erratically. Sometimes he would be high, then low, then left, then right. Suddenly, this sharpshooter was missing his mark and I, for one, was not going to let him forget whose arrow was in the bull’s-eye. Upon inspecting his bow, nothing looked out of place. The nocking point seemed all right. The arrows had no clearance problems. His release was smooth and free of the dreaded “target panic” that so many of us bowhunters get at one time or another. We looked at each other and shrugged our shoulders as Tom readied for another shot. He slowly came to full draw, and everything went haywire. It was the loudest bang that I ever heard. Not until later did we discover that the string had stretched and slipped off the wheel. Tom stood there with nothing but a riser in his hand and blood on his cheek. The string came back

and hit him in the jaw. He actually thought I punched him! The rest of his bow was scattered all over the yard. I can still see the look on his face. It was certainly a Kodak moment. Having a bow explode in your hands is not as uncommon as one might think. It has never happened to me, but it has happened to many archers. Back in February, I wrote about maintaining your equipment. After reading this month’s column, I would think that hunters would take the care of their equipment a little more seriously. It is important that I re-cap some information from that earlier column. When you are shooting to the best of your ability and happy with the results, take the time to make a few measurements. Measure the distance between axels. Measure your brace height. It is a good idea to mark your cams at their optimum positions. Later, if there is a problem grouping your arrows, this would be a good place to check to see if anything has changed. Write these measurements in a notebook and keep it in a safe place. If you consider yourself a decent shot, take note when you can no longer group your arrows. If a string or cable stretches, it is a slow process and, over time, can be very dangerous. Get to know everything you can about your equipment. Bob Deston of BCY (860-632-7115), the company that invented the Fast Flight string, explained to me that the number of bows “exploding” has dropped dramatically since the mid-1980s. Bow manufacturers made risers from magnesium in the early years. When a hunter had a dry fire, the magnesium riser could not handle the forces and

TROPHY FEVER: TALES OF THREE TROPHIES Continued from Page C40 Penn spinning reel, 14-pound-test Cajun Red line, and a small Kahle hook; we could not believe that it held up. With the photos and measurements, the fish qualified as a new Catch and C42

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

Release State record. My father-in-law now calls me “the One-Upper” because he always seems to catch more fish, but I always one-up him with the biggest. —Matt Lambert

would fracture, causing risk of serious injury. The bows of today have risers made from machined aluminum that has proven much stronger and safer. Older bows had a metal teardrop attachment on the cable ends for string attachment. If a dry fire occurred, it was possible—and highly probable—that the metal piece would fly off and potentially cause injury. Now the string goes around the wheels and cams. As long as you do not have a burr on the wheel and keep your string free away from sharp objects (such as broadheads), there should not be a problem. “Strings can handle anywhere from 1200 to 1300 pounds—much more than any bow would ever use,” Deston said. Back in 1985, strings were made of Dacron, a very strong substance. Kevlar was used on Olympic style recurve bows, but the strings were prone to fail without warning after 1000 or so shots due to stress at the knocking point. Fast Flight strings quickly took over the industry because of their durability and increased arrow speed. Today, there are many different types of strings available; Dacron, 450 2x, and Zebra to name a few. The bow you shoot determines which string you use, according to the specs of the bow manufacturer and personal preference. If a string does break due to dry fire or cutting it with a broadhead, will that affect the integrity of the limbs? The answer is yes. It could very well cause a fracture, which in turn would cause the bow to explode at full draw. I cannot stress how important it is to check your equipment and recheck it before you pull the bow to full draw. If you are diligent at making sure your equipment is in top-notch shape, then you should not have any problems. If you neglect waxing your string often and pay little or no attention to the care of your bow, then someday you might very well find yourself in a world of hurt. E-mail Lou Marullo at lmarullo@fishgame.com.

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:00 PM

Page C43

DOVE—HONDO, TEXAS

BUCK—WILLIAMSON COUNTY, TEXAS

Lance (14) and Zach (12) Schiegg of Cypress, Texas, both shot their limits while dove hunting during the special whitewing south zone hunt over a maize field at the Hondo city limits. According to the brothers, “millions of doves” were 20 feet over their heads.

Steve Farr of Houston, Texas, took this 10-point buck with a Browning .280caliber at 130 yards from a low-fenced free-range property in Williamson County. His Boone and Crockett score was 148. Per local hunters, it was one of the biggest deer in the area.

DEER—MENARD COUNTY, TEXAS

TURKEY—SAN SABA COUNTY, TEXAS

BUCK—KIMBLE COUNTY, TEXAS

Justin Anthony, age 8, killed his first deer, an 8- Tanner Kassaw took his first turkey in San Saba Lincoln Dunham, age 8, from Lumberton, Texas, point whitetail, with a .2 2 3 carbine in Menard County, while he and his father were hunting as was hunting in Kimble County near Junction, County, Texas. guests of Tanner’s best friend, Matt Smithhart. The Texas, when he killed this 7-point buck. spurs measured over 1.12 5 inches and the beard was over 9 inches.

GOT BUCKS? GOT HOGS? GOT TURKEYS? GOT BANDED DUCKS?

If so, we need photos and hunting stories for our new TROPHY FEVER SPECIAL SECTION. Send pics and hunting tales to : TROPHY FEVER SPECIAL SECTION 1745 Greens Road, Houston, TX 77032 or by email: photos@fishgame.com.

PLEASE INCLUDE PHOTO CAPTION: NAME HOMETOWN WHEN & WHERE TAKEN SIZE AND WEIGHT

(Please include “Trophy Fever” in the subject.) A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

C43


5/1/08

12:00 PM

Page C44

Loading & Docking 101

I

F YOU BOUNCE OFF TRAILER GUIDES AND THINK pilings should really be called bumpers, then you might be among the docking challenged. But don’t worry, this is not a permanent condition. In fact, with the right treatment you’ll be swinging into the slip and sliding onto the trailer without putting a single blemish on that beautiful gel coat. Ready to become a docking doctor? Then use these tricks, tips, and tactics when putting Mom’s Mink away.

be front and center in your mind, and your planning for the approach. Scary but true: With outboards, it’s hard to approach your target at very slow speed, again because the effect of the wind is so dramatic. Try to make it happen in slow motion, and there’s a longer window of opportunity for gusts to knock you off track. So while slow is good, there will be times that experienced dockers will feel the need to nail the throttle, even though it seems risky. You might have to go with your gut, to be successful. In some cases, a strong wind or current will prevent you getting off of a dock and into your slip or ramp. In this situation, you can use your lines and cleats, to spring off under power. Let’s say you’re laid up against the fuel dock, and the wind is so darn strong you can’t get the bow to come around away from

Get Out!

Outboards and stern drives can be operated more or less like an automobile. Since you can direct the thrust of the power plants, you can essentially parallel park them. What about opposing motors, with twin-engine outboard rigs? We’ll look at twins separately later, but remember that with outboards, the effectiveness of this tactic varies wildly from boat to boat depending on the distance between the power plants. If they’re spread far apart on the transom, it might work well. But if the cowls of your outboards are a foot apart, opposing the motors will probably have little effect. You’ll have to use experience and judgment to determine which way is more effective, for your own rig. Outboard operators should remember that they’re usually swinging relatively small diameter props. As a result, there’s less torque involved at low rpm and it’s easy to get blown out of kilter in strong breezes. Plus, with little running gear below the surface, many small outboard boats essentially skim along with little to no drag. You’ve also got to remember that wind will push the bow well before the stern is affected. Before approaching a dock or a trailer, all of these factors must C44

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

While slow is good, there will be times to nail the throttle.

ALMANAC C.qxd

it. Grab a line from one of the pilings and secure it to an aft cleat on your boat. Then turn the wheel away from the pier, and apply minimal power until the line comes tight. If you have a fender (use a life jacket in a pinch) hang it from a rail or from the dock, to protect the stern of the boat as it pushes up against the pilings. Then gently apply power so the bow swings around. When it’s at a 45degree angle, the stern will come off the pier and you can remove the fender. Then quickly shift to neutral, ditch the line, and quickly re-apply power to continue your turn. With this jump-start, you should be able to swing the bow all the way around and motor up to the ramp. Warning: this is no time to be meek! Once you’re clear of the pier and you go into forward, give it a healthy shot of juice

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

and take full advantage of the partial turn you already created, by springing.

Twin Engines

Twins offer the best dockside maneuverability. Simply drive the boat forward until it’s perpendicular to the slip or ramp, shift one engine into reverse, and the other into forward. The opposing props will spin the boat. When you’re in line with the target, stop the spin by changing the directions of both motors at the same time. Then go to neutral, reassess your position to make sure you won’t drift out of alignment, and reverse into the slip. The most common problem folks encounter when operating twin screws is they get overtaken by wind or current, and even though they’re aligned properly with the slip they’re pushed to one side of it or the other. In this situation, the only thing to do is pull out and try again; attempting to “crab” the boat sideways into the wind or current almost always takes you out of whack, half in and half out of the slip. When you come around for your second shot, bear in mind that you’ll have to make your maneuvers more quickly, so you get into the slip before getting shoved sideways again. Give the throttles some juice when opposing the motors, and don’t hesitate to get the boat moving in reverse once you’re lined up. If you get jostled out of position as you move backwards use single shots of forward from one side or the other (depending on which way you need to adjust the boat) to get it going straight again. Also, remember that it’s less effective to oppose outboards than inboards. While an inboard can get away with turning 1000 rpm and spin the boat like a dream, the outboard guy should plan on revving up to 2000 or 2500 rpm to get the boat spinning. And stern drive owners should consider getting a dual-prop rig, if they don’t already have one. The propellers on these rigs counter-rotate on the same shaft, so there’s no undesired swing in either direction, and they grip onto the water as if it was pavement. Bonus: the twin prop outdrives have gobs of blade area and


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:00 PM

Page C45

will usually put a boat on plane at lower speeds than single prop outdrives, maintaining a better running attitude while posting better fuel efficiency numbers. The biggest danger of operating twin outboards comes when you try to use both single and twin-engine tactics at the same time. This is the kiss of death at the dock; turn the wheel to control your thrust, then oppose the motors without centering them first, and opposing them will not have the desired effect. So you’ll give it a shot of forward, from one motor only, to straighten up. Except that the motor’s turned in the opposite direction, so it has the opposite effect of what you were looking for. Bottom line: either leave the wheel centered and do all the work by opposing the motors, or use the wheel and the two power plants in tandem and don’t oppose them.

Road Ready

In most cases putting a boat on a trailer is a lot easier than pulling it into a slip, because most of the maneuvering takes place in forward. There is, however, one new and significant variable: the position of the trailer itself.

A trailer set too shallow in the water might make it easier to hit metal parts that should have been submerged below hull level, and will require lots of power to load the boat. But one that’s submerged too deeply can be just as problematic. If the bunks are under water, the boat might simply float over them and never center itself. And if you get the bow up to the stop and winch it up tight, but the trailer’s so deep the stern is still afloat, when you pull up the ramp and the stern settles down you’ll put incredible pressure on the bow eye and winch strap, and one or the other could break. Unfortunately, since different boat ramps have different grades and tidal influences, it’s nearly impossible for the traveling boater to pick a specific distance you’ll always back the trailer down to. Instead, look at specific parts of your trailer to guide you. Generally speaking, the front third of the bunks or rollers that the hull rests on should be out of the water when you load up. But remember: this can vary from rig to rig. You’ll have to establish the best submersion depth for yours, and stick to it. When it’s time to put the boat onto the

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

F i s h

bunks, there are a few tricks savvy trailer boaters can use to make the process easier. For starters, if there’s a stiff breeze or current make sure you place the trailer on the downwind side of the ramp. This will give you room to start the loading process on the upwind side, so you’re centered properly by the time the bow reaches the stop. Before powering up onto a trailer, put your outdrive at neutral trim. Trim it up as many folks do, and you’re forcing the stern down as you apply power. That’ll make it harder for the boat to move up onto the trailer. Worried the prop will hit concrete? If that’s a real danger then your trailer probably isn’t submerged far enough. And finally, if you don’t have the taillights elevated on side bunk poles, add them. Not only will your lights last longer, the poles will make centering the boat much, much easier. Finally, remember: bumpers are for cars and trucks, and crunching and munching is something you do with your teeth, not with your boat. Your gel coat will thank you for it. E-mail Lenny Rudow at boating@fishgame.com

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

C45


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:00 PM

Page C46

Mangrove Two-Step

T

C46

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

fished, activate the tentacles along with the baitfish itself with stops, twitches, sinks, and short retrieves. Mangroves are wary, and many times a 40-pound-test wire leader is stealthier than a 40pound mono leader. At the tightening of the line, the wire slides through the tight jaws easier than mono, increasing the likelihood of a hookup. Non-stainless steel circle hooks are now mandated in Federal waters when using natural baits while fishing for “reef fish,” and in Texas waters for red snapper. Your circle hook should be sized to the bait, meaning the hook-point to shank area will not be obstructed by the bait. Light wire hooks, such as the Daiichi D84Z in the illustration, let your bait presentation sink and flutter more naturally than a heavy wire hook. Using non-offset circle hooks give the greatest chance of a lip or jaw hookup. This is not only a lot better on the fish if it is to be released, but also facilitates easier hook

F i s h

removal. Also keep in mind that a 5- 6-inch baitfish is more easily swallowed whole. The Texas Saltwater Record for mangroves at this writing is 18.67 pounds, and the IGFA All Tackle World Record is 17 pounds. This hooking of a baitfish through the head sideways for that disoriented, injured look isn’t magic, but it seems so at times. Part of the look this bait combination has, especially when using a squid head and tentacles, is the impression that the baitfish is attacking the squid, or vice-versa. Strong-fighting and great-eating mangrove snapper are out there, just waiting to take a Mangrove Two-Step.

Varying the weight when Carolina rigged will let you fish this rig from the near surface area to the bottom.

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

HE MANGROVE TWO-STEP IS NOT A DANCE— at least, not technically. First, the mangrove snapper has the reputation of being the wariest of the snappers in Texas waters. Second, this two-step bait presentation can bring out its natural weakness—dropping its guard during the competition of feeding. I first started using this sort of bait presentation about eight years ago. This recent variation, with the sardine hooked through the head, side to side, gives a more distressed or injured look. The squid head, cut in half through the eyes, is another change. Last summer, a long-time fishing friend, Jim Marigliano, came up with the theory that his 1x3-inch squid strip, added below the head of a sardine, was triggering mangrove snapper strikes. Jim’s thinking was that the Atlantic spadefish were biting at the squid strip and ignoring the sardine. The mangroves, not wanting to miss out on the offering, inhaled the sardines with regularity. Over the summer, Jim had several multiple mangrove snapper catches in the 8- to 12-pound range with this rig. My sardine/squid head combination also works well when Atlantic spadefish “bite starters” are not present. Free-lined or Carolina rigged, I have taken various snappers, ling, dolphin, kingfish, amberjack, and grouper with the Mangrove Two-Step presentation. Varying the weight when Carolina rigged, as shown in the illustration, will let you fish this rig from the near surface area to the bottom. The Quick-Change Slip Lead (www.Americanbandit.com) example shown is an innovative way of adding weight without cutting the line. At whatever depth

E-mail Patrick Lemire at saltrigs@fishgame.com

ILLUSTRATION BY PATRICK LEMIRE


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:00 PM

Page C47

Floating a Wacky Worm

I

ADMIT THAT I’M NOT ALWAYS, LET’S SAY “normal,” when it comes to fishing techniques. I’ll try odd stuff that I’ve heard about or play around with rigging styles just to see if it will work better than what everyone else is throwing. There was a time when every soft plastic rig I tied on had a small red glass bead on it somewhere. I’m talking about every soft plastic. Not really conventional, but effective. However, I’ve got to be honest; I never would have tried this rigging if someone hadn’t showed me its effectiveness first. If you’ve read my blog at fishgame.com, you’ll realize that I like to fish a wacky worm. I’ll have one tied on at least six months out of the year and make the fish prove they don’t want to hit it before I put it down. Sometimes that’s a detriment, but most times, it is not. My wacky rigs are very basic. A wide gap 3/0 hook is impaled in the middle of a trick worm (Watermelon color) and that’s it. No split-shot on the line, no nail in the tail of the worm, just a hook and a worm. The downsides to this rig is that it is light and hard to cast, plus the open hook is somewhat snag prone in water with a lot of hydrilla growing in it. Once the point of the hook touches the hydrilla, it’s hung. A local angler showed me a way to ILLUSTRATION BY PAUL BRADSHAW

get around this using a few items I already have in my tackle bag, but never really thought of using with a plastic worm. For this one we’re going to steal a page from the saltwater angler’s handbook. Popping corks are commonplace along the Texas coast. They are used to fish everything from live shrimp and bait fish, to jig-heads tipped with soft plastics, and are a great way to get young anglers into a few fish. However, bass anglers rarely use any type of float unless they are using live bait, until now. The other day, I saw bass being caught by a fisherman using a slip cork with a wacky worm suspended beneath it. Although it looked odd and was far from conventional, it worked. The main part of the rig was the standard Styrofoam slip cork. You probably have a few sitting in the bottom of your boat from the last time you took your kids bream fishing. Find one that hasn’t been crushed and has all its parts or at least most of them. If you can’t find the bobber stop that goes on the line to stop the cork from sliding, don’t worry; I’ve got a fix for that. If you do have it then go ahead and put it on your main line first. If you cannot find it, which I never can, take a short length of string and tie a doubleoverhand knot with it around the main line around four feet from the end. This is your new bobber stopper that you can slide up and down the line. Make sure this knot is loose enough to slide up and down the line by hand, but not so loose that it will fall freely. Next, put the little stopper bead that came with the cork on the line. Again, if you don’t have this piece that’s fine, since the rig will work without it. Then run the line through the hollow body of the bobber before tying on a wide gap 3/0 hook onto the end of the line. Between the A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

hook and the bobber, crimp on a small split shot. The rig should now be in this order: knot, bobber, split shot, hook. On the hook, rig a worm wacky style (with the hook through the middle). Fishing this rig is simple, slide the knot to the depth you want the worm to suspend at, and then cast it out. If there is grass two feet under the surface with fish suspending on top then slide the knot 18 inches up the line from the hook. The wacky-worm will ride along the top of the grass, staying in the strike zone without getting hooked and any wave action will make the worm dance that much more. E-mail Paul Bradshaw at freshrigs@fishgame.com

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

C47


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:00 PM

Page C48

Glassing for Bass

I

HAVE YET TO MEET A KAYAKER THAT USED THE term “hole shot” when describing their boat’s performance. Efficient hulls boast modest cruising speeds of 2-3 miles per hour, making a relocation of any magnitude an investment, both physical and mental. Truth be told, there is a genuine effort behind any good stringer of fish; rarely are they found 100 yards from the launch site. As such, serious anglers look for clever ways to reduce the

C48

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

amount of effort in every outing. One overlooked way to reduce exertion is to leverage your eyesight with a good pair of binoculars. Summer bass, both largemouth and whites, will chase schools of shad, pinning them against the surface. Once the bait is balled up, bass tear into them with reckless abandon, pock marking the surface with boils of activity. Several thousand bass feeding on the film is an impressive sight, one that is easy to spot from a distance. Bass are not the only predators feeding on the hapless shad; avian predators will quickly join in. Wheeling and crashing gulls and terns will pick off cripples from above, a large flock of diving birds is like a giant feathered arrow pointing downward, emblazoned with the words, “Fish here.”

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

In a perfect world, a kayak fisherman could leisurely paddle up to the feeding fish and snipe at the edges of the school. In reality, every boat within miles can see the frothing surface and will hightail it towards the activity it in hopes of hooking a few fish before they spook and head for the depths. The paddling angler is foolish to think they can beat a metal-flaked hull to the action and therefore must take a different approach—at least on weekends, when boat traffic is heavy. A better strategy is to look for smaller, less obvious schools. Glassing for bass will help you see small pockets of feeding activity; ones that are too small to see from a distance with the naked eye. A small patch of swirls is less likely to attract a crowd of boats and provides the kayaker better odds that the


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:00 PM

Page C49

fish will still be feeding by the time they arrive. Binoculars are designated by a two numerals, such as 7X40, 8X45, or 10X50. The first numeral deals with the magnification. For instance, a 7 designates that the binoculars make the subject in the eyepiece appear seven times closer. The higher the magnification, the smaller your field of view. The second number specifies the diameter in millimeters of the big lenses up front; the technical term for these are “objective lenses.” The larger the diameter of the objective lenses, the greater the amount of light they can gather. Which type of binocular is best for you? That varies from angler to angler. Higher

surface. Having two rods rigged, one with a topwater, and the other with a diving lure, will allow you to present the best bait when you arrive. Binoculars are a great aid to saltwater anglers as well. Imagine seeing tiny tails in the distance piercing the surface of a quiet flat and trying to determine if they are redfish or mullet tails. Rather than paddling several hundred yards to find out, you can reach out and eyeball them with a good pair of optics. Likewise, river rats can check out bends

and rapids downstream well before you reach a questionable section of river. Knowing what lies ahead will help you make better decisions. Leveraging your eyesight with a good pair of binoculars will save you a lot of effort when you are on the water. A stroke saved is worth every penny. Email Greg Berlocher at kayak@fishgame.com

Glassing for bass will help you see small pockets of activity.

magnification binoculars are much more challenging to keep locked on a specific area in a rocking kayak than lower power optics. Kayakers who spend most of their time in placid water may prefer higher magnification. If you are a member of the dawn patrol, the light gathering capabilities of your optics is more important than magnification. If forced to choose a general all-around set of binoculars, it would be a set of 8X45s. You get good light gathering with decent magnification. Weight is always a concern and I would recommend something lighter if I had to hang the binoculars from my neck the whole day; but I don’t. I stash them in my milk crate until needed. Above all else, don’t waste your money on water resistant binoculars. You need to buy a pair that is waterproof. If you are unsure, ask. Make sure that your new optics can be fully submerged without any harm. It is only a matter of time until they get dunked. Remember to keep a leash on them when they are not being used. Schooling bass tend to stay up longer during the week compared to weekends. Boat traffic has a tremendous impact on schooling behavior and surface activity, however brief, will reveal the school’s location. Mark the location mentally and immediately paddle to it. A depth finder will verify activity below the A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

C49


5/1/08

12:01 PM

Page C50

Stay “In the Zone”

S

AVVY CRAPPIE ANGLERS KNOW THAT ONE OF the key components to a successful fishing trip is getting your bait “in the zone.” Crappie are famous for biting at a specific depth when they get choosy— say, 14 feet—and ignoring anything they have to move very far to ingest. That is why boat positioning is such an important part of brush pile crappie fishing. If you get right over crappie-filled structured and vertically drop a live shiner or small jig down over it, your chances of catching a mess of slabs is high. Shiners are the most popular choice, but 1/32- and 1/16-ounce tube jigs fished right “in the zone” can yield big results on big-water brush piles as well. The same is true of fish that suspend

around drop-offs in rivers. A good way to fish these spots is to use a depthfinder to locate those that have big schools of shad around them. Crappie do not hang around spots that are devoid of baitfish very long, and generally speaking, the bigger the bunch of bait, the more crappie will be around. A drop-off in a river might not be very deep, so don’t go looking for a crater. A difference of 2-3 feet in depth is major when putting things in perspective. Tiny crankbaits like a 1/8-ounce Wally Marshall Crappie Crank is great for fishing along main river channels to locate fish suspend over deep water. One of the reasons some anglers have such a hard time locating crappie on big rivers is that many of these fish will suspend at, say, 8 feet in 12 feet of water, just over a subtle drop-off. When fishing jigs or shiners rigged on weights, many anglers shoot right past these fish, whereas a tiny, diving crankbait will go right to them. If you are fishing natural brush piles or

logjams in a river, the most common and productive bait is a live shiner fished on a free-line. Well, it is almost a free-line rig; instead of a simple hook and shiner, the preferred rig is a hook and shiner finished off with a 1/32-ounce weight, which will allow the bait to get down a little quicker and into the lair of some of the bigger fish, which typically hold tight to the structure.

A drop-off in a river might not be very deep, so don’t go looking for a crater.

ALMANAC C.qxd

The big crappie did not get that way by being easy pickings, so you will want to focus your efforts in a very determined fashion to get the big slabs. If you catch a couple of big slabs on shiners but are being hammered by smaller fish, consider switching over to little tube jigs. Tube jigs are highly popular in a couple of areas of Texas and in other states, but are just now catching on statewide. The small 2inch tube jigs lowered down over brush in the river is a great way to entice the big crappie to bite. Crappie are just like any other fish in that bigger bait can sometimes equal bigger fish. Don’t be shy about reserving some extra large shiners for the big ones, or upgrading to a 3-inch jig to get the big ones out of their lairs. Just remember to stay “in the zone” no matter where you are seeking crappie, and your chances of success will skyrocket. E-mail Wally Marshall at mrcrappie@fishgame.com. Visit his website at www.mrcrappie.com

C50

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:01 PM

Page C51

It Starts at the Prop

T

HIS SEASON ON THE REDFISH CUP TOUR, Captain West and I will be running a 24-foot Blue Wave Pure Bay with a 250-horsepower Yamaha four-stroke. This is a new model for Blue Wave, and a very comfortable ride (and we have been known to make some pretty long rides). In previous years, we always ran a 22-foot model, but with the extra 2 feet of boat this year, we will be able to step over the chop a little better, make better time getting to our fish, and, hopefully, increase our overall fishing time. The redfishing tactics of Jim and me are a little different from some of the other Redfish Cup anglers. We generally do not pole around flats looking for redfish. Our approach requires our 36-volt trolling motor and working down shorelines or around big schools out in the middle of the bay. This boat will work perfect for that. Now, let us discuss the part that has to work perfectly for the boat to perform to its potential. The question that we need to focus on, that often times goes overlooked is: What is the best prop for your boat? For us, we turned to the Baumann family at Baumann Propellers, in Houston since 1958, and we are glad to have them as one of our sponsors. So, each year after I pick up the new boat and break in the motor, I ask Louie Baumann to come down and go for a test run to tweak our ride. We go out and run the boat at different jack plate and trim settings. We do this to test hole shot and maximum cruising efficiency. We have to test the limits on both ends (hole shot and speed) to get the maximum performance out of our rig. Our particular situation is that we need to jump the boat up in shallow water and be able PHOTO BY DR. TOMMY LOMONTE

Dr. Redfish prescribes a pre-season tune up by a prop pro. to cruise as fast as possible to get to the next fishing spot or to the weigh-in on time. The best the way I can describe the proper match between prop and boat is if you were to go mudding in your Mercedes, you would not want street tires on it. Likewise, if you were racing the Grand Prix, you probably would not want Super Swampers on it, either. Finding the right combination of cup, rake, pitch, and diameter of your prop is where it all starts. And with the price of gasoline today, it is

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

F i s h

important to have the best prop on your boat, whether it is 16 or 60 feet long. The Baumanns do more than props, and that brings me to another topic: Not only do you need the right prop, you also need a spare. Even when fishing in familiar waters, there is no telling what will float down the river or bay, and taking off without a spare prop is like driving your car without a spare tire. During the Kemah tournament, Jim and I were heading back to the weigh-in, crossing Trinity bay (which is a familiar spot for us), and bam! We hit something and it beat up our prop and knocked off about 5 inches off the skeg. Baumann family to the rescue! We put on our spare prop and brought the boat in for skeg repair. They cut off the broken skeg and welded on a new skeg while I watched. Amazing! So, if you have things that go bump in the water or your boat is not performing as it should, call a propeller specialist. E-mail Tommy Lomonte at tlomonte@fishgame.com. Visit his website, www.DrRedfish.com.

&

G a m e ÂŽ / J U N E

2 0 0 8

•

C51


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:01 PM

Page C52

Equipment Key to Jones’ Classic Win

T

HIS YEAR’S BASSMASTER CLASSIC WINNER Alton Jones of Waco said several factors were key in helping him nail down the most valuable win of his 17year career as a professional angler. Making pinpoint presentations and slow, methodical

by Matt Williams

C52

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

retrieves through Lake Hartwell’s stump-studded depths with a pair of prototype jigs from Booyah were certainly essential. Equally important was the gear he used to do it. Jones fished the 1/2-ounce jigs in combination with a 7-foot medi-

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

um-heavy Kistler Magnesium TS rod, which provided optimum sensitivity for detecting subtle strikes and plenty of backbone for working quality fish out of the scattered timber he targeted in 28-40 feet of water. His line of choice

PHOTO COURTESY OF ESPN


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/8/08

1:30 PM

Page C53

was 14-pound Silver Thread, a small diameter copolymer that provides superior abrasion resistance, knot strength, and excellent castability. Jones said other key tools in his arsenal were his Ardent XS1000 baitcaster, which allowed him to make the super long casts necessary to get the bait down into the strike zone, and his Hummingbird Side Imaging Sonar that helped him know where to place those casts in standing timber. “The Ardent XS1000 is the smoothest, farthest-casting bait-caster I have ever thrown,” Jones said. “It and the Sidefinder were critical parts of my game plan at the Classic.” While Jones rose to the top at the final weigh-in, several other Texans turned in respectable performances over the course of the 38th Classic. Gary Klein, a 26-time Classic qualifier from Weatherford, finished in 24th place; Todd Faircloth, Jasper, 25th place; Takahiro Omori, Mineola 36th; Kelly Jordon, 43rd.

than enough to overtake Cecil, who wound up with 72-05. Newberry’s win earned him a cash/Ranger boat package valued at $65,000, while Cecil took home nearly $28,000. Stephen Johnston of Hemphill finished third, followed by James Stricklin, Jr., of Jasper and Toby Hartsell of Livingston. Rich Dalbey, Greenville, won the coangler division title, and earned $35,000 in cash and prizes. Nick Diberardino of Huff-

man was second, followed by Steve Evans of Lufkin, Dan West of Ada, Oklahoma, and Jonathan Simon of Orange.

Texas Pros Advance in Recent Qualifiers Lake Amistad near Del Rio reaffirmed its stature as one of the country’s top muscle

Continued on Page C54

Newberry Strays from ‘Trap Bite, Nets $65,000

Dicky Newberry relied heavily on a RatL-Trap to fish his way into the Top 10 finals of the FLW Outdoors Stren Series Texas Division event held February 20-23 on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Sitting in fifth place less than 2 pounds behind tournament leader Russell Cecil of Willis with one round to go, the salty pro from Houston felt he needed to change up his game in order to have a shot at winning. “What I’m doing isn’t going to cut it,” Newberry said shortly after the day three weigh-in. “I’m going to change some things up tomorrow and try to win this deal.” Newberry’s plan worked out nicely. He vacated his ‘Trap spots in Buck Bay and Veach Basin and ran north to the mouth of Harvey Creek, where he went to work with a 3/4-ounce black/blue Talon jig. He caught a 9-pounder on his first cast to a drop-off in 10-20 feet of water and followed up later in the day with a 7-pounder on a Zoom Fluke. Three more solid keepers built Newberry’s final round bag to 23 pounds, 15 ounces, giving him in 74-1 overall and more A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

C53


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:01 PM

Page C54

TPWD Nixes River Access Plan

T

HE TEXAS PARKS & WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT rejected the Zavala County Local River Access Plan that would have opened up a 13-mile stretch of the Nueces River to motor vehicles. In 2003, the Texas Legislature passed SB 155. The law expresses the legislature’s position that the “beds, bottoms, and banks of navigable rivers...are precious and irreplaceable state resources that deserve protection” and “the protection of public access should not come at the cost of uncontrolled damage to the [rivers]...or at the cost of infringing on private property rights.” The law did not completely deny public access. Local governments can develop and adopt river access plans to provide limited vehicular access to riverbeds. The plans must: protect fish, wildlife, water quality and

other natural resources; provide for adequate enforcement; coordinate with adjacent and overlapping jurisdictions; and protect private property rights. Once the plans are adopted at the local level, they must be approved by TPWD. According to TPWD, the Zavala County Plan was not acceptable because: - it would have created a motor vehicle trail instead of providing limited vehicular access - numerous public access points eliminated the justification/need for driving in the riverbed - the location of the gradient boundary would have forced vehicles to drive either on private land or in the riverbed - the location of property boundaries were not clearly marked, nor was there

money available for professionally surveying the necessary boundaries - no provisions were made for funding public services - no cap was placed on the number of vehicles allowed to access the river - no public comment opportunities were provided. The Texas Wildlife Association applauded the TPWD rejection of the access plan. “We are pleased that the experts at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department concurred that the Zavala County Local River Access Plan was deeply flawed and rejected it,” TWA Executive Vice President Kirby Brown said. “As it was written, the plan did not meet the tests set forth in law. With this decision, TPWD upheld the law and protected one of the state’s most fragile natural resources. “From TWA’s standpoint, this controversy was not about denying reasonable public access; it was about protecting natural resources from irrevocable, preventable damage.”

TOURNAMENT INSIDER Continued from Page C53 lakes as it cranked out big numbers of quality bass during the 2008 Wal-Mart FLW East-West Fish-off held there February 7-9. The tournament field was comprised of the top 30 pros and co-anglers from the circuit’s East and West divisions. Pros competed in a one-on-one bracket format, East against West. The winners in each bracket earned berths to the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup in August. Las Vegas, Nevada, pro Clayton Meyer took home $25,000 after reeling in 76 pounds, 11 ounces over three days. He used a 3/4-ounce brown football jig tipped C54

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

with a grub trailer. Clark Wendlandt of Leander, Texas, and Jim Tutt of Longview were the only Texans in the field. Wendlandt advanced to the Cup after defeating Tim Klinger of Boulder City, Nevada, 50-1 to 20-3. Tutt was defeated by Michael Bennett of Roseville, California, 55-14 to 48-13. Jason Reyes of Humble, Texas, won the two-day Professional Angler’s Association qualifying event held February 8-9 with 10 bass weighing 48 pounds, 3 ounces. Reyes won a Toyota Tundra SR5, $6000 cash, and one of the 25 qualifying spots to the Toyota Texas Bass Classic held in April on Lake Fork. Other Texas pros that qualified for the &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

TTBC via Choke Canyon were Trent Huckaby, Lance Vick, Johnny Grice, Byron Velvick, Dave Parsons, Ray Hanselman, Jerry Green, Yusuke Miyazaki, Brian Penso, and Trevor Knight. Knight’s TTBC qualification is especially noteworthy. He was one of five anglers from the Intercollegiate Bass Fishing League who was invited to compete in the pro-level tournament. A fisheries management graduate currently working on his master’s degree at Texas A&M University, Knight finished 16th overall with 40 pounds, 7 ounces.


5/1/08

12:01 PM

Page C55

The .280 Remington

R

EMINGTON INTRODUCED THE .2 80 IN 1957. Unfortunately for Remington, they missed the target right off the bat. They introduced the cartridge— which is a great long-range plains and mountain cartridge—in the Model 740 semi-auto rifle, not in their bolt-action 721. Why this decision was made I do not know, but it was not the brightest thing Remington has ever done. It ranks right up there with introducing the 6.5 and .350 Magnums in the Model 600 carbine. Then to make matters even worse, they had to keep the pressure down in the ammunition so that it would work properly in the autoloader, thereby reducing the velocity. This made a cartridge with great potential into one that was about equivalent to the smaller 7mm Mauser and a long way from being competition for the .270 Winchester, as Remington had envisioned. Because of this series of questionable decisions by the Remington brass, the .280 languished for many years in obscurity. In 1979 Remington tried to kick-start the .280, by then chambered in the Model 700, by changing the name to 7mm Express Remington and upping the velocity a bit, though still not to its true potential. This just confused the public, who had trouble figuring’ out the difference between the 7mm Remington Magnum and the 7mm Remington Express. Thankfully, Remington soon dropped the Express moniker and went back to .280. Just in the last 10 or 15 years has the .280 begun to gain some popularity. It has always been a great cartridge, with the ability take on almost any game animal in North America. Its biggest problems were that its ballistics looked pretty pale next to the flam-

ing hot .270 Winchester, and as a 7mm it was in direct competition with the mighty 7mm Remington Magnum. Those who wanted a non-belted high-velocity cartridge stayed with the .270. Those who wanted a high-velocity 7mm bought 7mm Magnums. The .280 sat on the sidelines like the wallflower at the high school prom. That seems to be changing. Many hunters and shooters are finally coming to the understanding that a cartridge doesn’t have to wear a belt and burn a pound of powder to be a good cartridge. The .280 will shove a 140-grain bullet at over 3000 feet per second, 150- at over 2900, and a 175at 2700.

Just in the last 10 or 15 years has the .280 begun to gain some popularity.

ALMANAC C.qxd

The .284/7mm caliber is a great one for hunting medium to big game. The bullets are long and stable, having high sectional density and great ballistic coefficient. This means they hold their velocity well and that translates into good long-range performance. The slower a bullet loses its velocity the flatter it shoots, the less wind deflection it has, and the more energy it delivers to the target downrange. The .280 Remington is one of the best of the deer cartridges. It does not have the velocity of the .270 Winchester—though it doesn’t miss it far—but it will handle heavier bullets. With bullets ranging in weight from 139- to 150-grains it shoots plenty flat for about any deer/sheep/antelope-hunting scenario. My preference for deer runs to the A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

139-grain Hornady and 145-grain Speer bullets, but there are bunches of good deer loads available. With heavier bullets, from 150-grains to 175-grains, the .280 is fully elk capable. If I were to use the .280 on elk, I would opt for a good 160-grain bullet like a Nosler Partition, Trophy Bonded Bear Claw, or Hornady InterBond. Also a good choice would be the Barnes Triple Shock in 150- or 160grain weight. Federal loads a 150-grain Nosler Partition that leaves the muzzle at 2890 feet per second. This is a great elk load and would be hard to beat with handloads. They also offer a 160-grain AccuBond at 2800 fps, another great choice. Handloaders have a wide selection of components to choose from. With the popularity of the 7mm Magnums, there are a huge number of 7mm bullets on the market, and most of them work just fine in the .280 Remington. As for powders, the .280 is based on the .30-06 case, just like the .270 Winchester, so any powder that works for the .270 will also work for the .280. I would try IMR 4350, IMR 4831, H 4831, and Reloader 19. You will experience best performance on deer with bullets of the mid-weight range, such as those I mentioned above as being my favorites. Heavier bullets in this caliber are intended for larger game, are usually very tough, and might not upset quickly enough to provide good performance on game the size of deer. If you have been thinking about buying a 7mm Magnum, 7mm WSM, or one of the .300 short magnums, you might consider, instead, a new rifle in .280 Remington. This cartridge is one of the best, and after a slow start is finally being appreciated as one that will do most anything. I believe it is destined to become one of the true classics, as it deserves to be. E-mail Steve LaMascus at guns@fishgame.com &

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

C55


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:01 PM

Page C56

Watching the Embers Burn

O

NE NIGHT NOT LONG AGO, I SAT ON AN OAK stump beside a dwindling campfire on a hunting lease near Caddo, Texas, watching the glowing embers beneath the dying flames. Soon, the flames were gone but the embers continued to glow,

C56

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

brightening slightly with every puff of the night breeze. The well-seasoned quarters of a cottontail rabbit shared a small grill over the embers with a red onion and potato wrapped in foil. I had bagged the rabbit next to a patch of briars two hours earlier, and tonight’s supper promised to be a good one. As I sat on the stump watching the embers burn and felt the loneliness one naturally feels when being by himself under such circumstances, I remembered a similar night as a teenager when I sat beside another campfire at the back of my family’s halfacre lot west of Fort Worth and wondered what I would be when I grew up. It was a perplexing thought at the moment. After all, my degree of fondness

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

for school ruled out my becoming a teacher, and I didn’t talk fast enough to be a politician. Soon, my thoughts drifted to something more important at hand: our little black and white puppy named Wreath, who was sprawled out on the ground beside me. My older brothers, Bill and Paul, had given Wreath his name after he had been given to us as a Christmas present from our parents. Wreath was no more than a cup of fur that Christmas day but he was more beautiful than any Christmas wreath we had ever seen. Somehow, the thoughts of being grown up someday and having to go to work really didn’t seem to matter at the moment. As the years advanced, other things did begin to matter. As I watched the cottontail quarters cook over the flames earlier this year at Caddo, I once again began to appreciate the independence my mother and father let me gain during my childhood days. Then and now, I rarely take many groceries with me when going hunting because I have always felt confident that I could catch a few fish, bag a rabbit, squirrel, or whatever and get by just fine. As a youngster, my parents let me take to the woods near our home or on my grandparents’ dairy in Comanche County anytime I wanted to hunt or just to mosey around. It was a rewarding freedom, but there was more than just independence that they gave me. They gave me a way to build confidence in myself and to learn an appreciation for what I would find. One thing I discovered as a youngster was the beauty in embers. Yes, embers just like the ones I was watching as I cooked the rabbit, onion, and potato over mesquite coals at Caddo. I had built a big fire that night and it had been a good one. I have said it before but feel it is important to say it again: If you are gong to build a campfire, make sure it is one that will last a while. I was not going anywhere, and the fire I had built was a testament to that. You really don’t have to go deep into


5/1/08

12:01 PM

Page C57

TFG PHOTO

ALMANAC C.qxd

your thoughts to realize how I was feeling at the time while watching those embers burn. All you have to do is to visualize two things: where you came from and where you are going. Centuries ago, men all over the world built campfires and watched embers burn. Our forefathers did the same when they arrived here to establish new beginnings in our great country. As I watched the embers burn recently, a sudden sadness settled across my shoulders. So many people, perhaps some of you, have drifted so far away from nature that such

simple things as watching embers burn in a campfire at night never will be a part of their life. What is so important about watching embers burn? Nothing, really. What is important is taking advantage of the opportunity to watch them burn. Years ago, watching embers burn was something people did naturally after supper at the end of the day. But today, watching embers burn seems to have to be a special occasion for many people such as during hunting season or during a longplanned camping trip. Sadly, it is no longer

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

F i s h

a part of everyday living for many people. Although we now are going through the “in-between” period of hunting seasons, it will not be long before many people will be enjoying warm campfires and warm friendships with other hunters throughout Texas and elsewhere. But you do not have to be a hunter to enjoy the same things they will be enjoying on a hunting lease. Campfires are good wherever and whenever you build them, even on a summer day in your backyard or in a barbecue pit. Once the flames have gone out, stay a little longer and watch the embers burn regardless whether you are alone or sharing the moment with someone close to you. Let your mind wander to your past and to your future. Recall your best outdoor moments as well as those of your family members or friends. And think about the future. Watch the embers burn for a while, and I think you will understand what I mean. E-mail Bob Hood at hunting@fishgame.com.

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

C57


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:01 PM

Page C58

New 2008-2009 Hunting/Fishing Regs

Carp Bag Limit: Anglers fishing Lady Bird Lake (formerly Town Lake) in Austin will be allowed to retain only one common carp 33 inches or larger per day. There will remain no limit on common carp measuring less than 33 inches in length. Community Fishing Lake Pole Limit: Anglers will be limited to using two fishing poles on designated community fishing lakes. This new rule addresses hoarding of limited bank fishing access. The change affects impoundments 75 acres or less totally within a city limits or a public park, but will not be enacted on any waters inside a state park. Lake Nacogdoches Bass Limit: This rule changes the largemouth bass regulations on Lake Nacogdoches to a 16-inch maximum size limit. The daily bag will be C58

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

five bass under 16 inches, although one bass 24 inches or larger can be retained temporarily in a livewell and then weighed using handheld scales for possible donation to the Budweiser ShareLunker program. Purtis Creek/Lake Raven Bass Limit: This rule changes the largemouth bass temporary retention length limit to 24 inches on Purtis Creek State Park Lake and Lake Raven (Huntsville State Park). Both lakes are catch and release only for largemouth bass, although currently one trophy

Taking catfish by bow and arrow will no longer be legal.

I

N MARCH, THE TEXAS PARKS & WILDLIFE Commission adopted changes to hunting and fishing regulations. As part of the annual regulations review process, public input, and discussion among agency staff to proposals related to upland bird hunting were withdrawn. Staff recommended turning to the Commission’s newly appointed Game Bird Advisory Committee for further discussion on potential changes to quail and pheasant regulations. One other proposal that would have extended regulations allowing the take of catfish by means of bow and arrow was also withdrawn. As of 1 September 2008, taking catfish by means of bow and arrow will no longer be legal. Meanwhile, the Commission approved the following changes:

statewide limits of three fish per day and a 20- to 28-inch reverse slot limit.

bass may be retained temporarily for weighing purposes and donation to the Budweiser ShareLunker program. Lake Texoma Spotted Bass: This rule removes the 14-inch minimum length limit for spotted bass on Lake Texoma, consistent with the Texas statewide regulation (no length limit) and the limit for the Oklahoma side of Texoma. Lake Nasworthy/Colorado City Red Drum Limit: This removes the harvest exceptions for red drum on Lake Nasworthy and the 20-inch minimum length limit for red drum on Colorado City Reservoir. Both water bodies revert to the &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

Expanded Panhandle Mule Deer Season: This adds Sherman and Hansford counties to the northern Panhandle mule deer season (16 days beginning the Saturday before Thanksgiving) and in Gaines, Martin, and the eastern portion of Andrews counties to the southwest Panhandle season (nine days beginning the Saturday before Thanksgiving). These counties, wildlife biologists believe, have mule deer populations sufficient to allow the harvest of a few buck mule deer. Eliminate Bowhunting Minimum Draw Weight: This removes the requirement of a 40-pound minimum peak draw weight on bowhunting equipment. Deer Proof of Sex Requirement Change: This allows special deer permit tags, including Managed Land Deer Permits, Landowner Assisted Management Permitting System, antlerless mule deer, special public hunting and Antlerless and Spike Control, to satisfy proof of sex tagging requirements. Lower Minimum Age for Hunter Education Certification: This lowers the minimum age a student may receive hunter education certification from 12 years to 9 years. Quota for Commercial Catch of Gulf Menhaden in State Waters: This rule establishes a quota for the commercial catch of Gulf menhaden in state waters. The move is a precautionary measure that basically limits the fishery at its current level. The total allowable catch from state waters would be set at 31,500,000 pounds E-mail Wayne Watson at outlaw@fishgame.com.


5/1/08

12:01 PM

Page C59

Night Fishing Tips

I

T CAN BECOME TEXAS HOT BY MID- TO LATEJune, and anglers turn to the early morning and late evening bites. To extend profitable fishing time, night fishing is the hot setup. Bass feed at night just like they do in the daytime, and you don’t have to contend with a lot of boats or jet-skiers. I remember way back when we used to use noisy topwater baits at night, thinking you needed a lot of noise to attract fish. We used baits like a Jitterbug or a Bagley’s Bango lure. These worked great at times, but not always. Since then, I have learned that night fishing is exactly like daytime fishing, and a lot of times better with the exception of visibility. You work the same banks with the same lures and techniques, which pay off quite well, except you don’t have to worry about the blistering sun. One key factor I have found when night fishing is the structures closest to deep water seem to hold bass a lot better. They seem to like a close deep-water escape route. I don’t usually do much in the shallow flats. My favorite night lures that I like to fish on my Bass Pro Shops’ Extreme Woo rods are the Zoom Z-nail fished with a 4/0 Mustad Ultra Point wide gap hook and a 1/32ounce nail inserted in the head. I cast this to the edge of riprap, especially the corners of bridges and fish it just like you would in the daytime. Second, I like to fish a big 10-inch Old Monster Zoom worm in a dark color with a 3/16-ounce Tru-Tungsten weight and

4/0 Mustad hook. Next, I love to throw a Bagley’s Balsa B or Killer B II around riprap. Another super spot for cranking is any lighted pier. These piers are also good at

When night fishing, the structures closest to deep water seem to hold bass a lot better.

ALMANAC C.qxd

night because a lot of bait is attracted to the lights and the bass will hang around a while. Spinnerbaits and buzzbaits are also great night lures. I like to throw Colorado blades with my spinnerbaits, because you get a lot

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

F i s h

better vibration, which I think actually calls the fish. When fishing at night, look for points that fall off fast. Watch your sonar and sit in deep water so that you can hit the bank with a normal cast. You can also come in from the side and fan-cast across the point. A buzzbait is good for this technique and I always want my first cast to be as close to the bank as possible. Sometimes the fish will come so shallow to get the lure that their backs are out of the water. A couple of things you need for night fishing is Jack’s Juice bug spray and some good lights. I like the little lights that go on the brim of your hat. I don’t use a black light unless I positively have to. You would be surprised that your eyes get adjusted to the lack of light and you can see a lot better than you would expect. You can also get by with heavier line at night. I like to go with Bass Pro Shops 17-pound fluorocarbon. Give night fishing a try; I think you will be surprised and pleased with the results.

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

C59


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:01 PM

Page C60

The Lostrider Part III—The Conclusion

“A

NNIE, TELL ME HOW THIS COUNTRY lays out!” My appreciation for the magnitude of the Bob Marshal Wilderness was changing from awe to concern. This particular chunk of federal ground stretches almost 150 miles south to north from Lincoln, Montana, to Highway 2 and Glacier National Park. Then it’s almost as wide east to west from Choteau to Missoula. “If you were one of those horses where would you go?” We hunkered beside the early morning campfire. It was still dark and we needed a plan. The horses and mules had given me the slip the evening before while I set camp,

C60

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

and now the only riding stock available was Tom and my wrangle ponies. “Well...” the girl looked at me roundeyed and worried. “There are some old mares that might lead them home, but that’s more than 40 miles. If they crossed the bridge and headed the other direction to Benchmark, they might be at that trailhead eating grass.” My gut cramped. The cowboy coffee didn’t taste good. You couldn’t tickle a smile out of me with a Bob Hope road movie. Then one of the guests wandered in looking for breakfast. “What are we going to do? We’re stranded in the wilderness!” “Naw, ya’ll take your fishing poles and figure out this part of the crick. We’ve got plenty of food. You’ve got dry clothes and tents. Cold weather ain’t due for a few more weeks. And I’ll be back in a jiffy with yalls’ riding ponies. I bet they didn’t go far,” I lied. There was no telling where those outlaws went. A bird chirped in the brush along the

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

river and Tom led our wrangle horses up to the fire. The new day was lending us light and the whole crew felt the urgency to begin. It was time to go. We trotted out of camp and followed the tracks down river to the pack bridge. There the horses had milled until they figured out their order, then single-filed across. They were headed to the Benchmark trailhead. But, a few miles down this trail they milled again and took a dim branch trail back towards the north. “Tom, you know what we’re seeing? ” I spoke my thought aloud. “One of the new horses was in the lead but it didn’t know where it was going. Now, one of the mares has taken the lead and they’re headed home.” The clutter of tracks contained several hoof prints that were easily distinguishable. There was a small gelding with pie plate feet and rolled heels and one of the mares had an odd shaped foot. It was simple to see we were following the right crowd despite the multitude of horseman fishing the Sun River. Tom didn’t say much and I didn’t feel like talking. The miles plodded by and my self-esteem sank like an anchor to become wedged in doubts. My personal failures glared at me and shouted that I wasn’t even smart enough to be a cowboy. I was broke, disgusted, dirty, and now had this screw up to amend. Slowly, my conscience sucked me deeper within myself. Guilt burned my mind with smoky visions of the little daughter in Texas. That reminded me of a blundered marriage and here I was bumbling around lost in the wilderness - what a dumb jerk. The errant horse herd left the trail but then picked it up again. They were still headed north and passed the confluence of the West and North Forks of the Sun River. Tom finally started chattering and became philosophical about his demons. His wife pulled him out of a jam years ago when his tongue got stuck in the neck of a whiskey bottle. He hadn’t been far from her


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:01 PM

Page C61

side since. I couldn’t find fault in his confessions, but the experience scarred him and I supposed that every man has his disappointments. Then I thought about all the hunters I’d guided that said, “Yes sir, you’re living the perfect dream. I wished I had done what you’re doing.” I knew they partially meant what they said. It was obvious they yearned for two different worlds, one where they could make money and the other where they could be a cowboy. They missed the look-aman-in-the-eye, stand tall in your boots, respect the ladies, and always speak the truth ideology we learned from our heroes. Society slathered a suffocating layer of political correctness over the masses, castrating the men and empowering the weakest links. The promise of adult profits killed too many childhood dreams, dimmed the shine on too many souls, and put too many people in dirt holes without realizing their finest potential. No wonder our clients seek the outdoors. It might be the only time they can find themselves. It might be the only time they feel like part of what God intended there to be. And it occurred to me that a grand majority of

folks ride through life lost and wondering how their own trail became so dim and when had their youthful confidence fled. Meanwhile, Tom and I weren’t actually lost but we hadn’t been in this neck of the woods before. We rode up the North Fork of the Sun River until I recognized Horse Hill. “Okay, now I know where I’m at. But we’ve lost the tracks and we’re 20 miles from camp.” We nudged our ponies into a trot. The river bottom opened up spreading miles of grassy meadows and hideouts to the runaways. There was nothing to do but find where they came back into the trail. Ten miles farther, at Big Creek Meadows the trail split and a shortcut known as the tiecutters trail ran away from the river towards Headquarters Pass and home. “Tom, if those horses got on that trail we can’t get in front of them again until they get to the trailhead. It’s solid timber for 15 miles.” We separated and crossed the flats several hundred yards apart looking for sign. Then we met where the trail went into the aspens.

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

F i s h

“They haven’t made it his far. We passed them but Lord knows where. It’s going to get dark soon and the only other place to check is their old stomping grounds at Gates Park. We should ride over and see if Jimmy Forest will let us bunk at the Gates Park Ranger Station.” Jimmy was the seasonal forest service ranger but he guided elk hunters with us in the fall. I was hoping he knew a trick that I’d overlooked. “Y’all are welcome to stay here for the night,” said Jimmy. “If those horses aren’t here in the morning, and if they don’t hit the tie-cutters trail before daylight you’ll find them on your back trail.” We thanked him and crashed on a couple of bunks. This was definitely a low point in my cowboying career. I felt completely worthless. It was time to sell the hat and saddle buy a wiener dog and take up crocheting. The next morning we were back at the entrance to the tie-cutters trail to resume our search. We backtracked past Horse Hill to

Continued on Page C62

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

C61


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:02 PM

Page C62

Kids, Adults, and Kids

A

GIANT TREE TRUNK LAY ACROSS THE CREEK. The log was probably 20 feet from the roots sticking up in the air to the first fork. We stopped to look across to the other side after we walked a long trail through the woods leading to one of Dad’s favorite fishing spots. It would have been just as easy to drive our truck one mile down the highway to the two-lane bridge to follow the creek upstream on foot to Dad’s fishing hole, but he told us he wanted the first fishing trip of the summer to be an adventure. Sis and I had walked the long way dozens of times ourselves, but Dad preferred to hike from the house, twice the distance.

I think maybe he likes trips to originate at Granny’s farmhouse. It is similar to stepping off her porch during the winter when Dad calls the dogs for a round of quail hunting in the pastures around her house. He said we all needed the exercise, and Mama just rolled her eyes like she does when she knows he’s kidding. He said, “These kids are lazy. They’ve been sitting in class all year long, and now we’re gonna get them in shape.” I noticed Sis roll her eyes the same way. She looked just like Mama when she did it. I also noticed that Sis and Mama walk the same way. It gave me a funny feeling that I knew what Sis would look like some day. Some of the guys at school say that you should look at your girlfriend’s mother if you want to see what she will look like when she gets older. I hadn’t thought too much about that until then. Sometimes my jerk friends at school can be right. Dad led the way with his Zebco 33 car-

ried backwards so as not to get caught in the brush. Mama followed with her own cane pole and an empty bucket. Sis followed her and I walked drag. I read the other day the old cowboys who followed along behind the herd to keep them moving were said to ride drag. Even though I knew I shouldn’t, I poked my rod toward an armadillo hole. As soon as I did it, I knew it was a mistake because I could have broken the tip off. Sometimes I frustrate myself by acting like a kid. We stalled at the foot log. The creek looked wider with that log laying across it. “Here we go,” Dad said and crossed first. I kind of expected the log to do something, sag maybe, but it looked rock solid. “I’m a logwalker from way back in the days when I didn’t have shoes and ran across these logs barefoot.” Mama laughed. “Your feet are so tender you can’t walk across carpet these days without socks on.”

WILDERNESS TRAILS Continued from Page C61 Cabin Creek where we found the tracks we were looking for but they were a day old and headed in the wrong direction. So, we continued towards the juncture of the West and North Forks of the Sun River and then started working our way north again. Our wrangle ponies were tiring. By my calculations, we’d put 75 miles on them in two days. Late that evening we re-entered Big Creek Meadows and reined to a halt. A herd of horses galloped up from the river and another herd stampeded down from the timber, and the ones coming from the timber were ours! Then the herds converged, milled, and then the whole bunch raced towards the tie-cutters trail! I slammed the spurs to my poor pony asking for one last run and hollered at Tom. “We gotta get ahead of ’em!” C62

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

Badger holes and boggy spots be damned—it was whup and ride. Tom went around the bottom and I forced my pony around the top. For a minute, it was nip and tuck. I’d already used all my cuss words, but now they came out again loud and clear. That band of ponies caught a mighty South Texas cussing at full volume. While the town folks think whispering to horses is cute, this group of runaways savvied mad cowboy language and they perked their ears and decided to behave. Then we turned them around and headed for camp. The herd separated where they had joined and we kept pushing our bunch down the trail. At Cabin Creek, we drove them into an outfitter’s corrals and swapped onto fresh mounts. It was 10 p.m. when we put them back on the trail towards Indian Point. Tom led a bell mare and I brought up the stragglers. After five miles they lined out &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

as if they knew they had to go back to work. It was more than 25 miles back to camp. A bulbous wet full moon hung low in the sky and the mountain pastures were illuminated in a bright silvery hue. The Sun River pitched and splashed over rocks in its bed, and my down-in-the-mouth self pity faded. At Pretty Prairie, a herd of elk scattered from feeding and then re-gathered and ran alongside the remuda. The cool night air crept through my whiskers. The hard saddle and steady loping rhythm pounded my backside. In front of me was a scenic gift that God was sharing - and I stared at the thundering horses, mules, and elk in the moonlight. And I ran with them, and for that moment, I did not feel lost. E-mail Herman W. Brune at wilderness@fishgame.com


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:02 PM

Page C63

Dad stepped off on the other side. Mama, who always seemed skittish about the outdoors, slipped her shoes off and crossed barefoot as if she were on a sidewalk, virtually skipping to the other side. “Wow,” I said, amazed that my mother did something other than wash dishes. “Mama, when did you learn that?” She whispered something to Dad and they laughed, arms around each other on the opposite side. “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. Sis crossed really slow. She kept making these little noises in her throat and I couldn’t tell if she was laughing, giggling, or almost crying. She made it across and then it was my turn. I knew I couldn’t fall off, because I’d never live it down. When I stepped on the log, my head almost started to swim, but I went on anyway. I didn’t look down, because I didn’t want to see that water below me. I crossed pretty quick, and shivered when I finally stepped off on the other side. “You sure looked scared,” Sis teased me. “I made it though, without funny noises,” I said. Mama and Dad were already walking away while we argued. It wasn’t long before Dad started to slow and look at the creek. I thought he’d found us a place, but then he moved on. “What are you looking for?” I asked. “Blowdowns, for one,” he said. “What are those?” Sis asked. ILLUSTRATION BY RACHEL WATSON

“They’re where trees are down in the water, or where bushes grow out over water, or where roots stick out giving the fish somewhere to hide,” he said. Dad says that crappie like to gang up around that kind of underwater structure. “We’ll sack them up when I find that right place,” he said. “Remember when you and I caught all those fish here before the kids were born? ” Mama asked. “I remember we cleaned fish until way in the night,” Dad said and we walked a little farther. “Here’s the place.” It looked pretty much like other places we’d passed to me, but we baited our hooks with little jigs Dad likes and pretty soon, Sis squealed and her rod dipped. Dad told her to get the fish out pretty quick, so it wouldn’t break off, and soon she had the crappie flopping on the bank. Before she could get the fish off, Mama gave a yelp and yanked her cane pole pretty hard. A fish shot out of the water and then we had two on the stringer. Mama doesn’t use jigs or lures very much. She likes what she calls natural bait. She was using worms. I caught the next one, just dipping the jig down into the water as close to the submerged limbs as possible. Dad taught me

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

F i s h

last year that if a crappie were in there, it would bite the lure as it flutters down. He says we don’t need to leave them in there very long. If a fish doesn’t bite within a few seconds, he says to try somewhere else. The fish must have been stacked up as thick as guppies in an aquarium. It seemed like we caught one every time we put a hook in the water. In no time, Dad said we were through and I’m glad he did. Carrying those heavy fish back across the foot log was hard. I kept thinking they’d pull me off balance and I’d fall in the creek and lose the whole stringer, including my fishing rod. Because we had our hands full, Dad kept a closer eye on us as we cross the log, but pretty soon, we were on the other side and he turned to lead us back through the woods. I was following along behind, when I heard Sis and Mama start to giggle. We stopped and looked back at them. “What’s up?” Dad asked. “Nothing,” Sis said, but Mama started laughing. “We just noticed that you two are just alike,” she said. “You’re both short-waisted and you walk the same. You’re just two peas in a pod.” They giggled some more and we just ignored them. It was a good first fishing trip of the summer, but I just don’t understand women.

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

C63


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:02 PM

Page C64

Pee-pee, Chak-chak!

“D

AVID! ISN’T THIS GREAT! WE GET TO spend our first anniversary turkey hunting at the Lt. Governor’s Annual Turkey Invitational in Duncan, Oklahoma!” “Yeah, Baby, this is your year. You are going to get a turkey, I just know it.” Heading to Duncan, we listened to a CD on how to call turkey. Lord have mercy! I have become one of those obsessed hunters. Here I am listening to grown men make strange and unusual sounds trying to imitate a hen. “Utilizing the mouthpiece that best fits your mouth, use your jaw and put your tongue like this and then say ‘pee-pee, chak-chak’.” Sounds like what I would say to my dog

C64

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

when I am trying to get her to do her business outside. Gosh, wouldn’t it be great to finally nail one of those gobble monsters? I would be the Gurl! That evening at the opening dinner, I meet

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

my guides. Yes, I have two, a father and son team, Hal and his son Matthew, an 18-yearold hunter. His mother, Sheri, who I met early that evening, said Matthew was shy and did not talk much, but he was very excited and had been planning and scouting for months. Shy? Nah, never met a guy that is shy when you bring up the topic of hunting. “I have it all set up,” Matthew fairly gushed. “There are two swingers at the spot that we have targeted. Big toms. I think they are brothers. You just have to pick out which one you want. Pick you up at 5 a.m. sharp!” Foggy and dark, screaming down the road at the crack of dawn, we are doing what hunters do best: reviewing the weather conditions, the grandiose size of those toms, and fine-tuning the plan of attack. “Heck, one good pop and we will be back in bed by 8:30 with a gobbler the size of Oklahoma in our grips,” said Hal. Great! No pressure. Okay, so I have been playing and replaying the scenario in my mind for weeks, possessed by the hunting demon. What if, and the turkey does, and the gun won’t, and I freeze, or…Stop it! You can do ILLUSTRATION BY RACHEL WATSON


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:02 PM

Page C65

this. I do, after all, have my handy-dandy turkey wedding-gun. Surely, it wouldn’t let me down. “Ok, Mari, here, take my hand, we have to jump this fence,” said Matthew. But, but it is barbed wire! I have a gun, you know. What if I catch my pants leg on the wire and it propels me over, I land on my gun, the gun goes off, and I maim myself? Stop whining! Just get your femme fatale tail over the fence. Over the hill, through the woods and more barbed wire, we finally arrive at our destination. I get set up between two trees with a clear line to where the turkeys will no doubt venture down the fence line, only to find themselves in range of my deadly wedding shotgun. A gobbler gobbles and Matthew screeches with delight as he sends a message back—peepee, chak-chak! “Oh, man, there they are!” Matthew gushed. He sure was the gushy sort. “This is going to be great! Just wait for the biggest tom. Okay, Mari?” Hen one, hen two, hen three as the tom’s harem parade begins. Stop breathing. Don’t move. For the love of barbed wire, hold your gun steady. Whispering, Matthew says: “You know, this is weird; I have never been hunting with a gurl before.” “Yeah, yeah, I know, that is what my husband said the first time we went hunting, too.” Hal shushed us. “Here they come.” I try to steady my gun, but my throat is in my stomach. Oh, no! Wait! Come back! You are going the wrong way! Over here! Should I shoot? It is too far. Oh, what the heck, I am going to shoot. Boom! Crap! Tom is running. Come back, come back! Stupid Mossberg gurl! County two, spot two. Over the river, through the woods and barbed wire again. Okay, so you missed. Suck it up, shake it off. It was too far. You are a novice and you should have known better. You will get the next one. “There they are…don’t move,” said Hal. Right, easy for you to say. You try not moving and not breathing when your throat is in your stomach and your heart is beating out of your camo. Just put the bead on his head. Wait…where is that darn green bead? Oh, yeah, right between the two red thingies. Okay, line her

up. Close your left eye. Perfect! My eye is twitching. Stop it! Boom! Oh, turkey feathers! The red head is still bobbing. No! Tell me it isn’t true! Shoot again! Boom! This is all wrong; they are running away. What, am I shooting blanks? I not only missed once, but twice. I am a first anniversary boob. “Oh, no, Mari!” Matthew says so disappointedly, which is better than gushingly. It is a sure bet now. My husband will go

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

F i s h

before the National Wild Turkey Federation board and request an annulment on grounds of a repeat offense in failure to execute in killing a turkey. Pee-pee, chak-chak! Oh, mercy, county three, spot three. Hal and Matthew are determined to not give up. At this rate, we will be hunting in Mexico because I will have notified every tom within 1000 miles that Mrs. Henry is around

Continued on Page C66

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

C65


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:02 PM

Page C66

Float Tube Fishing

N

ECESSITY IS THE MOTHER OF ALL inventions, and fishermen have done their share when it comes to developing tools to make fishing easier and more productive. Their identities as inventors may be unknown to the ranks of anglers who profit from their ingenuity. But it is nice to know that if a dilemma in the fishing world arises, sooner or later some

angling Einstein will find a way to resolve it; especially if doing so means catching more fish. Take the guy, for example, standing on the bank of a pond, lake, or river, and sees fish actively feeding just out of casting range. The water is too deep to reach them by wading. No boat is available and with an Icame-here-to-catch-fish-attitude, he suddenly remembers that in the back of his truck is an inflated innertube the kids were playing with the other day. Why not use that to get to those fish? he reasons. So, he fashions a seat in the center out of some rope and steps into the contraption, wades into the water and catches the heck out of those fish he would otherwise be unable to reach. Another inno-

vative fishing product is developed based upon angler need. Well the development of float tubes for fishing might have happened that way. But, however the idea was turned into reality, fishermen are better off because of some angler’s resourcefulness. Float tubes are about the cheapest form of personal watercraft available besides straddling a handy floating log. And good logs are rarely around when you need them. Tubes are also a lot safer, more portable and won’t roll over at the most inopportune moments. They come in four basic styles: round, U-shaped, V-shaped and pontoon. They fit into nylon sleeves that are festooned with compartments and hardware useful for

GURLZ PAGE Continued from Page C65 and cannot hit the broad side of Oklahoma. Imagine what those toms are all saying at the monthly turkey lodge meetings: “Hey, did you catch that Henry gurl? She shot right at me! I mean to tell you, she wasn’t six feet away! And I just gobbled right in her face. Nenner-nenner, nenner! You can’t catch me! Go ahead, Blondie, give it a shot. Missed me, now you got to kiss me! But first you have to catch me! Ha, ha, ha!” More fences and more barbed wire. I hope that barbwire gives me a good jab; I deserve it. “Oh, man,” said Matthew. “Did you hear that? There is a big mature tom out there. We need to go down there on the other side. Let’s commando in. Stay low.” Matthew stays close and watches to make sure that I am okay. Even at eighteen, chivalry is not dead. If I were any kind of hunter gurl, I would deserve such consideration. Let’s see, how many shells do I have left? Two! I have expelled, no, wasted, over 10 shells and I have nothing to show for it but my wounded pride. C66

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

Cradled in between the brush and trees, I hear the gobble-gobble!. Closer, closer. Here we go again, racing heart, sweaty palms, and I can’t breath. Get a hold of yourself and man-up! “Mari, Mari! Behind you! He is behind you!” Matthew stage-whispered. Oh, just Jack Dandy! Behind me, the gobble bugger is behind me! Swing around quietly; remember all that safety stuff—keep your barrel pointed in a safe direction and get the sucker this time! There he is! Oh, good night! That, that, that bearded redhead! He is peeking at me through the bushes! Ugly red headed bugger. I am not going to be the brunt of your jokes on lodge night! Boom! We all jump up. I know I got him this time. I have redeemed myself. Hal runs out and the redhead is laughing as he runs off, looking back at us with a, “Ha-ha! Missed me!” “Give me that gun!” Hal shouted fired one off at the redhead. As he struts off, I hear him saying, “Man, oh, man! Are we going to have a good meeting tonight! Wait ‘til I tell the guys &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

about Blondie! You know, at first I thought she was one heck of a hen, nothing like I had ever seen before. But she ain’t got nothing on us.” Doomed! It is all over! Caput! Ugly redheads! Peeping toms, that’s what they are. I will be haunted forever. Just grand! Now I will have to return and report to the Lt. Governor that I missed. Just, bloody missed! Not one, but—oh, gosh, I can’t bring myself to say how many. Oh, and my husband—what will he say? I have failed to uphold the family tradition of turkey hunting. Ten hours, 3 counties, 12 shells, and 7 still alive turkeys later, I limp out of Oklahoma with more desire than talent, wounded pride, and no bloody turkey! But mark my words: Those redheads will not get the best of me! One day, I will be sitting in the lodge with a tom laying lifeless at my feet. Then we’ll see who calls who Blondie! E-mail Mari Henry at gurlz@fishgame.com.


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:02 PM

Page C67

attaching other pieces of equipment to the tube. Round tubes were the first design and are still popular today. They completely surround the angler and provide the most support. The downside is angling from them is somewhat inconvenient because of the restricted access in front of the angler. It is more or less like having to fish with a large pillow sitting on your lap. The next development to come along is the U-shaped float tube. It is somewhat larger than the round design because it has only three sides for floatation. This style of tube allows easier access when entering and exiting from the water and makes it easier to fish from because of the open front. A mesh panel is used to provide cross support between the sidewalls of the tube. The third model is Vshaped. This type is similar to the U-boat but is more maneuverable when fishing in windy areas. The fourth style is called a pontoon and allows the angler to sit up higher with just his legs in the water. It can be rowed, or paddled with the angler’s feet. Each style has its advantages and disadvantages. Determining which type to choose is an individual choice based upon intended use. There is a wide variety of accessories available for float tubes and they can make fishing from one more convenient and fun. Some of the more practical are waders for cool water adventures, fins to make moving through the water easier, pumps which take the place of lung power, rod holders that strap around the tube, and landing nets with lanyards which can be attached to various rings on the tube sleeve. For locating fish in deeper water, portable fish finders are a nice addition. Float tubes and small ponds go together like fried eggs and ham. They allow unobtrusive access to those areas just out of reach from shore-bound anglers. Fishing from them is almost a primitive experience. Tubes allow sneaking up on fish and there is something inherently fun about that tactic. It is also a sound method to beat the summer heat in the southern climes. Water temperatures rarely exceed air temperatures and staying cool while fishing is another justifiable benefit of using them. June is a prime month for catching spawning channel catfish. Rock-lined dam faces offer excellent habitat for their reproductive rites. Catfish are aggressive and

hungry when spawning. One of the most exciting and easiest means of fishing for them during this period is in a float tube. Using crickets or red worms worked on a floating bait rig along the dam face in shallow water is the key to catching a mess of them. The float tube allows getting up close to the action and if you hang a big one, the resulting ride across the lake until the fish tires just adds to the fun. Good float tubes are available for less

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

F i s h

than $100. Most large outdoor retailers catering to fishermen stock them. The possibilities they offer for small-water fishing or getting into areas not practical with a boat are unlimited. And what is more fun than floating around in cool water catching fish on a hot summer day? E-mail Barry St. Clair at bstclair@fishgame.com.

&

G a m e ÂŽ / J U N E

2 0 0 8

•

C67


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:02 PM

Page C68

Biologists Study Texas Tidal Streams

T

EXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT biologists are conducting a two-year study of two tidal streams on the middle coast, sampling fish, bottomdwelling organisms, and water quality to measure the quality of aquatic life inhabiting these ecologically important areas. Tidal streams are areas where saltwater from bays mix with freshwater coming down from rivers. They are components of estuaries, a better-known term for areas where

freshwater and saltwater converge. Because tidal streams provide a special kind of habitat, they are vital nursery grounds for many types of fish and shellfish, including economically important species like shrimp and game fish. “Tidal streams are complex ecosystems,” said Janet Nelson, a TPWD coastal biologist. “We need to know more about threats to them that could undermine biodiversity in general and our sport and commercial fisheries in particular. There hasn’t been enough study of tidal streams to completely understand what drives changes in these systems.” Nelson said tidal stream salinity varies seasonally with rainfall, and this drives changes in fish populations. Other factors that affect habitat and water quality include hydrology (water movement), freshwater inflow, subsidence, land use in the watershed, and wastewater discharges. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality has contracted with TPWD to study two tidal streams, the tidal portions of the Aransas and Mission rivers connected to

Aransas Bay. Field sampling began in late March and will continue until November 2009. Sampling will occur every six weeks during the spring, summer, and fall seasons. Water and sediment samples will be collected for laboratory analysis. Other parameters that will be measured include dissolved oxygen, pH, temperature, salinity, and stream flow. Fish, shrimp, crab, and other swimming organisms will be collected, identified, and measured. Sediment from the bottom of the streams will be collected to see what types of organisms live there. A detailed field study will be done of habitat within the stream and on the banks. Also, a GIS land cover analysis will be done to see how the land surrounding the stream is being used. When the fieldwork is completed, the final report to is due to TCEQ in 2010. This gives TPWD scientists about one year to analyze and interpret all the data and write a report on the ecological health of each stream. —Staff Report

TPWD Caps Menhaden Fishery

PHOTO COURTESY OF TPWD

The Texas Parks & Wildlife Commission (TPWC) voted at its April hearing to cap the annual catch of menhaden in state waters at 31.5 million pounds. Upper coast anglers are familiar with the menhaden boats (known as “pogy boats”) pulling nets very close to the shoreline. In the past, there have been incidents of large numbers of dead bull redfish and tarpon washing ashore, allegedly linked to the pogy boats. According to a profile of the menhaden fishery written by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) biologist Jerry Mambretti: “Since 1990, Gulf of Mexico landings have averaged about 1.2 billion pounds per year. Landings consist primarily C68

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:02 PM

Page C69

of age-1 and age-2 Gulf menhaden. Between 1999 and 2003, commercial fishermen harvested an average of 50 million pounds of Gulf menhaden, worth an estimated $3.5 million annually from Texas waters...There have been major innovations in harvesting technology of menhaden over the years, including the use of spotter aircraft, nylon nets, hydraulic power blocks, fish pumps, and carrier vessels greater than 150 feet in length with refrigerated fish holds.” Menhaden is used mainly for fertilizer, pet and hog feed, oil in paints, and even lipstick. Scientists are concerned that wide-scale harvest of menhaden, which is one of the key components of the Gulf food chain, is causing irreparable harm to the ecosystem. Menhaden are an important filtering fish that are believed to help control harmful red and brown tide algal blooms. The call to address Texas’ menhaden fishery was inspired by a book, The Most Important Fish in the Sea, written by H. Bruce Franklin. “This action puts Texas in the lead for implementing a proactive, ecosystem-based approach to fishery management in the Gulf of Mexico,” said Aaron Viles, Campaign Director with the Gulf Restoration Network (GRN). GRN officials said TPWC expressed interest in putting independent observers on the menhaden boats to calculate catch and monitor the amount of by-catch caught in the 1800-foot nets. Gulf-wide catch regularly exceeds 1 billion pounds, and managers estimate that one percent of all the catch is other sea life that is thrown back dead or dying, an estimated 10 million pounds of marine life bycatch. —Chester Moore

“The recreational fishery in federal waters will reopen on June 1, 2009, the beginning of the 2009 federal recreational fishing season,” NMFS reported. NMFS officials said they have determined this action necessary to prevent overfishing and keep the recreational fishery from exceeding its quota during the 2008 fishing-year. “Closure of the recreational red snapper fishery in federal waters complies with regulations implemented under the Fishery

Management Plan for Reef Fish Resources of the Gulf of Mexico [Reef Fish FMP], and in accordance with requirements specified in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery Conservation and Management Act,” NMFS said in a prepared statement. NOAA Fisheries Service is required to close a fishery or fishery sector in federal waters when the quota is met or projected to be met. —Staff Report

Snapper Season Closes August 5 Officials with National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) announced the recreational fishery for red snapper in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico will close 12:01 a.m. local time 5 August 2008 through 31 December 2008, the end of the current fishing year. A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

C69


5/1/08

12:02 PM

Page C70

Waterfowl on My Mind

D

UCK SEASON IS STILL MONTHS AWAY, BUT waterfowl are always on executive editor Chester Moore’s mind.

This month, he speaks at the Ducks Unlimited State (DU) Convention in Frisco (June 20-22), and will be making his first donation to DU’s Texas C.A.R.E. project and prairie pothole region projects. “DU is key to the future of waterfowl, and I feel it important to support them,” Moore said. “We are at a crucial juncture with huge issues, like loss of native grasslands at the forefront, so it’s nice to know there are people like the hard-working crew at DU looking out for things.” Expect some announcements on big conservation projects in Texas involving Texas Fish & Game coming soon.

A Chester checks out a

C

baby mallard at a farm. His interest in waterfowl production grows every year, and will continue to expand due to problems in the Prairie Pothole region of the United States and Canada. Ducks are adorable at this age. Texas Fish & Game B photographer Gerald Burleigh has had major success using wood duck nest boxes on his property. Chester was helping him check the nests and got a big surprise. This hen was on the nest a bit earlier than expected, but didn’t fly away even with a camera flash going off nearby. Within a couple of weeks, five nest boxes were being utilized on one pond. As part of a project to introduce high C school students to conservation, Chester has been working with the Deweyville Independent School District, thanks to the cooperation of Superintendent Rick Summers and the whole staff at the

PHOTO BY CHESTER MOORE

ALMANAC C.qxd

school. Joe Waldrum’s wildlife class built six hen houses, which were designed and the materials provided by Delta Waterfowl. Waldrum works hard to instill an honest approach to wildlife and conservation in the young people at Deweyville. The hen houses are being used in an experiment by Chester to see if mottled ducks will use them if modified from the way they are positioned for mallards. If it does not work, the boxes will be sent to North Texas next year, where there are some nesting mallards that should take them like a duck takes to, well, hen houses. B

PHOTO BY GERALD BURLEIGH

PHOTO BY GERALD BURLEIGH

A

C70

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:02 PM

Page C71


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:03 PM

Page C72

Cooking Dutch Dutch Ovens and Other Magic Cooking Vessels

G

ROWING UP, I NEVER SAW A DUTCH OVEN used for anything other than frying fish. Propping his large, three-legged cast-iron oven on big rocks to get the bottom away from a bed of glowing coals, my uncle fried away in pure home-rendered lard. When the golden-brown filets were done, they floated to the top of the roiling grease and he dipped them out onto a mat of newspaper. It was my job to carry the hot fish from just inside the pasture fence, through the wooden gate, and into the tiny country farmhouse. I can promise you that not all the filets made it to Grandma’s already-set table. Today, a bed of coals isn’t always possible. Burn bans, campgrounds that prohibit campfires, or a simple lack of firewood can impede an outdoor cook’s progress. But there are

by Reavis Wortham ways to use Dutch ovens on camp stoves or on a controlled charcoal fire. A Dutch oven (cast iron pot with a lid) should be a camp cook’s primary vessel. The downside is new ovens must be “seasoned,” and cleaning is perceived as difficult, but once properly cured, the Dutch oven can’t be beat. Use them for baking a variety of breads, roasting, stewing, or steaming. The gustatory potentials are endless. Delicious cornbread, fluffy biscuits, cobblers from berries or fruits picked on the camping trips, “Whatchagot stew,” chickens or game hens C72

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

roasted to perfection, or even cakes and pies will taste better cooked outdoors in a Dutch oven than they do cooked with gas or electricity at home. Beginners sometimes begin their camp cookery by successfully burning their first few attempts. The reason is usually simple: too much fire, or they have placed the ingredients directly in the bottom of the Dutch oven. All recipes utilize one of two cooking techniques. The first is simply cooking on the bottom with a carefully controlled fire. The use of a trivet (a small metal plate or grate with short legs) keeps the food off the bottom to allow heat to more evenly circulate throughout the oven. The second way is using heat from both below and above to cook more evenly. Shopping for the perfect Dutch oven is as confusing as trying to buy the right plasma or LCD television. I can’t give you a definite description of the vessel you need, and the makers are as varied as the ovens offered. However, you won’t go wrong with purchasing from name brands such as Lodge or Camp Chef, to name a couple. One question is whether to purchase a Dutch oven made of cast iron or aluminum. I’m a purist, so I own cast iron, but for those &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

who feel weight is an issue, aluminum is the answer. Your new Dutch oven must have a lid and legs. Legs keep the bottom off the fire when necessary and thus help prevent food from burning. The most common style has three legs, though I’ve seen ovens with four legs, which makes the vessel more stable. The lid should have a lip or ridge around the outside edge. It should also have a loop or eye in the center so it can be easily hooked for removal. Many have eyes on either side of the center loop. The lid should seat well and lie flush with the oven’s sides. All Dutch ovens come with a bail, a word that has almost fallen from use. The bail, or handle, is made of thick wire and used for carrying or hanging the heavy vessel. Some bails lay flat when folded down, but some styles remain at a 45-degree angle on one side, making it easier to hook the handle with a lid lifer. Lid lifters are as varied as the Dutch ovens themselves. However, one of the most recent designs combines the hook with a three-legged brace. This design reduces the chances of dropping the lid by bracing the lifter with three short legs. Don’t forget gloves and a shovel. Things get hot when you’re cooking with glowing coals and cast iron. The shovel is used to move coals onto and off of the lid. Those who’ve been around Dutch oven cooks have heard the phrase “curing the oven.” The interior curing process keeps food from sticking and keeps your oven from rusting. Many new ovens today come pre-cured or “seasoned.” All you have to do is unpack the vessel and build a fire. If you have an old oven, scrub it well and use a fine-grade sandpaper to clean the interior and exterior. Don’t forget the lid. Put a little elbow grease into the process to expose fresh metal. When finished, wash the oven with hot, hot soapy water. The hot water helps the oven dry quickly to prevent rust. Once that’s done, it’s time to cure. Heat the vessel in your home oven to approximately 200 degrees. Then, wearing PHOTO BY GERALD BURLEIGH


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:03 PM

Page C73

protective gloves, use a clean cotton cloth to wipe a coating of shortening, vegetable oil, or lard onto vessel. As I said, I’m a purist and good old-fashioned lard works great. When the interior and exterior is coated, turn up the heat on your oven to 350 degrees for one hour. Turn off your smoke alarms, or do it on a day when you can open all the windows, because things will most likely get a little smoky. You can also heat the vessel on an outside fire. Wipe it down once more and your Dutch oven is cured. If you use too much oil or lard, your oven might have a sour or rancid smell the next time you remove the lid. If it does, simply reheat the oven, wipe out the excess oil with a paper towel, and it is once again ready for use. After you’ve used the Dutch oven, wipe out the excess food with a paper towel. Then comes the part that can spark campfire arguments that just might extend well into the night. Some purists suggest the food in a Dutch oven must be burned off by turning it over in a fire until the residue burns black. This was my grandparents’ preferred method. Others say washing with hot, soapy water, completely drying the oven, then wiping on a new coating of oil is the way to go. I’ve even known a cook or two who simply wipes and scrubs out the interior first with paper towels and then with old cloth towels until the interior is “clean.” According to them, what remains cooks away when you set the oven onto a campfire for an hour or so. Then you simply rap the side to dislodge the burned remainder and pour it out like black sand. From here, boys and girls, it’s all about experience. You want stew? Find yourself a recipe and get to cooking. Most of the heat will be from the bottom when making stew, so place your Dutch oven carefully on the coals, making sure it won’t tip. Notice I said “coals.” Licking flames aren’t what you want. Let your fire burn down to a bed of glowing coals and place the vessel on those. For more heat, remove the Dutch oven, add fresh coals, and cook some more. To roast chickens or game hens, the heat should come from the top and bottom equally. A layer of coals on the bottom and an equal layer directly on the lid should get things going nicely. Putting the fowl on a trivet to add air space underneath will let the heat circulate properly. Baked goods will cook properly when the heat comes from above. Three times the

amount of coals should be placed on the top as on the bottom, but proceed with caution. A little heat can go a long way. An old trick is to use a metal charcoal fire starter bucket to get the briquettes burning well. When they turn white, dump a layer of coals for the bottom heat and put the remainder onto the lid. Again, a trivet or even an inverted pie pan will help circulate the heat so that a pie tin full of biscuits will come out golden brown. After you gain a little experience, you’ll soon be able to cook breads directly on the bottom. How many coals does it take to cook the perfect meal? Use wood coals roughly the size of charcoal briquettes. If you’re using a 12inch oven, the total number of coals on top should be 24. Just multiply the size of your oven by two and to get a starting point to properly regulate the heat. For a little more fun, turn the lid over and place directly onto a shallow bed of coals. On this round griddle, you can cook eggs sunnyside up, or make pancakes that come out perfect every time. The shallow dip in the lid holds the food directly in the center, and if your lid is properly seasoned, everyone will comment on the picture-perfect results. You don’t need traditional cooking vessels all the time. Have a little fun with the kids by borrowing the roll of foil from you wife’s kitchen. Aluminum foil is one of the lightest, most versatile cooking vessels you can take on a camping trip. Tear off a 3-foot length of foil and fold it once. In the middle, place a handful of ground hamburger, chopped onion, minced or chopped potatoes, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Fold or roll the folded ends together and seal tight. Roll and crimp the other two edges to create a little packet so airtight so that no steam can escape. Place the aluminum packet directly onto a few

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

F i s h

coals for 8 to 10 minutes. You’ll soon have a deliciously cooked meal that the kids will actually want to eat. It’s a great way to get children excited about outdoor cooking. Making a sealed aluminum packet is one of our favorite ways to steam fish. Trout, bream, or crappie are wonderful when steamed for about 20 to 25 minutes in butter and lemon juice. Again, with a little experimentation, you’ll be cooking all of your fish in a foil packet. Want a baked potato with that? Wrap each one tightly so that no steam can escape and bury them in the coals for about 45 minutes. Use a shovel to get them out. Peel the foil back, slap on some butter and salt, and eat. Cowboy woks have created a new way of outdoor cooking. These disks, usually recycled plow disks, are truly fun to use. They can now be purchased ready to go, but if you have an old plow disk, have an experienced welder close the hole, grind the metal down smooth, and weld on three short legs. Then, simply follow the curing process previously outlined. Once seasoned, the cowboy wok is truly that, a somewhat rustic, heavy wok that can be used to cook just about anything from stir-fried foods, to eggs, pancakes, and sizzling steaks. An entire breakfast can be cooked at the same time on a single wok. Weld up another one and use it as a base for your Dutch oven. The added layer below the oven adds an easy way to manipulate the heat, or you can use it to keep the hot Dutch oven off surfaces that might be easily damaged. No matter what method you use, the food will simply taste better because you’re cooking outdoors. Isn’t that all that matters?

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

C73


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:03 PM

Page C74

Barbecued Crab

I

REMEMBER CRABBING ON BOLIVAR ISLAND with my parents and grandmother. My grandmother was from Mobile Bay, Alabama, and loved crab. She taught me many great recipes, but this one came from Beaumont, Texas. Barbecued crab was invented at Granger’s in Sabine Pass, Texas, during the late 1940s, when one of their cooks seasoned a crab and then deep-fried it. The rest is history. Contrary to the name, these crab are not barbecued. The name comes from the barbecue-like seasoning. These crab are full of sweet, rich meat and spiced with Texas Gourmet’s Sidewinder Searing Spice, which will have you keeping a cold drink close by. We prepared and enjoyed these crab at Polebenders Fishing Lodge in Seadrift, a first class place with all the trimmings! Many thanks to Phil Maley.

1 large pot (12 qt. minimum) with a basket for frying 1 gal. peanut oil 8-10 large blue crab, cleaned and chilled (remove lungs and insides using heavy water pressure) Texas Gourmet’s Sidewinder Searing Spice Start with live hard-shell blue crab, discarding any that are dead. Place the live blue crab in icewater for several minutes to stun (it is best to use a large cooler for this purpose). Once immersed in icewater, the crab will become dormant. After several minutes, they will be “asleep,” then you can easily handle them with your bare hands. C74

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

Remove the carapace (top shell) from each crab by grasping the legs on one side and prying the shell off, using the sharp spines for leverage. This kills the crab instantly. Turn the crab upside down and, using a knife or other sharp object, pry up and remove the “apron” that is folded up under the body. Turn the crab right-side up. Using your thumb and index finger, grasp the mouth parts and twist off to remove. Remove the spongy gills from each side of the body and the entrails from inside the main body cavity. Rinse clean. Remove the two large claws and reserve. Do not remove the legs. Break each cleaned body in half. At this point, you should have two halves, each with four legs still attached. Each body half should be completely clean and consist of nothing but glistening white shell with meat inside. Boil the crabs for three minutes prior to seasoning and frying. This technique helps prevent the meat from sticking to the shell. Dredge each body half in seafood seasoning (see resources below) to completely coat. &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

Place the seasoned crabs in the refrigerator for 1 or 2 hours to allow the seasoning to penetrate into the meat. Heat oil in a deep-fat fryer to 350 and drop in a few crab. Deep fry until they turn red and float to the surface, approximately 5-7 minutes. Repeat until all of the crabs are cooked. Serve immediately while steaming hot. Optionally, you can sprinkle the cooked crab with more seafood seasoning before serving. The claws should be boiled in water until they turn bright red and float to the surface.

Deep-Frying Tips & Techniques If you are undeterred by possible health risks or are treating yourself to an occasional deep-fried delicacy, here are some techniques and safety tips to keep in mind: - Choose your cooking oil carefully. When the oil starts to give off continuous smoke, you have it way too hot. Oils with PHOTOS BY JIM OLIVE


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:03 PM

Page C75

high “smoke points” are best, such as peanut, safflower, sunflower, and canola oil. Be sure to use enough oil so there is enough to cover whatever items you intend to fry. - Choose a deep, very heavy skillet to fry with. Add oil to the cold pan, leaving a space of at least two inches at the top of the pan, to allow a safety margin when the oil bubbles up as the food is added. - Heating a large amount of oil can take a long time. Deep-frying should be done with the oil around 365 degrees F (185 C). Use a candy thermometer to keep track of the oil’s temperature. - When breading with a moist batter, use cornmeal, cornstarch, or flour to make it stick to the food. Be sure to shake off the excess batter or breading before frying, else it might come off in the oil. - Always place food in the fryer away from you to prevent splashing and burning—do not throw it in! Keep your sleeves rolled down. - Avoid crowding the deep fryer with food, which will lower the oil’s temperature. - Maintain the proper frying temperature to ensure food cooks properly and doesn’t

the oil, wait until it has cooled then strain it through paper towels, coffee filters, or cheesecloth into a new container; store it in a cool, dark place. - Flames from a pot of hot oil can be 2-3 feet high. Be sure to have a real non-liquid fire extinguisher on hand and ready to use. A box of baking soda likely will not suffice in the event of a deep-fryer fire.

absorb too much oil. If it is too hot, the coating will burn before the food cooks; if it is not hot enough, oil will reach the food before it’s fully cooked and make it greasy. - Watch the food carefully as it cooks and do not leave the fryer unattended. Make sure all cords and the fryer itself are out of the reach of children. - Ideally, you should be deep-frying infrequently, which allows you to use fresh oil each time. But if you really want to re-use

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

S P O N S O R E D BY:


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:03 PM

Page C76

TEXAS SALTWATER

Dave Smit h Strip Striper Ex er press Guide Serv ice

PORT ARANSAS

GALVESTON

ull Ronald Sh t u o Tr Hugo Ford e ic Guide Serv

For Classified Rates and Information call Dennise at 1-800-750-4670, ext. 5579.

CORPUS CHRISTI Charlie Le wellen & James To uch Limits of et R Redfish C eds harters

ADVERTISERS, MAIL IN YOUR PHOTOS TODAY!

C76

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

ROCKPORT


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:03 PM

John Allgood 25.25-inch Trout ce Hillman Guide Servi

TEXAS FRESHWATER

Page C77

Jim Scarf & son Limit of Reds Redfish Charters

Colby Harris st Redfish Fir ch 25-in rvice Hugo Ford Guide Se

OUTDOOR SHOPPER

TEXAS HUNTING

LAKE TEXOMA

LAKE AMISTAD ADVERTISERS, MAIL IN YOUR PHOTOS TODAY!

COLORADO

BAFFIN BAY

For Classified Rates and Information call Dennise at 1-800-750-4670, ext. 5579.

SPOTLIGHT: SPEC-TACULAR TROUT ADVENTURES David Dillman is the owner and operator of Spec-tacular Trout Adventures, a year-round full time fishing guide service. Spec-tacular Trout Adventures was founded in January of 1990. They fish all of the Galveston Bay Complex for speckled trout and redfish, utilizing live natural bait and artificial lures. From May through September, David guides out of Eagle Point Fishing Camp in San Leon, Texas. From October through April, he guides out of Jamaica Beach on Galveston Island. Spec-tacular Trout Adventures offers both half- and full-day trips. For more information, visit them on the web at www.spec-taculartrout.com. — Spec-tacular Trout Adventures A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

C77


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:03 PM

Page C78

DEER—CASTELL, TEXAS

REDFISH—GALVESTON, TEXAS

Aubrey Larkin, age 9, of Crosby, Texas, killed a doe and an 8-point buck still in velvet at Sagabell Ranch in Castell, Texas.

Meaghan and Mark Morton, 10 years old, of Forney, Texas, caught this 30pound redfish out of Galveston Bay. They caught a total of 6 fish, weighing an average of 28 pounds each.

DRUM—SEADRIFT, TEXAS

SHEEPSHEAD—SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, TEXAS

Paisley Pollock, age 9, caught her largest fish to Brandon Barron of Brownsville, Texas, hooked this date in Seadrift, Texas. She caught these three sheepshead while fishing with his father, Eric Bardrum—all 18 inches—on pieces of dead shrimp. ron, at the South Padre Island Jetties. He caught the 24-inch, 9-1/2 -pounder while shrimping in the rocks.

SEND YOUR PHOTOS TO: C78

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

TF&G PHOTO ALBUM 1745 Greens Road Houston, Texas 77032 OR BY EMAIL: photos@fishgame.com

BASS—BEAR CREEK, TEXAS Rachael Keeton of Junction, Texas, caught this 7pound bass on 6-pound-test with a spinning rod. She was wade-fishing with her dad on Bear Creek.

PLEASE INCLUDE NAME, HOMETOWN, WHEN & WHERE CAUGHT, SIZE AND WEIGHT

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. &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:04 PM

Page C79

REDFISH—LOWER LAGUNA MADRE, TEXAS

BASS—BANDERA, TEXAS

DEER—NEWTON COUNTY, TEXAS

Harry King Jr. caught these 24- and 27-inch redfish Paul Kehner had a great day fishing with his son in Lower Laguna Madre, Texas. and grandsons at a catch-and-release lake in Bandera, where they pulled in 2- and 3-pounders all day. Left to right are grandsons Peter and Jaron, son Daniel, and grandson Nathaniel.

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

F i s h

Anthony Daigle, age 10, of Bleakwood, Texas, killed his first deer while hunting with dad Pat at Fawil Community in Newton County. The 7-point, 105-pound whitetail was taken with a 90-yard neck shot using a Remington 700 in .243 caliber.

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

C79


ALMANAC C.qxd

5/1/08

12:04 PM

Page C80


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

G

12:08 PM

Page I1

ROWING UP, I NEVER SAW A DUTCH OVEN used for anything other than frying fish. Propping his large, three-legged cast-iron oven on big rocks to get the bottom away from a bed of glowing coals, my uncle fried away in pure home-rendered lard. When the golden-brown filets were done, they floated to the top of the roiling grease and he dipped them out onto a mat of newspaper. It was my job to carry the hot fish from just inside the pasture fence, through the wooden gate, and into the tiny country farmhouse. I can promise you that not all the filets made it to Grandma’s already-set table. Today, a bed of coals isn’t always possible. Burn bans, campgrounds that prohibit campfires, or a simple lack of firewood can impede an outdoor cook’s progress. But there are ways to use Dutch ovens on camp stoves or on a controlled charcoal fire. A Dutch oven (cast iron pot with a lid) should be a camp cook’s primary vessel. The downside is new ovens must be “seasoned,” and cleaning is perceived as difficult, but once

PHOTO BY GERALD BURLEIGH

properly cured, the Dutch oven can’t be beat. Use them for baking a variety of breads, roasting, stewing, or steaming. The gustatory potentials are endless. Delicious cornbread, fluffy biscuits, cobblers from berries or fruits picked on the camping trips, “Whatchagot stew,” chickens or game hens roasted to perfection, or even cakes and pies

by Reavis Z. Wortham will taste better cooked outdoors in a Dutch oven than they do cooked with gas or electricity at home. Beginners sometimes begin their camp cookery by successfully burning their first few attempts. The reason is usually simple: too much fire, or they have placed the ingredients directly in the bottom of the Dutch oven. All recipes utilize one of two cooking techniques. The first is simply cooking on the bottom with a carefully controlled fire. The use of a trivet (a small metal plate or grate with short legs) keeps the food off the bottom to allow heat to more evenly circulate throughA L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

out the oven. The second way is using heat from both below and above to cook more evenly. Shopping for the perfect Dutch oven is as confusing as trying to buy the right plasma or LCD television. I can’t give you a definite description of the vessel you need, and the makers are as varied as the ovens offered. However, you won’t go wrong with purchasing from name brands such as Lodge or Camp Chef, to name a couple. One question is whether to purchase a Dutch oven made of cast iron or aluminum. I’m a purist, so I own cast iron, but for those who feel weight is an issue, aluminum is the answer. Your new Dutch oven must have a lid and legs. Legs keep the bottom off the fire when necessary and thus help prevent food from burning. The most common style has three legs, though I’ve seen ovens with four legs, which makes the vessel more stable. The lid should have a lip or ridge around the outside edge. It should also have a loop or eye in the center so it can be easily hooked for &

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

I1


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:08 PM

Page I2

In This Issue

I32

INDUSTRY INSIDER • The Boat Ramp; Sebile; Skeeter | BY TF&G STAFF

OUTDOOR LIFESTYLE SECTION

I34

SHOOT THIS • Smith & Wesson Model 41 Target Pistol | BY STEVE LAMASCUS

I36 I49 I50

SPECIAL HUNTING SECTION • Trophy Fever | BY TF&G STAFF

I52 I57 I60 I62 I64 I66 I68 I70

ON & OFF THE ROAD • TPWD Nixes River Access Plan | BY TF&G STAFF

HOW-TO SECTION

I1

COVER STORY • Dutch Ovens & Other Magic Cooking Vessels | BY REAVIS Z. WORTHAM

HOTSPOTS & TIDES SECTION

I6

TEXAS HOTSPOTS • Texas’ Hottest Fishing Spots | BY CALIXTO GONZALES & JD MOORE

I18

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

GEARING UP SECTION

I26

TEXAS TESTED • Thermacell; SPOT; Greenhead Goose Stools | BY TF&G STAFF

I28

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

I42 I44 I45 I46 I48 I53 I54 I56 I58

TEXAS BOATING • Loading & Docking 101 | BY LENNY RUDOW SALTWATER BAITS & RIGS • Mangrove Two-Step | BY PATRICK LEMIRE FRESHWATER BAITS & RIGS • Floating a Wacky Worm | BY PAUL BRADSHAW TEXAS KAYAKING • Glassing for Bass | BY GREG BERLOCHER MISTER CRAPPIE • Stay “In the Zone” | BY WALLY MARSHALL TEXAS GUNS & GEAR • The .280 Remington | BY STEVE LAMASCUS HUNT TEXAS • Watching the Embers Burn | BY BOB HOOD TEXAS OUTDOOR LAW • New ‘08-’09 Hunt/Fish Regs | BY WAYNE C. WATSON WILDERNESS TRAILS • The Lostrider, Part III-The Conclusion | BY HERMAN W. BRUNE

WOO’S CORNER • Night Fishing Tips | BY WOO DAVES TOURNAMENT INSIDER • Equipment Key to Jones’ Classic Win | BY MATT WILLIAMS

AFIELD WITH BARRY • Float Tube Fishing | BY BARRY ST. CLAIR MY PLACE OUTDOORS • Kids, Adults, and Kids | BY RYAN VICK GURLZ PAGE • Pee-pee, Chak-chak | BY MARI HENRY SPORTING TALES • Popping for Trout | BY TOM BEHRENS TEXAS TASTED • Barbecued Crab | BY BRYAN SLAVEN DISCOVER THE OUTDOORS • Classifieds | BY TF&G STAFF PHOTO ALBUM • Your Action Photos | BY TF&G STAFF


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:18 PM

Page I3

removal. Many have eyes on either side of the center loop. The lid should seat well and lie flush with the oven’s sides. All Dutch ovens come with a bail, a word that has almost fallen from use. The bail, or handle, is made of thick wire and used for carrying or hanging the heavy vessel. Some bails lay flat when folded down, but some styles remain at a 45-degree angle on one side, making it easier to hook the handle with a lid lifer. Lid lifters are as varied as the Dutch ovens themselves. However, one of the most recent designs combines the hook with a threelegged brace. This design reduces the chances of dropping the lid by bracing the lifter with three short legs. Don’t forget gloves and a shovel. Things get hot when you’re cooking with glowing coals and cast iron. The shovel is used to move coals onto and off of the lid. Those who’ve been around Dutch oven cooks have heard the phrase “curing the oven.” The interior curing process keeps food from sticking and keeps your oven from rusting. Many new ovens today come pre-cured or “seasoned.” All you have to do is unpack the vessel and build a fire. If you have an old oven, scrub it well and use a fine-grade sandpaper to clean the interior and exterior. Don’t forget the lid. Put a little elbow grease into the process to expose fresh metal. When finished, wash the oven with hot, hot soapy water. The hot water helps the oven dry quickly to prevent rust. Once that’s done, it’s time to cure. Heat the vessel in your home oven to approximately 200 degrees. Then, wearing protective gloves, use a clean cotton cloth to wipe a coating of shortening, vegetable oil, or lard onto vessel. As I said, I’m a purist and good old-fashioned lard works great. When the interior and exterior is coated, turn up the heat on your oven to 350 degrees for one hour. Turn off your smoke alarms, or do it on a day when you can open all the windows, because things will most likely get a little smoky. You can also heat the vessel on an outside fire. Wipe it down once more and your Dutch oven is cured. If you use too much oil or lard, your oven might have a sour or rancid smell the next time you remove the lid. If it does,

simply reheat the oven, wipe out the excess oil with a paper towel, and it is once again ready for use. After you’ve used the Dutch oven, wipe out the excess food with a paper towel. Then comes the part that can spark campfire arguments that just might extend well into the

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

F i s h

night. Some purists suggest the food in a Dutch oven must be burned off by turning it over in a fire until the residue burns black. This was my grandparents’ preferred method. Others say washing with hot, soapy water, completely drying the oven, then wiping on a

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

I3


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:08 PM

Page I4

new coating of oil is the way to go. I’ve even known a cook or two who simply wipes and scrubs out the interior first with paper towels and then with old cloth towels until the interior is “clean.” According to them, what remains cooks away when you set the oven onto a campfire for an hour or so. Then you

simply rap the side to dislodge the burned remainder and pour it out like black sand. From here, boys and girls, it’s all about experience. You want stew? Find yourself a recipe and get to cooking. Most of the heat will be from the bottom when making stew, so place your Dutch oven carefully on the coals, making sure it won’t tip. Notice I said “coals.” Licking flames aren’t what you want. Let your fire burn down to a bed of glowing coals and place the vessel on those. For more heat, remove the Dutch oven, add fresh coals, and cook some more. To roast chickens or game hens, the heat should come from the top and bottom equally. A layer of coals on the bottom and an equal layer directly on the lid should get things going nicely. Putting the fowl on a trivet to add air space underneath will let the heat circulate properly. Baked goods will cook properly when the heat comes from above. Three times the amount of coals should be placed on the top as on the bottom, but proceed with caution. A little heat can go a long way. An old trick is to use a metal charcoal fire starter bucket to get the briquettes burning well. When they turn white, dump a layer of coals for the bottom heat and put the remainder onto the lid. Again, a trivet or even an inverted pie pan will help circulate the heat so that a pie tin full of biscuits will come out golden brown. After you gain a little experience, you’ll soon be able to cook breads directly on the bottom. How many coals does it take to cook the perfect meal? Use wood coals roughly the size of charcoal briquettes. If you’re using a 12-inch oven, the total number of coals on top should be 24. Just multiply the size of your oven by two and to get a starting point to properly regulate the heat. For a little more fun, turn the lid over and place directly onto a shallow bed of coals. On this round griddle, you can cook eggs sunnyside up, or make pancakes that come out perfect every time. The shallow dip in the lid holds the food directly in the center, and if your lid is properly seasoned, everyone will comment on the picture-perfect results. You don’t need traditional cooking vessels all the time. Have a little fun with the kids by

I4

&

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

borrowing the roll of foil from you wife’s kitchen. Aluminum foil is one of the lightest, most versatile cooking vessels you can take on a camping trip. Tear off a 3-foot length of foil and fold it once. In the middle, place a handful of ground hamburger, chopped onion, minced or chopped potatoes, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Fold or roll the folded ends together and seal tight. Roll and crimp the other two edges to create a little packet so airtight so that no steam can escape. Place the aluminum packet directly onto a few coals for 8 to 10 minutes. You’ll soon have a deliciously cooked meal that the kids will actually want to eat. It’s a great way to get children excited about outdoor cooking. Making a sealed aluminum packet is one of our favorite ways to steam fish. Trout, bream, or crappie are wonderful when steamed for about 20 to 25 minutes in butter and lemon juice. Again, with a little experimentation, you’ll be cooking all of your fish in a foil packet. Want a baked potato with that? Wrap each one tightly so that no steam can escape and bury them in the coals for about 45 minutes. Use a shovel to get them out. Peel the foil back, slap on some butter and salt, and eat. Cowboy woks have created a new way of outdoor cooking. These disks, usually recycled plow disks, are truly fun to use. They can now be purchased ready to go, but if you have an old plow disk, have an experienced welder close the hole, grind the metal down smooth, and weld on three short legs. Then, simply follow the curing process previously outlined. Once seasoned, the cowboy wok is truly that, a somewhat rustic, heavy wok that can be used to cook just about anything from stir-fried foods, to eggs, pancakes, and sizzling steaks. An entire breakfast can be cooked at the same time on a single wok. Weld up another one and use it as a base for your Dutch oven. The added layer below the oven adds an easy way to manipulate the heat, or you can use it to keep the hot Dutch oven off surfaces that might be easily damaged. No matter what method you use, the food will simply taste better because you’re cooking outdoors. Isn’t that all that matters?


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:18 PM

Page I5


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:08 PM

Page I6

by Calixto Gonzales, South Zone Fishing Editor & JD Moore, North Zone Fishing Editor

Chica ‘Hoo Trout

nique is best to tempt snookums into coming out to play.

LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Boca Chica Beach (bank access) GPS: N26 3.800, W97 9.102

SPECIES: speckled trout, redfish BEST BAITS: live mullet, ballyhoo; gold spoons; soft plastics in red and white CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez, 956551-9581 TIPS: Both trout and redfish will cross the bars and cruise the guts along the beach across from South Padre Island. Live bait is the best bet for surf predators, but it’s easier to work up and down the beach if you take a small boxful of spoons, 1/4 ounce jigheads, and a couple of bags of plastics. Fish the wade gut early in the morning, especially on a high tide. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: North Brazos Santiago Jetties GPS: N26 4.080, W97 9.280 SPECIES: snook BEST BAITS: finger mullet; soft plastics in chartreuse, smoke CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez, 956551-9581 TIPS: The suds near the jetty tip provide shelter for some sizeable snook. It takes some careful handling by an experienced boater (novices might want to defer to easier scenarios), but you will have some shots to take a big linesider. Toss soft plastics or live baits parallel to the granite, especially in areas that have rock groins. Let the bait fall along the edges. A sharp jerk/fall techI6

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: South Bay Channel GPS: N26 2.692, W97 10.974 SPECIES: speckled trout, flounder BEST BAITS: live bait; topwaters; soft plastics in red/white, New Penny CONTACT: Captain Luke Bonura, 956457-2101 TIPS: Fish the mouths of the channel during moving tides. Fish the interior on an incoming tide, and outer fringes on an outgoing. Live bait under a popping cork produces well when trout are very active. Hopping soft plastics on a 1/8-ounce jighead along the channel edges will produce both trout and flounder. A good technique is to pin a live shrimp onto a jighead and bounce it back along the bottom. Flounder really like that. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Railbed (bank access) GPS: N26 3.830, W97 9.920 SPECIES: speckled trout, flounder BEST BAITS: live shrimp; Gulp! shrimp in Nuclear Chicken, Lime Tiger; soft plastics in chartreuse patterns; gold spoons CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez, 956551-9581 TIPS: Two rows of base stones that disappear into Laguna Madre along the shoreline of Brazos Island don’t look like much, but the hold both trout and flounder in the summer. Free-line a shrimp or finger mullet to tempt both fish early in the morning, or later in the evening. If the fish movement occurs later in the day, fish the deeper water with bottom bouncing jigs or fish-finder bait rigs. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Green Island GPS: N26 23.310, W97 19.876 &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

JD

Calixto

SPECIES: speckled trout, redfish BEST BAITS: live shrimp/popping cork; topwaters; gold spoons, red spinnerbaits; soft plastics in clear/red, red/white, Pearl/red CONTACT: Captain Ruben Garcia, 956459-3286 TIPS: Green Island continues to produce through June, with trout joining redfish on the hit parade. Smaller topwaters such as Top Dog Jr and Saltwater Chug Bug can be aggressively fished in sand pockets and along spoil banks. As the day warms up, move to deeper water and use a shrimp/popping cork rig or a spinnerbait fished near the bottom. Gold blades work best. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Cullen Channel GPS: N26 15.759, W97 117.273 SPECIES: flounder BEST BAITS: live shrimp, finger mullet; soft plastics in clear/red, red/white, Pearl/red CONTACT: Captain Luke Bonura, 956457-2101 TIPS: Anecdotal evidence indicates that flounder might be experiencing a bit of resurgence. Fish the edges of the channel on an incoming tide for flounder with live shrimp or finger mullet on a split shot rig. Bounce soft plastics along the bottom. As the tide falls, fish the deeper par to of the channel. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Gaswell Flats GPS: N26 16.309, W97 16.222 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live shrimp; Gulp! shrimp in Nuclear Chicken, Lime Tiger; soft plastics in chartreuse patterns; gold spoons; topwaters in Bone, Bone/chrome CONTACT: Captain Ruben Garcia, 956459-3286


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:08 PM

Page I7


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:08 PM

Page I8

ALL GPS COORDINATES VERIFIED BY

TIPS: After deferring to redfish during April and May, trout reappear at Gaswell during June. Many fishermen casting gold spoons for reds will be surprised to find that some of the bigger trout will also hit the flatware. Most fish will be caught on live shrimp under a noisemaker cork or on swimming plastics. Topwaters work well early in the morning, as well. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Stover Point GPS: N26 112.150, W97 17.480 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: topwaters; soft plastics in clear/red, red/white, Pearl/red; cut bait CONTACT: Captain Luke Bonura, 956457-2101 TIPS: Drift just east of the point and watch for potholes. Topwaters fished around the edges of the holes will get ambushed. As the day grows long, fish near

I8

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Tide Gauge

soft plastics in Strawberry/black back, Plum/chartreuse, Rootbeer/red flake, Morning Glory, Pumpkinseed/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089, 361-449-7441 TIPS: The greater availability of croaker as summer progresses makes them the focus of hungry trout in Baffin. Free-line them on a 3/0 Kahle hook along the drop-offs, giving them a twitch occasionally to prevent them from hiding in structure or weeds. If you prefer lures, the same topwaters and plastics that have worked throughout the spring will work in June.

GPS: N27 18.248, W97 27.593 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live croaker; topwaters early;

LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Center Reef GPS: N27 16.206, W97 34.362 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live croaker; soft plastics in Plum/chartreuse, Rootbeer/red flake, Morning Glory, Pumpkinseed/chartreuse

the spoils of the ICW to find trout lurking around the drop-offs. Night fishing is also a good tactic for June, especially around the full moon. Anchor up and cast toward the shoreline with chunks of ballyhoo or mullet.

Check the Gauge for Baffin Specks

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:09 PM

Page I9

ALL GPS COORDINATES VERIFIED BY

CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089, 361-449-7441 TIPS: Move to fishing the outside edges of the reef with free-lined croaker. Trout will be cruising around the rocks, looking for an easy meal. For best hookups, use a widegapped hook such as a Kahle or wide-bite circle or octopus hook. Rods with soft tips and sturdy actions are best for live bait applications. Eel and shad tails are also very effective when fished on a 1/8- to 1/16-ounce hook. LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Black Bluff GPS: N27 13.972, W97 31.112 SPECIES: speckled trout, redfish BEST BAITS: topwaters; soft plastics in Plum/chartreuse, Rootbeer/red flake, Morning Glory, Pumpkinseed/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089, 361-449-7441 TIPS: Yes, there are redfish in Baffin. Working topwaters along the shoreline early will get theirs and some hungry trout’s attention. Back off and fish the weedline edges as the sun gets higher during the

morning. Swim soft plastics across the edges and boundaries to give fish a target to ambush. Give the shoreline a second try late in the day just before dusk. LOCATION: Upper Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: West of ICW GPS: N27 33.684, W97 16.759 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: soft plastics in Plum/chartreuse, Rootbeer/red flake, Morning Glory, Pumpkinseed/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089, 361-449-7441 TIPS: Look for irregularities in the contours of weedlines along the spoil banks that run parallel to the ICW. Trout will hold inside those breaks and niches and strike out at prey that happens by. soft plastics that have a great deal of tail action are good choices for this sort of fishing. If you need to force yourself to slow down, match your plastic with a Mauler or Alameda float. The noise also adds a dimension to your presentation. LOCATION: Corpus Christi Bay

HOTSPOT: Shamrock Cove GPS: N27 45.437, W97 9.717 SPECIES: speckled trout, redfish BEST BAITS: live shrimp, croaker; small topwaters, gold spoons; soft plastics in Avocado/chartreuse, Motor Oil/chartreuse, Pumpkinseed/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Tim Duncan, 361949-2115, 361-834-6305 TIPS: Fish live croaker or shrimp around the weedlines and for speckled trout, or drift the flats for patrolling redfish. Reds will also strike smaller topwaters such as a Spook Jr in Bone, or gold spoons. Trout will also respond to Cocahoes or Gulp! Swim Shad in dark green patterns/chartreuse tail. LOCATION: Corpus Christi Bay HOTSPOT: East Flats GPS: N27 48.991, W97 97.139 SPECIES: speckled trout, redfish BEST BAITS: topwaters; gold spoons; soft plastics in Avocado/chartreuse, Motor Oil/chartreuse, Pumpkinseed/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Tim Duncan, 361949-2115, 361-834-6305 TIPS: Swim gold spoons or soft plastic


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:09 PM

Page I10

ALL GPS COORDINATES VERIFIED BY

right over the tops of the grass for best results. Both trout and redfish get further and further into the grass as the day heats up. redfish will also attack larger topwaters such as a She Dog or SkitterWalk. As the water warms up, you might want to downsize your offerings. LOCATION: Aransas Bay HOTSPOT: Long Reef GPS: N28 3.618, W96 57.679 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live croaker CONTACT: Captain George Rose, 361727-9227, 361-463-7700 TIPS: If you want to catch trout on Long Reef in the summer, then your best bet is a live croaker free-lined along the reef edges. Pop your rod every half-minute or so to prevent the croaker from getting into cover and out of the reach of the hungry trout. Your standard trout rods will work just fine, but a softer tip will keep you from ripping the bait out of a trout’s mouth. LOCATION: Aransas Bay HOTSPOT: Traylor Island GPS: N27 55.995, W97 4.494 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: gold spoons; Gulp! bait/Pop-

ping cork; live piggy perch CONTACT: Captain George Rose, 361727-9227, 361-463-7700 TIPS: Drift the flats alongside Traylor Island for redfish. You can swim a gold spoon or work a popping cork with a Gulp! shrimp or Swim Shad in patterns such as Mango or Nuclear Chicken. If you can get some live pinfish, work those underneath the popping cork. Redfish will come up out of the grass to drill it.

West Jetty Redfish LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: West Jetties GPS: N29 40.371, W93 50.250 SPECIES: speckled trout, redfish

BEST BAITS: soft plastics in chartreuse, Glow/chartreuse, Pearl/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Bill Watkins, 409-

786-2018, 409-673-2018 TIPS: Fish the deep holes that are alongside the jetties. Trout and redfish stack up inside these holes. Anchor upstream of the holes and cast into the edges and allow your bait to sink to the fish. You can sweep the lure back to you and let the current bring it back into the hole on the drop. Fish will usually strike on the slack line. LOCATION: Sabine Pass HOTSPOT: Louisiana Beachfront GPS: N29 41.482, W93 42.325 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: soft plastics in Glow/chartreuse, Pearl/chartreuse, Green Tomato, Strawberry/white CONTACT: Captain Bill Watkins, 409786-2018, 409-673-2018 TIPS: Trout stack up in the guts and depth breaks along both the Texas and Louisiana beachfronts. Watch for bird action and fish around the school. Larger fish hold beneath the primary school. If you don’t spot birds, watch for slicks and nervous bait to cue you in on where schools of trout are holding. LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Blue Buck Point GPS: N29 47.780, W94 54.439 SPECIES: trout BEST BAITS: topwaters; soft plastics in Limetreuse, Plum; Gulp! shrimp or shad tails CONTACT: Captain Bill Watkins, 409786-2018, 409-673-2018 TIPS: Trout can be located all over the middle part of the lake in June. The deeper water near Blue Buck Point is a good starting area. Watch for bird activity and slicks. Topwaters work well early in the morning, but larger fish will attack soft plastics more readily this time of year. LOCATION: East Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Gulf Cut GPS: N28 42.919, W95 53.210 SPECIES: speckled trout, redfish, flounder BEST BAITS: live bait; soft plastics in chartreuse patterns, Plum/chartreuse; Gulp! baits CONTACT: Captain Mark Talasek,

I10

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:09 PM

Page I11

ALL GPS COORDINATES VERIFIED BY

979-244-0044, 979-479-1397 TIPS: Spring tides push water through Gulf cut into the bay, and plenty of redfish, trout, and flounder follow the water in. The bay side of the cut is an excellent area to look for your Texas Slam. Live bait worked on split shot rigs will work for all three species. If you prefer artificials, soft plastics work best. Fish the edges of the cut for flounder, and out on the flats for trout and redfish. Incoming tides are best. LOCATION: West Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Cotton’s Bayou GPS: N28 30.552, W96 12.453 SPECIES: speckled trout, redfish BEST BAITS: soft plastics in chartreuse patterns, roach, black/bold/chartreuse, Morning Glory, Pumpkinseed CONTACT: Captain Mark Talasek, 979244-0044, 979-479-1397 TIPS: Cotton’s Bayou is a good wadefishing area. Work soft plastics on a 1/8ounce jighead. Cast parallel to the shoreline, and watch for slicks that mark where fish are feeding. If the water is off-colored, use darker patterned plastics. The cleaner the water, the better chartreuse patterns will work.

crawlers CONTACT: Jeff Snyder, 210-649-2435, www.alamoredfish.com TIPS: Drift the 18- to 25-foot depths in the main lake and deep channels for blue catfish that can get big. These fish will be holding and feeding in deep water, but not

below 25 feet due to lack of dissolved oxygen. If you are using prepared baits, use a No. 4 spring treble hook on a 24-inch leader and just enough lead to keep your bait vertical. Strip off 25 feet from your reel, and mark the spot with a magic marker. LOCATION: Calaveras HOTSPOT: West Hump GPS: N29 17.042, W99 19.429 SPECIES: redfish

LOCATION: West Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Green’s Bayou GPS: N28 29.738, W96 13.565 SPECIES: speckled trout, redfish BEST BAITS: soft plastics in chartreuse patterns, Roach, black/gold/chartreuse, Morning Glory, Pumpkinseed CONTACT: Captain Mark Talasek, 979244-0044, 979-479-1397 TIPS: As grassbeds start to heat up with the summer conditions, bait start stacking up over them. redfish and trout key in on these piscine buffets, and locating them is easier. You will sometimes see nervous bait and the shadows of big fish strafing them. Work the edges of the grassbed or directly over them.

Catfish Cutups and Rio Largemouth LOCATION: Braunig HOTSPOT: Water Outlets GPS: N29 15.277, W98 23.202 SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: cut bait, dough balls, night A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

I11


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:09 PM

Page I12

ALL GPS COORDINATES VERIFIED BY

BEST BAITS: live shad, tilapia, or sunfish CONTACT: Jeff Snyder, 210-649-2435, www.alamoredfish.com TIPS: Redfish will be cruising around deeper humps in 15-25 feet of water. Vertical fishing with live bait is the best technique to get these expatriated bruisers to hit. The same rigs for Braunig catfish will work on Calaveras redfish. Keep your bait in a round container with a strong aerator and fresh water. Put a sealed Zip-Loc or vacuum bag with ice in the container to keep the water cool. Your bait will appreciate it. LOCATION: Rio Grande River HOTSPOT: River above Anzalduas Dam GPS: N26 25.100, W97 57.220 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: plastic worms in black, Black Grape; willow leaf spinnerbaits in chartreuse/white, white

CONTACT: Anzalduas State Park, 956519-9550 TIPS: Warm weather will push bass up into the overhangs and tree roots that line the Rio Grande. Toss around fallen trees and overhanging branches with spinnerbaits. If the fish are way up in the tree roots, flipping with a 7- to 9-inch worm on a Texas rig should get their attention. Fish early in the morning before pleasure boaters chop up the water. Have a care not to fish the Mexican shoreline. They protect their sovereignty quite jealously. LOCATION: Lake Amistad HOTSPOT: California Creek GPS: N29 32.856, W101 00.898 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Bone or blue/chrome Zara Spook, Chug Bug CONTACT: Mike Hawkes, 210-275-1309 TIPS: Bass start breaking out of their

post-spawn funk and get aggressive again. Fish topwaters early in the morning along weedlines and stickups. Watch for jumping shad as clues that bass are on the prowl and actively feeding.

Stripers Go to School Hungry LOCATION: Lake Texoma HOTSPOT: Washita Flats & Point GPS: N33 55.024, W96 33.956

SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: topwaters, slabs, live shad CONTACT: Bill Carey, 877-786-4477, bigfish@graysoncable.com TIPS: Stripers are on their post spawn bite, and are grouped in main lake channels. They roam the lake in large schools eating anything in sight. Work topwaters early and 1-ounce slabs later in the day. Try chartreuse, chrome, and white topwaters for best results. Cast topwaters to surfacing fish and later in the morning drop slabs vertically and rip them up. Drift live shad across the ledges. Locate bait balls on your electronics as the stripers will be nearby ready to ambush bait. BANK ACCESS: Sheppard AFB Recreation Area, whites, cats, crappie LOCATION: Lake Joe Pool HOTSPOT: Deep Hump GPS: N32 37.840, W97 01.068 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Carolina rig, drop-shot rig, jigging spoon CONTACT: Randy Maxwell, 817-3132878, r.maxwell@tx.rr.com TIPS: Work deep humps and ridges at sunrise. Look for the birds to show you the way. They will be following the shad. The above baits will rule the depths. BANK ACCESS: Lynn Creek Fishing Dock, bass, crappie; bream

I12

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:09 PM

Page I13

ALL GPS COORDINATES VERIFIED BY

LOCATION: Lake Fork HOTSPOT: Little Caney, (either bank) GPS: N32 50.875, W95 33.288 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: buzzbait, Pop R, deep-diving crankbait CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff, 903-5302201, ricky@rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Start early in the backs of creeks with topwater lures fished shallow. As the day progresses, move to deep water and work deep diving crankbaits. BANK ACCESS: Lake Fork Public Park, largemouth bass, crappie LOCATION: Lake Fork HOTSPOT: FM 2946 Bridge GPS: N32 53.865 W95 39.552 SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: small minnows, crappie jigs CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff, 903-5302201, ricky@rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Thoroughly work all bridge abutments and pilings. Work brush that has piled up against the abutments and pilings. Occasionally, there will be sizeable holes in the trapped brush and it is easy to vertically fish the holes. BANK ACCESS: Lake Fork Public Park, all largemouth bass, crappie LOCATION: Lake Possum Kingdom HOTSPOT: Dam Area GPS: N32 52.068, W98 25.881 SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: crankbaits, topwaters CONTACT: Dean Heffner, 940-779-2597, fav7734@aceweb.com TIPS: The early bird gets the worm. When schooling shad are visible, topwaters are hot and fishing the 20- to 30-foot breakline should produce. Downrigging crankbaits in the deep clear waters of Possum Kingdom is also good. BANK ACCESS: Willow Beach RV Park, ask owner for permission.

Fayette Carolina Bass LOCATION: Lake Fayette County HOTSPOT: West Point GPS: N29 56.115, W96 44.785 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: topwaters, Carolina- or

Texas-rigged worms CONTACT: Bob Green, 281-460-9200, bobgreen@cvtv.net TIPS: Work topwaters such as buzzbaits and Spooks early and late. On points and humps, stay with the Carolina and Texas rigs. Work very slowly. BANK ACCESS: Park Prairie Pier, all species LOCATION: Lake Fayette County HOTSPOT: North Trees Area GPS: N29 56.229, W96 42.883 SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: stinkbait, worms CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, 979-229-3103, weldon-edna@hotmail.com TIPS: Most catfish have completed their spawn and are hungry. They will be moving into trees 5 to 10 feet deep. Tie up to the trees. This time of the year is also one of the best for chumming. Fishing should improve the longer you stay in one spot. If fishing 5 foot water cast away from boat using tight line, 3/4 ounce weight above swivel, 10 inch leader and a No. 4 treble hook. If fishing 10 feet or deeper, use the same rig but fish straight down beneath the boat, chumming exactly where your hook is on bottom. Go lightly on the chum. BANK ACCESS: Park Prairie, all species, live bait best LOCATION: Lake Buchanan HOTSPOT: Black Rock Park GPS: N30 46.777, W98 26.878

SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: jigs, plastic worms, crankbaits, topwaters (Spooks), buzzbaits CONTACT: Jim Files, 830-385-9579, jimfiles@moment.net TIPS: Start early, working buzzbaits and other topwaters first, then as the day progresses change to jigs, shallow crankbaits, and plastic worms. Work pockets and coves from Black Rock Park to the lighthouse. BANK ACCESS: Thunderbird Resort, all species LOCATION: Lake Buchanan HOTSPOT: Garrett Island GPS: N30 51.044, W98 24.877 SPECIES: striped bass A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

I13


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:09 PM

Page I14

ALL GPS COORDINATES VERIFIED BY

BEST BAITS: live shad, large swimbaits, bucktail jigs, jigging spoons CONTACT: Jim Files, 830-385-9579, jimfiles@moment.net TIPS: Drift live shad and large swim baits. Troll or jig bucktail jigs and jigging spoons. Thoroughly work the area from

Garrett Island to the lighthouse. BANK ACCESS: Hi-Line Resort, all species LOCATION: Lake LBJ HOTSPOT: Llano River (Hwy 2900 Bridge) GPS: N30 38.657, W98 26.773

SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: topwaters, buzzbaits; 1/8- to 1/4-ounce drop-shot worms; 6-inch blue flake worms; plastic stickbaits, spinnerbaits, crankbaits CONTACT: Jim Files, 830-385-9579, jimfiles@moment.net TIPS: Work the bridge pilings and abutments around the Hwy 1431 bridge and the Llano River bridge, including nearby boat docks and seawalls. Use appropriate bait from list above. BANK ACCESS: Robin Hood Park, catfish, largemouth bass LOCATION: Canyon Lake HOTSPOT: Jacob’s Creek GPS: N29 53.748, W98 12.807 SPECIES: smallmouth bass BEST BAITS: Spider Grubs; drop-shot worms, 4-inch plastic stickbaits or straight tail worms CONTACT: Jim Files, 830-385-9579, jimfiles@moment.net TIPS: Work the Overlook and pockets from ramp to Overlook. Also work sailboat marina and Randolph Recreation Area Point. BANK ACCESS: Canyon Park Campground, crappie, catfish LOCATION: Canyon Lake HOTSPOT: Jacobs Creek Point GPS: N29 52.946, W98 13.658 SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: 1/2-ounce striper jigs; Bombers; white bucktails, silver jigging spoons CONTACT: Jim Files, 830-385-9579, jimfiles@moment.net TIPS: Work the dam, ramp No. 1 area, and river channel up to Jacob’s Creek Point. BANK ACCESS: Guadalupe Park, largemouth bass, catfish LOCATION: Lake Whitney HOTSPOT: Dam Riprap GPS: N31 52.197 W97 22.250 SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: live shad, perch; Rat-L-Traps CONTACT: Randy Routh, 817-822-5539, teamredneck01@hotmail.com

I14

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:09 PM

Page I15

ALL GPS COORDINATES VERIFIED BY

TIPS: Back out to 32 feet of water and drop shad/baits down to about 22 feet. Stripers run along the riprap early and late. BANK ACCESS: Bear Creek Shoreline, catfish on cut shad LOCATION: Lake Whitney HOTSPOT: Cedron Creek GPS: N31 57.404, W97 25.451 SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Rat-L-Traps in chrome/blue back; 3/4-ounce slabs in chartreuse, white CONTACT: Randy Routh, 817-822-5539, teamredneck01@hotmail.com TIPS: Cedron Creek is a great place for schooling white bass. Also, watch for schooling activity early and late around Island Flats all the way to the riprap at the dam. BANK ACCESS: Loafer Bend Shore, stripers, white bass

BEST BAITS: Rat-L-Trap, Lil’ George CONTACT: Royce Simmons, 903-3894117, www.gonefishin.biz TIPS: June marks the start of the summer and topwater schooling action on Richland Chambers. Watch for whites chasing shad to the surface. Almost anything shiny will catch the whites, but small Rat-L-Traps and Lil’ Georges are deadly. BANK ACCESS: Highway 309 Park, catfish, chum first, cut shad or perch

LOCATION: Lake Waco HOTSPOT: Old Hwy 6 (submerged) GPS: N31 33.096, W97 14.820 SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: shallow crankbaits, Rat-LTraps in chrome/blue CONTACT: Jimmy D. Moore, 254-7442104, rayado@earthlink.net TIPS: Work the Old Hwy 6 roadbed, where it heads south across the main lake. Use electronics to locate roadbed. The roadbed is flat on top and slopes off rather

LOCATION: Lake Aquilla HOTSPOT: Bubbler / Aerator GPS: N31 54.871, W97 11.656 SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Little George, Tail Hummer, Flea Fly jig CONTACT: Randy Routh, 817-822-5539, teamredneck01@hotmail.com TIPS: June water is warming up and the whites are starting to gang up at the bubbler. This is a great place to take kids. Cast the Little Georges and Tail Hummers to the bubbles and retrieve to boat. You can also tie a Flea Fly about 10 inches above the Tail Hummer and catch two whites at a time. BANK ACCESS: Tailrace fishing pier, largemouth bass, white bass LOCATION: Granger Lake HOTSPOT: Middle Ridge GPS: N30 42.139, W97 20.237 SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: slab spoon CONTACT: Tommy Tidwell, 512-3657761, crappie1@hotmail.com TIPS: Work main lake humps, roadbeds, and ridges by vertically jigging the spoons. BANK ACCESS: Wilson Fox Fishing Dock, crappie on live minnows LOCATION: Lake Richland-Chambers HOTSPOT: Hwy 309 Flats GPS: N31 58.324, W96 07.208 SPECIES: white bass A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

I15


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:09 PM

Page I16

ALL GPS COORDINATES VERIFIED BY

quickly on either side. Watch for the birds and “jumpy” water. This is your alert that white bass are chasing shad close by. A new record largemouth bass weighing 13.8 pounds was caught in mid March. It is the first largemouth from Lake Waco to be accepted into the ShareLunker program. BANK ACCESS: Reynolds Creek Park Shoreline, largemouth bass, bream LOCATION: Tradinghouse Creek Reservoir HOTSPOT: Water Inlet GPS: N32 34.453, W96 57.972 BEST BAITS: buzzbait with translucent plastic yellow propeller; chartreuse/white spinnerbait CONTACT: Jimmy D. Moore, 254-7442104, rayado@earthlink.net TIPS: As the water heats up from the power plant, the area north of the water inlet will be the coolest in the lake. Largemouth bass constantly patrol this area. Work around, over, and in pockets in the hydrilla/grass beds. Work the reeds all the way out to the main lake point. Noisy baits and persistent casting will bring bass up. BANK ACCESS: Along the levee dam on south side of lake, park in old park just past levee and left to top of hill

East Texas Crank Bass LOCATION: Lake Palestine HOTSPOT: Kickapoo Creek GPS: N32 17.349, W95 29.923

SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: crankbaits, spinnerbaits, tube jigs, jig-n-pig CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff, 903-5302201, ricky@rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Work south on the main lake points and in the deeper creeks. Work the boat docks in the creeks with crankbaits and spinnerbaits. When brush is present under the docks, flip tube jigs and jig-n-pigs. LOCATION: Lake Palestine HOTSPOT: Hwy 155 Bridge GPS: N32 08.656, W95 28.447 SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: live minnows

CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff, 903-5302201, ricky@rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Crappie will be good on minnows and jigs in around bridge abutments and pilings in 10 to 15 feet of water. Work all angles for best results. LOCATION: Gibbons Creek Reservoir HOTSPOT: Plum Creek Point GPS: N30 38.479, W96 03.117 SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: shad, crawfish CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, 979-229-3103, weldon-edna@hotmail.com TIPS: Plum Creek Point is just south of Plum Creek Flats. Summer months are good for chumming. If using stinkbaits, expect fish to be there sooner, even when using chum. Fish travel from creeks to and from the discharge area by this point. Tie to a tree or anchor away from the bank and fish toward the stumps, trees, shoreline. Use Carolina rig if wind is blowing. Use cork on a less windy day. LOCATION: Lake Somerville HOTSPOT: Snake Island Cove GPS: N30 18.917, W96 35.800 SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: shad, crawfish, stinkbait CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, 979-229-3103, weldon-edna@hotmail.com TIPS: June is prime time for chumming. Anchor within casting distance of the shoreline in this cove. Put out some chum toward the bank. Mainly fish toward the shoreline, but set one line out toward deeper water also. Tight-line with Carolina rig using a No. 2 Kahle hook for shad and crawfish. Fish punch bait with a No. 4 treble hook, Carolina rigged. This is also a good area for night fishing close to shoreline. BANK ACCESS: Rocky Creek Boat Ramp, largemouth bass, white bass, catfish Contact South Regional Fishing Editor Calixto Gonzales by email at hotspotssouth@fishgame.com Contact North Regional Fishing Editor JD Moore by email at hotspotsnorth@fishgame.com

I16

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:09 PM

Page I17


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:09 PM

Page I18

Tides and Prime Times for JUNE 2008 USING THE PRIME TIMES CALENDAR

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

T12

T4

T11

T10

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

T9 T8

T13 T7

T6 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

T5

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.

AM & PM MAJOR phases occur when the moon reaches its highest point overhead as well as when it is “underfoot” or at its highest point on the exact opposite side of the earth from your positoin (or literally under your feet). Most days have two Major Feeding Phases, each lasting about 2 hours. PEAK DAYS: The closer the moon is to your location, the stronger the influence. FULL or NEW MOONS provide the strongest influnce of the month.

T20

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

T21

TIDE CORRECTION TABLE Add or subtract the time shown at the 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

T22 T23

View TIDE PREDICTIONS for all Texas Coastal Tide Stations and DATES at...

www.FishGame.com 2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

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

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

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

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

KEY T18 T19 T20 T21 T22 T23

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

SPORTSMAN’S DAYBOOK IS SPONSORED BY:

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION

• J U N E

TIDE PREDICTIONS are shown in graph form, with High and Low tide predictions in text immediately below.

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

T14 T18

T19

I18

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

5/1/08

12:09 PM

Page I19

Tides and Prime Times for JUNE 2008

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION

MONDAY

TUESDAY

26

 27

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

THURSDAY

28

FRIDAY

29

SATURDAY

30

SUNDAY

May 31

Jun 1

Set: 8:07p Sunrise: 6:18a Set: 12:46p Moonrise: 1:48a

Set: 8:08p Set: 1:45p

Sunrise: 6:17a Moonrise: 2:19a

Set: 8:08p Set: 2:46p

Sunrise: 6:17a Moonrise: 2:50a

Set: 8:09p Set: 3:49p

Sunrise: 6:17a Moonrise: 3:25a

Set: 8:09p Set: 4:57p

Sunrise: 6:17a Moonrise: 4:04a

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

AM Minor: 11:08a

PM Minor: 11:31p

AM Minor: 11:56a

PM Minor: ——-

AM Minor: 12:18a

PM Minor: 12:41p

AM Minor: 1:01a

PM Minor: 1:24p

AM Minor: 1:43a

PM Minor: 2:07p

AM Minor: 2:26a

PM Minor: 2:52p

AM Minor: 3:13a

PM Minor: 3:42p

AM Major: 4:56a

PM Major: 5:19p

AM Major: 5:44a

PM Major: 6:07p

AM Major: 6:30a

PM Major: 6:52p

AM Major: 7:13a

PM Major: 7:36p

AM Major: 7:55a

PM Major: 8:19p

AM Major: 8:39a

PM Major: 9:06p

AM Major: 9:27a

PM Major: 9:56p

Moon Overhead: 6:13a 6a

12p

Moon Overhead: 7:43a

Moon Overhead: 6:58a

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 8:28a 12a

6a

12p

Moon Overhead: 10:07a

Moon Overhead: 9:16a

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 11:03a 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

Sunrise: 6:18a Set: 8:07p Sunrise: 6:18a Moonrise: 12:45a Set: 11:47a Moonrise: 1:18a

12a

WEDNESDAY

12a

FEET

+2.0

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 6:36p

Moon Underfoot: 7:21p

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 8:06p

BEST:

4:50-6:30 AM

BEST:

5:35-7:20 AM

6:25-7:55 AM

Moon Underfoot: 8:52p

Moon Underfoot: 9:41p

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 10:34p

BEST:

7:30-9:20 PM

Moon Underfoot: 11:33p

BEST:

7:45-9:50 AM

BEST:

8:30-10:45 AM

+1.0

TIDE LEVELS

TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

0

-1.0

+2.0

9:20-11:15 AM

0

Low Tide: 2:28 am 0.14 ft High Tide: 11:25 am 1.45 ft

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

3:15 am 11:43 am 7:27 pm 9:11 pm

0.29 ft 1.39 ft 0.99 ft 1.00 ft

Low Tide: 4:08 am 0.48 ft High Tide: 11:54 am 1.32 ft Low Tide: 6:22 pm 0.75 ft

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

12:04 am 5:12 am 12:01 pm 6:44 pm

1.04 ft 0.71 ft 1.26 ft 0.44 ft

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

1:50 am 6:27 am 12:04 pm 7:20 pm

1.21 ft 0.95 ft 1.25 ft 0.10 ft

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

3:14 am 7:54 am 12:03 pm 8:03 pm

1.42 ft 1.18 ft 1.30 ft -0.22 ft

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

4:25 am 9:30 am 11:56 am 8:50 pm

1.62 ft 1.36 ft 1.38 ft -0.50 ft

KEYS TO USING THE TIDE AND SOLUNAR GRAPHS TIDE LE VEL GRAPH: Yellow: Daylight Tab: Peak Fishing Period Green: Falling Tide Blue: Rising Tide Red Graph: Fishing Score

12a

6a

BEST:

7:05-9:40 PM

12p

6p

SOLUNAR AC TIVIT Y: 12a

AM/PM Timeline Light Blue: Nighttime

MINOR Feeding Periods (+/- 1.5 Hrs.)

AM Minor: 1:20a

PM Minor: 1:45p

AM Major: 7:32a

PM Major: 7:57p

Time Moon is at its Highest Point in the 12a Sky

Moon Overhead: 8:50a

Gold Fish: Best Time Blue Fish: Good Time

AM/PM Timeline

Moon Underfoot: 9:15p

6a

12p

6p

MOON PHASE SYMBOLS

MAJOR Feeding Periods (+/- 2 Hrs.)

12a

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

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

F i s h

z œ {  

&

= New Moon = Fi rst Quarter = Full Moon = L a s t Q u a r te r = Best Da y

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

I19

-1.0


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:10 PM

Page I20

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION

z œ z  

BEST:

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

MONDAY

TUESDAY

2

WEDNESDAY

3

z

THURSDAY

4

5

Sunrise: 6:16a Moonrise: 4:50a

Set: 8:10p Set: 7:25p

Sunrise: 6:16a Moonrise: 5:45a

Set: 8:11p Set: 8:37p

Sunrise: 6:16a Moonrise: 6:48a

Set: 8:11p Set: 9:43p

Sunrise: 6:16a Moonrise: 7:57a

AM Minor: 4:06a

PM Minor: 4:38p

AM Minor: 5:07a

PM Minor: 5:40p

AM Minor: 6:13a

PM Minor: 6:46p

AM Major: 10:22a

PM Major: 10:53p

AM Major: 11:23a

PM Major: 11:56p

AM Major: 12:06a

PM Major: 12:30p

Moon Overhead: 12:04p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 2:16p

Moon Overhead: 1:09p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

FRIDAY

6

SUNDAY

7

8

Set: 8:12p Sunrise: 6:16a Set: 10:40p Moonrise: 9:09a

Set: 8:12p Sunrise: 6:16a Set: 8:13p Set: 11:27p Moonrise: 10:19a Set: None

AM Minor: 7:23a

PM Minor: 7:55p

AM Minor: 8:32a

PM Minor: 9:02p

AM Minor: 9:36a

PM Minor: 10:04p

AM Minor: 10:35a

PM Minor: 11:00p

AM Major: 1:07a

PM Major: 1:39p

AM Major: 2:16a

PM Major: 2:47p

AM Major: 3:23a

PM Major: 3:50p

AM Major: 4:22a

PM Major: 4:47p

Moon Overhead: 3:21p 12a

SATURDAY

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 5:17p

Moon Overhead: 4:22p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Sunrise: 6:16a Set: 8:13p Moonrise: 11:25a Set: 12:07a

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 6:07p 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

Tides and Prime Times for JUNE 2008

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

= New Moon = Fi r s t Q u a r t e r = Fu l l M o o n = Last Quarte r = B es t Da y

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: None +2.0

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 12:36a BEST:

10:30AM-12:20PM

Moon Underfoot: 1:43a BEST:

11:20AM-1:15PM

Moon Underfoot: 2:49a BEST:

2:15-8:15 PM

Moon Underfoot: 3:52a BEST:

3:20-9:00 PM

4:20-9:15 PM

Moon Underfoot: 4:51a BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 5:43a +2.0

BEST:

3:20-5:00 AM

4:20-5:50 AM

+1.0

TIDE LEVELS

TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

0

-1.0

0

High Tide: 5:29 am Low Tide: 9:40 pm

I20

1.77 ft High Tide: 6:30 am 1.84 ft High Tide: 7:28 am 1.84 ft High Tide: 8:24 am -0.70 ft Low Tide: 10:33 pm -0.80 ft Low Tide: 11:28 pm -0.79 ft

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

1.78 ft

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

Low Tide: 12:23 am -0.69 ft Low Tide: High Tide: 9:14 am 1.68 ft High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

1:20 am 9:56 am 4:23 pm 4:58 pm

-0.49 ft 1.56 ft 1.29 ft 1.29 ft

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

2:15 am 10:30 am 4:52 pm 7:32 pm

-0.23 ft 1.43 ft 1.06 ft 1.10 ft

-1.0


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:10 PM

Page I21


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:10 PM

Page I22

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION BEST:

= Peak Fishing Period

7:45-9:40 AM

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

MONDAY

TUESDAY

9

WEDNESDAY

10

THURSDAY

œ 11

FRIDAY

12

SATURDAY

13

SUNDAY

14

15

Set: 8:14p Set: 1:12a

Sunrise: 6:16a Moonrise: 2:19p

Set: 8:14p Set: 1:40a

Sunrise: 6:16a Moonrise: 3:13p

Set: 8:15p Set: 2:08a

Sunrise: 6:16a Moonrise: 4:09p

Set: 8:15p Set: 2:37a

Sunrise: 6:16a Moonrise: 5:05p

Set: 8:15p Set: 3:08a

Sunrise: 6:16a Moonrise: 6:02p

Set: 8:16p Set: 3:42a

AM Minor: 11:26a

PM Minor: 11:49p

AM Minor: ——-

PM Minor: 12:12p

AM Minor: 12:32a

PM Minor: 12:53p

AM Minor: 1:11a

PM Minor: 1:31p

AM Minor: 1:48a

PM Minor: 2:09p

AM Minor: 2:26a

PM Minor: 2:48p

AM Minor: 3:05a

PM Minor: 3:29p

AM Major: 5:15a

PM Major: 5:38p

AM Major: 6:01a

PM Major: 6:23p

AM Major: 6:43a

PM Major: 7:03p

AM Major: 7:21a

PM Major: 7:42p

AM Major: 7:59a

PM Major: 8:20p

AM Major: 8:37a

PM Major: 8:59p

AM Major: 9:17a

PM Major: 9:40p

Moon Overhead: 6:53p

12a

6a

12p

Moon Overhead: 8:17p

Moon Overhead: 7:35p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 8:58p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 10:26p

Moon Overhead: 9:41p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 11:13p 12a

6a

12p

6p

FEET

12a

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 6:31a +2.0

Moon Underfoot: 7:14a

BEST:

BEST:

5:10-6:45 AM

Moon Underfoot: 7:56a BEST:

6:20-7:45 PM

Moon Underfoot: 8:37a BEST:

7:00-8:30 PM

Moon Underfoot: 9:19a BEST:

7:40-9:10 PM

8:15-9:55 PM

Moon Underfoot: 10:03a BEST:

2:40-5:10 PM

Moon Underfoot: 10:49a +2.0

BEST:

3:20-6:10 PM

+1.0

TIDE LEVELS

TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

0

-1.0

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

Sunrise: 6:16a Set: 8:13p Sunrise: 6:16a Moonrise: 12:26p Set: 12:42a Moonrise: 1:24p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

Tides and Prime Times for JUNE 2008

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

0

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

I22

3:12 am 10:57 am 5:34 pm 9:46 pm

0.07 ft 1.32 ft 0.81 ft 0.99 ft

• J U N E

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

2 0 0 8 /

4:10 am 11:17 am 6:14 pm 11:53 pm

0.39 ft 1.23 ft 0.54 ft 0.99 ft

T E X A S

Low Tide: 5:19 am 0.69 ft High Tide: 11:32 am 1.17 ft Low Tide: 6:52 pm 0.30 ft

F i s h

&

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

1:52 am 6:54 am 11:42 am 7:27 pm

1.10 ft 0.94 ft 1.15 ft 0.09 ft

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

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

3:32 am 8:55 am 11:41 am 8:00 pm

1.25 ft High Tide: 4:42 am 1.11 ft Low Tide: 8:33 pm 1.16 ft -0.07 ft

1.38 ft High Tide: 5:31 am -0.18 ft Low Tide: 9:07 pm

1.46 ft -0.25 ft

-1.0


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:10 PM

Page I23

z œ z  

Tides and Prime Times for JUNE 2008 TUESDAY

16

1 7

THURSDAY

{ 18

FRIDAY

1 9

SATURDAY

2 0

2 1

22

Set: 8:16p Set: 4:21a

Sunrise: 6:16a Moonrise: 7:52p

Set: 8:16p Set: 5:05a

Sunrise: 6:16a Moonrise: 8:42p

Set: 8:16p Set: 5:54a

Sunrise: 6:16a Moonrise: 9:28p

Set: 8:17p Set: 6:47a

AM Minor: 3:48a

PM Minor: 4:12p

AM Minor: 4:34a

PM Minor: 4:59p

AM Minor: 5:23a

PM Minor: 5:49p

AM Minor: 6:15a

PM Minor: 6:40p

AM Minor: 7:08a

PM Minor: 7:33p

AM Minor: 8:01a

PM Minor: 8:25p

AM Minor: 8:54a

PM Minor: 9:17p

AM Major: 10:00a

PM Major: 10:25p

AM Major: 10:47a

PM Major: 11:12p

AM Major: 11:36a

PM Major: ——-

AM Major: 12:02a

PM Major: 12:28p

AM Major: 12:56a

PM Major: 1:20p

AM Major: 1:49a

PM Major: 2:13p

AM Major: 2:42a

PM Major: 3:05p

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 12:53a

Moon Overhead: 12:02a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Sunrise: 6:16a Set: 8:17p Moonrise: 10:10p Set: 7:44a

SUNDAY

Sunrise: 6:16a Moonrise: 6:58p

Moon Overhead: None

12a

WEDNESDAY

Moon Overhead: 1:44a 12a

6a

12p

6p

Sunrise: 6:17a Set: 8:17p Moonrise: 10:47p Set: 8:43a

Moon Overhead: 3:24a

Moon Overhead: 2:35a 12a

6a

12p

6p

Sunrise: 6:17a Set: 8:17p Moonrise: 11:20p Set: 9:41a

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 4:11a 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

MONDAY

= New Moon = Fi r s t Q u a r t e r = Fu l l M o o n = Last Quarte r = B es t Da y

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 11:37a +2.0

BEST:

6:00-10:30 PM

Moon Underfoot: 12:28p BEST:

7:05PM-12:10AM

Moon Underfoot: 1:19p BEST:

5:45-9:10 PM

Moon Underfoot: 2:10p BEST:

6:35PM-12:30AM

Moon Underfoot: 3:00p

Moon Underfoot: 3:48p

BEST:

BEST:

7:30PM-1:00AM

8:20PM-2:30AM

Moon Underfoot: 4:34p +2.0

BEST:

9:10PM-2:50AM

+1.0

TIDE LEVELS

TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

0

-1.0

0

High Tide: 6:10 am Low Tide: 9:42 pm

1.50 ft High Tide: 6:43 am 1.51 ft High Tide: 7:16 am 1.50 ft High Tide: 7:48 am 1.49 ft High Tide: 8:21 am -0.29 ft Low Tide: 10:17 pm -0.31 ft Low Tide: 10:53 pm -0.31 ft Low Tide: 11:28 pm -0.29 ft

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

F i s h

1.48 ft

&

Low Tide: 12:03 am -0.25 ft Low Tide: 12:37 am -0.18 ft High Tide: 8:52 am 1.46 ft High Tide: 9:19 am 1.42 ft

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

I23

-1.0


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:10 PM

Page I24

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION BEST:

7:45-9:40 AM

= Peak Fishing Period

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

MONDAY

23

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

24

THURSDAY

 25

FRIDAY

26

Set: 8:18p Sunrise: 6:18a Set: 8:18p Sunrise: 6:17a Set: 8:18p Set: 11:37a Moonrise: 12:20a Set: 12:36p Moonrise: 12:50a Set: 1:36p

SATURDAY

27

SUNDAY

28

29

Sunrise: 6:18a Moonrise: 1:22a

Set: 8:18p Set: 2:40p

Sunrise: 6:18a Moonrise: 1:58a

Set: 8:18p Set: 3:48p

Sunrise: 6:19a Moonrise: 2:39a

Set: 8:18p Set: 5:00p

AM Minor: 9:45a

PM Minor: 10:07p

AM Minor: 10:34a

PM Minor: 10:55p

AM Minor: 11:21a

PM Minor: 11:43p

AM Minor: ——-

PM Minor: 12:07p

AM Minor: 12:29a

PM Minor: 12:54p

AM Minor: 1:15a

PM Minor: 1:42p

AM Minor: 2:04a

PM Minor: 2:33p

AM Major: 3:34a

PM Major: 3:56p

AM Major: 4:23a

PM Major: 4:45p

AM Major: 5:10a

PM Major: 5:32p

AM Major: 5:56a

PM Major: 6:19p

AM Major: 6:41a

PM Major: 7:06p

AM Major: 7:28a

PM Major: 7:55p

AM Major: 8:18a

PM Major: 8:48p

Moon Overhead: 4:57a

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 6:24a

Moon Overhead: 5:41a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 7:09a 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 8:49a

Moon Overhead: 7:57a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 9:46a 12a

6a

12p

6p

FEET

+2.0

12a

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 5:19p BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 6:02p BEST:

3:30-5:15 AM

Moon Underfoot: 6:46p BEST:

4:20-5:50 AM

Moon Underfoot: 7:32p BEST:

5:05-6:30 AM

5:45-7:20 AM

Moon Underfoot: 8:22p BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 9:16p BEST:

6:35-8:15 AM

7:45-9:30 PM

Moon Underfoot: 10:16p BEST:

+2.0

2:30-5:05 PM

+1.0

TIDE LEVELS

TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

0

-1.0

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

Sunrise: 6:17a Set: 8:17p Sunrise: 6:17a Moonrise: 11:51p Set: 10:40a Moonrise: None

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

Tides and Prime Times for JUNE 2008

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

0

Low Tide: 1:13 am High Tide: 9:41 am

I24

-0.05 ft Low Tide: 1.37 ft High Tide: Low Tide: High Tide:

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

1:49 am 9:58 am 4:10 pm 7:52 pm

0.12 ft 1.30 ft 0.85 ft 0.89 ft

T E X A S

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

F i s h

2:29 am 10:08 am 4:38 pm 10:36 pm

&

0.35 ft 1.23 ft 0.59 ft 0.88 ft

Low Tide: 3:13 am 0.63 ft High Tide: 10:10 am 1.19 ft Low Tide: 5:17 pm 0.28 ft

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

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

12:48 am 4:08 am 10:03 am 6:02 pm

1.02 ft 0.92 ft 1.20 ft -0.03 ft

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

2:39 am 5:28 am 9:40 am 6:52 pm

1.24 ft High Tide: 4:02 am 1.19 ft Low Tide: 7:45 pm 1.27 ft -0.34 ft

1.46 ft -0.60 ft

-1.0


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:10 PM

Page I25

z œ z  

Tides and Prime Times for JUNE 2008 TUESDAY

30

Jul 1

THURSDAY

2

z

FRIDAY

3

Set: 8:18p Set: 6:12p

Sunrise: 6:19a Moonrise: 4:26a

Set: 8:18p Set: 7:21p

Sunrise: 6:20a Moonrise: 5:32a

Set: 8:18p Set: 8:22p

Sunrise: 6:20a Moonrise: 6:44a

Set: 8:18p Set: 9:15p

Sunrise: 6:20a Moonrise: 7:56a

AM Minor: 2:57a

PM Minor: 3:28p

AM Minor: 3:55a

PM Minor: 4:28p

AM Minor: 4:57a

PM Minor: 5:30p

AM Minor: 6:01a

PM Minor: 6:33p

AM Major: 9:13a

PM Major: 9:44p

AM Major: 10:11a

PM Major: 10:44p

AM Major: 11:13a

PM Major: 11:46p

AM Major: ——-

PM Major: 12:17p

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 12:59p

Moon Overhead: 11:53a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 2:03p 12a

6a

12p

6p

SATURDAY

4

Sunrise: 6:19a Moonrise: 3:28a

Moon Overhead: 10:48a

12a

WEDNESDAY

5

6

Set: 8:18p Sunrise: 6:21a Set: 10:00p Moonrise: 9:06a

Set: 8:18p Sunrise: 6:21a Set: 8:18p Set: 10:38p Moonrise: 10:11a Set: 11:11p

AM Minor: 7:05a

PM Minor: 7:34p

AM Minor: 8:07a

PM Minor: 8:33p

AM Minor: 9:04a

PM Minor: 9:29p

AM Major: 12:51a

PM Major: 1:20p

AM Major: 1:54a

PM Major: 2:20p

AM Major: 2:52a

PM Major: 3:17p

Moon Overhead: 3:56p

Moon Overhead: 3:02p 12a

SUNDAY

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 4:45p 12a

6a

12p

6p

FEET

BEST:

3:20-5:45 PM

Moon Underfoot: None BEST:

10:05AM-12:05PM

Moon Underfoot: 12:26a BEST:

11:10AM-1:15pm

Moon Underfoot: 1:31a BEST:

12:10-2:20 PM

Moon Underfoot: 2:33a BEST:

1:15-3:10 PM

Moon Underfoot: 3:30a BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 4:21a +2.0

BEST:

2:10-4:05 PM

3:10-5:05 PM

+1.0

TIDE LEVELS

TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

0

-1.0

12a

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 11:20p +2.0

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

MONDAY

= New Moon = Fi r s t Q u a r t e r = Fu l l M o o n = Last Quarte r = B es t Da y

0

High Tide: 5:04 am Low Tide: 8:40 pm

1.62 ft High Tide: 5:55 am -0.79 ft Low Tide: 9:35 pm

1.70 ft High Tide: 6:41 am 1.71 ft High Tide: -0.89 ft Low Tide: 10:30 pm -0.90 ft Low Tide: High Tide: Low Tide:

7:22 am 12:12 pm 1:58 pm 11:22 pm

1.65 ft High Tide: 7:57 am 1.55 ft 1.46 ft Low Tide: 12:38 pm 1.33 ft 1.47 ft High Tide: 3:35 pm 1.38 ft -0.81 ft

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

12:13 am 8:26 am 1:24 pm 5:04 pm

-0.62 ft 1.43 ft 1.14 ft 1.25 ft

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

1:01 am 8:52 am 2:19 pm 6:36 pm

-0.35 ft 1.32 ft 0.92 ft 1.10 ft

-1.0


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:10 PM

Page I26

Thermacell Skeeter-Scatter Tweaks Game Noses, Too

Thermacell

H

AVE MOSQUITOES OR DEER FLIES EVER bothered you on a hunting or fishing trip? Of course they have. On a recent hunting trip, I thought it wise to try a new product that guaranteed protection from these critters and other flying pests—a Thermacell “appliance.” The company claims this product will keep pests away for up to 12 hours. We have all heard such claims before (often with dubious inthe-field performance), so I was naturally skeptical. (Some products I have used seemed to attract bugs!) After using a Thermacell, I can tell you it lives up to its claims. I was amazed. I hunted near a swamp just to give it a good test. I sat and waited a few minutes until the bugs found me, and then activated the unit. Within minutes, the area was free of flying insects. Thermacell units cover a 15-foot radius. This is a nice feature if you are night-fishing with a friend or camping with your family. The Thermacell is a very simple to operate and lightweight. Simply place one of the three supplied blue pads under the grid on the face of the unit. A small butane canister screws into the bottom of the unit. After a minute or so, you simply turn the switch to the “On” position, and then click the button on the right to ignite the unit. A small viewing hole located on the top allows you to see if it is working properly. When the blue pad turns white, it is time to exchange it for a new one. Extra pads and butane canisters are sold separately. Thermacell units come in plain colors and camouflage patterns. The product literature says the unit is perfect for fishing, camping, and hunting I26

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

among other outdoor activities. A new wrinkle that was not yet available when I tested the Thermacell unit might help hunters hide from deer as well as mosquitoes: repellent pads that also contain odor masking scent. The new Earth Scent pads emit the smell of musky dirt and decaying leaves—a convincing scent designed to mask human odors and linger continuously for up to four hours. I strongly recommend this product—it really works. Contact: The Schawbel Corporation, 866-753-3837, www.thermacell.net —Lou Marullo

On The SPOT Do you put safety first when you are on the water? Do you have an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB)? If you answer yes to the first question and no to the second, chances are you don’t have an EPIRB because of cost; they can range from $400 for a low-performance unit to several thousand dollars for a nicer one. Enter the SPOT, the world’s newest and least-expensive panic button on the water. While constantly tracking your location, this cell phone-sized waterproof lifesaver will alert the GEOS International Emergency &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

Response System of your exact location and personal information if you hit the 911 button. It floats and can send a signal while bobbing on the surface of the water. When I tested the unit, I dropped it overboard then looked on my laptop PC to make sure it was still tracking my exact position. On my PC? You bet! The SPOT puts your location on Google Maps in real time, both visually and with latitude/longitude. Coverage is virtually worldwide, and you can use the unit to send pre-prepped email and text messages you plan on your computer prior to the trip. Back on land, I gave the SPOT the oops-dropped-it-on-concrete test, and the rubber-armored exterior did its job. There is no LCD screen to worry about breaking; instead, the unit uses a series of small flashing lights to let you know what function is engaged. Since it puts your location on the internet, your family can check your location at any time to make sure your voyage is going according to plan. (Don’t tell Honey Bun you are chasing redfish if you are really planning to duck into the local watering hole—you’ll get busted!) This feature also makes the unit useful to anglers who are fishing on different boats and want to keep track of each other, but don’t want to give away their location over the radio. Worried a unit like this will be tough to

SPOT Emergency Position Indicating Radio


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:10 PM

Page I27

figure out? Don’t be. Operation and on-line account setup took me less than one hour to figure out. The best thing of all is the SPOT’s price: At $169 for the unit and a $99/year subscription fee, this is by far the least expensive form of emergency alternative communication on the water today. Contact: SPOT Inc., 866-651-7768, www.findmespot.com —Lenny Rudow

Greenhead Goose Stools

Greenhead Goose Stools Fool Geese Serious waterfowl hunters know decoy quality makes a huge difference, especially when you are on a late-season hunt and the birds are cagey. When it comes to full-body goose decoys, you will have a tough time finding any decoy that looks more realistic than Greenhead Gear’s new Pro-Grade full body goose. I hunted Canada geese over these decoys (specklebellies are also available) and the birds reacted so well, my shoulder was sore for days.

At a glance, you will see that the finish on these decoys is picture-perfect. The heads and necks are flocked, the body paint is non-reflective, and there are three body styles each with three different head positions. Put a dozen in a field, take a few steps back, and you’ll be able to fool yourself into thinking real geese are right in front of you.

These decoys also add motion to your spread, since they sit atop a “Realmotion” wire base and stake system. Unlike some other stake systems, these decoys keep their heads into the wind when a breeze blows, too, preventing that spun-around-backwards decoy that can ruin the appearance of your entire spread. The downside to these decoys? Price. A half-dozen costs between $130 and $170 (depending on style and size; you can choose full size or scaled-down lesser “species”), which certainly keeps them out of the “cheap” category. They do come in mixed packs (the Harvester pack, for example, includes three feeders, two active heads, and one looker head) so you can get a small number of the Pro-Grades and use them to spruce up a spread of regular decoys. On the other hand, when you consider cost, remember: When you are hunting wary birds, quality counts, and you won’t be able to do better than these Greenheads. Contact: Greenhead Gear, 800-3335119, www.greenheadgear.com —LR


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/5/08

10:48 AM

Page I28

Stainless Steel BBQ Smoker

section with an adjustable height charcoal tray. In addition, the remote smoker box is 18” x 18”, comes with an adjustable height charcoal tray and a steak grate for more even grilling room. The remote smoker box has Hybrid-Grills.com is proud to announce two adjustable air inlets and an adjustable the new Professional 48 stainless steel grill. damper between the main oven and smoker The Pro 48 is a gas grill, charcoal grill and box. Couple that with the adjustable BBQ smoker all in one convenient heavy damper in the smoke stack and you have an duty unit. Now you only need one grill to almost infinite amount of air flow adjustdo all styles of outdoor ment available to suit all BBQ cooking you your needs. The would ever want door and lid to to do. Like the smoker all Hybridbox are Grills.com lipped for pits, it is an excelm a d e lent seal f r o m to prevent 3/16” thick air and 304 grade smoke leakage stainless steel and and the main features thick cast stainoven has a large rear less steel gas burners door for easy cleanout that will never require Hybrid Grill’s Stainless Steel BBQ Smoker and fire tending withreplacement. The Pro out disturbing the 48 features a 48” L x 23” W main oven heavy duty stainless steel cooking grates. that includes a 18” L x 23” W gas grill sec- The Pro 48 is currently priced at $4,795 tion and a 30” L x 23” W charcoal grill while supply lasts. Please visit us at

Put a Pro Hitch in Your Trailer’s Giddy-up In 2007, Draw-Tite, Hidden Hitch and Reese introduced Pro Series SC, which married the best benefits of Weight Distribution with built in friction sway control. There have been so many upgrades and improvements that it’s now the Reese SC (P/N 66151-66158). I28

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

Utilizing the familiar, easy-to-use Reese serrated washer adjustment head system; the Reese SC features a heavyduty shank bar, tapered spring bars for a smoother ride and better weight transfer, NEW universal spring bar brackets to fit just about any trailer frame imaginable, and new friction-coated pad hangers. A new lift handle makes snapping the bars

up into the pad hangers quick and &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

Hybrid-Grills.com or sales@hybridgrills.com to get yours today.

Rapid Convertible System for the Yamaha Rhino Curtis Industries has introduced a new, revolutionary, modular cab system for the Yamaha Rhino utility vehicle that allows rapid transformation from a fully enclosed cab to an open-air ride in 60 seconds. The Curtis Rapid Convertible System (RCS) allows the user to choose one or all components for maximum flexibility as the weather changes. A simple ROPS base frame with cab receiver mounts provides safety and easy installation of the modular components. The roof, windshield and rear panel feature a unique, easy on, no-tools, pin to slot connection and a heavy duty quick release latch. The strong but lightweight hard-coated polycarbonate windshield quickly vents for varying temperatures and is designed and tested for full speed travel with the windeffortless. This new system features over 10 times the friction anti-sway resistance than competitors’ units. Available in 600, 800, 1,200 and 1,500 lb. tongue weight ratings, the new Reese SC features a limited lifetime warranty. Note: This is a great solution to the age-old problem of using weight-distribution on trailers with surge-brake couplers…like boat trailers! For more information: 1-800-6323290 ; www.towingproducts.com.

Reese SC Pro Series hitch.


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/5/08

10:48 AM

Page I29

shield open or closed. optional Curtis Industries’ modular An wiper kit is also cover for Yamaha Rhino available. Cab panels are designed using advanced technology and materials. The Rapid-Convertible System uses thermoformed TPO material (not ABS plastic or fiberglass) for all body panels. TPO offers superior lowtemp impact resistance, higher heat-deflection and greater dimensional stability than ABS or fiberglass. Side doors quickly convert to half doors - no tools required, Curtis half doors also provide safety and protection. Available in black, cab components – base frame, roof, windshield, doors, and rear panel – can be purchased separately or as a complete cab. US and Foreign patents pending. For more information visit www.curtiscab.com or call 800-343-7676.

Wellcraft 340 Coastal The 340 Coastal is a first-class fishing boat with luxury accommodations. The moment you step aboard, the first thing you appreciate is space and storage areas throughout. The large cockpit deck is low to the water and designed for fishing, but is also ideal for entertaining on board. The

340 boasts a richly appointed cabin, with sleeping for six, a full galley and full head with a stand-up shower. An E-Plex digital control system allows touch screen monitoring of all on board electrical operations. The Scarab-designed high performance matched with four-stroke outboard power provide a level of performance and economy, unheard of in a boat of this size. LOA: 34 feet, beam: 11’9”, dry weight: 13,500 lbs, fuel: 382 gallons, deadrise: 20 degrees, draft (engine up): 20” The 340 Coastal is available in Midnight Blue or Onyx Black hull color options and the several interior fabric options. Yamaha F350 TXR are: top speed: 51.4 mph @ 6100 rpm and cruising speed: 33.1 mph @ 4000 rpm. Wellcraft Marine, 1651 Whitfield Ave., Sarasota, FL 34243 Phone: (941) 753-7811 www.wellcraft.com

continuously for up to four hours per mat. Earth Scent mats work in all ThermaCELL Mosquito Repellent products. The unit operates on a single butane cartridge, which heats a mat releasing allethrin, an insect repellent that is a synthetic copy of a natural insecticide found in chrysanthemum flowers. Each butane cartridge will operate the unit for 12 hours. ThermaCELL has been evaluated and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for safety and effectiveness.

ThermaCell Repels Bugs, Attracts Game ThermaCELL®, the only butane-operated mosquito repellent system is now also a cover scent. ThermaCELL has added a new hunting-friendly cover scent to its mosquito repellent technology that not only creates a 15x15 foot zone of protection against mosquitoes and black flies, but also helps to disguise hunters from a deer’s best defense....its nose. Utilizing the same highly effective mosquito repellent as the original ThermaCELL unscented mats, the new Earth Scent also emits the smell of musky dirt and decaying leaves — a convincing scent designed to mask human odors and linger

Wellcraft’s 340 Coastal

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

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

I29


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/5/08

10:48 AM

Page I30

ThermaCell The ThermaCELL Earth Scent mosquito repellent refill kit will be available in July and includes one butane cartridge, three Earth Scent mosquito repellent refill mats and MSRP is $6.99. ThermaCELL, a division of The Schawbel Corporation of Bedford, Massachusetts, utilizes patented technology to create cordless, portable appliances powered by replaceable butane cartridges. For more information on ThermaCELL’s complete line of products please call 1-8-NOSKEETERS. For retail locations visit www.thermacell.com.

Ranger Z520 Comanche

Hypertech: More Sass, Less Gas

Touting an ultra-responsive, high performance hull design, Ranger’s all-new Z520 Comanche is quickly becoming the most talked-about rig on the water. New features are fused with what many consider to be the ideal tournament-engineered interior layout. It all combines to create a serious fishing machine that knows how to take up the slack and make things happen. Measuring 20 feet, 9 inches with a 95inch beam, the Z520 Comanche is rated for a beefy 250 horespower, to get drivers to their favorite spot and back to weigh in when time is of the essence. The vessel also has two 24-gallon fuel tanks for making long runs. “The history of Ranger Boats is intertwined with professional bass fishing, and the future will be, too,” said Ranger Boats President Randy Hopper. “This design has all the features and styling of Z Comanche and the hull of the 520VX and lots of extra features that no other boat has. This boat was built for competing in bass tournaments at the highest levels. No other boat delivers the power, the space, the performance, fishability and features that this boat delivers.” Ranger Boats, P.O. Box 179, Flippin, AR 72634. Phone: 1-800-373-BOAT. Web: www.rangerboats.com

Use less fuel and get more power with Hypertech’s new E-CON Economy Power Programmer. The E-CON is designed for the driver who needs better fuel mileage and more power, but doesn’t want to pay for other high-performance features. Every ECON is programmed with Hypertech’s Max Energy Tuning™, Diagnostics, and Back to Stock options. The E-CON also comes with a USB cable and a CD containing software to enable quick updates over the internet. Suggested retail price is just $329.95. Hypertech’s Tuning extracts every bit of energy possible out of every molecule of fuel, giving users more miles-per-gallon at partthrottle

Ranger Z520 Comanche I30

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

Hypertech Eand more Con Power power at wide open throttle, Programmer plus their customers are claiming 2 to 6 mpg gains, and increasing their range by 100 miles or more per tank. E-CON provides optimized tuning for gas powered vehicles that use regular unleaded fuel, and two Fuel Program levels for diesel owners. At the same time, it adds power and torque, and reads and clears diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) or “checkengine” lights. Installation is simple, just plug Hypertech’s E-CON Economy Power Programmer into the vehicle’s under-dash connector, choose the tuning program that appear on E-CON’s scrolling screen. Then with the push of a button, simply re-program the vehicle’s computer for improved power and mileage. Hypertech products are street-legal in all 50 States and have a Money-Back, Satis-


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/5/08

10:48 AM

Page I31

faction Guarantee. Information on the complete line of Hypertech Power Tuning products is available from: Hypertech, 3215 Appling Rd., Bartlett, TN 38133. Phone: 901-382-8888 Web: www.hypertech.com

are designed to absorb the shocks and vibrations whilst encountering an obstacle on the road. The brackets prevent the shock or vibration to pass from the skid plate to the vehicles chassis or to the mechanical assembly. For more information – phone: 860963-2357 or visit www.asfir.com

ASFIR Accessories Toughen Up Jeeps LEER Tops Love to Go Fishing!

Jeep JK Winch Bumper Innovative ATL winch bumper is designed and develEveryone knows that nothing beats a oped to replace the original bumper. The bumper fits around an integrated heavy duty pickup truck when you have to get to your winch platform. ATL Bumpers are favorite fishing spot – whether you’re towing designed to enhance the flow of air across a boat or just toting gear. And there’s so the vehicles cooling components and allows much gear! From life jackets to bait buckets, for access to the winch for maintenance. fishing takes the right equipment, and nothATL bumpers are characterized in low ing protects, transports, and secures the gear weight and in keeping close proximity to the in your pickup like a LEER truck cap. LEER caps have been filling the needs vehicle’s original contour lines. Fits most winch manufactures bolt mounting footprints. Jeep JK Skid PlatesThe skid plates are made from 6mm quality heavy-duty aluminum. They are laser cut and bent on a computerized bending machine for consistent quality. Each skid plate is designed with service openings to enable servicing the vehicle without dismantling the LEER truck caps are designed with anglers in mind. plates. The skid plates are designed to enable free airflow to the of dedicated anglers as long as they’ve been made, but today’s LEER models have been vehicles cooling system. The skid plates are screwed onto the specifically designed to provide the storage, original holes in the vehicle. They are convenience and security features fishing mounted onto the vehicle via brackets, which enthusiasts need most. For example, the LEER Fisherman package adds a Thule Roof Rack, a Frabill expandable lockable rod and reel holder, and other storage conveniences, turning a LEER-equipped pickup truck into the world’s largest tackle box. No wonder so many LEER-equipped trucks are seen at favorite Texas fishing spots and boat ramps. LEER caps – or their low-profile cousins, tonneaus – keep all that expensive gear safe, handy and protected from the environment. Plus, they give you a place to put all the fish you catch on the drive home. Like pickups, LEER caps fit the way sporting Texans live, work, and ASFIR winch bumper and skid plate for Jeeps. play. A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

To find out more about LEER products for fishing enthusiasts, visit www.leer.com/texasfish.

Zeiss RF Binocs Declare Victory Zeiss introduces the Victory 8x45 and 10x45 T* RF laser rangefinder binoculars – the world’s first premium binocular with rangefinding capability, LED display and integrated BIS™ ballistic calculator. Hunters now have accurate distance to target (up to 1,300 yds) and corrected ballistic holdover – programmable for 6 different common ballistic trajectories – at their fingertips in the field. Hunters will experience crystal clear images thanks to the high-performance optical design and high-contrast LED display. No more grayish looking images when trying to estimate the condition and size of an animal – a visual disadvantage typically found in rangefinding optics that use more common, low-contrast LCD displays. The OneTouch feature – a first for the civilian market – produces less shaking while ranging and therefore a clearer image. When the measurement button is pressed, Victory rangefinding the reticle used binocular to target the object illuminates. When released, the range is immediately measured and displayed within 1 second. This generates considerably less shake and also saves time in comparison to other rangefinding binoculars on the market that require the user to press the button twice. MSRP: Victory 8x45 T* RF – $3,352.00, Victory 10x45 T* RF - $3,409.00 Carl Zeiss Optical, Inc., 13017 N. Kingston Ave., Chester, VA 23836. Phone: 1-800-441-3005 Web: www.zeiss.com/sports.

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

I31


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:11 PM

Page I32

Fun at The Boat Ramp

J

ODY JORGENSON AT THE THE BOAT RAMP, A boat business in Port Neches, said that the experience of buying a boat should be fun and not a hassle. The Boat Ramp has been in business for almost 20 years. “I have been doing this since I have been a very young man,” Jorgenson said. “My dad and I started the business together. When he passed away, I bought the company. I guess it was a family business, but I want people to realize it wasn’t given to me.” The company, under the leadership of Jorgenson, has earned the sterling reputation it carries in the boating community.

I32

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

The Boat Ramp carries just about any boat type a person might want-flats, duck hunting and marsh boats, offshore, bay, aluminum Jon boats, family pontoons, bass boats and work boats. “We pretty much do it all,” said Jorgenson. Last year, Jorgensen received the Business Man of the Year award in his area. In addition, the company has been one of the top 20 Suzuki dealers in the U.S. since 1998. “We stock right at about $2.5 million inventory in boats, motors, trailers and parts,” said Jorgenson. His biggest selling boats are Carolina Skiff and Sea Chaser. He fishes from a 25foot Carolina Skiff equipped with a 150 Suzuki: “It’s just so versatile. My 14-yearold son doesn’t like catching small fish anymore. The lake and marsh don’t really appeal to him much. He wants to go offshore. But, old Dad still likes to go into shallow water catching redfish and flounder. It runs 50 mph and my fuel economy is

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

unbelievable. I have a boat that is versatile; I can make my son happy and I can stay happy.” With gasoline at an all time high, fuel economy is a No. 1 priority. “We are seeing outboards that are getting 5-8 miles a gallon, but it all depends on how somebody runs their boat,” Jorgenson said. “We do business a lot different than most of your other boat dealers. We do not do pressure sales. We do not play the bait and switch games that a lot of people are doing now. For example, at the recent Houston boat show, I probably had 20 people come up to me and ask how much more the trailer is going to cost them. The trailer, dealer prep, make ready, and freight are not included in the advertised price. “Or maybe the trailer is included, but not a model suitable for trailering the boat long distances. They want to hit you with a big upgrade on trailer prices. They add the cost for a stainless steel prop and the batteries for your boat. Their pricing seems really good on the boat up front, but when they start adding everything, you are not getting a good deal. “A similar situation sometimes exists with outboard motors. The advertised motor may not include steering controls, gauges and other items needed to run the motor properly.” Jorgensen claims the internet probably has been the worst thing that has happened to the boat business: “You look at a price that’s advertised. You think you can get it for that, but you can’t get the boat for that price. Our prices include everything—stainless steel prop, your trailer. The only thing you have to add is your fishing poles and safety equipment. You are ready to go. We try to make buying a boat fun, make it easy for our customers, make them feel comfortable when they come in here. “When you leave our dealership, you don’t have to ask any questions on how to take care of your new boat. I have a man whose job is to go from top to bottom with


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:11 PM

Page I33

you, showing you how to break in the motor, how everything works. If you are first time boat owner, we like to take you to the river and show you how to load it and unload the boat. “We’ve got a great service department, a great parts department, a super friendly staff. We know what we are doing here. If we sell you a boat we want to make sure we can sell your friend a boat and their friend a boat.” The Boat Ramp Inc. is located at 302 S. Twin City Hwy. in Port Neches, Texas. Their phone number is 409-722-0865; web address is www.boatrampmarine.net. —Tom Behrens

Kriet, Faircloth Join Sébile Pro Team Sébile, one of the hottest new international bait brands in the United States, has announced the addition of two professional

bass anglers to its U.S. pro fishing team Jeff Kriet and Todd Faircloth. “Jeff and Todd are not just good fishermen, they are also good guys and that’s important to us,” said Sébile’s U.S. sales and marketing director Keeton Eoff in making the announcement. “Both men have qualified for the Bassmaster Classic annually for the past few years and they are back in it again in ‘08. They are truly among the country’s elite anglers and we’re proud to have them on our team.” Kriet is from Ardmore, Okla., and Faircloth resides in Jasper, Texas. Both anglers travel the country fishing the BASS Elite series tournaments and other high profile events, and both have been especially successful in their pro angling careers in recent years. Each has won more than one-half million dollars in tournament earnings, and both have won a major BASS event. And the two anglers are usually among the elite few who always seem to be at top in contention for the prestigious BASS Angler-ofthe-Year title every year. “Sébile baits caught my eye when they first hit the market here a couple of years ago

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

F i s h

and I’ve been throwing them ever since,” Kriet said. “I love to fish hard baits. Their brand new square-billed Crankster is awesome and is going to win me a lot of money this year. I definitely see it having a role in my Classic appearance on South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell.” Faircloth echoed his fellow angler’s sentiments, saying he has been using Sébile baits for a while now with great success. “You don’t live where I do in south Texas without having a lot of confidence and expertise in fishing crankbaits,” he said. “Sébile baits offer a truly unique approach in their designs. The Blood Red series in particular has become a fast favorite because it combines visual appeal with realistic motion, and I’m always looking for every advantage I can get.” Sébile baits are named after international angler and lure designer Patrick Sébile. The Frenchman has spent a lifetime studying gamefish and their feeding habits. He has paid special attention to the sounds, shapes, and swimming actions that trigger

Continued on Page I-34

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

I33


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:11 PM

Page I34

Smith & Wesson Model 41 Target Pistol

W

HEN I WAS YOUNGER, I LOVED TO shoot National Match-style pistol target competitions. For the Uvalde Gun Club, this usually involved a .22 rimfire target pistol and the standard slow, timed, and rapid-fire courses. It was a game of precision. I eventually got reasonably good at it, but when I went into

law enforcement, I left that part of my life behind.

by Steve LaMascus Just the other day, I got a hankering to shoot another good .22 target pistol. To that end, I called Smith & Wesson and ordered

for testing a new Model 41 with a 5-1/2inch barrel. When it arrived, I set it aside, as I was testing several other guns at the time. It sat there in its blue plastic box for a couple of weeks before I got a chance to try it out. I’m sorry I waited. In my opinion, the Model 41 is one of the best handguns in its class. It is flawlessly fitted and finished; the bluing is as deep and black as the Marianas Trench; and the grips feel perfect in my hand. Accuracy is above standard. I have shot a lot of different target handguns over the years and the Model 41 is as good as any and better than most. In my opinion, it shoots like a good rifle. Out to 50 yards, no

INDUSTRY INSIDER Continued from Page I33 strikes the most, and that’s the premise behind every bait in the Sébile lineup. All of the company’s baits fall into one of two series: Evidence or Possessed. Baits in the Evidence series rely more on their action than light and sound. Baits in the Possessed series are built around design features that provide lifelike baitfish mimicry through unique use of internal “body fluids” and reflective particles suspended in it. Sébile’s “Blood Red” baits take baitfish motion and mimicry to a whole new level in artificial lures. The special red-colored fluid literally creates motion, visually and physically, as energy is transferred fore and aft while the lure is being fished. Because of the energy transfer that occurs, Blood Red baits continue to quiver, tremble, and pulsate just like a frightened baitfish, at rest as well as during retrieve. Follow the tournament success of new Sébile team anglers Jeff Kriet and Todd Faircloth along the BASS Elite trail at www.bassmaster.com.

I34

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

Skeeter Announces 2008 Owner’s Tourney Skeeter Products, Inc., celebrating its 60th Anniversary this year, is proud to announce its 2008 Skeeter Owner’s Tournament Series schedule, giving its owners the opportunity to fish three of the nation’s top bass lakes, including South Carolina’s Lake Murray, and win thousands of dollars in cash doing so. For 2008, the Skeeter Owner’s Tournament Series will kick-off on June 19-22 on Lake Fork, Texas, known for its huge largemouth bass. Skeeter owners from across the country participated in last year’s event, featuring more than 800 boats and 1,500 anglers, making it the largest single boat brand tournament in the country. The Owner’s Tournament Series then travels to South Carolina’s Lake Murray on September 19-21. For the third year in a row, the company and its owners will travel to South Carolina, this time to the &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

bass rich waters of Lake Murray. Constructed in the 1930s, Lake Murray covers an area of 78 square miles, with 649 miles of shoreline. Lake Murray may be famous for its Striped Bass, but there are plenty of Largemouth Bass to be caught in this lake. The Tournament Series concludes with a visit to Patoka Reservoir, an 8,800-acre largemouth bass fishery near Jasper, Indiana, on October 11-12. Patoka Reservoir is well known for its quality and quantity of Largemouth Bass, and was the host site for the 2005 BASS Northern Divisional. Skeeter initiated its Owner’s Tournament Series as a way to thank its owners. “These events prove how hard our company, its employees and our dealers will work to keep a strong relationship with our owners,” said Daren Cole, Skeeter’s Marketing Manager. Skeeter will make complete tournament information available on its website (www.skeeterboats.com), including entry applications, rules and regulations. You may also visit your local Authorized Skeeter Dealer for more information. For information about tournament venues, please visit www.lakeforkchamber.org.


PHOTO COURTESY OF SMITH & WESSON

ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:11 PM

Page I35

rabbit is safe when I have the Model 41 in my hand. At 25 yards, the gun shoots much better than I do. I expect it would beat 1 inch, but I can no longer see well enough to make it do so. The metal-to-metal fit of the gun is fabulous. The slide is like velvet. The trigger is set from the factory at a crisp, creep-free 3 pounds. There is no comparison with many of the modern semi-auto .22s on the market today. The Smith & Wesson Model 41 is a true competition-ready target pistol, yet small and light enough to carry and hunt with. If you are thinking about buying a .22 handgun to hunt small game and prefer a

semi-auto, I heartily recommend the Model

41. It is head and shoulders above the cheaper versions with fixed sights. With the heavier barrel, it holds steadier and it is without a doubt more accurate. It would make a squirrel gun extraordinaire. At a retail of $1209, it is certainly on the high side for casual plinking, but if you are looking for a

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

F i s h

gun that will last several normal lifetimes, shoot like a good rifle, and is handsome to boot, this is it. I shot the Model 41 for several weeks and found no faults in it. It functioned perfectly and shot every time I pulled the trigger. If I could find someone who would pay me what my old Citation is worth, I might just keep the Smith & Wesson. It is all the .22 handgun anyone could ever want.

&

G a m e ÂŽ / J U N E

2 0 0 8

•

I35


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:11 PM

Page I36

Tales of Three Trophies S

OMETIMES, IT IS HARD TO PICK WHICH TO publish of the many Trophy Fever submissions we receive from readers. This month, we opted to publish three. —Don Zaidle

Brock’s Two-forOne Bucks BROCK DAVIS SHOT HIS FIRST DEER. The day before that, he shot and missed, and the

I36

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

scope busted his nose in the recoil. Pretty sad, but he did good for a five-year-old. The next day, an eight-point walked out, but Brock never would pull the trigger (I don’t blame him after what happened the day before). The deer stood around for five or six minutes, but Brock was too scared to shoot. After the deer ran off, Brock decided he wanted to shoot. I told him it was too late now and he probably wouldn’t get another chance. One hour later, four bucks walked in

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

to the feeder. This time, he said he wasn’t going to miss his chance. He shot one time at an eight-point. The deer dropped straight to the ground. Brock was giving me high-fives and was on cloud nine. We got out of the stand and walked to the deer. To our amazement, in addition to the eight-point there was a sevenpoint on the ground right beside him! Now Brock was really on cloud nine! We couldn’t believe it. We guessed the bullet must have pene-


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:11 PM

Page I37

Trophy Fever

PHOTOS COURTESY OF KYLE DAVIS

Special Hunting Section

trated both deer, the second one unseen behind the first. Whatever the case, Brock was the happiest five-year-old in the world.

Five-year-old Brock Davis displays the two trophy bucks he shot with one “magic” bullet.

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

F i s h

He still carries the empty cartridge case, calling it his “magic bullet.” —Kyle Davis

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

I37


5/1/08

12:11 PM

Page I38

Special Hunting Section

Trophy Fever

The Double Beam Buck I HAD AN EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME THIS PAST season that I hope you and your readers will enjoy. I was invited by my boss to come down to Webb County and hunt at his ranch lease. We were about 20 miles north of Laredo as the crow flies. This was my first South Texas experience and I was in for a special treat.

coming toward us. When he got in a clear spot about 110 yards from our blind, he turned and looked right in our direction, presenting a clear body shot. I put the crosshairs of my Weaver scope right on his vitals, and with one shot from my old Remington “03-A3” .30-06, he was down. The buck was a non-typical with an unusual “double beam” formation of its left antler. It had a 19.5-inch inside spread, 5inch bases, and scored 144-2/8 at an estimated 5.5-6.5 years old. It was the perfect South Texas experience, and a memory that will stay fresh forever. —William S. McAnelly

PHOTO COURTESY OF WILLIAM S. McANELLY

State Record Black Drum

William McAnelly’s double beam buck. My boss had spotted a buck a few weeks back that he wanted me to shoot from his blind. He had been in his blind early on Friday morning and watched this buck lock horns with a younger 12-pointer and flip the younger buck on its back. In other words, this older buck was the “alpha” of this side of the ranch. Within just a few hours of pulling into the lease and getting in the blind, we spotted this fella. He was the last buck to come out that evening, and he was chasing a doe down a sendero and into a thicket. His presence caught the attention of four other mature bucks feeding at a corn feeder about 100 yards away, and they quickly scrambled. I grew a little anxious, wondering if we would see this buck come back out of the thicket. About two minutes later, he was I38

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

ON NOVEMBER 8, 2 007, MY FATHER-IN-LAW, Scott Elliott, and I went to Matagorda for a fishing weekend. We were to check in that day, and Scott had an eight-hour head start. He began fishing that morning around 6 a.m. He called me up at 10 a.m. and told me he had caught a huge 22-inch flounder. I got out of work at 2 p.m. and headed that way. The next day, we launched the boat around 6 a.m. and began to fish on the Colorado River at the Locks. Scott caught another flounder early and was bragging because I was still scoring a “goose egg.” We had been throwing live mullet and some soft plastics, but the action was slow. We decided to buy some Shrimp for the afternoon. Later in the day, Scott caught another keeper flounder and I was getting very agitated. I had fished for close to a full day with nothing to show. I finally felt a little tug and my line felt heavy. I reeled and reeled until I pulled in a crab. I netted it and cracked it open, thinking a radical change in bait and tactics might improve my luck. I re-baited with crabmeat and tossed it out just over the 30-foot drop, hoping for a trophy redfish. We finally began catching fish—lots of rat reds and a few flounder, trout, and even some black drum. I had finally put one fish in the cooler when Scott pulled in a 36-inch red. I was just happy to catch a keeper. Just the, my other line—the one baited with crab—began to bounce. I jumped up, grabbed it, set the hook, and began to reel. My rod bent over in a U and line was &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

peeling off against the drag. It slowed down and I tried to reel. I would get a foot of line and the fish would peel out 2-3 feet. After 25 minutes of fighting, Scott pulled anchor and we moved to the middle of the river. It was pitch black and we could not see a thing. Scott hooked up the flounder gigging light and we shined it at the front of the boat. I reeled and reeled. We let the large fish drag the boat for a bit, and then I finally caught a glimpse of the fish—a massive black drum. It turned and peeled line. This went on for another 5-10 minutes before we got him to the boat. Scott reached down and miraculously scooped the large beast into the net. The tail of the fish was hanging about 3 feet out of the net. He could not lift it out of the water by himself; I had to help him. The drum was 54 inches and weighed 80-100 pounds. We took some photographs and decided a fish this old and big needed to go back into the water. We shoved it overboard into the water, but it just lay there floating, almost lifeless. I grabbed its massive tail and began to move the fish from side to side and up and down in the water to move water over its gills. Scott backed up the boat

PHOTO COURTESY OF MATT LAMBERT

ALMANAC I.qxd

Matt Lambert and his state record drum. up to get more water moving, and then I could tell the fish would live. We continued to revive the fish for five more minutes, then it began thrashing its tail and I could not hold on anymore. I watched as it swam off in the dark water. I was fishing with a 7-foot Ugly Stick,

Continued on Page I-40


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:11 PM

Page I39

Chaparral WMA, Wildlife, Survive Wildfire

A

MASSIVE WILDFIRE THAT TORCHED 95 percent of the 15,200-acre Chaparral Wildlife Management Area spared much of the wildlife on the state’s premier public hunting site, according to initial findings during aerial surveys by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department biologists. Biologists overflew the area aboard TPWD law enforcement helicopters, counting deer and other animals, and will compare those findings with other recent annual aerial survey results, which should provide an estimate of wildlife loss from the fire. “I am amazed how adaptive wildlife can be during a natural disaster; we found very few carcasses and have observed a lot of live animals—horned lizards, whitetail deer, javelina, and quail,” said David Synatzske, Chaparral WMA manager. “We have between 20 and 25 wildlife biologists and technicians on the site assessing damage and fixing fences and they are not finding dead animals. We discovered about 30 dead animals in one location, but have not found concentrations elsewhere. I drove the entire 30-mile perimeter fence line and found only two carcasses. Considering 95 percent of the area burned, that’s incredible.” Synatzske said the fire, which started Friday, March 14, and was extinguished the following Monday, consumed about 50,000 acres in Dimmit and LaSalle counties, including portions of some of the state’s most celebrated trophy whitetail hunting ranches. Yet, the blaze left some pockets untouched throughout the Chaparral WMA and he believes those areas likely provided refuge for wildlife. As far as infrastructure, Synatzske said the research building and some trailers were PHOTO BY CHASE FOUNTAIN © TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT

destroyed, and they will have to replace the gameproof fencing around the perimeter. That’s 30 miles of fence, which he said is going to be the biggest expense. The area also has 23 miles of PVC pipe feeding

tation, we are thankful there were no injuries and that wildlife loss was not as bad as might be expected with a fire of this magnitude,” said Mike Berger, TPWD wildlife director. “Obviously, we are concerned about the short term impacts at the Chap from this wildfire, and we should be,” noted Carter Smith, TPWD executive director. “But, the bigger story, I think, is whether these sorts of intense wildfires will be a growing pattern throughout South Texas.” Smith recalled that fire used to be a major part of the South Texas landscape, when it was more of a savannah like system. Now, because of the longtime build-up of brush and exotic grasses, such as buffel grass and guinea grass, as well as changes in land use practices, he believes there will be a heightened frequency and intensity of wildfires in the future. “The tremendous amount of brush that we see now in South Texas was not historically present there, but has built up over time as a result of overgrazing, changing land use patterns, and suppression of fire,” Smith explained. “The exotic grasses that are now a major part of the understory are very flammable, and candidly, not adversely impacted by fire.” Research into how this ecosystem recovers from a large-scale fire will begin immediately on the Chaparral WMA, according to Synatzske, who noted the area has now become a 15,000-acre research laboratory. “Our folks are identifying research sites and projects,” he said. We’re already seeing signs of green-up, so the process has begun.” “It should be interesting to see how the Chap responds, as well as what happens in the future on the wildfire front,” Smith summed up. “That is going to impact the ecology and landscape of South Texas.”

watering stations and irrigating pastures. Work has begun work repairing those water supply lines. “While we hate seeing this type of devasA L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

I39


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:11 PM

Page I40

Exploding Bows

I

T WAS A BEAUTIFUL AFTERNOON IN JUNE LAST year when it happened. It came without warning and with a fury so powerful that it will live in our memories for a very long time. I was spending the afternoon shooting my bow and getting in a little extra practice. My friend, Tom Ryan, who often shoots with me (and admittedly is a better shot), was complaining that his bow was shooting very erratically. Sometimes he would be high, then low, then left, then right. Suddenly, this sharpshooter was missing his mark and I, for one, was not going to let him forget whose arrow was in the bull’s-eye. Upon inspecting his bow, nothing looked out of place. The nocking point seemed all right. The arrows had no clearance problems. His release was smooth and free of the dreaded “target panic” that so many of us bowhunters get at one time or another. We looked at each other and shrugged our shoulders as Tom readied for another shot. He slowly came to full draw, and everything went haywire. It was the loudest bang that I ever heard. Not until later did we discover that the string had stretched and slipped off the wheel. Tom stood there with nothing but a riser in his hand and blood on his cheek. The string came back

and hit him in the jaw. He actually thought I punched him! The rest of his bow was scattered all over the yard. I can still see the look on his face. It was certainly a Kodak moment. Having a bow explode in your hands is not as uncommon as one might think. It has never happened to me, but it has happened to many archers. Back in February, I wrote about maintaining your equipment. After reading this month’s column, I would think that hunters would take the care of their equipment a little more seriously. It is important that I re-cap some information from that earlier column. When you are shooting to the best of your ability and happy with the results, take the time to make a few measurements. Measure the distance between axels. Measure your brace height. It is a good idea to mark your cams at their optimum positions. Later, if there is a problem grouping your arrows, this would be a good place to check to see if anything has changed. Write these measurements in a notebook and keep it in a safe place. If you consider yourself a decent shot, take note when you can no longer group your arrows. If a string or cable stretches, it is a slow process and, over time, can be very dangerous. Get to know everything you can about your equipment. Bob Deston of BCY (860-632-7115), the company that invented the Fast Flight string, explained to me that the number of bows “exploding” has dropped dramatically since the mid-1980s. Bow manufacturers made risers from magnesium in the early years. When a hunter had a dry fire, the magnesium riser could not handle the forces and

TROPHY FEVER: TALES OF THREE TROPHIES Continued from Page I-38 Penn spinning reel, 14-pound-test Cajun Red line, and a small Kahle hook; we could not believe that it held up. With the photos and measurements, the fish qualified as a new Catch and I40

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

Release State record. My father-in-law now calls me “the One-Upper” because he always seems to catch more fish, but I always one-up him with the biggest. —Matt Lambert

would fracture, causing risk of serious injury. The bows of today have risers made from machined aluminum that has proven much stronger and safer. Older bows had a metal teardrop attachment on the cable ends for string attachment. If a dry fire occurred, it was possible—and highly probable—that the metal piece would fly off and potentially cause injury. Now the string goes around the wheels and cams. As long as you do not have a burr on the wheel and keep your string free away from sharp objects (such as broadheads), there should not be a problem. “Strings can handle anywhere from 1200 to 1300 pounds—much more than any bow would ever use,” Deston said. Back in 1985, strings were made of Dacron, a very strong substance. Kevlar was used on Olympic style recurve bows, but the strings were prone to fail without warning after 1000 or so shots due to stress at the knocking point. Fast Flight strings quickly took over the industry because of their durability and increased arrow speed. Today, there are many different types of strings available; Dacron, 450 2x, and Zebra to name a few. The bow you shoot determines which string you use, according to the specs of the bow manufacturer and personal preference. If a string does break due to dry fire or cutting it with a broadhead, will that affect the integrity of the limbs? The answer is yes. It could very well cause a fracture, which in turn would cause the bow to explode at full draw. I cannot stress how important it is to check your equipment and recheck it before you pull the bow to full draw. If you are diligent at making sure your equipment is in top-notch shape, then you should not have any problems. If you neglect waxing your string often and pay little or no attention to the care of your bow, then someday you might very well find yourself in a world of hurt. E-mail Lou Marullo at lmarullo@fishgame.com.

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:11 PM

Page I41

DOVE—HONDO, TEXAS

BUCK—WILLIAMSON COUNTY, TEXAS

Lance (14) and Zach (12) Schiegg of Cypress, Texas, both shot their limits while dove hunting during the special whitewing south zone hunt over a maize field at the Hondo city limits. According to the brothers, “millions of doves” were 20 feet over their heads.

Steve Farr of Houston, Texas, took this 10-point buck with a Browning .280caliber at 130 yards from a low-fenced free-range property in Williamson County. His Boone and Crockett score was 148. Per local hunters, it was one of the biggest deer in the area.

DEER—MENARD COUNTY, TEXAS

TURKEY—SAN SABA COUNTY, TEXAS

BUCK—KIMBLE COUNTY, TEXAS

Justin Anthony, age 8, killed his first deer, an 8- Tanner Kassaw took his first turkey in San Saba Lincoln Dunham, age 8, from Lumberton, Texas, point whitetail, with a .2 2 3 carbine in Menard County, while he and his father were hunting as was hunting in Kimble County near Junction, County, Texas. guests of Tanner’s best friend, Matt Smithhart. The Texas, when he killed this 7-point buck. spurs measured over 1.12 5 inches and the beard was over 9 inches.

GOT BUCKS? GOT HOGS? GOT TURKEYS? GOT BANDED DUCKS?

If so, we need photos and hunting stories for our new TROPHY FEVER SPECIAL SECTION. Send pics and hunting tales to : TROPHY FEVER SPECIAL SECTION 1745 Greens Road, Houston, TX 77032 or by email: photos@fishgame.com.

PLEASE INCLUDE PHOTO CAPTION: NAME HOMETOWN WHEN & WHERE TAKEN SIZE AND WEIGHT

(Please include “Trophy Fever” in the subject.) A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

I41


5/1/08

12:12 PM

Page I42

Loading & Docking 101

I

F YOU BOUNCE OFF TRAILER GUIDES AND THINK pilings should really be called bumpers, then you might be among the docking challenged. But don’t worry, this is not a permanent condition. In fact, with the right treatment you’ll be swinging into the slip and sliding onto the trailer without putting a single blemish on that beautiful gel coat. Ready to become a docking doctor? Then use these tricks, tips, and tactics when putting Mom’s Mink away.

Get Out!

Outboards and stern drives can be operated more or less like an automobile. Since you can direct the thrust of the power plants, you can essentially parallel park them. What about opposing motors, with twin-engine outboard rigs? We’ll look at twins separately later, but remember that with outboards, the effectiveness of this tactic varies wildly from boat to boat depending on the distance between the power plants. If they’re spread far apart on the transom, it might work well. But if the cowls of your outboards are a foot apart, opposing the motors will probably have little effect. You’ll have to use experience and judgment to determine which way is more effective, for your own rig. Outboard operators should remember that they’re usually swinging relatively small diameter props. As a result, there’s less torque involved at low rpm and it’s easy to get blown out of kilter in strong breezes. Plus, with little running gear below the surface, many small outboard boats essentially skim along with little to no drag. You’ve also got to remember that wind will push the bow well before the stern is affected. Before approaching a dock or a trailer, all of these factors must I42

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

be front and center in your mind, and your planning for the approach. Scary but true: With outboards, it’s hard to approach your target at very slow speed, again because the effect of the wind is so dramatic. Try to make it happen in slow motion, and there’s a longer window of opportunity for gusts to knock you off track. So while slow is good, there will be times that experienced dockers will feel the need to nail the throttle, even though it seems risky. You might have to go with your gut, to be successful. In some cases, a strong wind or current will prevent you getting off of a dock and into your slip or ramp. In this situation, you can use your lines and cleats, to spring off under power. Let’s say you’re laid up against the fuel dock, and the wind is so darn strong you can’t get the bow to come around away from

While slow is good, there will be times to nail the throttle.

ALMANAC I.qxd

it. Grab a line from one of the pilings and secure it to an aft cleat on your boat. Then turn the wheel away from the pier, and apply minimal power until the line comes tight. If you have a fender (use a life jacket in a pinch) hang it from a rail or from the dock, to protect the stern of the boat as it pushes up against the pilings. Then gently apply power so the bow swings around. When it’s at a 45degree angle, the stern will come off the pier and you can remove the fender. Then quickly shift to neutral, ditch the line, and quickly re-apply power to continue your turn. With this jump-start, you should be able to swing the bow all the way around and motor up to the ramp. Warning: this is no time to be meek! Once you’re clear of the pier and you go into forward, give it a healthy shot of juice &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

and take full advantage of the partial turn you already created, by springing.

Twin Engines

Twins offer the best dockside maneuverability. Simply drive the boat forward until it’s perpendicular to the slip or ramp, shift one engine into reverse, and the other into forward. The opposing props will spin the boat. When you’re in line with the target, stop the spin by changing the directions of both motors at the same time. Then go to neutral, reassess your position to make sure you won’t drift out of alignment, and reverse into the slip. The most common problem folks encounter when operating twin screws is they get overtaken by wind or current, and even though they’re aligned properly with the slip they’re pushed to one side of it or the other. In this situation, the only thing to do is pull out and try again; attempting to “crab” the boat sideways into the wind or current almost always takes you out of whack, half in and half out of the slip. When you come around for your second shot, bear in mind that you’ll have to make your maneuvers more quickly, so you get into the slip before getting shoved sideways again. Give the throttles some juice when opposing the motors, and don’t hesitate to get the boat moving in reverse once you’re lined up. If you get jostled out of position as you move backwards use single shots of forward from one side or the other (depending on which way you need to adjust the boat) to get it going straight again. Also, remember that it’s less effective to oppose outboards than inboards. While an inboard can get away with turning 1000 rpm and spin the boat like a dream, the outboard guy should plan on revving up to 2000 or 2500 rpm to get the boat spinning. And stern drive owners should consider getting a dual-prop rig, if they don’t already have one. The propellers on these rigs counter-rotate on the same shaft, so there’s no undesired swing in either direction, and they grip onto the water as if it was pavement. Bonus: the twin prop outdrives have gobs of blade area and


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:12 PM

Page I43

will usually put a boat on plane at lower speeds than single prop outdrives, maintaining a better running attitude while posting better fuel efficiency numbers. The biggest danger of operating twin outboards comes when you try to use both single and twin-engine tactics at the same time. This is the kiss of death at the dock; turn the wheel to control your thrust, then oppose the motors without centering them first, and opposing them will not have the desired effect. So you’ll give it a shot of forward, from one motor only, to straighten up. Except that the motor’s turned in the opposite direction, so it has the opposite effect of what you were looking for. Bottom line: either leave the wheel centered and do all the work by opposing the motors, or use the wheel and the two power plants in tandem and don’t oppose them.

Road Ready

In most cases putting a boat on a trailer is a lot easier than pulling it into a slip, because most of the maneuvering takes place in forward. There is, however, one new and significant variable: the position of the trailer itself.

A trailer set too shallow in the water might make it easier to hit metal parts that should have been submerged below hull level, and will require lots of power to load the boat. But one that’s submerged too deeply can be just as problematic. If the bunks are under water, the boat might simply float over them and never center itself. And if you get the bow up to the stop and winch it up tight, but the trailer’s so deep the stern is still afloat, when you pull up the ramp and the stern settles down you’ll put incredible pressure on the bow eye and winch strap, and one or the other could break. Unfortunately, since different boat ramps have different grades and tidal influences, it’s nearly impossible for the traveling boater to pick a specific distance you’ll always back the trailer down to. Instead, look at specific parts of your trailer to guide you. Generally speaking, the front third of the bunks or rollers that the hull rests on should be out of the water when you load up. But remember: this can vary from rig to rig. You’ll have to establish the best submersion depth for yours, and stick to it. When it’s time to put the boat onto the

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

F i s h

bunks, there are a few tricks savvy trailer boaters can use to make the process easier. For starters, if there’s a stiff breeze or current make sure you place the trailer on the downwind side of the ramp. This will give you room to start the loading process on the upwind side, so you’re centered properly by the time the bow reaches the stop. Before powering up onto a trailer, put your outdrive at neutral trim. Trim it up as many folks do, and you’re forcing the stern down as you apply power. That’ll make it harder for the boat to move up onto the trailer. Worried the prop will hit concrete? If that’s a real danger then your trailer probably isn’t submerged far enough. And finally, if you don’t have the taillights elevated on side bunk poles, add them. Not only will your lights last longer, the poles will make centering the boat much, much easier. Finally, remember: bumpers are for cars and trucks, and crunching and munching is something you do with your teeth, not with your boat. Your gel coat will thank you for it. E-mail Lenny Rudow at boating@fishgame.com

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

I43


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:12 PM

Page I44

Mangrove Two-Step

T

I44

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

fished, activate the tentacles along with the baitfish itself with stops, twitches, sinks, and short retrieves. Mangroves are wary, and many times a 40-pound-test wire leader is stealthier than a 40pound mono leader. At the tightening of the line, the wire slides through the tight jaws easier than mono, increasing the likelihood of a hookup. Non-stainless steel circle hooks are now mandated in Federal waters when using natural baits while fishing for “reef fish,” and in Texas waters for red snapper. Your circle hook should be sized to the bait, meaning the hook-point to shank area will not be obstructed by the bait. Light wire hooks, such as the Daiichi D84Z in the illustration, let your bait presentation sink and flutter more naturally than a heavy wire hook. Using non-offset circle hooks give the greatest chance of a lip or jaw hookup. This is not only a lot better on the fish if it is to be released, but also facilitates easier hook

removal. Also keep in mind that a 5- 6-inch baitfish is more easily swallowed whole. The Texas Saltwater Record for mangroves at this writing is 18.67 pounds, and the IGFA All Tackle World Record is 17 pounds. This hooking of a baitfish through the head sideways for that disoriented, injured look isn’t magic, but it seems so at times. Part of the look this bait combination has, especially when using a squid head and tentacles, is the impression that the baitfish is attacking the squid, or vice-versa. Strong-fighting and great-eating mangrove snapper are out there, just waiting to take a Mangrove Two-Step.

Varying the weight when Carolina rigged will let you fish this rig from the near surface area to the bottom.

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

HE MANGROVE TWO-STEP IS NOT A DANCE— at least, not technically. First, the mangrove snapper has the reputation of being the wariest of the snappers in Texas waters. Second, this two-step bait presentation can bring out its natural weakness—dropping its guard during the competition of feeding. I first started using this sort of bait presentation about eight years ago. This recent variation, with the sardine hooked through the head, side to side, gives a more distressed or injured look. The squid head, cut in half through the eyes, is another change. Last summer, a long-time fishing friend, Jim Marigliano, came up with the theory that his 1x3-inch squid strip, added below the head of a sardine, was triggering mangrove snapper strikes. Jim’s thinking was that the Atlantic spadefish were biting at the squid strip and ignoring the sardine. The mangroves, not wanting to miss out on the offering, inhaled the sardines with regularity. Over the summer, Jim had several multiple mangrove snapper catches in the 8- to 12-pound range with this rig. My sardine/squid head combination also works well when Atlantic spadefish “bite starters” are not present. Free-lined or Carolina rigged, I have taken various snappers, ling, dolphin, kingfish, amberjack, and grouper with the Mangrove Two-Step presentation. Varying the weight when Carolina rigged, as shown in the illustration, will let you fish this rig from the near surface area to the bottom. The Quick-Change Slip Lead (www.Americanbandit.com) example shown is an innovative way of adding weight without cutting the line. At whatever depth

E-mail Patrick Lemire at saltrigs@fishgame.com

ILLUSTRATION BY PATRICK LEMIRE


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:12 PM

Page I45

Floating a Wacky Worm

I

ADMIT THAT I’M NOT ALWAYS, LET’S SAY “normal,” when it comes to fishing techniques. I’ll try odd stuff that I’ve heard about or play around with rigging styles just to see if it will work better than what everyone else is throwing. There was a time when every soft plastic rig I tied on had a small red glass bead on it somewhere. I’m talking about every soft plastic. Not really conventional, but effective. However, I’ve got to be honest; I never would have tried this rigging if someone hadn’t showed me its effectiveness first. If you’ve read my blog at fishgame.com, you’ll realize that I like to fish a wacky worm. I’ll have one tied on at least six months out of the year and make the fish prove they don’t want to hit it before I put it down. Sometimes that’s a detriment, but most times, it is not. My wacky rigs are very basic. A wide gap 3/0 hook is impaled in the middle of a trick worm ( Wa t e r m e l o n color) and that’s it. No split-shot on the line, no nail in the tail of the worm, just a hook and a worm. The downsides to this rig is that it is light and hard to cast, plus the open hook is somewhat snag prone in water with a lot of hydrilla growing in it. Once the point of the hook touches the hydrilla, it’s hung. A local ILLUSTRATION BY PAUL BRADSHAW

angler showed me a way to get around this using a few items I already have in my tackle bag, but never really thought of using with a plastic worm. For this one we’re going to steal a page from the saltwater angler’s handbook. Popping corks are commonplace along the Texas coast. They are used to fish everything from live shrimp and bait fish, to jig-heads tipped with soft plastics, and are a great way to get young anglers into a few fish. However, bass anglers rarely use any type of float unless they are using live bait, until now. The other day, I saw bass being caught by a fisherman using a slip cork with a wacky worm suspended beneath it. Although it looked odd and was far from conventional, it worked. The main part of the rig was the standard Styrofoam slip cork. You probably have a few sitting in the bottom of your boat from the last time you took your kids bream fishing. Find one that hasn’t been crushed and has all its parts or at least most of them. If you can’t find the bobber stop that goes on the line to stop the cork from sliding, don’t worry; I’ve got a fix for that. If you do have it then go ahead and put it on your main line first. If you cannot find it, which I never can, take a short length of string and tie a doubleoverhand knot with it around the main line around four feet from the end. This is your new bobber stopper that you can slide up and down the line. Make sure this knot is loose enough to slide up and down the line by hand, but not so loose that it will fall freely. Next, put the little stopper bead that came with the cork on the line. Again, if you don’t have this piece that’s fine, since the rig will work without it. Then run the line through the hollow body of the bobber before tying on a wide gap 3/0 hook A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

onto the end of the line. Between the hook and the bobber, crimp on a small split shot. The rig should now be in this order: knot, bobber, split shot, hook. On the hook, rig a worm wacky style (with the hook through the middle). Fishing this rig is simple, slide the knot to the depth you want the worm to suspend at, and then cast it out. If there is grass two feet under the surface with fish suspending on top then slide the knot 18 inches up the line from the hook. The wacky-worm will ride along the top of the grass, staying in the strike zone without getting hooked and any wave action will make the worm dance that much more. E-mail Paul Bradshaw at freshrigs@fishgame.com

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

I45


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:12 PM

Page I46

Glassing for Bass

I

HAVE YET TO MEET A KAYAKER THAT USED THE term “hole shot” when describing their boat’s performance. Efficient hulls boast modest cruising speeds of 2-3 miles per hour, making a relocation of any magnitude an investment, both physical and mental. Truth be told, there is a genuine effort behind any good stringer of fish; rarely are they found 100 yards from the launch site. As such, serious anglers look for clever ways to reduce the

I46

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

amount of effort in every outing. One overlooked way to reduce exertion is to leverage your eyesight with a good pair of binoculars. Summer bass, both largemouth and whites, will chase schools of shad, pinning them against the surface. Once the bait is balled up, bass tear into them with reckless abandon, pock marking the surface with boils of activity. Several thousand bass feeding on the film is an impressive sight, one that is easy to spot from a distance. Bass are not the only predators feeding on the hapless shad; avian predators will quickly join in. Wheeling and crashing gulls and terns will pick off cripples from above, a large flock of diving birds is like a giant feathered arrow pointing downward, emblazoned with the words, “Fish here.”

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

In a perfect world, a kayak fisherman could leisurely paddle up to the feeding fish and snipe at the edges of the school. In reality, every boat within miles can see the frothing surface and will hightail it towards the activity it in hopes of hooking a few fish before they spook and head for the depths. The paddling angler is foolish to think they can beat a metal-flaked hull to the action and therefore must take a different approach—at least on weekends, when boat traffic is heavy. A better strategy is to look for smaller, less obvious schools. Glassing for bass will help you see small pockets of feeding activity; ones that are too small to see from a distance with the naked eye. A small patch of swirls is less likely to attract a crowd of boats and provides the kayaker better odds that the


5/1/08

12:12 PM

Page I47

fish will still be feeding by the time they arrive. Binoculars are designated by a two numerals, such as 7X40, 8X45, or 10X50. The first numeral deals with the magnification. For instance, a 7 designates that the binoculars make the subject in the eyepiece appear seven times closer. The higher the magnification, the smaller your field of view. The second number specifies the diameter in millimeters of the big lenses up front; the technical term for these are “objective lenses.” The larger the diameter of the objective lenses, the greater the amount of light they can gather. Which type of binocular is best for you? That varies from angler to angler. Higher magnification binoculars are much more challenging to keep locked on a specific area in a rocking kayak than lower power optics. Kayakers who spend most of their time in placid water may prefer higher magnification. If you are a member of the dawn patrol, the light gathering capabilities of your optics is more important than magnification. If forced to choose a general all-around set of binoculars, it would be a set of 8X45s. You get good light gathering with decent magnifi-

cation. Weight is always a concern and I would recommend something lighter if I had to hang the binoculars from my neck the whole day; but I don’t. I stash them in my milk crate until needed. Above all else, don’t waste your money on water resistant binoculars. You need to buy a pair that is waterproof. If you are unsure, ask.

Glassing for bass will help you see small pockets of activity.

ALMANAC I.qxd

Make sure that your new optics can be fully submerged without any harm. It is only a matter of time until they get dunked. Remember to keep a leash on them when they are not being used. Schooling bass tend to stay up longer during the week compared to weekends. Boat

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

F i s h

traffic has a tremendous impact on schooling behavior and surface activity, however brief, will reveal the school’s location. Mark the location mentally and immediately paddle to it. A depth finder will verify activity below the surface. Having two rods rigged, one with a topwater, and the other with a diving lure, will allow you to present the best bait when you arrive. Binoculars are a great aid to saltwater anglers as well. Imagine seeing tiny tails in the distance piercing the surface of a quiet flat and trying to determine if they are redfish or mullet tails. Rather than paddling several hundred yards to find out, you can reach out and eyeball them with a good pair of optics. Likewise, river rats can check out bends and rapids downstream well before you reach a questionable section of river. Knowing what lies ahead will help you make better decisions. Leveraging your eyesight with a good pair of binoculars will save you a lot of effort when you are on the water. A stroke saved is worth every penny. Email Greg Berlocher at kayak@fishgame.com

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

I47


5/1/08

12:12 PM

Page I48

Stay “In the Zone”

S

AVVY CRAPPIE ANGLERS KNOW THAT ONE OF the key components to a successful fishing trip is getting your bait “in the zone.” Crappie are famous for biting at a specific depth when they get choosy— say, 14 feet—and ignoring anything they have to move very far to ingest. That is why boat positioning is such an important part of brush pile crappie fishing. If you get right over crappie-filled structured and vertically drop a live shiner or small jig down over it, your chances of catching a mess of slabs is high. Shiners are the most popular choice, but 1/32- and 1/16-ounce tube jigs fished right “in the zone” can yield big results on big-water brush piles as well. The same is true of fish that suspend

around drop-offs in rivers. A good way to fish these spots is to use a depthfinder to locate those that have big schools of shad around them. Crappie do not hang around spots that are devoid of baitfish very long, and generally speaking, the bigger the bunch of bait, the more crappie will be around. A drop-off in a river might not be very deep, so don’t go looking for a crater. A difference of 2-3 feet in depth is major when putting things in perspective. Tiny crankbaits like a 1/8-ounce Wally Marshall Crappie Crank is great for fishing along main river channels to locate fish suspend over deep water. One of the reasons some anglers have such a hard time locating crappie on big rivers is that many of these fish will suspend at, say, 8 feet in 12 feet of water, just over a subtle drop-off. When fishing jigs or shiners rigged on weights, many anglers shoot right past these fish, whereas a tiny, diving crankbait will go right to them. If you are fishing natural brush piles or

logjams in a river, the most common and productive bait is a live shiner fished on a free-line. Well, it is almost a free-line rig; instead of a simple hook and shiner, the preferred rig is a hook and shiner finished off with a 1/32-ounce weight, which will allow the bait to get down a little quicker and into the lair of some of the bigger fish, which typically hold tight to the structure.

A drop-off in a river might not be very deep, so don’t go looking for a crater.

ALMANAC I.qxd

The big crappie did not get that way by being easy pickings, so you will want to focus your efforts in a very determined fashion to get the big slabs. If you catch a couple of big slabs on shiners but are being hammered by smaller fish, consider switching over to little tube jigs. Tube jigs are highly popular in a couple of areas of Texas and in other states, but are just now catching on statewide. The small 2inch tube jigs lowered down over brush in the river is a great way to entice the big crappie to bite. Crappie are just like any other fish in that bigger bait can sometimes equal bigger fish. Don’t be shy about reserving some extra large shiners for the big ones, or upgrading to a 3-inch jig to get the big ones out of their lairs. Just remember to stay “in the zone” no matter where you are seeking crappie, and your chances of success will skyrocket. E-mail Wally Marshall at mrcrappie@fishgame.com. Visit his website at www.mrcrappie.com

I48

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C


5/1/08

12:12 PM

Page I49

Night Fishing Tips

I

T CAN BECOME TEXAS HOT BY MID- TO LATEJune, and anglers turn to the early morning and late evening bites. To extend profitable fishing time, night fishing is the hot setup. Bass feed at night just like they do in the daytime, and you don’t have to contend with a lot of boats or jet-skiers. I remember way back when we used to use noisy topwater baits at night, thinking you needed a lot of noise to attract fish. We used baits like a Jitterbug or a Bagley’s Bango lure. These worked great at times, but not always. Since then, I have learned that night fishing is exactly like daytime fishing, and a lot of times better with the exception of visibility. You work the same banks with the same lures and techniques, which pay off quite well, except you don’t have to worry about the blistering sun. One key factor I have found when night fishing is the structures closest to deep water seem to hold bass a lot better. They seem to like a close deep-water escape route. I don’t usually do much in the shallow flats. My favorite night lures that I like to fish on my Bass Pro Shops’ Extreme Woo rods are the Zoom Z-nail fished with a 4/0 Mustad Ultra Point wide gap hook and a 1/32ounce nail inserted in the head. I cast this to the edge of riprap, especially the corners of bridges and fish it just like you would in the daytime. Second, I like to fish a big 10-inch Old Monster Zoom worm in a dark color with a 3/16-ounce Tru-Tungsten weight and

4/0 Mustad hook. Next, I love to throw a Bagley’s Balsa B or Killer B II around riprap. Another super spot for cranking is any lighted pier. These piers are also good at

When night fishing, the structures closest to deep water seem to hold bass a lot better.

ALMANAC I.qxd

night because a lot of bait is attracted to the lights and the bass will hang around a while. Spinnerbaits and buzzbaits are also great night lures. I like to throw Colorado blades with my spinnerbaits, because you get a lot

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

F i s h

better vibration, which I think actually calls the fish. When fishing at night, look for points that fall off fast. Watch your sonar and sit in deep water so that you can hit the bank with a normal cast. You can also come in from the side and fan-cast across the point. A buzzbait is good for this technique and I always want my first cast to be as close to the bank as possible. Sometimes the fish will come so shallow to get the lure that their backs are out of the water. A couple of things you need for night fishing is Jack’s Juice bug spray and some good lights. I like the little lights that go on the brim of your hat. I don’t use a black light unless I positively have to. You would be surprised that your eyes get adjusted to the lack of light and you can see a lot better than you would expect. You can also get by with heavier line at night. I like to go with Bass Pro Shops 17-pound fluorocarbon. Give night fishing a try; I think you will be surprised and pleased with the results.

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

I49


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/8/08

1:28 PM

Page I50

Equipment Key to Jones’ Classic Win

T

HIS YEAR’S BASSMASTER CLASSIC WINNER Alton Jones of Waco said several factors were key in helping him nail down the most valuable win of his 17year career as a professional angler. Making pinpoint presentations and slow, methodical retrieves through Lake Hartwell’s stump-studded depths with a pair of prototype jigs from Booyah were certainly essential. Equally important was the gear he used to do it. Jones fished the 1/2-ounce jigs in combination with a 7-foot medium-

Sonar that helped him know where to place those casts in standing timber. “The Ardent XS1000 is the smoothest,

by Matt Williams

farthest-casting bait-caster I have ever thrown,” Jones said. “It and the Sidefinder were critical parts of my game plan at the Classic.” While Jones rose to the top at the final weigh-in, several other Texans turned in respectable performances over the course of the 38th Classic. G a r y Klein, a 26heavy time Classic Kistler qualifier from MagneWeatherford, finsium TS ished in 24th place; rod, which Todd Faircloth, Jasper, provided optiAlton Jones, of Waco, is the 2008 Bassmaster 25th place; Takahiro mum sensitivity Classic Champion. Omori, Mineola 36th; for detecting Kelly Jordon, 43rd. subtle strikes and plenty of backbone for working quality fish out of the scattered timber he targeted in 28-40 feet of water. His line of choice was 14-pound Silver Thread, a small diameter copolymer that provides superior abrasion resistance, knot Dicky Newberry relied heavily on a Ratstrength, and excellent castability. L-Trap to fish his way into the Top 10 finals Jones said other key tools in his arsenal of the FLW Outdoors Stren Series Texas were his Ardent XS1000 bait-caster, which Division event held February 20-23 on Sam allowed him to make the super long casts Rayburn Reservoir. necessary to get the bait down into the strike Sitting in fifth place less than 2 pounds zone, and his Hummingbird Side Imaging behind tournament leader Russell Cecil of

Newberry Strays from ‘Trap Bite, Nets $65,000

I50

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

Willis with one round to go, the salty pro from Houston felt he needed to change up his game in order to have a shot at winning. “What I’m doing isn’t going to cut it,” Newberry said shortly after the day three weigh-in. “I’m going to change some things up tomorrow and try to win this deal.” Newberry’s plan worked out nicely. He vacated his ‘Trap spots in Buck Bay and Veach Basin and ran north to the mouth of Harvey Creek, where he went to work with a 3/4-ounce black/blue Talon jig. He caught a 9-pounder on his first cast to a drop-off in 10-20 feet of water and followed up later in the day with a 7-pounder on a Zoom Fluke. Three more solid keepers built Newberry’s final round bag to 23 pounds, 15 ounces, giving him in 74-1 overall and more than enough to overtake Cecil, who wound up with 72-05. Newberry’s win earned him a cash/Ranger boat package valued at $65,000, while Cecil took home nearly $28,000. Stephen Johnston of Hemphill finished third, followed by James Stricklin, Jr., of Jasper and Toby Hartsell of Livingston. Rich Dalbey, Greenville, won the coangler division title, and earned $35,000 in cash and prizes. Nick Diberardino of Huffman was second, followed by Steve Evans of Lufkin, Dan West of Ada, Oklahoma, and Jonathan Simon of Orange.

Texas Pros Advance in Recent Qualifiers Lake Amistad near Del Rio reaffirmed its stature as one of the country’s top muscle lakes as it cranked out big numbers of quality bass during the 2008 Wal-Mart FLW East-West Fish-off held there February 7-9. The tournament field was comprised of the top 30 pros and co-anglers from the circuit’s East and West divisions. Pros com-

Continued on Page I-52 PHOTO COURTESY OF ESPN


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:12 PM

Page I51


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:12 PM

Page I52

TPWD Nixes River Access Plan

T

HE TEXAS PARKS & WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT rejected the Zavala County Local River Access Plan that would have opened up a 13-mile stretch of the Nueces River to motor vehicles. In 2003, the Texas Legislature passed SB 155. The law expresses the legislature’s position that the “beds, bottoms, and banks of navigable rivers...are precious and irreplaceable state resources that deserve protection” and “the protection of public access should not come at the cost of uncontrolled damage to the [rivers]...or at the cost of infringing on private property rights.” The law did not completely deny public access. Local governments can develop and adopt river access plans to provide limited vehicular access to riverbeds. The plans must: protect fish, wildlife, water quality and other natural resources; provide for ade-

quate enforcement; coordinate with adjacent and overlapping jurisdictions; and protect private property rights. Once the plans are adopted at the local level, they must be approved by TPWD. According to TPWD, the Zavala County Plan was not acceptable because: - it would have created a motor vehicle trail instead of providing limited vehicular access - numerous public access points eliminated the justification/need for driving in the riverbed - the location of the gradient boundary would have forced vehicles to drive either on private land or in the riverbed - the location of property boundaries were not clearly marked, nor was there money available for professionally surveying the necessary boundaries

- no provisions were made for funding public services - no cap was placed on the number of vehicles allowed to access the river - no public comment opportunities were provided. The Texas Wildlife Association applauded the TPWD rejection of the access plan. “We are pleased that the experts at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department concurred that the Zavala County Local River Access Plan was deeply flawed and rejected it,” TWA Executive Vice President Kirby Brown said. “As it was written, the plan did not meet the tests set forth in law. With this decision, TPWD upheld the law and protected one of the state’s most fragile natural resources. “From TWA’s standpoint, this controversy was not about denying reasonable public access; it was about protecting natural resources from irrevocable, preventable damage.”

TOURNAMENT INSIDER Continued from Page I-50 peted in a one-on-one bracket format, East against West. The winners in each bracket earned berths to the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup in August. Las Vegas, Nevada, pro Clayton Meyer took home $25,000 after reeling in 76 pounds, 11 ounces over three days. He used a 3/4-ounce brown football jig tipped with a grub trailer. Clark Wendlandt of Leander, Texas, and Jim Tutt of Longview were the only Texans in the field. Wendlandt advanced to the Cup after defeating Tim Klinger of Boulder City, Nevada, 50-1 to 20-3. Tutt I52

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

was defeated by Michael Bennett of Roseville, California, 55-14 to 48-13. Jason Reyes of Humble, Texas, won the two-day Professional Angler’s Association qualifying event held February 8-9 with 10 bass weighing 48 pounds, 3 ounces. Reyes won a Toyota Tundra SR5, $6000 cash, and one of the 25 qualifying spots to the Toyota Texas Bass Classic held in April on Lake Fork. Other Texas pros that qualified for the TTBC via Choke Canyon were Trent Huckaby, Lance Vick, Johnny Grice, Byron Velvick, Dave Parsons, Ray Hanselman, Jerry Green, Yusuke Miyaza&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

ki, Brian Penso, and Trevor Knight. Knight’s TTBC qualification is especially noteworthy. He was one of five anglers from the Intercollegiate Bass Fishing League who was invited to compete in the pro-level tournament. A fisheries management graduate currently working on his master’s degree at Texas A&M University, Knight finished 16th overall with 40 pounds, 7 ounces.


5/1/08

12:12 PM

Page I53

The .280 Remington

R

EMINGTON INTRODUCED THE .2 80 IN 1957. Unfortunately for Remington, they missed the target right off the bat. They introduced the cartridge— which is a great long-range plains and mountain cartridge—in the Model 740 semi-auto rifle, not in their bolt-action 721. Why this decision was made I do not know, but it was not the brightest thing Remington has ever done. It ranks right up there with introducing the 6.5 and .350 Magnums in the Model 600 carbine. Then to make matters even worse, they had to keep the pressure down in the ammunition so that it would work properly in the autoloader, thereby reducing the velocity. This made a cartridge with great potential into one that was about equivalent to the smaller 7mm Mauser and a long way from being competition for the .270 Winchester, as Remington had envisioned. Because of this series of questionable decisions by the Remington brass, the .280 languished for many years in obscurity. In 1979 Remington tried to kick-start the .280, by then chambered in the Model 700, by changing the name to 7mm Express Remington and upping the velocity a bit, though still not to its true potential. This just confused the public, who had trouble figuring’ out the difference between the 7mm Remington Magnum and the 7mm Remington Express. Thankfully, Remington soon dropped the Express moniker and went back to .280. Just in the last 10 or 15 years has the .280 begun to gain some popularity. It has always been a great cartridge, with the ability take on almost any game animal in North America. Its biggest problems were that its ballistics looked pretty pale next to the flam-

ing hot .270 Winchester, and as a 7mm it was in direct competition with the mighty 7mm Remington Magnum. Those who wanted a non-belted high-velocity cartridge stayed with the .270. Those who wanted a high-velocity 7mm bought 7mm Magnums. The .280 sat on the sidelines like the wallflower at the high school prom. That seems to be changing. Many hunters and shooters are finally coming to the understanding that a cartridge doesn’t have to wear a belt and burn a pound of powder to be a good cartridge. The .280 will shove a 140-grain bullet at over 3000 feet per second, 150- at over 2900, and a 175at 2700.

Just in the last 10 or 15 years has the .280 begun to gain some popularity.

ALMANAC I.qxd

The .284/7mm caliber is a great one for hunting medium to big game. The bullets are long and stable, having high sectional density and great ballistic coefficient. This means they hold their velocity well and that translates into good long-range performance. The slower a bullet loses its velocity the flatter it shoots, the less wind deflection it has, and the more energy it delivers to the target downrange. The .280 Remington is one of the best of the deer cartridges. It does not have the velocity of the .270 Winchester—though it doesn’t miss it far—but it will handle heavier bullets. With bullets ranging in weight from 139- to 150-grains it shoots plenty flat for about any deer/sheep/antelope-hunting scenario. My preference for deer runs to the A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

139-grain Hornady and 145-grain Speer bullets, but there are bunches of good deer loads available. With heavier bullets, from 150-grains to 175-grains, the .280 is fully elk capable. If I were to use the .280 on elk, I would opt for a good 160-grain bullet like a Nosler Partition, Trophy Bonded Bear Claw, or Hornady InterBond. Also a good choice would be the Barnes Triple Shock in 150- or 160grain weight. Federal loads a 150-grain Nosler Partition that leaves the muzzle at 2890 feet per second. This is a great elk load and would be hard to beat with handloads. They also offer a 160-grain AccuBond at 2800 fps, another great choice. Handloaders have a wide selection of components to choose from. With the popularity of the 7mm Magnums, there are a huge number of 7mm bullets on the market, and most of them work just fine in the .280 Remington. As for powders, the .280 is based on the .30-06 case, just like the .270 Winchester, so any powder that works for the .270 will also work for the .280. I would try IMR 4350, IMR 4831, H 4831, and Reloader 19. You will experience best performance on deer with bullets of the mid-weight range, such as those I mentioned above as being my favorites. Heavier bullets in this caliber are intended for larger game, are usually very tough, and might not upset quickly enough to provide good performance on game the size of deer. If you have been thinking about buying a 7mm Magnum, 7mm WSM, or one of the .300 short magnums, you might consider, instead, a new rifle in .280 Remington. This cartridge is one of the best, and after a slow start is finally being appreciated as one that will do most anything. I believe it is destined to become one of the true classics, as it deserves to be. E-mail Steve LaMascus at guns@fishgame.com &

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

I53


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:12 PM

Page I54

Watching the Embers Burn

O

NE NIGHT NOT LONG AGO, I SAT ON AN OAK stump beside a dwindling campfire on a hunting lease near Caddo, Texas, watching the glowing embers beneath the dying flames. Soon, the flames were gone but the embers continued to glow,

I54

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

brightening slightly with every puff of the night breeze. The well-seasoned quarters of a cottontail rabbit shared a small grill over the embers with a red onion and potato wrapped in foil. I had bagged the rabbit next to a patch of briars two hours earlier, and tonight’s supper promised to be a good one. As I sat on the stump watching the embers burn and felt the loneliness one naturally feels when being by himself under such circumstances, I remembered a similar night as a teenager when I sat beside another campfire at the back of my family’s halfacre lot west of Fort Worth and wondered what I would be when I grew up. It was a perplexing thought at the moment. After all, my degree of fondness

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

for school ruled out my becoming a teacher, and I didn’t talk fast enough to be a politician. Soon, my thoughts drifted to something more important at hand: our little black and white puppy named Wreath, who was sprawled out on the ground beside me. My older brothers, Bill and Paul, had given Wreath his name after he had been given to us as a Christmas present from our parents. Wreath was no more than a cup of fur that Christmas day but he was more beautiful than any Christmas wreath we had ever seen. Somehow, the thoughts of being grown up someday and having to go to work really didn’t seem to matter at the moment. As the years advanced, other things did begin to matter. As I watched the cottontail quarters cook over the flames earlier this year at Caddo, I once again began to appreciate the independence my mother and father let me gain during my childhood days. Then and now, I rarely take many groceries with me when going hunting because I have always felt confident that I could catch a few fish, bag a rabbit, squirrel, or whatever and get by just fine. As a youngster, my parents let me take to the woods near our home or on my grandparents’ dairy in Comanche County anytime I wanted to hunt or just to mosey around. It was a rewarding freedom, but there was more than just independence that they gave me. They gave me a way to build confidence in myself and to learn an appreciation for what I would find. One thing I discovered as a youngster was the beauty in embers. Yes, embers just like the ones I was watching as I cooked the rabbit, onion, and potato over mesquite coals at Caddo. I had built a big fire that night and it had been a good one. I have said it before but feel it is important to say it again: If you are gong to build a campfire, make sure it is one that will last a while. I was not going anywhere, and the fire I had built was a testament to that. You really don’t have to go deep into


5/1/08

12:13 PM

Page I55

TFG PHOTO

ALMANAC I.qxd

your thoughts to realize how I was feeling at the time while watching those embers burn. All you have to do is to visualize two things: where you came from and where you are going. Centuries ago, men all over the world built campfires and watched embers burn. Our forefathers did the same when they arrived here to establish new beginnings in our great country. As I watched the embers burn recently, a sudden sadness settled across my shoulders. So many people, perhaps some of you, have drifted so far away from nature that such

simple things as watching embers burn in a campfire at night never will be a part of their life. What is so important about watching embers burn? Nothing, really. What is important is taking advantage of the opportunity to watch them burn. Years ago, watching embers burn was something people did naturally after supper at the end of the day. But today, watching embers burn seems to have to be a special occasion for many people such as during hunting season or during a longplanned camping trip. Sadly, it is no longer

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

F i s h

a part of everyday living for many people. Although we now are going through the “in-between” period of hunting seasons, it will not be long before many people will be enjoying warm campfires and warm friendships with other hunters throughout Texas and elsewhere. But you do not have to be a hunter to enjoy the same things they will be enjoying on a hunting lease. Campfires are good wherever and whenever you build them, even on a summer day in your backyard or in a barbecue pit. Once the flames have gone out, stay a little longer and watch the embers burn regardless whether you are alone or sharing the moment with someone close to you. Let your mind wander to your past and to your future. Recall your best outdoor moments as well as those of your family members or friends. And think about the future. Watch the embers burn for a while, and I think you will understand what I mean. E-mail Bob Hood at hunting@fishgame.com.

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

I55


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:13 PM

Page I56

New 2008-2009 Hunting/Fishing Regs

Carp Bag Limit: Anglers fishing Lady Bird Lake (formerly Town Lake) in Austin will be allowed to retain only one common carp 33 inches or larger per day. There will remain no limit on common carp measuring less than 33 inches in length. Community Fishing Lake Pole Limit: Anglers will be limited to using two fishing poles on designated community fishing lakes. This new rule addresses hoarding of limited bank fishing access. The change affects impoundments 75 acres or less totally within a city limits or a public park, but will not be enacted on any waters inside a state park. Lake Nacogdoches Bass Limit: This rule changes the largemouth bass regulations on Lake Nacogdoches to a 16-inch maximum size limit. The daily bag will be I56

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

five bass under 16 inches, although one bass 24 inches or larger can be retained temporarily in a livewell and then weighed using handheld scales for possible donation to the Budweiser ShareLunker program. Purtis Creek/Lake Raven Bass Limit: This rule changes the largemouth bass temporary retention length limit to 24 inches on Purtis Creek State Park Lake and Lake Raven (Huntsville State Park). Both lakes are catch and release only for largemouth bass, although currently one trophy

Taking catfish by bow and arrow will no longer be legal.

I

N MARCH, THE TEXAS PARKS & WILDLIFE Commission adopted changes to hunting and fishing regulations. As part of the annual regulations review process, public input, and discussion among agency staff to proposals related to upland bird hunting were withdrawn. Staff recommended turning to the Commission’s newly appointed Game Bird Advisory Committee for further discussion on potential changes to quail and pheasant regulations. One other proposal that would have extended regulations allowing the take of catfish by means of bow and arrow was also withdrawn. As of 1 September 2008, taking catfish by means of bow and arrow will no longer be legal. Meanwhile, the Commission approved the following changes:

statewide limits of three fish per day and a 20- to 28-inch reverse slot limit.

bass may be retained temporarily for weighing purposes and donation to the Budweiser ShareLunker program. Lake Texoma Spotted Bass: This rule removes the 14-inch minimum length limit for spotted bass on Lake Texoma, consistent with the Texas statewide regulation (no length limit) and the limit for the Oklahoma side of Texoma. Lake Nasworthy/Colorado City Red Drum Limit: This removes the harvest exceptions for red drum on Lake Nasworthy and the 20-inch minimum length limit for red drum on Colorado City Reservoir. Both water bodies revert to the &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

Expanded Panhandle Mule Deer Season: This adds Sherman and Hansford counties to the northern Panhandle mule deer season (16 days beginning the Saturday before Thanksgiving) and in Gaines, Martin, and the eastern portion of Andrews counties to the southwest Panhandle season (nine days beginning the Saturday before Thanksgiving). These counties, wildlife biologists believe, have mule deer populations sufficient to allow the harvest of a few buck mule deer. Eliminate Bowhunting Minimum Draw Weight: This removes the requirement of a 40-pound minimum peak draw weight on bowhunting equipment. Deer Proof of Sex Requirement Change: This allows special deer permit tags, including Managed Land Deer Permits, Landowner Assisted Management Permitting System, antlerless mule deer, special public hunting and Antlerless and Spike Control, to satisfy proof of sex tagging requirements. Lower Minimum Age for Hunter Education Certification: This lowers the minimum age a student may receive hunter education certification from 12 years to 9 years. Quota for Commercial Catch of Gulf Menhaden in State Waters: This rule establishes a quota for the commercial catch of Gulf menhaden in state waters. The move is a precautionary measure that basically limits the fishery at its current level. The total allowable catch from state waters would be set at 31,500,000 pounds E-mail Wayne Watson at outlaw@fishgame.com.


5/1/08

12:13 PM

Page I57

Float Tube Fishing

N

ECESSITY IS THE MOTHER OF ALL inventions, and fishermen have done their share when it comes to developing tools to make fishing easier and more productive. Their identities as inventors may be unknown to the ranks of anglers who profit from their ingenuity. But it is nice to know that if a dilemma in the fishing world arises, sooner or later some angling Einstein will find a way to resolve it; especially if doing so means catching more fish. Take the guy, for example, standing on the bank of a pond, lake, or river, and sees fish actively feeding just out of casting range. The water is too deep to reach them by wading. No boat is available and with an Icame-here-to-catch-fish-attitude, he suddenly remembers that in the back of his truck is an inflated innertube the kids were playing with the other day. Why not use that to get to those fish? he reasons. So, he fashions a seat in the center out of some rope and steps into the contraption, wades into the water and catches the heck out of those fish he would otherwise be unable to reach. Another innovative fishing product is developed based upon angler need. Well the development of float tubes for fishing might have happened that way. But, however the idea was turned into reality, fishermen are better off because of some angler’s resourcefulness. Float tubes are about the cheapest form of personal watercraft available besides straddling a handy floating log. And good logs are rarely around when you need them. Tubes are also a lot safer, more portable and won’t roll over at the most inopportune moments. They come in four basic styles: round, U-shaped, V-shaped and pontoon. They fit into nylon sleeves that are festooned

with compartments and hardware useful for attaching other pieces of equipment to the tube. Round tubes were the first design and are still popular today. They completely surround the angler and provide the most support. The downside is angling from them is somewhat inconvenient because of the restricted access in front of the angler. It is more or less like having to fish with a large pillow sitting on your lap. The next development to come along is the U-shaped float tube. It is somewhat larger than the round design because it has only three sides for floatation. This style of tube allows easier

Float tubes are about the cheapest form of personal watercraft, besides straddling a handy floating log.

ALMANAC I.qxd

access when entering and exiting from the water and makes it easier to fish from because of the open front. A mesh panel is used to provide cross support between the sidewalls of the tube. The third model is Vshaped. This type is similar to the U-boat but is more maneuverable when fishing in windy areas. The fourth style is called a pontoon and allows the angler to sit up higher with just his legs in the water. It can be rowed, or paddled with the angler’s feet. Each style has its advantages and disadvantages. Determining which type to choose is an individual choice based upon intended use. There is a wide variety of accessories A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

available for float tubes and they can make fishing from one more convenient and fun. Some of the more practical are waders for cool water adventures, fins to make moving through the water easier, pumps which take the place of lung power, rod holders that strap around the tube, and landing nets with lanyards which can be attached to various rings on the tube sleeve. For locating fish in deeper water, portable fish finders are a nice addition. Float tubes and small ponds go together like fried eggs and ham. They allow unobtrusive access to those areas just out of reach from shore-bound anglers. Fishing from them is almost a primitive experience. Tubes allow sneaking up on fish and there is something inherently fun about that tactic. It is also a sound method to beat the summer heat in the southern climes. Water temperatures rarely exceed air temperatures and staying cool while fishing is another justifiable benefit of using them. June is a prime month for catching spawning channel catfish. Rock-lined dam faces offer excellent habitat for their reproductive rites. Catfish are aggressive and hungry when spawning. One of the most exciting and easiest means of fishing for them during this period is in a float tube. Using crickets or red worms worked on a floating bait rig along the dam face in shallow water is the key to catching a mess of them. The float tube allows getting up close to the action and if you hang a big one, the resulting ride across the lake until the fish tires just adds to the fun. Good float tubes are available for less than $100. Most large outdoor retailers catering to fishermen stock them. The possibilities they offer for small-water fishing or getting into areas not practical with a boat are unlimited. And what is more fun than floating around in cool water catching fish on a hot summer day? E-mail Barry St. Clair at bstclair@fishgame.com. &

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

I57


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:13 PM

Page I58

The Lostrider Part III—The Conclusion

“A

NNIE, TELL ME HOW THIS COUNTRY lays out!” My appreciation for the magnitude of the Bob Marshal Wilderness was changing from awe to concern. This particular chunk of federal ground stretches almost 150 miles south to north from Lincoln, Montana, to Highway 2 and Glacier National Park. Then it’s almost as wide east to west from Choteau to Missoula. “If you were one of those horses where would you go?” We hunkered beside the early morning campfire. It was still dark and we needed a plan. The horses and mules had given me

I58

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

the slip the evening before while I set camp, and now the only riding stock available was Tom and my wrangle ponies. “Well...” the girl looked at me roundeyed and worried. “There are some old mares that might lead them home, but that’s more than 40 miles. If they crossed the bridge and headed the other direction to Benchmark, they might be at that trailhead eating grass.” My gut cramped. The cowboy coffee didn’t taste good. You couldn’t tickle a smile out of me with a Bob Hope road movie. Then one of the guests wandered in looking for breakfast. “What are we going to do? We’re stranded in the wilderness!” “Naw, ya’ll take your fishing poles and figure out this part of the crick. We’ve got plenty of food. You’ve got dry clothes and tents. Cold weather ain’t due for a few more weeks. And I’ll be back in a jiffy with yalls’ riding ponies. I bet they didn’t go far,” I lied. There was no telling where those outlaws went.

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

A bird chirped in the brush along the river and Tom led our wrangle horses up to the fire. The new day was lending us light and the whole crew felt the urgency to begin. It was time to go. We trotted out of camp and followed the tracks down river to the pack bridge. There the horses had milled until they figured out their order, then single-filed across. They were headed to the Benchmark trailhead. But, a few miles down this trail they milled again and took a dim branch trail back towards the north. “Tom, you know what we’re seeing? ” I spoke my thought aloud. “One of the new horses was in the lead but it didn’t know where it was going. Now, one of the mares has taken the lead and they’re headed home.” The clutter of tracks contained several hoof prints that were easily distinguishable. There was a small gelding with pie plate feet and rolled heels and one of the mares had an odd shaped foot. It was simple to see we were following the right crowd despite the multitude of horseman fishing the Sun River. Tom didn’t say much and I didn’t feel like talking. The miles plodded by and my self-esteem sank like an anchor to become wedged in doubts. My personal failures glared at me and shouted that I wasn’t even smart enough to be a cowboy. I was broke, disgusted, dirty, and now had this screw up to amend. Slowly, my conscience sucked me deeper within myself. Guilt burned my mind with smoky visions of the little daughter in Texas. That reminded me of a blundered marriage and here I was bumbling around lost in the wilderness - what a dumb jerk. The errant horse herd left the trail but then picked it up again. They were still headed north and passed the confluence of the West and North Forks of the Sun River. Tom finally started chattering and became philosophical about his demons. His wife pulled him out of a jam years ago when his tongue got stuck in the neck of a


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:13 PM

Page I59

whiskey bottle. He hadn’t been far from her side since. I couldn’t find fault in his confessions, but the experience scarred him and I supposed that every man has his disappointments. Then I thought about all the hunters I’d guided that said, “Yes sir, you’re living the perfect dream. I wished I had done what you’re doing.” I knew they partially meant what they said. It was obvious they yearned for two different worlds, one where they could make money and the other where they could be a cowboy. They missed the look-aman-in-the-eye, stand tall in your boots, respect the ladies, and always speak the truth ideology we learned from our heroes. Society slathered a suffocating layer of political correctness over the masses, castrating the men and empowering the weakest links. The promise of adult profits killed too many childhood dreams, dimmed the shine on too many souls, and put too many people in dirt holes without realizing their finest potential. No wonder our clients seek the outdoors. It might be the only time they can find themselves. It might be the only time they feel like part of what God intended there to be. And it occurred to me that a grand majority of folks ride through life lost and wondering how their own trail became so dim and when had their youthful confidence fled. Meanwhile, Tom and I weren’t actually lost but we hadn’t been in this neck of the woods before. We rode up the North Fork of the Sun River until I recognized Horse Hill. “Okay, now I know where I’m at. But we’ve lost the tracks and we’re 20 miles from camp.” We nudged our ponies into a trot. The river bottom opened up spreading miles of grassy meadows and hideouts to the runaways. There was nothing to do but find where they came back into the trail. Ten miles farther, at Big Creek Meadows the trail split and a shortcut known as the tiecutters trail ran away from the river towards Headquarters Pass and home. “Tom, if those horses got on that trail we can’t get in front of them again until they get to the trailhead. It’s solid timber for 15 miles.” We separated and crossed the flats several hundred yards apart looking for sign. Then we met where the trail went into the aspens. “They haven’t made it his far. We passed them but Lord knows where. It’s going to

get dark soon and the only other place to check is their old stomping grounds at Gates Park. We should ride over and see if Jimmy Forest will let us bunk at the Gates Park Ranger Station.” Jimmy was the seasonal forest service ranger but he guided elk hunters with us in the fall. I was hoping he knew a trick that I’d overlooked. “Y’all are welcome to stay here for the night,” said Jimmy. “If those horses aren’t here in the morning, and if they don’t hit the

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

F i s h

tie-cutters trail before daylight you’ll find them on your back trail.” We thanked him and crashed on a couple of bunks. This was definitely a low point in my cowboying career. I felt completely worthless. It was time to sell the hat and saddle buy a wiener dog and take up crocheting. The next morning we were back at the entrance to the tie-cutters trail to resume our

Continued on Page I-60

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

I59


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:13 PM

Page I60

Kids, Adults, and Kids

A

GIANT TREE TRUNK LAY ACROSS THE CREEK. The log was probably 20 feet from the roots sticking up in the air to the first fork. We stopped to look across to the other side after we walked a long trail through the woods leading to one of Dad’s favorite fishing spots. It would have been just as easy to drive our truck one mile down the highway to the two-lane bridge to follow the creek upstream on foot to Dad’s fishing hole, but he told us he wanted the first fishing trip of the summer to be an adventure. Sis and I had walked the long way dozens of times ourselves, but Dad preferred to hike from the house, twice the distance.

I think maybe he likes trips to originate at Granny’s farmhouse. It is similar to stepping off her porch during the winter when Dad calls the dogs for a round of quail hunting in the pastures around her house. He said we all needed the exercise, and Mama just rolled her eyes like she does when she knows he’s kidding. He said, “These kids are lazy. They’ve been sitting in class all year long, and now we’re gonna get them in shape.” I noticed Sis roll her eyes the same way. She looked just like Mama when she did it. I also noticed that Sis and Mama walk the same way. It gave me a funny feeling that I knew what Sis would look like some day. Some of the guys at school say that you should look at your girlfriend’s mother if you want to see what she will look like when she gets older. I hadn’t thought too much about that until then. Sometimes my jerk friends at school can be right. Dad led the way with his Zebco 33 car-

ried backwards so as not to get caught in the brush. Mama followed with her own cane pole and an empty bucket. Sis followed her and I walked drag. I read the other day the old cowboys who followed along behind the herd to keep them moving were said to ride drag. Even though I knew I shouldn’t, I poked my rod toward an armadillo hole. As soon as I did it, I knew it was a mistake because I could have broken the tip off. Sometimes I frustrate myself by acting like a kid. We stalled at the foot log. The creek looked wider with that log laying across it. “Here we go,” Dad said and crossed first. I kind of expected the log to do something, sag maybe, but it looked rock solid. “I’m a logwalker from way back in the days when I didn’t have shoes and ran across these logs barefoot.” Mama laughed. “Your feet are so tender you can’t walk across carpet these days without socks on.”

WILDERNESS TRAILS Continued from Page I-59 search. We backtracked past Horse Hill to Cabin Creek where we found the tracks we were looking for but they were a day old and headed in the wrong direction. So, we continued towards the juncture of the West and North Forks of the Sun River and then started working our way north again. Our wrangle ponies were tiring. By my calculations, we’d put 75 miles on them in two days. Late that evening we re-entered Big Creek Meadows and reined to a halt. A herd of horses galloped up from the river and another herd stampeded down from the timber, and the ones coming from the timber were ours! Then the herds converged, milled, and then the whole bunch raced towards the tie-cutters trail! I slammed the spurs to my poor pony asking for one last run and hollered at Tom. I60

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

“We gotta get ahead of ’em!” Badger holes and boggy spots be damned—it was whup and ride. Tom went around the bottom and I forced my pony around the top. For a minute, it was nip and tuck. I’d already used all my cuss words, but now they came out again loud and clear. That band of ponies caught a mighty South Texas cussing at full volume. While the town folks think whispering to horses is cute, this group of runaways savvied mad cowboy language and they perked their ears and decided to behave. Then we turned them around and headed for camp. The herd separated where they had joined and we kept pushing our bunch down the trail. At Cabin Creek, we drove them into an outfitter’s corrals and swapped onto fresh mounts. It was 10 p.m. when we put them back on the trail towards Indian Point. Tom led a bell mare and I brought up the &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

stragglers. After five miles they lined out as if they knew they had to go back to work. It was more than 25 miles back to camp. A bulbous wet full moon hung low in the sky and the mountain pastures were illuminated in a bright silvery hue. The Sun River pitched and splashed over rocks in its bed, and my down-in-the-mouth self pity faded. At Pretty Prairie, a herd of elk scattered from feeding and then re-gathered and ran alongside the remuda. The cool night air crept through my whiskers. The hard saddle and steady loping rhythm pounded my backside. In front of me was a scenic gift that God was sharing - and I stared at the thundering horses, mules, and elk in the moonlight. And I ran with them, and for that moment, I did not feel lost. E-mail Herman W. Brune at wilderness@fishgame.com


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:13 PM

Page I61

Dad stepped off on the other side. Mama, who always seemed skittish about the outdoors, slipped her shoes off and crossed barefoot as if she were on a sidewalk, virtually skipping to the other side. “Wow,” I said, amazed that my mother did something other than wash dishes. “Mama, when did you learn that?” She whispered something to Dad and they laughed, arms around each other on the opposite side. “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. Sis crossed really slow. She kept making these little noises in her throat and I couldn’t tell if she was laughing, giggling, or almost crying. She made it across and then it was my turn. I knew I couldn’t fall off, because I’d never live it down. When I stepped on the log, my head almost started to swim, but I went on anyway. I didn’t look down, because I didn’t want to see that water below me. I crossed pretty quick, and shivered when I finally stepped off on the other side. “You sure looked scared,” Sis teased me. “I made it though, without funny noises,” I said. Mama and Dad were already walking away while we argued. It wasn’t long before Dad started to slow and look at the creek. I thought he’d found us a place, but then he moved on. “What are you looking for?” I asked. “Blowdowns, for one,” he said. “What are those?” Sis asked. ILLUSTRATION BY RACHEL WATSON

“They’re where trees are down in the water, or where bushes grow out over water, or where roots stick out giving the fish somewhere to hide,” he said. Dad says that crappie like to gang up around that kind of underwater structure. “We’ll sack them up when I find that right place,” he said. “Remember when you and I caught all those fish here before the kids were born? ” Mama asked. “I remember we cleaned fish until way in the night,” Dad said and we walked a little farther. “Here’s the place.” It looked pretty much like other places we’d passed to me, but we baited our hooks with little jigs Dad likes and pretty soon, Sis squealed and her rod dipped. Dad told her to get the fish out pretty quick, so it wouldn’t break off, and soon she had the crappie flopping on the bank. Before she could get the fish off, Mama gave a yelp and yanked her cane pole pretty hard. A fish shot out of the water and then we had two on the stringer. Mama doesn’t use jigs or lures very much. She likes what she calls natural bait. She was using worms. I caught the next one, just dipping the jig down into the water as close to the submerged limbs as possible. Dad taught me

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

F i s h

last year that if a crappie were in there, it would bite the lure as it flutters down. He says we don’t need to leave them in there very long. If a fish doesn’t bite within a few seconds, he says to try somewhere else. The fish must have been stacked up as thick as guppies in an aquarium. It seemed like we caught one every time we put a hook in the water. In no time, Dad said we were through and I’m glad he did. Carrying those heavy fish back across the foot log was hard. I kept thinking they’d pull me off balance and I’d fall in the creek and lose the whole stringer, including my fishing rod. Because we had our hands full, Dad kept a closer eye on us as we cross the log, but pretty soon, we were on the other side and he turned to lead us back through the woods. I was following along behind, when I heard Sis and Mama start to giggle. We stopped and looked back at them. “What’s up?” Dad asked. “Nothing,” Sis said, but Mama started laughing. “We just noticed that you two are just alike,” she said. “You’re both short-waisted and you walk the same. You’re just two peas in a pod.” They giggled some more and we just ignored them. It was a good first fishing trip of the summer, but I just don’t understand women.

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

I61


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:13 PM

Page I62

Pee-pee, Chak-chak!

“D

AVID! ISN’T THIS GREAT! WE GET TO spend our first anniversary turkey hunting at the Lt. Governor’s Annual Turkey Invitational in Duncan, Oklahoma!” “Yeah, Baby, this is your year. You are going to get a turkey, I just know it.” Heading to Duncan, we listened to a CD on how to call turkey. Lord have mercy! I have become one of those obsessed hunters. Here I am listening to grown men make strange and unusual sounds trying to imitate a hen. “Utilizing the mouthpiece that best fits your mouth, use your jaw and put your tongue like this and then say ‘pee-pee, chakchak’.” Sounds like what I would say to my dog when I am trying to get her to do her business outside. Gosh, wouldn’t it be great to finally nail one of those gobble monsters? I would be the Gurl! That evening at the opening dinner, I meet my guides. Yes, I have two, a father and son team, Hal and his son Matthew, an 18-year-old hunter. His mother, Sheri, who I met early that evening, said Matthew was shy and did not talk much, but he was very excited and had been planning and scouting for months. Shy? Nah, never met a guy that is shy when you bring up the topic of hunting. “I have it all set up,” Matthew fairly gushed. “There are two swingers at the spot that we have targeted. Big toms. I think they are brothers. You just have to pick out which one you want. Pick you up at 5 a.m. sharp!” Foggy and dark, screaming down the

I62

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

road at the crack of dawn, we are doing what hunters do best: reviewing the weather conditions, the grandiose size of those toms, and fine-tuning the plan of attack. “Heck, one good pop and we will be back in bed by 8:30 with a gobbler the size of Oklahoma in our grips,” said Hal. Great! No pressure. Okay, so I have been playing and replaying the scenario in my mind for weeks, possessed by the hunting demon. What if, and the turkey does, and the gun won’t, and I freeze, or…Stop it! You can do this. I do, after all, have my handy-dandy turkey wedding-gun. Surely, it wouldn’t let me down. “Ok, Mari, here, take my hand, we have to jump this fence,” said Matthew. But, but it is barbed wire! I have a gun, you know. What if I catch my pants leg on the wire and it propels me over, I land on my gun, the gun goes off, and I maim myself? Stop whining! Just get your femme fatale tail over the fence. Over the hill, through the woods and more barbed wire, we finally arrive at our destination. I get set up between two trees with a clear line to where the turkeys will no doubt venture down the fence line, only to find themselves in range of my deadly wedding shotgun. A gobbler gobbles and Matthew screeches with delight as he sends a message back—pee-pee, chak-chak! “Oh, man, there they are!” Matthew gushed. He sure was the gushy sort. “This is going to be great! Just wait for the biggest tom. Okay, Mari?” Hen one, hen two, hen three as the tom’s harem parade begins. Stop breathing. Don’t move. For the love of barbed wire, hold your gun steady. Whispering, Matthew says: “You know, this is weird; I have never been hunting with a gurl before.” “Yeah, yeah, I know, that is what my husband said the first time we went hunting, too.” Hal shushed us. “Here they come.” &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

I try to steady my gun, but my throat is in my stomach. Oh, no! Wait! Come back! You are going the wrong way! Over here! Should I shoot? It is too far. Oh, what the heck, I am going to shoot. Boom! Crap! Tom is running. Come back, come back! Stupid Mossberg gurl! County two, spot two. Over the river, through the woods and barbed wire again. Okay, so you missed. Suck it up, shake it off. It was too far. You are a novice and you should have known better. You will get the next one. “There they are…don’t move,” said Hal. Right, easy for you to say. You try not moving and not breathing when your throat is in your stomach and your heart is beating out of your camo. Just put the bead on his head. Wait…where is that darn green bead? Oh, yeah, right between the two red thingies. Okay, line her up. Close your left eye. Perfect! My eye is twitching. Stop it! Boom! Oh, turkey feathers! The red head is still bobbing. No! Tell me it isn’t true! Shoot again! Boom! This is all wrong; they are running away. What, am I shooting blanks? I not only missed once, but twice. I am a first anniversary boob. “Oh, no, Mari!” Matthew says so disappointedly, which is better than gushingly. It is a sure bet now. My husband will go before the National Wild Turkey Federation board and request an annulment on grounds of a repeat offense in failure to execute in killing a turkey. Pee-pee, chak-chak! Oh, mercy, county three, spot three. Hal and Matthew are determined to not give up. At this rate, we will be hunting in Mexico because I will have notified every tom within 1000 miles that Mrs. Henry is


5/1/08

12:13 PM

Page I63

ILLUSTRATION BY RACHEL WATSON

ALMANAC I.qxd

around and cannot hit the broad side of Oklahoma. Imagine what those toms are all saying at the monthly turkey lodge meetings: “Hey, did you catch that Henry gurl? She shot right at me! I mean to tell you, she

wasn’t six feet away! And I just gobbled right in her face. Nenner-nenner, nenner! You can’t catch me! Go ahead, Blondie, give it a shot. Missed me, now you got to kiss me! But first you have to catch me! Ha, ha, ha!”

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

F i s h

More fences and more barbed wire. I hope that barbwire gives me a good jab; I deserve it. “Oh, man,” said Matthew. “Did you hear that? There is a big mature tom out there. We need to go down there on the other side. Let’s commando in. Stay low.” Matthew stays close and watches to make sure that I am okay. Even at eighteen, chivalry is not dead. If I were any kind of hunter gurl, I would deserve such consideration. Let’s see, how many shells do I have left? Two! I have expelled, no, wasted, over 10 shells and I have nothing to show for it but my wounded pride. Cradled in between the brush and trees, I hear the gobble-gobble!. Closer, closer. Here we go again, racing heart, sweaty palms, and I can’t breath. Get a hold of yourself and man-up! “Mari, Mari! Behind you! He is behind you!” Matthew stage-whispered. Oh, just Jack Dandy! Behind me, the gobble bugger is behind me! Swing around

Continued on Page I-64

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

I63


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:13 PM

Page I64

Popping for Trout

A

NY SALTWATER ANGLER WORTH HIS SALT knows what a popping cork is, and its effectiveness for catching speckled trout along the Texas coast. The concave portion at the top of the cork, when given the right coaxing from the angler, emits a popping noise. According to old

by Tom Behrens salts and fisheries biologists, the distinctive “pop” imitates the sound of a trout attacking a school of shrimp. One feeding fish usually attracts others to the picnic. Fishing a popping cork for trout is like any other fishing technique—it’s just the beginning. There are Alameda and Mansfield Mauler rigs, and conventional popping corks—big ones and small ones. How to rig a popping cork is where this great fish-catching tool bows to the whims of the angler.

Capt. Bob “Mangus” Driscoll is a confirmed believer in the Alameda cork setup. Don’t ask him what “Mangus” means because his answer is, “Whatever you want it to mean.” Also don’t be too slow reeling in a trout caught under a popping cork, or he will tell you to speed it up because he has to get home and feed the dog. Driscoll is an easygoing individual, good to fish with, but he does take his popping cork fishing seriously. He likes the Alameda better than a conventional popping cork because it not only puts off the pop if fished correctly, but also has rattles that put off additional troutattracting noise. His favorite time of the year to fish under an Alameda rig is April through September. It’s all about water temperature. “When the water temperature hits 70 degrees, you better have your hook in the water,” Driscoll said. “Right after the black drum migration into shallower water, come the trout.” Driscoll uses a spinning reel rigged on a long-handled rod. The long handle helps with casting the rig long distances. Line choice is 30-pound braided Pro Line. “Pro Line has the diameter of an 8-

pound-test monofilament line, allowing me to store more on the reels,” said Driscoll. “The main reason is braded line doesn’t stretch like monofilament line.” That’s a big plus when making a long cast and then drifting the cork and bait along behind you. When you set the hook, you want to make sure the trout is hooked. Driscoll attaches a No. 7 barrel swivel between the line and leader. His leader, about 4 feet in length, is 12-pound monofilament. Before he ties on a No. 8 treble hook, he places a red bead on the leader. “The red gives off the appearance of blood to the hungry predator trout,” he said. “Sometimes I use other colors, it depends a lot on the water color I am fishing.” About 8 inches above the bead and hook, he squeezes on a 1/4-ounce split shot to hold down bait shrimp. “You can add more weight based on how fast the tide is moving; I adjust the weight to keep the shrimp down,” said Driscoll. Don’t forget that the bead can slide up and down between the split shot and hook. When fished correctly, you have the noise put off by the popping cork, its rattles, and the click of the bead as it slides between the split shot and hook. The Alameda cork can

GURLZ PAGE Continued from Page I-63 quietly; remember all that safety stuff— keep your barrel pointed in a safe direction and get the sucker this time! There he is! Oh, good night! That, that, that bearded redhead! He is peeking at me through the bushes! Ugly red headed bugger. I am not going to be the brunt of your jokes on lodge night! Boom! We all jump up. I know I got him this time. I have redeemed myself. Hal runs out and the redhead is laughing as he runs off, looking back at us with a, “Ha-ha! Missed me!” I64

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

“Give me that gun!” Hal shouted as he fired one off at the redhead. As he struts off, I hear him saying, “Man, oh, man! Are we going to have a good meeting tonight! Wait ‘til I tell the guys about Blondie! You know, at first I thought she was one heck of a hen, nothing like I had ever seen before. But she ain’t got nothing on us.” Doomed! It is all over! Caput! Ugly redheads! Peeping toms, that’s what they are. I will be haunted forever. Just grand! Now I will have to return and report to the Lt. Governor that I missed. Just, bloody missed! Not one, but—oh, gosh, I can’t bring myself to say how many. Oh, and my &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

husband—what will he say? I have failed to uphold the family tradition of turkey hunting. Ten hours, 3 counties, 12 shells, and 7 still alive turkeys later, I limp out of Oklahoma with more desire than talent, wounded pride, and no bloody turkey! But mark my words: Those redheads will not get the best of me! One day, I will be sitting in the lodge with a tom laying lifeless at my feet. Then we’ll see who calls who Blondie! E-mail Mari Henry at gurlz@fishgame.com.


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:13 PM

Page I65

easily be placed anywhere on the 4-foot leader without having to cut it. The cork placement determines how deep you fish the shrimp. Simply place the leader line in the slit on the side of the cork, wrap the line at both ends around the plastic tag, and secure in place by snapping the line in the provided slot. “You want to find where the fish are,” Driscoll said. “I can have one of my customers fishing at 3-foot and another at 2foot. You can even have one fishing 2 inches off the bottom. Whatever one draws the strike is where you set all the rest.” The size of shrimp is important. “The shrimp are scare at different times of the year-very small,” said Driscoll. “I like using the bigger shrimp, 4-6 inches, and a white shrimp over a big brownie. The white shrimp seems to have a little more action. If you don’t use them in fishing, take them home and eat them. If I can handpick them, PHOTO BY GRADY ALLEN

I pick the biggest shrimp I can get. There is a saying that big trout only go after big baits. In the springtime, these female trout are hungry and they are eating whatever is in front of them.” Tide is the main thing anywhere you fish. You have to look at the tide and wind direc-

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

F i s h

tion. Where I fish, an incoming tide is the best, although sometimes you can hit them on outgoing. During a full moon, it’s going to be an early or late bite. Driscoll likes is the 4-inch size cork, green top and black bottom. The black bottom is harder for fish to see. “Anybody can make this rig,” he said. “You can use fluorocarbon line as your leader material, but I just recommend a good 20- or 30-pound-test monofilament for leader material. You don’t have to spend a lot of money. You can cast the rig with no problems with up to about a 5-foot leader. When you get above that, then it’s time to go to a slip cork.” You can anchor up or drift-fish with a cork, but Driscoll’s favorite method is the latter. “Cast the rig as far as you can downwind towards the new water you are fishing toward,” Driscoll said. “Reel up the slack line and pop the cork. You don’t want to continuously pop the cork. Repeat the procedure as many times as needed to get the cork back to the boat.” If you are fishing behind the boat you are fishing water that the boat has already passed over, and it’s likely that any fish that were there have been spooked. Also, if you are dragging the cork behind the boat, the bait will be pulled to the surface. “Hold the rod at a 45-degree angle when retrieving slack; when you feel the resistance of the cork, then pop it,” said Driscoll. The Alameda or regular popping cork both catch fish. In wave conditions, just the bouncing and bobbing of the cork adds an extra touch of magic to the presentation to trout.

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

I65


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:13 PM

Page I66

Barbecued Crab

I

REMEMBER CRABBING ON BOLIVAR ISLAND with my parents and grandmother. My grandmother was from Mobile Bay, Alabama, and loved crab. She taught me many great recipes, but this one came from Beaumont, Texas. Barbecued crab was invented at Granger’s in Sabine Pass, Texas, during the late 1940s, when one of their cooks seasoned a crab and then deep-fried it. The rest is history. Contrary to the name, these crab are not barbecued. The name comes from the barbecue-like seasoning. These crab are full of sweet, rich meat and spiced with Texas Gourmet’s Sidewinder Searing Spice, which will have you keeping a cold drink close by. We prepared and enjoyed these crab at Polebenders Fishing Lodge in Seadrift, a first class place with all the trimmings! Many thanks to Phil Maley.

1 large pot (12 qt. minimum) with a basket for frying 1 gal. peanut oil 8-10 large blue crab, cleaned and chilled (remove lungs and insides using heavy water pressure) Texas Gourmet’s Sidewinder Searing Spice Start with live hard-shell blue crab, discarding any that are dead. Place the live blue crab in icewater for several minutes to stun (it is best to use a large cooler for this purpose). Once immersed in icewater, the crab will become dormant. After several minutes, they will be “asleep,” then you can easily handle them with your bare hands. I66

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

Remove the carapace (top shell) from each crab by grasping the legs on one side and prying the shell off, using the sharp spines for leverage. This kills the crab instantly. Turn the crab upside down and, using a knife or other sharp object, pry up and remove the “apron” that is folded up under the body. Turn the crab right-side up. Using your thumb and index finger, grasp the mouth parts and twist off to remove. Remove the spongy gills from each side of the body and the entrails from inside the main body cavity. Rinse clean. Remove the two large claws and reserve. Do not remove the legs. Break each cleaned body in half. At this point, you should have two halves, each with four legs still attached. Each body half should be completely clean and consist of nothing but glistening white shell with meat inside. Boil the crabs for three minutes prior to seasoning and frying. This technique helps prevent the meat from sticking to the shell. Dredge each body half in seafood seasoning (see resources below) to completely coat. &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

Place the seasoned crabs in the refrigerator for 1 or 2 hours to allow the seasoning to penetrate into the meat. Heat oil in a deep-fat fryer to 350 and drop in a few crab. Deep fry until they turn red and float to the surface, approximately 5-7 minutes. Repeat until all of the crabs are cooked. Serve immediately while steaming hot. Optionally, you can sprinkle the cooked crab with more seafood seasoning before serving. The claws should be boiled in water until they turn bright red and float to the surface.

Deep-Frying Tips & Techniques If you are undeterred by possible health risks or are treating yourself to an occasional deep-fried delicacy, here are some techniques and safety tips to keep in mind: - Choose your cooking oil carefully. When the oil starts to give off continuous smoke, you have it way too hot. Oils with PHOTOS BY JIM OLIVE


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:14 PM

Page I67

high “smoke points” are best, such as peanut, safflower, sunflower, and canola oil. Be sure to use enough oil so there is enough to cover whatever items you intend to fry. - Choose a deep, very heavy skillet to fry with. Add oil to the cold pan, leaving a space of at least two inches at the top of the pan, to allow a safety margin when the oil bubbles up as the food is added. - Heating a large amount of oil can take a long time. Deep-frying should be done with the oil around 365 degrees F (185 C). Use a candy thermometer to keep track of the oil’s temperature. - When breading with a moist batter, use cornmeal, cornstarch, or flour to make it stick to the food. Be sure to shake off the excess batter or breading before frying, else it might come off in the oil. - Always place food in the fryer away from you to prevent splashing and burning—do not throw it in! Keep your sleeves rolled down. - Avoid crowding the deep fryer with food, which will lower the oil’s temperature. - Maintain the proper frying temperature to ensure food cooks properly and doesn’t

the oil, wait until it has cooled then strain it through paper towels, coffee filters, or cheesecloth into a new container; store it in a cool, dark place. - Flames from a pot of hot oil can be 2-3 feet high. Be sure to have a real non-liquid fire extinguisher on hand and ready to use. A box of baking soda likely will not suffice in the event of a deep-fryer fire. Contact Bryan Slaven, "The Texas Gourmet," at 888-234-7883, www.thetexasgourmet.com; or by email at texas-tasted@fishgame.com.

absorb too much oil. If it is too hot, the coating will burn before the food cooks; if it is not hot enough, oil will reach the food before it’s fully cooked and make it greasy. - Watch the food carefully as it cooks and do not leave the fryer unattended. Make sure all cords and the fryer itself are out of the reach of children. - Ideally, you should be deep-frying infrequently, which allows you to use fresh oil each time. But if you really want to re-use

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

F i s h

S P O N S O R E D BY:

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

I67


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:14 PM

Page I68

TEXAS SALTWATER

Dave Smit h Strip Striper Ex er press Guide Serv ice

PORT ARANSAS

GALVESTON

ull Ronald Sh t u o Tr Hugo Ford e ic Guide Serv

For Classified Rates and Information call Dennise at 1-800-750-4670, ext. 5579.

CORPUS CHRISTI Charlie Le wellen & James To uch Limits of et R Redfish C eds harters

ADVERTISERS, MAIL IN YOUR PHOTOS TODAY!

I68

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

ROCKPORT


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:14 PM

John Allgood 25.25-inch Trout ce Hillman Guide Servi

TEXAS FRESHWATER

Page I69

Jim Scarf & son Limit of Reds Redfish Charters

Colby Harris st Redfish Fir ch 25-in rvice Hugo Ford Guide Se

OUTDOOR SHOPPER

TEXAS HUNTING

LAKE TEXOMA

LAKE AMISTAD ADVERTISERS, MAIL IN YOUR PHOTOS TODAY!

COLORADO

BAFFIN BAY

For Classified Rates and Information call Dennise at 1-800-750-4670, ext. 5579.

SPOTLIGHT: SPEC-TACULAR TROUT ADVENTURES David Dillman is the owner and operator of Spec-tacular Trout Adventures, a year-round full time fishing guide service. Spec-tacular Trout Adventures was founded in January of 1990. They fish all of the Galveston Bay Complex for speckled trout and redfish, utilizing live natural bait and artificial lures. From May through September, David guides out of Eagle Point Fishing Camp in San Leon, Texas. From October through April, he guides out of Jamaica Beach on Galveston Island. Spec-tacular Trout Adventures offers both half- and full-day trips. For more information, visit them on the web at www.spec-taculartrout.com. — Spec-tacular Trout Adventures A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

I69


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:14 PM

Page I70

DEER—CASTELL, TEXAS

REDFISH—GALVESTON, TEXAS

Aubrey Larkin, age 9, of Crosby, Texas, killed a doe and an 8-point buck still in velvet at Sagabell Ranch in Castell, Texas.

Meaghan and Mark Morton, 10 years old, of Forney, Texas, caught this 30pound redfish out of Galveston Bay. They caught a total of 6 fish, weighing an average of 28 pounds each.

DRUM—SEADRIFT, TEXAS

SHEEPSHEAD—SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, TEXAS

Paisley Pollock, age 9, caught her largest fish to Brandon Barron of Brownsville, Texas, hooked this date in Seadrift, Texas. She caught these three sheepshead while fishing with his father, Eric Bardrum—all 18 inches—on pieces of dead shrimp. ron, at the South Padre Island Jetties. He caught the 24-inch, 9-1/2 -pounder while shrimping in the rocks.

I70

TF&G PHOTO ALBUM

SEND YOUR PHOTOS TO:

1745 Greens Road Houston, Texas 77032 OR BY EMAIL: photos@fishgame.com

• J U N E

&

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

BASS—BEAR CREEK, TEXAS Rachael Keeton of Junction, Texas, caught this 7pound bass on 6-pound-test with a spinning rod. She was wade-fishing with her dad on Bear Creek.

PLEASE INCLUDE NAME, HOMETOWN, WHEN & WHERE CAUGHT, SIZE AND WEIGHT

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. G a m e ® / A L M A N A C


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:14 PM

Page I71

REDFISH—LOWER LAGUNA MADRE, TEXAS

BASS—BANDERA, TEXAS

Harry King Jr. caught these 24- and 27-inch redfish Paul Kehner had a great day fishing with his son in Lower Laguna Madre, Texas. and grandsons at a catch-and-release lake in Bandera, where they pulled in 2- and 3-pounders all day. Left to right are grandsons Peter and Jaron, son Daniel, and grandson Nathaniel.

DEER—NEWTON COUNTY, TEXAS Anthony Daigle, age 10, of Bleakwood, Texas, killed his first deer while hunting with dad Pat at Fawil Community in Newton County. The 7-point, 105-pound whitetail was taken with a 90-yard neck shot using a Remington 700 in .243 caliber.


ALMANAC I.qxd

5/1/08

12:14 PM

Page I72


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

G

12:19 PM

Page N1

ROWING UP, I NEVER SAW A DUTCH OVEN used for anything other than frying fish. Propping his large, three-legged cast-iron oven on big rocks to get the bottom away from a bed of glowing coals, my uncle fried away in pure home-rendered lard. When the golden-brown filets were done, they floated to the top of the roiling grease and he dipped them out onto a mat of newspaper. It was my job to carry the hot fish from just inside the pasture fence, through the wooden gate, and into the tiny country farmhouse. I can promise you that not all the filets made it to Grandma’s already-set table. Today, a bed of coals isn’t always possible. Burn bans, campgrounds that prohibit campfires, or a simple lack of firewood can impede an outdoor cook’s progress. But there are ways to use Dutch ovens on camp stoves or on a controlled charcoal fire. A Dutch oven (cast iron pot with a lid) should be a camp cook’s primary vessel. The downside is new ovens must be “seaPHOTO BY GERALD BURLEIGH

soned,” and cleaning is perceived as difficult, but once properly cured, the Dutch oven can’t be beat. Use them for baking a variety of breads, roasting, stewing, or steaming. The gustatory potentials are endless. Delicious cornbread, fluffy biscuits, cobblers

by Reavis Z. Wortham from berries or fruits picked on the camping trips, “Whatchagot stew,” chickens or game hens roasted to perfection, or even cakes and pies will taste better cooked outdoors in a Dutch oven than they do cooked with gas or electricity at home. Beginners sometimes begin their camp cookery by successfully burning their first few attempts. The reason is usually simple: too much fire, or they have placed the ingredients directly in the bottom of the Dutch oven. All recipes utilize one of two cooking techniques. The first is simply cooking on the bottom with a carefully controlled fire. A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

The use of a trivet (a small metal plate or grate with short legs) keeps the food off the bottom to allow heat to more evenly circulate throughout the oven. The second way is using heat from both below and above to cook more evenly. Shopping for the perfect Dutch oven is as confusing as trying to buy the right plasma or LCD television. I can’t give you a definite description of the vessel you need, and the makers are as varied as the ovens offered. However, you won’t go wrong with purchasing from name brands such as Lodge or Camp Chef, to name a couple. One question is whether to purchase a Dutch oven made of cast iron or aluminum. I’m a purist, so I own cast iron, but for those who feel weight is an issue, aluminum is the answer. Your new Dutch oven must have a lid and legs. Legs keep the bottom off the fire when necessary and thus help prevent food from burning. The most common style has three legs, though I’ve seen ovens with four legs, which makes the vessel more stable. &

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

N1


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:19 PM

Page N2

In This Issue N12 N16 N17

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

OUTDOOR LIFESTYLE SECTION

INDUSTRY INSIDER • Sebile; Skeeter | BY TF&G STAFF

N18 N32 N34 N37 N38

SHOOT THIS • Smith & Wesson Model 41 Target Pistol | BY STEVE LAMASCUS

HOW-TO SECTION

N1

COVER STORY • Dutch Ovens & Other Magic Cooking Vessels | BY REAVIS Z. WORTHAM

HOTSPOTS & TIDES SECTION

N4

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

N6

TEXAS HOTSPOTS • Texas’ Hottest Fishing Spots | BY CALIXTO GONZALES & JD MOORE

GEARING UP SECTION

N11

TEXAS TESTED • Thermacell; SPOT; Greenhead Goose Stools | BY TF&G STAFF

The lid should have a lip or ridge around the outside edge. It should also have a loop or eye in the center so it can be easily hooked for removal. Many have eyes on either side of the center loop. The lid should seat well and lie flush with the oven’s sides. All Dutch ovens come with a bail, a word that has almost fallen from use. The bail, or handle, is made of thick wire and used for carrying or hanging the heavy vessel. Some bails lay flat when folded down, but some styles remain at a 45-degree angle on one side, making it easier to hook the handle with a lid lifer. Lid lifters are as varied as the Dutch ovens themselves. However, one of the most recent designs combines the hook with a three-legged brace. This design reduces the chances of dropping the lid by bracing the lifter with three short legs. Don’t forget gloves and a shovel. Things get hot when you’re cooking with glowing coals and cast iron. The shovel is used to move coals onto and off of the lid. Those who’ve been around Dutch oven cooks have heard the phrase “curing the oven.” The interior curing process keeps food from sticking and keeps your oven from rusting. Many new ovens today come precured or “seasoned.” All you have to do is N2

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

N24 N26 N27 N28 N30 N33 N35 N36 N40

TEXAS BOATING • Loading & Docking 101 | BY LENNY RUDOW SALTWATER BAITS & RIGS • Mangrove Two-Step | BY PATRICK LEMIRE FRESHWATER BAITS & RIGS • Wacky Worm Float | BY PAUL BRADSHAW

TOURNAMENT INSIDER • Equipment Key to Jones’ Classic Win | BY MATT WILLIAMS ON & OFF THE ROAD • TPWD Nixes River Access Plan | BY TF&G STAFF WOO’S CORNER • Night Fishing Tips | BY WOO DAVES GURLZ PAGE • Pee-pee, Chak-chak | BY MARI HENRY

TEXAS KAYAKING • Glassing for Bass | BY GREG BERLOCHER HUNT TEXAS • Watching the Embers Burn | BY BOB HOOD TEXAS GUNS & GEAR • The .280 Remington | BY STEVE LAMASCUS MISTER CRAPPIE • Stay “In the Zone” | BY WALLY MARSHALL TEXAS OUTDOOR LAW • New ‘08-’09 Hunt/Fish Regs | BY WAYNE C. WATSON WILDERNESS TRAILS • The Lostrider, Part III-The Conclusion | BY HERMAN W. BRUNE

unpack the vessel and build a fire. If you have an old oven, scrub it well and use a fine-grade sandpaper to clean the interior and exterior. Don’t forget the lid. Put a little elbow grease into the process to expose fresh metal. When finished, wash the oven with hot, hot soapy water. The hot water helps the oven dry quickly to prevent rust. Once that’s done, it’s time to cure. Heat the vessel in your home oven to approximately 200 degrees. Then, wearing protective gloves, use a clean cotton cloth to wipe a coating of shortening, vegetable oil, or lard onto vessel. As I said, I’m a purist and good old-fashioned lard works great. When the interior and exterior is coated, turn up the heat on your oven to 350 degrees for one hour. Turn off your smoke alarms, or do it on a day when you can open all the windows, because things will most likely get a little smoky. You can also heat the vessel on an outside fire. Wipe it down once more and your Dutch oven is cured. If you use too much oil or lard, your oven might have a sour or rancid smell the next time you remove the lid. If it does, simply reheat the oven, wipe out the excess oil with a paper towel, and it is once again ready for use. After you’ve used the Dutch oven, wipe &

SPECIAL HUNTING SECTION • Trophy Fever | BY TF&G STAFF

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

N41 N42 N44 N46

AFIELD WITH BARRY • Float Tube Fishing | BY BARRY ST. CLAIR TEXAS TASTED • Barbecued Crabs | BY BRYAN SLAVEN DISCOVER THE OUTDOORS • Classifieds | BY TF&G STAFF PHOTO ALBUM • Your Action Photos | BY TF&G STAFF

out the excess food with a paper towel. Then comes the part that can spark campfire arguments that just might extend well into the night. Some purists suggest the food in a Dutch oven must be burned off by turning it over in a fire until the residue burns black. This was my grandparents’ preferred method. Others say washing with hot, soapy water, completely drying the oven, then wiping on a new coating of oil is the way to go. I’ve even known a cook or two who simply wipes and scrubs out the interior first with paper towels and then with old cloth towels until the interior is “clean.” According to them, what remains cooks away when you set the oven onto a campfire for an hour or so. Then you simply rap the side to dislodge the burned remainder and pour it out like black sand. From here, boys and girls, it’s all about experience. You want stew? Find yourself a recipe and get to cooking. Most of the heat will be from the bottom when making stew, so place your Dutch oven carefully on the coals, making sure it won’t tip. Notice I said “coals.” Licking flames aren’t what you want. Let your fire burn down to a bed of glowing coals and place the vessel on those. For more heat, remove


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:19 PM

Page N3

the Dutch oven, add fresh coals, and cook some more. To roast chickens or game hens, the heat should come from the top and bottom equally. A layer of coals on the bottom and an equal layer directly on the lid should get things going nicely. Putting the fowl on a trivet to add air space underneath will let the heat circulate properly. Baked goods will cook properly when the heat comes from above. Three times the amount of coals should be placed on the top as on the bottom, but proceed with caution. A little heat can go a long way. An old trick is to use a metal charcoal fire starter bucket to get the briquettes burning well. When they turn white, dump a layer of coals for the bottom heat and put the remainder onto the lid. Again, a trivet or even an inverted pie pan will help circulate the heat so that a pie tin full of biscuits will come out golden brown. After you gain a little experience, you’ll soon be able to cook breads directly on the bottom. How many coals does it take to cook the perfect meal? Use wood coals roughly the size of charcoal briquettes. If you’re using a 12-inch oven, the total number of coals on top should be 24. Just multiply the size of your oven by two and to get a starting point to properly regulate the heat. For a little more fun, turn the lid over and place directly onto a shallow bed of coals. On this round griddle, you can cook eggs sunny-side up, or make pancakes that come out perfect every time. The shallow dip in the lid holds the food directly in the center, and if your lid is properly seasoned, everyone will comment on the picture-perfect results. You don’t need traditional cooking vessels all the time. Have a little fun with the kids by borrowing the roll of foil from you wife’s kitchen. Aluminum foil is one of the lightest, most versatile cooking vessels you can take on a camping trip. Tear off a 3-foot length of foil and fold it once. In the middle, place a handful of ground hamburger, chopped onion, minced or chopped potatoes, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Fold or roll the folded ends together and seal tight. Roll and crimp the other two edges to create a little packet so airtight so

that no steam can escape. Place the aluminum packet directly onto a few coals for 8 to 10 minutes. You’ll soon have a deliciously cooked meal that the kids will actually want to eat. It’s a great way to get children excited about outdoor cooking. Making a sealed aluminum packet is one of our favorite ways to steam fish. Trout, bream, or crappie are wonderful when steamed for about 20 to 25 minutes in butter and lemon juice. Again, with a little experimentation, you’ll be cooking all of your fish in a foil packet. Want a baked potato with that? Wrap each one tightly so that no steam can escape and bury them in the coals for about 45 minutes. Use a shovel to get them out. Peel the foil back, slap on some butter and salt, and eat. Cowboy woks have created a new way of outdoor cooking. These disks, usually recycled plow disks, are truly fun to use. They

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

F i s h

can now be purchased ready to go, but if you have an old plow disk, have an experienced welder close the hole, grind the metal down smooth, and weld on three short legs. Then, simply follow the curing process previously outlined. Once seasoned, the cowboy wok is truly that, a somewhat rustic, heavy wok that can be used to cook just about anything from stir-fried foods, to eggs, pancakes, and sizzling steaks. An entire breakfast can be cooked at the same time on a single wok. Weld up another one and use it as a base for your Dutch oven. The added layer below the oven adds an easy way to manipulate the heat, or you can use it to keep the hot Dutch oven off surfaces that might be easily damaged. No matter what method you use, the food will simply taste better because you’re cooking outdoors. Isn’t that all that matters?

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

N3


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:19 PM

Page N5

Tides and Solunar Table for JUNE 2008 FRIDAY

SATURDAY

SUNDAY

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

6 Low Tide: 12:23 am -0.69 ft High Tide: 9:14 am 1.68 ft

Sunrise: 6:35a Moonrise: 9:30a AM Minor: 8:56a PM Minor: 9:26p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

6:20am – 7:50am

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

PRIME TIME 3:32 am 8:55 am 11:41 am 8:00 pm

1.25 ft 1.11 ft 1.16 ft -0.07 ft

Sunrise: 6:35a Moonrise: 4:37p AM Minor: 2:12a PM Minor: 2:33p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot: High Tide: 8:21 am

PRIME TIME 1.48 ft

Sunrise: 6:36a Moonrise: 10:39p AM Minor: 7:32a PM Minor: 7:57p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

6:15am – 7:40am*

Set: 8:45p Set: 8:04a AM Major: 1:20a PM Major: 1:44p 3:00a 3:24p

27

12:48 am 4:08 am 10:03 am 6:02 pm

8:00am – 9:30am

Set: 8:43p Set: 2:59a AM Major: 8:23a PM Major: 8:44p 10:06p 9:44a

20

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

7

Set: 8:40p Set: 11:56p AM Major: 2:40a PM Major: 3:11p 4:47p 4:17a

13

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

PRIME TIME

1.02 ft 0.92 ft 1.20 ft -0.03 ft

Sunrise: 6:37a Moonrise: 1:45a AM Minor: 12:53a PM Minor: 1:18p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

1:20 am 9:56 am 4:23 pm 4:58 pm

14

-0.49 ft 1.56 ft 1.29 ft 1.29 ft

Sunrise: 6:35a Moonrise: 5:34p AM Minor: 2:50a PM Minor: 3:12p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

1.38 ft -0.18 ft

6:45am – 8:00am*

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

7:30am – 8:45am

Set: 8:44p Set: 3:29a AM Major: 9:01a PM Major: 9:23p 10:51p 10:28a

PRIME TIME

Low Tide: 12:03 am -0.25 ft High Tide: 8:52 am 1.46 ft

Sunrise: 6:36a Moonrise: 11:15p AM Minor: 8:25a PM Minor: 8:49p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

8:05am – 9:15am

8

Set: 8:41p Set: None AM Major: 3:47a PM Major: 4:14p 5:42p 5:15a

21

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

PRIME TIME

PRIME TIME

High Tide: 4:42 am Low Tide: 8:33 pm

28

Set: 8:46p Set: 3:07p AM Major: 7:05a PM Major: 7:30p 8:22a 8:47p

Sunrise: 6:36a Moonrise: 4:25a AM Minor: 3:37a PM Minor: 4:06p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

Sunrise: 6:35a Moonrise: 10:41a AM Minor: 10:00a PM Minor: 10:28p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

PRIME TIME

4:25 am 9:30 am 11:56 am 8:50 pm

6:30am – 7:50am

Set: 8:46p Set: 9:03a AM Major: 2:13a PM Major: 2:37p 3:49a 4:13p

PRIME TIME 2:39 am 5:28 am 9:40 am 6:52 pm

Sunrise: 6:38a Moonrise: 2:19a AM Minor: 1:39a PM Minor: 2:06p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

1.24 ft 1.19 ft 1.27 ft -0.34 ft

8:30am – 9:45am

Set: 8:46p Set: 4:17p AM Major: 7:52a PM Major: 8:19p 9:13a 9:41p

PRIME TIME 1.62 ft 1.36 ft 1.38 ft -0.50 ft

8:05am – 9:50am

Set: 8:38p Set: 6:40p AM Major: 9:51a PM Major: 10:20p 11:28a None

PRIME TIME 2:15 am 10:30 am 4:52 pm 7:32 pm

Sunrise: 6:35a Moonrise: 11:48a AM Minor: 10:59a PM Minor: 11:24p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

15

High Tide: 5:31 am Low Tide: 9:07 pm

Sunrise: 6:35a Moonrise: 6:32p AM Minor: 3:29a PM Minor: 3:53p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

22

-0.23 ft 1.43 ft 1.06 ft 1.10 ft

Set: 8:41p Set: 12:35a AM Major: 4:46a PM Major: 5:11p 6:32p 6:08a

PRIME TIME 1.46 ft -0.25 ft

29

High Tide: 4:02 am Low Tide: 7:45 pm

Sunrise: 6:38a Moonrise: 3:00a AM Minor: 2:28a PM Minor: 2:57p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

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

7:15am – 8:30am

Set: 8:44p Set: 4:02a AM Major: 9:41a PM Major: 10:04p 11:38p 11:14a

PRIME TIME

Low Tide: 12:37 am -0.18 ft High Tide: 9:19 am 1.42 ft

Sunrise: 6:36a Moonrise: 11:47p AM Minor: 9:18a PM Minor: 9:41p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

6:50am – 8:05am*

6:50am – 8:15am

Set: 8:46p Set: 10:03a AM Major: 3:06a PM Major: 3:29p 4:36a 4:59p

PRIME TIME 1.46 ft -0.60 ft

8:35am – 9:50am

Set: 8:46p Set: 5:30p AM Major: 8:42a PM Major: 9:12p 10:11a 10:41p

F i s h

&

TIDE STATION CORRECTION TABLE (Adjust High & Low Tide times listed in the Calendar by the amounts below for each keyed location)

NOT FOR NAVIGATION

PLACE SABINE BANK LIGHTHOUSE (29.47° N, 93.72° W) SABINE PASS JETTY (29.65° N, 93.83° W) SABINE PASS (29.73° N, 93.87°W) MESQUITE PT, SABINE PASS (29.77° N, 93.9° W) GALV. BAY, SO. JETTY (29.34° N, 94.7° W) PORT BOLIVAR (29.36° N, 94.77° W) TX CITY TURNING BASIN (29.38° N, 94.88° W) EAGLE POINT (29.5° N, 94.91° W) CLEAR LAKE (29.56° N, 95.06° W) MORGANS POINT (29.68° N, 94.98° W) ROUND PT, TRINITY BAY (29.71° N, 94.69° W) PT. BARROW, TRIN. BAY (29.74° N, 94.83° W) GILCHRIST, E. BAY (29.52° N, 94.48° W) JAMAICA BCH., W. BAY (29.2° N, 94.98° W) ALLIGATOR PT., W. BAY (29.17° N, 94.13° W) CHRISTMAS PT, CHR. BAY (29.08° N, 94.17° W) GALV. PLEASURE PIER (29.29° N, 94.79° W) SAN LUIS PASS (29.08° N, 95.12° W) FREEPORT HARBOR (28.95° N, 95.31° W) PASS CAVALLO (28.37° N, 96.4° W) ARANSAS PASS (27.84° N, 97.05° W) PADRE ISL.(SO. END) (26.07° N, 97.16° W) PORT ISABEL (26.06° N, 97.22° W)

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

30

High Tide: 5:04 am Low Tide: 8:40 pm

PRIME TIME 1.62 ft -0.79 ft

Sunrise: 6:38a Moonrise: 3:48a AM Minor: 3:21a PM Minor: 3:52p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

G a m e ® / J U N E

2:45am – 4:00am

Set: 8:46p Set: 6:43p AM Major: 9:37a PM Major: 10:08p 11:13a 11:45p

2 0 0 8

N5


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:19 PM

Page N6

by JD Moore, North Zone Fishing Editor & Calixto Gonzales, South Zone Fishing Editor

Stripers Go to School Hungry LOCATION: Lake Texoma HOTSPOT: Washita Flats & Point GPS: N33 55.024, W96 33.956

SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: topwaters, slabs, live shad CONTACT: Bill Carey, 877-786-4477, bigfish@graysoncable.com TIPS: Stripers are on their post spawn bite, and are grouped in main lake channels. They roam the lake in large schools eating anything in sight. Work topwaters early and 1-ounce slabs later in the day. Try chartreuse, chrome, and white topwaters for best results. Cast topwaters to surfacing fish and later in the morning drop slabs vertically and rip them up. Drift live shad across the ledges. Locate bait balls on your electronics as the stripers will be nearby ready to ambush bait. BANK ACCESS: Sheppard AFB Recreation Area, whites, cats, crappie LOCATION: Lake Joe Pool HOTSPOT: Deep Hump GPS: N32 37.840, W97 01.068 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Carolina rig, drop-shot rig, jigging spoon CONTACT: Randy Maxwell, 817-3132878, r.maxwell@tx.rr.com TIPS: Work deep humps and ridges at sunrise. Look for the birds to show you the way. They will be following the shad. The above baits will rule the depths. BANK ACCESS: Lynn Creek Fishing Dock, bass, crappie; bream N6

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

LOCATION: Lake Fork HOTSPOT: Little Caney, (either bank) GPS: N32 50.875, W95 33.288 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: buzzbait, Pop R, deep-diving crankbait CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff, 903-5302201, ricky@rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Start early in the backs of creeks with topwater lures fished shallow. As the day progresses, move to deep water and work deep diving crankbaits. BANK ACCESS: Lake Fork Public Park, largemouth bass, crappie LOCATION: Lake Fork HOTSPOT: FM 2946 Bridge GPS: N32 53.865 W95 39.552 SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: small minnows, crappie jigs CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff, 903-5302201, ricky@rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Thoroughly work all bridge abutments and pilings. Work brush that has piled up against the abutments and pilings. Occasionally, there will be sizeable holes in the trapped brush and it is easy to vertically fish the holes. BANK ACCESS: Lake Fork Public Park, all largemouth bass, crappie LOCATION: Lake Possum Kingdom HOTSPOT: Dam Area GPS: N32 52.068, W98 25.881 SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: crankbaits, topwaters CONTACT: Dean Heffner, 940-779-2597, fav7734@aceweb.com TIPS: The early bird gets the worm. When schooling shad are visible, topwaters are hot and fishing the 20- to 30-foot breakline should produce. Downrigging crankbaits in the deep clear waters of Possum Kingdom is also good. BANK ACCESS: Willow Beach RV Park, ask owner for permission &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

JD MOORE

CALIXTO GONZALES

Fayette Carolina Bass LOCATION: Lake Fayette County HOTSPOT: West Point GPS: N29 56.115, W96 44.785

SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: topwaters, Carolina- or Texasrigged worms CONTACT: Bob Green, 281-460-9200, bobgreen@cvtv.net TIPS: Work topwaters such as buzzbaits and Spooks early and late. On points and humps, stay with the Carolina and Texas rigs. Work very slowly. BANK ACCESS: Park Prairie Pier, all species LOCATION: Lake Fayette County HOTSPOT: North Trees Area GPS: N29 56.229, W96 42.883 SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: stinkbait, worms CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, 979-229-3103, weldon-edna@hotmail.com TIPS: Most catfish have completed their spawn and are hungry. They will be moving into trees 5 to 10 feet deep. Tie up to the trees. This time of the year is also one of the best for chumming. Fishing should improve the longer you stay in one spot. If fishing 5 foot water cast away from boat using tight line, 3/4 ounce weight above swivel, 10 inch leader and a No. 4 treble hook. If fishing 10 feet or deeper, use the same rig but fish straight down beneath the boat, chumming exactly where your hook is on bottom. Go lightly on the chum. BANK ACCESS: Park Prairie, all species, live bait best


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:19 PM

Page N7


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:19 PM

Page N8

ALL GPS COORDINATES VERIFIED BY

LOCATION: Lake Buchanan HOTSPOT: Black Rock Park GPS: N30 46.777, W98 26.878 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: jigs, plastic worms, crankbaits, topwaters (Spooks), buzzbaits CONTACT: Jim Files, 830-385-9579, jimfiles@moment.net TIPS: Start early, working buzzbaits and other topwaters first, then as the day progresses change to jigs, shallow crankbaits, and plastic worms. Work pockets and coves from Black Rock Park to the lighthouse. BANK ACCESS: Thunderbird Resort, all species LOCATION: Lake Buchanan HOTSPOT: Garrett Island GPS: N30 51.044, W98 24.877 SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: live shad, large swimbaits, bucktail jigs, jigging spoons CONTACT: Jim Files, 830-385-9579, jimfiles@moment.net TIPS: Drift live shad and large swim baits. Troll or jig bucktail jigs and jigging spoons. Thoroughly work the area from Garrett Island to the lighthouse. BANK ACCESS: Hi-Line Resort, all species LOCATION: Lake LBJ HOTSPOT: Llano River (Hwy 2900 Bridge) GPS: N30 38.657, W98 26.773 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: topwaters, buzzbaits; 1/8- to 1/4-ounce drop-shot worms; 6-inch blue flake worms; plastic stickbaits, spinnerbaits, crankbaits CONTACT: Jim Files, 830-385-9579, jimfiles@moment.net TIPS: Work the bridge pilings and abutments around the Hwy 1431 bridge and the Llano River bridge, including nearby boat docks and seawalls. Use appropriate bait from list above. BANK ACCESS: Robin Hood Park, catfish, largemouth bass LOCATION: Canyon Lake HOTSPOT: Jacob’s Creek GPS: N29 53.748, W98 12.807 SPECIES: smallmouth bass BEST BAITS: Spider Grubs; drop-shot N8

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

worms, 4-inch plastic stickbaits or straight tail worms CONTACT: Jim Files, 830-385-9579, jimfiles@moment.net TIPS: Work the Overlook and pockets from ramp to Overlook. Also work sailboat marina and Randolph Recreation Area Point. BANK ACCESS: Canyon Park Campground, crappie, catfish LOCATION: Canyon Lake HOTSPOT: Jacobs Creek Point GPS: N29 52.946, W98 13.658 SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: 1/2-ounce striper jigs; Bombers; white bucktails, silver jigging spoons CONTACT: Jim Files, 830-385-9579, jimfiles@moment.net TIPS: Work the dam, ramp No. 1 area, and river channel up to Jacob’s Creek Point. BANK ACCESS: Guadalupe Park, largemouth bass, catfish LOCATION: Lake Whitney HOTSPOT: Dam Riprap GPS: N31 52.197 W97 22.250 SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: live shad, perch; Rat-L-Traps CONTACT: Randy Routh, 817-822-5539, teamredneck01@hotmail.com TIPS: Back out to 32 feet of water and drop shad/baits down to about 22 feet. Stripers run along the riprap early and late. BANK ACCESS: Bear Creek Shoreline, catfish on cut shad LOCATION: Lake Whitney HOTSPOT: Cedron Creek GPS: N31 57.404, W97 25.451 SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Rat-L-Traps in chrome/blue back; 3/4-ounce slabs in chartreuse, white CONTACT: Randy Routh, 817-822-5539, teamredneck01@hotmail.com TIPS: Cedron Creek is a great place for schooling white bass. Also, watch for schooling activity early and late around Island Flats all the way to the riprap at the dam. BANK ACCESS: Loafer Bend Shore, stripers, &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

white bass LOCATION: Lake Aquilla HOTSPOT: Bubbler / Aerator GPS: N31 54.871, W97 11.656 SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Little George, Tail Hummer, Flea Fly jig CONTACT: Randy Routh, 817-822-5539, teamredneck01@hotmail.com TIPS: June water is warming up and the whites are starting to gang up at the bubbler. This is a great place to take kids. Cast the Little Georges and Tail Hummers to the bubbles and retrieve to boat. You can also tie a Flea Fly about 10 inches above the Tail Hummer and catch two whites at a time. BANK ACCESS: Tailrace fishing pier, largemouth bass, white bass LOCATION: Granger Lake HOTSPOT: Middle Ridge GPS: N30 42.139, W97 20.237 SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: slab spoon CONTACT: Tommy Tidwell, 512-3657761, crappie1@hotmail.com TIPS: Work main lake humps, roadbeds, and ridges by vertically jigging the spoons. BANK ACCESS: Wilson Fox Fishing Dock, crappie on live minnows LOCATION: Lake Richland-Chambers HOTSPOT: Hwy 309 Flats GPS: N31 58.324, W96 07.208 SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: Rat-L-Trap, Lil’ George CONTACT: Royce Simmons, 903-3894117, www.gonefishin.biz TIPS: June marks the start of the summer and topwater schooling action on Richland Chambers. Watch for whites chasing shad to the surface. Almost anything shiny will catch the whites, but small Rat-L-Traps and Lil’ Georges are deadly. BANK ACCESS: Highway 309 Park, catfish, chum first, cut shad or perch LOCATION: Lake Waco HOTSPOT: Old Hwy 6 (submerged) GPS: N31 33.096, W97 14.820 SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: shallow crankbaits, Rat-L-


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:19 PM

Page N9

ALL GPS COORDINATES VERIFIED BY

Traps in chrome/blue CONTACT: Jimmy D. Moore, 254-7442104, rayado@earthlink.net TIPS: Work the Old Hwy 6 roadbed, where it heads south across the main lake. Use electronics to locate roadbed. The roadbed is flat on top and slopes off rather quickly on either side. Watch for the birds and “jumpy” water. This is your alert that white bass are chasing shad close by. A new record largemouth bass weighing 13.8 pounds was caught in mid March. It is the first largemouth from Lake Waco to be accepted into the ShareLunker program. BANK ACCESS: Reynolds Creek Park Shoreline, largemouth bass, bream LOCATION: Tradinghouse Creek Reservoir HOTSPOT: Water Inlet GPS: N32 34.453, W96 57.972 BEST BAITS: buzzbait with translucent plastic yellow propeller; chartreuse/white spinnerbait CONTACT: Jimmy D. Moore, 254-7442104, rayado@earthlink.net TIPS: As the water heats up from the power plant, the area north of the water inlet will be the coolest in the lake. Largemouth

bass constantly patrol this area. Work around, over, and in pockets in the hydrilla/grass beds. Work the reeds all the way out to the main lake point. Noisy baits and persistent casting will bring bass up. BANK ACCESS: Along the levee dam on south side of lake, park in old park just past levee and left to top of hill

EasTex Crank Bass LOCATION: Lake Palestine HOTSPOT: Kickapoo Creek GPS: N32 17.349, W95 29.923

SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: crankbaits, spinnerbaits, tube jigs, jig-n-pig CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff, 903-5302201, ricky@rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Work south on the main lake points and in the deeper creeks. Work the boat

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

F i s h

docks in the creeks with crankbaits and spinnerbaits. When brush is present under the docks, flip tube jigs and jig-n-pigs. LOCATION: Lake Palestine HOTSPOT: Hwy 155 Bridge GPS: N32 08.656, W95 28.447 SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: live minnows CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff, 903-5302201, ricky@rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Crappie will be good on minnows and jigs in around bridge abutments and pilings in 10 to 15 feet of water. Work all angles for best results. LOCATION: Gibbons Creek Reservoir HOTSPOT: Plum Creek Point GPS: N30 38.479, W96 03.117 SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: shad, crawfish CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, 979-229-3103, weldon-edna@hotmail.com TIPS: Plum Creek Point is just south of Plum Creek Flats. Summer months are good for chumming. If using stinkbaits, expect fish to be there sooner, even when

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

N9


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:19 PM

Page N10

ALL GPS COORDINATES VERIFIED BY

using chum. Fish travel from creeks to and from the discharge area by this point. Tie to a tree or anchor away from the bank and fish toward the stumps, trees, shoreline. Use Carolina rig if wind is blowing. Use cork on a less windy day. LOCATION: Lake Somerville HOTSPOT: Snake Island Cove GPS: N30 18.917, W96 35.800 SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: shad, crawfish, stinkbait CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, 979-229-3103, weldon-edna@hotmail.com TIPS: June is prime time for chumming. Anchor within casting distance of the shoreline in this cove. Put out some chum toward the bank. Mainly fish toward the shoreline, but set one line out toward deeper water also. Tight-line with Carolina rig using a No. 2 Kahle hook for shad and crawfish. Fish punch bait with a No. 4 treble hook, Carolina rigged. This is also a good area for night fishing close to shoreline. BANK ACCESS: Rocky Creek Boat Ramp, largemouth bass, white bass, catfish

Chica ‘Hoo Trout LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Boca Chica Beach (bank access)

the wade gut early in the morning, especially on a high tide.

Check the Gauge for Baffin Specks LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Tide Gauge GPS: N27 18.248, W97 27.593 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live croaker; topwaters early; soft plastics in Strawberry/black back, Plum/chartreuse, Rootbeer/red flake, Morning Glory, Pumpkinseed/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089, 361-449-7441

TIPS: The greater availability of croaker as summer progresses makes them the focus of hungry trout in Baffin. Free-line them on a 3/0 Kahle hook along the drop-offs, giving them a twitch occasionally to prevent them from hiding in structure or weeds. If you prefer lures, the same topwaters and plastics that have worked throughout the spring will work in June.

West Jet Red Holes GPS: N26 3.800, W97 9.102 SPECIES: speckled trout, redfish BEST BAITS: live mullet, ballyhoo; gold spoons; soft plastics in red and white CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez, 956551-9581 TIPS: Both trout and redfish will cross the bars and cruise the guts along the beach across from South Padre Island. Live bait is the best bet for surf predators, but it’s easier to work up and down the beach if you take a small boxful of spoons, 1/4 ounce jigheads, and a couple of bags of plastics. Fish N10

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: West Jetties GPS: N29 40.371, W93 50.250

TIPS: Fish the deep holes that are alongside the jetties. Trout and redfish stack up inside these holes. Anchor upstream of the holes and cast into the edges and allow your bait to sink to the fish. You can sweep the lure back to you and let the current bring it back into the hole on the drop. Fish will usually strike on the slack line.

Catfish Cutups and Rio Bass LOCATION: Braunig HOTSPOT: Water Outlets GPS: N29 15.277, W98 23.202

SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: cut bait, dough balls, night crawlers CONTACT: Jeff Snyder, 210-649-2435, www.alamoredfish.com TIPS: Drift the 18- to 25-foot depths in the main lake and deep channels for blue catfish that can get big. These fish will be holding and feeding in deep water, but not below 25 feet due to lack of dissolved oxygen. If you are using prepared baits, use a No. 4 spring treble hook on a 24-inch leader and just enough lead to keep your bait vertical. Strip off 25 feet from your reel, and mark the spot with a magic marker. Contact North Regional Fishing Editor JD Moore by email at hotspotsnorth@fishgame.com Contact South Regional Fishing Editor Calixto Gonzales by email at hotspotssouth@fishgame.com

SPECIES: speckled trout, redfish BEST BAITS: soft plastics in chartreuse, Glow/chartreuse, Pearl/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Bill Watkins, 409-7862018, 409-673-2018 &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:19 PM

Page N11

Thermacell SkeeterScatter

H

AVE MOSQUITOES OR DEER FLIES EVER bothered you on a hunting or fishing trip? Of course they have. On a recent hunting trip, I thought it wise to try a new product that guaranteed protection from these critters and other flying pests—a Thermacell “appliance.” The company claims this product will keep pests away for up to 12 hours. We have all heard such claims before (often with dubious inthe-field performance), so I was naturally skeptical. (Some products I have used seemed to attract bugs!) After using a Thermacell, I can tell you it lives up to its claims. I was amazed. I hunted near a swamp just to give it a good test. I sat and waited a few minutes until the bugs found me, and then activated the unit. Within minutes, the area was free of flying insects. Thermacell units cover a 15-foot radius. This is a nice feature if you are night-fishing with a friend or camping with your family. The Thermacell is a very simple to operate and lightweight. Simply place one of the three supplied blue pads under the grid on the face of the unit. A small butane canister screws into the bottom of the unit. After a minute or so, you simply turn the switch to the “On” position, and then click the button on the right to ignite the unit. A small viewing hole located on the top allows you to see if it is working properly. When the blue pad turns white, it is time to exchange it for a new one. Extra pads and butane canisters are sold separately. Thermacell units come in plain colors and camouflage patterns. The product literature says the unit is perfect for fishing, camping, and hunting among other outdoor activities. A new wrinkle that was not yet available when I tested the Thermacell unit might help hunters hide

from deer as well as mosquitoes: repellent pads that also contain odor masking scent. The new Earth Scent pads emit the smell of musky dirt and decaying leaves—a convincing scent designed to mask human odors and linger continuously for up to four hours. I strongly recommend this product—it really works. Contact: The Schawbel Corporation, 866-753-3837, www.thermacell.net —Lou Marullo

On The SPOT Do you put safety first when you are on the water? Do you have an Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon (EPIRB)? If you answer yes to the first question and no to the second, chances are you don’t have an E P I R B because of cost; they can range from $400 for a lowperformance unit to several thousand dollars for a nicer one. Enter the SPOT, the world’s newest and least-expensive panic button on the water. While constantly tracking your location, this cell phone-sized waterproof lifesaver will alert the GEOS International Emergency Response System of your exact location and personal information if you hit the 911 button. It floats and can send a signal while bobbing on the surface of the water. When I tested the unit, I dropped it overboard then looked on my laptop PC to make sure it was still tracking my exact position. A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

On my PC? You bet! The SPOT puts your location on Google Maps in real time, both visually and with latitude/longitude. Coverage is virtually worldwide, and you can use the unit to send pre-prepped e-mail and text messages you plan on your computer prior to the trip. Back on land, I gave the SPOT the oops-dropped-it-on-concrete test, and the rubber-armored exterior did its job. There is no LCD screen to worry about breaking; instead, the unit uses a series of small flashing lights to let you know what function is engaged. Since it puts your location on the internet, your family can check your location at any time to make sure your voyage is going according to plan. (Don’t tell Honey Bun you are chasing redfish if you are really planning to duck into the local watering hole—you’ll get busted!) This feature also makes the unit useful to anglers who are fishing on different boats and want to keep track of each other, but don’t want to give away their location over the radio. Worried a unit like this will be tough to figure out? Don’t be. Operation and on-line account setup took me less than one hour to figure out. The best thing of all is the SPOT’s price: At $169 for the unit and a $99/year subscription fee, this is by far the least expensive form of emergency alternative communication on the water today. Contact: SPOT Inc., 866-651-7768, www.findmespot.com —Lenny Rudow

Greenhead Goose Stools Fool Geese Serious waterfowl hunters know decoy quality makes a huge difference, especially when you are on a late-season hunt and the birds are cagey. When it comes to full-body

Continued on Page N13 &

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

N11


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/5/08

10:53 AM

Page N12

Stainless Steel BBQ Smoker

section with an adjustable height charcoal tray. In addition, the remote smoker box is 18” x 18”, comes with an adjustable height charcoal tray and a steak grate for more even grilling room. The remote smoker box has Hybrid-Grills.com is proud to announce two adjustable air inlets and an adjustable the new Professional 48 stainless steel grill. damper between the main oven and smoker The Pro 48 is a gas grill, charcoal grill and box. Couple that with the adjustable BBQ smoker all in one convenient heavy damper in the smoke stack and you have an duty unit. Now you only need one grill to almost infinite amount of air flow adjustdo all styles of outdoor ment available to suit all BBQ cooking you your needs. The would ever want door and lid to to do. Like the smoker all Hybridbox are Grills.com lipped for pits, it is an excelm a d e lent seal f r o m to prevent 3/16” thick air and 304 grade smoke leakage stainless steel and and the main features thick cast stainoven has a large rear less steel gas burners door for easy cleanout that will never require Hybrid Grill’s Stainless Steel BBQ Smoker and fire tending withreplacement. The Pro out disturbing the 48 features a 48” L x 23” W main oven heavy duty stainless steel cooking grates. that includes a 18” L x 23” W gas grill sec- The Pro 48 is currently priced at $4,795 tion and a 30” L x 23” W charcoal grill while supply lasts. Please visit us at

Put a Pro Hitch in Your Trailer’s Giddy-up In 2007, Draw-Tite, Hidden Hitch and Reese introduced Pro Series SC, which married the best benefits of Weight Distribution with built in friction sway control. There have been so many upgrades and improvements that it’s now the Reese SC (P/N N12

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

66151-66158). Utilizing the familiar, easy-to-use Reese serrated washer adjustment head system; the Reese SC features a heavyduty shank bar, tapered spring bars for a smoother ride and better weight transfer, NEW universal spring bar brackets to fit just about any trailer frame imaginable, and new friction-coated pad hangers. A new lift handle makes snapping the bars

up into the pad hangers quick &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

Hybrid-Grills.com or sales@hybridgrills.com to get yours today.

Rapid Convertible System for the Yamaha Rhino Curtis Industries has introduced a new, revolutionary, modular cab system for the Yamaha Rhino utility vehicle that allows rapid transformation from a fully enclosed cab to an open-air ride in 60 seconds. The Curtis Rapid Convertible System (RCS) allows the user to choose one or all components for maximum flexibility as the weather changes. A simple ROPS base frame with cab receiver mounts provides safety and easy installation of the modular components. The roof, windshield and rear panel feature a unique, easy on, no-tools, pin to slot connection and a heavy duty quick release latch. The strong but lightweight hard-coated polycarbonate windshield quickly vents for varying temperatures and is designed and tested for full speed travel with the windand effortless. This new system features over 10 times the friction anti-sway resistance than competitors’ units. Available in 600, 800, 1,200 and 1,500 lb. tongue weight ratings, the new Reese SC features a limited lifetime warranty. Note: This is a great solution to the age-old problem of using weight-distribution on trailers with surge-brake couplers…like boat trailers! For more information: 1-800-6323290 ; www.towingproducts.com.

Reese SC Pro Series hitch.


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/5/08

10:53 AM

Page N13

Wellcraft’s 340 Coastal

shield open or closed. An optional wiper kit is also available. Cab panels are designed using advanced technology and materials. The Rapid-Convertible System uses thermoformed TPO material (not ABS plastic or fiberglass) for all body panels. TPO offers superior lowtemp impact resistance, higher heat-

Wellcraft 340 Coastal

deflection and Curtis Industries’ modular greater dimensional stability cover for Yamaha Rhino than ABS or fiberglass. Side doors quickly convert to half doors - no tools required, Curtis half doors also provide safety and protection. Available in black, cab components – base frame, roof, windshield, doors, and rear panel – can be purchased separately or as a complete cab. US and Foreign patents pending. For more information visit www.curtiscab.com or call 800-343-7676.

The 340 Coastal is a first-class fishing boat with luxury accommodations. The moment you step aboard, the first thing you appreciate is space and storage areas throughout. The large cockpit deck is low to the water and designed for fishing, but is also ideal for entertaining on board. The 340 boasts a richly appointed cabin, with sleeping for six, a full galley and full head with a stand-up shower. An E-Plex digital control system allows touch screen monitoring of all on board electrical operations. The Scarab-designed high performance matched with four-stroke outboard power provide a level of performance and economy, unheard of in a boat of this size. LOA: 34 feet, beam: 11’9”, dry weight: 13,500 lbs, fuel: 382 gallons, deadrise: 20 degrees, draft (engine up): 20” The 340

Coastal is available in Midnight Blue or Onyx Black hull color options and the several interior fabric options. Yamaha F350 TXR are: top speed: 51.4 mph @ 6100 rpm and cruising speed: 33.1 mph @ 4000 rpm. Wellcraft Marine, 1651 Whitfield Ave., Sarasota, FL 34243 Phone: (941) 753-7811 www.wellcraft.com

ThermaCell Repels Bugs, Attracts Game ThermaCELL®, the only butane-operated mosquito repellent system is now also a cover scent. ThermaCELL has added a new hunting-friendly cover scent to its mosquito repellent technology that not only creates a 15x15 foot zone of protection against

TEXAS TESTED Continued from Page N11 goose decoys, you will have a tough time finding any decoy that looks more realistic than Greenhead Gear’s new Pro-Grade full body goose. I hunted Canada geese over these decoys (specklebellies are also available) and the birds reacted so well, my shoulder was sore for days. At a glance, you will see that the finish on these decoys is picture-perfect. The heads and necks are flocked, the body paint is non-reflective, and there are three body styles each with three different head positions. Put a dozen in a field, take a few steps back, and you’ll be able to fool yourself into thinking real geese are right in front of you. These decoys also add motion to your

spread, since they sit atop a “Realmotion” wire base and stake system. Unlike some other stake systems, these decoys keep their heads into the wind when a breeze blows, too, preventing that spun-around-backwards decoy that can ruin the appearance of your entire spread. The downside to these decoys? Price. A half-dozen costs between $130 and $170 (depending on style and size; you can choose full size or scaled-down lesser “species”), which certainly keeps them out of the “cheap” category. They do come in mixed packs (the Harvester pack, for example, includes three feeders, two active heads, and one looker head) so you can get a small number of the Pro-Grades and use them to spruce up a spread of regular decoys. On A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

the other hand, when you consider cost, remember: When you are hunting wary birds, quality counts, and you won’t be able to do better than these Greenheads. Contact: Greenhead Gear, 800-3335119, www.greenheadgear.com —LR

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

N13


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/5/08

10:53 AM

Page N14

mosquitoes and black flies, but also helps to disguise hunters from a deer’s best defense....its nose. Utilizing the same highly effective mosquito repellent as the original ThermaCELL unscented mats, the new Earth Scent also emits the smell of musky dirt and decaying leaves — a convincing scent designed to mask human odors and linger continuously for up to four hours per mat. Earth Scent mats work in all ThermaC E L L Mosquito Repellent products. The unit operates on a single butane cartridge, which heats a mat releasing allethrin, an ThermaCell insect repellent that is a synthetic copy of a natural insecticide found in chrysanthemum flowers. Each butane cartridge will operate the unit for 12 hours. ThermaCELL has been evaluated and approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for safety and effectiveness. The ThermaCELL Earth Scent mosquito repellent refill kit will be available in July and includes one butane cartridge, three Earth Scent mosquito repellent refill mats and MSRP is $6.99. ThermaCELL, a division of The Schawbel Corporation of Bedford, Massachusetts, utilizes patented technology to create cordless, portable appliances powered by replaceable butane cartridges. For more

information on ThermaCELL’s complete line of products please call 1-8-NOSKEETERS. For retail locations visit www.thermacell.com.

Hypertech: More Sass, Less Gas

Ranger Z520 Comanche

Use less fuel and get more power with Hypertech’s new E-CON Economy Power Programmer. The E-CON is designed for the driver who needs better fuel mileage and more power, but doesn’t want to pay for other high-performance features. Every ECON is programmed with Hypertech’s Max Energy Tuning™, Diagnostics, and Back to Stock options. The E-CON also comes with a USB cable and a CD containing software to enable quick updates over the internet. Suggested retail price is just $329.95. Hypertech’s Tuning extracts every bit of energy possible out of every molecule of fuel, giving users more miles-per-gallon at partthrottle

Touting an ultra-responsive, high performance hull design, Ranger’s all-new Z520 Comanche is quickly becoming the most talked-about rig on the water. New features are fused with what many consider to be the ideal tournament-engineered interior layout. It all combines to create a serious fishing machine that knows how to take up the slack and make things happen. Measuring 20 feet, 9 inches with a 95inch beam, the Z520 Comanche is rated for a beefy 250 horespower, to get drivers to their favorite spot and back to weigh in when time is of the essence. The vessel also has two 24-gallon fuel tanks for making long runs. “The history of Ranger Boats is intertwined with professional bass fishing, and the future will be, too,” said Ranger Boats President Randy Hopper. “This design has all the features and styling of Z Comanche and the hull of the 520VX and lots of extra features that no other boat has. This boat was built for competing in bass tournaments at the highest levels. No other boat delivers the power, the space, the performance, fishability and features that this boat delivers.” Ranger Boats, P.O. Box 179, Flippin, AR 72634. Phone: 1-800-373-BOAT. Web: www.rangerboats.com

Ranger Z520 Comanche N14

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

and more Hypertech ECon Power power at wide open throttle, Programmer plus their customers are claiming 2 to 6 mpg gains, and increasing their range by 100 miles or more per tank. E-CON provides optimized tuning for gas powered vehicles that use regular unleaded fuel, and two Fuel Program levels for diesel owners. At the same time, it adds power and torque, and reads and clears diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) or “checkengine” lights. Installation is simple, just plug Hypertech’s E-CON Economy Power Programmer into the vehicle’s under-dash connector, choose the tuning program that appear on E-CON’s scrolling screen. Then with the push of a button, simply re-program the vehicle’s computer for improved power and mileage. Hypertech products are street-legal in all 50 States and have a Money-Back, Satis-


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/5/08

10:53 AM

Page N15

faction Guarantee. Information on the complete line of Hypertech Power Tuning products is available from: Hypertech, 3215 Appling Rd., Bartlett, TN 38133. Phone: 901-382-8888 Web: www.hypertech.com

are designed to absorb the shocks and vibrations whilst encountering an obstacle on the road. The brackets prevent the shock or vibration to pass from the skid plate to the vehicles chassis or to the mechanical assembly. For more information – phone: 860963-2357 or visit www.asfir.com

ASFIR Accessories Toughen Up Jeeps LEER Tops Love to Go Fishing!

Jeep JK Winch Bumper Innovative ATL winch bumper is designed and develEveryone knows that nothing beats a oped to replace the original bumper. The bumper fits around an integrated heavy duty pickup truck when you have to get to your winch platform. ATL Bumpers are favorite fishing spot – whether you’re towing designed to enhance the flow of air across a boat or just toting gear. And there’s so the vehicles cooling components and allows much gear! From life jackets to bait buckets, for access to the winch for maintenance. fishing takes the right equipment, and nothATL bumpers are characterized in low ing protects, transports, and secures the gear weight and in keeping close proximity to the in your pickup like a LEER truck cap. LEER caps have been filling the needs vehicle’s original contour lines. Fits most winch manufactures bolt mounting footprints. Jeep JK Skid PlatesThe skid plates are made from 6mm quality heavy-duty aluminum. They are laser cut and bent on a computerized bending machine for consistent quality. Each skid plate is designed with service openings to enable servicing the vehicle without dismantling the LEER truck caps are designed with anglers in mind. plates. The skid plates are designed to enable free airflow to the of dedicated anglers as long as they’ve been made, but today’s LEER models have been vehicles cooling system. The skid plates are screwed onto the specifically designed to provide the storage, original holes in the vehicle. They are convenience and security features fishing mounted onto the vehicle via brackets, which enthusiasts need most. For example, the LEER Fisherman package adds a Thule Roof Rack, a Frabill expandable lockable rod and reel holder, and other storage conveniences, turning a LEER-equipped pickup truck into the world’s largest tackle box. No wonder so many LEER-equipped trucks are seen at favorite Texas fishing spots and boat ramps. LEER caps – or their low-profile cousins, tonneaus – keep all that expensive gear safe, handy and protected from the environment. Plus, they give you a place to put all the fish you catch on the drive home. Like pickups, LEER caps fit the way sporting Texans live, work, and ASFIR winch bumper and skid plate for Jeeps. play. A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

To find out more about LEER products for fishing enthusiasts, visit www.leer.com/texasfish.

Zeiss RF Binocs Declare Victory Zeiss introduces the Victory 8x45 and 10x45 T* RF laser rangefinder binoculars – the world’s first premium binocular with rangefinding capability, LED display and integrated BIS™ ballistic calculator. Hunters now have accurate distance to target (up to 1,300 yds) and corrected ballistic holdover – programmable for 6 different common ballistic trajectories – at their fingertips in the field. Hunters will experience crystal clear images thanks to the high-performance optical design and high-contrast LED display. No more grayish looking images when trying to estimate the condition and size of an animal – a visual disadvantage typically found in rangefinding optics that use more common, low-contrast LCD displays. The OneTouch feature – a first for the civilian market – produces less shaking while ranging and therefore a clearer image. When the measurement button is pressed, Victory rangefinding the reticle used binocular to target the object illuminates. When released, the range is immediately measured and displayed within 1 second. This generates considerably less shake and also saves time in comparison to other rangefinding binoculars on the market that require the user to press the button twice. MSRP: Victory 8x45 T* RF – $3,352.00, Victory 10x45 T* RF - $3,409.00 Carl Zeiss Optical, Inc., 13017 N. Kingston Ave., Chester, VA 23836. Phone: 1-800-441-3005 Web: www.zeiss.com/sports.

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

N15


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:20 PM

Page N16

Kriet, Faircloth Join Sébile Pro Team

S

ÉBILE, ONE OF THE HOTTEST NEW international bait brands in the United States, has announced the addition of two professional bass anglers to its U.S. pro fishing team - Jeff Kriet and Todd Faircloth. “Jeff and Todd are not just good fishermen, they are also good guys and that’s important to us,” said Sébile’s U.S. sales and marketing director Keeton Eoff in making the announcement. “Both men have qualified for the Bassmaster Classic annually for the past few years and they are back in it again in ‘08. They are truly among the country’s elite anglers and we’re proud to have them on our team.” Kriet is from Ardmore, Okla., and Faircloth resides in Jasper, Texas. Both anglers travel the country fishing the BASS Elite series tournaments and other high profile events, and both have been especially successful in their pro angling careers in recent years. Each has won more than one-half million dollars in tournament earnings, and both have won a major BASS event. And the two anglers are usually among the elite few who always seem to be at top in contention for the prestigious BASS Angler-ofthe-Year title every year. “Sébile baits caught my eye when they first hit the market here a couple of years ago and I’ve been throwing them ever since,” Kriet said. “I love to fish hard baits. Their brand new square-billed Crankster is awesome and is going to win me a lot of money this year. I definitely see it having a role in my Classic appearance on South Carolina’s Lake Hartwell.” Faircloth echoed his fellow angler’s sentiments, saying he has been using Sébile baits N16

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

for a while now with great success. “You don’t live where I do in south Texas without having a lot of confidence and expertise in fishing crankbaits,” he said. “Sébile baits offer a truly unique approach in their designs. The Blood Red series in particular has become a fast favorite because it combines visual appeal with realistic motion, and I’m always looking for every advantage I can get.” Sébile baits are named after international angler and lure designer Patrick Sébile. The Frenchman has spent a lifetime studying gamefish and their feeding habits. He has paid special attention to the sounds, shapes, and swimming actions that trigger strikes the most, and that’s the premise behind every bait in the Sébile lineup. All of the company’s baits fall into one of two series: Evidence or Possessed. Baits in the Evidence series rely more on their action than light and sound. Baits in the Possessed series are built around design features that provide lifelike baitfish mimicry through unique use of internal “body fluids” and reflective particles suspended in it. Sébile’s “Blood Red” baits take baitfish motion and mimicry to a whole new level in artificial lures. The special red-colored fluid literally creates motion, visually and physically, as energy is transferred fore and aft while the lure is being fished. Because of the energy transfer that occurs, Blood Red baits continue to quiver, tremble, and pulsate just like a frightened baitfish, at rest as well as during retrieve. Follow the tournament success of new Sébile team anglers Jeff Kriet and Todd Faircloth along the BASS Elite trail at www.bassmaster.com &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

Skeeter Announces 2008 Owner’s Tournament Skeeter Products, Inc., celebrating its 60th Anniversary this year, is proud to announce its 2008 Skeeter Owner’s Tournament Series schedule, giving its owners the opportunity to fish three of the nation’s top bass lakes, including South Carolina’s Lake Murray, and win thousands of dollars in cash doing so. For 2008, the Skeeter Owner’s Tournament Series will kick-off on June 19-22 on Lake Fork, Texas, known for its huge largemouth bass. Skeeter owners from across the country participated in last year’s event, featuring more than 800 boats and 1,500 anglers, making it the largest single boat brand tournament in the country. The Owner’s Tournament Series then travels to South Carolina’s Lake Murray on September 19-21. For the third year in a row, the company and its owners will travel to South Carolina, this time to the bass rich waters of Lake Murray. Constructed in the 1930s, Lake Murray covers an area of 78 square miles, with 649 miles of shoreline. Lake Murray may be famous for its Striped Bass, but there are plenty of Largemouth Bass to be caught in this lake. The Tournament Series concludes with a visit to Patoka Reservoir, an 8,800-acre largemouth bass fishery near Jasper, Indiana, on October 11-12. Patoka Reservoir is well known for its quality and quantity of Largemouth Bass, and was the host site for the 2005 BASS Northern Divisional. Skeeter initiated its Owner’s Tournament Series as a way to thank its owners. Skeeter will make complete tournament information available on its website (www.skeeterboats.com), including entry applications, rules and regulations. You may also visit your local Authorized Skeeter Dealer for more information. For information about tournament venues, please visit www.lakeforkchamber.org.


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:20 PM

Page N17

Smith & Wesson Model 41 Target Pistol

W

HEN I WAS YOUNGER, I LOVED TO shoot National Match-style pistol target competitions. For the Uvalde Gun Club, this usually involved a .22 rimfire target pistol and the standard slow, timed, and rapid-fire courses. It was a game of precision. I eventually got reasonably good at it, but when I went into law enforcement, I left that part of my life behind.

by Steve LaMascus Just the other day, I got a hankering to shoot another good .22 target pistol. To that end, I called Smith & Wesson and ordered for

testing a new Model 41 with a 5-1/2-inch barrel. When it arrived, I set it aside, as I was testing several other guns at the time. It sat there in its blue plastic box for a couple of weeks before I got a chance to try it out. I’m sorry I waited. In my opinion, the Model 41 is one of the best handguns in its class. It is flawlessly fitted and finished; the bluing is as deep and black as the Marianas Trench; and the grips feel perfect in my hand. Accuracy is above standard. I have shot a lot of different target handguns over the years and the Model 41 is as good as any and better than most. In my opinion, it shoots like a good rifle. Out to 50 yards, no rabbit is safe when I have the Model 41 in my hand. At 25 yards, the gun shoots much PHOTO COURTESY OF SMITH & WESSON

just keep the Smith & Wesson. It is all the .22 handgun anyone could ever want.

better than I do. I expect it would beat 1 inch, but I can no longer see well enough to make it do so. The metal-to-metal fit of the gun is fabulous. The slide is like velvet. The trigger is set from the factory at a crisp, creep-free 3 pounds. There is no comparison with many of the modern semi-auto .22s on the market today. The Smith & Wesson Model 41 is a true competition-ready target pistol, yet small and light enough to carry and hunt with. If you are thinking about buying a .22 handgun to hunt small game and prefer a semi-auto, I heartily recommend the Model 41. It is head and shoulders above the cheaper versions with fixed sights. With the heavier barrel, it holds steadier and it is without a doubt more accurate. It would make a squirrel gun extraordinaire. At a retail of $1209, it is certainly on the high side for casual plinking, but if you are looking for a gun that will last several normal lifetimes, shoot like a good rifle, and is handsome to boot, this is it. I shot the Model 41 for several weeks and found no faults in it. It functioned perfectly and shot every time I pulled the trigger. If I could find someone who would pay me what my old Citation is worth, I might A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

N17


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:20 PM

Page N18

Tales of Three Trophies S

OMETIMES, IT IS HARD TO PICK WHICH TO publish of the many Trophy Fever submissions we receive from readers. This month, we opted to publish three. —Don Zaidle

Brock’s Two-forOne Bucks BROCK DAVIS SHOT HIS FIRST DEER. The day before that, he shot and missed, and the scope busted his nose in the recoil. Pretty sad, but he did good for a five-year-old.

The next day, an eight-point walked out, but Brock never would pull the trigger (I don’t blame him after what happened the day before). The deer stood around for five or six minutes, but Brock was too scared to shoot. After the deer ran off, Brock decided he wanted to shoot. I told him it was too late now and he probably wouldn’t get another

Five-year-old Brock Davis displays the two trophy bucks he shot with one “magic” bullet.

PHOTOS COURTESY OF KYLE DAVIS

chance. One hour later, four bucks walked in to the feeder. This time, he said he wasn’t going to miss his chance. He shot one time at an eight-point. The deer dropped straight to the ground. Brock was giving me high-fives and was on cloud nine. We got out of the stand and walked to the deer. To our amazement, in addition to the eight-point there was a sevenpoint on the ground right beside him! Now Brock was really on cloud nine! We couldn’t believe it. We guessed the bullet must have penetrated both deer, the second one unseen N18

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

behind the first. Whatever the case, Brock was the happiest five-year-old in the world. He still carries the empty cartridge case, calling it his “magic bullet.” —Kyle Davis

The Double Beam Buck I HAD AN EXPERIENCE OF A LIFETIME THIS PAST season that I hope you and your readers will enjoy. I was invited by my boss to come down to Webb County and hunt at his ranch lease. We were about 20 miles north of Laredo as


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:20 PM

Page N19

PHOTO COURTESY OF WILLIAM S. McANELLY

Special Hunting Section

William McAnelly’s double beam buck. the crow flies. This was my first South Texas experience and I was in for a special treat.

Trophy Fever My boss had spotted a buck a few weeks back that he wanted me to shoot from his blind. He had been in his blind early on Friday morning and watched this buck lock horns with a younger 12-pointer and flip the younger buck on its back. In other words, this older buck was the “alpha” of this side of the ranch. Within just a few hours of pulling into the lease and getting in the blind, we spotted this fella. He was the last buck to come out that evening, and he was chasing a doe down a sendero and into a thicket. His presence caught the attention of four other mature bucks feeding at a corn feeder about 100 yards away, and they quickly scrambled. I grew a little anxious, wondering if we would see this buck come back out of the thicket. About two minutes later, he was coming toward us. When he got in a clear spot about 110 yards from our blind, he turned and looked right in our direction, presenting a clear body shot. I put the crosshairs of my Weaver scope right on his vitals, and with one shot from my old Remington “03-A3” .30-06, he was down. The buck was a non-typical with an

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

F i s h

unusual “double beam” formation of its left antler. It had a 19.5-inch inside spread, 5inch bases, and scored 144-2/8 at an estimated 5.5-6.5 years old. It was the perfect South Texas experience, and a memory that will stay fresh forever. —William S. McAnelly

State Record Black Drum ON NOVEMBER 8, 2 007, MY FATHER-IN-LAW, Scott Elliott, and I went to Matagorda for a fishing weekend. We were to check in that day, and Scott had an eight-hour head start. He began fishing that morning around 6 a.m. He called me up at 10 a.m. and told me he had caught a huge 22-inch flounder. I got out of work at 2 p.m. and headed that way. The next day, we launched the boat around 6 a.m. and began to fish on the Colorado River at the Locks. Scott caught another flounder early and was bragging because I was still scoring a “goose egg.” We

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

N19


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:20 PM

Page N20

Trophy Fever

PHOTO COURTESY OF MATT LAMBERT

Special Hunting Section

Matt Lambert and his state record drum. had been throwing live mullet and some soft plastics, but the action was slow. We decided to buy some Shrimp for the afternoon.

N20

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

Later in the day, Scott caught another keeper flounder and I was getting very agitated. I had fished for close to a full day with nothing to show. I finally felt a little tug and my line felt heavy. I reeled and reeled until I pulled in a crab. I netted it and cracked it open, thinking a radical change in bait and tactics might improve my luck. I re-baited with crabmeat and tossed it out just over the 30-foot drop, hoping for a trophy redfish. We finally began catching fish—lots of rat reds and a few flounder, trout, and even some black drum. I had finally put one fish in the cooler when Scott pulled in a 36-inch red. I was just happy to catch a keeper. Just the, my other line—the one baited with crab—began to bounce. I jumped up, grabbed it, set the hook, and began to reel. My rod bent over in a U and line was peeling off against the drag. It slowed down and I tried to reel. I would get a foot of line and the fish would peel out 2-3 feet. After 25 minutes of fighting, Scott pulled anchor and we moved to the middle of the river. It was pitch black and we could not see a thing. Scott hooked up the flounder gigging light and we shined it at the front of the boat. I

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

reeled and reeled. We let the large fish drag the boat for a bit, and then I finally caught a glimpse of the fish—a massive black drum. It turned and peeled line. This went on for another 5-10 minutes before we got him to the boat. Scott reached down and miraculously scooped the large beast into the net. The tail of the fish was hanging about 3 feet out of the net. He could not lift it out of the water by himself; I had to help him. The drum was 54 inches and weighed 80-100 pounds. We took some photographs and decided a fish this old and big needed to go back into the water. We shoved it overboard into the water, but it just lay there floating, almost lifeless. I grabbed its massive tail and began to move the fish from side to side and up and down in the water to move water over its gills. Scott backed up the boat up to get more water moving, and then I could tell the fish would live. We continued to revive the fish for five more minutes, then it began thrashing its tail and I could not hold on anymore. I watched as it swam off in the dark water.

Continued on Page N22


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:20 PM

Page N21

Chaparral WMA, Wildlife, Survive Wildfire

A

MASSIVE WILDFIRE THAT TORCHED 95 percent of the 15,200-acre Chaparral Wildlife Management Area spared much of the wildlife on the state’s premier public hunting site, according to initial findings during aerial surveys by Texas Parks & Wildlife Department biologists. Biologists overflew the area aboard TPWD law enforcement helicopters, counting deer and other animals, and will compare those findings with other recent annual aerial survey results, which should provide an estimate of wildlife loss from the fire. “I am amazed how adaptive wildlife can be during a natural disaster; we found very few carcasses and have observed a lot of live animals—horned lizards, whitetail deer, javelina, and quail,” said David Synatzske, Chaparral WMA manager. “We have between 20 and 25 wildlife biologists and technicians on the site assessing damage and fixing fences and they are not finding dead animals. We discovered about 30 dead animals in one location, but have not found concentrations elsewhere. I drove the entire 30-mile perimeter fence line and found only two carcasses. Considering 95 percent of the area burned, that’s incredible.” Synatzske said the fire, which started Friday, March 14, and was extinguished the following Monday, consumed about 50,000 acres in Dimmit and LaSalle counties, including portions of some of the state’s most celebrated trophy whitetail hunting ranches. Yet, the blaze left some pockets untouched throughout the Chaparral WMA and he believes those areas likely provided refuge for wildlife. As far as infrastructure, Synatzske said the research building and some trailers were PHOTO BY CHASE FOUNTAIN © TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT

destroyed, and they will have to replace the gameproof fencing around the perimeter. That’s 30 miles of fence, which he said is going to be the biggest expense. The area also has 23 miles of PVC pipe feeding

tation, we are thankful there were no injuries and that wildlife loss was not as bad as might be expected with a fire of this magnitude,” said Mike Berger, TPWD wildlife director. “Obviously, we are concerned about the short term impacts at the Chap from this wildfire, and we should be,” noted Carter Smith, TPWD executive director. “But, the bigger story, I think, is whether these sorts of intense wildfires will be a growing pattern throughout South Texas.” Smith recalled that fire used to be a major part of the South Texas landscape, when it was more of a savannah like system. Now, because of the longtime build-up of brush and exotic grasses, such as buffel grass and guinea grass, as well as changes in land use practices, he believes there will be a heightened frequency and intensity of wildfires in the future. “The tremendous amount of brush that we see now in South Texas was not historically present there, but has built up over time as a result of overgrazing, changing land use patterns, and suppression of fire,” Smith explained. “The exotic grasses that are now a major part of the understory are very flammable, and candidly, not adversely impacted by fire.” Research into how this ecosystem recovers from a large-scale fire will begin immediately on the Chaparral WMA, according to Synatzske, who noted the area has now become a 15,000-acre research laboratory. “Our folks are identifying research sites and projects,” he said. We’re already seeing signs of green-up, so the process has begun.” “It should be interesting to see how the Chap responds, as well as what happens in the future on the wildfire front,” Smith summed up. “That is going to impact the ecology and landscape of South Texas.”

watering stations and irrigating pastures. Work has begun work repairing those water supply lines. “While we hate seeing this type of devasA L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

N21


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:20 PM

Page N22

Exploding Bows

I

T WAS A BEAUTIFUL AFTERNOON IN JUNE LAST year when it happened. It came without warning and with a fury so powerful that it will live in our memories for a very long time. I was spending the afternoon shooting my bow and getting in a little extra practice. My friend, Tom Ryan, who often shoots with me (and admittedly is a better shot), was complaining that his bow was shooting very erratically. Sometimes he would be high, then low, then left, then right. Suddenly, this sharpshooter was missing his mark and I, for one, was not going to let him forget whose arrow was in the bull’s-eye. Upon inspecting his bow, nothing looked out of place. The nocking point seemed all right. The arrows had no clearance problems. His release was smooth and free of the dreaded “target panic” that so many of us bowhunters get at one time or another. We looked at each other and shrugged our shoulders as Tom readied for another shot. He slowly came to full draw, and everything went haywire. It was the loudest bang that I ever heard. Not until later did we discover that the string had stretched and slipped off the wheel. Tom stood there with nothing but a riser in his hand and blood on his cheek. The string came back

and hit him in the jaw. He actually thought I punched him! The rest of his bow was scattered all over the yard. I can still see the look on his face. It was certainly a Kodak moment. Having a bow explode in your hands is not as uncommon as one might think. It has never happened to me, but it has happened to many archers. Back in February, I wrote about maintaining your equipment. After reading this month’s column, I would think that hunters would take the care of their equipment a little more seriously. It is important that I re-cap some information from that earlier column. When you are shooting to the best of your ability and happy with the results, take the time to make a few measurements. Measure the distance between axels. Measure your brace height. It is a good idea to mark your cams at their optimum positions. Later, if there is a problem grouping your arrows, this would be a good place to check to see if anything has changed. Write these measurements in a notebook and keep it in a safe place. If you consider yourself a decent shot, take note when you can no longer group your arrows. If a string or cable stretches, it is a slow process and, over time, can be very dangerous. Get to know everything you can about your equipment. Bob Deston of BCY (860-632-7115), the company that invented the Fast Flight string, explained to me that the number of bows “exploding” has dropped dramatically since the mid-1980s. Bow manufacturers made risers from magnesium in the early years. When a hunter had a dry fire, the magnesium riser could not handle the forces and

TROPHY FEVER: TALES OF THREE TROPHIES Continued from Page N20 I was fishing with a 7-foot Ugly Stick, Penn spinning reel, 14-pound-test Cajun Red line, and a small Kahle hook; we could not believe that it held up. With the photos and measurements, N22

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

the fish qualified as a new Catch and Release State record. My father-in-law now calls me “the One-Upper” because he always seems to catch more fish, but I always one-up him with the biggest. —Matt Lambert

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

would fracture, causing risk of serious injury. The bows of today have risers made from machined aluminum that has proven much stronger and safer. Older bows had a metal teardrop attachment on the cable ends for string attachment. If a dry fire occurred, it was possible—and highly probable—that the metal piece would fly off and potentially cause injury. Now the string goes around the wheels and cams. As long as you do not have a burr on the wheel and keep your string free away from sharp objects (such as broadheads), there should not be a problem. “Strings can handle anywhere from 1200 to 1300 pounds—much more than any bow would ever use,” Deston said. Back in 1985, strings were made of Dacron, a very strong substance. Kevlar was used on Olympic style recurve bows, but the strings were prone to fail without warning after 1000 or so shots due to stress at the knocking point. Fast Flight strings quickly took over the industry because of their durability and increased arrow speed. Today, there are many different types of strings available; Dacron, 450 2x, and Zebra to name a few. The bow you shoot determines which string you use, according to the specs of the bow manufacturer and personal preference. If a string does break due to dry fire or cutting it with a broadhead, will that affect the integrity of the limbs? The answer is yes. It could very well cause a fracture, which in turn would cause the bow to explode at full draw. I cannot stress how important it is to check your equipment and recheck it before you pull the bow to full draw. If you are diligent at making sure your equipment is in top-notch shape, then you should not have any problems. If you neglect waxing your string often and pay little or no attention to the care of your bow, then someday you might very well find yourself in a world of hurt. E-mail Lou Marullo at lmarullo@fishgame.com.


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:20 PM

Page N23

DOVE—HONDO, TEXAS

BUCK—WILLIAMSON COUNTY, TEXAS

Lance (14) and Zach (12) Schiegg of Cypress, Texas, both shot their limits while dove hunting during the special whitewing south zone hunt over a maize field at the Hondo city limits. According to the brothers, “millions of doves” were 20 feet over their heads.

Steve Farr of Houston, Texas, took this 10-point buck with a Browning .280caliber at 130 yards from a low-fenced free-range property in Williamson County. His Boone and Crockett score was 148. Per local hunters, it was one of the biggest deer in the area.

DEER—MENARD COUNTY, TEXAS

TURKEY—SAN SABA COUNTY, TEXAS

BUCK—KIMBLE COUNTY, TEXAS

Justin Anthony, age 8, killed his first deer, an 8- Tanner Kassaw took his first turkey in San Saba Lincoln Dunham, age 8, from Lumberton, Texas, point whitetail, with a .2 2 3 carbine in Menard County, while he and his father were hunting as was hunting in Kimble County near Junction, County, Texas. guests of Tanner’s best friend, Matt Smithhart. The Texas, when he killed this 7-point buck. spurs measured over 1.12 5 inches and the beard was over 9 inches.

GOT BUCKS? GOT HOGS? GOT TURKEYS? GOT BANDED DUCKS?

If so, we need photos and hunting stories for our new TROPHY FEVER SPECIAL SECTION. Send pics and hunting tales to : TROPHY FEVER SPECIAL SECTION 1745 Greens Road, Houston, TX 77032 or by email: photos@fishgame.com.

PLEASE INCLUDE PHOTO CAPTION: NAME HOMETOWN WHEN & WHERE TAKEN SIZE AND WEIGHT

(Please include “Trophy Fever” in the subject.) A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

N23


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:20 PM

Page N24

Loading & Docking 101

I

F YOU BOUNCE OFF TRAILER GUIDES AND THINK pilings should really be called bumpers, then you might be among the docking challenged. But don’t worry, this is not a permanent condition. In fact, with the right treatment you’ll be swinging into the slip and sliding onto the trailer without putting a single blemish on that beautiful gel coat. Ready to become a docking doctor? Then use these tricks, tips, and tactics when putting Mom’s Mink away.

Get Out! Outboards and stern drives can be operated more or less like an automobile. Since you can direct the thrust of the power plants, you can essentially parallel park them. What about opposing motors, with twin-engine outboard rigs? We’ll look at twins separately later, but remember that with outboards, the effectiveness of this tactic varies wildly from boat to boat depending on the distance between the power plants. If they’re spread far apart on the transom, it might work well. But if the cowls of your outboards are a foot apart, opposing the motors will probably have little effect. You’ll have to use experience and judgment to determine which way is more effective, for your own rig. Outboard operators should remember that they’re usually swinging relatively small diameter props. As a result, there’s less torque involved at low rpm and it’s easy to get blown out of kilter in strong breezes. Plus, with little running gear below the surface, many small outboard boats essentially skim along with little to no drag. You’ve also got to remember that wind will push the bow well before the stern is affected. Before N24

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

approaching a dock or a trailer, all of these factors must be front and center in your mind, and your planning for the approach. Scary but true: With outboards, it’s hard to approach your target at very slow speed, again because the effect of the wind is so dramatic. Try to make it happen in slow motion, and there’s a longer window of opportunity for gusts to knock you off track. So while slow is good, there will be times that experienced dockers will feel the need to nail the throttle, even though it seems risky. You might have to go with your gut, to be successful. In some cases, a strong wind or current will prevent you getting off of a dock and into your slip or ramp. In this situation, you can use your lines and cleats, to spring off under power. Let’s say you’re laid up against the fuel dock, and the wind is so darn strong you can’t get the bow to come around away from it. Grab a line from one of the pilings and secure it to an aft cleat on your boat. Then turn the wheel away from the pier, and apply minimal power until the line comes tight. If you have a fender (use a life jacket in a pinch) hang it from a rail or from the dock, to protect the stern of the boat as it pushes up against the pilings. Then gently apply power so the bow swings around. When it’s at a 45-degree angle, the stern will come off the pier and you can remove the fender. Then quickly shift to neutral, ditch the line, and quickly re-apply power to continue your turn. With this jump-start, you should be able to swing the bow all the way around and motor up to the ramp. Warning: this is no time to be meek! Once you’re clear of the pier and you go into forward, give it a healthy shot of juice and take full advantage of the partial turn you already created, by springing.

Twin Engines Twins offer the best dockside maneuverability. Simply drive the boat forward until it’s perpendicular to the slip or ramp, shift

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

one engine into reverse, and the other into forward. The opposing props will spin the boat. When you’re in line with the target, stop the spin by changing the directions of both motors at the same time. Then go to neutral, reassess your position to make sure you won’t drift out of alignment, and reverse into the slip. The most common problem folks encounter when operating twin screws is they get overtaken by wind or current, and even though they’re aligned properly with the slip they’re pushed to one side of it or the other. In this situation, the only thing to do is pull out and try again; attempting to “crab” the boat sideways into the wind or current almost always takes you out of whack, half in and half out of the slip. When you come around for your second shot, bear in mind that you’ll have to make your maneuvers more quickly, so you get into the slip before getting shoved sideways again. Give the throttles some juice when opposing the motors, and don’t hesitate to get the boat moving in reverse once you’re lined up. If you get jostled out of position as you move backwards use single shots of forward from one side or the other (depending on which way you need to adjust the boat) to get it going straight again. Also, remember that it’s less effective to oppose outboards than inboards. While an inboard can get away with turning 1000 rpm and spin the boat like a dream, the outboard guy should plan on revving up to 2000 or 2500 rpm to get the boat spinning. And stern drive owners should consider getting a dual-prop rig, if they don’t already have one. The propellers on these rigs counter-rotate on the same shaft, so there’s no undesired swing in either direction, and they grip onto the water as if it was pavement. Bonus: the twin prop outdrives have gobs of blade area and will usually put a boat on plane at lower speeds than single prop outdrives, maintaining a better running attitude while posting better fuel efficiency numbers. The biggest danger of operating twin out-


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:20 PM

Page N25

boards comes when you try to use both single and twin-engine tactics at the same time. This is the kiss of death at the dock; turn the wheel to control your thrust, then oppose the motors without centering them first, and opposing them will not have the desired effect. So you’ll give it a shot of forward, from one motor only, to straighten up. Except that the motor’s turned in the opposite direction, so it has the opposite effect of what you were looking for. Bottom line: either leave the wheel centered and do all the work by opposing the motors, or use the wheel and the two power plants in tandem and don’t oppose them.

Road Ready In most cases putting a boat on a trailer is a lot easier than pulling it into a slip, because most of the maneuvering takes place in forward. There is, however, one new and significant variable: the position of the trailer itself. A trailer set too shallow in the water might make it easier to hit metal parts that should have been submerged below hull

level, and will require lots of power to load the boat. But one that’s submerged too deeply can be just as problematic. If the bunks are under water, the boat might simply float over them and never center itself. And if you get the bow up to the stop and winch it up tight, but the trailer’s so deep the stern is still afloat, when you pull up the ramp and the stern settles down you’ll put incredible pressure on the bow eye and winch strap, and one or the other could break. Unfortunately, since different boat ramps have different grades and tidal influences, it’s nearly impossible for the traveling boater to pick a specific distance you’ll always back the trailer down to. Instead, look at specific parts of your trailer to guide you. Generally speaking, the front third of the bunks or rollers that the hull rests on should be out of the water when you load up. But remember: this can vary from rig to rig. You’ll have to establish the best submersion depth for yours, and stick to it. When it’s time to put the boat onto the bunks, there are a few tricks savvy trailer boaters can use to make the process easier.

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

F i s h

For starters, if there’s a stiff breeze or current make sure you place the trailer on the downwind side of the ramp. This will give you room to start the loading process on the upwind side, so you’re centered properly by the time the bow reaches the stop. Before powering up onto a trailer, put your outdrive at neutral trim. Trim it up as many folks do, and you’re forcing the stern down as you apply power. That’ll make it harder for the boat to move up onto the trailer. Worried the prop will hit concrete? If that’s a real danger then your trailer probably isn’t submerged far enough. And finally, if you don’t have the taillights elevated on side bunk poles, add them. Not only will your lights last longer, the poles will make centering the boat much, much easier. Finally, remember: bumpers are for cars and trucks, and crunching and munching is something you do with your teeth, not with your boat. Your gel coat will thank you for it. E-mail Lenny Rudow at boating@fishgame.com

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

N25


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:20 PM

Page N26

Mangrove Two-Step

T

N26

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

fished, activate the tentacles along with the baitfish itself with stops, twitches, sinks, and short retrieves. Mangroves are wary, and many times a 40-pound-test wire leader is stealthier than a 40pound mono leader. At the tightening of the line, the wire slides through the tight jaws easier than mono, increasing the likelihood of a hookup. Non-stainless steel circle hooks are now mandated in Federal waters when using natural baits while fishing for “reef fish,” and in Texas waters for red snapper. Your circle hook should be sized to the bait, meaning the hook-point to shank area will not be obstructed by the bait. Light wire hooks, such as the Daiichi D84Z in the illustration, let your bait presentation sink and flutter more naturally than a heavy wire hook. Using non-offset circle hooks give the greatest chance of a lip or jaw hookup. This is not only a lot better on the fish if it is to be released, but also facilitates easier hook

F i s h

removal. Also keep in mind that a 5- 6-inch baitfish is more easily swallowed whole. The Texas Saltwater Record for mangroves at this writing is 18.67 pounds, and the IGFA All Tackle World Record is 17 pounds. This hooking of a baitfish through the head sideways for that disoriented, injured look isn’t magic, but it seems so at times. Part of the look this bait combination has, especially when using a squid head and tentacles, is the impression that the baitfish is attacking the squid, or vice-versa. Strong-fighting and great-eating mangrove snapper are out there, just waiting to take a Mangrove Two-Step.

Varying the weight when Carolina rigged will let you fish this rig from the near surface area to the bottom.

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

HE MANGROVE TWO-STEP IS NOT A DANCE— at least, not technically. First, the mangrove snapper has the reputation of being the wariest of the snappers in Texas waters. Second, this two-step bait presentation can bring out its natural weakness—dropping its guard during the competition of feeding. I first started using this sort of bait presentation about eight years ago. This recent variation, with the sardine hooked through the head, side to side, gives a more distressed or injured look. The squid head, cut in half through the eyes, is another change. Last summer, a long-time fishing friend, Jim Marigliano, came up with the theory that his 1x3-inch squid strip, added below the head of a sardine, was triggering mangrove snapper strikes. Jim’s thinking was that the Atlantic spadefish were biting at the squid strip and ignoring the sardine. The mangroves, not wanting to miss out on the offering, inhaled the sardines with regularity. Over the summer, Jim had several multiple mangrove snapper catches in the 8- to 12-pound range with this rig. My sardine/squid head combination also works well when Atlantic spadefish “bite starters” are not present. Free-lined or Carolina rigged, I have taken various snappers, ling, dolphin, kingfish, amberjack, and grouper with the Mangrove Two-Step presentation. Varying the weight when Carolina rigged, as shown in the illustration, will let you fish this rig from the near surface area to the bottom. The Quick-Change Slip Lead (www.Americanbandit.com) example shown is an innovative way of adding weight without cutting the line. At whatever depth

E-mail Patrick Lemire at saltrigs@fishgame.com

ILLUSTRATION BY PATRICK LEMIRE


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:20 PM

Page N27

Wacky Worm Float

I

ADMIT THAT I’M NOT ALWAYS, LET’S SAY “normal,” when it comes to fishing techniques. I’ll try odd stuff that I’ve heard about or play around with rigging styles just to see if it will work better than what everyone else is throwing. There was a time when every soft plastic rig I tied on had a small red glass bead on it somewhere. I’m talking about every soft plastic. Not really conventional, but effective. However, I’ve got to be honest; I never would have tried this rigging if someone hadn’t showed me its effectiveness first. If you’ve read my blog at fishgame.com, you’ll realize that I like to fish a wacky worm. I’ll have one tied on at least six months out of the year and make the fish prove they don’t want to hit it before I put it down. Sometimes that’s a detriment, but most times, it is not. My wacky rigs are very basic. A wide gap 3/0 hook is impaled in the middle of a trick worm (Watermelon color) and that’s it. No splitshot on the line, no nail in the tail of the worm, just a hook and a worm. The downsides to this rig is that it is light and hard to cast, plus the open hook is somewhat snag prone in water with a lot of hydrilla growing in it. Once the point of the hook touches the hydrilla, it’s hung. A local angler showed me a way to get around this using a few items I already have in my tackle bag, but never thought of using with a plastic worm. For this one we’re going to steal a page from the saltwater angler’s handbook. Popping corks are commonplace along the Texas coast. They are used to fish everything from live shrimp and bait fish, to jig-heads tipped with soft plastics, and are a great way to get young anglers into a few fish. However, bass anglers rarely use any type of float unless they

ILLUSTRATION BY PAUL BRADSHAW

are using live bait, until now. The other day, I saw bass being caught by a fisherman using a slip cork with a wacky worm suspended beneath it. Although it looked odd and was far from conventional, it worked. The main part of the rig was the standard Styrofoam slip cork. You probably have a few sitting in the bottom of your boat from the last time you took your kids bream fishing. Find one that hasn’t been crushed and has all its parts or at least most of them. If you can’t find the bobber stop that goes on the line to stop the cork from sliding, don’t worry; I’ve got a fix for that. If you do have it then go ahead and put it on your main line first. If you cannot find it, which I never can, take a short length of string and tie a double-overhand knot with it around the main line around four feet from the end. This is your new bobber stopper that you can slide up and down the line. Make sure this knot is loose enough to

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

F i s h

slide up and down the line by hand, but not so loose that it will fall freely. Next, put the little stopper bead that came with the cork on the line. Again, if you don’t have this piece that’s fine, since the rig will work without it. Then run the line through the hollow body of the bobber before tying on a wide gap 3/0 hook onto the end of the line. Between the hook and the bobber, crimp on a small split shot. The rig should now be in this order: knot, bobber, split shot, hook. On the hook, rig a worm wacky style (with the hook through the middle). Fishing this rig is simple, slide the knot to the depth you want the worm to suspend at, and then cast it out. If there is grass two feet under the surface with fish suspending on top then slide the knot 18 inches up the line from the hook. The wacky-worm will ride along the top of the grass, staying in the strike zone without getting hooked and any wave action will make the worm dance that much more. E-mail Paul Bradshaw at freshrigs@fishgame.com

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

N27


5/1/08

12:20 PM

Page N28

Glassing for Bass

I

HAVE YET TO MEET A KAYAKER THAT USED THE term “hole shot” when describing their boat’s performance. Efficient hulls boast modest cruising speeds of 2-3 miles per hour, making a relocation of any magnitude an investment, both physical and mental. Truth be told, there is a genuine effort behind any good stringer of fish; rarely are they found 100 yards from the launch site. As such, serious anglers look for clever ways to reduce the amount of effort in every outing. One overlooked way to reduce exertion is to leverage your eyesight with a good pair of binoculars. Summer bass, both largemouth and whites, will chase schools of shad, pinning them against the surface. Once the bait is balled up, bass tear into them with reckless

N28

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

abandon, pock marking the surface with boils of activity. Several thousand bass feeding on the film is an impressive sight, one that is easy to spot from a distance. Bass are not the only predators feeding on the hapless shad; avian predators will quickly join in. Wheeling and crashing gulls and terns will pick off cripples from above, a large flock of diving birds is like a giant feathered arrow pointing downward, emblazoned with the words, “Fish here.” In a perfect world, a kayak fisherman could leisurely paddle up to the feeding fish and snipe at the edges of the school. In reality, every boat within miles can see the frothing surface and will hightail it towards the activity it in hopes of hooking a few fish before they spook and head for the depths. The paddling angler is foolish to think they can beat a metal-flaked hull to the action and therefore must take a different approach—at least on weekends, when boat traffic is heavy. A better strategy is to look for smaller, less obvious schools. Glassing for bass will help you see small pockets of feeding

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

activity; ones that are too small to see from a distance with the naked eye. A small patch of swirls is less likely to attract a crowd of boats and provides the kayaker better odds that the fish will still be feeding by the time they arrive. Binoculars are designated by a two numerals, such as 7X40, 8X45, or 10X50. The

Glassing for bass will help you see small pockets of activity.

ALMANAC N.qxd

first numeral deals with the magnification. For instance, a 7 designates that the binoculars make the subject in the eyepiece appear seven times closer. The higher the magnification, the smaller your field of view. The second number specifies the diameter in millimeters of the big lenses up front; the technical term for these are “objective lenses.” The larger the diameter of the objective lenses, the greater the amount of light they can gather. Which type of binocular is best for you? That varies from angler to angler. Higher magnification binoculars are much more challenging to keep locked on a specific area in a rocking kayak than lower power optics. Kayakers who spend most of their time in placid water may prefer higher magnification. If you are a member of the dawn patrol, the light gathering capabilities of your optics is more important than magnification. If forced to choose a general all-around set of binoculars, it would be a set of 8X45s. You get good light gathering with decent magnification. Weight is always a concern and I would recommend something lighter if I had to hang the binoculars from my neck the whole day; but I don’t. I stash them in my milk crate until needed. Above all else, don’t waste your money on water resistant binoculars. You need to buy a


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:20 PM

Page N29

pair that is waterproof. If you are unsure, ask. Make sure that your new optics can be fully submerged without any harm. It is only a matter of time until they get dunked. Remember to keep a leash on them when they are not being used. Schooling bass tend to stay up longer during the week compared to weekends. Boat traffic has a tremendous impact on schooling behavior and surface activity, however brief, will reveal the school’s location. Mark the location mentally and immediately paddle to

it. A depth finder will verify activity below the surface. Having two rods rigged, one with a topwater, and the other with a diving lure, will allow you to present the best bait when you arrive. Binoculars are a great aid to saltwater anglers as well. Imagine seeing tiny tails in the distance piercing the surface of a quiet flat and trying to determine if they are redfish or mullet tails. Rather than paddling several hundred yards to find out, you can reach out and eyeball them with a good pair of optics.

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

F i s h

Likewise, river rats can check out bends and rapids downstream well before you reach a questionable section of river. Knowing what lies ahead will help you make better decisions. Leveraging your eyesight with a good pair of binoculars will save you a lot of effort when you are on the water. A stroke saved is worth every penny. Email Greg Berlocher at kayak@fishgame.com

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

N29


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:21 PM

Page N30

Watching the Embers Burn

O

NE NIGHT NOT LONG AGO, I SAT ON AN OAK stump beside a dwindling campfire on a hunting lease near Caddo, Texas, watching the glowing embers beneath the dying flames. Soon, the flames were gone but the embers continued to glow, brightening

N30

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

slightly with every puff of the night breeze. The well-seasoned quarters of a cottontail rabbit shared a small grill over the embers with a red onion and potato wrapped in foil. I had bagged the rabbit next to a patch of briars two hours earlier, and tonight’s supper promised to be a good one. As I sat on the stump watching the embers burn and felt the loneliness one naturally feels when being by himself under such circumstances, I remembered a similar night as a teenager when I sat beside another campfire at the back of my family’s half-acre lot west of Fort Worth and wondered what I would be when I grew up. It was a perplexing thought at the moment. After all, my degree of fondness for school ruled out my becoming a teacher, and

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

I didn’t talk fast enough to be a politician. Soon, my thoughts drifted to something more important at hand: our little black and white puppy named Wreath, who was sprawled out on the ground beside me. My older brothers, Bill and Paul, had given Wreath his name after he had been given to us as a Christmas present from our parents. Wreath was no more than a cup of fur that Christmas day but he was more beautiful than any Christmas wreath we had ever seen. Somehow, the thoughts of being grown up someday and having to go to work really didn’t seem to matter at the moment. As the years advanced, other things did begin to matter. As I watched the cottontail quarters cook over the flames earlier this year at Caddo, I


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:21 PM

Page N31

once again began to appreciate the independence my mother and father let me gain during my childhood days. Then and now, I rarely take many groceries with me when going hunting because I have always felt confident that I could catch a few fish, bag a rabbit, squirrel, or whatever and get by just fine. As a youngster, my parents let me take to the woods near our home or on my grandparents’ dairy in Comanche County anytime I wanted to hunt or just to mosey around. It was a rewarding freedom, but there was more than just independence that they gave me. They gave me a way to build confidence in myself and to learn an appreciation for what I would find. One thing I discovered as a youngster was the beauty in embers. Yes, embers just like the ones I was watching as I cooked the rabbit, onion, and potato over mesquite coals at Caddo. I had built a big fire that night and it had been a good one. I have said it before but feel it is important to say it again: If you are gong to build a campfire, make sure it is one that will last a while. I was not going anywhere, and the fire I had built was a testament to that.

You really don’t have to go deep into your thoughts to realize how I was feeling at the time while watching those embers burn. All you have to do is to visualize two things: where you came from and where you are going. Centuries ago, men all over the world built campfires and watched embers burn. Our forefathers did the same when they arrived here to establish new beginnings in our great country. As I watched the embers burn recently, a sudden sadness settled across my shoulders. So many people, perhaps some of you, have drifted so far away from nature that such simple things as watching embers burn in a campfire at night never will be a part of their life. What is so important about watching embers burn? Nothing, really. What is important is taking advantage of the opportunity to watch them burn. Years ago, watching embers burn was something people did naturally after supper at the end of the day. But today, watching embers burn seems to have to be a special occasion for many people such as during

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

F i s h

hunting season or during a long-planned camping trip. Sadly, it is no longer a part of everyday living for many people. Although we now are going through the “in-between” period of hunting seasons, it will not be long before many people will be enjoying warm campfires and warm friendships with other hunters throughout Texas and elsewhere. But you do not have to be a hunter to enjoy the same things they will be enjoying on a hunting lease. Campfires are good wherever and whenever you build them, even on a summer day in your backyard or in a barbecue pit. Once the flames have gone out, stay a little longer and watch the embers burn regardless whether you are alone or sharing the moment with someone close to you. Let your mind wander to your past and to your future. Recall your best outdoor moments as well as those of your family members or friends. And think about the future. Watch the embers burn for a while, and I think you will understand what I mean. E-mail Bob Hood at hunting@fishgame.com.

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

N31


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/8/08

1:27 PM

Page N32

Equipment Key to Jones’ Classic Win

T

HIS YEAR’S BASSMASTER CLASSIC WINNER Sonar that helped him know where to place Alton Jones of Waco said several fac- those casts in standing timber. “The Ardent XS1000 is the smoothest, tors were key in helping him nail down the most valuable win of his 17-year career as a professional angler. Making pinpoint presentations and slow, methodical farthest-casting bait-caster I have ever retrieves through Lake thrown,” Jones said. “It and the Hartwell’s stump-studded Sidefinder were critical parts of my game depths with a pair of prototype plan at the Classic.” While Jones rose to the top at jigs from Booyah were certainly essential. Equally the final weigh-in, several other important was the gear Texans turned in respectable performances over the he used to do it. course of the 38th Jones fished Classic. the 1/2G a r y ounce Klein, jigs in a 26combinat i m e tion with a Classic 7-foot mediqualifier um-heavy from WeathKistler Magerford, finished nesium TS rod, in 24th place; which provided Alton Jones, of Waco, is the 2008 Bassmaster Todd Faircloth, optimum sensitivity Classic Champion. Jasper, 25th place; for detecting subtle Takahiro Omori, strikes and plenty of backbone for working quality fish out of the Mineola 36th; Kelly Jordon, 43rd. scattered timber he targeted in 28-40 feet of water. His line of choice was 14-pound Silver Thread, a small diameter copolymer that provides superior abrasion resistance, knot strength, and excellent castability. Jones said other key tools in his arsenal were his Ardent XS1000 bait-caster, which Dicky Newberry relied heavily on a Ratallowed him to make the super long casts necessary to get the bait down into the strike L-Trap to fish his way into the Top 10 finals zone, and his Hummingbird Side Imaging of the FLW Outdoors Stren Series Texas

by Matt Williams

Newberry Strays from ‘Trap Bite, Nets $65,000

N32

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

Division event held February 20-23 on Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Sitting in fifth place less than 2 pounds behind tournament leader Russell Cecil of Willis with one round to go, the salty pro from Houston felt he needed to change up his game in order to have a shot at winning. “What I’m doing isn’t going to cut it,” Newberry said shortly after the day three weigh-in. “I’m going to change some things up tomorrow and try to win this deal.” Newberry’s plan worked out nicely. He vacated his ‘Trap spots in Buck Bay and Veach Basin and ran north to the mouth of Harvey Creek, where he went to work with a 3/4-ounce black/blue Talon jig. He caught a 9-pounder on his first cast to a dropoff in 10-20 feet of water and followed up later in the day with a 7-pounder on a Zoom Fluke. Three more solid keepers built Newberry’s final round bag to 23 pounds, 15 ounces, giving him in 74-1 overall and more than enough to overtake Cecil, who wound up with 72-05. Newberry’s win earned him a cash/Ranger boat package valued at $65,000, while Cecil took home nearly $28,000. Stephen Johnston of Hemphill finished third, followed by James Stricklin, Jr., of Jasper and Toby Hartsell of Livingston. Rich Dalbey, Greenville, won the coangler division title, and earned $35,000 in cash and prizes. Nick Diberardino of Huffman was second, followed by Steve Evans of Lufkin, Dan West of Ada, Oklahoma, and Jonathan Simon of Orange.

Texas Pros Advance

Lake Amistad near Del Rio reaffirmed its stature as one of the country’s top muscle lakes as it cranked out big numbers of qual-

Continued on Page N34 PHOTO COURTESY OF ESPN


5/1/08

12:21 PM

Page N33

The .280 Remington

R

EMINGTON INTRODUCED THE .2 80 IN 1957. Unfortunately for Remington, they missed the target right off the bat. They introduced the cartridge— which is a great long-range plains and mountain cartridge—in the Model 740 semi-auto rifle, not in their bolt-action 721. Why this decision was made I do not know, but it was not the brightest thing Remington has ever done. It ranks right up there with introducing the 6.5 and .350 Magnums in the Model 600 carbine. Then to make matters even worse, they had to keep the pressure down in the ammunition so that it would work properly in the autoloader, thereby reducing the velocity. This made a cartridge with great potential into one that was about equivalent to the smaller 7mm Mauser and a long way from being competition for the .270 Winchester, as Remington had envisioned. Because of this series of questionable decisions by the Remington brass, the .280 languished for many years in obscurity. In 1979 Remington tried to kick-start the .280, by then chambered in the Model 700, by changing the name to 7mm Express Remington and upping the velocity a bit, though still not to its true potential. This just confused the public, who had trouble figuring’ out the difference between the 7mm Remington Magnum and the 7mm Remington Express. Thankfully, Remington soon dropped the Express moniker and went back to .280. Just in the last 10 or 15 years has the .280 begun to gain some popularity. It has always been a great cartridge, with the ability take on almost any game animal in North America. Its biggest problems were that its ballistics looked pretty pale next to the flam-

ing hot .270 Winchester, and as a 7mm it was in direct competition with the mighty 7mm Remington Magnum. Those who wanted a non-belted high-velocity cartridge stayed with the .270. Those who wanted a high-velocity 7mm bought 7mm Magnums. The .280 sat on the sidelines like the wallflower at the high school prom. That seems to be changing. Many hunters and shooters are finally coming to the understanding that a cartridge doesn’t have to wear a belt and burn a pound of powder to be a good cartridge. The .280 will shove a 140-grain bullet at over 3000 feet per second, 150- at over 2900, and a 175at 2700.

Just in the last 10 or 15 years has the .280 begun to gain some popularity.

ALMANAC N.qxd

The .284/7mm caliber is a great one for hunting medium to big game. The bullets are long and stable, having high sectional density and great ballistic coefficient. This means they hold their velocity well and that translates into good long-range performance. The slower a bullet loses its velocity the flatter it shoots, the less wind deflection it has, and the more energy it delivers to the target downrange. The .280 Remington is one of the best of the deer cartridges. It does not have the velocity of the .270 Winchester—though it doesn’t miss it far—but it will handle heavier bullets. With bullets ranging in weight from 139- to 150-grains it shoots plenty flat for about any deer/sheep/antelope-hunting scenario. My preference for deer runs to the A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

139-grain Hornady and 145-grain Speer bullets, but there are bunches of good deer loads available. With heavier bullets, from 150-grains to 175-grains, the .280 is fully elk capable. If I were to use the .280 on elk, I would opt for a good 160-grain bullet like a Nosler Partition, Trophy Bonded Bear Claw, or Hornady InterBond. Also a good choice would be the Barnes Triple Shock in 150- or 160grain weight. Federal loads a 150-grain Nosler Partition that leaves the muzzle at 2890 feet per second. This is a great elk load and would be hard to beat with handloads. They also offer a 160-grain AccuBond at 2800 fps, another great choice. Handloaders have a wide selection of components to choose from. With the popularity of the 7mm Magnums, there are a huge number of 7mm bullets on the market, and most of them work just fine in the .280 Remington. As for powders, the .280 is based on the .30-06 case, just like the .270 Winchester, so any powder that works for the .270 will also work for the .280. I would try IMR 4350, IMR 4831, H 4831, and Reloader 19. You will experience best performance on deer with bullets of the mid-weight range, such as those I mentioned above as being my favorites. Heavier bullets in this caliber are intended for larger game, are usually very tough, and might not upset quickly enough to provide good performance on game the size of deer. If you have been thinking about buying a 7mm Magnum, 7mm WSM, or one of the .300 short magnums, you might consider, instead, a new rifle in .280 Remington. This cartridge is one of the best, and after a slow start is finally being appreciated as one that will do most anything. I believe it is destined to become one of the true classics, as it deserves to be. E-mail Steve LaMascus at guns@fishgame.com &

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

N33


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:21 PM

Page N34

TPWD Nixes River Access Plan

T

HE TEXAS PARKS & WILDLIFE DEPARTMENT rejected the Zavala County Local River Access Plan that would have opened up a 13-mile stretch of the Nueces River to motor vehicles. In 2003, the Texas Legislature passed SB 155. The law expresses the legislature’s position that the “beds, bottoms, and banks of navigable rivers...are precious and irreplaceable state resources that deserve protection” and “the protection of public access should not come at the cost of uncontrolled damage to the [rivers]...or at the cost of infringing on private property rights.” The law did not completely deny public access. Local governments can develop and adopt river access plans to provide limited vehicular access to riverbeds. The plans must: protect fish, wildlife, water quality and other natural resources; provide for ade-

quate enforcement; coordinate with adjacent and overlapping jurisdictions; and protect private property rights. Once the plans are adopted at the local level, they must be approved by TPWD. According to TPWD, the Zavala County Plan was not acceptable because: - it would have created a motor vehicle trail instead of providing limited vehicular access - numerous public access points eliminated the justification/need for driving in the riverbed - the location of the gradient boundary would have forced vehicles to drive either on private land or in the riverbed - the location of property boundaries were not clearly marked, nor was there money available for professionally surveying the necessary boundaries

- no provisions were made for funding public services - no cap was placed on the number of vehicles allowed to access the river - no public comment opportunities were provided. The Texas Wildlife Association applauded the TPWD rejection of the access plan. “We are pleased that the experts at the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department concurred that the Zavala County Local River Access Plan was deeply flawed and rejected it,” TWA Executive Vice President Kirby Brown said. “As it was written, the plan did not meet the tests set forth in law. With this decision, TPWD upheld the law and protected one of the state’s most fragile natural resources. “From TWA’s standpoint, this controversy was not about denying reasonable public access; it was about protecting natural resources from irrevocable, preventable damage.”

TOURNAMENT INSIDER Continued from Page N32 ity bass during the 2008 Wal-Mart FLW East-West Fish-off held there February 79. The tournament field was comprised of the top 30 pros and co-anglers from the circuit’s East and West divisions. Pros competed in a one-on-one bracket format, East against West. The winners in each bracket earned berths to the $2 million Forrest Wood Cup in August. Las Vegas, Nevada, pro Clayton Meyer took home $25,000 after reeling in 76 pounds, 11 ounces over three days. He used a 3/4-ounce brown football jig tipped with a grub trailer. N34

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

Clark Wendlandt of Leander, Texas, and Jim Tutt of Longview were the only Texans in the field. Wendlandt advanced to the Cup after defeating Tim Klinger of Boulder City, Nevada, 50-1 to 20-3. Tutt was defeated by Michael Bennett of Roseville, California, 55-14 to 48-13. Jason Reyes of Humble, Texas, won the two-day Professional Angler’s Association qualifying event held February 8-9 with 10 bass weighing 48 pounds, 3 ounces. Reyes won a Toyota Tundra SR5, $6000 cash, and one of the 25 qualifying spots to the Toyota Texas Bass Classic held in April on Lake Fork. Other Texas pros that qualified for the &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

TTBC via Choke Canyon were Trent Huckaby, Lance Vick, Johnny Grice, Byron Velvick, Dave Parsons, Ray Hanselman, Jerry Green, Yusuke Miyazaki, Brian Penso, and Trevor Knight. Knight’s TTBC qualification is especially noteworthy. He was one of five anglers from the Intercollegiate Bass Fishing League who was invited to compete in the pro-level tournament. A fisheries management graduate currently working on his master’s degree at Texas A&M University, Knight finished 16th overall with 40 pounds, 7 ounces.


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:21 PM

Page N35

Stay “In the Zone”

If you are fishing natural brush piles or logjams in a river, the most common and productive bait is a live shiner fished on a free-

line. Well, it is almost a free-line rig; instead of a simple hook and shiner, the preferred rig

Continued on Page N37

S

AVVY CRAPPIE ANGLERS KNOW THAT ONE OF the key components to a successful fishing trip is getting your bait “in the zone.” Crappie are famous for biting at a specific depth when they get choosy—say, 14 feet—and ignoring anything they have to move very far to ingest. That is why boat positioning is such an important part of brush pile crappie fishing. If you get right over crappie-filled structured and vertically drop a live shiner or small jig down over it, your chances of catching a mess of slabs is high. Shiners are the most popular choice, but 1/32- and 1/16-ounce tube jigs fished right “in the zone” can yield big results on big-water brush piles as well. The same is true of fish that suspend around drop-offs in rivers. A good way to fish these spots is to use a depthfinder to locate those that have big schools of shad around them. Crappie do not hang around spots that are devoid of baitfish very long, and generally speaking, the bigger the bunch of bait, the more crappie will be around. A drop-off in a river might not be very deep, so don’t go looking for a crater. A difference of 2-3 feet in depth is major when putting things in perspective. Tiny crankbaits like a 1/8-ounce Wally Marshall Crappie Crank is great for fishing along main river channels to locate fish suspend over deep water. One of the reasons some anglers have such a hard time locating crappie on big rivers is that many of these fish will suspend at, say, 8 feet in 12 feet of water, just over a subtle drop-off. When fishing jigs or shiners rigged on weights, many anglers shoot right past these fish, whereas a tiny, diving crankbait will go right to them. A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

N35


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:21 PM

Page N36

New 2008-2009 Hunting/Fishing Regs

Carp Bag Limit: Anglers fishing Lady Bird Lake (formerly Town Lake) in Austin will be allowed to retain only one common carp 33 inches or larger per day. There will remain no limit on common carp measuring less than 33 inches in length. Community Fishing Lake Pole Limit: Anglers will be limited to using two fishing poles on designated community fishing lakes. This new rule addresses hoarding of limited bank fishing access. The change affects impoundments 75 acres or less totally within a city limits or a public park, but will not be enacted on any waters inside a state park. Lake Nacogdoches Bass Limit: This rule changes the largemouth bass regulations on Lake Nacogdoches to a 16-inch maximum size limit. The daily bag will be N36

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

five bass under 16 inches, although one bass 24 inches or larger can be retained temporarily in a livewell and then weighed using handheld scales for possible donation to the Budweiser ShareLunker program. Purtis Creek/Lake Raven Bass Limit: This rule changes the largemouth bass temporary retention length limit to 24 inches on Purtis Creek State Park Lake and Lake Raven (Huntsville State Park). Both lakes are catch and release only for largemouth bass, although currently one trophy

Taking catfish by bow and arrow will no longer be legal.

I

N MARCH, THE TEXAS PARKS & WILDLIFE Commission adopted changes to hunting and fishing regulations. As part of the annual regulations review process, public input, and discussion among agency staff to proposals related to upland bird hunting were withdrawn. Staff recommended turning to the Commission’s newly appointed Game Bird Advisory Committee for further discussion on potential changes to quail and pheasant regulations. One other proposal that would have extended regulations allowing the take of catfish by means of bow and arrow was also withdrawn. As of 1 September 2008, taking catfish by means of bow and arrow will no longer be legal. Meanwhile, the Commission approved the following changes:

statewide limits of three fish per day and a 20- to 28-inch reverse slot limit.

bass may be retained temporarily for weighing purposes and donation to the Budweiser ShareLunker program. Lake Texoma Spotted Bass: This rule removes the 14-inch minimum length limit for spotted bass on Lake Texoma, consistent with the Texas statewide regulation (no length limit) and the limit for the Oklahoma side of Texoma. Lake Nasworthy/Colorado City Red Drum Limit: This removes the harvest exceptions for red drum on Lake Nasworthy and the 20-inch minimum length limit for red drum on Colorado City Reservoir. Both water bodies revert to the &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

Expanded Panhandle Mule Deer Season: This adds Sherman and Hansford counties to the northern Panhandle mule deer season (16 days beginning the Saturday before Thanksgiving) and in Gaines, Martin, and the eastern portion of Andrews counties to the southwest Panhandle season (nine days beginning the Saturday before Thanksgiving). These counties, wildlife biologists believe, have mule deer populations sufficient to allow the harvest of a few buck mule deer. Eliminate Bowhunting Minimum Draw Weight: This removes the requirement of a 40-pound minimum peak draw weight on bowhunting equipment. Deer Proof of Sex Requirement Change: This allows special deer permit tags, including Managed Land Deer Permits, Landowner Assisted Management Permitting System, antlerless mule deer, special public hunting and Antlerless and Spike Control, to satisfy proof of sex tagging requirements. Lower Minimum Age for Hunter Education Certification: This lowers the minimum age a student may receive hunter education certification from 12 years to 9 years. Quota for Commercial Catch of Gulf Menhaden in State Waters: This rule establishes a quota for the commercial catch of Gulf menhaden in state waters. The move is a precautionary measure that basically limits the fishery at its current level. The total allowable catch from state waters would be set at 31,500,000 pounds E-mail Wayne Watson at outlaw@fishgame.com.


5/1/08

12:21 PM

Page N37

Night Fishing Tips

I

T CAN BECOME TEXAS HOT BY MID- TO LATEJune, and anglers turn to the early morning and late evening bites. To extend profitable fishing time, night fishing is the hot setup. Bass feed at night just like they do in the daytime, and you don’t have to contend with a lot of boats or jet-skiers. I remember way back when we used to use noisy topwater baits at night, thinking you needed a lot of noise to attract fish. We used baits like a Jitterbug or a Bagley’s Bango lure. These worked great at times, but not always. Since then, I have learned that night fishing is exactly like daytime fishing, and a lot of times better with the exception of visibility. You work the same banks with the same lures and techniques, which pay off quite well, except you don’t have to worry about the blistering sun. One key factor I have found when night

fishing is the structures closest to deep water seem to hold bass a lot better. They seem to like a close deep-water escape route. I don’t usually do much in the shallow flats.

When night fishing, the structures closest to deep water seem to hold bass a lot better.

ALMANAC N.qxd

My favorite night lures that I like to fish on my Bass Pro Shops’ Extreme Woo rods are the Zoom Z-nail fished with a 4/0 Mustad Ultra Point wide gap hook and a 1/32ounce nail inserted in the head. I cast this to the edge of riprap, especially the corners of bridges and fish it just like you would in the daytime. Second, I like to fish a big 10-inch Old Monster Zoom worm in a dark color with a 3/16-ounce Tru-Tungsten weight and 4/0 Mustad hook. Next, I love to throw a Bagley’s Balsa B or Killer B II around riprap. Another super spot for cranking is any lighted pier. These piers are also good at

night because a lot of bait is attracted to the lights and the bass will hang around a while. Spinnerbaits and buzzbaits are also great night lures. I like to throw Colorado blades with my spinnerbaits, because you get a lot better vibration, which I think actually calls the fish. When fishing at night, look for points that fall off fast. Watch your sonar and sit in deep water so that you can hit the bank with a normal cast. You can also come in from the side and fan-cast across the point. A buzzbait is good for this technique and I always want my first cast to be as close to the bank as possible. Sometimes the fish will come so shallow to get the lure that their backs are out of the water. A couple of things you need for night fishing is Jack’s Juice bug spray and some good lights. I like the little lights that go on the brim of your hat. I don’t use a black light unless I positively have to. You would be surprised that your eyes get adjusted to the lack of light and you can see a lot better than you would expect. You can also get by with heavier line at night. I like to go with Bass Pro Shops 17-pound fluorocarbon. Give night fishing a try; I think you will be surprised and pleased with the results.

MISTER CRAPPIE Continued from Page N35 is a hook and shiner finished off with a 1/32-ounce weight, which will allow the bait to get down a little quicker and into the lair of some of the bigger fish, which typically hold tight to the structure. The big crappie did not get that way by being easy pickings, so you will want to focus your efforts in a very determined fashion to get the big slabs. If you catch a cou-

ple of big slabs on shiners but are being hammered by smaller fish, consider switching over to little tube jigs. Tube jigs are highly popular in a couple of areas of Texas and in other states, but are just now catching on statewide. The small 2-inch tube jigs lowered down over brush in the river is a great way to entice the big crappie to bite. Crappie are just like any other fish in that bigger bait can sometimes equal bigger fish. Don’t be shy about A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

reserving some extra large shiners for the big ones, or upgrading to a 3-inch jig to get the big ones out of their lairs. Just remember to stay “in the zone” no matter where you are seeking crappie, and your chances of success will skyrocket. E-mail Wally Marshall at mrcrappie@fishgame.com. Visit his website at www.mrcrappie.com &

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

N37


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:21 PM

Page N38

Pee-pee, Chak-chak!

“D

AVID! ISN’T THIS GREAT! WE GET TO spend our first anniversary turkey hunting at the Lt. Governor’s Annual Turkey Invitational in Duncan, Oklahoma!” “Yeah, Baby, this is your year. You are going to get a turkey, I just know it.” Heading to Duncan, we listened to a CD on how to call turkey. Lord have mercy! I have become one of those obsessed hunters. Here I am listening to grown men make strange and unusual sounds trying to imitate a hen. “Utilizing the mouthpiece that best fits your mouth, use your jaw and put your tongue like this and then say ‘pee-pee, chak-chak’.” Sounds like what I would say to my dog when I am trying to get her to do her business outside. Gosh, wouldn’t it be great to finally nail one of those gobble monsters? I would be the Gurl! That evening at the opening dinner, I meet my guides. Yes, I have two, a father and son team, Hal and his son Matthew, an 18-yearold hunter. His mother, Sheri, who I met early that evening, said Matthew was shy and did not talk much, but he was very excited and had been planning and scouting for months. Shy? Nah, never met a guy that is shy when you bring up the topic of hunting. “I have it all set up,” Matthew fairly gushed. “There are two swingers at the spot that we have targeted. Big toms. I think they are brothers. You just have to pick out which one you want. Pick you up at 5 a.m. sharp!” Foggy and dark, screaming down the road at the crack of dawn, we are doing what hunters do best: reviewing the weather conditions, the grandiose size of those toms, and fine-tuning the plan of attack.

N38

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

“Heck, one good pop and we will be back in bed by 8:30 with a gobbler the size of Oklahoma in our grips,” said Hal. Great! No pressure. Okay, so I have been playing and replaying the scenario in my mind for weeks, possessed by the hunting demon. What if, and the turkey does, and the gun won’t, and I freeze, or…Stop it! You can do this. I do, after all, have my handydandy turkey wedding-gun. Surely, it wouldn’t let me down. “Ok, Mari, here, take my hand, we have to jump this fence,” said Matthew. But, but it is barbed wire! I have a gun, you know. What if I catch my pants leg on the wire and it propels me over, I land on my gun, the gun goes off, and I maim myself? Stop whining! Just get your femme fatale tail over the fence. Over the hill, through the woods and more barbed wire, we finally arrive at our destination. I get set up between two trees with a clear line to where the turkeys will no doubt venture down the fence line, only to find themselves in range of my deadly wedding shotgun. A gobbler gobbles and Matthew screeches with delight as he sends a message back—peepee, chak-chak! “Oh, man, there they are!” Matthew gushed. He sure was the gushy sort. “This is going to be great! Just wait for the biggest tom. Okay, Mari?” Hen one, hen two, hen three as the tom’s harem parade begins. Stop breathing. Don’t move. For the love of barbed wire, hold your gun steady. Whispering, Matthew says: “You know, this is weird; I have never been hunting with a gurl before.” “Yeah, yeah, I know, that is what my husband said the first time we went hunting, too.”

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

Hal shushed us. “Here they come.” I try to steady my gun, but my throat is in my stomach. Oh, no! Wait! Come back! You are going the wrong way! Over here! Should I shoot? It is too far. Oh, what the heck, I am going to shoot. Boom! Crap! Tom is running. Come back, come back! Stupid Mossberg gurl! County two, spot two. Over the river, through the woods and barbed wire again. Okay, so you missed. Suck it up, shake it off. It was too far. You are a novice and you should have known better. You will get the next one. “There they are…don’t move,” said Hal. Right, easy for you to say. You try not moving and not breathing when your throat is in your stomach and your heart is beating out of your camo. Just put the bead on his head. Wait…where is that darn green bead? Oh, yeah, right between the two red thingies. Okay, line her up. Close your left eye. Perfect! My eye is twitching. Stop it! Boom! Oh, turkey feathers! The red head is still bobbing. No! Tell me it isn’t true! Shoot again! Boom! ILLUSTRATION BY RACHEL WATSON


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:21 PM

Page N39

This is all wrong; they are running away. What, am I shooting blanks? I not only missed once, but twice. I am a first anniversary boob. “Oh, no, Mari!” Matthew says so disappointedly, which is better than gushingly. It is a sure bet now. My husband will go before the National Wild Turkey Federation board and request an annulment on grounds of a repeat offense in failure to execute in killing a turkey. Pee-pee, chak-chak! Oh, mercy, county three, spot three. Hal and Matthew are determined to not give up. At this rate, we will be hunting in Mexico because I will have notified every tom within 1000 miles that Mrs. Henry is around and cannot hit the broad side of Oklahoma. Imagine what those toms are all saying at the monthly turkey lodge meetings: “Hey, did you catch that Henry gurl? She shot right at me! I mean to tell you, she wasn’t six feet away! And I just gobbled right in her face. Nenner-nenner, nenner! You can’t catch me! Go ahead, Blondie, give it a shot. Missed me, now you got to kiss me! But first you have to catch me! Ha, ha, ha!” More fences and more barbed wire. I hope

that barbwire gives me a good jab; I deserve it. “Oh, man,” said Matthew. “Did you hear that? There is a big mature tom out there. We need to go down there on the other side. Let’s commando in. Stay low.” Matthew stays close and watches to make sure that I am okay. Even at eighteen, chivalry is not dead. If I were any kind of hunter gurl, I would deserve such consideration. Let’s see, how many shells do I have left? Two! I have expelled, no, wasted, over 10 shells and I have nothing to show for it but my wounded pride. Cradled in between the brush and trees, I hear the gobble-gobble!. Closer, closer. Here we go again, racing heart, sweaty palms, and I can’t breath. Get a hold of yourself and man-up! “Mari, Mari! Behind you! He is behind you!” Matthew stage-whispered. Oh, just Jack Dandy! Behind me, the gobble bugger is behind me! Swing around quietly; remember all that safety stuff—keep your barrel pointed in a safe direction and get the sucker this time! There he is! Oh, good night! That, that, that bearded redhead! He is peeking at me

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

F i s h

through the bushes! Ugly red headed bugger. I am not going to be the brunt of your jokes on lodge night! Boom! We all jump up. I know I got him this time. I have redeemed myself. Hal runs out and the redhead is laughing as he runs off, looking back at us with a, “Haha! Missed me!” “Give me that gun!” Hal shouted fired one off at the redhead. As he struts off, I hear him saying, “Man, oh, man! Are we going to have a good meeting tonight! Wait ‘til I tell the guys about Blondie! You know, at first I thought she was one heck of a hen, nothing like I had ever seen before. But she ain’t got nothing on us.” Doomed! It is all over! Caput! Ugly redheads! Peeping toms, that’s what they are. I will be haunted forever. Just grand! Now I will have to return and report to the Lt. Governor that I missed. Just, bloody missed! Not one, but—oh, gosh, I can’t bring myself to say how many. Oh, and my husband—what will he say? I have failed to uphold the family tradition

Continued on Page N41

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

N39


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:19 PM

Page N4

Tides and Solunar Table for JUNE 2008 MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

SYMBOL KEY

z

First Quarter

New Moon

2

PRIME TIME

High Tide: 5:29 am Low Tide: 9:40 pm

1.77 ft -0.70 ft

Sunrise: 6:36a Moonrise: 5:10a AM Minor: 4:30a PM Minor: 5:02p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

Set: 8:38p Set: 7:55p AM Major: 10:46a PM Major: 11:17p 12:29p None

9

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

3:12 am 10:57 am 5:34 pm 9:46 pm

0.07 ft 1.32 ft 0.81 ft 0.99 ft

Sunrise: 6:35a Moonrise: 12:50p AM Minor: 11:50a PM Minor: ----Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

16

1.50 ft -0.29 ft

Sunrise: 6:35a Moonrise: 7:29p AM Minor: 4:12a PM Minor: 4:36p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

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

Set: 8:44p Set: 4:40a AM Major: 10:24a PM Major: 10:49p None 12:02p

23

Low Tide: 1:13 am High Tide: 9:41 am

-0.05 ft 1.37 ft

Sunrise: 6:36a Moonrise: None AM Minor: 10:09a PM Minor: 10:31p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

• J U N E

Sunrise: 6:36a Moonrise: 6:04a AM Minor: 5:31a PM Minor: 6:04p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

10

7:00am – 8:10am

0.39 ft 1.23 ft 0.54 ft 0.99 ft

6:55am – 8:20am

1:49 am 9:58 am 4:10 pm 7:52 pm

Sunrise: 6:37a Moonrise: 12:17a AM Minor: 10:58a PM Minor: 11:19p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

T E X A S

F i s h

&

Good Day

4 Sunrise: 6:36a Moonrise: 7:07a AM Minor: 6:37a PM Minor: 7:10p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

Sunrise: 6:35a Moonrise: 2:45p AM Minor: 12:56a PM Minor: 1:17p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

{ 18

Sunrise: 6:35a Moonrise: 9:13p AM Minor: 5:47a PM Minor: 6:13p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

 25

7:25am – 8:50am

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

Set: 8:46p Set: 12:01p AM Major: 4:47a PM Major: 5:09p 6:05a 6:27p

2:29 am 10:08 am 4:38 pm 10:36 pm

Sunrise: 6:37a Moonrise: 12:45a AM Minor: 11:45a PM Minor: ----Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

4:40am – 6:00am*

Sunrise: 6:35a Moonrise: 8:17a AM Minor: 7:47a PM Minor: 8:19p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

12

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

6:15am – 7:35am*

Set: 8:45p Set: 6:13a AM Major: ----PM Major: 12:00p 1:18a 1:43p

PRIME TIME

High Tide: 8:24 am

7:45am – 9:00am

PRIME TIME

0.35 ft 1.23 ft 0.59 ft 0.88 ft

5

PRIME TIME

Set: 8:43p Set: 2:04a AM Major: 7:07a PM Major: 7:27p 8:41p 8:21a

High Tide: 7:16 am 1.50 ft Low Tide: 10:53 pm -0.31 ft

PRIME TIME

BEST DAYS

Set: 8:39p Set: 10:13p AM Major: 12:20a PM Major: 12:54p 2:41p 2:08a

Low Tide: 5:19 am 0.69 ft High Tide: 11:32 am 1.17 ft Low Tide: 6:52 pm 0.30 ft

6:30am – 7:40am

PRIME TIME

PRIME TIME

High Tide: 7:28 am 1.84 ft Low Tide: 11:28 pm -0.79 ft

œ 11

Set: 8:45p Set: 5:24a AM Major: 11:11a PM Major: 11:36p 12:27a 12:52p 0.12 ft 1.30 ft 0.85 ft 0.89 ft

Last Quarter

7:30am – 8:50am

PRIME TIME

Sunrise: 6:35a Moonrise: 8:23p AM Minor: 4:58a PM Minor: 5:23p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:





PRIME TIME

Set: 8:42p Set: 1:37a AM Major: 6:25a PM Major: 6:47p 8:00p 7:39a

High Tide: 6:43 am 1.51 ft Low Tide: 10:17 pm -0.31 ft

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

4:20am – 5:50am

Set: 8:39p Set: 9:08p AM Major: 11:47a PM Major: ----1:34p 1:01a

17

24

2 0 0 8 /

4:10 am 11:17 am 6:14 pm 11:53 pm

Sunrise: 6:35a Moonrise: 1:48p AM Minor: 12:12a PM Minor: 12:36p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

PRIME TIME

Set: 8:46p Set: 11:02a AM Major: 3:58a PM Major: 4:20p 5:21a 5:44p

PRIME TIME

High Tide: 6:30 am 1.84 ft Low Tide: 10:33 pm -0.80 ft

7:00am – 8:20am

Set: 8:42p Set: 1:08a AM Major: 5:39a PM Major: 6:02p 7:18p 6:55a

Full Moon

z3

PRIME TIME

PRIME TIME

High Tide: 6:10 am Low Tide: 9:42 pm

N4

4:10am – 5:25am

{

œ

1.78 ft

Set: 8:40p Set: 11:09p AM Major: 1:31a PM Major: 2:03p 3:46p 3:14a

PRIME TIME 1:52 am 6:54 am 11:42 am 7:27 pm

Sunrise: 6:35a Moonrise: 3:40p AM Minor: 1:35a PM Minor: 1:55p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

1.10 ft 0.94 ft 1.15 ft 0.09 ft

19

PRIME TIME

High Tide: 7:48 am 1.49 ft Low Tide: 11:28 pm -0.29 ft

Sunrise: 6:36a Moonrise: 9:58p AM Minor: 6:39a PM Minor: 7:04p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

6:00am – 7:25am

Set: 8:45p Set: 7:07a AM Major: 12:26a PM Major: 12:52p 2:09a 2:34p

26

7:30am – 8:45am

Low Tide: 3:13 am 0.63 ft High Tide: 10:10 am 1.19 ft Low Tide: 5:17 pm 0.28 ft

Sunrise: 6:37a Moonrise: 1:14a AM Minor: 12:07a PM Minor: 12:31p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

7:50am – 9:10am

Set: 8:43p Set: 2:31a AM Major: 7:45a PM Major: 8:06p 9:23p 9:02a

PRIME TIME

Set: 8:46p Set: 1:01p AM Major: 5:34a PM Major: 5:56p 6:49a 7:11p

5:55am – 7:20am

PRIME TIME 7:50am – 9:00am

Set: 8:46p Set: 2:02p AM Major: 6:20a PM Major: 6:43p 7:34a 7:57p


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:21 PM

Page N40

The Lostrider Part III—The Conclusion

“A

NNIE, TELL ME HOW THIS COUNTRY lays out!” My appreciation for the magnitude of the Bob Marshal Wilderness was changing from awe to concern. This particular chunk of federal ground stretches almost 150 miles south to north from Lincoln, Montana, to Highway 2 and Glacier National Park. Then it’s almost as wide east to west from Choteau to Missoula. “If you were one of those horses where would you go?” We hunkered beside the early morning campfire. It was still dark and we needed a plan. The horses and mules had given me the slip the evening before while I set camp, and now the only riding stock available was Tom and my wrangle ponies. “Well...” the girl looked at me round-eyed and worried. “There are some old mares that might lead them home, but that’s more than 40 miles. If they crossed the bridge and headed the other direction to Benchmark, they might be at that trailhead eating grass.” My gut cramped. The cowboy coffee didn’t taste good. You couldn’t tickle a smile out of me with a Bob Hope road movie. Then one of the guests wandered in looking for breakfast. “What are we going to do? We’re stranded in the wilderness!” “Naw, ya’ll take your fishing poles and figure out this part of the crick. We’ve got plenty of food. You’ve got dry clothes and tents. Cold weather ain’t due for a few more weeks. And I’ll be back in a jiffy with yalls’ riding ponies. I bet they didn’t go far,” I lied. There was no telling where those outlaws went. N40

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

A bird chirped in the brush along the river and Tom led our wrangle horses up to the fire. The new day was lending us light and the whole crew felt the urgency to begin. It was time to go. We trotted out of camp and followed the tracks down river to the pack bridge. There the horses had milled until they figured out their order, then single-filed across. They were headed to the Benchmark trailhead. But, a few miles down this trail they milled again and took a dim branch trail back towards the north. “Tom, you know what we’re seeing? ” I spoke my thought aloud. “One of the new horses was in the lead but it didn’t know where it was going. Now, one of the mares has taken the lead and they’re headed home.” The clutter of tracks contained several hoof prints that were easily distinguishable. There was a small gelding with pie plate feet and rolled heels and one of the mares had an odd shaped foot. It was simple to see we were following the right crowd despite the multitude of horseman fishing the Sun River. Tom didn’t say much and I didn’t feel like talking. The miles plodded by and my selfesteem sank like an anchor to become wedged in doubts. My personal failures glared at me and shouted that I wasn’t even smart enough to be a cowboy. I was broke, disgusted, dirty, and now had this screw up to amend. Slowly, my conscience sucked me deeper within myself. Guilt burned my mind with smoky visions of the little daughter in Texas. That reminded me of a blundered marriage and here I was bumbling around lost in the wilderness - what a dumb jerk. The errant horse herd left the trail but then picked it up again. They were still headed north and passed the confluence of the West and North Forks of the Sun River. Tom finally started chattering and became philosophical about his demons. His wife pulled him out of a jam years ago when his tongue got stuck in the neck of a whiskey bottle. He hadn’t been far from her side since. I couldn’t find fault in his confessions, but the

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

experience scarred him and I supposed that every man has his disappointments. Then I thought about all the hunters I’d guided that said, “Yes sir, you’re living the perfect dream. I wished I had done what you’re doing.” I knew they partially meant what they said. It was obvious they yearned for two different worlds, one where they could make money and the other where they could be a cowboy. They missed the look-a-man-inthe-eye, stand tall in your boots, respect the ladies, and always speak the truth ideology we learned from our heroes. Society slathered a suffocating layer of political correctness over the masses, castrating the men and empowering the weakest links. The promise of adult profits killed too many childhood dreams, dimmed the shine on too many souls, and put too many people in dirt holes without realizing their finest potential. No wonder our clients seek the outdoors. It might be the only time they can find themselves. It might be the only time they feel like part of what God intended there to be. And it occurred to me that a grand majority of folks ride through life lost and wondering how their own trail became so dim and when had their youthful confidence fled. Meanwhile, Tom and I weren’t actually lost but we hadn’t been in this neck of the woods before. We rode up the North Fork of the Sun River until I recognized Horse Hill. “Okay, now I know where I’m at. But we’ve lost the tracks and we’re 20 miles from camp.” We nudged our ponies into a trot. The river bottom opened up spreading miles of grassy meadows and hideouts to the runaways. There was nothing to do but find where they came back into the trail. Ten miles farther, at Big Creek Meadows the trail split and a shortcut known as the tie-cutters trail ran away from the river towards Headquarters Pass and home. “Tom, if those horses got on that trail we can’t get in front of them again until they get to the trailhead. It’s solid timber for 15 miles.”

Continued on Page N43


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:21 PM

Page N41

Float Tube Fishing

N

ECESSITY IS THE MOTHER OF ALL inventions, and fishermen have done their share when it comes to developing tools to make fishing easier and more productive. Their identities as inventors may be unknown to the ranks of anglers who profit from their ingenuity. But it is nice to know that if a dilemma in the fishing world arises, sooner or later some angling Einstein will find a way to resolve it; especially if doing so means catching more fish. Take the guy, for example, standing on the bank of a pond, lake, or river, and sees fish actively feeding just out of casting range. The water is too deep to reach them by wading. No boat is available and with an I-came-hereto-catch-fish-attitude, he suddenly remembers that in the back of his truck is an inflated innertube the kids were playing with the other day. Why not use that to get to those fish? he reasons. So, he fashions a seat in the center out of some rope and steps into the contraption, wades into the water and catches the heck out of those fish he would otherwise be unable to reach. Another innovative fishing product is developed based upon angler need. Well the development of float tubes for fishing might have happened that way. But, however the idea was turned into reality, fishermen are better off because of some angler’s resourcefulness. Float tubes are about the cheapest form of

personal watercraft available besides straddling a handy floating log. And good logs are rarely around when you need them. Tubes are also a lot safer, more portable and won’t roll over at the most inopportune moments. They come in four basic styles: round, U-shaped, V-shaped and pontoon. They fit into nylon sleeves that are festooned with compartments and hardware useful for attaching other pieces of equipment to the tube. Round tubes were the first design and are still popular today. They completely surround the angler and provide the most support. The downside is angling from them is somewhat inconvenient because of the restricted access in front of the angler. It is more or less like having to fish with a large pillow sitting on your lap. The next development to come along is the U-shaped float tube. It is somewhat larger than the round design because it has only three sides for floatation. This style of tube allows easier access when entering and exiting from the water and makes it easier to fish from because of the open front. A mesh panel is used to provide cross support between the sidewalls of the tube. The third model is Vshaped. This type is similar to the U-boat but is more maneuverable when fishing in windy areas. The fourth style is called a pontoon and allows the angler to sit up higher with just his legs in the water. It can be rowed, or paddled with the angler’s feet. Each style has its advantages and disadvantages. Determining which type to choose is an individual choice based upon intended use. There is a wide variety of accessories available for float tubes and they can make fishing from one more convenient and fun. Some of the more practical are waders for cool water adventures, fins to make moving through the

water easier, pumps which take the place of lung power, rod holders that strap around the tube, and landing nets with lanyards which can be attached to various rings on the tube sleeve. For locating fish in deeper water, portable fish finders are a nice addition. Float tubes and small ponds go together like fried eggs and ham. They allow unobtrusive access to those areas just out of reach from shore-bound anglers. Fishing from them is almost a primitive experience. Tubes allow sneaking up on fish and there is something inherently fun about that tactic. It is also a sound method to beat the summer heat in the southern climes. Water temperatures rarely exceed air temperatures and staying cool while fishing is another benefit of using them. June is a prime month for catching spawning channel catfish. Rock-lined dam faces offer excellent habitat for their reproductive rites. Catfish are aggressive and hungry when spawning. One of the most exciting and easiest means of fishing for them during this period is in a float tube. Using crickets or red worms worked on a floating bait rig along the dam face in shallow water is the key to catching a mess of them. The float tube allows getting up close to the action and if you hang a big one, the resulting ride across the lake until the fish tires just adds to the fun. Good float tubes are available for less than $100. Most large outdoor retailers catering to fishermen stock them. The possibilities they offer for small-water fishing or getting into areas not practical with a boat are unlimited. And what is more fun than floating around in cool water catching fish on a hot summer day? E-mail Barry St. Clair at bstclair@fishgame.com.

GURLZ PAGE Continued from Page N39 of turkey hunting. Ten hours, 3 counties, 12 shells, and 7 still alive turkeys later, I limp out of Okla-

homa with more desire than talent, wounded pride, and no bloody turkey! But mark my words: Those redheads will not get the best of me! One day, I will be sitting in the lodge with a tom laying lifeless at my feet. A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

Then we’ll see who calls who Blondie! E-mail Mari Henry at gurlz@fishgame.com. &

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

N41


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:21 PM

Page N42

Barbecued Crab

I

REMEMBER CRABBING ON BOLIVAR ISLAND with my parents and grandmother. My grandmother was from Mobile Bay, Alabama, and loved crab. She taught me many great recipes, but this one came from Beaumont, Texas. Barbecued crab was invented at Granger’s in Sabine Pass, Texas, during the late 1940s, when one of their cooks seasoned a crab and then deep-fried it. The rest is history. Contrary to the name, these crab are not barbecued. The name comes from the barbecue-like seasoning. These crab are full of sweet, rich meat and spiced with Texas Gourmet’s Sidewinder Searing Spice, which will have you keeping a cold drink close by. We prepared and enjoyed these crab at Polebenders Fishing Lodge in Seadrift, a first class place with all the trimmings! Many thanks to Phil Maley.

1 large pot (12 qt. minimum) with a basket for frying

1 gal. peanut oil 8-10 large blue crab, cleaned and chilled (remove lungs and insides using heavy water pressure) Texas Gourmet’s Sidewinder Searing Spice Start with live hard-shell blue crab, discarding any that are dead. Place the live blue crab in icewater for several minutes to stun (it is best to use a large cooler for this purpose). Once immersed in icewater, the crab will become dormant. After several minutes, they will be “asleep,” then you can easily handle them with your bare hands.

Remove the carapace (top shell) from each crab by grasping the legs on one side and prying the shell off, using the sharp spines for leverage. This kills the crab instantly. Turn the crab upside down and, using a knife or other sharp object, pry up and remove the “apron” that is folded up under the body. Turn the crab right-side up. Using your thumb and index finger, grasp the mouth parts and twist off to remove. Remove the spongy gills from each side of the body and the entrails from inside the main body cavity. Rinse clean. Remove the two large claws and reserve. Do not remove the legs. Break each cleaned body in half. At this point, you should have two halves, each with four legs still attached. Each body half should be completely clean and consist of nothing but glistening white shell with meat inside. Boil the crabs for three minutes prior to seasoning and frying. This technique helps prevent the meat from sticking to the shell. Dredge each body half in seafood seasoning (see resources below) to completely coat. Place the seasoned crabs in the refrigerator for 1 or 2 hours to allow the seasoning to penetrate into the meat. Heat oil in a deep-fat fryer to 350 and drop in a few crab. Deep fry until they turn red and float to the surface, approximately 5-7 minutes. Repeat until all of the crabs are cooked. Serve immediately while steaming hot. Optionally, you can sprinkle the cooked crab with more seafood seasoning before serving. The claws should be boiled in water until they turn bright red and float to the surface.

Deep-Frying Tips & Techniques

If you are undeterred by possible health risks or are treating yourself to an occasionN42

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

PHOTO BY JIM OLIVE


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:21 PM

Page N43

al deep-fried delicacy, here are some techniques and safety tips to keep in mind: - Choose your cooking oil carefully. When the oil starts to give off continuous smoke, you have it way too hot. Oils with high “smoke points” are best, such as peanut, safflower, sunflower, and canola oil. Be sure to use enough oil so there is enough to cover whatever items you intend to fry. - Choose a deep, very heavy skillet to fry with. Add oil to the cold pan, leaving a space of at least two inches at the top of the pan, to allow a safety margin when the oil bubbles up as the food is added. - Heating a large amount of oil can take a long time. Deep-frying should be done with the oil around 365 degrees F (185 C). Use a candy thermometer to keep track of the oil’s temperature. - When breading with a moist batter, use cornmeal, cornstarch, or flour to make it stick to the food. Be sure to shake off the excess batter or breading before frying, else

it might come off in the oil. - Always place food in the fryer away from you to prevent splashing and burning—do not throw it in! Keep your sleeves rolled down. - Avoid crowding the deep fryer with food, which will lower the oil’s temperature. - Maintain the proper frying temperature to ensure food cooks properly and doesn’t absorb too much oil. If it is too hot, the coating will burn before the food cooks; if it is not hot enough, oil will reach the food before it’s fully cooked and make it greasy. - Watch the food carefully as it cooks and do not leave the fryer unattended. Make sure all cords and the fryer itself are out of the reach of children. - Ideally, you should be deep-frying infrequently, which allows you to use fresh oil each time. But if you really want to re-use the oil, wait until it has cooled then strain it through paper towels, coffee filters, or cheesecloth into a new container; store it in a cool, dark place.

- Flames from a pot of hot oil can be 2-3 feet high. Be sure to have a real non-liquid fire extinguisher on hand and ready to use. A box of baking soda likely will not suffice in the event of a deep-fryer fire. Contact Bryan Slaven, "The Texas Gourmet," at 888-234-7883, www.thetexasgourmet.com; or by email at texas-tasted@fishgame.com.

S P O N S O R E D BY:

WILDERNESS TRAILS Continued from Page N40 We separated and crossed the flats several hundred yards apart looking for sign. Then we met where the trail went into the aspens. “They haven’t made it his far. We passed them but Lord knows where. It’s going to get dark soon and the only other place to check is their old stomping grounds at Gates Park. We should ride over and see if Jimmy Forest will let us bunk at the Gates Park Ranger Station.” Jimmy was the seasonal forest service ranger but he guided elk hunters with us in the fall. I was hoping he knew a trick that I’d overlooked. “Y’all are welcome to stay here for the night,” said Jimmy. “If those horses aren’t here in the morning, and if they don’t hit the tie-cutters trail before daylight you’ll find them on your back trail.” We thanked him and crashed on a couple of bunks. This was definitely a low point in my cowboying career. I felt completely worthless. It was time to sell the hat and saddle buy a wiener dog and take up crocheting. The next morning we were back at the entrance to the tie-cutters trail to resume our search. We backtracked past Horse Hill to Cabin Creek where we found the tracks we

were looking for but they were a day old and headed in the wrong direction. So, we continued towards the juncture of the West and North Forks of the Sun River and then started working our way north again. Our wrangle ponies were tiring. By my calculations, we’d put 75 miles on them in two days. Late that evening we re-entered Big Creek Meadows and reined to a halt. A herd of horses galloped up from the river and another herd stampeded down from the timber, and the ones coming from the timber were ours! Then the herds converged, milled, and then the whole bunch raced towards the tie-cutters trail! I slammed the spurs to my poor pony asking for one last run and hollered at Tom. “We gotta get ahead of ’em!” Badger holes and boggy spots be damned—it was whup and ride. Tom went around the bottom and I forced my pony around the top. For a minute, it was nip and tuck. I’d already used all my cuss words, but now they came out again loud and clear. That band of ponies caught a mighty South Texas cussing at full volume. While the town folks think whispering to horses is cute, this group of runaways savvied mad cowboy language and they perked their ears and decided to behave. Then we turned them around A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

and headed for camp. The herd separated where they had joined and we kept pushing our bunch down the trail. At Cabin Creek, we drove them into an outfitter’s corrals and swapped onto fresh mounts. It was 10 p.m. when we put them back on the trail towards Indian Point. Tom led a bell mare and I brought up the stragglers. After five miles they lined out as if they knew they had to go back to work. It was more than 25 miles back to camp. A bulbous wet full moon hung low in the sky and the mountain pastures were illuminated in a bright silvery hue. The Sun River pitched and splashed over rocks in its bed, and my down-in-the-mouth self pity faded. At Pretty Prairie, a herd of elk scattered from feeding and then re-gathered and ran alongside the remuda. The cool night air crept through my whiskers. The hard saddle and steady loping rhythm pounded my backside. In front of me was a scenic gift that God was sharing - and I stared at the thundering horses, mules, and elk in the moonlight. And I ran with them, and for that moment, I did not feel lost. E-mail Herman W. Brune at wilderness@fishgame.com

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

N43


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:21 PM

Page N44

TEXAS SALTWATER

Dave Smit h Strip Striper Ex er press Guide Serv ice

PORT ARANSAS

GALVESTON

ull Ronald Sh t u o Tr Hugo Ford e ic Guide Serv

For Classified Rates and Information call Dennise at 1-800-750-4670, ext. 5579.

CORPUS CHRISTI Charlie Le wellen & James To uch Limits of et R Redfish C eds harters

ADVERTISERS, MAIL IN YOUR PHOTOS TODAY!

N44

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

ROCKPORT


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:21 PM

John Allgood 25.25-inch Trout ce Hillman Guide Servi

TEXAS FRESHWATER

Page N45

Jim Scarf & son Limit of Reds Redfish Charters

Colby Harris st Redfish Fir ch 25-in rvice Hugo Ford Guide Se

OUTDOOR SHOPPER

TEXAS HUNTING

LAKE TEXOMA

LAKE AMISTAD ADVERTISERS, MAIL IN YOUR PHOTOS TODAY!

COLORADO

BAFFIN BAY

For Classified Rates and Information call Dennise at 1-800-750-4670, ext. 5579.

SPOTLIGHT: SPEC-TACULAR TROUT ADVENTURES David Dillman is the owner and operator of Spec-tacular Trout Adventures, a year-round full time fishing guide service. Spec-tacular Trout Adventures was founded in January of 1990. They fish all of the Galveston Bay Complex for speckled trout and redfish, utilizing live natural bait and artificial lures. From May through September, David guides out of Eagle Point Fishing Camp in San Leon, Texas. From October through April, he guides out of Jamaica Beach on Galveston Island. Spec-tacular Trout Adventures offers both half- and full-day trips. For more information, visit them on the web at www.spec-taculartrout.com. — Spec-tacular Trout Adventures A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

N45


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:22 PM

Page N46

DEER—CASTELL, TEXAS

REDFISH—GALVESTON, TEXAS

Aubrey Larkin, age 9, of Crosby, Texas, killed a doe and an 8-point buck still in velvet at Sagabell Ranch in Castell, Texas.

Meaghan and Mark Morton, 10 years old, of Forney, Texas, caught this 30pound redfish out of Galveston Bay. They caught a total of 6 fish, weighing an average of 28 pounds each.

DRUM—SEADRIFT, TEXAS

SHEEPSHEAD—SOUTH PADRE ISLAND, TEXAS

Paisley Pollock, age 9, caught her largest fish to Brandon Barron of Brownsville, Texas, hooked this date in Seadrift, Texas. She caught these three sheepshead while fishing with his father, Eric Bardrum—all 18 inches—on pieces of dead shrimp. ron, at the South Padre Island Jetties. He caught the 24-inch, 9-1/2 -pounder while shrimping in the rocks.

SEND YOUR PHOTOS TO: N46

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

TF&G PHOTO ALBUM 1745 Greens Road Houston, Texas 77032 OR BY EMAIL: photos@fishgame.com

BASS—BEAR CREEK, TEXAS Rachael Keeton of Junction, Texas, caught this 7pound bass on 6-pound-test with a spinning rod. She was wade-fishing with her dad on Bear Creek.

PLEASE INCLUDE NAME, HOMETOWN, WHEN & WHERE CAUGHT, SIZE AND WEIGHT

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. &

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:22 PM

Page N47

REDFISH—LOWER LAGUNA MADRE, TEXAS

BASS—BANDERA, TEXAS

Harry King Jr. caught these 24- and 27-inch redfish Paul Kehner had a great day fishing with his son in Lower Laguna Madre, Texas. and grandsons at a catch-and-release lake in Bandera, where they pulled in 2- and 3-pounders all day. Left to right are grandsons Peter and Jaron, son Daniel, and grandson Nathaniel.

DEER—NEWTON COUNTY, TEXAS Anthony Daigle, age 10, of Bleakwood, Texas, killed his first deer while hunting with dad Pat at Fawil Community in Newton County. The 7-point, 105-pound whitetail was taken with a 90-yard neck shot using a Remington 700 in .243 caliber.


ALMANAC N.qxd

5/1/08

12:22 PM

Page N48


TrophyQuest

5/1/08

2:42 PM

Page 81

®

Sam Rayburn Smorgasbord

by Tom Behrens Craig and Ronnie not only caught their limits of crappie, but also caught 10-15 largemouth bass that they threw back, a couple large catfish, and a few bream for good measure. To say it was a good trip is an understatement. “I found out a couple of days before Craig’s trip that the white bass had moved out of the river, so we had to do something else,” said Wheatley. “I don’t take people out unless they catch fish. We caught a smorgasbord of fish. We were fishing for crappie, but this time of the year, when the crappie are up shallow and you cast for them, you

HOW YOU CAN WIN! TEXAS FISH & GAME HAS GIVEN AWAY OVER 200 TROPHY QUEST TRIPS. TROPHY QUEST is free guided hunting or fishing trips within the state of

PHOTO BY TOM BEHRENS

T

HE MARK OF A GOOD GUIDE IS THAT HE HAS A plan A and B. If plan A goes south, then he can always fall back on plan B. That’s what happened on Craig Enoch’s and his guest Ronnie Williams’ Trophy Quest trip in March. Guide Mike Wheatley of Mike’s Fishing Adventures had originally planned to take the duo on a white bass trip on the Sabine River. Unfortunately, the white bass departed for places unknown. Plan B was a fishing trip on Lake Sam Rayburn for crappie.

Craig Enoch and Ronnie Williams display some of the fruits of their March 2007 Trophy Quest trip. ing.” The fishing was so good that he and his daughter plan to make another fishing trip with Wheatley some time in the future.

can just about catch anything.” “I had just read an article in Texas Fish & Game about a month or so ago about jigging for crappie,” said Enoch. “I thought we were going to be jigging for crappie, but we were casting jigs over weed beds.” Enoch and Williams share a fishing background dating to their elementary school days, but they get to fish only about once a year. Enoch lives in Pflugerville and Williams lives in Houston. Williams almost didn’t make the trip as something came up at his job. His boss jokingly said Williams could stay and work and he would take the fishing trip. “No way,” said Williams. “I told him he could fire me now, because I’m going fish-

Texas. The package includes a guided trip for two people, one night's lodging and all food and beverage (non-alcohol). Winners are responsible for all travel expenses getting to and from the destination point. HERE'S HOW YOU WIN! If you are a TF&G subscriber, your name is automatically entered on our monthly Trophy Quest Trip drawing. If you are a subscriber and would like

SPECIES: crappie LOCATION: Sam Rayburn Reservoir GUIDE: Mike Wheatley, 409-489-1816, www.mikesfishingadventures.net LODGING: Captain Cathy’s Cabin, 409-489-1816, www.mikesfishingadventures.net/cap tain_cathy_cabin.htm FOOD & DRINK: The Stump Restaurant & Club, 409-698-9495, www.fishingworld.com/eLodge/TX/Bro okeland/TheStump/

your name entered 15 more times in our next monthly drawing, simply send us an email with your name, address and phone number* to trophyquest@fishgame.com. You can still win even if you are NOT a subscriber. Simply email us with your name, address, and phone number* to trophyquest@fishgame.com and you're entered in our next drawing. One winner is chosen at random each T E X A S

F i s h

&

month. The winner must be available to go on one of two previously scheduled dates. If the winner is unable to attend on either dates scheduled for the TROPHY QUEST TRIP, the winner's name will be returned to the pool for future drawings and another winner will be drawn. *Phone numbers will ONLY be used to contact the winners and will not be used for any other purpose.

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

81


Freshwater

5/1/08

2:43 PM

Page 82

FLW Fantasy Fishing League M INNESOTA FINANCIER IRWIN JACOBS HAS a rich history of investing large sums of money in fledgling businesses and turning them into profitable ones. He has made millions over the years. At one time, he was a member of The Forbes 400 wealthiest Americans. In 1996, Jacobs, founder of Minneapolisbased boat maker Genmar Holdings, decided to dabble in the tournament fishing industry. He bought out a Kentucky-based tournament organization called Operation Bass, renamed it FLW Outdoors, and brought in

82

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

department store giant Wal-Mart as the title sponsor. Professional tournament fishing hasn’t been the same since. Under Jacobs’ direction, FLW Outdoors has helped guide the sport to all new heights, largely by recruiting big name non-endemic sponsors into the game and continually sweetening the pie with lucrative cash purses that have steadily gotten richer through the years. The top prize in the 1996 FLW Tour championship event was $18,500. A year later, the jackpot jumped to $100,000, then

&

G a m e ®

$250,000, then $500,000. The prize money doubled once again last year, when Arkansas bass pro Scott Suggs earned an unprecedented $1 million cash for winning the 2007 Forrest Wood Cup held on Lake Ouachita in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Colossal stuff, indeed, but just as big is FLW’s latest splash in fantasy sports arenas. Fantasy sports games have been around for years now. The concept was launched around major league baseball and quickly spread to football and other professional sports. In team sports like baseball and foot-


Freshwater

5/1/08

2:43 PM

Page 83

ball, fantasy participants choose makebelieve teams by selecting real-life players and compete based on how they perform. The fantasy concept is not new to professional fishing. FLW Outdoors and BASS have been dabbling in it for several seasons, but the paybacks have never been richer than they are now—not even close. Before summer is out, someone will net $1 million playing the FLW Outdoors FantasyFishing.com game, the richest payout in the history of fantasy sports games. Pinch me if you think I am dreaming, but I am not. FLW’s newest twist on fantasy sports games is destined to turn at least one person into an instant millionaire. Hundreds of others will win shares in nearly $2.4 million in cash and prizes guaranteed to be given away to participants over the course of the 2008 Wal-Mart FLW Tour season. You don’t even have to wet a hook or have any prior knowledge of fishing to compete.

LOGO COURTESY OF FLW

Here is how it works: Log onto the FantasyFishing.com website and fill out a short registration form. Once registered, players select 10 pro anglers who they think will finish near the top. That’s it. The anglers take it from there. Participants earn points based on where their angler picks finish in each tournament. Bonus points are awarded for each pick that finishes in the Top 10 standings, or in the same place in the order they were ranked. The FantasyFishing.com player that accumulates the most points at the end of each tournament wins $100,000. An additional $343,595 worth of prizes will be

T E X A S

F i s h

divided among the top finishers in each qualifying event. Each qualifying event pays back 585 places. The Forrest Wood Cup pays back 639 places. Consistency counts big-time in FantasyFishing.com. The player who accumulates the most overall points at the end of the season wins $1 million. The earning potential doesn’t end there. Players are automatically entered in the Rank 7 Bonus Game once they pick a pro team. Rank 7 will pay up to $5 million to the first player who correctly picks the Top 7 finishers, in order, in any 2008 FLW Tour event. Players also are allowed to set up their own leagues to compete against their friends if they want. There are three events left on the 2008 schedule. The next one takes place June 1922 on Fort Loudon-Tellico Lakes in Knoxville, Tennessee. Entry deadline is 11:59 p.m., June 18. May Lady Luck be with you. E-mail Matt Williams at freshwater@fishgame.com

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

83


Fea7

5/1/08

84

2:44 PM

• J U N E

Page 84

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

PHOTO OF HYBRID TRUCK COURTESY OF CHEVY


Fea7

5/1/08

2:44 PM

Page 85

by Tom Behrens

DESIGN BY JIMMY BORNE

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

85


Fea7

5/1/08

2:44 PM

Page 86

Our hybrid test vehicle had enough hair on its chest to muscle a bass boat up the ramp with power to spare.

uel costs and environmental windmill-tilting have spurred automobile makers to search for ways to improve gas mileage and reduce emissions. Most have settled on various hybrid powertrain arrangements that pair a conventional internal combustion engine with batteries and electric motors. Most resulting hybrid production vehicles have been underpowered and frightfully expensive, with a fractional lifespan compared to conventional vehicles. Hybrids were for extreme environmentalists and guilty-environmental-conscious soccer moms. In short, hybrids were wimps. The notion of a truly functional truck was out of the question—until recently. “Momma, fetch me a pillow and a blanket. I’m going to stay in the truck.” That was my first impression of the 2008 Hybrid Chevy Tahoe. Lots of leg room between front and rear seats, leather seats, front seats that can be heated for those cold, early morning trips to the deer lease, hands-free telephone, OnStar navigation, a rear backup camera and radar, and ample cargo area in the back when seats are folded down are just 86

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

a few of the standard features on this truck. It might even make coffee if you push the right buttons. “Chevrolet wanted a good level package in the hybrid rather than a stripped down model,” said Craig Eppling, Chevrolet spokesperson. Towing capacity really begins when hooking up the boat or utility trailer. I call it the “radar system,” but Chevy refers to it as the “Rear Park Assist.” What appear to be caps covering bolts holding on the rear bumper are sensors that electronically indicate how close you are to something. A series of LED indicators on the rear vision mirror advance from yellow to red, each step accompanied by a more frequent audible signal. To augment this, you can watch the backup scene on a display panel on the dashboard; just like watching television. “I really like the back-up camera,” said bass angler Bill Gibson. He used the Tahoe for towing his bass boat to the lake for a fishing trip he and I made. “Like this morning when we were backing up to the trailer, the angle the camera is coming from allowed me to put the trailer ball directly under the hitch without having to get out and check where I was, or hitting the back of the truck with it. &

G a m e ®

I liked the way the area behind the truck was illuminated when backing up, plenty of illumination. I could see what I was doing without any problem.” The Tahoe hybrid is available in twowheel-drive, two-wheel-drive with a rearlocking differential, or four-wheel-drive. The vehicle I tested was a two-wheel-drive with locking differential that had no problem towing and launching a 17-foot bass boat equipped with a 150-horsepower outboard engine, full fuel tanks, and other normal bass boat items. The truck had no trouble pulling the same package back up a wet ramp. Eppling explained the towing controls available under different towing conditions: “First, you will notice on the gear selection display on the dashboard there is an ‘M’ selection, which stands for ‘Manual.’ If you look at the gearshift lever, it has a plus and minus signal, a button you can press up or down. You can actually shift the gears manually. If you are towing something that you want to stay in second gear a little longer, you can keep it in second a little longer. “At the end of the gear shift lever is a button that puts the vehicle into a haul mode. If you are towing or hauling something, or in the mountains, you press that and it makes PHOTO BY TOM BEHRENS


Fea7

5/1/08

2:44 PM

Page 87

the gear pattern change to where it’s better for towing, so it’s not going to be jumping in and out of gears. It will stay in certain gear ranges longer.” When Bill and I drove the vehicle, neither one of us played with any of the towing options and the vehicle towed the boat perfectly. How much better is the fuel economy as compared to a non-hybrid Tahoe? EPA ratings put the two-wheel-drive hybrid Tahoe at 21 mpg in the city and 22 mpg on the highway; a four-wheel-drive is rated as 20/20. GM reports this as a 30 percent overall fuel economy improvement. Gibson and I experienced a highway mpg figure of 15.2. This was traveling at Interstate speeds of 70-75 mph. Using the vehicle around town without towing anything showed 18.0 mpg. Achieving EPA numbers for most people might require re-education in how to drive. “I have been able to do that,” said Eppling in reference to the EPA rating of 21 in the city. “I tried to get better fuel economy by driving real easy and it didn’t seem to matter much. When I just drove mindlessly down the road, it did seem to get that kind of fuel economy, but it does take some driving at 30-40 mph at a steady pace; that helps as well. Learn to drive within the speed limits. With a hybrid, you tend to watch your driving and try to get better fuel economy.” Generally, all hybrids get the best fuel savings in city driving. The Tahoe engineering is different from previous hybrid vehicles. Toyota, for example, places electric motors on the wheels. Chevrolet has placed two electric motors in the driveline within the transmission. If you look under a hybrid Tahoe, you won’t see anything that looks different from the nonhybrid version. In addition to the electric motors, the Tahoe has Active Fuel Management displacement-on-demand technology. The system allows the ability to seamlessly switch back and forth from eight- to four-cylinder operation as driving situations demand. In a GM sponsored study, an engineer estimated the average driver spends 50-60 percent of the time in the four-cylinder mode The hybrid battery is a 300-volt nickelmetal-hydride battery mounted under the second row seat. The battery is recharged by the gasoline engine; it does not require any additional service. Chevrolet warrants the

life of the battery for eight years or 150,000 miles. I never found the “Coffee” button in the hybrid Tahoe, but I did find many other things that were very nice, including a pulldown DVD player. The Tahoe is an extremely comfortable truck that really finds its comfort level on the open road. The ride is very smooth and quiet. Tune in the XM radio to the type of music you like, and the volume will self-adjust for the noise level inside the car. It has plenty of cargo space for hauling

T E X A S

F i s h

fishing and hunting gear, but I don’t know if you would want to mess up the interior carpeting. Certainly putting down a protective covering helps. If you use a truck for hauling gardening tools or other items, this is not your vehicle. With an MSRP of $50,490, the Tahoe is still considerably more expensive, but that will probably change as the technology improves and buyers become more receptive.

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

87


Campus News

5/1/08

2:46 PM

Page 88

Spring Break at the Bass Lake

88

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

PHOTO BY GRADY ALLEN

T

RUE TO THE SPRING BREAK SPIRIT, THERE IS one group of college students that has been spending its get-away time on the water, but doing so in bass boats instead of in the stereotypical beach party setting. The group is college anglers and they have been busy taking full advantage of recent spring tournaments being held especially for them. The latest event was the Arkansas Tech University College Bass Invitational held last weekend on nearby Lake Dardanelle. It was filmed by Careco Multimedia and will air this fall as part of the BoatUS National Collegiate Bass Fishing Championship (NCBFC) series on the Fox College Sports network. With 89 anglers, representing 19 schools and involving 46 teams, it turned out to be one of the largest college tournaments held to date in the young but rapidly growing sport of collegiate bass fishing. While many of the participants were from Arkansas and surrounding states, several teams also traveled farther including the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, Purdue, Alabama, Nebraska, Eastern Kentucky, and Murray State, also from Kentucky. The success by nearly all of the teams over the two-day event, held on a Friday and Saturday, served as proof that these college students were here for the competition and not a big spring break party. The Northwestern State University (Louisiana) team of Jeff Rich and Nathan Fields finished top of the class with an impressive total weight of 37.24 pounds for

10 bass. The second place Murray State team of Dan Langhorn and Don Winters also weighed a five fish limit on both days for a total of 35.06 pounds. “This was an awesome tournament,” said Fields after the win. “Recent rains had the water high and muddy, but we found some really good fish. We caught 20 or so on red Rat-L-Traps the first day, including three in the 4- to 5-pound range. On the second day, a cold front hit with high winds and rain that kind of messed things up. We made a long run as our time was running out and ended up catching three big fish, including a 6.3-pounder, in 22 minutes on V&M tubes and jigs before having to rush to weigh-in.” Rounding out the top five spots were: 3rd place, Purdue’s (Indiana) Aaron McAlexander and Alex Lowe with 34.82 pounds; 4th place, Stephen F. Austin’s (Texas) Kendall Wieczyk and Ben Newsom with 31.8 pounds; and 5th place, Arkansas Tech’s Chris McKinney and Joey Potts with 31.19 pounds. Each of the top 26 teams had final weights of more than 10 pounds. While the competition is more about school rivalries and warming up for the &

G a m e ®

national championship later in the year, there were some prizes earned by the top finishing clubs and anglers. First place was awarded a check for nearly $600 to take back to its club, and second and third place also won cash prizes. Merchandise awards were items from Abu Garcia rods and reels, Berkley line, Sperry Top-Sider sport shoes, Costa Del Mar sunglasses, and others. The final roster of participating schools and the number of teams from each included: Arkansas Tech with six, University of Arkansas with six, Ouachita Baptist University (Arkansas) with three, Stephen F. Austin with four, Northwestern State University (Louisiana) with two, University of Louisiana-Lafayette with one, Murray State (Kentucky.) with three, Eastern Kentucky with two, Purdue with three, Wabash College (Indiana) with one, Alabama with three, Kansas State with three, Pittsburgh State (Kansas) with one, Drury University (Missouri) with one, University of Illinois with one, Nebraska with one, Wisconsin-Whitewater with one, and Oklahoma with one. In this and most college bass fishing for-


Campus News

5/1/08

2:46 PM

Page 89

mats, a “team” consists of two persons fishing from the same boat. One angler can fish alone when circumstances affect a partner’s participation, pending approval by the tournament director. “This was our third annual event and each year they just get bigger and better,” said Christy Austin, an adjunct instructor at Arkansas Tech and the faculty advisor to the school’s fishing club. “We’re fortunate to have so many people that believe in the program and work hard to make it a success, including this year’s club president, Joey Potts.” Robert Chandler, executive producer of the NCBFC for Fox College Sports, said: “The amazing response from Arkansas Tech has shown the nation the unbelievable level that college fishing has achieved with Fox College Sports’ unwavering support to take college fishing to the next level.” Another spring collegiate tournament was also recently held on Lake Belton in Texas to coincide with that state’s spring break schedule for many of its universities. It, too, was well attended. Winning at Belton was the Texas A&M team of Justin Rackley and Kenny Stuart. “Both the Arkansas and Texas spring tournaments were wonderful events with lots of support from the respective communities and public,” said Mike Hastings, representing Careco Multimedia. “Even the mayor of Russellville really got into all the excitement while attending registration, and came back for the take-offs and weigh-ins on both days. College bass fishing is fun stuff for everyone concerned.” Many of the same teams from the Arkansas and Texas events will also compete in the 2008 NCBFC scheduled for this fall on Texas’ Lake Lewisville. The NCBFC is made possible by support from BoatUS, BoatUS Angler, Cabela’s, Ranger Boats, Yamaha, Garmin, Costa Del Mar, Pioneer Beef Jerky, Abu Garcia, Berkley, Fenwick, Anglers’ Legacy, Stearns, EGO Nets, Sebile, American Rodsmiths, Aviva Fishin’ Buddy, Biosonix, Bill Lewis Lures, Gene Larew Lures, Nemire Lures, Sperry TopSider, Power Pole, City of Lewisville, Sneaky Pete’s Marina and Fox College Sports. For more information about college bass fishing and other upcoming regional tournaments, visit www.collegiatebasschampionship.com.

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / J U N E

2 0 0 8

89


Offshore_Pike

5/1/08

2:44 PM

Page 90

Big Water, Big Bait

will amuse themselves occasionally by eating bite-sized prey, but the reverse is not true. Smaller kings or wahoo or amberjack won’t bother with oversized baits, in part because they’re too busy watching over their own narrow shoulders. If the intention is to get a big-league bite, it would not be unreasonable to offer a footlong blue runner or 8-inch menhaden. That’s a lot of fish to hang from a hook, but to a 40-pound king mackerel, it’s lunch. Baits half that size still present generous

catch it. Tarpon have the power to eat with the best of the Gulf ’s predators but seldom exercise it. Crabs are high on their “favorites” list, and even a fish with no tail could chase down a crab. Some days, you’ll find dense concentrations of baits in water shallow enough that the fish can be caught in cast nets. Idle close HANCES ARE GOOD THAT IMPATIENCE AND (or use fine chum to draw them within aversion to change are costing you range) and sling the large net. If you’re some really big fish offshore. This sumlucky, you can fill a livewell with menhaden mer, catch yourself some Texas-sized in a single throw. Nearly as often, however, live baits and brace for the smoking especially in water more than a few feet strikes they generate. deep, the majority of the baits beneath The interstate transportation of tackthe net when it hits the water will race le and techniques by tournament fisherout from beneath it before it can be men betters fishing at both ends of the closed. road. We have taught blue-water anglers If your best tosses tend to leave the net elsewhere a few tricks, and they have looking more like a loaf of French bread returned the favors. than an umbrella, try Sabiki rigs. The One of the more interesting observamulti-hook setups come ready to fish tions I’ve made over the years, however, except for addition of a small bell or is that the average Texan who fishes offpyramid sinker and attract a wide varishore—no matter how many times he or ety of prime baitfish. Use lightweight she visits other states and slings live bait rigs nearshore, but upgrade to 20at giant fish—remains stubbornly conpound test and larger hooks around tent to soak dead bait or drag lures here pipe stands and production platforms at home. That truth rings as truly farther offshore. among tarpon fans as among snapper Don’t waste time baiting the hooks. and mackerel fishermen, because dead Their delicate feathers and streamers bait works. are adequate enticement; bare, gold High-level predators are opportunishooks often work as well. tic feeders. The less work they must do Drop or cast the rig into a school of to eat, the fewer calories are burned in baits and shake the rod a couple of the process. It’s easier to catch a lifeless times. Once the first fish is hooked, its hunk of meat than it is to chase down a movement usually works the other hooks live fish that knows a bad situation when This angler “carved” the outsized squid bait from a larger squid. enough to fool a second or third. The it sees the teeth of one snapping at its more baits you can put into the well, the tail. more chances you’ll get in prime water, Big fish will eat dead fish, but a huge profiles underwater but are more manage- but be careful not to overload. Nothing lets fish may not be interested in fighting a dozen able on the line. You want your baitfish to the air out of an offshore trip like flipping the runts for a handout. Lower a wiggling, wrig- run when it senses an unfriendly presence, livewell lid and staring at a bucket of bellies. gling hardtail into the mix, however, and but you don’t want it to get away. This summer, instead of the usual jigs predatory instincts transform a once disinterNote that in at least one case, that of the and half-frozen sardines, hang a magnumested fish into an aggressive missile. tarpon, smaller live baits actually may out- sized live bait over the side. And hold tight All live baits are not created equal, and perform larger ones. Tarpon are odd ducks, to your rig. size does matter. The larger the bait, with unusual for their size in that they can be occasional exceptions and surprises, the larg- quicker to slurp a shrimp off the sea floor E-mail Doug Pike at er the predator that’s likely to eat it. Giants than to chase a foot-long mullet far enough to offshore@fishgame.com

C

90

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®

PHOTO COURTESY OF JOE RICHARD


Offshore_Pike

5/1/08

2:45 PM

Page 91


WINGS OVER TEXAS

5/1/08

2:45 PM

Page 92

Spring Waterfowl Migration

M

OST WATERFOWL HUNTERS UNDERSTAND the importance of waterfowl conservation habitat in general, but we often relate that importance to breeding or wintering habitat. Yet, spring migration habitat also is critically important for providing food, rest, and future reproduction of North America’s waterfowl.

by Mike Checkett DU Regional Biologist Spring migration is typically less regimented than fall migration. Most waterfowl make numerous stops during spring migration to feed and rest or participate in courtship and pair formation processes. Flight is among the most energetically costly of activities that birds undertake. A mallard can burn 1g of body fat for every 4 miles it flies at 55 mph. This is a typical speed for a migrating mallard. Consequently, a hen mallard flying from North Texas to Central North Dakota (1200 miles) would burn 300g of body fat, which is approximately 25 percent of her body weight. The amount and type of food available on migration areas impacts how quickly an individual bird can replenish lost reserves and how fat it is when it arrivals on breeding grounds. Studies show that a mallard must feed and rest for three to seven days to replenish the energy lost during an eighthour flight. 92

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

Some waterfowl, such as arctic nesting geese, not only eat foods to replace fat lost during flight, they store and transport additional fat and protein used to produce and incubate eggs and on breeding grounds. While the amount of water on the breeding grounds is critical to waterfowl reproduction, research shows that the availability of nutritious foods during migration is directly related to the number of young produced that year for several species. Unfortunately, the mid-latitude states in the Central Flyway have experienced substantial wetland losses. Oklahoma has lost almost 75 percent of their original wetlands, Kansas has lost 50 percent, and Nebraska 35 percent. It’s important to continue to protect and restore habitats on the breeding and wintering grounds, however, an increased understanding and conservation of spring migration habitats is important and one of the last remaining frontiers in waterfowl biology. Waterfowl need sustenance throughout their life cycle to ensure they return to the breeding grounds in healthy conditions to reproduce and continue their annual reproduction cycle Texas waterfowl hunters depend on.

Texas DU Message to Congress Houston, Texas resident and senior Ducks Unlimited volunteer Sam Smolik traveled to Washington D.C. recently to meet with representatives, senators and other policymakers to discuss the organization’s conservation priorities. Smolik met personally with Rep. John Culberson and &

G a m e ®

individually with staff from the offices of Senators John Cornyn and Kay Bailey Hutchison. Smolik, Shell Oil Vice President for Global Downstream Health, Safety, Security and Environment, is an active volunteer on Ducks Unlimited’s Conservation Program Committee, a volunteer group that helps to guide the conservation organization’s direction in achieving its waterfowl and wetlands conservation mission. Smolik encouraged Congress to support strong conservation measures in the farm bill and appropriations for the North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA). CPC members were also joined by members of the House and Senate at a Capitol Hill reception to celebrate the beginning of the waterfowl nesting season. The reception also gave members of Congress from around the country a chance to interact with the volunteers. “I made this trip to Capitol Hill so our members of Congress could hear firsthand about the importance of wetlands conservation in my area,” said Smolik. “I am passionate about waterfowl and wetlands conservation, and I want to share that passion with my members of Congress.” “Letting our representatives in Washington know that their constituents are informed and concerned about the future of the farm bill is one of the best ways to ensure its reauthorization,” said Ross Melinchuk, director of public policy for Ducks Unlimited’s Southern Regional Office. As part of the CPC, Smolik understands the need for continental conservation of wetlands and associated uplands for waterfowl. In Texas, especially along the coast, wet-


WINGS OVER TEXAS

5/1/08

2:45 PM

Page 93

lands not only provide habitat for waterfowl and other waterbirds, but also protect residents from catastrophic flooding. “Federal conservation policies help Ducks Unlimited accomplish its mission and are critical to protecting our natural resources for the future,” Smolik said. The farm bill, which is being debated in conference between the House and the Senate, has several conservation provisions that are farmer-friendly and needed for waterfowl and wetlands habitat conservation. CPC members reminded their senators and representatives that farm bill programs are critical to protecting millions of acres of breeding and wintering habitat for waterfowl. CPC members also talked to their members of Congress about appropriations for NAWCA, a popular matching grants program that has conserved more than 23 million acres of habitat across North America. One of the most cost-effective conservation programs in history, NAWCA projects usually leverage $2 to $3 in partner contributions for every $1 from the federal government.

First Shotguns

W

HEN YOU BUY A CHILD A FIRST SHOTGUN,

you need be careful that you get something that the child can shoot and hit with. The most common choice is a .410 single shot; it is also the poorest choice you could make. A .410 is an expert’s gun, not a kid’s gun. The 28-gauge, if range is kept reasonable, is about as deadly and efficient as a 12-gauge. There are a number of 28-gauge single shots on the market, along with many 20-gauges. These are where you should look for your child’s first hunting gun. A .410 might be fine for learning the basics, but when the kid heads out to go hunting, he should be equipped with something that will allow him to actually bag some birds. Nothing is more conducive to a child losing interest in hunting than a day of shooting

and missing while everyone else is killing birds. If the child is too young to shoot a 28gauge, he is probably too small to hunt dove. Give the kid a chance and start him off with a gun that will give him every opportunity to hit what he is shooting at. Make sure the gun you buy has an improved-cylinder or modified choke, and not a full choke. Have the stock cut to fit the child, then take him to a shooting range for a few rounds of

skeet before you hand him a gun and send him out to shoot doves; and a couple of lessons from a pro is a good idea, also. A child that is successful on his first hunting trip is much more likely to make it a lifelong passion than one that ends up shooting a box full of holes in the air without touching a feather.


Humor

5/1/08

2:48 PM

Page 94

Techno Camping

F

OR SOME UNKNOWN REASON, THE HUNTING Club members decided that, despite our ages ranging from 40 to 63, we were still in good enough physical shape to make a moderately difficult overnight backpack trip through the Winding Stair Mountains in the Ouachita National Forest. Much of our backpacking equipment hadn’t been used for a long time, like since the Carter Administration. Simply finding my gear was a challenge. My Primus stove was in a cardboard box in the attic labeled, “Picture Frames/Underwear.” Doc found that his exterior frame pack was little more than bent aluminum tubing and rat-chewed tatters. Wrong Willie’s pack was the one he uses when hunting deer. The bloodstains and grease gave it a “Nightmare on Elm Street” look. Woodrow produced one of his daughter’s old book bags made like a daypack. We liked the flowers and happy little sayings written on them like, “When the going gets tough, the weird turn pro.” Jerry Wayne borrowed a military rucksack from a friend who hadn’t hiked in more than thirty years. The canvas smelled of mildew and we tried not to touch the white slime growing on the outside. My pack was of more current vintage, since the girls and I are always going somewhere. 94

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

Of course, Youngster arrived at the trailhead with one of the new high-tech interior frame backpacks. The company logo sewn on the pack probably added another thirtyfive or more dollars to the overall cost. “We’re going to try something new,” he said, thumping the heavy pack on the ground. “I brought my laptop computer. I was thinking that once we set up camp tonight, we can surf the internet, check the forecast, and phone the girls to tell them where we are.” “Our cell phones won’t work up here,” Doc said, knowing we’d be far back in the rugged terrain, far from any relay or microwave towers. “No, now you can make telephone calls through

explained. “We can ring them up and when my wife answers, we can see her through the webcam in my office. I just wish I had one on here, then she could see us.” “I doubt she’ll be interested in seeing any of this group after a full day of hiking,” I said, imagining how we’d look after sweating our way through the mountains. We launched the adventure at the trailhead and the hike was rather pleasant, until the vehicles were out of sight. Then the trail turned sharply upward. “They should put handrails here,” Doc puffed an hour into the trip. “Why are all the trails uphill? ” Wrong Willie wondered aloud. “You’d think they’d make a few go downhill so it would be easier.” I looked ahead and watched Youngster disappear around the bend. We caught up to

him half a mile along, standing undecided at an unmarked fork in the road. “Which way?” I asked. “I forgot my compass.” “I don’t know,” he

your computer,” Youngs t e r

&

G a m e ®

replied. “I forgot to put in new batteries and my GPS went dead a few minutes ago and I don’t have any idea.” Woodrow pointed toward the downhill fork. “That one. It looks easier and the trail looks like it’s beaten down more than the other one.” It seemed like a ILLUSTRATION BY RACHEL WATSON


Humor

5/1/08

2:48 PM

Page 95


Humor

5/1/08

2:49 PM

Page 96

good suggestion, so we took the easiest route, which immediately turned vicious, leading us along a rock and boulder strewn pig trail had eventually forked again, and again, and again, until I was totally lost. Fearful that we’d not be able to find our way back, we tried to retrace our steps, but

the terrain looked unfamiliar, so much so that I was convinced we’d come across a lost Indian tribe somewhere in the wilderness. “Don’t worry,” Youngster said. “We’ll find our way out. I’ll get on the net and download a map after we set up camp.” “Do it now,” Doc said. “I just remem-

bered, I forgot to bring food. It’s still in the truck.” “Way to go,” Wrong Willie said. “That would be like me saying I forgot to bring water...” The look on his face told the sad tale. Unabashed, Youngster sat in the shade and fired up his laptop. “We’re hooked up,” he announced. “Look here guys, the Weather Channel says we’re in for rain.” “How can you have WiFi here in the woods,” I asked, finally realizing he didn’t have a satellite card. “What are you doing?” Doc asked, waiting for technological help. “Checking my email. My wife says I left my maps on the table. Look, there she is. Hi Honey.” He waved even though she couldn’t see him. “Get us some help!” I said, loudly. “Check it out. Technology is letting me surf the net way out here in the wilderness. I bet Lewis and Clark would have loved something like this.” “They did,” Doc said. “It was a woman named Sacagawea and she led them out of trouble. Find us a map or something.” “This satellite map should help,” Youngster said, and then frowned. “Uh, oh.” We waited. Uh oh, whether coming from a doctor performing surgery, a dentist with a tiny mirror, a fishing guide staring mournfully at the bottom of his boat, or a man with a laptop computer in the wilderness, the sound always means trouble. “The battery just died. I forgot to charge it up.” “We can charge it up over there at that coffee shop,” Jerry Wayne said, pointing through a clearing at a brand new building alongside the highway just as the thunder rumbled. “Uh, oh,” I repeated and wished for a low-tech woman, maybe named Pearlene, to guide me away from those crazy people.

E-mail Reavis Wortham at humor@fishgame.com 96

• J U N E

2 0 0 8 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ®


C3_ALL.qxd

5/2/08

8:51 AM

Page 1


C4_ALL.qxd

5/2/08

8:52 AM

Page 1

June 2008  

The Upside of Down Lakes; Shad on Ice; Bowhunting Redfish & Trout?; Truck & ATV Buyers Guide

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you