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www.FishGame.com Life on the Edge:

Surf Fishing

June 2014 | VOL. 31 • NO. 2 | $3.95

Top Lakes for

Hot

Crappie

Crappie & Bream:

Panfish Party

Night Vision On the Cheap Live Bait for

Trout

Gone to the Hogs

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

ROY NEVES PUBLISHER

CHESTER MOORE EDITOR IN CHIEF

C O N T R I B U T O R S JOE DOGGETT DOUG PIKE TED NUGENT LOU MARULLO MATT WILLIAMS CALIXTO GONZALES LENNY RUDOW STEVE LAMASCUS DUSTIN ELLERMANN KENDAL HEMPHILL WILL LESCHPER REAVIS WORTHAM TOM BEHRENS GREG BERLOCHER PAUL BRADSHAW CAPT. MIKE HOLMES DUSTIN WARNCKE STAN SKINNER LISA MOORE JOHN GISEL

• • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

SENIOR CONTRIBUTING EDITOR SENIOR CONTRIBUTING EDITOR EDITOR AT LARGE HUNTING EDITOR FRESHWATER EDITOR SALTWATER EDITOR BOATING EDITOR FIREARMS EDITOR SHOOTING EDITOR POLITICAL COMMENTATOR CONSERVATION EDITOR HUMOR EDITOR CONTRIBUTING EDITOR CONTRIBUTING EDITOR CONTRIBUTING EDITOR CONTRIBUTING EDITOR CONTRIBUTING EDITOR COPY EDITOR CONTRIBUTING PHOTO EDITOR STRATEGIC ADVISOR

A D V E R T I S I N G ARDIA NEVES VICE PRESIDENT/ADVERTISING DIRECTOR VIGA HALL • NATIONAL ADVERTISING SALES TONISHA SHIELDS • ADVERTISING COORDINATOR 1745 GREENS ROAD HOUSTON, TX 77032 PHONE: 281/227-3001 • FAX 281/227-3002

C R E A T I V E ELLIOTT DONNELLY DIGITAL PUBLISHER ANNA CAMPBELL WENDY KIPFMILLER-O’BRIEN

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GRAPHIC DESIGNER DIGITAL ISSUES DESIGNER

SUBSCRIPTIONS 1745 GREENS ROAD, HOUSTON, TX 77032 PHONE 800/725-1134

ACTION SUBSCRIPTION FULFILLMENT

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

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Table of

JUNE 2014 Volume 31 • NO. 2

Contents Features

PANFISH PARTY COASTAL COVER: Live Bait for Trout It is hard for even modern technology to outdo nature when it comes to fishing lures. While live bait may not be the “magic bullet” the artificial lure purists claim, it’s pretty close. Story by Chester Moore

STORY:

“Panfish” isn’t actually a species. It’s a word for assorted fish that are good to eat, and conveniently fit a frying pan, like bream and crappie. And nothing is more fun to catch than panfish.

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by Matt Williams

GONE TO THE HOGS How the Texas hog PROBLEM has become the state’s fastest growing HUNTING industry.

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by Chester Moore

NIGHT VISION ON THE CHEAP State of the art night vision technology can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. While this equipment is amazing, there are low cost alternatives for hunting in the dark.

INLAND COVERS: Hot Crappie The best lakes STORY: in the Lone Star State for finding crappie under the broiling Texas summer sun. Story by John N. Felsher

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Cover Photos by Chester Moore

by Chad Ferguson

WILD IN TEXAS: TURTLES Our monthly Wild in Texas photo essay series takes a look at the amazing variety of aquatic turtles populating our state’s waterways.

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Inside Fish&Game

Contents (continued) Columns

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by Roy & Ardia Neves | TF&G Owners

Summer Dreamboats

Editor’s Notes Summer of the Shark

by CHESTER MOORE

TF&G Editor in Chief

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Doggett at Large Long Bombs

by JOE DOGGETT TF&G Senior Contributing Editor

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T IS BOAT SHOW SEASON AGAIN (SUMMER EDITION) and if you didn’t make it to one of the winter shows, or if you did but just couldn’t pull the trigger on that dream boat, the gods of nautical sports have given you another shot. The Houston Boating Trades Association is putting on the biggest such event of the season, The Houston Summer Boat Show, June 18-22 at the Reliant Center. Once again, Texas Fish & Game is pitching in, by publishing the official show program and booth locator map. In addition to the printed version of the program, you’ll be able to download an Digital version as well, which is optimized for tablets and smart phones. Just log onto our website, www.FishGame.com, and go to the Past Issues page. The program will be listed with other back issues of TF&G. Inside the digital version, you’ll find an interactive floor plan map that will help you easily locate any dealer or other exhibitor in the show. ONE REASON WE PRODUCE THIS PROGRAM FOR THE Houston Boat Shows is to help promote the boat and motor manufacturers and dealers who have supported Texas Fish & Game over the years. Boat dealers and manufacturers across the country had a rough few years beginning with the financial crisis that took hold in 2009, and those based in Texas were not spared much of the pain. Thankfully, while many in the industry—including some major players—didn’t survive, the worst is over for those who did. And they are stronger for the experience. Since boating is a huge part of the outdoor experience in Texas—fresh and saltwater fishing, even hunting—the economic hit that these companies took during the crisis reverberated beyond just their factories and showrooms. You didn’t see as many boat and motor ads in these pages during the lean years, and so we also felt the pain here at TF&G. We salute those far-sighted companies who found the courage and the resources to keep their brands in the public eye during the worst of the crisis. Like the smartest players in any panic situation, they saw as much opportunity as threat. By continuing to innovate and build, to maintain good selections on their floors, and to promote themselves while more timid competitors were hunkered down in the false security of promotional silence, these compainies paved the way for a quicker and stronger recovery. And thanks to them, you now have a better selection of nautical innovation than ever. You should take advantage of all this innovation at the upcoming summer boat show.

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Pike on the Edge Wildlife 9-1-1

by DOUG PIKE TF&G Senior Contributing Editor

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TexasWild

Q & A Time with the Nuge by TED NUGENT

TF&G Editor At Large

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Commentary

There’s More to It Than That

by KENDAL HEMPHILL TF&G Politcal Commentator

Bones Hunting 35 Bare Hunting All Year... for Hogs and Deer by LOU MARULLO TF&G Hunting Editor

Freshwater 38 Texas Skin Cancer is No Joking Matter

by MATT WILLIAMS TF&G Freshwater Editor

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Texas Saltwater Going Through a Phase

by CALIXTO GONZALES TF&G Saltwater Editor

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Open Season

Departments 8 12 12

LETTERS TF&G REPORT BIG BAGS & CATCHES

34 TEXAS DEPT. OF DEFENSE

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TRUE GREEN

Tick!

by REAVIS WORTHAM TF&G Humor Editor

Texas Fish & Game is a family-owned business, and the owners welcome your comments and questions. E-mail Roy and Ardia Neves or Ron Ward at ContactUs@fishgame.com 6 |

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Letters to the Editor

Reader Q&A Editor’s Note: Over the last month we have received a number of questions requiring lengthy answers via Facebook and email. All of these questions have been asked numerous times, so I thought we needed to dedicate this space to answer. —CM

Q: Do you think the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) is trying to create a statewide trophy trout fishery? A: THE SHORT ANSWER IS NO. I DO not think that is their goal as they are pretty conscientious of various users in all fisheries. They have not however made any official proposal for regulation changes although we have listed a number of ideas being scoped at the series of hearings beginning this week. These include a change to a five fish limit either coast-wide or regionally. TPWD does a good job of thinking way ahead on fisheries issues and if any changes are coming it is probably in response to the projected population growth along the Texas coast and the potential of greatly increased fishing pressure.

Q: What did you think of the “chupacabra” caught in South Texas that hit the news recently? What was it? A: I HAD MORE QUESTIONS ON this story via Facebook and also email than anything in recent memory. That animal 8 |

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was without question a raccoon with a very severe case of mange. In my opinion all of the “chupacabras” we have seen on video and in photos are coons, coyotes and fox with mange. I do believe there are undiscovered animals out there but the “chupacabras” we have seen can all be explained away by known creatures.

Q: What would you recommend looking for in a duck lease if you had a small budget? A: THERE ARE REALLY VERY FEW duck leases out there anymore and even fewer for someone with a small budget. I would perhaps look to get in someone who is trying to fill a lease that is perhaps needing some members but can’t seem to find them (might get a price break but that would likely come late in the game) or simply spend my money for a few good hunts with an outfitters. And I would book them as soon as the season dates are set. Get the opening day and the opening of the second split for best results. Another option is looking into some of the deer hunting clubs with property along river bottoms. There are some surprisingly good hunting in timber and secluded ponds and you might be the only one hunting ducks. A low price-range deer lease on a big hunting club will be cheaper than most duck leases.

Q: Do you think the high school bass fishing phenomenon you have written about is a fad or will continue to grow? A: IT’S DEFINITELY HERE TO LAST. I think in the next two years it will peak and then see a slight decline but it is a force to be reckoned with. With many local schools involved and dozens around the state, it stands to be the most positive force in bass fishing, since Ray Scott founded B.A.S.S. It’s huge. F I S H

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Q: How big can feral hogs get? A: A 500-POUND FERAL HOG IS A monster. The biggest I have ever killed was 350 pounds. They can get bigger but 500 pounds is a good top size to go by.

Q: Do you think we will ever see a total gig on flounder gigging in Texas? A: IF IT HAPPENS IT WILL BE A decade or so away. Before we get to that point, I could see something like making gigging a wading only (no boat) affair or something to that effect.

Q: Is there any animal that is supposed to not exist in Texas according to the experts you think will be proven to still exist here? A: YES. I THINK WITHIN FIVE years we will have photographic evidence of jaguars at least I the Trans Pecos. They exist in New Mexico and Arizona and have been documented only because those states have an aggressive camera trap program. There are rumors of an organization doing something similar in the vast Trans Pecos. If it happens I am confident they will turn up a rogue jaguar or two.

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

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Editor’s Editor’s Notes by Chester Moore | TF&G Editor in Chief

Summer of the Shark

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N 1992 WHEN I STARTED WRITING PROFESsionally during my freshman year in college, interest in sharks was minimal among fishermen. Turn on the handful of television fishing program and it was all bass, trout, redfish and billfish. Shark fishing had a cult following of sorts, especially among surf anglers but there was little widespread enthusiasm. My how that has changed. The advent of the Internet has given the exciting sport of shark fishing serious popularity with more and more anglers taking it up every year. I see two these driving this phenomenon. Anglers who are tired of the same old pursuits see Youtube clips and blog postings with massive, hard fighting sharks and take the bait. We are also seeing those who really had little interest in fishing but love sharks getting involved for the same reasons. As someone who saw “Jaws” and wanted to get in to the water, I can relate to the desire to be close to these awe-inspiring creatures. In Texas waters, the bull shark is the king of the near shore scene. With the ability to live in completely fresh waters, they are found everywhere from brackish bass country to the deep waters of the Gulf. Recent television programming has created a renewed interest, especially since they are considered the world’s most statistically dangerous shark. With lengths of up to 10 feet and more testosterone than any known creature they are indeed super intense. Anglers fishing for tuna in the far reaches of the Texas Gulf Coast are surprised to find large mako sharks prowling the tuna grounds. These magnificent creatures are known for their acrobatics as they can jump every bit as impressively as marlins and look like a more streamlined version of their close cousin-the great white. The most common large shark catches 10 |

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on the coast are blacktip and spinner sharks, which can be hard to distinguish and both having similar acrobatic abilities. I have seen huge schools of these fish just out of Sabine Pass tearing into baitfish with great intensity. For most shark fishermen, these are the common catch. This year, I have great interest in hammerhead, both the slightly smaller scalloped and the greater hammerhead. I want to film and photograph some of these big creatures either while free diving or from the safety of a boat after I catch one. Back in the early 2000s, local fishing guide, Capt. Robert Vail ran into a massive greater hammerhead while fishing the short rigs for king mackerel. He estimated the fish to be anywhere from 12 to 14 feet in length and it was eyeing a pair of king mackerel he and his friend were fighting. “It would be after one of the kings and then the other would splash and grab its attention and it would swim over there. This fish was absolutely huge and swam right by our boat,” Vail said. Such sightings are now a rarity and anyone who gets a look at any true hammerhead is fortunate. One of my fondest outdoor memories is battling a seven foot long scalloped hammerhead at a rig 50 miles out of Aransas Pass. My goal was simply to get the fish close to the boat, snap a quick photo and release it to fight another day. This fish would make long, determined runs, then swim toward the boat and then dive down deep and repeat the process. This happened probably four times in the course of 45 minutes and I was getting a bit tired. Still, the thrill of battling a hammerhead was strong; especially for someone who grew up (well sort of) shark obsessed and always thought hammerheads were super cool. Finally, I thought, I had the fish beat as it surfaced alongside the boat. However, the F I S H

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shark simply spit out the big hunk of bait and swam off. The shark was never hooked. It was only holding on to the bait and could have quit at any time as if it had been playing a game with me or getting its daily workout. Texans have many opportunities to catch and view sharks in Gulf water. This year our Kingdom Zoo project will be doing a special shark themed event just ahead of Discovery Channel’s “Shark Week” Sat. Aug. 2. It will be for kids and kids at heart and deal with fun shark facts and shark conservation. If you would like to be involved email me at cmooreoutdoors@gmail.com. In addition, I am looking for large shark jaws, teeth of both modern and prehistoric sharks and shark taxidermy donations for the kids project. Interested parties can use the same email. For me this will be the summer of the shark, a prospect that seems not only fun by highly motivating. It was inspired by a little girl named Paisley who works with our ministry and happens to be a big shark fan. This column is for you kiddo. Mrs. Lisa and I can’t wait to share your first shark encounter!

E-mail Chester Moore at cmoore@fishgame.com. You can watch him Saturdays on GETV.org at 10 a.m. on “God’s Outdoors with Chester Moore” and hear him on “Moore Outdoors” Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI. PHOTO CHESTER MOORE

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The TF&G Report Regs May Impact all Freshwater Vessels BY THE TIME THIS ISSUES HITS subscribers, subscribers, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD) Commission will have most likely approved a proposal to require that all boats operating on all public fresh water in Texas be drained after use to help combat the further spread of zebra mussels. Under the water draining regulations that are currently in effect in 47 counties in North and Central Texas, persons leaving or approaching

public water in the affected counties are required to drain all water from their vessels and on-board receptacles. This applies to all types and sizes of boats whether powered or not, personal watercraft, sailboats, kayaks/canoes, or any other vessel used on public waters. According to TPWD many of the public waters in Texas are at risk of infestation by zebra mussels, and boats are the most likely source for most of the current infestations. Since boaters in Texas travel throughout the state to engage in that activity, the proposal under consideration would expand these regulations to all public fresh water in every county in Texas. Applicable at all sites where boats can be launched, the regulation requires the draining of live wells, bilges, motors, and any other receptacles or water-intake systems coming into contact with public waters. Live fish, including personally caught live bait, cannot be

transported in a vessel in water that comes from the water body where they were caught. Personally caught live bait can be used in the water body where it was caught. Anglers are allowed to transport and use commercially purchased live bait in water while fishing from a vessel provided persons in possession of the bait have a receipt that identifies the source of the bait. Any live bait purchased from a location on or adjacent to a public water body that is transported in water from that water body could only be used as bait on that same water body. The rules allow anglers participating in a fishing tournament confined to one water body to transport live fish in water from that single water body to an identified off-site weigh-in location, provided all water is drained and properly disposed of before leaving that location. Anglers are required to possess documentation

Big Bags&Catches

AXIS

WAHOO

WHITETAIL

Private Ranch

Freeport

Private Lease

Eleven-year-old Taylor Holland is pictured with her first axis buck.

Colby Polasek caught this 59.5-pound wahoo on his first trip offshore to the Flower Gardens, out of Freeport.

Ethan Heasley, age nine, with his first buck. He shot it at 100 yards with a 7-08 while hunting with his Grampa Steve Horvath.

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provided by tournament organizers that would identify them as participants in a tournament. Movement from one access point to another on the same lake during the same day does not require draining and there is an exception for governmental activities and emergencies. Marine sanitary systems are not covered by these regulations. Zebra mussels became established in Texas in Lake Texoma in 2009. In 2012, they were found in Lake Ray Roberts and the Elm Fork of the Trinity River. Last year, zebra mussels spread to Lakes Bridgeport, Lavon, Lewisville, and Belton. They can expand their range even farther by hitching a ride on trailered boats that have been immersed or moored in waters where they have established populations. The rapidly reproducing mussels, originally from Eurasia, can have serious economic and recreational impact on Texas reservoirs. They can clog public-water intake pipes, harm boats and motors left in infested waters by covering boat hulls, clog water-cooling systems, annoy boatdock owners by completely covering anything left under water, and make water recreation hazardous because of their sharp edges. From an environmental perspective, zebra mussels are filter feeders, which means they compete with baitfish such as shad for available forage. Any impact on baitfish in turn can affect their predators—game fish such as bass, striped bass and catfish. Zebra mussels also threaten native mussel populations because they will colonize on their shells and essentially suffocate them.

“We estimate that more than 80,000 people a year participate in the program, and about half of those are children or adults who are new to fishing. Connecting kids to the outdoors through fishing makes them happier and healthier, and they do better in school. Outdoor lifestyles also strengthen families.” Local sponsors play a key role in the Neighborhood Fishin’ program by providing funds to purchase additional fish beyond those made possible by statewide support from the

Texas Bass Classic Foundation and the federal Sport Fish Restoration Program. For more information on the Neighborhood Fishin’ program, including locations and directions, tackle loaner programs where available, instructional fishing videos, fishing regulations and program partners, visit www.neighborhoodfishin.org. Go to www.fishgame.com for up to the minute coverage.

Channel Catfish Stocked TEXAS PARKS AND WILDLIFE Department (TPWD) officials have begun stocking channel catfish into Neighborhood Fishin’ Program lakes in urban areas across Texas. Stockings will take place every two weeks throughout the summer and fall except during August, when high water temperatures may limit fish survival. New to the Neighborhood Fishin’ program this year is Woldert Park Pond in Tyler. The park is located at 501 West 32nd street; the pond is downhill from the Glass Recreation Center. Neighborhood Fishin’ is a program of Texas Parks and Wildlife Department (TPWD). “Neighborhood Fishin’ aims to give Texas families a good place to fish close to where they live,” said Dave Terre, TPWD’s director of research and management for Inland Fisheries.

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

Long Bombs

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HE ABILITY TO USE LONG CASTS TO cover water can be a big advantage for the coastal plugger. Adding even a few extra yards per chunk improves the odds of intercepting fish when “blind casting” across the shimmering sameness of open water. Long casts may not be so important in traditional bass fishing, when the angler easing along a shoreline keys on “fishy” targets such as log jams, stickups, and weed-mat pockets. Indeed, “raring back” for a long bomb might hurt by compromising accuracy. The idea is to work close and make the first shot to a defined spot count. The saltwater blind caster seldom is concerned with pinpoint presentation (not to be confused with the specialized shallow-water drill of sight casting). No, the idea on a bay or beachfront is to put the lure repeatedly through as much green tide as possible during a given session. Most trendy coastal casting outfits are comprised of a two-handed rod 6 1/2 to 7 feet long and a narrow-framed reel spooled with 12- to 14-pound mono (or superbraid of comparable diameter). The typical small reel holds about 110 yards of 12. This is standard equipment for soft plastics, slow-sinking plugs, and surface plugs. Frankly, I like small casting reels. But when you dump almost half the string on a major Hail Mary the machine simply isn’t as effective as a wider model. If you are serious about adding yardage, consider a standard frame reel and a 7 1/2foot rod (on a bass reservoir this would be a “crankbait” outfit intended to really cover open water—same concept). The wider reel stores more line, hence the spool diameter remains larger and more efficient during a long cast. And assuming the longer rod is balanced for the payload, the extra length 14 |

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provides more flex and power to really carry the cast. Admittedly, the longer rod with its typically longer butt might be a bit awkward with the snappy jigging motion used with “tails”— but it certainly will work. And it excels when lobbing a rattling cork rig across a bay or slamming a spoon into the surf. Keeping a long-range boomer rigged and ready for proper circumstances makes sense, but the average angler is not going to change horses in midstream—or mid-drift or midwade as the case may be. Regardless of rod/ reel combination, you should consider three things when striving to maximize performance: First, use the thinnest diameter line practical for the business at hand. It reduces friction off the spool and through the air. Second, keep the spool “topped off.” This advice might sound sophomoric but I remain amazed at the number of anglers with side plates showing.A spool starving for string can seriously hamper smooth performance. Finally, use as little mechanical resistance as possible on the spool. A properly set tension should allow the weight of the lure to drop smoothly from the rod tip. If the payload doesn’t carry its own weight down, you are way too heavy on the setting. The top-shelf casting reels come and go, but there is no substitute for the time-honored “educated thumb.” Accuracy with plug tackle usually requires having the lure dangle about four to six inches below the rod tip. The presentation is made with an overhand cast as your steely, predatory stare fixes on the target. Well, we’re not so concerned with that here. Remember, we’re not trying to thread the needle between two stumps or hit a pocket in the lily pads. You can get better distance by allowing about 1 1/2 feet to dangle from the tip and powering with more of a side-arm delivery—but be careful in a boat as you open up that swing. Pinpoint placement suffers with this freewheeling cast but you can wham that sucker out there. The extra line and wider sweep help load the rod. It comes together as a gathF I S H

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ering storm of power. Another supercharger is the seldom-used whip cast. With the lure again dangling well below the tip, the right-handed caster swings the overhead rod in a violent counter-clockwise circle and lets fly. The timing takes practice but the added velocity and momentum of the windup can really propel the payload. Regardless of casting technique, you do your best work downwind. The arc is aided and abetted by the favoring gusts. This is standard when drifting a bay but nearly impossible when wading the surf. The Gulf wind almost always blows onshore (except behind a norther, rare during the summer wet wading season). The surf wader facing the prevailing “sweet southeast” can significantly improve casting performance by shuffling left-to-right. This means you have a slight angle when addressing onshore wind with an easterly slant. The bay boater using a poling platform or a trolling motor occasionally might have to buck a contrary breeze as he changes drift angles. And the downwind wader must turn to chunk into the whitecaps if he is forced to backpedal to a parked vehicle or anchored boat. Some lures have superior ballistics so tote several solid choices for upwind situations. Elongated dogwalkers weighing 1/2- to 5/8ounce are excellent. Of course, you should consider existing circumstances. If you conclude that topwater fishing is a remarkable waste of time, don’t sacrifice the all-important confidence factor for a few extra yards of distance. Switch to a proper spoon or a sub-surface plug. Pinwheeling tails and flapping “broken back” plugs are poor choices for upwind command, but if either rates a serious nod, I guess you’ll have to deal with it. Tweaking the spool tension a tad might help against a mutinous wind. Distance aside, nobody ever said an educated thumb was perfect.

Contact Joe Doggettl at JDoggett@fishgame.com

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

Wildlife 9-1-1

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N A COOL MONDAY MORNING IN APRIL, between taking my son to school and making a noon golf-tournament tee time, I stopped for breakfast at a neighborhood bakery. There in front of the place, against the leg of a chair at one of the sidewalk tables, lay what appeared at first glance to be a dead, or nearly so, bird of prey. Its head looked like that of a small hawk, but there was something unusual about its

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body, and I couldn’t quite peg it as one species or another. The bird, I surmised, had flown into one of the shop’s broad, tall windows and done major damage. Its right wing was tucked tightly against its body, but its left was at nearly full extension and flat on the concrete. There was no visible movement. I feared the worst. Not satisfied with my sketchy identification or incomplete diagnosis, I stepped within arm’s length and knelt for a closer inspection. JEEZ LOUISE! The bird was alive, all right, and none too thrilled that I’d invited myself into its world. Its head spun to face me, and it flashed open a mouth that looked big enough to swallow my watch. But that was all the warning the injured creature could muster. Immediately, it slumped back

into that sad, pathetic pose. I went inside, thinking all the while about what could be done to save this bird or at least spare it some unceremonious burial in a dumpster out back. And then it came to me. There is a place in Houston (and similar operations in other major cities around this state), the Wildlife Center of Texas, that handles exactly this sort of situation. They’d know what to do. Over the phone, I described the bird and its current plight to Operations Manager Margaret Pickell. “Are you sure it’s a hawk?” she questioned. “Or could it be a falcon?” The more I scanned raptor images in my mind, the less that bird looked like any of them. When I circled back to the part about its gaping mouth, Pickell asked a few more specific questions about

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WILDLIFE CENTER OF TEXAS, in Houston, cares for nearly 10,000 injured or otherwise needy animals annually and claims (proudly) that it has never turned away an injured or orphaned native-Texas animal. Once funded exclusively by donation, the center now receives finanits appearance. “Yes,” I replied. “And yes, that, too. Uh-huh. Exactly. So…what is it?” Turns out, I’d been spooked (although nobody in the bakery would have known – I kept my cool when the beast spun and threatened to eat me) by a member of the insect-eating whippoorwill family. Subsequent research, a day after the golf tournament, confirmed that I’d come face to face with a Chuck-Will’s-widow. In my defense, this particular bird at least is among the larger members of the melodic, not-at-all dangerous, family. Pickell asked if I could bring the bird to the center. No, not without missing my tee time, which wasn’t an option. (It was a big charity event hosted by LPGA Hall-of-Famer Carol Mann.) She wasn’t sure that a center volunteer who lived nearby could get to the bakery before someone mishandled the injured bird—or worse. So…

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cial assistance from the Houston Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. There is no charge to leave an animal with the facility or to have one picked up within Harris County, but according to TF&G’s Joe Doggett, who once took an injured animal there, “rescuers” typically If I could get it anywhere into Harris County— the bird and I were in Fort Bend County at the time—she could have someone pick it up officially, at the center’s expense. Anywhere, she emphasized, in Harris County. My office is there, and I surely could get one of our animal-loving staff at Clear Channel to babysit a bird for an hour—two, tops. I went into the shop, talked a skeptical teenaged clerk out of a cardboard box, and told him what I intended to do with/for that bird. He followed me outside, right on my heels, no doubt convinced he was about to make YouTube video history. With box in right hand and bakery bag in the left, I knelt down beside the bird. It didn’t move. The teenager put hands on knees and leaned downward, forward toward the bird. Just then, a miracle happened. And nearly

are asked to make a donation to help continue the fine work being done there. For information, visit the website wildlifecenteroftexas.org. —Doug Pike

something else. That poor, injured bird, it turns out, wasn’t injured at all. It may have rung its own bell chasing a fly into a thick window, but it was otherwise unharmed—and not interested in that box. The Chuck-Will’s-widow went from zero to an airborne 60 in an instant, rising at speed through the two-foot gap between the clerk and me. No warning. No “thank you” for the effort. Just an accelerating exit to wherever. “That bird almost killed us,” the young man exaggerated. “Yes,” I agreed, giving his upcoming recollection to friends some extra voltage. “I think it was going for your throat. Good thing you’re so quick.”

Contact Doug Pike at DPike@fishgame.com

5/7/14 3:04 PM


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

Question and Answer Time with the Nuge

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EAR TED, I RECENTLY READ YOUR article in Fish & Game, “Most Mystical Flight of the Arrow.” I am new to bowhunting and had a question regarding the article. I have rifle-hunted since I was young, and remembering how much I enjoyed shooting a bow as a child, I purchased a compound bow after Christmas. I am intending to hunt with my bow this coming fall when I get the chance. I have watched numerous clips and realize now all deer must run off to some extent, since there is no bullet impact. My question stems from the decision to back off the trail due to darkness and start up the search again in the morning. Is this because the shot was through the liver, or just due to the lack of light? If it was due to the shot through the liver, does it take an excessive amount of time to bleed out? My reason for asking is two-fold. First I would have continued to track in the darkness, but would I have just pushed the animal farther off into the brush if it takes so long to die with that type of shot? Secondly, if the temperature had not fallen below freezing overnight, would the meat still be good? I hunt in south Texas where the brush is very thick and most things have some sort of thorn or sticker, so it would benefit to track in the daylight if possible, but it usually does not drop below down around freezing consistently till January, so the edibility of the meat is also a factor in waiting till the morning. I am used to hit and a drop or a miss 18 |

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with a rifle, so I am trying to learn as much as possible. I had not considered different hit locations and the length until the animal expired. Thank you for your time. James Duprie

GOOD HEARING FROM YOU JAMES and I am happy to know you will expand and intensify your hunting lifestyle with the very exciting upgrade to bowhunting. You will not be sorry; for I, like so many others,

“ Be sure you are ‘one’ with your weapon, and do not go bowhunting until you are certain you are ready.

Editor’s Note: For the next several issues, Ted Nugent will answer questions about hunting and life in the outdoors from Texas Fish & Game readers. If you have any questions for Uncle Ted, email them to us at cmoore@fishgame.com

am convinced that bowhunting is the ultimate test of one’s predator awareness. You read my information accurately from my article. There are many variables at play F I S H

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when making the decision to track an animal after the shot, regardless of weapon choice. Each incident is unique, but as you noted, there are some ground rules that help in that decision. Calling the shot is critical, which is greatly assisted by highly visible arrow/fletching combination and ultimately with the glow of the lighted nocks like my Lumenok. And of course, when videoing the hunt like we do every time, a review of the hit in slow motion tells us a lot as well. It is pretty much a universal rule of thumb to wait at least 30 to 60 minutes after the shot no matter how confident the hit, as it has been documented time and time again that even the quintessential vital hit has been ignored and defied by these amazing, sometimes mythical big game animals. Temperature, precipitation threat and coyote considerations also play a role, sometimes forcing us to take up the track expeditiously. It will always be a personal call. The name of the game is to discipline ourselves to never take any shot we are not super confident we can slice off the top of the heart and penetrate both lungs. Bowhunting demands a thousand times the practice that firearms hunting takes. The incredible challenge of “aim small miss small” at close range with the bow and arrow is what makes bowhunting so rewarding. Be sure you are “one” with your weapon, and do not go bowhunting until you are certain you are ready. Good luck, good hunting, and may the Great Backstrap Spirit be with you! BloodBrothers, Ted

Visit tednugent.com and join Ted on facebook for the ultimate celebration of freedom and The American Backstrap Dreams. Contact Ted Nugent at TNugent@fishgame.com

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5/6/14 11:00 AM


Commentary by Kendal Hemphill | TF&G Political Commentator

“No man’s life, liberty, or property is safe, while Congress is in session.” — Mark Twain

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PRIL 2014 WILL PROBABLY BE REMEMbered, mostly, for the showdown in Nevada between the federal government and Cliven Bundy, cattle rancher. At this writing the conflict is far from over, although the Bureau of Land Management has, for the time being, backed down. It’s difficult for Texans to grasp exactly what is happening in Nevada, and some other states in the southwestern United States, since Texas is almost entirely privately owned, and many other states contain mostly public land. Nevada evidently does not even belong to Nevada. About 84 percent of it is federal land, and therefore the waters, what there are of them, muddy quickly when land use rights clash with environmental concerns. Bundy’s problems began in 1993, with the federally endangered desert tortoise, although the Bundy family has ranched in the area for about 140 years. The feds said Bundy’s cattle were detrimental to the tortoises, and should be removed. Bundy disagreed and refused to move the cattle. Of course, there’s more to it than that. Bundy claims ancestral rights, or something, and leased the land from the BLM, and paid grazing fees. He stopped paying those in either 1993 or 1999, when the BLM revoked the lease agreements. About 600,000 acres of public land is involved in the dispute. Since I grew up, and live, in ranching country, and have actually owned cattle myself, I have a hard time believing cattle could possibly present any kind of a threat to the desert tortoise in Nevada, even if there

Bundy’s problems began in 1993.

There’s More to It Than That

were plenty of grass in the Mojave Desert. And there isn’t. I don’t know the actual numbers in Nevada, but here in Central Texas, in places where there is plenty of green grass, ranchers run about one cow per fifteen acres. In West Texas the ratio is about a cow to every 100 acres. In far Southwest Texas, land that is probably more akin to the Mojave Desert, one cow per section (640 acres) is common. There just isn’t enough for them to eat if ranchers overstock. For the sake of argument we could assume Bundy runs a cow per every 100 acres of his BLM lease. In that kind of space it’s unlikely a cow would ever step on a turtle, or a turtle

nest. And even if it did, the cattle pose far less danger to the desert tortoise than its natural enemies, such as coyotes, which are more likely to dig up the eggs and eat them. But there’s more to it than that. Worry over the desert tortoise, I believe, is just an excuse to force Bundy off the land. This could be a case of the federal government flexing its muscles, but there seem to be other issues involved—political issues. The Environmental Protection Agency is often sued by a non-governmental agency, such as ‘Save the Sidewinder,’ ostensibly over some agenda. (I know of no environmental NGO called Save the Sidewinder, but such an organization would not surprise me) On the surface it would seem the EPA and the snake people are at odds, when in fact they are often in cahoots. These suits are typically settled with “compromises” on both sides, and end with new regulations that both wanted to begin with, such as a ban on T E X A S

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motorcycles and jeeps in perceived sidewinder habitat. So things are not always on the up and up, when it comes to our beloved Uncle Sam. Not being a conspiracy theorist, I don’t believe there’s a “booger behind every bush,” but to discount the existence of boogers entirely would be naïve. Unfortunately, there is still more than that to the Bundy story. The federal authorities, who began rounding up Bundy’s cattle to confiscate as payment for his unpaid lease fees, backed off after a week, when faced by hundreds of armed citizens who gathered to back Bundy. But they didn’t back off immediately. The situation was a standoff until shortly after news broke that Senator Harry Reid (D-Nev) may want the land Bundy’s cattle are on for a huge Chinese solar farm. Reid has already reportedly worked with BLM officials (the current head BLM man in Nevada, Neil Kornze, was Reid’s policy advisor from 2003-2011) to redefine the desert tortoise habitat to accommodate development by a top Reid donor, one Harvey Whittemore. The feds have made some really stupid mistakes during this fiasco, such as tazing Bundy’s son, and arresting him and two other protestors, all of whom were released after a day. The BLM folks also set up a “First Amendment Zone” shortly after the protests started, as if free speech were only allowed in certain government-sanctioned places. Such actions have antagonized those backing Bundy, and done nothing to resolve the conflict. The issue may be resolved by the time you read this, but as the fight is more than 20 years old, that’s doubtful. The only thing I know for sure about the BLM-Bundy disagreement is that, no matter what information I’ve managed to gather to date, there’s probably more to it than that.

Contact Kendal Hemphill at Khemphill@fishgame.com

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WHEN IT COMES TO FUN FISHING, NOTHING BEATS a panfish. A panfish isn’t a species of fish. It’s a word that is sometimes used to describe assorted fish that are good to eat but seldom outgrow the size of a frying pan. Here in Texas, crappies and other various members of the sunfish family such as bluegills, redears and longears fit the bill. Not only do panfish make for good table fare, but they also can be a blast to fish for. Better yet, they usually don’t require whole lot of skill to catch, which makes them a great choice, whetting the appe20 |

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tite of kids and newcomers to the sport. So long as you know the basics of operating a spinning or spincast outfit, and don’t mind baiting a hook, you can reel in a few panfish. Learn a little something about their seasonal habits and you’ll be able to do it more frequently than somebody who doesn’t. &

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Story and Photos by Matt Williams T E X A S

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Here’s rundown on Texas’s most popular panfish, followed by a few hot weather fishing tips: CRAPPIE There are two sub-species, black crappie and white crappie. How the name is pronounced depends on who you are talking to. Some folks say it crappie, as in “Crap-E,” while others say croppie, as in “Crop-E.” Commonly used slang includes white perch, which is used in reference to white crappie, and speckled perch for black crappie. Hardcore crappie buffs sometimes call them papermouths because of the paper-thin membrane that surrounds their lips, or “barndoor” or “slab” when referring to a fish weighing 1 1/2 pounds or more. Although both sub-species are capable of growing beyond three pounds (state record for black crappie is 3.92 pounds; 4.56 pounds for white crappie), fish in the 1 to 1 1/4-pound range are most common in angler creels. Most anglers prefer to fillet “keeper” crappies measuring 10 inches or longer, but you can also prepare them whole. Either way, the

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panfish are great in the skillet, mainly because of their succulent white meat. WHERE TO FIND THEM: Crappie be found in lakes all over the state. Black crappies are most prevalent in the clearer, acidic waters of eastern Texas, while white crappies are found statewide. The best crappie lakes will always have premium habitat consisting of aquatic vegetation and/or plentiful brush. Following the spring spawn in FebruaryApril, crappies begin gravitating towards deeper water, where they will congregate around brush piles, bridge pilings, standing timber or outside grass lines. In early summer the fish might be caught around stuff as shallow as 10-12 feet, but they move progressively deeper as hotter weather sets in. But they won’t necessarily be on the bottom. crappies are notorious for suspending in the water column, usually in accordance with oxygen levels in the water and the depth at which shad and other bait fish are holding. HOW TO CATCH THEM: Crappie can be caught a variety of ways during the

summer months. One of the more common is to soak a live minnow or small crappie jig around target cover like brush piles or structure such as bridge and boat dock pilings. Many anglers rely on depth finders to locate potential hotspots and determine whether fish are present before fishing in order to be more efficient. Effective as it can be, soaking a shiner straight beneath the boat can get pretty boring—pretty quick—especially when the fish are aren’t biting. That’s why many anglers like to take a more aggressive approach by casting small jigs around potential hotspots and working them slowly back to the boat. The technique can be effective around brush piles but is most commonly used around bridge supports and outside grass lines. Another grass tactic that can be effective in early summer is called “strolling.” It works best along the edges of deeper outside grass lines. Rather than casting a jig to the grass cast it 30-40 feet behind the boat and rely on the trolling motor to move the boat and keep the jig crawling along at a slow pace. Jigs weighing 1/32 to 1/8 ounce usually work best, depending on the depth of the grass.

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BREAM “Bream” is the generic term sometimes used in reference to a wide variety pint-sized sunfish species often found in great numbers in lakes, rivers, streams and stock ponds across Texas. Among them are the redear, redbreast, longear, bluegill and green sunfish. A bream wide and long enough to completely cover a grown man’s palm is considered a big one, but they have been known to grow larger, especially on private waters where easy meals are always available. The redear is genetically programmed to grow larger than its cousins. The Texas state record redear from public waters was caught from Lady Bird Lake. It measured 14 inches long, but was not as heavy as you might think. The fish weighed 2.99 pounds. In contrast, the state record redear from private waters weighed 3.25 pounds. That fish was 14.25 inches long. Bluegills, longears and redbreast sunfish are equally common in Texas waters, but fish weighing upwards of one-pound are pretty rare. A two-pounder would rank as a giant. Small as they are, panfish fans have learned not to be fooled by the bream’s meager dimensions. What they lack in size they make up for in grit. In fact, ounce for ounce, the colorful sunfish rank among the hardest fighters swimming in freshwater.

pole. The lightweight pole is easy to handle and has plenty of flex, which makes it a pleasure to fish with. I like to rig the rod with a strip of fourpound monofilament of the same length. This allows you to fish close to the boat or check the perimeter with relative ease. You can add a small reel to reach out farther. Other important ingredients are the hook and cork. Remember, you’re not going after Moby Dick. It is best to think small on both counts.

I like a No. 12 or 14 long shank hook matched with a Shy Bite balsa wood float by Thill. It is a good idea to add a couple of small split shot a few inches above the hook to make the float stand erect. Another good way to locate spawning beds is with an ultra-light rig that’s tipped with a small jig or Roadrunner. Once the beds are pinpointed you can move in close and have some serious fun with a long pole.

WHERE TO FIND THEM: Bream have a tendency to run in loose groups, except when they move shallow to spawn in early summer. Bream like company when making babies—lots of it. The fish spawn in “colonies” comprised of dinner plate-size spawning beds that are stacked tight together, usually on points, humps, or main lake ridges that offer a hard bottom with gravel or shell. Beds are easy to identify in clear water, because they appear lighter than the surrounding bottom. A colony of bream beds might number as few as 20 or as many as 200 or more. HOW TO CATCH THEM: The techniques used for catching bedding bream can be as simple or complicated as the angler cares to make them. They will hit live and artificial lures alike. You can catch them dabbling live crickets, earthworms or larvae beneath a cork, or by fan casting casting a small bucktail jig or spinner. The energetic sunfish can be caught on on flyfishing tackle. One of my favorite ways to target bream is with a 12 foot B’n’M telescopic BreamBuster

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When All Else Fails (and even when it doesn’t) Story by Chester Moore 24 |

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LIVE BAIT IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE MEANS OF CATCHING SPECKled trout. This is not true in every scenario, but if a person were starving and had to catch specks to survive, live bait would be the way to go. It is hard to outdo nature, even with modern technology. Some purists mistakenly believe there is not much to fishing with bait. “Any dummy can hook a shrimp” and “croaker soaking takes no talent” are a couple of the comments I have heard over the years. In my experience and observations, this is nonsense. There are numerous ways to utilize live bait and there are many, many good live baits out there. Live bait is not a magic bullet, but sometimes, it is pretty close.

SHRIMP MOST PEOPLE DON’T BELIEVE IN magic, but after witnessing anglers yanking one big trout after another from the Texas side of the Sabine jetties, East Galveston Bay, Lake Calcasieu, and Laguna Madre over the years, I do.

Live shrimp is magical for speckled trout in many situations. Those that have had access to this precious commodity tend to bring home truly impressive catches while others are struggling. A prime example is a trip to the Sabine jetties where my cousin, Frank Moore, and I caught lots of big redfish, but struggled to catch trout while some gentlemen down the rocks caught one after another. Many of them were huge. The difference was live shrimp. We arranged for our friend, David Kinser, to bring live shrimp from Galveston Bay two days later, but we were not able to match their magic. The water was milk chocolate when Kinser came down and we struggled to catch trout, although the ones we did catch were big ones. Yes, live shrimp can catch lots of trout, but, like any mystical potion, it takes other ingredients to make the brew. One crucial T E X A S

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ingredient in the Sabine jetty cauldron is clear water. The words “clear water” doesn’t mean it has to look like tap water. It is rare to get water that clear in the Sabine area, but being able to see your bait a few feet down is a good indication conditions are right. At the beginning of this chapter, I mentioned that live bait isn’t necessarily a cinch, and this is exactly the point. An angler must learn what water conditions work with a particular live bait in the chosen destination. This may take a few failed trips to learn, but such is the nature of fishing. My favorite ways to rig shrimp are under a weighted popping cork and on a free line rig with a 1/8-ounce split shot weight six inches above a Kahle hook. I prefer the freeline rig, but using a cork has its advantages in many situations, including helping avoid hang-ups on jetty rocks and oyster reefs. G A M E ®

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CROAKER CROAKER MAY BE THE SINGLE best bait for catching large speckled trout. Shrimp is responsible for catching more trout than any other live bait, but croaker catches more big fish than other live bait. My first experience with croakers was nearly a decade ago while fishing with Mike Daleo of Sour Lake, Texas. He was and is an avid trout fisherman, and kept telling me we would hammer the trout on croakers. We fished croakers and live shrimp and, to put it mildly, we hammered ‘em. Ironically, we caught more fish on shrimp, including the largest fish of the day, a 28-incher. Nonetheless, the croakers proved their worth. We didn’t catch a single tiny trout on them, nor any sheepshead or hardheads. The shrimp drew strikes from all kinds of fish. To be honest, I haven’t done much croaker fishing since then, but have no ill will toward those who do. In fact, I jump at the chance to fish with croakers when the opportunity is presented. I like catching fish, and croakes can definitely aid in that department. That’s the biggest advantage of croakers. It allows

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anglers to catch fish, which gets often overlooked in an age when a blowup on a topwater plug (glorious thing that it is) is considered the climax of trout fishing. Anglers not adept at throwing big trout-specific lures can have an excellent shot at catching the fish of a lifetime by simply soaking croakers on the bottom in the Galveston Ship Channel, Baffin Bay, or any other location trout visit.

PIGGY PERCH CAPT. DAVID DILLMAN TAUGHT me about the advantages of using piggy perch for trout. Shrimp and croakers are better all-around baits, but for fishing at jetties and nearshore oil platforms, these little fish are hard to beat. They can be purchased at some bait camps, but most dedicated piggy users catch their own in traps. Something worth noting about piggies is that some old timers like to clip their sharp dorsal fins before using them for bait. They say it makes it easier for a trout to swallow.

MUD MINNOW

MUD MINNOWS, ALSO KNOWN AS Gulf killifish or Cocahoe minnows) are with-

out a doubt the most popular and probably the all-around best flounder bait. These small marsh-dwellers are abundant in flounder territory year-round and are a regular part of their natural diet. Mud minnows are also excellent for trout. Several years ago, while flounder fishing, I decided to use some leftover mud minnows for trout—and it worked. In fact, the results were tremendous. While drifting a large oyster reef, my father and I used live mud minnows under popping corks. We caught trout weighing from two to five pounds and limited on redfish. That reef is about 12 feet deep, so we fished our mud minnows halfway down the water column at six feet. On that first mud minnow fishing trip, my father lost one of the biggest trout that ever graced these eyes. Mud minnows are a very hardy fish that can be hooked several ways: through both lips, behind the dorsal (top) fin, or through the body near the tail. Possibly the biggest advantage to using mud minnows is that they are available year-round at most bait shops when shrimp and croakers can be hard to come by. Mud minnows are also readily caught in traps.

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MULLET

MULLET MAKE UP A LARGE PROportion of a large speckled trout’s diet, but relatively few anglers use them for bait. I have seen anglers fishing with eight-inch mullet catch mammoth trout over in Southwest Louisiana, where it is a very popular bait. The big debate among trout fishermen is what size mullet to use: finger mullet (little ones) or big ones (six- to eight-inchers). It comes down to what size fish you want to catch. Obviously, large baits deter small fish and entice big ones. If dead set on catching a huge trout, use a huge mullet. If numbers are your game, finger mullet fit the bill. You usually have to catch your own with a cast net. Mullet can be hooked the same way as mud minnows.

frequently, anglers can achieve fairly low bait mortality in most situations. Something that can help is the products produced by Sure-Life Laboratories. They have chemicals called Pogy-Saver, Croaker-Saver, and Shrimp-Saver, as well as stuff designed especially for mullet and many other baitfish. A couple of spoonfuls of this stuff helps eliminate ammonia in the water, which kills many baitfish. My father used barely dampened sawdust to keep shrimp alive. Back in the 1970s and

early 1980s, some camps sold live shrimp in sawdust. Some, particularly in Florida, still carry on this tradition. Sawdust holds in moisture and actually keeps the shrimp alive longer than just sitting in a regular bait bucket. The strange thing is, it is very important not to dampen the sawdust too much or it kills the shrimp.

MENHADEN

MENHADEN, ALSO KNOWN AS pogies or shad, are another good trout bait. The drawbacks are they are very difficult to keep alive in a livewell or on the hook, and live ones are virtually impossible to find at a bait camp. A cast net is a necessity for securing an allotment of this small baitfish. During summer and fall, menhaden are great for catching trout. Keeping these delicate fish alive is a difficult task I have only been able to do by using pure oxygen or an expensive recycling aeration system. Shad die quickly in hot weather. According to Captain Skip James, live shad is not necessary. Over the last few years, he has been catching lots of trout on dead shad: “I’ve been catching my shad in a cast net early in the morning and putting them on a layer, then covering them up with another layer of ice. I then make sure to drain as much of the water as possible. This keeps shad very fresh.” James fishes the cold bait on a rig consisting of a simple, weighted popping cork several feet above a Kahle hook. We fish together frequently, and I have never seen him fish with live bait.

KEEPING BAIT ALIVE

THE TRICK TO USING LIVE BAIT IS keeping it alive. A dead baitfish is not nearly as enticing as something that wiggles. For land-bound anglers, a large Styrofoam ice chest does a good job keeping most baitfish kicking. Styrofoam breathes and, if the water is changed periodically, most bait will do well. For anglers in boats, a circulating livewell is the ideal setup. By exchanging water

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How the Texas Hog Problem has become the state’s fastest growing Hunting industry analysis by chester Moore 28 |

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IT IS A QUESTION WE GET EVERY few months here at Texas Fish & Game. Out-of-state readers and visitors on fishgame.com want to know where to go hog hunting. “I have been seeing all of the stories coming out of Texas about hogs and the problems they cause and have seen on television where landowners are looking for people to help control their numbers. I would love to come to your state. Can you give me a listing of properties to go do this? I would love to hunt hogs.” That was a message we received from a reader from New Hampshire. When I replied that there are plenty of places to hunt hogs but they all cost money, he was shocked. “Wow. I didn’t expect that,” he replied. The concept of leasing and pay per hunt has spread to all states, but in many of them it is not the dominant culture. The message being sent around the country about feral hogs in Texas is not accurate either. Hunting hogs in Texas has little or nothing to do with managing the herd. Sure, killing hogs decreases their numbers to a certain extent, but I dare say 99 T E X A S

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percent of hog hunting efforts are about enjoyment on one end and dollars and cents on the other. I am all for capitalism so I have no problem with landowners and outfitters charging for hog hunts. I have paid to shoot hogs many times over the years, in fact, but I do think we are being dishonest about hogs in Texas. Members of the general public do not pay $2,000 to climb into a helicopter to contribute to game management, nor do they invest thousands of dollars and hours in dogs, traps and corn to do the same. Landowners and game managers do this to target hogs and sometimes employ professionals to assist but on the public end, hog hunting is about enjoyment. It always has been, and always will be. WITH THAT THOUGHT IN MIND, here are four points about hogs and hog hunting in Texas that I believe have been overlooked or simply not considered by the majority of the hunting industry. G A M E ®

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Texas Hogs: The Numbers Don’t Lie WE HAVE VILIFIED THE HOG TO the point of it being vermin, worthy of only disdain, but in reality they are magnificent game animals that have become as much a part of Texas’s hunting heritage as whitetail deer. The numbers don’t lie. The Texas deer take has rested around 600,000 over the last decade while the last number I saw for hogs was more than 750,000. According to the Texas Agrilife Extension Service, hogs cause around $52 million in damage to land and crops annually, a huge hit for farmers and ranchers around the state, no doubt. I do wonder however about the hog hunting-specific economic impact. It has to be in the tens of millions at this point. Hogs are essential to Texas hunting. TROPHY HOG HUNTING HAS incredible growth potential. A mature boar is far superior to a whitetail deer in intelligence and is near its equal with the sense of smell. Hunters proudly display huge hogs they take, but those are mainly random trophies, not seriously pursued ones. There have been a number of hog scents and calls put on the market over the last two decades, but no one has really put a system for pursuing trophy boars out there. When someone does connect the dots and can get across to the public seasonality and life cycle events tied into hog breeding, 30 |

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behavior and other facets of their life they will become a hunting legend. Hunting a specific trophy boar in my opinion is harder than hunting a specific trophy whitetail. If the public figures this out, hog hunting will go into a different and unique direction. FROM A POLITICAL STANDPOINT hog hunting is the industry’s achille’s heel. This revolves around hunting hogs with dogs, hog-dog trials and Youtube. Hog hunting with dogs is extremely effective, fun and a strong tradition, but there is no question when the general public sees a pit bull locked onto a young boar or sow and squealing (like a pig) it creates an impression—often negative. For animal rights people this is an opportunity. My worry for Texas is that one day we will get a process known as initiative and referendum, which allows virtually any law to be proposed if the group supporting it gets enough signatures to put it on a ballot. This is how mountain lion hunting in California was banned and is the source of various hunting bans in other states. If we get this in Texas, expect a campaign against hog hunting. It will start with the hog-dog trials which take place in rodeo arena-like enclosures and go from there to hunting with dogs in the field. There is nothing we can do about it until something like this is put on the ballot but we should be aware of what the animal rightists are planning. F I S H

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Annual Texas Deer Harvest:

600,000 Annual Texas Feral Hog Harvest:

750,000 Annual Feral Hog Property Damage:

$52 Billion PUBLIC LAND HOG HUNTING opportunities are minimal. If hogs are such a huge threat to our resources as they are portrayed, then perhaps public land in Texas should be opened up to more hog hunting. For example, baiting is illegal in the national forests but why shouldn’t it be legal in the off-season for hogs? It is hard to kill them without it unless you are using dogs, but that is prohibited in most areas. Hogs are complex animals that spawn a complex management issue. We have always written about hogs in TF&G but will be expanding our coverage. Love them or hate them, they have earned the respect of many hunters in this state and beyond.

PHOTO: ©CANSTOCK

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Texas Department of Defense How Important is the First Shot?

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GOT THIS STORY SECOND HAND FROM AN old game warden and a dear friend, the late Bill Lindeman, the father of recently retired Texas Game Warden, Jim Lindeman, also a friend of mine. It serves very well to illustrate the point of this article. It also shows the dangers that are faced on a nightly basis on lonely and isolated back roads by the brave officers of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Game Warden force. As I remember it, it

Firearms Malfunctions NO MATTER WHAT BRAND OR model your firearm is, in the end it is a mechanical object and is prone to failure. Ammunition also complicates the problem, for I’ve witnessed factory cartridges that came without a rim for extraction, backwards primers, or even worse. In a defensive situation a firearm malfunction can be a matter of life or death, therefore we train to overcome any malfunction that might happen. In a semiautomatic pistol there are three types of 32 |

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| Self Defense | | Concealed Carry | | Tactical | by Steve LaMascus & Dustin Ellermann

went like this: The confrontation took place on a cold, dark night on one of the roads near the Mexican Border in Southwest Texas. A Texas Game Warden stopped two suspected road hunters. He was acquainted with the two and had arrested at least one of them before. Both were known to be ill tempered, with an inbred contempt and hatred for law enforcement of all types. As the game warden approached the vehicle the driver got out to stand in the road, but the passenger, the older of the two, remained in the darkened vehicle. The game warden approached the driver, asked the routine questions, and was getting to the one where he asked if there were any guns in the car. At this point the driver stepped away from the game warden and the passenger lifted his deer rifle off of his lap and, without aiming, fired a shot at the game warden. Thankfully the bullet only tore the game warden’s collar

as it passed by. The game warden, shocked by the blast from the deer rifle, still managed to draw his model 1911 .45 ACP and return fire. The first shot struck the pavement about halfway to the car, the second struck the car, and the third hit the gunman in the head as he was raising the rifle to try again. The driver never did enter the fray. This Texas Game Warden was extremely lucky for several reasons. First, he was obviously protected by divine powers in that the bullet from the poacher’s deer rifle only tore the collar of his shirt. Second, and more to the point of this article, he was even luckier that he had a chance to fire three shots at his assailant before the gunman could fire again with better aim. Last was the lucky chance that his third shot struck the gunman in the head, ending the fight before the shooter could trigger the second round from his high-powered rifle, which in all likelihood would have killed the game warden instantly.

A type 1 malfunction can occur because of bad ammo or improperly seated magazine. Simply tap the mag to seat it, and rack the slide to charge it with a fresh round.

failures that you should know how to clear so you can keep sending rounds downrange. The first type of malfunction is a misfeed. This happens either because the magazine failed to feed, wasn’t seated properly, had a bad round, or if the slide didn’t cycle completely. The best method to clear this is the “tap, rack”. You forcefully tap the magazine against the heel of your support hand in order to seat it completely, and then rack the slide back and send it home in full force. This will fix any of the problems above. Safety note: while on the range ensure that the bad round F I S H

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wasn’t a squib load or the next shot could prove extremely dangerous with two bullets in the barrel. The second type of malfunction is commonly known as a “stove pipe” Continued on page 34  PHOTO: KATELYN ELLERMANN

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Texas Department of Defense In the great book The Modern Day Gunslinger, by retired Navy SEAL, Don Mann, there is a sidebar that says: “Statistics show that 95 percent of law enforcement officers who hit their target with the first shot will go home. If the first shot misses, the number drops to 48 percent. Most law enforcement miss 75-80 percent of shots fired in lethal force encounters. Fortunately, law enforcement studies show that the “bad guys” hit their intended target only 14 percent of the time.” In this modern time, the method I see practiced most by civilian shooters is best described by the term “spray and pray.” It seems that since the modern high-capacity semi-auto handgun holds a lot of rounds, the shooters feel that they can simply shoot a lot and get the job done. I think the above shows the fallacy of that idea. I have preached on this before, but it cannot be said too often or too strongly. Accuracy is the most important aspect of self-defense. If you are going to carry a handgun you must be able to shoot it well. When I entered the Border Patrol in January of 1980, the first part of our firearms training at the Academy was done on bulls-eye targets and was one-

Malfunctions  Story Jump where an empty casing is stuck in the Continued from page 32

 Continued from page xx ejection port preventing the pistol from returning to battery for the next round. Clearing this is the same “tap, rack” above, except you can also roll the firearm onto its side in order to allow gravity to let the troublesome empty casing fall out. You can also use a shortcut for a “stove pipe” jam with a technique that was taught to me by a former Navy Seal Craig Sawyer. If you can identify the malfunction as a stove pipe, which is easy enough to do since it sticks out of the slide of the sidearm, you can simply wipe your support hand down the slide and let it fall. The only downside to this is if there might not be enough spring 34 |

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hand, single-action, slow-fire. The reason was that the Border Patrol in those days realized the importance of a good background in accuracy before a shooter was promoted to doubleaction, rapid-fire work on silhouette targets. In other words, we were taught basics first, and then advanced to the more difficult aspects of hand gunning. Today this is not true of most courses of instruction, and it is a mistake. As the statistics above show, if you truly want to survive an armed encounter, you must make the first shot count. The fact that your handgun holds 15 rounds is almost immaterial to the equation. Most gunfights only last three seconds, and only three rounds are fired. That is exactly how many rounds the game warden fired in the story at the beginning of this article. If he had not hit his assailant with that third round, the chances are very good that the bad guy would have been able to get off his second round, and with a rifle he almost certainly would have scored a hit. Here, then, are my three inviolable rules for you civilian gun-toters. 1: DO NOT BELIEVE that because you passed the test for your CCL you are well trained. Get additional training if you can,

tension to return the slide to battery and then you might have to “tap, rack” on top of it. But it’s worth adding to your training regimen. Finally, the most dreaded malfunction is the double feed. In a double feed, a casing fails to extract and is left in the chamber while another round feeds in behind it. “Tap, rack” won’t do anything for this, and the gun will fail to return to battery. To clear a double feed you must first strip the magazine out of the firearm. An extended magazine or oversized baseplate will help in this difficult effort, because you are ripping off the top round of the magazine in this action. You can make it easier by locking the slide back, but in a defensive situation that can prove difficult. After the magazine is removed, rack the slide repeatedly in order the extract the spent cartridge from the chamber. Oftentimes F I S H

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and be sure that it is from a qualified instructor. There are a number of them scattered around the state. 2: LEARN THE BASICS of sight alignment and trigger control before you go any farther. Just like any other “sport,” such as football, basketball, or tennis, if you don’t know the basics you can never be as good as you should be. Learn to shoot well—then learn to shoot fast. 3: PRACTICE as much as you can afford. Again, like sports, shooting requires copious amounts of practice. If you can’t afford a lot of practice ammo, buy a reloader and learn to reload. It is cheaper, and the ammo can be just as good as factory fodder. I expect that 95-plus percent of the ammunition I shoot is reloaded. There is only so much that I can teach you by correspondence course. The rest you will have to get on a range with a gun in your hand. Nothing else will take the place of wellstructured practice. What I tell you here only starts you down the road. How far you get down that road is up to you.

—Steve LaMascus

the casing will fall out the bottom of the magwell along with the live round from the double feed. After the weapon is cleared insert the retained magazine or a new one, load and fire. As you can tell two thirds of malfunctions can be cleared using “tap rack” so it’s a very useful motion to train with. While dry fire training practice reseating the magazine then charging for the next shot. Also, after you initially load the magazine give it a tug to ensure that it’s completely seated. This will prevent the first type of malfunction altogether. Use spent casings or dummy rounds to simulate malfunctions until clearing them is second nature so your mind can stay in the fight and your hands work the weapon on their own.

—Dustin Ellermann

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Bare Bones Hunting by Lou Marullo | TF&G Hunting Editor

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T IS HARD TO BELIEVE THAT JUNE IS already already upon us. I must admit that my favorite time of year is the fall. Heck… most hunting begins then and ends while the cool air is still lingering. But that does not mean that the fat lady is done singing and hunting season has ended. No sir! This is Texas! Here, in this state, we are given hunting opportunities year-round unlike many other states. Right now, my sights are on exotics and pigs. To be honest, I prefer the hog hunts. Those who know me know that I usually go after these bad boys with a stick and string, but now and again I would use one of my favorite rifles. My .30-06 is a bad machine and does a number on those feral hogs, but there are other calibers that do just as good a job. A .223 or .243 caliber rifle will put down a hog with ease. Actually, any rifle that has a large enough caliber will take out the hog out nicely. Most hog hunters will tell you that hunting over a feeder is the way to go. Although that method works and works well, I am not so sure it is the best method. I once hunted these critters in the dead of summer. It was one of those mid 90-degree days and the humidity was 2000. At least it seemed that way. In short…it was HOT. I set up over a watering hole and just sat there and waited for the pigs to get thirsty. It was not long before I had my choice of hogs to shoot. By the time I got the animal back to the vehicle, I was quite thirsty myself, and water was not the only cool drink I was after. Stalking for a shot at a feral hog can be exciting in itself. If you are a newbie at this

“ Texas is just one state that is being overrun by wild pigs.

Hunting All Year… for Hogs and Deer

sort of hunt, then let me give you just a little bit of advice. Stay alert and always be aware of an escape route for you should you need it. These beasts have been known to lie in wait on a hillside or under some nearby brush. If it strikes their fancy, for no reason at all, they may run after you in attack mode. Once, I had to quickly grab a tree branch and lift my legs up as the hog just kept running by me. I am sure he had evil on his mind, and I was going to be the recipient. As a matter of fact, now that I think of it that might have been the day I decided to hunt these critters with a rifle for a while. Texas is just one state that is being overrun by wild pigs. It has the largest amount of feral hogs estimated to be between two and

three million. They multiply very quickly. As a matter of fact, the joke among hog hunters is that when a sow has a dozen piglets, 13 of them survive. They adapt very well to whatever their surroundings are. Loss of habitat does not seem to bother these creatures. They can, and do live in and around our towns. What turned out to be a huge problem for Texas, has turned into a colossal business opportunity for some. The ranchers can buy a few hogs, let them roam on their property and very soon they will have too many of them around. Hunters are happy because there is always some action and plenty of pigs and the ranchers are happy because plenty of hunters are always willing to pay a few bucks to hunt these potentially dangerous animals. T E X A S

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Now, for all the bow hunters out there, let me remind you that your season for whitetails is fast approaching. You should have already been flinging a few arrows to keep your shooting muscles in shape, but if you have not, then chop chop… get to it. The old saying stands true here that the more you practice, the better you will become. By taking the time to shoot a few arrows every day, your muscles will develop a “memory.” They will automatically pull the bow string back to where it has to be. You will automatically go to your anchor point without giving it a thought. Your eye will focus on your target quickly, and you will find that grouping your arrows will result in a tighter group with every week of practice that goes by. A common mistake that bow hunters make while they practice is shooting too many arrows per session. I know of some that shoot for hours and cannot understand why the arrows are not grouping. Simply put, you are tired. You still feel like you physically have no problem shooting a few more, and you can, you just cannot be as accurate as you once were when your muscles were relaxed and fresh. It is enough to shoot 20 or 30 arrows in a session. It is more important to have quality shooting rather than quantity shooting. If you are just starting out in this sport, then make it fun to practice. Shoot at a few balloons. As you get a little better, make the balloons smaller and smaller still until you are shooting at a small piece of the balloon. The smaller the target, the more accurate you will become. Remember, you are not shooting at the animal, but rather a spot on that animal. You are not shooting at the whole side of that deer, but rather a single hair that is behind the front shoulder of that whitetail. If you pick a spot, and concentrate on that spot, you will find that it will become more and more natural for you when that breathing animal is in front of you, and you will be more successful this hunting season. Have fun and hunt safe. Email Lou Marullo at ContactUs@fishgame.com G A M E ®

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STORY BY CHAD FERGUSON

I STOOD IN THE “MAN CAVE” AT MY FRIEND’S HOME ONE HOT August afternoon as he pulled cases and pouches out of gun safes. The room held more weapons and high tech hunting gadgetry than most small town police stations in Texas. My .300 Blackout rifle lay on the table as he walked me through the finer points of night vision monoculars, infrared lasers and thermal imaging and the “do’s and don’ts” of each piece of equipment. He explained 36 |

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night vision “generations” to my teenage son while each item was placed in precisely cut foam slots inside a hard plastic case. At one point I asked “What’s a setup like that cost?” as he snapped the latches shut F I S H

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on the case. He casually mumbled “about 50 grand” as he handed me the case. I’ve got no idea how many times I told my son to be careful with the gear that night, PHOTO: BIGSTOCK

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THERE’S NO RIGHT OR WRONG way to build this system and every application will be a little different based on your specific feeder.

Security Light available for $35 from Harbor Freight. The light mounts on the bottom end of the bracket away from the feeder. This allows you to adjust the light so it shines away from the feeder at an angle and, more important, to aim the motion sensor so it detects movement as game approaches The “poor your feeder. man’s night The solar panel is mounted on vision.” the top outside end of the bracket so it faces the sun and recharges This system provides a very bright the batteries during the day. Keeping motion-activated light that’s powerful enough to shoot from one hundred yards or it away from the feeder is essential so it gets direct sun to recharge during the day and more. It’s solar powered so there are no batteries doesn’t spend long hours in shadows. Most security lights have an option to to buy or change and it’s always on so you’re not going to scent up your feeder area and adjust the length of time they’ll stay on and the motion sensitivity. I’ve found that setting run the risk of being winded. To build this system you need lights and the light on the longest setting and the sensia mounting bracket. This is again the most tivity at about 40 percent works best. This basic design you can expand upon at will gives you light to shoot from for a long period based on your own needs and durability of time, yet the lights won’t come on with every field mouse that drops by for a snack. requirements. Two lights mounted on opposite sides I built my first brackets out of treated lumber scraps which lasted two years before I had of the feeder provide enough coverage that to replace them. For a more durable solution you can have your entire feeder area illuminated. We’ve even expanded the system and you could weld a mounting bracket. The material is not nearly important as mounted additional lights mounted on t-posts the design. The mount must allow the lights in a circle around our feeder pens to alert us to be mounted away from the feeder around to incoming hogs. Just make sure you’re not pointing lights 18 to 24 inches away from the barrel and the mounting surface needs to run parallel to the toward your feeder that would interfere with your vision. ground. These lights are bright white, and I’ve In its simplest form, for a 55-gallon drum feeder, cut two 24 inch pieces of 2x4 lumber often been questioned about the light color. and build an L-shaped wooden bracket to Most lights marketed toward feeders or huntmount to the feeder. There’s a variety of more ing are colored lights. I’ve had a few dozen durable options, but I held the arms in place people use this system across the state, and against the feeder and wrapped a ratchet the color of the light has not been a problem strap around them and secured them in place one single time. In some instances the game will spook on the feeder barrel. The mounting brackets are used to mount slightly for a few days but within three days solar powered LED motion-activated lights they simply ignore it. We found the easiest which are sold as “home security lights” in way to combat this is to throw a gallon of soured corn under the feeder after the lights stores. are installed, and the hogs act like the light’s not there. These lights are essential because: If you’re looking for an inexpensive and • LED lights draw little power • Solar powered lights assure the batteries exciting way to light up your night hunting there’s no better system for a budget constay charged • Motion-activated option assures they are scious hunter. For less than $100 per feeder you can experience the thrill of night hunting only on when needed You’ll find a variety of options in hard- and help reduce the Texas hog problem. ware stores some of which cost $100 or more but after a lot of wasted time and money I found the best option for a 60 LED Home

but I spent a lot of time worrying. When I wasn’t worrying it was an amazing experience seeing crystal clear images of game in total darkness at distances farther than I could shoot. It opened my eyes to the world of night vision. After the “taste” of night vision I spent that afternoon shopping around online. I’d convinced myself I’d “just find something lower quality and less elaborate” and that I could get something cheaper.” After researching I found prices ranged from “your wife won’t talk to you for a month” to “she’ll divorce you” and everywhere in between. Excited from the previous night’s hunt we decided to head back and hunt the feeder where the big boar kept appearing. I scanned the area with night vision but quickly grew weary of the system while hunting from our box blind and ideas started flowing through my head. We’d used gun mounted “kill lights” (high powered flashlights with colored lights) for a good while. I’d seen a variety of feeder lights as well but nothing that fit our needs. I purchased several manufactured products, none of which I was happy with for my application. I found several designs online, all of which were overcomplicated and didn’t have the features I wanted. With each light I noted the positives and negatives and worked closer each time to determining what the perfect system would be. Every light had the same issues, they weren’t bright enough, required expensive batteries, had batteries that wouldn’t last or required walking to the feeder to turn them on for a night’s hunt. Through trial and error I developed a system that not only exceeded all my expectations and worked perfectly but was also inexpensive. I’m not discounting night vision. If you’re hunting at night on foot or using any other method not involving a stand and feeder it’s hard to beat. Hunting a feeder on the other hand it just seemed like a hassle and almost like putting an elevator in an outhouse. Plus it’s obviously very expensive.

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Texas Freshwater by Matt Williams | TF&G Freshwater Editor

Skin Cancer is No Joking Matter

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HEY SAY A FOOL IS BORN EVERY DAY. I believe it. I see them just about every day. They work outdoors and play outdoors with no skin protection to filter the damaging rays of the sun. Experts have been warning people about

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the harmful effects of overexposure to the sun’s ultraviolet rays for decades now. Yet the number who appear to be heeding the message appears to be dangerously low. The tanning salon business is booming. Beaches and swimming areas are crowded with sun worshipers, many of them clad in skimpy outfits that allow the sun to reach places where it normally doesn’t shine. What gives with all the negative hype cautioning against those golden Coppertone tans? Actually, it isn’t hype at all. In fact, getting one of those deep, dark tans that everyone finds so attractive could turn out to be more trouble than it is worth. A whole lot more trouble. Continued overexposure to the sun can lead to premature aging. Worse yet, it can cause skin cancer, a silent killer that disfigures or causes death in thousands of Americans every year. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer

in the U.S. More people will develop skin cancer this year than lung, prostate, breast and colon cancers, combined. Take a look around you. There is a good chance one or more of the people you see will develop some form of skin cancer in their lifetime, if they haven’t already. Skin cancer doesn’t occur overnight. It can take years to develop. The highest incidence of skin cancer occurs in people over 50, though it could be caused by skin damage the person incurred as a child. The most common signs of skin cancer appear as a new growth, mole that changes colors, or a sore that won’t heal. There are three major types of skin cancer to be aware of: basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma and melanoma. Though some are more dangerous than others, no form of skin cancer should be taken lightly. When a physician drops the “C” word, prompt action should

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follow. Basal cell and squamous cell carcinoma are the least dangerous of the three types of skin cancer. Both have a cure rate of around 90 percent if detected and treated early, which usually means surgical removal. Malignant melanoma is the booger bear of the skin cancer clan. It causes more than 75 percent of skin cancer-related deaths. Although curable in the early stages, melanoma can spread to internal organs and cause death if allowed to progress. Like other diseases, skin cancer can be hereditary. The gene is present in my family tree, especially on my father’s side. My 90-year old dad refers to his dermatologist as “saw bones.” That’s because the doctor has removed numerous skin cancers over the years from his face, back and legs—a few by freezing, but most by cutting. My uncle also had multiple bouts with skin cancer. The fun has begun for my first cousin, as well. In other words, I am at a pretty high risk of eventually developing the disease, particularly since my job demands that I spend so much time outdoors. That’s why I always use a good sunblock. Sunscreen wasn’t around when my dad was

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a shirtless kid working in the cotton fields. But it is readily available just about anywhere these days for about the same cost as a six-pack of beer. Amazingly, only 30 percent of people use it. Common sense tells me to try to protect my skin rather than ask to become a statistic. I never go to work for extended periods without applying liberal amounts of sunblock to any exposed skin, particularly around my face, ears and neck. Sunscreens work by blocking or absorbing ultraviolet light. The products are labeled with SPF ratings that dictate how much protection the sunscreen provides, and for how long. SPF means sun protection factor. The lower the SPF number, the less protection it provides and vice versa. Using a multiplier of 10, a minimum protection SPF 15 sunscreen will provide about 2 1/2 hours of protection. An SPF 45 sunblock provides nearly eight hours of protection. When choosing a sunscreen, be sure to go with one that protects against UVA and UVB rays. I’ve had great luck with a product called BULLFROG 45. This sunblock provides protection from UVA and UVB rays.

Proper application is necessary for sunscreen to provide maximum protection. Most manufacturers advise applying sunblock at least 30 minutes before exposure so it can be absorbed by the skin. Reapplications throughout the day are advised if you swim or perspire heavily. Sunscreen isn’t the only option for protection from the sun. Dressing in long sleeves, pants and a wide-brim hat can be a big help, especially if you work outdoors for extended periods. Several companies are making fashionable face masks, gloves, hoodies, shirts and pants with the hot weather fisherman in mind. As an angler, I might be wise to send a little business their way. That’s because skin cancer is serious business. The more you can do to prevent skin damage now, the less chance you have of developing problems later on.

Contact Matt Williams at ContactUs@fishgame.com

5/6/14 11:11 AM


Texas Saltwater by Calixto Gonzales | TF&G Saltwater Editor

Going Through a Phase…

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NGLERS HAVE HAD IT HAPPEN OVER and over again. The early morning bite is going off like gangbusters. It is literally a trout on every cast. Then, nothing. Someone threw a switch, and the bite Just - Shut – Off! Everyone in the boat looks at each other with that “what in the world is going on here?” look. Lures get switched. Different spots are tried. Still—nothing. What usually happens is the moon, or rather the phase it is in. The informed angler knows that the moon is a major influence on the behavior and feeding habits of wildlife, and more specifically, fish. Inshore fishermen have long been familiar with the moon’s effect on tides and feeding habits of various inshore species. Fish habits and tendencies can be predicted with reasonable accuracy through the phases of the moon. You will always find some fisherman sitting at the dock telling stories of 80 fish days during the peak of the full moon or the new moon. They swear that the moon is the pinion that their fishing success turns on. YOU CAN NEVER UNDERESTIMATE how the moon affects wildlife. Their activity level is certainly affected. If you drive by a cattle pasture during a full moon or new moon, you’ll see that the cattle are mostly bedded down or mostly up and foraging. If you check a Solunar chart, you can correlate that behavior with the timing of a major or minor feeding movement. The same holds true with saltwater fish. Offshore, the moon can affect the strength of currents, which in turn, affect fish habits. Bottom fish tend to hold closer to structure when offshore currents run strong. Reef fish 40 |

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don’t like being pushed around by heavy current. Rocks and structure serve as both shelter and current breaks that fish utilize. Snappers and groupers will turn headto into the current and hold in position. Amberjacks also hold closer to the bottom in heavy currents. The fish are also less active, even the normally hyper-aggressive amberjack. A new moon, on the other hand, means lighter currents offshore, and reef fish begin feeding more actively and move farther from the front porch in search of protein. “Reef fish are more aggressive when currents are lighter,” says Captain Richard Bailey. “Snappers school up, and you’re more likely to chum them up to the surface where you can free-line baits to them. Amberjacks are also much more aggressive.” There are four movements of fish activity during the day. When the moon is rising, there is a minor feeding movement. There is a major feeding movement when the moon is directly overhead. When you have a full moon, the major feeding movement is strongest in the middle of the day. To learn about how moon phases affect fish activity, a smart angler will consult a solunar table (such as Dr. Oscar Sotelo’s Lunar Transit Times) to determine when the major movements occur. During a full moon, the peak daytime bite comes about midday. The window of activity during the major movements is two to four hours. Then it begins to slowly taper off. Over the course of the next hour bite improves. Bailey says that fishing during a full moon does in fact improve around midday. The currents also seem to ease up when the moon is at its zenith. Though there may still be a strong current, it is easier to set up over structure and fish. “I’ll move up-current of the structure and feed baits back to the structure while drifting,” he says. “The thing is that you have to put the bait right on top of the structure, where the fish are.” During the new moon and the first and third lunar quarter, currents are more modF I S H

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erate, and bottom fish can be chummed up to the surface or close to the surface. Stromeyer prefers to drift-fish rather than anchor. He calls up red snappers and amberjacks off the structure and to the surface with diced menhaden. Once the fish are up from structure, Bailey will have his clients drift back a whole croaker or menhaden on a free-line rig and circle hook. It usually doesn’t take very long before something will grab hold of the bait (during one particularly memorable trip, Bailey spotted a big ling behind The Troublemaker, and cast a live croaker to it; the problem was that a big blacktip shark was also very interested in the croaker. After an extended game of cat-and-mouse, the 40-pound ling finally beat the shark to the morsel and sucked it down.). The common rule of thumb has always been that fish don’t feed during the day of a full moon, except those very narrow windows at midday. A good idea for anglers is to flip flop their sleeping habits. Something that is really effective during a full moon is night fishing. Fish seem to feed more at night when there is a peak moon. In fact, night fishing during a full moon can turn a good fishing trio into a memorable one. Snappers are especially aggressive at night, and move closer to the surface to forage and the same free-lining tactics that work during the day also work at night. Since major movements occur roughly 12- to 12½-hours apart, a full moon evening bite occurs roughly around midnight and could last until 4 a.m. Anglers should be familiar with the structure they plan to fish and set out to anchor over the rocks prior to sunset. Hey, you might lose some sleep, but the payoff could leave you howling at the moon.

Calixto Gonzales at CGonzalez@fishgame.com

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TRUE GREEN

Edited by Will Leschper

Playing Chicken on the Prairie THE LESSER PRAIRIE-CHICKEN IS a relatively small and ornate bird, but its impact on conservation could be huge and lasting in Texas and neighboring states. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service recently listed the species as threatened under the Endangered Species Act and related efforts to grow the population have received widespread support, including from Texas landowners. The lesser prairie-chicken’s historical range of grassland and prairie has been slashed by roughly 80 percent, according to Service estimates. That territory including in portions of Texas, Colorado, Kansas, New Mexico and Oklahoma now only harbors a little more than 17,000 of the birds, a figure the Service hopes to grow by 50,000 over 10 years with a multi-tiered plan that includes brush control, grazing management, prescribed burning and allowing periodic monitoring, according to the 42 |

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Texas Parks and Wildlife Department. Nearly 100 landowners in the Panhandle and Rolling Plains voluntarily have enrolled more than 600,000 acres in conservation agreements, marking one of the largest private commitments to conserve a species in state history. The effort has been long in the works, getting its start in 2006 when TPWD signed a Candidate Conservation Agreement with Assurances with the Service. At that time, the prairie-chicken was only a candidate for a threatened or possibly endangered listing. When the Service proposed listing the bird as threatened in 2012, enrollment in the program surged. By undertaking voluntary conservation measures under the CCAA framework, landowners are assured that no further land use restrictions or conditions will be required from them. In return they undertake associated conservation actions, which not only help the prairie-chicken but also other species. They also receive technical guidance from biologists and the management plan is highly customizable to each individual landowner’s needs and operations. “Prairie-chicken conservation equals grassland conservation,” said Calvin Richardson, TPWD Panhandle Wildlife Division district leader. “Landowners who F I S H

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provide good habitat for this bird are helping many other grassland-dependent species such as pronghorn antelope and many grassland birds. Further, prairie conservation equals water conservation. Restoring and managing the native grasslands of the Texas Panhandle, including regions with playa lakes, can help provide vital recharge sources for the Ogallala Aquifer.” The listing means the prairie-chicken is likely to become in danger of extinction within the foreseeable future, and is a step below endangered, allowing for more flexibility in how Endangered Species Act protections are implemented. Also announced was a final special rule under section 4(d) of the Act that limits regulatory impacts on landowners and businesses from this listing. In addition to private landowners, big industry has thrown its weight behind the plan in connection with the Lesser Prairie-Chicken Rangewide Conservation Plan, composed of more than 30 oil and gas, electric transmission and wind energy companies that have enrolled 3.6 million acres and provided more than $20 million for habitat conservation during the next three years. Lesser prairie-chicken populations have fluctuated historically due to weather and habitat conditions. In fact, populations were so low during the droughts in the 1930s and 1950s biologists feared the species was almost extinct. However, when rains returned, the populations rebounded, according to TPWD records. TPWD officials said they were disappointed in the Service’s decision to ultimately list the prairie-chicken as threatened, citing the continuing management plan among PHOTO: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

5/6/14 12:18 PM


TRUE GREEN all effort not work and the prairie-chicken becomes officially listed as endangered. Let’s hope it truly becomes a win-win for all species involved, especially a bird that could use a lot of help. Information: lesserprairiechicken.com/ texas. —by Will Leschper TG

Willow Lake Marsh Terracing Project DUCKS UNLIMITED IS WORKING on a marsh restoration project on the McFaddin National Wildlife Refuge Willow Lake unit. Willow and Barnett Lakes are two natural lakes that were land locked until the 1970s. Prior to the 1970s, ditches were dredged to allow waterfowl hunting and trapping within the watershed. Between the mid-1960s and the early 1970s, a small channel opened between Shell Lake and the Willow/Barnett Lake Complex ditches. This channel allowed all of the marsh plant root material to flush out of the marsh and into Shell Lake. This channel, referred to today as No Name Bayou, has since eroded to a three to four foot depth and approximately 25 foot width. Numerous other ditches have eroded, causing further salt water intrusion, freshwater loss, and marsh stress within the Willow/Barnett Lake Complex. These changes have caused Willow and Barnett lakes to transition from a fresh/intermediate marsh in the early to mid 1980s, to brackish/salt marsh which does not offer as much food for waterfowl and other wildlife. Due to the increased salinity conditions, the vegetative plant community, especially submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV – an important food for waterfowl), has been greatly impacted within the system. Additionally, emergent marsh is slowly but persistently being converted to open water. As recent as 1991, Barnett and Willow

Lake supported fresh water plant communities, however over the last several years SAVs are often killed by summer salinity spikes, which in turn decrease foods available to wintering waterfowl. To address this habitat degradation, Ducks Unlimited and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service partnered to construct approximately 20,000 linear feet of earthen terraces within the Willow Lake blowout. The terraces will reduce erosion, increase fisheries productivity potential, further increase productivity potential for SAV, provide potential nesting locations for various bird species, and increase shoreline-to-water transitional areas for fisheries. Ducks Unlimited provided professional services, including engineering the design of the terraces, contracting, and providing construction oversight. DU will be planting the terrace sides and tops with intertidal and high marsh species, including smooth cord grass and marsh hay. In addition to terrace construction, DU will be designing and installing low-crested weirs within the tidal channels to reduce salt water inflows, and sustain the Willow Lake marsh at fresh/intermediate salinity regimes. The linear footage of terraces being constructed, combined with channels remaining open should increase fisheries utilization while the increased presence of valuable SAV will provide ample habitat both for fisheries and waterfowl. —by Andi Cooper TG T E X A S

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A JOINT VENTURE FORMED BY affiliates of three of the world’s largest oil and gas companies is helping conservation efforts in Texas. Golden Pass LNG, which recently pledged $130,000 in support of Ducks Unlimited‘s conservation programs along the Texas coast, PHOTO: DUCKS UNLIMITED

the five states above and underlying support for the plan from private landowners and even oil and gas companies, but the decision won’t change any current efforts to aid and restore populations to their previous levels. In the end, landowners can gain free assistance with their operations, learn more about the unique aspects to their land, potentially make history by saving and restoring a species, and ultimately protect themselves from restrictions should the over-

added to the outreach by providing more than 3.2 million cubic yards of dredge material for use on projects at the Salt Bayou Unit of the J.D. Murphree Wildlife Management Area. Ducks Unlimited, in conjunction with the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, managed the placement of the dredge material, which raised marsh elevations and is aimed at encouraging the growth of important plants on more than 2,200 acres. The project constructed about three miles of rock breakwater along the Intracoastal Waterway to protect more than 900 acres of wildlife management areamanaged wetlands from wave erosion and saltwater intrusion. —Staff Report TG G A M E ®

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Hot

Crapp Best Lakes for Crappie in the Texas Summer Heat BY JOHN N. FELSHER 44 |

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PHOTO: CHESTER MOORE

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UNDER A BROILING TEXAS SUN, CRAPPIE enthusiasts find themselves sitting alone over the best honey holes as anglers pursue other species during the summer. “Typically, most anglers fish for crappie in the spring, but the summer can be a very good time to catch crappies,” explained Brian Van Zee, a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department biologist in Waco. “Crappies must eat all year long. In the summer, crappies are under much less pressure as people do other things.” When the weather turns hot, crappies typically drop deeper to find comfortable temperatures. Not as affected by capricious weather, deep water remains relatively

of the brush pile or right along the edges of it,” advised Lonnie Stanley, a professional fishermen and legendary lure designer from Huntington. “The bottom might be 30 feet down, but fish are up near the top of the pile about 16 to 18 feet deep. I like to fish off the sides of brush piles. I put a buoy marker in the middle of the brush pile and get off about 10 feet on one side. I don’t like going through the middle of the pile because the bait might hang up and disturb the fish.” Not all crappies go deep in the summer. Many seek cooling shade under docks. Most Texas reservoirs bristle with docks. Look for docks sitting near deep water where fish can go up or down in the water column as they wish. Also look for any docks with rod holders attached to the rails and lights pointing over the lake surface. This probably indicates that the owner fishes and quite possibly added some brush within easy casting distance of the pier for extra fish-attracting cover. Many anglers troll around dock edges or flip baits toward outside pilings, but the biggest fish frequently hunker down in seemingly inaccessible cover. In their protective roofed lairs, big slabs may never see lures as they grow fat slurping any hapless baitfish that swims too close. To catch slabs that few others dare tempt, try “shoot the docks.” “I love shooting docks,” explained Wally Marshall, a professional crappie angler from Anna. “Sometimes, I catch three or four crappies from under one dock. Sometimes, I catch more than 50 from under one dock.” For shooting docks, use a light, flexible spinning rod about five to seven feet long. Grab the lure by the head. Bend the rod tip to build up energy as if preparing to launch an arrow from a bow. When released, the bending rod propels small lures where few others can go. A skilled dock shooter can hurl a small bait way under entangling cover with remarkable accuracy. “Load the rod up like a bow and arrow,” Marshall advised. “Flip the bail and grab the line with your index finger. Then, grab the lure by the head, not the hook. Keep the

pie stable. Crappies may stay in the same place for weeks if they find the right combination of food, comfortable temperatures, cover and oxygen. Find the fish and anglers might land a boatload without moving the boat. The trick comes in finding the first fish. “In the summer, anglers need to look for crappies in deeper areas with good structure,” Van Zee recommended. “As water starts warming up, crappies start moving deeper to look for structure. Good electronics can save someone a lot of time trying to locate fish and structure that might hold crappies. In June, concentrate on places with submerged structure, brush or timber in deeper water.” In most Texas lakes, “crappie habitat” means brush piles. Many anglers fish deep brush piles with jigs, live minnows or some combination of the two. Drop a temptation down and work completely around a brush pile, stump or similar cover to find the fish. “Most of the time, fish are right on top

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line parallel to the water, depending upon how much room is under the dock. It might be only three or four inches of space between the bottom of the dock and the surface of the water. Release the jig and catapult it under the dock as far as possible.” Texas anglers can catch crappies just about anywhere in the Lone Star State, particularly East Texas. Lake Sam Rayburn near Jasper and Toledo Bend on the Louisiana line always top the list of great Texas crappie lakes. In fact, Toledo Bend came in number 23 on the 2013 Fishhound. com list of the top 50 crappie lakes in America. Rayburn didn’t make the top 50, but it can still produce excellent crappie catches. “Between Sam Rayburn and Toledo Bend, I’d hate to say which lake is best for crappies,” Stanley said. “On Rayburn, almost every hump or ridge has a brush pile or two on it. Look for the tallest tree or the biggest stump in an area and it probably has a brush pile near it from the original tree or because someone put one there. Tall trees make prominent landmarks so people can remember where they put their piles.” Lake Texoma on the Red River made the list at Number 26. Lake Texoma covers about 74,686 acres on the Texas-Oklahoma border near Denison. The lake can produce crappies topping three pounds. “Most Texas lakes have good crappie populations, but populations fluctuate from year to year and from lake to lake depending upon water levels and other factors,” Van Zee explained. “A year or two, they may have excellent reproduction while the next two years they may have poor reproduction.” Other hot Texas crappie waters include Lake Fork at Number 34 and Number 49 Lake of the Pines. More known for monster bass, Lake Fork covers 27,264 acres on the Sabine River near Quitman and produced black crappies approaching four pounds. Lake of the Pines spreads across 16,919 acres along Big Cypress Creek near Longview. It produced crappies topping three pounds. Other good Texas crappie waters include Cedar Creek, Lake Conroe, Lake Falcon, Lake Granger, Fort Phantom Hill Lake, Lake Proctor, Lake Lewisville, Lake Livingston and Lake Waco. Many small park lakes can also provide excellent crappie action.

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PHOTO ESSAY BY CHESTER MOORE

IT IS VIRTUALLY IMPOSSIBLE to cruise the waterways of Texas without seeing turtles. We are blessed to have a wide variety ranging from the common red-eared slider to the magnificent sea turtles.

THE SOFTSHELL TURTLE can reach gigantic proportions as evidenced by this one the author caught three years ago near a bayou in Orange County. This turtle weighed upwards of 40 pounds and was released back where it came from. In other words—no turtle soup.

Let us look at Texas’ amazing aquatic turtles.

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PHOTOS: CHESTER MOORE; USFWS

5/6/14 11:17 AM


THE LARGEST TURTLE in the world is the leatherback, which can grow up to eight feet from nose to tail. They are a rare sighting in Texas, but in 1999 the author saw one only three miles offshore out of Sabine Pass. He estimated it to be a minimum of seven feet.

THE ALLIGATOR snapping turtle is a threatened species in Texas and one of the most mysterious animals in the country. They can grow to more than 200 pounds according to some reports and can live well over 100 years.

THE RED-EARED SLIDER is Texas’ most common turtle and can be found throughout most of the state, usually sunning on logs and often in large congregations.

 THE KEMP’S RIDLEY Sea Turtle nests on Texas’s beaches and is a federally endangered species. They were one of the main reasons for the TED bycatch reduction devices on shrimp trawlers being enacted. T E X A S

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5/6/14 11:17 AM


Open Season by Reavis Wortham | TF&G Humor Editor

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HE HUNTING CLUB WAS LOAFING around Doreen’s 24 Hour Eat Gas Now Café and trying to decide whether we wanted to go fishing or just spend the rest of the day annoying Doreen. I voted for annoyance, but the other guys still weren’t committal. “At least change the channel on the television,” I said to Doreen. “I’ve had about all I can take of the Weather Channel.” “We can’t. The channel knob is gone and I can’t find the vice-grips. We’re stuck with it until one of you bums goes to the truck and finds me some pliers.” “You oughta buy one of those new flat panel televisions…” I was interrupted when the phone rang behind the counter. Doc was closest and Doreen waved at him to pick it up. “Hello?” He listened for a moment and then his eyes lit up like Santa Claus had just entered the room. “Hurry over here, we know what to do. He hung up the phone and positively beamed.” “What?” Wrong Willie asked. “It was Trixie…” Doc began. Everyone (except Doreen) sighed in unison. Trixie is Doreen’s waitress, and she’s…splendid. He continued. “She’s panicked and on her way up here for help. She has a tick and apparently it’s the first one she’s ever had.” The café went nuts with excitement. Whispered speculation on the tick’s location was the only topic of conversation as we waited for her to arrive. Doreen slammed dishes behind the counter and threatened to call the police if we so much as breathed our speculations aloud. Trixie’s red Mustang convertible roared into the lot and she emerged, windblown but still beautiful. Excitement was a lump in our throats as she entered the door with a wild look in her eyes. The look matched our own. She and Doreen immediately disappeared into the ladies room where they

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“ Trixie’s red Mustang convertible roared into the lot and she emerged, windblown but still beautiful.

Tick!

held conference for at least ten minutes. They came back out and motioned for me. Anointed and honored, I joined them in front of the door. “How do we get it off?” asked Doreen. “I’ve never had a tick on me, either.” Before I could control my mouth, the question popped out. “Where is it?” Eye-daggers were thrown. “That doesn’t make any difference. How do we get it off!!!???” “Well, inquiring minds want to know,” Jerry Wayne said, quoting his favorite newspaper.

Every customer in the café leaned in our direction, not even bothering to disguise his or her curiosity. “Just grab hold and pull it off,” said Delbert P. Axelrod, who is slightly below the tick’s level of intelligence. “I’ll do it.” “No you won’t!” Trixie snapped. Her emotions were stretched pretty tight. “You could put a hot match head close to the tick and it should back right out,” Wrong Willie suggested. “I’m not putting anything hot there,” said Trixie. “Well, dang,” Woodrow said. “Put some camphor on it.” F I S H

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“Will it burn?” Trixie asked. “Only the tick.” “We don’t have any,” Trixie said. “Will you go to the drugstore for me?” “Not on your life, I don’t want to miss any of this.” We were at an impasse. “Nail polish might get it off,” Doc suggested. “But it might just encapsulate the little bugger and he’ll be stuck forever.” Trixie shuddered in horror. They disappeared into the restroom once again. Bets were taken as to the location of the little bloodsucker. “Wish I was that tick,” Delbert said. “Mineral oil might do it,” Patrick said. “I have some in the car.” We all worried for a moment about why he carried mineral oil. “”Look,” Doc said. “I don’t know where this thing is and I’d give a month’s salary to find out, but just put some nail polish on it and the surrounding skin. He’ll back right out because it closes the pores and he can’t breathe.” Once again they returned to the restroom and we waited. A minute later gales of laughter erupted from the restroom and the girls came out giggling. Trixie left without a word and Doreen returned to the counter, looking pleased with herself. “Well!!!???” I asked. “It wasn’t a tick after all. It was a little mole she’d never noticed before. She’s fine now.” Most of the guys slumped at their seats. Others stared vacantly out the window. Two or three shivered as if they had a rigor. “She may be fine,” Doc concluded. “But with that image, none of us will ever be the same again.” “The last time I was hunting no one made such a big deal about the ticks I got on me,” said Delbert. “Shut up,” everyone said in unison and returned to our daydreams, wondering about that mole. Email Reavis Wortham at ContactUs@fishgame.com

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5/6/14 11:18 AM


Digital Edition

Life on the

Edge

Pushing the Surf Fishing Envelope BY GREG BERLOCHER

“THE SURF: CERTAINLY ONE OF NATURE’S FINEST EDGES.” —Russell Chatham, Dark Waters.

PHOTO: BIGSTOCK

Life on the edge is hard. The environment is corrosive and gritty. All manner of creatures live there that bite, sting, poke, prick, and hang on until the last minute. Skin exposed to harsh winds and bright rays quickly becomes raw. But a small cadre of fishermen is there every night. Their dreams are filled with visions of uninhabited beaches, vegetated dunes topped with waving thatches of sea oats, myriad species of shore birds running in the wash of the first gut, aqua waves crashing over dazzling sandbars, wheeling gulls and pelicans crashing balls of bait beyond the whitecaps, and large reels stripped of line. What sort of fisherman enjoys life on the edge? What genetic mutation is the origin of this subspecies? Indeed, Mega Roddus Texanus is a different breed. Easily discerned from a distance, died-in-the-wool surffishermen sport a pronounced set of “coon eyes” and drive T F & G

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late model American-made four-wheel drive trucks powered by V-8 engines, the body panels pock-marked with holes where salt claimed victory over painted steel, the mechanical joints groaning with anguish from the intrusion of oxidation, exposed metal reddish-brown from a high sodium diet. The most patently obvious clue that a hardcore surf fisherman’s vehicle is parked next to you is the huge rod holder mounted in front of the radiator, clinging to the bumper by a few remaining tendrils of rusted steel. ANYONE CAN MOUNT PVC TUBES TO THEIR front bumpers, but these guys are different. Rustoleum through

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TF&G Almanac Table of Contents GEARING UP SECTION Go

TEXAS TESTED • Maverick & G3 Boats | BY TFG STAFF

Go

FISH AND GAME GEAR• Hot New Outdoor Gear | BY TFG STAF

Go

INDUSTRY INSIDER • P-Line & Xpress Boats | BY TFG STAFFF

FISHING FORECAST SECTION

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COVER STORY • Life on the Edge | BY GREG BERLOCKER

Go

HOTSPOTS FOCUS: UPPER COAST | BY CAPT. EDDIE HERNANDEZ

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HOTSPOTS FOCUS: GALVESTON | BY CAPT. MIKE

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

OUTDOOR LIFESTYLE SECTION Go

TEXAS TASTED • High Flying Quail | BY BRYAN SLAVEN

Go

OUTDOOR CLASSIFIED DIRECTORY • Guides, Gear and More | BY TFG STAFF TF&G PHOTOS • Your Action Photos | BY TFG READERS

Go

HOLMES

HOW-TO SECTION

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HOTSPOTS FOCUS: MATAGORDA | BY MIKE PRICE

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TEXAS BOATING • Boaters Beware | BY LENNY RUDOW

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HOTSPOTS FOCUS: UPPER MID COAST | BY CAPT. CHRIS MARTIN

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TEXAS KAYAKING • Lake Naconiche | BY GREG BERLOCHER

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HOTSPOTS FOCUS: ROCKPORT | BY CAPT. MAC GABLE

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PAUL’S TIPS • Floating Wacky Worms | BY PAUL BRADSHAW

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HOTSPOTS FOCUS: LOWER COAST | BY CALIXTO GONZALES

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TEXAS GUNS & GEAR • Pride in Accuracy | BY STEVE LAMASCUS

Go

TEXAS HOTSPOTS • Texas’s Hottest Fishing Spots | BY TFG

their veins. Captain Bill Sandifer of Corpus Christi loves life on the edge. No one knows more about surf-fishing in Texas than Billy Sandifer, and on one memorable trip with him I had a chance to learn from the master. The Texas coast has it all: start with speckled trout and redfish, add a few egobruising jackfish, mix in a handful of offshore species such as Spanish mackerel, kingfish, and tarpon, and top everything off with a few sharks longer than the family sedan. No other Texas fishing venue offers such variety. If you want your string stretched, this is the place. The Padre Island National Seashore is remote, offering 56 miles of beach accessible only to four-wheel-drive vehicles. Eighteen miles south of the park entrance is Big Shell Beach. Big Shell features 11 miles of sand the consistency of baby powder, and that will test the mettle of any transfer case. Often, neophyte adventurers end up stranded far from home. The Big Shell shoreline is unique. Its contours and geology are influenced by the collision of the Campeche current flowing northward from Mexico and Mississippi River currents flowing southward. The colliding currents push up large concentrations 50 |

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of shell from the ocean floor and deposit them on the beach. Several miles down from Big Shell is Codo del Diablo, or Devil’s Elbow, where soft sand again greeted us. Large knobby tires fought for traction as we slowed to a crawl in the deep powder. While Sandifer drove with one hand on the wheel, which was involuntarily jerked back and forth as the fat tires tracked a weaving rut, he made a sweeping motion toward the beach ahead of us with his other hand and exclaimed, “This is my morning commute to the office.” The other side of Devil’s Elbow is a startling contrast. No powder, no trucks, no people, no trash. As we drove down the deserted beach, a solid, jet-black mass appeared in the distance. A large flock of double-crested cormorants a thousand birds strong huddled at the water’s edge, all bolting at once as we drew near. HAVING MUCH MORE PROnounced bottom contours than the upper coast, the surf below the Elbow is easy to read. “I see everything as light or dark,” Sandifer said. “The sand bars are light and the guts are dark.” As we continued down the beach, large F I S H

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semi-circular pockets of water scalloped the shoreline. These pockets, many three to four feet deep, held aquamarine water. They also held trout and redfish. The pockets connect to guts that slant out into the surf at acute angles—shallow sand bars running seaward congruent with the guts. Incoming waves crash over the shallow bars, which are quite light and contrast vividly with the rich, emerald color of the guts. Incoming waves robbed of their kinetic energy fall into the guts and head back to sea through what Sandifer calls “throats.” These areas are easy to spot as the waves lack whitecaps; a keen eye can detect the water flowing outward. The same type of structure occurs on the middle and upper Texas coast, but the guts and throats are much subtler. The action is just as hot. Big, small, tasty, or toothy, fish of all kinds cruise these guts. Tarpon, jackfish, and sharks are regular visitors. Kingfish are also taken from the beach below the Elbow. While fishing with light trout tackle, Sandifer once had his reel stripped by a tuna that had meandered close to shore. Shaking his head in amusement, he admitted, “That reel is still going through therapy.” CONTINUED ON PAGE 52

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Texas Boating by Lenny Rudow | TF&G Boating Editor

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HERE ARE FEW CONSTANTS IN LIFE beyond everyone’s two favorites— death and taxes. But another that people forget about all too often is that boating is inherently dangerous—even deadly. Anyone who’s been adrift during a violent storm, watched a friend stumble over the transom and fall into 40-degree water, or discovered a bilge full of gasoline knows all too well that much as we love boats, they can be our undoing. Boating today is, of course, far safer than it was just a few decades ago. These days we have inflatable life jackets we can wear with complete comfort, and we can carry

1. WIND AND WEATHER – This is, of course, the number-one factor in general boating safety. Any given boat can handle any given body of water on one day, yet be completely insufficient the next. The big problem is that weather changes. A sudden storm can blow up out of nowhere and turn a placid bay into a raging tempest in a matter of minutes. But an even bigger problem is that people become lackadaisical and

don’t bother watching the weather in the first place. After a few weeks of consistently good weather, we might simply forget to

“ Weather is the number one factor in boating safety.

Boaters Beware

pocket-sized devices that keep us in constant contact with the outside world. Our boats have floatation that will keep them from sinking when swamped, and our engines are far more reliable than they used to be. But don’t let those facts lull you into a false sense of security. Boating is still a dangerous endeavor, and caution and good judgment must always factor into our decisions at the helm. Every time you leave the dock, make sure these five risks enter into the equation.

check the night before a trip. Or we may have such limited time that we decide we’re going to get out on the water regardless of

ALMANAC COVER: Life on the Edge  CONTINUED FROM PAGE 50 Sandifer stressed that long casts dramatically improve your chances of catching fish in the surf. “You want to keep your bait or lure in the strike zone as long as possible,” he explained. “Light trout tackle will work, but heavier, longer rods provide you much more distance.” Sandifer is probably best known for his ability to catch big sharks. We are not talking just any sharks; these bad boys crowd four digits weight-wise. Reels capable of spooling 700 yards of 60-pound-test mono, mated to 12-foot custom rods are his weapons of choice for fighting sea monsters. A 1- to 2-pound whiting pinned to a 14/0 hook is one of his favorite baits. Sandifer loads the baited hook, stainless steel leader, and 1-1/2 pound spider weight into his kayak and paddles out past the whitecaps. Then, he waits. 52 |

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Sandifer understands sharks better than any other Homo sapiens that prowls Texas beaches. As much as he likes tangling with them, he likes releasing them unharmed just as much. A tail rope is indispensable for beaching such a large predator. A few photos, and the shark is back in the water. “To kill such a magnificent animal for a set of jaws is absolutely criminal,” he said. “I refuse to kill these fish, and have lost charters over it.” SANDIFER FEELS THE SAME WAY about filleting trophy trout. “Take her to the taxidermist or release her,” he stated flatly. Along with conservation, Sandifer also stressed proper beach etiquette. When hard beach sand is at a premium, it is definitely bad form to park your truck so that passing traffic must detour into the soft stuff. Moreover, do not throw hardhead catfish on the beach—their sharp spines puncture F I S H

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tires, creating a lingering slow leak that is almost impossible to find. Tarpon is another favorite of the beach crowd. Silver king action gets hot during the late summer, hitting a climax in the fall during the finger mullet run. “Bird action will lead you to tarpon,” he said. Pompano and whiting are plentiful in the surf down south. One or the other repeatedly hammers peeled shrimp fished on the bottom. Both are great on the dinner table. As we fishtailed and skidded through the ruts on the way back, Sandifer said, “Big Shell is the roadblock between civilization and God’s Country. I call it Purgatory.” I couldn’t think of a better description. Indeed, the Texas coast is one of nature’s finest edges.

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Texas Boating what the weather has in store. As captain, your job number-one is making sure everyone, yourself included, gets home safely. And checking the weather before each and every trip, then taking the forecast into account as you decide how far to run and where to go, is a huge part of that job. You can increase your safety margin even more by maintaining some form of onboard weather monitoring system. This can be as simple as downloading a weather app on your cell phone and checking it occasionally, or as advanced as arming your boat with satellite weather systems that display Doppler radar at the helm. Your last line of defense is your eyes; when you see dark clouds brewing on the horizon, don’t ignore them or merely hope they’ll blow in a different direction.

from a combination of other factors: a boat rolls or sinks, someone falls overboard, or an unexpected downpour drenches everyone while the engine is disabled. As a result, being prepared is the best way to defeat hypothermia. Measures you can take include always dressing properly (and making sure your crew is dressed properly, as well), and carrying towels and a change of clothes. But again, the best way to be prepared for hypothermia is to take its danger into account before you ever leave the dock. When the water and air temperatures are low, consider opting for a closer fishing or hunting spot. Don’t even think about going out in small, unstable craft that are prone to roll-overs, such as canoes. And don’t push the limits with water sports that require getting wet.

2. COLD WATER – Hypothermia is the number one killer of outdoor enthusiasts. On boats, hypothermia usually results

3. OVERLOADS – Whether it’s too many passengers or too much gear, an overloaded boat is a dangerous boat. Human

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overloading is actually a bit more dangerous than overloading with gear, since the weight shifts constantly as people move around. But in any case, too much weight reduces a boat’s freeboard and makes it much easier to swamp or roll. This is one danger which is, to some extent, regulated. Every boat built and sold in the US must have a capacity plate, which tells you the safe amount of gear and passengers the boat can handle. Exceeding it is just plain stupid. Coast Guard statistics show that capsizing and falls overboard attributed to overloading are the most-reported cause of fatal boating accidents. 4. INEBRIATION – Boating under the influence is blamed for about one-third of all recreational boating fatalities. And it’s a lot easier to fail to realize you’re being affected by alcohol when you’re on a boat than it is when you’re on land. The effects of being on the water—constant motion, engine

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vibrations, sun, and wind—can accelerate impairment and cause rapid fatigue. That means that if you’re used to being okay after three beers at home, the same amount can be dangerous on your boat. Am I going to go all PC on you, and tell you there should never be a drop of beer on your boat? Heck no—let’s be real, shall we? But drinking to excess is completely inexcusable. And hard liquor really doesn’t have a place, on any boat. 5. MECHANICAL RELIABILITY – We can’t all afford the newest and best boats, but old engines should be properly maintained and—most important— not used when you know there’s a good likelihood of failure. Not too long ago, as I returned to the boat ramp at dusk after a day of fishing, three guys sat in a boat tied to the dock. They were huddled over an outboard with the cowl popped off. I asked if they knew what was wrong, and one of them told me they had no idea, since he had just purchased the boat that afternoon, from an ad on Craig’s List. They fiddled and fussed with the engine for 15 or 20 minutes as I pulled my boat and prepared to tow it home. Just before I left, I heard the motor roar to life. In the next few seconds they cast off the lines, and headed out directly into the middle of the bay. It was minutes from total darkness, and these guys were zooming out into open water in a boat they’d never used before with an engine that didn’t start without some serious hassling. As I watched them grow smaller and smaller in the distance, I hoped they’d make it back under their own power—but I was less than certain that they would. Unreliable power-plants will leave you stranded out on the water sooner or later. Although this, in and of itself, isn’t necessarily a “danger,” floating around in open water without any way to control your boat is. You can’t point the bow into the waves, you can’t run home as a storm approaches, and you can’t prevent the boat from being washed into a rock jetty. If you can’t rely on your engine, your boat becomes that much more unsafe, and unsafe boats simply don’t belong on the water. Email Lenny Rudow at ContactUs@fishgame.com

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Texas Kayaking by Greg Berlocher | TF&G Kayaking Editor

Naconiche: the Little Lake that Could

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OTHING STOKES THE EXCITEMENT of bass anglers like the opening of a newly impounded reservoir. Fertile waters enriched by nutrients from dead vegetation and decaying timber supercharge the fishery, and both forage and predators explode in number. Largemouth bass grow thick on a high protein diet of shad, bream and crappie. After much fanfare and a delayed public debut, Lake Naconiche opened in September 2012, and in its first year and a half, results are encouraging. As an added bonus, the reservoir is kayak friendly. Located roughly 13 miles northeast of Nacogdoches, Naconiche’s permanent pool area is listed as 692 acres but the surrounding park acreage totals 1,254 acres. This allows the little impoundment to swell when it rains and release water grudgingly when droughts come calling. Few reservoirs trace their lineage back to the Lyndon Baines Johnson administration, but Naconiche’s lineage is anything but expedited. Call it “The little lake that could.” Naconiche is a county park overseen by Nacogdoches County. Named for the indigenous people that lived in the area several centuries before, the reservoir opened with great fanfare last fall after several years of high expectations. A lottery system was imposed for the first several weeks after the impoundment opened, severely limiting the number of anglers. Catches of 80 bass per day were common, creating the false sense that the newly impounded reservoir was filled to the brim with fat, stupid bass. Weeks passed and catch rates fell. It turns out the bass wised up quickly. Texas Fish & Game subscriber Dr.

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Michael Banks, DDS, provided a firsthand report on the fishery shortly after the official opening. Banks, who lives within an hour’s drive of Lakes Fork, Purvis, and Nacogdoches, is an avid kayak fisherman. His in-depth report, along with images of fat bass festooning the cockpit of his olive drab hull, got my attention. “Naconiche is full of flooded timber,” Banks said. “The two main creek channels are lined with timber and they are easy to track without a depth finder.” BANKS NOTED THAT ALL THE bass he caught were chunky and he postulated several reasons for the fish’s healthy condition. “It starts with a good water supply. The southern creek is fed by a 600-gallon per minute spring on the old Boy Scout camp, which is now an RV park. A major brand of bottled water used to harvest some of that water from that spring.” “The forage base is also important to the bass population’s health. A good population of baitfish allows the bass to pretty much feed nonstop,” Banks continued. One boat ramp inside Nacogdoches County Park serves as the only launch site for kayaks. Day access costs $5 per vehicle/ driver, with additional passengers costing $1 each. FM 2435 crosses the northern branch of the lake, but it isn’t possible to launch from this site. Banks waited several weeks after the official lake opening for the pandemonium to die down, and he discovered an empty parking lot on his weekday trip. “I fished during the week, and there were only two cars at the ramp when I arrived. I suspect it is quite different on weekends but the lake was very quiet and peaceful during the week.” F I S H

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The little lake that would not be denied has already coughed up several ten-pounders prompting Banks to suggest it wouldn’t be long before the new impoundment would produce its first ShareLunker. “The lake has shown good promise, and with good management, Naconiche is going to produce some very large fish.” Hearing his comments, I could only reflect on the wasted opportunities of my youth. Having witnessed firsthand the incredible fisheries of Lakes Livingston and other Texas reservoirs in their heydays, I can only imagine what they would be like today if they had been managed in the same vein as Lake Fork and other new reservoirs. Lake Naconiche’s small size makes it kayak friendly. “Flooded timber is prevalent, and just a short paddle will put you in reach of structure-oriented fish,” Banks advised. “But many of the treetops are starting to decay and rot. All boaters, not just kayakers, need to be careful in the spring when winds are blowing. A big gust of wind will bring some of those big limbs crashing down and they can really hurt you.” TPWD HAS INTENSIVELY MANaged this lake and has regularly stocked it since 2009. Bass stocking includes both adult and fingerling Florida-strain bass and also offspring from the ShareLunker program. Although largemouth bass get the lion’s share of the attention from anglers, don’t discount the lake’s healthy population of crappie and sunfish. For additional information on the park, contact Nacogdoches County officials at (936) 559-9038.

Email Greg Berlocher at ContactUs@fishgame.com.

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Paul’s Tips

Floating a Wacky Worm

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.

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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 know 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 downside 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 really thought of using with a plastic worm.

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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. 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.

ILLISTRATION BY PAUL BRADSHAW

by Paul Bradshaw | TF&G Contributing Editor

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

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 A L M A N A C

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depth where you want the worm suspended, 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.

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Texas Guns by Steve LaMascus | TF&G Shooting Editor

Pride in Accuracy

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HAT’S IN YOUR WALLET? Okay, I plagiarized that from a commercial. In our wallets, most of us carry photos of our loved ones, credit cards, ID cards, driver’s license, hunting license, membership cards for the Texas Outdoor Writers Association, and such other things we feel are indispensable. It might surprise you to know that many

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shooters carry small pieces of paper with holes in them—and therein lies a story. BACK IN 1972, I HAD A .25-06 REMington Model 700 ADL. It was a marvelously accurate rifle, averaging groups down around an inch or less. It was so accurate that I shot it for group every chance I got. I spent a lot of time at the bench, testing new loads, or just shooting tiny groups for my own pleasure. In those days, it was rare for a hunting rifle to group less than 1-1/2 inches at 100 yards. Then one day, I shot a group of three at 100 yards that went into one hole. It was beautiful! I pulled the target down, laid it on the bench beside the gun, and just admired

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it. Everyone else at the range came over and admired it. Then, I decided I should allow everyone else I knew to admire it, so I cut out the portion of the target with the holes in it and placed it in my wallet. I showed that little group around for years, even after I had shot the barrel out of the rifle and traded it for something else (a K-38 Smith & Wesson revolver, I think). Finally, having almost worn out the paper, I took the group and taped it in a book where I kept my loading data. I haven’t seen it for years, but I suppose it is still there, unless the old ledger has been lost in a move sometime over the last 25 years. This is not unique to my warped mind. It is sufficiently common that a tiny group with all the holes touching is sometimes called a “wallet group.” Now, the moral of this story is that, to a shooter, such a small group is a thing of beauty worthy of admiration—and showing to all your friends. It is closely akin to good art and comes in one step above photos of ex-girlfriends or an acrylic-onvelvet portrait of Elvis. This leads us to the discussion of accuracy and why we are so intense when it comes to the pursuit of it. We all want to be Billy Dixon or Carlos Hathcock. We want to own the most accurate rifle on the block. It is a natural thing to want to be the best and to possess the best. Most of us, whether or not we admit it, want to be recognized as the best at something— anything. To a hunter, superior accuracy means that placement of the bullet on game is more precise. It gives us confidence in our equipment, which in turn gives us greater confidence in ourselves and makes us better hunters. If you are shooting a gun that can’t place all its shots on a five-gallon bucket at a hundred yards, you are going to have a problem when the deer is standing at 200 yards. The majority of us do not have the self-control to refrain from shooting, so accuracy is a neces-

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“ Only accurate rifles are interesting.

sity for a hunter. If we are pure shooters, like some of the benchrest crowd who never fire a shot at game, then accuracy becomes a reward in itself. The current record for benchrest in the International Benchrest Shooters association light varmint category is a five-shot group that measured 0.091 inches at 200 yards. That is nine one-hundredths of an inch from center to center for five shots. And take my word for it; it will be broken before long. Famed gun writer Townsend Whelen once wrote, “Only accurate rifles are interesting.” He was exactly correct. I once had a rifle so beautiful that it would bring tears to the eyes of a gun loony. However, its accuracy was only mediocre. I kept it a few years, never used it, and finally sold it to a man who appreciated beauty more than accuracy. I now have another gun that falls into that category. I bought it because it was so pretty. If I can’t get it to shoot better, I will probably trade it for something uglier, but more accurate. Now the warning: In our pursuit of accuracy, we sometimes forget important details.

First, not all hunting bullets are as accurate as target bullets. When we start using match bullets on game simply because they are more accurate, we are making a mistake. Match bullets are made to punch holes in paper and are not intended for shooting game animals. You must choose a bullet made for the purpose to which you will put it. I will give up some accuracy to get a bullet that penetrates deeply and performs properly when it strikes

meat. Second, most forms of hunting do not require a rifle that will compete with the benchrest beasts. A rifle that shoots a twoinch group is more than sufficient for hunting elk and deer. If you find one more accurate than that, great—but don’t throw away a good elk gun because it won’t shoot bug-hole groups. Most rifles light enough to carry all day in rough country and that shoot powerful rounds are not going to be as accurate as heavy, cumbersome, small caliber rifles. Last, most of us cannot shoot as well as our rifles. We are made of quivering muscle, creaky joints, tingling nerves, faulty eyes, and subject to debilitating fits of buck fever. Except from a solid benchrest, we would not know if a rifle shot 1/4-inch groups or four-inch groups. So, determine your own limitations before you decide what to demand from a rifle. You don’t have to accept poor accuracy, but you have no reason to expect perfection. Email Steve LaMascus at ContactUs@fishgame.com

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Texas Tested

Maverick Mirage HPX-V: Slim Fast Diet

boat was thoroughly stable even as I perched myself on the foredeck to take a cast. Important fishing features on the HPX-V include an 18-gallon centerline livewell, a big foredeck stowage compartment, a poling platform, a pole holder, and under-gunwale rodracks. The gunwales are wide enough to walk 360-degrees around the boat, and you can put the day’s catch in one of the aft stowage compartments. All of the hatches (including the one on the forward bulk stowage compartment) rise on gas-assist struts, and close on gasketed gutters. The Maverick Mirage HPX-V isn’t going to be for everyone; it’s relatively small and fits a very specific fishing niche. But if you’re one of those guys who takes his skinny-water fishing seriously—very seriously—this boat is going to be tough to beat. For more information, visit www.maverickboats.com.

PHOTOS: MAVERICK BOATS

YOU WANT TO SCREAM OVER THE flats at speeds in excess of 45 mph, cut hair-pin turns through the marsh, and pole through a mere 7.5 inches of water? Then you need a highly-specialized skinny-water boat, such as the Maverick Mirage HPXV. This is the ultimate in technical poling skiffs, and it can float, run, and fish in ankledeep waters. Construction is one of the main reasons why. Built with a vacuum-infused carbon fiber and Kevlar hull, foam coring, and carbon-reinforced stiffeners, the HPX-V tips the scales at a mere 750 pounds. Yes, you read that right—750. Not only does this incredibly light weight minimize draft, it also maximizes efficiency. When I ran this boat,

it had a mere 90 horses on the transom, yet it still blasted out of the hole and at wideopen throttle, raced into the upper 40s. Will you really want to run it this fast? Ummm… yeah! I hate to get overly subjective when talking about boats, but in the case of the Mirage HPX-V, it was so much fun being at the helm I can’t help but mention what a great time I had. Handling is unbelievably good, and you can crank out a high-speed U-turn in about as wide an arc as my fullsize pick-up. Slamming down the throttle from a dead-stop, acceleration is quick enough to give you whip-lash. I got such a charge out of running it, I hardly wanted to stop and fish—seriously. Does the boat’s light weight mean a bumpy ride? I sure didn’t think so. The hull carries 13-degrees of transom deadrise, which was enough to keep me comfy in a 5 to 10 mph breeze and a slight chop. When we reached the fishing zone, I found the

 Maverick HPX-V

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PHOTOS: G3 BOATS

G3 Bay Series

Metal Sharks: G3 Bay Series THERE’S AN ENTIRE NEW LINE-UP of all-welded aluminum boats coming from G3 this year, and they’re all about saltwater angling: the Bay Series. There are three models in the series, including an 18-foot by 7-foot, 2-inch, an 18-foot by 8-foot wide-body, and a 20-foot by 8-foot, 1-inch wide-body. These models share some important traits. Not only are they all welded, the aluminum is thicker than you’d expect. On the two 18-footers it’s 0.100-inch gauge, and on the 20-footer, a whopping 0.125 inches thick. They all have white “Tough Coat” spray-in liner, which means you won’t slip, fish won’t get spooked by items hitting bare aluminum decks, and the material will remain cool in direct sunlight. They’re pre-wired for bow-mounted electric trolling motors, and forward stowage boxes have locking latches. The Bay Series boats also come with a custom-matched aluminum trailer, including a tongue jack, 14-inch tires, and a Trail Guard locking detachable tongue. The prerequisite fishing features aren’t just met, either—they’re exceeded. Look at the livewells, for example. The smallest model has a giant 3-foot, 5-inch-long, 27 T F & G

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gallon livewell with dividers. The widebody 18 has a 31-gallon aft well, plus a 14-gallon well under the forward console seat. And the 20-foot model also has both 31 and 14 gallon livewells. The consoles have vertical rodracks, and all three of these boats come with a pair of pedestalmounted fishing seats. G3 says that the Bay 18 will hit 37 mph with a Yamaha F90 on the transom, and the boat is also available with an F70 or a F75. With the Bay 18 DLX widebody version you can step it up to a F115, and get speeds darn close to 50 mph. But if you really want to rock and roll, rig up a Bay 20 DLX with a VF150, and top-end goes all the way up to 58 mph.

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So, what’s left to stop you from getting a boat like the G3 Bay Series? One of the biggest complaints about aluminum bay boats is the way they look. Fiberglass gel coat just shines better, and many people are willing to overlook aluminum’s advantages, such as lighter weight and lower cost, simply because of looks. But even this issue has been addressed by G3—the Bay Series hulls are finished in a baked-on twopart urethane, which looks absolutely great. So… what’s left to stop you, now? Nothing. For more information, visit www.g3boats.com. For more information, visit www.g3boats.com. —by Lenny Rudow

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Fish and Game Gear

Leupold Binocular

ton of serious practice for its bigger 5.56mm /.223 brothers. Even in today’s .22LR hoarding situation, the .22 LR LEUPOLD INTRODUCES THE BX-1 MCKENZIE is a real bargain compared to center fire series of binoculars, which provides rugged, ammunition. dependable performance at an affordable The military lookalike Chiappa Mfour price. carbine is a terrific ultra-quality, A phase-coated roof prism makes the accurate, serious platBX-1 McKenzie very form. Probably most well balanced and important, the Chiappa comfortable to use Mfour is a bunch of for long periods. fun. This makes the The Chiappa McKenzie a great Mfour comes with a choice for anyone detachable (dual aperwho spends a lot of Leupold’s ture adjustable iron time bird-watching, BX-1 McKenzie sight) carry handle scouting for game or assembly and picatingetting up close at ney flat top for optics. sporting events. The upper and lower Offered in receiver is made of 8x42mm and light-weight and ultra10x42mm sizes, the tough polymer. The BX-1 McKenzie is Mfour is available in desarmored, waterproof and nitrogen-filled. Completely shockproof ert tan (shown) or all black and weighs only and fog proof, the McKenzie will stand up 5.5 pounds. Depending on state laws, the Mfour comes with two 28-round magazines, to anything nature can throw at it. Like all Leupold binoculars, the BX-1 or two 10-round magazines. The Suggested McKenzie is covered by Leupold’s Golden retail price of the Mfour-22 is $558 For more information contact, visit Ring Full Lifetime Warranty. Available now, Leupold BX-1 www.mkschiappa.com McKenzie binoculars can be found at dealers around the country. For more information or to find a dealer near you, visit www.leupold.com. Join the discussion on Facebook, at FISHING BUTLERS ARE HANDY, PADDED www.facebook.com/LeupoldOptics. adjustable loops. Two to a package, they hold fishing rod sections together during transport and storage. They are quick release, locking, reusable, and they will float if you drop them in the water. THE CHIAPPA MFOUR FIRES ECONOMIFishing Butlers are also great cally priced .22 for hanging your fishing rods rimfire ammunition up on a hook to allowing prevent damage. You can get Fishing Butlers at Bass Pro a Mfour .22 Shops and other fine retailers.

Fishing Butler

Visit www.fishingbutler.com for a dealer near you.

The ‘Live’ Bait that Never Dies UNCLE JOSH, THE ORIGINAL MANUFACturer of pork baits has kicked things up a significant notch by creating a new and improved series of pork baits made out of pork fat and 100 percent natural ingredients. The baits get their scents from leeches, minnows, and real night crawlers

Fishing Butler

Ciappa Mfour .22

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Uncle Josh Pork Bait

providing a lure that caches fish like live bait with none of the problems of live bait. Kurt Kellogg, owner of Uncle Josh, said they created the new pork baits as an alternative to live bait. “We wanted a product that catches fish like live bait but doesn’t have all the hassle and cost of live bait,” Kellogg said. “Let’s face it, a juicy crawler will catch about anything that swims- we wanted that type of fish catching ability in a product that is much

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more user-friendly. Our pork baits are made with real crawlers, minnows, and leeches but they never die, stay on the hook A LOT longer, and are easier to rig.”

Dives Quick, Stays There SMITHWICK, THE COMPANY THAT brought jerkbaits to the mainstream with the classic Rattlin’ Rogue, introduces the new Suspending Elite 8 Rogue, a 4 ½-inch jerkbait that dives quicker and runs deeper. The Elite 8 follows all of the fishcatching rules that the original Rogue created, but the dive is steeper and deeper— eight feet deep on 10-pound line. The Elite 8 darts erratically when twitched, while showing off the “Rogue Roll” that produces baitfish flashes (and strikes). For sound, the Elite 8 features a single, big tungsten rattle for a unique

“knock” that anglers are looking for in an effective jerkbait. Color patterns include translucent versions for clear water and classic Smithwick chrome, gold and Clown pattern versions for colored water and for a variety of light conditions. The release of the Elite 8 comes on the heels of Smithwick’s introduction of the Perfect 10 Rogue, which features a lot of the same characteristics that made the Rogue famous, but which quickly dives to 10 feet. The new Smithwick Elite 8 comes in a dozen color patterns for clear and murky water both, and features top-quality hooks and hardware. For more information, go online to lurenet.com.

Suzuki Precision Control

Now this proven system is being offered on Suzuki’s popular 150- and 175 horsepower models. Suzuki Precision Control provides electronic “fly-by-wire” control of both throttle and shift, making both functions smoother and more precise. It replaces mechanical cables, eliminating the resistance inherent in these systems and making vessel command more enjoyable. Benefits also accrue beyond ergonomics. Suzuki Precision Control is programmed to protect the engine and drive system against damage due to mishandling. In addition, these new fourstroke outboards feature Suzuki’s proven Lean Burn Control System to improve fuel economy over a wider range of rpm. Suzuki Precision Control is designed to operate single, twin, triple, and now quad engine applications, as well as dual stations. Rigging is much simpler and requires less time for installation and adjustm e n t . Elite 8 Rogue Now, with the addition of Suzuki’s popular DF150G and DF175G outboards, owners of a broader spectrum of boats will be able to enjoy the benefits of Suzuki Precision Control. For more information on the new Suzuki DF150TG and 175TG, or on the full line of Suzuki 4-stroke outboard motors from 2.5 to 300 horsepower, visit suzukimarine.com or call (714) 996-7040, x2234.

Sig P320 Polymer SIG SAUER INTROduces the P320, a polymer-framed service pistol designed

OWNERS OF SUZUKI’S DF250AP AND DF300AP outboards already know the benefits of Suzuki Precision Control. T F & G

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from the ground up with the input of law enforcement officers. The result is the most operator safety-focused striker duty pistol on the market today. Taking into account the concerns of military and police training officers, the P320 provides an enhanced level of safety not found on most modern ser-

Sig Sauer P320 Polymer

vice pistols. Unlike its competitors, the P320 does not require the operator to pull the trigger nor use a special tool to take down the firearm for cleaning or routine maintenance. Featuring a modular grip frame and removable fire control assembly pioneered by Sig Sauer, the P320 is customizable to any hand size or duty requirement. The P320 can be quickly converted from a fullsize to a carry pistol. Slide and barrel conversions allow the P320 to change between calibers and barrel lengths as well. The P320 will be immediately available in 9mm, .40S&W and .357SIG, with .45ACP coming later in 2014. With a partially pretensioned striker, the P320 has a short, crisp trigger pull with a quick, pronounced reset right out-of-thebox. The P320 comes in two trigger variants: a standard trigger and a tabbed safety trigger for specific law enforcement clients. Featuring the Sig Sauer internal safety system, the P320 has no external safety or decocking lever to snag or hang up on the draw. A frame-mounted thumb safety version will be available for law enforcement needs. SigLite night sights come standard, and the reversible magazine release makes the P320 completely ambidextrous. Become a fan of Sig Sauer on Facebook at facebook.com/SigSauerInc. CONTINUED ON PAGE 65

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Industry Insider

Thrift Wins with P-Line on Rayburn

PHOTOS: P-LINE

P-LINE WAS ONE OF THE FIRST FISHING line manufacturers to bring Japanese line to the U.S. market back in 1982. They have had a strong presence in the bass fishing scene ever since. Today, they have some of the most recognized pros in the sport, such as Bryan Thrift, Matt Arey, Scott Martin, Fred Roumbanis, and Hank Cherry. These last few weeks are a testament to their powerhouse team, as Bryan Thrift and Matt Arey have both been crowned champions on the Walmart FLW Tour. Bryan Thrift took the title at Sam Rayburn on March 30th, beating out Mark Rose by three pounds, one ounce. Knowing Bryan Thrift

Matt Arey

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power-fishing, moving down the bank with the trolling motor on high. He did have some success on the final day with this mentality, as he caught four early keepers on a ChatterBait, but the majority of this event would see the other side of Thrift, as he used a slow and deliberate pitching technique to catch his bigger bass. Thrift strategically tied his offerings on 20 pound test P-Line 100 percent Fluorocarbon. Bryan explained, “I had to get the fish’s head up out of the cover and wind him where I wanted. Using the 20 pound test P-Line Fluorocarbon, I could control the fish around some of the gnarliest cover in the lake.” Cypress trees have root systems that can extend multiple feet in all directions, and Bryan didn’t want to chance the fish tangling itself in the cover. He would PowerPole down on each tree, making repeated pitches before moving on. This methodical way of fishing paid off for Bryan, as he took home the $125,000 prize. April 13th saw P-Line Pro Staffer Matt Arey capture his first Walmart FLW Tour victory and $125,000 prize on Beaver Lake. Matt devised the perfect mental game plan to secure the win. With constant weather changes and clear water, many anglers struggled patterning the fish. Matt sought a different approach than most, targeting stained water where fish wouldn’t be as temperamental with changing weather. He found some big largemouths on a stretch of steep, rocky bluff bank that transitioned to gravel. “The fish reloaded each day, and I would have no problem catching a quick limit,” Matt said. Instead of catching multiple three- and four-pounders and culling by ounces on days one and two, he strategically left the spot each day with fish there, knowing he could save it for the next day. Arey used 12- and 15-pound test P-Line 100 percent Fluorocarbon tied to a finesse jig. He would implement the 12-pound test in cleaner water and 45 degree banks, and F I S H

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he would use the 15-pound test on steep banks in dirtier water. His plan of saving fish on his primary spots each day served him well, as he brought hefty bags to the scales each day and earned the name of Walmart FLW Tour champion. P-Line pros are now back-to-back champions on the Walmart FLW Tour. The saying holds true, “The money is on the line!” Bryan and Matt did not break off a single fish during their victories, and that is what it takes to win these high profile events. You are only as good as your equipment, and P-Line strives every day to make the very best Japanese line on the market.

Xpress Part of Boating History ABRAHAM LINCOLN ONCE SAID “GIVE ME six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” I suppose that must have been the mindset when the founder of Aluma weld (Xpress Boats) set out to resolve the problem of leaky, riveted aluminum boats. Kermit Bryant knew there had to be a better way to manufacture a superior jon boat, and the best solution was to weld it, all of it. In 1966 Kermit began a quest, and “sharpening his axe” was the first step. To join two pieces of aluminum with an inert gas welding process was the answer, and to this day the technology Kermit pioneered in the boat business is still the standard for all that have followed. From humble beginnings in an abandoned schoolhouse in Friendship, Arkansas, one man changed the boating industry by revolutionizing its manufacturing process, and the DNA of this company was firmly seeded for generations to come. Aluma weld began to grow along with its reputation as the premier aluminum boat manufacturer. The demand for this

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PHOTOS: XPRESS BOATS

F&G GEAR minum construction, provides a stable, better performing platform. Although most manufacturers build their pontoons with plywood decks, Veranda Marine leads the industry by guaranteeing its deck  construction for a lifeRory Herndon is leading Xpress time of enjoyment. Boats into its next phase. Unlike most companies, the new all-welded boat increased so did the Herndon family views their employees as needs of the company as it pertained to family. Whether it be Easter, Thanksgivresources, facility, and capacity. ing or just a random act of kindness, the Where else does one go to find talented Herndon’s will have meals served for all of assets? Your immediate family of course. their employees to enjoy. In addition to the That is exactly where Kermit Bryant found meals, archery and “baggo” tournaments and nurtured the next generation of quality are organized. Drawings for big screen boat builders. TVs and other prizes make Xpress Boats Rodney Herndon, Kermit’s son in-law and Veranda Marine one of the best workproved to have the aptitude and vision places in the region. “When it is time to to lead Xpress Boats to its next phase of work, no doubt we work very hard to progrowth. A quiet, humble sportsman, he duce the finest all-welded aluminum boat took the reins of Xpress and under his on the market, yet when it is time to enjoy guidance through good times and bad the the fruits of our labor the Herndon family company has continued to flourish. is the first to express and demonstrate their In 2000 the company’s growth promptappreciation” said Production Manager ed a move to Hot Springs, AR from its Skip McCallister. facility in Friendship, AR. With 240,000 Xpress Boats and Veranda Marine sq ft. under roof and acres of land to grow, have one of the most enviable dealer this state of the art plant employs more networks in the industry. These dealers than 175 talented men and women. represent the products, the brand and the The maturity of the product line reputation as true professionals and are as includes high performance bass, bay, crapmuch a part of the family as anyone else, pie and catfish boats featuring an often maybe more. With an extensive list of dealimitated but never duplicated Hyper Lift ers located from the Midwest to the Southhull. The Hyper-Lift which is celebrating east Xpress Boats and Veranda Marine its 25th anniversary this year is an engiare represented in most markets. neered pad hull design capable providing Family owned, family operated is not an amazingly fast, comfortable, dry ride just a cliché, Xpress Boats and Veranda that all discerning sportsman desire. Marine’s DNA is firmly secured with Rory A number of other manufacturers proHerndon the next generation poised to fess to have a pad hull design, yet none are take the reins. Rory will lead the company capable of replicating the performance of with a talent and desire to remain on the the Xpress Hyper-Lift. In addition to its cutting edge of technology with a clear high performance line they also manufaccommitment of quality that has preceded ture Hydro Dynamic, HD:3, Bayou hulls him. Rory’s boundless energy and hunger for other models and applications. to exceed the successes of his forefathers In 2006 a new line of boats emerged sets the tone for great things to come. New from the Hot Springs plant. Veranda markets, new products, better processes Marine, a luxury pontoon series with a is the future of this great Arkansas family patented inter-locking deck system revocompany. lutionized the construction process in the pontoon industry. An all-welded, all aluT F & G

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Thunder Yelper FLEXTONE CONTINUES TO TURN THE world of turkey calling on its ear with the new Thunder Yelper hybrid diaphragm turkey call. Unlike traditional diaphragm calls, the revolutionary Thunder series hybrid hand held/diaphragm call design lets users of all experience levels sound like a pro quickly and easily. Produce woods-ready, expert-sounding turkey vocalizations in a matter of minutes of first use. A perfect choice for close to mid-range calling, the latex double reed voice box of the Thunder Yelper produces ultra-realistic soft and seductive yelps that boss toms just can’t resist. Thanks to flextone-exclusive soft body technology, these Thunder handheld calls can be Yelper manipulated to tweak each yelp to your situation allowing your calls to sound like multiple hens, giving that old gobbler even more incentive to pay a visit. Compact and lightweight there’s plenty of room in any turkey vest for this revolutionary call. With a unique design, the Thunder Yelper can also be used hands-free to limit movement when the moment of truth arrives. Alternatively, if you’re looking to keep it within reach, just put it around your neck with the included neck lanyard. Flextone hybrid, hand held/diaphragm calls make it simple to make all turkey vocalizations and include the Thunder Gobble, Thunder Cut’N, Thunder Cluck-N-Purr and the new Thunder Yelper. Check out the full line of Thunder Series hybrid hand held/diaphragm calls at www.flextonegamecalls.com.

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Hotspots Focus: Upper Coast

by Capt. Eddie Hernandez | TF&G Contributor

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UST LIKE THAT, SUMMER HAS CREPT into our coastal lifestyles and brought with it an endless array of summertime fishing patterns, techniques, destinations, opportunities and heat. Just about every inshore species will be biting on these hot June days. The biggest dilemma we’re faced with here on Sabine Lake is deciding which direction to head on our quest to bend a pole. The fact that the bite should be on from the Neches River to the Gulf of Mexico makes that decision even more difficult. For those who opt for running the lake,

The biggest dilemma is deciding which direction to head.

Endless Summer Patterns

finding trout, reds and flounder shouldn’t be that difficult. Several different paths will lead you to the fish. The entire eastern side of the lake from East Pass to Blue Buck Point should supply you with plenty of action. One big advantage to fishing this side of

the lake is the number of bayous and cuts you’ll encounter as you make your way down the bank. Fishing around these can be killer

on trout, reds and flounders as the warm water and baitfish move in and out with the tide. Another option is to run the open bay in search of schooling fish. Whether it’s gulls and terns giving them away, or the tell-tale signs of shrimp skipping along the surface and fish busting the water, this is an exciting way to spend a hot June afternoon. Rattletraps, spoons, plastics, topwaters and just about anything you can reach them with will get hit. The action is fast and furious while it lasts. When the bite tapers off, continue to cruise the lake slowly, watching for any sign of activity until you locate them again. A good pair of binoculars will definitely come in handy here. If you are like me and have a very difficult time resisting the allure of the Gulf in the summer months, the action at the short rigs should be just as hot as the temperature. The legs of the rigs as well as other nearby unseen structure are like magnets to baitfish and predator fish alike. Big numbers of solid trout are caught at the rigs every summer and June is when it usually gets jump started. Light colored soft plastics are extremely effective. Quarter-ounce heads are fine most of the time but be sure to bring some heavier ones along to compensate for the current, which can get pretty strong at times. Having a cast net handy for the ride out is never a bad idea either as mullet, shad and croakers are always at the top of these big sows’ list.

THE BANK BITE LOCATION: Walter Umphrey State Park SPECIES: Speckled Trout, Sand Trout, Reds and Flounder BAITS/LURES: Speck Rigs, Live Shrimp, Mud Minnows BEST TIMES: At Night under the Lights

Contact Eddie Hernandez at ContactUs@fishgame.com

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Hotspots Focus: Galveston

by Capt. Mike Holmes | TF&G Contributor

Salty Summer

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JUNE NIGHT, A MOON NIGHT, IS A fine night, for a mosquito bite!” That old sentiment certainly holds true on the upper Texas coast, often even during the drought years, which seem to be the norm now. Still, June is also a good time to be “bitten” by the saltwater fishing bug, since just about all commonly sought species will be available, and the weather is usually conductive to fishing for them. Offshore in June can be as good as it gets, with king mackerel, ling, and dolphin all within reach of anglers in suitable boats in the 18 to 24 foot lengths, but working closer to the mainland is also productive. Anglers use boats both to fish deeper portions of the bays and as transportation to prime wade fishing areas, and June is a great time for “wet” wading—without needing waders. Sometimes, though, it is just better to stay in the boat, because of soft bottom conditions or a current that might drift disturbed silt onto the fishing area. Surprisingly shallow water can be worked from boats not designed to run in mere inches of water by anchoring up current from a flat or reef and drifting onto it, using the anchor rope (rode, to really nautical types) as a tether. When time comes to leave, or the current changes and threatens to steal what little water is on the flat, the boat can be pulled back to better depths with the rope. Works better in some situations than a trolling motor or jack plate, and is a lot cheaper. Bays and coastal streams with Gulf outlets should also be holding fish. Redfish, flounders, and speckled trout will be feeding on newly hatched shrimp and well as shallow-water baitfish like mullet and mud minnows. Gaff top catfish will be found in many of the same areas, and are an under-appreciated species. Gaff tops are hard fighters, and some folks prefer T F & G

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their taste to that of freshwater catfish—myself among them. The oversized dorsal makes them a bit easier to handle safely than a “hard head”, but the slime that coats their skin mostly cancels out that advantage. Figure on using an old cloth that you won’t mind discarding. A fish cleaning board of the type with a clamp to hold the tail while you do the filleting is also a good idea. Although I have never actually tried to target gaff tops, I have caught them in the surf, over deeper bay reefs, and in river mouths. They will take a variety of dead or live baits, but seem to have a special fondness for the little threadfins often caught in the surf in cast nets. June is also a prime month to encounter schools of nice sized speckled trout in the surf. Wade deep enough to reach fish, but “fish” your way out, so you don’t overlook those that might be in the first gut off the beach. Floating a live shrimp under a popping cork is the traditional way to fish the surf, but various swimming plugs and spoons will also draw strikes—especially from the larger specks that

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feed mostly on baitfish of sometimes large sizes. Fishing the surf does not require a boat or a lot of accessory equipment, and is one of the most enjoyable forms of saltwater fishing imaginable.

THE BANK BITE LOCATION: The surf, reefs and flats in the bays, and tidal streams emptying into either bay or Gulf. SPECIES: Redfish, speckled trout, flounder, croaker, gaff top catfish. BEST BAITS: Live shrimp, dead bait or small baitfish caught in a cast net. Artificials will also pay off, and top waters are especially exciting to make catches on. BEST TIMES: June tides usually give good water movement—rising or falling. Early morning combines with good tidal current is great, but pleasant weather encourages fishing any time, night or day.

Contact Mike Holmes at ContactUs@fishgame.com.

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Hotspots Focus: Matagorda

by Mike Price | TF&G Contributor

Action Offshore, in the Surf, and in the Bays

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ED SNAPPER FISHING IN FEDERAL waters begins on June 1, Sunday, and this year the red snappers are bigger and more abundant than I have ever seen. The sun will rise at 5:27 a.m. on opening day, and you can be sure that many boats will be launching at Matagorda Harbor about that time. My advice is to launch about 5 a.m. to get ahead of the crowd, and to reach your fishing spot

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ahead of other boats. At the time I wrote this, a snapper season closure date was not specified. To get the latest update on offshore fishing regulations, including how long the 2014 red snapper season will last, go to www.gulfcouncil.org. IN ADDITION TO RED SNAPPERS, ling is one of many active species in the Gulf of Mexico in June. I went offshore

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on the third week of June with friend Steve Goza. The wind was very light from the south and the waves were a friendly one to two feet. We stopped next to a sargasso weed line and six tripletails came darting out from under the seaweed. We caught two and moved on. At 33 miles we stopped by another weedline. The water was so clear that we could see 30 feet down and we watched several lings coming to see what was churning up the water. I got quite a lesson in how lings interact with bait when I watched one of the lings inhale the bait, spit it out, inhale it again, and spit it out again, suck it in a third time and finally start running with it. At that point I set the hook. We caught five lings and kept three of legal size. The next stop was a rig 60 miles offshore. As soon as we tied up to the rig, several large lings came out to investigate. One of the fishermen, Austin Crossley, hooked up right away and fought one of the lings to the boat where his 40-pound-test line broke. Then he caught keeper-sized amberjack. Another boat approached and the captain asked, “Are you catching any?” Austin replied, “We just got here” (fortunately no rods were bent when Austin said this), and they left for more fertile fishing grounds. Then Phillip Goza and I suited up for a scuba dive. I went to 56 feet and wrapped my legs around a horizontal portion of the rig to keep from moving in the light current. Then I saw why we were hooking up with amberjack. A dozen three to five foot greater amberjacks were cruising through structure. After we surfaced it was time to leave the rig and hunt for red snapper. About five miles away we located a ridge on the bottom showing lots of fish images on sonar. We dropped our weighted circle hooks and well before they got to the bottom, the sardine bait was taken by red snappers that were all well over the minimum length of 16 inches. So it did not take long to put our limit of two each in the cooler. Last year, regulations required fishermen to vent red snapper before returning them to

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the water with distended air bladders. That requirement has been rescinded, but nonstainless steel circle hooks are still required along with de-hooking devices. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN CHARtering an offshore boat from Matagorda Harbor, contact Junior or James Sliva at www.slivacharters.com. They run a 36-foot catamaran with twin 300 hp, four-stroke outboards, have been in business for 25 years, and can take six passengers. In June, East and West Matagorda Bays are loaded with menhaden, sardines, mullet, and other bait fish. All of this food attracts sharks, and bottlenose dolphins. Sharks bite fishermen occasionally, but usually the shark is following the scent and vibrations of a fish on the fisherman’s hook, or fish on a stringer and the fisherman inadvertently gets in the way. I have never heard of a bottlenose dolphin hurting a fisherman, but I was not sure that theory would hold up on a day when I was kayak fishing in West Matagorda Bay. I was in my kayak when I saw little fish jumping for their lives within casting dis-

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tance. As I threw my lure in that direction I noticed a huge crashing splash about 50 yards out into the bay. Then I hooked a 15-inch trout and was working it in when I realized that an 18-inch dorsal fin was locked in on the trout and coming straight at me at high speed. I was only in two feet of water so I did not think that the shark or dolphin (I was not sure which one it was) would venture in that shallow, but I was wrong. A second later I realized that it was a six foot bottlenose dolphin. By this time the dolphin was very close and half of its body was out of the shallow water. I reeled the trout in and flipped it into my kayak, and faster than the blink of an eye the dolphin came within six inches of the side of my kayak and then veered off. In the ocean, dolphins have hit sharks and killed them, but fortunately this dolphin was fully aware that my kayak was just a kayak, and it changed course. A calm day in June has the potential for good fishing in the bays, on the beach, and offshore..

THE BANK BITE MATAGORDA HAS 22 MILES of shoreline accessible by vehicle, and June offers some great days in the surf. Look for a day when the wind is almost imperceptible, preferably from the southeast, and the tide is incoming, ideally at daybreak. On such a day you will probably have some action whether you are fishing with live shrimp, dead bait, or artificial lures. The east side of the pier jutting out into the Gulf of Mexico at Matagorda Nature Park has deeper than normal guts and currents that bring in lots of bait. If you are driving on the beach, look for places that have accumulated shells, this means that there is a break in the sand bars that fish pass through.

Contact Mike Price at ContactUs@fishgame.com

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Hotspots Focus: Upper Mid Coast

by Capt. Chris Martin | TF&G Contributor

A Little Confidence Goes a Long Way

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baitfish activity before dropping anchor and jumping into the water? Did you walk upwind or downwind last time you were fishing in a southeast wind? Has it always proved better for you to walk with the sun to your back, or have you not noticed that this

“ Rely on yourself to do what has worked in the past.

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ERE ALONG THE MID-COAST REGION of Texas, the daily fishing pattern in June tends to become somewhat standardized, meaning that any one day may not be any different from another, with the only exception being the catching result from any one particular day versus another, of course. Now then, the word “standardized” may not be the correct word. I realize that most of you automatically assume I’m trying to tell you that every day is the same around here, but that couldn’t be farther from the truth. We anticipate various tidal changes on a daily basis. And, it’s not uncommon for the day to present us with shifting winds that fluctuate constantly from different directions throughout the course of the morning and the afternoon. Add to this the fact that the water temperature is continuing to warm a bit each day, and you have an equation that sometimes becomes unsolvable. Such variances in daily conditions can make it extremely difficult to determine what the fish will be doing, or when they might become active. Having to deal with difficulties like this on a daily basis should make it clear that a good catch in a particular location today does not assure a similar catch in the same spot tomorrow. As you master the art of coping with these daily conditional changes in the fishing pattern you will become more fruitful in your endeavors. One way of doing this is to learn to become confident—to rely on yourself to do today what has worked for you in the past. What did you do last time you were out fishing under similar conditions? Did you look to make sure you located an area with

really matters much? Last time you caught a number of fish with this same topwater lure, were you casting it into the wind, with the wind, or were you working it sideways across the wind? Did it work for you to fan your casts last time, or did you simply cast ahead of you as you made your way down this same shoreline? When you cast to a nearby fresh slick atop the water, do you normally cast a bit above the slick, a bit below the slick, or have you had more luck casting directly into the slick and letting your bait sit motionless for a couple moments before giving it some initial twitches? Have you had more luck fishing tight against the bank on a falling tide, or have results always been better while fishing away from the shoreline during a falling tide? Having enough self-discipline to stop F I S H

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and ask such important questions in conditions of this nature can often mean the difference between you simply fishing, and that of you actually catching. Having self-confidence is one thing, but having confidence in your bait is also very important, especially when attempting to turn an otherwise dull day into one for your record books. Most anglers have their favorite baits, and I bet that if you talked with them about those “favorite” baits, they might just tell you that the reason they like these baits is because they have the most confidence in them. What does that mean exactly? Well, to some it simply means they have caught a lot of fish with that particular bait. To others, however, having a lure that they have the most confidence in means a bait they know how to operate in any situation, in good weather or in bad, during winter or in the summertime, in high winds or over glass, over deep water or in the skinniest of the shallows. Simply put, they know how the bait works and they feel more than comfortable to reach for it at any time to help them achieve their desired results. If you don’t have one, you should seriously consider finding one. Now that the summertime heat is arriving, please remember it’s of utmost importance that you apply plenty of sunscreen first thing in the morning, and that you wear a long-sleeved shirt and long pants. Maintaining proper hydration levels throughout the course of the entire day should also be at the top of your priority list. Have fun, and keep grindin’!

Contact Capt. Chris Martin at bayflatslodge@gmail.com or visit bayflatslodge.com

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Hotspots Focus: Rockport

by Capt. Mac Gable | TF&G Contributor

Easy Does It As I write this a large ruptured gas line in Copano Bay is spewing natural gas, water and flames several hundred feet into the air. The gas main was hit by a boat, from what authorities could tell. The pipeline was more than likely ancient and repairs may be long in coming. Luckily, an alternate source for gas to the Lamar and Holiday Beach area was found, or we might have been cooking on charcoal and hot plates for who knows how long. Aside from the visual spectacle, the rupture is just one more in a long line of mishaps caused by less than knowledgeable boaters. I could, but I won’t, list examples that have happened already this year. The bay systems in the Rockport area as well as those from Port O’Connor to Baffin Bay are littered with underwater maladies just waiting to happen. They lie in wait for the unsuspecting and unknowing navigator. These maladies are not limited to boaters, but can and do inflict themselves on wade fishermen and shore-bound anglers as well. I was privy to a document that shows the known pipelines on just Copano Bay and the map looked like someone dumped a plate of spaghetti on top of the navigation map. Fortunately many of our bays are not quite this busy with underwater obstacles, but every bay that I have been on and prowled since I was a boy has at least some. Luckily no one was hurt and thanks to a great neighbor here in Lamar, life moves on pretty much as usual. More is known as to the type of boat that probably hit the gas line, but because I can’t get confirmation, I will reserve my pointed opinion. There is no better time to reinforce what you have read from me before: caution should always be the rule of thumb when T F & G

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navigating our bay waters. It’s not a freshwater lake that gets deeper as you go away from the shore (don’t shake your head like you know what I’m talking about unless you’ve spent most of your waking hours out on the given bay that is your favorite place to fish). I’m not trying to be preachy here so if it comes across that way please forgive, but every day I see things that boggle the mind when it comes to those who visit and those who live here on Rockport area bays. I can’t begin to map all the pipes and abandoned wellheads that have resulted in life’s end to scores of lower units. There are thousands that I have marked on my GPS and I seem to add more every year. I know seasoned guides who replace an average of one to two lower units a year and most of these guys know where the majority of these impediments are. The point here is our bays are dynamic and they change from day to day—if not year to year. Seems these days there is

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always some form of construction or repair work or drilling taking place. Just the material alone that these crews use is a reason for caution: barrels, cross timbers, floating pipes, etc. Last year, a crew was working in Mesquite Bay and doing their best to maintain a safety zone. I was by myself scouting a school of redfish. The construction crew waved me down and asked if I was coming back that way later. I told them, yes. Well, they had a dredge line across the bay midway full of dredge material, about three feet under water. Not a problem for me, I thought, as my Haynie runs shallow. Just about sundown I headed back across the bay and had pretty much forgotten the pipeline when the sun, now on the horizon, picked up a shadow that looked just like the shade of a cloud line on the water, only there was no sun to create it. I was no further than about 10 yards from the anomaly when it dawned on me it was the dredge line now up on the surface. Seems the pump had

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Rockport Focus stopped working and the now-empty pipe floated to the surface. Not hitting it was not an option so I cut the motor at about 25 m.p.h., hit my jack plate and my trim button, hoping to limit the damage. The pipeline stretched for miles, bobbing up and down as if to say “gotcha Capt. Mac.” My boat was on top of the pipeline in what seemed a nanosecond, still about 20 mph. Luckily the trim and jack plate put my lower unit just above the bottom of the boat and so my hull skipped over the pipe with mostly superficial damage. Even though it was not a direct hit, the impact still threw me into my console with more force than I would have imagined. I was lucky, as God and his angels were watching over me. Admittedly I tend to be a little less cautious when by myself on my boat than when I have clients, which, that little episode taught me, is quite foolish. When I want to be reminded on the caution side, I simply look at my GPS from an elevated view and see all the marked spots I entered over the years. Magically I’m not nearly in as big a hurry and my eyes are a little more vigilant watching my surroundings. Most items you can hit in the Rockport

area are at least several hundred to a thousand pounds or worse, are attached to the bottom, and all wreak havoc on our bay boats. Please go slow, always be on alert for debris just under the surface, and try to fish away from known pipes. Careful is not a four letter word, it is a seven letter word and seven is one of if the most significant numbers in the Bible—you gotta stop and think about that. • • • COPANO BAY - Fortunately the gas leak didn’t dampen the fishing in this bay. Shell Bank Reef is hard to beat this time of year with the preferred bait being free-lined croaker. The mouth of Swan Lake is good for some keeper reds using finger mullet or cut mullet on a Carolina rig. ST. CHARLES BAY - Drifts across Egg Point using soft plastics or Berkley Gulp shrimp under a cork is good for reds. The key here is a silent approach and a silent drift. Something as simple as a slammed ice chest lid can booger you. On

high tide Bird Point is a good place for keeper trout. If you can hit a high tide in early morning, all the better. The best tactic here is free-lined croaker or live shrimp. CARLOS BAY - With a south wind the edges of Cedar Reef will produce reds. This is prime cork-type fishing BUT a light Carolina rig works very well here too. The key to a Carolina rig is to throw it out and don’t move it or you will get hung up for sure. Trout can be caught if you wade this bay in the Bludworth Island area. This area is topwater heaven with bone and white and Smoke Glitter Curly tail grubs. MESQUITE BAY - Some good sheep head action on the posts / pilings that lead to Cedar Bayou. Use 1/0 Kahle hooks and small pieces of shrimp or squid and set the hook at the slightest tap. The mouth of Cedar Bayou is still a good place for trout using croaker on a free line. I like to work the area west of the mouth of the bayou but others have good luck to the east as well. AYERS BAY - Wades close to Rattlesnake Island using Berkley Jerk Shad-type lures in new penny and nuclear chicken. The Islands of Second Chain has some reds, early morning with a falling tide is best and I like cut bait here. Menhaden or cut mullet of a VERY light Carolina rig.

THE BANK BITE HARD TO GET TO these days because of the bridge construction but Live Oak Point is a good place to ambush some nice reds and trout using spoons in gold and red or mud minnows on a light Carolina rig. Be respectful of private property please.

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

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Hotspots Focus: Lower Coast

by Calixto Gonzales | TF&G Saltwater Editor

A Light Stretch of the Legs

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ISHING THE JETTIES IN EARLY SUMmer isn’t a journey for just dinky whiting and skinny sand trout. Some of the most underrated summer fishing in South Texas takes place along both sides of the Brazos Santiago jetties that bookend the pass by the same name which feeds in and out of Lower Laguna Madre. These jetty systems, which were lengthened and reinforced in late 2012, are accessible from land—the north jetties from South Padre Island, and the south jetties from Brownsville via SH 4, and then turning left onto Brazos Island (known locally as Boca Chica Beach) and offer excellent fishing for everything from the four components of the “Texas Slam” (trout, redfish, flounder, and snook), mangrove snapper, Spanish mackerel, tarpon, and even kingfish for the properly equipped. Certainly, the most sought-after are speckled trout and redfish. Both fish can be caught from the jetties on the same trip; however, different techniques are called for. Speckled trout will be usually holding closer to the rocks and patrolling up and down the gut that runs parallel to the jetties (this is especially true on the north jetties, where prevailing currents create gentler eddies and currents that, on an outgoing tide, push water and bait against the surf-side of the rocks). Redfish will be prowling the surf away from the jetties and in the guts that intersect them. Late summer and fall are better times for surf-run redfish, but there are some decent numbers sniffing around in the suds. An incoming tide and soft southeast breezes that send clean water in from the Gulf make early mornings magical off the T F & G

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rocks. A fisherman can do well throwing live bait under a popping cork near the rocks for trout (and mangrove snapper, which almost become a nuisance with their abundance). The problem is, everything loves to eat shrimp, including the countless bait thieves that live in and around the rocks. On a really bad day, these little nibblers can leave you with an empty bait bucket and talking to yourself. Fortunately, live bait isn’t necessary. A box filled with chugging topwaters such as the Chug Bug or Pop’R, a couple of pink/ polka-dot Rat-L-Traps, a ½ silver spoon or two, and a collection of your favorite plastic tails in red/white, or chartreuse patterns and some 1/8 ounce jigheads (the lighter heads are less apt to snag up) is perfect to keep you mobile. If the wind is straight from the south, you can still fling a topwater parallel to the rocks. In fact, the trout seem a little more aggressive in the more active water. Start an early morning expedition on the jetties by casting back towards the corner where the rocks meet the beach and work the lure back along the bottom. Trout should be there, but there may also be a few big flounders waiting in ambush (still another littleknown—or long forgotten—feature of the Brazos Santiago jetty system). From those casts, expand out into the guts and cast parallel to the beach to see if redfish are there. It doesn’t hurt to take a few wire leaders in your tackle box. This time of year, there are schools of Spanish mackerel and some small bluefish that start to maraud around the surf side of the jetties. They aren’t discriminating, and can clean you out of tackle in a hurry. On the South jetties, the surf is a bit rougher, and the rocks are not laid as smoothly, but the presence of snook in the suds more than makes up for the tougher work. These fish will also attack the same trout and redfish lures with abandon, only they offer some gill-rattling jumps for your thrills. The question always comes up about the sort of tackle needed for the jetties. Honestly, A L M A N A C

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your traditional inshore 10-12 pound tackle is enough, but if you hook into a big red or snook, you are going to be in trouble. Upping slightly to 14-17 pound tackle is a safer bet to handle just about anything that swims the suds around the pink granite, and it gives you a little more power in reserve if Mr. Big comes calling. If you are feeling a little ambitious, walk all the way to the end of the jetties to take a shot at a kingfish or tarpon (again, this is a slightly longer walk than before, now that the jetties have been lengthened). Tarpons prowl the currents and eddies on the channel side of the jetties when the tide is running. Mulletimitators such as a large Rapala, Bomber Long A, or Money Mino are the best bets to get a poon’s attention. Fly fishermen can use a large Tarpon Bunny or Chicken Feathertype fly on an 8- or 9-weight fly rod. Calm days bring blue water right up into the rocks, and kingfish follow bait into casting range. Use a Magnum Rat-L-Trap in Chrome/blue or a fresh ribbonfish on a classic kingfish rig. Large menhaden (pogies) are best if you can get some that are fresh. Upgrade to a surf rod and high-capacity reel. Back in June of this year, I hooked into something that nailed my Pencil Popper and stripped my Penn 9500 SS of 400 yards of braid just like that. As far as I know, whatever it was is halfway to Yucatan. You never know what may show up and turn your June into a month to remember.

THE BANK BITE LOCATION: Coast Guard Station SPECIES: Speckled Trout, redfish. TIPS: Wadefishing with live shrimp/soft plastifcs under a Mauler.

Contact Calixto Gonzales at ContactUs@fishgame.com

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UPPER GULF COAST

West Mat Specks Stop on Greens by TOM BEHRENS LOCATION: West Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Greens Bayou GPS: N 28 29.650 W 96 13.565 (28.494167, -96.226083) SPECIES: Speckled trout BEST BAITS: Skitter Walk or She Dogs in pink CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz 281-450-4037 tcountz@sbcglobal.net www.matagordafishing.com TIPS: Start the day wading and throwing topwaters along the south shoreline. “Pink seems to be the top color at this time of the year.” —Capt. Tommy Countz LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Island Reefs GPS: N 29 45.106 W 93 53.307 (29.751767, -93.88845) SPECIES: Speckled trout BEST BAITS: Skitter Walk and She Dogs in black/chartreuse and pink/silver colors; Zoom Flukes and H&H Cocahoe Minnows in glow or glow/chartreuse CONTACT: Capt. Eddie Hernandez 409-721-5467, 409-673-3100 www.goldenhookguide.com TIPS: Fish the topwaters early until the sun begins to permeate the water, and then switch off to soft plastics.

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DIGITAL EXTRA: TAP GPS TO VIEW HOTSPOT ON GOOGLE MAPS (Internet Connection required)

SPECIES: Speckled trout BEST BAITS: Skitter Walk and She Dogs in black/chartreuse and pink/silver colors; Zoom Flukes and H&H Cocahoe Minnows in glow or glow/chartreuse CONTACT: Capt. Eddie Hernandez 409-721-5467, 409-673-3100 www.goldenhookguide.com TIPS: Hernandez says the Skitter Walk is probably his favorite topwater lure: “…mainly because it’s easy to ‘walk’. It walks the dog in a real tight pattern.” LOCATION: Galveston East Bay HOTSPOT: Hanna’s Reef GPS: N 29 28.918 W 94 43.657 (29.481967, -94.727617) SPECIES: Speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft plastics CONTACT: Captain Steve Hillman 409-256-7937 captsteve@hillmanguideservice.com www.hillmanguideservice.com TIPS: Key on slicks and rafts of mullet: “Looks like dark clouds under the water, especially when they are over structure.” Capt. Steve Hillman LOCATION: Galveston East Bay HOTSPOT: Hanna’s Reef GPS: N 29 28.703 W 94 45.703 (29.478383, -94.761717)

LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Jetty GPS: N 29 39.708 W 93 49.544 (29.6618, -93.825733)

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

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SPECIES: Speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft plastics CONTACT: Captain Steve Hillman 409-256-7937 captsteve@hillmanguideservice.com www.hillmanguideservice.com TIPS: Look for big balls of shad LOCATION: Galveston East Bay HOTSPOT: Little Hanna’s Reef GPS: N 29 28.219 W 94 41.696 (29.470317, -94.694933) SPECIES: Speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft plastics CONTACT: Captain Steve Hillman 409-256-7937 captsteve@hillmanguideservice.com www.hillmanguideservice.com TIPS: “Besides looking for slicks and bait action, don’t forget the birds. Look for birds working the water.” Capt. Steve Hillman LOCATION: Galveston East Bay HOTSPOT: Pasadena Reef GPS: N 29 28.200 W 94 49.220 (29.4700, -94.820333) SPECIES: Speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft plastics CONTACT: Captain Steve Hillman 409-256-7937 captsteve@hillmanguideservice.com www.hillmanguideservice.com TIPS: Working slicks – part 1: “Work the upwind, current sides of the slicks. Look for small slicks; don’t mess with the big ones; they are usually old.” —Capt. Steve Hillman LOCATION: Galveston East Bay HOTSPOT: Deep Reef GPS: N 29 30.802 W 94 40.581 (29.513367, -94.67635) SPECIES: Speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft plastics CONTACT: Captain Steve Hillman

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409-256-7937 captsteve@hillmanguideservice.com www.hillmanguideservice.com TIPS: Working slicks – part 2: “Sometimes the wind side is not always the right side to be on if the current is running stronger than the wind. For example, if you a have light breeze, 2-3 mph and 2-3 knot current, there will be times when the fish will be downwind…whichever is faster. Work the edges.” —Capt. Steve Hillman LOCATION: Galveston East Bay HOTSPOT: Whitehead Reef GPS: N 29 31.412 W 94 42.892 (29.523533, -94.714867) SPECIES: Speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft plastics CONTACT: Captain Steve Hillman 409-256-7937 captsteve@hillmanguideservice.com www.hillmanguideservice.com TIPS: Hillman says it’s important to know how to read and use slicks on these open water Hot Spots: “Many anglers think the fish are directly beneath the slick…not necessarily true.” LOCATION: Galveston East Bay HOTSPOT: Middle Reef GPS: N 29 30.202 W 94 39.420 (29.503367, -94.657) SPECIES: Speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft plastics CONTACT: Captain Steve Hillman 409-256-7937 captsteve@hillmanguideservice.com www.hillmanguideservice.com TIPS: Working slicks – part 3: “If I can’t figure it out whether the current or wind is stronger, I will look at what direction or what way my boat is drifting.” —Capt. Steve Hillman LOCATION: Galveston East Bay HOTSPOT: Tong Reef GPS: N 29 30.202 W 94 39.420 (29.5372, -94.50585) SPECIES: Speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft plastics CONTACT: Captain Steve Hillman 409-256-7937 captsteve@hillmanguideservice.com www.hillmanguideservice.com TIPS: Working slicks – part 4: “If I see a large slick, don’t see anything else, I will go 200 yards upwind of it and start looking for the smaller ones to start popping up. The fish will be under the smaller slicks.” —Capt. Steve Hillman T F & G

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tcountz@sbcglobal.net www.matagordafishing.com TIPS: Countz likes the 4-inch cork with ¾ ounce swivel sinker. “They have a lot of big beads that make a rattling sound.” —Capt. Tommy Countz

LOCATION: West Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Cottons Bayou GPS: N 28 30.450 W 96 12.381 (28.5075, -96.20635) SPECIES: Speckled trout BEST BAITS: Soft-Dine by MirrOlure CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz 281-450-4037 tcountz@sbcglobal.net www.matagordafishing.com TIPS: The Soft-Dine can be fished in fairly shallow water, doesn’t sink real fast…looks a lot like a shad.

LOCATION: East Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Cleveland Reef GPS: N 28 39.833 W 95 51.701 (28.663883, -95.861683) SPECIES: Speckled trout

LOCATION: Carancahua Bay HOTSPOT: Pipeline GPS: N 28 42.600 W 96 23.816 (28.71, -96.396933) SPECIES: Speckled trout BEST BAITS: Norton Bull Minnows and Sand Shads in Black Magic, Chicken on a Chain, or Tequila Rocks colors CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz 281-450-4037 tcountz@sbcglobal.net www.matagordafishing.com TIPS: Look for slicks or bait action. Some trout could be on the outer beds. LOCATION: West Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Oyster Lake GPS: N 28 36.900 W 96 10.998 (28.615, -96.1833) SPECIES: Speckled trout BEST BAITS: Live shrimp under a MidCoast popping cork CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz 281-450-4037 tcountz@sbcglobal.net www.matagordafishing.com TIPS: “Normally I’m looking for slicks popping and also bait activity. If there is some bird activity, that’s a plus.” —Capt. Tommy Countz LOCATION: East Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Raymond Shoals GPS: N 28 33.028 W 96 18.081 (28.550467, -96.30135) SPECIES: Speckled trout BEST BAITS: Live shrimp under a MidCoast popping cork CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz 281-450-4037 A L M A N A C

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Texas Hotspots BEST BAITS: Live shrimp under a MidCoast popping cork CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz 281-450-4037 tcountz@sbcglobal.net www.matagordafishing.com TIPS: “Whether you are throwing an artificial lure or a live shrimp under a popping cork, popping the cork is extremely important. The more racket you can make, the more splash you can make while popping your cork, the better chance you are going to have in calling the fish to your area and catching fish.” —Capt. Tommy Countz LOCATION: Matagorda Jetties HOTSPOT: South Jetty GPS: N 28 25.053 W 96 19.380 (28.41755, -96.323) SPECIES: Speckled trout BEST BAITS: Freelining with live shrimp CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz 281-450-4037 tcountz@sbcglobal.net www.matagordafishing.com TIPS: “Last year we had some great fish while free shrimping along the jetties early June, but you will need calm conditions.” —Capt. Tommy Countz

MIDDLE GULF COAST

Traylor Trout Go for Croakers by TOM BEHRENS LOCATION: Port Aransas HOTSPOT: Traylor Island GPS: N 27 56.610 W 97 04.263 (27.9435, -97.07105) SPECIES: Speckled trout CONTACT: Capt. Marvin Engel 361-658-6674 CaptMarvinEngel@yahoo.com www.texasfishingguides.org/bigm BEST BAITS: Freeline live croaker TIPS: Capt. Engel’s freeline rigging: 4/0 croaker hook, 2 foot shock leader made up using 30 lb.

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test Berkley Trilene, clear color LOCATION: Port Aransas HOTSPOT: Quarantine Shoreline GPS: N 27 54.733 W 97 03.502 (27.912217, -97.058367) SPECIES: Speckled trout BEST BAITS: Freeline live croaker CONTACT: Capt. Marvin Engel 361-658-6674 CaptMarvinEngel@yahoo.com www.texasfishingguides.org/bigm TIPS: In June, Engel switches exclusively to live croaker as bait of choice for speckled trout. “Baitfish become so numerous as the water warms up, they will strip a live shrimp off a hook in 10 seconds.” – Capt. Marvin Engel LOCATION: Port Aransas HOTSPOT: Mud Island GPS: N 27 56.380 W 97 00.763 (27.939667, -97.012717) SPECIES: Speckled trout BEST BAITS: Freeline live croaker CONTACT: Capt. Marvin Engel 361-658-6674 CaptMarvinEngel@yahoo.com www.texasfishingguides.org/bigm TIPS: Hook the croaker right above the anal fin so he can swim around naturally, won’t be upside down or sideways in the water. LOCATION: Port Aransas HOTSPOT: Super Flats GPS: N 27 54.669 W 97 02.196 (27.91115, -97.0366) SPECIES: Speckled trout BEST BAITS: Freeline live croaker CONTACT: Capt. Marvin Engel 361-658-6674 CaptMarvinEngel@yahoo.com www.texasfishingguides.org/bigm TIPS: Pop your line about every 15-20 seconds, reel 2-3 cranks to get slack out of the line. LOCATION: Port Aransas HOTSPOT: East Flats GPS: N 27 48.991 W 97 07.139 (27.816517, -97.118983) SPECIES: Redfish BEST BAITS: Freeline live pin perch or cut F I S H

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LOWER GULF COAST

North Jetty Snook Temptations by CALIXTO GONZALES LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: North Brazos Santiago Jetties GPS: N 26 04.080 W 97 09.280 (26.068, -97.154667) SPECIES: snook BEST BAITS: finger mullet; soft plastics in chartreuse, smoke CONTACT: Captain Carlos Garcia 956-433-8094 southtexasredfish20@gmail.com TIPS: 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.

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 flounder are very active. Hopping soft plastics on a 1/8-ounce jighead along the channel edges will also produce.

HOTSPOT: Green Island GPS: N 26 23.310 W 97 19.876 (26.3885, -97.331267) SPECIES: Redfish BEST BAITS: live shrimp/popping cork; topwaters; gold spoons, red spinnerbaits; soft plastics in clear/red, red/white, Pearl/red CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez 956-551-9581 TIPS: 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: Railbed (bank access) GPS: N 26 03.849 W 97 12.016 (26.064147, -97.200268) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live shrimp; Gulp! shrimp in Nuclear Chicken, Lime Tiger; soft plastics in chartreuse patterns; gold spoons CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez 956-551-9581 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. Free-line a shrimp or finger mullet 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: Cullen Channel GPS: N 26 15.759 W 97 17.273 (26.26265, -97.287883) SPECIES: Speckled Trout BEST BAITS: Live croaker; soft plastics in clear/red, red/white, Pearl/red. Topwaters early. CONTACT: LG Outfitters

LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre

LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Boca Chica Beach (bank access) GPS: N 26 02.979 W 97 09.103 (26.049649, -97.151721) SPECIES: Speckled trout, BEST BAITS: live mullet, ballyhoo; gold spoons; soft plastics in red and white CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez 956-551-9581 TIPS: Speckled trout 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: South Bay Channel GPS: N 26 02.692 W 97 10.974 (26.044867, -97.1829) SPECIES: Flounder BEST BAITS: live bait; topwaters; soft plastics in red/white, New Penny CONTACT: Captain Carlos Garcia 956-433-8094 southtexasredfish20@gmail.com T F & G

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Texas Hotspots 956-371-0220 www.lgoutfittters.com TIPS: Fish the gut with live croaker or soft plastics on a moving tide. Work a topwater early in the morning along the shoreline edges. On calm days you can spot and stalk big fish. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Gaswell Flats GPS: N 26 16.309 W 97 16.222 (26.271817, -97.270367) 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 Jimmy Martinez 956-551-9581 TIPS: 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: N 26 12.150 W 97 17.480 (26.2025, -97.291333) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: topwaters; soft plastics in clear/ red, red/white, Pearl/red; cut bait CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez 956-551-9581 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 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. LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Tide Gauge GPS: N 27 18.248 W 97 27.593 (27.304133, -97.459883) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live croaker; topwaters early; soft plastics in Strawberry/black back, Plum/ chartreuse, Rootbeer/red flake, Morning Glory, Pumpkinseed/chartreuse

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CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart 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.

gregcrafts@yahoo.com www.toledobendguide.com, TIPS: The White Bass are back in the main lake and holding on the north end river channel sand bars. You can catch many Whites when they move back into the main lake after the spawn as you can when they are in the river proper. Work the inside bends of the channel. Use your electronics to find the baitfish and the Whites will be close by. Schooling activity will be increasing as the water warms so keep a Rat-L-Trap handy.

LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Center Reef GPS: N 27 16.206 W 97 34.362 (27.2701, -97.5727) SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live croaker; soft plastics in Plum/ chartreuse, Rootbeer/red flake, Morning Glory, Pumpkinseed/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart 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 wide-gapped 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: Lake Conroe HOTSPOT: Main Lake GPS: N 30.386164 W95.581903 (30.386164, -95.581903) SPECIES: Hybrid Stripers BEST BAITS: Live shad, Storm Swim shad CONTACT: Richard Tatsch 936-291-1277 admin@fishdudetx.com www.fishdudetx.com TIPS: The hybrid stripers are in full swing now and this is the time to catch trophy fish and possibly lake record Hybrids. They will be all around the lake on main lake points and humps. The use of electronics is a necessity! Find the schools of shad and you will find the Hybrids. This time of year they will range in the water column from 12 foot to 26 feet. Find the depth the shad is in and you will find the fish. You can catch several limits of fish in an hour’s time right now! They will be bunched up with some really large fish to be caught. Live shad will be the bait of choice but the swim shad will work if you can control the depth. Good luck and good fishing!

PINEY WOODS

Circle the Buzzard for Toledo Whites by DUSTIN WARNCKE LOCATION: Toledo Bend North HOTSPOT: Buzzard Bend GPS: N 31.669208 W93.814191 (31.669208, -93.814191) SPECIES: White Bass BEST BAITS: Slab spoons, tail spinners, and Rat-L-Traps CONTACT: Greg Crafts, Toledo Bend Guide Service and Lake Cottages 936.368.7151 F I S H

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LOCATION: Lake Livingston HOTSPOT: 190 Road Bed GPS: N 30.755987 W 95.173170 (30.755987, -95.17317) SPECIES: White Bass BEST BAITS: Jigging slabs, spoons, troll pet spoon on down rigger, Tsunami Zombie Eyes (1 oz. pink/silver glow) CONTACT: David S Cox - Palmetto Guide Service 936-291-9602 dave@palmettoguideservice.com www.palmettoguideservice.com TIPS: Key in on old bridge rails and road bed in 11 - 15 feet of water. Jig slabs and Tsunami Zombie Eyes right off the bottom.

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PRAIRIES & LAKES

Head North for Texoma Stripers by DUSTIN WARNCKE and DEAN HEFFNER LOCATION: Lake Texoma HOTSPOT: The North End GPS: N 33.8694 W96.6930 (33.8694, -96.693) SPECIES: Striped Bass BEST BAITS: Slabs in 1.5 ounce in white or chartreuse, jigs, and topwater plugs such as the Pencil Popper. CONTACT: Bill Carey 903-786-4477 bigfish@striperexpress.com www.striperexpress.com TIPS: June is the beginning of the summer fishing patterns at Lake Texoma. Stripers are schooling in large groups across the lake. For best results this month, cast topwater plugs on shallow banks near deep water drop offs early in the morning. The topwater bite is exciting fishing this time of year. The go-to topwater plug is the Pencil Popper. When mid-morning rolls around, try tying 1.5 ounce slabs in chrome, white or chartreuse. Track large schools of fish in the main lake area and in river channels. The technique of choice this month is a fast retrieve; let your slab free fall to the bottom, reeling quickly to the surface. Pay attention – the stripers will hit on the fall. We call this technique “drop it and rip ‘em”. Look for surfacing topwater action mid-month in the river channels and main lake areas.

move into the shallows in morning and then again in the evening to feed. Crankbaits, Spinnerbaits and Topwater baits are all good choices for this time of the year. If you choose to fish other than these times, look for these fish on deep flats close to deeper water or in the bends of deep creek channels close to shallow water. Here Jigs, Spoons or deep diving crankbaits work great.

Humdingers to work the fish from a distance, as these fish can be spooky. Morning and evening are best of course, but these fish can be active thru the heat of the day all summer long. LOCATION: Cedar Creek Lake HOTSPOT: Main Lake Boat Docks GPS: N 32.286682 W96.162429 (32.286682, -96.162429) SPECIES: Largemouth Bass CONTACT: Jason Barber 903-603-2047 kingscreekadventures@yahoo.com www.kingscreekadventures.com BEST BAITS: Anything from small finesse jigs to plastics in various colors rigged shaky head, Texas-rigged or drop-shot. TIPS: Cast pitch or flip into tight shady areas underneath the many main lake docks. Any dock with a few feet of water or more can be good. Deeper docks with brush or lots of shade should be fished thoroughly!

LOCATION: Lake Bridgeport HOTSPOT: Methodist Camp Flats GPS: N 33 14.329 W 97 50.541 (33.238817, -97.84235) SPECIES: White bass BEST BAITS: Topwater baits and Humdingers CONTACT: Keith Bunch, Licensed Pro Fishing Guide, Lake Bridgeport Guide Service 940-577-0363 www.LakeBridgeportGuideService.com TIPS: Great white Bass area. Long flat that runs north and south (bordered by the Trinity river channel to the east) from Windy Point to the front of the Methodist Camp. A great place to find surfacing white bass (and a few hybrids) feeding on the surface. Approach upwind from the fish and drift slowly into them, use top water baits and

LOCATION: Gibbons Creek Reservoir HOTSPOT: Plum Creek Point GPS: N 30 38.479

LOCATION: Belton Lake HOTSPOT: Main Lake GPS: N 31.129284 W 97.508142 (31.129284, -97.508142) SPECIES: Largemouth Bass BEST BAITS: Crankbaits, spinnerbaits, top water lures, jigs, spoons or deep diving crankbaits CONTACT: Henry Niemiec 254-368-0294 surestrikeguideservice@yahoo.com www.surestrikeguideservice.com TIPS: By now the spawn is over and the days and nights are getting much warmer. The fish will have moved back into deeper water and the primetime for catching bass is going to be in the early morning or the evening hours. The bass will T F & G

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Texas Hotspots W 96 03.117 (30.64132, -96.05195) SPECIES: Catfish BEST BAITS: Shad or Crawfish CONTACT: Weldon Kirk 979-229-3103 weldon_edna@hotmail.com www.FishTales-GuideService.com TIPS: Point is just south of Plum Creek Flats on most maps. Summer months are good chumming months. If using stink baits expect fish to be there sooner, even when using chum. Fish travel from creeks to and from the discharge area travel 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, cork or Carolina on a less windy day. Fresh dead shad, kept on ice in plastic bag, or stink bait will work best here. Spread chum in the direction from the boat you intend to fish. #2 Kahle hook for shad. LOCATION: Lake Granbury HOTSPOT: Midlake at Decordova Subdivision GPS: N 32 25.392 W 97 45.252 (32.4232, -97.7542) SPECIES: White bass BEST BAITS: Live Shad and jigging slabs in silver and chartreuse. CONTACT: Michael Acosta, Unfair Advantage Charters 817-578-0023 www.unfairadvantagecharters.com TIPS: Jigging and fishing around 20 feet down near channel ledges and humps. Bouncing your jigs/slabs off the bottom may get the most strikes. Some schooling action may occur early and late. Keep a Mepps Spinner, Rooster Tail or a RatLTrap handy for some of this fast and furious action. Granbury is over 10 feet low and continues to fall. Access is still available for smaller boats at Rough Creek Park and the launch by the Hilton has been able to launch most boats (call to make sure the ramp is open). Water temperatures are in the 70s in June and continue to rise as the summer progresses. LOCATION: Granger Lake HOTSPOT: Main Lake Brush Piles GPS: N 30.699471 W97.344847 (30.699471, -97.344847) SPECIES: Crappie BEST BAITS: Jigs and Minnows CONTACT: Tommy Tidwell 512-365-7761 crappie1@hotmail.com

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www.gotcrappie.com TIPS: All of the spawning crappie have now left the shallows and are in brush all over the lake in any spot that is 4 to 15 feet deep. They will remain here through October. If you find any cover in open water, it will hold fish. The main problem is finding the spots that hold the larger fish. Most of those are very small spots in shallower water from 4 to 7 feet deep. Large brush piles in deeper water will hold tons of fish but most are small and undersized. Find your spot and fish vertically with a jig or minnow. Some days, minnows will work better and some jigs will be better. It pays to have both. Wind action and water clarity will dictate where the crappie are found. Try to find the clearest water. Also, windy areas hold most of the fish if the water hasn’t been muddied up too bad. Good luck and good fishing. LOCATION: Granger Lake HOTSPOT: Main Lake GPS: N 30.698936, W97.345491 (30.698936, -97.345491) SPECIES: Crappie BEST BAITS: Jigs and Minnows CONTACT: Tommy Tidwell 512-365-7761 crappie1@hotmail.com www.gotcrappie.com TIPS: Right now is the prime crappie fishing at Granger Lake. All of the fish have spawned and are now in the main lake brush piles and manmade structure. The spawn is now over and all the crappie are in the hundreds of brush piles found all over the lake. One of the good spots to try this time of year is along the bluff that borders Wilson Fox Park. There are over a hundred in that area alone. Vertical fish right over the brush. On some days, the crappie will hit minnows a lot better than jigs. Don’t let anyone tell you that a jig will always catch crappie as good as minnows. A trick that experienced crappie anglers know is that the dead torn up fresh minnows (that have already caught a couple of fish) will catch the bigger crappie and catch them faster. Try this and you will put some crappie in the boat. Good luck and good fishing. LOCATION: Lake Palestine HOTSPOT: North End Kick-a-poo area and South near the Dam GPS: N 32.273989 W95.4952 (32.273989, -95.4952) SPECIES: Largemouth Bass BEST BAITS: Shimmy Shakers in Blue Herron color by Texas Spinner Bait Company, Mr. Twister F I S H

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Comida worms in Watermelon Red, frogs and buzz baits. CONTACT: Ricky’s Guide Service, Lakes Palestine and Fork 903-561-7299 or 903-530-2201 ricky@rickysguideservice.com www.rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Fish along the edges of the grass and along edge of the creek fish all the bends of the creek and very slow on the north end of the lake in the Kick-a-poo area. Down south, near the dam, fish deep diving crank baits on the points cover all angels of the points and fish them as slow as you can making sure all areas of the points are covered. LOCATION: Lake Palestine HOTSPOT: bridges along the 155 road way GPS: N 32.1246 W95.4858 (32.1246, -95.4858) SPECIES: Crappie BEST BAITS: Mr. Minno Jigs by Mr. Twister Lures in 1/16th oz. CONTACT: Ricky’s Guide Service, Lakes Palestine and Fork 903-561-7299 or 903-530-2201 ricky@rickysguideservice.com www.rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Work your jigs along the edges of the bridge piles and in any brush you can find. LOCATION: Lake Palestine HOTSPOT: Mouth of Ledbetter creek GPS: N 32.1205 W95.4999 (32.1205, -95.4999) SPECIES: Catfish BEST BAITS: Danny King punch Bait and night crawlers CONTACT: Ricky’s Guide Service, Lakes Palestine and Fork 903-561-7299 or 903-530-2201 ricky@rickysguideservice.com www.rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Fish stationary, positioning your bait on the hump of the mouth of Ledbetter Creek. LOCATION: Lake Palestine HOTSPOT: Flat Creek GPS: N 32.188478 W95.504585 (32.188478, -95.504585) SPECIES: Largemouth Bass BEST BAITS: Blue Heron color Shimmy Shakers, white or chartreuse/white 3/8 oz. Ricky’s special spinner baits from the Texas Spinner Bait Company. Big Eye Jig in black/brown/amber color

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and trail it with a Mister Twister watermelon red 4” Flip’n out trailer, Bomber BD7 Crank Bait CONTACT: Ricky’s Guide Service, Lakes Palestine and Fork 903-561-7299 or 903-530-2201 ricky@rickysguideservice.com www.rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Fish the flats in the back of the creek and up near the shorelines early and as the time of day gets up around 9 or 10 am move over on the creek and pitch the Big Eye Jig. You can also get out on the main lake points and cast a crankbait to catch some nice bass. Fish slow and cover areas well, including all trees and logs. LOCATION: Lake Palestine HOTSPOT: Brush Piles GPS: N 32.188478 W95.504585 (32.188478, -95.504585) SPECIES: Crappie BEST BAITS: Mr. Twister Mr. Minno jigs in black/white and white, small minnows CONTACT: Ricky’s Guide Service, Lakes Palestine and Fork 903-561-7299 or 903-530-2201 ricky@rickysguideservice.com www.rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Crappie fishing is good right now on brush piles, both manmade and natural. Best areas will be along the river and down south using jigs and small minnows. LOCATION: Lake Palestine HOTSPOT: Henderson Point GPS: N 32 11.860 W 95 29.079 (32.197667, -95.48465) SPECIES: Catfish BEST BAITS: Danny King Punch bait and night crawlers CONTACT: Ricky’s Guide Service, Lakes Palestine and Fork 903-561-7299 or 903-530-2201 ricky@rickysguideservice.com www.rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Catfish fishing is very good out along the river in depths of 16 feet. Anchor or tie up and fish stationary.

LOCATION: Lake Ray Roberts HOTSPOT: Wolf Island GPS: N 33 25.478 W 97 00.161 (33.424628, -97.002686) SPECIES: Crappie BEST BAITS: Minnows, jigs CONTACT: Dannie Golden, Get Bit Guide Service 817-228-5999 www.get-bit.com TIPS: Crappie will be still on the standing timber and corp. brush piles. Minnows and jigs both usually produce this time of year, as in May. Most of the brush piles are in 15-20 feet of water, at the time of this writing. Golden prefers the deeper piles.

early in the mornings. Clear Heddon baby torpedoes and 1/4-oz. chrome blue RatLTraps. When not on top, use graph to locate on or near drop off on ridges and long points. 1oz slabs bounced off the bottom will work great. LOCATION: Lake Ray Roberts HOTSPOT: Wolf Island GPS: N 33 25.478 W 97 00.161 (33.424628, -97.002686) SPECIES: Largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Pop-Rs, Spooks, buzzbaits, plastic worms CONTACT: Dannie Golden, Get Bit Guide Service 817-228-5999 www.get-bit.com TIPS: Topwater Pop-Rs and Spooks worked early around main lake rocky points and shallow grass beds. This is also a good time of year to catch some bass on a topwater frog. Both buzz frogs and soft body frogs will work this time worked over and around the milfoil. The big worm bite will be good around the corp. brush piles and deep ledges. Gene Larew El Salto Grande worms in Jalapeno is a good choice.

LOCATION: Lake Richland Chambers HOTSPOT: Windsock Point GPS: N 32.04422 W96.238682 (32.04422, -96.238682) SPECIES: White Bass BEST BAITS: Silver or clear topwater bait such as a Clear Tiny Torpedo CONTACT: Royce Simmons, Gone Fishin’ Guide Service

LOCATION: Lake Ray Roberts HOTSPOT: Cates Point GPS: N 33 22.869 W 97 02.235 (33.381143, -97.037258) SPECIES: White bass BEST BAITS: Heddon Baby Torpedo, Rat-LTraps CONTACT: Dannie Golden, Get Bit Guide Service 817-228-5999 www.get-bit.com TIPS: Look for the white bass to be schooling T F & G

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Texas Hotspots 903-389-4117 royce@gonefishin.biz www.gonefishin.biz TIPS: June is traditionally the month that the Topwater White Bass action kicks in full gear! Once started, the action only gets better as the weather gets hotter. Look for early morning schooling action on the Main Lake from the Dam all the way back to the Hwy 287 Bridge. The South Shoreline from Fisherman’s Point Marina to Ferguson Point is a great place to start the morning. Almost any small, silver or clear topwater bait will catch these aggressive fish, but the favorite is a Clear Tiny Torpedo. If you’re lucky and get a light breeze and some cloud cover, the topwater action can last up to several hours and you’ll often be on several acres of fish. LOCATION: Lake Somerville HOTSPOT: Snake Island Cove GPS: N 30 18.917 W96 35.800 (30.31528, -96.59667) SPECIES: Catfish BEST BAITS: Shad, crawfish, or stink bait CONTACT: Weldon Kirk 979-229-3103 weldon_edna@hotmail.com www.FishTales-GuideService.com TIPS: June starts a good time for chumming. Anchor within casting distance of the shoreline in this cove. Put out some chum towards the bank. Mainly fish toward the shoreline, but set one line out toward deeper water also. Tight line with Carolina rig using a #2 Kahle hook for shad and crawfish. Fish punch bait with #4 treble, Carolina rigged. This is also a good area for night fishing close to shoreline. LOCATION: Lake Whitney HOTSPOT: Mouth of Big Rocky Creek GPS: N 31.8807 W97.3940 (31.8807, -97.394) SPECIES: Striped Bass BEST BAITS: Live gizzard shad CONTACT: Randy Routh 817-822-5539 teamredneck01@hotmail.com www.teamredneck.net TIPS: Post Spawn patterns are here and the big fish bite is on. Anchor up and use live gizzard shad on a Carolina rig, dropping baits to 24 feet. Quick limits coming early and late in the day.

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Watch the Bay for Stripes & Sandies by DUSTIN WARNCKE and DEAN HEFFNER LOCATION: Lake Possum Kingdom HOTSPOT: Caddo Bay GPS: N 32 51.726 W 98 32 39.828 (32.8621, -98.544167) SPECIES: striped, white (sand) bass BEST BAITS: fresh caught shad, Pop-Rs, striper jigs CONTACT: Dean Heffner, Heffner Guide Service 940-329-0036 fav7734@aceweb.com TIPS: This is mid-lake and a there is lot of water to cover. The sandbass/stripers can come up anywhere here and feed a long way before going back down. Watch your graph and follow the 20-0 foot breaklines as these are now natural highways. We troll and catch a lot of striper/hybrids on 1-oz. white hair striper jigs with 6-inch trailer tails. This also works well from Caddo to the dam, which is great downrigger water. So jigs and slabs work well. Also a lot of fish are caught on just a plain 1/8-oz. jig with a 3-4 inch white curly tail. Virtually anything that resembles a shad will work this time of year. Pay attention to how deep you are and how much line is out, so you can go right back to that depth. They are finicky right now about depth. When fishing live fresh caught shad right from the lake, we catch 4-6 species regularly. Catfish will be on breaklines also and up north in the stained water 20-30 feet is magic. Also there are brush piles back in the back of Cedar Creek that will hold bass and crappie. LOCATION: Lake Alan Henry HOTSPOT: West of Little Grape Creek GPS: N 33.047559 W101.060052 (33.047559, -101.060052) SPECIES: Largemouth Bass BEST BAITS: Spoons, Little George’s, deep diving crankbaits, drop shot flukes, 10” dark plastic worms CONTACT: Norman Clayton’s Guide Services 806-792-9220 F I S H

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nclayton42@sbcglobal.net www.lakealanhenry.com/norman_clayton.htm TIPS: The first part of June will find some of the bass near the dam area still on the beds while farther up the river the bass will be moving into their summer mode of schooling up chasing the schools of shad. The bass from about Little Grape Creek west will be starting to school up on the main lake points going into their summer routine of chasing shad. You can watch your electronics, watching for the school of shad, and when you find the shad, you will find the bass. This is a time to be fishing spoons, Little George’s, deep diving crank baits that will run at least 20 feet deep. June is also a good month to start night fishing. Fishing 10” dark plastic worms Texas rigged on the main lake points where the water is clear is a good tactic especially just before and after the full moon. LOCATION: Lake Alan Henry HOTSPOT: Gobbler Creek GPS: N 33.036270 W101.129494 (33.03627, -101.129494) SPECIES: Largemouth Bass BEST BAITS: Spoons, crank baits, or drop shots CONTACT: Norman Clayton’s Guide Services 806-792-9220 nclayton42@sbcglobal.net www.lakealanhenry.com/norman_clayton.htm TIPS: In June the bass will start moving deep. If the bass have moved deep, you will mostly need to find the schools of shad because if you find the shad, you will find the bass. Usually you will find schools of shad bunched up about 3/4 of the way up the Brazos River around Gobbler Creek. Also, there will be schools of shad in the mouths of Little Grape and Grape Creeks. You can use spoons, crank baits, or drop shots to catch the bass preying on the shad. LOCATION: Fort Phantom Hill Res. HOTSPOT: Mid-Lake & Breaklines GPS: N 32 35.734 W 99 41.108 (32.595565, -99.685135) SPECIES: Crappie BEST BAITS: Minnows, jigs CONTACT: Jason & Lorie Rohloff, Brushy Creek Bait & Tackle 254-559-1155 texasfishnhunt@aol.com TIPS: Fish medium minnows in 10-20 feet of water under docks or structure and be sure to pay attention to how deep so you can go right back to that depth, as they will be suspended and picky

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about it. LOCATION: Lakes Graham/Edelman HOTSPOT: Canal GPS: N 33 08.581 W 98 36.518 (33.143009, -98.608638) SPECIES: Catfish BEST BAITS: shad, minnows, perch CONTACT: Jason & Lorie Rohloff, Brushy Creek Bait & Tackle 254-559-1155 texasfishnhunt@aol.com TIPS: Catfish are good on shad, large minnows and perch. Perch for yellows. Fish either the water plant inside, or, best bet is the humps as you come through the canal. Head straight across and you’ll see the humps on your electronics. Fish the back deeper side with live shad, 1-1/2 cranks off bottom and also fish the deeper water up by the damn for hybrids and the bigger cats like blues and yellows. LOCATION: Hubbard Creek Lake HOTSPOT: Mid-Lake Boat Docks GPS: N 32 49.401 W 99 00.754 (32.823346 -99.012566) SPECIES: Largemouth bass BEST BAITS: RatLTraps, jigs, soft plastic worms CONTACT: Jason & Lorie Rohloff, Brushy Creek Bait & Tackle 254-559-1155 texasfishnhunt@aol.com TIPS: Big bass are being caught by boat docks on white RatlTraps and electric chicken jigs and blueberry worms. Also, fish the dark spots at the base of trees and rocks. Look for them to be lying right in the dark ambush holes in 2-8 feet of water. A jig & pig is also great to flip. A new deep water boat ramp is ready to use and you can still unload at the dam ramps. Use caution and go slow. LOCATION: Lake Leon HOTSPOT: Mid-Lake GPS: N 32 21.871 W 98 43.029 (32.364521, -98.717151) SPECIES: Crappie BEST BAITS: Medium minnows CONTACT: Jason & Lorie Rohloff, Brushy Creek Bait & Tackle 254-559-1155 texasfishnhunt@aol.com TIPS: Fish medium minnows in 10-20 feet of water under docks or structure and be sure to pay attention to how deep so you can go right back to that depth, as they will be suspended and picky about it. LOCATION: Lake Stamford T F & G

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HOTSPOT: Mid-Lake to Dam Area GPS: N 33 03.572 W 99 36.211 (33.059527, -99.60351) SPECIES: Catfish BEST BAITS: Perch CONTACT: Jason & Lorie Rohloff, Brushy Creek Bait & Tackle 254-559-1155 texasfishnhunt@aol.com TIPS: Catfish are good on perch, just get in the deeper water on the flats and breaklines with rod & reel and juglines.

W 101 8.2884 (29.494521, -101.138140) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Crank baits, soft plastic worms, topwater lures CONTACT: Stan Gerzsenyl 830-768-3648 stan@amistadbass.com amistadbass.com TIPS: Fish the major points that drop-off into 20 feet of water. The bass will be feeding on crawfish so crawfish-colored lures will produce the best catches. Try topwaters early in the backs of the coves.

LOCATION: Lake Stamford HOTSPOT: Mid-Lake GPS: N 33 03.572 W 99 36.211 (33.059527, -99.60351) SPECIES: Largemouth bass BEST BAITS: shad, worms, jig & pig, topwaters CONTACT: Jason & Lorie Rohloff, Brushy Creek Bait & Tackle 254-559-1155 texasfishnhunt@aol.com TIPS: Look for bass in the shadows with monster red shad and blueberry worms and jig & pigs. Fish topwaters early and when cloudy.

HILL COUNTRY

Windy Cats on Lake Buchanan by DUSTIN WARNCKE

BIG BEND

Take Highway 90 to Amistad Bass by DUSTIN WARNCKE LOCATION: Amistad HOTSPOT: Highway 90 Area GPS: N 29 28.72116 W101 3.2424 (29.478686, -101.054040) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Carolina-rigged worms, Texasrigged worms, Senkos, crankbaits CONTACT: Stan Gerzsenyl 830-768-3648 stan@amistadbass.com amistadbass.com TIPS: Fish the backs of the multiple coves in this area with Texas-rigged plastic worms, Senkos and crawdad-colored crankbaits. If the action is slow, move off the points and fish the edges of the grass beds with Carolina-rigged soft plastics. LOCATION: Lake Amistad HOTSPOT: Deep Water Points GPS: N 29 29.67126 A L M A N A C

T E X A S

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LOCATION: Lake Buchanan HOTSPOT: Windy Points GPS: N 30.809216 W98.399991 (30.809216, -98.399991) SPECIES: Catfish CONTACT: Ken Milam 325-379-2051 kmilam@verizon.net www.striperfever.com BEST BAITS: Cut shad, perch or carp TIPS: Catfish can be found on windy points where the wind is blowing into the bank. Fish on the bottom stationary from an anchored boat or from the bank. LOCATION: Lake Austin HOTSPOT: Flats Close to Deep Water GPS: N 30.350353 W97.796368 (30.350353, -97.796368) SPECIES: Largemouth Bass BEST BAITS: V&M Ledge Roller Spinnerbaits, Picasso Dinn-R-Bell & Buzz Saw, Picasso Bait Ball Extreme, V&M Thunder Shad Jr, Fringe Tackle Swim Baits CONTACT: Brian Parker, Lake Austin Fishing 817-808-2227 LakeAustinFishing@yahoo.com www.LakeAustinFishing.com TIPS: June is a post spawn feeding month and there should be lots of feeding going on in prepaG A M E ®

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Texas Hotspots ration for summer. In the mornings, start with the Picasso Top Water buzz baits until they stop eating on the flats. Then move off the bank into about 6-10’ of water and work that column with V&M and Picasso Spinnerbaits and the Picasso Bait Ball Extreme loaded with White Ice, Blue Racer, or Sexy Shad V&M Thunder Shad Jrs or Hula Shad’s. After working that water column over well, move deeper with the Picasso Bait Ball Extreme and Fringe Tackle Swim Bait. You can get V&M and Picasso products at Tightlines Premium Fishing Tackle in Killeen or Fisherman’s Corner (aka www.texasbasstackle.com) in San Marcos, Texas. LOCATION: Lake Buchanan HOTSPOT: Upper Lake Humps GPS: N30.883728 W98.458271 (30.883728, -98.458271) SPECIES: White Bass CONTACT: Ken Milam 325-379-2051 kmilam@verizon.net www.striperfever.com BEST BAITS: Live shad or slabs TIPS: White Bass will be on humps at the upper end of the lake. Fish in 28 to 35 feet of water using slabs or live shad. Yo yo slabs on the humps and around tree lines for best results. LOCATION: Lake Buchanan HOTSPOT: Main Lake Humps GPS: N 30.806542 W98.416213 (30.806542, -98.416213) SPECIES: Striped Bass CONTACT: Ken Milam, (325) 379-2051, kmilam@verizon.net , http://www.striperfever.com.com BEST BAITS: Live shad or slabs TIPS: Stripers and Hybrids will be on main lake humps. Fish in 28 to 35 feet of water using slabs or live shad. Yo yo slabs on the humps and around tree lines. LOCATION: Lake Buchanan HOTSPOT: Upper Half of Lake GPS: N 30.8497 W98.4204 (30.8497, -98.4204) SPECIES: Striped Bass, White Bass, Catfish BEST BAITS: Live shad, jigs in chartreuse or white, cut shad CONTACT: Clancy Terrill 512-633-6742 centraltexasfishing@yahoo.com

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www.centraltexasfishing.com TIPS: Stripers can be found on ridges early in the morning in 20 to 30 feet of water drifting live bait. White Bass can be found on ridges or humps most of the day in 20 to 25 ft. jigging with chartreuse or white jigs. Just jig 1 or 2 feet off the bottom. Catfish can be found in 15 to 20 feet of water early and late as well as at night. Use cut shad but any quality bait should work.

SOUTH TEXAS PLAINS

Get Reddy for Calaveras Reds by DUSTIN WARNCKE

LOCATION: Canyon Lake HOTSPOT: Point near the Fishing Pier near Potter’s Creek GPS: N 29.902187 W98.266582 (29.902187, -98.266582) SPECIES: Largemouth Bass BEST BAITS: Texas-Rigged Creature Baits, 7” Berkley Power Worms, Tru-Tungsten Flea Flicker Jig, Crème Scoundrel worms CONTACT: Kandie D. Candelaria 210-823-2153 kandie@gvtc.com TIPS: As the weather heats up, the bass will start to move out. Bass are good early along bluff edges using Tru-Tungsten Flea Flicker jig in 3/16th with Crème Scoundrel worms rigged whacky-style in Watermelon Red color. Concentrate on main lake points with Texas-rigged creature baits in Cotton Candy or Watermelon Purple color with 1/8th Tru-Tungsten weight. Make your way left to the flooded timber and fish it carefully with either a Berkley Motor Oil Red or Blue Fleck worm with a Tru-Tungsten 1.4oz weight rigged Texas-style. Look for 8-15 foot depths. Fish the entire point into the entrance of Canyon Park, about 300 yards. LOCATION: Canyon Lake HOTSPOT: Jacobs Point GPS: N 29.877956 W98.222261 (29.877956, -98.222261) SPECIES: Striped Bass BEST BAITS: Jigging Spoon in white color CONTACT: Capt. Steve Nixon, Fishhooks Adventures 210-573-1230 steve@sanantoniofishingguides.com www.sanantoniofishingguides.com TIPS: Fish from the point back to the swim beach casting out the spoon and try to maintain a depth of 20 to 40 feet, the Striped Bass like to school in this area this time of year.

F I S H

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G A M E ®

T F & G

LOCATION: Lake Calaveras HOTSPOT: Rocky Cove GPS: N 29 18.69288 W 98 18.27282 (29.311548, -98.304547) SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: live shad, shrimp CONTACT: Steve Nixon 210-573-1230 steve@sanantoniofishingguides.com www.sanantoniofishingguides.com TIPS: Locate the creek channel and anchor just off the edge of it. Freeline live shad or shrimp off the bottom. LOCATION: Falcon Lake HOTSPOT: Main Lake Points GPS: N 26 55.78452 W 99 21.01284 (26.929742, -99.350214) SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Spinnerbaits, jigs, plastic worms CONTACT: Robert Amaya 956-765-1442 robertsfishntackle@gmail.com www.robertsfishntackle.com TIPS: Fish any brush and stickups on the main lake points on the lower end with Texas-rigged soft plastics, spinnerbaits or topwater lures. Start early with the surface lures and then switch to plastic worms or spinnerbaits once the sun begins to get high.

DIGITAL EXTRA: Tap GPS to view Hotspots on Google Maps

A L M A N A C

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Sportsman’s Daybook JUNE 2014

Tides and Prime Times

USING THE PRIME TIMES CALENDAR

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

T12

T4

T11

T10

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

T9 T8 T7

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

T15 T16

T6 T17

T3 T2 T1

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

T13 T5

T14

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

T18

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

T19

T20

PEAK DAYS: The closer the moon is to your location, the stronger the influence. FULL or NEW MOONS provide the strongest influnce of the month. PEAK TIMES: When a Solunar Period falls within 30 minutes to an hour of sunrise or sunset, anticipate increased action. A moon rise or moon set during one of these periods will cause even greater action. If a FULL or NEW MOON occurs during a Solunar Period, expect the best action of the season.

T21

TIDE CORRECTION TABLE

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

KEY T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6

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

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

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

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

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

KEY T12 T13 T14 T15 T16 T17

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

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

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

KEY T18 T19 T20 T21 T22 T23

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

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

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

SPORTSMAN’S DAYBOOK IS SPONSORED BY:

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION T22 T23

TAP HERE For

CUSTOMIZED TIDE CHARTS from the TF&G TIDE FORECASTER

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G A M E ®

T F & G

A L M A N A C

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SYMBOL KEY

= Peak Fishing Period

BEST:

7:45-9:40 AM

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

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

26

Sunrise: 6:22a Moonrise: 4:55a

Set: 8:10p Set: 6:23p

TUESDAY

27 

Sunrise: 6:22a Moonrise: 5:38a

WEDNESDAY

28 

Set: 8:10p Set: 7:21p

Sunrise: 6:21a Moonrise: 6:24a

THURSDAY

29 

Set: 8:11p Set: 8:15p

Sunrise: 6:21a Moonrise: 7:12a

FRIDAY

30 

Set: 8:12p Set: 9:07p

Sunrise: 6:21a Moonrise: 8:02a

SATURDAY

31 

Set: 8:12p Set: 9:56p

Sunrise: 6:20a Moonrise: 8:53a

Jun 1

Set: 8:13p Sunrise: 6:20a Set: 10:40p Moonrise: 9:45a

Set: 8:13p Set: 11:21p

AM Minor: 3:48a

PM Minor: 4:13p

AM Minor: 4:34a

PM Minor: 5:00p

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: 10:26p

AM Major: 10:47a

PM Major: 11:13p

AM Major: 11:36a

PM Major: 12:02p

AM Major: 12:02a

PM Major: 12:27p

AM Major: 12:55a

PM Major: 1:20p

AM Major: 1:49a

PM Major: 2:13p

AM Major: 2:42a

PM Major: 3:05p

Moon Overhead: 11:37a

12a

Tides and Prime Times for JUNE 2014

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 1:19p

Moon Overhead: 12:28p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 2:10p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 3:48p

Moon Overhead: 2:59p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 4:34p 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

MONDAY

 = New Moon  = First Quarter  = Full Moon  = Last Quarter  = Good Day  = Best Day SUNDAY

Tap for Customized Tide Charts

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: None

+2.0

-1.0

TIDE LEVELS

0

BEST:

BEST:

11:00A — 1:00P

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

4:39 AM 10:10 AM 1:59 PM 9:37 PM

ALMANAC Digital.indd 87

Moon Underfoot: 12:53a BEST:

12:00 — 2:00 PM

1.48ft. 1.13ft. 1.29ft. -0.19ft.

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

5:33 AM 11:08 AM 2:23 PM 10:15 PM

1.54ft. 1.21ft. 1.30ft. -0.25ft.

Moon Underfoot: 1:44a BEST:

1:00 — 3:00 PM

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

6:20 AM 12:00 PM 2:48 PM 10:52 PM

1.56ft. 1.25ft. 1.30ft. -0.25ft.

2:00 — 4:00 PM

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

7:05 AM 12:47 PM 3:11 PM 11:29 PM

Moon Underfoot: 2:35a

Moon Underfoot: 3:24a

BEST:

BEST:

3:00 — 5:00 PM

1.55ft. High Tide: 7:47 AM 1.27ft. Low Tide: 1:36 PM 1.30ft. High Tide: 3:31 PM -0.21ft.

1.52ft. 1.27ft. 1.28ft.

4:00 — 6:00 PM

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

12:07 AM 8:29 AM 3:05 PM 3:14 PM

Moon Underfoot: 4:11a

+2.0

BEST:

5:00 — 7:00 PM

-0.13ft. Low Tide: 12:44 AM 1.48ft. High Tide: 9:09 AM 1.24ft. 1.24ft.

-0.03ft. 1.43ft.

TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

Moon Underfoot: 12:02a

+1.0 0 -1.0

5/8/14 2:49 PM


Sportsman’s Daybook

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION BEST:

7:45-9:40 AM

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

3

Sunrise: 6:20a Set: 8:14p Moonrise: 10:37a Set: None

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

4

Sunrise: 6:20a Set: 8:14p Moonrise: 11:29a Set: None

5

Sunrise: 6:20a Set: 8:15p Sunrise: 6:19a Moonrise: 12:20p Set: 12:34a Moonrise: 1:12p

FRIDAY

6

Set: 8:15p Set: 1:08a

Sunrise: 6:19a Moonrise: 2:04p

7

Set: 8:16p Set: 1:42a

SATURDAY

Sunrise: 6:19a Moonrise: 2:58p

8

Set: 8:16p Set: 2:16a

Sunrise: 6:19a Moonrise: 3:55p

Set: 8:16p Set: 2:53a

AM Minor: 9:45a

PM Minor: 10:07p

AM Minor: 10:34a

PM Minor: 10:56p

AM Minor: 11:21a

PM Minor: 11:42p

AM Minor: -----

PM Minor: 12:05p

AM Minor: 12:26a

PM Minor: 12:48p

AM Minor: 1:07a

PM Minor: 1:30p

AM Minor: 1:48a

PM Minor: 2:12p

AM Major: 3:34a

PM Major: 3:56p

AM Major: 4:23a

PM Major: 4:45p

AM Major: 5:10a

PM Major: 5:31p

AM Major: 5:54a

PM Major: 6:16p

AM Major: 6:37a

PM Major: 6:59p

AM Major: 7:19a

PM Major: 7:41p

AM Major: 8:00a

PM Major: 8:24p

Moon Overhead: 5:20p

12a

Tides and Prime Times for JUNE 2014

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 6:46p

Moon Overhead: 6:03p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 7:29p 12a

6a

12p

Moon Overhead: 8:58p

Moon Overhead: 8:12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

2

Fishing Day’s Best 2nd Score Graph Score Best

MONDAY

 = New Moon  = First Quarter  = Full Moon  = Last Quarter  = Good Day  = Best Day SUNDAY

Tap for Customized Tide Charts

= Peak Fishing Period

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

SYMBOL KEY

Moon Overhead: 9:45p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 4:57a

+2.0

-1.0

BEST:

9:30 — 11:30 PM

TIDE LEVELS

0

BEST:

Low Tide: 1:22 AM High Tide: 9:46 AM

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0.10ft. 1.38ft.

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Moon Underfoot: 6:25a BEST:

10:30P — 12:30A

Low Tide: 2:00 AM High Tide: 10:21 AM

2 0 1 4

0.24ft. 1.34ft.

Moon Underfoot: 7:08a BEST:

12:00 — 2:00 PM

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

T E X A S

2:39 AM 10:51 AM 6:36 PM 9:36 PM

F I S H

0.39ft. 1.30ft. 0.88ft. 0.91ft.

&

Moon Underfoot: 7:51a BEST:

12:30 — 2:30 PM

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

3:22 AM 11:17 AM 6:36 PM 11:33 PM

G A M E ®

0.55ft. 1.27ft. 0.74ft. 0.92ft.

Moon Underfoot: 8:35a BEST:

1:00 — 3:00 PM

Low Tide: 4:10 AM High Tide: 11:39 AM Low Tide: 6:49 PM

T F & G

0.71ft. 1.24ft. 0.58ft.

Moon Underfoot: 9:21a

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

1:08 AM 5:09 AM 11:58 AM 7:10 PM

1.01ft. 0.86ft. 1.23ft. 0.39ft.

+2.0

BEST:

2:00 — 4:00 PM

3:00 — 5:00 PM

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

2:24 AM 6:21 AM 12:15 PM 7:39 PM

1.13ft. 0.99ft. 1.23ft. 0.20ft.

TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

Moon Underfoot: 5:42a

+1.0 0 -1.0

A L M A N A C

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5/8/14 2:49 PM


Sportsman’s Daybook

Tap for Customized Tide Charts

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION = Peak Fishing Period

BEST:

7:45-9:40 AM

9

Fishing Day’s Best 2nd Score Graph Score Best

MONDAY

Sunrise: 6:19a Moonrise: 4:53p

TUESDAY

10

Set: 8:17p Set: 3:32a

Sunrise: 6:19a Moonrise: 5:54p

WEDNESDAY

11 

Set: 8:17p Set: 4:15a

Sunrise: 6:19a Moonrise: 6:57p

THURSDAY

12 

Set: 8:18p Set: 5:03a

Sunrise: 6:19a Moonrise: 7:59p

FRIDAY

13 

Set: 8:18p Set: 5:57a

Sunrise: 6:19a Moonrise: 8:58p

SATURDAY

14 

Set: 8:18p Set: 6:55a

Sunrise: 6:19a Moonrise: 9:53p

Set: 8:19p Set: 7:58a

SUNDAY

15 

Sunrise: 6:19a Set: 8:19p Moonrise: 10:44p Set: 9:03a

AM Minor: 2:31a

PM Minor: 2:56p

AM Minor: 3:16a

PM Minor: 3:42p

AM Minor: 4:05a

PM Minor: 4:33p

AM Minor: 4:58a

PM Minor: 5:28p

AM Minor: 5:57a

PM Minor: 6:27p

AM Minor: 6:59a

PM Minor: 7:29p

AM Minor: 8:04a

PM Minor: 8:33p

AM Major: 8:43a

PM Major: 9:08p

AM Major: 9:29a

PM Major: 9:56p

AM Major: 10:19a

PM Major: 10:47p

AM Major: 11:13a

PM Major: 11:43p

AM Major: -----

PM Major: 12:12p

AM Major: 12:44a

PM Major: 1:14p

AM Major: 1:49a

PM Major: 2:18p

Moon Overhead: 10:36p

12a

Tides and Prime Times for JUNE 2014

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 11:30p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

Moon Overhead: None 6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 12:27a 12a

6a

12p

Moon Overhead: 2:27a

Moon Overhead: 1:27a

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 3:27a 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

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

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 10:10a

+2.0

-1.0

BEST:

4:00 — 6:00 PM

TIDE LEVELS

0

BEST:

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

3:24 AM 7:38 AM 12:31 PM 8:14 PM

ALMANAC Digital.indd 90

1.27ft. 1.11ft. 1.26ft. -0.00ft.

Moon Underfoot: 11:58a BEST:

5:00 — 7:00 PM

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

4:16 AM 8:48 AM 12:51 PM 8:53 PM

1.41ft. 1.19ft. 1.29ft. -0.20ft.

Moon Underfoot: 12:57p BEST:

6:00 — 8:00 PM

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

5:05 AM 9:49 AM 1:18 PM 9:35 PM

1.52ft. 1.26ft. 1.33ft. -0.36ft.

Moon Underfoot: 1:57p BEST:

7:00 — 9:00 PM

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

5:52 AM 10:42 AM 1:55 PM 10:20 PM

1.60ft. 1.30ft. 1.37ft. -0.47ft.

Moon Underfoot: 2:57p BEST:

7:30 — 9:30 PM 2:00 — 4:00 AM

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

6:39 AM 11:33 AM 2:41 PM 11:07 PM

1.64ft. 1.31ft. 1.38ft. -0.52ft.

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

7:25 AM 12:25 PM 3:36 PM 11:56 PM

Moon Underfoot: 3:56p

+2.0

BEST:

2:30 — 4:30 AM

1.64ft. High Tide: 8:09 AM 1.28ft. Low Tide: 1:23 PM 1.35ft. High Tide: 4:42 PM -0.48ft.

TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

Moon Underfoot: 11:03a

1.60ft. 1.20ft. 1.27ft.

+1.0 0 -1.0

5/8/14 2:49 PM


SYMBOL KEY

 = New Moon  = First Quarter  = Full Moon  = Last Quarter  = Good Day  = Best Day SUNDAY

Tap for Customized Tide Charts

Tides and Prime Times for JUNE 2014

16

TUESDAY

17

Sunrise: 6:19a Set: 8:19p Sunrise: 6:19a Moonrise: 11:30p Set: 10:09a Moonrise: None

18

THURSDAY

19

Set: 8:20p Sunrise: 6:19a Set: 8:20p Sunrise: 6:20a Set: 8:20p Set: 11:15a Moonrise: 12:13a Set: 12:18p Moonrise: 12:54a Set: 1:20p

FRIDAY

20 

Sunrise: 6:20a Moonrise: 1:34a

SATURDAY

Set: 8:20p Set: 2:20p

21

Sunrise: 6:20a Moonrise: 2:14a

22

Set: 8:21p Set: 3:19p

Sunrise: 6:20a Moonrise: 2:55a

Set: 8:21p Set: 4:17p

AM Minor: 9:08a

PM Minor: 9:36p

AM Minor: 10:10a

PM Minor: 10:37p

AM Minor: 11:08a

PM Minor: 11:34p

AM Minor: -----

PM Minor: 12:02p

AM Minor: 12:27a

PM Minor: 12:52p

AM Minor: 1:13a

PM Minor: 1:38p

AM Minor: 1:58a

PM Minor: 2:23p

AM Major: 2:54a

PM Major: 3:22p

AM Major: 3:56a

PM Major: 4:23p

AM Major: 4:55a

PM Major: 5:21p

AM Major: 5:49a

PM Major: 6:14p

AM Major: 6:39a

PM Major: 7:04p

AM Major: 7:26a

PM Major: 7:51p

AM Major: 8:11a

PM Major: 8:35p

Moon Overhead: 4:25a

12a

WEDNESDAY

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 6:13a

Moon Overhead: 5:20a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 7:04a 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 8:44a

Moon Overhead: 7:55a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

MONDAY

Moon Overhead: 9:34a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 4:53p

+2.0

-1.0

TIDE LEVELS

0

BEST:

3:00 — 5:00 AM

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

12:46 AM 8:52 AM 2:27 PM 6:05 PM

Moon Underfoot: 6:39p BEST:

4:00 — 6:00 AM

-0.36ft. 1.53ft. 1.06ft. 1.15ft.

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

1:38 AM 9:30 AM 3:36 PM 7:48 PM

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

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BEST:

5:00 — 7:00 AM

-0.16ft. 1.45ft. 0.87ft. 1.03ft.

2:31 AM 10:06 AM 4:40 PM 9:42 PM

Moon Underfoot: 7:30p

BEST:

5:30 — 7:30 AM

0.09ft. 1.36ft. 0.64ft. 0.94ft.

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

A L M A N A C

3:28 AM 10:38 AM 5:38 PM 11:38 PM

Moon Underfoot: 8:19p

BEST:

6:30 — 8:30 AM

0.37ft. 1.29ft. 0.39ft. 0.96ft.

T E X A S

&

0.64ft. 1.24ft. 0.15ft.

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

8:30 — 10:30 AM

1:28 AM 6:02 AM 11:37 AM 7:19 PM

G A M E ®

Moon Underfoot: 9:59p

+2.0

BEST:

7:30 — 9:30 AM

Low Tide: 4:35 AM High Tide: 11:09 AM Low Tide: 6:30 PM

F I S H

Moon Underfoot: 9:09p

1.06ft. 0.88ft. 1.21ft. -0.06ft.

J U N E

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

TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 5:47p

3:02 AM 7:50 AM 12:04 PM 8:04 PM

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1.20ft. 1.04ft. 1.20ft. -0.21ft.

+1.0 0 -1.0

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Sportsman’s Daybook

Tap for Customized Tide Charts

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION = Peak Fishing Period

BEST:

7:45-9:40 AM

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

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

23

Sunrise: 6:20a Moonrise: 3:37a

Set: 8:21p Set: 5:14p

TUESDAY

24

Sunrise: 6:21a Moonrise: 4:21a

25 

Set: 8:21p Set: 6:09p

Sunrise: 6:21a Moonrise: 5:07a

THURSDAY

26 

Set: 8:21p Set: 7:01p

Sunrise: 6:21a Moonrise: 5:56a

FRIDAY

27 

Set: 8:21p Set: 7:50p

Sunrise: 6:21a Moonrise: 6:46a

SATURDAY

28 

Set: 8:21p Set: 8:36p

Sunrise: 6:22a Moonrise: 7:38a

SUNDAY

29 

Set: 8:22p Set: 9:18p

Sunrise: 6:22a Moonrise: 8:30a

Set: 8:22p Set: 9:57p

AM Minor: 2:42a

PM Minor: 3:07p

AM Minor: 3:27a

PM Minor: 3:52p

AM Minor: 4:12a

PM Minor: 4:37p

AM Minor: 4:59a

PM Minor: 5:24p

AM Minor: 5:48a

PM Minor: 6:12p

AM Minor: 6:37a

PM Minor: 7:01p

AM Minor: 7:27a

PM Minor: 7:50p

AM Major: 8:55a

PM Major: 9:20p

AM Major: 9:39a

PM Major: 10:04p

AM Major: 10:25a

PM Major: 10:50p

AM Major: 11:12a

PM Major: 11:36p

AM Major: -----

PM Major: 12:24p

AM Major: 12:26a

PM Major: 12:49p

AM Major: 1:16a

PM Major: 1:38p

Moon Overhead: 10:24a

12a

WEDNESDAY

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 12:04p

Moon Overhead: 11:14a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 12:53p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 2:29p

Moon Overhead: 1:42p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

MONDAY

Tides and Prime Times for JUNE 2014

Moon Overhead: 3:15p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 10:49p

+2.0

-1.0

TIDE LEVELS

0

BEST:

9:30 — 11:30 AM

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

4:12 AM 9:25 AM 12:32 PM 8:45 PM

ALMANAC Digital.indd 92

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

5:05 AM 10:37 AM 1:01 PM 9:25 PM

Moon Underfoot: 12:29a

BEST:

12:00 — 2:00 AM

1.31ft. 1.13ft. 1.21ft. -0.31ft.

Moon Underfoot: None

BEST:

12:30 — 2:30 AM

1.39ft. 1.18ft. 1.21ft. -0.36ft.

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

5:48 AM 11:28 AM 1:34 PM 10:02 PM

Moon Underfoot: 1:18a BEST:

12:30 — 2:30 PM

1.42ft. 1.20ft. 1.22ft. -0.37ft.

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

6:23 AM 12:03 PM 2:12 PM 10:38 PM

1.42ft. 1.20ft. 1.22ft. -0.34ft.

Moon Underfoot: 2:06a BEST:

1:00 — 3:00 PM

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

6:55 AM 12:26 PM 2:53 PM 11:12 PM

1.40ft. 1.18ft. 1.20ft. -0.27ft.

1:30 — 3:30 PM

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

7:24 AM 12:45 PM 3:36 PM 11:45 PM

Moon Underfoot: 2:53a

+2.0

BEST:

2:00 — 4:00 PM

1.37ft. High Tide: 7:53 AM 1.14ft. Low Tide: 1:11 PM 1.17ft. High Tide: 4:20 PM -0.19ft.

1.33ft. 1.08ft. 1.12ft.

TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 11:39p

+1.0 0 -1.0

5/8/14 2:49 PM


SYMBOL KEY

 = New Moon  = First Quarter  = Full Moon  = Last Quarter  = Good Day  = Best Day SUNDAY

Tap for Customized Tide Charts

Tides and Prime Times for JUNE 2014

30 

Sunrise: 6:22a Moonrise: 9:22a

TUESDAY

Jul 1

2

3

THURSDAY

Set: 8:22p Sunrise: 6:23a Set: 8:22p Sunrise: 6:23a Set: 8:22p Sunrise: 6:23a Set: 8:22p Set: 10:33p Moonrise: 10:13a Set: 11:08p Moonrise: 11:04a Set: 11:41p Moonrise: 11:56a Set: None

FRIDAY

4

5

SATURDAY

Sunrise: 6:24a Set: 8:22p Sunrise: 6:24a Moonrise: 12:48p Set: 12:15a Moonrise: 1:42p

6

Set: 8:21p Sunrise: 6:25a Set: 12:50a Moonrise: 2:38p

Set: 8:21p Set: 1:27a

AM Minor: 8:17a

PM Minor: 8:39p

AM Minor: 9:06a

PM Minor: 9:27p

AM Minor: 9:53a

PM Minor: 10:15p

AM Minor: 10:40a

PM Minor: 11:01p

AM Minor: 11:26a

PM Minor: 11:48p

AM Minor: -----

PM Minor: 12:11p

AM Minor: 12:33a

PM Minor: 12:57p

AM Major: 2:06a

PM Major: 2:28p

AM Major: 2:55a

PM Major: 3:16p

AM Major: 3:43a

PM Major: 4:04p

AM Major: 4:30a

PM Major: 4:51p

AM Major: 5:15a

PM Major: 5:37p

AM Major: 6:00a

PM Major: 6:23p

AM Major: 6:45a

PM Major: 7:09p

Moon Overhead: 4:00p

12a

WEDNESDAY

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 5:25p

Moon Overhead: 4:43p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 6:08p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 7:36p

Moon Overhead: 6:51p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

MONDAY

Moon Overhead: 8:24p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 3:38a

+2.0

-1.0

TIDE LEVELS

0

BEST:

BEST:

2:30 — 4:30 PM

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

12:17 AM 8:22 AM 1:49 PM 5:09 PM

ALMANAC Digital.indd 93

-0.08ft. 1.30ft. 1.00ft. 1.04ft.

Moon Underfoot: 5:04a BEST:

BEST:

3:00 — 5:00 PM 9:30 — 11:30 AM

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

12:48 AM 8:49 AM 2:37 PM 6:10 PM

0.05ft. 1.27ft. 0.91ft. 0.95ft.

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

1:19 AM 9:15 AM 3:29 PM 7:38 PM

Moon Underfoot: 5:46a

BEST:

10:30A — 12:30P

0.20ft. 1.23ft. 0.80ft. 0.87ft.

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

1:50 AM 9:39 AM 4:16 PM 9:26 PM

Moon Underfoot: 6:29a

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

2:22 AM 9:58 AM 4:58 PM 11:20 PM

Moon Underfoot: 8:00a

BEST:

11:00A — 1:00P

0.37ft. 1.20ft. 0.67ft. 0.81ft.

Moon Underfoot: 7:13a

0.54ft. 1.17ft. 0.52ft. 0.83ft.

Low Tide: 2:58 AM High Tide: 10:14 AM Low Tide: 5:37 PM

0.71ft. 1.16ft. 0.35ft.

+2.0

BEST:

12:00 — 2:00 PM

1:00 — 3:00 PM

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

1:07 AM 3:46 AM 10:24 AM 6:18 PM

0.94ft. 0.89ft. 1.17ft. 0.16ft.

TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

Moon Underfoot: 4:21a

+1.0 0 -1.0

5/8/14 2:49 PM


Texas Tasted by Bryan Slaven | The Texas Gourmet

High Flying Quail

Q

UAIL HUNTING IS AN EXCITING sport, but unless you own a ranch with quail or have a friend that does, it tends to be an expensive hobby. Fortunately for those of us who still want to enjoy the awesome delicacy of quail meat, several options are available to purchase them ready to cook. I talked with Jacob Coppedge from Texas Quail Farms and I was impressed with the operation and their love for their product.

Habanero Glazed High-Flying Quail PHOTOS: BRYAN SLAVEN

Texas Quail Farms, Inc., founded in 2003 with headquarters in Lockhart, Texas, is the largest state-inspected quail processing plant in Texas. The company produces a wide variety of protein-based quail products ranging from whole birds to semi-boneless birds, including gourmet specialties such as bacon-wrapped breasts and legs. TQF distributes throughout Texas and coast to coast to the retail and food service markets 94 |

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including retail grocers, health food stores, gourmet restaurants, food service providers, caterers and all those customers who just love to eat quail. Good news for all of you Texas readers is that they are available in all HEB stores statewide. Quail is not as mild and white as chicken meat, but not as dark and musky as, say, squab. The meat is reddish with a delicate texture, and is quite lean. Whole quails are often wrapped in bacon before roasting to maintain moisture. Tender quail is versatile; whether baked, roasted, pan-seared, grilled or braised; they take all types of seasoning and marinades well. Just remember these little birds can dry out if overcooked. It’s best to cook them quickly and leave them medium rare. Texas Prime Quail is a low-fat, low-sodium and healthy alternative to beef, pork and chicken. TQF quail has natural flavoring only and is not soaked or pumped with salt water. The recipe that follows is one I created a few years back when I was cooking a wild game dinner on a large quail and deer hunting ranch in Tilden, Texas. They wanted a spicy, yet flavorful glaze to go on the quail, so I paired up my Habanero Pepper Jelly with some other ingredients and decided to finish it with a flamed tequila caramelized finish. I hope you all like it, and will also remember that this recipe will work well with chicken, chukar, and pheasant as well. This recipe is for 12 to 18 quail. If you use wild-hunted birds, be sure to pluck, clean, and rinse well. Check for pellets and cut in half length wise. F I S H

&

G A M E ®

T F & G

Glaze

1 dried Ancho or Guajillo pepper- seeded, and coarsely chopped ½ jar Texas Gourmet’s Habanero Pepper Jelly 16 oz. chicken broth 3 T. fresh cilantro 4 T. honey 2 cloves garlic ½ white onion - chopped 1 T. black pepper 1 T. soy sauce 2 T. lime juice 3 oz. Gold Anejo or Reposado tequila 2 tsp olive oil Place the ancho pepper in a sauce pot, with the chicken broth ,onion, garlic, cilantro and bring to a boil for about 7 to 8 minutes or until all ingredients are softened, transfer to a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Return to sauce pot and place on medium heat. Add the Habanero Jelly, honey, lime juice pepper and olive oil. Increase heat to boil and then add the tequila. Carefully and using a long stirring spoon, light the tequila in the pot and stir slowly until flames stop. (The flames can get fairly high so don’t do this without a vent hood running) Remove from heat Rub the quail down with olive oil or spray with olive oil spray, then pat down lightly with a paper towel. Place the quail on a seasoned grill indirectly over the fire, skin side up( clean and wipe the grates with oil first). Mesquite or charcoal is preferred, but gas will work. Baste with the glaze, cover and turn every 3 to 4 minutes reapplying the glaze each time you turn them. Cook for approx... 12 to 14 minutes or until thermometer inserted registers 155 degrees. Remove from grill and cover quail with a loose piece of foil to rest for 8 to 10 minutes. Now, that’s some fine eating Texas quail. Email Bryan Slaven, “The Texas Gourmet,” at bryan@thetexasgourmet.com

A L M A N A C

5/8/14 2:49 PM


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HUNTING

LAKE AMISTAD

SABINE LAKE

SOUTH TEXAS

ROCKPORT / BAFFIN BAY

OUTDOOR SHOPPER HUNTING & FISHING GEAR

2014 EDITION

DFW METROPLEX

LAKE TEXOMA

Over 2500 Fishing Spots (with GPS) on 50 Texas Fresh and Saltwater Destinations

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Courtesy:

Redfish www.FishandGameGear.com Charters

WWW.FISHGAME.COM T F & G

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WHITETAIL BASS

Alice

Brenham Payton Ryan Wellmann, age 11, caught this bass weighing 4.5 pounds at Hamby Hill in Brenham.

Seven-year-old Camryn Kahl with her first buck, a seven- pointer she shot with a 300 blackout. She was hunting near Alice.

REDFISH Copano Bay Five-year-old Rebecca Yuras caught and released this Redfish while fishing with her Grandpa, Robert Yuras, Sr., in Copano Bay.

REDFISH

REDFISH

San Antonio Bay

Port Mansfield

Jeremy Daigle of San Antonio caught this 25-inch redfish in San Antonio Bay.

Andre Garza caught this 27.5-inch redfish while fishing from his kayak south of Port Mansfield.

JAVELINA Alice Ten-year-old Christian Kahl shot his first javelina with a 300 blackout while hunting near Alice, where his sister, Camryn (see top row) got her first buck.

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A L M A N A C

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

EMAIL: photos@FishGame.com

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

REDFISH

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

FLOUNDER

Surfside

Galveston

Aaron Nett of Angleton caught his first redfish, a pretty one with 16 spots. He was kayak fishing with his dad, Levi, at Surfside.

Matt Matlock caught an eight-pound and a six-pound flounder in one trip while fishing at Galveston.

TURKEY Atascosa County Jacob Sobieski, 15, of Houston killed this nice gobbler on opening weekend of spring turkey season in Atascosa County. He shot it at about 100 feet using a .22 pistol.

BLACK DRUM

SPECKLED TROUT

Aransas Pass

Port Alto

C.C. Hendrick from Tyler landed this 43-inch black drum while fishing with Doug Bartz at Aransas Pass.

Bradley Stafford caught this speck on dead bait fishing around Port Alto with Capt. Randy Brown and Dan Marshall.

MIXED STRINGER Seadrift Dan Marshall and Capt. Randy Brown with a nice catch of reds and specks at Seadrift. They were fishing with buddy Bradley Stafford (see photo above).

T F & G

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June 2014