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

ROY NEVES PUBLISHER

DON ZAIDLE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

CHESTER

MOORE

EXECUTIVE EDITOR

C O N T R I B U T O R S

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

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

A D V E R T I S I N G

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

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

DUANE HRUZEK MARKETING/CIRCULATION DIRECTOR

HEIDI GERKE LARRY FRIEDMAN JOE LUCA

• SUBSCRIBER SERVICES MANAGER • FIELD REPRESENTATIVE • NEWSTAND REPRESENTATIVE

P R O D U C T I O N

JIMMY BORNE ART DIRECTOR

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

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

MEMBER AUDIT BUREAU OF CIRCULATIONS

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FEATURES NOVEMBER 2009 • Volume XXV • NO.7 GONZO FOR GADWALL

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The gadwall has seen a renaissance over the past 25 years, in both population growth and hunter interest, becoming the most harvested duck in recent seasons.

by Chester Moore, Jr.

2009 WHITETAILS

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Deer hunters are eternal optimists. But as optimistic as we are, we still have nagging doubts before each season. To ease some of those doubts and/or provide a dose of reality, here is our annual Whitetail Forecast for the major Texas regions.

by Paul Bradshaw THE STATE OF SPECKLED TROUT

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As spring gill net surveys show major declines in Matagorda and Aransas bays, will TPWD go to a statewide five-fish limit like Lower Laguna Madre has?

by Chester Moore, Jr.

ON THE COVERS: COASTAL:Mallard and pintail might be “glamorous” species to some waterfowlers, but gadwall hold the lead for dependable gunning every season. Other duck numbers come and go, but gadwall are always there. INLAND/NORTH:With parts of the state gripped in drought and parts lush from ample rainfall, finding bucks like this one is a big question, and we answer it in this issue.

Photos by Grady Allen

ALSO IN NOVEMBER:

WINTERING THE WAVES

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Hypothermia is the No. 1 killer of anglers and hunters who use boats during the winter months. Are you ready to survive the greatest danger you are likely to experience while pursuing the sport you love?

by Lenny Rudow THORNS & THUNDER: QUAIL IN THE BRUSH COUNTRY

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The brush country is world famous for monster whitetails. But bobwhite and blue quail also inhabit the region, and offer some of the most challenging shooting a quail hunter will ever encounter.

by Steve LaMascus 4

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ULTRA-GOLIGHTLY Another look into our 25th Anniversary Archives, this time from March 2001. by Don Zaidle


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COLUMNS and DEPARTMENTS NOVEMBER 2009 • Volume XXV • NO.7

COLUMNS 10 Editor’s Notes Heard Around the House

59 Special Report New World Record Bass–In Japan?

by DON ZAIDLE TF&G Editor-in-Chief

16 Chester’s Notes Year Of the Flounder

by CAPT. MIKE HOLMES TF&G Associate Offshore Editor

God, Guns, Guts, and American Pickups

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YOUR LETTERS

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TF&G REPORT

12

BIG BAGS & CATCHES

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TRUE GREEN

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TROPHY QUEST

60 Texas Saltwater Swimming Lessons

by CHESTER MOORE, JR. TF&G Executive Editor

18 Commentary

DEPARTMENTS

by CALIXTO GONZALES TF&G Saltwater Editor

61 Texas Freshwater Big Sam = Big Bucks

by KENDAL HEMPHILL TF&G Commentator

by MATT WILLIAMS TF&G Freshwater Editor

20 Doggett at Large Bobs In Mexico

by JOE DOGGETT TF&G Senior Contributing Editor

22 TexasWild Waterbuck In Africa

by TED NUGENT TF&G Editor-at-Large

58 Hunt Texas

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

62 Open Season

How To Ruin a Good Dog

Lost In the Jungle

by BOB HOOD TF&G Hunting Editor 6

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by REAVIS WORTHAM TF&G Humor Editor

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www.FishGame.com


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Letters TF&G A ‘TURNOFF’ TO KIDS I have enjoyed your magazine for many years; living in Austin and being a life-long hunter and fisherman, that goes back even to its early incarnations. I am not normally a letter writer, but I wanted to pass along what I see as a problem that you may be unaware that you are causing. From my perspective, the largest threat to long-term health of wildlife and associated sports is the dwindling interest of younger generations. I know that you are aware of this issue, and I’m happy that we both are doing things to generate interest and participation with future outdoorsmen. But, whether you know it or not, you are also doing things to “turn them off.” Twice, recently, as part of attempts to garner interest and deeper participation in hunting and fishing with younger people, I’ve passed along copies of TF&G with a Post-It attached noting articles I thought would be of interest. Both times, those two different youngsters happily accepted the old issues, but then returned them stating that they really weren’t interested in, to paraphrase, “those points of view.” When I inquired as to what specifically they meant, they pointed out places where the tone and focus of topics only tangentially related to outdoor sporting. I’m referring to articles like “Respecting Our Flag,” “Serialized, Fingerprinted Stupidity,” and editorial responses that in today’s parlance would be described somewhat-inaccurately as “politically conservative.” I must say that I have noticed that over the past couple of years, there has been a perceptible shift in the magazine’s inclusion of such political content. I, too, was a bit put off, but you know we older folks just shake our heads, wish they weren’t there, and turn the page. If you’re not aware, there are a large number of “tree-huggers” and other “left-wing” hunters and fisherman; that’s right, they’re not all PETA-esque extremists. 8

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In a similar but opposite way, TF&G is creeping toward an extremist feel. I have discussed this with a few friends, and many of us on both sides would prefer it if you leave discussions of The Flag, assault weapons, and national political thinking to the American Rifleman and others; let’s keep the TF&G’s focus, of all things, on fish and game and on Texas hunting and fishing. John Baggett Via email

GUN RIGHTS & HUMAN RIGHTS Regarding Kendal Hemphill’s July Commentary column, “Gun Rights & Human Rights,” military requirements for registration of personally owned firearms is not new, at least at one time at one of the U.S. Air Force bases. I had to complete the form (register) in the mid 1970s because I moved into military housing while stationed at one of the bases in Florida. The Air Force also offered an armory for voluntary storage of firearms—mandatory for those living in the barracks or dormitory. Like most hunters, I am totally against any Federal requirement for registration of firearms. Please keep us up-to-date on any new anti-gun bills that would threaten our right to own and bear arms, and we’ll write our duly elected officials reminding them of our Voting Power. James Freeman San Antonio, TX

SMILES & TEARS FOR SMILEY My husband does not typically enjoy reading, but he brought the August Texas Fish & Game magazine to me, insisting that I read Herman Brune’s story, “Smiley.” I read the article, reported that I thought it F i s h

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was a very touching story—and he insisted that I read it again, that I just didn’t “get it.” On second reading, I realized that your beautifully written story was not about a ranch hand, but about his dog. We had a little Bichon Frise named “Buttons” that was a lot like Smiley. She was a prissy little dog, befitting her breed, but she was loyal and took wonderful care of me during two bouts of cancer, with around two years of surgeries, chemo, and radiation. Some of my friends and family laugh at me when I say that she took care of me, but I know from reading Herman’s article that he understands. We lost Buttons to old age two years ago, and his article brought back some wonderful memories of our own. I am going to share this article with one of my co-workers; she’s not into fishing or hunting, but she is a serious dog-lover who gave me a lot of support when Buttons passed away. I know she will enjoy it as well. Thank you so much for Herman Brune—quite a talented writer! Kathleen and Jerry Smith Via email

GREAT BOWHUNTING TIPS I’m a 46-year-old new bow hunter. I just picked up a bow last year and I enjoy Lou Marullo’s Bowhunting Tech columns. His tips on form and practice have been especially helpful. I frequent the local bow shop and ask many questions. Fortunately, they seem to enjoy my inquisitiveness. After being out of the military for 15 years, I got the bright idea to join the reserves back in 2004—they promptly sent me to Iraq. During my deployment, I rediscovered my love of writing. Writing and reading articles in Texas Fish & Game (along with hunting DVDs), helped manage my stress level. Mike Augustine Gregg County, TX


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

Heard Around the House S SOMEONE WHOSE LIFE HISTORY INCLUDES a diverse work history, eclectic interests and experiences, rural living, and a current career as an outdoors magazine editor, snippets of conversation heard around my house if taken out of context—or even in context—come out sounding unusual, to say the least. Some might label it “redneck”—even though I cannot recall ever saying, “I’ve told you boys to flush that toilet; the dog’s gotta drink out of there,” and never carried a fishing rod into Sea World—on reflection, I can see how the banter around the Zaidle household (usually animated with assorted grandchildren up to adult and old-enough-toknow-better ages) might give pause to the uninitiated. A few snippets for your enjoyment or revulsion: “Be sure to water the possum.” “Take the tractor down to the east stock tank and see if you can pull that cow out of the mud.” “Go down back and shoot a hog; company’s coming, so use something that won’t blow too big a hole.” “Dang it, boy, I told you to save those squirrel tails!” (For a couple of months thereafter, I routinely found fresh squirrel tails deposited on my computer keyboard.) “Would somebody please get this bobcat out of the freezer! I can’t find the roast!” “You boys get that coyote skinned before it gets dark.” “I don’t care how cold it is outside, that dog cannot have her puppies in the living 10

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PHOTO BY DON ZAIDLE

A

Who but Zaidle actually goes out looking for dead armadillos.

room!” “I’m going to the feed store. Anybody need anything?” “Yeah, it’s roadkill, but I know it’s fresh because I hit it.” “I know the washroom is flooded—but you are not going to drain it by shooting a hole in the floor!” “But it was on sale!” (after my wife brought home a piano when I sent her to buy shirts; after I bought two cases of ammo in a caliber for which I do not own a gun; after one of my grandsons bought 11 oil filters for a vehicle we do not own) “If I ever win the lottery, I’m gonna buy me a big ranch somewhere.” (said by a friend/neighbor who lives on a 1700-acre

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ranch) “Can I borrow your bull?” “Go find the come-along; I need to skin a deer.” “I shot a dove, Pop, but it fell in the tank and a turtle ate it.” “Has anybody seen my rubber chicken?” “Has anybody seen my skunk?” “Has anybody seen Nana’s pistol?” “Has anybody seen my defibrillator?” “Go see if I left my shotgun on the tractor.” “I think Cub (chocolate Lab) ate your sunglasses.” “The neighbor wants somebody to come over and shoot his bull—the black one, not the red one.”


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“Jimmy! Move that fire engine out of the driveway!” “I broke the lawnmower, Pop. I ran over one of your steel traps in the front yard.” “I had to shoot it on the front porch, Pop—it was trying to get in the house.” “Greg, get the bags of trash off the roof and take them to the burn barrel.” Phone conversations are interesting, especially when you hear only half the conversation: “Yes, he’s here, but he is outside boiling a skull. Can I take a message?” “He’s out helping a neighbor bury something they shot. Can I take a message?” “He’s skinning a hog right now. Can I take a message?” “If you do it the way I am telling you, the blood will drain faster.” “I gave up trying to get blood stains out a long time ago.” “Shoot it—but use a .22 so you don’t blow up your mailbox.” “Sure I know how to do a full-auto conversion. Why?” “Hey, Wayne, do you know where I can find a roadkill armadillo? Can’t be too messed up—all flattened or splattered or anything—just a nice clean kill, or maybe just messed up on one side, and it’s okay if its stiff or a little bloated. No, I am not drunk, I just need an armadillo. Can you help me or not?” (I needed it for a photo prop.) Of course, some things are visual rather than audible—like the time we rigged up a 30-foot derrick out of old oilfield pipe mounted with chains and boomers to the loader bucket of the tractor, and jury-rigged a cathead winch with a bare rim mounted to one jacked-up wheel of a pickup, whereby to pull the submersible well pump and pipe for replacement. The wellhouse is near the roadway, and rubber-neckers nearly caused three accidents. One guy stopped and asked if we would do his next. I once secured a toilet—and actual white porcelain toilet— about 10 feet up in a tree in my front yard and had a friend “sit on it” while wearing camo and wielding a bow. (It was for photos to illustrate an article about homemade tree stands.) Then there was the time (pre-911) a gun trader friend spilled an entire bottle of

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Hoppe’s No. 9 all over his display table at a busy flea market, whereupon I donned a gas mask another friend was hawking and answered curious queries with, “Haven’t you heard about the chemical spill? There’s a guy on Row 3 selling masks. Better hurry.” I once told several acquaintances that the circular “scope tattoo” wound above my eye was a chupacabra bite. What’s scary is that most of them believed it. I am still not sure if they believed in chupacabras or figured anything was plausible if I was involved. While helping a neighbor unload 10,000 pounds of rancid corn dog batter mixed with wieners (feral hog bait), a spill covered me from head to toe in the stuff. I told my wife I had been to the Texas State Fair and Big Tex got drunk and barfed on me. When I took off my clothes (outside, of course) I discovered three wieners and a corn dog stick in places you’d rather not find them. House decor includes duck decoys with shot holes; steel traps; animal skins; miscellaneous taxidermy; animal skulls, skeletons, and antlers; fishing lures; a human skull; shadow boxes containing old paper hull shotgun cartridges, worn-out pocket knives, mushroomed bullets recovered from game, et al; and, of course, an electronic Big Mouth Billy Bass. I stand firm that these utterances and circumstances are not redneck, but simply the natural result of self-reliance and good country living. I further assert defense in that much conversation involves oscilloscopes, frequency counters, and signal generators; the difference between pneumothorax and hemothorax; the relative merits of PHP and ASP software applications; and how to download and install open source software and why it is not pirating. On the other hand, I shall never live down running outside in my boxer shorts and boots late one night, gun in hand, to investigate a suspicious noise—and the unidentified motorist passing by who yelled, “Get you clothes on, pervert!” It was only a raccoon getting into the dog food barrel, too.

E-mail Don Zaidle at editor@fishgame.com


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TF&G Report

Pipe Failure Crashes Hatchery M

AJOR CONSTRUCTION PROBLEMS AT THE John D. Parker East Texas Fish Hatchery have again stymied construction. At least two joints of large diameter drainage pipe have collapsed underground, posing significant problems for the oft-beleaguered project.

by Matt Williams The facility is currently under construction below the dam at Sam Rayburn Reservoir in Jasper County. Once complete, it will include a state-of-the-art production

building spanning 34,000 square feet, an 8200-square-foot administrative building, and 45 acres of production ponds. The ponds are expected to kick out close to 5 million largemouth bass, channel catfish, blue catfish, and bluegill sunfish fingerlings for stocking in Texas lakes each year. While the root of the pipe failure is yet to be determined, TPWD officials say the two sections of crushed pipe could be just the tip of the proverbial in terms of repairs needed before this portion of the project can move forward. According to Scott Boruff, TPWD deputy executive director for operations, fur-

ther inspection has since revealed as much as 11,000 feet of 60-inch, 48-inch, and 30inch diameter drainage pipe buried beneath 10 to 17 feet of soil might have to be exhumed and replaced in order to shore up the integrity of the hatchery pond drainage system. TPWD officials were made aware of the problem nearly six months ago, but no one within the department bothered to make their constituents—Texas’ freshwater fishermen—aware of the mishap until late September. That might be perceived as a risky choice, considering the project’s shaky history.

BIG BAGS & CATCHES

BASS—SAM RAYBURN

KINGFISH—TEXAS OFFSHORE

BUCK—OKLAUNION

Justin Stokes of Cypress, Texas, caught this 7pound, 4-ounce, 24-1/8-inch bass while fishing on Sam Rayburn.

Richard Ridgway caught this kingfish 40 miles offshore of Texas while using with ribbonfish for bait.

Kreed Holley, age 6, of Oklaunion, Texas, took his first buck while hunting with his father, Russ Ramsey, on family property in Oklaunion. The 9-point whitetail was shot with a 22-250.

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Funding for the hatchery complex comes from annual sales of a $5 Freshwater Fishing Stamp to an estimated 1 million freshwater anglers. The stamp is required of anyone who fishes in public freshwater in Texas. The stamp endorsement was created in 2003 by the 78th Texas Legislature as a way to raise money to build a modern fish hatchery to replace the outdated one in Jasper, and to conduct other freshwater projects. The original deal forecast a 2008 completion date with a turnkey price tag of $15 to $18 million, to be paid in full using money from stamp sales. Everyone was excited about the deal until the 79th Legislature spoiled it by freezing the fish stamp funds to help balance the overall state budget. In the process, politicians followed up with an appropriations bill that would force TPWD to rely on “bond” money to build its hatchery as opposed to using angler cash already on hand. Interest paid on the bonds under the bill was projected to soar as high as $9 million or more on a 20-year note.

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Special interest groups such as Texas Black Bass Unlimited were outraged by the switchhitting legislature and attacked politicians through any media outlet that would listen. The resistance worked to a degree and shortly before the session ended, new legislation was introduced to allow the bonds to be retired in two years using available fish stamp funds. Translation: Large cuts in interest payments. More good news came from Austin in May 2007, when the 80th legislature gave TPWD the green light to begin spending about $12.3 million sitting in the freshwater stamp fund. Added to the $15 million made available through bonds guaranteed by future stamp sales, TPWD had slightly more than $27 million available to build its hatchery. That was a good thing, because the price tag had nearly doubled because of inflated construction prices associated with hurricanes Katrina and Rita. The projected cost of the hatchery when construction finally got underway during July 2008 was around $27 million. However,

Boruff said the figure could rise considerably, possibly by several million dollars, before the problem with the failed drainage pipe is ironed out. Another unknown is who is going to foot the bill to pay for the glitch. “We are still going through a lot of engineering analysis and testing at this point to determine exactly what caused the problem,” said Phil Durocher, TPWD director of inland fisheries. “If it turns out to be as bad as it looks initially, it is certainly not going to be cheap to fix. Both the construction company that installed the pipe and the engineering company that designed the project are saying they did everything right, but it is real obvious something went bad wrong here. It could be that multiple parties have some culpability here. We’ll just have to wait and see.” Todd Engeling, TPWD chief of inland hatcheries, said the department awarded the construction contract to Allco, Inc., of Beaumont in June 2008. The company performs Continued on page 14 ser vices



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PHOTO COURTESY OF TPWD

A worker inspects one of the huge drainage pipes at the John D. Parker Hatchery.

in commercial, utility, highway, and heavy construction. The design of the hatchery was prepared by HDR/FishPro of Omaha, Nebraska. The firm specializes in fisheries resource biology and engineering, hatchery design, fish passage and barrier design, and aquatic ecosystem restoration. Engeling said FishPro also designed renovation plans for the TPWD A.E. Woods Fish Hatchery in San Marcos in the mid-1980s. The drainage pipe in question is corrugated HDPE, a high-density polyethylene pipe that provides high resistance to corrosion and chemicals, and carries a load well, according to Engeling. He said the pipe is 14

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commonly used for sewer lines, storm water, and [municipal] drain applications. Boruff said department engineers initially suspected the pipe used in the project might have been inferior, but subsequent testing proved the theory wrong. “Pipe has very specific parameters under which it will collapse,” he said. “We removed a segment of the pipe for testing, and it stood up to what it was supposed to stand up to.” Like Durocher, Boruff said he thinks the problems incurred with drainage pipe system are likely attributable to some combination of design and installation flaws. The department has hired Tulunay-Wong Engineering, F i s h

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Inc., of Beaumont to perform geotechnical testing to help determine the exact cause of the failure and the best way to remedy it. “At this point, I don’t want to venture to guess whether the problem is mostly with the design or installation,” Boruff said. “But once I get the testing data in my hand, I am committed to getting the parties together and trying to resolve this in a way that minimizes the impact to our constituents. We hope to resolve this issue without any legal action, but we reserve the right to use that option if we have to.” While other aspects of construction remain in progress, the pipe failure is likely to delay the project’s scheduled March 2010 completion date by several months, possibly longer should it wind up in a courtroom. If that is the case, Boruff said the department would seek reimbursement for any additional costs that arise as the result of the pipe collapse. This includes accumulated interest on any borrowed money being used to fund the project. TPW Commission Chairman Peter Holt of San Antonio said he was disappointed to learn of the pipe failure, but is thankful the problem was discovered early on as opposed to a year or two down the road after the hatchery got up and running. “That really would have been a mess,” Holt said. “The main issue now is to get the problem figured out and fix it. We are dedicated to this project and ready to move forward. So far, everybody involved is cooperating. Hopefully we can keep that sprit of cooperation and collaboration going and get it figured out.” HDR/FishPro delivered the following statement via its media relations manager, Jackie Fox: “HDR is working closely with the TPWD to make sure the project proceeds as successfully as possible. If any issues arise during the construction of a project, we always work with all parties to make sure the client receives the quality project we design.” Repeated phone calls to Allco, Inc. president Tom Harrison went unreturned as of press time.


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

Year of the Flounder HE YEAR 2009 WILL GO DOWN IN HISTORY as the year of the flounder among Texas coastal anglers. Never has so much attention been paid to this vital species and never has so much been done to ensure a vibrant future for this fishery, which has been in decline for decades. New regulations now prohibit all gigging and commercial activity during November, while rod and reel anglers are restricted to two fish this month. During the rest of the year, the recreational take has been cut from 10 to 5, and the commercial sector has a 30-fish limit instead of 60. On top of that, the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) made its first-ever flounder stocking into Sabine Lake, and the University of Texas Marine Science Institute at Port Aransas continues to make strides in flounder aquaculture. With all of these newsworthy items have come hundreds of questions about flounder, from management to angling technique. So, this month, in honor of the fall run, I will answer some of the more common and unique questions received from readers this year: Q: I think tipping grubs with shrimp this kills the action of the bait and does not look natural. I have always used the scent juice and think I have better results. What’s your opinion? A: I am a big proponent of using a curltailed grub tipped with shrimp when fishing for flounder in the marshes and along shorelines in bay systems. I have caught more flounder with this method than any other, and have had very little luck with any kind of spray-on juice. I have friends that swear by it,

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but my experience has been less than stellar. With that said, there is no question tipping with shrimp does affect the action of the lure, but I have tested this in clear water and you still get tail action. I think in our murkier bay systems, using the luminescent grubs (which I prefer) in conjunction with shrimp gives flounder something they can see and, more importantly, smell. Gulp!, however, is allowing me to get the best of both worlds because you can get a legitimate smell and action. I find myself going more and more to using Gulp! Shrimp and curl tailed grubs instead of the standard jig and shrimp. Q: This is actually a comment framed within a question from the comment page on my website, flounderrevolution.com: “the limit will be 5 fish, and Nov. it will be 2 fish makes no sense to me. Try telling a bass fisherman that he can’t fish the spawn and see what happens.” A: These limits are based on science that has stood the test of time and is very thorough, and I support them. If you don’t, that is understandable and I respect your opinion—but I disagree with it. In terms of telling a bass fisherman he can’t fish during the spawn, there are problems with that comparison. The first thing is, no one is telling flounder fishermen they can’t fish during the fall run. You can fish all you want, but giggers can’t kill any flounder during November. Rod and reel anglers can keep two and are allowed to catch and release as many as they want—which, by the way, is what most bass fishermen do. Further, largemouth bass numbers are record high numbers with the fish at record sizes in nearly every water body, while flounder numbers are down 50 percent from 20 years ago. There is a big difference between the bass and flounder situations. Q: Have you flounder-fished in Baffin Bay, and if you have, did you have as hard a time as I had catching them? A: I did an afternoon of flounder fishing in Baffin and struck out. It is alien water to me since there is virtually no tidal movement,

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and all of my flounder strategies are based on tidal movements. My friend, Capt. Jim Onderdonk, says he catches some nice fish there when trout fishing, but also has a hard time targeting flounder. I have some ideas about strategies to use to increase flounder take, but need to go try them out. I plan on hitting it this fall or early next spring when the fish start moving in. You are not alone in your Baffin frustrations. Q: Where do you stand on the issue of closing Rollover Pass, one of the best flounder fishing spots in the state? A: I am against it. Rollover is one of if not the most important bank-fishing access areas on the Texas Coast, and that has immeasurable value. Fishing is quickly becoming like deer hunting in that it is extremely difficult for poor people to participate, and with the loss of important access points like Rollover Pass, we could lose generations of anglers. When traditions of families going to fish their favorite spots die, it often never shifts elsewhere. We are always going to have erosion problems and other issues to contend with, and there are ways to counteract the problems caused by Rollover Pass. I fully understand the ecological concerns, but right now, my concern is the people who seem to be the last our government officials are considering in this process. Put up jetties or whatever needs to be done, but leave Rollover Pass open. If this offends some environmental purists, that’s fine by me. I have no respect for those that sit in the middle; I have made my choice and I stand by it. What about you? Where do you stand? I would love to read your comments.

(To contact Chester Moore, e-mail him at cmoore@fishgame.com. You can hear him on the radio Fridays from 6-7 p.m. on Newstalk AM 560 KLVI or online at www.klvi.com.)


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Commentary by Kendal Hemphill | TF&G Commentator

God, Guns, Guts, and American Pickups BOUT THE TIME I FIRST HEARD ABOUT THE “Cash for Clunkers” government giveaway program, a reader sent me a link to a story about a car dealer in Butler, Missouri, who was implementing his own incentive program to help sell cars: With every vehicle sold, Mark Muller was giving away a voucher redeemable at gun stores for an AK-47 sporting rifle. In case you are one of the three people on Earth who have never heard of the AK-47, it is a Russian-designed military style rifle, usually chambered for the 7.62x39mm cartridge. The rifle has been copied by more gun companies than the Colt M-16, if that’s possible, and there are probably more of them in the world than there are teabags in China—and for the record, China has probably built more AKs than Russia has. As you can imagine, Muller’s incentive program has drawn heavy criticism from people who believe anyone that wants an AK47 must be insane, a criminal, a mass murderer, or all three. It’s very difficult for the politically correct crowd to grasp the concept that shooting is a wholesome family activity, and that defending one’s life and property is acceptable. CNN anchor Carol Costello interviewed Muller about the program. She said some people might think the practice was “just a tad irresponsible.” Muller replied, “...how about that guy that just had him and his wife killed that had the 12 children. With the seven guys coming through the door. I guarantee you, he wishes he had an AK-47 as those maggots busted through his door and slaughtered him and his wife in front of his children.” (A reference to Melanie and Byrd Billings, a Florida couple known locally for caring for disabled children. Video sur-

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veillance cameras recorded up to eight men converging on the home in a military-like assault, with two armed teams entering the front and back doors simultaneously. A law enforcement official told reporters the precisely choreographed break-in and shootings took barely 10 minutes.) Costello asked Muller how he came up with his motto—“God, guns, guts, and American pickup trucks.” She particularly wanted to know, “Why you included God in a motto that also includes guns?” Muller said, “You don’t have a problem with God, do you?” Costello replied, “No, I don’t. But the combination some people might between God and guns, some people might have a problem with that.” CNN’s employment standards must be pretty low. (As further example of CNN’s commitment to accuracy, the cable news giant got Muller’s name wrong twice, with Costello calling him “Max” instead of “Mark” and spelling his last name “Mueller.”) Last year, Muller ran a similar program in which he gave away a handgun with every vehicle purchase. He said the dealership had sold about 35 more cars than usual during that period, and he was hoping to sell about 100 more than normal with the AK-47 program. This trend is liable to catch on. Josh Felker, a San Antonio real estate agent, gives away a Glock pistol with every house he sells. Josh also runs Lone Star Handgun, teaching Concealed Handgun courses at the Bass Pro Shops store in San Antonio. Josh spent 10 years in the Army, including a year in Iraq as a Special Operations officer. He’s a genuinely nice guy with a great sense of humor. Not only that, but he has pretty much the same attitude I do about guns. He once made a trip across San Antonio with one of his young sons and, realizing he had accidentally left home without a pistol, stopped at a gun store and bought another Glock. It’s pretty much impossible not to like a guy that would do that. I was thinking about Mark and Josh when I heard about the government’s idea to give

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people way more money than their old cars were worth to trade them in on new vehicles. Car guys hate it, because it takes some very nice, salvageable vehicles out of circulation that could otherwise be restored and enjoyed. Besides, the government could help Americans in other ways, such as encouraging them to spend more time outdoors. I have a plan for that. What we need is an incentive program for hunting, fishing, and camping gear. Say you want to trade up for a new deer rifle. If you can get $100 off the price of a new rifle by turning in your old one, the government could kick in, say, an extra hundred or two, provided you buy an American-made gun. That would stimulate the economy and encourage good health at the same time. And, let’s face it; judging by President Obama’s proposed health care plan, you are not going to want to fall into the clutches of the medical establishment in the future. The same kind of thing could be done with pistols, fishing rods, boats, trolling motors, and just about anything else you need for outdoor fun. Of course, the used gear wouldn’t need to be destroyed. It could be donated to programs like Operation Orphans, Kids Outdoor Zone, and other groups aimed at teaching young people to enjoy the outdoors and be good stewards of the environment. I think it could work. So, if you want to buy a car in Butler, Missouri, go see Mark Muller. If you are in the market for a house in San Antonio, Josh Felker is your man; and if you are looking for news stories with an anti-gun twist, tune in CNN.

On the Web http://transcripts.cnn.com/TRAN SCRIPTS/0907/17/ltm.02.html

E-mail Kendal Hemphill at commentary@fishgame.com


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

Bobs In Mexico N ENTHUSIASTIC WHITE-AND-LIVER POINTer named Sally bounded across the grassy field then spun into a sincere and stylish point. The rigid dog amid the open stubble in the early light was the classic upland image straight from a bobwhite quail hunter’s dream. But we were not on an antebellum plantation. Nor were we hunting pen-raised or “liberated” quail. We were in Mexico, in the rich brush and grain country about 150 miles south of Brownsville/Matamoras, and the covey holding ahead of the point consisted of pure, unreconstructed wild bobwhites. Rancho Caracol guide Jose Angel Silguero nodded and Jim Easterling, Charles McCord, and I grabbed lodge-provided Beretta over/under shotguns and pawed for 20-gauge shells. We paced quickly toward the dog, with the thrilling blend of excitement and uncertainty mounting with each step. McCord went left, I went right, and Easterling took center stage. He pushed past the bug-eyed dog and a glorious covey of 16 or 18 birds spewed in a whirring fan from the grass. The quail arced above the horizon and the three guns dropped three clean kills. “Nice shooting,” Jose said. “We’ll collect these three and leave the rest of this covey to regroup. Our scouts yesterday found three or four more bunches between here and the corner of that grain field.” Candy, a size-small yellow Lab with a size-large nose and a size-XXL heart darted forward, huffing and chuffing and wagging, and scooped up the three birds. That opening volley was the start of another outstanding trip to Rancho Caracol 1-888-246-3164, www.ranchocaracol.com. counts were below average for the season. “The quail season in Tamaulipas (northeastern state of Mexico) begins in November

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and runs through February,” said Dean Putegnat, owner of Rancho Caracol. “We keep daily logs and averaged 23.8 coveys per day during the 2008/2009 season. “It was our third or fourth best quail season since Rancho Caracol opened in 1999. The best season was 33 coveys per day five years ago, but we had excellent spring/summer rainfall patterns then. The upcoming season is looking strong, with good rains across northeastern Mexico this past spring and summer.” In the real world of wild birds and dwindling habitat, a seasonal average 20 coveys per day represents excellent hunting—surely some of the best wild bobwhite action in the world. Rancho Caracol’s track record is all the more impressive when you figure four to five quail rigs (maximum of four hunters per rig) are hunting almost daily during the long four-month season. Such consistent returns demand huge amounts of land suitable for healthy coveys. “We have access to almost 500,000 acres of farms and ranches in this region,” Putegnat said. “We scout daily and don’t put hunters in unproven fields. And, we try to rotate the productive fields and not hit individual coveys too hard on a given hunt.” Perhaps more impressive than the numbers are the high percentages of covey rises over relatively open ground. An average of 20-plus coveys might not mean much if half the chances are promptly swallowed by impenetrable thorn brush. The “brush busting” so common in South Texas is seldom required amid the vast proximities of cut grain and grassy fields. During the heat of the day, when coveys take cover along brushy fencerows, beaters can flush birds, but the opportunities abound for quality dog work. Each rig commands six or eight well-trained pointers, plus a Lab for mop-up duty on long falls and cripples in the brush. Speaking of brush, let’s quit beating around the bush and consider the drug-related violence in Mexico. All I can say is that in the five consecutive seasons that I have quail hunted in northeastern Tamaulipas with Rancho Caracol, I have not seen the first suggestion of trouble. “We have not experienced or even wit-

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nessed a single incident,” Putegnat said. “Our clients, our staff, my family, no problems, whatsoever. We drive across the border all the time—more than 400 trips during the past year—and feel perfectly safe. “Most of the drug trouble is much farther west, from Nuevo Laredo on across to Juarez, and most of that is bad guys versus bad guys, or bad guys versus Mexican law enforcement agencies.” Perhaps the overall threat to tourists in Mexico has been blown out of proportion. Based on a report from the State Department, 669 Americans died “non-natural” deaths in Mexico between January 2005, and December 2007. While that tally might sound alarming, keep in mind that 45 million Americans traveled to Mexico during that period. The actual number of American officially murdered in all of Mexico during that time frame, according to the State Department, was 126—still unsettling, but maybe not so bad when you figure that my home city of Houston records more than 300 murders annually. I cannot say with absolute certainty that no trouble can occur on a trip to Mexico. Problems are out there, especially when the wrong place meets the wrong time. But I do believe that the tourist who uses reasonable caution and travels with a reputable operation has nothing out of the ordinary to worry about. Incidentally, in addition to the Caracol trip, I traveled twice to Mexico this year: a surfing expedition to Punta de Mita north of Puerto Vallarta in May, and a fly-fishing trip to Casa Blanca Lodge south of Cancun in June. As they say, no problema. All I remember from the quail-hunting trip was good times with good friends—and how the devil did I miss with my second barrel on a “cream puff ” straightaway over Sally’s staunch point? Rancho Caracol is, from start to finish, a first-class program, the highlight of a bird hunter’s season.

E-mail Joe Doggett at doggett@fishgame.com


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

Waterbuck In Africa IM BROWN READIED HIS NUGEBOW FOR THE shot. His best hunting buddy, VidCamBabe and beautiful wife, Marlyn, steadied the small vidcam as the group of waterbuck emerged from the dense puckerbrush surrounding their mountainside waterhole. Marlyn was about to implode with uncontrollable excitement, while rock solid hubby concentrated on the large bull bringing up the rear. Their heads were still swimming trying to catch up with the fact that they were in wild Africa, bowhunting a dizzying assortment of awe inspiring big game animals beyond their wildest dreams. The little DoubleBull ground blind was electric with SpiritWild. The moment of truth was right here, right now. Jim and Marlyn Brown are great Americans, the best of friends, and global adventurers. Combining business with pleasure in everything they do, through their Herculean work ethic and savvy business sense, they celebrate the freedom to go wherever their wanderlust hearts take them, when and if they feel like it. If you dissected the Browns, you would discover a belly full of the American Dream oozing out of them. They are my BloodBrothers. Being ardent hunters, they never miss a chance to bring along their bows and arrows or guns when hunting opportunities are possible. And like all adventurers of The Great Spirit, Africa has always been a burning desire, as it seems to be with all bowhunters I know. It just so happened that National Field Archery Association president and good friend Bruce Cull had alerted me to a new bowhunting concession taking shape with Angus Brown Safaris in South Africa. After hearing all the details of this worldclass reputable bowhunting professional hunter, guide, and outfitter, we decided in a heartbeat that we should simply pack our 22

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gear and go. A quick phone call to the Browns, and we had us a threesome of bowhunting couples raring and ready to rock. Ain’t life grand! Being the patient, focused bowhunter that Jim is, he arrowed a mighty Cape eland on his first day out in the rolling mountainous prairies of the Orange Free State. After being tortured by numerous waterbuck that wouldn’t give him a decent shot, Jim was determined to beat these elusive, clever African antelope at their deadly game of cat and mouse. And it appeared that the tables were turning this afternoon. The 500-pound cows were ultra alert, but came readily to the water with their calves once they determined that the coast was clear. This calmed the old battle scarred, F i s h

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800-pound bull just enough for it to take cautious step after cautious step until it was 20 yards broadside. One of life’s greatest joys! Jim aimed true, unleashed his 400-grain Gold Tip zebra arrow, and sent a razorsharp two-blade Magnus BuzzCut broadhead perfectly through the huge beast’s pumper. The heavens aligned! Dead on his feet, the bull reared up and back, and literally fell into the waterhole with a floundering ker-splash!, then raced out of there hell-bent-for-leather. The Browns were elated. With the expert tracking skills of Angus Brown and his magical native trackers, the bull was recovered 200 yards around the mountain. A joyous celebration erupted

PHOTO BY JAMES & MARYLN BROWN

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back at the abattoir, where more photos were taken before the sacred ritual of gutting, skinning, salting, and butchering followed the tooth, fang, and claw law of hunters everywhere. Now it was my turn—and I love when it’s my turn! Traveling a few hundred miles northeast of Johannesburg, we arrived at the bushveld camp near the Limpopo River where it connects South Africa with Botswana and Zimbabwe. Here, in this much different, thick, thorny scrub brush terrain, Shemane and I would sit each day, often all day, in hopes of killing a specimen of the myriad big game animals that abound. We had both taken fine trophies of eland, sable, impala, warthog, kudu, and nyala, and now I was up to bat in our little waterhole hide. As is always the case in hunting, right place, right time is everything. Both occurred at 5:15 p.m. when the ivory tips of a giant old waterbuck bull appeared just above the shooting window ledge. Shemane grabbed the vidcam, I my bow, and we prepared for the bowhunting TV show filming ballet. Ultra slow, cautious, and coordinated

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moves must be exerted in tandem to pull of such a feat, and Shemane and I have it down to the ultimate SpiritWild jam session. Taking his good old time, the big bull gave us as hard a time as it could, but you can’t beat the deadly team of Nugent and Nugent (sometimes!). As soon as it gave me the leg forward, quartering away kill shot, I let ‘er rip. Well, since I am a simple man of simple desires, one of my favorite things in life took place. My intensely practiced arrow found its mark right there in the crease behind the monster bull’s foreleg, and I knew that I had performed the dream of African shish-kaheart surgery. It was beautiful. Shemane captured perfectly on film and followed the mortally hit beast until the scrub gobbled it up, then swung the vidcam lens on a very happy hubby. I exalted the spirit dazzling joys of my bowhunting life on tape, and with the African sun heading down, we decided to recover the sure-shot bull right away. Slowly, we followed the deep divots of the fleeing monarch, but as is nearly always the case with African game, even shot clean through the heart, there was no blood to follow. For-

tunately, I have paid attention over the past 35 years of African safaris, and learned my lessons well. Following only disrupted tracks in the loose, dry sand, I was able to track my bull in short order, where we filmed the always exciting and reverential celebration with beast in hand. It was magnificent: A very old bull, probably near 10 years of age, its sweeping horns more than 29 inches with massive 7-inch bases—an ideal representative of the species and a world-class bowhunting trophy if ever there was one. My fellow waterbuck killers, Jim and Marlyn Brown, brought their professional photog talents to the party and spectacular photos captured the very special moment in time. The celebration continued into the night as we all gathered around the lapa campfire, toasting the American Dream on safari in Africa, dining on the hard earned backstraps of magnificent creatures brought to nag with our trusty bows and arrows. I call it perfect. E-mail Ted Nugent at tnugent@fishgame.com


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orget mallard. While we’re are at it, forget pintail, widgeon, and blue-winged teal; might as well throw wood duck, shoveler, and redhead on the forget pile, too, and toss in bluewing for good measure. These are all key species, but in terms of overall importance to Texas waterfowlers, all pail in comparison to the gadwall—yes, gadwall. Called “gray duck” by many hunters, this species has seen a renaissance in population growth and hunter interest like no other species over the last 25 years. Last season Texas hunters took around 160,000 gadwall compared to approximately 90,000 mallard, 80,000 widgeon, and 30,000 shoveler. Only green-winged teal have occasionally eclipsed gadwall, but in the long-term remain in second place. This season, with a population up 12 percent from 2008 and sitting 73 percent above the long-term, hunters should be seeing lots of gadwall. “Over the last couple of years, gadwall 26

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have made up about 40 percent of our overall harvest,” said Jeremy Bryan of Cast and Blast Outfitters. “They are a very important duck for many, many Texas hunters.” Bryan said that along the coast, the typical gadwall habitat consists of freshwater inlet ponds close to the marsh, where the birds can track back and forth between food sources. “Gaddies are awesome, starting off real high, working circles kind of like a mallard, and then they will disappear. Then they will reappear like magic and be in your face and in the decoys,” Bryan said. He prefers soft contentment and comeback calls blown with a bit of caution over the aggressive style preferred by some hunters: “The trick is to not get too loud and stay on them, as they are very responsive to calls. I have even called in gadwall with no decoys on several occasions. Right now, my favorite calls are the H.S. Bill Collector and the Duck Commander Gadwall Whistle.” While these ducks can be easy to dupe, they are much more stubborn in the breeding grounds of North and South Dakota, where they are one of the last species to nest.

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“Some ducks like mallards will already be well into nesting before the gadwalls begin. However, when they do start, they do it with gusto and they will re-nest,” said Dr. Scott Manley, biologist with Ducks Unlimited. Re-nesting is important because predators like skunk and red fox often destroy nests, and some species like pintail abandon nesting. Gadwall carry on, and that coupled with their favor for Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) land and large, permanent wetland impoundments gives them an edge over other species. In dry years like 2008, when seasonal wetlands were few and far between, gadwall did decline from the previous wet year, but held at 56 percent over the long-term average. “The Dakotas are very important to gadwall and it is important we continue CRP and also the conservation easement program, which pays landowners a one-time fee to deed nesting grounds protection into their property,” Manley said. Since 1997, DU and its partners like the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service have purchased nearly 800,000 in easements in the PHOTOS BY GRADY ALLEN


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Dakotas to a tune of more than $116 million dollars, greatly benefiting gadwall. “Gadwall are an important and successful duck, but they must have nesting habitat, and that is what programs like this and the purchase of duck stamps provides. Gadwall and other species are direct benefactors of these acts of conservation,” Manley said. Gadwall are my personal favorite duck, as detailed in my book, Texas Waterfowl. Much of that has to do with magical experiences with this amazing bird. I will never forget hearing the familiar sound of whistling wings overhead in the predawn darkness of the deep bottomlands of Newton County, followed by a series of “splooshes” that hinted at soul-stirring action to come as a swollen, orange sun peeked over the horizon. A million thoughts raced through my head as I wondered exactly what kind of ducks were lighting in the decoys. Were they the fast-flying green-winged teal I had seen while scouting the area the day before? Maybe it was widgeon, ringneck, or pintail. Intrigue hung thick in the air. As the sun’s brilliance steadily vanquished the darkness, my father and I could make out a few greenwings on the outer edge of the decoys, teasing me as shooting time was still a full five minutes away. I figured they would leave before we could legally click off our safeties and be on our way to some prime gumbo ingredients, but I really did not care. Just being there was enough for me. Even in dim light, their beauty was radiant. Almost as if they had read my mind, the cluster of teal rose off the water a minute before they would have met a barrage of steel shot, but I knew there would be more action to come...I could feel it. As the clock struck 6:53, I blew on my call and we readied our guns as the game was officially on. High in the sky, I spotted four gadwall reconnoitering the spread. As I issued a couple of quacks, the quartet plummeted from the heavens in a nosedive straight toward the decoys. I clicked off the safety as my heart pounded in anticipation. The ducks continued their descent, and a few yards before slamming headfirst into the water, put on the brakes, turned into landing position with wings cupped and legs out, and Dad and I unloaded on them. All four of the ducks fell and we were off to an absolutely perfect morning of hunting. Gadwall have made the day like that for

many hunters on many occasions, and you are always happy to bring them home. Although they might not garner as many “attaboys” from your hunting buddies as a limit of mallard, gadwall are the glue that holds together the Texas duck hunting com-

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This ye ar abund , heavy-antl ant in some r ered bucks s h egions , not s ould be o in ot hers.

Pineywoods/Post Oak: We will start here because I live here and I’m partial. First, in my observations, there are a lot of deer out there this year. All spring and summer, I was hard pressed to not see a few deer each morning while driving to work, and more often than not, those deer were bucks. Most were immature bucks, but bucks nonetheless, which is an improvement over recent years. I have observed does dragging along spotted twin fawns behind them, so the fawn crop seems healthy. Don’t trust me? Well, I figured your wouldn’t, so I asked the folks at the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department (TPWD) for validation. Gary Calkins, TPWD biologist based out of Jasper, was very optimistic about this season. “Deer populations appear to be relatively stable across the Pineywoods,” Calkins said. “The harvest last year appeared to be down, some so there should be a good carryover of bucks into the older age classes for this year.” Those hunting in the northern section of the region already know this, but for the past three years we’ve been under the 13-inch antler restriction, and according to TPWD, the taking of younger bucks in this area has dropped off significantly. So, the population of older bucks in the region should be on the rise. 30

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eer hunters are eternal optimists. As I write this, it is the middle of summer and I am already giddy thinking about the upcoming season. This will be the year I shoot a Pope & Young buck, or have my daughter take her first buck, or put my wife on a bona fide wall hanger. But even as optimistic as hunters are, we still have a nagging doubts this might not be the year. Deer numbers might be down due to poor habitat conditions or high fawn mortality; antlers might not be as large because it has been a long dry summer. To help ease these doubts—or possibly provide a little dose of reality—here is a rundown by region of what hunters can expect this season:

While the overall population of older bucks is increasing, this might not translate into substantially larger racks or body weights due mainly to dry conditions that persisted over much of the eastern part of the state this spring and summer. If you hunt in the eastern section of the state, expect to see a lot of bucks, but also expect to watch quite a few of them walk as you evaluate antlers for 13 inches of width. North Texas/Panhandle: In a complete roll reversal, East Texas was dry this past spring and summer, but North Texas and the Panhandle received timely precipitation that should make the area hunters the envy of the rest of the state. Coming on strong as a trophy factory over the past few years, this region is set for another outstand-

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ing season because overall habitat conditions were outstanding during the primary antler development time. Lubbock based biologist Duane Lucia advised earlier in they year that the area, “...missed out on some early warm season forbs growth that usually occurs with our spring rains [in April and May]. However, we turned the corner and had ample forbs and great fawn cover in the summer with all the moisture that we have been blessed with. The Panhandle deer herds, both mule and white-tailed, should go into fall in great shape.” The benefit to hunters in this part of the state is that the deer herd is healthy, and according to local observations, they are sporting above average headgear. The down side is that with so much to eat, deer won’t


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be moving much, so you might have to get away from the feeders to find them. Hill Country: Historically, hunting in Central Texas meant one thing—deer and lots of them. However, in the past few years the deer population in the central part of the state has been down due to an extended drought that is the worst in recent history. Fawn survival rates have been down over the past two seasons, and antler development has been average at best. For hunters, there is good news and bad news for the upcoming season. The good news is that this year should be better than last year. The bad news is that last year wasn’t anything to write home about. So, this season will still be less than average. With reduced fawn survival rates over the past few seasons, expect to see fewer young bucks running around; actually, expect to see fewer 1.5- to 2.5-year-old deer, period. This means that most of the bucks you see will be in at least their third set of antlers, but that set won’t be making the record books. One advantage of the drought (if there is one) is that range conditions will force more

deer to hang out near feeders. There will be fewer deer to see and antler quality will be down, but the ones that are out there will be readily available. South Texas: If you were expecting a different situation in South Texas than that of much of the rest of the state, you are overly optimistic. While the Brush Country is always dry and still produces bucks with impressive racks, this season will average to below average for body size and antler development. The determining factor for whether or not you have a successful year down south depends on the native habitat According to Alan Cain, District Leader with the TPWD South Texas Wildlife District: “The brush species found throughout South Texas are adapted to drought and provide excellent forage resources, as well as cover from predators and the weather.” Cain said there were good crops of prickly pear fruit and mesquite beans during the summer, which helped deer go into the fall in good condition. Another aspect to this season’s success is the amount of rain received in years past.

“Hunters might expect to see a fair number of 2-1/2- and 5-1/2-year-old bucks, as 2004 and 2007 were years of above average rainfall resulting in good fawn crops,” Cain said. Prairies & Lakes: Just like most of the rest of the state, this region in general has been in a drought for much of the past two years, but don’t give up hope just yet; things are not always what they seem. Even in the worst of drought conditions, there have been pockets that received rain, and those areas are flourishing. “Areas around Stephenville, Baird, and Albany are in drought conditions,” said Mike Miller, Technical Guidance Biologist from Stephenville. “Abilene, Brownwood, Hamilton and Goldthwaite are looking good.” TPWD Wildlife Biologist Charlie Newberry said that while antler quality and fawn survival were down in 2008, he expects both to improve in 2009 across the entire region.


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“The decline in the seatrout catch is linked to destruction of seagrass beds and over-fishing.”

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hose are the last few words of a speckled trout species profile on the Texas Parks & Wildlife Department’s (TPWD) website. Buried amongst many informative passages on the specie’s ecology and life history, it raises the question, “What decline?” Answer: The decline shown in TPWD’s spring gill net surveys in several key bay systems. The spring gill net surveys for West Matagorda Bay show a major decline in speckled trout. TPWD performs exhaustive gill net work along with dockside angler interviews and purse seine pulls to gauge the status of trout and other fishes in coastal waters. The spring 2009 surveys showed a catch rate of around .5 fish per hour, which is the lowest since 1995 and the fourth lowest ever after factoring in the catch rate of around .3 after the big freezes in 1983 and 1989. East Matagorda Bay has shown similar trends with a huge drop from spring 2007 (1.4 fish per hour) to around .7 in 2009. Like West Matagorda, the catches are the worst since 1995 and barely above the post-freeze measurements in 83 and 89. The angler catch rates for this bay complex seem to be on a major up-tick at an historical level. Although 2009 data was not available at the time of this writing, looking back at last year’s harvest shows the second highest ever behind only the year 2000. Catches in West Matagorda Bay are below historical highs but rising, according to TPWD. Surveys conducted in the Aransas Bay complex are almost identical in scope with gill net surveys showing the population down, but at the same time, harvest rates increasing in the long-term. At the time of this writing, the latest harvest data shows the lowest numbers since 1997. Whether TPWD put that line on its website to prepare the public for coming changes or it was a simple slip of the tongue, er, finger, it has raised serious questions. The most pressing, of course, is: Will we go to a statewide five-fish bag limit like Lower Laguna Madre has, or at least 34

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TF&G hunting editor Bob Hood occasionally strays off the hunting track for some quality trout fishing.

impose such limits in problematic bay systems? “There are lots of factors that go into speckled trout production, and we are looking really hard at all of these factors,” said

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Reichers, TPWD science and policy director. “Our biologists are going in right now and looking at the internals of these surveys for data like yearclass, which could help us get a better idea of what is going on and what to do.” Reichers noted there has been some success with the five-fish limit, but that making regional limits for trout in other systems could be more problematic. “Lower Laguna is kind of special due to its geographic isolation and lack of pressure in comparison to other systems, like


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Aransas, for example,” he said. Spawning potential for speckled trout is a key element in conservation, and a sticking point in the debate over cutting bag limits and banning live croaker. Research conducted in South Carolina has shed some light on spawning that might come as a surprise and add a new element to the discussion. Louisiana State University’s scientific journal, Lagniappe, noted the study involved collecting 1038 speckled trout, ranging in age from one to five years. Spawning potential is crucial in terms of trout management, as size and bag limits are generally based on these factors. According to the Lagniappe report: “The smallest mature female was 9.8 inches long. By 10.6 inches, 50 percent of females were mature. At 11.9 inches, 100 percent of the females are mature in South Carolina (compared to 10.6 inches in Louisiana). The researchers found that females became mature about one full year after their birth. While not all age-one females are mature on their birthday, they can be expected to become mature before the spawning season ended.

“Researchers found that trout at age one spawn once every 4.7 days; age-two fish, every 4.2 days; and age-three fish, every 4.0 days. “This is quite close to what has been found for Gulf States trout. As to how many eggs were laid per spawn, the estimates were 145,452 eggs for age-one fish; 291,123 for age-two fish; and 529,976 for age-three fish. This is higher than the latest research indicates for Louisiana specks.” Interestingly, researchers reported that as the spawning season progressed, the size of the eggs laid by each female grew steadily smaller: “This had been noted before by other scientists, and has produced quite a bit of speculation as to why it occurs. One researcher suggested that the eggs didn’t need to be as large nearer the end of the spawning season as near the beginning because more food was available in the water later for the newly hatched larval fish.” The most interesting data from this study is that some scientists are now theorizing some sort of relationship based on water temperature exists, with the higher the water temperature, the smaller the amount of eggs produced by the female.

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TPWD is pretty sure that high water temperatures in the Gulf are contributing to poor flounder spawning. Could this be a problem for trout as well? Could some of Lower Laguna Madre’s problems be attributable to higher than normal bay temperatures? Could the same be true of Aransas and the Matagorda complex? Or are several factors, including warmer waters, seagrass destruction, and fishing pressure colliding to make a perfect storm for speckled trout? Just a few years ago, scientists thought trout had to be 12 inches long to spawn, but now we know that is not true. What will the latest research tell us about the future of Texas’ most important coastal fishery?

On the Web www.fishgame.com www.tpwd.state.tx.us/huntwild/wild /species/strout/

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by Lenny Rudow

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ven in the most southern climates where water temperatures are commonly in the 60s, you are at risk because the average person can survive only 2-7 hours in water that cool before going unconscious. If you fish or hunt in northern areas, your chances of remaining awake and in control during a cold-water dunking drop like a rock: 1-2 hours of consciousness in 50- to 60-degree water, and just 1/2 to 1 hour in 40- to 50-degree water. Are you ready to survive the greatest danger you will likely experience while pursuing the sport you love? Many boaters carry safety gear to stay afloat, treat injuries, put out fires, and signal for help, but a surprising number aren’t prepared to deal with the specific challenges of surviving on the water during the winter.

PHOTO BY GRADY ALLEN

Rain gear is critical equipment for winter boating.

Gearing Up As with most things related to hunting and fishing, being prepared for all eventualities is one of the keys to success—and survival. Half the battle is having the proper gear on board at all times, and that means making sure you have plenty of foul weather gear for everyone, regardless of the weather report. Even on clear days, you can still get wet when spray comes flying over the bow or gunnels. Savvy hunters and anglers always show up with waterproof gear, but as the captain of your vessel, you should pack a few fold-up emergency ponchos in your boat bag and keep them there all winter. How you dress underneath that rain slicker is also important. Seasoned outdoorsmen do not need a lecture on proper dress, but it has worth noting wool’s unusual ability to provide warmth even when wet. Make sure wool is in one of your layers. No matter what type of boat you run or what your purpose, having a well-equipped waterproof safety gear case is essential. It should include all the usual stuff: a handheld GPS and VHF, first-aid kit, flares, sound signal, flashlight, and signal mirror. For winter boating, you should add several other items. 38

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The single most essential one is a box of waterproof matches sealed in plastic. If you get wet and need heat fast, there is no substitute for a fire on the shoreline. Put in one of those emergency Mylar blankets that folds down into a package the size of a deck of cards. If you have ever used one of these, you know they work; you also know they reach only from your toes to your chest, so put in two of them. Duct tape is another essential to have dry and at the ready at all times. If you need to construct an immediate short-term shelter, it is the most valuable tool you can have. Finally, add some high-calorie foods like chocolate, peanuts, or raisins to your cold weather kit. They help your body generate heat more quickly. Re-boarding gear is another important winter boating item many people overlook. If someone falls overboard and needs to get back into a small boat, it is common to cause it to capsize when everyone aboard leans over the same side to pull him back in. Instead, as many people as possible should shift their weight to the opposite side of the

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boat while giving the person in the water something to grab for re-boarding. A small section of strong cargo netting is perfect for this purpose, since the victim can climb or cling as the people on board assist by pulling in the net. On larger boats, re-boarding ladders are the norm. Collapsible nylon web ladders or foldout ladders will do the trick, although the best type can be reached by the person in the water without any assistance. One thing you do not want to have onboard while cruising during the winter— an A-frame blind that protrudes beyond the sides of the boat. Sure, these are roomy and cover you effectively, but if the sides of the blind go beyond the gunwales, they catch spray and re-direct it right into your boat. More then one hunter has found himself ankle-deep or worse as a result.

Boning Up Having the proper gear is half the battle; knowledge is the other half. In this case, a big


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part of the knowledge you need is how to battle hypothermia. Remember: it is the No. 1 killer. Hypothermia is when your body loses heat faster than it can replace it. Hypothermia is usually caused by immersion or exposure to cold rain, sleet, or snow, but it can be caused by perspiration generated on long hikes or paddles into the backcountry, followed by long periods of sitting still. Regardless of the cause, the treatment for hypothermia is the same: dry off and get warm. Remember that your head loses heat the quickest, so you want to dry it and put on a hat or hood as soon as possible. If you do not have any spare clothing, you are better off building a fire and huddling by it while your wet clothes dry. In a real pinch, you can warm someone’s bloodstream quickly by heating water, putting it in a canteen or pouch, and holding it against the armpits, the groin, and the sides of the neck. Another effective treatment is to have one or two people huddle next to the victim— naked—with all three wrapped in warm blankets or a sleeping bag. This is when you find out who your real friends are.

FACTS & TIPS

Fact: Hypothermia is the No. 1 killer of anglers and hunters who use boats during the winter months. Fact: No matter where in Texas you live, water temperatures are cold enough during the winter months that hypothermia is a danger.

If you go into the water when you are by yourself, remember that it’s imperative you act quickly because you will lose dexterity in a matter of minutes. I once lost a friend over the side while we were striper fishing in the 45-degree James River during February. It only took three minutes to get him back into the boat, but he had already lost feeling in

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his fingers and was unable to un-button his coveralls. Hunter’s Tip: If your boat swamps or rolls and you don’t have a life vest on, stuffing a few duck decoys into your jacket will keep you afloat. Another key facet of knowledge is understanding what conditions you will face when you prepare for your trip. In other words, you need to check the weather prior to getting on the boat, each and every time, regardless of how sheltered or close to home the waters you are headed for might be. And make sure you file a “float plan” with someone, telling them where you are going and when you expect to return home. Otherwise, if you get stranded out in the cold, it might be days before someone comes looking. Fact: Hypothermia is the No. 1 killer of anglers and hunters on boats. Fact: No matter where you live, it is a danger. Fact: Now you know how to be prepared for safe winter boating.

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Ducks Unlimited to Restore 6k-Plus TX Coast Acres

PHOTO COURTESY WIKIMEDIA COMMONS LICENSE

Fossils Not Needed For Fossil Fuels FOSSILS FROM ANIMALS AND PLANTS ARE NOT NECESSARY FOR CRUDE OIL AND NATURAL GAS CREATION. SO SAY RESEARCHERS AT THE ROYAL INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY (KTH) IN STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN. THE FINDING MEANS OIL AND GAS EXPLORATION DRILLING AND DRY WELLS COULD BECOME THINGS OF THE PAST, AND HYDROCARBON POCKETS SHOULD BE AVAILABLE WORLD WIDE, ELIMINATING DEPENDENCE ON MIDDLE EASTERN AND OTHER OVERSEAS SOURCES. “Using our research we can even say where oil could be found in Sweden,” said Vladimir Kutcherov, a professor at the Division of Energy Technology at KTH. Together with two research colleagues, Kutcherov simulated natural processes that occur in the inner layers of the earth’s mantle to produce oil and natural gas. Kutcherov said the findings are a clear 40

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indication that the oil supply is not about to end as researchers and experts in the field have long feared, adding there is no way fossil oil could seeped down to a depth of 10.5 kilometers (6.5 miles) beneath Texas were it the result of plant and animal matter decay. He said this is further proof alongside his own findings that hydrocarbon resources can be created in ways other than ancient fossil decomposition.

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DUCKS UNLIMITED RECENTLY BEGAN restoration work supported by a North American Wetlands Conservation Act (NAWCA) grant to enhance 6841 acres of wetland habitat along the Texas coast. Partners contributed more than $2.8 million to match the $1 million received from the federal grant. “This project represents a continuation of long-term efforts to protect, restore and enhance important wetland habitats in the Gulf Coast Prairies,” DU Manager of Conservation Programs for Texas, Todd Merendino, said. “The Texas Gulf Coast has experienced tremendous losses of wetlands due to urban and commercial development pressures, reduction of rice acreage, altered local and regional hydrology and saltwater intrusion.” Through the project, partners are restoring and enhancing 3500 acres of wetland habitats through the Texas Prairie Wetlands program. Three donated conservation easements permanently protect nearly 2000 acres of important coastal prairie wetlands and rice fields, and represent the first of many partner-driven land protection efforts in the near future. Grant funds also will be used to enhance 1200 acres of emergent marsh within Laguna Atascosa National Wildlife Refuge. —Staff Report TG


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Gender Confused Bass Common In Rivers SMALL- AND LARGEMOUTH BASS WITH MALE AND FEMALE SEX ORGANS ARE COMMON AND WIDESPREAD IN U.S. RIVER SYSTEMS SAYS LONG-TERM LISHED ONLINE IN AQUATIC TOXICOLOGY. Of the 16 fish species researchers examined from 1995 to 2004, the condition was most common bass. A third of all male smallmouth bass and a fifth of all male largemouth bass were intersex. This condition is primarily revealed in male fish that have immature female egg cells in their testes, but occasionally female fish have male characteristics as well. Scientists found intersex fish in about a third of all sites examined from the Apalachicola, Colorado, Columbia, Mobile, Mississippi, Pee Dee, Rio Grande, Savannah, and Yukon River basins. The Yukon River basin was the only one where researchers did not find at least one intersex fish. Intersex occurrence was more prevalent in largemouth bass in southeastern U.S.

DU Supports Federal Hunting Bill IN LATE JUNE, DUCKS UNLIMITED APPLAUDED THE INTRODUCTION OF TWO BILLS AIMED AT ENSURING THE NEXT GENERATION OF WATERFOWL HUNTERS HAS ACCESS TO THE DUCK BLIND, AND PROTECTING AMERICA’S RICH HUNTING HERITAGE.

PHOTO COURTESY OF WEBSHOTS

U.S. GEOLOGICAL SURVEY (USGS) RESEARCH PUB-

river systems, occurring in nearly a fifth of fish examined from the Rio Grande River basin.

The Hunting Heritage Protection Act, introduced by Senators Max Baucus (MT) and Saxby Chambliss (GA) in the Senate, and Representative Denny Rehberg (MT) in the House would require federal lands to be better managed for hunting. “Waterfowl hunting is a proud tradition, and we are pleased to see Congress acknowledging that,” said Barton James, director of public policy for Ducks Unlimited. “Water-

The researchers also documented intersex in channel catfish for the first time. “This study adds a lot to our knowledge of this phenomena, but we still don’t know why certain species seem more prone to this condition or exactly what is causing it,” said Jo Ellen Hinck, the lead author of the paper and a biologist at the USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center. “In fact, the causes for intersex may vary by location, and we suspect it will be unlikely that a single human activity or kind of contaminant will explain intersex in all species or regions.” —Staff Report TG

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PHOTO COURTESY OF MOTE MARINE LABORATORY

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PHOTO COURTESY OF ARTIC CAT

Where’s Waldo? SCIENTISTS AT THE MOTE MARINE LABORATORY in Sarasota, Florida, lost one of their robots and asked fishermen to help locate it. The $100,000 robot, nicknamed Waldo, was equipped with a $30,000 detector to find red tide. Mote scientists eventually found Waldo—without aid from fishermen— back in the spot where it disappeared about 11 miles off the coast. —Staff Report TG

On the Web www.mote.org

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Today’s Forecast: Global Cooling ONE OF THE WORLD’S TOP CLIMATE MODELERS SAYS EARTH COULD BE IN FOR ONE OR TWO DECADES OF GLOBAL COOLING. “I am not one of the skeptics,” insisted Mojib Latif of the Leibniz Institute of Marine Sciences at Kiel University, Germany. “However, we have to ask the nasty questions ourselves or other people will do it.” Latif made the prediction to other climate scientists gathered in Geneva, Switzerland, for the United Nations World F i s h

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Climate Conference. Although some climate scientists disagree with Latif, more are agreeing that the short-term prognosis for climate change is much less certain than once thought. Global warming proponents called the findings “bad timing.” Snowmobile futures look promising —Staff Report TG


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PHOTO COURTESY OF AGFD

Mountain Lion Kills 15 Endangered Bighorn Sheep THE ARIZONA GAME AND FISH DEPARTMENT (AGFD) RECENTLY KILLED A MOUNTAIN LION THAT KILLED AND ATE AT LEAST 15 ENDANGERED KOFA BIGHORN SHEEP IN THE KOFA MOUNTAINS COMPLEX PREDATION MANAGEMENT AREA IN SOUTHWESTERN ARIZONA. The lion was killed in the Eagletail Mountains about 90 miles northeast of Yuma. AGFD killed the lion to bolster efforts to restore the struggling Kofa sheep population, whose numbers declined more than

50 percent from an estimated 815 in 2000 to a low of 391 in 2006. The most recent survey in 2008 indicated an estimated population of 436. The lion, a male fitted with a telemetry collar, killed 11 of the 15 sheep within the predation management area since being collared in late February. With a current average annual recruitment of only 44 bighorn sheep within the

Kofa Mountains Complex Predation Management Area (including 39 on the Kofa National Wildlife Refuge), the impact of such heavy predation could have been devastating. Kofa managers killed another sheep-killing lion in 2007. —Staff Report TG

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GREEN

PHOTO COURTESY OF NOAA

HURRICANE IKE IMPACT LINGERS Although tremendous strides have been made to repair facilities, restore ecosystems, and rebuild lives, much remains to be done in the wake of last year’s Hurricane Ike. TPWD is working to do so, assisted by roughly $7 million in federal Ike relief funding. Almost $3 million of the federal monies will go to hire commercial fishermen to pull bagless dredges over smothered oyster reefs and place 14,000 cubic yards of materials into Galveston Bay. The cultch, which is oyster shell, limestone, crushed concrete, and the like, will help create new oyster reefs to begin addressing the loss of 8000 acres of public reefs. Sedimentation resulting from the hurricane caused a loss of more than 50 percent of the oyster resource in Galveston Bay. Most restoration efforts will focus on East Galveston Bay, which lost about 80 percent of its oyster population. Several wildlife management areas WMAs are in various stages of repair and habitat restoration in the aftermath of Hurricane Ike. WMAs will receive about $1.7 million of the $7 million in federal relief funding to begin levee erosion and water control structure repairs, including hard-hit J. D. Murphree, where alligator nesting was severely impacted. —Staff Report TG

RFA Begins Building Jack Cowan Reef IN AUGUST, THE RECREATIONAL FISHING ALLIANCE (RFA) BEGAN DEPLOYING THE JACK COWAN REEF OFF OF FREEPORT TEXAS. NAMED FOR FAMED TEXAS OUTDOOR ARTIST JOHN P. (JACK) COWAN, THE REEF IS LOCATED ABOUT 8 MILES OFFSHORE IN TEXAS STATE WATERS ON A BEARING OF 213 DEGREES FROM THE FREEPORT JETTIES AT N28 47.656, W95 20.809.

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The Texas Parks & Wildlife Department has also embraced the concept of nearshore reefing and has a program to designate public reefing areas in Texas waters. The Jack Cowan Reef site is part of one of those designated sites. RFA-Texas has contracted with Reef Man LLC to begin construction on the Jack Cowan Reef.

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Sam Houston Bans Hog With Dogs HUNTING FERAL HOGS WITH DOGS ON THE SAM HOUSTON NATIONAL FOREST WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT AREA IS NO LONGER ALLOWED, ACCORDING TO CAPTAIN CHRIS CRANE OF THE NATIONAL FOREST SERVICE OFFICE IN LUFKIN. The Sam Houston WMA has allowed hunting hogs with dogs after the general deer-hunting season since its establishment. Last year’s dogs-for-hogs season ran from January 15-March 15, said Rusty Pliar of

the Sam Houston WMA office. None of the other four National Forest Service WMAs (Bannister, Alabama Creek, Moore Plantation, and Caddo) ever allowed hunting feral hogs with dogs. The wildlife management area program on national forests came about via an agreement between the National Forest Service and TPWD for the public hunting pro-

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gram. Crane said he was told the special feral hog-dog season at Sam Houston initially was established at the request of a TPWD official who is no longer with the agency, and that biologists from both the National Forest Service and TPWD agreed this year that the dog season should be abolished. Crane said he had no information on how many hunters annually hunted hogs with dogs at the Sam Houston WMA. —Bob Hood TG

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GREEN DUCK ART BY DON ZAIDLE

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No Quacks For You!

PHOTO COURTESY OF NOAA

A SAN FRANCISCO TOUR COMPANY, BAY QUACKERS, TAKES TOURISTS SIGHTSEEING IN OPEN-CAB AMPHIBIOUS VEHICLES KNOWN AS “DUCKS” BEFORE DRIVING OFF INTO SAN FRANCISCO BAY.

CCA Texas Pushes Flounder Recovery THE CCA TEXAS EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE HAS APPROVED $16,000 to the CCA/CPL Development Center in Corpus Christi for the purchase of two fiberglass broodfish tanks and fiberglass egg collection tanks to be used in the production of southern flounder. With the help of CCA Texas, TPWD scientists hope to produce large numbers of juvenile flounder for release in the wild. The long-term goal is to produce 2 million flounder eggs per year, resulting in thousands of flounder released in Texas bays. —Staff Report TG

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Passengers blow kazoo-like devices to “quack” at passers-by in a gesture of greeting, and, well, who knows...it’s San Francisco. All would be fine and well but for a lawsuit brought by Ride the Ducks, a rival tour company, claiming quacking by Bay Quackers passengers violates the rival company’s

“sound mark,” the auditory equivalent of a trademark. The suit seeks not only a preliminary injunction on the use of the kazoos, but also destruction of “all noisemakers or other implements” that produce quacks on Bay Quackers tours. —Staff Report

TG

Wetlands Conservation Crosses Milestone THE NORTH AMERICAN WETLANDS CONSERVATION ACT (NAWCA) PROGRAM HAS ALLOCATED MORE THAN $1 BILLION IN FEDERAL GRANTS. A SLATE OF PROJECTS APPROVED BY THE MIGRATORY BIRD CONSERVATION COMMISSION PUSHED THE PROGRAM OVER THE CUSP. “This is a huge milestone for a program that has conserved more than 25.4 million acres of wetlands and waterfowl habitat across North America,” said Ducks Unlimited Senior Group Manager for

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Conservation and Communications Dr. Alan Wentz. “Ducks Unlimited is proud to be one of the thousands of partners that have contributed to the success of the program.” In addition to the $1 billion in grants from the federal government, more than $2 billion in matching funds have been put into the more than 1900 projects on the ground—more than double the federal government’s investment in the program. —Staff Report TG


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GREEN TF&G TRUE GREEN

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CONSERVATION PARTNERS

Deer Feces Spreads Chronic Wasting Disease SCIENTISTS HAVE DISCOVERED THAT DEER ASYMPTOMATIC FOR CHRONIC WASTING DISEASE (CWD) EXCRETE INFECTIOUS PRIONS THAT CAUSE THE DISEASE IN THEIR FECES. The finding, published in an advance online paper by the University of California and Colorado Division of Wildlife-Wildlife Research Center in the journal Nature, suggests a plausible explanation for transmission of the disease among deer in the environment.

FEDERAL HUNTING BILL fowlers have been supporting federal lands through duck stamp sales for 75 years, and we welcome this effort to ensure that hunting remains a part of America’s conservation legacy.” The measure would require federal lands, when possible, to be managed in a way that supports, promotes, and enhances hunting opportunities. The bill also calls on federal agencies managing federal lands to submit an annual report to Congress explaining denial of access for hunting on federal lands. Additionally, agencies would be required to submit prior written notification to Congress before limitation affecting access to hunting on 5000 acres or more becomes effective. —Staff Report TG

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While the study revealed prions in feces of symptomatic deer, the discovery that infected asymptomatic deer also shed prions has significant implications. Deer, elk, and moose inadvertently consume feces and soil while grazing. The team set out to determine whether the animals could develop CWD through long-term consumption of contaminated feces. “Prion levels in feces samples of asymptomatic deer were very low compared to those in the brains of the same deer at the time of death,” said the lead author of the study, Erdem Tamguney, PhD, an assistant professor at the Institute for Neurodegenerative Diseases, based at UC. “However, the total number of prions excreted over time was sufficiently high enough to cause disease in deer.” The susceptibility of animals to infection might be increased by the simultaneous ingestion of clay soil, which is thought to enhance the infectivity of prions, possibly by slowing their clearance from the gastrointestinal tract. —Staff Report TG

On the Web www.cwd-info.org http://ind.universityofcalifornia.edu/

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OW MANY REALLY BIG SPECKLED TROUT have you ever caught under the birds in the fall? Sure, there are a few out there, but the guys you see bringing in the big ones almost never target fish on the main bay, and are tight-lipped about their hotspots. That is because most of the time, they are targeting shorelines that you motor past chasing little trout under the birds. “It wasn’t until I started doing a lot of hardcore wade-fishing that I really saw the importance of fishing for the big trout along shorelines,” said Sabine Lake guide Capt. Phillip Samuels. Samuels said most anglers take their cues from obvious visual indicators, but should start looking at the slightly obscure: “Big trout don’t like to have to move around too much to feed. They are not nearly as aggressive or forceful as the smaller ones. Even when you are fishing under the birds, the bigger ones are always at the bottom below the little schoolies. Big trout get big because of several factors, but one of them is they inhabit areas with a high concentration of food and a lower concentration of fishermen.” One such area along shorelines is stands of roseau cane, which has an intricate root-

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ing system comparable to a miniature version of mangrove. On high tides, cane stands hold lots of baitfishes, which hide from predators among the roots. Big trout feed along the edges of this cane and quite often go untargeted. When seeking big fish in these areas, be mindful of making parallel casts along the shoreline, tight to the shore. On low tides, especially in the fall, you can see there is some depth under the roots where bait

by Chester Moore, Jr. hides, and trout feed right in there. People throw out from the shore and sometimes ignore what’s really important—the shore itself. In any bay system, there can be dozens of shoreline sweet spots. “It has often been said that 10 percent of the fishermen catch 90 percent of the fish,” said trout specialist Capt. Shane Chesson. “A lot of it has to do with adherence to fishing little spots no one else targets, and making note of every change in the bottom they see on a GPS or at least a good map. Attention to detail is everything from topography to timing.” Chesson said that during the summer, he A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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and his guide partner, Capt. Brian Fischer, hit shorelines on East Galveston Bay early in the mornings and then back off later in the day: “We like to start along the shore early, working Opening Morning-colored Saltwater Assassins and SkitterWalks. We find that the trout like to hold to shorelines that are close to deeper water in the summer, and as the day wears on, they back off to deeper water.” In terms of what kinds of shoreline to target, Chesson said he prefers those with mixed shell and large concentrations of mullet: “Mullet are very mobile and move around a lot, but there are certain areas like around cuts in the marsh that hold lots of mullet, and therefore usually hold some nice trout. When you start looking at these specific areas, you will notice there are little washed out guts and humps and things formed by the current, which are perfect for giving trout a spot to ambush the mullet.” To take good reds, my favorite method is fishing away from the birds. Instead of ignoring the birds altogether, seek them out and then fish on the outer edge and downcurrent of the surface activity. Start with a heavy, fast sinking bait like a 1-ounce gold spoon, chunking the lure past the schooling action if possible and simply drag it along

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In This Issue

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HOTSPOTS FOCUS: ROCKPORT • Cedar Bayou, Part 1 | BY CAPT. MAC GABLE

GEARING UP SECTION

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HOTSPOTS FOCUS: LOWER COAST • Hoofing It to Lower Laguna Fishing Success | BY CALIXTO GONZALES

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

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HOW-TO SECTION

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COVER STORY • No Birds for Autumn | BY CHESTER MOORE, JR.

HOTSPOTS & TIDES SECTION

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

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HOTSPOTS FOCUS: UPPER COAST • Football or Fish… Fish! | BY CAPT. EDDIE HERNANDEZ

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HOTSPOTS FOCUS: GALVESTON COMPLEX • Common Sense Boats | BY CAPT. MIKE HOLMES

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HOTSPOTS FOCUS: MATAGORDA • White Shrimp Crop Affects Catches | BY BINK GRIMES

the bottom all the way up to the boat. I like using spoons because I can throw them far, and when I use a large one, very few small trout bother with it. If you don’t get hits from reds by dragging the bait slowly, try ripping it through the water as quickly as possible.

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BOWHUNTING TECH • Fallout Shelter | BY LOU MARULLO

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SALTWATER BAITS & RIGS • “Tuna’s Knot” with Spectra Fishing Line | BY PATRICK LEMIRE

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FRESHWATER BAITS & RIGS • Topwater Autumn | BY PAUL BRADSHAW

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TEXAS KAYAKING • Stick It! | BY GREG BERLOCHER

TEXAS BOATING • Fix It or Ditch It? | BY LENNY RUDOW TEXAS GUNS & GEAR • The Best Deer Rifle Ever Made | BY STEVE LAMASCUS

WILDERNESS TRAILS • Catching Tadpoles | BY HERMAN W. BRUNE

A Hoginar, which basically looks like a hunk of useless lead, is another good choice. Use the same pattern for it as you would the spoon. If you are having a problem finding the reds, back off of the trout school a bit and start casting on the downcurrent side of the

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TEXAS TESTED • Pinnacle Scion Select X Reel; DeLORME | BY TF&G STAFF NEW PRODUCTS • What’s New from Top Outdoor Manufacturers | BY TF&G STAFF INDUSTRY INSIDER • Wong Scores Bassmaster Regular Season Win | BY TF&G STAFF SHOOT THIS • Weaver 3-15x42 Super Slam Scope | BY STEVE LAMASCUS TROPHY FEVER • Trophy Gar Adventure | BY TF&G READER FISH THIS • Rescue Tape | BY GREG BERLOCHER NEWS FROM THE COAST • A R-eel Fish Story | BY TF&G STAFF

OUTDOOR LIFESTYLE

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DISCOVER THE OUTDOORS • Classifieds | BY TF&G STAFF TEXAS TASTED • Jalapeno Kiwi Glazed Ham | BY BRYAN SLAVEN PHOTO ALBUM • Your Action Photos | BY TF&G STAFF

school. This is where wounded shrimp and baitfishes will end up and is why reds like to hang with trout schools. Trout are messy eaters, and that works to the reds’ advantage. For anglers who prefer fishing with live bait, chunk a whole crab on a fish-finder (Carolina) rig and drag it along the bottom. I am usually a proponent of using crab with a cracked shell, but in this case use the whole crab (with pinchers removed) and drag it slowly across the bottom as if you were fishing for flounder. While the reds might be feeding on shrimp, they can’t resist a crab, and having the shell on will help avoid strikes by smaller fish. The point here is to catch big reds and avoid any other scavengers that might come along for the ride. There is absolutely nothing wrong with chasing birds and catching a bunch of small trout to accumulate a few keepers. I do it every year and have a good time doing so. However, I get bored with it quickly and turn my attention to methods that will garner trout worthy of the photo album and reds worthy of the grill. The action is not as fast and furious, but the rewards are far richer.


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Deviled Redfish LOCATION: Galveston West Bay HOTSPOT: Alligator Point GPS: N29 10.289, W95 06.879 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Start transitioning to Corky Devil, Catch 2000, slow sinking plugs, mullet imitations; top colors are chartreuse back, Pearl side and pink holograph, pink/Pearl, Texas Chicken CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman, 409-2567937 TIPS: Look for birds working over the spoils. LOCATION: Galveston East Bay HOTSPOT: Big Pasture Bayou GPS: N29 30.322, W94 35.780 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: SkitterWalk topwater baits; 1/8-ounce jighead with Bass Assassin soft plastic baits in Morning Glory or plum/chartreuse

CONTACT: Capt. Robert Liebert, 281799-5728 TIPS: Wade-fishing is better than fishing from a boat during this month. You can sneak up on the fish better. LOCATION: Galveston East Bay HOTSPOT: Big Pasture Bayou GPS: N29 30.322, W94 35.780 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: SkitterWalk topwater baits; 1/8-ounce jighead with Bass Assassin soft plastics in Morning Glory or plum/chartreuse CONTACT: Capt. Robert Liebert, 281799-5728 TIPS: Wade-fishing works better than fishing from a boat. C4

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LOCATION: Galveston West Bay HOTSPOT: Alligator Point GPS: N29 10.289, W95 06.879 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Norton Sand Eel in Glow/chartreuse CONTACT: Capt. Robert Liebert, 281799-5728 TIPS: Look for the bird action. The trout are pushing shrimp to the top at this time of the year. Sand Eel soft plastic baits are tougher and will hold up better after numerous catches. LOCATION: Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: Ferry landing GPS: N29 19.616, W94 46.414 SPECIES: flounder BEST BAITS: Sand Eel in Glow/chartreuse; Bass Assassins in Morning Glory or Plum/chartreuse CONTACT: Capt. Robert Liebert, 281799-5728 TIPS: Don’t forget you can keep only two flounder this time of year. BANK ACCESS: ferry landing on the Galveston Island side LOCATION: West Galveston Bay F i s h

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HOTSPOT: San Luis Pass Flats GPS: N29 05.673, W95 06.880 SPECIES: flounder BEST BAITS: Sand Eel in Glow/chartreuse; Bass Assassins in Morning Glory or plum/chartreuse CONTACT: Capt. Robert Liebert, 281799-5728 TIPS: Crawl the baits slowly along the bottom as you would fish a plastic worm in freshwater. BANK ACCESS: Exit Hwy. 257 before the San Luis Pass bridge from the Galveston Island side LOCATION: West Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: Greens Cut GPS: N29 16.707, W94 59.602 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: B&L Corky in Texas Trout CONTACT: Capt. LG Boyd, 409-7703567 TIPS: Key on birds and mullet. The bay is starting to get very clear at this time of the year. Fish the mud streaks. LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Garrison Ridge GPS: N29 48.811, W93 52.002


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BEST BAITS: topwaters and Corkies SPECIES: trout CONTACT: Capt. Steve Davis, 409-4601220 TIPS: Wade-fish from dawn through morning. LOCATION: West Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: Confederate Reef GPS: N29 16.195, W94 56.974 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: B&L Corky in Texas Trout color CONTACT: Capt. LG Boyd, 409-7703567 TIPS: Key on birds and mullet. The bay is starting to get real clear at this time of the year. Fish the mud streaks. LOCATION: Trinity Bay HOTSPOT: Jacks Pocket GPS: N29 45.766, W94 47.642 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: B&L Corky in Texas Trout color CONTACT: Capt. LG Boyd, 409-7703567 TIPS: Key on slicks, birds, and mullet.

Trout on a Tripod LOCATION: East Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Tripod Area

GPS: N28 40.518, W95 53.054 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: 1/4-ounce leadhead, Norton Limetreuse baits; switch to pink if the water is off color; topwaters in Bone or Clam colors CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281450-4037 TIPS: Birds should be working “full blast.” Get upwind and drift into where they are. Sometimes throwing a topwater bait under bird action will result in some bettersized fish. LOCATION: Colorado River HOTSPOT: Selkirk Island south C6

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GPS: N28 41.758, W95 58.676 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: 3/8-ounce leadhead with Hogie double tail Lime colored baits CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281450-4037 TIPS: Plug the west bank while drift-fishing. The west side is the deeper side and it has a shelf extending from the bank. LOCATION: Aransas Bay HOTSPOT: Natural gas wells GPS: N28 02.124, W97 00.194 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live pin perch and mud minnows, free lined with a 1/8-ounce slip sinker on a shock leader CONTACT: Capt. Marvin Engle, 361-6680104 TIPS: It has to be a calm day to effectively anchor and fish the wells. Anchor about 80 feet out from the wells and cast up on the shell pads. LOCATION: Copano Bay HOTSPOT: Reefs GPS: N28 08.123, W97 01.986 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: soft plastics, brighter colors on sunny days and dark colors on cloudy days CONTACT: Capt. Paul Braly, 361-9496795 TIPS: Target the reefs on the eastern shoreline, both wade-fishing and fishing from the boat. LOCATION: Rockport-Fulton HOTSPOT: Allyn’s Lake GPS: N27 58.740, W96 59.047 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: soft plastics; brighter colors on sunny days and dark colors on cloudy days CONTACT: Capt. Paul Braly, 361-9496795 TIPS: Wade fishing can produce some big redfish on the right days LOCATION: Mesquite Bay HOTSPOT: Little Bray’s Cove GPS: N28.14.67, W96 84.53 SPECIES: trout BEST BAITS: soft plastics; chartreuse Devil Eye on sunny days and plum Devil Eye on F i s h

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cloudy days; yellow bellied topwater baits for trout CONTACT: Capt. Paul Braly, 361-9496795 TIPS: Fish from the boat; topwaters work early for trout. LOCATION: Mesquite Bay HOTSPOT: Little Bray’s Cove GPS: N28.14.67, W96 84.53 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: soft plastics; chartreuse Devil Eye on sunny days and plum Devil Eye on cloudy days; yellow bellied topwater baits for trout CONTACT: Capt. Paul Braly, 361-9496795 TIPS: Fish from the boat; topwaters work early for trout. LOCATION: West Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Greens GPS: N28 29.887, W96 14.202 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Darker baits work good or weedless gold spoons in a 1/4-ounce CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281450-4037 TIPS: Wade-fish for best results. Work inside the grass beds with topwaters lures. LOCATION: East Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: North shoreline GPS: N28 43.502, W95 52.065 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: 1/4-ounce leadhead, Norton Limetreuse baits; switch to pink if the water is off color CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281450-4037 TIPS: Throw it out and immediately start working it. The water is only about five feet deep. Usually the fish are up in the water column pushing the shrimp to the top. LOCATION: East Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Bird Island GPS: N28 43.931, W96 45.862 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: topwaters in Bone or Clam colors; on a bright day, a chrome/blue bait works


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CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz TIPS: Wade-fish the edges of the island. LOCATION: Matagorda HOTSPOT: LCRA Pier GPS: N28 35.666, W95 59.000 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: live shrimp or finger mullet CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281450-4037 TIPS: You might catch a few flounder, but most of the fish have probably moved out into the Gulf by this time of the year. BANK ACCESS: Follow FM 2031 to the beach.

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with a live shrimp is deadly, but you might want to switch over to a float of some kind if the bite is very light. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: South Bay GPS: N26 2.421, W97 10.476 SPECIES: snook BEST BAITS: live shiner, live shrimp; topwaters in Bone, natural mullet CONTACT: Captain Ruben Garcia, 956459-3286 TIPS: snook will still be lurking up near the mangroves until the first big cold snap of the year. Topwaters worked near the trees will draw some fierce strikes. Natural baits are good when fish are in neutral moods late in the day, or on a low tide. A trick slowly making its way from Florida is feeding a couple of “freebies” to linesiders to get them into the mood. Don’t use too many; you want to tempt them, not stuff them. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Cullen Channel GPS: N26 15.775, W97 17.273 SPECIES: speckled trout

BEST BAITS: live Shrimp, live finger mullet, Gulp! Shad, Shrimp, jerkbaits CONTACT: Captain Ruben Garcia, 956459-3286 TIPS: When tides are low, speckled trout stack up in the deeper water provided by the access channel to back bays such as Cullen. The smartest choice is to fish the downcurrent side of the channel and flip a fly-lined shrimp or mullet on a 2/0 hook into the current eddies. The bait will drift past a trout that is waiting in ambush. Scented artificials such as Gulp! or Fish Bites’ new tails can be fished weightless or on the lightest jighead you can find. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Cullen Channel GPS: N26 15.775, W97 17.273 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: topwaters early in Bone, chrome/blue; Gulp! Jerkshad in Camo, chartreuse; live shrimp/popping cork CONTACT: Captain Ruben Garcia, 956459-3286 TIPS: When tides are normal, usually on either side of the full moon, redfish will

GPS: N26 2.860, W97 12.430 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: live shrimp, finger mullet, ballyhoo; topwaters in blue/chrome, Bone; soft plastics in red/white, Mullet; DOA tandems CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez, 956551-9581 TIPS: The island that forms the split in the “Y” is lined with small drains among the mangroves. Fish these little cuts into the shoreline on an outgoing tide to for redfish and big trout are waiting for baitfish or shrimp that are pushed out of the shallows. On a high tide, fish tighter to the mangroves with bait. Shrimp always work, but baitfishes are less apt to fall victim to bait stealers. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: The “Y” GPS: N26 2.860, W97 12.430 SPECIES: sheepshead BEST BAITS: live shrimp CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez, 956551-9581 TIPS: If the redfish aren’t cooperating, try fishing the drop-offs and riprap around the Y for chunky sheepshead. These fish hold in good numbers around the drop-offs as weather begins to cool off. A free-line rig A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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roam the flats surrounding the old Drum Boat on the high tide. Topwaters are very popular early in the morning. Live shrimp or Gulp! tails are also viable options. It could pay off to rig a 2-inch Gulp! Crab on a weightless rig to toss to rooting red drum on spec. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Primero Island GPS: N26 16.470, W97 16.50 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: topwaters, soft plastics in Pearl/chartreuse; live shrimp/popping cork; gold spoons CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez, 956551-9581 TIPS: Look east of Primero to find pods of red cruising the flats and speckled trout lying in potholes amidst the grass. A low tide will show redfish tails and concentrate trout along the grassy edges of sand holes. Topwaters are good early. Flutter a gold spoon over potholes or in front of water disturbed by prowling redfish. The water can be very clear, so wear your Polaroids and keep a sharp eye. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: North Jetty

GPS: N26 30.913, W97 24.787 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: topwaters in Bone, natural patterns; cut mullet, live shrimp CONTACT: Quick Stop, 956-943-1159 TIPS: Redfish are still present along the jetties, especially on the surf side. Bait can be fished in the guts on fish-finder rigs, or near the rocks under a cork are good choices. A topwater on a calmer day is also a very good choice. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre @ Port Mansfield. HOTSPOT: Targets Shoreline GPS: N26 30.913, W97 24.787 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: topwaters in Bone, natural patterns CONTACT: Captain Terry Neal, 956-9442556, www.terrynealcharters.com TIPS: Topwaters should be worked close and parallel to the shoreline at a moderate pace early, early in the morning. Watch for nervous bait and cast in their vicinity. If a fish misses the strike, fish the same area to see if he’ll come back. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre @ Port Mansfield.

HOTSPOT: Targets Shoreline GPS: N26 30.913, W97 24.787 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: topwaters in Bone, natural patterns CONTACT: Captain Terry Neal, 956-9442556, www.terrynealcharters.com TIPS: Topwaters should be worked close and parallel to the shoreline at a moderate pace early in the morning. Watch for nervous bait and cast in its vicinity. If a fish misses the strike, fish the same area to see if it’ll come back. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre @ Port Mansfield HOTSPOT: Big Oak Mott GPS: N26 41.965, W97 24.160 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: gold spoons; topwaters in Bone CONTACT: Captain Terry Neal, 956-9442556, www.terrynealcharters.com TIPS: Fish with a topwater or gold spoon close to the shoreline inside the small point to find cruising redfish. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre @ Port Mansfield HOTSPOT: Big Oak Mott GPS: N26 41.965, W97 24.160 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: gold spoons; topwaters in Bone; plastics in Bone/Diamond, Bone/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Terry Neal, 956-9442556, www.terrynealcharters.com TIPS: Fish with a topwater or gold spoon close to the shoreline inside the small point to find cruising trout. Back up into deeper water (3-4 feet) for more trout, and switch over to a plastic tail. Topwaters might still work in the deeper water. Trout will come up from the depths to hit a noisy one. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre @ Port Mansfield HOTSPOT: East of Marker 147 GPS: N26 32.620, W97 24.160 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: gold spoons; eel-style soft plastics in Texas Shad, New Penny

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CONTACT: Captain Terry Neal, 956-9442556, www.terrynealcharters.com TIPS: Schools of redfish cruise along the drop-off from the flats to deeper water. The most popular technique is to flutter a gold weedless spoon in front of them. Soft plastics in darker colors are also effective. Keep your rod tip up to best control the lure as it passes by the school. LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Rivera Channel GPS: N27 17.395, W97 39.476 SPECIES: black drum BEST BAITS: live shrimp CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089, 361-449-7441, brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: Black drum are still a popular fallback species in November, and the fishing only gets better as cold fronts start oozing down into Texas. Live shrimp is the standard, but if that gets hard to find late in the season, fresh dead shrimp or crab chunks work just as well. There are plenty of eatingsized puppy drum, but some old boys pushing 30 pounds are caught and released every year. LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Los Corrales GPS: N27 16.413, W97 29.941 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live bait; soft plastics in

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Plum/chartreuse, Pumpkinseed/chartreuse, Baffin Magic on 1/8-ounce jighead and torpedo float; topwaters CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089, 361-449-7441, brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: You will find speckled trout in the deeper water. Match up a 1/8-ounce jighead with a dark-colored soft plastic and fish the rig slowly. If the fish seem to want an even slower presentation, fish the jig underneath an Old Bayside Paradise Popper float. The added dimension of sound that the float provides doesn’t hurt, either. LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Starvation Point GPS: N27 16.908, W97 32.604 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: suspending lures; topwaters in Smoke, Natural Mullet; Bass Assassins in Firetiger, Needle Gar, chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089, 361-449-7441, brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: trout should be more aggressive with the cooler temperatures. Suspending lures such as a Catch 5 or Catch 200-Series III should be work slower than slow, and then slower than that. Eel-imitating soft plastics on a 1/8-ounce jighead is also effective. Dark patterns are always good. LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Rocky Slough

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GPS: N27 10.512, W97 26.274 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: topwaters early; soft plastics in dark colors CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089, 361-449-7441, brushcountrycharters.com

TIPS: redfish will move in and out of Rocky Slough with the tide and patrolling for bait. Work topwaters such as a Top Dog or Super Spook, Jr. in the shallows early in the morning. Back off and fish the depth breaks later in the day. Dark colors work best. Again, a jig under a Paradise Popper will slow down your presentation so you can fish the area more thoroughly. LOCATION: Upper Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Emmord’s Hole GPS: N27 30.057, W97 19.546 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live shrimp, pinfish; soft plastics in Tequila Gold, Rootbeer, Rootbeer/gold CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089, 361-449-7441, brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: trout are very aggressive along the grasslines during November’s milder weather. Fish live bait under a Paradise Popper and fished along the grasslines. Set your leader so that the bait settles just above the grass top (18 to 20 inches). If you want to save a little cash, you can switch out the bait with a soft plastic on a 1/8 or 1/4-ounce jighead. LOCATION: Upper Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: JFK Causeway GPS: N27 38.052, W97 14.773 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live bait; Gulp! baits/Paradise Popper; topwaters CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089, 361-449-7441, brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: Use live bait or Gulp! tails under a Paradise Popper along the shoreline and near structure. Fish in the shallower (3-foot) water early in the morning, and the depth breaks later in the day. The float will help you pick up on lighter bites. You can eschew the float and bounce the bait along the bottom if the trout are holder tight to the bottom. LOCATION: Upper Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Crash Channels GPS: N27 38.562, W97 17.620 SPECIES: redfish

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BEST BAITS: live bait; soft plastics in Tequila Gold CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089, 361-449-7441, brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: Fish a controlled drift or with a trolling motor down the crash channels. Fish live bait with a 1/4-ounce sinker to fish near and along the bottom. Bounce soft plastics on a 1/4-ounce jighead. Have another plastic rigged on a 1/8-ounce jighead just in case you spot some fish shallow. LOCATION: Upper Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Packery Channel GPS: N27 37.303, W97 12.877 SPECIES: black drum BEST BAITS: live shrimp, fresh shrimp CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089, 361-449-7441, brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: Large schools of drum are migrating through the Packery beginning in November. Drift-fish with live shrimp under a Paradise Popper, or you can also work the bottom with fresh shrimp on a fish-finder rig. If you are practicing the latter, use the largest shrimp you can find. You could run into some really good fish to stretch your line.

Double Willow Bass LOCATION: Toledo Bend South HOTSPOT: Mill Creek

GPS: N31 12.240, W93 38.260 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: 3/8-ounce double willow leaf spinnerbaits in white/chartreuse skirts with one gold and one nickel blade; 1/2-ounce jigging spoons, 1/2-ounce football head jigs; light Texas-rigged 7-inch worms with 1/8ounce to 3/16-ounce weights; 10-inch worms with 1/2-ounce weights; shad; Firetiger colored mid- and deep-diving crankbaits


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CONTACT: Joe Joslin, 337-463-3848, www.joejoslinoutdoors.com TIPS: At dawn, work double willow leaf spinnerbaits around grassy (hydrilla) points and ridges, trying different retrieval speeds. A Texas rig with 7- to 10-inch plastics in 10 to 15 feet plus a weightless Texas-rigged cigar plastic can also be deadly when worked slowly over shallow grass. Work crankbaits and football jigs on points in 10 to 25 feet of water. Vertically fish jigging spoons in 25 to 40 feet of water on edges of rivers and creeks as well as on deep points. BANK ACCESS: below generators, catfish and striped bass; fishing is best when generators are running; call 337-286-5244 for prerecorded generator schedule. LOCATION: Toledo Bend North HOTSPOT: Main Lake River Channel GPS: N31 44.835, W93 50.109 SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: live bait (shiners), artificial jigs CONTACT: Greg Crafts, 936-368-7151, www.toledobendguide.com TIPS: As water temperatures fall, baitfish-

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es move into deeper water. On Toledo Bends’ north end, this means baitfish will move to ledges and drops along the main lake river channel. The key to locating and catching crappie is finding natural brush, or to drop your own brush piles, along the channel shelf on points and natural bends in the river. BANK ACCESS: public parks and marinas, crappie on live minnows, catfish on cut bait and liver LOCATION: Sam Rayburn Reservoir HOTSPOT: Coleman Creek GPS: N31 08.640, W94 09.780 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Nichols spinnerbaits, Texasrigged Baby Brush Hogs CONTACT: Don Mattern, Sr., 903-4782633, www.matternguideservice.fghp.com TIPS: Shad should now be moving into creek arms as water and air temperatures cool during late fall. Concentrations of bass will follow schools of migrating shad into the Coleman Creek arm as they fatten up for winter. When entering the creek arm, work a Nichols blue shad spinnerbait long the

edges of the peppergrass and Hydrilla to find aggressive fish. To pick up less aggressive fish, re-work the peppergrass with a Texas-rigged baby brush hog, but with a slower presentation. Flip your hog through and along the edges of the grass and get ready for strikes. BANK ACCESS: public boat ramps, largemouth on artificials, catfish on cut bait, liver, or stinkbait

Largemouth Puppies LOCATION: Lake Medina

HOTSPOT: Church Cove GPS: N29 33.385 W98 57.468 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Shad colored topwater poppers and Zara Puppies; 1/2-ounce white or chartreuse spinnerbaits with matching paint-


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ed willow blades; Shad and chartreuse colored crankbaits that dive to 10 feet; 1/4ounce chrome Rat-L-Traps; dark colored soft plastics CONTACT: Dave Burlington, 210-8339417, www.bassindave.com TIPS: bass are very active around balls of baitfish in creeks and flats in 4 to 10 feet of water, and you can now catch fish on topwaters all day long, but crankbaits are your lures of choice during this time. Focus on dock corners, standing timber and big rocks as bass use this cover for ambush points. Fish your baits just under balls of shad you see in open water away from the bank as bass will school under these balls. When action slows, or in tough weather conditions, throw soft plastics as a change up to faster moving baits, letting them free fall through the baitfish to catch bass suspended underneath. BANK ACCESS: Bandera County Park, crappie on live minnows and crappie jigs. LOCATION: Lake Dunlap HOTSPOT: Upper Lake Islands GPS: N29 41.153, W98 05.275 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Shad colored topwater poppers; brown SPRO frogs; 1/2-ounce black buzzbaits; 3/8-ounce white spinnerbaits with white painted blades; shallow chartreuse crankbaits; Texas-rigged Green Pumpkin tubes; Brush Hogs with 1/4ounce weights CONTACT: Dave Burlington, 210-8339417, www.bassindave.com TIPS: Look for bass to feed heavily around docks and remaining heavy cover on islands and flats, starting with topwater lures and spinnerbaits. If fish aren’t biting, switch to soft plastics and fish them slowly through thicker cover. In more open water around docks and cypress stumps, fish crankbaits, running them through the cover and across the bottom as much as possible. The erratic action of your lure deflecting off the cover will trigger numerous strikes. BANK ACCESS: I-35 bridge public boat ramp and park, bass on crankbaits and soft plastics

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LOCATION: Lake Travis HOTSPOT: Resort Ranch GPS: N30 25.565, W98 03.227 SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: pink/white, chartreuse crappie jigs; live minnows CONTACT: Dave Burlington, 210-8339417, www.bassindave.com TIPS: Locate brush piles in 12 to 20 feet of water along creek channels and ledges off of flats, bluff walls, and under docks. Vertically jig brush piles while looking for fish with electronics. Crappie feed most aggressively at their suspended depth or slightly above, so present baits accordingly. Bites should come quickly so don’t hesitate to move on to the next brush pile if the action is slow. BANK ACCESS: Mansfield Dam, bass on soft plastics

Birdy Stripers

and smallmouth bass on plastic worms, catfish on stinkbait and liver. LOCATION: Lake Meredith HOTSPOT: Rattlesnake Island GPS: N35 42.245, W101 33.199 SPECIES: walleye BEST BAITS: lead slabs tipped with small earthworm pieces CONTACT: Mel Phillips, 806-353-3654, fishman@suddenlink.com TIPS: With the lowest lake levels in history, walleye are ganging up along the old Canadian River creek channel that winds past Rattlesnake Island. Drop a 1-ounce lead slab with sharp hooks tipped with a 1/2-inch piece of earthworm. Hold bait still as possible as jerking action turns off prewinter walleye. Allow slabs to reach bottom and then reel in two cranks. Twenty-pound braid works best. When your line begins to feel heavy or light, set the hook. Keep what you can eat and release the big boys. BANK ACCESS: main ramp at the marina, catfish on stinkbait, cut bait and chicken or turkey livers

LOCATION: Possum Kingdom Lake

HOTSPOT: Bird Island GPS: N32 56.095, W98 26.369 SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: live shad; topwaters in Shad colors, crankbaits in white and chartreuse of varying depths, slabs and jigs in chrome and chartreuse CONTACT: Dean Heffner, 940-329-0036, fav7734@aceweb.com TIPS: Fish continue to follow migrating shad as they move toward warmer water. Concentrate on flats 600 to 800 yards west of Bird Island, watching for birds to give away locations of shad balls and schooling stripers that are sure to follow. Stripers will be found under birds and running breaklines in depths of 20 to 30 feet. These breaklines are literally striper highways. Work these areas with live bait or slabs and jigs. You should find many sand bass mixed in with stripers as a bonus. Be sure to fish in advance of cold fronts for peak action. BANK ACCESS: North D&D, largemouth

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Grubbing for Granbury Bass LOCATION: Lake Granbury HOTSPOT: River Bend Ledge

GPS: N32 24.125, W97 41.231 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: grubs, drop-shot plastic worms CONTACT: Wendell Ramsey, 325-2274931, bram4@suddenlink.net TIPS: This area heats up in November and Smoke colored grubs on 1/4-ounce jigheads will bring action as you bounce them along sloping rocky structure. Avoid slack line when baits fall, as bites can sometimes be light. Drop-shotting a Watermelon red Yum Dinger worm will work well, too. Shake the bait for a couple of seconds and let it sit; then move it a couple times and


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repeat. This technique works best if you are patient. Once you get a bite, you might catch several from the same spot. BANK ACCESS: Fishing is good from any of the lake’s five public parks. For information, call the Brazos River Authority at 817-573-3212. LOCATION: Richland-Chambers HOTSPOT: Pond Creek GPS: N31 57’46”, W96 20’41” SPECIES: black bass BEST BAITS: white and blue medium diving crankbait CONTACT: Steve Schmidt, 682-518-8252, 817-929-0675, email: steve@schmidtsbigbass.com TIPS: A crankbait always works well off the riprap. There are a series of ditches that hold fish in this area. Once you have worked the riprap, work the other bank and you will see all the bull rushes on the bank. If the lake is down, they could be out of water. Work the shallow edge, because as you work your bait it will fall off into deep water. LOCATION: Gibbons Creek Reservoir HOTSPOT: Intake Channel GPS: N 30 37.021, W96 04.331 SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: shad, chicken liver, stinkbait CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, www.FishTalesGuideService.com, 979-229-3103 TIPS: Water is starting to cool and there is deep water near shallow water here. Current from the intake creates water movement that catfish like. As always, chumming in the area helps, using either soured grain or range cubes. Allow chum about fifteen minutes to start attracting fish. Anchor near stumps and trees on left side of intake in about four to twelve feet of water. Carolina rig baits with 3/4 to one ounce egg weights and 1/0 Kahle hooks for shad. Use number four trebles for other bait. BANK ACCESS: shoreline at east of dam, next to swimming area

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Toss out a buoy and chum around it. Anchor as close to the buoy as possible and fish straight down with a tight line starting close to the bottom and working away from the bottom until you find the depth of the bite. Your rod tip might life or the line will move sideways when you get a bite. Do not wait for a hard jerk before setting hook. BANK ACCESS: bank on left side of Park Prairie boat ramp LOCATION: Lake Whitney HOTSPOT: Big Rocky Creek GPS: N31 52.795, W97 23.682 SPECIES: stripers BEST BAITS: chartreuse Wild Eyed shad, 4-inch CONTACT: Randy Routh, 817-822-5539 TIPS: make long casts behind the boats, use trolling motor, and run on medium speed dragging the baits behind you. The colder water is pushing the shad from the creeks and the stripers are schooling at the mouths. Pull the baits in and out of creeks at the mouth until schools are located.

GPS: N29 34.239, W101 14.321 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Rat-L Traps, jerkbaits CONTACT: Wendell Ramsey, 325-2274931, bram4@suddenlink.net TIPS: As the weather cools the fishing heats up on this southwest Texas fishery. Bass are hungry and will attack hard baits such as gold with black-backed 1/2-ounce Rat-L Traps and jerkbaits such as the Rattlin’ Rouge of the same color. Drop the trolling motor and work from points back into pockets from mile marker 21 to 25, and work your baits around bush edges. If your bait gets in a bush, rip it out with a quick snap of the rod and see if a mean old bass tries to take it away from you! BANK ACCESS: Diablo East Park or Black Brush area; contact the National Parks Service at 830-775-7491 for more information.

Email: Calixto: cgonzales@fishgame.com

Jerk & Trap Largemouths

Kyle: ktomek@fishgame.com Tripp: tholmgrain@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Lake Amistad HOTSPOT: Rock Points

Tom: tbehrens@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Fayette County Lake HOTSPOT: Cedar Creek Bridge Pilings GPS: N29 56.450, W96 44.560 SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: dip- or punchbait, worms, cut shad CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, www.FishTalesGuideService.com, 979-229-3103 TIPS: The water is almost 40 feet deep. A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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Football or Fish…Fish! ISHING SABINE LAKE IN NOVEMBER MEANS you are experiencing the tail end of some of the best fall action the state has to offer. For the most part, November is like an extension of October’s fast and furious bird chasing. Running and gunning is what we’ve been doing mostly, and the birds, shrimp, and fish have not let us down. This should continue until at least mid December. With the cold fronts becoming more frequent and intense, however, timing is as crucial as ever if you are going to be successful. You may as well stay home and watch football while a front is moving through. Once it calms down, it is a different story altogether. That’s when I set the DVR for those “can’t

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miss” games and catch them after I’m through cleaning fish. One of the best things about fishing in November is that the lake is a lot less crowded. Most of the fishermen are also hunters and therefore out in the field chasing whitetails and mallard. I can’t say I blame them, because when I’m not on the water, that’s exactly where you can find me, too. It is a welcomed change, though, to be able to work the birds without all the competition. We’re catching our better trout on darker colored soft plastics. Red Shad and Morning Glory paddle-tailed Assassins worked fairly deep are doing well on the larger trout. They’ve also been working well on some nice reds. Another red killer for us lately has been the Hoginar. You really don’t have much choice but to work them a little deeper, as they sink very fast. The north end and whole main body of Sabine Lake doesn’t get over 8 feet deep, so it doesn’t take long for these to get to the bottom. Pop it a couple of times, reel in the slack, and be ready

THE BANK BITE LOCATION: Twin Lakes, Hwy 87 near Bridge City SPECIES: flounder, trout, redfish BAIT: mud minnows, live finger mullet, cut bait, fresh dead shrimp BEST TIMES: incoming tide to hang on tight. Make sure your drag is set properly because these redfish will definitely put it to the test. Black with chartreuse and Bone colored SkitterWalks and She-Dogs should also produce some nice fish. It’s not everyday that you can sit on a school of fish with flocks of geese flying overhead and shotguns roaring in the distance like thunder. If you’re looking for some serious flounder action, you should have no problem finding it at the mouths of Willow and Bridge Bayous. Tidal movement is very important, with a strong outgoing tide early in the morning or late afternoon producing a more consistent bite. The ship channel shoreline between the LNG plant and Lighthouse Cove is also a great spot for intercepting these flatfish as they make their way to the Gulf. The best baits are glow curl tail grubs tipped with fresh shrimp, and live mud minnows. Keep in mind the new flounder regs took effect 1 September and the daily bag limit went from 10 to 5 fish. The daily bag limit for the month of November is two fish.

Contact: Eddie Hernandez, ehernandez@fishgame.com

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Common Sense Boats STOP ON A REDFISH TOURNAMENT SERIES IN early summer was moved to Freeport, after the original location of Matagorda was disrupted by work on the Colorado River locks. Freeport has some fine inshore fishing, but since it is not located on a major bay system, it offers challenges to such a contest that would not be found in Matagorda. The Old Brazos jetties, the New Brazos River, any of several small lakes off the ICW, and Oyster Creek all offer good redfish potential to those who know the area and pay close attention to weather and water conditions. Undoubtedly, a number of contestants made the longer run to Christmas Bay, San Luis Pass, and West Galveston Bay. The winning team admitted to running

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THE BANK BITE LOCATION: Christmas Bay area shorelines, accessible from “Bluewater Highway” ALTERNATE SPOT: Public piers on Bastrop and Chocolate Bayous, Oyster Creek SPECIES: redfish, speckled trout, flounder, panfishes BEST BAITS: live shrimp, finger mullet, mud minnows, fresh dead bait; in the bay shallows, gold spoons, topwaters, soft plastics BEST TIMES: Even with summer temperatures hopefully gone, early and late are the best daytime periods, especially when coinciding with tidal movement. Night fishing on the lighted piers on a good tide can be very productive.

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as far as Galveston. The reason such long runs are possible is because boats used in this type of competition (especially the sponsored boats) typically stretch over 20 feet in length and are powered by outboards of 250 hp or more. I am not a fan of inshore tournaments, as I feel they put an undue strain on the bay system and pretty much all the species in them. All those large boats and powerful engines racing around all day cannot be good for the bays; think underwater exhaust, for starters. In any fishing tournament, however, it would seem much of the challenge would be fishing new areas, not launching in Freeport and running 100 miles to your “home” waters and back. To expand my concept into everyday fishing in the Galveston area, most good fishing areas can be reached in smaller, more fuel efficient boats that are much more economical to purchase, insure, store, and trailer. As a child, I remember an uncle who fished the Galveston Bays quite often and didn’t even own a boat. He did have a small outboard, and would rent a skiff from one of the bait camps. Other fishermen simply rowed the rentals, or also rented the outboard. When the first shallow water “scooters” were developed, they used small outboards because they were designed to go slowly in only inches of water. Today’s shallow-water boat is much larger and will fly across shallow flats.

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

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White Shrimp Crop Affects Catches T’S A TOUGH CHOICE FOR GUYS LIKE ME: FISH OR hunt ducks. Where I come from, that’s a serious dilemma. Duck season lasts only 74 days, but November fishing in East Matagorda Bay is arguably the best month of the year. Most of the time, I compromise and hunt ducks in the morning and fish the afternoon. In fact, that has been my Thanksgiving Day plan for the past six years. Picking and hovering gulls point the way

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this time of year, but the severe drought could put a damper on “working the birds” this fall. White shrimp determine how successful autumn fishing can be, and salinity levels usually determine the fate of white shrimp. “Whities” grow in the marsh during the spring, with optimal brine levels around 15 ppt (parts per thousand). White shrimp do not mature and grow in high salt contents like a brown shrimp, so in periods of drought, like the past two years, white shrimp crops have been below average. Hence, there have been fewer birds to work. October was once the month to work the birds, but changing weather patterns over the past five years seem to have pushed that pattern back to November. “Things seem to be later and later every year,” said guide Bobby Gardner of Matagorda. “It has been hot the last few years in October, and we haven’t been getting the first cold front of the year until November, so fall fishing has been late.” The first few cold fronts of the year have significance. Swelling October tides push

THE BANK BITE LOCATION: Oyster Lake Bridge SPECIES: redfish, black drum, speckled trout BAITS: Live shrimp TIPS: Falling tides force shrimp and redfish out of the back lake, where they funnel under the bridge en route to the bay. water to the back reaches of the marsh, where shrimp stage before starting their trek to the Gulf of Mexico. Not until a blast of cold wind hits the coast do tides fall and shrimp begin descending out of the marsh. “While most folks are working the birds, the mid-bay reefs are left alone,” said guide Bill Pustejovsky. “Few people wade during November, but there are some great fish to be caught on the shell. Big trout hang on those reefs and eat topwaters, especially when we have a good shrimp crop.” The same conditions determine the shrimp crop in San Antonio Bay. Though not noted for its propensity to yield limits of trout under picking birds, probably due to its remote location near Seadrift, waders score heavy trout by reef-hopping. “The tips of the reefs are where most of the trout hang,” said guide Chris Martin of Bay Flats Lodge in Seadrift. “Most of the reefs have drop-offs from years and years of oyster dredging, and the trout like to work the edge of the shell and the mud.” Martin said San Antonio Bay has too many reefs to count, many not noted on maps. “If fish are not on one piece of shell, go to the next, then the next. Be persistent and you will find the fish. Sometimes, I hit the right reef and I never have to leave,” said Martin. Martin’s lodge also doubles as a duck camp during the fall and winter, so you can imagine his dilemma as well.

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Cedar Bayou, Part 1 HE ISSUE HAS BEEN DEBATED EVEN BEFORE my time. It can put best of friends at odds with each other, and I have seen game wardens and wildlife and fisheries biologists argue until their throats were soar. For some, it is a no-brainer; for others, it elicits caution. What is Cedar Bayou and where exactly is it? What makes it such a controversial and hot topic? Cedar Bayou is a natural fish pass located on the south end of Mesquite Bay, about 18 miles northeast of the Port Aransas Jetties. It divides Matagorda Island from San Jose Island. The pass or bayou has opened and closed over the years due to storms and manmade obstacles. It’s a neat place to fish when the wind is bad and the fishing is good—if the pass is open into the Gulf of Mexico—from outside or inside the bayou. Herein lies the issue known as “Save Cedar Bayou.”

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The pass is currently sanded in with no fresh Gulf water passing into Mesquite Bay. Many believe it should be opened and maintained as such. Others have reserves about a permanent opening and its impact to surrounding bays and estuaries. Of late, the Bayou has been stopped up like a cork in a bottle. From a cause and effect perspective, how did this happen and who, if anyone, is to blame? We need to go back to 1979 and 600 miles out into the Gulf of Mexico to Bahia De Campeche (Campeche Bay) and a semi-submersible oil platform known as IXTOC I, owned by PEMEX Oil, a Mexico-based oil company. On 6-3-1979, a loss of drilling mud circulation caused a blowout that would begin the changes that we have seen to Cedar Bayou: 3,522,400 barrels of Type 3 crude oil gushed into the Gulf. The slick was 60 miles wide and 70 miles long in a 300-500 feet deep patch. The spill continued from 3 June 1979 until 23 August 1980. The platform caught fire and imploded down onto the wellhead, making remediation almost impossible. Experts from across the world were brought in to cap this monster, including Martech International (i.e. Red Adair). Their efforts were only partially successful, with oil continuing to spill at a rate of 10,000 to 30,000 barrels a day. The north prevailing wind was pushing

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THE BANK BITE Wade the north shoreline of Copano (north end of LBJ causeway) using sand eels in Morning Glory and Rootbeer colors. The key here is to wade out far enough to fish what’s left of the grass line. There are sand pockets with grass, so be careful to cast into sand and work the lure as close as you can to the grass. this behemoth of a slick on a head-on collision with the Texas coast. PEMEX contracted with Conair to spray the chemical dispersant COREXIT 9527 to help contain the slick. Field-testing of this chemical was not started until September 1978 via the EPA, which did not include impacts to birds, mammals, or reptiles. Further testing showed that toxicity rapidly increased following the biologically destructive use of these dispersants. Four hundred ninety-three aerial missions were flown using COREXIT to treat the slick. Coastal counter measures protecting the bays were initiated, with barrier islands ranking second to protecting bay inlets. In July and August, sand was used to seal the mouth of Cedar Bayou and Vincent Slough. Most of South Padre was covered in a film of oil. A September storm dispersed most of the oil. That, coupled with oil booms, resulted in what was considered “minor” impacts to our estuaries. In August 1980, the well was finally capped, 14 months after the blowout. More than 1400 birds were affected and treated for oil contamination. They included but were not limited to royal turns, blue-faced bobbies, sanderlings, willets, piping plovers, black-bellied plovers, snowy plovers, great blue herons, black-crowned night herons, noddy turns, cattle egrets, and snowy egrets. Ten thousand cubic yards of contaminat-


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ed sand was removed. Fishing in the area of Cedar Bayou was impacted for years. I observed dead trout, bull reds, flounder, shark, whiting, croaker, menhaden, and mullet. Tourism dropped by 60 percent, driving some out of business. The spill was a horrifically unique situation from an international, coordination, cleanup, and ownership perspective. Mexico denied financial responsibility for damages incurred and refused to help pay for cleanup expenses—yet reaped rewards in oil royalties. What happened to Cedar Bayou? We sealed it to protect our bays from foreign oil. Who owns the moral responsibility to fix Cedar Bayou? PEMEX oil, the fifth largest exporter of oil in the world. We in the Rockport area might argue about what to do about Cedar Bayou, but let’s be very clear on where the Cedar Bayou issue really came from. PEMEX bigwigs have to be laughing their elbows off at us as we battle for our own government monies to fix something the foreign oil giant started. My son is a wildlife and fisheries biologist and did his masters thesis on Mesquite Bay, which Cedar Bayou feeds. He spent a lot of time monitoring this bay, and that included Cedar Bayou. Stay tuned for Part II in next month’s issue.

Page C21

MESQUITE BAY: Rattlesnake point throwing an Electric Grape bass assassin will produce trout. Keep your rod tip at about 10 o’clock, as this area has a lot of shell. If you can find live shrimp, fish the east shoreline using a silent cork for reds and trout. AYRES BAY: This bay is best fished midday as the water temp heats up. Use Saltwater Assassin Sea Shad on the backside of Ayres Reef. Mud minnows fished on the shallow shell will produce reds and trout. Let the bait do the work and resist the temptation to

reel in as the bait works. The west shoreline will have some flounder. Use a white grub on a 1/16-ounce jighead; reel slowly, bumping the bottom.

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

COPANO BAY: Use live shrimp free-lined on an incoming tide at Shell Bank Reef for trout and the occasional red. Bites will be subtle so try not to overreact. Use a clear bubble cork and Berkley Gulp! Crab for reds at the mouth of Mission Bay. Drift in or use a trolling motor if you have one. ST. CHARLES BAY: Some good black drum action using peeled shrimp off of bird point. Use a Spook Jr. in red/white for reds off of Cow Chip; work the lure slowly. ARANSAS BAY: A Rat-L-Trap worked close to Grass Island Reef will produce some nice trout. Use cut bait like mullet or menhaden for reds off of Deadman Island on a Carolina rig. The end closest to the ICW is best on a falling tide. CARLOS BAY: This is drift city on those windy days. Use sand eels in Electric Chicken and dig mud as you work the lure back to the boat. Work the edges of the shell close to Carlos Lake. If no luck, switch to a noisy topwater in Bone and red colors. A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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Hoofing It to Lower Laguna Fishing Success OT EVERYONE OWNS A BOAT. SUNDRY factors such as grocery bills, mortgages, school, and reluctant spouses tend to get in the way of making a big-ticket purchase such as the latest shallowrunning wonder. Though the economy is showing some signs of recovery, and pundits are predicting a turnaround in 2010, a boat is still a prohibitive expense with which many anglers might not want to encumber themselves. Be that as it may, Lower Laguna Madre anglers can still find great fishing without a boat. Some might try the various fishing piers that dot the coast from Padre to Port Mansfield. Port Isabel’s Pirates Fishing Pier (N26 4.4765, W97 12.1938; 956-943-7437),

N

Adolph Thomae Park Pier in Arroyo City (956-748-2044) or Fred Stone Pier in Port Mansfield (N26 34.151, W97 25.778) offer excellent November fishing opportunities for the land-bound angler, especially for night fishing. Nighttime anglers find cooperative species such as croaker (which are growing in size and numbers every year) sand trout, whiting, and gafftop. Black drum ranging from slot-sized puppy drum to big old uglies in that can weigh over 40 pounds and game fish such as speckled trout, redfish, and even snook. Don’t sniff at the idea of trying to catch good fish off these piers; plank walkers have caught some impressive trophies. One Winter Texan who is a regular walks up and down

Pirate’s almost every night in winter with a fly rod and flicks a Clouser under the lights. I have seen him slay some eye-popping trout. An angler can pretty much take his pick of how to fish one of these piers. Some fish live bait underneath the lights with a popping cork or free-line; others throw chunks of cut bait, dead shrimp, crab, or other goodies into the dark to try and find something big. Plenty of anglers have found great success with Glow and Pearl soft plastics, small minnow plugs, topwaters, and-as the afore-mentioned Winter Texan illustrated-flies. Still, some anglers would rather avoid the crowds on the piers and find a good, quiet spot to wade. There are plenty along LLM. One of the most popular bank accessible wading spots on Lower Laguna Madre is the Community Bar in Port Mansfield. Wadefishermen can gain access to the area via Fred Stone Park adjacent to the King Ranch. There is a pedestrian entrance set up on the ranch fence line that allows fishermen to walk along the shoreline for the 3/4 of a mile to the Bar’s general area (that’s just a good stretch of the legs for the average Texan). Over the years, rainfall and floods have created a muddy, boggy ditch that separates the access point from the parking lot. Some resourceful fishermen place pallets and boards across the ditch, but it might be easier to wade in and around the end of the fence line and back onto shore. Then you can hoof the rest of the way on dry land. When you reach Community Bar, you can wade out toward the bar and start fishing. Don’t head straight out into deeper water immediately. It doesn’t hurt to work parallel to the shoreline, especially on a high tide.

THE BANK BITE LOCATION: Isla Blanca Park Surf GPS: N26 8.250, W97 10.090 SPECIES: redfish TIPS: Fish shell areas with live bait or cut bait on a fish-finder rig. C22

• N O V E M B E R

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Redfish and trout will cruise close in during low-light conditions. Work the area with smaller topwaters such as a Zara Spook, Top Dog, or Rattlin’ Chug Bug. Gold spoons such as a 1/4-ounce Johnson Silver Minnow or Nemire Red Ripper are also excellent choices for working the early morning shallows. Between the shoreline and Community Bar is a deep gut that speckled trout use as a migration route up and down Laguna Madre. The wide gut deepens until you are in neck-deep water, which can make a fisherman pretty nervous. It’s easy to spot where the really deep stuff is, though, because local commercial crabbers set their traps at the bottom of the gut, and the white buoys make excellent channel markers. Shrimp worked under a popping cork rig is the top fish producer (Port Mansfield, by the way, is the birthplace of the famous Bob Fuston Mansfield Mauler Float, the prototype for countless other versions that have followed), but many fishermen who would rather avoid lugging a bait bucket switch to a Gulp! Shrimp in Glow or New Penny. Both are very effective under a popping cork or Mauler. A D.O.A. Shrimp sweetened with Carolina Lunker Sauce is an excellent alternative, as are any of the classic patterns produced by Norton Lures or H&H Lures. Make sure your leader is 18-24 inches long, and that your rod is long enough (7 to 7-1/2 feet) to facilitate long casts into the gut. If you prefer eschewing the floats, swimbaits such as the Gulp! Shad or Queen Cocahoe are good choices to fish the gut. The throbbing shad tail puts off plenty of vibration that can get a trout’s attention from a long way away. Fan cast an area, and if you don’t find any fish, move a few feet to your left or right, and keep working the deeper water until you hit paydirt. Some adventurous fishermen are willing to negotiate the deeper water to cross the gut and reach the actual Community Bar. Then they will either fish on top of the grassy top for redfish (with gold spoons again the No. 1 choice), or turn around and fish the edge of the depth break. The latter method is quite popular because it allows you to fish the deeper water with the wind at your back-and there will usually be a stiff breeze pushing off the Gulf of Mexico by the middle of the day. A word of caution: Community Bar’s proximity to Port Mansfield means it experiences heavy boat traffic, especially on the

Page C23

weekends. For the most part, boaters are considerate enough to give the area wide berth. Some aren’t. Keep a sharp eye and you will be fine.

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

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

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Tides and Prime Times

NOVEMBER 2009 USING THE PRIME TIMES CALENDAR

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

T12

T4

T11

T10

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

T13 T7

T6 T5 T17

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

T15 T16

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

T14 T18

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

T19

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

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

T20

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

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

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

T21

4:55p

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

KEY T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6

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

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

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

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

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

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

T22 T23

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

Tab: Peak Fishing Period

6a

12p

6p

12a

Green: Falling Tide

AM/PM Timeline Light Blue: Nighttime

BEST:

7:05-9:40 PM

Gold Fish: Best Time

Blue: Rising Tide Red Graph: Fishing Score

Blue Fish: Good Time

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

AM/PM Timeline

C24

AM Minor: 1:20a

PM Minor: 1:45p

AM Major: 7:32a

PM Major: 7:57p

MAJOR Feeding Periods (+/- 2 Hrs.)

Moon Overhead: 8:50a 6a

12p

6p

12a

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

Moon Underfoot: 9:15p

• N O V E M B E R

2 0 0 9 /

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

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

KEY T18 T19 T20 T21 T22 T23

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

SPORTSMAN’S DAYBOOK IS SPONSORED BY:

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION

Yellow: Daylight

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

T9 T8

T3 T2 T1

T E X A S

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G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

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

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


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NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION BEST:

7:45-9:40 AM

= Peak Fishing Period

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

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

MONDAY SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

TUESDAY

 26

27

THURSDAY

28

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

29

30

SUNDAY

3 1  N OV 1

End DST

Set: 6:38p Sunrise: 7:27a Set: 12:46a Moonrise: 3:02p

Set: 6:37p Set: 1:41a

Sunrise: 7:28a Moonrise: 3:32p

Set: 6:36p Set: 2:35a

Sunrise: 7:28a Moonrise: 4:01p

Set: 6:35p Set: 3:29a

Sunrise: 7:29a Moonrise: 4:30p

Set: 6:34p Set: 4:23a

Sunrise: 7:30a Moonrise: 5:01p

Set: 6:34p Set: 5:20a

Sunrise: 6:31a Moonrise: 4:36p

Set: 5:33p Set: 5:20a

AM Minor: 12:15a

PM Minor: 6:28p

AM Minor: 12:59a

PM Minor: 7:10p

AM Minor: 1:38a

PM Minor: 7:48p

AM Minor: 2:15a

PM Minor: 8:25p

AM Minor: 2:51a

PM Minor: 9:01p

AM Minor: 3:28a

PM Minor: 9:39p

AM Minor: 3:09a

PM Minor: 9:22p

AM Major: 6:28a

PM Major: 6:50p

AM Major: 7:10a

PM Major: 7:31p

AM Major: 7:48a

PM Major: 8:09p

AM Major: 8:25a

PM Major: 8:46p

AM Major: 9:01a

PM Major: 9:22p

AM Major: 9:39a

PM Major: 10:02p

AM Major: 9:22a

PM Major: 9:46p

Moon Overhead: 8:03p

12a

WEDNESDAY

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 9:27p

Moon Overhead: 8:46p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 10:09p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 11:37p

Moon Overhead: 10:51pn 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

Sunrise: 7:26a Moonrise: 2:31p

Tides and Prime Times for NOVEMBER 2009

Moon Overhead: None 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 7:42a +2.0

BEST:

BEST:

BEST:

7:10 — 9:30 P

Moon Underfoot: 9:48a

Underfoot: 10:30a

BEST:

7:50 — 10:20 P

Moon Underfoot: 11:14a

BEST:

8:20 — 10:30 P

BEST:

9:10 — 11:15 P

Moon Underfoot: 12:01p +2.0

BEST:

9:55 — 11:50 P

9:10A — 12:20P TIDE LEVELS

0

Moon Underfoot: 9:07a

TIDE LEVELS

12:00 — 1:30 P

+1.0

Moon Underfoot: 8:25a

-1.0 High Tide: 1:49 AM Low Tide: 5:33 PM

1.65 ft 0.58 ft

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

1:51 AM 8:52 AM 11:08 AM 6:27 PM

1.60 ft 1.31 ft 1.34 ft 0.70 ft

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

1:56 AM 8:25 AM 12:52 PM 7:15 PM

1.55 ft 1.17 ft 1.36 ft 0.82 ft

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

2:04 AM 8:22 AM 2:08 PM 7:58 PM

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

1.52 ft 0.98 ft 1.43 ft 0.95 ft

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

F i s h

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2:12 AM 8:35 AM 3:13 PM 8:41 PM

1.50 ft 0.77 ft 1.53 ft 1.09 ft

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

2:19 AM 8:57 AM 4:11 PM 9:23 PM

1.50 ft 0.55 ft 1.64 ft 1.23 ft

G a m e ® / N O V E M B E R

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

1:26 AM 8:26 AM 4:07 PM 9:06 PM

2 0 0 9

1.51 ft 0.33 ft 1.74 ft 1.37 ft

C25

+1.0

0

-1.0


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NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION BEST:

= Peak Fishing Period

7:45-9:40 AM

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

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

MONDAY

TUESDAY

 2

WEDNESDAY

3

THURSDAY

4

FRIDAY

5

SATURDAY

6

SUNDAY

7

8

Sunrise: 6:31a Moonrise: 5:16p

Set: 5:32p Set: 6:23a

Sunrise: 6:32a Moonrise: 6:03p

Set: 5:31p Set: 7:28a

Sunrise: 6:33a Moonrise: 6:57p

Set: 5:30p Set: 8:34a

Sunrise: 6:34a Moonrise: 7:58p

Set: 5:30p Set: 9:38a

Sunrise: 6:34a Moonrise: 9:04p

AM Minor: 3:56a

PM Minor: 10:09p

AM Minor: 4:50a

PM Minor: 11:04p

AM Minor: 5:50a

PM Minor: ——-

AM Minor: 6:55a

PM Minor: 12:40p

AM Minor: 8:03a

PM Minor: 1:48p

AM Minor: 9:10a

PM Minor: 2:55p

AM Minor: 10:12a

PM Minor: 3:58p

AM Major: 10:09a

PM Major: 10:35p

AM Major: 11:04a

PM Major: 11:32p

AM Major: ——-

PM Major: 12:05p

AM Major: 12:40a

PM Major: 1:11p

AM Major: 1:48a

PM Major: 2:18p

AM Major: 2:55a

PM Major: 3:24p

AM Major: 3:58a

PM Major: 4:26p

Moon Overhead: None

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 1:16a

Moon Overhead: 12:19a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 2:17a 12a

6a

12p

6p

Set: 5:29p Sunrise: 6:35a Set: 5:28p Sunrise: 6:36a Set: 5:28p Set: 10:37a Moonrise: 10:12p Set: 11:29a Moonrise: 11:20p Set: 12:15p

Moon Overhead: 4:19a

Moon Overhead: 3:18a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 5:17a 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

Tides and Prime Times for NOVEMBER 2009

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 11:52a +2.0

BEST:

BEST:

-1.0

Moon Underfoot: 2:48p

BEST:

6:30 — 8:00 A

BEST:

7:00 — 8:30 A

8:00 — 9:30 A

Moon Underfoot: 3:49p BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 4:49p BEST:

9:00 — 10:30 A

10:00 — 11:30 A

Moon Underfoot: 5:45p +2.0

BEST:

11:00A — 12:30P TIDE LEVELS

0

Moon Underfoot: 1:46p

TIDE LEVELS

6:00 — 7:30 A

+1.0

Moon Underfoot: 12:47p

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

C26

1:29 AM 9:01 AM 5:05 PM 9:50 PM

1.55 ft 0.12 ft 1.82 ft 1.50 ft

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

• N O V E M B E R

1:30 AM 9:41 AM 6:05 PM 10:32 PM

1.61 ft -0.05 ft 1.87 ft 1.63 ft

2 0 0 9 /

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

1:31 AM 10:25 AM 7:11 PM 11:15 PM

T E X A S

1.68 ft High Tide: 1:35 AM 1.75 ft Low Tide: -0.17 ft Low Tide: 11:15 AM -0.23 ft High Tide: 1.89 ft High Tide: 8:24 PM 1.89 ft Low Tide: 1.73 ft High Tide:

F i s h

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G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

1.79 ft Low Tide: 1:09 PM -0.15 ft Low Tide: 2:13 PM -0.00 ft 1.80 ft High Tide: 10:34 PM 1.80 ft High Tide: 11:11 PM 1.72 ft -0.22 ft 1.86 ft

+1.0

0

-1.0


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NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION BEST:

7:45-9:40 AM

= Peak Fishing Period

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

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

MONDAY

TUESDAY

 9

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

10

Set: 5:27p Sunrise: 6:38a Set: 5:27p Set: 12:56p Moonrise: 12:26a Set: 1:32p

THURSDAY

11

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

12

13

SUNDAY

 15

14

Sunrise: 6:39a Moonrise: 1:30a

Set: 5:26p Set: 2:05p

Sunrise: 6:39a Moonrise: 2:32a

Set: 5:25p Set: 2:38p

Sunrise: 6:40a Moonrise: 3:33a

Set: 5:25p Set: 3:11p

Sunrise: 6:41a Moonrise: 4:35a

Set: 5:24p Set: 3:47p

Sunrise: 6:42a Moonrise: 5:37a

Set: 5:24p Set: 4:26p

AM Minor: 11:09a

PM Minor: 4:56p

AM Minor: 11:59a

PM Minor: 5:47p

AM Minor: 12:21a

PM Minor: 6:33p

AM Minor: 1:03a

PM Minor: 7:15p

AM Minor: 1:44a

PM Minor: 7:56p

AM Minor: 2:26a

PM Minor: 8:38p

AM Minor: 3:11a

PM Minor: 9:24p

AM Major: 4:56a

PM Major: 5:22p

AM Major: 5:47a

PM Major: 6:12p

AM Major: 6:33a

PM Major: 6:56p

AM Major: 7:15a

PM Major: 7:38p

AM Major: 7:56a

PM Major: 8:19p

AM Major: 8:38a

PM Major: 9:02p

AM Major: 9:24a

PM Major: 9:49p

Moon Overhead: 6:12a

12a

WEDNESDAY

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 7:51a

Moon Overhead: 7:03a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 8:38a 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 10:14a

Moon Overhead: 9:25a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

Sunrise: 6:37a Moonrise: None

Tides and Prime Times for NOVEMBER 2009

Moon Overhead: 11:04a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 6:38p +2.0

BEST:

0

-1.0

BEST:

12:30 — 2:00 P

1:30 — 3:00 P

Moon Underfoot: 9:02p BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 9:49p BEST:

7:00 — 10:00 A

Moon Underfoot: 10:38p BEST:

9:00A — 12:00P

Moon Underfoot: 11:30p +2.0

BEST:

9:30A — 12:30P

3:00 — 6:00 A TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 8:15p

TIDE LEVELS

12:00 — 1:30P

Moon Underfoot: 7:27p

Low Tide: 3:21 PM 0.20 ft High Tide: 11:36 PM 1.61 ft

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

6:16 AM 9:28 AM 4:33 PM 11:55 PM

1.19 ft 1.26 ft 0.44 ft 1.51 ft

Low Tide: 6:24 AM 0.88 ft High Tide: 11:39 AM 1.29 ft Low Tide: 5:46 PM 0.69 ft

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

12:11 AM 6:52 AM 1:18 PM 6:59 PM

1.44 ft 0.56 ft 1.40 ft 0.93 ft

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

12:25 AM 7:25 AM 2:40 PM 8:08 PM

1.40 ft 0.26 ft 1.54 ft 1.15 ft

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

12:37 AM 8:01 AM 3:49 PM 9:15 PM

1.40 ft 0.01 ft 1.65 ft 1.31 ft

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

12:48 AM 8:38 AM 4:49 PM 10:18 PM

1.43 ft -0.16 ft 1.71 ft 1.43 ft

+1.0

0

-1.0


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

Tides and Prime Times for NOVEMBER 2009 MONDAY

TUESDAY

 17

 18

FRIDAY

 19

SATURDAY

20

21

22

Set: 5:23p Set: 5:09p

Sunrise: 6:44a Moonrise: 7:39a

Set: 5:23p Set: 5:57p

Sunrise: 6:44a Moonrise: 8:36a

Set: 5:23p Set: 6:49p

Sunrise: 6:45a Moonrise: 9:27a

Set: 5:22p Set: 7:44p

AM Minor: 4:00a

PM Minor: 10:13p

AM Minor: 4:53a

PM Minor: 11:06p

AM Minor: 5:49a

PM Minor: 11:31p

AM Minor: 6:46a

PM Minor: 12:33p

AM Minor: 7:42a

PM Minor: 1:30p

AM Minor: 8:37a

PM Minor: 2:25p

AM Minor: 9:28a

PM Minor: 3:16p

AM Major: 10:13a

PM Major: 10:39p

AM Major: 11:06a

PM Major: 11:33p

AM Major: 11:31a

PM Major: 12:02p

AM Major: 12:33a

PM Major: 12:59p

AM Major: 1:30a

PM Major: 1:55p

AM Major: 2:25a

PM Major: 2:48p

AM Major: 3:16a

PM Major: 3:39p

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 1:42p

Moon Overhead: 12:49p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Sunrise: 6:46a Set: 5:22p Moonrise: 10:13a Set: 8:39p

SUNDAY

Sunrise: 6:43a Moonrise: 6:39a

Moon Overhead: 11:56a

12a

THURSDAY

Moon Overhead: 2:35p 12a

6a

12p

Moon Overhead: 4:13p

Moon Overhead: 3:25p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Sunrise: 6:48a Set: 5:21p Moonrise: 11:29a Set: 10:31p

Sunrise: 6:47a Set: 5:21p Moonrise: 10:54a Set: 9:36p

12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

 16

WEDNESDAY

Moon Overhead: 4:58p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: None +2.0

BEST:

0

-1.0

BEST:

6:00 — 8:00 A

Moon Underfoot: 2:09a

Moon Underfoot: 3:00a

BEST:

6:30 — 8:30 A

BEST:

7:30 — 9:00 A

Moon Underfoot: 3:49a BEST:

8:00 — 9:30 A

Moon Underfoot: 4:36a +2.0

BEST:

9:00 — 10:30 A TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

BEST:

5:30 — 7:00 A

Moon Underfoot: 1:16a

TIDE LEVELS

5:00 — 6:30 A

Moon Underfoot: 12:22a

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

12:55 AM 9:17 AM 5:45 PM 11:23 PM

1.47 ft High Tide: 12:49 AM 1.51 ft Low Tide: 10:37 AM -0.25 ft Low Tide: 11:19 AM -0.18 ft Low Tide: 12:03 PM -0.08 ft Low Tide: 12:47 PM 0.04 ft -0.25 ft Low Tide: 9:56 AM -0.28 ft High Tide: 7:35 PM 1.65 ft High Tide: 8:32 PM 1.59 ft High Tide: 9:28 PM 1.53 ft High Tide: 10:10 PM 1.47 ft 1.73 ft High Tide: 6:39 PM 1.70 ft 1.50 ft

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

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0

-1.0


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NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION BEST:

7:45-9:40 AM

= Peak Fishing Period

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

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

MONDAY

TUESDAY

THURSDAY

25 Sunrise: 6:50a Moonrise: 1:00p

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

26

27

SUNDAY

28

29

Set: 5:20p Sunrise: 6:51a Set: 12:18a Moonrise: 1:28p

Set: 5:20p Set: 1:11a

Sunrise: 6:52a Moonrise: 1:58p

Set: 5:20p Set: 2:06a

Sunrise: 6:53a Moonrise: 2:31p

Set: 5:20p Set: 3:03a

Sunrise: 6:53a Moonrise: 3:08p

Set: 5:20p Set: 4:04a

AM Minor: 10:15a

PM Minor: 4:04p

AM Minor: 10:59a

PM Minor: 4:49p

AM Minor: 11:39a

PM Minor: 5:29p

AM Minor: ——-

PM Minor: 6:08p

AM Minor: 12:35a

PM Minor: 6:46p

AM Minor: 1:13a

PM Minor: 7:25p

AM Minor: 1:54a

PM Minor: 8:07p

AM Major: 4:04a

PM Major: 4:26p

AM Major: 4:49a

PM Major: 5:09p

AM Major: 5:29a

PM Major: 5:50p

AM Major: 6:08a

PM Major: 6:28p

AM Major: 6:46a

PM Major: 7:07p

AM Major: 7:25a

PM Major: 7:48p

AM Major: 8:07a

PM Major: 8:32p

Moon Overhead: 5:41p 6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 7:02p

Moon Overhead: 6:22p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 7:44p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 9:14p

Moon Overhead: 8:27p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 10:05p 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

WEDNESDAY

 24

23

Sunrise: 6:49a Set: 5:21p Sunrise: 6:49a Set: 5:21p Moonrise: 12:02p Set: 11:25p Moonrise: 12:31p Set: None

12a

Tides and Prime Times for NOVEMBER 2009

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 5:19a +2.0

BEST:

0

-1.0

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 7:23a BEST:

12:00 — 2:00 P

Moon Underfoot: 8:05a BEST:

6:30 — 8:30 P

Moon Underfoot: 8:50a BEST:

7:00 — 9:30 P

Moon Underfoot: 9:39a +2.0

BEST:

7:30 — 9:30 P

8:30 — 10:30 P TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

BEST:

11:00A — 12:30P

Moon Underfoot: 6:42a

TIDE LEVELS

10:00 — 11:30 A

Moon Underfoot: 6:01a

Low Tide: 2:15 PM 0.32 ft High Tide: 10:54 PM 1.36 ft

Low Tide: 3:00 PM 0.49 ft High Tide: 11:07 PM 1.31 ft

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

6:32 AM 10:13 AM 3:49 PM 11:18 PM

0.90 ft 0.98 ft 0.66 ft 1.27 ft

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

6:17 AM 12:03 PM 4:45 PM 11:27 PM

0.70 ft 1.04 ft 0.83 ft 1.24 ft

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

6:27 AM 1:27 PM 5:49 PM 11:32 PM

0.47 ft 1.17 ft 0.99 ft 1.24 ft

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

6:50 AM 2:34 PM 6:57 PM 11:33 PM

0.22 ft 1.31 ft 1.13 ft 1.27 ft

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

7:21 AM 3:31 PM 8:02 PM 11:35 PM

-0.02 ft 1.46 ft 1.26 ft 1.32 ft

+1.0

0

-1.0


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

Tides and Prime Times for NOVEMBER 2009 MONDAY

TUESDAY

 2

 D EC 1

FRIDAY

 3

SATURDAY

 4

SUNDAY

5

6

Sunrise: 6:54a Moonrise: 3:52p

Set: 5:20p Set: 5:09a

Sunrise: 6:55a Moonrise: 4:43p

Set: 5:20p Set: 6:15a

Sunrise: 6:56a Moonrise: 5:43p

Set: 5:20p Set: 7:22a

Sunrise: 6:57a Moonrise: 6:49p

Set: 5:20p Set: 8:24a

Sunrise: 6:57a Moonrise: 7:58p

Set: 5:20p Set: 9:21a

Sunrise: 6:58a Moonrise: 9:09p

AM Minor: 2:40a

PM Minor: 8:54p

AM Minor: 3:32a

PM Minor: 9:47p

AM Minor: 4:31a

PM Minor: 10:47p

AM Minor: 5:36a

PM Minor: 11:51p

AM Minor: 6:43a

PM Minor: 12:27p

AM Minor: 7:50a

PM Minor: 1:35p

AM Minor: 8:54a

PM Minor: 2:40p

AM Major: 8:54a

PM Major: 9:21p

AM Major: 9:47a

PM Major: 10:17p

AM Major: 10:47a

PM Major: 11:18p

AM Major: 11:51a

PM Major: ——-

AM Major: 12:27a

PM Major: 12:58p

AM Major: 1:35a

PM Major: 2:05p

AM Major: 2:40a

PM Major: 3:08p

Moon Overhead: 11:01p

12a

THURSDAY

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: None 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 12:01a 12a

6a

12p

Moon Overhead: 1:04a

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 3:08a

Moon Overhead: 2:07a 12a

6a

12p

6p

Set: 5:20p Set: 5:20p Sunrise: 6:59a Set: 10:11a Moonrise: 10:18p Set: 10:55a

12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

 30

WEDNESDAY

Moon Overhead: 4:06a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 10:32a +2.0

BEST:

0

-1.0

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 1:36p

Moon Underfoot: 2:38p

BEST:

3:00 — 5:00 P

BEST:

8:30 — 10:00 A

9:30 — 11:00 A

Moon Underfoot: 3:37p

Moon Underfoot: 4:33p

BEST:

+2.0

BEST:

10:30A — 12:00P

11:30A — 1:00P TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

BEST:

2:30 — 4:00 P

Moon Underfoot: 12:32p

TIDE LEVELS

1:30 — 3:00 P

Moon Underfoot: 11:31a

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

7:59 AM 4:26 PM 8:59 PM 11:41 PM

-0.26 ft Low Tide: 8:41 AM 1.57 ft High Tide: 5:21 PM 1.37 ft Low Tide: 9:45 PM 1.40 ft

-0.46 ft High Tide: 12:03 AM 1.65 ft Low Tide: 9:27 AM 1.45 ft High Tide: 6:16 PM Low Tide: 10:27 PM

1.47 ft -0.61 ft 1.67 ft 1.51 ft

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

12:38 AM 10:17 AM 7:11 PM 11:11 PM

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

1.53 ft High Tide: 1:22 AM 1.53 ft Low Tide: -0.68 ft Low Tide: 11:08 AM -0.68 ft High Tide: 1.66 ft High Tide: 8:02 PM 1.60 ft Low Tide: 1.51 ft High Tide:

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1.46 ft 1.47 ft -0.58 ft 1.51 ft

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

G a m e ® / N O V E M B E R

1:40 AM 3:12 AM 12:55 PM 9:21 PM

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0

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Pinnacle Scion Select X Reel— Boon for Bassers BASS ANGLERS ARE ALWAYS ON THE LOOKOUT for a new bait-caster that exceeds expectations, and their eyes will pop open when they get a gander at the new Pinnacle Scion Select X. I tested one while tossing crankbaits into stump fields, and discovered I could make those lures swim like baitfishes in a serious frenzy. The secret to such action is an incredibly fast 7.0:1 gear ratio, which makes it possible to swim those swimbaits and crank those crankbaits at unusually high rates of speed. Swinging the handle is smooth, too, because the Scion X has nine stainless-steel ball bearings, plus a roller bearing. Brass gearing is machine-cut, and multiple drag washers ensure that line going out runs as

Page C32

smoothly as the line coming in. Whichever way the line is flowing, it will be protected because the level-winder features a titanium line guide. When fish strike, you won’t have any problem

with kickback, either. The antireverse system is truly infinite, and I found it ideal for fast, bang-free hooksets. I have to admit, I am not the world’s greatest with a bait-caster in my hands, and backlash isn’t exactly unheard of. But the Scion Select X made it so, because it incorporates multiple anti-backlash systems. (Pinnacle’s marketing guys called it the

“Tandem Cast Control System.”) As you begin your cast, a centrifugal brake makes sure there is no overrun. Then the adjustable magnetic brake takes over, so the spool continues spinning at the proper rate. It does not cut down on casting distance; except for the lack of professional overrun, you won’t even notice the system as it works. This reel has a compact metal frame, weighing in at 9.3 ounces. Line capacity is 165 yards of 12-pound-test. That’s plenty for bassers and cast-and-retrieve fishing for bigger lake dwellers (like striped bass), but don’t plan on it doing double-duty as a trolling reel. The reel’s relatively small size feels great in your hands, though, and the light weight made it a delight to use for a full day of fishing. —Lenny Rudow

On the Web www.pinnaclefishing.com •••

DeLORME Earthmate PN-30 YOU HIKE, YOU HUNT, YOU FISH, AND YOU also happen to drive a car, then you need a take-everywhere, do-everything, handheld GPS with land, water, topographic, and road mapping. A new choice on your menu is the DeLORME Earthmate PN-30, a pocket navigator that’s handy no mater what part of planet Earth you are traveling. C32

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PHOTO COURTESY PINNACLE


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neous, thanks to a fast dual-core processor. The unit also has 1GB of flash memory, and a Cartisio chipset. Clearly, it is on the cutting edge of handheld technology. —LR

On the Web www.delorme.com

PHOTO COURTESY DELORME

charts, aerial imagery, DeLORME topo maps, and USGS topo maps. Software for trip planning and road routing is also included. In fact, when you pop open the box, you will even discover an SD card is already inside; DeLORME makes the PN-30 an all-in-one purchase. The unit supports Navionics chartography, too. Once I had the Earthmate up and running, one feature I particularly liked was the speed of chart re-draws as I panned around or zoomed in and out. It’s nearly instanta-

I tested the PN-30 in Realtree camo, and unless you use the screen to flash your prey with a sunbeam, it won’t be visible to the wariest gobbler in the woods. If stealth isn’t important, you can also opt for orange or green models. The casing is tough, too, and waterproof to IPX7 standards. The keypad will be a bit unfamiliar to people accustomed to using handhelds with higher brand recognition, but don’t let this scare you off. I found the menu, page, enter, and quit keys very self-explanatory. There is a waypoint quick key with an icon of a pin on it, which is also how waypoint icons appear on-screen. The power key on my test unit took a very hard press to activate, which was a bit of an aggravation, but was good for preventing accidental activation. When I fired up the unit, I found good road mapping, decent basic land features, and water boundaries. The unit comes— without extra cost—with Earthmate Maps on DVD. Transferring maps to the unit is simple because it has an SD card slot. You upload the maps and charts onto your computer, put them on the SD card, then plug the card into the slot behind the batteries on the PN-30. Once the chartography is onboard, you have full access to NOAA A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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Lumen-Arrow Powered by Lumenok

Page C34

Russelure

THE LUMEN-ARROW IS NEW FOR 2009. THE Lumen-Arrow is made in North America with the highest quality carbon fibers — 100% carbon (NO fiberglass). Every

minum with anodized colors, solid brass brackets riveted to the body and superior quality Mustad hooks attached with stainless steel rings, the Russelure is a virtually indestructible lure. The Russelure comes in 8 different sizes and 11 different colors. Contact: 12310 William Dowdell, Cypress, Texas 77429. Phone: 832-6889296. Or visit www.russelure.com.

Big Zak Attack Lumen-Arrow Lumen-Arrow comes equipped with a Lumenok (lighted arrow nock in red or green) specially fitted to each shaft, a smooth polished finish, and your choice of either Bohning 2” Blazer Vanes or raw shafts. Sorted to (+/-0.5) of a grain weight per dozen and a straightness of (+/-0.003), Lumen-Arrows come in three sizes: 45/60 (8.1 gpi.); 60/75 (8.8 gpi.); and 75/90 (9.9 gpi). We realized that selling Lumenoks in arrows that were prepared properly for its utmost performance would guarantee a more enjoyable archery experience whether you are hunting or just shooting targets. Lumen-Arrows are a product of the Burt Coyote Co. Inc. (309) 358-1602. For more information you can also visit www.lumenok.net

WILEY X EYEWEAR HAS ADDED A NEW MODEL to its popular Active Series sunglasses. The key to this new high performance sunglass — Wiley X Zak™ Model ACZAK07 — is Wiley X Eyewear’s proprietary lens technology that combines superior protection and comfort with superior vision on the water. This new Wiley X Zak features a wraparound Gloss Black frame accented by Polarized Blue Mirror Lenses that deliver 99.9-percent polarization

Russelure Returns THE LEGENDARY RUSSELURE IS BACK. WITH ITS unusual wobble swimming action, which can be varied from eccentric fast motion to a slower, smooth natural movement, the Russelure is irresistible to fish. Formed from aluC34

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with 100-percent protection from harmful UVA/UVB rays.

T E X A S

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G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

They feature the same High Velocity Protection (HVP™) Wiley X provides to U.S. Armed Forces around the world. These incredible lenses exceed ANSI Z87.1-2003 High Velocity Impact safety and optical standards for superior protection against the elements or flying lures. Plus, Wiley X’s exclusive Filter 8™ polarizing technology eliminates distracting glare and lets boaters and anglers read the water. With 19% light transmission, this customized fishing tint is ideal for all day performance, from low light to bright light, cloudy conditions and increasing contrast between different shades of green water or vegetation. This new model’s Active Series frame features wide temples to shield out peripheral light and airborne debris along with comfortable rubberized nose pads that provide a secure fit when flying over the waves. Visit www.wileyx.com

Serrano Baitcaster Lays Low BUILT UPON A RIGID DIE CAST ALUMINUM (ALC) frame, Serrano reels are made to handle all types of freshwater species as well as inshore brutes such as calico bass, redfish, permit and more. The aluminum right sideplate keeps all of the heavy duty, machine cut Dura brass gearing in perfect alignment, while the graphite left sideplate reduces weight and is easily

removed for access to the


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Okuma Serrano baitcaster

adjustable 8-position Velocity Control System. The Dura brass gearing featured in the Serrano reels are stronger and more durable than traditional baitcast gears. The Serrano reel’s smoothness comes from 10 ball bearings incorporated throughout the reel, in addition to the Quick-set anti-reverse roller bearing. Precision Japanese ABEC-5 bearings are featured on the spool for ultimate casting and freespool. For a strong, smooth drag system, Okuma utilizes a Carbonite greased drag system. Despite the Serrano’s compact size, these reels still dish out 11 lbs. of drag, all while providing a 6.2:1 gear ratio for increased line pick up. Additionally, all Serrano reels undergo Okuma’s Corrosion Resistant Coating (CRC) process which features a coating of Corrosion X HD to the inside housing of the reel. Serrano reels are backed by Okuma’s 3year warranty program. Okuma Fishing Tackle 2310 E. Locust Court Ontario, CA 91761 Phone: (909) 923-2828 FAX: (909) 923-2909 www.okumafishing.com

Wraith Cuts New Edge in Night Vision SIGHTMARK UNVEILS THE WRAITH DVS-14T Digital night vision monocular, the newest cutting edge trend in night vision. Unlike traditional night vision, the Wraith can be used for both daytime and nighttime operation without any damage to the internal components of the device. The

Page C35

Wraith allows crisp, clear black and white imaging that is difficult to achieve with archaic tube based green-on-green systems. With digital imaging rapidly overtaking and surpassing its image intensive tube predecessors, the Wraith is a perfect example of the boundless capabilities inherent in this new, breakthrough technology. Digital imaging is the next evolution in night vision and Sightmark is leading the trend with the Wraith. This lightweight, compact unit is the spectral embodiment of the newest in night vision technology and uses brand new image processing technology to deliver stunning image quality every time. The Wraith has incredible Gen 3 resolution, with the viewing distance of a Gen 2 at a price range comparable to a Gen 1. Sightmark has flawlessly developed a digital night vision monocular that is perfect for law enforcement surveillance. The Wraith boasts an array of special features including an adjustable screen brightness control, multicoated lenses, and a built-in IR illuminator to increase viewing power. The Wraith is ideal for hunting, law enforcement, homesecurity, and many other uses. Sightmark offers a wide range of manufactured products that include red-dot scopes, range finders, riflescopes, flashlights, laser sights and award-winning boresights. Sightmark’s triple duty series offers high quality products that are ideal for tactical, hunting, and shooting applications. For more information on Sightmark’s products, log on to www.sightmark.com. Please contact Kim Sulak at ksulak@sellmark.net or 817.225.0310x126 for any additional information.

Sightmark Wraith DVS-14T

New 12 Foot Stand–Up Fishing Kayak FREEDOM HAWK KAYAKS, THE INDUSTRY leader in stand-up kayak fishing, is pleased to introduce the new Freedom 12 fishing kayak. Crafted after the successful Freedom 14 model, Freedom12 offers a new version of the patented two part outrigger system that with the flick of a lever allows you to go from paddling to fishing in seconds. With the sponsons deployed

Freedom Hawk

paddlers can choose from two outrigger positions. Location one, “The Y Position” gives maximum stability. Whether fighting a trophy fish o r casting in tricky conditions the kayak in this position has the equivalency of a 6 foot beam giving it maximum stability and making it nearly impossible to tip over. Location 2, “The In-Line Position” moves the outriggers parallel to the main hull. While still offering great stability, the boat now has improved efficiency whether paddling, poling or motoring. In addition to all the great features, the Freedom 12 now retails for under a thousand dollars, $995 MSRP. “We have engineered the ultimate fishing kayak! An efficient and stabile hull, all the latest fishing features, the ability to switch from paddling to stand up fishing in seconds, and all of this at a price point that any angler can afford. The Freedom 12 is unlike anything else on the market today” says David Hadden director of sales and marketing for Freedom Hawk Kayaks. It weighs 69 pounds (with a 49 pound carrying weight) and is available in four col-

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Wong Scores Bassmaster Regular Season Win UDY WONG OF MANY, LOUISIANA, RECENTLY accomplished something that had eluded her for almost four competition seasons: a win in a regular-season event of the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Women’s Tour. “I did win the 2007 WBT championship event, but I came here to win this tournament,” she said. “I haven’t had a win on this tour other than the championship. To have a regular-season win under my belt was my goal.” Wong took her win with a three-day total of 28 pounds, 5 ounces on Old Hickory Lake, Tennessee. She earned $1000 and a boat package valued at nearly $55,000. She put her mark on the tournament the second day by bringing in a limit with two kickers, more than enough to give her the lead going into the final round. She had just three fish on Day 3, but that didn’t matter in the end; she won by a 6-pound, 12-ounce margin. Wong’s nearest challenger was another champion, Kim Bain-Moore, who scored second place with 21-9. The Alabaster, Alabama, pro is also the reigning Toyota Tundra WBT Angler of the Year and first woman to compete in a Bassmaster Classic. The Old Hickory event was her best showing so far in the 2009 season. Lisa Sternard of Clarksville, Tennessee, also ended with 21-9, but lost out on a tiebreaker rule that rewards highest number of fish caught over three days. Bain-Moore had 15 fish to Sternard’s nine. Heather Broom, the Sylva, North Carolina, pro who made a serious run on the leader by standing fast in second place for two days, slipped on the final day to end in fourth with 20-14.

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Pam Martin-Wells of Bainbridge, Georgia, was fifth with 19-7, a finish that cemented her lead in the 2009 Toyota Tundra WBT Angler of the Year race, the points system that determines which 20 pros qualified for the 2009 Academy Sports + Outdoors Championship in October on the Red River out of Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana. Wong said she worked three areas for

Judy Wong got her first regular season win on the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Women’s tour at Old Hickory Lake in Tennesse. most of her fish. One, a ledge, she hit all three days. She worked it with an Academy H2O crankbait in a shad finish, then with Carolina-rigged Gary Yamamoto lizards. One was watermelon red, but she switched to black with blue flake when the sky was overcast. “The big ones yesterday all came on the Carolina rig,” Wong said. “Today I went

T E X A S

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back to the ledge, but I went early because it was overcast this morning and I thought it would produce. The bite was so slow, and I keyed on fish following the shad all week, but there are only a limited number of keepers in any one area.” Bain-Moore said she took nine of her keepers from under one large boat tied up at a dock. “I didn’t have huge fish, but I was consistent,” she said. “Fishing was definitely slower today, and I stayed in three areas where I had caught keepers Thursday and Friday. I just ground it out in those three areas.” Besides the boat, Bain-Moore got her fish out of grass and from under docks, and sometimes by working areas that combined those factors. The winner in the co-angler division was Monica Altman of Angier, North Carolina, with a three-day weight of 17-3. Her prize was $500 and a Triton/Mercury boat rig valued at $25,000. Altman, who won a WBT co-angler competition in 2006 on Lake Norman, led on Day 1, zeroed on Day 2, then came back on Day 3 with a 10-pound, 11-ounce limit. She said she was “a little surprised” she won. Altman’s third-day charge was enough to jump over local angler Regina Pierpaoli of Gallatin, Tennessee, who led on Day 2. Pierpaoli ended in second place with 14-13. The Old Hickory event ended the regular WBT season and set the stage for the 2009 Academy Sports + Outdoors WBT Championship, where the season-long points race ends and one pro will claim the season’s biggest prize package: the Toyota Tundra WBT Angler of the Year crown, a Toyota Tundra, and an invitation to the 2010 Bassmaster Classic, 19-21 February on Lay Lake out of Birmingham, Alabama. Championship qualifiers are the top 20 in the Toyota Tundra WBT Angler of the Year points competition in both the pro and co-angler divisions. PHOTO COURTESY BASS


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NEW PRODUCTS

Wulf Outdoor Sports Archery Tournament FOR THOSE WHO LOVE THE SPORT OF ARCHERY, here is an event that you won’t want to miss next year: Wulf Outdoor Sports in Athens, Texas, recently held its First Annual 3D Tournament sponsored by Hoyt. Nearly 130 tournament shooters, hunters, and youth shooters from Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma came out to put their archery skills to the test. The Tournament, held 29 August, had six divisions with cash payouts in each, except for the youth division, which awarded prizes and plaques to all participants. In addition to some hefty payouts and lots of door prizes, ASA World Champion shooter Dan McCarthy gave a free shooting

 Continued from Page C35 ors: sand, olive, yellow and blue. For those wanting to use a small electric motor, the Freedom 12 comes standard with recesses to accept an optional motor mount ($99.00 MSRP). For more information please visit www.freedomhawkkayaks.com or email sales@freedomhawkkayaks.com. Phone: 978-388-9433.

Texas Tackle Split-Ring Pliers TEXAS TACKLE INTRODUCES A SMALLER “EXECutive” model of their patented split ring pliers. These split ring pliers make it a simple chore to change or replace spinner blades or hooks on your lure and are well suited for bass fishing and bay fishing size split rings. The wedge design permits the user to very easily, and quickly, open a gap in the split ring, start the ring, Executive then grip and rotate the split ring ring to complete the operapliers tion. These new pliers feature mirror finish, surgical quality stainless steel for

corrosion resistance and precision box joint construction for strength and extra long life. Retail price is $19.99 plus $3.00 S&H. For more information and to see demo video visit www.TexasTackle.com or contact Texas Tackle, P.O. Box 831239, Richardson, TX 75083. Phone 1-800437-3521, Fax 972-234-4770, 972-6906605.

Wulf Outdoor Sports’ first annual 3D Archery Tournament in Athens drew nearly 130 archers from Texas, Oklahoma and Louisana.

Minox Comfort Bridge Binocular

seminar to all participants. For approximately an hour, McCarthy covered proper practice techniques, shooting preparation, and mental strengthening tips. Contact: Wulf Outdoor Sports 3D Tournament, 903-670-3222

AWAYS QUICK TO RESPOND TO USER NEEDS with innovative solutions, Minox now provides a new answer for those who use binoculars for an extended period of time. Offering significant advantages are two new Comfort Bridge binoculars, with a choice of BL 8x44 or 10x44 models. They

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will be available starting in October 2009. Minox design-engineers have combined sleek, distinctive styling with the practical ergonomic advantages of enhanced comfort and secure handling, plus an increased field of view over previous BL models, creating a new standard for open-bridge binoculars. Lightweight (26 oz.) construction means you can enjoy “carryall-day” comfort. Still, these sturdy binoculars are very durable, thanks to a space-age polycarbonate body that is rubberarmored for sure grip, Minox Comfort Bridge noise damp- binoculars ening and ruggedness. With sophisticated sealing technology, they are waterproof to 16’6”, and Nitrogen filling prevents fogging of internal optical surfaces. The optimum objective lens size of 44 mm, backed by phase-corrected roof prisms and M* multi-layer lens coating ensures brilliant, pin-sharp images with natural color rendition, even in challenging lowlight situations. To capture moving objects faster and more reliably, the field of view has been increased to 410 feet at 1,000 yards for the 8x44, and 341 feet for the 10x44, an increase of 16%. Typical of Minox attention to detail, there are twist-up eye ups for convenience, and the Comfort Bridge binoculars come with a neoprene neck strap and a carrying case. With all of these advantages, the MSRPS are an affordable $559 for the BL 8x44 and $599 for the 10x44. Contact: Minox/USA, P.O. Box 123 Meriden, NH 03770; Phone: (866) 469-3080; email: usa@minox.com; web: www.minox.com

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Weaver 315x42 Super Slam Scope

This scope is unusual in that it has a wider power range than any other scope I am aware of, the norms being 3-9X or 3.510X. It has target adjustment turrets, a sidemounted parallax adjustment knob, and quick-adjust focus. The 42mm objective lens is sufficiently small to allow the scope to be mounted low, allowing for good cheek to stock contact, but large enough to give great

EAVER SCOPES WERE FIRST INVENTED and manufactured by Bill Weaver in the 1930s in Newport, Kentucky. In 1933, Weaver moved his company to El Paso, Texas. W. R. Weaver Scopes, with the Model 330 and 440, and later the K-series, became the best selling scopes in the country. Weaver was famous for providing high quality at affordable prices. I feel safe in saying that during the 1960s and early 1970s, there were more Weaver scopes than any other brand on rifles in the United States. Then, like many companies, Weaver fell on hard times. Bill sold the company in 1968 and died in 1975. Since then, the Weaver brand has been bought and sold a number of times. Recently, the company was purchased by Meade Instruments. To make a long story shorter, Weaver is back, and in a big way. I just received a new Weaver Super Slam scope in 3-15X.

light transmission at the higher powers. The glass is clear and bright. I liked it at first glance. I mounted the scope on my ThompsonCenter Encore Pro-Hunter .22/250, a gun I trust implicitly. The scope was brilliantly clear and eye relief was perfect, being noncritical except on the highest power, and clear all the way to the edge. The adjustment dials are unique. To adjust

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them, simply grasp the knob and pull upward for elevation or outward for windage adjustment. The knobs click upward a fraction of an inch, allowing the adjustment in quarter-inch clicks. When pushed down, the knobs lock and the dials cannot be moved accidentally. It is a very good system. Sight-in was easy. I bore-sighted the gun, adjusted the parallax until the target was

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clear and crisp, set the scope on 15-power, put it on the sandbags, and fired the first shot. It was 3 inches high and 3 inches left. I moved it 12 clicks down and 12 clicks right and the next shot hit the little orange spot in the center of the target. The first three-shot group measured 1.2 inches; the second, 1.3 inches. The rest of the test groups, shot with my handloads of 55-grain Hornady Spire Points, fell within the range of 1 to 1-1/2 inches. This is very good, consistent accuracy and speaks highly of the precision of the Weaver Super Slam. Once the scope is sighted in, the turrets (marked in numbers from 0 to 14, each whole number being one minute of angle) can be reset to zero. On top of each turret is a knurled screw the size of the turret. Simply unscrew the screw, pick up the turret, set it back to zero, and replace the screw. You can now move the adjustments for odd situations and return to zero without guesswork. A bit of range work will allow you to write down the proper adjustments for ranges as far out as you want. Of all the scopes and guns I have ever tested, this is the only one about which I could find nothing negative to say. I will test the scope extensively over the next few weeks, and if something comes up, I will tell you about it here—but don’t expect it. Weaver has returned to the quality that Bill was famous for. Well done, Meade Instruments.

E-mail Steve LaMascus at guns@fishgame.com

PHOTO COURTESY WEAVER


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Trophy Gar Adventure T WAS JULY IN NORTHEAST TEXAS. THE SUN was scorching, the water was hot, and the old familiar urge was tugging at us again. While sitting around the fire station table, I posed the question to Phillip

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Huff, “Gar time yet?” He concurred and we made plans to dip a johnboat into the famed gator gar hotspot, the Trinity River. Two days later, I showed up at Phil’s house to hook up the boat and load gear for the adventure. On this trip, we had a newbie. Alex, Phillip’s son-in-law, was in town for a visit and he was eager to see what all the excitement was about. It is a tongue-in-cheek joke around the firehouse where Phil and I work not to take these trips with us. One too many stories have been told of mud bogs, dry gas tanks, broken motors, unexpected trips into the water, and sudden trauma to our bodies. A fresh rain had made the drive to the water very slippery. We evaluated the situation, threw the truck in four-wheel-drive, and chanced it. After several tense moments, we made it to higher ground and eased to the riverbank. The Trinity River south of the D/FW Metroplex isn’t boater friendly. Unless you own property that fronts the river, you usually are left devising a way to get your boat and gear down a rough, steep riverbank under a bridge. It took a while to launch

PHOTOS COURTESY BUDDY UPCHURCH

by Buddy Upchurch, TF&G Reader

with a conglomeration of chains, ropes, and a lot of grunts, pushing, and pulling, but we finally got it done. As we ease downriver, I can see Phil educating Alex on the things we have gathered about river boating over several decades: How to read the currents, where the deeper holes can be found, the amazing erosion that happens after every flood, etc. After 20 minutes or so, I slow the boat and shut off the motor. I get this look from Alex begging me to say the motor didn’t break down again. After assuring Alex everything was fine and this was our first stop to look A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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for gar, we assembled the trolling motor and prepared to fling arrows. We had stopped in a huge right-hand bend in the river, which also has a creek feeding into it from the left. The water was deep here, about 20 feet. Phil handed Alex his bow so he could get a taste of what this was all about. After a short tutorial on the operation of the retriever reel and shooting mechanics, we had Alex shooting targets in the murky water to get the hang of it. We didn’t have to wait long to see evidence of big gator gar. The first sighting of a 100-pounder put a “you’re kidding me, right?” look on Alex’s face. Gar were surfacing all around us now. Most were juvenile 50- to 70-pounders, but the occasional 100150 would roll as well. We had a couple of tough shots, but no real high percentage shots. After 30-40 minutes of this, we decided to move on downstream to look for happier hunting. After another 15 minute ride to another spot, and a fairly dull 15-minute stretch we decided to move back to the original hole.

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Phil and I knew from experience that it was just a matter of time before we got a shot at a 100-pound-plus gar. We motored into position, Phil and I grabbed our bows, and stood up. The gar this time of year often will come to the surface and “roll.” At times, you can actually hear them gulp air when they surface. Gar are equipped to breathe air when the water oxygenation isn’t enough to sustain them. I personally believe sometimes the gar just like to come to the surface to see what’s going on. When they rise to the top of the water, you can actually see their eyes looking at you before sinking back to the depths. In most cases, you have around 3-4 seconds to see your target, raise your bow, and release your arrow before the gar sinks back into the murky water. Trophy gar bowfishing on the Trinity is much like hunting for deer or hogs from a stand. There can be hours of monotonous daydreaming, and then before your eyes, your trophy is there and it’s all up to you to close the deal. After another 30 minutes or so, my opportunity arose. In the blink of an eye, a gray silhouette appeared about 4 feet from where I stood. I was filled with eager excitement when the 36-inch girth of the beast surfaced. As if on autopilot, my bow seemed to raise itself, aim, and release. A 120-pound alligator gar does not take kindly to being stuck with an arrow. With a huge splash, the prehistoric monster lunged forward, ripping line from my reel. While this is taking place, I am instructing Alex to

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push a glove onto my free hand so I can use it as a manual drag without cutting my fingers on the string. After a few tense moments, we are set to play the gar out. The gar alternated between deep, rhythmic swimming, seemingly effortlessly pulling the 14-foot flatbottom with its three inhabitants, and quick bolts of speed. After 10 minutes, the gar surfaced beside Phil. Phil aimed and put another arrow into it to assist with landing the monster. I reached down and grabbed Phil’s arrow protruding about 7 inches behind the gills. With one huge lunge, the leviathan snapped this arrow off and left the benign part in my quivering hand. After another 10 minutes, I was ready to snatch the gator gar behind the gills and heave it into the boat. Finally getting it into position, I instructed my partners to put weight on the opposite side of the boat to avoid tipping us or taking on too much water. With a count of three, I heaved with all my might, dragging the 120pound bulk over the side and into the small flatbottom. Upon transferring my weight as

well as the fish’s into the boat, we began dipping water from the opposite side. Luckily, we were able to re-distribute the weight and kept the flooding to a few gallons. After a short celebration and a few pictures, I dislodged my arrow from the steellike scales of my trophy, and with a huge heave slid it back into the water. Hopefully, it will grow up and I will meet it again.

PHOTO COURTESY CHAD MCLEAN

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Antlered Saltwater Trophy WAS DRIFTING THE SHORELINE IN PORT O’ Connor by the abandoned Coast Guard Station. I looked over my shoulder and saw a set of antlers swimming across the channel. I was able to pull my boat right alongside and take these photos. You hear these stories all the time, but it’s cool to get photos of it. —Chad McLean, a TF&G reader

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Fallout Shelter OVEMBER. TO SOME IT BRINGS COLD, sleet, howling wind, and just about anything else Nature has to offer— not to mention higher utility bills. To the bowhunter, November means the very best time to be out in the field. Early mornings and frosty evenings mean little to the man who is after his prey with a stick and string. It is a magical time to be in the woods. A time when we stay undetected to the creatures of the woods while in their living rooms and are witness to their wake-up call and daily routines, it promises to bring a smile even to the face of the “grizzled” hunter with a new story to tell when he returns home to family and friends. Make sure you get home safely to tell that story. Although bowhunting is generally considered one of the safest sports out there, it does not mean you can just leave caution to the wind. More people get injured playing golf than any other sport. Something about holding a lightning rod in your hands during a storm gives the previous statement some legitimacy. Bowhunting accidents do happen, and are usually self-inflicted injuries. All the more reason to think about every move you make and be sure that it is a safe one. Although there are many methods to take a whitetail with a bow, tree stand hunting has proven one of the most successful. It is also one of the most dangerous. Commercial tree stands of today come with a free safety harness. If you purchase a two-man stand, it comes with two harnesses. You, as a safe, ethical hunter, need to use those harnesses every time you to hunt from an elevated position. That is the problem.

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For some reason, some hunters seem to think an accident will never happen to them. After all, they are careful, veteran hunters. They have been in and out of this particular stand for years now. What could go wrong? That is exactly when things can and do go wrong. Climbing in and out of your stand is when accidents happen. As mentioned, injuries are usually selfinflicted in this sport. If you get too used to your hunting method, it is easy to take a few shortcuts along the way and settle in your stand a few minutes earlier. Bad move. From the moment you arrive at your stand, it is important to remember to always have your harness attached to the tree you are hunting from. Never start your climb without this harness firmly in place and secure to the tree. I know some hunters out wait until they are in the stand before attaching any safety harness, but this is wrong and this bad habit should be corrected before you have a serious accident. Remember, a fall from just a few feet can cause a serious injury.

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Climbing down from your stand requires the same caution. The most dangerous part of your hunt will be when you disconnect the harness. Ideally, you should connect yourself with a linesman’s belt or something similar. The point is you should never be disconnected from the tree without some sort of safety precaution. Remember to secure your harness so that it does not interfere with your shot. While using a bow, you will need to draw your string back comfortably and not worry about getting tangled up with your harness. I have found it good practice to pull back the sting a few times to get the feel of the harness. It might feel a little strange at first, but after you get used to it, it will become second nature to you. You might also find that the harness gets in the way of one of your shots. That is unfortunate, but the bottom line is that the risk simply is not worth the result. A fall from your tree stand could very well mean the end of the season—or much worse.

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Fix It or Ditch It?

cannot easily replace these (the new ones never seem to fit properly) and you certainly do not want to get rid of the gasket entirely, so when rubber gaskets come free and get cut, piece them together and hold them in place with a waterproof glue like Gorilla Glue.

HETHER YOU BOAT IS OLD OR NEW, used in salt- or freshwater, for hunting or fishing, something almost certainly needs fixing or replacing right now. Some boaters will spend two hours fixing a doo-dad that we could buy new for two bucks. Others will look at an imperative item we know needs attention—like a bilge pump—and fail to lift a finger until it’s too late. The common boater will do all of the above: Ignore a problem item, then try to fix it, and finally (when it breaks again) replace it. Whichever category you fit into, sometimes it’s hard to know whether to fix something, throw it away and replace it, or ignore it entirely. Fix, toss, or ignore? Read on, and you will be a boater in the know.

Foam gaskets are a different story. When a foam gasket goes bad, you want to toss and replace it. Once these things get crumbly (usually after just a few years of use), they are simply beyond help. Next thing you know, your ice is melting fast and your camera is getting wet. Luckily, most boating supply stores carry a variety of replacement foam gasketing in enough different sizes that you can get a close fit.

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Fix rubber gaskets that fall out of molded channels in fishboxes, integrated coolers, and hatches. If your boat has these, eventually you will swing open a hatch or lid and the rubber gasket will hang halfway out. Stop! Don’t close that hatch now or the edges might smash or cut the gasket. Darn, too late. Why not just buy a new one? You

Ignore intermittently failing pumps used to evacuate water from fishboxes. These pumps (usually bilge pumps in off-label application) don’t last long (sometime between the first snapper and the third flounder, scales and fish bits are guaranteed to clog them up), but there’s no easy solution because macerator and diaphragm pumps won’t fit into the same spaces as bilge pumps, and nine times out of 10, there’s a dedicated space molded into the fiberglass. Since it is often impossible to replace the pump with a different type, fix your fish box pumps and nurse them along for as long as you can. (Often a blast from the washdown hose into the base of the

pump is enough to clear out fish bits.) But also carry spares, and recognize that eventually you will have to replace them with identical units. Toss cracked or leaky fuel lines. Those that are exposed to direct sunlight have a limited life span, and after five or six years in the weather, they often crack and soon leak. Do not cut out the bad section and use a barb and a hose clamp to put the line back together; when a fuel line is aged enough for a crack to appear in one section, more are sure to soon follow. Considering how dangerous a fuel leak can be, it is just not worth messing with. Do not ignore leaking hoses. Instead, throw the entire fuel line away and buy a new one. Fix pipework welds that crack, immediately. Bang around the bay with a loose weld in your T-top or Bimini, and the lack of structural support will result in more cracks, over-stressed attachment points, and possibly bent pipework that cannot ever be fixed. Unfortunately, cracks in welds usually indicate bad design or improper mounting, and you need to eliminate the root of the problem as well as the symptoms. The best but most expensive solution is toss the top and have a new one custom-made specifically for your boat. (Check to make sure the deck is level first; a common reason welds

BOWHUNTING TECH  Continued from Page C41 The harness should attach to the tree at head level or a little higher, so that if you do slip and fall you will not fall very far and should be able to safely climb back into your stand with little difficulty. The days of a tree belt—or worse, a rope that Grandpa Jim gave you to use— are over. You need to take control and be C42

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safe so that you may enjoy the whole season safely. November weather can bring wet, sometimes icy conditions. Your tree stand will not be exempt from the fallout. It is important that you take every precaution to make sure that you don’t fall out. It is the heart of the season. The time when the hunting woods really wake up; when the rut is in full swing, and you are F i s h

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ready and excited to bring home a trophy for all to admire. Hunt smart, hunt safe, and be there to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

E-mail Lou Marullo at lmarullo@fishgame.com


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are stressed is mounting bolts that are torqued down tight, tensioning the metal.) Most of us, of course, will not want to follow this route. The next best option is to have support gussets welded into 90-degree pipe junctions. The top will not look as good as it once did, but gussets are usually sufficient to keep the structure together. Ignore bilge and motor well access plates that leak a bit. Both screw-in and pop-down pie plates are commonly used to access below decks areas, but even those that are properly bedded in adhesive/sealant and have a good gasket, leak to one degree or another. Much of the time, that accounts for the cup or two of water that leaks out when you trailer your boat and remove the drain plug at the end of the day. Why not replace or fix these so they don’t leak? Because you can’t. Virtually all of them leak to one degree or another, if not when they are new, then within a year or two of installation. Fix gaskets and seals on these plates only when a significant amount of water (maybe 1 gallon per hour for an

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average bay boat) leaks through. If yours leaks only a tiny bit, consider it a fully functioning fitting and be glad it is not a gusher. Toss canvas Bimini and T-top covers when a rip or a bald spot appears after years of use. When one area wears through, you can bet others will soon follow. This usually happens where a top support or strap attaches; the weakened, aged material usually doesn’t have the strength to support new threading necessary to cover the problem spot. On top of that, no matter how hard you try, you will never get the patch color to match the original. Even professional canvass shops can make only a temporary fix at best, and usually within a season or two, you will find new leaks and rips. If you can ignore something that works well but looks terrible, you can paint the canvass with rubberized roofing paint. This is ugly—and I mean u-g-l-y! It does, however, keep the top together and leak-proof for a few more seasons. Fix posi-lock latches (the push-buttons that pop out and turn) that are not holding

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your drawers or hatches closed, or that prevent them from closing in the first place. These regularly fail and many people replace them, but it is rare that the latches actually require replacement. Open the hatch or drawer and you will see the latching mechanism, held on a small track by two screws. Loosen the screws and you can adjust the mechanism’s position on the track. Move it closer to the edge to give the latch more bite, or away from the edge if the latch prevents the drawer from closing properly.

E-mail Lenny Rudow at boating@fishgame.com

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

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Rescue Tape EGRETFULLY, I HAVE FLAUNTED WITH trouble enough to know it on a first name basis. Fortunately, I have outgrown the “emergency room and suture” phase of my life, but it was quickly replaced by the “mechanical malady” phase that comes with adulthood, especially among

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by Greg Berlocher outdoorsmen. As my collection of outdoor gear grew, so did the list of things that could break, corrode, tear, leak, split, or wear out. When samples of Rescue Tape showed up in the mail, it was relegated to the corner of my desk for a few days. Rescue Tape. Funny name. I ruminated on the word “rescue” and visions of a Coast Guard helicopter hovering over a listing boat, evacuating survivors in a basket came to mind. I just didn’t get the connection. Why would I need to be rescued? After all, I am not a thrill seeker and don’t live life on the edge, like, say Don Zaidle, who shakes bare toes at copperheads, practically daring the poisonous vipers to bite one of his appendages. No, I am just a mild mannered outdoor writer with way too much gear that tends to break—usually at the worst possible moment. The light bulb went off on a recent fishing trip when I couldn’t successfully prime the fuel line of my outboard. Ten minutes of pumping the primer bulb left my hand cramping and the fuel line still dry. It turned out that the anti-siphon fitting on the fuel tank had an air leak; the primer bulb was indeed working, but it was sucking air and not fuel. I dug around in the gear bag where I keep new products for evaluation and grabbed the Rescue Tape. A few wraps made an airtight seal, and the fuel line was fully primed a few seconds later. After Rescue Tape’s successful performance, my mind began to wander. I could C44

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have sealed that split radiator hose in the middle of the New Mexico dessert; or covered my wiring connections on my boat trailer; or sealed the rod tube on my last trip to the mountains so all of my fly rods wouldn’t have spilled out on the floor at the baggage claim; or whipped the end of my anchor rope; or fastened my friend’s reel to his rod when his reel seat broke. I was beginning to like this product with the odd name. Silicone tape is not new. It was developed 30 years ago specifically for aircraft wiring, and there are a number of brands on the market. As seasoned anglers understand the difference between cheap monofilament and higher end lines, there are differences in silicone tapes. Rescue Tape is made by Harbor Products in Carson City, Nevada. The company mills their own silicone and mixes it with a proprietary blend of additives that increase its strength and provide enhanced properties. Rescue Tape has a tensile strength of 700 PSI and can resist temperatures up to 500 degree F, making it ideal to repair hoses and pipes that get hot. Rescue Tape also insulates up to 8000 volts, allowing you to replace heat shrink tubing and liquid electrical tape. To use Rescue Tape, you pull off a strip and stretch it to activate it. To get the strongest bond, you should stretch the tape to two or three times its original length. Once it has been stretched, use overlapping wraps, covering about 50 percent of the previous wrap with every new turn. The tighter you wrap the tape, the faster it fuses and the better it works. You will need to lay down multiple layers of tape if trying to seal a high-pressure leak.

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Rescue Tape is 1 inch wide and comes in 12-foot rolls. It is available in an array of colors, including black, clear, white, yellow, green, brown, and orange. The suggested retail price is $9.95 per roll. Rescue tape is available at many outdoor retailers and hardware stores. To prevent the tape from sticking to itself, it has a clear plastic backing, which is discarded. If it is technically possible, I would encourage Harbor Products to substitute some sort of waxed paper, which biodegrades readily, in lieu of the clear plastic backing. Rescue Tape is a wonderful find and an extremely useful product, even though I don’t need to be rescued. Funny name. Great product.

Email Greg Berlocher at fishthis@fishgame.com

On the Web www.rescuetape.com VIDEO REVIEW AT WWW.FISHGAME.COM PHOTO COURTESY RESCUE TAPE


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The Best Deer Rifle Ever Made VER SINCE I WAS OLD ENOUGH TO READ, I have poured over hundreds of articles that tried to pick the best allaround deer rifle. Weighing

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in with my pick, I am going to ignore a lot of myth and personal preference and pick one single rifle as the best ever made for hunting deer in all possible scenarios. Deer in the United States are hunted in almost every conceivable type of terrain, from high mountains, to flat prairies, in dense forests, and on sandy deserts. So, we will first select a caliber suitably sufficient for all of these challenges. Our perfect deer cartridge needs to be flat-shooting for all those long-range shots on the prairies and across canyons in the mountains. If we use it in heavy woods, it needs to hit hard and be capable of firing fairly heavy-for-caliber bullets. For the heavy brush and forests, we want something that will shoot completely through a deer, leaving a good blood trail for tracking in dense cover. We also want a cartridge that will give deep, positive penetration for shots at poor angles, what Elmer Keith called “raking shots.” These criteria rule out everything below 7mm caliber, as well as such wonderful calibers as the .35 Whelen and .338/06 PHOTOS COURTESY BROWNING

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because of their moderate range limitations. The perfect cartridge is going to have to cover a lot of ground. As for long range, it is reasonable to set a limit of 400 yards. Anything farther is simply beyond the marksmanship of all but a very select few. This rules out all the normal woods cartridges like the .35 Remington, .30-30 Winchester, and .348 Winchester. Deer cover the spectrum from Coues deer in Arizona and small Texas Hill Country deer that might dress out at 110 pounds, to the monsters of the northern United States and Canada that can weigh nearly as

much as a spike bull elk. This means our cartridge selection must have power and versatility. While the standard calibers like the .270 Winchester and .30-06 can handle most situations, I would prefer a bit more power for long-range shots at the largest deer. The .300 magnums would fit our description quite well, and many hunters use them even for smaller deer species. However, they are more powerful than necessary and kick too much for many hunters to handle well. We also do not need the power of the .338 Winchester or .340 Weatherby, though either of those would certainly do the job. This narrows the field to one of the smaller magnums in 7mm or .270. But, before we make our final cartridge selection, we need to decide which gun we want because some of the cartridges might not be chambered in our chosen gun. Since we are using this rifle in every conceivable type of terrain and weather, it must be light enough to carry without undue strain, and must be weatherproof. A heavybarreled bolt-action rifle in one of the magnums would certainly take care of the accuracy and range problems, but is too heavy to carry all day on foot up and down mountains and across swamps, so they have to go, A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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too. This leaves us with a rifle weighing less than 9 pounds loaded and scoped. Since some of our hunting is in the thick stuff where we might need a fast second or third shot, we can rule out single shots. And although a good man with a bolt action can work a bolt faster than most would believe, the bolt action is slower than any of the levers, pumps, or semi-autos. Only one lever action, the Browning BLR, is offered in the calibers we are interested in, so it is definitely in the running. At this time, no pump-action rifles are offered in any of the magnum calibers, so they are out. That is a shame, too, because the pump-action is one of the fastest and most reliable. In semi-auto, the only rifle I know of offered in magnum calibers is the Browning BAR. So, we seem to have narrowed our choices down to two—the BAR and BLR. Both are offered in several calibers that fit our needs for a mid-caliber magnum. Of these two rifles, either will fit our needs, but our purpose is to pick a single rifle. Now, if we add one more straw to the camel’s back, we are left with only one entry. Assume that some of our hunting will be on horseback, requiring carrying our rifle in a saddle scabbard. This is the realm of the

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“Tuna’s Knot” with Spectra Fishing Line UNA’S KNOT”—NAMED FOR “TUNA” Joe Semunovich, is a connection I have used with mono for over 20 years. I first saw the 3turn clinch knot in late 1988 after being introduced to Joe by one of the owners of what is now the country’s largest privately owned tackle store. This piece is about adapting it for use with Spectra fishing lines. Changes to the knot itself include two turns around the eye and increasing the turns in the knot itself to eight. The other is eliminating the leader section of your rigging. Tying Spectra directly to the hook or lure gives a more alive or natural look. All of my reels are filled with white Power Pro Spectra. The outer 10-15 feet is camo green or blue, created with a split-tip Marks-A-Lot. This camo treatment is to hide the white Spectra. This camo effect is of great importance at any depth, since untreated white or yellow will stand out like a beacon, especially when tied directly to a hook or lure. Also remember that green hides well in blue or green water, but blue will stand out in green water it is darker. Applying blue to yellow Spectra makes it green. Advantages of using white or yellow Power Pro Spectra are that you can see where your line is, and in the event of a

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backlash or tangle, the shadows on white help in the tangle removal. Tying this knot into Spectra is a bit more difficult than with mono, simply because of Spectra’s limpness. The tying sequence

begins by running the tag end of your Spectra through the hook/lure eye twice. This is vitally important. Pull about 12 inches through the eye.

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Using the top portion of the illustration as a guide, hold the Spectra between your left thumb and forefinger, about 1/2-inch from the hook eye (A). Now, wrap the tag end around the standing end eight times as shown in the illustration, also pinching the turns between your thumb and forefinger as you go. Next, pass the tag end back through the eight turns. Grasp the tag and standing ends between your right thumb and forefinger (B) and place your left and right second fingers in that portion of the loop as shown at (C). Pull outward with your second fingers, pulling the wraps into the position shown. Relaxing the pressure of your second fingers will let the Spectra wrap into position as in the third panel of the illustration. Making sure the double wraps at the hook eye are not crossed, tighten by first pulling on the tag end to snug tight. With the hook or lure secured to a stationary object, pull on the standing end to tightly set the knot. Lastly, give a hard pull with a gloved or wrapped hand for the final tightening. Clip the tag end of the Spectra to about 1/4-inch. If it looks questionable for any reason, cut it off and start again. Although Tuna Joe passed away around three years ago at almost 89 years of age, he is still sort of passing on his fishing knowledge through this adaptation of the knot he passed on to me. Learn to love knots—become a knothead. It’s good for you and your fishing. Tuna Joe told me that, too.

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Topwater Autumn OOKING BACK OVER THE COLUMNS I HAVE written for November over the past few years, I noticed a trend. Typically, I start writing about deep-water fishing in this month, and continue through the winter on that same theme. I think I have done a disservice to you because I have ignored the outstanding shallow-water bass fishing that is available this time of year. So, this time I am bucking the trend to discuss topwater baits for fall bass. This is Texas, after all, and most of us are deer hunting in shorts, so the temperature has not yet gotten cold enough to push the bass deep. A lot of them are still gorging on baitfishes on flats near deeper water, and this is where a slow-moving topwater bait comes into play. Everyone has their favorite topwater. Some swear by buzzbaits, others prefer chuggers and poppers, while others like to walk the dog; the latter is the category I fall into, mostly because of the ability to work a Spook and its kin much slower than you can the other baits, which means more time in the strike zone longer and more enticement to finicky fish. Just about any bait will catch fish straight

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out of the box, but a few quick tweaks will make them catch more. These modifications will not necessarily make the lures more appealing to bass or cause more to strike, but will make sure the fish that do hit get stuck and stay that way until you get them into the boat. The first thing to do to any topwater chugger or walk-the-dog type bait is to remove the rear hook and replace it with a larger one. The larger hook will stay attached to the fish better, and is heavier to weigh down the back end of the bait so it rides lower in the water, making it a more accessible target. With the bait sitting nose high, it will also move a shorter distance when worked, making it sit in front of a fish much longer. You might recall the Tung Fu putty discussed in a previous column. If the addition of the hook doesn’t lower the rear enough, wrap some Tung Fu around the hook shaft to add a little more weight. If you are fishing in an area with a large amount of brush or grass and are worried about hanging up a lot, clip off the forwardfacing point of the rear treble. This leaves two points to hook into fish, but removes the one most likely to snag brush. Most topwater baits come with a split ring connecting each hook to the body. Take

the time to add one more split ring to the ones already on the bait to make the hooks swing a little freer, which can help prevent bass from slinging the bait or putting enough side pressure on the hooks to pull free.

Since we are in a split ring adding mood, put one on the nose of the bait as well, if it doesn’t already have one. Tying to the split ring instead of directly to the line tie eye will give the bait more side-to-side action. If fishing open water and the sight of more hooks on a bait just makes you giddy, add another hook off the back end via a short leader. Tie a short piece of monofilament to the rear hook then tie a dressed treble hook to the end of the leader. (A dressed treble is one wrapped with feathers or Mylar that adds a little flair.) I know it’s deer season and most of you are busy chasing bucks (me included), but if you get the urge to head out to the lake after sitting on stand all day, don’t automatically head deep. There are still bass chasing shad up shallow, and will fall for a topwater plug.

E-mail Paul Bradshaw at freshrigs@fishgame.com

TEXAS GUNS & GEAR  Continued from Page C45 lever rifle. Therefore, our choice of the most perfect deer rifle ever built is: The Browning BLR Lightweight ‘81 with 24-inch barrel in 7mm Remington Magnum caliber. Topped with a good variable scope of about 3-9X, we are set for almost anything. There you have it. This is not a rifle I ILLUSTRATION BY PAUL BRADSHAW

personally would choose for anything, but when we try to make one tool perform a multitude of tasks, we run the risk of choosing a tool that is not necessarily the best for anything. Still, the BLR is a fine gun, very durable and accurate, and is more than capable of fulfilling all the requirements we have placed on it in this column. If you are one of those rare individuals A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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satisfied with only one do-it-all gun, this is my suggestion to you. However, I will continue to pick the tool I think best for each individual situation I encounter. After all, no law says I have to follow my own advice.

E-mail Steve LaMascus at guns@fishgame.com

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The eel was later estimated to be 60 years old. Bruce said it came at him and Steve Jr. like an anaconda, rearing its head up and striking at them like a rattlesnake. It was highly agitated and quite energetic. In the midst of thrashing around, the creature fell down below onto the floor between the two sleeping men, Erik and Ken. When they heard the thud and turned on the light, the eel raised its head right above Ken’s face. Erik rolled over and grabbed his 9 mm pistol. Steve Jr. started yelling. “Don’t shoot the gun in the boat! We’re 120 miles from land!” Next thing you know, all four fishermen were on the deck

a strategy. It was determined that Steve Jr. would distract the eel because he had drank the most alcohol and believed he was bulletproof. He opened up the sliding door down below to see what the “monster” was doing. As the door opened, the eel came up the two steps biting at anything along the way. The four brave men then ran to the wheelEditor’s Note: This story comes courtesy house like women and slammed the door of Seabreeze News editor and publisher shut. They never did identify which one of Steve Hoyland as published in its 3 Septemthem screamed like a girl. ber 2009 issue. —Don Zaidle Inside the wheelhouse, they started calming down and decided they would drink a WO WEEKS AGO, A GROUP OF FOUR MEN, couple more beers. Then they hatched a Steve Hoyland, Jr. with friends Bruce, new battle plan. Steve Jr. went out on the Ken and Erik, set off deck to get the beast’s attenon an overnight offtion. The eel attacked and shore fishing trip. They left Steve Jr. climbed up on top at noon on a Tuesday and of the captain’s chair. Ken went about 120 miles out threw a blanket on top of into the Gulf. They were the giant eel while Erik and having a great night of fishBruce beat the hell out of it ing, catching big snapper, with a steel gaff and a large grouper, ling, and kings. ice chest lid. After the creaAbout 3 am, two of them ture was finally subdued, went down below to catch they put it into a large ice some sleep. The two chest, and closed the lid on remaining on deck were it. catching fish and drinking The four brave sailors all beer, enjoying the warm got themselves a beer and tropical night air. were laughing at the situaAll at once, Bruce got a tion when the lid of the ice big run on his line. This chest was suddenly knocked thing went all around the off and the eel sprang out boat and took more than onto the deck and resumed twenty minutes to bring up his attack. Bruce stated that to the surface. When they the eel was clearly out for got it up to the surface, they vengeance. The four men could not tell what it was. It each picked up something Tentatively identified as an American Conger eel, these guys have been known to and the fight was on. After looked prehistoric. Steve Jr. put a gaff in it viciously attack divers and swimmers. They are nocturnal hunters, and have row upon beating the creature with and the two men dragged it row of very sharp teeth. The one in this picture terrorized a group of brave fishermen in gaffs, ice chest lids, and fire aboard the 33-foot boat. As the Gulf of Mexico one night last [August]. extinguishers again, they soon as the big creature hit once more subdued the the deck, it went crazy, attacking them. It and the gigantic eel had sole possession of massive carnivore and put it back into the was an eel over six feet long, weighing close the bottom of the boat. ice chest. This time, they tied the lid down to 100 pounds. It had a mouth full of sharp The four needed to work up a plan of and put another ice chest on top of that one. teeth and was extremely pissed off. action, so they drank beer while considering Eighteen hours later, they returned to the

A R-eel Fish Story

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dock and started unloading the boat. None of them was anxious to open the lid to the ice chest, in fact, they did “rock, paper, scissors” to determine who would pop the lid! Above is a picture of Bruce Gordy with the eel that he caught and bravely fought in that epic and desperate battle for control on the high seas. —Steve Hoyland, Sr.

On the Web www.seabreezenews.com •••

Flower Gardens Among Healthiest Reefs FLOWER GARDEN BANKS NATIONAL MARINE Sanctuary is among the healthiest coral reef ecosystems in the tropical Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, according to a new NOAA report. The report, A Biogeographic Characterization of Fish Communities and Associated Benthic Habitats within the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, offers insights into the coral and fish communities within the sanctuary based on data collected in 2006 and 2007. Sanctuary managers will use the report to track and monitor changes in the marine ecosystem located 70 to 115 miles off the coasts of Texas and Louisiana. “We found that 50 percent of the area surveyed for this report is covered by live coral,” said Chris Caldow, a NOAA marine biologist and lead author on the report. “This is significant because such high coral cover is a real rarity and provides critical habitat for many different types of fish and other animals that live in these underwater systems.” The sanctuary is also unusual in that toplevel predators, including large groupers, jacks, and snappers dominate it—species virtually absent throughout the U.S. Caribbean. Researchers looked at the relationship between physical measures of the sanctuary’s habitat such as depth, slope, and geographic location, and the nature of the fish community in each location.

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“Ultimately, our goal was to develop a protocol that would detect and track longterm changes in fish and sea-floor community structure,” Caldow said. “Once managers are equipped with this information, they can better understand how threats from climate change and other stressors will impact the ecosystem.” The report cautions that despite the sanctuary’s relatively healthy condition, it might be more susceptible to environmental impacts than previously thought. For example, scientists observed high levels of coral bleaching and corals severely impacted from hurricane activity. NOAA prepared the report based on data collected in 2006 and 2007, with input from scientists and managers at Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. — Staff Report

On the Web Flower Gardens Report: http://ccma.nos.noaa.gov/products/biogeogr aphy/fgb/report.html Flower Garden Banks Sanctuary: http://flowergarden.noaa.gov Center for Coastal Management & Assessment: http://ccma.nos.noaa.gov CCMA Biogeography Branch: http://ccma.nos.noaa.gov/about/biogeograp hy/welcome.html •••

Algae, Hypoxia Damage Fish Immune Response

On the Web www.science.gu.se/english/News/

HYPOXIA, OR LACK OF OXYGEN, IN BOTTOM waters is a well-known problem. New research at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, adds to the list of ill effects that hypoxia leads to increased levels of manganese, which damages immune response in marine animals. Water eutrophication (accumulation of A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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nutrients that support a dense growth of algae and other organisms, the decay of which depletes shallow waters of oxygen) and the resulting hypoxia is an ever-current issue, not least in connection with summer algal blooms. A more recently acknowledged problem is that hypoxia increases the release of toxic metals from bottom sediments. Researchers at the University of Gothenburg have found that one of these metals, manganese, may damage immune response in marine animals. While low doses of manganese are essential to life in humans and animals, higher doses can be detrimental to health. Manganese is abundant in soft ocean bottoms, but since it is normally bound to the sediments, it usually does not cause any ill effects. However, hypoxia releases manganese from sediments, making it a threat to the health of marine species. Researcher Carolina Oweson, Department of Marine Ecology at the University of Gothenburg, studied how manganese in Swedish coastal waters affects the Norway lobster, blue mussel, and common sea star. Her conclusion is that while manganese does not seem to have a permanent effect, it does threaten the survival of several species during periods of hypoxia. “While the effects of manganese on the immune response in the studied animals vary, they are all affected in some way. The Norway lobster and mussels are affected the most, for example, through an increased susceptibility to infections,” said Oweson. New findings indicate hypoxia is becoming increasingly common in coastal areas around the world, making Oweson’s study even more relevant. —Staff Report

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Stick It! TICK IT WHERE THE SUN DON’T shine” became part of the American lexicon in 1976 when the pudgy catcher in “The Bad News Bears” uttered those words to a rival little league baseball player. After three decades of overuse, the familiar phrase is typically truncated to simply “stick it,” suggesting the same nuance of the original phrase, but in a snappier, quicker-to-deliver format. With increasing frequency, kayak fishermen are telling their fishing buddies to stick it—but for a different reason. Stake-out poles have been used on flats boats for years, and several manufacturers have introduced stake-out poles specifically designed for kayak duty. The concept is simple: Stick a pole into the soft bottom and tether your kayak to the pole with a short rope. Stake-out poles are easy to use and eliminate the need for an anchor. I am a big fan of stake-out poles and have been sticking it for quite some time. The sitting angler can quickly and quietly push and pull a stake-out pole into and out of the bottom. No more clanging anchors banging around the cockpit or dredging up big wads of seagrass or mud. This allows for quickfire action and frequent moves. Nothing interrupts my tempo like stopping and anchoring. With the possible exception of fresh chips and salsa, I can’t think of a finer combination than a stake-out pole and drift-fishing. Hook a fish and quickly stop your drift by driving the pole into the bottom with your

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free hand. When you are ready to cover more water, inch the pole back out and you are on your way. Don’t think that stake-out poles are useful only on coastal flats. They are just as handy on inland lakes if the water depth is shallow enough. Stake-out poles can also be used by river fishermen. River beds blanketed with a layer of washed rock can be difficult to penetrate with a pointed stick, but these seemingly inhospitable watersheds usually have stake-out pole friendly shorelines. Keep in mind that you can always jab the pole into the soil above the waterline

boundary. Just beware of fire ant mounds; don’t ask me how I know this. Stake-out poles are easy to make and every serious kayak fisherman should have one. A section of PVC pipe topped with a T fitting is about as simple as it gets. The T fitting serves as a handle and provides a place to attach a small rope. For easier penetration, cut the other end off at an angle. If you prefer to buy your kayak accessories rather than make them, Yak-Gear and Stick It Anchor Pins make kayak-sized stake-out poles, available at many outdoor retailers and full service kayak shops. The Yak Gear Yak-Stick is made of 7/8-inch

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solid PVC and comes in 4- and 6-foot models. The Stick It Anchor Pins pole is 5/8inch diameter, made of composite material, and comes with an ergonomic T handle. The T-shaped handle allows the stake-out pole to be inverted and used as a push pole. If you chase trout and redfish in skinny water, you likely use your kayak as transportation and bail out once you arrive at your destination. If you paddle a sit-on-top style hull, you can stick the pole through one of the scupper holes. This is as simple as it gets, essentially pinning the kayak in place. Stake-out poles are a good option for securing kayaks when you duck hunt. Pulling your hull up into a clump of spartina grass might or might not secure it in place. I am a belt and suspenders type of guy, typically opting on the side of caution. (Too many sutures in my youth, I suppose.) A rising tide can loosen the spartina’s grip on your hull, allowing a gusting breeze to send it on its way. The truant kayak makes no noise and the hunter’s fixation on ducks will likely prevent noticing its departure until it is too late. Driving a stake-out pole though a scupper hole is inexpensive insurance. If you don’t have a stake-out pole, consider adding one to your equipment list. Then you can literally stick it where the sun don’t shine.

Email Greg Berlocher at kayak@fishgame.com

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Catching Tadpoles HE SQUARE WATER TROUGH WAS THE birthing ward for hundreds of frog eggs. The goggle-eyed swimmers churned their tails and raced around the interior of their concrete boundaries. Then they gathered in corners and hovered, hiding in the green algae. Catching them with a straight grab was almost impossible. A smart child herded them into a corner and then gently scooped them up in his hands. Then he would transfer the flipping creatures into a prepared bottle for transport to the aquarium in Mrs. Martinek’s sixthgrade classroom. Still, some of the tadpoles slipped through fingers and around small palms to the center of the trough where they could not be reached. Such is reality; sometimes it slips through our fingers to escape and glare at us from a distance while we stare back, blinking and dumb. Bud Swanson sat on a bench and tangled one long, bowed leg over the other. He leaned back against the log wall of the horse barn, resting and contemplating. Then, he inspected me for a moment as if to decide whether I was worth his attention. He was silent and the late evening sounds of birds along the creek and horses eating in the barn crept into our consciousness. His weathered hands folded atop his knee as a smile glinted at the corner of his eye and twitched the corner of his mouth. His hair was neatly combed and his shirt had at one time been starched and ironed. The elderly gentlemen had style and pride. I had been searching for him since the first time I smelled a horse. That’s not saying I didn’t respect the outdoor breed of men in my country, but there was a reality check. Their frontier was well defeated before they succumbed to modern

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maladies. While they could relate from the days of outhouses and boiling lard, their remaining lives were spent on construction sites, driving tractors, or in offices. It’s simple math understanding that stories from someone whose belly impedes a steering wheel or who hasn’t slung a rope in 40 years might ring hollow. Nevertheless, I gleaned every tidbit of information about training horses, working cows, and hunting into the wind that was offered, and I yearned to see country measured in square miles rather than acres. Now, I waited. Bud was gearing up to talk more than a month’s load of words, and it was evident he was enjoying the audience. “Me ’n some of the boys lived in a bunkhouse on the Broken-O. If we wasn’t bucking up hay, we’d make a few rodeos during the summertime. I’d take my threequarter rigged Hamley saddle and slip the stirrup leathers out of the D-ring so I could spur ahead. Then when I’d head home, I’d just run the stirrup leather back through the ring and go back to working cows. But I was winning too much money and the folks putting on the rodeos made me buy a Turtles Association card. That’s what they called it then; now it’s the PRCA. “I suppose we stuck a loop on every sort of critter that lives around here. We once roped a cow elk and drug her in the horse barn and shut the doors. Now, that’s all mighty tame, but the cook had his chicken nests in that barn and had to check for eggs through a side door. We was at the windows the next morning waiting for the show. When Cookie cracked the latch, that ol’ elk piled over him like a freight train. We didn’t get no breakfast that day. “We also caught a little mountain goat and put it in that barn, but I think it walked a support beam and hopped out the second floor window because we never saw it again. “Another critter I had fun catching was a prairie goat.” “Wait a minute… ain’t pronghorn antelope the fastest animals in North America?” A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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I asked incredulously. Bud mashed his lips together and shook his head. “Maybe so, but if you’re mounted good and got the right stretch of open country, you can run one down. “After I bought the ranch, I started outfitting. I’d take dudes hunting in the mountains every year after shipping calves. But then the government got involved and wanted me to buy a license. It wasn’t worth the price and I gave it up. I figured those were our mountains and nobody could charge me to use them.” This is where reality became slippery. The Wilderness Act sets aside and preserves vast quantities of U.S. backcountry. That’s a good thing. However, the Forest Service, as federal agencies go, is a money pit. It seemed to Bud that the government should let the use of his home mountain country be free, or at least be free to the natives. It made sense to me, but at some point, reality had slithered to the side of bureaucracy. Years went by, Bud passed away chasing a milk cow around the barn, and I honed my backwoods ignorance into blind naiveté. But reality remains as black and white, cut and dried, and slimy to get a hold on as ever. The oil patch is demonized by mainstream media, but little is reported of the technology it produces to conserve and recover freshwater, make less footprint, and provide economically feasible energy. Wolves exploded past the projected 300count population by thousands. Ten years after the inception, the non-indigenous Canadian gray predators have devastated ungulate herds and economies in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. This happened in the same frame while academics ballyhoo the debacle as a successful reintroduction experiment. The Overeducated Stupids have corralled Washington and want a Cap and Trade tax based on an unproven climate

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SPOTLIGHT: DEL RIO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Lake Amistad is one of Del Rio’s main attractions, offering a wide expanse of clear, turquoise-colored water on the Texas/Mexico Border. The lake is part of the Amistad National Recreation Area managed by the National Park Service. Amistad is the Spanish word for friendship, and the international lake and dam are centered by two bronze eagles, symbolizing the strong ties between the U.S. and Mexico. Amistad National Recreation Area offers great opportunities for boating, houseboat vacations, camping, water sports, fishing, bow hunting for deer, and bird watching. Surrounding Del Rio is the Seminole Canyon State Park and Historical Site, Shumla School, Judge Roy Bean Visitor Center, San Felipe Springs, Val Verde Winery, Whitehead Memorial Museum, Laughlin Heritage Foundation Museum and the home of Laughlin Air Force Base. Del Rio is a multi-cultural town with many opportunities to live, work and play. The border town is one of the safest along the Texas/Mexico Border. For additional information check out www.drchamber.com or call 1-800-8898149 and see why we are “The Best of the Border.” — Del Rio Chamber C52

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ROCKPORT


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OUTDOOR SHOPPER EAST TEXAS

TEXAS HUNTING

For Classified Rates and Information call Dennise at 1-800-750-4678, ext. 5579. A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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Jalapeno Kiwi Glazed Ham

or until the ham starts to pull away from the bone. Remove foil and baste with collected juices and jelly in pan. Increase the temp to 400 degrees and bake for 30 to 40 more minutes, basting every 10 to 15 minutes until a glaze begins to form on the ham. Remove from the oven and allow the ham to rest with a piece of foil loosely draped over it for 20 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. Remove foil and slice ham into 2- to 3-inch pieces, and lay them in the juices until ready to serve.

HE HOLIDAYS ARE A GREAT TIME FOR traveling to see friends, relatives, or your buddies at deer camp. Bringing along a great dish that can be heated and served after a drive can be a challenge. I have prepared and shared this recipe for many years and I hope you will enjoy it with your favorite people this season.

Sugar Cured Feral Hog Ham

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1 bone-in 8- to 10-lb. or larger shank ham 1 jar Texas Gourmet’s Jalapeno Kiwi Jelly 1-1/2 cup sherry 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 2 Tbs soy sauce 2 Tbs chopped rosemary leaves 3 Tbs black pepper Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the ham on a wire rack in a baking pan. Score the ham on all sides to about 1/2-inch deep. Cover with foil and bake for approx 1 hour with nothing on the ham, then baste the ham liberally with the Jalapeno Kiwi Jelly. Cover with foil again and bake for 2 to 2-1/2 hours

The Sugar Cure For a 6- to 10-pound ham: Mix 1 pint each of sugar and sea or kosher salt into 11/2 to 2 gallons of cold water. Stir until all salt is dissolved. Place the ham in a large disposable plastic bag. Using your turkey injector, draw up two to three full syringes of the solution and inject it in next to the bone in several places on the ham. (This will help the curing process to get to the places most vulnerable to spoiling when on a pit.) Then pour the rest of the cure solution in the bag with the ham. Squeeze all of the air out of the bag and tie it up tight and close to the meat. Place the bag in a refrigerator or a cooler lined with plenty of ice and allow it to

sit in the solution for 24 to 48 hours. Remove the ham from the bag, rinse it off, and it is ready for the pit.

Pit Instructions After preheating your pit (I like to start with about 5 pounds of lump hardwood charcoal, then add seasoned pecan, post oak, and a little hickory wood for smoke and flavor enhancement), place the ham in the pit at the far end from the firebox with the temperature at about 250 to 275 degrees, and baste every 45 minutes or so. Flip the ham every 1-1/2 hours and continue basting. (Use 45 minutes to the pound as a guide for smoking time, or until a meat thermometer inserted next to the bone registers 160 degrees.) Remove from the pit to a platter and drape a loose piece of foil over the ham for 30 to 45 minutes before carving. Heat the remaining baste to a boil on the stove, then use it as a sauce when serving. Try not to hurt yourself by attempting to eat the whole ham while carving it. Enjoy with your favorite sides. BASTE FOR THE HAM: 1 jar Texas Gourmet’s Jalapeno Kiwi Jelly

Sweet Potato Bar This is a fun way to serve a healthy and flavorful dish that allows everyone to have it just the way they like it.

WILDERNESS TRAILS  Continued from Page C51 change theory. Meanwhile, it’s reported that Canada’s pine beetle-ravaged forests are producing more carbon dioxide than oxygen. Canadian officials say they will leave that factor out of the equation when adjusting their Kyoto Treaty requirements. C54

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In Texas, San Antonio continues to spend millions scouring the drought-ridden state in search of more water; the Gulf of Mexico is only 100 miles away. The sixth-graders wrote down the tadpoles maturation schedule daily. Their hind legs grew out, their tails got shorter, and their front legs appeared. Then one F i s h

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day, some of them were gone. In three days, they were all gone. I stood there blinking and dumb. The aquarium had no top and they were really all gone.

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


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Pick small, fresh sweet potatoes, wash and rinse, then spray or rub the outsides with butter and lightly sprinkle with salt. Wrap each sweet potato in foil and bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until soft to the touch. Remove from oven and serve with butter, baby marshmallows, glazed pecans (recipe follows), brown sugar, cinnamon sugar, baked sweetened coconut flakes, and orange zest arranged on a condiment tray.

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pecans to a cool surface in the open air for 30 minutes to 1 hour. They can now be served or used in recipes. If storing, be sure to seal in a Mason jar or Zip Loc bag.

customers or family and friends. Call today, as dates are limited: 832-875-9433

Bryan Slaven, The Texas Gourmet, is now booking weekends this season for wild game dinners and instruction at your ranch or in your home. A great way to entertain

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

Glazed Pecans 1 lb. fresh pecans 3/4 stick of butter, melted Texas Gourmet’s Sweet Chipotle Season All cinnamon sugar parchment paper Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a bowl, mix the pecan halves with the butter. Sprinkle the pecans generously with 2 Tbs Sweet Chipotle Season All. Stir well then pour them onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread the pecans out evenly. Bake for 20 minutes, then open oven and quickly pull out cookie sheet with pecans and sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar and place back in the oven for 10 more minutes. Remove from the oven and transfer the PHOTO COURTESY JIM OLIVE

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

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

1745 Greens Road Houston, Texas 77032

BASS—CEDAR PARK

REDFISH—LAKE AUSTIN

PERCH—BLANCO RIVER STATE PARK

Regan Vaca, age 15, of Cedar Park, Texas, caught this 11-pound bass from a private pond. Regan was using 6-pound-test with a 7-1/2-inch YUM ribbontail worm in Tequila Sunrise.

L-R Wade Nairn with a 22-inch redfish, Ross Nairn Cameron Carrola, age 4, of Houston, Texas, caught with a 21-inch red, and Pawpaw, Bobby Nairn, with his first perch while fishing with his uncle David a 25-inch red, all caught in Lake Austin near Chi- during an outing to the Blanco River State Park. naquapen.

TURKEY—THROCKMORTON COUNTY

REDFISH—SABINE PASS

Scott Wood, 15, of Cedar Park, Texas, took 3 turkeys during spring youth season in Throckmorton County.

Nolan Frederick of Beaumont, Texas, caught this redfish in Sabine Pass. The red had a total of 20 spots: 12 on one side and 8 on the other.

BLACKTIP SHARK—ARANSAS BAY

TROUT—TEXAS

CRAPPIE—LAKE GRANBURY

Austin Stoerner, age 8, from Friendswood, Texas, Carolyn Moon caught this 26-inch blacktip shark Christian Sanchez, age 9, of Mansfield, Texas, shows off his first trout. The fish was 15-1/2 inches while fishing in Aransas Bay with her guide, Wally caught his first crappie, 1-1/2 pounds, 14 inches, Meyer, “Captain Redfish.” in a private crappie house on Lake Granbury long. while fishing with his Grammy and Pa. C56

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ET READY FOR SOME GREAT PHEASANT hunting in the Texas Panhandle. That’s the word from another little bird that helps provide wildlife biologists like Gene Miller with a measuring stick for predicting the upcoming pheasant-hunting season in the popular plains area of North Texas.

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by Bob Hood The season opens 5 December in 37 Panhandle counties and closes 3 January with a three-bird (roosters only) daily bag; possession limit six. “We had a good carryover of pheasant from last year and some favorable rains that point to good pheasant reproduction,” said Miller, a Texas Parks & Wildlife Department biologist. Although biologists don’t make their annual assessment pheasant numbers until late October and early November via 44 roadside counts along 20-mile stretches, PHOTO BY GRADY ALLEN

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Miller said summer observations of another bird, quail, which also is dependent upon good spring and summer rains for reproduction, has painted an optimistic forecast for the pheasant season. “We have seen a lot of bobwhite and blue quail in many counties,” Miller said. “That’s always a good sign. I think it is setting up to be an average or above average reproduction of pheasant in several areas.” Texas Panhandle pheasant hunting is a much-celebrated event among not only hunters, but also among numerous small town non-profit and service organizations. Hunters flock to the Panhandle from all over the nation, and even from overseas each December and early January to participate in “community pheasant hunts” held by local organizations. The money hunters pay to hunt pheasant has helped many cashstrapped communities build volunteer fire stations, support senior citizen groups, underwrite college scholarships for area youths, purchase ambulances, and much more. A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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Among the small communities that hold these hunts are Hart, Olton, Vega, Easter, Lazbuddie, Stratford, Dalhart, Dimmit, Friona, and Nazareth plus several more. A few calls to various chambers of commerce in the Panhandle region for information about the open-to-the-public community hunts is well worth the effort for pheasant hunting enthusiasts. The key to finding the best pheasant hunting areas in the Panhandle is finding the combination of grassy cover near the edges and corners of grain fields consisting of wheat, milo or corn; or grassy cover near playa lakes close to grain fields, said TPWD biologist Jeff Bonner of Pampa. “Where you have a good mix of grasses that the landowners have let grow around the corners of their fields or CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) lands next to grain fields, you can expect to find the best pheasant hunting,” Bonner said. “Dallam County is particularly good because it is interspersed with CRP lands and corners with some type of grass cover.

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In This Issue

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INDUSTRY INSIDER • Wong Scores Bassmaster Regular Season Win | BY TF&G STAFF

OUTDOOR LIFESTYLE SECTION

SHOOT THIS • Weaver 3-15x42 Super Slam Scope | BY STEVE LAMASCUS

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FISH THIS • Rescue Tape | BY GREG BERLOCHER

HOW-TO SECTION

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COVER STORY • Panhandle Pheasant Bonanza | BY BOB HOOD

HOTSPOTS & TIDES SECTION

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

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

GEARING UP SECTION

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TEXAS TESTED • Pinnacle Scion Select X Reel; DeLORME | BY TF&G STAFF NEW PRODUCTS • What’s New from Top Outdoor Manufacturers | BY TF&G STAFF

In addition to Dallam, other top Panhandle pheasant counties include Deaf Smith, Hansford, Ochiltree, Gray, Randall, Bailey, Haile, Sherman, and Floyd. Chinese ringneck pheasant first appeared in the U.S. in 1791 when Benjamin Franklin’s son-in-law, Richard Bache, stocked a New Jersey plantation with pheasant from China. In 1881, Judge Denny, U.S. Consul to China, made a more successful stocking of the birds in Oregon and Pennsylvania. According to TPWD records, pheasant first appeared in the northern Panhandle in 1939 or 1940. Those birds reportedly drifted across the border from western Oklahoma, where they had been introduced around 1910. In 1941, two Hereford residents who had hunted ringneck pheasant in the Dakotas initiated a stocking program in Deaf Smith County. Soon thereafter, other private landowners began stocking pheasant to help establish populations on their Panhandle lands. As the years passed, TPWD, the U.S. Soil Conservation Service, more private landowners, civic organizations, and sportsman groups began stocking the beautifully colored and sporty bird with a rocket-launch like flight throughout the region. Unlike I2

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BOWHUNTING TECH • Fallout Shelter | BY LOU MARULLO

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SALTWATER BAITS & RIGS • “Tuna’s Knot” with Spectra Fishing Line | BY PATRICK LEMIRE

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FRESHWATER BAITS & RIGS • Topwater Autumn | BY PAUL BRADSHAW

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TEXAS KAYAKING • Stick It! | BY GREG BERLOCHER

TEXAS BOATING • Fix It or Ditch It? | BY LENNY RUDOW TEXAS GUNS & GEAR • The Best Deer Rifle Ever Made | BY STEVE LAMASCUS

WILDERNESS TRAILS • Catching Tadpoles | BY HERMAN W. BRUNE

many other game birds that do well on rangeland, pheasant are dependant upon lands that produce corn, wheat, milo, sorghum, and similar grains. If the land is not cultivated, it will not have pheasant. Moderate farming, such as leaving grassy areas for cover from predators, shade, and resting areas next to grain fields, playa lakes, and ditches is much like leaving timbered areas next to wheat or oat fields for deer. Although deer do not need the oat and wheat fields for food as much as the pheasant do, neither would survive without the cover. When searching for the best pheasant hunting opportunities in the Texas Panhandle, ask questions about the farming practices in the county you want to visit. Although many landowners intentionally leave stands of grassy cover in the corners of their fields, in areas next to playa lakes, around abandoned houses, and along old or new irrigation ditches; or leave rows of unharvested grain on field margins for protective cover, some do not. A landowner with a pheasant management strategy mixed in with his farming operations generally will have the best hunting. Now is a good time to choose an area you want to hunt and also a good time to preF i s h

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TROPHY FEVER • Trophy Gar Adventure | BY TF&G READER SALTWATER TALES • No Birds for Autumn | BY CHESTER MOORE, JR. TOURNAMENT NEWS • Johnston Clinches Bassmaster Central at Rayburn | BY TF&G STAFF NEWS FROM THE COAST • A R-eel Fish Story | BY TF&G STAFF

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DISCOVER THE OUTDOORS • Classifieds | BY TF&G STAFF

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

TEXAS TASTED • Jalapeno Kiwi Glazed Ham | BY BRYAN SLAVEN

pare some of the necessary gear. Most pheasant hunters go with a 12-gauge autoloader and No. 6 shot. A pair of sunglasses or shooting glasses; hunter orange caps; and clothing that will turn stiff grass, briars, and barbed wire should also be on your BEL (Basic Equipment List). Some type of hydration system for bird dogs is a must. Pheasant hunting provides great camaraderie among friends, lots of exercise, and gracious retrieves by bird dogs, all during the relentless pursuit of one of the sneakiest game birds that ever has taken wing—which usually occurs when you least expect it.

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


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Deviled Redfish LOCATION: Galveston West Bay HOTSPOT: Alligator Point GPS: N29 10.289, W95 06.879 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Start transitioning to Corky Devil, Catch 2000, slow sinking plugs, mullet imitations; top colors are chartreuse back, Pearl side and pink holograph, pink/Pearl, Texas Chicken

CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman, 409-2567937 TIPS: Look for birds working over the spoils. LOCATION: Galveston East Bay HOTSPOT: Big Pasture Bayou GPS: N29 30.322, W94 35.780 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: SkitterWalk topwater baits; 1/8-ounce jighead with Bass Assassin soft plastic baits in Morning Glory or plum/chartreuse CONTACT: Capt. Robert Liebert, 281799-5728 TIPS: Wade-fishing is better than fishing from a boat during this month. You can sneak up on the fish better. LOCATION: Galveston East Bay HOTSPOT: Big Pasture Bayou GPS: N29 30.322, W94 35.780 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: SkitterWalk topwater baits; 1/8-ounce jighead with Bass Assassin soft plastics in Morning Glory or plum/chartreuse CONTACT: Capt. Robert Liebert, 281799-5728 TIPS: Wade-fishing works better than fishing from a boat. I4

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LOCATION: Galveston West Bay HOTSPOT: Alligator Point GPS: N29 10.289, W95 06.879 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: Norton Sand Eel in Glow/chartreuse CONTACT: Capt. Robert Liebert, 281799-5728 TIPS: Look for the bird action. The trout are pushing shrimp to the top at this time of the year. Sand Eel soft plastic baits are tougher and will hold up better after numerous catches. LOCATION: Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: Ferry landing GPS: N29 19.616, W94 46.414 SPECIES: flounder BEST BAITS: Sand Eel in Glow/chartreuse; Bass Assassins in Morning Glory or Plum/chartreuse CONTACT: Capt. Robert Liebert, 281799-5728 TIPS: Don’t forget you can keep only two flounder this time of year. BANK ACCESS: ferry landing on the Galveston Island side LOCATION: West Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: San Luis Pass Flats F i s h

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GPS: N29 05.673, W95 06.880 SPECIES: flounder BEST BAITS: Sand Eel in Glow/chartreuse; Bass Assassins in Morning Glory or plum/chartreuse CONTACT: Capt. Robert Liebert, 281799-5728 TIPS: Crawl the baits slowly along the bottom as you would fish a plastic worm in freshwater. BANK ACCESS: Exit Hwy. 257 before the San Luis Pass bridge from the Galveston Island side LOCATION: West Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: Greens Cut GPS: N29 16.707, W94 59.602 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: B&L Corky in Texas Trout CONTACT: Capt. LG Boyd, 409-7703567 TIPS: Key on birds and mullet. The bay is starting to get very clear at this time of the year. Fish the mud streaks. LOCATION: Sabine Lake HOTSPOT: Garrison Ridge GPS: N29 48.811, W93 52.002 BEST BAITS: topwaters and Corkies


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ALL GPS COORDINATES VERIFIED BY

SPECIES: trout CONTACT: Capt. Steve Davis, 409-4601220 TIPS: Wade-fish from dawn through morning. LOCATION: West Galveston Bay HOTSPOT: Confederate Reef GPS: N29 16.195, W94 56.974 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: B&L Corky in Texas Trout color CONTACT: Capt. LG Boyd, 409-7703567 TIPS: Key on birds and mullet. The bay is starting to get real clear at this time of the year. Fish the mud streaks. LOCATION: Trinity Bay HOTSPOT: Jacks Pocket GPS: N29 45.766, W94 47.642 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: B&L Corky in Texas Trout color CONTACT: Capt. LG Boyd, 409-7703567 TIPS: Key on slicks, birds, and mullet.

Trout on a Tripod LOCATION: East Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Tripod Area GPS: N28 40.518, W95 53.054 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: 1/4-ounce leadhead, Norton Limetreuse baits; switch to pink if the water is off color; topwaters in Bone or Clam colors

CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281450-4037 TIPS: Birds should be working “full blast.” Get upwind and drift into where they are. Sometimes throwing a topwater bait under bird action will result in some bettersized fish. LOCATION: Colorado River HOTSPOT: Selkirk Island south GPS: N28 41.758, W95 58.676 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: 3/8-ounce leadhead with Hogie double tail Lime colored baits

CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281450-4037 TIPS: Plug the west bank while drift-fishing. The west side is the deeper side and it has a shelf extending from the bank. LOCATION: Aransas Bay HOTSPOT: Natural gas wells GPS: N28 02.124, W97 00.194 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live pin perch and mud minnows, free lined with a 1/8-ounce slip sinker on a shock leader CONTACT: Capt. Marvin Engle, 361-6680104 TIPS: It has to be a calm day to effectively anchor and fish the wells. Anchor about 80 feet out from the wells and cast up on the shell pads. LOCATION: Copano Bay HOTSPOT: Reefs GPS: N28 08.123, W97 01.986 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: soft plastics, brighter colors on sunny days and dark colors on cloudy days CONTACT: Capt. Paul Braly, 361-9496795 TIPS: Target the reefs on the eastern shoreline, both wade-fishing and fishing from the boat. LOCATION: Rockport-Fulton HOTSPOT: Allyn’s Lake GPS: N27 58.740, W96 59.047 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: soft plastics; brighter colors on sunny days and dark colors on cloudy days CONTACT: Capt. Paul Braly, 361-9496795 TIPS: Wade fishing can produce some big redfish on the right days LOCATION: Mesquite Bay HOTSPOT: Little Bray’s Cove GPS: N28.14.67, W96 84.53 SPECIES: trout BEST BAITS: soft plastics; chartreuse Devil Eye on sunny days and plum Devil Eye on cloudy days; yellow bellied topwater baits for trout CONTACT: Capt. Paul Braly, 361-9496795

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ALL GPS COORDINATES VERIFIED BY

TIPS: Fish from the boat; topwaters work early for trout. LOCATION: Mesquite Bay HOTSPOT: Little Bray’s Cove GPS: N28.14.67, W96 84.53 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: soft plastics; chartreuse Devil Eye on sunny days and plum Devil Eye on cloudy days; yellow bellied topwater baits for trout CONTACT: Capt. Paul Braly, 361-9496795 TIPS: Fish from the boat; topwaters work early for trout. LOCATION: West Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Greens GPS: N28 29.887, W96 14.202 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Darker baits work good or weedless gold spoons in a 1/4-ounce CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281450-4037 TIPS: Wade-fish for best results. Work inside the grass beds with topwaters lures. LOCATION: East Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: North shoreline GPS: N28 43.502, W95 52.065 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: 1/4-ounce leadhead, Norton Limetreuse baits; switch to pink if the water is off color CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281450-4037 TIPS: Throw it out and immediately start working it. The water is only about five feet deep. Usually the fish are up in the water column pushing the shrimp to the top. LOCATION: East Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Bird Island GPS: N28 43.931, W96 45.862 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: topwaters in Bone or Clam colors; on a bright day, a chrome/blue bait works CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz TIPS: Wade-fish the edges of the island. LOCATION: Matagorda HOTSPOT: LCRA Pier I8

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GPS: N28 35.666, W95 59.000 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: live shrimp or finger mullet CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281450-4037 TIPS: You might catch a few flounder, but most of the fish have probably moved out into the Gulf by this time of the year. BANK ACCESS: Follow FM 2031 to the beach.

Finger Bone Redfish LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: The “Y” GPS: N26 2.860, W97 12.430 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: live shrimp, finger mullet, ballyhoo; topwaters in blue/chrome, Bone; soft plastics in red/white, Mullet; DOA tandems CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez, 956551-9581 TIPS: The island that forms the split in the “Y” is lined with small drains among the mangroves. Fish these little cuts into the shoreline on an outgoing tide to for redfish and big trout are waiting for baitfish or shrimp that are pushed out of the shallows. On a high tide, fish tighter to the mangroves with bait. Shrimp always work, but baitfishes are less apt to fall victim to bait stealers. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: The “Y”

GPS: N26 2.860, W97 12.430 SPECIES: sheepshead BEST BAITS: live shrimp CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez, 956551-9581 TIPS: If the redfish aren’t cooperating, try fishing the drop-offs and riprap around the Y for chunky sheepshead. These fish hold in good numbers around the drop-offs as weather begins to cool off. A free-line rig with a live shrimp is deadly, but you might F i s h

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want to switch over to a float of some kind if the bite is very light. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: South Bay GPS: N26 2.421, W97 10.476 SPECIES: snook BEST BAITS: live shiner, live shrimp; topwaters in Bone, natural mullet CONTACT: Captain Ruben Garcia, 956459-3286 TIPS: snook will still be lurking up near the mangroves until the first big cold snap of the year. Topwaters worked near the trees will draw some fierce strikes. Natural baits are good when fish are in neutral moods late in the day, or on a low tide. A trick slowly making its way from Florida is feeding a couple of “freebies” to linesiders to get them into the mood. Don’t use too many; you want to tempt them, not stuff them. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Cullen Channel GPS: N26 15.775, W97 17.273 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live Shrimp, live finger mullet, Gulp! Shad, Shrimp, jerkbaits CONTACT: Captain Ruben Garcia, 956459-3286 TIPS: When tides are low, speckled trout stack up in the deeper water provided by the access channel to back bays such as Cullen. The smartest choice is to fish the downcurrent side of the channel and flip a fly-lined shrimp or mullet on a 2/0 hook into the current eddies. The bait will drift past a trout that is waiting in ambush. Scented artificials such as Gulp! or Fish Bites’ new tails can be fished weightless or on the lightest jighead you can find. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Cullen Channel GPS: N26 15.775, W97 17.273 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: topwaters early in Bone, chrome/blue; Gulp! Jerkshad in Camo, chartreuse; live shrimp/popping cork CONTACT: Captain Ruben Garcia, 956459-3286 TIPS: When tides are normal, usually on either side of the full moon, redfish will


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roam the flats surrounding the old Drum Boat on the high tide. Topwaters are very popular early in the morning. Live shrimp or Gulp! tails are also viable options. It could pay off to rig a 2-inch Gulp! Crab on a weightless rig to toss to rooting red drum on spec. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Primero Island GPS: N26 16.470, W97 16.50 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: topwaters, soft plastics in Pearl/chartreuse; live shrimp/popping cork; gold spoons CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez, 956551-9581 TIPS: Look east of Primero to find pods of red cruising the flats and speckled trout lying in potholes amidst the grass. A low tide will show redfish tails and concentrate trout along the grassy edges of sand holes. Topwaters are good early. Flutter a gold spoon over potholes or in front of water disturbed by prowling redfish. The water can be very clear, so wear your Polaroids and keep a sharp eye. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: North Jetty GPS: N26 30.913, W97 24.787 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: topwaters in Bone, natural patterns; cut mullet, live shrimp CONTACT: Quick Stop, 956-943-1159 TIPS: Redfish are still present along the jetties, especially on the surf side. Bait can be fished in the guts on fish-finder rigs, or near the rocks under a cork are good choices. A topwater on a calmer day is also a very good choice. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre @ Port Mansfield. HOTSPOT: Targets Shoreline GPS: N26 30.913, W97 24.787 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: topwaters in Bone, natural patterns CONTACT: Captain Terry Neal, 956-9442556, www.terrynealcharters.com TIPS: Topwaters should be worked close and parallel to the shoreline at a moderate pace early, early in the morning. Watch for nervous bait and cast in their vicinity. If a fish misses the strike, fish the same area to see if he’ll come back.

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LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre @ Port Mansfield. HOTSPOT: Targets Shoreline GPS: N26 30.913, W97 24.787 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: topwaters in Bone, natural patterns CONTACT: Captain Terry Neal, 956-9442556, www.terrynealcharters.com TIPS: Topwaters should be worked close and parallel to the shoreline at a moderate pace early in the morning. Watch for nervous bait and cast in its vicinity. If a fish misses the strike, fish the same area to see if it’ll come back. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre @ Port Mansfield HOTSPOT: Big Oak Mott GPS: N26 41.965, W97 24.160 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: gold spoons; topwaters in Bone CONTACT: Captain Terry Neal, 956-9442556, www.terrynealcharters.com TIPS: Fish with a topwater or gold spoon close to the shoreline inside the small point to find cruising redfish.

LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre @ Port Mansfield HOTSPOT: Big Oak Mott GPS: N26 41.965, W97 24.160 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: gold spoons; topwaters in Bone; plastics in Bone/Diamond, Bone/chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Terry Neal, 956-9442556, www.terrynealcharters.com TIPS: Fish with a topwater or gold spoon close to the shoreline inside the small point to find cruising trout. Back up into deeper water (3-4 feet) for more trout, and switch over to a plastic tail. Topwaters might still work in the deeper water. Trout will come up from the depths to hit a noisy one. LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre @ Port Mansfield HOTSPOT: East of Marker 147 GPS: N26 32.620, W97 24.160 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: gold spoons; eel-style soft plastics in Texas Shad, New Penny CONTACT: Captain Terry Neal, 956-9442556, www.terrynealcharters.com A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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TIPS: Schools of redfish cruise along the drop-off from the flats to deeper water. The most popular technique is to flutter a gold weedless spoon in front of them. Soft plastics in darker colors are also effective. Keep your rod tip up to best control the lure as it passes by the school.

LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Rivera Channel GPS: N27 17.395, W97 39.476 SPECIES: black drum BEST BAITS: live shrimp CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089, 361-449-7441, brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: Black drum are still a popular fallback species in November, and the fishing only gets better as cold fronts start oozing down into Texas. Live shrimp is the standard, but if that gets hard to find late in the season, fresh dead shrimp or crab chunks work just as well. There are plenty of eatingsized puppy drum, but some old boys pushing 30 pounds are caught and released every year. LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Los Corrales GPS: N27 16.413, W97 29.941 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live bait; soft plastics in Plum/chartreuse, Pumpkinseed/chartreuse, Baffin Magic on 1/8-ounce jighead and torpedo float; topwaters CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089, 361-449-7441, brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: You will find speckled trout in the deeper water. Match up a 1/8-ounce jighead with a dark-colored soft plastic and fish the rig slowly. If the fish seem to want an even slower presentation, fish the jig underneath an Old Bayside Paradise Popper float. The added dimension of sound that the float provides doesn’t hurt, either. LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Starvation Point GPS: N27 16.908, W97 32.604 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: suspending lures; topwaters in Smoke, Natural Mullet; Bass Assassins in Firetiger, Needle Gar, chartreuse CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089, 361-449-7441, brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: trout should be more aggressive with the cooler temperatures. Suspending lures such as a Catch 5 or Catch 200-Series III should be work slower than slow, and then

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slower than that. Eel-imitating soft plastics on a 1/8-ounce jighead is also effective. Dark patterns are always good. LOCATION: Baffin Bay HOTSPOT: Rocky Slough GPS: N27 10.512, W97 26.274 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: topwaters early; soft plastics in dark colors CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089, 361-449-7441, brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: redfish will move in and out of Rocky Slough with the tide and patrolling for bait. Work topwaters such as a Top Dog or Super Spook, Jr. in the shallows early in the morning. Back off and fish the depth breaks later in the day. Dark colors work best. Again, a jig under a Paradise Popper will slow down your presentation so you can fish the area more thoroughly. LOCATION: Upper Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Emmord’s Hole GPS: N27 30.057, W97 19.546 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live shrimp, pinfish; soft plastics in Tequila Gold, Rootbeer, Rootbeer/gold CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089, 361-449-7441, brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: trout are very aggressive along the grasslines during November’s milder weather. Fish live bait under a Paradise Popper and fished along the grasslines. Set your leader so that the bait settles just above the grass top (18 to 20 inches). If you want to save a little cash, you can switch out the bait with a soft plastic on a 1/8 or 1/4-ounce jighead. LOCATION: Upper Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: JFK Causeway GPS: N27 38.052, W97 14.773 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: live bait; Gulp! baits/Paradise Popper; topwaters CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089, 361-449-7441, brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: Use live bait or Gulp! tails under a


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Paradise Popper along the shoreline and near structure. Fish in the shallower (3-foot) water early in the morning, and the depth breaks later in the day. The float will help you pick up on lighter bites. You can eschew the float and bounce the bait along the bottom if the trout are holder tight to the bottom.

ounce to 3/16-ounce weights; 10-inch worms with 1/2-ounce weights; shad; Firetiger colored mid- and deep-diving crankbaits CONTACT: Joe Joslin, 337-463-3848, www.joejoslinoutdoors.com

LOCATION: Upper Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Crash Channels GPS: N27 38.562, W97 17.620 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: live bait; soft plastics in Tequila Gold CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089, 361-449-7441, brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: Fish a controlled drift or with a trolling motor down the crash channels. Fish live bait with a 1/4-ounce sinker to fish near and along the bottom. Bounce soft plastics on a 1/4-ounce jighead. Have another plastic rigged on a 1/8-ounce jighead just in case you spot some fish shallow.

TIPS: At dawn, work double willow leaf spinnerbaits around grassy (hydrilla) points and ridges, trying different retrieval speeds.

A Texas rig with 7- to 10-inch plastics in 10 to 15 feet plus a weightless Texas-rigged cigar plastic can also be deadly when worked slowly over shallow grass. Work crankbaits and football jigs on points in 10 to 25 feet of water. Vertically fish jigging spoons in 25 to 40 feet of water on edges of rivers and creeks as well as on deep points. BANK ACCESS: below generators, catfish and striped bass; fishing is best when generators are running; call 337-286-5244 for prerecorded generator schedule

LOCATION: Upper Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: Packery Channel GPS: N27 37.303, W97 12.877 SPECIES: black drum BEST BAITS: live shrimp, fresh shrimp CONTACT: Captain Mike Hart, 361-9856089, 361-449-7441, brushcountrycharters.com TIPS: Large schools of drum are migrating through the Packery beginning in November. Drift-fish with live shrimp under a Paradise Popper, or you can also work the bottom with fresh shrimp on a fish-finder rig. If you are practicing the latter, use the largest shrimp you can find. You could run into some really good fish to stretch your line.

Double Willow Bass LOCATION: Toledo Bend South HOTSPOT: Mill Creek GPS: N31 12.240, W93 38.260 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: 3/8-ounce double willow leaf spinnerbaits in white/chartreuse skirts with one gold and one nickel blade; 1/2-ounce jigging spoons, 1/2-ounce football head jigs; light Texas-rigged 7-inch worms with 1/8A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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LOCATION: Toledo Bend North HOTSPOT: Main Lake River Channel GPS: N31 44.835, W93 50.109 SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: live bait (shiners), artificial jigs CONTACT: Greg Crafts, 936-368-7151, www.toledobendguide.com TIPS: As water temperatures fall, baitfishes move into deeper water. On Toledo Bends’ north end, this means baitfish will move to ledges and drops along the main lake river channel. The key to locating and catching crappie is finding natural brush, or to drop your own brush piles, along the channel shelf on points and natural bends in the river. BANK ACCESS: public parks and marinas, crappie on live minnows, catfish on cut bait and liver LOCATION: Sam Rayburn Reservoir HOTSPOT: Coleman Creek GPS: N31 08.640, W94 09.780 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Nichols spinnerbaits, Texasrigged Baby Brush Hogs CONTACT: Don Mattern, Sr., 903-4782633, www.matternguideservice.fghp.com TIPS: Shad should now be moving into creek arms as water and air temperatures cool during late fall. Concentrations of bass will follow schools of migrating shad into the Coleman Creek arm as they fatten up for winter. When entering the creek arm, work a Nichols blue shad spinnerbait long the edges of the peppergrass and Hydrilla to find aggressive fish. To pick up less aggressive fish, re-work the peppergrass with a Texas-rigged baby brush hog, but with a slower presentation. Flip your hog through and along the edges of the grass and get ready for strikes. BANK ACCESS: public boat ramps, largemouth on artificials, catfish on cut bait, liver, or stinkbait LOCATION: Wright Patman Lake HOTSPOT: Big Creek GPS: N33 20.000, W94 15.350 SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: jigs with black/chartreuse tails, crappie tube baits, minnows I14

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CONTACT: Doug Rochelle, K&D Guide Service, 903-671-3494, reteeks77@aol.com TIPS: Start on the edge of the creek; work until you find the depth fish are at that particular day. Work points and submerged logs, paying attention to the depth (the creek averages 6 feet deep) and work your way up the creek. On a bad day, expect 50 to 90 fish with 20 to 30 keepers (25 limit per person). Remember, you won’t be the only boat in the area so be patient. Consult tables for best times to fish on particular days. BANK ACCESS: Red River Road bridge crossing Big Creek, catfish on night crawlers and cut shad, bream by bridge piers on crickets and worms LOCATION: Caddo Lake HOTSPOT: South of Tar Island GPS: N32 41.219, W94 03.744 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: 5/16-ounce black/blue jigs, 1/4-ounce jig tube baits, white Toads CONTACT: Dennis North, 903-687-2128, www.fishingwithdennis.com TIPS: November is the month for jigs, jig tubes, and Texas rigs. Also, keep Toads handy for the midday warm up. Fish these baits around lily pads, cypress trees, and grass in the area. As the day warms up you’ll get especially good action with a white toad worked over grass and atop and through the lily pads. BANK ACCESS: Caddo Lake State Park, panfishes, catfish, largemouth bass, white bass LOCATION: Lake O’ the Pines HOTSPOT: Mid-Lake Points GPS: N32 46.282, W94 35.312 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: 3/8-ounce jigs, 1/4-ounce tube jigs, 3/8-ounce spinnerbaits, 1/4-ounce Texas-rigged Beavers, 1/2-ounce Carolinarigged Mojo in Green Pumpkin CONTACT: Dennis North, 903-687-2128, www.fishingwithdennis.com TIPS: Work points and shallow water areas early, paying attention to the many stumps and laydowns. Fish your jigs and tube baits first in these areas and then switch to a Texas-rig Beaver or Carolina-rigged F i s h

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Mojo in green pumpkin. If action is slow in the shallows, fish the creek bed that runs along the same area. As the day warms up move back into the shallows area and rework the stumps and lay downs you fished earlier with a white spinnerbait. BANK ACCESS: dam shoreline around the Tejas boat ramp, bass, panfishes, catfish; wade-fishing good in this area LOCATION: Lake Livingston HOTSPOT: Carolina Creek GPS: N30 50.607, W95 20.018 SPECIES: flathead catfish BEST BAITS: live perch CONTACT: Dave Cox, 936-291-9602, www.palmettoguideservice.com TIPS: November is the month to trotline deep holes in the river for nice cats. Set your trotline parallel to the river so that hooks are suspended about a foot off the bottom. Use heavy cord with barrel swivels for each hook station and bait with live perch. Check your line at least daily and make sure you have plenty of room in your freezer. BANK ACCESS: public parks and boat ramps, largemouth bass on artificials; catfish on cut bait, stinkbait or liver LOCATION: Lake Conroe HOTSPOT: Main Lake GPS: N30 26.231, W95 35.510 SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: live shad, Storm Swim Shad, stinkbait CONTACT: Richard Tatsch, 936-2911277, www.fishdudetx.com TIPS: Striped bass are beginning to feed aggressively and should be found in 16 to 22 feet of water along channel edges and humps on the main lake. Use live shad to be most productive. Artificial baits such as swim shad also work well with schooling fish. Watch for birds hunting baitfish; striped bass will be not far behind. If the action is slow, try fishing with cut bait or stinkbait for larger catfish feeding in 15 to 20 feet depths. You might not catch many cats, but those you do will be worth your while. BANK ACCESS: Stowaway Marina, bream and catfish on live minnows or worms under cork


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Largemouth Pups LOCATION: Lake Medina HOTSPOT: Church Cove GPS: N29 33.385 W98 57.468

SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Shad colored topwater poppers and Zara Puppies; 1/2-ounce white or chartreuse spinnerbaits with matching painted willow blades; Shad and chartreuse colored crankbaits that dive to 10 feet; 1/4ounce chrome Rat-L-Traps; dark colored soft plastics CONTACT: Dave Burlington, 210-8339417, www.bassindave.com TIPS: bass are very active around balls of baitfish in creeks and flats in 4 to 10 feet of water, and you can now catch fish on topwaters all day long, but crankbaits are your lures of choice during this time. Focus on dock corners, standing timber and big rocks as bass use this cover for ambush points. Fish your baits just under balls of shad you see in open water away from the bank as bass will school under these balls. When action slows, or in tough weather conditions, throw soft plastics as a change up to faster moving baits, letting them free fall through the baitfish to catch bass suspended underneath. BANK ACCESS: Bandera County Park, crappie on live minnows and crappie jigs LOCATION: Lake Dunlap HOTSPOT: Upper Lake Islands GPS: N29 41.153, W98 05.275 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Shad colored topwater poppers; brown SPRO frogs; 1/2-ounce black buzzbaits; 3/8-ounce white spinnerbaits with white painted blades; shallow chartreuse crankbaits; Texas-rigged Green Pumpkin tubes; Brush Hogs with 1/4ounce weights CONTACT: Dave Burlington, 210-8339417, www.bassindave.com TIPS: Look for bass to feed heavily around docks and remaining heavy cover on islands and flats, starting with topwater lures and spinnerbaits. If fish aren’t biting, switch to soft plastics and fish them slowly through thicker cover. In more open water around

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docks and cypress stumps, fish crankbaits, running them through the cover and across the bottom as much as possible. The erratic action of your lure deflecting off the cover will trigger numerous strikes. BANK ACCESS: I-35 bridge public boat ramp and park, bass on crankbaits and soft plastics LOCATION: Lake Travis HOTSPOT: Resort Ranch GPS: N30 25.565, W98 03.227 SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: pink/white, chartreuse crappie jigs; live minnows CONTACT: Dave Burlington, 210-8339417, www.bassindave.com TIPS: Locate brush piles in 12 to 20 feet of water along creek channels and ledges off of flats, bluff walls, and under docks. Vertically jig brush piles while looking for fish with electronics. Crappie feed most aggressively at their suspended depth or slightly above, so present baits accordingly. Bites should come quickly so don’t hesitate to move on to the next brush pile if the action is slow. BANK ACCESS: Mansfield Dam, bass on soft plastics LOCATION: Lake Buchanan HOTSPOT: Dam Area GPS: N30 45.433, W98 24.481 SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: Shad colored swimbaits, red/white Zara Spooks, chrome jigging spoons, Shad and chrome colored Rat-L Traps; live bait CONTACT: Dave Burlington, 210-8339417, www.bassindave.com TIPS: Watch the birds as they often disclose school where schools of fish are feeding. Schooling stripers are found in 25 to 40 feet of water along the river ledges around the islands and dam area. Cast and vertically jig swimbaits, jigging spoons, and Rat-L Traps through these schools. Drifting and free lining live bait can improve the bite if stripers are finicky with artificials. Have a Zara Spook on a separate rod ready for surfacing schools. Cast just beyond, and work your bait back and forth through the schools on your retrieve. Be prepared for explosive strikes. BANK ACCESS: Double Tin Horn, catfish on cut shad and worms

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LOCATION: Granger Lake HOT SPOT: Main Lake Flats SPECIES: blue catfish BEST BAITS: shad, prepared baits CONTACT: 512-365-7761, www.gotcrappie.com TIPS: Fish shallow timbered flats with any vegetation. BANK ACCESS: Wilson Fox Park west boat ramp area, Willis Creek Park near the pavilion

Birdy Stripers LOCATION: Possum Kingdom Lake HOTSPOT: Bird Island GPS: N32 56.095, W98 26.369 SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: live shad; topwaters in Shad

colors, crankbaits in white and chartreuse of varying depths, slabs and jigs in chrome and chartreuse CONTACT: Dean Heffner, 940-329-0036, fav7734@aceweb.com TIPS: Fish continue to follow migrating shad as they move toward warmer water. Concentrate on flats 600 to 800 yards west of Bird Island, watching for birds to give away locations of shad balls and schooling stripers that are sure to follow. Stripers will be found under birds and running breaklines in depths of 20 to 30 feet. These breaklines are literally striper highways. Work these areas with live bait or slabs and jigs. You should find many sand bass mixed in with stripers as a bonus. Be sure to fish in advance of cold fronts for peak action. BANK ACCESS: North D&D, largemouth and smallmouth bass on plastic worms, catfish on stinkbait and liver LOCATION: Lake Graham-Eddelman HOTSPOT: Power Plant GPS: N33 07.594, W98 36.340 SPECIES: sand (white) bass BEST BAITS: live shad, slabs, jigs, deeper running crankbaits, Rat-L Traps CONTACT: Dean Heffner, 940-329-0036, fav7734@aceweb.com I16

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TIPS: Fish have started migrating to deeper water close to the power plant discharge outlets on the Eddelman side just north of the dam. Concentrate on holes with live bait, slabs, and jigs. If the bite is slow, try trolling with crankbaits and Rat-L Traps. Fishing in advance of a cold front brings success, and never leave the discharge area when warm water is running. BANK ACCESS: Hwy 380 public boat ramp, crappie on live minnows, bass on plastic worms, catfish on cut bait and liver LOCATION: Palo Pinto Reservoir HOTSPOT: Power Plant GPS: N32 39.318, W98 18.244 SPECIES: sand (white) bass BEST BAITS: live shad, slabs, jigs, deeper running crankbaits, Rat-L Traps CONTACT: Dean Heffner, 940-329-0036, fav7734@aceweb.com TIPS: Fish will now be found in deeper water adjacent to discharge outlets on the northeast side of the power plant. Focus on deeper areas with live bait, slabs, and jigs. If the bite is slow, try trolling with crankbaits and Rat-L Traps. Fishing in advance of a cold front almost guarantees action. Good fishing can be found whenever the power plant is discharging water. BANK ACCESS: any of the parks and public boat ramps by the generator plant, crappie on live minnows, catfish on stinkbait, cut bait and liver LOCATION: Oak Creek Reservoir HOTSPOT: Deep Lake Point GPS: N32 03.623, W100 16.820 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: football jigs, spoons CONTACT: Wendell Ramsey, 325-2274931, bram4@suddenlink.net TIPS: Bouncing a jig works well in cooler months on this small impoundment, and crawdad colored jigs and 3/4-ounce spoons worked in 18 to 30 feet of water are a good combo for this area. The lake is in good shape and bass are schooling up to chase shad balls as they migrate to deeper water. Use electronics to stay on top of bait balls as bass are always underneath, ready to feed on a lost jig or spoon that strays into the area. Rip your lure off the bottom and let it F i s h

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fall on a slack line to entice a big bite. Often the lure will just stop on the fall when you give it slack so pay attention when doing this. BANK ACCESS: Highway 70 boat ramp, catfish on cut bait, stinkbait or liver, crappie on jigs and minnows LOCATION: Lake Meredith HOTSPOT: Rattlesnake Island GPS: N35 42.245, W101 33.199 SPECIES: walleye BEST BAITS: lead slabs tipped with small earthworm pieces CONTACT: Mel Phillips, 806-353-3654, fishman@suddenlink.com TIPS: With the lowest lake levels in history, walleye are ganging up along the old Canadian River creek channel that winds past Rattlesnake Island. Drop a 1-ounce lead slab with sharp hooks tipped with a 1/2-inch piece of earthworm. Hold bait still as possible as jerking action turns off prewinter walleye. Allow slabs to reach bottom and then reel in two cranks. Twenty-pound braid works best. When your line begins to feel heavy or light, set the hook. Keep what you can eat and release the big boys. BANK ACCESS: main ramp at the marina, catfish on stinkbait, cut bait and chicken or turkey livers

Grubbing for Bass LOCATION: Lake Granbury HOTSPOT: River Bend Ledge GPS: N32 24.125, W97 41.231 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: grubs, drop-shot plastic

worms CONTACT: Wendell Ramsey, 325-2274931, bram4@suddenlink.net TIPS: This area heats up in November and Smoke colored grubs on 1/4-ounce jigheads will bring action as you bounce them along sloping rocky structure. Avoid slack line when baits fall, as bites can sometimes be light. Drop-shotting a Watermelon red Yum Dinger worm will work well, too.


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Shake the bait for a couple of seconds and let it sit; then move it a couple times and repeat. This technique works best if you are patient. Once you get a bite, you might catch several from the same spot. BANK ACCESS: Fishing is good from any of the lake’s five public parks. For information, call the Brazos River Authority at 817-5733212. LOCATION: Lake Palestine HOTSPOT: Highsaw Cove GPS: N32 07.030, W95 29.030 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Nichols spinnerbaits, Phantom Stinkos CONTACT: Don Mattern Sr., 903-4782633, www.matternguideservice.fghp.com TIPS: Water and air temperatures are cooling down with winter approaching and shad have begun to migrate into the creek arm. Concentrations of bass follow to feed, so throw shad imitations such as a Nichols spinnerbait to take advantage. Work the east bank down to Highsaw. Once you enter the cove, work a spinnerbait around the boathouses and along bank edge. Look for the surface action of bass feeding on shad and then hit the location with a quick couple of casts for an extra bass or two. Work the bank down the entire creek to the back where good wood cover is found. Cast along wood and grass and hold on. BANK ACCESS: Highsaw Bridge, bass, catfish and crappie, fish the old roadway under the bridge

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GPS: N 31 57’ 46”, W 96 20’41” SPECIES: black bass BEST BAITS: Tornado F5 in Watermelon with chartreuse dipped tail CONTACT: Steve Schmidt, 682-518-8252, 817-929-0675, or email him at steve@schmidtsbigbass.com TIPS: Start at the point prior to the discharge and work the edge. You will be throwing in two feet of water and falling off into 17 to 18 feet of water. Work a worm or creature bait in the grass and bull rushes on the outside edges on the grass. There are some good fish in this area. Work past the discharge and start to work the riprap all the way to where the creek runs. LOCATION: Richland-Chambers HOTSPOT: Pond Creek GPS: N31 57’46”, W96 20’41” SPECIES: black bass BEST BAITS: white and blue medium diving crankbait CONTACT: Steve Schmidt, 682-518-8252, 817-929-0675, or email him at steve@schmidtsbigbass.com TIPS: A crankbait always works well off the riprap. There are a series of ditches that hold fish in this area. Once you have worked the riprap, work the other bank and you will see all the bull rushes on the bank. If the lake is down, they could be out of water. Work the shallow edge, because as you work your bait it will fall off into deep water.

LOCATION: Gibbons Creek Reservoir HOTSPOT: Intake Channel GPS: N 30 37.021, W96 04.331 SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: shad, chicken liver, stinkbait CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, www.FishTalesGuideService.com, 979-229-3103 TIPS: Water is starting to cool and there is deep water near shallow water here. Current from the intake creates water movement that catfish like. As always, chumming in the area helps, using either soured grain or range cubes. Allow chum about fifteen minutes to start attracting fish. Anchor near stumps and trees on left side of intake in about four to twelve feet of water. Carolina rig baits with 3/4 to one ounce egg weights and 1/0 Kahle hooks for shad. Use number four trebles for other bait. BANK ACCESS: shoreline at east of dam, next to swimming area LOCATION: Fayette County Lake HOTSPOT: Cedar Creek Bridge Pilings GPS: N29 56.450, W96 44.560 SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: dip- or punchbait, worms, cut shad CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, www.FishTalesGuideService.com, 979-229-3103 TIPS: The water is almost 40 feet deep. Toss out a buoy and chum around it. Anchor as close to the buoy as possible and fish straight down with a tight line starting

LOCATION: Lake Texoma HOTSPOT: Five Creeks GPS: N33 54.836, W96 42.401 SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: Sassy Shad Jigs, live shad CONTACT: Bill Carey, 877-786-4477, bigfish@striperexpress.com TIPS: The stripers are running in large schools. Pay close attention to the seagulls. They will locate the stripers ambushing large bait balls. Best artificials are 4-inch Sassy Shad soft plastics on a 1-ounce jighead. The best colors are white/Glow and chartreuse fleck. Live shad fishing is also a great way to catch stripers. You can anchor or drift with live bait. BANK ACCESS: Sand Creek LOCATION: Richland-Chambers HOTSPOT: Pond Creek A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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ALL GPS COORDINATES VERIFIED BY

close to the bottom and working away from the bottom until you find the depth of the bite. Your rod tip might life or the line will move sideways when you get a bite. Do not wait for a hard jerk before setting hook. BANK ACCESS: bank on left side of Park Prairie boat ramp LOCATION: Lake Whitney HOTSPOT: Big Rocky Creek GPS: N31 52.795, W97 23.682 SPECIES: stripers BEST BAITS: chartreuse Wild Eyed shad, 4-inch CONTACT: Randy Routh, 817-822-5539 TIPS: make long casts behind the boats, use trolling motor, and run on medium speed dragging the baits behind you. The colder water is pushing the shad from the creeks and the stripers are schooling at the mouths. Pull the baits in and out of creeks at the mouth until schools are located. LOCATION: Lake Aquilla HOTSPOT: Deep Humps and Flats GPS: N31 54.075, W97 11.945 SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: chartreuse and white 1-ounce slabs CONTACT: Randy Routh, 817-822-5539 TIPS: The colder water has the shad pushed off into the deeper water and the whites are gorging on them. Slow drift and bounce slabs of the bottom. Tie a red and white Flea Fly 18 inches above the slab and to better chances at catching two at a time.

LOCATION: Richland-Chambers HOTSPOT: Hwy 309 Flats GPS: N31 58.78, W96 06.8 70 SPECIES: hybrid stripers BEST BAITS: 1-ounce Silver Glitter RSR Shad Slabs CONTACT: Royce Simmons, Gone Fishin’ Guide Service, www.gonefishin.biz, 903389-4117 TIPS: Watch for the gulls and pelicans dipping down to pick up shad off the surface. Concentrate on drop-Offs and ridges in the 309 Flats Area in water depths ranging from 20 to 30 feet. Bounce the slab off the bottom. BANK ACCESS: Fisherman’s Point Marina, 903-389-5218 LOCATION: Richland-Chambers HOTSPOT: Hwy 309 Flats GPS: N31 58.718, W96 06.0870 SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: 1-ounce Silver Glitter RSR shad Slabs CONTACT: Royce Simmons, Gone Fishin’ Guide Service, www.gonefishin.biz, 903389-4117 TIPS: Watch for the gulls and pelicans dipping down to pick up shad off the surface. Concentrate on drop-Offs and ridges in the 309 Flats Area in water depths ranging from 20 to 30 feet. Bounce the slab off the bottom. BANK ACCESS: Fisherman’s Point Marina, 903-389-5218

LOCATION: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir HOTSPOT: Midlake Timber GPS: N31.01.277, W97.36.846 SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: medium-sized shiner minnows, kept fresh and lively CONTACT: Bob Maindelle, 254-368-7411, Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com TIPS: Fish the outside edge of the timber adjacent to the island. Afternoons and nighttime are best using slip-bobbers and/or spreader rigs. Keep boat noise to a minimum. Use multiple rods set at multiple depths. Adjust all rods to same depth once fish are located. LOCATION: Belton Lake HOTSPOT: Rockslide GPS: N31.07.150, W97.29.373 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Charlie Brewer 4-inch Slider worms on light jigheads CONTACT: Bob Maindelle, 254-368-7411, Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com TIPS: Cast parallel to the shoreline starting shallow and moving progressively deeper until fish are contacted. Have a slab spoon ready in case fish show directly beneath you as you’re fishing horizontally. LOCATION: Belton Lake HOTSPOT: Rockslide GPS: N31 07.150, W97 29.373 SPECIES: smallmouth bass BEST BAITS: hair jigs with pork CONTACT: Bob Maindelle, 254-368-7411, Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com TIPS: Cast parallel to the shoreline starting shallow and moving progressively deeper until fish are contacted. Have a slab spoon ready in case fish show directly beneath you as you’re fishing horizontally. LOCATION: Lake Fairfield HOTSPOT: Dam Riprap GPS: N31 48.651, W96 03.776 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Bandit Crankbait 200 series CONTACT: Don Mattern, 903-478-2633, www.matternguideservice.fghp.com TIPS: In November, big bass find schools of shad bunched up on this area. There is deep water and lots of rocky cover. Position

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your boat in 8-12 feet of water along the riprap rock casting adjacent to the rocks. Try to cast in about 2-3 feet and work the crankbait slowly; this will keep it bouncing off the rocks. There have been some 8pounders caught here. LOCATION: Lake Fairfield HOTSPOT: Dam Riprap GPS: N31 48.674, W96 02.595 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Bandit Crankbait 200 series in Firetiger, Tennessee shad CONTACT: Don Mattern, 903-478-2633, www.matternguideservice.fghp.com TIPS: In November, big bass find schools of shad bunched up on this area. The ends seem to produce best; but at times, the bass will be scattered down the entire dam. There is deep water and lots of rocky cover. Position your boat in 8-12 feet of water along the riprap rock casting adjacent to the rocks. Slowly work the crankbait to keep it bouncing off the rocks. LOCATION: Lake Fairfield HOTSPOT: Redfish Point GPS: N31 48.674, W96 02.860 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: live perch CONTACT: Don Mattern, 903-478-2633, www.matternguideservice.fghp.com TIPS: In November, the redfish on Lake Fairfield love to hang out in around this point holding at about 20 feet deep. Drop your live perch suspended on some weight and a 3/0 to 5/0 circle hook. You can anchor, but it is more successful to drift over this spot with your live perch down at the 20-foot depth.

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LOCATION: Lake Palestine HOTSPOT: Flat Creek GPS: Mid-Lake on the West Side SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Watermelon Carolina-rigged French Fry CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff, 903-5617299, ricky@rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Work the old road bridges. Fish the sides and work them slow for best results. The bass use the bridges as funnel points to feed on baitfishes that move under the bridges. LOCATION: Lake Palestine HOTSPOT: Highsaw Cove GPS: N32 07.30, W95 29.30 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Nichols Spinnerbaits in Blue Shad, Phantom Senkos in Natural CONTACT: Don Mattern, 903-478-2633, www.matternguideservice.fghp.com TIPS: The shad begin to migrate into the creek arm for the warmer water and the concentrations of bass follow them to gorge and feed. Follow the east bank when you get into Highsaw Cove and work the spinnerbait around the boathouses and along the edges of the bank. Keep an eye out for surface action. Work the bank down the entire length of the creek to the wood cover, casting along the wood and grass.

Jerk & Trap Bass LOCATION: Lake Amistad HOTSPOT: Rock Points GPS: N29 34.239, W101 14.321 SPECIES: largemouth bass

BEST BAITS: Rat-L Traps, jerkbaits CONTACT: Wendell Ramsey, 325-2274931, bram4@suddenlink.net TIPS: As the weather cools the fishing heats up on this southwest Texas fishery. Bass are hungry and will attack hard baits such as gold with black-backed 1/2-ounce Rat-L Traps and jerkbaits such as the Rattlin’ Rouge of the same color. Drop the trolling motor and work from points back into pockets from mile marker 21 to 25, and work your baits around bush edges. If your bait gets in a bush, rip it out with a quick snap of the rod and see if a mean old bass tries to take it away from you! BANK ACCESS: Diablo East Park or Black Brush area; contact the National Parks Service at 830-775-7491 for more information Email: Calixto: cgonzales@fishgame.com Kyle: ktomek@fishgame.com Tripp: tholmgrain@fishgame.com Tom: tbehrens@fishgame.com

LOCATION: Lake Fairfield HOTSPOT: Dam GPS: N31 48.78, W96 02.595” SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: live Perch CONTACT: Don Mattern, 903-478-2633, www.matternguideservice.fghp.com TIPS: In November the redfish on Lake Fairfield love to hang out in around this point holding in about 20 feet deep. Drop your live perch suspended on some weight and a 3/0 to 5/0 Circle hook. You can anchor, but it is more successful to drift over this spot with your live perch down at the 20-foot depth.

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Tides and Prime Times

NOVEMBER 2009 USING THE PRIME TIMES CALENDAR

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

T12

T4

T11

T10

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

T13 T7

T6 T5 T17

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

T15 T16

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

T14 T18

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

T19

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

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

T20

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

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

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

T21

4:55p

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

KEY T1 T2 T3 T4 T5 T6

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

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

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

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

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

T22 T23

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

Tab: Peak Fishing Period

6a

12p

6p

12a

Green: Falling Tide

AM/PM Timeline Light Blue: Nighttime

BEST:

7:05-9:40 PM

Gold Fish: Best Time

Blue: Rising Tide Red Graph: Fishing Score

Blue Fish: Good Time

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

AM/PM Timeline

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AM Minor: 1:20a

PM Minor: 1:45p

AM Major: 7:32a

PM Major: 7:57p

MAJOR Feeding Periods (+/- 2 Hrs.)

Moon Overhead: 8:50a 6a

12p

6p

12a

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

Moon Underfoot: 9:15p

• N O V E M B E R

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

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

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

KEY T18 T19 T20 T21 T22 T23

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

SPORTSMAN’S DAYBOOK IS SPONSORED BY:

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION

Yellow: Daylight

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

T9 T8

T3 T2 T1

T E X A S

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

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


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NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION BEST:

7:45-9:40 AM

= Peak Fishing Period

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

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

MONDAY SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

TUESDAY

 26

27

THURSDAY

28

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

29

30

SUNDAY

3 1  N OV 1

End DST

Set: 6:38p Sunrise: 7:27a Set: 12:46a Moonrise: 3:02p

Set: 6:37p Set: 1:41a

Sunrise: 7:28a Moonrise: 3:32p

Set: 6:36p Set: 2:35a

Sunrise: 7:28a Moonrise: 4:01p

Set: 6:35p Set: 3:29a

Sunrise: 7:29a Moonrise: 4:30p

Set: 6:34p Set: 4:23a

Sunrise: 7:30a Moonrise: 5:01p

Set: 6:34p Set: 5:20a

Sunrise: 6:31a Moonrise: 4:36p

Set: 5:33p Set: 5:20a

AM Minor: 12:15a

PM Minor: 6:28p

AM Minor: 12:59a

PM Minor: 7:10p

AM Minor: 1:38a

PM Minor: 7:48p

AM Minor: 2:15a

PM Minor: 8:25p

AM Minor: 2:51a

PM Minor: 9:01p

AM Minor: 3:28a

PM Minor: 9:39p

AM Minor: 3:09a

PM Minor: 9:22p

AM Major: 6:28a

PM Major: 6:50p

AM Major: 7:10a

PM Major: 7:31p

AM Major: 7:48a

PM Major: 8:09p

AM Major: 8:25a

PM Major: 8:46p

AM Major: 9:01a

PM Major: 9:22p

AM Major: 9:39a

PM Major: 10:02p

AM Major: 9:22a

PM Major: 9:46p

Moon Overhead: 8:03p

12a

WEDNESDAY

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 9:27p

Moon Overhead: 8:46p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 10:09p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 11:37p

Moon Overhead: 10:51pn 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

Sunrise: 7:26a Moonrise: 2:31p

Tides and Prime Times for NOVEMBER 2009

Moon Overhead: None 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 7:42a +2.0

BEST:

BEST:

BEST:

7:10 — 9:30 P

Moon Underfoot: 9:48a

Underfoot: 10:30a

BEST:

7:50 — 10:20 P

Moon Underfoot: 11:14a

BEST:

8:20 — 10:30 P

Moon Underfoot: 12:01p

BEST:

9:10 — 11:15 P

+2.0

BEST:

9:55 — 11:50 P

9:10A — 12:20P TIDE LEVELS

0

Moon Underfoot: 9:07a

TIDE LEVELS

12:00 — 1:30 P

+1.0

Moon Underfoot: 8:25a

-1.0 High Tide: 1:49 AM Low Tide: 5:33 PM

1.65 ft 0.58 ft

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

1:51 AM 8:52 AM 11:08 AM 6:27 PM

1.60 ft 1.31 ft 1.34 ft 0.70 ft

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

1:56 AM 8:25 AM 12:52 PM 7:15 PM

1.55 ft 1.17 ft 1.36 ft 0.82 ft

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

2:04 AM 8:22 AM 2:08 PM 7:58 PM

1.52 ft 0.98 ft 1.43 ft 0.95 ft

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

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

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2:12 AM 8:35 AM 3:13 PM 8:41 PM

1.50 ft 0.77 ft 1.53 ft 1.09 ft

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

2:19 AM 8:57 AM 4:11 PM 9:23 PM

1.50 ft 0.55 ft 1.64 ft 1.23 ft

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

G a m e ® / N O V E M B E R

1:26 AM 8:26 AM 4:07 PM 9:06 PM

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1.51 ft 0.33 ft 1.74 ft 1.37 ft

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0

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NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION BEST:

= Peak Fishing Period

7:45-9:40 AM

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

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

MONDAY

TUESDAY

 2

WEDNESDAY

3

THURSDAY

4

FRIDAY

5

SATURDAY

6

SUNDAY

7

8

Sunrise: 6:31a Moonrise: 5:16p

Set: 5:32p Set: 6:23a

Sunrise: 6:32a Moonrise: 6:03p

Set: 5:31p Set: 7:28a

Sunrise: 6:33a Moonrise: 6:57p

Set: 5:30p Set: 8:34a

Sunrise: 6:34a Moonrise: 7:58p

Set: 5:30p Set: 9:38a

Sunrise: 6:34a Moonrise: 9:04p

AM Minor: 3:56a

PM Minor: 10:09p

AM Minor: 4:50a

PM Minor: 11:04p

AM Minor: 5:50a

PM Minor: ——-

AM Minor: 6:55a

PM Minor: 12:40p

AM Minor: 8:03a

PM Minor: 1:48p

AM Minor: 9:10a

PM Minor: 2:55p

AM Minor: 10:12a

PM Minor: 3:58p

AM Major: 10:09a

PM Major: 10:35p

AM Major: 11:04a

PM Major: 11:32p

AM Major: ——-

PM Major: 12:05p

AM Major: 12:40a

PM Major: 1:11p

AM Major: 1:48a

PM Major: 2:18p

AM Major: 2:55a

PM Major: 3:24p

AM Major: 3:58a

PM Major: 4:26p

Moon Overhead: None

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 1:16a

Moon Overhead: 12:19a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 2:17a 12a

6a

12p

6p

Set: 5:29p Sunrise: 6:35a Set: 5:28p Sunrise: 6:36a Set: 5:28p Set: 10:37a Moonrise: 10:12p Set: 11:29a Moonrise: 11:20p Set: 12:15p

Moon Overhead: 4:19a

Moon Overhead: 3:18a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 5:17a 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

Tides and Prime Times for NOVEMBER 2009

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 11:52a +2.0

BEST:

BEST:

-1.0

Moon Underfoot: 2:48p

BEST:

6:30 — 8:00 A

BEST:

7:00 — 8:30 A

8:00 — 9:30 A

Moon Underfoot: 3:49p BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 4:49p BEST:

9:00 — 10:30 A

10:00 — 11:30 A

Moon Underfoot: 5:45p +2.0

BEST:

11:00A — 12:30P TIDE LEVELS

0

Moon Underfoot: 1:46p

TIDE LEVELS

6:00 — 7:30 A

+1.0

Moon Underfoot: 12:47p

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

I22

1:29 AM 9:01 AM 5:05 PM 9:50 PM

1.55 ft 0.12 ft 1.82 ft 1.50 ft

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

• N O V E M B E R

1:30 AM 9:41 AM 6:05 PM 10:32 PM

1.61 ft -0.05 ft 1.87 ft 1.63 ft

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

T E X A S

1:31 AM 10:25 AM 7:11 PM 11:15 PM

1.68 ft High Tide: 1:35 AM 1.75 ft Low Tide: -0.17 ft Low Tide: 11:15 AM -0.23 ft High Tide: 1.89 ft High Tide: 8:24 PM 1.89 ft Low Tide: 1.73 ft High Tide:

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1.79 ft Low Tide: 1:09 PM -0.15 ft Low Tide: 2:13 PM -0.00 ft 1.80 ft High Tide: 10:34 PM 1.80 ft High Tide: 11:11 PM 1.72 ft -0.22 ft 1.86 ft

+1.0

0

-1.0


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NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION BEST:

7:45-9:40 AM

= Peak Fishing Period

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

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

MONDAY

TUESDAY

 9

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

10

Set: 5:27p Sunrise: 6:38a Set: 5:27p Set: 12:56p Moonrise: 12:26a Set: 1:32p

THURSDAY

11

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

12

13

SUNDAY

 15

14

Sunrise: 6:39a Moonrise: 1:30a

Set: 5:26p Set: 2:05p

Sunrise: 6:39a Moonrise: 2:32a

Set: 5:25p Set: 2:38p

Sunrise: 6:40a Moonrise: 3:33a

Set: 5:25p Set: 3:11p

Sunrise: 6:41a Moonrise: 4:35a

Set: 5:24p Set: 3:47p

Sunrise: 6:42a Moonrise: 5:37a

Set: 5:24p Set: 4:26p

AM Minor: 11:09a

PM Minor: 4:56p

AM Minor: 11:59a

PM Minor: 5:47p

AM Minor: 12:21a

PM Minor: 6:33p

AM Minor: 1:03a

PM Minor: 7:15p

AM Minor: 1:44a

PM Minor: 7:56p

AM Minor: 2:26a

PM Minor: 8:38p

AM Minor: 3:11a

PM Minor: 9:24p

AM Major: 4:56a

PM Major: 5:22p

AM Major: 5:47a

PM Major: 6:12p

AM Major: 6:33a

PM Major: 6:56p

AM Major: 7:15a

PM Major: 7:38p

AM Major: 7:56a

PM Major: 8:19p

AM Major: 8:38a

PM Major: 9:02p

AM Major: 9:24a

PM Major: 9:49p

Moon Overhead: 6:12a

12a

WEDNESDAY

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 7:51a

Moon Overhead: 7:03a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 8:38a 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 10:14a

Moon Overhead: 9:25a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

Sunrise: 6:37a Moonrise: None

Tides and Prime Times for NOVEMBER 2009

Moon Overhead: 11:04a 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 6:38p +2.0

BEST:

0

-1.0

BEST:

12:30 — 2:00 P

1:30 — 3:00 P

Moon Underfoot: 9:02p BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 9:49p BEST:

7:00 — 10:00 A

Moon Underfoot: 10:38p BEST:

9:00A — 12:00P

Moon Underfoot: 11:30p +2.0

BEST:

9:30A — 12:30P

3:00 — 6:00 A TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 8:15p

TIDE LEVELS

12:00 — 1:30P

Moon Underfoot: 7:27p

Low Tide: 3:21 PM 0.20 ft High Tide: 11:36 PM 1.61 ft

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

6:16 AM 9:28 AM 4:33 PM 11:55 PM

1.19 ft 1.26 ft 0.44 ft 1.51 ft

Low Tide: 6:24 AM 0.88 ft High Tide: 11:39 AM 1.29 ft Low Tide: 5:46 PM 0.69 ft

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

12:11 AM 6:52 AM 1:18 PM 6:59 PM

1.44 ft 0.56 ft 1.40 ft 0.93 ft

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

12:25 AM 7:25 AM 2:40 PM 8:08 PM

1.40 ft 0.26 ft 1.54 ft 1.15 ft

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

12:37 AM 8:01 AM 3:49 PM 9:15 PM

1.40 ft 0.01 ft 1.65 ft 1.31 ft

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

12:48 AM 8:38 AM 4:49 PM 10:18 PM

1.43 ft -0.16 ft 1.71 ft 1.43 ft

+1.0

0

-1.0


ALMANAC I.qxd:0911 Inland

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Page I25

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

Tides and Prime Times for NOVEMBER 2009 MONDAY

TUESDAY

 17

 18

FRIDAY

 19

SATURDAY

20

21

22

Set: 5:23p Set: 5:09p

Sunrise: 6:44a Moonrise: 7:39a

Set: 5:23p Set: 5:57p

Sunrise: 6:44a Moonrise: 8:36a

Set: 5:23p Set: 6:49p

Sunrise: 6:45a Moonrise: 9:27a

Set: 5:22p Set: 7:44p

AM Minor: 4:00a

PM Minor: 10:13p

AM Minor: 4:53a

PM Minor: 11:06p

AM Minor: 5:49a

PM Minor: 11:31p

AM Minor: 6:46a

PM Minor: 12:33p

AM Minor: 7:42a

PM Minor: 1:30p

AM Minor: 8:37a

PM Minor: 2:25p

AM Minor: 9:28a

PM Minor: 3:16p

AM Major: 10:13a

PM Major: 10:39p

AM Major: 11:06a

PM Major: 11:33p

AM Major: 11:31a

PM Major: 12:02p

AM Major: 12:33a

PM Major: 12:59p

AM Major: 1:30a

PM Major: 1:55p

AM Major: 2:25a

PM Major: 2:48p

AM Major: 3:16a

PM Major: 3:39p

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 1:42p

Moon Overhead: 12:49p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Sunrise: 6:46a Set: 5:22p Moonrise: 10:13a Set: 8:39p

SUNDAY

Sunrise: 6:43a Moonrise: 6:39a

Moon Overhead: 11:56a

12a

THURSDAY

Moon Overhead: 2:35p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Sunrise: 6:47a Set: 5:21p Moonrise: 10:54a Set: 9:36p

Moon Overhead: 4:13p

Moon Overhead: 3:25p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Sunrise: 6:48a Set: 5:21p Moonrise: 11:29a Set: 10:31p

12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

 16

WEDNESDAY

Moon Overhead: 4:58p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: None +2.0

BEST:

0

-1.0

BEST:

6:00 — 8:00 A

Moon Underfoot: 2:09a

Moon Underfoot: 3:00a

BEST:

6:30 — 8:30 A

BEST:

7:30 — 9:00 A

Moon Underfoot: 3:49a

Moon Underfoot: 4:36a

BEST:

8:00 — 9:30 A

+2.0

BEST:

9:00 — 10:30 A TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

BEST:

5:30 — 7:00 A

Moon Underfoot: 1:16a

TIDE LEVELS

5:00 — 6:30 A

Moon Underfoot: 12:22a

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

12:55 AM 9:17 AM 5:45 PM 11:23 PM

1.47 ft High Tide: 12:49 AM 1.51 ft Low Tide: 10:37 AM -0.25 ft Low Tide: 11:19 AM -0.18 ft Low Tide: 12:03 PM -0.08 ft Low Tide: 12:47 PM 0.04 ft -0.25 ft Low Tide: 9:56 AM -0.28 ft High Tide: 7:35 PM 1.65 ft High Tide: 8:32 PM 1.59 ft High Tide: 9:28 PM 1.53 ft High Tide: 10:10 PM 1.47 ft 1.73 ft High Tide: 6:39 PM 1.70 ft 1.50 ft

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

F i s h

&

Low Tide: 1:31 PM 0.17 ft High Tide: 10:36 PM 1.41 ft

G a m e ® / N O V E M B E R

2 0 0 9

I25

+1.0

0

-1.0


ALMANAC I.qxd:0911 Inland

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Page I26

NOT TO BE USED FOR NAVIGATION BEST:

7:45-9:40 AM

= Peak Fishing Period

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

Fishing Day’s Best Good Score Graph Score Score

MONDAY

TUESDAY

THURSDAY

25 Sunrise: 6:50a Moonrise: 1:00p

FRIDAY

SATURDAY

26

27

SUNDAY

28

29

Set: 5:20p Sunrise: 6:51a Set: 12:18a Moonrise: 1:28p

Set: 5:20p Set: 1:11a

Sunrise: 6:52a Moonrise: 1:58p

Set: 5:20p Set: 2:06a

Sunrise: 6:53a Moonrise: 2:31p

Set: 5:20p Set: 3:03a

Sunrise: 6:53a Moonrise: 3:08p

Set: 5:20p Set: 4:04a

AM Minor: 10:15a

PM Minor: 4:04p

AM Minor: 10:59a

PM Minor: 4:49p

AM Minor: 11:39a

PM Minor: 5:29p

AM Minor: ——-

PM Minor: 6:08p

AM Minor: 12:35a

PM Minor: 6:46p

AM Minor: 1:13a

PM Minor: 7:25p

AM Minor: 1:54a

PM Minor: 8:07p

AM Major: 4:04a

PM Major: 4:26p

AM Major: 4:49a

PM Major: 5:09p

AM Major: 5:29a

PM Major: 5:50p

AM Major: 6:08a

PM Major: 6:28p

AM Major: 6:46a

PM Major: 7:07p

AM Major: 7:25a

PM Major: 7:48p

AM Major: 8:07a

PM Major: 8:32p

Moon Overhead: 5:41p 6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 7:02p

Moon Overhead: 6:22p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 7:44p 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 9:14p

Moon Overhead: 8:27p 12a

6a

12p

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 10:05p 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

WEDNESDAY

 24

23

Sunrise: 6:49a Set: 5:21p Sunrise: 6:49a Set: 5:21p Moonrise: 12:02p Set: 11:25p Moonrise: 12:31p Set: None

12a

Tides and Prime Times for NOVEMBER 2009

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 5:19a +2.0

BEST:

0

-1.0

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 7:23a BEST:

12:00 — 2:00 P

Moon Underfoot: 8:05a BEST:

6:30 — 8:30 P

Moon Underfoot: 8:50a BEST:

7:00 — 9:30 P

Moon Underfoot: 9:39a +2.0

BEST:

7:30 — 9:30 P

8:30 — 10:30 P TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

BEST:

11:00A — 12:30P

Moon Underfoot: 6:42a

TIDE LEVELS

10:00 — 11:30 A

Moon Underfoot: 6:01a

Low Tide: 2:15 PM 0.32 ft High Tide: 10:54 PM 1.36 ft

Low Tide: 3:00 PM 0.49 ft High Tide: 11:07 PM 1.31 ft

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

6:32 AM 10:13 AM 3:49 PM 11:18 PM

0.90 ft 0.98 ft 0.66 ft 1.27 ft

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

6:17 AM 12:03 PM 4:45 PM 11:27 PM

0.70 ft 1.04 ft 0.83 ft 1.24 ft

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

6:27 AM 1:27 PM 5:49 PM 11:32 PM

0.47 ft 1.17 ft 0.99 ft 1.24 ft

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

6:50 AM 2:34 PM 6:57 PM 11:33 PM

0.22 ft 1.31 ft 1.13 ft 1.27 ft

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

7:21 AM 3:31 PM 8:02 PM 11:35 PM

-0.02 ft 1.46 ft 1.26 ft 1.32 ft

+1.0

0

-1.0


ALMANAC I.qxd:0911 Inland

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Page I27

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

Tides and Prime Times for NOVEMBER 2009 MONDAY

TUESDAY

 2

 D EC 1

FRIDAY

 3

SATURDAY

 4

SUNDAY

5

6

Sunrise: 6:54a Moonrise: 3:52p

Set: 5:20p Set: 5:09a

Sunrise: 6:55a Moonrise: 4:43p

Set: 5:20p Set: 6:15a

Sunrise: 6:56a Moonrise: 5:43p

Set: 5:20p Set: 7:22a

Sunrise: 6:57a Moonrise: 6:49p

Set: 5:20p Set: 8:24a

Sunrise: 6:57a Moonrise: 7:58p

Set: 5:20p Set: 9:21a

Sunrise: 6:58a Moonrise: 9:09p

AM Minor: 2:40a

PM Minor: 8:54p

AM Minor: 3:32a

PM Minor: 9:47p

AM Minor: 4:31a

PM Minor: 10:47p

AM Minor: 5:36a

PM Minor: 11:51p

AM Minor: 6:43a

PM Minor: 12:27p

AM Minor: 7:50a

PM Minor: 1:35p

AM Minor: 8:54a

PM Minor: 2:40p

AM Major: 8:54a

PM Major: 9:21p

AM Major: 9:47a

PM Major: 10:17p

AM Major: 10:47a

PM Major: 11:18p

AM Major: 11:51a

PM Major: ——-

AM Major: 12:27a

PM Major: 12:58p

AM Major: 1:35a

PM Major: 2:05p

AM Major: 2:40a

PM Major: 3:08p

Moon Overhead: 11:01p

12a

THURSDAY

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: None 12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 12:01a 12a

6a

12p

Moon Overhead: 1:04a

6p

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 3:08a

Moon Overhead: 2:07a 12a

6a

12p

6p

Set: 5:20p Set: 5:20p Sunrise: 6:59a Set: 10:11a Moonrise: 10:18p Set: 10:55a

12a

6a

12p

6p

Moon Overhead: 4:06a 12a

6a

12p

6p

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

SOLUNAR ACTIVITY

 30

WEDNESDAY

12a

FEET

FEET

Moon Underfoot: 10:32a +2.0

BEST:

0

-1.0

BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 1:36p BEST:

3:00 — 5:00 P

Moon Underfoot: 2:38p BEST:

8:30 — 10:00 A

9:30 — 11:00 A

Moon Underfoot: 3:37p BEST:

Moon Underfoot: 4:33p +2.0

BEST:

10:30A — 12:00P

11:30A — 1:00P TIDE LEVELS

+1.0

BEST:

2:30 — 4:00 P

Moon Underfoot: 12:32p

TIDE LEVELS

1:30 — 3:00 P

Moon Underfoot: 11:31a

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

7:59 AM 4:26 PM 8:59 PM 11:41 PM

-0.26 ft Low Tide: 8:41 AM 1.57 ft High Tide: 5:21 PM 1.37 ft Low Tide: 9:45 PM 1.40 ft

-0.46 ft High Tide: 12:03 AM 1.65 ft Low Tide: 9:27 AM 1.45 ft High Tide: 6:16 PM Low Tide: 10:27 PM

1.47 ft -0.61 ft 1.67 ft 1.51 ft

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

12:38 AM 10:17 AM 7:11 PM 11:11 PM

1.53 ft High Tide: 1:22 AM 1.53 ft Low Tide: -0.68 ft Low Tide: 11:08 AM -0.68 ft High Tide: 1.66 ft High Tide: 8:02 PM 1.60 ft Low Tide: 1.51 ft High Tide:

12:11 AM 2:10 AM 12:01 PM 8:46 PM

1.46 ft 1.47 ft -0.58 ft 1.51 ft

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

1:40 AM 3:12 AM 12:55 PM 9:21 PM

1.32 ft 1.32 ft -0.38 ft 1.40 ft

+1.0

0

-1.0


ALMANAC I.qxd:0911 Inland

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2:16 PM

Pinnacle Scion Select X Reel— Boon for Bassers BASS ANGLERS ARE ALWAYS ON THE LOOKOUT for a new bait-caster that exceeds expectations, and their eyes will pop open when they get a gander at the new Pinnacle Scion Select X. I tested one while tossing crankbaits into stump fields, and discovered I could make those lures swim like baitfishes in a serious frenzy. The secret to such action is an incredibly fast 7.0:1 gear ratio, which makes it possible to swim those swimbaits and crank those crankbaits at unusually high rates of speed. Swinging the handle is smooth, too, because the Scion X has nine stainless-steel ball bearings, plus a roller bearing. Brass gearing is machine-cut, and multiple drag washers ensure that line going out runs as

Page I28

smoothly as the line coming in. Whichever way the line is flowing, it will be protected because the level-winder features a titanium line guide. When fish strike, you won’t have any problem

with kickback, either. The antireverse system is truly infinite, and I found it ideal for fast, bang-free hooksets. I have to admit, I am not the world’s greatest with a bait-caster in my hands, and backlash isn’t exactly unheard of. But the Scion Select X made it so, because it incorporates multiple anti-backlash systems. (Pinnacle’s marketing guys called it the

“Tandem Cast Control System.”) As you begin your cast, a centrifugal brake makes sure there is no overrun. Then the adjustable magnetic brake takes over, so the spool continues spinning at the proper rate. It does not cut down on casting distance; except for the lack of professional overrun, you won’t even notice the system as it works. This reel has a compact metal frame, weighing in at 9.3 ounces. Line capacity is 165 yards of 12-pound-test. That’s plenty for bassers and cast-and-retrieve fishing for bigger lake dwellers (like striped bass), but don’t plan on it doing double-duty as a trolling reel. The reel’s relatively small size feels great in your hands, though, and the light weight made it a delight to use for a full day of fishing. —Lenny Rudow

On the Web www.pinnaclefishing.com •••

DeLORME Earthmate PN-30 YOU HIKE, YOU HUNT, YOU FISH, AND YOU also happen to drive a car, then you need a take-everywhere, do-everything, handheld GPS with land, water, topographic, and road mapping. A new choice on your menu is the DeLORME Earthmate PN-30, a pocket navigator that’s handy no mater what part of planet Earth you are traveling. I28

• N O V E M B E R

2 0 0 9 /

T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

PHOTO COURTESY PINNACLE


ALMANAC I.qxd:0911 Inland

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Page I29

neous, thanks to a fast dual-core processor. The unit also has 1GB of flash memory, and a Cartisio chipset. Clearly, it is on the cutting edge of handheld technology. —LR

On the Web www.delorme.com

PHOTO COURTESY DELORME

charts, aerial imagery, DeLORME topo maps, and USGS topo maps. Software for trip planning and road routing is also included. In fact, when you pop open the box, you will even discover an SD card is already inside; DeLORME makes the PN-30 an all-in-one purchase. The unit supports Navionics chartography, too. Once I had the Earthmate up and running, one feature I particularly liked was the speed of chart re-draws as I panned around or zoomed in and out. It’s nearly instanta-

I tested the PN-30 in Realtree camo, and unless you use the screen to flash your prey with a sunbeam, it won’t be visible to the wariest gobbler in the woods. If stealth isn’t important, you can also opt for orange or green models. The casing is tough, too, and waterproof to IPX7 standards. The keypad will be a bit unfamiliar to people accustomed to using handhelds with higher brand recognition, but don’t let this scare you off. I found the menu, page, enter, and quit keys very self-explanatory. There is a waypoint quick key with an icon of a pin on it, which is also how waypoint icons appear on-screen. The power key on my test unit took a very hard press to activate, which was a bit of an aggravation, but was good for preventing accidental activation. When I fired up the unit, I found good road mapping, decent basic land features, and water boundaries. The unit comes— without extra cost—with Earthmate Maps on DVD. Transferring maps to the unit is simple because it has an SD card slot. You upload the maps and charts onto your computer, put them on the SD card, then plug the card into the slot behind the batteries on the PN-30. Once the chartography is onboard, you have full access to NOAA A L M A N A C / T E X A S

F i s h

&

G a m e ® / N O V E M B E R

2 0 0 9

I29


ALMANAC I.qxd:0911 Inland

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Lumen-Arrow Powered by Lumenok

Page I30

Russelure

THE LUMEN-ARROW IS NEW FOR 2009. THE Lumen-Arrow is made in North America with the highest quality carbon fibers — 100% carbon (NO fiberglass). Every

minum with anodized colors, solid brass brackets riveted to the body and superior quality Mustad hooks attached with stainless steel rings, the Russelure is a virtually indestructible lure. The Russelure comes in 8 different sizes and 11 different colors. Contact: 12310 William Dowdell, Cypress, Texas 77429. Phone: 832-6889296. Or visit www.russelure.com.

Big Zak Attack Lumen-Arrow Lumen-Arrow comes equipped with a Lumenok (lighted arrow nock in red or green) specially fitted to each shaft, a smooth polished finish, and your choice of either Bohning 2” Blazer Vanes or raw shafts. Sorted to (+/-0.5) of a grain weight per dozen and a straightness of (+/-0.003), Lumen-Arrows come in three sizes: 45/60 (8.1 gpi.); 60/75 (8.8 gpi.); and 75/90 (9.9 gpi). We realized that selling Lumenoks in arrows that were prepared properly for its utmost performance would guarantee a more enjoyable archery experience whether you are hunting or just shooting targets. Lumen-Arrows are a product of the Burt Coyote Co. Inc. (309) 358-1602. For more information you can also visit www.lumenok.net

WILEY X EYEWEAR HAS ADDED A NEW MODEL to its popular Active Series sunglasses. The key to this new high performance sunglass — Wiley X Zak™ Model ACZAK07 — is Wiley X Eyewear’s proprietary lens technology that combines superior protection and comfort with superior vision on the water. This new Wiley X Zak features a wraparound Gloss Black frame accented by Polarized Blue Mirror Lenses that deliver 99.9-percent polarization

Russelure Returns THE LEGENDARY RUSSELURE IS BACK. WITH ITS unusual wobble swimming action, which can be varied from eccentric fast motion to a slower, smooth natural movement, the Russelure is irresistible to fish. Formed from aluI30

• N O V E M B E R

2 0 0 9 /

with 100-percent protection from harmful UVA/UVB rays.

T E X A S

F i s h

&

Wiley X Zak

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

They feature the same High Velocity Protection (HVP™) Wiley X provides to U.S. Armed Forces around the world. These incredible lenses exceed ANSI Z87.1-2003 High Velocity Impact safety and optical standards for superior protection against the elements or flying lures. Plus, Wiley X’s exclusive Filter 8™ polarizing technology eliminates distracting glare and lets boaters and anglers read the water. With 19% light transmission, this customized fishing tint is ideal for all day performance, from low light to bright light, cloudy conditions and increasing contrast between different shades of green water or vegetation. This new model’s Active Series frame features wide temples to shield out peripheral light and airborne debris along with comfortable rubberized nose pads that provide a secure fit when flying over the waves. Visit www.wileyx.com

Serrano Baitcaster Lays Low BUILT UPON A RIGID DIE CAST ALUMINUM (ALC) frame, Serrano reels are made to handle all types of freshwater species as well as inshore brutes such as calico bass, redfish, permit and more. The aluminum right sideplate keeps all of the heavy duty, machine cut Dura brass gearing in perfect alignment, while the graphite left sideplate reduces weight and is easily

removed for access to the


ALMANAC I.qxd:0911 Inland

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2:16 PM

Okuma Serrano baitcaster

adjustable 8-position Velocity Control System. The Dura brass gearing featured in the Serrano reels are stronger and more durable than traditional baitcast gears. The Serrano reel’s smoothness comes from 10 ball bearings incorporated throughout the reel, in addition to the Quick-set anti-reverse roller bearing. Precision Japanese ABEC-5 bearings are featured on the spool for ultimate casting and freespool. For a strong, smooth drag system, Okuma utilizes a Carbonite greased drag system. Despite the Serrano’s compact size, these reels still dish out 11 lbs. of drag, all while providing a 6.2:1 gear ratio for increased line pick up. Additionally, all Serrano reels undergo Okuma’s Corrosion Resistant Coating (CRC) process which features a coating of Corrosion X HD to the inside housing of the reel. Serrano reels are backed by Okuma’s 3year warranty program. Okuma Fishing Tackle 2310 E. Locust Court Ontario, CA 91761 Phone: (909) 923-2828 FAX: (909) 923-2909 www.okumafishing.com

Wraith Cuts New Edge in Night Vision SIGHTMARK UNVEILS THE WRAITH DVS-14T Digital night vision monocular, the newest cutting edge trend in night vision. Unlike traditional night vision, the Wraith can be used for both daytime and nighttime operation without any damage to the internal components of the device. The

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Wraith allows crisp, clear black and white imaging that is difficult to achieve with archaic tube based green-on-green systems. With digital imaging rapidly overtaking and surpassing its image intensive tube predecessors, the Wraith is a perfect example of the boundless capabilities inherent in this new, breakthrough technology. Digital imaging is the next evolution in night vision and Sightmark is leading the trend with the Wraith. This lightweight, compact unit is the spectral embodiment of the newest in night vision technology and uses brand new image processing technology to deliver stunning image quality every time. The Wraith has incredible Gen 3 resolution, with the viewing distance of a Gen 2 at a price range comparable to a Gen 1. Sightmark has flawlessly developed a digital night vision monocular that is perfect for law enforcement surveillance. The Wraith boasts an array of special features including an adjustable screen brightness control, multicoated lenses, and a built-in IR illuminator to increase viewing power. The Wraith is ideal for hunting, law enforcement, homesecurity, and many other uses. Sightmark offers a wide range of manufactured products that include red-dot scopes, range finders, riflescopes, flashlights, laser sights and award-winning boresights. Sightmark’s triple duty series offers high quality products that are ideal for tactical, hunting, and shooting applications. For more information on Sightmark’s products, log on to www.sightmark.com. Please contact Kim Sulak at ksulak@sellmark.net or 817.225.0310x126 for any additional information.

Sightmark Wraith DVS-14T

New 12 Foot Stand–Up Fishing Kayak FREEDOM HAWK KAYAKS, THE INDUSTRY leader in stand-up kayak fishing, is pleased to introduce the new Freedom 12 fishing kayak. Crafted after the successful Freedom 14 model, Freedom12 offers a new version of the patented two part outrigger system that with the flick of a lever allows you to go from paddling to fishing in seconds. With the sponsons deployed

Freedom Hawk

paddlers can choose from two outrigger positions. Location one, “The Y Position” gives maximum stability. Whether fighting a trophy fish o r casting in tricky conditions the kayak in this position has the equivalency of a 6 foot beam giving it maximum stability and making it nearly impossible to tip over. Location 2, “The In-Line Position” moves the outriggers parallel to the main hull. While still offering great stability, the boat now has improved efficiency whether paddling, poling or motoring. In addition to all the great features, the Freedom 12 now retails for under a thousand dollars, $995 MSRP. “We have engineered the ultimate fishing kayak! An efficient and stabile hull, all the latest fishing features, the ability to switch from paddling to stand up fishing in seconds, and all of this at a price point that any angler can afford. The Freedom 12 is unlike anything else on the market today” says David Hadden director of sales and marketing for Freedom Hawk Kayaks. It weighs 69 pounds (with a 49 pound carrying weight) and is available in four col-

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Wong Scores Bassmaster Regular Season Win UDY WONG OF MANY, LOUISIANA, RECENTLY accomplished something that had eluded her for almost four competition seasons: a win in a regular-season event of the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Women’s Tour. “I did win the 2007 WBT championship event, but I came here to win this tournament,” she said. “I haven’t had a win on this tour other than the championship. To have a regular-season win under my belt was my goal.” Wong took her win with a three-day total of 28 pounds, 5 ounces on Old Hickory Lake, Tennessee. She earned $1000 and a boat package valued at nearly $55,000. She put her mark on the tournament the second day by bringing in a limit with two kickers, more than enough to give her the lead going into the final round. She had just three fish on Day 3, but that didn’t matter in the end; she won by a 6-pound, 12-ounce margin. Wong’s nearest challenger was another champion, Kim Bain-Moore, who scored second place with 21-9. The Alabaster, Alabama, pro is also the reigning Toyota Tundra WBT Angler of the Year and first woman to compete in a Bassmaster Classic. The Old Hickory event was her best showing so far in the 2009 season. Lisa Sternard of Clarksville, Tennessee, also ended with 21-9, but lost out on a tiebreaker rule that rewards highest number of fish caught over three days. Bain-Moore had 15 fish to Sternard’s nine. Heather Broom, the Sylva, North Carolina, pro who made a serious run on the leader by standing fast in second place for two days, slipped on the final day to end in fourth with 20-14.

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Pam Martin-Wells of Bainbridge, Georgia, was fifth with 19-7, a finish that cemented her lead in the 2009 Toyota Tundra WBT Angler of the Year race, the points system that determines which 20 pros qualified for the 2009 Academy Sports + Outdoors Championship in October on the Red River out of Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana. Wong said she worked three areas for

Judy Wong got her first regular season win on the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Women’s tour at Old Hickory Lake in Tennesse. most of her fish. One, a ledge, she hit all three days. She worked it with an Academy H2O crankbait in a shad finish, then with Carolina-rigged Gary Yamamoto lizards. One was watermelon red, but she switched to black with blue flake when the sky was overcast. “The big ones yesterday all came on the Carolina rig,” Wong said. “Today I went

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back to the ledge, but I went early because it was overcast this morning and I thought it would produce. The bite was so slow, and I keyed on fish following the shad all week, but there are only a limited number of keepers in any one area.” Bain-Moore said she took nine of her keepers from under one large boat tied up at a dock. “I didn’t have huge fish, but I was consistent,” she said. “Fishing was definitely slower today, and I stayed in three areas where I had caught keepers Thursday and Friday. I just ground it out in those three areas.” Besides the boat, Bain-Moore got her fish out of grass and from under docks, and sometimes by working areas that combined those factors. The winner in the co-angler division was Monica Altman of Angier, North Carolina, with a three-day weight of 17-3. Her prize was $500 and a Triton/Mercury boat rig valued at $25,000. Altman, who won a WBT co-angler competition in 2006 on Lake Norman, led on Day 1, zeroed on Day 2, then came back on Day 3 with a 10-pound, 11-ounce limit. She said she was “a little surprised” she won. Altman’s third-day charge was enough to jump over local angler Regina Pierpaoli of Gallatin, Tennessee, who led on Day 2. Pierpaoli ended in second place with 14-13. The Old Hickory event ended the regular WBT season and set the stage for the 2009 Academy Sports + Outdoors WBT Championship, where the season-long points race ends and one pro will claim the season’s biggest prize package: the Toyota Tundra WBT Angler of the Year crown, a Toyota Tundra, and an invitation to the 2010 Bassmaster Classic, 19-21 February on Lay Lake out of Birmingham, Alabama. Championship qualifiers are the top 20 in the Toyota Tundra WBT Angler of the Year points competition in both the pro and co-angler divisions. PHOTO COURTESY BASS


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NEW PRODUCTS

Wulf Outdoor Sports Archery Tournament FOR THOSE WHO LOVE THE SPORT OF ARCHERY, here is an event that you won’t want to miss next year: Wulf Outdoor Sports in Athens, Texas, recently held its First Annual 3D Tournament sponsored by Hoyt. Nearly 130 tournament shooters, hunters, and youth shooters from Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma came out to put their archery skills to the test. The Tournament, held 29 August, had six divisions with cash payouts in each, except for the youth division, which awarded prizes and plaques to all participants. In addition to some hefty payouts and lots of door prizes, ASA World Champion shooter Dan McCarthy gave a free shooting

 Continued from Page I-31 ors: sand, olive, yellow and blue. For those wanting to use a small electric motor, the Freedom 12 comes standard with recesses to accept an optional motor mount ($99.00 MSRP). For more information please visit www.freedomhawkkayaks.com or email sales@freedomhawkkayaks.com. Phone: 978-388-9433.

Texas Tackle Split-Ring Pliers TEXAS TACKLE INTRODUCES A SMALLER “EXECutive” model of their patented split ring pliers. These split ring pliers make it a simple chore to change or replace spinner blades or hooks on your lure and are well suited for bass fishing and bay fishing size split rings. The wedge design permits the user to very easily, and quickly, open a gap in the split ring, start the ring, Executive then grip and rotate the split ring ring to complete the operapliers tion. These new pliers feature mirror finish, surgical quality stainless steel for

corrosion resistance and precision box joint construction for strength and extra long life. Retail price is $19.99 plus $3.00 S&H. For more information and to see demo video visit www.TexasTackle.com or contact Texas Tackle, P.O. Box 831239, Richardson, TX 75083. Phone 1-800437-3521, Fax 972-234-4770, 972-6906605.

Wulf Outdoor Sports’ first annual 3D Archery Tournament in Athens drew nearly 130 archers from Texas, Oklahoma and Louisana.

Minox Comfort Bridge Binocular

seminar to all participants. For approximately an hour, McCarthy covered proper practice techniques, shooting preparation, and mental strengthening tips. Contact: Wulf Outdoor Sports 3D Tournament, 903-670-3222

AWAYS QUICK TO RESPOND TO USER NEEDS with innovative solutions, Minox now provides a new answer for those who use binoculars for an extended period of time. Offering significant advantages are two new Comfort Bridge binoculars, with a choice of BL 8x44 or 10x44 models. They

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will be available starting in October 2009. Minox design-engineers have combined sleek, distinctive styling with the practical ergonomic advantages of enhanced comfort and secure handling, plus an increased field of view over previous BL models, creating a new standard for open-bridge binoculars. Lightweight (26 oz.) construction means you can enjoy “carryall-day” comfort. Still, these sturdy binoculars are very durable, thanks to a space-age polycarbonate body that is rubberarmored for sure grip, Minox Comfort Bridge noise damp- binoculars ening and ruggedness. With sophisticated sealing technology, they are waterproof to 16’6”, and Nitrogen filling prevents fogging of internal optical surfaces. The optimum objective lens size of 44 mm, backed by phase-corrected roof prisms and M* multi-layer lens coating ensures brilliant, pin-sharp images with natural color rendition, even in challenging lowlight situations. To capture moving objects faster and more reliably, the field of view has been increased to 410 feet at 1,000 yards for the 8x44, and 341 feet for the 10x44, an increase of 16%. Typical of Minox attention to detail, there are twist-up eye ups for convenience, and the Comfort Bridge binoculars come with a neoprene neck strap and a carrying case. With all of these advantages, the MSRPS are an affordable $559 for the BL 8x44 and $599 for the 10x44. Contact: Minox/USA, P.O. Box 123 Meriden, NH 03770; Phone: (866) 469-3080; email: usa@minox.com; web: www.minox.com

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Weaver 315x42 Super Slam Scope

This scope is unusual in that it has a wider power range than any other scope I am aware of, the norms being 3-9X or 3.510X. It has target adjustment turrets, a sidemounted parallax adjustment knob, and quick-adjust focus. The 42mm objective lens is sufficiently small to allow the scope to be mounted low, allowing for good cheek to stock contact, but large enough to give great

EAVER SCOPES WERE FIRST INVENTED and manufactured by Bill Weaver in the 1930s in Newport, Kentucky. In 1933, Weaver moved his company to El Paso, Texas. W. R. Weaver Scopes, with the Model 330 and 440, and later the K-series, became the best selling scopes in the country. Weaver was famous for providing high quality at affordable prices. I feel safe in saying that during the 1960s and early 1970s, there were more Weaver scopes than any other brand on rifles in the United States. Then, like many companies, Weaver fell on hard times. Bill sold the company in 1968 and died in 1975. Since then, the Weaver brand has been bought and sold a number of times. Recently, the company was purchased by Meade Instruments. To make a long story shorter, Weaver is back, and in a big way. I just received a new Weaver Super Slam scope in 3-15X.

light transmission at the higher powers. The glass is clear and bright. I liked it at first glance. I mounted the scope on my ThompsonCenter Encore Pro-Hunter .22/250, a gun I trust implicitly. The scope was brilliantly clear and eye relief was perfect, being noncritical except on the highest power, and clear all the way to the edge. The adjustment dials are unique. To adjust

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them, simply grasp the knob and pull upward for elevation or outward for windage adjustment. The knobs click upward a fraction of an inch, allowing the adjustment in quarter-inch clicks. When pushed down, the knobs lock and the dials cannot be moved accidentally. It is a very good system. Sight-in was easy. I bore-sighted the gun, adjusted the parallax until the target was

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clear and crisp, set the scope on 15-power, put it on the sandbags, and fired the first shot. It was 3 inches high and 3 inches left. I moved it 12 clicks down and 12 clicks right and the next shot hit the little orange spot in the center of the target. The first three-shot group measured 1.2 inches; the second, 1.3 inches. The rest of the test groups, shot with my handloads of 55-grain Hornady Spire Points, fell within the range of 1 to 1-1/2 inches. This is very good, consistent accuracy and speaks highly of the precision of the Weaver Super Slam. Once the scope is sighted in, the turrets (marked in numbers from 0 to 14, each whole number being one minute of angle) can be reset to zero. On top of each turret is a knurled screw the size of the turret. Simply unscrew the screw, pick up the turret, set it back to zero, and replace the screw. You can now move the adjustments for odd situations and return to zero without guesswork. A bit of range work will allow you to write down the proper adjustments for ranges as far out as you want. Of all the scopes and guns I have ever tested, this is the only one about which I could find nothing negative to say. I will test the scope extensively over the next few weeks, and if something comes up, I will tell you about it here—but don’t expect it. Weaver has returned to the quality that Bill was famous for. Well done, Meade Instruments.

E-mail Steve LaMascus at guns@fishgame.com

PHOTO COURTESY WEAVER


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Trophy Gar Adventure T WAS JULY IN NORTHEAST TEXAS. THE SUN was scorching, the water was hot, and the old familiar urge was tugging at us again. While sitting around the fire station table, I posed the question to Phillip

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Huff, “Gar time yet?” He concurred and we made plans to dip a johnboat into the famed gator gar hotspot, the Trinity River. Two days later, I showed up at Phil’s house to hook up the boat and load gear for the adventure. On this trip, we had a newbie. Alex, Phillip’s son-in-law, was in town for a visit and he was eager to see what all the excitement was about. It is a tongue-in-cheek joke around the firehouse where Phil and I work not to take these trips with us. One too many stories have been told of mud bogs, dry gas tanks, broken motors, unexpected trips into the water, and sudden trauma to our bodies. A fresh rain had made the drive to the water very slippery. We evaluated the situation, threw the truck in four-wheel-drive, and chanced it. After several tense moments, we made it to higher ground and eased to the riverbank. The Trinity River south of the D/FW Metroplex isn’t boater friendly. Unless you own property that fronts the river, you usually are left devising a way to get your boat and gear down a rough, steep riverbank under a bridge. It took a while to launch

PHOTOS COURTESY BUDDY UPCHURCH

by Buddy Upchurch, TF&G Reader

with a conglomeration of chains, ropes, and a lot of grunts, pushing, and pulling, but we finally got it done. As we ease downriver, I can see Phil educating Alex on the things we have gathered about river boating over several decades: How to read the currents, where the deeper holes can be found, the amazing erosion that happens after every flood, etc. After 20 minutes or so, I slow the boat and shut off the motor. I get this look from Alex begging me to say the motor didn’t break down again. After assuring Alex everything was fine and this was our first stop to look A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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for gar, we assembled the trolling motor and prepared to fling arrows. We had stopped in a huge right-hand bend in the river, which also has a creek feeding into it from the left. The water was deep here, about 20 feet. Phil handed Alex his bow so he could get a taste of what this was all about. After a short tutorial on the operation of the retriever reel and shooting mechanics, we had Alex shooting targets in the murky water to get the hang of it. We didn’t have to wait long to see evidence of big gator gar. The first sighting of a 100-pounder put a “you’re kidding me, right?” look on Alex’s face. Gar were surfacing all around us now. Most were juvenile 50- to 70-pounders, but the occasional 100150 would roll as well. We had a couple of tough shots, but no real high percentage shots. After 30-40 minutes of this, we decided to move on downstream to look for happier hunting. After another 15 minute ride to another spot, and a fairly dull 15-minute stretch we decided to move back to the original hole.

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Phil and I knew from experience that it was just a matter of time before we got a shot at a 100-pound-plus gar. We motored into position, Phil and I grabbed our bows, and stood up. The gar this time of year often will come to the surface and “roll.” At times, you can actually hear them gulp air when they surface. Gar are equipped to breathe air when the water oxygenation isn’t enough to sustain them. I personally believe sometimes the gar just like to come to the surface to see what’s going on. When they rise to the top of the water, you can actually see their eyes looking at you before sinking back to the depths. In most cases, you have around 3-4 seconds to see your target, raise your bow, and release your arrow before the gar sinks back into the murky water. Trophy gar bowfishing on the Trinity is much like hunting for deer or hogs from a stand. There can be hours of monotonous daydreaming, and then before your eyes, your trophy is there and it’s all up to you to close the deal. After another 30 minutes or so, my opportunity arose. In the blink of an eye, a gray silhouette appeared about 4 feet from where I stood. I was filled with eager excitement when the 36-inch girth of the beast surfaced. As if on autopilot, my bow seemed to raise itself, aim, and release. A 120-pound alligator gar does not take kindly to being stuck with an arrow. With a huge splash, the prehistoric monster lunged forward, ripping line from my reel. While this is taking place, I am instructing Alex to

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push a glove onto my free hand so I can use it as a manual drag without cutting my fingers on the string. After a few tense moments, we are set to play the gar out. The gar alternated between deep, rhythmic swimming, seemingly effortlessly pulling the 14-foot flatbottom with its three inhabitants, and quick bolts of speed. After 10 minutes, the gar surfaced beside Phil. Phil aimed and put another arrow into it to assist with landing the monster. I reached down and grabbed Phil’s arrow protruding about 7 inches behind the gills. With one huge lunge, the leviathan snapped this arrow off and left the benign part in my quivering hand. After another 10 minutes, I was ready to snatch the gator gar behind the gills and heave it into the boat. Finally getting it into position, I instructed my partners to put weight on the opposite side of the boat to avoid tipping us or taking on too much water. With a count of three, I heaved with all my might, dragging the 120pound bulk over the side and into the small flatbottom. Upon transferring my weight as

well as the fish’s into the boat, we began dipping water from the opposite side. Luckily, we were able to re-distribute the weight and kept the flooding to a few gallons. After a short celebration and a few pictures, I dislodged my arrow from the steellike scales of my trophy, and with a huge heave slid it back into the water. Hopefully, it will grow up and I will meet it again.

PHOTO COURTESY CHAD MCLEAN

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Antlered Saltwater Trophy WAS DRIFTING THE SHORELINE IN PORT O’ Connor by the abandoned Coast Guard Station. I looked over my shoulder and saw a set of antlers swimming across the channel. I was able to pull my boat right alongside and take these photos. You hear these stories all the time, but its cool to get photos of it. —Chad McLean, a TF&G reader

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Fallout Shelter OVEMBER. TO SOME IT BRINGS COLD, sleet, howling wind, and just about anything else Nature has to offer— not to mention higher utility bills. To the bowhunter, November means the very best time to be out in the field. Early mornings and frosty evenings mean little to the man who is after his prey with a stick and string. It is a magical time to be in the woods. A time when we stay undetected to the creatures of the woods while in their living rooms and are witness to their wake-up call and daily routines, it promises to bring a smile even to the face of the “grizzled” hunter with a new story to tell when he returns home to family and friends. Make sure you get home safely to tell that story. Although bowhunting is generally considered one of the safest sports out there, it does not mean you can just leave caution to the wind. More people get injured playing golf than any other sport. Something about holding a lightning rod in your hands during a storm gives the previous statement some legitimacy. Bowhunting accidents do happen, and are usually self-inflicted injuries. All the more reason to think about every move you make and be sure that it is a safe one. Although there are many methods to take a whitetail with a bow, tree stand hunting has proven one of the most successful. It is also one of the most dangerous. Commercial tree stands of today come with a free safety harness. If you purchase a two-man stand, it comes with two harnesses. You, as a safe, ethical hunter, need to use those harnesses every time you to hunt from an elevated position. That is the problem.

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For some reason, some hunters seem to think an accident will never happen to them. After all, they are careful, veteran hunters. They have been in and out of this particular stand for years now. What could go wrong? That is exactly when things can and do go wrong. Climbing in and out of your stand is when accidents happen. As mentioned, injuries are usually selfinflicted in this sport. If you get too used to your hunting method, it is easy to take a few shortcuts along the way and settle in your stand a few minutes earlier. Bad move. From the moment you arrive at your stand, it is important to remember to always have your harness attached to the tree you are hunting from. Never start your climb without this harness firmly in place and secure to the tree. I know some hunters out wait until they are in the stand before attaching any safety harness, but this is wrong and this bad habit should be corrected before you have a serious accident. Remember, a fall from just a few feet can cause a serious injury.

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Climbing down from your stand requires the same caution. The most dangerous part of your hunt will be when you disconnect the harness. Ideally, you should connect yourself with a linesman’s belt or something similar. The point is you should never be disconnected from the tree without some sort of safety precaution. Remember to secure your harness so that it does not interfere with your shot. While using a bow, you will need to draw your string back comfortably and not worry about getting tangled up with your harness. I have found it good practice to pull back the sting a few times to get the feel of the harness. It might feel a little strange at first, but after you get used to it, it will become second nature to you. You might also find that the harness gets in the way of one of your shots. That is unfortunate, but the bottom line is that the risk simply is not worth the result. A fall from your tree stand could very well mean the end of the season—or much worse.

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Fix It or Ditch It?

cannot easily replace these (the new ones never seem to fit properly) and you certainly do not want to get rid of the gasket entirely, so when rubber gaskets come free and get cut, piece them together and hold them in place with a waterproof glue like Gorilla Glue.

HETHER YOU BOAT IS OLD OR NEW, used in salt- or freshwater, for hunting or fishing, something almost certainly needs fixing or replacing right now. Some boaters will spend two hours fixing a doo-dad that we could buy new for two bucks. Others will look at an imperative item we know needs attention—like a bilge pump—and fail to lift a finger until it’s too late. The common boater will do all of the above: Ignore a problem item, then try to fix it, and finally (when it breaks again) replace it. Whichever category you fit into, sometimes it’s hard to know whether to fix something, throw it away and replace it, or ignore it entirely. Fix, toss, or ignore? Read on, and you will be a boater in the know.

Foam gaskets are a different story. When a foam gasket goes bad, you want to toss and replace it. Once these things get crumbly (usually after just a few years of use), they are simply beyond help. Next thing you know, your ice is melting fast and your camera is getting wet. Luckily, most boating supply stores carry a variety of replacement foam gasketing in enough different sizes that you can get a close fit.

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Fix rubber gaskets that fall out of molded channels in fishboxes, integrated coolers, and hatches. If your boat has these, eventually you will swing open a hatch or lid and the rubber gasket will hang halfway out. Stop! Don’t close that hatch now or the edges might smash or cut the gasket. Darn, too late. Why not just buy a new one? You

Ignore intermittently failing pumps used to evacuate water from fishboxes. These pumps (usually bilge pumps in off-label application) don’t last long (sometime between the first snapper and the third flounder, scales and fish bits are guaranteed to clog them up), but there’s no easy solution because macerator and diaphragm pumps won’t fit into the same spaces as bilge pumps, and nine times out of 10, there’s a dedicated space molded into the fiberglass. Since it is often impossible to replace the pump with a different type, fix your fish box pumps and nurse them along for as long as you can. (Often a blast from the washdown hose into the base of the

pump is enough to clear out fish bits.) But also carry spares, and recognize that eventually you will have to replace them with identical units. Toss cracked or leaky fuel lines. Those that are exposed to direct sunlight have a limited life span, and after five or six years in the weather, they often crack and soon leak. Do not cut out the bad section and use a barb and a hose clamp to put the line back together; when a fuel line is aged enough for a crack to appear in one section, more are sure to soon follow. Considering how dangerous a fuel leak can be, it is just not worth messing with. Do not ignore leaking hoses. Instead, throw the entire fuel line away and buy a new one. Fix pipework welds that crack, immediately. Bang around the bay with a loose weld in your T-top or Bimini, and the lack of structural support will result in more cracks, over-stressed attachment points, and possibly bent pipework that cannot ever be fixed. Unfortunately, cracks in welds usually indicate bad design or improper mounting, and you need to eliminate the root of the problem as well as the symptoms. The best but most expensive solution is toss the top and have a new one custom-made specifically for your boat. (Check to make sure the deck is level first; a common reason welds

BOWHUNTING TECH  Continued from Page I-37 The harness should attach to the tree at head level or a little higher, so that if you do slip and fall you will not fall very far and should be able to safely climb back into your stand with little difficulty. The days of a tree belt—or worse, a rope that Grandpa Jim gave you to use— are over. You need to take control and be I38

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safe so that you may enjoy the whole season safely. November weather can bring wet, sometimes icy conditions. Your tree stand will not be exempt from the fallout. It is important that you take every precaution to make sure that you don’t fall out. It is the heart of the season. The time when the hunting woods really wake up; when the rut is in full swing, and you are F i s h

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ready and excited to bring home a trophy for all to admire. Hunt smart, hunt safe, and be there to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

E-mail Lou Marullo at lmarullo@fishgame.com


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are stressed is mounting bolts that are torqued down tight, tensioning the metal.) Most of us, of course, will not want to follow this route. The next best option is to have support gussets welded into 90-degree pipe junctions. The top will not look as good as it once did, but gussets are usually sufficient to keep the structure together. Ignore bilge and motor well access plates that leak a bit. Both screw-in and pop-down pie plates are commonly used to access below decks areas, but even those that are properly bedded in adhesive/sealant and have a good gasket, leak to one degree or another. Much of the time, that accounts for the cup or two of water that leaks out when you trailer your boat and remove the drain plug at the end of the day.

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Fix posi-lock latches (the push-buttons that pop out and turn) that are not holding your drawers or hatches closed, or that prevent them from closing in the first place. These regularly fail and many people replace them, but it is rare that the latches actually require replacement. Open the hatch or drawer and you will see the latching mechanism, held on a small track by two screws. Loosen the screws and you can adjust the mechanism’s position on the

track. Move it closer to the edge to give the latch more bite, or away from the edge if the latch prevents the drawer from closing properly.

E-mail Lenny Rudow at boating@fishgame.com

Why not replace or fix these so they don’t leak? Because you can’t. Virtually all of them leak to one degree or another, if not when they are new, then within a year or two of installation. Fix gaskets and seals on these plates only when a significant amount of water (maybe 1 gallon per hour for an average bay boat) leaks through. If yours leaks only a tiny bit, consider it a fully functioning fitting and be glad it is not a gusher. Toss canvas Bimini and T-top covers when a rip or a bald spot appears after years of use. When one area wears through, you can bet others will soon follow. This usually happens where a top support or strap attaches; the weakened, aged material usually doesn’t have the strength to support new threading necessary to cover the problem spot. On top of that, no matter how hard you try, you will never get the patch color to match the original. Even professional canvass shops can make only a temporary fix at best, and usually within a season or two, you will find new leaks and rips. If you can ignore something that works well but looks terrible, you can paint the canvass with rubberized roofing paint. This is ugly—and I mean u-g-l-y! It does, however, keep the top together and leak-proof for a few more seasons.

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

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Rescue Tape EGRETFULLY, I HAVE FLAUNTED WITH trouble enough to know it on a first name basis. Fortunately, I have outgrown the “emergency room and suture” phase of my life, but it was quickly replaced by the “mechanical malady” phase that comes with adulthood, especially among

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by Greg Berlocher outdoorsmen. As my collection of outdoor gear grew, so did the list of things that could break, corrode, tear, leak, split, or wear out. When samples of Rescue Tape showed up in the mail, it was relegated to the corner of my desk for a few days. Rescue Tape. Funny name. I ruminated on the word “rescue” and visions of a Coast Guard helicopter hovering over a listing boat, evacuating survivors in a basket came to mind. I just didn’t get the connection. Why would I need to be rescued? After all, I am not a thrill seeker and don’t live life on the edge, like, say Don Zaidle, who shakes bare toes at copperheads, practically daring the poisonous vipers to bite one of his appendages. No, I am just a mild mannered outdoor writer with way too much gear that tends to break—usually at the worst possible moment. The light bulb went off on a recent fishing trip when I couldn’t successfully prime the fuel line of my outboard. Ten minutes of pumping the primer bulb left my hand cramping and the fuel line still dry. It turned out that the anti-siphon fitting on the fuel tank had an air leak; the primer bulb was indeed working, but it was sucking air and not fuel. I dug around in the gear bag where I keep new products for evaluation and grabbed the Rescue Tape. A few wraps made an airtight seal, and the fuel line was fully primed a few seconds later. After Rescue Tape’s successful performance, my mind began to wander. I could I40

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have sealed that split radiator hose in the middle of the New Mexico dessert; or covered my wiring connections on my boat trailer; or sealed the rod tube on my last trip to the mountains so all of my fly rods wouldn’t have spilled out on the floor at the baggage claim; or whipped the end of my anchor rope; or fastened my friend’s reel to his rod when his reel seat broke. I was beginning to like this product with the odd name. Silicone tape is not new. It was developed 30 years ago specifically for aircraft wiring, and there are a number of brands on the market. As seasoned anglers understand the difference between cheap monofilament and higher end lines, there are differences in silicone tapes. Rescue Tape is made by Harbor Products in Carson City, Nevada. The company mills their own silicone and mixes it with a proprietary blend of additives that increase its strength and provide enhanced properties. Rescue Tape has a tensile strength of 700 PSI and can resist temperatures up to 500 degree F, making it ideal to repair hoses and pipes that get hot. Rescue Tape also insulates up to 8000 volts, allowing you to replace heat shrink tubing and liquid electrical tape. To use Rescue Tape, you pull off a strip and stretch it to activate it. To get the strongest bond, you should stretch the tape to two or three times its original length. Once it has been stretched, use overlapping wraps, covering about 50 percent of the previous wrap with every new turn. The tighter you wrap the tape, the faster it fuses and the better it works. You will need to lay down multiple layers of tape if trying to seal a high-pressure leak.

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Rescue Tape is 1 inch wide and comes in 12-foot rolls. It is available in an array of colors, including black, clear, white, yellow, green, brown, and orange. The suggested retail price is $9.95 per roll. Rescue tape is available at many outdoor retailers and hardware stores. To prevent the tape from sticking to itself, it has a clear plastic backing, which is discarded. If it is technically possible, I would encourage Harbor Products to substitute some sort of waxed paper, which biodegrades readily, in lieu of the clear plastic backing. Rescue Tape is a wonderful find and an extremely useful product, even though I don’t need to be rescued. Funny name. Great product.

Email Greg Berlocher at fishthis@fishgame.com

On the Web www.rescuetape.com VIDEO REVIEW AT WWW.FISHGAME.COM PHOTO COURTESY RESCUE TAPE


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The Best Deer Rifle Ever Made VER SINCE I WAS OLD ENOUGH TO READ, I have poured over hundreds of articles that tried to pick the best allaround deer

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rifle. Weighing in with my pick, I am going to ignore a lot of myth and personal preference and pick one single rifle as the best ever made for hunting deer in all possible scenarios. Deer in the United States are hunted in almost every conceivable type of terrain, from high mountains, to flat prairies, in dense forests, and on sandy deserts. So, we will first select a caliber suitably sufficient for all of these challenges. Our perfect deer cartridge needs to be flat-shooting for all those long-range shots on the prairies and across canyons in the mountains. If we use it in heavy woods, it needs to hit hard and be capable of firing fairly heavy-for-caliber bullets. For the heavy brush and forests, we want something that will shoot completely through a deer, leaving a good blood trail for tracking in dense cover. We also want a cartridge that will give deep, positive penetration for shots at poor angles, what Elmer Keith called “raking shots.” These criteria rule out everything below 7mm caliber, as well as such wonderful calibers as the .35 Whelen and .338/06 PHOTOS COURTESY BROWNING

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because of their moderate range limitations. The perfect cartridge is going to have to cover a lot of ground. As for long range, it is reasonable to set a limit of 400 yards. Anything farther is simply beyond the marksmanship of all but a very select few. This rules out all the normal woods cartridges like the .35 Remington, .30-30 Winchester, and .348 Winchester. Deer cover the spectrum from Coues deer in Arizona and small Texas Hill Country deer that might dress out at 110 pounds, to the monsters of the northern United States and Canada that can weigh nearly as

much as a spike bull elk. This means our cartridge selection must have power and versatility. While the standard calibers like the .270 Winchester and .30-06 can handle most situations, I would prefer a bit more power for long-range shots at the largest deer. The .300 magnums would fit our description quite well, and many hunters use them even for smaller deer species. However, they are more powerful than necessary and kick too much for many hunters to handle well. We also do not need the power of the .338 Winchester or .340 Weatherby, though either of those would certainly do the job. This narrows the field to one of the smaller magnums in 7mm or .270. But, before we make our final cartridge selection, we need to decide which gun we want because some of the cartridges might not be chambered in our chosen gun. Since we are using this rifle in every conceivable type of terrain and weather, it must be light enough to carry without undue strain, and must be weatherproof. A heavybarreled bolt-action rifle in one of the magnums would certainly take care of the accuracy and range problems, but is too heavy to carry all day on foot up and down mountains and across swamps, so they have to go, A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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too. This leaves us with a rifle weighing less than 9 pounds loaded and scoped. Since some of our hunting is in the thick stuff where we might need a fast second or third shot, we can rule out single shots. And although a good man with a bolt action can work a bolt faster than most would believe, the bolt action is slower than any of the levers, pumps, or semi-autos. Only one lever action, the Browning BLR, is offered in the calibers we are interested in, so it is definitely in the running. At this time, no pump-action rifles are offered in any of the magnum calibers, so they are out. That is a shame, too, because the pump-action is one of the fastest and most reliable. In semi-auto, the only rifle I know of offered in magnum calibers is the Browning BAR. So, we seem to have narrowed our choices down to two—the BAR and BLR. Both are offered in several calibers that fit our needs for a mid-caliber magnum. Of these two rifles, either will fit our needs, but our purpose is to pick a single rifle. Now, if we add one more straw to the camel’s back, we are left with only one entry. Assume that some of our hunting will be on horseback, requiring carrying our rifle in a saddle scabbard. This is the realm of the

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“Tuna’s Knot” with Spectra Fishing Line UNA’S KNOT”—NAMED FOR “TUNA” Joe Semunovich, is a connection I have used with mono for over 20 years. I first saw the 3turn clinch knot in late 1988 after being introduced to Joe by one of the owners of what is now the country’s largest privately owned tackle store. This piece is about adapting it for use with Spectra fishing lines. Changes to the knot itself include two turns around the eye and increasing the turns in the knot itself to eight. The other is eliminating the leader section of your rigging. Tying Spectra directly to the hook or lure gives a more alive or natural look. All of my reels are filled with white Power Pro Spectra. The outer 10-15 feet is camo green or blue, created with a split-tip Marks-A-Lot. This camo treatment is to hide the white Spectra. This camo effect is of great importance at any depth, since untreated white or yellow will stand out like a beacon, especially when tied directly to a hook or lure. Also remember that green hides well in blue or green water, but blue will stand out in green water it is darker. Applying blue to yellow Spectra makes it green. Advantages of using white or yellow Power Pro Spectra are that you can see where your line is, and in the event of a

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backlash or tangle, the shadows on white help in the tangle removal. Tying this knot into Spectra is a bit more difficult than with mono, simply because of Spectra’s limpness. The tying sequence

begins by running the tag end of your Spectra through the hook/lure eye twice. This is vitally important. Pull about 12 inches through the eye.

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Using the top portion of the illustration as a guide, hold the Spectra between your left thumb and forefinger, about 1/2-inch from the hook eye (A). Now, wrap the tag end around the standing end eight times as shown in the illustration, also pinching the turns between your thumb and forefinger as you go. Next, pass the tag end back through the eight turns. Grasp the tag and standing ends between your right thumb and forefinger (B) and place your left and right second fingers in that portion of the loop as shown at (C). Pull outward with your second fingers, pulling the wraps into the position shown. Relaxing the pressure of your second fingers will let the Spectra wrap into position as in the third panel of the illustration. Making sure the double wraps at the hook eye are not crossed, tighten by first pulling on the tag end to snug tight. With the hook or lure secured to a stationary object, pull on the standing end to tightly set the knot. Lastly, give a hard pull with a gloved or wrapped hand for the final tightening. Clip the tag end of the Spectra to about 1/4-inch. If it looks questionable for any reason, cut it off and start again. Although Tuna Joe passed away around three years ago at almost 89 years of age, he is still sort of passing on his fishing knowledge through this adaptation of the knot he passed on to me. Learn to love knots—become a knothead. It’s good for you and your fishing. Tuna Joe told me that, too.

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


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Topwater Autumn OOKING BACK OVER THE COLUMNS I HAVE written for November over the past few years, I noticed a trend. Typically, I start writing about deep-water fishing in this month, and continue through the winter on that same theme. I think I have done a disservice to you because I have ignored the outstanding shallow-water bass fishing that is available this time of year. So, this time I am bucking the trend to discuss topwater baits for fall bass. This is Texas, after all, and most of us are deer hunting in shorts, so the temperature has not yet gotten cold enough to push the bass deep. A lot of them are still gorging on baitfishes on flats near deeper water, and this is where a slow-moving topwater bait comes into play. Everyone has their favorite topwater. Some swear by buzzbaits, others prefer chuggers and poppers, while others like to walk the dog; the latter is the category I fall into, mostly because of the ability to work a Spook and its kin much slower than you can the other baits, which means more time in the strike zone longer and more enticement to finicky fish. Just about any bait will catch fish straight

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out of the box, but a few quick tweaks will make them catch more. These modifications will not necessarily make the lures more appealing to bass or cause more to strike, but will make sure the fish that do hit get stuck and stay that way until you get them into the boat. The first thing to do to any topwater chugger or walk-the-dog type bait is to remove the rear hook and replace it with a larger one. The larger hook will stay attached to the fish better, and is heavier to weigh down the back end of the bait so it rides lower in the water, making it a more accessible target. With the bait sitting nose high, it will also move a shorter distance when worked, making it sit in front of a fish much longer. You might recall the Tung Fu putty discussed in a previous column. If the addition of the hook doesn’t lower the rear enough, wrap some Tung Fu around the hook shaft to add a little more weight. If you are fishing in an area with a large amount of brush or grass and are worried about hanging up a lot, clip off the forwardfacing point of the rear treble. This leaves two points to hook into fish, but removes the one most likely to snag brush. Most topwater baits come with a split ring connecting each hook to the body. Take

the time to add one more split ring to the ones already on the bait to make the hooks swing a little freer, which can help prevent bass from slinging the bait or putting enough side pressure on the hooks to pull free.

Since we are in a split ring adding mood, put one on the nose of the bait as well, if it doesn’t already have one. Tying to the split ring instead of directly to the line tie eye will give the bait more side-to-side action. If fishing open water and the sight of more hooks on a bait just makes you giddy, add another hook off the back end via a short leader. Tie a short piece of monofilament to the rear hook then tie a dressed treble hook to the end of the leader. (A dressed treble is one wrapped with feathers or Mylar that adds a little flair.) I know it’s deer season and most of you are busy chasing bucks (me included), but if you get the urge to head out to the lake after sitting on stand all day, don’t automatically head deep. There are still bass chasing shad up shallow, and will fall for a topwater plug.

E-mail Paul Bradshaw at freshrigs@fishgame.com

TEXAS GUNS & GEAR  Continued from Page I-41 lever rifle. Therefore, our choice of the most perfect deer rifle ever built is: The Browning BLR Lightweight ‘81 with 24-inch barrel in 7mm Remington Magnum caliber. Topped with a good variable scope of about 3-9X, we are set for almost anything. There you have it. This is not a rifle I ILLUSTRATION BY PAUL BRADSHAW

personally would choose for anything, but when we try to make one tool perform a multitude of tasks, we run the risk of choosing a tool that is not necessarily the best for anything. Still, the BLR is a fine gun, very durable and accurate, and is more than capable of fulfilling all the requirements we have placed on it in this column. If you are one of those rare individuals A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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satisfied with only one do-it-all gun, this is my suggestion to you. However, I will continue to pick the tool I think best for each individual situation I encounter. After all, no law says I have to follow my own advice.

E-mail Steve LaMascus at guns@fishgame.com

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No Birds for Autumn OW MANY REALLY BIG SPECKLED TROUT have you ever caught under the birds in the fall? Sure, there are a few out there, but the guys you see bringing in the big ones almost never target fish on the main bay, and are tight-lipped about their hotspots. That is because most of the time, they are targeting shorelines that you motor past chasing little trout under the birds. “It wasn’t until I started doing a lot of hardcore wade-fishing that I really saw the importance of fishing for the big trout along shorelines,” said Sabine Lake guide Capt. Phillip Samuels.

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by Chester Moore, Jr. Samuels said most anglers take their cues from obvious visual indicators, but should start looking at the slightly obscure: “Big trout don’t like to have to move around too much to feed. They are not nearly as aggressive or forceful as the smaller ones. Even when you are fishing under the birds, the bigger ones are always at the bottom below the little schoolies. Big trout get big because of several factors, but one of them is they inhabit areas with a high concentration of food and a lower concentration of fishermen.” One such area along shorelines is stands of roseau cane, which has an intricate rooting system comparable to a miniature version of mangrove. On high tides, cane stands hold lots of baitfishes, which hide from predators among the roots. Big trout feed along the edges of this cane and quite often go untargeted. When seeking big fish in these areas, be mindful of making parallel casts along the shoreline, tight to the shore. On low tides, I44

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especially in the fall, you can see there is some depth under the roots where bait hides, and trout feed right in there. People throw out from the shore and sometimes ignore what’s really important—the shore itself. In any bay system, there can be dozens of shoreline sweet spots.

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“It has often been said that 10 percent of the fishermen catch 90 percent of the fish,” said trout specialist Capt. Shane Chesson. “A lot of it has to do with adherence to fishing little spots no one else targets, and making note of every change in the bottom they see on a GPS or at least a good map. AttenPHOTO BY GRADY ALLEN


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tion to detail is everything from topography to timing.” Chesson said that during the summer, he and his guide partner, Capt. Brian Fischer, hit shorelines on East Galveston Bay early in the mornings and then back off later in the day: “We like to start along the shore early, working Opening Morning-colored Saltwater Assassins and SkitterWalks. We find that the trout like to hold to shorelines that are close to deeper water in the summer, and as the day wears on, they back off to deeper water.” In terms of what kinds of shoreline to target, Chesson said he prefers those with mixed shell and large concentrations of mullet: “Mullet are very mobile and move around a lot, but there are certain areas like around cuts in the marsh that hold lots of mullet, and therefore usually hold some nice trout. When you start looking at these specific areas, you will notice there are little washed out guts and humps and things formed by the current, which are perfect for giving trout a spot to ambush the mullet.” To take good reds, my favorite method is fishing away from the birds. Instead of ignoring the birds altogether, seek them out and then fish on the outer edge and downcurrent of the surface activity. Start with a heavy, fast sinking bait like a 1-ounce gold spoon, chunking the lure past the schooling action if possible and simply drag it along the bottom all the way up to the boat. I like using spoons because I can throw them far, and when I use a large one, very few small trout bother with it. If you don’t get hits from reds by dragging the bait slowly, try ripping it through the water as quickly as possible. A Hoginar, which basically looks like a hunk of useless lead, is another good choice. Use the same pattern for it as you would the spoon. If you are having a problem finding the reds, back off of the trout school a bit and start casting on the downcurrent side of the school. This is where wounded shrimp and baitfishes will end up and is why reds like to hang with trout schools. Trout are messy eaters, and that works to the reds’ advantage. For anglers who prefer fishing with live bait, chunk a whole crab on a fish-finder (Carolina) rig and drag it along the bottom. I am usually a proponent of using crab with a cracked shell, but in this case use the

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whole crab (with pinchers removed) and drag it slowly across the bottom as if you were fishing for flounder. While the reds might be feeding on shrimp, they can’t resist a crab, and having the shell on will help avoid strikes by smaller fish. The point here is to catch big reds and avoid any other scavengers that might come along for the ride. There is absolutely nothing wrong with chasing birds and catching a bunch of small trout to accumulate a few keepers. I do it every year and have a good time doing so.

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However, I get bored with it quickly and turn my attention to methods that will garner trout worthy of the photo album and reds worthy of the grill. The action is not as fast and furious, but the rewards are far richer.

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Johnston Clinches Bassmaster Central at Rayburn EXAN STEPHEN JOHNSTON HAD TO ABANDON his preferred pattern during the second day of the Bassmaster Central Open on Sam Rayburn Reservoir after thick clouds moved in, but he was excited when he awoke for the last day of competition to see the cloud cover breaking. “When I woke up, there was moon and stars shining, and I was smiling,” said Johnston, who lives in nearby Hemphill. When the scales settled, the local guide had clinched his first Bassmaster victory with a three-day total of 57 pounds, 5 ounces. Bassmaster Elite Series pro Todd Faircloth moved up one spot to claim second place with a 47-pound total, and Texas’ Kris Wilson moved up from sixth place to third on the strength of a 46-14 total. Rounding out the top five were Texas

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anglers Landon Ware (42-14) and Todd Castledine (42-4). Johnston said he needed the bright sunlight to drive fish back to a few bare ridges, from which he snatched a Thursday catch of 22 pounds, and Saturday the pattern again worked out perfectly. “I had a game plan this morning that I was going to stay deep and make them bite,” he said. His limits on the first and third days came from the same set of three bare ridges, on which he flipped Texas-rigged Grande Bass Mega Tail worms and 1/2ounce Falcon Lures football jigs. “The shad early in the morning would come up and feed on the tops of those bare ridges, and the bass would follow them,” Johnston said. “I was sitting in the deep water and casting on top of the ridge, and I was just hopping the baits over the edge of those ridges.” Johnston went into the last day with a comfortable 8-pound cushion, and was helped when the bite turned tough for his nearest competitors. “In the past on Rayburn, the fish would get on the edge of a grass bed, and when you found one there’d be five or six right there,” said Faircloth, who has fished tournaments on the reservoir since his early days. “Now, it’s like there’s just one bite here and there.” After the second event in the Central Open circuit, the points race is beginning to shake out. Pros are vying for two Bassmaster Classic spots and seven Bassmaster Elite Series berths. The final Central Open event will be on Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin in November. Castledine is leading the points race with 570 points, but nipping at his heels is Bassmaster Elite Series pro James Niggemeyer. Faircloth is in fifth. On the co-angler side of the Rayburn event, Louisiana’s William Loftin pushed ahead of the competition with a three-day total of 26 pounds, 5 ounces. His final-day limit was anchored by a fish weighing 9-1.

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For his efforts, Loftin earned a won a Triton/Mercury boat package valued at $32,000. Colorado’s Michael Hubbard, the second-day co-angler leader, dropped to second with 24-10, while Bobby Lanham of Arizona claimed third with 24-8. The last stop on the 2009 Central Open trail is 5-7 November on Louisiana’s Atchafalaya Basin.

On the Web www.bassmaster.com •••

Louisiana Father/Son take Redfish Cup Team of the Year REDFISH CUP VETERAN ANGLERS CAPT. KEVIN and Cajun Phil Broussard from Lake Charles, Louisiana, took home the Academy Sports + Outdoors Team of the Year Award presented by Crocs with 187 points, winning by 13 points over the second place team of Bryan Watts of Lithia, Florida, and Greg Watts of Eagle Lake, Florida, who had 174 points. Eric Rue of Lake Charles, Louisiana, and Larry Puckett of Boyd, Texas, were third with 173 points. The Broussards secured and maintained a strong position in the Team of the Year race from day one of the 2009 season. They had a fourth-place finish at the Punta Gorda tournament back in April; they placed 18th in the Kemah tournament in early June; seventh in the Chalmette tournament in July and 12th at the Biloxi tournament at the


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end of August. Proving that slow and steady wins the race, the Broussards weighed in the top 20 at every 2009 Redfish Cup tournament, which landed them the coveted Team of the Year title. “Winning the Academy Team of the Year presented by Crocs with my son, Capt. Kevin means everything to me. I honestly don’t know of anyone else that puts so much hard work into each event,” said Cajun Phil Broussard. “It just doesn’t get any better than this. We love fishing in the Redfish Cup. We love fishing together, and that’s what family and love is all about.” The Redfish Cup teams accumulate Team of the Year points based on their final placement in the four regular-season tournaments (Punta Gorda, Florida, Kemah, Texas, Chalmette, Louisiana and Biloxi/D’ Iberville, Mississippi). The Academy Team of the Year presented by Crocs awards the winning team $10,000. “Never has one moment ever changed a life as this one has affected mine. Winning the Academy Team of the Year presented by Crocs is our crowning moment. Many years ago, my dad started taking me fishing as a small child. I don’t think it took him all that long to realize the fire he had lit in a little boy. And that fire quickly grew over the years into a deep desire and passion for the sport of fishing and the great outdoors,” said Capt. Kevin Broussard. “My dad is my best friend and my fishing partner and that’s why winning this award with him as my partner means the world to me,” continued Broussard. “This is the ultimate accomplishment in our sport and achieving it against the teams we compete alongside of at every event just makes it that much better. The Redfish Cup anglers are the best competition anyone could ever hope to fish against.” The Broussard duo has had quite a track record throughout the years in The Redfish Cup. They were the runner up in the 2008 Academy Team of the Year race with a 10point spread between them and Mark Sepe and Andrew Bostick. The 2008 season was possibly their most notable season with two second-place finishes in the Hopedale, Louisiana, and Port Arthur, Texas tournaments and a fifth-place finish in the Championship. “Academy Sports + Outdoors congratulates Capt. Kevin and Cajun Phil Broussard on winning the Academy Team of the

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Year presented by Crocs title,” says Scott Frnka, vice president of Academy Sports + Outdoors’ field and stream area. “Our company provides top quality fishing gear at everyday low prices for families all over the southeast. I think awarding the Broussard family team members with the trophy this year makes it extra special.” Now in its seventh season, the Redfish Cup has become the nation’s premier saltwater fishing championship. The event will visit five venues across the South in

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2009 with nearly $750,000 in prize and contingency monies. Each regular season event features a $40,000 grand prize and $146,000 in total payout.

On the Web www.redfishcup.com

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The eel was later estimated to be 60 years old. Bruce said it came at him and Steve Jr. like an anaconda, rearing its head up and striking at them like a rattlesnake. It was highly agitated and quite energetic. In the midst of thrashing around, the creature fell down below onto the floor between the two sleeping men, Erik and Ken. When they heard the thud and turned on the light, the eel raised its head right above Ken’s face. Erik rolled over and grabbed his 9 mm pistol. Steve Jr. started yelling. “Don’t shoot the gun in the boat! We’re 120 miles from land!” Next thing you know, all four fishermen were on the deck

a strategy. It was determined that Steve Jr. would distract the eel because he had drank the most alcohol and believed he was bulletproof. He opened up the sliding door down below to see what the “monster” was doing. As the door opened, the eel came up the two steps biting at anything along the way. The four brave men then ran to the wheelEditor’s Note: This story comes courtesy house like women and slammed the door of Seabreeze News editor and publisher shut. They never did identify which one of Steve Hoyland as published in its 3 Septemthem screamed like a girl. ber 2009 issue. —Don Zaidle Inside the wheelhouse, they started calming down and decided they would drink a WO WEEKS AGO, A GROUP OF FOUR MEN, couple more beers. Then they hatched a Steve Hoyland, Jr. with friends Bruce, new battle plan. Steve Jr. went out on the Ken and Erik, set off deck to get the beast’s attenon an overnight offtion. The eel attacked and shore fishing trip. They left Steve Jr. climbed up on top at noon on a Tuesday and of the captain’s chair. Ken went about 120 miles out threw a blanket on top of into the Gulf. They were the giant eel while Erik and having a great night of fishBruce beat the hell out of it ing, catching big snapper, with a steel gaff and a large grouper, ling, and kings. ice chest lid. After the creaAbout 3 am, two of them ture was finally subdued, went down below to catch they put it into a large ice some sleep. The two chest, and closed the lid on remaining on deck were it. catching fish and drinking The four brave sailors all beer, enjoying the warm got themselves a beer and tropical night air. were laughing at the situaAll at once, Bruce got a tion when the lid of the ice big run on his line. This chest was suddenly knocked thing went all around the off and the eel sprang out boat and took more than onto the deck and resumed twenty minutes to bring up his attack. Bruce stated that to the surface. When they the eel was clearly out for got it up to the surface, they vengeance. The four men could not tell what it was. It each picked up something Tentatively identified as an American Conger eel, these guys have been known to and the fight was on. After looked prehistoric. Steve Jr. put a gaff in it viciously attack divers and swimmers. They are nocturnal hunters, and have row upon beating the creature with and the two men dragged it row of very sharp teeth. The one in this picture terrorized a group of brave fishermen in gaffs, ice chest lids, and fire aboard the 33-foot boat. As the Gulf of Mexico one night last [August]. extinguishers again, they soon as the big creature hit once more subdued the the deck, it went crazy, attacking them. It and the gigantic eel had sole possession of massive carnivore and put it back into the was an eel over six feet long, weighing close the bottom of the boat. ice chest. This time, they tied the lid down to 100 pounds. It had a mouth full of sharp The four needed to work up a plan of and put another ice chest on top of that one. teeth and was extremely pissed off. action, so they drank beer while considering Eighteen hours later, they returned to the

A R-eel Fish Story

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dock and started unloading the boat. None of them was anxious to open the lid to the ice chest, in fact, they did “rock, paper, scissors” to determine who would pop the lid! Above is a picture of Bruce Gordy with the eel that he caught and bravely fought in that epic and desperate battle for control on the high seas. —Steve Hoyland, Sr.

On the Web www.seabreezenews.com •••

Flower Gardens Among Healthiest Reefs FLOWER GARDEN BANKS NATIONAL MARINE Sanctuary is among the healthiest coral reef ecosystems in the tropical Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico, according to a new NOAA report. The report, A Biogeographic Characterization of Fish Communities and Associated Benthic Habitats within the Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary, offers insights into the coral and fish communities within the sanctuary based on data collected in 2006 and 2007. Sanctuary managers will use the report to track and monitor changes in the marine ecosystem located 70 to 115 miles off the coasts of Texas and Louisiana. “We found that 50 percent of the area surveyed for this report is covered by live coral,” said Chris Caldow, a NOAA marine biologist and lead author on the report. “This is significant because such high coral cover is a real rarity and provides critical habitat for many different types of fish and other animals that live in these underwater systems.” The sanctuary is also unusual in that toplevel predators, including large groupers, jacks, and snappers dominate it—species virtually absent throughout the U.S. Caribbean. Researchers looked at the relationship between physical measures of the sanctuary’s habitat such as depth, slope, and geographic location, and the nature of the fish community in each location.

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“Ultimately, our goal was to develop a protocol that would detect and track longterm changes in fish and sea-floor community structure,” Caldow said. “Once managers are equipped with this information, they can better understand how threats from climate change and other stressors will impact the ecosystem.” The report cautions that despite the sanctuary’s relatively healthy condition, it might be more susceptible to environmental impacts than previously thought. For example, scientists observed high levels of coral bleaching and corals severely impacted from hurricane activity. NOAA prepared the report based on data collected in 2006 and 2007, with input from scientists and managers at Flower Garden Banks National Marine Sanctuary. —Staff Report

On the Web Flower Gardens Report: http://ccma.nos.noaa.gov/products/biogeogr aphy/fgb/report.html Flower Garden Banks Sanctuary: http://flowergarden.noaa.gov Center for Coastal Management & Assessment: http://ccma.nos.noaa.gov CCMA Biogeography Branch: http://ccma.nos.noaa.gov/about/biogeograp hy/welcome.html •••

Algae, Hypoxia Damage Fish Immune Response

On the Web www.science.gu.se/english/News/

HYPOXIA, OR LACK OF OXYGEN, IN BOTTOM waters is a well-known problem. New research at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, adds to the list of ill effects that hypoxia leads to increased levels of manganese, which damages immune response in marine animals. Water eutrophication (accumulation of A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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nutrients that support a dense growth of algae and other organisms, the decay of which depletes shallow waters of oxygen) and the resulting hypoxia is an ever-current issue, not least in connection with summer algal blooms. A more recently acknowledged problem is that hypoxia increases the release of toxic metals from bottom sediments. Researchers at the University of Gothenburg have found that one of these metals, manganese, may damage immune response in marine animals. While low doses of manganese are essential to life in humans and animals, higher doses can be detrimental to health. Manganese is abundant in soft ocean bottoms, but since it is normally bound to the sediments, it usually does not cause any ill effects. However, hypoxia releases manganese from sediments, making it a threat to the health of marine species. Researcher Carolina Oweson, Department of Marine Ecology at the University of Gothenburg, studied how manganese in Swedish coastal waters affects the Norway lobster, blue mussel, and common sea star. Her conclusion is that while manganese does not seem to have a permanent effect, it does threaten the survival of several species during periods of hypoxia. “While the effects of manganese on the immune response in the studied animals vary, they are all affected in some way. The Norway lobster and mussels are affected the most, for example, through an increased susceptibility to infections,” said Oweson. New findings indicate hypoxia is becoming increasingly common in coastal areas around the world, making Oweson’s study even more relevant. —Staff Report

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Stick It! TICK IT WHERE THE SUN DON’T shine” became part of the American lexicon in 1976 when the pudgy catcher in “The Bad News Bears” uttered those words to a rival little league baseball player. After three decades of overuse, the familiar phrase is typically truncated to simply “stick it,” suggesting the same nuance of the original phrase, but in a snappier, quicker-to-deliver format. With increasing frequency, kayak fishermen are telling their fishing buddies to stick it—but for a different reason. Stake-out poles have been used on flats boats for years, and several manufacturers have introduced stake-out poles specifically designed for kayak duty. The concept is simple: Stick a pole into the soft bottom and tether your kayak to the pole with a short rope. Stake-out poles are easy to use and eliminate the need for an anchor. I am a big fan of stake-out poles and have been sticking it for quite some time. The sitting angler can quickly and quietly push and pull a stake-out pole into and out of the bottom. No more clanging anchors banging around the cockpit or dredging up big wads of seagrass or mud. This allows for quickfire action and frequent moves. Nothing interrupts my tempo like stopping and anchoring. With the possible exception of fresh chips and salsa, I can’t think of a finer combination than a stake-out pole and drift-fishing. Hook a fish and quickly stop your drift by driving the pole into the bottom with your

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free hand. When you are ready to cover more water, inch the pole back out and you are on your way. Don’t think that stake-out poles are useful only on coastal flats. They are just as handy on inland lakes if the water depth is shallow enough. Stake-out poles can also be used by river fishermen. River beds blanketed with a layer of washed rock can be difficult to penetrate with a pointed stick, but these seemingly inhospitable watersheds usually have stake-out pole friendly shorelines. Keep in mind that you can always jab the pole into the soil above the waterline

boundary. Just beware of fire ant mounds; don’t ask me how I know this. Stake-out poles are easy to make and every serious kayak fisherman should have one. A section of PVC pipe topped with a T fitting is about as simple as it gets. The T fitting serves as a handle and provides a place to attach a small rope. For easier penetration, cut the other end off at an angle. If you prefer to buy your kayak accessories rather than make them, Yak-Gear and Stick It Anchor Pins make kayak-sized stake-out poles, available at many outdoor retailers and full service kayak shops. The Yak Gear Yak-Stick is made of 7/8-inch

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solid PVC and comes in 4- and 6-foot models. The Stick It Anchor Pins pole is 5/8inch diameter, made of composite material, and comes with an ergonomic T handle. The T-shaped handle allows the stake-out pole to be inverted and used as a push pole. If you chase trout and redfish in skinny water, you likely use your kayak as transportation and bail out once you arrive at your destination. If you paddle a sit-on-top style hull, you can stick the pole through one of the scupper holes. This is as simple as it gets, essentially pinning the kayak in place. Stake-out poles are a good option for securing kayaks when you duck hunt. Pulling your hull up into a clump of spartina grass might or might not secure it in place. I am a belt and suspenders type of guy, typically opting on the side of caution. (Too many sutures in my youth, I suppose.) A rising tide can loosen the spartina’s grip on your hull, allowing a gusting breeze to send it on its way. The truant kayak makes no noise and the hunter’s fixation on ducks will likely prevent noticing its departure until it is too late. Driving a stake-out pole though a scupper hole is inexpensive insurance. If you don’t have a stake-out pole, consider adding one to your equipment list. Then you can literally stick it where the sun don’t shine.

Email Greg Berlocher at kayak@fishgame.com

PHOTO COURTESY YAK GEAR


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Catching Tadpoles HE SQUARE WATER TROUGH WAS THE birthing ward for hundreds of frog eggs. The goggle-eyed swimmers churned their tails and raced around the interior of their concrete boundaries. Then they gathered in corners and hovered, hiding in the green algae. Catching them with a straight grab was almost impossible. A smart child herded them into a corner and then gently scooped them up in his hands. Then he would transfer the flipping creatures into a prepared bottle for transport to the aquarium in Mrs. Martinek’s sixthgrade classroom. Still, some of the tadpoles slipped through fingers and around small palms to the center of the trough where they could not be reached. Such is reality; sometimes it slips through our fingers to escape and glare at us from a distance while we stare back, blinking and dumb. Bud Swanson sat on a bench and tangled one long, bowed leg over the other. He leaned back against the log wall of the horse barn, resting and contemplating. Then, he inspected me for a moment as if to decide whether I was worth his attention. He was silent and the late evening sounds of birds along the creek and horses eating in the barn crept into our consciousness. His weathered hands folded atop his knee as a smile glinted at the corner of his eye and twitched the corner of his mouth. His hair was neatly combed and his shirt had at one time been starched and ironed. The elderly gentlemen had style and pride. I had been searching for him since the first time I smelled a horse. That’s not saying I didn’t respect the outdoor breed of men in my country, but there was a reality check. Their frontier was well defeated before they succumbed to modern

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maladies. While they could relate from the days of outhouses and boiling lard, their remaining lives were spent on construction sites, driving tractors, or in offices. It’s simple math understanding that stories from someone whose belly impedes a steering wheel or who hasn’t slung a rope in 40 years might ring hollow. Nevertheless, I gleaned every tidbit of information about training horses, working cows, and hunting into the wind that was offered, and I yearned to see country measured in square miles rather than acres. Now, I waited. Bud was gearing up to talk more than a month’s load of words, and it was evident he was enjoying the audience. “Me ’n some of the boys lived in a bunkhouse on the Broken-O. If we wasn’t bucking up hay, we’d make a few rodeos during the summertime. I’d take my threequarter rigged Hamley saddle and slip the stirrup leathers out of the D-ring so I could spur ahead. Then when I’d head home, I’d just run the stirrup leather back through the ring and go back to working cows. But I was winning too much money and the folks putting on the rodeos made me buy a Turtles Association card. That’s what they called it then; now it’s the PRCA. “I suppose we stuck a loop on every sort of critter that lives around here. We once roped a cow elk and drug her in the horse barn and shut the doors. Now, that’s all mighty tame, but the cook had his chicken nests in that barn and had to check for eggs through a side door. We was at the windows the next morning waiting for the show. When Cookie cracked the latch, that ol’ elk piled over him like a freight train. We didn’t get no breakfast that day. “We also caught a little mountain goat and put it in that barn, but I think it walked a support beam and hopped out the second floor window because we never saw it again. “Another critter I had fun catching was a prairie goat.” “Wait a minute… ain’t pronghorn antelope the fastest animals in North America?” A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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I asked incredulously. Bud mashed his lips together and shook his head. “Maybe so, but if you’re mounted good and got the right stretch of open country, you can run one down. “After I bought the ranch, I started outfitting. I’d take dudes hunting in the mountains every year after shipping calves. But then the government got involved and wanted me to buy a license. It wasn’t worth the price and I gave it up. I figured those were our mountains and nobody could charge me to use them.” This is where reality became slippery. The Wilderness Act sets aside and preserves vast quantities of U.S. backcountry. That’s a good thing. However, the Forest Service, as federal agencies go, is a money pit. It seemed to Bud that the government should let the use of his home mountain country be free, or at least be free to the natives. It made sense to me, but at some point, reality had slithered to the side of bureaucracy. Years went by, Bud passed away chasing a milk cow around the barn, and I honed my backwoods ignorance into blind naiveté. But reality remains as black and white, cut and dried, and slimy to get a hold on as ever. The oil patch is demonized by mainstream media, but little is reported of the technology it produces to conserve and recover freshwater, make less footprint, and provide economically feasible energy. Wolves exploded past the projected 300count population by thousands. Ten years after the inception, the non-indigenous Canadian gray predators have devastated ungulate herds and economies in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. This happened in the same frame while academics ballyhoo the debacle as a successful reintroduction experiment. The Overeducated Stupids have corralled Washington and want a Cap and Trade tax based on an unproven climate

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BAFFIN BAY

Mark 24-1/2-in ch Hugo Ford Flounder Guide Serv ice

GALVESTON

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

ADVERTISERS, SEND IN YOUR PHOTOS TODAY!

TEXAS SALTWATER GALVESTON

BAFFIN BAY

SPOTLIGHT: DEL RIO CHAMBER OF COMMERCE Lake Amistad is one of Del Rio’s main attractions, offering a wide expanse of clear, turquoise-colored water on the Texas/Mexico Border. The lake is part of the Amistad National Recreation Area managed by the National Park Service. Amistad is the Spanish word for friendship, and the international lake and dam are centered by two bronze eagles, symbolizing the strong ties between the U.S. and Mexico. Amistad National Recreation Area offers great opportunities for boating, houseboat vacations, camping, water sports, fishing, bow hunting for deer, and bird watching. Surrounding Del Rio is the Seminole Canyon State Park and Historical Site, Shumla School, Judge Roy Bean Visitor Center, San Felipe Springs, Val Verde Winery, Whitehead Memorial Museum, Laughlin Heritage Foundation Museum and the home of Laughlin Air Force Base. Del Rio is a multi-cultural town with many opportunities to live, work and play. The border town is one of the safest along the Texas/Mexico Border. For additional information check out www.drchamber.com or call 1-800-8898149 and see why we are “The Best of the Border.” — Del Rio Chamber I52

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Stony York 8-pound, 26-inch Hybrid Striper Blair’s Guide Servi ce

Staff Sergeant Eric Orrill & brother Damon Galveston Bay Specks Hillman Guide Service ilcoat Jimmy and Larry Ch and Reid Taylor Limits of redfish Redfish Charters

UPPER COAST (SABINE LAKE)

TEXAS HUNTING

OUTDOOR SHOPPER

TEXAS FRESHWATER LAKE AMISTAD

ADVERTISERS, SEND IN YOUR PHOTOS TODAY!

OUTDOOR SHOPPER EAST TEXAS

TEXAS HUNTING

For Classified Rates and Information call Dennise at 1-800-750-4678, ext. 5579. A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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Jalapeno Kiwi Glazed Ham HE HOLIDAYS ARE A GREAT TIME FOR traveling to see friends, relatives, or your buddies at deer camp. Bringing along a great dish that can be heated and served after a drive can be a challenge. I have prepared and shared this recipe for many years and I hope you will enjoy it with your favorite people this season.

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1 bone-in 8- to 10-lb. or larger shank ham 1 jar Texas Gourmet’s Jalapeno Kiwi Jelly 1-1/2 cup sherry 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil 2 Tbs soy sauce 2 Tbs chopped rosemary leaves 3 Tbs black pepper Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place the ham on a wire rack in a baking pan. Score the ham on all sides to about 1/2-inch deep. Cover with foil and bake for approx 1 hour with nothing on the ham, then baste the ham liberally with the Jalapeno Kiwi Jelly. Cover with foil again and bake for 2 to 2-1/2 hours

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or until the ham starts to pull away from the bone. Remove foil and baste with collected juices and jelly in pan. Increase the temp to 400 degrees and bake for 30 to 40 more minutes, basting every 10 to 15 minutes until a glaze begins to form on the ham. Remove from the oven and allow the ham to rest with a piece of foil loosely draped over it for 20 minutes to allow the juices to redistribute. Remove foil and slice ham into 2- to 3-inch pieces, and lay them in the juices until ready to serve.

Sugar Cured Feral Hog Ham The Sugar Cure For a 6- to 10-pound ham: Mix 1 pint each of sugar and sea or kosher salt into 11/2 to 2 gallons of cold water. Stir until all salt is dissolved. Place the ham in a large disposable plastic bag. Using your turkey injector, draw up two to three full syringes of the solution and inject it in next to the bone in several places on the ham. (This will help the curing process to get to the places most vulnerable to spoiling when on a pit.) Then pour the rest of the cure solution in the bag with the ham. Squeeze all of the air out of the bag and tie it up tight and close to the meat. Place the bag in a refrigerator or a cooler lined with plenty of ice and allow it to

sit in the solution for 24 to 48 hours. Remove the ham from the bag, rinse it off, and it is ready for the pit.

Pit Instructions After preheating your pit (I like to start with about 5 pounds of lump hardwood charcoal, then add seasoned pecan, post oak, and a little hickory wood for smoke and flavor enhancement), place the ham in the pit at the far end from the firebox with the temperature at about 250 to 275 degrees, and baste every 45 minutes or so. Flip the ham every 1-1/2 hours and continue basting. (Use 45 minutes to the pound as a guide for smoking time, or until a meat thermometer inserted next to the bone registers 160 degrees.) Remove from the pit to a platter and drape a loose piece of foil over the ham for 30 to 45 minutes before carving. Heat the remaining baste to a boil on the stove, then use it as a sauce when serving. Try not to hurt yourself by attempting to eat the whole ham while carving it. Enjoy with your favorite sides. BASTE FOR THE HAM: 1 jar Texas Gourmet’s Jalapeno Kiwi Jelly

Sweet Potato Bar This is a fun way to serve a healthy and flavorful dish that allows everyone to have it just the way they like it.

WILDERNESS TRAILS  Continued from Page I-51 change theory. Meanwhile, it’s reported that Canada’s pine beetle-ravaged forests are producing more carbon dioxide than oxygen. Canadian officials say they will leave that factor out of the equation when adjusting their Kyoto Treaty requirements. I54

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In Texas, San Antonio continues to spend millions scouring the drought-ridden state in search of more water; the Gulf of Mexico is only 100 miles away. The sixth-graders wrote down the tadpoles maturation schedule daily. Their hind legs grew out, their tails got shorter, and their front legs appeared. Then one F i s h

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day, some of them were gone. In three days, they were all gone. I stood there blinking and dumb. The aquarium had no top and they were really all gone.

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Pick small, fresh sweet potatoes, wash and rinse, then spray or rub the outsides with butter and lightly sprinkle with salt. Wrap each sweet potato in foil and bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees for 1-1/2 to 2 hours, or until soft to the touch. Remove from oven and serve with butter, baby marshmallows, glazed pecans (recipe follows), brown sugar, cinnamon sugar, baked sweetened coconut flakes, and orange zest arranged on a condiment tray.

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Remove from the oven and transfer the pecans to a cool surface in the open air for 30 minutes to 1 hour. They can now be served or used in recipes. If storing, be sure to seal in a Mason jar or Zip Loc bag. Bryan Slaven, The Texas Gourmet, is now booking weekends this season for wild game dinners and instruction at your ranch or in your home. A great way to entertain

customers or family and friends. Call today, as dates are limited: 832-875-9433

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

Glazed Pecans 1 lb. fresh pecans 3/4 stick of butter, melted Texas Gourmet’s Sweet Chipotle Season All cinnamon sugar parchment paper Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a bowl, mix the pecan halves with the butter. Sprinkle the pecans generously with 2 Tbs Sweet Chipotle Season All. Stir well then pour them onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Spread the pecans out evenly. Bake for 20 minutes, then open oven and quickly pull out cookie sheet with pecans and sprinkle them with cinnamon sugar and place back in the oven for 10 more minutes. PHOTO COURTESY JIM OLIVE

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

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

1745 Greens Road Houston, Texas 77032

BASS—CEDAR PARK

REDFISH—LAKE AUSTIN

PERCH—BLANCO RIVER STATE PARK

Regan Vaca, age 15, of Cedar Park, Texas, caught this 11-pound bass from a private pond. Regan was using 6-pound-test with a 7-1/2-inch YUM ribbontail worm in Tequila Sunrise.

L-R Wade Nairn with a 22-inch redfish, Ross Nairn Cameron Carrola, age 4, of Houston, Texas, caught with a 21-inch red, and Pawpaw, Bobby Nairn, with his first perch while fishing with his uncle David a 25-inch red, all caught in Lake Austin near Chi- during an outing to the Blanco River State Park. naquapen.

TURKEY—THROCKMORTON COUNTY

REDFISH—SABINE PASS

Scott Wood, 15, of Cedar Park, Texas, took 3 turkeys during spring youth season in Throckmorton County.

Nolan Frederick of Beaumont, Texas, caught this redfish in Sabine Pass. The red had a total of 20 spots: 12 on one side and 8 on the other.

BLACKTIP SHARK—ARANSAS BAY

TROUT—TEXAS

CRAPPIE—LAKE GRANBURY

Austin Stoerner, age 8, from Friendswood, Texas, Carolyn Moon caught this 26-inch blacktip shark Christian Sanchez, age 9, of Mansfield, Texas, shows off his first trout. The fish was 15-1/2 inches while fishing in Aransas Bay with her guide, Wally caught his first crappie, 1-1/2 pounds, 14 inches, Meyer, “Captain Redfish.” in a private crappie house on Lake Granbury long. while fishing with his Grammy and Pa. I56

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ET READY FOR SOME GREAT PHEASANT hunting in the Texas Panhandle. That’s the word from another little bird that helps provide wildlife biologists like Gene Miller with a measuring stick for predicting the upcoming pheasant-hunting season in the popular plains area of North Texas.

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by Bob Hood The season opens 5 December in 37 Panhandle counties and closes 3 January with a three-bird (roosters only) daily bag; possession limit six. “We had a good carryover of pheasant from last year and some favorable rains that point to good pheasant reproduction,” said Miller, a Texas Parks & Wildlife Department biologist. Although biologists don’t make their annual assessment pheasant numbers until late October and early November via 44 roadside counts along 20-mile stretches, PHOTO BY GRADY ALLEN

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Miller said summer observations of another bird, quail, which also is dependent upon good spring and summer rains for reproduction, has painted an optimistic forecast for the pheasant season. “We have seen a lot of bobwhite and blue quail in many counties,” Miller said. “That’s always a good sign. I think it is setting up to be an average or above average reproduction of pheasant in several areas.” Texas Panhandle pheasant hunting is a much-celebrated event among not only hunters, but also among numerous small town non-profit and service organizations. Hunters flock to the Panhandle from all over the nation, and even from overseas each December and early January to participate in “community pheasant hunts” held by local organizations. The money hunters pay to hunt pheasant has helped many cashstrapped communities build volunteer fire stations, support senior citizen groups, underwrite college scholarships for area youths, purchase ambulances, and much more. A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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Among the small communities that hold these hunts are Hart, Olton, Vega, Easter, Lazbuddie, Stratford, Dalhart, Dimmit, Friona, and Nazareth plus several more. A few calls to various chambers of commerce in the Panhandle region for information about the open-to-the-public community hunts is well worth the effort for pheasant hunting enthusiasts. The key to finding the best pheasant hunting areas in the Panhandle is finding the combination of grassy cover near the edges and corners of grain fields consisting of wheat, milo or corn; or grassy cover near playa lakes close to grain fields, said TPWD biologist Jeff Bonner of Pampa. “Where you have a good mix of grasses that the landowners have let grow around the corners of their fields or CRP (Conservation Reserve Program) lands next to grain fields, you can expect to find the best pheasant hunting,” Bonner said. “Dallam County is particularly good because it is interspersed with CRP lands and corners with some type of grass cover.

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In This Issue HOTSPOTS & TIDES SECTION

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

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

HOW-TO SECTION

N1

COVER STORY • Panhandle Pheasant Bonanza | BY BOB HOOD

In addition to Dallam, other top Panhandle pheasant counties include Deaf Smith, Hansford, Ochiltree, Gray, Randall, Bailey, Haile, Sherman, and Floyd. Chinese ringneck pheasant first appeared in the U.S. in 1791 when Benjamin Franklin’s son-in-law, Richard Bache, stocked a New Jersey plantation with pheasant from China. In 1881, Judge Denny, U.S. Consul to China, made a more successful stocking of the birds in Oregon and Pennsylvania. According to TPWD records, pheasant first appeared in the northern Panhandle in 1939 or 1940. Those birds reportedly drifted across the border from western Oklahoma, where they had been introduced around 1910. In 1941, two Hereford residents who had hunted ringneck pheasant in the Dakotas initiated a stocking program in Deaf Smith County. Soon thereafter, other private landowners began stocking pheasant to help establish populations on their Panhandle lands. As the years passed, TPWD, the U.S. Soil Conservation Service, more private landowners, civic organizations, and sportsman groups began stocking the beautifully colored and sporty bird with a rocket-launch like flight throughout the region. Unlike N2

• N O V E M B E R

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T E X A S

N27

BOWHUNTING TECH • Fallout Shelter | BY LOU MARULLO

N28

TEXAS BOATING • Fix It or Ditch It? | BY LENNY RUDOW

N31

TEXAS GUNS & GEAR • The Best Deer Rifle Ever Made | BY STEVE LAMASCUS

N32

FRESHWATER BAITS & RIGS • Topwater Autumn | BY PAUL BRADSHAW

N33 N34

TEXAS KAYAKING • Stick It! | BY GREG BERLOCHER WILDERNESS TRAILS • Catching Tadpoles | BY HERMAN W. BRUNE

many other game birds that do well on rangeland, pheasant are dependant upon lands that produce corn, wheat, milo, sorghum, and similar grains. If the land is not cultivated, it will not have pheasant. Moderate farming, such as leaving grassy areas for cover from predators, shade, and resting areas next to grain fields, playa lakes, and ditches is much like leaving timbered areas next to wheat or oat fields for deer. Although deer do not need the oat and wheat fields for food as much as the pheasant do, neither would survive without the cover. When searching for the best pheasant hunting opportunities in the Texas Panhandle, ask questions about the farming practices in the county you want to visit. Although many landowners intentionally leave stands of grassy cover in the corners of their fields, in areas next to playa lakes, around abandoned houses, and along old or new irrigation ditches; or leave rows of unharvested grain on field margins for protective cover, some do not. A landowner with a pheasant management strategy mixed in with his farming operations generally will have the best hunting. Now is a good time to choose an area you want to hunt and also a good time to preF i s h

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G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

GEARING UP SECTION

N18 N20 N22

TEXAS TESTED • Pinnacle Scion; DeLORME | BY TF&G STAFF NEW PRODUCTS • What’s New from Top Outdoor Manufacturers | BY TF&G STAFF INDUSTRY INSIDER • Wong Scores Bassmaster Regular Season Win | BY TOM BEHRENS

N24 N25

SHOOT THIS • Weaver 3-15x42 Super Slam Scope | BY STEVE LAMASCUS

N30

FISH THIS • Rescue Tape | BY GREG BERLOCHER

TROPHY FEVER • Trophy Gar Adventure | BY TF&G READER

OUTDOOR LIFESTYLE SECTION

N17 N36

NEWS FROM THE COAST • A R-eel Fish Story | BY TF&G STAFF DISCOVER THE OUTDOORS • Classifieds | BY TF&G STAFF

N38

TEXAS TASTED • Jalapeno Kiwi Glazed Ham | BY BRYAN SLAVEN

N40

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

pare some of the necessary gear. Most pheasant hunters go with a 12-gauge autoloader and No. 6 shot. A pair of sunglasses or shooting glasses; hunter orange caps; and clothing that will turn stiff grass, briars, and barbed wire should also be on your BEL (Basic Equipment List). Some type of hydration system for bird dogs is a must. Pheasant hunting provides great camaraderie among friends, lots of exercise, and gracious retrieves by bird dogs, all during the relentless pursuit of one of the sneakiest game birds that ever has taken wing—which usually occurs when you least expect it.

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


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Sportsman’s Daybook Tides and Prime Times

NOVEMBER 2009

MONDAY

TUESDAY

WEDNESDAY

THURSDAY

SYMBOL KEY





First Quarter

New Moon

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

1:29 AM 9:01 AM 5:05 PM 9:50 PM

Sunrise: 6:58a Moonrise: None AM Minor: 11:27a PM Minor: 11:54p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

16 

12:55 AM 9:17 AM 5:45 PM 11:23 PM

12:00 — 1:30P

Set: 5:42p Set: 1:17p AM Major: 5:14a PM Major: 5:41p 6:31a 6:57p

PRIME TIME 1.47 ft -0.25 ft 1.73 ft 1.50 ft

Sunrise: 7:04a Moonrise: 7:03a AM Minor: 4:18a PM Minor: 4:45p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

PRIME TIME

Low Tide: 2:15 PM 0.32 ft High Tide: 10:54 PM 1.36 ft

Sunrise: 7:11a Moonrise: 12:23p AM Minor: 10:34a PM Minor: 10:55p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

5:00 — 6:30 A

Set: 5:38p Set: 5:24p AM Major: 10:31a PM Major: 10:58p 12:15p None

23

N4

6:00 — 7:30 A

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

PRIME TIME

Low Tide: 3:21 PM 0.20 ft High Tide: 11:36 PM 1.61 ft

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

3

Set: 5:48p Set: 6:45a AM Major: 10:28a PM Major: 10:54p None 12:11p

9

Full Moon

PRIME TIME 1.55 ft 0.12 ft 1.82 ft 1.50 ft

Sunrise: 6:52a Moonrise: 5:31p AM Minor: 4:15a PM Minor: 4:41p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:



10:00 — 11:30 A

Set: 5:36p Set: 11:42p AM Major: 4:23a PM Major: 4:44p 6:00p 5:38a

• N O V E M B E R

Last Quarter

1.61 ft -0.05 ft 1.87 ft 1.63 ft

PRIME TIME 6:16 AM 9:28 AM 4:33 PM 11:55 PM

Sunrise: 6:59a Moonrise: 12:44a AM Minor: ——PM Minor: 12:18p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

1.19 ft 1.26 ft 0.44 ft 1.51 ft

PRIME TIME

High Tide: 12:49 AM 1.51 ft Low Tide: 9:56 AM -0.28 ft High Tide: 6:39 PM 1.70 ft

Sunrise: 7:05a Moonrise: 8:03a AM Minor: 5:11a PM Minor: 5:38p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

Low Tide: 3:00 PM 0.49 ft High Tide: 11:07 PM 1.31 ft

T E X A S

5:30 — 7:00 A

Set: 5:38p Set: 6:11p AM Major: 11:25a PM Major: 11:51p 1:08p 12:41a

24  Sunrise: 7:11a Moonrise: 12:52p AM Minor: 11:17a PM Minor: 11:38p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

12:30 — 2:00 P

Set: 5:42p Set: 1:52p AM Major: 6:05a PM Major: 6:30p 7:22a 7:46p

17 

2 0 0 9 /

6:30 — 8:00 A

Set: 5:47p Set: 7:52a AM Major: 11:22a PM Major: 11:51p 12:38a 1:06p

10

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

PRIME TIME 1:31 AM 10:25 AM 7:11 PM 11:15 PM

1.68 ft -0.17 ft 1.89 ft 1.73 ft

PRIME TIME

Low Tide: 6:24 AM 0.88 ft High Tide: 11:39 AM 1.29 ft Low Tide: 5:46 PM 0.69 ft

Sunrise: 7:00a Moonrise: 1:48a AM Minor: 12:39a PM Minor: 1:03p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

PRIME TIME

Low Tide: 10:37 AM -0.25 ft High Tide: 7:35 PM 1.65 ft

Sunrise: 7:06a Moonrise: 9:00a AM Minor: 6:07a PM Minor: 6:34p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

11:00A — 12:30P

1:30 — 3:00 P

Set: 5:41p Set: 2:24p AM Major: 6:51a PM Major: 7:15p 8:10a 8:34p

18 

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

7:00 — 8:30 A

Set: 5:46p Set: 8:58a AM Major: ——PM Major: 12:23p 1:36a 2:05p

11

25

&

BEST DAYS

Sunrise: 6:54a Moonrise: 7:11p AM Minor: 6:08a PM Minor: 6:38p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

PRIME TIME

Set: 5:35p Set: None AM Major: 5:07a PM Major: 5:28p 6:41p 6:20a

F i s h

PRIME TIME

Good Day

PRIME TIME 1:30 AM 9:41 AM 6:05 PM 10:32 PM

Sunrise: 6:53a Moonrise: 6:17p AM Minor: 5:08a PM Minor: 5:36p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

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





6:00 — 8:00 A

Set: 5:37p Set: 7:03p AM Major: 11:50a PM Major: 12:20p 2:01p 1:35a

PRIME TIME 6:32 AM 10:13 AM 3:49 PM 11:18 PM

0.90 ft 0.98 ft 0.66 ft 1.27 ft

Sunrise: 7:12a Moonrise: 1:19p AM Minor: 11:58a PM Minor: ——Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

12:00 — 2:00 P

Set: 5:35p Set: 12:36a AM Major: 5:48a PM Major: 6:08p 7:21p 7:01a

5

PRIME TIME

High Tide: 1:35 AM 1.75 ft Low Tide: 11:15 AM -0.23 ft High Tide: 8:24 PM 1.89 ft

Sunrise: 6:55a Moonrise: 8:12p AM Minor: 7:14a PM Minor: 7:44p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

Set: 5:45p Set: 10:02a AM Major: 12:58a PM Major: 1:29p 2:36a 3:07p

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

PRIME TIME 12:11 AM 6:52 AM 1:18 PM 6:59 PM

Sunrise: 7:01a Moonrise: 2:51a AM Minor: 1:21a PM Minor: 1:45p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

1.44 ft 0.56 ft 1.40 ft 0.93 ft

PRIME TIME

Low Tide: 11:19 AM -0.18 ft High Tide: 8:32 PM 1.59 ft

Sunrise: 7:07a Moonrise: 9:51a AM Minor: 7:04a PM Minor: 7:30p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

7:00 — 10:00 A

Set: 5:41p Set: 2:56p AM Major: 7:33a PM Major: 7:56p 8:57a 9:21p

19 

6:30 — 8:30 A

Set: 5:37p Set: 7:58p AM Major: 12:51a PM Major: 1:17p 2:54p 2:28a

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

8:00 — 9:30 A

PRIME TIME 6:17 AM 12:03 PM 4:45 PM 11:27 PM

Sunrise: 7:13a Moonrise: 1:47p AM Minor: 12:16a PM Minor: 12:37p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

0.70 ft 1.04 ft 0.83 ft 1.24 ft

6:30 — 8:30 P

Set: 5:35p Set: 1:30a AM Major: 6:26a PM Major: 6:47p 8:03p 7:42a


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Sportsman’s Daybook Tides and Prime Times

FRIDAY

NOVEMBER 2009

SATURDAY

SUNDAY

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

PRIME TIME 1:26 AM 8:26 AM 4:07 PM 9:06 PM

1.51 ft 0.33 ft 1.74 ft 1.37 ft

Sunrise: 7:51a Moonrise: 5:52p AM Minor: 4:28a PM Minor: 4:52p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

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

PRIME TIME 12:06 AM 1:38 AM 12:10 PM 9:36 PM

1.79 ft 1.80 ft -0.22 ft 1.86 ft

Sunrise: 6:56a Moonrise: 9:18p AM Minor: 8:21a PM Minor: 8:52p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

Set: 5:45p Set: 11:01a AM Major: 2:06a PM Major: 2:37p 3:38a 4:08p

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

PRIME TIME 12:25 AM 7:25 AM 2:40 PM 8:08 PM

1.40 ft 0.26 ft 1.54 ft 1.15 ft

Sunrise: 7:02a Moonrise: 3:53a AM Minor: 2:02a PM Minor: 2:26p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

9:00A — 12:00P

Set: 5:40p Set: 3:28p AM Major: 8:14a PM Major: 8:38p 9:44a 10:08p

20

PRIME TIME

Low Tide: 12:03 PM -0.08 ft High Tide: 9:28 PM 1.53 ft

Sunrise: 7:08a Moonrise: 10:37a AM Minor: 8:01a PM Minor: 8:26p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

7:30 — 9:00 A

Set: 5:37p Set: 8:54p AM Major: 1:48a PM Major: 2:13p 3:44p 3:19a

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

9:00 — 10:30 A

PRIME TIME 6:27 AM 1:27 PM 5:49 PM 11:32 PM

0.47 ft 1.17 ft 0.99 ft 1.24 ft

Sunrise: 7:14a Moonrise: 2:16p AM Minor: 12:53a PM Minor: 1:15p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

7:00 — 9:30 P

Set: 5:34p Set: 2:26a AM Major: 7:04a PM Major: 7:26p 8:46p 8:24a

7

PRIME TIME

Low Tide: 1:09 PM -0.15 ft High Tide: 10:34 PM 1.80 ft

Sunrise: 6:56a Moonrise: 10:27p AM Minor: 9:28a PM Minor: 9:58p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

Set: 5:44p Set: 11:53a AM Major: 3:13a PM Major: 3:43p 4:38a 5:08p

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

PRIME TIME 12:37 AM 8:01 AM 3:49 PM 9:15 PM

Sunrise: 7:03a Moonrise: 4:56a AM Minor: 2:44a PM Minor: 3:09p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

1.40 ft 0.01 ft 1.65 ft 1.31 ft

9:30A — 12:30P

Set: 5:39p Set: 4:03p AM Major: 8:56a PM Major: 9:21p 10:33a 10:57p

21

PRIME TIME

Low Tide: 12:47 PM 0.04 ft High Tide: 10:10 PM 1.47 ft

Sunrise: 7:09a Moonrise: 11:16a AM Minor: 8:55a PM Minor: 9:19p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

8:00 — 9:30 A

Set: 5:36p Set: 9:51p AM Major: 2:43a PM Major: 3:07p 4:32p 4:08a

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

10:00 — 11:30 A

PRIME TIME 6:50 AM 2:34 PM 6:57 PM 11:33 PM

Sunrise: 7:15a Moonrise: 2:48p AM Minor: 1:32a PM Minor: 1:55p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

0.22 ft 1.31 ft 1.13 ft 1.27 ft

7:30 — 9:30 P

Set: 5:34p Set: 3:24a AM Major: 7:43a PM Major: 8:06p 9:33p 9:09a

Set: 6:49p Set: 6:41a AM Major: 10:40a PM Major: 11:04p None 12:20p

8

PRIME TIME

Low Tide: 2:13 PM -0.00 ft High Tide: 11:11 PM 1.72 ft

Sunrise: 6:57a Moonrise: 11:36p AM Minor: 10:31a PM Minor: 10:59p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

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

12:48 AM 8:38 AM 4:49 PM 10:18 PM

PRIME TIME 1.43 ft -0.16 ft 1.71 ft 1.43 ft

3:00 — 6:00 A

Set: 5:39p Set: 4:41p AM Major: 9:42a PM Major: 10:07p 11:23a 11:49p

22

PRIME TIME

Low Tide: 1:31 PM 0.17 ft High Tide: 10:36 PM 1.41 ft

Sunrise: 7:10a Moonrise: 11:52a AM Minor: 9:46a PM Minor: 10:09p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

9:00 — 10:30 A

Set: 5:36p Set: 10:47p AM Major: 3:35a PM Major: 3:57p 5:17p 4:55a

29

PRIME TIME 7:21 AM 3:31 PM 8:02 PM 11:35 PM

-0.02 ft 1.46 ft 1.26 ft 1.32 ft

Sunrise: 7:16a Moonrise: 3:24p AM Minor: 2:13a PM Minor: 2:38p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

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

11:00A — 12:30P

Set: 5:43p Set: 12:38p AM Major: 4:17a PM Major: 4:45p 5:36a 6:04p

Sunrise: 7:03a Moonrise: 6:00a AM Minor: 3:29a PM Minor: 3:55p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

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

9:10A — 12:20P

F i s h

8:30 — 10:30 P

Set: 5:34p Set: 4:26a AM Major: 8:25a PM Major: 8:50p 10:24p 9:58a

&

TIDE STATION CORRECTION TABLE (Adjust High & Low Tide times listed in the Calendar by the amounts below for each keyed location)

NOT FOR NAVIGATION PLACE SABINE BANK LIGHTHOUSE (29.47° N, 93.72° W) SABINE PASS JETTY (29.65° N, 93.83° W) SABINE PASS (29.73° N, 93.87°W) MESQUITE PT, SABINE PASS (29.77° N, 93.9° W) GALV. BAY, SO. JETTY (29.34° N, 94.7° W) PORT BOLIVAR (29.36° N, 94.77° W) TX CITY TURNING BASIN (29.38° N, 94.88° W) EAGLE POINT (29.5° N, 94.91° W) CLEAR LAKE (29.56° N, 95.06° W) MORGANS POINT (29.68° N, 94.98° W) ROUND PT, TRINITY BAY (29.71° N, 94.69° W) PT. BARROW, TRIN. BAY (29.74° N, 94.83° W) GILCHRIST, E. BAY (29.52° N, 94.48° W) JAMAICA BCH., W. BAY (29.2° N, 94.98° W) ALLIGATOR PT., W. BAY (29.17° N, 94.13° W) CHRISTMAS PT, CHR. BAY (29.08° N, 94.17° W) GALV. PLEASURE PIER (29.29° N, 94.79° W) SAN LUIS PASS (29.08° N, 95.12° W) FREEPORT HARBOR (28.95° N, 95.31° W) PASS CAVALLO (28.37° N, 96.4° W) ARANSAS PASS (27.84° N, 97.05° W) PADRE ISL.(SO. END) (26.07° N, 97.16° W) PORT ISABEL (26.06° N, 97.22° W)

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

7:59 AM 4:26 PM 8:59 PM 11:41 PM

HIGH

LOW

-1:46

-1:31

-1:26

-1:31

-1:00

-1:15

-0:04

-0:25

-0:39

-1:05

+0:14

-0:06

+0:33

+0:41

+3:54

+4:15

+6:05

+6:40

+10:21

+5:19

+10:39

+5:15

+5:48

+4:43

+3:16

+4:18

+2:38

+3:31

+2:39

+2:33

+2:32

+2:31

-1:06

-1:06

-0.09

-0.09

-0:44

-1:02

0:00

-1:20

-0:03

-1:31

-0:24

-1:45

+1:02

-0:42

PRIME TIME -0.26 ft 1.57 ft 1.37 ft 1.40 ft

Sunrise: 7:17a Moonrise: 4:07p AM Minor: 2:59a PM Minor: 3:26p Moon Overhead: Moon Underfoot:

G a m e ® / N O V E M B E R

1:30 — 3:00 P

Set: 5:34p Set: 5:32a AM Major: 9:12a PM Major: 9:40p 11:20p 10:52a

2 0 0 9

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by Calixto Gonzales, Kyle Tomek, Tripp Holmgrain, and Tom Behrens TIPS: As water temperatures fall, baitfishes move into deeper water. On Toledo Bends’ north end, this means baitfish will move to ledges and drops along the main lake river channel. The key to locating and catching crappie is finding natural brush, or to drop your own brush piles, along the channel shelf on points and natural bends in the river. BANK ACCESS: public parks and marinas, crappie on live minnows, catfish on cut bait and liver

Double Willow Bass LOCATION: Toledo Bend South HOTSPOT: Mill Creek GPS: N31 12.240, W93 38.260

SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: 3/8-ounce double willow leaf spinnerbaits in white/chartreuse skirts with one gold and one nickel blade; 1/2-ounce jigging spoons, 1/2-ounce football head jigs; light Texas-rigged 7-inch worms with 1/8ounce to 3/16-ounce weights; 10-inch worms with 1/2-ounce weights; shad; Firetiger colored mid- and deep-diving crankbaits CONTACT: Joe Joslin, 337-463-3848, www.joejoslinoutdoors.com TIPS: At dawn, work double willow leaf spinnerbaits around grassy (hydrilla) points and ridges, trying different retrieval speeds. A Texas rig with 7- to 10-inch plastics in 10 to 15 feet plus a weightless Texas-rigged cigar plastic can also be deadly when worked slowly over shallow grass. Work crankbaits and football jigs on points in 10 to 25 feet of water. Vertically fish jigging spoons in 25 to 40 feet of water on edges of rivers and creeks as well as on deep points. BANK ACCESS: below generators, catfish and striped bass; fishing is best when generators are running; call 337-286-5244 for prerecorded generator schedule LOCATION: Toledo Bend North HOTSPOT: Main Lake River Channel GPS: N31 44.835, W93 50.109 SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: live bait (shiners), artificial jigs CONTACT: Greg Crafts, 936-368-7151, www.toledobendguide.com N6

• N O V E M B E R

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T E X A S

LOCATION: Sam Rayburn Reservoir HOTSPOT: Coleman Creek GPS: N31 08.640, W94 09.780 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Nichols spinnerbaits, Texasrigged Baby Brush Hogs CONTACT: Don Mattern, Sr., 903-4782633, www.matternguideservice.fghp.com TIPS: Shad should now be moving into creek arms as water and air temperatures cool during late fall. Concentrations of bass will follow schools of migrating shad into the Coleman Creek arm as they fatten up for winter. When entering the creek arm, work a Nichols blue shad spinnerbait long the edges of the peppergrass and Hydrilla to find aggressive fish. To pick up less aggressive fish, re-work the peppergrass with a Texas-rigged baby brush hog, but with a slower presentation. Flip your hog through and along the edges of the grass and get ready for strikes. BANK ACCESS: public boat ramps, largemouth on artificials, catfish on cut bait, liver, or stinkbait LOCATION: Wright Patman Lake HOTSPOT: Big Creek GPS: N33 20.000, W94 15.350 SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: jigs with black/chartreuse tails, crappie tube baits, minnows CONTACT: Doug Rochelle, K&D Guide Service, 903-671-3494, reteeks77@aol.com F i s h

&

G a m e ® / A L M A N A C

TIPS: Start on the edge of the creek; work until you find the depth fish are at that particular day. Work points and submerged logs, paying attention to the depth (the creek averages 6 feet deep) and work your way up the creek. On a bad day, expect 50 to 90 fish with 20 to 30 keepers (25 limit per person). Remember, you won’t be the only boat in the area so be patient. Consult tables for best times to fish on particular days. BANK ACCESS: Red River Road bridge crossing Big Creek, catfish on night crawlers and cut shad, bream by bridge piers on crickets and worms LOCATION: Caddo Lake HOTSPOT: South of Tar Island GPS: N32 41.219, W94 03.744 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: 5/16-ounce black/blue jigs, 1/4-ounce jig tube baits, white Toads CONTACT: Dennis North, 903-687-2128, www.fishingwithdennis.com TIPS: November is the month for jigs, jig tubes, and Texas rigs. Also, keep Toads handy for the midday warm up. Fish these baits around lily pads, cypress trees, and grass in the area. As the day warms up you’ll get especially good action with a white toad worked over grass and atop and through the lily pads. BANK ACCESS: Caddo Lake State Park, panfishes, catfish, largemouth bass, white bass LOCATION: Lake O’ the Pines HOTSPOT: Mid-Lake Points GPS: N32 46.282, W94 35.312 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: 3/8-ounce jigs, 1/4-ounce tube jigs, 3/8-ounce spinnerbaits, 1/4-ounce Texas-rigged Beavers, 1/2-ounce Carolinarigged Mojo in Green Pumpkin CONTACT: Dennis North, 903-687-2128, www.fishingwithdennis.com TIPS: Work points and shallow water areas early, paying attention to the many stumps and laydowns. Fish your jigs and


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ALL GPS COORDINATES VERIFIED BY

tube baits first in these areas and then switch to a Texas-rig Beaver or Carolina-rigged Mojo in green pumpkin. If action is slow in the shallows, fish the creek bed that runs along the same area. As the day warms up move back into the shallows area and rework the stumps and lay downs you fished earlier with a white spinnerbait. BANK ACCESS: dam shoreline around the Tejas boat ramp, bass, panfishes, catfish; wade-fishing good in this area LOCATION: Lake Livingston HOTSPOT: Carolina Creek GPS: N30 50.607, W95 20.018 SPECIES: flathead catfish BEST BAITS: live perch CONTACT: Dave Cox, 936-291-9602, www.palmettoguideservice.com TIPS: November is the month to trotline deep holes in the river for nice cats. Set your trotline parallel to the river so that hooks are suspended about a foot off the bottom. Use heavy cord with barrel swivels for each hook station and bait with live perch. Check your line at least daily and make sure you have plenty of room in your freezer. BANK ACCESS: public parks and boat ramps, largemouth bass on artificials; catfish on cut bait, stinkbait or liver LOCATION: Lake Conroe HOTSPOT: Main Lake GPS: N30 26.231, W95 35.510 SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: live shad, Storm Swim Shad, stinkbait CONTACT: Richard Tatsch, 936-2911277, www.fishdudetx.com TIPS: Striped bass are beginning to feed aggressively and should be found in 16 to 22 feet of water along channel edges and humps on the main lake. Use live shad to be most productive. Artificial baits such as swim shad also work well with schooling fish. Watch for birds hunting baitfish; striped bass will be not far behind. If the action is slow, try fishing with cut bait or stinkbait for larger catfish feeding in 15 to 20 feet depths. You might not catch many cats, but those you do will be worth your while. BANK ACCESS: Stowaway Marina, bream N8

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and catfish on live minnows or worms under cork

Largemouth Puppies LOCATION: Lake Medina HOTSPOT: Church Cove GPS: N29 33.385 W98 57.468 SPECIES: largemouth bass

BEST BAITS: Shad colored topwater poppers and Zara Puppies; 1/2-ounce white or chartreuse spinnerbaits with matching painted willow blades; Shad and chartreuse colored crankbaits that dive to 10 feet; 1/4ounce chrome Rat-L-Traps; dark colored soft plastics CONTACT: Dave Burlington, 210-8339417, www.bassindave.com TIPS: bass are very active around balls of baitfish in creeks and flats in 4 to 10 feet of water, and you can now catch fish on topwaters all day long, but crankbaits are your lures of choice during this time. Focus on dock corners, standing timber and big rocks as bass use this cover for ambush points. Fish your baits just under balls of shad you see in open water away from the bank as bass will school under these balls. When action slows, or in tough weather conditions, throw soft plastics as a change up to faster moving baits, letting them free fall through the baitfish to catch bass suspended underneath. BANK ACCESS: Bandera County Park, crappie on live minnows and crappie jigs LOCATION: Lake Dunlap HOTSPOT: Upper Lake Islands GPS: N29 41.153, W98 05.275 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Shad colored topwater poppers; brown SPRO frogs; 1/2-ounce black buzzbaits; 3/8-ounce white spinnerbaits with white painted blades; shallow chartreuse crankbaits; Texas-rigged Green Pumpkin tubes; Brush Hogs with 1/4ounce weights F i s h

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CONTACT: Dave Burlington, 210-8339417, www.bassindave.com TIPS: Look for bass to feed heavily around docks and remaining heavy cover on islands and flats, starting with topwater lures and spinnerbaits. If fish aren’t biting, switch to soft plastics and fish them slowly through thicker cover. In more open water around docks and cypress stumps, fish crankbaits, running them through the cover and across the bottom as much as possible. The erratic action of your lure deflecting off the cover will trigger numerous strikes. BANK ACCESS: I-35 bridge public boat ramp and park, bass on crankbaits and soft plastics LOCATION: Lake Travis HOTSPOT: Resort Ranch GPS: N30 25.565, W98 03.227 SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: pink/white, chartreuse crappie jigs; live minnows CONTACT: Dave Burlington, 210-8339417, www.bassindave.com TIPS: Locate brush piles in 12 to 20 feet of water along creek channels and ledges off of flats, bluff walls, and under docks. Vertically jig brush piles while looking for fish with electronics. Crappie feed most aggressively at their suspended depth or slightly above, so present baits accordingly. Bites should come quickly so don’t hesitate to move on to the next brush pile if the action is slow. BANK ACCESS: Mansfield Dam, bass on soft plastics LOCATION: Lake Buchanan HOTSPOT: Dam Area GPS: N30 45.433, W98 24.481 SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: Shad colored swimbaits, red/white Zara Spooks, chrome jigging spoons, Shad and chrome colored Rat-L Traps; live bait CONTACT: Dave Burlington, 210-8339417, www.bassindave.com TIPS: Watch the birds as they often disclose school where schools of fish are feeding. Schooling stripers are found in 25 to 40 feet of water along the river ledges around the islands and dam area. Cast and vertical-


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ly jig swimbaits, jigging spoons, and Rat-L Traps through these schools. Drifting and free lining live bait can improve the bite if stripers are finicky with artificials. Have a Zara Spook on a separate rod ready for surfacing schools. Cast just beyond, and work your bait back and forth through the schools on your retrieve. Be prepared for explosive strikes. BANK ACCESS: Double Tin Horn, catfish on cut shad and worms LOCATION: Lake LBJ HOTSPOT: Applehead Area GPS: N30 33.403, W98 23.588 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Shad colored topwater poppers, 1/2-ounce white buzzbaits, Shad colored Zara Spooks; 3/8-ounce white spinnerbaits with gold willow blades; Shad colored shallow-running crankbaits, 1/4-ounce Rat-L Traps CONTACT: David Burlington, 210-8339417, www.bassindave.com TIPS: Focus on creeks and secondary points in bays in 2 to 6 feet of water. Bass will be fairly shallow and heavily focused on

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shad. Cover a lot of water with topwaters, spinnerbaits, and crankbaits, keying on dock corners, big rocks, or any wood you find as bass use these as ambush points. Keep an eye out for schooling bass around shad and take advantage of these aggressive fish! Main lake bluff banks will be very productive. Fish parallel to the bank to keep your bait in the strike zone longer. BANK ACCESS: Jacobs Creek, largemouth bass on spinnerbaits, topwaters, and crankbaits LOCATION: Canyon Lake HOTSPOT: Jacobs Creek Park GPS: N29 14.420, W29 54.040 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: 1/8-ounce Tru-Tungsten Flea Flicker Head Jigs with 4- to 6-inch Watermelon Candy or blue fleck finesse worms CONTACT: Kandie Candeleria, 210-8232153, kandie@gvtc.com TIPS: Be careful when fishing as the lake is down 16 feet plus and adjust your break lines accordingly to these lower depths. Fish the roadbed to the left across Jacob Creek Park on the Canyon Lake Park side. Target

the 30-foot breakline, which will now be at 14 feet. Drop-shot with finesse worms to produce good fish. Next, brush piles, which are now visible near the center of the cove, should produce as well. Then, drop marker buoys and work the cove’s hump. Fish 1/8ounce Tru-Temper Flea Flickers in either Watermelon candy (if the sun is high) or blue fleck, and hang on. You might also Texas rig a Senko type bait like Crème Wacky Sticks, fishing them weightless around area brush piles. BANK ACCESS: Canyon Park Campground, crappie on minnows and crappie jigs LOCATION: Granger Lake HOT SPOT: Main Lake Flats SPECIES: blue catfish BEST BAITS: shad, prepared baits CONTACT: 512-365-7761, www.gotcrappie.com TIPS: Fish shallow timbered flats with any vegetation. BANK ACCESS: Wilson Fox Park west boat ramp area, Willis Creek Park near the pavilion


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Birdy Stripers LOCATION: Possum Kingdom Lake HOTSPOT: Bird Island GPS: N32 56.095, W98 26.369

SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: live shad; topwaters in Shad colors, crankbaits in white and chartreuse of varying depths, slabs and jigs in chrome and chartreuse CONTACT: Dean Heffner, 940-329-0036, fav7734@aceweb.com TIPS: Fish continue to follow migrating shad as they move toward warmer water. Concentrate on flats 600 to 800 yards west of Bird Island, watching for birds to give away locations of shad balls and schooling stripers that are sure to follow. Stripers will be found under birds and running breaklines in depths of 20 to 30 feet. These breaklines are literally striper highways. Work these areas with live bait or slabs and jigs. You should find many sand bass mixed in with stripers as a bonus. Be sure to fish in advance of cold fronts for peak action. BANK ACCESS: North D&D, largemouth and smallmouth bass on plastic worms, catfish on stinkbait and liver LOCATION: Lake Graham-Eddelman HOTSPOT: Power Plant GPS: N33 07.594, W98 36.340 SPECIES: sand (white) bass BEST BAITS: live shad, slabs, jigs, deeper running crankbaits, Rat-L Traps CONTACT: Dean Heffner, 940-329-0036, fav7734@aceweb.com TIPS: Fish have started migrating to deeper water close to the power plant discharge outlets on the Eddelman side just north of the dam. Concentrate on holes with live bait, slabs, and jigs. If the bite is slow, try trolling with crankbaits and Rat-L Traps. Fishing in advance of a cold front brings success, and never leave the discharge area when warm water is running. BANK ACCESS: Hwy 380 public boat ramp, crappie on live minnows, bass on plastic worms, catfish on cut bait and liver N12

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LOCATION: Palo Pinto Reservoir HOTSPOT: Power Plant GPS: N32 39.318, W98 18.244 SPECIES: sand (white) bass BEST BAITS: live shad, slabs, jigs, deeper running crankbaits, Rat-L Traps CONTACT: Dean Heffner, 940-329-0036, fav7734@aceweb.com TIPS: Fish will now be found in deeper water adjacent to discharge outlets on the northeast side of the power plant. Focus on deeper areas with live bait, slabs, and jigs. If the bite is slow, try trolling with crankbaits and Rat-L Traps. Fishing in advance of a cold front almost guarantees action. Good fishing can be found whenever the power plant is discharging water. BANK ACCESS: any of the parks and public boat ramps by the generator plant, crappie on live minnows, catfish on stinkbait, cut bait and liver LOCATION: Oak Creek Reservoir HOTSPOT: Deep Lake Point GPS: N32 03.623, W100 16.820 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: football jigs, spoons CONTACT: Wendell Ramsey, 325-2274931, bram4@suddenlink.net TIPS: Bouncing a jig works well in cooler months on this small impoundment, and crawdad colored jigs and 3/4-ounce spoons worked in 18 to 30 feet of water are a good combo for this area. The lake is in good shape and bass are schooling up to chase shad balls as they migrate to deeper water. Use electronics to stay on top of bait balls as bass are always underneath, ready to feed on a lost jig or spoon that strays into the area. Rip your lure off the bottom and let it fall on a slack line to entice a big bite. Often the lure will just stop on the fall when you give it slack so pay attention when doing this. BANK ACCESS: Highway 70 boat ramp, catfish on cut bait, stinkbait or liver, crappie on jigs and minnows

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LOCATION: Lake Meredith HOTSPOT: Rattlesnake Island GPS: N35 42.245, W101 33.199 SPECIES: walleye F i s h

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BEST BAITS: lead slabs tipped with small earthworm pieces CONTACT: Mel Phillips, 806-353-3654, fishman@suddenlink.com TIPS: With the lowest lake levels in history, walleye are ganging up along the old Canadian River creek channel that winds past Rattlesnake Island. Drop a 1-ounce lead slab with sharp hooks tipped with a 1/2-inch piece of earthworm. Hold bait still as possible as jerking action turns off prewinter walleye. Allow slabs to reach bottom and then reel in two cranks. Twenty-pound braid works best. When your line begins to feel heavy or light, set the hook. Keep what you can eat and release the big boys. BANK ACCESS: main ramp at the marina, catfish on stinkbait, cut bait and chicken or turkey livers

Grubbing for Bass LOCATION: Lake Granbury HOTSPOT: River Bend Ledge

GPS: N32 24.125, W97 41.231 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: grubs, drop-shot plastic worms CONTACT: Wendell Ramsey, 325-2274931, bram4@suddenlink.net TIPS: This area heats up in November and Smoke colored grubs on 1/4-ounce jigheads will bring action as you bounce them along sloping rocky structure. Avoid slack line when baits fall, as bites can sometimes be light. Drop-shotting a Watermelon red Yum Dinger worm will work well, too. Shake the bait for a couple of seconds and let it sit; then move it a couple times and repeat. This technique works best if you are patient. Once you get a bite, you might catch several from the same spot. BANK ACCESS: Fishing is good from any of the lake’s five public parks. For information, call the Brazos River Authority at 817-5733212.


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LOCATION: Lake Palestine HOTSPOT: Highsaw Cove GPS: N32 07.030, W95 29.030 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Nichols spinnerbaits, Phantom Stinkos CONTACT: Don Mattern Sr., 903-4782633, www.matternguideservice.fghp.com TIPS: Water and air temperatures are cooling down with winter approaching and shad have begun to migrate into the creek arm. Concentrations of bass follow to feed, so throw shad imitations such as a Nichols spinnerbait to take advantage. Work the east bank down to Highsaw. Once you enter the cove, work a spinnerbait around the boathouses and along bank edge. Look for the surface action of bass feeding on shad and then hit the location with a quick couple of casts for an extra bass or two. Work the bank down the entire creek to the back where good wood cover is found. Cast along wood and grass and hold on. BANK ACCESS: Highsaw Bridge, bass, catfish and crappie, fish the old roadway under the bridge LOCATION: Lake Texoma HOTSPOT: Five Creeks GPS: N33 54.836, W96 42.401 SPECIES: striped bass BEST BAITS: Sassy Shad Jigs, live shad CONTACT: Bill Carey, 877-786-4477, bigfish@striperexpress.com TIPS: The stripers are running in large schools. Pay close attention to the seagulls. They will locate the stripers ambushing large bait balls. Best artificials are 4-inch Sassy Shad soft plastics on a 1-ounce jighead. The best colors are white/Glow and chartreuse fleck. Live shad fishing is also a great way to catch stripers. You can anchor or drift with live bait. BANK ACCESS: Sand Creek LOCATION: Richland-Chambers HOTSPOT: Pond Creek GPS: N 31 57’ 46”, W 96 20’41” SPECIES: black bass BEST BAITS: Tornado F5 in Watermelon with chartreuse dipped tail CONTACT: Steve Schmidt, 682-518-8252, 8 1 7 - 9 2 9 - 0 6 7 5 , steve@schmidtsbigbass.com N14

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TIPS: Start at the point prior to the discharge and work the edge. You will be throwing in two feet of water and falling off into 17 to 18 feet of water. Work a worm or creature bait in the grass and bull rushes on the outside edges on the grass. There are some good fish in this area. Work past the discharge and start to work the riprap all the way to where the creek runs. LOCATION: Richland-Chambers HOTSPOT: Pond Creek GPS: N31 57’46”, W96 20’41” SPECIES: black bass BEST BAITS: white and blue medium diving crankbait CONTACT: Steve Schmidt, 682-518-8252, 8 1 7 - 9 2 9 - 0 6 7 5 , steve@schmidtsbigbass.com TIPS: A crankbait always works well off the riprap. There are a series of ditches that hold fish in this area. Once you have worked the riprap, work the other bank and you will see all the bull rushes on the bank. If the lake is down, they could be out of water. Work the shallow edge, because as you work your bait it will fall off into deep water. LOCATION: Gibbons Creek Reservoir HOTSPOT: Intake Channel GPS: N 30 37.021, W96 04.331 SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: shad, chicken liver, stinkbait CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, www.FishTalesGuideService.com, 979-229-3103 TIPS: Water is starting to cool and there is deep water near shallow water here. Current from the intake creates water movement that catfish like. As always, chumming in the area helps, using either soured grain or range cubes. Allow chum about fifteen minutes to start attracting fish. Anchor near stumps and trees on left side of intake in about four to twelve feet of water. Carolina rig baits with 3/4 to one ounce egg weights and 1/0 Kahle hooks for shad. Use number four trebles for other bait. BANK ACCESS: shoreline at east of dam, next to swimming area

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LOCATION: Fayette County Lake HOTSPOT: Cedar Creek Bridge Pilings GPS: N29 56.450, W96 44.560 F i s h

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SPECIES: catfish BEST BAITS: dip- or punchbait, worms, cut shad CONTACT: Weldon Kirk, www.FishTalesGuideService.com, 979-229-3103 TIPS: The water is almost 40 feet deep. Toss out a buoy and chum around it. Anchor as close to the buoy as possible and fish straight down with a tight line starting close to the bottom and working away from the bottom until you find the depth of the bite. Your rod tip might life or the line will move sideways when you get a bite. Do not wait for a hard jerk before setting hook. BANK ACCESS: bank on left side of Park Prairie boat ramp LOCATION: Lake Whitney HOTSPOT: Big Rocky Creek GPS: N31 52.795, W97 23.682 SPECIES: stripers BEST BAITS: chartreuse Wild Eyed shad, 4-inch CONTACT: Randy Routh, 817-822-5539 TIPS: make long casts behind the boats, use trolling motor, and run on medium speed dragging the baits behind you. The colder water is pushing the shad from the creeks and the stripers are schooling at the mouths. Pull the baits in and out of creeks at the mouth until schools are located. LOCATION: Lake Aquilla HOTSPOT: Deep Humps and Flats GPS: N31 54.075, W97 11.945 SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: chartreuse and white 1-ounce slabs CONTACT: Randy Routh, 817-822-5539 TIPS: The colder water has the shad pushed off into the deeper water and the whites are gorging on them. Slow drift and bounce slabs of the bottom. Tie a red and white Flea Fly 18 inches above the slab and to better chances at catching two at a time. LOCATION: Richland-Chambers HOTSPOT: Hwy 309 Flats GPS: N31 58.78, W96 06.8 70 SPECIES: hybrid stripers BEST BAITS: 1-ounce Silver Glitter RSR Shad Slabs


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CONTACT: Royce Simmons, Gone Fishin’ Guide Service, www.gonefishin.biz, 903389-4117 TIPS: Watch for the gulls and pelicans dipping down to pick up shad off the surface. Concentrate on drop-Offs and ridges in the 309 Flats Area in water depths ranging from 20 to 30 feet. Bounce the slab off the bottom. BANK ACCESS: Fisherman’s Point Marina, 903-389-5218 LOCATION: Richland-Chambers HOTSPOT: Hwy 309 Flats GPS: N31 58.718, W96 06.0870 SPECIES: white bass BEST BAITS: 1-ounce Silver Glitter RSR shad Slabs CONTACT: Royce Simmons, Gone Fishin’ Guide Service, www.gonefishin.biz, 903389-4117 TIPS: Watch for the gulls and pelicans dipping down to pick up shad off the surface. Concentrate on drop-Offs and ridges in the 309 Flats Area in water depths ranging from 20 to 30 feet. Bounce the slab off the bottom. BANK ACCESS: Fisherman’s Point Marina, 903-389-5218 LOCATION: Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir HOTSPOT: Midlake Timber GPS: N31.01.277, W97.36.846 SPECIES: crappie BEST BAITS: medium-sized shiner minnows, kept fresh and lively CONTACT: Bob Maindelle, 254-368-7411, Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com TIPS: Fish the outside edge of the timber adjacent to the island. Afternoons and nighttime are best using slip-bobbers and/or spreader rigs. Keep boat noise to a minimum. Use multiple rods set at multiple depths. Adjust all rods to same depth once fish are located.

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spoon ready in case fish show directly beneath you as you’re fishing horizontally. LOCATION: Belton Lake HOTSPOT: Rockslide GPS: N31 07.150, W97 29.373 SPECIES: smallmouth bass BEST BAITS: hair jigs with pork CONTACT: Bob Maindelle, 254-368-7411, Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com TIPS: Cast parallel to the shoreline starting shallow and moving progressively deeper until fish are contacted. Have a slab spoon ready in case fish show directly beneath you as you’re fishing horizontally.

LOCATION: Lake Fairfield HOTSPOT: Dam Riprap GPS: N31 48.651, W96 03.776 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Bandit Crankbait 200 series CONTACT: Don Mattern, 903-478-2633, www.matternguideservice.fghp.com TIPS: In November, big bass find schools of shad bunched up on this area. There is deep water and lots of rocky cover. Position your boat in 8-12 feet of water along the riprap rock casting adjacent to the rocks. Try to cast in about 2-3 feet and work the crankbait slowly; this will keep it bouncing off the rocks. There have been some 8pounders caught here.

LOCATION: Lake Fairfield HOTSPOT: Dam Riprap GPS: N31 48.674, W96 02.595 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Bandit Crankbait 200 series in Firetiger, Tennessee shad CONTACT: Don Mattern, 903-478-2633, www.matternguideservice.fghp.com TIPS: In November, big bass find schools of shad bunched up on this area. The ends seem to produce best; but at times, the bass will be scattered down the entire dam. There is deep water and lots of rocky cover. Position your boat in 8-12 feet of water along the riprap rock casting adjacent to the rocks. Slowly work the crankbait to keep it bouncing off the rocks. LOCATION: Lake Fairfield HOTSPOT: Redfish Point GPS: N31 48.674, W96 02.860 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: live perch CONTACT: Don Mattern, 903-478-2633, www.matternguideservice.fghp.com TIPS: In November, the redfish on Lake Fairfield love to hang out in around this point holding at about 20 feet deep. Drop your live perch suspended on some weight and a 3/0 to 5/0 circle hook. You can anchor, but it is more successful to drift over this spot with your live perch down at the 20-foot depth.

LOCATION: Belton Lake HOTSPOT: Rockslide GPS: N31.07.150, W97.29.373 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Charlie Brewer 4-inch Slider worms on light jigheads CONTACT: Bob Maindelle, 254-368-7411, Bob@HoldingTheLineGuideService.com TIPS: Cast parallel to the shoreline starting shallow and moving progressively deeper until fish are contacted. Have a slab A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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LOCATION: Lake Fairfield HOTSPOT: Dam GPS: N31 48.78, W96 02.595” SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: live Perch CONTACT: Don Mattern, 903-478-2633, www.matternguideservice.fghp.com TIPS: In November the redfish on Lake Fairfield love to hang out in around this point holding in about 20 feet deep. Drop your live perch suspended on some weight and a 3/0 to 5/0 Circle hook. You can anchor, but it is more successful to drift over this spot with your live perch down at the 20-foot depth. LOCATION: Lake Palestine HOTSPOT: Flat Creek GPS: Mid-Lake on the West Side SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Watermelon Carolina-rigged French Fry CONTACT: Ricky Vandergriff, 903-5617299, ricky@rickysguideservice.com TIPS: Work the old road bridges. Fish the sides and work them slow for best results. The bass use the bridges as funnel points to feed on baitfishes that move under the bridges. LOCATION: Lake Palestine HOTSPOT: Highsaw Cove GPS: N32 07.30, W95 29.30 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Nichols Spinnerbaits in Blue Shad, Phantom Senkos in Natural CONTACT: Don Mattern, 903-478-2633, www.matternguideservice.fghp.com TIPS: The shad begin to migrate into the creek arm for the warmer water and the concentrations of bass follow them to gorge and feed. Follow the east bank when you get into Highsaw Cove and work the spinnerbait around the boathouses and along the edges of the bank. Keep an eye out for surface action. Work the bank down the entire length of the creek to the wood cover, casting along the wood and grass.

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HOTSPOT: Rock Points GPS: N29 34.239, W101 14.321 SPECIES: largemouth bass BEST BAITS: Rat-L Traps, jerkbaits CONTACT: Wendell Ramsey, 325-2274931, bram4@suddenlink.net

Trout on a Tripod

TIPS: As the weather cools the fishing heats up on this southwest Texas fishery. Bass are hungry and will attack hard baits such as gold with black-backed 1/2-ounce Rat-L Traps and jerkbaits such as the Rattlin’ Rouge of the same color. Drop the trolling motor and work from points back into pockets from mile marker 21 to 25, and work your baits around bush edges. If your bait gets in a bush, rip it out with a quick snap of the rod and see if a mean old bass tries to take it away from you! BANK ACCESS: Diablo East Park or Black Brush area; contact the National Parks Service at 830-775-7491 for more information

GPS: N28 40.518, W95 53.054 SPECIES: speckled trout BEST BAITS: 1/4-ounce leadhead, Norton Limetreuse baits; switch to pink if the water is off color; topwaters in Bone or Clam colors CONTACT: Capt. Tommy Countz, 281450-4037 TIPS: Birds should be working “full blast.” Get upwind and drift into where they are. Sometimes throwing a topwater bait under bird action will result in some bettersized fish.

Finger Bone Redfish LOCATION: Lower Laguna Madre HOTSPOT: The “Y”

GPS: N26 2.860, W97 12.430 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: live shrimp, finger mullet, ballyhoo; topwaters in blue/chrome, Bone; soft plastics in red/white, Mullet; DOA tandems CONTACT: Captain Jimmy Martinez, 956551-9581 TIPS: The island that forms the split in the “Y” is lined with small drains among the mangroves. Fish these little cuts into the shoreline on an outgoing tide to for redfish and big trout are waiting for baitfish or shrimp that are pushed out of the shallows. On a high tide, fish tighter to the mangroves with bait. Shrimp always work, but baitfishes are less apt to fall victim to bait stealers.

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LOCATION: East Matagorda Bay HOTSPOT: Tripod Area

Deviled Redfish LOCATION: Galveston West Bay

HOTSPOT: Alligator Point GPS: N29 10.289, W95 06.879 SPECIES: redfish BEST BAITS: Start transitioning to Corky Devil, Catch 2000, slow sinking plugs, mullet imitations; top colors are chartreuse back, Pearl side and pink holograph, pink/Pearl, Texas Chicken CONTACT: Capt. Steve Hillman, 409-2567937 TIPS: Look for birds working over the spoils.

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


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A R-eel Fish Story Editor’s Note: This story comes courtesy of Seabreeze News editor and publisher Steve Hoyland as published in its 3 September 2009 issue. —Don Zaidle WO WEEKS AGO, A GROUP OF FOUR MEN, Steve Hoyland, Jr. with friends Bruce, Ken and Erik, set off on an overnight offshore fishing trip. They left at noon on a Tuesday and went about 120 miles out into the Gulf. They were having a great night of fishing, catching big snapper, grouper, ling, and kings. About 3 am, two of them went down below to catch some sleep. The two remaining on deck were catching fish and drinking beer, enjoying the warm tropical night air. All at once, Bruce got a big run on his line. This thing went all around the boat and took more than twenty minutes to bring up to the surface. When they got it up to the surface, they could not tell what it was. It looked prehistoric. Steve Jr. put a gaff in it and the two men dragged it aboard the 33-foot boat. As soon as the big creature hit the deck, it went crazy, attacking them. It was an eel over six feet long, weighing close to 100 pounds. It

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had a mouth full of sharp teeth and was extremely pissed off. The eel was later estimated to be 60 years old. Bruce said it came at him and Steve Jr. like an anaconda, rearing its head up and striking at them like a rattlesnake. It was highly agitated and quite energetic. In the midst of thrashing around, the creature fell down below onto the floor between the two sleeping men, Erik and Ken. When they heard the thud and turned on the light, the eel raised its head right above Ken’s face. Erik rolled over and grabbed his 9 mm pistol. Steve Jr. started yelling. “Don’t shoot the gun in the boat! We’re 120 miles from land!” Next thing you know, all four fishermen were on the deck

and the gigantic eel had sole possession of the bottom of the boat. The four needed to work up a plan of action, so they drank beer while considering a strategy. It was determined that Steve Jr. would distract the eel because he had drank the most alcohol and believed he was bulletproof. He opened up the sliding door down below to see what the “monster” was doing. As the door opened, A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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the eel came up the two steps biting at anything along the way. The four brave men then ran to the wheelhouse like women and slammed the door shut. They never did identify which one of them screamed like a girl. Inside the wheelhouse, they started calming down and decided they would drink a couple more beers. Then they hatched a new battle plan. Steve Jr. went out on the deck to get the beast’s attention. The eel attacked and Steve Jr. climbed up on top of the captain’s chair. Ken threw a blanket on top of the giant eel while Erik and Bruce beat the hell out of it with a steel gaff and a large ice chest lid. After the creature was finally subdued, they put it into a large ice chest, and closed the lid on it. The four brave sailors all got themselves a beer and were laughing at the situation when the lid of the ice chest was suddenly knocked off and the eel sprang out onto the deck and resumed his attack. Bruce stated that the eel was clearly out for vengeance. The four men each picked up something and the fight was on. After beating the creature with gaffs, ice chest lids, and fire extinguishers again, they once more subdued the massive carnivore and put it back into the ice chest. This time, they tied the lid down and put another ice chest on top of that one. Eighteen hours later, they returned to the dock and started unloading the boat. None of them was anxious to open the lid to the ice chest, in fact, they did “rock, paper, scissors” to determine who would pop the lid! Above is a picture of Bruce Gordy with the eel that he caught and bravely fought in that epic and desperate battle for control on the high seas. —Steve Hoyland, Sr.

On the Web www.seabreezenews.com

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Pinnacle Scion— Boon for Bassers BASS ANGLERS ARE ALWAYS ON THE LOOKOUT for a new bait-caster that exceeds expectations, and their eyes will pop open when they get a gander at the new Pinnacle Scion Select X. I tested one while tossing crankbaits into stump fields, and discovered I could make those lures swim like baitfishes in a serious frenzy. The secret to such action is an incredibly fast 7.0:1 gear ratio, which makes it possible to swim those swimbaits and crank those crankbaits at unusually high rates of speed. Swinging the handle is smooth, too, because the Scion X has nine stainless-steel ball bearings, plus a roller bearing. Brass gearing is machine-cut, and multiple drag washers ensure that line going out runs as smoothly as the line coming in. Whichever way the line is flowing, it will be protected because the level-winder fea-

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tures a titanium line guide. When fish strike, you won’t have any problem with kickback, either. The anti-reverse system is truly infinite, and I found

PHOTO COURTESY PINNACLE

it ideal for fast, bang-free hooksets. I have to admit, I am not the world’s greatest with a bait-caster in my hands, and backlash isn’t exactly unheard of. But the Scion Select X made it so, because it incorporates multiple anti-backlash systems. (Pinnacle’s marketing guys called it the “Tandem Cast Control System.”) As you begin your cast, a centrifugal brake makes sure there is no overrun. Then the adjustable magnetic brake takes over, so the spool continues spinning at the proper rate. It does not cut down on casting dis-

tance; except for the lack of professional overrun, you won’t even notice the system as it works. This reel has a compact metal frame, weighing in at 9.3 ounces. Line capacity is 165 yards of 12-poundtest. That’s plenty for bassers and cast-andretrieve fishing for bigger lake dwellers (like striped bass), but don’t plan on it doing double-duty as a trolling reel. The reel’s relatively small size feels great in your hands, though, and the light weight made it a delight to use for a full day of fishing. —Lenny Rudow

On the Web www.pinnaclefishing.com •••

Earthmate PN-30 YOU HIKE, YOU HUNT, YOU FISH, AND YOU also happen to drive a car, then you need a take-everywhere, do-everything, handheld GPS with land, water, topographic, and road mapping. A new choice on your menu is the DeLORME Earthmate PN-30, a pocket navigator that’s handy no mater what part of planet Earth you are traveling. I tested the PN-30 in Realtree camo, and unless you use the screen to flash your prey with a sunbeam, it won’t be visible to the wariest gobbler in the woods. If stealth isn’t N18

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important, you can also opt for orange or green models. The casing is tough, too, and waterproof to IPX7 standards. The keypad will be a bit unfamiliar to people accustomed to using handhelds with higher brand recognition, but don’t let this scare you off. I found the menu, page, enter, and quit keys very self-explanatory. There is a waypoint quick key with an icon of a pin on it, which is also how waypoint icons appear on-screen. The power key on my test unit took a very hard press to activate, which was a bit of an aggravation, but was good for preventing accidental activation. When I fired up the unit, I found good road mapping, decent basic land features, and water boundaries. The unit comes— without extra cost—with Earthmate Maps

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on DVD. Transferring maps to the unit is simple because it has an SD card slot. You upload the maps and charts onto your computer, put them on the SD card, then plug the card into the slot behind the batteries on the PN-30. Once the chartography is onboard, you have full access to NOAA charts, aerial imagery, DeLORME topo maps, and USGS topo maps. Software for trip planning and road routing is also included. In fact, when you pop open the box, you will even discover an SD card is already inside; DeLORME makes the PN-30 an all-inone purchase. The unit supports Navionics chartography, too. Once I had the Earthmate up and running, one feature I particularly liked was the

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speed of chart re-draws as I panned around or zoomed in and out. It’s nearly instantaneous, thanks to a fast dual-core processor. The unit also has 1GB of flash memory, and a Cartisio chipset. Clearly, it is on the cutting edge of handheld technology. —LR

On the Web www.delorme.co

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Lumen-Arrow Powered by Lumenok

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Russelure

THE LUMEN-ARROW IS NEW FOR 2009. THE Lumen-Arrow is made in North America with the highest quality carbon fibers — 100% carbon (NO fiberglass). Every

minum with anodized colors, solid brass brackets riveted to the body and superior quality Mustad hooks attached with stainless steel rings, the Russelure is a virtually indestructible lure. The Russelure comes in 8 different sizes and 11 different colors. Contact: 12310 William Dowdell, Cypress, Texas 77429. Phone: 832-6889296. Or visit www.russelure.com.

Big Zak Attack Lumen-Arrow Lumen-Arrow comes equipped with a Lumenok (lighted arrow nock in red or green) specially fitted to each shaft, a smooth polished finish, and your choice of either Bohning 2” Blazer Vanes or raw shafts. Sorted to (+/-0.5) of a grain weight per dozen and a straightness of (+/-0.003), Lumen-Arrows come in three sizes: 45/60 (8.1 gpi.); 60/75 (8.8 gpi.); and 75/90 (9.9 gpi). We realized that selling Lumenoks in arrows that were prepared properly for its utmost performance would guarantee a more enjoyable archery experience whether you are hunting or just shooting targets. Lumen-Arrows are a product of the Burt Coyote Co. Inc. (309) 358-1602. For more information you can also visit www.lumenok.net

WILEY X EYEWEAR HAS ADDED A NEW MODEL to its popular Active Series sunglasses. The key to this new high performance sunglass — Wiley X Zak™ Model ACZAK07 — is Wiley X Eyewear’s proprietary lens technology that combines superior protection and comfort with superior vision on the water. This new Wiley X Zak features a wraparound Gloss Black frame accented by Polarized Blue Mirror Lenses that deliver 99.9-percent polarization

Russelure Returns THE LEGENDARY RUSSELURE IS BACK. WITH ITS unusual wobble swimming action, which can be varied from eccentric fast motion to a slower, smooth natural movement, the Russelure is irresistible to fish. Formed from aluN20

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with 100-percent protection from harmful UVA/UVB rays.

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They feature the same High Velocity Protection (HVP™) Wiley X provides to U.S. Armed Forces around the world. These incredible lenses exceed ANSI Z87.1-2003 High Velocity Impact safety and optical standards for superior protection against the elements or flying lures. Plus, Wiley X’s exclusive Filter 8™ polarizing technology eliminates distracting glare and lets boaters and anglers read the water. With 19% light transmission, this customized fishing tint is ideal for all day performance, from low light to bright light, cloudy conditions and increasing contrast between different shades of green water or vegetation. This new model’s Active Series frame features wide temples to shield out peripheral light and airborne debris along with comfortable rubberized nose pads that provide a secure fit when flying over the waves. Visit www.wileyx.com

Serrano Baitcaster Lays Low BUILT UPON A RIGID DIE CAST ALUMINUM (ALC) frame, Serrano reels are made to handle all types of freshwater species as well as inshore brutes such as calico bass, redfish, permit and more. The aluminum right sideplate keeps all of the heavy duty, machine cut Dura brass gearing in perfect alignment, while the graphite left sideplate reduces weight and is easily

removed for access to the


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Okuma Serrano baitcaster

adjustable 8-position Velocity Control System. The Dura brass gearing featured in the Serrano reels are stronger and more durable than traditional baitcast gears. The Serrano reel’s smoothness comes from 10 ball bearings incorporated throughout the reel, in addition to the Quick-set anti-reverse roller bearing. Precision Japanese ABEC-5 bearings are featured on the spool for ultimate casting and freespool. For a strong, smooth drag system, Okuma utilizes a Carbonite greased drag system. Despite the Serrano’s compact size, these reels still dish out 11 lbs. of drag, all while providing a 6.2:1 gear ratio for increased line pick up. Additionally, all Serrano reels undergo Okuma’s Corrosion Resistant Coating (CRC) process which features a coating of Corrosion X HD to the inside housing of the reel. Serrano reels are backed by Okuma’s 3year warranty program. Okuma Fishing Tackle 2310 E. Locust Court Ontario, CA 91761 Phone: (909) 923-2828 FAX: (909) 923-2909 www.okumafishing.com

Wraith Cuts New Edge in Night Vision SIGHTMARK UNVEILS THE WRAITH DVS-14T Digital night vision monocular, the newest cutting edge trend in night vision. Unlike traditional night vision, the Wraith can be used for both daytime and nighttime operation without any damage to the internal components of the device. The

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Wraith allows crisp, clear black and white imaging that is difficult to achieve with archaic tube based green-on-green systems. With digital imaging rapidly overtaking and surpassing its image intensive tube predecessors, the Wraith is a perfect example of the boundless capabilities inherent in this new, breakthrough technology. Digital imaging is the next evolution in night vision and Sightmark is leading the trend with the Wraith. This lightweight, compact unit is the spectral embodiment of the newest in night vision technology and uses brand new image processing technology to deliver stunning image quality every time. The Wraith has incredible Gen 3 resolution, with the viewing distance of a Gen 2 at a price range comparable to a Gen 1. Sightmark has flawlessly developed a digital night vision monocular that is perfect for law enforcement surveillance. The Wraith boasts an array of special features including an adjustable screen brightness control, multicoated lenses, and a built-in IR illuminator to increase viewing power. The Wraith is ideal for hunting, law enforcement, homesecurity, and many other uses. Sightmark offers a wide range of manufactured products that include red-dot scopes, range finders, riflescopes, flashlights, laser sights and award-winning boresights. Sightmark’s triple duty series offers high quality products that are ideal for tactical, hunting, and shooting applications. For more information on Sightmark’s products, log on to www.sightmark.com. Please contact Kim Sulak at ksulak@sellmark.net or 817.225.0310x126 for any additional information.

Sightmark Wraith DVS-14T

New 12 Foot Stand–Up Fishing Kayak FREEDOM HAWK KAYAKS, THE INDUSTRY leader in stand-up kayak fishing, is pleased to introduce the new Freedom 12 fishing kayak. Crafted after the successful Freedom 14 model, Freedom12 offers a new version of the patented two part outrigger system that with the flick of a lever allows you to go from paddling to fishing in seconds. With the sponsons deployed

Freedom Hawk

paddlers can choose from two outrigger positions. Location one, “The Y Position” gives maximum stability. Whether fighting a trophy fish o r casting in tricky conditions the kayak in this position has the equivalency of a 6 foot beam giving it maximum stability and making it nearly impossible to tip over. Location 2, “The In-Line Position” moves the outriggers parallel to the main hull. While still offering great stability, the boat now has improved efficiency whether paddling, poling or motoring. In addition to all the great features, the Freedom 12 now retails for under a thousand dollars, $995 MSRP. “We have engineered the ultimate fishing kayak! An efficient and stabile hull, all the latest fishing features, the ability to switch from paddling to stand up fishing in seconds, and all of this at a price point that any angler can afford. The Freedom 12 is unlike anything else on the market today” says David Hadden director of sales and marketing for Freedom Hawk Kayaks. It weighs 69 pounds (with a 49 pound carrying weight) and is available in four col-

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Wong Scores Bassmaster Regular Season Win UDY WONG OF MANY, LOUISIANA, RECENTLY accomplished something that had eluded her for almost four competition seasons: a win in a regular-season event of the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Women’s Tour. “I did win the 2007 WBT championship event, but I came here to win this tournament,” she said. “I haven’t had a win on this tour other than the championship. To have a regular-season win under my belt was my goal.” Wong took her win with a three-day total of 28 pounds, 5 ounces on Old Hickory Lake, Tennessee. She earned $1000 and a boat package valued at nearly $55,000. She put her mark on the tournament the second day by bringing in a limit with two kickers, more than enough to give her the lead going into the final round. She had just three fish on Day 3, but that didn’t matter in the end; she won by a 6-pound, 12-ounce margin. Wong’s nearest challenger was another champion, Kim Bain-Moore, who scored second place with 21-9. The Alabaster, Alabama, pro is also the reigning Toyota Tundra WBT Angler of the Year and first woman to compete in a Bassmaster Classic. The Old Hickory event was her best showing so far in the 2009 season. Lisa Sternard of Clarksville, Tennessee, also ended with 21-9, but lost out on a tiebreaker rule that rewards highest number of fish caught over three days. Bain-Moore had 15 fish to Sternard’s nine. Heather Broom, the Sylva, North Carolina, pro who made a serious run on the leader by standing fast in second place for two days, slipped on the final day to end in fourth with 20-14.

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Pam Martin-Wells of Bainbridge, Georgia, was fifth with 19-7, a finish that cemented her lead in the 2009 Toyota Tundra WBT Angler of the Year race, the points system that determines which 20 pros qualified for the 2009 Academy Sports + Outdoors Championship in October on the Red River out of Shreveport-Bossier City, Louisiana. Wong said she worked three areas for

Judy Wong got her first regular season win on the Academy Sports + Outdoors Bassmaster Women’s tour at Old Hickory Lake in Tennesse. most of her fish. One, a ledge, she hit all three days. She worked it with an Academy H2O crankbait in a shad finish, then with Carolina-rigged Gary Yamamoto lizards. One was watermelon red, but she switched to black with blue flake when the sky was overcast. “The big ones yesterday all came on the Carolina rig,” Wong said. “Today I went

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back to the ledge, but I went early because it was overcast this morning and I thought it would produce. The bite was so slow, and I keyed on fish following the shad all week, but there are only a limited number of keepers in any one area.” Bain-Moore said she took nine of her keepers from under one large boat tied up at a dock. “I didn’t have huge fish, but I was consistent,” she said. “Fishing was definitely slower today, and I stayed in three areas where I had caught keepers Thursday and Friday. I just ground it out in those three areas.” Besides the boat, Bain-Moore got her fish out of grass and from under docks, and sometimes by working areas that combined those factors. The winner in the co-angler division was Monica Altman of Angier, North Carolina, with a three-day weight of 17-3. Her prize was $500 and a Triton/Mercury boat rig valued at $25,000. Altman, who won a WBT co-angler competition in 2006 on Lake Norman, led on Day 1, zeroed on Day 2, then came back on Day 3 with a 10-pound, 11-ounce limit. She said she was “a little surprised” she won. Altman’s third-day charge was enough to jump over local angler Regina Pierpaoli of Gallatin, Tennessee, who led on Day 2. Pierpaoli ended in second place with 14-13. The Old Hickory event ended the regular WBT season and set the stage for the 2009 Academy Sports + Outdoors WBT Championship, where the season-long points race ends and one pro will claim the season’s biggest prize package: the Toyota Tundra WBT Angler of the Year crown, a Toyota Tundra, and an invitation to the 2010 Bassmaster Classic, 19-21 February on Lay Lake out of Birmingham, Alabama. Championship qualifiers are the top 20 in the Toyota Tundra WBT Angler of the Year points competition in both the pro and co-angler divisions. PHOTO COURTESY BASS


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NEW PRODUCTS

Wulf Outdoor Sports Archery Tournament FOR THOSE WHO LOVE THE SPORT OF ARCHERY, here is an event that you won’t want to miss next year: Wulf Outdoor Sports in Athens, Texas, recently held its First Annual 3D Tournament sponsored by Hoyt. Nearly 130 tournament shooters, hunters, and youth shooters from Texas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma came out to put their archery skills to the test. The Tournament, held 29 August, had six divisions with cash payouts in each, except for the youth division, which awarded prizes and plaques to all participants. In addition to some hefty payouts and lots of door prizes, ASA World Champion shooter Dan McCarthy gave a free shooting

 Continued from Page N21 ors: sand, olive, yellow and blue. For those wanting to use a small electric motor, the Freedom 12 comes standard with recesses to accept an optional motor mount ($99.00 MSRP). For more information please visit www.freedomhawkkayaks.com or email sales@freedomhawkkayaks.com. Phone: 978-388-9433.

Texas Tackle Split-Ring Pliers TEXAS TACKLE INTRODUCES A SMALLER “EXECutive” model of their patented split ring pliers. These split ring pliers make it a simple chore to change or replace spinner blades or hooks on your lure and are well suited for bass fishing and bay fishing size split rings. The wedge design permits the user to very easily, and quickly, open a gap in the split ring, start the ring, Executive then grip and rotate the split ring ring to complete the operapliers tion. These new pliers feature mirror finish, surgical quality stainless steel for

corrosion resistance and precision box joint construction for strength and extra long life. Retail price is $19.99 plus $3.00 S&H. For more information and to see demo video visit www.TexasTackle.com or contact Texas Tackle, P.O. Box 831239, Richardson, TX 75083. Phone 1-800437-3521, Fax 972-234-4770, 972-6906605.

Wulf Outdoor Sports’ first annual 3D Archery Tournament in Athens drew nearly 130 archers from Texas, Oklahoma and Louisana.

Minox Comfort Bridge Binocular

seminar to all participants. For approximately an hour, McCarthy covered proper practice techniques, shooting preparation, and mental strengthening tips. Contact: Wulf Outdoor Sports 3D Tournament, 903-670-3222

AWAYS QUICK TO RESPOND TO USER NEEDS with innovative solutions, Minox now provides a new answer for those who use binoculars for an extended period of time. Offering significant advantages are two new Comfort Bridge binoculars, with a choice of BL 8x44 or 10x44 models. They

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will be available starting in October 2009. Minox design-engineers have combined sleek, distinctive styling with the practical ergonomic advantages of enhanced comfort and secure handling, plus an increased field of view over previous BL models, creating a new standard for open-bridge binoculars. Lightweight (26 oz.) construction means you can enjoy “carryall-day” comfort. Still, these sturdy binoculars are very durable, thanks to a space-age polycarbonate body that is rubberarmored for sure grip, Minox Comfort Bridge noise damp- binoculars ening and ruggedness. With sophisticated sealing technology, they are waterproof to 16’6”, and Nitrogen filling prevents fogging of internal optical surfaces. The optimum objective lens size of 44 mm, backed by phase-corrected roof prisms and M* multi-layer lens coating ensures brilliant, pin-sharp images with natural color rendition, even in challenging lowlight situations. To capture moving objects faster and more reliably, the field of view has been increased to 410 feet at 1,000 yards for the 8x44, and 341 feet for the 10x44, an increase of 16%. Typical of Minox attention to detail, there are twist-up eye ups for convenience, and the Comfort Bridge binoculars come with a neoprene neck strap and a carrying case. With all of these advantages, the MSRPS are an affordable $559 for the BL 8x44 and $599 for the 10x44. Contact: Minox/USA, P.O. Box 123 Meriden, NH 03770; Phone: (866) 469-3080; email: usa@minox.com; web: www.minox.com

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Weaver 315x42 Super Slam Scope

scope is unusual in that it has a wider power range than any other scope I am aware of, the norms being 3-9X or 3.5-10X. It has target adjustment turrets, a side-mounted parallax adjustment knob, and quick-adjust focus. The 42mm objective lens is sufficiently small to allow the scope to be mounted low, allowing for good cheek to stock contact, but large enough to give great light

EAVER SCOPES WERE FIRST INVENTED and manufactured by Bill Weaver in the 1930s in Newport, Kentucky. In 1933, Weaver moved his company to El Paso, Texas. W. R. Weaver Scopes, with the Model 330 and 440, and later the K-series, became the best selling scopes in the country. Weaver was famous for providing high quality at affordable prices. I feel safe in saying that during the 1960s and early 1970s, there were more Weaver scopes than any other brand on rifles in the United States. Then, like many companies, Weaver fell on hard times. Bill sold the company in 1968 and died in 1975. Since then, the Weaver brand has been bought and sold a number of times. Recently, the company was purchased by Meade Instruments. To make a long story shorter, Weaver is back, and in a big way. I just received a new Weaver Super Slam scope in 3-15X.

transmission at the higher powers. The glass is clear and bright. I liked it at first glance. I mounted the scope on my ThompsonCenter Encore Pro-Hunter .22/250, a gun I trust implicitly. The scope was brilliantly clear and eye relief was perfect, being noncritical except on the highest power, and clear all the way to the edge. The adjustment dials are unique. To adjust them, simply grasp the knob and pull

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upward for elevation or outward for windage adjustment. The knobs click upward a fraction of an inch, allowing the adjustment in quarter-inch clicks. When pushed down, the knobs lock and the dials cannot be moved accidentally. It is a very good system. Sight-in was easy. I bore-sighted the gun, adjusted the parallax until the target was clear and crisp, set the scope on 15-power,

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put it on the sandbags, and fired the first shot. It was 3 inches high and 3 inches left. I moved it 12 clicks down and 12 clicks right and the next shot hit the little orange spot in the center of the target. The first three-shot group measured 1.2 inches; the second, 1.3 inches. The rest of the test groups, shot with my handloads of 55-grain Hornady Spire Points, fell within the range of 1 to 1-1/2 inches. This is very good, consistent accuracy and speaks highly of the precision of the Weaver Super Slam. Once the scope is sighted in, the turrets (marked in numbers from 0 to 14, each whole number being one minute of angle) can be reset to zero. On top of each turret is a knurled screw the size of the turret. Simply unscrew the screw, pick up the turret, set it back to zero, and replace the screw. You can now move the adjustments for odd situations and return to zero without guesswork. A bit of range work will allow you to write down the proper adjustments for ranges as far out as you want. Of all the scopes and guns I have ever tested, this is the only one about which I could find nothing negative to say. I will test the scope extensively over the next few weeks, and if something comes up, I will tell you about it here—but don’t expect it. Weaver has returned to the quality that Bill was famous for. Well done, Meade Instruments.

E-mail Steve LaMascus at guns@fishgame.com

PHOTO COURTESY WEAVER


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Trophy Gar Adventure T WAS JULY IN NORTHEAST TEXAS. THE SUN was scorching, the water was hot, and the old familiar urge was tugging at us again. While sitting around the fire station table, I posed the question to Phillip

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Huff, “Gar time yet?” He concurred and we made plans to dip a johnboat into the famed gator gar hotspot, the Trinity River. Two days later, I showed up at Phil’s house to hook up the boat and load gear for the adventure. On this trip, we had a newbie. Alex, Phillip’s son-in-law, was in town for a visit and he was eager to see what all the excitement was about. It is a tongue-in-cheek joke around the firehouse where Phil and I work not to take these trips with us. One too many stories have been told of mud bogs, dry gas tanks, broken motors, unexpected trips into the water, and sudden trauma to our bodies. A fresh rain had made the drive to the water very slippery. We evaluated the situation, threw the truck in four-wheel-drive, and chanced it. After several tense moments, we made it to higher ground and eased to the riverbank. The Trinity River south of the D/FW Metroplex isn’t boater friendly. Unless you own property that fronts the river, you usually are left devising a way to get your boat and gear down a rough, steep riverbank under a bridge. It took a while to launch

PHOTOS COURTESY BUDDY UPCHURCH

by Buddy Upchurch, TF&G Reader

with a conglomeration of chains, ropes, and a lot of grunts, pushing, and pulling, but we finally got it done. As we ease downriver, I can see Phil educating Alex on the things we have gathered about river boating over several decades: How to read the currents, where the deeper holes can be found, the amazing erosion that happens after every flood, etc. After 20 minutes or so, I slow the boat and shut off the motor. I get this look from Alex begging me to say the motor didn’t break down again. After assuring Alex everything was fine and this was our first stop to look A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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for gar, we assembled the trolling motor and prepared to fling arrows. We had stopped in a huge right-hand bend in the river, which also has a creek feeding into it from the left. The water was deep here, about 20 feet. Phil handed Alex his bow so he could get a taste of what this was all about. After a short tutorial on the operation of the retriever reel and shooting mechanics, we had Alex shooting targets in the murky water to get the hang of it. We didn’t have to wait long to see evidence of big gator gar. The first sighting of a 100-pounder put a “you’re kidding me, right?” look on Alex’s face. Gar were surfacing all around us now. Most were juvenile 50- to 70-pounders, but the occasional 100150 would roll as well. We had a couple of tough shots, but no real high percentage shots. After 30-40 minutes of this, we decided to move on downstream to look for happier hunting. After another 15 minute ride to another spot, and a fairly dull 15-minute stretch we decided to move back to the original hole.

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Phil and I knew from experience that it was just a matter of time before we got a shot at a 100-pound-plus gar. We motored into position, Phil and I grabbed our bows, and stood up. The gar this time of year often will come to the surface and “roll.” At times, you can actually hear them gulp air when they surface. Gar are equipped to breathe air when the water oxygenation isn’t enough to sustain them. I personally believe sometimes the gar just like to come to the surface to see what’s going on. When they rise to the top of the water, you can actually see their eyes looking at you before sinking back to the depths. In most cases, you have around 3-4 seconds to see your target, raise your bow, and release your arrow before the gar sinks back into the murky water. Trophy gar bowfishing on the Trinity is much like hunting for deer or hogs from a stand. There can be hours of monotonous daydreaming, and then before your eyes, your trophy is there and it’s all up to you to close the deal. After another 30 minutes or so, my opportunity arose. In the blink of an eye, a gray silhouette appeared about 4 feet from where I stood. I was filled with eager excitement when the 36-inch girth of the beast surfaced. As if on autopilot, my bow seemed to raise itself, aim, and release. A 120-pound alligator gar does not take kindly to being stuck with an arrow. With a huge splash, the prehistoric monster lunged forward, ripping line from my reel. While this is taking place, I am instructing Alex to

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push a glove onto my free hand so I can use it as a manual drag without cutting my fingers on the string. After a few tense moments, we are set to play the gar out. The gar alternated between deep, rhythmic swimming, seemingly effortlessly pulling the 14-foot flatbottom with its three inhabitants, and quick bolts of speed. After 10 minutes, the gar surfaced beside Phil. Phil aimed and put another arrow into it to assist with landing the monster. I reached down and grabbed Phil’s arrow protruding about 7 inches behind the gills. With one huge lunge, the leviathan snapped this arrow off and left the benign part in my quivering hand. After another 10 minutes, I was ready to snatch the gator gar behind the gills and heave it into the boat. Finally getting it into position, I instructed my partners to put weight on the opposite side of the boat to avoid tipping us or taking on too much water. With a count of three, I heaved with all my might, dragging the 120pound bulk over the side and into the small flatbottom. Upon transferring my weight as

well as the fish’s into the boat, we began dipping water from the opposite side. Luckily, we were able to re-distribute the weight and kept the flooding to a few gallons. After a short celebration and a few pictures, I dislodged my arrow from the steellike scales of my trophy, and with a huge heave slid it back into the water. Hopefully, it will grow up and I will meet it again.

PHOTO COURTESY CHAD MCLEAN

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Antlered Saltwater Trophy WAS DRIFTING THE SHORELINE IN PORT O’ Connor by the abandoned Coast Guard Station. I looked over my shoulder and saw a set of antlers swimming across the channel. I was able to pull my boat right alongside and take these photos. You hear these stories all the time, but its cool to get photos of it. —Chad McLean, a TF&G reader

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Fallout Shelter OVEMBER. TO SOME IT BRINGS COLD, sleet, howling wind, and just about anything else Nature has to offer— not to mention higher utility bills. To the bowhunter, November means the very best time to be out in the field. Early mornings and frosty evenings mean little to the man who is after his prey with a stick and string. It is a magical time to be in the woods. A time when we stay undetected to the creatures of the woods while in their living rooms and are witness to their wake-up call and daily routines, it promises to bring a smile even to the face of the “grizzled” hunter with a new story to tell when he returns home to family and friends. Make sure you get home safely to tell that story. Although bowhunting is generally considered one of the safest sports out there, it does not mean you can just leave caution to the wind. More people get injured playing golf than any other sport. Something about holding a lightning rod in your hands during a storm gives the previous statement some legitimacy. Bowhunting accidents do happen, and are usually self-inflicted injuries. All the more reason to think about every move you make and be sure that it is a safe one. Although there are many methods to take a whitetail with a bow, tree stand hunting has proven one of the most successful. It is also one of the most dangerous. Commercial tree stands of today come with a free safety harness. If you purchase a two-man stand, it comes with two harnesses. You, as a safe, ethical hunter, need to use those harnesses every time you to hunt from an elevated position. That is the problem.

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For some reason, some hunters seem to think an accident will never happen to them. After all, they are careful, veteran hunters. They have been in and out of this particular stand for years now. What could go wrong? That is exactly when things can and do go wrong. Climbing in and out of your stand is when accidents happen. As mentioned, injuries are usually selfinflicted in this sport. If you get too used to your hunting method, it is easy to take a few shortcuts along the way and

Hunt smart, hunt safe, and be there to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

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settle in your stand a few minutes earlier. Bad move. From the moment you arrive at your stand, it is important to remember to always have your harness attached to the tree you are hunting from. Never start your climb without this harness firmly in place and secure to the tree. I know some hunters out wait until they are in the stand before attaching any safety harness, but this is wrong and this bad habit should be corrected before you have a serious accident. Remember, a fall from just a few feet can cause a serious injury. Climbing down from your stand requires the same caution. The most dangerous part of your hunt will be when you disconnect the harness. Ideally, you should connect yourself A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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with a linesman’s belt or something similar. The point is you should never be disconnected from the tree without some sort of safety precaution. Remember to secure your harness so that it does not interfere with your shot. While using a bow, you will need to draw your string back comfortably and not worry about getting tangled up with your harness. I have found it good practice to pull back the sting a few times to get the feel of the harness. It might feel a little strange at first, but after you get used to it, it will become second nature to you. You might also find that the harness gets in the way of one of your shots. That is unfortunate, but the bottom line is that the risk simply is not worth the result. A fall from your tree stand could very well mean the end of the season—or much worse. The harness should attach to the tree at head level or a little higher, so that if you do slip and fall you will not fall very far and should be able to safely climb back into your stand with little difficulty. The days of a tree belt—or worse, a rope that Grandpa Jim gave you to use—are over. You need to take control and be safe so that you may enjoy the whole season safely. November weather can bring wet, sometimes icy conditions. Your tree stand will not be exempt from the fallout. It is important that you take every precaution to make sure that you don’t fall out. It is the heart of the season. The time when the hunting woods really wake up; when the rut is in full swing, and you are ready and excited to bring home a trophy for all to admire. Hunt smart, hunt safe, and be there to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

E-mail Lou Marullo at lmarullo@fishgame.com

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thing you know, your ice is melting fast and your camera is getting wet. Luckily, most boating supply stores carry a variety of replacement foam gasketing in enough different sizes that you can get a close fit.

Fix It or Ditch It? HETHER YOU BOAT IS OLD OR NEW, used in salt- or freshwater, for hunting or fishing, something almost certainly needs fixing or replacing right now. Some boaters will spend two hours fixing a doo-dad that we could buy new for two bucks. Others will look at an imperative item we know needs attention—like a bilge pump—and fail to lift a finger until it’s too late. The common boater will do all of the above: Ignore a problem item, then try to fix it, and finally (when it breaks again) replace it. Whichever category you fit into, sometimes it’s hard to know whether to fix something, throw it away and replace it, or ignore it entirely. Fix, toss, or ignore? Read on, and you will be a boater in the know.

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Fix rubber gaskets that fall out of molded channels in fishboxes, integrated coolers, and hatches. If your boat has these, eventually you will swing open a hatch or lid and the rubber gasket will hang halfway out. Stop! Don’t close that hatch now or the edges might smash or cut the gasket. Darn, too late. Why not just buy a new one? You cannot easily replace these (the new ones never seem to fit properly) and you certainly do not want to get rid of the gasket entirely, so when rubber gaskets come free and get cut, piece them together and hold them in place with a waterproof glue like Gorilla Glue. Foam gaskets are a different story. When a foam gasket goes bad, you want to toss and replace it. Once these things get crumbly (usually after just a few years of use), they are simply beyond help. Next N28

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Ignore intermittently failing pumps used to evacuate water from fishboxes. These pumps (usually bilge pumps in off-label application) don’t last long (sometime between the first snapper and the third flounder, scales and fish bits are guaranteed to clog them up), but there’s no easy solution because macerator and diaphragm pumps won’t fit into the same spaces as bilge pumps, and nine times out of 10, there’s a dedicated space molded into the fiberglass. Since it is often impossible to replace the pump with a different type, fix your fish box pumps and nurse them along for as long as you can. (Often a blast from the washdown hose into the base of the pump is enough to clear out fish bits.) But also carry spares, and recognize that eventually you will have to replace them with identical units. Toss cracked or leaky fuel lines. Those that are exposed to direct sunlight have a limited life span, and after five or six years in the weather, they often crack and soon leak. Do not cut out the bad section and use a barb and a hose clamp to put the line back together; when a fuel line is aged enough for a crack to appear in one section, more are sure to soon follow. Considering how dangerous a fuel leak can be, it is just not worth messing with. Do not ignore leaking hoses. Instead, throw the entire fuel line away and buy a new one. Fix pipework welds that crack, immediately. Bang around the bay with a loose weld in your T-top or Bimini, and the lack of structural support will result in more cracks, over-stressed attachment points, and possibly bent pipework that cannot ever be fixed.

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Unfortunately, cracks in welds usually indicate bad design or improper mounting, and you need to eliminate the root of the problem as well as the symptoms. The best but most expensive solution is toss the top and have a new one custom-made specifically for your boat. (Check to make sure the deck is level first; a common reason welds are stressed is mounting bolts that are torqued down tight, tensioning the metal.) Most of us, of course, will not want to follow this route. The next best option is to have support gussets welded into 90-degree pipe junctions. The top will not look as good as it once did, but gussets are usually sufficient to keep the structure together. Ignore bilge and motor well access plates that leak a bit. Both screw-in and pop-down pie plates are commonly used to access below decks areas, but even those that are properly bedded in adhesive/sealant and have a good gasket, leak to one degree or another. Much of the time, that accounts for the cup or two of water that leaks out when you trailer your boat and remove the drain plug at the end of the day. Why not replace or fix these so they don’t leak? Because you can’t. Virtually all of them leak to one degree or another, if not when they are new, then within a year or two of installation. Fix gaskets and seals on these plates only when a significant amount of water (maybe 1 gallon per hour for an average bay boat) leaks through. If yours leaks only a tiny bit, consider it a fully functioning fitting and be glad it is not a gusher. Toss canvas Bimini and T-top covers when a rip or a bald spot appears after years of use. When one area wears through, you can bet others will soon follow. This usually happens where a top support or strap attaches; the weakened, aged material usually doesn’t have the strength to support new threading necessary to cover the problem spot. On top of that, no matter how hard


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you try, you will never get the patch color to match the original. Even professional canvass shops can make only a temporary fix at best, and usually within a season or two, you will find new leaks and rips. If you can ignore something that works well but looks terrible, you can paint the canvass with rubberized roofing paint. This is ugly—and I mean u-g-l-y! It does, however, keep the top together and leak-proof for a few more seasons.

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Fix posi-lock latches (the push-buttons that pop out and turn) that are not holding your drawers or hatches closed, or that prevent them from closing in the first place. These regularly fail and many people replace them, but it is rare that the latches actually require replacement. Open the hatch or drawer and you will see the latching mechanism, held on a small track by two screws. Loosen the screws and you can adjust the mechanism’s position on the

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track. Move it closer to the edge to give the latch more bite, or away from the edge if the latch prevents the drawer from closing properly.

E-mail Lenny Rudow at boating@fishgame.com

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Rescue Tape EGRETFULLY, I HAVE FLAUNTED WITH trouble enough to know it on a first name basis. Fortunately, I have outgrown the “emergency room and suture” phase of my life, but it was quickly replaced by the “mechanical malady” phase that comes with adulthood, especially among

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by Greg Berlocher outdoorsmen. As my collection of outdoor gear grew, so did the list of things that could break, corrode, tear, leak, split, or wear out. When samples of Rescue Tape showed up in the mail, it was relegated to the corner of my desk for a few days. Rescue Tape. Funny name. I ruminated on the word “rescue” and visions of a Coast Guard helicopter hovering over a listing boat, evacuating survivors in a basket came to mind. I just didn’t get the connection. Why would I need to be rescued? After all, I am not a thrill seeker and don’t live life on the edge, like, say Don Zaidle, who shakes bare toes at copperheads, practically daring the poisonous vipers to bite one of his appendages. No, I am just a mild mannered outdoor writer with way too much gear that tends to break—usually at the worst possible moment. The light bulb went off on a recent fishing trip when I couldn’t successfully prime the fuel line of my outboard. Ten minutes of pumping the primer bulb left my hand cramping and the fuel line still dry. It turned out that the anti-siphon fitting on the fuel tank had an air leak; the primer bulb was indeed working, but it was sucking air and not fuel. I dug around in the gear bag where I keep new products for evaluation and grabbed the Rescue Tape. A few wraps made an airtight seal, and the fuel line was fully primed a few seconds later. After Rescue Tape’s successful performance, my mind began to wander. I could N30

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have sealed that split radiator hose in the middle of the New Mexico dessert; or covered my wiring connections on my boat trailer; or sealed the rod tube on my last trip to the mountains so all of my fly rods wouldn’t have spilled out on the floor at the baggage claim; or whipped the end of my anchor rope; or fastened my friend’s reel to his rod when his reel seat broke. I was beginning to like this product with the odd name. Silicone tape is not new. It was developed 30 years ago specifically for aircraft wiring, and there are a number of brands on the market. As seasoned anglers understand the difference between cheap monofilament and higher end lines, there are differences in silicone tapes. Rescue Tape is made by Harbor Products in Carson City, Nevada. The company mills their own silicone and mixes it with a proprietary blend of additives that increase its strength and provide enhanced properties. Rescue Tape has a tensile strength of 700 PSI and can resist temperatures up to 500 degree F, making it ideal to repair hoses and pipes that get hot. Rescue Tape also insulates up to 8000 volts, allowing you to replace heat shrink tubing and liquid electrical tape. To use Rescue Tape, you pull off a strip and stretch it to activate it. To get the strongest bond, you should stretch the tape to two or three times its original length. Once it has been stretched, use overlapping wraps, covering about 50 percent of the previous wrap with every new turn. The tighter you wrap the tape, the faster it fuses and the better it works. You will need to lay down multiple layers of tape if trying to seal a high-pressure leak.

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Rescue Tape is 1 inch wide and comes in 12-foot rolls. It is available in an array of colors, including black, clear, white, yellow, green, brown, and orange. The suggested retail price is $9.95 per roll. Rescue tape is available at many outdoor retailers and hardware stores. To prevent the tape from sticking to itself, it has a clear plastic backing, which is discarded. If it is technically possible, I would encourage Harbor Products to substitute some sort of waxed paper, which biodegrades readily, in lieu of the clear plastic backing. Rescue Tape is a wonderful find and an extremely useful product, even though I don’t need to be rescued. Funny name. Great product.

On the Web www.rescuetape.com

Email Greg Berlocher at fishthis@fishgame.com PHOTO COURTESY RESCUE TAPE


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The Best Deer Rifle Ever Made VER SINCE I WAS OLD ENOUGH TO READ, I have poured over hundreds of articles that tried to pick the best allaround deer rifle. Weighing

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in with my pick, I am going to ignore a lot of myth and personal preference and pick one single rifle as the best ever made for hunting deer in all possible scenarios. Deer in the United States are hunted in almost every conceivable type of terrain, from high mountains, to flat prairies, in dense forests, and on sandy deserts. So, we will first select a caliber suitably sufficient for all of these challenges. Our perfect deer cartridge needs to be flat-shooting for all those long-range shots on the prairies and across canyons in the mountains. If we use it in heavy woods, it needs to hit hard and be capable of firing fairly heavy-for-caliber bullets. For the heavy brush and forests, we want something that will shoot completely through a deer, leaving a good blood trail for tracking in dense cover. We also want a cartridge that will give deep, positive penetration for shots at poor angles, what Elmer Keith called “raking shots.” These criteria rule out everything below 7mm caliber, as well as such wonderful calibers as the .35 Whelen and .338/06 PHOTOS COURTESY BROWNING

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because of their moderate range limitations. The perfect cartridge is going to have to cover a lot of ground. As for long range, it is reasonable to set a limit of 400 yards. Anything farther is simply beyond the marksmanship of all but a very select few. This rules out all the normal woods cartridges like the .35 Remington, .30-30 Winchester, and .348 Winchester. Deer cover the spectrum from Coues deer in Arizona and small Texas Hill Country deer that might dress out at 110 pounds, to the monsters of the northern United States and Canada that can weigh nearly as

much as a spike bull elk. This means our cartridge selection must have power and versatility. While the standard calibers like the .270 Winchester and .30-06 can handle most situations, I would prefer a bit more power for long-range shots at the largest deer. The .300 magnums would fit our description quite well, and many hunters use them even for smaller deer species. However, they are more powerful than necessary and kick too much for many hunters to handle well. We also do not need the power of the .338 Winchester or .340 Weatherby, though either of those would certainly do the job. This narrows the field to one of the smaller magnums in 7mm or .270. But, before we make our final cartridge selection, we need to decide which gun we want because some of the cartridges might not be chambered in our chosen gun. Since we are using this rifle in every conceivable type of terrain and weather, it must be light enough to carry without undue strain, and must be weatherproof. A heavybarreled bolt-action rifle in one of the magnums would certainly take care of the accuracy and range problems, but is too heavy to carry all day on foot up and down mountains and across swamps, so they have to go, A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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too. This leaves us with a rifle weighing less than 9 pounds loaded and scoped. Since some of our hunting is in the thick stuff where we might need a fast second or third shot, we can rule out single shots. And although a good man with a bolt action can work a bolt faster than most would believe, the bolt action is slower than any of the levers, pumps, or semi-autos. Only one lever action, the Browning BLR, is offered in the calibers we are interested in, so it is definitely in the running. At this time, no pump-action rifles are offered in any of the magnum calibers, so they are out. That is a shame, too, because the pump-action is one of the fastest and most reliable. In semi-auto, the only rifle I know of offered in magnum calibers is the Browning BAR. So, we seem to have narrowed our choices down to two—the BAR and BLR. Both are offered in several calibers that fit our needs for a mid-caliber magnum. Of these two rifles, either will fit our needs, but our purpose is to pick a single rifle. Now, if we add one more straw to the camel’s back, we are left with only one entry. Assume that some of our hunting will be on horseback, requiring carrying our rifle in a saddle scabbard. This is the realm of the

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Topwater Autumn OOKING BACK OVER THE COLUMNS I HAVE written for November over the past few years, I noticed a trend. Typically, I start writing about deep-water fishing in this month, and continue through the winter on that same theme. I think I have done a disservice to you because I have ignored the outstanding shallow-water bass fishing that is available this time of year. So, this time I am bucking the trend to discuss topwater baits for fall bass. This is Texas, after all, and most of us are deer hunting in shorts, so the temperature has not yet gotten cold enough to push the bass deep. A lot of them are still gorging on baitfishes on flats near deeper water, and this is where a slow-moving topwater bait comes into play. Everyone has their favorite topwater. Some swear by buzzbaits, others prefer chuggers and poppers, while others like to walk the dog; the latter is the category I fall into, mostly because of the ability to work a Spook and its kin much slower than you can the other baits, which means more time in the strike zone longer and more enticement to finicky fish. Just about any bait will catch fish straight

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out of the box, but a few quick tweaks will make them catch more. These modifications will not necessarily make the lures more appealing to bass or cause more to strike, but will make sure the fish that do hit get stuck and stay that way until you get them into the boat. The first thing to do to any topwater chugger or walk-the-dog type bait is to remove the rear hook and replace it with a larger one. The larger hook will stay attached to the fish better, and is heavier to weigh down the back end of the bait so it rides lower in the water, making it a more accessible target. With the bait sitting nose high, it will also move a shorter distance when worked, making it sit in front of a fish much longer. You might recall the Tung Fu putty discussed in a previous column. If the addition of the hook doesn’t lower the rear enough, wrap some Tung Fu around the hook shaft to add a little more weight. If you are fishing in an area with a large amount of brush or grass and are worried about hanging up a lot, clip off the forwardfacing point of the rear treble. This leaves two points to hook into fish, but removes the one most likely to snag brush. Most topwater baits come with a split ring connecting each hook to the body. Take

the time to add one more split ring to the ones already on the bait to make the hooks swing a little freer, which can help prevent bass from slinging the bait or putting enough side pressure on the hooks to pull free.

Since we are in a split ring adding mood, put one on the nose of the bait as well, if it doesn’t already have one. Tying to the split ring instead of directly to the line tie eye will give the bait more side-to-side action. If fishing open water and the sight of more hooks on a bait just makes you giddy, add another hook off the back end via a short leader. Tie a short piece of monofilament to the rear hook then tie a dressed treble hook to the end of the leader. (A dressed treble is one wrapped with feathers or Mylar that adds a little flair.) I know it’s deer season and most of you are busy chasing bucks (me included), but if you get the urge to head out to the lake after sitting on stand all day, don’t automatically head deep. There are still bass chasing shad up shallow, and will fall for a topwater plug.

E-mail Paul Bradshaw at freshrigs@fishgame.com

TEXAS GUNS & GEAR  Continued from Page N31 lever rifle. Therefore, our choice of the most perfect deer rifle ever built is: The Browning BLR Lightweight ‘81 with 24-inch barrel in 7mm Remington Magnum caliber. Topped with a good variable scope of about 3-9X, we are set for almost anything. There you have it. This is not a rifle I N32

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personally would choose for anything, but when we try to make one tool perform a multitude of tasks, we run the risk of choosing a tool that is not necessarily the best for anything. Still, the BLR is a fine gun, very durable and accurate, and is more than capable of fulfilling all the requirements we have placed on it in this column. If you are one of those rare individuals

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satisfied with only one do-it-all gun, this is my suggestion to you. However, I will continue to pick the tool I think best for each individual situation I encounter. After all, no law says I have to follow my own advice.

E-mail Steve LaMascus at guns@fishgame.com ILLUSTRATION BY PAUL BRADSHAW


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Stick It! TICK IT WHERE THE SUN DON’T shine” became part of the American lexicon in 1976 when the pudgy catcher in “The Bad News Bears” uttered those words to a rival little league baseball player. After three decades of overuse, the familiar phrase is typically truncated to simply “stick it,” suggesting the same nuance of the original phrase, but in a snappier, quicker-to-deliver format. With increasing frequency, kayak fishermen are telling their fishing buddies to stick it—but for a different reason. Stake-out poles have been used on flats boats for years, and several manufacturers have introduced stake-out poles specifically designed for kayak duty. The concept is simple: Stick a pole into the soft bottom and tether your kayak to the pole with a short rope. Stake-out poles are easy to use and eliminate the need for an anchor. I am a big fan of stake-out poles and have been sticking it for quite some time. The sitting angler can quickly and quietly push and pull a stake-out pole into and out of the bottom. No more clanging anchors banging around the cockpit or dredging up big wads of seagrass or mud. This allows for quickfire action and frequent moves. Nothing interrupts my tempo like stopping and anchoring. With the possible exception of fresh chips and salsa, I can’t think of a finer combination than a stake-out pole and drift-fishing. Hook a fish and quickly stop your drift by driving the pole into the bottom with your

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free hand. When you are ready to cover more water, inch the pole back out and you are on your way. Don’t think that stake-out poles are useful only on coastal flats. They are just as handy on inland lakes if the water depth is shallow enough. Stake-out poles can also be used by river fishermen. River beds blanketed with a layer of washed rock can be difficult to penetrate with a pointed stick, but these seemingly inhospitable watersheds usually have stake-out pole friendly shorelines. Keep in mind that you can always jab the pole into the soil above the waterline

boundary. Just beware of fire ant mounds; don’t ask me how I know this. Stake-out poles are easy to make and every serious kayak fisherman should have one. A section of PVC pipe topped with a T fitting is about as simple as it gets. The T fitting serves as a handle and provides a place to attach a small rope. For easier penetration, cut the other end off at an angle. If you prefer to buy your kayak accessories rather than make them, Yak-Gear and Stick It Anchor Pins make kayak-sized stake-out poles, available at many outdoor retailers and full service kayak shops. The Yak Gear Yak-Stick is made of 7/8-inch A L M A N A C / T E X A S

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solid PVC and comes in 4- and 6-foot models. The Stick It Anchor Pins pole is 5/8inch diameter, made of composite material, and comes with an ergonomic T handle. The T-shaped handle allows the stake-out pole to be inverted and used as a push pole. If you chase trout and redfish in skinny water, you likely use your kayak as transportation and bail out once you arrive at your destination. If you paddle a sit-on-top style hull, you can stick the pole through one of the scupper holes. This is as simple as it gets, essentially pinning the kayak in place. Stake-out poles are a good option for securing kayaks when you duck hunt. Pulling your hull up into a clump of spartina grass might or might not secure it in place. I am a belt and suspenders type of guy, typically opting on the side of caution. (Too many sutures in my youth, I suppose.) A rising tide can loosen the spartina’s grip on your hull, allowing a gusting breeze to send it on its way. The truant kayak makes no noise and the hunter’s fixation on ducks will likely prevent noticing its departure until it is too late. Driving a stake-out pole though a scupper hole is inexpensive insurance. If you don’t have a stake-out pole, consider adding one to your equipment list. Then you can literally stick it where the sun don’t shine.

Email Greg Berlocher at kayak@fishgame.com

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Catching Tadpoles HE SQUARE WATER TROUGH WAS THE birthing ward for hundreds of frog eggs. The goggle-eyed swimmers churned their tails and raced around the interior of their concrete boundaries. Then they gathered in corners and hovered, hiding in the green algae. Catching them with a straight grab was almost impossible. A smart child herded them into a corner and then gently scooped them up in his hands. Then he

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would transfer the flipping creatures into a prepared bottle for transport to the aquarium in Mrs. Martinek’s sixth-grade classroom. Still, some of the tadpoles slipped through fingers and around small palms to the center of the trough where they could not be reached. Such is reality; sometimes it slips through our fingers to escape and glare at us from a distance while we stare back, blinking and dumb. Bud Swanson sat on a bench and tangled one long, bowed leg over the other. He leaned back against the log wall of the horse barn, resting and contemplating. Then, he inspected me for a moment as if to decide whether I was worth his attention. He was silent and the late evening sounds of birds along the creek and horses eating in the barn crept into our consciousness. His weathered hands folded

atop his knee as a smile glinted at the corner of his eye and twitched the corner of his mouth. His hair was neatly combed and his shirt had at one time been starched and ironed. The elderly gentlemen had style and pride. I had been searching for him since the first time I smelled a horse. That’s not saying I didn’t respect the outdoor breed of men in my country, but there was a reality check. Their frontier was well defeated before they succumbed to modern maladies. While they could relate from the days of outhouses and boiling lard, their remaining lives were spent on construction sites, driving tractors, or in offices. It’s simple math understanding that stories from someone whose belly impedes a steering wheel or who hasn’t slung a rope in 40 years


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might ring hollow. Nevertheless, I gleaned every tidbit of information about training horses, working cows, and hunting into the wind that was offered, and I yearned to see country measured in square miles rather than acres. Now, I waited. Bud was gearing up to talk more than a month’s load of words, and it was evident he was enjoying the audience. “Me ’n some of the boys lived in a bunkhouse on the Broken-O. If we wasn’t bucking up hay, we’d make a few rodeos during the summertime. I’d take my three-quarter rigged Hamley saddle and slip the stirrup leathers out of the D-ring so I could spur ahead. Then when I’d head home, I’d just run the stirrup leather back through the ring and go back to working cows. But I was winning too much money and the folks putting on the rodeos made me buy a Turtles Association card. That’s what they called it then; now it’s the PRCA. “I suppose we stuck a loop on every sort of critter that lives around here. We once roped a cow elk and drug her in the horse barn and shut the doors. Now, that’s all mighty tame, but the cook had his chicken nests in that barn and had to check for eggs through a side door. We was at the windows the next morning waiting for the show. When Cookie cracked the latch, that ol’ elk piled over him like a freight train. We didn’t get no breakfast that day. “We also caught a little mountain goat and put it in that barn, but I think it walked a support beam and hopped out the second floor window because we never saw it again. “Another critter I had fun catching was a prairie goat.” “Wait a minute… ain’t pronghorn antelope the fastest animals in North America?” I asked incredulously. Bud mashed his lips together and shook his head. “Maybe so, but if you’re mounted good and got the right stretch of open country, you can run one down. “After I bought the ranch, I started outfitting. I’d take dudes hunting in the mountains every year after shipping calves. But then the government got involved and wanted me to buy a license. It wasn’t worth the price and I gave it up. I figured those were our mountains and nobody could charge me to use them.” This is where reality became slippery. The Wilderness Act sets aside and preserves vast quantities of U.S. backcountry. That’s a good thing. However, the Forest Service, as federal agencies go, is a money pit. It seemed to Bud

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that the government should let the use of his home mountain country be free, or at least be free to the natives. It made sense to me, but at some point, reality had slithered to the side of bureaucracy. Years went by, Bud passed away chasing a milk cow around the barn, and I honed my backwoods ignorance into blind naiveté. But reality remains as black and white, cut and dried, and slimy to get a hold on as ever. The oil patch is demonized by mainstream media, but little is reported of the technology

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it produces to conserve and recover freshwater, make less footprint, and provide economically feasible energy. Wolves exploded past the projected 300count population by thousands. Ten years after the inception, the non-indigenous Canadian gray predators have devastated ungulate herds and economies in Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho. This happened in the same frame while academics ballyhoo the debacle as a suc-

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